Sunday, April 20, 2008

More, more, more

Crabapple 'Flame'? Our beloved cat is buried under this tree - literally. We dug a hole, wrapped him in a shroud, buried and planted the tree on top of him. We always refer to the tree as Wiley's tree although we use his nickname which I will not divulge.

Tradescantia, spiderwort. This yellow leafed form caught my eye. The blue flowers against the yellow background of leaves was quite arresting.
Here's some interesting information about Tradescantia from Wikipedia: "The cells of the stamen hairs of some Tradescantia are colored blue, but when exposed to sources of ionizing radiation such as gamma rays, the cells mutate and change color to pink; they are one of the few tissues known to serve as an effective bioassay for ambient radiation levels."

Heavenly blue Lithodora, Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue'.

Epimedium. I don't know the name of this one offhand. I seem to remember buying about 10 different ones last year so I'll have to see if I can't find the old purchase list.

One of the few remaining flowers of the Magnolia 'Butterflies'. This years flowering time was truncated by unusually warm weather.

Another photo of the Japanese quince 'Toyo Nishiki' showing the various colors of the flowers from white and pink to red.

The first 'Angelique' tulip. This is usually a very late blooming variety but it's already blooming right on the heels of the earliest blooming ones.

Chinese Redbud, Cercis chinensis. This tree is more shrublike and doesn't grow as fast or as large as the C. canadensis, Eastern redbuds.

Grape hyacinths, Muscari.

Pulsatilla, Pasque flower looks really great this year. It seems the color is a richer purple than previous years. Now classified as part of the Anemone family.

Weird tulips with tightly bunched multiple petals. The flowers don't open much more than those in the photo so they look like colorful artichoke. We have to stop buying these Sam's bargain bulbs!

White Rhododendron. The Rhodies are blooming about 2 weeks or more ahead of time.

Red dogwood. Cornus florida.

Another Rhododendron.

A gaudy tulip.


Blogger Julie said...

Epimedium -- Barronwart.; Fairy wings; whatever. Ki, can you tell me how your plants are doing. I just purchased and planted two of the pink ones for around St. Francis statue and am interested in knowing how tall, how much spread and how graceful they are. They look wonderful and I simply couldn't resist getting two. They seem to be doing quite nicely too. This is the first year I've seen them at the nursery.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

That's very interesting about the Tradescantia and radiation. As far as I know, all the stamen hairs on mine are blue, but I'm going to be looking at them a lot more closely this year. I don't expect to see any flowers on those for several weeks.

Was your cat's nickname not suitable for a family-oriented blog? Just curious... ;-)

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

Do you live at the Botanical Gardens or something? Everything looks amazing!

11:51 AM  
Blogger Jane Marie said...

These pictures are gorgeous. You have a good eye and probably a great camera.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Julie,
The first Epimedium I planted looked dead in spring then popped back to life when it warmed up a bit. I learned that they are very hardy plants even persisting in fairly dry conditions where many plants would perish. The one pictured is the first to bloom this year but I can see tiny shoots appearing from the others I've planted. I haven't ever seen them in nurseries here so I had to order them from online nurseries. I think I ordered most of mine from Plants Delight nursery but wow the prices have gone up considerably, like about 2 to 3 times. I'll try to find my invoice and let you know if I bought it elsewhere.


Hi Entangled,
If your Tradescantia stamens turn pink, run like hell! :) The cat's nickname was suitable for all audiences. It was a private name we used for the cat that would seem like a betrayal to his spirit to use openly. We cat people are weird. But we feel the same way about the dogs we had and have, so I guess we're just weird. ;)


Hi Anthony,
Thanks very much. You could say our yard is more botanical garden than landscaping, to our neighbors' chagrin. We don't want to be still here 5 years from now when everything will be overgrown!


Hello Jane Marie,

Thank you for your kind words. I'm working on trying to take better pictures and the camera is a used Ebay cheapie. A Panasonic FX3 point and shoot I bought for around $65. I've tried many cameras, Olympus, Nikon, Canon etc. but I really like the photos this camera takes. It is tiny too so I can pocket it easily. Small cameras tend to be less steady but this one has an image stabilizer so I have few blurred photos despite shooting in low light. The very small Nikon I had didn't have this feature and it seemed like more than half the pictures were blurred or the blurred picture warning sign popped up on the screen. The only problem is that the Panasonic is fully automatic so there's little you can do to control various aspects of the picture taking. Actually a good thing for me because I need less distraction so I can concentrate on the image. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Phillip said...

The pasque flower is stunning. I love that color. Your photos are always stunning - I nominated you for a Mousie. :)

6:13 AM  
Blogger kjohnson said...

In my mind I have put all your beauties together - what an overall effect you have achieved! I am crazy about epimediums. I'd love to see more pics of your collection.


6:39 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Phillip,
Thank you for your generous assessment of my picture taking ability and for the Mousie nomination. I take a lot of photos and choose the best so if there's any art to this it's in my ability to choose ;) Digital cameras have been a boon for slow learning duffers like me. I could never have afforded to take 5-20 photos of the same flower/plant using film. I am slowly and intuitively assimilating what a good photo should look like in the lcd but it's still a lot of luck too. The pasque flower was outstanding this year and looks even better in real life but it is nice to see details my bad eyesight misses when the flower is enlarged. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Kathryn,

You'd be disappointed in the look of our yard as I am. It's not so much landscaping as a hodge podge of plants tucked in every last available space. When most of our plants were bought as impluse buys, you get the arboretum look rather than landscaping which suits me just fine as I love variety but woe to the formal garden look ;) I will definitely post more pictures of the various Epimediums as they come into flower. Perhaps I should do a single post just on Epimediums. Also check out IBoy's blog. He has many, many unusual Epimediums. Thank you for your lovely comment.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I have the Flame crabapple too. I'm thinking we have pretty much the same taste in plants. I especially like that gaudy tulip. My favorite tulip is Princess Irene.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Sarah Laurence Blog said...

How nice to see a natural crab apple after those tortured ones in France. So much is blooming in your garden - how lovely!

11:53 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Julie, Well if it's gaudy you want we seem to have acquired quite a lot of bargain no name tulips. ;) We really have to stop buying those grab bag 100 tulips for $10 which don't compare to your Princess Irene. The crab looks especially nice this year. This was a very good year for flowering trees. Isn't the flame wonderful? I love the pink buds contrasted by the white fully open flowers though I have no idea why they would call it 'Flame'.


Hi Sarah,
Thank you. I've never seen a crab apple in France so tell me how they mangle the tree. I know they pollard many of their trees, a habit from days of harvesting branches for cooking/heating but why would they - I assume - prune a crab heavily?

3:50 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

Wonderful blooms...especially like the brilliant blues!

7:39 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

I guess I can see why those Sam's club tulips would be disappointing if they weren't what you expected... but I hope you can understand why I'm drooling over them. They're so pretty--as you said, like colorful artichokes!

I love the shot of the Japanese quince, too. It's amazing how much the color changes/fades on those blooms.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Connie,
I had to correct the color of the Tradescantia to be a bit more purple than what the camera originally took. The color of the Lithodora is pretty much dead on. I too like the electric quality of the blues. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Kim,
I looked at those orange 'chokes today (Wed.)and they actually opened up just a bit so they look slightly like peony tulips. They are awfully bright even amongst yellow and red regular tulips. The deer seem to like them though. Those were the first ones they went for until I sprayed them with Dave's Insanity habanero sauce ;;)

The color of the quince changes but does not fade once it attains whatever color it's programed to be. Well I guess that's not quite true - they'll eventually fade when they start to wilt and die. Surprisingly the flowers are quite long lasting even when we've had unusually warm temperatures. They still look extremely good.

Hey treat yourself. Life's too short. Buy that Japanese maple! I would recommend the coral bark maple 'Sango kaku'. Just remember to plant it in a sheltered place. It doesn't like the cold winter winds.

7:03 PM  
Blogger heirloomgardener said...

Thank you for your great display. Though I am also NJ zone 6b, I think you must be one to two weeks ahead of me in bloom times. Thank you for sharing!

8:00 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

The crabapple is stunning, the perfect memorial for your cat.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Heirloom Gardner,
My pleasure and thank you for stopping to look at the photos.

Ah but Chatham is sooo much further north, that must account for the difference :)


Hi Carol,

He was a good'un and the tree as well since it's imbued with his spirit as well as some of his atoms. Thanks for your lovely comment.

10:40 AM  

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