Lily Pond

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



The water lily pond at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens was wonderful.  I especially liked that they had added a black dye to the water.  Having the dark water really set off the plants and the flowers.  Pots and other usually less desireable sights are hidden from view by the darkened water, and the flowers really pop.



The dark water also seems to add depth.  The pond appears so much deeper than it really is.  The darker color also helps with algae growth.

My favorite plant in the water garden is the giant water liy, Victoria amazonica.  These can get up to three feet across.  I just think they are amazing.


Whenever I visit the Botanical Gardens and see this large pond, I always get a longing desire for a pond for my garden.


The Cat’s Meow

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

At Saturday’s garden show, another striking area was a small garden done all in white (my favorite garden color) and green.  It was so peaceful and serene.

The flowers in the back of the border are cat’s whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus). When the blooms open, they have a long spike of flowers with stamens similar to a cat’s whiskers.  They grow about two feet high and three feet wide and made a great backdrop in this little garden.  Bees, butterflies, and hummingbird all are attracted to this plant.

Growing in front of the cat’s whiskers were white torenia.  Covered in white blossoms, these plants from a distance almost looked like pansies (which of course could not survive our hot summers).  Even this late in their growing season, they still looked good.  These plants stay rather low so they are perfect in front of the cat’s whiskers, covering up the base of the taller plant.

Along the side edges of this garden the variegated green and white plant made a nice final touch.

I am fond of a green and white garden, esp. in summer, and I thought this one was done very well.  After seeing how nice the cat’s whiskers did here, I may have to add some to the back of my garden beds as well next spring.

The idiom “cat’s meow”  means something outstanding, and this phrase certainly applies to this small, intimate garden in the New Orleans.

Display Garden

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


One of the nice things about going to a botanical garden is the ideas you can get from the display gardens.  As you enter the New Orleans Botanical Gardens, one of the first areas you encounter is a small brick patio surrounded by potted plants.



There is a garden bed encircling the patio which contains big shrubs and palms.  In front of the bed are clusters of containers with mostly tropical plants (this is New Orleans, after all).  If you notice, the potted plants are grouped (usually in three’s) with some containers raised on bricks for variations in height.  Also, different sized pots are used.  Extra large pots have smaller ones grouped around them as this next photo shows.



My patio is almost this size, so this display garden gives me some ideas for next summer.  I don’t think I would use as many tropicals because I do not want to have to overwinter them, but I am sure containers of perennials and annuals instead of tropicals would look just as nice.  I like the extra large containers that seem to give some substance to the area. 


It is nice to see a garden at this time of year because it is filled out and at its peak; you know what it is supposed to look like.  When you see a spring garden, the plants are usually small, and it can be hard to visualize how it will look at the peak of summer.  You can be sure that in the winter and next spring, when I will be garden planning, I will be looking at these pictures for inspiration.



Garden Show Purchase

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


Today, my sisters and I went to the Garden Show at the New Orleans Botanical Garden and had a great time.  Since it is late, I’ll share my purchase.  I was determined not to buy many plants, and I was able to resist many nice plants except one.  I was going looking for daylilies but didn’t find any available that I just couldn’t live without.


But, I was stopped by a white Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis).  I have the pink one which is just starting to bloom and had seen pictures of the white, but never one available for purchase.  It is the double variety just like the pink one.



When it opens in the morning, it is pure white, and by about three o’clock you start to see a little pink blush around the edges of the flower.  I think this will be a great addition to the garden.


I’ll be posting other photos about the garden show tomorrow after I get a little sleep.

Garden Family Outing

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

Several times a year I go with one of my sisters on what we call our “garden field trips”.  We visit nurseries in nearby cities, buy plants, have lunch, and generally have a great time.  Twice a year, there is the Garden Show at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens, and I attend with two of my sisters, mother and sometimes my daughter and niece.

Well, this year we are excited to have an addition.  My sister from Virginia is in town, and this year she gets to come with us.  She moved away right after she got married, so the family has had too few opportunities for all four sisters to be together.  Since we are all gardening “nuts”  this will be a doubly fun time.

Touring the display gardens in the past, has given me some good ideas to use in my garden.  At the very least, I get ideas for new plants.  There are many plant vendors and the Botanical Gardens also sell plant which is where I bought my Turk’s turban, pinecone ginger, and coral bean tree last year.  It is nice when you see the plants set in a garden and can then purchase them at the same time.

I am hoping that the daylily vendor from the fall show will be there.  I bought some from them last time and would like to get some more.  I am going to try and have daylilies as my only purchase since I seem to be running out of garden space unless I make some new beds.

The Garden Show is Saturday and Sunday, from 10 to 5, so if you are in the area, try and make it.

October GBBD

“October Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day”, 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 (15th of the month) in which we post everything which is blooming in our gardens.

It is hard to believe that a month has passed already since the last GBBD.  I don’t think anything new is blooming, but there are many things still blooming in mid October.

Here is a listing of the plants blooming here in Covington in the Gulf South: Roses (Knockouts, Mutablis, Shelia’s rose, The Fairy, and Iceberg), the salvias (coral nymph, lady in red, mystic spires, autumn sage), Mexican Bush Sage, Pentas, Impatiens, Canna (China Doll, Tequilla Sunrise), Butterfly Ginger, Blue Daze, Mexican heater, lantanas, hibicus, Confederate Rose, plumbago, candlebra plant, begonias, ruellia (red, pink, white, and purple), four o’clocks, toad lilies, cashmere bouquet, blue butterfly bush, Turk’s turban, bleeding heart vine, and peacock lilies.

I have shown pictures of all the above recently, but I just can’t resist a few more pictures of my favorites.

Iceberg Rose

Mexican Bush Sage


Seed Saved

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


A few weeks ago, I wrote about finding a seed on the sasanqua camellia I bought last year.  I had been watching the little seed until the shrub started blooming.  When it started blooming several days ago, I turned the container it was in so that more flowers could be seen, and in doing so, I turned the seed pod to the back and forgot about it.  That is until yesterday.




Here is the seed pod on September 12th.  Yesterday, when I went out to check how the seed pod was coming along, I fully expected to see it on the shrub, just a little larger than before.  But, instead, I found the casing brown and burst open.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had lost my one seed.  I quickly looked around, and found it on the ground next to the container.  It must have opened only recently because it was sitting on top of the grass.


I quickly picked it up and checked to see that it fit in the seed casing.  It was a perfect fit, so I know I have the right sasanqua seed and not some other stray seed that just happened to be hanging around. 



The seed ended up being about the size of my thumbnail.  I planted it in a container and will see if it comes up.  I am glad I was able to save that little seed because if it had started to grow where I found it, I am sure I would have just pulled it up not realizing it was a little sasanqua. 


 I know if it germanates that it will be years before I see any flowers bloom, but I think it will be nice, if not a challenge, to see if I can grow a sasanqua from seed.


A Red Letter Day

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



As we all know, a “red letter day” is pretty important.  Today, we celebrate Columbus Day, also know as Discoverer’s Day”.  Carol, of May Dreams Gardens has a great post about plant discoverers.

Columbus Day for many gardeners marks the last day to plant shrubs before winter really sets in.  For me, it marks the time to plant seeds for our annuals that can’t take our heat.  So, if we are to enjoy them, they must be planted now.  Larkspur, bluebonnets, and sweet peas are examples that have to be planted in the fall for spring blooms because by May they are toast.


Here is a red ruellea for a red letter day.



Columbus Day for other gardeners is a time for leaf peeping, esp. in the Northeast.  My friend in northern Virginia has commented how Columbus Day is a very good time to enjoy the fall color.


Here is another red flower for today.



Now, if I had my way, I would celebrate Columbus Day by visiting a park or garden and enjoying nature.

The Green of Autumn

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


When we think of autumn colors, it is usually the reds, golds, and browns not green.  Green is the spring color.  But, in looking around the garden today, I noticed there is still a great deal of different green color around.


The first green is the new green of freshly sprouting plants.  The Madonna lilies (Lilium candidum) are coming back with a fresh green color.  Madonna lilies form a basal rosette of leaves in the fall and die back in the summer.  So when most every thing else is dying in the garden, here pops up fresh new growth – signifiying a new beginning.



The ligustrum has finished flowering, and this has led to the first of the berries showing up a pretty, spring green.  They will eventually turn black as they mature, but right now the light green stands out against the dark green leaves.  If there are enough berry clusters on the bush, the green is very striking when surrounded by other plants with leaves of gold or the other typical fall colors.



Lastly, I couldn’t resist adding a photo of the curry plant.  Since this is the first time I have planted it, I didn’t quite know how it would do.  It has those frosty, silver leaves of plants that usually can’t take our humidity and heat, but it is still doing well.  It, too, has a color not usually associated with autumn.



So, if autumn is a symbol of a time of transition, it doesn’t necessarily symbolize an ending, it could be a beginning.

Garden Views

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


Today, I was able to work in the garden for the first time in weeks.  The last month and a half has been very hectic around here.  I just can’t seem to get back into any kind of routine, but, today, I finally was able to work all day in the garden.  It was doubly nice because of the cool, dry temperatures.  I was able to do several fall garden clean up projects that I have been wanting to get to for weeks.  I am hoping tomorrow to be able to start planting some seeds for the fall, esp. my lettuce and bluebonnets.


This morning, before I started in the garden, I went out very early and took some photos of how the garden looks this year in fall.  Yesterday, I showed some close ups of flowers that were blooming, and, today, I’ll show the garden.


This is the view from the front walk looking north.  In the foreground is a section of the entry garden, and to the left is the row of azaleas that divides this side yard in two.




This shot is taken at the North property line looking towards the backyard.



And, this shot is of the property line on the south side.  I just worked on this border last spring.  It was so overgrown with vines and ferns.  I wanted to keep it woodsy, for privacy from the neighbors, so I planted white lacecap hydrangeas, sweet almond bush, winter honeysuckle, variageted shell ginger, and ferns.  When the Margarite sweet potato vine got too vigorous for the entry garden, I transplanted some to this area, and it has added a bright green to this basically green areas.


Moving to the back, this is a shot of our peach and pear trees (which have lost most of their leaves) and a huge mound of sweet autumn clemetis.  It used to grow up a river birch, but we had to take that out last year.  I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the clemetis, so it has just grown in this mound.  I guess this spring we will have to put in a trellis for it instead of just letting it run amok.

Here is the border around the patio.  I will have to move several holly ferns in the spring because they are getting too much sun since we have lost several large pine trees.

The back corner is next.  Our lot is pie shaped, so this is the point.  This is where I keep the chinese hibiscus during the summer because this is the only area in the back that gets full sun.

Last is the north side with daylilies, azaleas, bamboo, and varigaeted shell ginger.

I just realized that I took photos of the sides and back gardens, but not the front garden.  Well, I guess that will have to be another posting since it is now too dark to take any pictures.

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