Begonias and Sedum adolphii Repotted

Begonias ‘Sophie Cecile’, ‘Fannie Moser’, ‘Frosty’ and the unknown, plus the Sedum adolphii re-potted…

Hello again already! I finally re-potted the other four Begonias early this evening. When I was bringing the Begonias to the back porch, Sedum adolphii yelled out, “WHAT ABOUT ME? YOU HAVE PROMISED ALL SUMMER!”

 

Sedum adolphii in its new pot…

Sedum adolphii has watched me take plants and bring them back in new pots and potting soil all summer. I promised him during the winter I would give it a new pot and soil if it survived the winter and did better this summer.  Well, he has done much better so today I gave him a new pot and fresh potting soil. I call this plant he because adolphii sounds like a man’s name.

Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) was named by Raymond-Hamet in 1812 and is a native of Mexico. I believe the species was named after Adolphe-Théodore Brongniart. He was a French botanist and scientist and one of the founders of modern paleobotany. He also helped prove that pollen existed. Hmmm…

If you find plants similar to this labeled Sedum nussbaumerianum, it is this plant. That name is a synonym of Sedum adolphii… The industry markets a lot of plants under the incorrect name.

That’s all for now. The cactus and succulent updates are coming up next I think. Until then, stay well, be safe, and enjoy all the nature around you. As always, GET DIRTY!

Argiope aurantia-Black & Yellow Garden Spiders

Argiope aurantia (Black and Yellow Garden Spider) male and female…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well! Yesterday when I was watering in the north bed I discovered a couple of new friends. If you remember last year I posted about three different Black and Yellow Garden Spider females I had been watching. The bigger one in the Forsythia disappeared. Now I have another one to watch. 🙂

This time, she is not alone…

 

Argiope aurantia female on 8-12-18, #495-2.

This girl is pretty good sized already. I didn’t get the take measure out because she was already not happy with me… I was watering the Colocasia esculenta and she got a good soaking. I didn’t know she was there until she moved…

 

Argiope aurantia male on 8-12-18, #495-3.

Then I noticed she was not alone in her web. She is being courted… This is the first time I have seen a male Black and Yellow Garden spider in my life and it is pretty exciting. He is so much smaller than she is.

I think the story goes that she doesn’t like him she will eat him. If she does like him she “may” allow him to live after they, you know, do their thing…

DAY TWO AFTER DISCOVERY…

Today, Monday, he is still alive and well. He is keeping his distance, though. He is so small and hiding up my the leaves you can barely see him. He is giving her the eye and she is giving him the eye but perhaps for different reasons. Maybe she is thinking he is just a boy and she needs a man. We shall see how this plays out…

Well, I am afraid one of them may not be long for this world. I am pretty impressed he has lasted this long.

There is another interesting spider with its web attached to the water hydrant I need to take photos of, too. I just haven’t remembered to take my camera when I am getting water for the chickens.

Until next time, which may be sooner than you think, stay well, be safe, positive and so on. You may not have time to get dirty before my next post. 🙂

Bed & Plant Update Part 3

The bed on the south side of the house…

Hello again everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. After a week of nice weather, it became very hot again… One day it was 98! A couple of times we were SUPPOSED to get rain, but we didn’t get a drop that I noticed. We did get a few drops as a teaser on Thursday afternoon.

I was working on the cactus and succulent post and updating their pages as I went along then I realized how long that would take. There are 40 different cactus and succulents so I will probably put them in 2-3 posts. Then I realized that by the time I was finished, the photos I took of the other plants would be out of date. So, I decided I better finish with the perennials and then go to the cactus and succulent update. Then I have to take photos of the Alocasia… I had to take a few more photos for this post because a few were already outdated. Umm… Even the photo of the bed is outdated now! The south bed has plants that are very drought tolerant but a little water really gets them growing… I think the Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and the Canna stragglers must have grown a foot or more since I took the above photo on July 29…

So, here we go with round three of the plant and garden update… I am kind of going in order, not alphabetically…

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’…

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ feels like it has been dethroned. It is still doing amazingly well even though its new neighbor has taken over the southwest corner bed. I think maybe I need to make some changes in this bed because the Phlomis is no longer the tallest plant here. So, next spring, I may trade places with the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ and Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’. Even though the Phlomis came up early this spring than normal (under the pot I cover it with over the winter), it did not flower. I am still scratching my head over that…

 

Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’…

Although the Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ (False Indigo) has done extremely well, it was a bit of a disappointment. When it FINALLY did flower it seems it turned out not to be ‘Lunar Eclipse’ after all. I had to double check the label and it does indeed say ‘Lunar Eclipse’. It only had a few flowers and they didn’t last very long. It was not near the show that photos online depict. I planted it last spring and it didn’t flower until this year, so maybe it will have more flowers next year. And you never know… Maybe next year it will decide to be ‘Lunar Eclipse’. One thing for sure, it is certainly a strong grower. BUT, the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is hidden between the shrubbery and this plant. Maybe I need to cut it half off.

 

Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’… On July 29.

Oh, yeah! The Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’! This is a plant no one should be without. They are heat and drought tolerant, will grow in full sun to part shade, have nice dark green and maroon leaves, have flowers that attract bees and butterflies, etc. Although they “can” grow to 8-9 feet tall, you can pinch them back when they are young and they won’t get that big. Some of my plants don’t get that tall, though. The other problem is they self-sow. Well, I guess that is a good thing in a way, but they produce a lot of seeds which leads to a lot of seedlings the next year. I used to try and find somewhere to plant them all or give as many away as possible. I thought about planting some along a few country roads or maybe along the highway. But, you know, once you give someone these plants they either have plenty or don’t want them again. Apparently, you either love them or hate them…

 

The longest flower spike so far on a Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on August 11.

I ran into a little snag a few weeks ago while updating the ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ page to the right… I deleted a very long paragraph explaining the dilemma. In fact, I deleted it several times. If you want to read about it, you can click on the plant’s name above. 🙂 I am leaving the name of this plant as Celosia argentea var. spicata even though that name is not an “official” accepted name on Plants of the World Online. I better stop or I will be deleting another paragraph… Deeringia spicata!?!?!?!? OK, OK! You have to read the page…

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 7-29-18, #487-84.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue flowers very well when I remember to keep the dead flowers removed. It has been a bit of a sprawler this year for some reason…

 

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’…

The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ has pretty much run its course I think. They have been flowering non-stop for several months. I think I am going to cut the plants back and see what happens. Maybe they will regrow and flower again. If you would like some seed, just let me know…

 

Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’…

The Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ flowered then stopped after I deadheaded it. Now it has another flower and several buds. The flowers are really neat, though!

 

Salvia farinacea Cathedral™ ‘Blue Bicolor’ on 8-11-18, #494-8.

Salvia farinacea Cathedral™ ‘Blue Bicolor’ has been at it all summer. The plants are not near as tall as the Salvia farinacea ‘Blue Bedder’ I grew in Mississippi which is a good thing. I like tall plants, but I had to keep the ‘Blue Bedder’ tied to small bamboo stakes.

Those little plants in the middle are Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar). They were slow coming up this spring and some of them are STILL coming up… There are hundreds of tiny plants along the border of the bed.

 

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ on 7-29-18, #487-80.

The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ has done OK but… I really like the color of the flowers but I think the plants are lacking something. They don’t seem to mind the full sun here, but they just don’t have any ZIP. I think adding ‘The Good Stuff” in the spring is a good idea, but I am wondering if a good timed-release fertilizer incorporated into the soil would be a good idea, too. Of course it would be a good idea? Now I am sounding like an idiot!

Well, I don’t like using commercial fertilizers in the garden and flower beds. The soil in the garden is AWESOME but not so good around the house. I mix “The Good Stuff” in the soil in the spring but maybe I haven’t been using enough. I foliar fed with AlgoFlash fertilizer when I was in Minnesota and in some in Mississippi and I still have about a half a bottle. Now, where is that hose-end sprayer?

 

Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) on 7-29-18, #487-97.

The Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) that did come up and grow are doing very well. These plants will get bigger but not overwhelming. It’s the flowers and seed pods you have to watch out for. Once the flowers become seed pods they need to be deadheaded very soon. They will continue to flower over and over after they are deadheaded then you leave the last batch of seeds for next years plants… Well, don’t leave them all. 🙂

 

Achillea ‘Moondust’…

The Achillea ‘Moondust’ has been nothing at all like the Achillea millefolium. This guy is short! Well, after all, it is only supposed to get 12-18″ tall. After it spreads a little it will look even better. Sometimes only planting one plant isn’t a good idea and I should have bought more of these… Whereas the Achillea millefolium is a spreader, this one apparently has better manners. 🙂

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 7-29-18, #487-85.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ seems to be enjoying itself but it is taking a break from flowering. Normally it flowers all summer if I deadhead it from time to time. There was a good-sized clump of Elephant Garlic behind it that was getting a little pushy which I removed a few months ago. It seemed to appreciate that and started spreading out but where are the flowers?  I asked it what the deal was and all it does is smile at me. I have had this plant since 2013… It is usually more upright but this year it is laying down on the job.

 

Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’…

Butterfly Bush Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’ is now getting with the program. The above photo was taken on July 30 but it is looking even better now. It is attracting a lot of butterflies and Hummingbird Moths. I need to take another video of the Hummingbird Moths…

 

Angelonia angustifolia Angelface®’Perfectly Pink’, 1 of 3…

The three Angelonia angustifolia Angelface® ‘Perfectly Pink’ in the southeast corner bed are really awesome. They have been non-stop bloomers and the flowers last a very long time. They were flowering when I planted them and I have never had to deadhead them. They just keep going and going!

 

Marigold ‘Brocade Red’…

The ‘Brocade’ Marigolds (Tagetes patula) are doing very well everywhere they are. I had worked for several years collecting the seed of only the red-flowered ‘Brocade’. For a while it proved to be successful, but when they self-sow not all the flowers turn out to be red… Now, they come up by the hundreds and I don’t have to save seeds anymore. But if I want only red flowers, I would have to deadhead all the flowers and continue saving only the seeds from the red. Then, any that come up on their own the following year would have to be pulled up. I did that for several years when I was trying to get them going, but now that they are really going it would be a lot of work… I did manage to keep them from coming up in the south bed, however, and I think this little bed at the corner of the back porch is plenty. There are a few in the southeast corner bed and the corner bed behind the old foundation (and a few other places). Umm… I really need to update their page soon.

 

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)…

Talk about a spreader! The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) has filled in this corner really well along the old foundation. I bought one plant at one of the local garden clubs plant sales in the spring of 2016 to fill in this corner and it has really done its job well. I don’t know what cultivar this is, maybe ‘Alba’. There are cultivars available, such as ‘Miss Manners’, that doesn’t spread aggressively. Actually, this could be ‘Miss Manners’ and maybe it would even be more aggressive is it weren’t. 🙂

There is a strange problem with this plant I haven’t figured out yet. The tops and some of the leaves turn brown as if they were scorched. They have done this from the beginning and watering has nothing to do with it. I only water my plants after they are in the shade. This happens as soon as they start growing in the spring and continues until frost…

 

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)…

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) I transplanted in the bed behind the old foundation in May has basically finished flowering. I think they did pretty good considering this was their first year here. The one in the southeast corner bed is doing well although it didn’t flower. I am pretty sure they are a cultivar, but which one is a complete mystery. One thing is for sure, they are definitely NOT the straight species you find growing along the highway… I may have to go collect some seeds and scatter them in a few locations on the farm.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’…

The Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ in the corned bed behind the old foundation WAS doing very well. This is a really nice cultivar and one everyone should try. They grow well and flower in full sun to light shade (even part shade to some extent) with no problem. Flowers can be deadheaded to encourage repeat blooming and to keep them looking tidy. They slowly spread by underground rhizomes but do not come true from seed. Mine have not self-sown as far as I can tell. They are getting a little thick in this bed because I transplanted them a little to close in the first place. They need good air circulation and prefer moist soil… OK, so I gained a little more experience. In the north bed, where it was shadier so the soil stayed damper, they did very well… Here, in the full sun, they need to be watered more often. I water the beds every two or three days which I suppose isn’t often enough for this bed…

Being as crowded in this corner bed as they are is not a good idea because too many plants do cause an air circulation problem, especially when there is no breeze. If I watered more often bacterial infection would be worse when plants are too crowded. So, with this summer being so dry, this bed has had some real issues… Everything in this bed, including the Marigolds around the edge, have just about dried up. I use an automatic sprinkler for the south bed and Cannas, and also used it with the shade bed, to give them a good thorough soaking. But it won’t work in the corner bed behind the foundation. Somewhere I have an old round sprinkler I brought from Mississippi… I wonder where it is… 🙂

There are also a lot of Rudbeckia hirta (the wildflower called Black-Eyed Susan) growing in the south bed and in the corner bed behind the old foundation (in front of the ‘Goldsturm’ above). I let them pretty much grow wherever they want and we get along fine. The plants in the corner bed, however, up and died…

Well, I think that is it for this post. The next post will probably be about the Hosta and other plants in the shade bed. Then one about the Alocasia. By then, I may also have the Cactus and Succulent Update ready… Ummm… It took several days just to get this post finished. GEEZ! I just looked at the clock and it is 2:50 AM!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, stay well, and GET DIRTY!

Bed & Plant Update Part 2-Plants On The Front Porch

The front porch…

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well! Well, it’s time for the 2nd update. I have to laugh as I look at the above photo. It is a mixture of cactus, succulents, tropicals, and just plants… They are kind of arranged by the amount of sun they like and get, which isn’t necessarily the same. Being on the front porch is a little challenging because I am trying to mimic light shade to mostly sun… At first, I had most all of them on the table but the Oxalis didn’t like that at all. I moved the plants to the front porch because their world changed after the Japanese Beetles destroyed their light to partly shady area behind the shed. I will admit, I like them closer instead of in “the other yard” where they were farther away. I can even water them at night if I have to. A few of the cats used to sleep on the front porch but I rarely see any here now. Sometimes the yellow cat sleeps on the railing.

So, how am I going to do this post? Hmmm… Most of the plants on the porch are succulents and one cactus. All of the plants on the back porch are cactus except for one succulent and the Alocasia ‘Portora’ which doesn’t belong there. She is just visiting until I get the four plants separated. In a few days, a lot of the plants at the far end of the table will be gone (taking them to Wagler’s Greenhouse) and then I will move the cactus on the back porch to the front porch.

All but two plants in this post have links to their page on the right side of the blog. They are probably not 100% up-to-date yet.

 

Amorphophallus sp. at 20″…

The Amorphophallus sp. (Voodoo Lily, Corpse Lily, Devil Tongue, etc., etc.) is doing great. They were getting a little scared under the Chinese Elm with all those hungry beetles flying around. Once they started sampling the Amorphophallus, I moved this pot to the porch on the north side of the house. Right now, these two plants are 20″ tall.  The sun proved to be a little much for the Oxalis triangularis when this pot was on the side porch, so after I removed the nine babies I put them on the front porch.

 

Some of the Amorphophallus kids on 7-29-18, #487-12.

For those of you who may have missed the post where I removed the babies, you can click on “Re-potting The Amorphophallus”. All nine of them are doing great, even the very small one and the one I accidentally broke off.

 

The four Begonias on the corner table…

The Begonias are doing great on the front porch. I thought they may have been getting to much afternoon sun here, but they seem to like it. Pictured here are Begonia “Frosty’, ‘Fannie Moser’, and ‘Sophie Cecile’. I bought those three from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2017. The plant on the lower right corner is older and I do not know its name. It has thicker leaves, maroon undersides, and some of its leaves are spotted and some not…

 

Begonia x withlacoochee ‘Brazilian Lady’…

Of all the Begonias I have grown over the years, I really like the Begonia x withlacoochee ‘Brazilian Lady’. I acquired my first plant from Pleasant Acres Nursery in Leland, Mississippi when I lived there in 2012. Begonia x withlacoochee isn’t an “accepted” infraspecific name, but it is the “official” hybrid name between Begonia thelmae and either Begonia juliana or Begonia peruviana. It has looked better than it does in this photo but it is better than it was a few weeks ago. The above photo was taken on July 29, and today (August 4) I noticed it has A LOT of flowers coming on…

 

Callisia fragrans offsets…

The Callisia fragrans (Grandpa’s Pipe, Inch Plant, etc.) is quite a plant for sure… I am not just saying that because I want to give you a plant. 🙂 Most of the time I can give my extra plants to Wagler’s Greenhouse, but I asked her a few days ago if she wanted these offsets (I only need one). I couldn’t hardly believe she said no… She never said no before! So, I have 12 pots with offsets and the pot with the old stem… Why did I keep the old stem? I have no idea. Today I noticed several of the small plants are already sending out offsets. GEEZ! Here we go again! The offset with the flower… Well, I should have taken a photo. This plantlet started flowering MONTHS ago and the flower stem is still getting longer and the flowers are getting bigger. The flower stem is growing straight up and is 24″ tall. Well, if you want to know more about this plant, it does have its own page… Click on its name.

 

Oxalis tetraphylla

The Oxalia tetraphylla (Iron Cross) is doing much better now. I had to move the Oxalis to the back of the porch because they don’t like to much sun. One of its common names, Iron Cross, comes from an old cultivar by that name. It is also known as Lucky Clover, Four-Leaved Sorrel, and Four-Leaved Pink Sorrel. Since I have a four-leaved clover now, I am sure to win the lottery. 🙂 The Japanese Beetles sampled this plant earlier…

 

Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae

The Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae (False Shamrock) are delightfully happy. You can never have too many Wood Sorrels. They are just AWESOME. You can grow these inside as a potted plant or allow them to go dormant. You can also force their dormant bulbs to come up…

 

A couple of Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae flowers on 7-29-18, #487-74.

Plants of the World Online lists 545 accepted species of Oxalis. They produce pink, yellow, and white flowers. Some species are “variable” and can have either pink or white flowers.

 

Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae flowers closed for the evening on 8-4-18, #491-1.

Not only do their flowers close for the evening, but their leaves fold up as well. Well, at least the Oxalis tetraphylla and O. triangularis do this because I have them on my porch…

 

Oxalis stricta (Yellow Wood Sorrel) closed for the evening…

Out of curiosity, I went outside to see if the Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta) closes at night. Yep… All closed for the evening.

 

Soleirolia soleirolii (Baby’s Tears)…

To think this Soleirolia soleirolii (Baby’s Tears) started out as a tiny “break off” from my sister’s plant she bought last year while we were out plant shopping… At the time, it looked like a species of Sedum with its tiny leaves. The leaf tips were kind of sorta serrated at the end and I thought, “this is not a Baby’s Tears” (I said that to myself…). Well, after all this time, I think it may be possibly, probably a… Ummm… Baby’s Tears.

 

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Blue Note’…

The Scabiosa columbaria ‘Blue Note’ (Pincushion Flower) seems to be doing well. It will have a few flowers then after I deadhead it will flower again. This is the first year I have grown Scabiosa so I am not sure if it doing well or not. At least it is still alive.

 

Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora Brilliant’ on 7-30-18, #730-18.

The Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora Brilliant’ has been weird… I lost two last year and this one has died and came back to life twice. My cousin has a few of these plants in a planter and they look AWESOME! They are supposed to like full sun and heat this plant doesn’t appear to like that either… I really like Scaevola and I am determined to be successful with them.

 

Tradescantia sillamontana on 7-30-18, #488-20.

The Tradescantia sillamontana (White Gossamer Plant, White Velvet, etc.) is doing very well. It is looking much better now but for a while, it looked a little ragged. The Japanese Beetles didn’t snack on it’s leaves that much, but its fuzzy leaves collected a lot of their poop and debris from the tree. There are three pots of these plants (somehow). I take them to the basement in the fall where they go dormant. After a few months they start coming back up then I give them a little water. They make good houseplants but get a little strange if they don’t have the right amount of light. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for this plant yet…

 

Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart) from Walley on 7-29-18, #487-99.

My good friend and fellow plant collector, Walley Morse, from Greenville, Mississippi sent me a box with three different plants and some Cosmos seeds. In that box were several cuttings of the REAL Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida). I gave him his start in 2012 so I was very glad he sent these cutting to me. There were a lot of cuttings, but I cut the stems down a little and put a few in this pot. The rest are elsewhere. They will take off in no time. The other two plants he sent are succulents I have not identified yet. 🙂

Walley and I became good friends when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi. We have exchanged a lot of plants and his yard and flower beds are AWESOME! Did I say AWESOME? Many plants I grew for the first time in Mississippi came from him. Then when I was leaving Mississippi to move back to Missouri in February 2013, I gave him most of the plants I left behind. I am not sure how many times we filled his car…

 

Tradescantia pallida ‘Pale Puma’…

The Tradescantia pallida ‘Pale Puma’ is doing great. Walley gave me a pot of these in 2012 and I gave him the “other” Purple Heart. I found another one of these this spring, thinking it was the “real” Purple Heart. I was so excited to find it I didn’t really pay attention until I moved the plants to the front porch on July 4 then I saw what it really was. This plant stumped me before because I could not figure out what species it was… I thought it must be a cross between Tradescantia pallida and Tradescantia sillamontana. Then after I did more thorough research in July, I finally figured out it was Tradescantia pallida ‘Pale Puma’. Now, that name was advertised by Plant Delights Nursery and mentioned on the San Marcos Growers website. San Marcos has it listed under a different name. I am not sure if ‘Pale Puma’ is an official cultivar name or just a name made up by Plant Delights. I sent Tony an email to find out.

 

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla)…

I almost forgot about the Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla). Last year it was flowering when I bought it and it flowered most of the summer. When it went dormant, I brought the bulbs inside and stored them in the basement over the winter. When noticed them starting to sprout I brought them upstairs. It was a few weeks before I put them in a pot. They have not flowered at all… Hmmm… Calla’s are one of my favorite plants. Umm… I don’t have a page for the Calla yet either… I haven’t gotten that far down on the list.

Well, I think I better stop for now. I still have the cactus and succulents, the south bed, the “other yard”, the shade bed, and the Alocasia

Until next time, stay well, healthy, safe, and GET DIRTY!

End Of July Bed & Plant Update Part 1

Bed on the north side of the house on 7-29-18, #487-17.

Hello again! I hope this post finds you doing well. We have been enjoying a break from the heat but summer still isn’t over. As I mentioned at the end of the last post, I took a lot of photos Sunday and Monday. After I deleted the ones I didn’t need I wound up with a total 131 photos. Even after all those photos, I saw that I missed a few so I took six more on Wednesday.

I don’t know about your beds, but mine don’t look as well this summer. Many of the plants just don’t seem to have much zip while others are doing just as well as always.

The bed on the north side (top photo) just doesn’t have any spunk! Something is definitely needed here that is an attention grabber. If the Colocasia esculenta and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ were bigger that would do the trick. I know, it takes time and this is still only the end of July. They still have August, September, and part of October. This is the first year I haven’t had Coleus, so they are definitely missing. The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) have hardly flowered at all this summer. The Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is growing like mad, though.

If I were to stay here, I would definitely consider extending the north bed to at least the end of the porch steps. I would also dig a bed all the way around to the steps on the back porch.

 

PLANTS IN THE NORTH BED…

Agastache ‘Kudos™ Gold’…

The Agastache ‘Kudos™ Gold’ has performed very well. It flowers like mad and has awesome scented leaves. I am not particularly fond of the color because it just kind of lacks the pizazz that the purple-flowered Agastache ‘Black Adder’ had when it was in this spot. I also prefer a taller plant for this area and the Agastache ‘Kudos Gold’ is fairly short. It needs a little deadheading to tidy them up a bit. Removal of the smartweed under the porch would tidy the area up. 🙂

My favorite plant here was the Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) in 2015. I haven’t seen any at the greenhouse since…

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’…

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is doing very well. Too bad it doesn’t flower all summer, though. The other Astilbe in the north bed is doing very well as always.

 

Achillea millefolium

I had decided last year and this spring to relocate the Achillea millefolium in the north bed. I did get the bigger one moved in front of the barn, but this one didn’t get moved. Someday I am going to put on the south side of the house. There are also several little stragglers that have popped up in the bed and next to the steps. Like I always said, if the Achillea millefolium doesn’t like where it is, it will move all by itself… There is also one in front of the chicken house that doesn’t like where it is either. To much shade… They like it hot and sunny.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’…

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is doing very well here. Lately, I have thought very seriously about moving all the Hosta to the north bed. But, there is one problem with that idea I didn’t notice until I put the ‘Empress Wu’ here. There are a few snails here as you can see by a few holes in her leaves. I have only seen one snail, though. In time, this Hosta will be huge because ‘Empress Wu’, I believe, is the world’s largest Hosta. Time will tell… It is definitely much larger than last year and it will get larger every year until it reaches maturity after five years.

 

Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ on 7-13-18, #477-8.

I had forgotten to post about the Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ (Montbretia) when I took the above photo on July 13. A friend of mine in Mississippi had a HUGE patch of Crocosmia. They can multiply fairly rapidly, so we shall see how well they do in this spot. They are strange plants because they seem to like to grow sideways.

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’…

The Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ is about the same since the last post about its variegated leaf. I have also noticed a few spots on the petioles. I tried to post about it on the Aroid group on Facebook, but I couldn’t get the photos to load so I will have to try it again. I am PATIENTLY waiting for the next leaf…

 

Colocasia esculenta, one of two in the north bed…

I have been putting the largest Colocasia esculenta bulbs in this bed for several years now. They really like it here and get fairly large. Two plants came up from this one bulb. Of course, there will be several more offsets…

 

Colocasia esculenta, 2nd of two in the north bed…

This is the second and largest of the Colocasia esculenta in the north bed. This is also the one that surprised me with a flower earlier. The Colocasia esculenta flowered profusely when I was in Mississippi but the season isn’t long enough here. They normally started flowering in Mississippi in September, so I was shocked when I saw this one had a flower on July 8.

 

Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) on 8-1-18, #490-3.

The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) have been weird this summer. There is a lot of dead leaves in the bed AGAIN. I still didn’t move a few to other areas to see if they would do better in more sun. I am still not sure, but this could be Geranium sanguineum var. striatum

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ and Oxalis stricta….

The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny) and Oxalis stricta (Yellow Wood Sorrel) pretty much have the run of the north bed. They seem to be able to go wherever they want without getting into trouble. They have shown me just how much they enjoy their freedom.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ in the north bed…

There are still several Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ in this bed to keep the area lively. They don’t seem to mind the shade from the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

 

THE NORTHEAST CORNER BED…

Northeast corner bed.

The northeast corner bed is doing very well. The Salvia macrophylla ‘Hot Lips’ has not flowered like it did when I had one in the south bed in 2013 and 2014. I believe the problem is because of the yard light. After I planted it here and it stopped flowering, I remembered reading where certain species of Salvia will not flower if there is a light at night nearby. One thing is for sure, though, the plant has really grown! The Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’ has also done really well. I had two ‘Gnome Purple’ between the white plants and they both fizzled out soon after I planted them. The grass, nearly hidden, is Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass). It was supposed to go next to the front step but instead, I put the Heliotrope ‘Marine’ there. It has done pretty well. The Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ has done very well even though its neighbor wants to take over the neighborhood. Somewhere in there is an Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) whose photo I also forgot to take. Oh yeah! I almost forgot the Conoclinum coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum, FlossFlowert, etc.). They had pretty much been the only thing growing on both sides of the steps but only a few came up (from seed) this spring. They are always a little slow anyway. I think two came up on both sides of the steps.

 

Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’…

If you want a Salvia that gets fairly large, then the Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ will definitely do the job. But, as you can see, it hasn’t been flowering all that great. If you click on the link to the page for this plant, you will see photos of how well it did on the south side of the house. It flowered non stop all summer.

 

Red flowers on the Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’…

Most photos you see online of the Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ show the neat red and white bicolor flowers. Well, they don’t always produce bicolor flowers. At certain times of the summer, their flowers will be all red and sometimes mostly white or pink. Right now, it has only a few red flowers but there seems to be a lot of buds…

 

Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’…

The Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’ has been a great performer in the southeast corner bed. Even when it has been very hot and dry, they have kept growing and blooming like crazy. This is the first year I have tried Gomphrena and I have been pleased with them. Too bad the purple didn’t survive…

 

Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’…

The Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ is much taller than ‘Kudos Gold’. They have done very well and have flowered non-stop. I also like the color better than ‘Kudos Gold’.

 

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)…

The Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) has done pretty well considering it is under the other plants. I had to push the Gomphrena and Agastache aside to get the photo. Supposedly they like sun or shade but flower better in more sun. You just never know how some plants will spread out when you haven’t grown them before. I never heard of this plant before and it is very interesting it is being used as a grass substitute for lawns…

 

Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass)…

The Cenchrus setaceus (Purple Fountain Grass) is sorta holding its own stuck back in the corner. It would have been much better if I put where I intended for it to be. Sometimes we gardeners have to change our mind several times unexpectedly. Well, names change unexpectedly, so I guess making changes is just a part of life. The Purple Fountain grass has been known as a species of Pennisetum for many years then the name changed in 2010.

 

Conoclinum coelestinum on 7-29-18, #487-22.

The Conoclinum coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum, Blue Mistflower) that did come up are doing very well and are starting to bud. That will add more color to this bed. Hopefully, they won’t grow as tall as they did last year. GEEZ! The two on the other side of the steps came up later and not in the right place. You can never predict where self-sowers will emerge. I usually have quite a lot of them coming up, but this year they were even later than usual. I didn’t think they were going to come up at all so I went ahead and put the other plants here. In the past, I have transplanted a few in other areas but they never returned.

 

Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’ (Heliotrope)…

The Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’ is still alive and STILL blooming. This one seems a bit smaller than the last one I had a few years ago. According to information online, they are supposed to grow 15-20″ tall. Hmmm… It has very nice dark green leaves and the purple flowers last a long time.

That is all for the northeast corner bed.

I am going to break the plant and bed update down into several posts. The photos below are a glimpse of what is coming up…

 

The front porch…

Plants on the front porch. Besides what is in this photo, there are a few plants on the porch and the steps you can’t see. Every plant will be represented in the next post…

 

South bed…

The south bed is MUCH different than last year without all the Marigolds. Well, that was almost a disaster then but this year a few would have been a good thing. The just got too large and crowded the shorter plants out. I never saw them get so HUGE which is why I didn’t transplant any to this bed this spring. I made a mistake last fall in this bed, which I have mentioned before and will again when I post about the plants in this bed.

 

Southeast Corner Bed…

The southeast corner bed is looking very good. The Angelonia ‘Perfectly Pink’ has definitely livened the area up. I did not plant the Marigolds, Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar), or the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ here. They came up on their own from seeds. I had to remove quite a few Celosia or they would have taken over.

 

Part of the cactus collection.

I decided to move the rest of the cactus from by the shed to the back porch. A few of the cactus have been on the front porch for a while and would probably be better off with these. I was kind of hesitant to move any plants to the back porch because of the cats. So far, they haven’t caused any problem. Well, if I were a cat, I wouldn’t bother anything sharper than my own claws. The only problem I had with the cats is them waiting to lay on the shelf on the potting table. So, we compromised and I made an opening for them. Sometimes I still have to pick up a few pots. The cactus and succulent update will feature all cactus and succulents… Since there are several on the front porch, I will have to may have to merge them all together in one post. Hmmm…

 

Group of Alocasia…

To say the Alocasia are doing well would be an understatement. They always do well despite them needing larger pots. I only need ONE of each, maybe two. The problem is, when I transplant the offsets into larger pots and give them away, I lose the pots. Then the next year, I have no larger pots. I will probably take more photos of the Alocasia for a special update. Maybe by then I will have more potting soil and a few more larger pots and have them all separated AGAIN. We shall see.

I am continually updating the pages to the right and it seems I am behind… So, if you clicked on any of the links connected with the plants on this post to their page, you will see some of them are not up-to-date. It is a continual work in progress… 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy the plants. Until next time, stay well, safe, positive and GET DIRTY!

 

Surprise! Surprise! #8 Is A Heifer Calf!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing very well. This afternoon I decided to move the hay from the south hay field. The cows and calves were in the other hay field so I could shut the gate and keep them in. I counted the cow and calves to make sure they were all there and there was a cow missing. On my way to shut the gate, I had noticed several buzzards on the other side of the pasture in the corner by the walnut trees. At first, since one of the cows was missing, I thought maybe the old cow died. That would be weird because she was fine yesterday. So, I walked farther back in the hay field thinking maybe the cow was in the back. But, no, she wasn’t there. I came out of the hayfield where the cows were and looked toward where the buzzards were. Ahhh, she was standing in the corner… Hmmm… Even though I was quite a distance from her, I said, “What are you doing over there in the corner?” (Someday I expect one of the neighbors to answer…) She mooed and looked on the ground to her right. There must have been 10-12 buzzards right in front of her.

Well, I wasn’t sure what was going on at the time because all but two of the cows had calves. The heifer had lost her calf and the other one didn’t appear to have been bred. The last calf was born May 19. So, I went to the barn to get the tractor since I was going in that direction to start moving hay.

Once I got up close to where she was, the buzzards flew off  (there were a lot more in the trees) and she started looking on the ground on her right… Umm… There was a pile of something black next to her. HOLY CRAP! She had a calf!!! I went up to see it and it was sleeping. So, I got back on the tractor and went to the house to get the camera.

 

By the time I returned, the calf was standing up and walking around a little.

 

By the time I walked up to them, the calf was tuckered out again and laid down.

 

Baby calves have a lot to learn and usually aren’t scared of anything. They are more curious than anything. She didn’t run as I leaned over to introduce myself. She smelled of my hand then I gave her a few scratches behind her ears. She thought if all she ever got was a few scratches behind her ears, it was worth being born… 🙂

Well, I kind of elaborated a little in the beginning of this story… When I saw the cow standing in the corner by herself I pretty much knew she had a calf even though it was unexpected. When your cows all look pretty much alike, it gets somewhat confusing which cow had who… There are a few I can recognize because of this feature or that, or their personality. I can tell the older cows from the younger ones, but there are 3-4 that are very hard to tell apart even though there are only 9 cows.

 

After I took a few photos, I went into the south hayfield. There were several buzzards waiting on the bales of hay and on top of the poles along the field. One sat on top of a pole long enough to get a good photo.

Sunday afternoon I decided to take a few photos of the plants and flower beds. I hadn’t done a complete photo shoot for a while. Then, when I was labeling them, I realized there were some plants I had missed. So, I took more this morning. In all, I took close to 200 photos… Once I delete the duplicates (since I usually take more than one of each plant), I should still have around 130. So, the next post may be pretty long unless I do part 1 and 2.

So, until next time, take care, stay well, be positive! GET DIRTY!!!

Ummm… Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ Update

Hello there again! I hope this post finds you all well. When I was mowing on Monday I was stopped dead in my tracks. The new Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ had done something very weird…

 

Ummm…A VARIEGATED LEAF?!?!?! Its new leaf started emerging from the last petiole a while back showing no sign of it being weird. I am always anxious to see how big the next leaf will grow to. Each new leaf usually grows larger than the one before. While there are variegated cultivars of Alocasia and Colocasia, which I have never grown or seen in person, this is completely strange. I have never heard of a Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ with variegated leaves.

Remember, Colocasia gigantea is now a synonym of Leucocasia gigantea. It is in a genus all by itself now… Testing showed this species is more closely related to Alocasia than Colocasia but it has several traits that separate it from both genera. Some information online suggests it may be a naturally occurring cross between Colocasia esculenta and Alocasia macrorrhizos. That would be strange because the way Leucocasia gigantea flowers is completely different than the other two.

The species was first named was Caladium giganteum by Carl (Karl) Ludwig von Blume in 1823. Then in 1857, Heinrich Wilhelm Schott named it Leucocasia gigantea. Joseph Dalton Hooker decided it should be Colocasia gigantea in 1893 and that’s what it remained until maybe 2016. Now it is back in its own genus AGAIN where Mr. Schott put it in 1857. Of course, most websites and sellers are still calling it Colocasia gigantea because they have no idea the name changed or they just don’t want to change it. Ummm… I just updated the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ page and had to change everywhere I had Colocasia to Leucocasia.

Although this plant is doing very well, it sure seems like it is growing slower than the one I had last year. Maybe I am just anxious. After all, it is just the end of July. Hopefully, someday I will have a 12′ Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’…

That’s it for now. Stay well, safe, amazing, and positive. Be thankful and count your blessings! And by all means, don’t forget to GET DIRTY!