Monday, May 31, 2010

Chicago Apache

This is Chicago Apache, of the reddest of the red daylilies.  It's a favorite of mine.  Such a prolific bloomer and such deep colors.  As with all dark daylilies, it looks best in the morning before the sun has faded some of its color.  This one stays in bloom for me at least a month with many blooms.  A great performer and a wonderful daylily.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Few Un-named Daylilies

I have tons of daylilies planted around my yard.  They don't add much during most of the year, but when they are in bloom I love them.  Many of them are unidentified varieties.  This doesn't seem to bother them as much as it does me.  Here are a few pics of some of them.  This first red one looks better in the morning before the sun has faded the blooms.

This second one is an old-fashioned orange daylily that you see quite commonly.

This third one is a wine-colored flower that is one of my most prolific bloomers.  It too looks better before the sun fades it.

This unusual bloom is one of my favorites.  I don't know what type it is, but the blooms are quite striking.

Don't hesitate to plant some daylilies.  They are among the easiest of all perennials to grow, needing almost no care.  They will grow almost anywhere in almost any soil.  You don't have to buy expensive named varieties to have some good ones.  Plus, they multiply so well, that in three years you will have more than you want to pass around.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beauty in the Buff

This is a cluster of blooms on my little Buff Beauty rose.  It's such a small plant that it isn't making a great impression yet, but I expect great things from this rose.  It's a hybrid musk rose that I planted last October after seeing it thrive at the American Rose Society gardens in Shreveport, LA.  I've also seen some wonderful pictures of this rose on various rose blogs on the internet.  It's a sprawling, spreading, semi-climber that tolerates more shade than most roses and has a wonderful fragrance.  I also love the buff/apricot color.  It's still young, but I have yet to see any disease show up.  It is supposed to have a large spring flush of blooms, sporadic summer bloom, and another nice flush in the fall.  I intend to really showcase this rose in the future if it performs as expected.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arizona Sun Gaillardia

Last year I planted some gaillardias from seed.  They didn't do much besides survive.  This year they took off and they are such bright colored beauties.  Such cheerful little mounding plants.  They love well drained, sunny spots and are great drought survivors.  I really recommend that you just get plants rather than trying to grow them from seed. 

This is a close-up of one of the blooms.  These plants slowly spread and are fairly reliable to return each year for at least several years.  They don't get very tall and have a pretty long bloom time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

European Charm

I've been in Europe for the past two weeks with basically no internet access.  Took pictures of some of the fabulous flowers that I saw.  I don't know the names of most of these, so help identifying them would be greatly appreciated.  I know what these first ones are - they are Paulownia trees.  These are all over France and they were in full bloom while I was there.  Just beautiful.  There were many different shades.  I'm surprised that more of these aren't planted in the US.  These particular ones look like crape myrtle trees.

These large flower beds were all over Paris as well. 

These alpine wildflowers were growing in the rocks in Switzerland.  I love them, but have no idea what they are called.

Next up, me standing next to a rock garden on a slope below a house in Gimmelwald, Switzerland.  What great use of space. 

I'm convinced that in Switzerland all you have to do to have a nice flower garden is just quit mowing your yard.  For instance, this unmown lot in Interlaken, Switzerland, was covered in beautiful daisies.

These pots full of pansies were all over the streets of Bacharach, Germany.  Europe must be paradise for pansies.

I really didn't get good pictures of many of the flowers, but seeing them in person was a joy I'll never forget.  There was even a big rose show going on in the Pope's Palace in Avignon, France, while I was there.  I wish more of our cities were as well landscaped as those in Europe.  It would bring joy to so many people.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Super Dorothy

My grandmother passed away earlier this week and it totally put me out of the mood to post.  Her name was Dorothy, so it's quite amazing that my rambling rose Super Dorothy came into full bloom this very week.  Such a nice show to cheer me up with the passing of my Maw-maw. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get any close-up pictures of the huge clusters of bloom, but I did get some nice whole bush shots that I'm sharing. 

I've had this rose for several years now and it's finally reached the "leap" stage and put on its best show.  Ramblers typically flush after ever-bloomers have finished their first flush.  They bloom only once, but it's quite a show.  This rose has never shown even one speck of blackspot or mildew despite no spraying at all.  It's also very easy to train because the canes are very limber with reasonably few thorns.  These make nice roses for arbors.  Everyone should make room for at least one member of the rambler family. 

Don't you think this would look nice in a cottage garden setting?  Maybe growing on a white picket fence or climbing up the side of a gazebo.  It doesn't have any fragrance.  However, unlike other roses, bees seem to love this one. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Early Sunrise

I planted some Early Sunrise coreopsis seeds last year since I'm wanting to get more perennials going.  These were planted in an old wheelbarrow that hardly ever got watered.  They did not get much attention at all and never even got large enough to flower.  Early this spring, I transplanted them to a good spot in my butterfly garden where they get better care.  They have really taken off and have begun to bloom with these bright, long-stemmed pom-poms.  Coreopsis are a nice perennial and they last quite a while as a cut flower.  This variety does not get very tall (about 20") and forms a nice mound.  They are supposed to slowly spread and need dividing about every three years.  Here's a picture of one of the plants:

Coreopsis are renowned for taking heat and drought well.  They bloom for a long time, especially if deadheaded.  You can also cut them back occasionally to keep them bushy and florific.  Here's a picture of a bloom up-close.  They rather look like marigolds, but don't have the smell.  Aren't they cheerful looking?