Fleur de Lis

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

Since this is a garden blog, I feel that it should be about gardening, flowers, shrubs, etc. After last night’s Super Bowl, I just have to have something about the New Orleans Saints and how they have lifted the entire region’s spirits with their win. Everyone in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast is just ecstatic. This does help put Katrina behind us. Thank you Saints and the NFL (which really supported New Orleans after the hurricane).

Now to have a tie in to gardening – the fleur de lis, which is the symbol of New Orleans and the Saints, means “lily flower” and seems to be a stylized version of an iris. It was predominately displayed on the royal French flag. It is thought to be the yellow flag iris according to Wikipedia. After last night, I think I just might have to plant some in the garden.

 

 

Easter Blooms

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

 

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter.  We had a pleasant day, but last night, thunderstorms came through that kept us awake for hours.  Luckily, there was no damage, and we did need the rain.  The Easter bunny didn’t leave any eggs or chocolate here, but that is okay (can’t use the extra calories anyway), and I’ll take new flowers anyway.

The Walking Iris started blooming Sunday.  Usually, I am at work when they bloom, and since the flowers only last a day, I don’t get to see the big show.  But, early Sunday morning, I noticed about thirty swelling buds and knew that today there would be a display I wouldn’t miss.  I love the buds of these flowers almost as much as the flowers themselves.  When they are numerous, they remind me of Red Square and the onion dome church.

 

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By nine o’clock, the flowers were already opened and the colors were very appropriate for Easter Sunday.

 

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You have to agree that this was a lovely Easter present from Mother Nature.

Walking Iris

This post, “Walking Iris” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Several years ago, my mother gave me a small container of walking irises (neomarica northiana).  From that small container, I now have an area 12’x6′ filled with these plants.  They get their common name from the fact that after they bloom, the bloom stalk leans down and roots in place.  These are supposed to be tender perennials, but mine have survived very hard freezes with no damage.  Mine grow in partial shade.  I have some that get more sun, and the foliage is paler.  This sections needs a lot of water.  Everything about this plant is fascinating.   When the buds are just ready to open, they remind me of the onion domes in Moscow’s Red Square.

 

 

In just a few hours, they open completely.  These blooms only last a day, but there are many more that will open tomorrow.  Their blooms resemble orchids.

 

 

When a good size clump is formed, these irises make a spectacular show.

 

 

This is one plant that makes me think of my mom, and how much she loves these irises.  Thanks, Mom.

A Bayou Classic

This post, “Bayou Classic” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Louisiana Irises are truly spectacular flowers that can be grown just about anywhere.  When we went to the Botanical Gardens on Saturday, their irises were already in bloom. 

Here is a group of light purple irises that was so majestic in their garden.  Louisiana Irises come in a rainbow of colors and can be grown in regular garden soil as well as in bog and water gardens.  They start blooming around March 15th to April 15th here in south Louisiana.

Here is another picture from the Botanical Gardens’ iris collection.  As you can see these plants come in colors of blue, purple, white, yellow, pink, and red.  They do very well in sun to partial shade in moist soil.  The sword-like leaves start to grow in the early winter and are very attractive in the garden and offer contrast to other foliage.  The flowers are held above the leaves which shows them off very well.

Louisiana Irises can be very vigorous.  Given the right conditions, a plant can grow into a hugh clump.  The next picture shows Bayou Classic.  This is an iris that has done extremely well for me.  It blooms profusely and has spread into a great display.

I just got my first blooms today and, as usual, the flowers are striking – big and colorful.  I can’t wait for the yellow and the red irises to start blooming.  Since these are doing so well, I need to get more of these irises to place around the garden.

You may think these irises only do well in the South, but even though they are native here, they will grow everywhere.  So don’t think of these as natives that only do well here in the Bayou State.  These easy care plants should be in every garden.  If you would like to know more about these wonderful plants check out the Louisiana Iris Society for more info.  You don’t have to grow just annuals to get great color in your garden.  Louisiana irises are an easy to grow perennial that gives color year after year.

Anticipation

This post, “Anticipation” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 Anticipation.  You would think with plants and bulbs blooming since early February around here that we have stopped being excited about flowers opening up.  You would think that, but you would be wrong.  Everyday, when I go out into the garden, I still see things that are about ready to burst into bloom.  I noticed today that the Louisiana irises have big, fat buds, so it will not be too long before they open.  Daylilies in the circle garden are already showing buds.  The Appleblossom amaryllis planted in the garden should be open by tomorrow.  The Nun’s orchid’s stalks are tall, and flowers may be showing by the weekend.  The oakleaf hydrangeas have buds already, though it will be maybe two weeks before there are any blooms.  Easter lilies are tall, and it shouldn’t be long before they start showing flowers.

Of course, there are a few blossoms I am no longer anticipating – they’ve bloomed.

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An unnamed rose from a friend.

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Hardy Gladiolus blooming now.

I am glad that I started a few years back planting more perennials because it is now paying off.  I am having more flowers blooming continuously with less effort on my part than ever before.  So after the initial spring bloom period is over, what flowers do you anticipate showing up in your garden?

New Plants

This post, “New Plants” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

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This is the variegated Japanese Iris that I bought when I went garden nursery hopping with my sister last week.  It is a little deeper purple in reality.  The digital cameras do not always show the true colors of flowers.  I am going to place it near my Louisiana Irises and am hopping the green and white leaves add a little oomph to that section.

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This is the Pink Friesland Salvia that I bought on the same trip.  It is a very pretty purplish pink.  To the right of the salvia is a small curry plant.  I thought I would give it a try.  When the leaves are rubbed, it gives off a wonderful curry aroma.

I also was able to find another Blushing Pink Knockout Rose.  The nursery only had one, and I would like to have one more to make a grouping of three.  The pale pink of Blushing is just what is needed in the fuchsia/pink area to lighten things up.

Well, its back to work tomorrow.  I didn’t do much in the garden today – needed to rest up to be fresh for Monday morning.  Not everything on my list to do was accomplished this last week, but I did get a great many plants in the ground.  I guess this is what is meant by the saying “a garden is never finished.”