Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Texas Ranger Doing a Fandango With Sago Palm

This odd plant combo in my mixed mailbox bed reveals my love of contrasting leaf and shape textures.

Texas Ranger Sage Putting on A Nice Show

Tough as John Wayne or those famous Texas Rangers. This one can out shoot and withstand anything anybody can dish out.

Ginger Spices Up My Garden

I got this pale peach ginger years ago at a nursery in New Orleans and do not know the variety's name. The fragrance is nicer than the best French perfume.

Lantana Blooms Close Up on 7-3107

Lantana is so tough you can plant it and forget it. It can take any abuse known to man or Mother Nature.

Lantana Blooms Are Loved by Butterflies and Hummers

This sport of the common 'Ham and Eggs' lantana was discovered by a nurseryman nearby in Clinton, Miss. and is now sold nationwide.

Angel Trumpets Are Just Starting To Bloom

After sunset the fragrance of these huge blooms will almost overwhelm the place.

Coreopsis Cluster on 7-31-07

This is my first year to grow this "improved" variety. Actually I like our wild native coreopsis which is Mississippi's official wildflower much better than this.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Goldfish Feeding Frenzy

These guys are getting fat as pigs. They try to jump out of the water when I start feeding them.

Ajuga and Golden Creeping Jenny Border

I love the fact that slugs and bugs hate these evergreen ground covers.

Edging and Border Plants

Golden acorus, bronze/burgundy ajuga, and golden creeping jenny make a hardy and slug-free evergreen border in front of our lotus ponds.

Acorus...Golden Variegated Sweet Flag

One of my favorite evergreen border plants which can take floods or drought, sun or shade, extreme heat and bitter cold, with no damage at all.

Dwarf Variegated Bamboo

This evergreen gold and green variegated dwarf bamboo is in the border around my lotus ponds. The new growth in spring is particularly beautiful.

Mandevilla 'Red Riding Hood" Close Up

Marilyn Monroe Red Lipstick might be a better name for this traffic stopping vine.

Bowles Golden Grass and Vinca Illumination

This tough evergreen combo grows well all year here despite being from cooler England and Oregon climates originally.

Sago Palm...Center of New Growth

I have only 3 Sago Palms and this is the last one to put out its flush of new growth.I think it needs repotting, but will take 3 guys to tackle that job.

Alocasia Purple Prince...Off To A Weak Start

This tuber has finally put out 3 leaves. This is a new variety for me and I find it slow and difficult, but interesting.

Yellow Chrysanthemums Swan Song

Poor babies past due for deadheading and dividing and planting out for a fall border.

Frydek Came Back From the Dead

Only one pot of this tender tropical survived the winter. By fall the leaves will be dark, dark green with white veins.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wandering Jew....Coat of Many Colors and Stripes

The bugs and I like this multi-colored striped trailing vine.

Wandering Jew...Deep Dark Wine Leaves

This zebra has almost lost his stripes. Very unusual almost solid color leaf.

Mary Had a Little Lamb's Ear

I can't walk by these Lamb's Ears without giving their velvety leaves a rub or two.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"All That Glimmers Is Not Gold"

Shakespeare had it right, and this new plant in my backyard color scheme of green and gold packs a punch. I can see why it won a gold medal in the Georgia field trials.

Lagniappe On Purple Oxalis

The foliage on this plant is enough to satisfy me but when it has pale pink flowers that makes me appreciate Mother Nature's generosity and lagniappe.

Red Geranium...Plain Ole, Same Ole

Nothing better to get my mojo working than plain old-fashioned red geraniums. My spring and summer would be incomplete without this welcoming shade of red at my front door.

Bougainvillea With Double Orange Flowers

Another rare hybrid bougainvillea from Hawaii which blooms with tip clusters of tightly packed pastel orange flowers.

Bougainvillea With Double Pink Flowers

This variety from Hawaii is rare and just starting to bloom. It has tip clusters of tightly packed double flowers.

Chinese Taro

I like the valentine shaped leaves on this taro, and I like that it is tough as nails and very few bugs like to taste it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Names Of Plants...Common and Botanical

Because of several visitors' e-mails about the names of plants on my pictures and the confusion caused by the variance in plant common names in America and elsewhere, I am editing my picture labels when possible to show the Latin botanical names as well. I hope this will help some visitors to this blog. Fine Gardening magazine's web site has a great section on the pronunciation of the Latin names. My old high school Latin days help me a bit, but I often refer to the Fine Gardening guide for both spelling and pronunciation. Check it out by clicking on the link on my right sidebar or at: http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/spg017.asp

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Butterfly Weed Should Get An Oscar for Best Actress

I grow a lot of plants for butterflies and hummingbirds so I never use poisons and insecticides. Butterfly weed is to butterflies what catnip is to cats. They can't get enough of it.

Purple Oxalis Leaves With Raindrops

Nothing like a good soaking rain to perk plants up.

Iresine New Growth

The common name for this tender tropical is "The Chicken Gizzard" plant because some people think the leaves look like them. I prefer the Latin and its unusual French-sounding pronunciation.

Gold Heart Ivy After The Rain on 7-21-7

I love all variegated plants and this gold and green ivy gives me much joy. It is particularly beautiful in the dead of winter

Alabama Sunset Coleus

This variety of coleus can take full, blazing sun and by late summer and fall will be in its full glory and as truly colorful as an Alabama sunset.

Banana Leaves Happy After The Rain on 7-21-07

The preceding 6 months have been the driest since 1895 in Mississippi. Recent rains have broken the drought and my bananas and other jungle plants are very happy now.

Timber Bamboo

To tell the truth I rue the day I brought a start of this from my place in the country to this house in town. Terribly invasive and I am constantly whacking it but it enhances my jungle effect.

Rice Paper Plants and Timber Bamboo

These are in our backyard border and serve well as a screen. The tigers have trouble getting in and it blocks the prying eyes of our nosey neighbors.

Rice Paper Plant With Wet Foliage After Rain

I am into foliage more than flowers and the huge leaves of this plant delight me. The underside is silver and feels like velvet. Gnomes use them for umbrellas.

Yellow Shrimp Plant...Wet and Bedraggled

Because I have two dogs, a goldfish pond, and other nice critters to protect, I do not use any poison sprays or insecticides, thus many leaves here get bug bites. Some people call this "Golden Candle" or "Lolipop" plant.

Swiss Chard Bright Lights...End of Its Season

I had a row of Swiss Chard Bright Lights in many colors which were beautiful all winter and spring. This awful heat is doing them in now. Sorry to see them go.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tropical Plant Leaves Leave Me Smiling

This bed by the patio reminds me of my house in Vientiane, Laos smack dab in the tropical climate of Southeast Asia, where I taught school many years ago.

Bougainvillea Variegation Is Strange This Year

New growth on 4 pots of my variegated bougainvilleas is almost all white for some unknown reason, but the other 8 pots have normal green and white variegated leaves.

Blue Salvia Variety Called 'May Night'

Henry Mitchell wrote that the color of blue flowers is the bees' favorite as well as most gardeners.

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' Cluster

It amazes me how German nurserymen took the wild American Black-eyed Susan to Europe and bred it into this improved variety and now it is back "home" and flourishing.

Bumblebee on Blue Salvia

The mysterious disapperance of honey bees here and elsewhere in the U.S. has me worried. I am sad to say I have not seen honey bees in two years, but we do still have plenty of several types of bumblebees.


One of the pleasant fringe benefits of my new lotus water gardens and goldfish pond is the arrival of many dragonflies and tadpoles. They are finding a happy home and eating all the zillions of mosquitoes the recent rains have brought. DOUBLE CLICK YOUR CURSOR OVER THIS PICTURE TO SEE THIS TINY BABY DRAGONFLY CLEARLY.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Henry Mitchell and His Dog

Henry Mitchell, a native of Memphis, wrote the "Earthman" column for the Washington Post for more than 20 years. He loved gardens and gardeners of every sort and had great affection for dogs, fish, and Shakespeare's sonnets. He was one of America's most entertaining and enlightening garden writers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Girl Dogs Whispering on the Back Steps

"Don't you dare repeat this to another living soul, but I heard they spent last weekend together in New Orleans."

Jesus Holding A Lamb

Our garden is rather Unitarian when it comes to religious items: from Christian to pagan to Buddhist. All faiths respect Mother Nature.

Clump of White Caladiums

Henry Mitchell wrote: "This garden is the result of doing unnecessary things which we could not afford at the wrong time of the year."

Japanese Forest Grass and Golden Sedum

"The Green Man" Smiling Slyly At The Plants

This piece of "yart art" from England makes me hope the ancient Celts were on to something good. His eyes and sly smile indicate to me that they were right.