HAPPY 4TH OF JULY Plus A Few Photos

Echinacea purpurea on 7-4-19, #598-1.

Hello everyone and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! As always, the city had their 4th of July celebration at the park down the road from where I live. There was a steady stream of traffic going by most of the day. It rained this afternoon which kind of put a damper on things, but the fireworks display went ahead as planned. I must admit, they do a pretty good job for a community the size of Windsor. I can see the fireworks pretty good from the backyard which lasted about 30 minutes.

Despite it sprinkling most of the afternoon, including one pretty good downpour, I did manage to go out about 6 PM and take a few photos. I took photos all week but have been tardy writing daily posts. Ummm… How many times have mentioned something to that effect? 😐

Last July 4 I moved the plants and plant tables from around the shed in the other yard to the front and back porch. That was because of the Japanese Beetles.

So, in alphabetical order…

In the above photo, the Echinacea purpurea, which may be the cultivar called ‘Magnus’, is now flowering up a storm. The bank in town has a HUGE patch of them I have been meaning to photograph. The Purple Coneflower is one of my favorite plants. GEEZ! I can’t believe I said that because I try not to have favorites! I like the way the petals droop and like the feeling of the cones. Echinacea purpurea is a very beneficial plant in many ways.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 7-4-19, #598-2.

Out in the shade bed, several of the Hosta are starting to flower. The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has a lot of buds but they haven’t peeked their way through the foliage yet. Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has been an awesome performer over the past at least eight summers. I bought it while in Mississippi at the mansion and the first photo was taken on April 15, 2012, but it seems like I had it longer. I really like its dark green, puckered, and corrugated leaves. The clump had gotten very large and has been the best performer of all the Hosta in my collection.

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 7-4-19, #598-3.

Even though I just brought the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ home last June 7, it has become quite a show-stopper. Very bight and cheery for sure and starting to flower.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 7-4-19, #598-4.

The Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is always a dazzler. Its leaves change color with age which just adds to its interest. It isn’t a big plant, but it puts on a big show!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 7-4-19, #598-5.

I purchased the two Ledebouria socialis (Silver Squill) varieties last October and have really enjoyed them as companions. The above photo is of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora which used to be Ledebouria pauciflora. I like the silvery leaves with the small green flecks.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 7-4-19, #598-7.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea is really growing well. It had many more bulbs than the other one when they arrived. This one was the species Ledebouria violacea but the name changed also.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea new growth on 7-4-19, #598-9.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea also seems to be a bit more of a spreader. These plants are VERY, VERY easy to grow even through the winter in the house. You don’t even need to water them through the winter, in fact, it is best if you don’t.

I am STILL waiting for the two new cultivars to arrive… I think he is a bit behind.

Hmmm… My computer just notified me I have a new memory from summer 2017. Weird… Now I am wondering how it came up with that idea. 🙂

 

Mammillaria hahniana on 7-4-19, #598-10.

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is starting to bud again. It isn’t looking like its normal fuzzy self because it is wet from the rain. This is our fourth summer as companions.

 

Mammillaria pringlei on 7-4-19, #598-11.

The Mammillaria pringlei (Rainbow Pincushion) is also starting to flower. This is our third summer together.

I took photos of all the cactus and succulents several days ago but they haven’t made it to a post yet.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ on 7-4-19, #598-12.

I was delighted to see a flower on the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’. I was amazed that it even returned this spring as it seems most perennials I have bought have not, especially in the north bed.

Let me see… How many perennials have not returned here? I don’t even want to think about it. I have amended the soil with “the good stuff”, added new soil with LOTS of “the good stuff”, raised the whole area only to have it sink during the winter.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 7-4-19, #598-13.

Hmmm… While the Rudbeckia hirta (the native species) have been flowering for a while now, the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ is STILL in bud!

 

Schizura ipomaeae (Morning Glory Prominent)

I took the above photo this moth a few mornings ago but wanted to share it with you. It was just sitting there trying to blend in with the porch raining. Later I found out is it the Morning Glory Prominent (Schizura ipomaeae). It reminded me of a post called Rainy Season from June 4 on the SKYEENT blog. The second photo on the post is of the Buff Tipped Moth which looks exactly like a decaying birch twig. I find many moth species camouflage very fascinating.

A lot of insects do some very interesting things. There is a small wasp that fills the windchimes on the back porch with grass. It was kind of funny, actually. I had noticed the grass in the wind chimes but didn’t say anything to mom and dad about it. I just kind of ignored it as weird. There is a lot of weird around here sometimes. Anyway, one day dad and I were on the back porch and this small wasp comes flying in with a piece of dry grass about a foot long and somehow manages to put the whole thing in one of the tubes. Dad said it always does that and sometimes the wasp drops the grass and has to get another one. I didn’t notice the wasp last summer and a lot of the grass has fallen out by now. I have been hoping it would return so I can take photos. 🙂

OK, I am finished now. It is 12:35 AM and it is now the 5th of July. It is raining and thundering which will make for a good night sleep (hopefully).

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and GET DIRTY if you can.

 

Sunday Photos on Wednesday

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-16-19, #591-5.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you well. The Robins are singing this morning, giving thanks for being the early bird who gets the worms. I remember walking to catch a ride for work at 4:30 AM and they were already hopping about singing. It was quite a chorus! I am just going to post a few highlights of the photos I took on Sunday.

Of all the plants budding and flowering, it is always AWESOME to see the Amorphophallus (Voodoo Lily) when it starts coming up. I stuck my finger down to where the corm was and noticed it was sending up a petiole, but it wasn’t until the 6th of June that it peeked through the soil. Then I noticed on Sunday the leaves were starting to emerge. It is pretty neat! Almost reminds me of a squid. Last year I was gradually rewarded with a lot of babies, so I am wondering how many there will be this year. Of course, it is has been three days since I took the above photo.

 

Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-2.

This Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch is doing great now. It spent the winter in my bedroom but was very glad to get back outside.

 

Aloe juvenna on 6-16-19, #591-3.

The Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) is quite an interesting Aloe. It needs bright light or the leaves will stretch. In full sun, the leaves will take on a reddish color and too much will burn their leaves. I don’t like my Aloe leaves to burn and at times it hasn’t had enough sun. So, the leaves on this cluster, some being short and some longer, reflect when it has had different periods of light.

 

xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ on 6-16-19, #591-4.

I don’t know much about the xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ since I haven’t had it very long. I still need to check its roots to see if there is a plug wrapping around them… I am curious because I can see the plug wrapping around the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’…

 

Aristaloe aristata on 6-16-19, #591-6.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) and family are doing very well. I am wondering if it will flower? It is a very nice plant and I am thankful to have found it. You just never know what rarities you will find.

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-16-19, #591-7.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is STILL flowering. This is a very nice plant and if you haven’t tried one and have the chance to bring one home, I suggest you do.

 

The left side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-8.

OK, I have to admit the north bed is driving me crazy. That even made me laugh! First of all, the Achillea millefolium is NOT supposed to be there. I try to pretend they aren’t there but the taller they get the harder that becomes. There are actually two there, but one decided to lay down on the job. I suppose it thinks if it lays down it is hiding. I moved the mother clump to the barn last year then these came up this spring along with several others closer to the house. I “intended” to move them to the south bed, so hopefully, I can get that done this week when I “hopefully” have a chance to work there. They need to be moved because the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ is hidden behind them. So is the Echinacea ‘Cherry Pops’ that miraculously returned unexpectedly. Oh, yeah I almost forgot… The two Conoclinum coelestinum that decided so come up are under it. You never know if, when or where they will pop up. I also planted the Xanthosoma robustum to the right of the Astilbe but apparently, it rotted. A friend from Alabama is sending me a Xanthosoma sagittifolium so it will go somewhere between the Astilbe and the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant.

 

Right side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-9.

The right side of the north bed… OK, a series of things… First off, I wanted to extend the north bed out farther. Since my son and his friend are here, and they “said they would help out”, I told them they could extend the bed. I showed Chris what I wanted him to do, in detail. When they said they were finished, they had just dug one strip from the end of the gutter to where it joined with the left curve. It was not even straight. 🙂 I had told him to turn over everywhere there wasn’t plants and to remove the grass. He said, “Oh, I thought you wanted a ditch.” Now, why would I want a ditch? Needless to say, I went ahead and planted the Colocasia esculenta rhizomes and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

Trust me, this bed is normally neat and tidy but this spring has been officially weird. It has rained off and on then the soil stays damp here. Then sometimes when I have time to work here the soil is damp or the grass and weeds are kind of wet. I do not like working in damp soil because it can make it hard. I don’t like working in damp grass and weeds because the chiggers seem to be worse. I rate chiggers at the top of the “do not like” list with poison ivy, thorns (Roses), flat tires, dead batteries, and mosquitos. Eventually, this bed will look great.

 

The northeast corner bed on 6-16-19, #591-10.

The northeast corner bed looks pretty good especially since Thor seems to be doing a pretty good job keeping the moles away. The only plant you can’t see is the small mound of Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow Goldie’. Ummm… It is now under the Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’. So, I guess I need to move it. Maybe to the left of Thor in front of the Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’. There are a few Conoclinum coelestinum in this bed now, too. One next to Thor and a few that have recently came up under the Salvia. This is a small area but I have a tendency to pack plants in it anyway. It looked really good last year.

 

Begonias on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-13.

Three of the Begonias are doing well but ‘Brazilian Lady’, which is normally looking great, is a pitiful sight. Normally, I keep them in the basement over the winter where they do fine but I kept them in the front bedroom this year. ‘Brazilian Lady’ didn’t approve…

 

Miniature Begonia on 6-16-19, #591-12.

The unnamed miniature Begonia did fine during the winter but half rotted when I moved the plants outside. Now I need to re-pot it.

Well, the deadline for naming this post “Sunday Photos on Tuesday” has past. I just looked at the time at it is 1:11 AM Wednesday… SO, I suppose that means I should go to bed and finish later. That screws up my next post and hoping to write a post a day. 🙂 I had to change the title of this post to “Sunday Photos on Wednesday”.

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OK, now I am back working on the post at 4:22 PM when I really want to take a nap. I have been digging thistles for about 3 hours.

Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) on 6-16-19, #591-15.

The Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) is going GREAT although it looks pretty much like it did the last time I took photos. I think maybe the leaves have grown a little. 🙂

 

Gasteria obliqua (Ox Tongue) on 6-16-19, #591-18.

This Gasteria has remained unnamed for a while so I have resorted to making a decision to call it Gasteria obliqua. Most Gasteria species of this type have rough leaves and very few are smooth like this one. Since those species are all now synonyms of G. obliqua, I guess that narrows my choice down to one. Unless it is a cultivar or a hybrid… I posted photos on a few Facebook groups twice but only got a few “likes” and no suggestions. One lady said it could be ‘Little Warty’ but that would be impossible. I clearly said it has smooth leaves and ‘Little Warty’ has warts. So, for now, it is Gasteria obliqua.

Gasteria obliqua has 39 synonyms!

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard) on 6-16-19, #591-20.

The Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard, File Leafed Haworthia) is a pretty neat plant. There is a strange issue, however, with the species. Well, maybe not an issue, just issues. Apparently, there are several “varieties” which can get a little confusing when you do a little research about Haworthiopsis limifolia. You have to dig a little deeper. There are many photos online of Haworthiopsis limifolia (Syn. Haworthia limifolia) that look nothing like this plant. That is because they are not using the “variety” name. Then there are MANY websites that have the spelling completely wrong by using the name Haworthiopsis limafolia… The many “varieties” made me wonder if the name “Faries Washboard” was a common name or cultivar name. Well, the straight species is known as Fairies Washboard or File Leafed Haworthia. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) says, “It obtained its name “limifolia” (File Leafed) from the distinctive, dark brownish-green leaves, with transverse ridges of raised, horny, tubercles which resemble those of a coarse file and give it such a distinctive appearance.” Hmmm… Dave’s Garden says limifolia = From the Latin limes (file), referring to the acicular or linear leaves.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 6-16-19, #591-22.

The Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ is STILL in the pot I brought it home in. I have not decided where I want to put it to spread and pop up here and there. It seems I already have enough plants that pop up unexpectedly, but maybe for this one it would be OK. It is just the re-seeders that take their sweet time coming up that throw me a curve. Most perennials can be moved here early enough in the spring. But, from my past experience with this one in Mississippi, no telling where it will show up. I am not going to talk about the Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) in this post. I promise. 🙂

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-16-19, #591-30.

One of the most important discoveries of late was the bud on the Ledebouria socialis var. violacea (Silver Squill) on June 8. Then I noticed it had another one on the 16th.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 6-16-19, #591-28.

Then when I went to take a photo of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora, it had one, too! NICE! I am beginning to really like these plants. My plant friend from Alabama is going to send two more and a Drimiopsis maculata, which is similar.

 

Stapelia gigantea on 6-16-19, #591-41.

The Stapelia gigantea is doing very well and growing. I can hardly wait until it flowers. It is in the same group of plants as the Huernia schneideriana. It is a Carrion Plant, too, whose common name is Zulu Giant or Toad Plant. 🙂 I bought this plant from a seller on Ebay last fall and he sent SIX rooted cuttings which I put in the same pot. Hmmm…

Well, I think I am going to close this post before I have to change the title again. I was distracted earlier by a nap, then I started re-arranging the potting table on the back porch. Then I had to re-pot a couple of cactus. I need to eat dinner, but I wanted to get this post finished first. Now it is already 9:07 PM!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive and always be thankful. If you have time, GET DIRTY!