November Flowering in My Garden

Shrimp plant (Justicea brandegeeana)

This post is going to be quick and dirty. The purpose will mostly be to serve as documentation for myself as to what was flowering on November 12, 2020. Images included do not represent the entire yard, but I’m in the middle of a large photo editing project, so I must be brief.

I wasn’t supposed to be outside. Honestly, I was cleaning up the kitchen after baking a loaf of bread, when I was distracted by several yellow sulphur butterflies around one of my shrimp plants.

And there I was. Standing in the garden. Cell ph in hand. The butterflies were too fast for me. Normally, I can’t view shrimp plant from the kitchen, however, these plants were potted. I took cuttings to propagate a bunch of plants in the early summer.

Not wanting to get back to my sink of dishes too quickly, I snapped several shots of what was flowering around the rear patio garden. Camellia, featured above, with its lovely corsage-like stout blossom. I don’t know the variety, because these were already planted at our home when we moved here.

The same goes for this lovely azalea. I am thankful to the person who planted them for us to enjoy. But the variety, not sure. I’m not that picky about varieties. I try to keep name tags and write notes of what I add to the garden. If I lose a tag? Well, I’m not going to beat myself up trying to id it.

Osmanthus fragrans

Fragrant tea olive. Well, that’s a story I’ve told here. When we moved to the home, we were ill advised, that a lovely shrub outside our garage was a nasty invasive. We got out the chainsaw and…well, cut it down. Turns out it was this lovely (not the one featured above), fragrant tea olive. The good news is it grew back from the stump, and I apologize every year as I pat it on the head. But, in the meanwhile, I planted a couple more. To ease my guilt. This is a fabulously fragrant flowering shrub.

Banana

For the first time ever, we had a banana flower. Above this flower, we have a nice cluster of bananas. I’m not sure when to pick them. But I guess you’d say only one of the flower clusters was pollinated on this long stem, because each time a new flower opens, the individual flowers fall, and well, no bananas.

blue butterfly shrub (Clerodendrum ugandense Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’)

If you want to call anything a “butterfly” this or that, it ought to look like it, eh? I present my blue butterfly shrub. It has undergone a scientific name change (not by my hands) and is currently listed as Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’. I’ll try to remember this by singing U GAN DENSE if you want to, like a little blue butterfly.

Continuing with the “butterfly” theme, we move along to butterfly ginger. These are waning, and I am probably seeing my last few flowers opening this week. I have been transplanting the “escaped” ones and starting new beds.

A few flower heads are left on my hydrangeas. I didn’t manage to cut and dry any this year. In spring I found several “self-rooted” plant stems at the base, gave them a good whack with my trowel, and planted them in other sections of the yard. I love free plants.

I have several of these begonias. They have overwintered pretty well for three years; however, this year they didn’t grow to half the size they have before. Maybe I didn’t love them as much as they wanted- as it evident by the “weeds”.

This little rose that was gifted to me about 9 years ago is a pretty tough cookie. It goes through cycles, but for the most part, it blooms nearly year-round.

pineapple sage

I added a small pot of pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) to my garden last year, in a raised bed. Last year it grew to 4′, after spring planting. This year it really struggled. In fact, it only started flowering in early October, but it is surely a champion out there right now. I’m not sure why, but it only grew to about 12″ this year. I need to use it in the kitchen! Note to self.

Habanero: No, this is not a flower. However, I took his photo and I wasn’t going to leave him out.

My habaneros are coming on strong. I’ve been overwintering most of my pepper plants. This particular plant is two years old. The mother plant was three years old. I have way too many pepper fruit now. I’d like to produce these for a local brewery to make up some batches of spicy chili beer. I give you peppers, you give me beer. There is only so much you can do at home with peppers exhibiting a heat such as habanero, ghost, scotch bonnet, etc. And I have cayenne peppers coming out my ears. I bottle up a “hot sauce”, dry them. Use them fresh in salsa and various other recipes. I tried adding them to bird seed to piss off the squirrels. No such luck. On occasion I’m lucky to find my husband has made me a spicy pepper margarita. Cheers!

I don’t think I’m going to edit this post. I’m tired. My back hurts. My shoulder pain in returning which flares from typing. I’m working on some stuff, so I haven’t had much time to do any blog posting. However, the bill just arrived to renew my domain name on wordpress, so…….here I am.

Yours in Gardening,

The Garden Maiden

thegardenmaiden.com copyright 2020

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

End of May Flowers in My Garden

I don’t have much time this morning for details, but before May is completely gone, I wanted to post some images of what was flowering this week in the garden. We need rain! It has been very dry and there isn’t any hope of rain until perhaps the end of next week. Still, even without rain, most things are flowering on schedule. Although I’ve had to start watering from the hose a bit, which I do not enjoy. Number one, the cost to my wallet. Number two, the cost to the environment by using our natural resource. Number three, the mosquitoes and deer flies (to which I am allergic) which find you in short order when you are standing out there. Number four, time. I don’t have the time to stand out there and hand water, although it is more efficient that running sprinklers. The critters have, unfortunately, ate through my drip hoses for several years.

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The Clerodendrum bungei are flowering, much to the delite of many butterflies. Beautiful, but can be aggressive (the Clerodendrum, not the butterflies). I mow down or pull up the “volunteers”. I rather like the smell they emit when you are handling them to remove or prune. I do not fertilize or water this plant. I don’t recommend it.

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I am really excited that the blue salvia is getting very happy in a few spots in my garden. I dug up and transplanted more rooted volunteers this spring. I like the ones growing near the orange-flowering lantana for the “complimentary colors” effect.

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I nearly waited too long to share a photo of the flowering garlic and onions. In fact, one entire bed had already wilted down to the ground and I suppose I need to harvest some bulbs.IMG_20190530_071224

Batface cuphea is a new perennial addition as of last summer. I have been able to take one pot that I purchased and root stems so that I am enjoying it in several places this year.

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I am so happy that this one milkweed I grew from seed is thriving. Last fall the stem bent to the ground and I abandoned it all winter only to find that it had rooted and produced a ton of vertical stems, giving this single plant the appearance of a large area of milkweed.

IMG_20190530_071432 Below is my shrimp plant. It also reportedly roots easily along the stem. I have propagated one self-rooted stem successfully. This spring I took several more cuttings and I am trying to keep their soil moist to hopefully root them too. The original, which I ordered online, has been become very leggy, so taking cuttings should help to produce a more compact plant. The shrimp plant reminds me of of of my favorite plants to find at Disney World.

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My poor little rose has suffered with spider mites all spring. I think it will bounce back just fine, and hopefully when we start to get more rain from our “hurricane season” the population of mites will once again be under control.

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The Vitex is flowering and it one my favorites as it reminds me of my time as a summer intern at the Memphis Botanic Garden during my undergraduate years at the University of Arkansas. I love how it smells when it is pruned and I had to do a lot of pruning on a hedge of Vitex in the Sensory Garden. I also grew some at my rental house during graduate school at the UA in Fayetteville.

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Okay, yes, I agree, the image below is NOT of a flower. However, I am pleased that my native bigleaf magnolia tree is doing great this year with lots of new growth.

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I waited until the morning sun peaked through the tree canopy just right to snap this pix. I thought the soft light on the Hydrangea heads were pretty cool. Of course all of these would have been better with my Canon 60D, but given a lot of things going on with me right now, I have not been out to nurture my garden photography. Bad me. But also, snapping some with my cheap old cell phone lets me immediately edit and post on Twitter and then when I have a moment to post here on the blog pages, things go much faster. Follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates and photos, mostly horticulture related. (Plus these cell phone shots look way better on Twitter since they are usually viewed smaller…LOL)

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I am growing two colors of Gerbera daisy: yellow and red. I like them because they start flowering for me in winter when other garden plants are still waking from their winter nap. That means this plant has already been flowering for about 3.5 months!

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This begonia has been going strong for about four years. It is a little incredible because the soil is so terrible. I think it was last year that it finally took off. The flowers are a very soft pink, which you can barely tell here.

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I bought two Impatiens this spring that I put in pots of old soil. I like the candy cane look to the petals: red and white. I SHOULD be able to overwinter these easily.

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The final photo for this post is one of my Gardenia.  I have made one swipe through with the pruners to remove the yellow, fading blossoms. I planted this from a one gallon container about three years ago and have been pleased with the growth. The perfume permeates the garden and makes me very happy.

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Well, that’s all kiddos. I have other obligations to move on to and so I will bid you adieu. These photos represent perhaps 50% of what is flowering in my garden right now. This post will help me remember what was flowering and how it was flowering, in future years. It’s important to document your garden. Unless you are a robot and remember everything. Maybe you are a robot. If you are a robot and have found your way to my blog, thank you for stopping by.

Peace Lily Out!

The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright The Garden Maiden, 2019

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

The Many Beautiful Azaleas Blooming Today in My Mississippi Yard

 

This post will be brief. It is azalea season throughout the South. Even ratty, unkempt, abandoned homes, boast some gorgeous flowering azaleas right now. In the rear of the above photo is a deep burgundy-colored azalea. I forgot to get a close-up this morning.

Right now I feel I should be hosting a garden party every day. The vast array of colorful azalea flowers makes my head spin on a good day.

 

Most of the azaleas in my yard were here when we moved into the home; however, we have planted perhaps another dozen. Two dozen? Maybe.

 

Early morning and evening as the sun goes down are the most breathtaking, especially when you observe the flowers with the light coming through the petals.

I even enjoy “plain” white. It provides good contrast to all the other colors and is brilliant in its own right.

My favorite by far is my native Florida flame azalea (Rhodendron austrinum). It is a deciduous azalea and has grown quite a bit in the last five or six years. I haven’t babied it.

I keep it mulched and have fertilized it maybe twice since I planted it. I never water it, other than when I first planted it. A great return on the investment of a one gallon plant.

A lot of people here cut their azaleas back, I guess to renew them. It isn’t necessary, but to each their own. I’ve seen folks cut back 8′ tall plants to a foot or so. The horror! But eventually they leaf out, produce a lot of new growth, and flower again.

Maybe some of mine could use a whacking. But even my leggiest azaleas grow to their own heart’s desire.

I do have two plants that I prune back a bit every other year or so but that is because they are planted in a bed and have thinned out to the point where you can “see under their skirt”. And they are planted with other ornamentals that have suffered when they are shaded by the straggly and rapidly growing azaleas which tower above. So I give them a little chop chop, after they finish flowering in April.

I have quite an “investment” in azaleas now.

Many of them I received for free from a friend. So I do not know “varieties”. Sometimes that is a bit irksome. Indeed, I do have a few young plants with the tags still attached and I need to write those down and transfer the names to a metal sign.

Some of these larger azaleas are so commonly seen around, I figure they must be old varieties that were very popular in the 70s and 80s.

One color I am lacking is lavender. But I’m okay with that.

Well, what do you know. I found a photo of the deeper burgundy azalea from yesterday! See below.

One nice thing about the azaleas is they grow easily here. My soil is pretty terrible for trying to grow a vegetable garden. But the azaleas? Other than those I watered at planting, fuss-free. I don’t do anything and they reward us every year.

I hope you are enjoying your own azaleas, or perhaps planning to take a spring Sunday drive around the South to view others flowering azaleas. There are some real showstoppers out there.

 

Yours in Gardening,

The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2019 The Garden Maiden

@thegardenmaiden

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