Monday, January 28, 2008

Spring Catalogs And Decisions, Decisions To Make

Stacks of spring nursery and garden catalogs have arrived and I am making my lists and checking them twice. Being a plantaholic with OCD these are dangerous temptations for me. I want almost everything I see, but, alas, I know I must show restraint as I have run out of space in our small cottage garden. However, I enjoy pipe dreams on cold winter days looking through all these catalogs and in my mind's eye I can see lots of good ideas for spring and summer flower beds.

Hyacinth Bulbs Are A Force Of Nature

I got a late start this season with forcing my hyacinth bulbs and only one pink flower stalk has emerged thus far. It is overwhelmingly fragrant and is one of those scents that tells me spring will be here soon.

This Lion Isn't Lying

When you look into the lion face of this Yellow Majestic Giant II pansy, you must believe him when he says that he is the King Of The Flower Bed this time of year.

Swiss Chard "Bright Lights" Siamese Twins

I did not have the nerve to operate on and separate these Swiss Chard babies when I planted them so I left them as tangled Siamese twins. I know they will thrive and be lovely in spring since I have done this before. Although Swiss Chard is edible, I grow this variety just for their beautiful colors.

Color Guard Yucca Stripes Turning Red

Seeing is believing. As promised by the nursery, the yellow stripes on this variegated yucca have turned somewhat red in winter. I think they will change back to yellow as spring and summer arrive. We'll see. This is my first year to grow this beautiful and unusual plant.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sadly "The Delta Queen" Will Retire In 2008...Vicksburg Will Miss Her

The Delta Queen steamboat was completed in 1927, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark. The Delta Queen has an interesting history that includes carrying U.S. Navy troops to ships in San Francisco Bay during World War II. Now the Delta Queen cruises the Mississippi River through the Old South and America's Heartland, and along Wilderness rivers. The Delta Queen riverboat is an intimate ship with hardwood paneling, teak handrails, ornate trim and brass fittings. The Grand Staircase on the Delta Queen steamboat is crowned by a crystal chandelier and is photographed often. Gathering spots on the Delta Queen riverboat include the wood-paneled Texas Lounge; the Forward Cabin Lounge, a Victorian sitting room with Tiffany-style stained glass windows and crystal chandeliers; and the Betty Blake Lounge, a cozy retreat with artwork that depicts the history of the Delta Queen. On your Delta Queen cruise, you can watch the scenery roll by in a comfortable rocking chair on deck, pick up a souvenir in the Steamboatique Gift Shop or see the view from the Engine Room Viewing Area. All Delta Queen staterooms are outside cabins featuring period furnishings and special touches like patchwork quilts and wood-shuttered windows.

Variegated Potato Vine

It is amazing to me that this variegated potato vine is in the same botanical family, SOLANUM, as eggplants and potatoes. Such diversity, huh? This rather hard-to-find variegated form of potato vine is much more interesting to me than the solid green variety. This one is bright even on a dull, cold, wet January day.

Cold Cole Slaw With Your BBQ Ribs?

This wet green and white ornamental cabbage reminds me of some delicious cole slaw I had with barbequed ribs recently at Goldie's, a famous Trail BBQ restaurant here in Vicksburg.

Cabbage Patch Dolls After A Much Needed Rain

The raindrops on these ornamental cabbages are as valuable as diamonds in these times of drought.

Wet Little Faces

These pansies are still spunky even after a cold shower.

Variegated Mondo Grass

Another item on my "To Do" list is this clump of variegated mondo grass which will be divided into a jillion sprigs and planted in a shady bare spot in the backyard.

A Gold Heart In A Dark Bamboo Thicket

Even in a dark spot Gold Heart Ivy brightens things up.

Do You Speak Gardenese?

I've got cabin fever during this cold spell and am thinking of my "To Do" list.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rare Snow In Mississippi

My 6 month old grand-nephew seeing his first snow. This light dusting of snow lasted about 3 hours since the temperature was well above 32 degrees., but kids here were delighted by this rare treat for a short while. Sorry kids, but y'all will have to go to school tomorrow. NO SNOW DAY HOLIDAY tomorrow!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mississippi River Bend at Vicksburg

The City of Vicksburg is situated on very high hills and there are many wonderful views of the Mississippi River. In this photo Ole Man River looks blue, but it is usually a very rich muddy brown color. Below this hill is the Riverfront Park which is very popular for picnics and watching the spectacular sunsets reflecting like a mirror on the river.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

LSU: National Football Champion Team

Louisiana State University beat Ohio State 38 to 24 in the Superdome in New Orleans to win the 2007 season BCS National Championship!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nandina Is Mother Nature's Best Christmas Decoration

Red berries on this tough old-fashioned evergreen shrub are absolutely beautiful at Christmas. We have a pair of them at the front steps. To me natural decorations made by Mother Nature are the nicest of all and much prettier than something plastic made in China.

Cabbage For Good Luck For New Years?

Here in Mississippi we eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Some people eat green cabbage also, but I don't since I dislike the taste and smell of cooked cabbage. This ornamental cabbage is much too pretty to harvest for eating anyway. It is interesting how cold weather makes the colors of ornamental cabbage brighter and deeper.

Croton Leaves

These crotons are now on the back sun porch since it is the cold twenties outside. I love the colorful variegated leaves of these tropical plants and they really brighten up the sun porch.

Syngonium Showing Three Leaf Types

This very old potted syngonium on the back sun porch is showing its interesting leaf types. Some leaves have marbled variegated leaves of green and white, some leaves are solid white, and others are solid green. Some leaves are split evenly with a white half and a green half. People have asked me if there are 3 or 4 different vines in the pot, but I explain there is only 1 original vine and I never know what type of leaves will emerge.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Golden Buttery Yellow Pansy Frozen Solid

Test shot with the new camera Santa Claus brought to me for being a good boy. I love this camera as well as the golden egg-yolk/daffodil/buttery yellow of this variety of pansy. It is 24 degrees this morning and this frozen bloom is just beginning to thaw out in the morning sun.

Icicles at 24 Degrees

This variety of the Licorice Plant is called "Icicles" and since it was a chilly 24 degrees when I took this photo its name seems appropriate. I am amazed at how tough this plant was during this year's drought and how well it holds up in cold weather.

Fickle Ficus Fig

This variegated form of the Weeping Fig or Benjamin Fig would try the patience of Job as it so slow growing. I have had this one for years and it is only 2 feet tall but I love its delicate variegated leaves.

Simply Syngonium

I have three different forms of this "Arrowhead Vine" as houseplants. When I lived in Southeast Asia, these tropical vines grew as wild and as rampant as kudzu and would climb up and smother trees if not cut back.