A Plant at Its Peak

“A Plant at Its Peak”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Now that summer is starting to wind down, many plants that die back in the winter are at their peak.  One of these is the hidden lily ginger.  This clump in the side garden is about three years old and is seven feet tall.  It makes a nice screening from the neighbors next door.

 

 

Next spring, I think I will divide this clump up and spread it out a bit so that the plants are not as thick.  That way, it will be a longer screening and give a bit more privacy. 

 

I wrote an earlier posting of the hidden lily ginger’s flowers which are very attractive.  While I do like the flowers, it is the large leaves that I find most appealing.  They are a bright green with a burgundy stripe down the middle.  The older the plant is the larger the leaves.  These leaves do not tear up like a banana leaf will sometimes, and they give a real tropical feel to a garden.

 

The only downside is that this plant is not evergreen.  In late September, the leaves start to yellow and soon must be cut down and placed in the compost bin.  I always regret that fall brings the demise of this favorite  plant and look forward to spring time when it will reappear.

Rain and Daylily Plantlet

“Rain and Daylily Plantlet”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Nothing got done in the garden today.  More rain.  Today we received .78 inches by mid morning, and more is predicted for tonight and all the way through the weekend.  Here is what it looks like outside now.

 

 

Looks like it won’t be long before it starts up again.

 

This weekend when it was sunny for a while, I was able to get out and take a few pictures.  While I was strolling around surveying the garden, I noticed something very unusual.  One of the daylilies had started a plant part way up an old flower stalk.  You can see the beginnings of a root forming.

 

 

This little plantlet is about three inches up the old flower stalk and seems to be doing fine.  I didn’t know daylilies formed extra plants like this.  I had cut the flower stalk off and had left about seven inches from the base of the plant with the intention of removing the whole stalk once it turned brown.  I guess with all the heat and going back to work, I just wasn’t in the garden enough, and it never was removed.  The bottom of the stalk is still green with the new plant on top. 

 

Seeing this kind of makes me sorry I removed all the other old flower stalks.  Maybe I could have had more new plants all for free.

 

Determined

“Determined”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Finally, a dry day.  So far this month we have had close to six inches of rain, and we were due for a dry day.  I am afraid that it has rained so much that the lawn is starting to show signs of brown patch, a fungal disease.  If we have several days of dry weather it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but with more rain forecasted for this week, we may start to have some dead areas.  This has happened before, but all we do is wait it out.  We don’t like to use chemicals, esp. fungicides, around the garden.

 

All this rain has brought out a new bloom.  Last year I planted Curls, a yellow daylily, and it bloomed well.  This year, however, I think it was shaded a little too much and was looking a little puny.  I cleared out everything around it in July, and now it has put out a bloom stalk.  It is a little late in the season for it to be blooming, but better late than never.

 

Curls
Curls

 So even though Curls is still a puny little plant, with just a little help, it was determined to make a flower this year.  Seems like you just can’t keep Mother Nature down.

The Eagle Has Landed

“The Eagle Has Landed”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

The Eagle has landed?  Well, not quite.  But, it is a rather momentous occasion for me.  My bird of paradise has finally bloomed.  After years.  At least six years, maybe more.  I bought it as a one gallon plant and did every thing I read to get that plant to bloom.  I kept it pot bound, I kept it fertilized, I kept it watered and in full sun.  Nothing.  Recently, I read that it had to have a certain number of leaves before it bloomed.  (Twelve, which is why it is sometimes called the Apostle plant.)  Then, I started counting leaves.  I would drive past homes where there were birds of paradise blooming, and they were in SHADE!  I was so frustrated.  I finally told my plant I was tired of taking care of it, tired of dragging it inside every winter, and tired of no blooms.

 

My lecture must have done some good because soon there was a bud.

 

 

I was so excited last Monday when I saw it.  Every evening I went out to check to see if it had opened.  When we were getting thunderstorms, I worried about it.  I don’t think I could have stood for it to finally bloom and then have it destroyed by a rain storm.

 

Today, as I sloughed around the yard checking out how the garden looked after the .5 inches of rain we had last night, I suddenly saw that my bird of paradise bud had opened.  Hallelujah!

 

 

It is only one flower and not fully opened yet, but at least I know that the darn thing does bloom.  I guess I now know what a late bloomer really means.

More Rain

“More Rain”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

After my first full week back at work, I was looking forward to being out in the garden today.  But, it was not to be.  I woke up this morning to more rain.  We have had only one day in this past week when it did not rain.  Today we received 1.10 inches of rain, and the garden is getting a little soggy.  Where was all this rain in June and July when we really needed it?

 

I did go out in between showers to check things out and besides finding puddles all over, I found this mushroom that had been shredded by the rain.  From a distance, it looks like a frilly flower.

 

 

The Plum Tree daylilies are starting to rebloom.  This is the latest I have ever had them start to bloom again, but, since they are among my favorites, they are most welcome.

 

 

As you can see from the photos, things were pretty wet around here today.  However, I am not complaining, because we really have been below normal with the rain fall, and it is this weather and the accompanying high pressure system that is keeping TS Fay away from us.  Another benefit of all this rain is that the cuttings I rooted and planted last week don’t have to be watered and are doing well.  I guess things are working out for the best.  Maybe this is Mother Nature’s way of telling me I need to rest and take it easy this weekend after working late this past week.

What’s Blooming

“What’s Blooming”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for coming up with GBBD.  This is the day (15thof the month) in which we post everything which is blooming in our gardens.

Today was mostly overcast here with a late afternoon sprinkling of rain.  Many of the plants looked refreshed with the cooler temps and a light misting.  Even though it is the middle of August, one of our hottest months, there still are many blooms to see.

Sweet Autumn Clematis is blooming all over the back garden.  Combine that with the butterfly ginger that is also blooming, and the whole back yard is sweetly scented.  Also blooming in that area are the hibiscuses, The Fairy rose, red and pink Knockout roses, bog salvia, Mexican heater, blue daze, Pretoria canna, blue butterfly bush, impatiens, ruellea, plumbago, and gardenias.

The above clematis, Clematis Crispa, is blooming also in the side garden.  The pentas are still putting on a display, and so are the Katie ruellas (purple, pink, and white), crybaby tree, night blooming cereus, weeping butterfly bush.  The old fashioned four o’clocks are now numerous enough to perfume this area of the yard in the early evening.

Blushing Knockout rose is in flower along with the iceberg roses, miniature roses, Butterfly rose, and a passalong peach rose from a neighbor.

In the entry garden the salvia, both lady in red and mystic spires, wax begonias, and red ruellea keep that area colorful.  Some of the rex begonias are in bloom, too.

In other areas of the garden, lantanas are blooming with colors of yellow, pink, orange, fuchsia, and white.  In the circle garden Happy Returns, Stella d’Oro, and Plum Tree daylilies have started putting out new flowers.  Yellow Jessamine is still blooming, and the asters and Country Girl mums have just started showing their flowers.  It is a little disappointing that the bird of paradise has not opened its bloom for GBBD, but maybe next month.

What’s Going On?

“What’s Going On?”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Today was a fairly nice day, weather wise.  A dry front moved through, and early this morning the air felt cooler than normal.  It still was hot, but the humidity was down so that made the air a little more bearable.  Too bad I had to go to work and couldn’t do a little garden work.  I have been working late every day this week, so I could use some garden time.

 

This afternoon after yoga class, I went for a walk around the garden.  Since I really didn’t have a chance yesterday to really check out things, I paid close attention to everything.  When I walked by the Fairy Rose bush, I was surprised to see a new rose on one of the bushes was blooming white.  Now these roses will fade to a very pale pink as they age, but this was a new rose.  How strange is that.  Here is a photo of this white rose.

 

 

Here is a photo of a normal pink one with the white one in the back – both on the same bush.

 

 

I know that plants can often have a branch show up that is a throw back to the parent plants, but I looked up The Fairy’s lineage to four generations back, and none were white.  Strange, huh?

 

Another surprise that awaited me in the garden, but by now it was too dark to take a photo.   For years I have had some red shot canna growing in the side yard.  I even remember it blooming once several years ago.  It has grown well, but hasn’t bloomed in years.  I figured it was not getting enough sun now to bloom.  Well, this evening I walk by and smell that heavenly aroma of butterfly ginger.  That’s right.  The canna is ginger!  Now, I do not remember planting butterfly ginger there, though it is possible.  And, maybe the canna died, and I just didn’t realize it.  But, now I realize, I do not have any of the red shot canna from my mother anymore. 

 

I just don’t know what’s going on anymore.

Bad Memory

“Bad Memory”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Finally, it is starting to bloom.  I am referring to the red bleeding heart vine (clerodendron thomsonsiae var. delectum).

 

 

I don’t know why there are some plants that I never can remember that they bloom or start showing up later then I think they should.  I have been asking my sister for weeks now if her red bleeding heart is blooming because mine isn’t, and she keeps having to remind me that it blooms later.  I even keep a written journal about what is going on in the garden, and still can’t help thinking something is wrong that a certain plant isn’t blooming yet.  I have the same problem with peacock ginger.  I always think it is not coming back and have to keep asking the friend who gave it to me if hers has shown up yet.  I don’t know if I have a poor memory or am just very impatient.

 

Anyway, I am happy that the bleeding heart has started showing flowers.  I have it planted in the ground, and it is growing up into a small tree.  When it sends out more blooms, it is a very pretty sight.  It does die back to the roots in the winter, but returns reliably when mulched heavily.  Now, if I can only remember when it is supposed to bloom.

A Standout

“A Standout”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

It rained again today.  It seems as if Mother Nature is making up for all the dry days in June and July.  I am not complaining since we still need more rain to catch up with our normal yearly totals, and the clouds help with the heat.

 

It does stop any puttering in the garden when I come home from work.  Since I didn’t feel well yesterday and went straight to bed as soon as I got home, today dictated at least a walk around the garden to see how things were doing (and checking for more lubbers – see Sunday’s post).

 

Just about everything looked a little bedraggled because of the late afternoon rain shower, but one flower still looked fresh and crisp even with a few raindrops.  The gardenias are putting on their final show for the year.  They usually have three bloom periods.  The first one is the most prolific in spring, the second flush comes sometime in late June, and the final flowering is in mid August.  While the August bloom period is not as numerous, the flowers are still welcomed for their beauty and scent.

 

 

Even on a dreary, rainy day, this bright, white flower stands out and adds a bit of cheer.

Under the Weather

“Under the Weather”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Today we had rain off and on all day today, which is good.  Slow, steady rain seeps deep down where the plants can really use it.

 

I am a little under the weather myself today.  Started feeling sick mid morning and barely made it through the work day.  When I came home, I went straight to bed and slept for six hours.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to post what is going on in the garden.

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