Posts Tagged With: the garden maiden

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

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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: , , , , , , , , ,

Early Spring Walk at Sandhill Crane NWR in Gautier, Mississippi

 

For the first time in a year or more, I was able to spend a couple of hours at the Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Gautier, Mississippi.

I’ve been going there for six or seven years. They have a wonderful visitor center with educational displays and a gift shop. Hubby bought me a new pair of earrings from Jabebo. I love their recycled earrings and own several. The site has some areas for picnics too.

On this day, a viewing platform was located out behind the visitor center to enable guests to view several of the Sandhill Cranes were are being acclimated to their new home. Unbelievably, it was my first time to actually see any of the cranes at the refuge. Unfortunately, it was too far for me to photograph, even with a telephoto lens.

It was a lovely day to take a hike on the trail which winds through the pine savanna.  Longleaf pine savannas are endangered ecosystems and harbor many wonderful native plants and provide habitat for countless wildlife species.

We have hiked the trail at this location many times with our dachshunds, but not since losing our male last summer to cancer.

Our female was not feeling up to the walk and she preferred to ride in her backpack. Heck, at nearly 17 years old, she is certainly entitled to off days.

I always appreciate signage of the plant material. Identified here is rattlesnake master. I love that name!

Notice the different colors of the carnivorous, pitcher plant flower heads!

The pitcher plants were showing well-formed flower heads that will soon open.

Many dried flowers were to be found. Some with interesting character that would be beautiful in dried arrangements.

Chaptalia tomentosa (wooly sunbonnets) were in full bloom.

 

 

Parrot pitcher plants, sundews, and other carnivorous plants were to be found. I think parrot pitcher plants are my favorite. They look like little parrots laid over in the grass. They have ten carnivorous species in their refuge.

Be sure to walk slowly and look closely so you don’t miss the tiny sundews!

As a horticulturist working for a blueberry breeder, I also enjoy observing the native Vaccinium species when we are hiking.

Again, thanks for the signage!

Could anything be cuter than a root named candy? Orange candyroot/milkwort flowering here: Polygala lutea

Even the simple, delicate coastal violet gets a sign!

I think this is a southern fence lizard?

The native longleaf pine has giant pine cones.

 

“In the wild Mississippi sandhill cranes can only be found on and adjacent to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR. There are only about 100 individuals remaining.” Stop by if you are even along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Check out their calendar of events or sign up on their email list to stay up to date with future programs.

 

The Garden Maiden

All text and images copyright 2019 The Garden Maiden

@thegardenmaiden

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