Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Remember When You Were Young and New

There is a cool snap in the air, making the morning feel more like fall than summer. Soon leaves I saw emerging in spring, like those on this weeping Katsura, will fall.

But not yet. And not before the colorful show not to be missed and the sweet smell of cotton candy in the autumn air.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Fancy Leafed Tropical Tubers

Wikipedia says there are over 1000 named cultivars of Caladium bicolor from the original South American plant. Wow! I guess one could become an expert (and that it would take some time too) on just Caladiums.

Well I am unlikely to become an expert, but I just learned a little about the history of this plant, some early and famous breeders and about an annual festival celebrating them in Lake Placid, Fla, which apparently is the caladium capital of the world.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Little Bit of My Dad's Garden in Late August this Year

Dahlias and caladium and eggplant.

Because the only thing better than watching your own garden grow is checking out someone else's.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

At The House Near the Corner with the Sunflowers

I got to briefly meet the people who live in the house near the corner with the Sunflowers this morning. "Love your sunflowers" I said. (I didn't want them to think I was a stalker or on some kind of stakeout.)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Peeling Crepe Myrtle Bark and a Sweet Smelling Rose

What cultivar of crepe myrtle or rose though? That's currently a mystery to me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this rose had a scent actually.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Here Comes the Sun...Flower 🎢

....and here comes a pollinator that is definitely not a honeybee.

Hmm. Could it be Euodynerus hidalgo, a species of wasp, seen in the Eastern United States and Canada, according to the folks at Perhaps. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Does the Zucchini Dance For You?

Well, maybe you need a boom box?

Just kidding. It doesn't dance for me either. But it does sometimes look to me like it might know a little yoga.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This Season Ain't Over Yet

Forget the end of the summer, back to school blues. Sure it is August, with the light it is known for, and fall will come, but summer isn't really close to being done in these parts.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Turtlehead Season Begins

Because this year's show isn't over yet. It's time for some late bloomers to take the stage.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Because We Are Always Looking At and Searching For Patterns...

....even if we don't always recognize the ones that are there at first. Or ever.

There was a time when I wouldn't have recognized the monarch or Japanese Painted Fern immediately by name, but still it's hard to imagine a time I wouldn't have recognized their beauty.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Remains of the Vine

I wonder exactly how long the vine (or vines) has been dead and then also how much longer it will cling to the wall in that eye-pleasing pattern.

I'm assuming that it was also Boston Ivy.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Getting to the Bottom of It (with Thujopsis dolabrata 'variagata')

What?! These are the undersides of the leaves of this plant? Are they used upside down in flower arrangements is what I'm wondering right now. They must be.

I'm seriously smitten. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Liriope (Flowers Like) muscari

I didn't know the species name for Liriope was Liriope muscari until today, named because its flowers are reminscent of the grape hyacinth. I guess it's possible I will remember the full name now. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Some Groovy Far-out Looking Fruits

The teeny tiny green tomato-looking fruit of the American pokeweed is just for the birds, unless one is looking to be poisoned.

And surely if the fruit of the Southern Magnolia were worth cooking up, there would already be recipes aplenty. (At least that's what I'm thinking).

Monday, August 14, 2017

Shots of Yellow on Gray Days

A mass of Blackeyed Susan's and the yellow blossoms of the Golden Rain tree drew in me and a honeybee on some recent gray days this August. (The Blackeyed Susan's hail from this part of the world, the honeybee and Golden Rain Tree were brought here.)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday's Surprise Sighting: Chitalpa?

Hoping to beat the rain I went out for a walk this morning and discovered a small tree in bloom at Hostra with flowers that caught my eye and reminded me a lot of a catalpa. Was this morning's surprise sighting a Chitalpa, admittedly something I didn't know existed?! Over at great plant picks the Chitalpa was described as a "bizarre hybrid between two unlikely parents", the Catalpa, which is what the flower resembled to me and the desert willow, which I have never seen. According to Wikipedia the hybrid has a botanical garden history which includes its introduction in the United States by Robert Hebb of the New York Botanical Garden in 1977. Cool!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chasmanthium latifolium Seedheads Fluttering

It's always a pleasure to run into a native plant that has charmed me before. Missouri Botanical Garden aptly describes one noteworthy characteristic of Chasmanthium latifolium this way: "Seedheads will flutter when caressed by even the slightest of breezes."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

At The End of the Day...

...on a recent mostly gray day, the sky cleared and the sun made a cameo appearance before dark.

...the birds are a mad flurry of activity in the sky and in certain trees. (I get a kick out of how google created this animation from some of my photos which seems to have birds flying backwards).

...a bunny is disturbed from his dinner.

Technically bunnies and sunsets and birds aren't about gardens or plants, but there are plants in all these pictures with them aren't there?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Murder She Wrote/On Weeds

Some might say I killed an oak not so long ago. I would say I just did a little weeding. And since I wasn't in my own garden, I couldn't help but think of Michael Pollan's grandfather who he mentioned in an essay called "Weeds Are Us" as the kind of gardener who would pull weeds anywhere, not just his own garden or someone else's, but in parking lots and storefront window boxes too". Truth be told I have revisited this essay quite a few times in recent years as I think there is much in it that's instructive about the many problems I see within the world of "environmentalism" and its faulty thinking, irrationality and its anti-science, knowledge and fact stances today. One hero to many naturalists and environmentalists he takes down a notch is Thoreau and his romanticism about nature. Some others he takes down a notch are radical environmentalists who assume "human culture is the problem, not the solution" to the challenges of the times. Though the time he wrote the essay was decades ago, the lessons in it still ring with some truth today and the "radicals" on the environmental scene are too many to count and unfortunately are all over the news.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Wasparazzi πŸ“·

The Cicada Killer above I recognized right away, having first learned about it while working outside at Brooklyn Botanic as a hort intern.  The VIP with the hourglass shape below though that I was stalking like a wasparazzi? I thought perhaps some kind of paper wasp, but my attempts to identify it so far have fallen short.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

You Know You are a Garden and Plant Geek When...

You know you are a freak for flowers when you find yourself seriously attempting to ID one on a tee-shirt for sale in a windowfront.

You know you have it bad when you are snapping pictures of sod for sale at Home Depot and find yourself wondering about how this turf is farmed for likely too much time one summer afternoon. Who does this? Not normal non-garden geeks, that's for sure.

If you are overly excited by just the sight of the design plans for a public garden you have just discovered and actually make a return visit to the display of the plans more than once to snap a picture, you may need counseling!

Unfortunately I can be of no help to you. I was too excited to see that the design of the garden I had just discovered at Hofstra was by Oehme van Sweden myself.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic 🎢

Although technically the flower is a hermaphrodite with no magic wand, it does seem to have the power to put a spell on you as you walk on by.🎢

And isn't she pretty in pink?🎢

And in yellow and green? And in both bud and bloom?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sweet Sweetbay Magnolia Median Garden

You know you are a serious garden and plant geek when you begin naming median gardens that you pass.

And you find that you have taken more than one picture of said median garden you have named. 

This median planting by a street entrance at Hofstra though is so lovely and lush and densely planted, it makes me curious about who designed it.