Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nothing Says Spring Like Daffodils

I don't have many daffodils growing.  That's to my terrible detriment.  I sure wish I had more of these beauties.  Maybe I'll remedy this next year.  These bright beauties have stolen my heart and made me crave more. 

I don't know what type these are since they were given to me as part of another order.  I just stuck them in the ground near where I have my daylilies planted and forgot about them.  You have to be careful what types of daffodils you plant this far South because only certain ones thrive here.  This particular year about any type would do well since we had so many chill days this winter.  I'd love to have a whole swath of them growing in my backyard and that's what I plan to do some day.  Think of that - a river of daffodils!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

She's A Daisy

This is the common English Daisy ( with the Latin name of Bellis Perennis.)  It likes cooler weather and moist conditions.  They are considered a weed by many, but I love them.  This one is a volunteer that I found growing in my yard.  After they open up more, they have the common yellow eye and turn a more white color, but I especially like this stage of their bloom before they open all the way.  This bright pink color is lovely out in the yard.  A cottage garden must have a few "weeds" doesn't it?  Well, this weed fits the bill perfectly.  This plant seldom gets more than 6 inches high, so it definitely is a front of the border type of flower.  I think it would also look nice in a pot with maybe some taller bulbs.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Paperwhite Perfection

Since not much else is blooming, I'll just share yet another picture of my paperwhites that are looking so pleasing these days.  Like many other people in the South this year, most of my paperwhites were severely bitten by the unusual cold weather.  These, however, are growing in a pot that that was in a more protected area and are not as affected.  Paperwhites are actually daffodils.  They fall into the tazetta family of daffodils and are known for being far less cold hardy than most other daffodils.  They can have multiple blooms per stalk.  Though they are less cold hardy, they are more tolerant of warmer winters than many other daffodils which require more winter chilling to thrive.  This is perhaps the only member of the narcissus family that will perform consistently well in the Gulf Coastal regions of the US.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Welcome Weed

This is the ubiquitous butterweed.  In Louisiana it blooms in late winter / early spring usually in swampy areas, ditches, and wet areas of yards.  They can be seen everywhere cheering on the coming of spring.  I don't know anyone who actually cultivates these weeds or plants them in a bed, but they still are welcome to grow in my yard anytime they please.  Some of the other common wildflowers seen in my area during spring are fleabane, dandelions, various clovers, henbit (which I hate!), thistles, sowthistle (another one I hate), and wild blackberries.  What are some spring wildflowers in your area?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Daffodils and Daylilies

These are some daffodils that I got free with an order a couple of years ago.  I have no idea what kind they are, but they look cheerful on this dreary, gray, and cold day in Louisiana.  Yellow is such a nice color to see in the late winter after all the drab brown.


This is one of my many daylilies that are springing up promising great things this May.  This will be the third year after planting them, so it should be their best bloom yet.  I'll have loads of pictures, hopefully, later when they bloom.  The anticipation is killing me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spreading Some Love to the Lowly Dianthus

Dianthus are such faithful and reliable plants.  Where I live, you plant them in October or November and just watch them grow.  They take little care, smile at the cold weather, and keep blooming till the middle of summer.  Sometimes they even last longer and will stick around for another year.  They come in all shades of red, white, and pink and many have a nice clove-like fragrance.  I forgot the name of this particular one I have planted in a pot by the kitchen window, but I love it's scarlet coloration.  Go ahead and plant you some of them.  They get about a foot tall and form a clump about a foot in diameter.  They make a perfect pot plant as well as a nice plant in the ground.  I find them easy to grow from seed as well as being fairly easy to find at nurseries in small pots.  They look really nice at the front of a bed with taller flowers, such as larkspur, in the background.  They are perfect fits in a cottage garden too.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Professor Charles Sargent Camellia

My Professor Charles Sargent camellia japonica finally started opening its buds today.  They are beautiful.  Not only that, but this is one camellia that actually has some fragrance to it.  Another very common camellia in the South, and justifiably so.  Have you ever seen a more perfect red? 

This is one of the buds just starting to come out. 

This is a picture where you can see more of the plant.  Notice the shiny, dark green leaves and how they contrast so well with the bright red of the flower.  I need this plant to brighten up this gloomy winter day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kramer's Supreme Camellia

The camellias are starting to bloom well around here and I'm loving it.  This is a Kramer's Supreme camellia japonica.  It's a very common variety that really thrives in the South and is a welcome delight at this time of year.  The plant is evergreen with shiny leaves that resemble those of a magnolia.  It's not a fast grower, so be patient.  However, it is a very long-lived shrub that will give you a lifetime of joy.  Most camellias don't have a fragrance and this one is no exception, but that doesn't detract from its beauty.  If you want camellias that bloom in late fall/early winter, then you need to plant camellia sasanquas instead of camellia japonicas. Give any of them acidic, moist soil in a partial shade location and they will thrive.     

Friday, February 19, 2010

Paperwhites To the Rescue

Paperwhites are wonderful bulbs that do well in the Deep South.  They have an interesting fragrance that I don't particularly love.  However, at this time of year they are some of the only things in bloom - especially this year of the extra cold weather (for the South.)  I see them blooming all over abandoned yards and thriving on neglect.  The ones in this picture are some extra bulbs that I just threw into a pot I had lying around.  With no care at all they are cheerfully providing happy color in a sea of brown out in my yard.  Talk about just what the doctor ordered for this time of year.  Plant you some.