Blogger does seem to have an ongoing set of "issues"; I haven't thought about switching for about a year but now for the last day I can't publish any pictures. Yes I could link from my web albums but I don't really want to do anything to make the process of creating a post take longer! For a month before that I couldn't delete photos from blogger and had to go into Picasa Web albums to do it.
For those of you using other platforms, how do you like them, and what specifically do you like about them?
This post is not like one of my usual picture-heavy posts. Basically it's the list of iris that first appeared in Iris Fever Part II revised to include descriptions, parentage and some vendors. Some descriptions are from the Blue J Iris and Bluebird Haven websites. Names that appear in pedigrees that are bolded and italicized also appear on the list. I wanted to be able to use the post as a reference; I love historic iris and if a particular iris worked out, modern or otherwise, I am interested in its ancestors. I am also working on a post of other iris that I have seen and WANT (lol). If I ever get around to ordering them I will probably be ordering the iris that are related to these first.
Momentum ~ TB standards white with broad band of soft lavender; falls white with purple band (Dunn 1986) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Perfecta X Spinning Wheel Spinning Wheel ~ TB standards white with pale blue-violet tint, falls white ground and extensively dotted and dashed with purple, purple rim(Nearpass 1974) Bluebird Haven Iris $4, Blue J Iris $3parentage: (Dancers Veil x ((New Adventure x (Captured Heart x Melodrama)) x Ribbon Round)) X Charmed Circle Heavenly Harmony is peach/pink with lavender, looks bruised Petit Posy ~ TB White ground plicata,marked lavender-pink w/ white beard (Schreiner 1975) Blue J Iris $3 parentage: ((Amethyst Flame x Whole Cloth) x (Amethyst Flame x Alpenrose)) X ((Orchid Jewel x Crinkled Beauty) x Lilac Supreme) Amethyst Flame TB lilac pink/lavender with blue zone on falls (Schreiner 1957) Bluebird Haven Iris $4parentage: Crispette X (Lavanesque x Pathfinder)
Celebration Song TB pale pink on top, lavender on bottom, orange beard (Schreiner 1993) Superstition Iris $3, Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Lullaby of Spring X Frances Gaulter Lullaby of Spring ~ TB S-mimosa yellow F-pastel mauve B-straw yellow (Schreiner 1987) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: ((G 264-E x unknown flamingo pink sdlg.) x (G 571-A x Craig #7)) X Sweet Musette) Frances Gaulter ~ peach and lavender, somewhat bruised-looking
Classico TB S:very pale creamy pink with chartreuse-gold rim, F:cream, chartreuse-gold rim and hafts, B:gold; ruffled, slight sweet fragrance (Gartmen 1982) Bluebird Haven Iris $7
Coral Beads TB S-white,pink streak on midrib F-white,pink around hafts B-tangerine/ caramel and white (Niswonger 1989) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Coral Strand x Peach Spot
Garden Club Delight TB lavender plicata (Zurbrigg 1997) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Matrix X Suky Suky ~ TB S-white violet edge & midrib F-violet, white area from hafts B-white, yellow throat; fragrant (Mahan 1991) Blue J Iris $3 parentage: Violet Miracle X Victoria Falls
Charmed Circle ~ TB Dark violet on white, B:violet-blue; short and early bloomer (Keppel 1968) Bluebird Haven Iris $4 Charmed Circle is the offspring of 2 seedlings, which were crosses of Happy Meeting X Rococo and Full Circle X Rococo. Rococo ~ TB White with violet-blue borders, large flowers (Schreiner 1959) Bluebird Haven Iris $3 I'm curious to see how this one does, as Linda Mann gave it only one star in her garden. Where did Jesse's Song get its robust and prolific nature? Recessives? Happy Meeting is the offspring of Lovelace and New Hope, a rosy lavender plicata patterned in dots introduced by DeForest in 1949. It sells at Argyle Acres for $5. Rococo is the offspring of a Schreiner seedling and Belle Meade. Dotted Swiss is a parent of Full Circle ~ TB Very fine older white ground plicata with lavender edges (Sass 1956) Bluebird Haven Iris $4 Kiss is the offspring of Space Ship and Tea Apron. Tea Apron is a TB Medium grape on white, grape lines at haft, B:white (El Dorado 1960). Bluebird Haven Iris $3
Smoke Rings ~ TB S:smokey orchid veining on cream and mauve, F:smokey orchid, and mauve rim on creamy ground, B:yellow; ruffled (Gibson 1971) Bluebird Haven Iris $4 Decolletage ~ TB S:rose-mulberry peppered on cream background, F:cream, edged rose-mulberry; ruffled (Hager 1968) Bluebird Haven Iris $3 Put this and Smoke Rings in the garden 5 or 6 years ago and they have never bloomed. April Melody is a grandparent of Smoke Rings and Memphis Lass is a parent of Decolletage. April Melody ~ TB Lavender-pink ground,deeper lavender plicata markings B-tangerine (Gibson 1967) Blue J Iris $4 Memphis Lass ~ TB Plicata,not sure of the color, whether wine or rose.(Schortman 1957) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: (Snow Flurry x Orchid Queen) X (Snow Flurry x Gibson Girl)
Best Bet ~ TB S-light wisteria blue F-moorish blue B-old gold (Schreiner 1988) Blue J Iris $3 parentage: ((Amigo's Guitar x A 828-A) x (Navy Strut x Royal Regency sib)) X Titan's Glory Amigo's Guitar ~ TB S:butterscotch with violet midrib, F:blue-violet, B:yellow. White area at haft w/ veins. (Plough 1963) Bluebird Haven Iris $3 Navy Strut ~ TB Ruffled marine violet-blue, B:self (Schreiner 1972) Bluebird Haven Iris $4 Royal Regency ~ TB Rich medium blue/ purple self; blue beard (Schreiner 1977) Bluebird Haven Iris $5parentage: A 587-1: ((L 474-2 x Prince Indigo) x (Licorice Stick x N 364-1)) X D 4-A: ((S 640-1 x Blue Chiffon) x (Blue Chiffon x P 1033-1)) Prince Indigo ~ TB Pansy violet, B:violet cast (Schreiner 1964) Bluebird Haven Iris $3 Licorice Stick ~ TB Deep blue-violet-black (Schreiner 1960) Bluebird Haven Iris $5 Blue Chiffon ~ TB gorgeous pale blue, like Jacob's Ladder. From the Schreiner's 1966 Iris Lover's Catalogue: "From Eleanor's Pride x Salem - two supremely beautiful light blues - comes this fair charmer with lilting ruffling and the serene purity of a cerulean summer sky. I hasten to explain that it is bluer than the engraver's proof and is also normally more heavily ruffled. Nothing more beautiful was ever seen in blues. A perfect self except for a blue-white beard; its rippling cadence of form brought a host of admirers toward it in the garden who exclaimed over the grace, the ruffling, and the purity of the sky blue color. Blue Chiffon will bring a frosty sparkle into your garden." ok maybe that description waxes a little poetic but it is a special iris. (Schreiner 1966) parentage: Eleanor's Pride X Salem Eleanor's Pride ~ TB Tall large flowered powder blue, fades to ice blue, still beautiful Dykes Medal l961 (Watkins 1952) Bluebird Haven Iris $4 Salem ~ TB Light true-blue self (Schreiner 1958) parentage: Harbor Blue x S-AL1: (Blue Rhythm X Sylvia Murray) Harbor Blue ~ TB Medium sapphire-blue with slivery sheen, white at haft, with darker veins on falls; large bloom (Schreiner 1954) Bluebird Haven Iris $3parentage: Jane Phillips X Quicksilver Quicksilver ~ TB medium blue self (Schreiner 1950) parentage: Chivalry X Distance Jane Phillips ~ TB Sky blue with silvery sheen, cinnamon striping at haft,lines on F, slightly deeper blue than Helen McGregor, wonderfully fragrant (Graves 1946) Bluebird Haven Iris $4 Blue Rhythm TB Cornflower blue w/ silvery overcast (S: lt. blue grape, F:med. grape, lt. rim), smooth; lemon frag, broad petals, semi-flaring; Dykes 1950 Bluebird Haven Iris $4parentage: Annabel X Blue Zenith
What Again ~ SDB, descendent of Jungle Shadows, blech
Missouri Mist TB bitone lavender-blue (Niswonger 1999) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Honky Tonk Blues X Upside Down Honky Tonk Blues ~ TB Hyacinth blue,white grey streaking & edge on F B-hyacinth blue (Schreiner 1988) Blue J Iris $3 parentage: (Admiral Blue x Sailor's Dance) X ((G 1517-B x Neptune's Pool) x Royal Regency sib) Royal Regency ~ TB dark purple self (Schreiner 1977) also in pedigree of Midsummer Night's Dream Upside Down ~ TB S-lilac-blue,deeper midrib F-pale lilac-blue,near white B-white tipped red (Niswonger 1994) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Battle Fury X Lilac Lass
Mother Eve Smiles (Miller 1991) TB light yellow standards over white falls with yellow rim
Misty Lady ~ TB S-pale lavender F-blue-violet B-blue violet tipped yellow;fragrant (Sides 1994) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: (Corn Harvest x Vanity) X Graduation. Corn Harvest is a parent of Harvest of Memories.
Sign of Leo TB purple bitone (Zurbrigg 1979) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Jet Black X Lovely Again Lovely Again ~ TB lilac lavender self (Smith 1963) This iris link goes to Irises: a gardener's encyclopedia by Claire Austin. It's a very nice book and very affordable.
Stunning Serenade TB cream standards, burgundy falls with white rim (Thurman 1997) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Sooner Serenade X Most Stunning Sooner Serenade ~ TB S-red violet F-cherry black,red violet border B-bronze;fragrant (Shaver 1984) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: ((Melodrama x Wine and Roses) x (Silver Peak x Storm Warning)) X ((Edenite x Picora Pink) x (Majorette x Memphis Lass)) Most Stunning ~ TB S-light lilac.yellow at base F-red,lighter edge B-yellow;slight fragrance (Roberts 1994) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Stunning X Lilac Wine Stunning ~ TB S-light lilac F-red,precise light lilac rim B-yellow (Nelson 1977) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: Rare Wine X unknown
Sultry Mood TB bright purple self (Schreiner 1989) Blue J Iris $3 parentage: ((Dream Time x A 973-1) x Seance) X (Elizabeth Stuart x (Flaming Heart x Pink Horizon))
Stage Lights pale peach standards, purple/plum falls with white veining (Ghio 1999) Blue J Iris $4 parentage: New Leaf X (Spirit World x (Chatter sib x (((((Handiwork x (Gay Parasol x Mystique)) x Goddess) x (Gem of Sierra x ((((Ponderosa x Honey Rae) x ((((Commentary x Claudia Rene) x Claudia Rene) x Ponderosa) x (Ponderosa x New Moon))) x Osage Buff) x (Vanity x Anon)))) x Gigolo) x (Desert Fox x Shenanigan)
Others ~ I am a sucker for purples, blues, pinks and plicatas, so that's what most of these are.
Age of Innocence TB S-pure white F-white,edged blue B-golden yellow;fragrant (Kerr 1994) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Edith Wolford X Condottiere. Edith Wolford is also a parent of Stairway to Heaven.
Aggressively Forward TB Yellow ground plicata F-trimmed blue purple,black dart under bronze yellow B;fragrant--1/4" horn (Innerst 1995) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Point Made X ((Osage Buff x Spinning Wheel) x Burgundy Brown. Spinning Wheel is in Agatha Christie's lineage.
Alizes TB pure white standards; white falls with broad band of blue, yellow beard (Cayeux 1987) Blue J Iris $4parentage: (Palomino x Emma Cook) x Tahiti Sunrise) x Pink Taffeta) X Condottiere. Pink Taffeta is a parent of Vanity.
Altruist TB S-flax blue,white midrib F-flax blue,white center B-white;fluted (Schreiner 1987) Blue J Iris $4parentage: (G 125-2 x Victoria Falls) X Tide's In
Amadeus TB Orchid lilac with pale blue B-lemon white tipped orange pink (Tompkins 1989) Blue J Iris $4parentage: (Tinsel Town x Charmaine) X (Maudie Marie x Tinsel Town) Charmaine is a grandparent of Bottled Sunshine.
American Classic TB S-white,violet blue edge F-white, violet blue plicata edging B-blue white-yellow; (Schreiner 1996) Blue J Iris $4parentage: (Lorilee x Raspberry Frills) X (Titan's Glory x ((Rococo x Belray) x Navy Strut))
Bella Rose IB M & RE Pink-lavender on cream ground;B. yellow (Wright 1972) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Autumn Twilight x Juliet) X (Louvois x Golden Eagle)
Blue Moonlight TB Pale lilac powder blue standards, cream falls ringed with matching blue B-cream tipped yellow (Byers 1989) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Feed Back X Brother Carl
Circus Dancer TB Standards white with wide ribbon of pale blue stitching; standards white with thin ribbon of dark purple stitching, dark blue beard S(SA)-white, wash aster violet; F-white, veined/dot as.violet & on 1/2" edge; B-old gold, violet end; ruf, sl.sw.frag. (Sutton 2002) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Momentum X Acoma. Momentum is a grandparent of Agatha Christie
Classic Look TB like Circus Dancer but stitching on standards is narrower, purple crests, orange beard tipped white (Schreiner 1992) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Go Around X (((Full Circle x Rococo) x (Arpege sib x (Rococo x Emma Cook))) x Spinning Wheel) Full Circle and Rococo in Jesse's Song's lineage, Spinning Wheel in Agatha Christie's.
Crispette TB orchid pink self with caramel coloring on fall flares (Schreiner 1957) parentage: Harriet Thoureau X ((Angelus x Unknown) x (Matula x Sch. sdlg. 8-37))) Parent of Amethyst Flame
Dundee TB S-silvery white with med purple plicata marks F-white,dotted med purple B-white-purple (Schreiner 1970) Blue J Iris $4parentage: sib to Merry Ripple X ((Caroline Jane x Flying Saucer) x Belle Meade). Carolina Jane and Belle Meade are in lineage of Jesse's Song.
Everything Plus TB S-pale blue white F-white with deep violet plicata marks B-purple tipped bronze (Niswonger 1984) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Focus X Spinning Wheel (grandparent of Agatha Christie)
Freedom Song TB white plicata with dark violet purple stitching on rims, med. width on top, narrow on bottom, purple crests (Schreiner 2003) Blue J Iris $5parentage: Rare Treat X American Classic Rare Treat has done well here. American Classic has Titan's Glory in lineage.
Lady Mary Elizabeth TB Cranberry,rose,orchid and pink,drkr veining;F.haftsbrushed apricot,arms flushed apricot on crests;B.tangerine (Williamson 2000) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Extravagant X Love Poem described as a vigorous grower by an AZ poster on Dave's Garden; do not know if this will translate to the SE. Bryce Williamson introduced Jesse's Song.
Levity IB White with pale blue plicata band on S & F B-deep violet (Aitken 1991) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Chubby Cheeks X Jesse's Song
Momentous Occasion TB S-SA white,edged violet blue F-white,dotted & striped viol.blue edge B-gold,white flounce mark viol.blue;frag--1 1/2" big plic. Flounce (Sutton 2000) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Momentum X Rock Star. Momentum is a grandparent of Agatha Christie
Monaco TB pale lilac standards and lilac falls with pale zonal pattern (Brown 1977) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Caro Nome X Tiburon
Patriotic Heart TB S- white, pale lavendr plicata edge; SA-solid dk purp; F-white, minimal lav. plicata rim/nr B; B-lav,hrs tip gold (Maryott 2001) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Classic Look X (Special Friend x Purple Streaker)
Rare Quality TB White plicata,plum purple edge (Schreiner 1999) Blue J Iris $4parentage: unknown X Honky Tonk Blues (parent of Missouri Mist)
Rosalie Figge TB S-violet,streaked darker on midline F-dark violet,white spray around white-violet-yellow B;fragrant (McNew 1993) Blue J Iris $3parentage: Titan's Glory X Violet Miracle
Serene Moment TB Orchid lavender F-deeper mulberry rim,white around yellow B (Schreiner 1998) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Grape Ice X Mulberry Punch. Mulberry Punch is parent of Rip City.
Splashacata TB S-violet,midrib deeper F-white,all over peppering of purple dots,more at edge B-white-violet-yellow (Tasco 1998) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Purple Pepper X (Snowbrook x Jesse's Song)
Violet Lace TB White ground plicata,edge stitched blue;B.blue (Terada 1997) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Rare Treat X Centre Court
Others, not related to Iris on the list:
Ballerina Girl TB Midseason S. style arms pink,tinted red violet,F.pink,red violet plicata edge,B.tangerine salmon (Kerr 1998) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Anna Belle Babson X Shopper's Holiday
Baltic Star TB MidSeason S-purple-black,lighter midrib F-same,white at B & blend to purple black rim B-brown-violet (Stahly 1994) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Wagontrail Night X Night Lady
Beauty Circle TB S-orchid;F-white grnd,Hf/nar.edg-orchid dots;B-tangerine; hvy.ruf,lace; sl.sw.frag. (Dunn 2000) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Patterns X Power Surge
Betty Simon TB S-yellow,creamy yellow center F-violet blue,chartreuse hafts B-orange (Hamblen 1976) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Misty Dawn X Foggy Dew
Blue Sapphire TB Lightly ruffled opalescent cornflower blue with lavender cast and a light silvery sheen, B:orange w/ lav tip; Dykes Medal 1958 Schreiner 1953 Bluebird Haven Iris $4parentage: Annabel X Blue Zenith
Blue Stacatto TB S:moorish-blue lines on rim and specks on white, F:icy sparkling white with narrow band of blue stitching around edge, B:yellow tipped blue (Gibson 1976) Bluebird Haven Iris $5parentage:
La Meije TB S-white; F-white, lt.blue edge; B-orange (Cayeux 2001) Blue J Iris $4parentage: Sixtine C. X Rebecca Perret
Petit Monet Miniature TB white ground plicata with pale lavender stitching and dots (Steele 1989)
As you can see, Blue J carries a great many iris at very good prices. Bluebird Haven carries more historic irises, which by definition is an iris introduced more than 30 years ago. For a list of historic iris vendors, look here.
These iris vendors (including those that sell modern and historic iris) were recommended by Carlos, who has a very nice iris website:
I ordered my original Jesse's Song from Cooley's, who also has an excellent reputation. The 4 iris vendors that I have used ~ Cooley's, Argyle Acres, Superstition, and Bluebird Haven ~ I've been very happy with. Even more iris vendors here!
March is a time of mad cutting down and tidying up in the garden. I leave everything up during the winter for the birds. The Ruby-Crowned Kinglet loves the Buddleias and the other birds love everything else for cover.
March madness has not just infected the gardener and the basketball community. It seems every creature has been affected. We have 3 full-time resident deer, a mother and two youngsters that are nearly a year old, that I see all of the time. The other night the deer were playing, the mother and one of the fawns running around the round pen in one of the pastures. The horses looked entertained. The horses almost always spot wildlife before I do. Usually they watch the deer, the resident Gray Fox, and the raptors. Being prey animals they have excellent long distance and motion vision.
We are being graced by the presence of a pair of Cooper's Hawks that are passing through. I've seen one of them after songbirds in earnest on a couple of occasions. Earlier this winter we were host to a pair of Marsh Hawks. I saw them performing an out-of-season courtship dance in December or January. It was extraordinary, and easy to see why they are in the kite family. It's too bad I didn't have a video camera on me. The grace and beauty of their flight was awe-inpiring. The way they dipped up and down looked lighter than air.
The Red-Shouldered Hawks are nesting in the woods beside the old house site and the Pileateds are drumming. The butterflies are out too. The other day I saw a Zebra Swallowtail, unusual for here, puddling beside one of the water troughs.
Yesterday I cut back the Panicum by the neighbors fence, while the bees buzzed around madly. The garden was full of hectic bees, as the big bed and the bed beside the neighbor's fence are currently rolling pastures of Lamium and Henbit and the Redbud is open. Bees really, really love Lamium and Redbud flowers.
Everything from big Bumblebees and Carpenter bees to tiny Honeybees and native bees. You have to admit she's cute. Look at those legs!
You can see how tiny this bee is, in comparison to the size of the Lamium flowers and leaves.
In addition to Lamium, there's a lot of purple violets in the big bed, and daffodils.
That's just a third of the big bed though, and I need daffodils all over it. So I'm in the process of dividing some crowded clumps and spreading them around. I have Blue Violets that are seeding everywhere, just as I want, but I also want something that's midway in height to the violets and daffs. I need blue, pink and purple-flowering bulbs and plants that voles won't eat. Hyacinths, tulips, and crocus unfortunately are out, as are Reticulated Iris, as only 1 of 25 came back and bloomed this year. Jacob's Ladder, Spring Starflower, Scilla, Grape Hyacinth, Blue Toadflax, Drummond's Onion and Spanish Bluebells are on my list. Jacob's Ladder and Spanish Bluebells I already have, just need to divide.
In a post a year or 2 ago I said that I would like J's L even better if the color was just.. more. After seeing it today next to the bright yellow daffodis, with the light shining through the sheer light blue petals making the pale color dance, I would say don't change a thing. It's perfect. Spanish Bluebells are a bit late for this purpose but look enough like English Bluebells they make me feel like I'm in England. I saw 'Rolf Fiedler', a beautiful blue cultivar of Starflower, at the Arobetum the other day. Muscari azureum and Muscari latifolium really caught my eye at the Arb too. I may try to add more Georgia Speedwell, although the best time to move that would have been last month. Currently Ga. Speedwell is blooming in lovely blue-violet pools in the bed next to the house. I need more interest than at higher than knee-high level in the big bed for the month of March as well. I have one big Winter Honeysuckle and several young ones from cuttings but I need something with color ~ a pink-flowering shrub or tree to bloom when the daffs are out. The Prunus mume was still blooming when the earliest daffs were blooming (and a lovely combination it was, bright butter yellow and dark purplish fushcia rose), but I need something for the bulk of March. No Quince bushes, unless I can find one that's close to a clear rose pink. I am not a fan of the usual bright coral pink. 'Apple Blossom' is a possibility, especially since it's an old one. The Lilacs I described in the previous post and Daphne genkwa . Lilac Daphne is fragrant and looks just like a beautiful large-flowered Lilac and blooms at the same time as the early Lilacs. I plan to add more Eastern Rebuds around the garden so that they won't obscure the views to the pasture but can be seen with the daffodils.
This morning I put some of the daffs in beside the sidewalk since the Bearded Iris didn't work out. Our indoor cat Penny decided to come outside and keep me company. She alternately watched from the porch and the sidewalk, looking like the queen of all she surveyed. At 17 years she is as beautiful as ever, but quite creaky in her back and hips. Who knows, she may be older than 17; the vet thought she was about a year old when I found her ~ or perhaps I should say when she found me ~ literally starving in a park in Pennsylvania. Outside, she looks very improbable: a black-and-white cotton candy puff of a cat, who looks like she ought to be wearing a pink ribbon and a big EAT ME sign around her neck. Usually she just goes out onto the back porch and I don't let her out unless I'm home. She does love the warm spring sunshine.
Here are more plants for the wish list that I saw at the JC Raulston Arboretum:
Veitch's WinterHazel (Corylopsis sinensis) was covered in melted butter yellow flowers. Beautiful and unusual-looking.
Normally I'm not a fan of yellow or charteuse foliage, but the foliage of Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon' and Golden Mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius 'Aureus') were the most vivid eye-catching spring green. Dirr however says that the foliage of Golden Mockorange turns yellow-green to green in summer and is a real "lemon'. The one in the Arb is in part shade and default green wouldn't be bad.
Zhejiang Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia limii) has the vivid chesnut-and-cream colored bark as Japanese Crape Myrtle (the species used in creating the mildew-resistant National Arboretum hybrids), but without the large size. In his 5th edition Manual Dirr criticizes it harshly for its form, but it's a graceful little tree at the Arb.
A cherry I have coveted for a while, Green-Flowering Cherry (Prunus 'Yukon') does not have the dainty swirls of pink or white blossoms of 'Okame' or the Yoshina Cherry, but relatively large pale green clusters of bell-shaped flowers and wonderful silvery bark. It's a large cherry like the Weeping Cherry.
Looks almost like an impressionistic painting, doesn't it? This is Piedmont Azalea or Pinxterflower and Fernlearf Scorpionweed in the mountain section of the Botanical Garden. The big azaleas in the Garden are amazing.
The very fragrant Sweet Betsy next to the Paul Green Cabin. You can see the size of the Sweet Betsy, not only in comparison to the cabin but to the lady in the lower right of the picture! I love, love, love my young Piedmont Azaleas and Sweet Betsy, but it will be years before they look like the ones at the Garden. This way I can enjoy them in their youth and as mature plants at the same time. :)
A combination of ferns, columbine, spiderwort, a young Blueberry, and a sweet white flower I don't know the name of. (Update: I was looking through my Audubon Guide and saw that it's Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)! It's a North American native.)
Golden Alexanders and Eastern Columbine
Dwarf Crested Iris
I think this is Southern Wood Fern, which imo may be the most beautiful of our native ferns. Southern Shield fern is a large and gorgeous fern too.
I've wanted Golden Club after reading this description of it in Gardening with Native Plants of the South by Sally Wasowski:
"Goldenclub has beautiful leaves ~ fresh, smooth and sometimes bluish ~ with a slightly pleated look. The flowers are unusual, not unlike colorful rat's tails. But, don't let that put you off; they're really very entertaining, and amazingly, they hold their own with iris and spiderlily, both of which bloom at the same time. Goldenclub is not for the bog garden. It needs gently flowing, oxygen-rich water. If a pond is too sluggish, this plant will pull itself up on the bank. Keep it happy in a pool with a recirculating pump, in the flow of a seep (where it will seed itself downhill), or in the protected eddy of a back-yard stream that isn't too shady. It looks its best in a little sun."
Who could pass up the plant after reading that description? It lives up to the hype too; just look at those leaves.
I don't think I've seen it for sale at the Garden though, and but if I ever do I might have a good spot for it, in the ditch below the bed where the native azaleas are. There is gently flowing water always except during drought, and sun for half a day.
Royal and Cinnamon Fern in the Coast Plain section of the Garden.
A lot of both Cinnamon and Royal Fern grows in the woods near our house because of all of the natural springs there. I love Cinnamon Fern but haven't used it in the garden, although I should. It's a very beautiful and dramatic fern.
I was in Raleigh on Friday and decided to visit the JC Raulston Arboretum since I was already so close. It was a beautiful day and a lot of people were there visiting the garden. I saw a lot of plants I'd like to get my hands on. :)
The lilacs were GORGEOUS ~ huge, beautiful, and fragrant. None of these are Syringa vulgaris as those don't tend to be happy west of Greensboro. None had quite the fragrance of S. vulgaris but were pleasing nonetheless. The Cutleaf Lilac looked magnificent; 4' square at least of dainty lavender blooms. It stood out from across the Arboretum. Syringa oblata subsp. dilatata is a good 8 feet high and covered in purple flower clusters that are about twice the size as that of S. vulgaris. The white cultivar 'Frank Meyer' has slighter smaller flowers but the effect was that of a shrub blanketed in snow. There is a white S. oblata hybrid named 'Betsy Ross' planted in the White Garden that has flowers has large as the purple S. oblata.
More plants to envy later.... :)
On the farm over the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of spring clean-up, taking down the old Bidens stalks, weeding, and cutting back the Beautyberries and Buddleia. I have been doing some "clean-up" all winter, cutting back the bamboo, blackberry wines and greenbriar in places where they were getting out of control. We are having beautiful weather for outside work.
*All photos in this post were taken at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill in April 2010*
This picture makes me miss the 'May Breeze' Woodland Phlox that I got in a trade and lost in one of those droughts we've been getting every summer. Time to try again. ;) The pale blue/ white makes a fabulous combination with the other blues and lavenders. The Garden sometimes offers P. divaricata seeds on its annual seed list and sells plants on-site too.
I've tried and failed with Pitcher Plant and plan to try again. They were easy to start from seed and I put them where the water drains from the house roof, but the dirt was probably too heavy, or they dried out at some point. Pitcher Plants like peat bogs, which are wet, acidic, and nutrient-poor.
The chartreuse blooms belong to the Yellow Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia flava) and among the species with the wine-colored blooms are Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) and Sweet Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia rubra).
Rob Gardner, who brought us Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' and Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight', also developed several Sarracenia hybrids.
If you're going to have a carnivorous plant display you've got to have a bug sculpture! I have had random thoughts of designing a garden sculpture, buying the materials and asking my FIL, who was a welder by trade, to build it, but it's probably not in the cards. He's 65, had a knee replacement that didn't go well and forced him to retire early, and asking him to do something like that would probably be too much.
Meadow Beauty, Orchids, Sabatia, and Few-Flowered Milkweed ~ all summer bloomers and not in evidence in April ~ also grace these beds. Few-Flowered Milkweed has been offered on the seed list before and if it's offered again I'm definitely going to choose it! The color of the flowers is out of this world. Normally I don't like red-orange, except for Turk's Cap and Carolina Lilies (notice the except), but these flowers positively glow. It's a relatively tall and graceful milkweed.
Wild Sabatia grows on our farm ~ not sure of the species, although the flowers are smaller than the one on display in the garden. Here Sabatia forms sweetly fragrant miniature pink bouquets in sunny wet places in June, in the ditches along the grass road that runs between the pastures and down to the creek. If you have a pond or bog garden and live in zone 7 or south, I definitely recommend this genus.
I have not seen any wild Pawpaws on the farm, as we are probably too far east, but I have grown a couple from seed from the Garden. One is about 5' tall now. It needs more buddies. It hasn't bloomed yet, but there is a good-sized Pawpaw at the Garden that blooms and fruits every year.
It has a beautiful Dutchman's Pipe climbing up through it, which I've seen in bloom before and the flowers are absolutely charming.
The Garden offered the seeds of Cumberland Azalea this year but I took a pass on it, although it's a beautiful azalea, with vivid red-orange flowers in the middle of summer. I probably should have tried them but growing azaleas from seed takes patience, patience, and more patience. I wish they would someday offer the seeds of the Florida Azalea that grows by the Totten Center.
There are some big beautiful Fla Azalea specimens in the mountain section, with bright orange flowers, much like the ones I have only a little brighter, and they are gorgeous.
The one by the Totten Center is unusual though. The buds are reminiscent of a Flame Azalea, a swirl of pink, cream and gold, but very very sweetly fragrant.
Eventually the flowers fade to cream while hanging on to their fragrance. The effect may look a little anemic in the photo but in person it's definitely not.
This isn't the end of my wants from the Garden, not by a long shot. ;) We're lucky to have a resource like this within an hour's drive.
Last week I got the 2011 Member's Seed List from the NC Botanical Garden. Always a cause for celebration. :)
Notice the first item circled on the list: Amsonia ciliata, or Sandhills Bluestar. Sweet !! I fell in love with this Bluestar after seeing it in the Coastal Plain section of the Botanical Garden last spring.
I have started their Amsonia tabernamontana from seed to see if it was any different from mine. It comes up a lot later and the foliage doesn't have the dark blue-green cast that mine does when it's new. Like mine it is extremely drought tolerant ~ it has big thick roots that voles won't eat and just ducks underground in summer drought. I'm going to try Foamflower from seed this year. This lovely planting is next to Totten House at the NCBG and photographed in April 2010.
I'm going to try to grow more of their Geranium maculatum too. I love the one that grows wild here but I think this one is showier. It's as though it has magic dust sprinkled on it.
Members get 8 seed choices. My others for this year are:
Marsh Eryngo ~ descriptions from the NCBG Seed List; usually short but compelling :) "Interesting architectural plant; attracts many pollinators"
Piedmont Staggerbush ~ "Petite, well-behaved shrub; numberous, urn-shaped flowers in spring; brilliant color in fall"
White Meadow Beauty ~ I have two species of Meadow Beauty in various shades of pink but not white.
Large-flower American Aster ~ to replace the one I lost during a wet winter
Virginia Goat's Rue ~ "Low-growing legume provides color in dry places; charming and under-used." Should be happy up at the mailbox.