Thursday, February 8, 2018

Iris unguicularis 'Logan Calhoun'

Iris unguicularis 'Logan Calhoun' blooming with the warmer weather. Too warm for this time of the year. The roses and tree peony are already starting to break dormancy, which may get damaged by the later cold temperatures. But 'Logan Calhoun' is a pleasure to see, and if you bend way down to smell it, it is fragrant of hyacinths to my nose. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Hippeastrum 'Painted Desert'

In the winter for 2013-2014 I made a cross of Hippeastrum 'Red Lion' and H. papilio. Only one of the seeds grew, but I kept it going. By the winter of 2015-2016, it bloomed for the first time, and I blogged about it here. I learned on the Hippeastrum forum on Gardenweb, that this was a particularly unusual cross due to genetic difficulties, and that this one grew particularly quickly. I'd be making many more crosses for fun if I had the room, but alas, I just don't have the time or the space. My sister dubbed this cross 'Painted Desert'.

This year I may have fertilized it too much, as the plant has become huge.
That's the thing about these plants. They need fertilizer but in small regular amounts. I suppose it's the same with all plants.

Four stems this year, three are in bloom now.

It doesn't have that great form or color, but it is exciting that it is one of my creations, and vigorous.

I think I like the backs of the petals almost more than the front view.

I don't think I'm going to keep most of my Hippeastrum. Most people just grow them for Christmas and then discard them. I have been growing them from year to year, but it's become too much work to haul the pots, which are getting bigger, in and out of the house, and also the spots in the garden where they are placed for the summer are getting planted up. I expect I'll keep 'Painted Desert' and also 'La Paz' but that's probably going to be it. 'Ruby Star' lacks vigor, the plants of H. papilio keep growing, but the flowers themselves get smaller and less numerous. 'Red Lion' seems to be diminishing. I'm still deciding on 'Minerva'. I'm going get Clivia instead, which I can grow indoors year round, it being a shade plant. Not that I need more plants. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

december blooms

These photos are from last week. I've been too busy to post. Temperatures have finally dropped, with lows in the 20's and highs in the 40-50's.

Helleborus 'Jacob' off to a roaring start.

Iris unguicularis 'Logan Calhoun' opens its first flower. It's another one of those plants whose flowers seem to appear like magic. Even looking carefully for them, I didn't see any sign of a flower the day before, and then the next day, suddenly there it was fully opened.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

new blooms, and old

 Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Champion' is starting to put out new flowers.

 Helleborus niger 'Jacob' is further along. The buds were popping out before Thanksgiving, and that's pretty much his routine. I hope the weather cools down before the flowers open, or they will fade to green quickly.

How can aster 'Monch' still be blooming?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

garden wandering

Fall is perhaps the best time of the year in Albuquerque, which is a bit ironic for me, because it is probably the season where I get most depressed. I know winter's coming. The garden does its best to cheer me up by giving a blazing last hurrah, but sometimes it only emphasizes for me that the garden will be entering the winter doldrums. Strangely, when winter is in full swing and the garden is all black and brown, with a few grey or dark greens, I find it peaceful and worry-free. It's funny seeing how my mind works.

I would like to claim responsibility for the color combination of lavender and Prunus bessyi 'Pawnee Buttes' above, but I didn't know that the lavender would be blooming to this degree at this time of year. But it is a fantastic combination isn't it?

The seed heads of Clematis scottii having been hanging on for the last 2 months, and I've finally gotten a change to photograph them. They make me think of Dr. Seuss.

The purple smokebush is turning its full color. The parent plant is a rich purple in the summer, and is now mostly yellow. Maybe mine gets too much shade, because the other ones in the neighborhood add an orange tone to the summer purple as their fall color. I think that nurseries sell purple smokebush as seedlings rather than cuttings, since as I look around the neighborhood, there is quite a bit of variation in plant form and color.

A seedling of it in my garden, grows in more shade than the parent, and turned this mottled orange and red color. It's funny how different it is from the parent.

I've been too busy to take care of things in the Orchidarium. The bromeliads need dividing. The rose cuttings are in dire need of repotting.

This cutting was repotted a few weeks ago, and produced this flower. I'm still debating if I should replace 'Iceberg' with this one since it does better in the summer. But then 'Iceberg' is doing better that this one in the cooler weather of the fall. Time to get back to work!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall color

'Monch' is still going. The other asters (even the late blooming 'Raydon's Favorite') have been done for weeks. We haven't had a hard frost yet, and when it comes I'm sure it will do in even 'Monch', but this aster is just amazing. No it doesn't have that "covered with blooms" effect that many asters have, but it has been blooming continuously since July. 5 months. Really? Really!

 Forming a nice counterpoint in color is Crocus cartwrightianus. Such a lovely color. It is very similar to Crocus speciosus in color, but the petals are a bit pointier, and the blooms are less goblet shaped. It also blooms a bit later.

Crocus speciosus is just finishing up. They are in such a different growing situation, that I really shouldn't be comparing them at all. 

The lavenders are blooming again, adding more purple, just about as much as in the spring. I'm not sure if these are 'Vicenza Blue' or 'Ellagance Purple' but they all look very similar. Similar size and color as 'Hidcote' but much more floriferous.

Behind the lavenders, Prunus bessyi 'Pawnee Buttes' is coloring up for fall. The ones in the shade colored up earlier.

They form a nice contrast growing under the mystery maple, which in this unusually warm fall, wasn't certain whether to color up or not. So the north side turned yellow before the south side.

I'm always surprised that I don't see more people growing Origanum dictamnus (Dittany of Crete).  It is so easy and has such impressive bracts and color. Maybe I'm just weird. When my friend was impressed with 'Kent Beauty', I showed her my dittany and she just shrugged her shoulders. Personally, I think O. dictamnus is much more interesting than 'Kent Beauty' and has the benefit of fuzzy grey evergreen leaves in contrast to 'Kent Beauty' which goes dormant in September. Dittany also has these long chains of bracts, which I find to be impressive and eye catching.

The roses have a few flowers hanging on. The warm weather has prompted a flush of growth, which I'm sure will be damaged in the frost that's bound to come.
'Abraham Darby' has a couple of flowers. 

My  'Bolero' bushes have a half dozen blossoms open. They are lasting longer in this cool weather, and are significantly bigger also.

The flowers of 'Fabulous' are like 'Iceberg' in that they blush pink in the cooler weather. 

'Marie Pavie' still has a great fragrance. It was tough to photograph all these flowers in today's wind.
'Iceberg' with a pink flush.

I'm less impressed with Schizachyrium scoparium 'Smoke Signals' than I was hoping. It doesn't turn that dark smoky purple that the photos show.

This seedling of Cotinus coggyria (Purple Smoke Bush), is better colored than its parent across the yard.

 No one ever shows photos of Platycodon grandiflora (Balloon flower) in the fall, but the fall color is easily as impressive as the floral show. Here it is fading, but it's looked like this for at least a week already. It always catches me by surprise since it is in an out-of-the-way part of the garden, and I don't catch the fall show until it is well underway. 

The Japanese maple 'Osakazuki' is supposed to turn glorious color in the fall, but mine didn't last year (granted, it was its first year), and this year, here it is November and it is only showing a little blush so far.

My other Japanese maple, which came with the house, is in color. I wish I knew how to keep the tips from burning. Other Japanese maples in the neighborhood in full sun seem to be fine.

The Plumbago ceratostigma turns bright colors in the fall. It's famous for it. I find that I take it for granted much more than I should. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

last asters

'Monch' is still going, while the others are just about done.



'purple dome'

'raydon's favorite'