Saturday, August 30, 2008

Daphne 'Carol Mackie' and other flowers

The Daphne is blooming again. It caught me by surprise - I thought Daphnes bloomed in the spring. The flowers don't have very much perfume and I had to stick my nose up to the flowers to smell anything but the beautifully variegated leaves more than make up for the lack of scent. I guess I'll have to buy D. odorata or D. odora if I want one with perfume but I don't think it will survive our winters.

Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'

Interestingly colored Zinnia. I love the dusky orange with hint of pink at the base of the petals.

Eupatorium coelestinum, Mist Flower, Hardy Ageratum

I'm a bit confused about the name of this Geranium. I thought it was Roxanne but I keep seeing references to Rozanne; Geranium 'Rozanne', The 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year. The flower looks different than the pictures I've seen of Rozanne but articles I've seen say Roxanne is a typo. ???

Floribunda Rose, Rosa 'Angel Face'

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Late summer flowers

Trumpet lily.


Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica with crown of buds an interesting feature in its own right.

Callirhoe involucrata, Purple poppy mallow, Winecup, a native wildflower.

Several types of Helenium.

Tricyrtis (Toad Lily) 'Togen'

Ligularia dentata 'Othello'.

Pink version of the Lobelia

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

500th blog post & World's Hottest Pepper, Bhut Jolokia update

This is my 500th post for this blog. A milestone of some sorts I guess.

Last weekend we went back to the wholesale nursery because they were having a dollar sale. Of course the dollar plants were not the ones we wanted so we ended up spending a lot of green again. As I went to pay for our largess, I saw a hot pepper poster which did not include the world's hottest pepper the Bhut Jolokia. I mentioned to the owner that I was trying to grow some from seed. He was skeptical and asked me where I obtained my seeds. I said I got them from the The Chile Pepper Institute in New Mexico (NMSU) so he was convinced that I was actually growing the authentic Bhut Jolokia and not something else.

I told him that my pepper plants were doing poorly only recently producing secondary leaves after two months. I said I moved the plants to a shadier location and the plants responded positively. He said he planted the seeds directly into the garden and his plants similarly languished. He dug all the plants and potted them, placing the pots where it received only half day (morning 'til noon) sun and they began to thrive. He then showed me a potted plant that was about a foot tall with several peppers forming. I was comforted to know that a professional propagator was having difficulty growing this pepper too.

The tiny pepper plants in the large pot are mine. The large plant is the one given to me by the nursery owner.

I thought all plants in the nightshade (Solanaceae) family needed full sun. We always planted our various varieties of hot peppers in full sun but the Bhut Jolokia apparently requires part shade.

I wanted to buy the plant but he said it wasn't for sale. As we were packing the plants to leave, he gave me the pepper plant and wouldn't take any payment. I guess having bought many (52) plants made him realize we were fairly serious gardeners and would take care of the precious pepper plant. The fact that I even knew the pepper existed possibly made him change his mind. We promised to bring him some pepper jelly if we harvested any peppers.

So now I have at least a fair chance of seeing a fully mature Bhut Jolokia pepper pod before the cold weather sets in. I will bring all the plants indoors in fall but peppers may be tough to grow inside - I hate to admit defeat and my tiny plants seem to be thriving now. After all, I hope I can look forward to turning all shades of purple after chomping on a Bhut Jolokia. I just hope I don't have a heart attack. Will keep you posted.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wood Poppy Stylophorum diphyllum, Ligularia, Brunnera macrophylla and more photos of Silene uniflora 'Robin Whitebreast'

Wood poppy.


Brunnera macrophylla Alkanet, Siberian Bugloss and 'Jack Frost'

Silene uniflora 'Robin Whitebreast'.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Another interesting fungus, Tapioca Slime Brefeldia maxima? and Wild Petunia, Ruellia nudiflora

I looked through my Audubon Society mushroom book but was unsure about the identification of this fungus. My best guess is the Tapioca Slime, Brefeldia maxima but the color shown in the book was white rather than the yellow in my photos.

It looked like yellow cake batter when I first saw it. Upon closer inspection the mass was actually made up of tiny balls which looks like tapioca.

I spotted this fungus on the same small decaying tree stump as the chocolate tube slime I saw in July. I find it interesting another fungus can occupy the same spot so soon. I thought the mycelia of the previous chocolate tube slime would still be present and ward off the newcomer - the decaying process continues.

UPDATE: What a difference a day makes. This is what the tapioca slime looks like a day later. It appears the round tapioca like balls structures were supported on stalks which has a passing resemblance to the Chocolate Tube slime below.

The previous occupant, Stemonitis splendens; Chocolate Tube Slime

This is Ruellia nudiflora, a native wildflower - the Common wild petunia also known as the Violet wild petunia, Violet ruellia, or Wild petunia. It is in the Acanthaceae Family. It is not related to the commonly grown petunias which belongs to the potato family, Solanaceae.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Midsummer Flowers and Pale, Sad, Cricket

The crepe myrtle "Dynamite" continues to bloom well and the crimson red color seems to become more brilliant as it ages.

We made another trip to the new wholesale nursery and I discovered they had an extensive collection of geraniums. This one I couldn't resist. The name was too intriguing - "Little Monster".

The giant pagoda dogwood Cornus controversa variegata I bought from Heronswood grows strangely in a sprawling manner. I guess that's how it achieves it's layered look that I like but it looks as if it will be a spreader which we don't have room for. Mental note: get the pruners sharpened.

I understand the quick part of this Hydrangea paniculata "Quickfire" - it blooms about 2-3 weeks earlier than our regular H. paniculata but the fire part escapes me. The panicles were a bright red in the picture on the tag but our plant only becomes a dusky pink. Quite a disappointment. Another mislabeled plant?

Strange looking but highly colored daylily.

I believe I wrote about my appreciation of common zinnias in a past post. We planted some wildflower seeds and these zinnias were included. In the past I didn't like zinnias because most of the ones available were the orange pompom ones and that image stuck in my mind. I do like the single petaled ones more than the elaborate ones but I still don't like the orange ones. Even the past bloom flowers - actually way past bloom - are interesting as they reveal their structure.

A wild cucumber or melon flower. It doesn't seem to produce any fruit so I can't tell what it is but the flower is quite pretty.

Lots of the Hostas are blooming now. This is a giant leafed one with rounded leaves more than a foot in diameter.

I wouldn't normally post a picture of a Marigold but this one especially caught my eye. The fiery Rococco quality was hard to miss.

It is difficult to believe that this is a California poppy. Eschscholzia californica Mission Bells.

The first of the early blooming anemones, ANEMONE tomentosa robustissima is starting to flower. The hairy dark stems and green leaves make a nice contrast to the pink flowers.

I saw this cricket on the covering of the water barrel. The ones I usually see are black colored so this was an unusual find. The drooping eyes seem quite sad but as soon as its long antennae (at least 5 times it's body length) dectected the camera the eye shape seemed to change or it could be that a different tilt to the head made the eyes a more normal round shape.

The Magnolia Sieboldii is starting its second flush of flowers. There seems to be as many flower buds as in the spring. I only wish the flowers were upfacing so you could easily see the dark pink inner parts of the flower.

Rose "Honey Perfume".

One of the new hybrid Delphiniums.
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Location: Zone 6, New Jersey, United States

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