Monthly Archives: April 2014

Blooming in My Yard: April 5-11, 2014- I wanna ROCK! Do you “kick it” in your garden?

Tung tree blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

Tung tree blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to another addition of “Blooming in My Yard”: a few rock stars for early April. This week I begin with a flower that many will see blooming along highways of southern Mississippi. Tung tree (pictured above). Beautiful spring flowers. Not a native. The history of this tree in Mississippi and the Gulf Coast is fascinating! Read more on this Biloxi Historical Society website. Purdue Horticulture has some good information on this tree. The tree seeds sprout readily just about anywhere down here, making this escaped exotic somewhat of a pest, if not invasive. But darn the flowers are nice! Grown for their oil, tung tree plantations and processing plants were found everywhere along the Gulf Coast until Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Gaura blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

Gaura blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

I planted two Gaura last year. One of them struggled and appeared to have died out over the winter, but it came back from the roots and is already about seven inches tall. The other is now blooming and what sweet sprays of flowers it boasts! The Missouri Botanical Garden has a nice information page on Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’, a very popular variety of this fine perennial.

Sweetshrub blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

Sweetshrub blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was really excited to find this fine, native shrub (Calycanthus floridus) blooming near the shed in my backyard. Its actually not planted in the best location, squeezed up next to the shed between a camellia and bridal wreath spirea (see last week’s post). In fact, I didn’t find it until year two living in my new home. My sweetshrub has several nice suckers and I plan to relocate all of them to shady areas under the mature tree canopy in my yard where they will get bigger and bloom more profusely. The fragrance is very pleasant, but not overwhelming, though the plants I have are so crowded there are few blooms per plant. Until I found the first bloom last year, I had no idea what the plant was or that it was hiding back there. Since it has just opened its first two flowers, I hope to get some better images in the next week.

Rose blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

Rose blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

This rose bush was propagated locally by a gardener and I inherited one of the plants. It is trouble-free, blooms nearly all year (seriously there was only about 2 months this past winter with no blooms). I’m going to have to have a heavier hand in pruning it soon because it is planted inside my herb garden and starting to elbow its way around. But its a beautiful, sweet, red-pink color and a nice addition. Propagating and gifting plants from your yard is an inexpensive and rewarding way to create your own gifts for friends and family.

Rhododendron blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

Rhododendron blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye to Romance (Ozzy Osbourne) is exactly how I felt over the weekend. My rhododendrons have peaked and made it Over the Mountain (Ozzy Osbourne). It was a great couple of weeks and while there are still many blooms to be found rockin’ it in my yard, their peak season is over;  the week or two when they nearly poke your eyes out with brilliance and color so outstanding you want to drop to your knees and throw your hands in the air.

Carolina desert chicory blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

Carolina desert chicory blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This member of the Asteraceae family looks very similar to a common lawn dandelion, except the flowers are borne on stalks about 12-15″ (in my yard).  Pyrrhopappus carolinianaus (Carolina desert chicory) is a native flower. I think the images on Southeastern Flora are better for this species versus the images linked to the Wildflower.org site above, but they have better taxonomic and cultural information. It is growing under the semi-shade canopy of mature (not crape murdered) crape myrtles along the sidewalk. This is one of several native wildflowers I allow to bloom before mowing.

Fringe tree blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

Fringe tree blooming in my yard. TheGardenMaiden_2014_RStafne-003_WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I included a photo of fringe tree (image above), but it was just beginning to flower. The image above shows this excellent, small, native, flowering tree in its prime in my yard with more of a closeup of the flowers.  Read more about Chionanthus virginicus from Wildflower.org.

So that wraps it up for last week’s blooms. I was working Friday and unable to make a post over the weekend.  As far as kicking it in the garden goes, I can frequently be found rockin’ out while working in my yard/garden.  Whether it be a selection of Hawaiian CD’s (IZ, Don Ho, Jack Jackson, Martin Denny, Henry Kapono) in the stereo, a jazz playlist I created in my MP3 player or tuning in to Radio Margaritaville, Lithium, or Ozzy’s Bone Yard on satellite radio, music moves me while I groove in the garden.  Gardening can be a quiet, serene time for reflection and inner peace or it can be a rockin’, kick ass party to help you de-stress and have fun. Do you “kick it” in the garden?

Keep on Growin’, Finz Up, Hang Loose and (insert devil horns…K.I.S.S. Rocks!)
The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden

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Categories: Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are “Sustainable” and “Organic” Synonymous?

Great post. One might attempt to grow something organically, but it might not be sustainable for where they live or the inputs used (fertilizer, pest treatment, water quantity) might not be sustainable. Would it be sustainable to grow a high-water-requiring crop such as watermelon organically in the desert? Probably not. Organic or non-organic, probably not sustainable. Would it be sustainable to organically grow giant pumpkins using organic fertilizers that are shipped in from across the U.S. or another country? No, of course not. If you can grow organically using local resources (seed, fertilizer, pest control, hardscape materials (fence, wire, blocks, irrigation supplies), re-purposing used materials, minimizing your footprint on the land, recycling, using water wisely, reducing erosion, reducing water, fertilizer, pesticide runoff, etc and giving back to the soil and nature, then you are attempting to be more sustainable and you can do it organically. If your harvest is sold locally rather than trucked six hours a way for resale, that is more sustainable. If you grow organically and your produce is shipped from Mississippi to Minnesota, not very sustainable . Of course if you use electric cars to ship your product that is more sustainable than fossil fuels. Make sense?

Mississippi Fruit and Nut Blog

I was recently at a meeting where the terms “sustainable” and “organic” were used interchangeably.  I found this interesting.  Are they really synonymous?  First we should define these terms.  According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, sustainable means:

1. capable of being sustained
2 a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged 
b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods

As for organic, we need to target the definition to deal with food only (as there are other definitions not pertinent to our discussion here):

1. Of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides

So, could an organic food system be sustainable?…

View original post 132 more words

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Bayou Sauvage NWR and Fort Pike SHS, Louisiana: Spring Flowers in Bloom

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Recently I made a spring jaunt over to southeast Louisiana to visit the Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike State Historic Site ($4 and no pets allowed in fort). My husband and I only saw a couple of alligators, from far away (see photo above).

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Below are images of a few flowering plants and a few critters I saw throughout the day. The first image is a member of the Rubus genus, commonly known as dewberry (Rubus trivialis). The fruit were advancing quite well.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

At the Bayou Sauvage we made three different entrance stops. Each area had its own unique attribute, whether a good spot for setting in a kayak, outstanding birding, or a a lengthy boardwalk that traversed a unique ecosystem of the Gulf Coast. I had not been to Bayou Sauvage since Hurricane Katrina, in fact I hadn’t been since spring of 1998, long before I ever thought I’d live on the MS Gulf Coast. We were so happy that leashed dogs were allowed. Our pups had a great time and will be back.

Realizing that most folks will find thistle nasty or hideous, please take a second look. Its gorgeous. In fact it nearly looks like something out of a horror movie or space novel.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Just a few steps away, this thistle plant had a different look, but still very pretty. So much detail and texture. Wildflower.org reports that these thistles are important to both native and bumble bees. You might now believe how many thistles there are just in the Cirsium genus alone! I thought perhaps at first the image below might be C. horridulum, but I am not positive. Actually, I really wanted to include that species name. HORRIDulum. LOL Exactly what I can image some tiny lady saying a long, long time ago: (Hmm HORRID plant). Next to this group of thistle were flowering Salix (willow) and you can see the pretty yellow flowers in the slideshow below.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

 

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

After our first Bayou Sauvage stop, we then drove to Fort Pike. The day was mostly cloudy and cool and it seemed we fought rain off and on all day. The sign below sits outside the tiny visitor center where admission is paid.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

This view of white-flowered crow poison (Northoscordum bivalve) is from the top of Fort Pike overlooking the water.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

A low growing groundcover,  Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) was flowering atop the fort in the grass. Don’t be fooled by the mixture of species when you view the leaves. Yeah, fooled me too! The orange petals with inner purple marking is very distinctive. I had never seen this plant before. I am really glad I got to know this flower because the name Scarlet Pimpernel has been very familiar to me as a novel, play, and movie, although I confess that I don’t think I have ever read or viewed it.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Technically this next image of a fern isn’t “flowering”, but I am sometimes just amused at the cracks and crevices that plants will grow in when they put their minds to it.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

The Fort was really cool and I was glad to get to see it. The Gulf Coast sports many wonderful, historic forts so be sure to look them up if you are in the area.

Next we headed back for our second and final stops at the Bayou Sauvage, both of which had boardwalks that afford opportunities to see and photograph alligators, waterfowl and other aquatic birds and animals.

At several places we noticed the pretty blue flowers of Tradescantia, the native spiderwort. We weren’t the only ones to take note though (see image in slideshow of butterfly on Tradescantia)

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

Visit to Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike, Louisiana.

View these images and more in the slideshow below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Service (and for allowing Bayou Sauvage to be leashed-dog friendly) and the State of Louisiana Historic Sites.

Keep on Growin’
The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden

Categories: National & State Parks, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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