Saturday, September 23, 2017

Leaves of Some Things Other than Grass


It's the season we most associate with leaves again, though of course they don't all fall or change to spectacular colors worth ooh-ing and ah-ing about even and some are present on at least some plants outside in all the seasons. While none of the leaves pictured here are edibles and the spurge pictured above will actually release a poisonous, milky sap when cut that people can be highly allergic too, in a real way our lives are dependent on these leaves and the oxygen they provide.


That's kind of a heavy thought I guess, how important leaves actually are for people. And then when you think of how beautiful and varied they can also be, well it's enough to kind of knock you out, isn't it?


Friday, September 22, 2017

Bright Sun and Bright Yellow Honey Locust Leaves on the Autumnal Equinox


Clear skies and honey locusts were a welcome sight this morning, after a spell of gray and unsettled weather, and seemed perfectly timed for the first day of fall.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Aristocrat of Fungi--Amanita


After less rain than expected following the recent hurricane, at my feet this morning I found something that looks like it belongs in the dictionary as a picture next to the word mushroom.  I'm pretty sure it's an Amanita, which I have just learned was referred to as the aristocrat of fungi in a book published on American fungi over a century ago. Going beyond genus though is way beyond my mushroom identification skills.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Black-eyed Susan's at Summer's End


The Black-eyed Susan's at summers end are more black-eyed than yellow-petaled, but still worth stopping beside for a minute or two.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Almost Autumn in New York


According to the calendar, fall will begin this Friday but the weather forecast for New York indicates that summery weather will continue to prevail for a bit. In the canopy, some leaves and trees are already changing as the daylight hours continue dwindling.

It's almost Autumn again in New York. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

What I Don't Know about Cannas Could Likely Fill Books


I have never grown a Canna Lily, though sometimes seeing them growing brings to mind part of a day one fall I spent hosing down rhizomes at Brooklyn Botanic in preparation for their winter storage.

I say what I don't know about Cannas could likely fill books because just by googling around for a bit this afternoon I have learned this plant has been cultivated for thousands of years, a species was long used for food, its seeds are used in musical instruments, and it has gone in and out of fashion it seems since the Victorian Era.


All the things I don't know yet but might discover are just another reason I love gardening and plants so much and maybe even the best reason.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

New Leaves and Old on a Chinese Blue Fir


Earlier in the year, I spotted some new leaves or needles just emerging on a Chinese Blue Fir at Hofstra. Today some older needles, no longer blue-green but yellow, made this "evergreen" seem like it was sporting a bit of fall color.



Friday, September 15, 2017

This Summer's Favorite, Summerweet, at the End of the Season


Seems like every season I fall in love just a little with a particular plant and this season it was Summersweet. It wasn't just the delicious smell though or the long blooming time that reeled me in, but the potential for sweet encounters of the pollinating kind.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Red Petioled Maple


The petioles on the maple leaves are red even if the leaves themselves are not.  Most trees I have seen recently still are green, except for some red maples, dogwoods and honey locusts, which are turning now in this last week of summer. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Chickory Blue & Goldenrod Yellow


If I were naming crayons or colored pencils, I might name them all after some flower or plant, like the chickory and goldenrod blooming by the side of the road now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Sunflower House at the Children's Museum


The Sunflower House at the Long Island children's museum looks like a fine place to sit and read a little book, maybe even a book titled The Sunflower House about a boy who plants some tall sunflowers in a circle. (If your legs are on the small side, that is).


Or perhaps bump into a ladybug.


Monday, September 11, 2017

There's a Good Reason Why Landscaping with Grasses is so Popular


And there's a reason why you can find so many books about how to garden with and use grasses in landscape design too. To put it simply, it's because they are gorgeous and versatile. Who in their right mind is gonna complain about the sight of pennisetum flower spikes catching the light and swaying in a September breeze?


And it's hard for me to imagine growing tired of seeing Hakonechloa mass planted somewhere.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

All in the Family (& Genus): Solanaceae & Solanum

Carolina horsenettle, aka: radical weed, apple of Sodom

I passed a "radical weed" growing by the side of the road which looked to be related to and in the same family of some potatoes I've grown.


How closely related is this plant, which according to Wikipedia is labelled a noxious weed in some states though a southeastern native,  to that purple flowered potato I grew pictured below? Well the Carolina Horsenettle's botanical name is Solanum carolinense and the potato's is Solanum tuberosum, so they share the same genus too.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

It's Turning Into A Weeds and Seeds Week


And maybe it's also turning into a celebrating some of the pretty packages seeds come in week too?

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Little Bit of Thistle and a Little Bit of Thastle


Oh allright. There is no such thing as Thastle.


Earlier in the week I didn't see any plumes of white hair that the seeds ride the wind with.


Today it looked like seeds were ready to fly.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Roadside Breakfast: Butter-and-Eggs


Like most plants, the Butter-and-Eggs I passed this morning can be called a lot of things. A roadside weed is one thing it can be called in North America. Yellow or Common toadflax is another.  And Linaria vulgaris, its botanical name, sort of makes it sound like it's being called a deplorable.


I like Butter-and-Eggs best.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Light Through The Dogwood Leaves in Late Summer


While we are on the cusp of fall, you may as well catch the sun and the warmth just because you still can.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Calamagrostis and The Little Prince


"But if you tame me it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground .Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look, you see the grain fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..." Said the fox to the little prince.

You didn't know that The Little Prince was about plants and gardening? Well not the whole thing but some of it is.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Those Japanese Windflowers that are really Chinese in the time the wind changes


It won't be fall for another few weeks yet, but you can feel summer giving way to fall in the morning air and as the sun goes down. The anenome hybrids bloom for a long while this time of year, making me think of gardeners and plant people from seasons long ago and lands far away.