Monday, November 05, 2007

What's blooming now

We still haven't had a killing frost so plants continue to bloom.

This is the first time this Paphiopedilum, a lady slipper orchid, is blooming and I am excitedly waiting for it to open completely.

It is a (Paph. Supersuk "Eureka" AM/AOS x Paph. Raisin Pie "Hsinying") x Sib.

The first of the Camellia Japonica 'Spring's Promise' to bloom. This is a wonderful Camellia because it blooms for an extended period of time - from now until early spring. It stays dormant when the temperatures plummet but revives and resumes blooming when it warms up again.

The flowers and fruit of the holly 'Nellie R. Stevens' Ilex x Nellie R. Stevens.
Here's an interesting quote from the U. of Arkansas, division of Agriculture site:

"Nellie R. is the result of a chance interspecific cross between the Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) and English holly (I. aquifolium). Though the bees were responsible for the pollen dabbing, it was a schoolmarm named Nellie R. Stevens (1866-1942) from Oxford, Md., who filched a few berries on a visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. This fateful trip was in the fall of 1900, but the plant was not known outside the family until 1952 when Nellie’s niece decided it was time to remodel the garden."


"The holly was saved because Eunice Highley, Miss Nellie’s niece and owner of the home where she planted the holly seeds, attended a meeting of the Talbot County Garden Club where the program just happened to be on hollies. The speaker, Gus Van Lennep of nearby St. Michael, MD, was invited to come see the hollies and try to identify them. He couldn’t, and when experts with the America Holly Society couldn’t either, they realized they had a new kind of plant on their hands."

I bought this Magnolia x soulangeana 'Rustica Rubra' as a replacement for our ailing Golden Raintree Koelreuteria paniculata. I normally would not have bought a M. x soulangeana because I don't care for the look of the tree in spring when it is almost completely covered by flowers. Large Soulangeana trees look excessively floriferous imo. I was fooled into thinking this was some other kind of Magnolia because the 'Rustica Rubra' was prominently displayed on the tag and soulangeana was buried in tiny print. The silly tree decided the unseasonably warm autumn we've been having was spring and this flower at the top of the tree started to bloom.


Blogger Phillip said...

Nice photos! I'm not familiar with that particular camellia but it sounds great. Is it one of the cold hardy varieties?

6:32 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Phillip,
'Springs Promise' isn't listed as a cold hardy Camellia but I've had the plant for four years now and it seems to do ok for NJ although it doesn't seem to grow much. I planted it on the south side of the house and you can see that it's not happy being cold - all the vegetative growth is toward the warmth of the house. In the colder years or one with a prolonged cold spell, the new growth will die back. I envy your warm climate. You have so many great Camellias to choose from. Thanks for the nice complement and comment.

10:10 AM  
Blogger DeeMom said...

WOW totally awesome

11:15 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

Heh...well at least your silly magnolia won't be as overly floriferous next spring, since it's blooming now. That orchid is cool!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Gina said...

Beautiful pics Ki, that orchid is stunning! Gx :O)

12:48 PM  
Anonymous mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Mmm...lovely orchid. I love your photos.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Vanillalotus said...

I love the story about the holly. Doesn't it feel great to finally have something bloom that you have been patiently waiting for. All the plants are confused because of the weather. I have a jacqueline hillier elm that is sprouting new leaves.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Dee Mom,
A diverse selection of flowers which I would normally not place together but they all happen to be blooming now. Thanks for stopping by. ;)


Hi Lisa,
Actually the magnolia is rather gangly with few branches so it has a few years before it will be anywhere close to being covered with flowers. Should be interesting to see what appears next spring. The orchid is almost fully open now and I will post another picture of it soon. I find that indoor orchids are really difficult to photograph well. Maybe it's the lighting but we'll see what I can come up with. Hope I can do the orchid justice as it is a beautiful little thing.


Hi Gina,
Thank you for the compliment. I especially love the Paphs because they are so exotic looking with stripes, spots, hairs, pouch etc. Most orchids are beautiful but this species is visually complex and interesting as well.

Thanks for the nice comment. Orchids are a delight and most start to bloom when all the outdoor plants are done so the blooming time is extended throughout the year. Now that you have your beautiful Dendrobium it could easily lead into an collecting obsession. Beware. It can be an expensive hobby. ;)

It was interesting to stumble upon the holly story Vanilla Lotus. Snitching seeds from the U.S. Botanical gardens no less! I have to confess to stealing a few seeds from botanic gardens many years ago but never got around to planting the seeds so I don't do it anymore. Easier on the conscience to buy them and get exactly what you want.

A few of our shrubs and trees look like they are ready to sprout new shoots but it's supposed to get fairly cold this Wednesday so that should put an end to all the new growth and flowers. Thanks for stopping by.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's one exotic looking orchid

7:08 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

The orchid is indeed exotic, theysaywordscanbleed. I did a quick scan of your poems. I do like the way you use words and images. I hate the stream of consciousness descriptive poems that seems to be the norm these days. I don't want to be hit between the eyes with the obvious, the banal. I will look at your poems more closely when I have enough time to really give them the attention they deserve. Thank you for your comment.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

That is a very cool story about the holly! Funny how those things work out sometimes, with the visit from the holly expert and the garden renovation coinciding. Did it say how they figured out that it was Miss Nellie who snitched a few berries, and when--or did the niece already know that story, maybe?

10:06 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim,
I would suspect she must have shown the berries to her family. Apparently several of the berries germinated because they mention that they wanted Van Lennep to see the hollies and try to ID them. The Legends of the Gardens book looks interesting. I may pick it up sometime in the future. Would make a nice Christmas gift, hint, hint. :)

1:49 PM  
Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Wow, that lady slipper orchids looks awesome. can't wait for it to open completely! Love your Camelia, I have one in bloom now too. Wonderful to have big blooms like that this time of year.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hello Yolanda Elizabet,
The orchid has opened fully now. It looks similar to the one I posted last year but there are more spots which are raised, I hadn't noticed that previously and the flower is smaller. At one time I thought it would be nice to collect Paphs. but they are so expensive it would be a tragedy to lose one. There are so many to choose from I thought a yellow one would be wonderful to have but I haven't seen one locally. Here's a great Paphiopedilum website that shows the diverse colors and shapes of the species.

Sad but we've cleaned up all the still blooming annuals before the cold spell and killing frost we're finally about to experience so I agree that the Camellias are nice to have. Something to keep the anemones company. Thanks for stopping by.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Kylee said...

Oooooh, that Paph!! I think they're exquisite. I bought one last winter in Florida and brought it home on the plane. I really hope it blooms this winter. It was just gorgeous as this one of yours shows promise of being. You'll have to post a picture when it's fully open, so I can drool!

7:57 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kylee,
The Paph is fully open now but I'm having a difficult time taking a good picture of it indoors. If it warms up a bit I'll try it outdoors.

I hope yours will bloom this year! We usually get a bloom a year but sometimes the orchid will skip a year. So far we've only gotten one flower from a plant. That's the only downside with Paphs - they don't have many flowers but they do make up for lack of quantity with quality.

4:17 AM  
Blogger kate said...

You have a gorgeous Orchid, Ki. I hope you are successful with taking more photographs of it opened.

I enjoyed hearing the holly story - such serendipity!

The Camellia is beautiful and I really wish that I could grow one of those here. It's like the goldfish - they just can't survive the brutal winters we have outdoors.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
As soon as I type this comment I will post more photos of the orchid fully open.

Isn't that a great holly story! Interesting to me that the US Botanical Garden didn't have the same seeds!

Camellias have really incredible flowers and the dark green foliage looks very nice but I can barely grow them here. Truly unfortunate because I would like to get a white one but have decided not to make any more plants suffer, trying to make them grow where they are not meant to be grown.

7:26 PM  

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