Monday, March 24, 2008

Chinese Pot of Delta Gold Pansies

Is this proof that there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Here is one of the matching pair of Chinese pots I have at the front door, and I change the plants out with each passing season. Come summer I will have New Guinea impatiens in them.

Japanese Maple "Bloodgood" In Late Afternoon Sun

The sun rays behind the new leaves of our "Bloodgood" Japanese Maple give the lovely effect of stained glass in early morning and late afternoon. This old variety is one of the very best in the Deep South. My collection of other varieties of young Japanese Maples is just beginning to bud out, but none can compare with the blood red leaves of this older tree.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Day Of Spring, March 20, 2008 & Quotations My Green Man Is Thinking About

"Is it so small a thing To have enjoy'd the sun, To have lived light in the spring, To have loved, to have thought, to have done..." -- Matthew Arnold "In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." -- Margaret Atwood "Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June." -- Al Bernstein "An optimist is the human personification of spring." -- Susan J. Bissonette "Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day." -- Elizabeth Bowen "Spring: An experience in immortality. " -- Henry David Thoreau "Spring is a heart full of hope and a shoe full of rain." -- Unknown

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wabi Sabi...Gestalt Gardener Word of the Week

CLICK GREEN WORDS WABI SABI IN TOP GREEN TITLE ABOVE TO GO TO THIS SITE " Word of the Week: Wabi Sabi" Susan O'Neal of Greenville passed along this week’s Gestalt phrase, which represents the conflict of joy at the sight of beauty coupled with the knowledge of its fleeting nature. Wabi sabi is the acceptance of the state of ongoing transience – it nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging the reality of how nothing is perfect, and nothing lasts. If an object or expression can create within us a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi. As Susan put it, “Behind the awe of flowering trees in full and radiant bloom is the realization, even at a subconscious level, that their petals’ falling and decay are just around the corner. The message is clear: Savor every morsel. Don't squander your life. Don't give up on your dreams. Don't take anyone or anything for granted, especially time. Appreciate physical beauty but realize it is superficial and fades; symbolic beauty persists in the mind, in the heart and through time, as sure as spring will follow winter.” In the garden, wabi sabi can be interpreted and celebrated by placing an old tool out in the weather, or leaving a stump from a fallen tree.

Planting on Good Friday? Risk of Blackberry Winter?

Felder Rushing, our well-known Mississippi horticulturalist and author of 15 gardening books, wrote in his newspaper column today the following advice: While our northern garden brethren wait until Memorial Day to set out their summer flowers and vegetables, our traditional benchmark for planting is Good Friday....the day after tomorrow. This year it's really early....only folks 95 years or older have experienced it this early, and it will be 220 years before it is this early again. But this time around it may be a tad early to plant, considering the risk of "blackberry winter"....a late frost in late March or even in early April. Click Felder's link. His site is unusual and interesting.

Jewels Of Opar Limon Talinum a/k/a Talinum Paniculatum

This plant is getting raves of attention and positive reviews among Mississippi gardeners so I am trying it for the first time in my lime green, chartreuse corner this year. The color of its leaves is very unusual as are its jewel-like flower buds and seed pods. Unfortunately I could not capture its unique leaf color with my camera in this shot.

Geranium "Tricolor Exotica"

Although I love variegated plants, this geranium sometimes turns me off. Only in certain levels of sunlight is it appealing to me. On overcast days it is downright ugly, which is odd, since that is when other variegated plants often look their best.

A Potpourri Of Porch Philodendrons

Stromanthe Sanguinea "Tricolor"

The striking variegation of this plant tucked into a shady spot on our sun porch is a delight to me. It is looking forward to its summer vacation under the shade of the huge leaves of the Tetrapanax "Rice Paper" plants.

Yellow Shrimp Plants On The Sun Porch Waiting For Good Friday to Pass

I say thank you to whomever first brought this native of Peru to America. My summer would not be commplete without these beauties basking in the morning sun. I love how bees and butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy their flowers as much as I do.

Petunias "Dreams Red"

The name "Dreams Red" petunias reminds me of a conversation I had once with a friend who said she only dreams in black and white. I told her I always dream in technicolor. I am sure that those who know how to interpret the meaning of dreams could explain this, but when I plant in my garden I like to have bright hot color punches here and there, and I think dreaming in only black and white would be as boring as old TV sets back in the 1950's.

Bronze-leaved Wax Begonias "Vodka"

Every year I grow these bronze-leaved wax begonias "Vodka" because they thrive in the heat and humidity and scorching sun of Mississippi. They can take anything thrown at them except a heavy foot stepping on them. This is just 4 of the 36 I have potted up from the only flats I have found locally. Each year they are getting harder to find locally so perhaps I am the only customer around here who still likes to grow them. After Good Friday, off they will go from my covered patio to the flower bed.

Yucca "Color Guard" Duo Waiting To Be Planted

Since my trial with one pot of Yucca Color Guard was successful last year, I have just bought 2 more babies to have a trio of them in a hot dry corner bed I am trying to develop. I like everything about Yucca Color Guard especially their having no dangerous needles on the tips of their dagger-like leaves which could harm the eyes of my hyperactive terriers.

Golden Box Honeysuckle Lonicera Nitida "Edmee Gold"

This is a new acquisition for the chartreuse corner of my backyard jungle. Its lime-chartreuse colored leaves really do look like a boxwood hedge but it is a member of the honeysuckle family. I'm giving this expensive baby a try with crossed fingers for sure.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hibiscus "Mella Yella"

I love the amusing names nurseries give to hibiscus plants. This lovely shade of yellow is truly mellow, and it makes me feel mellow when I see its first blooms. This bushy shrub always has a special place in my backyard jungle.

Hibiscus "Red Hot" on 3-18-08

This is one of my favorite variegated plants and it is very well named. Its red flowers are overshadowed by the "Red Hot" tri-color variegated leaves

Friday, March 14, 2008

Roman Man Needs A New Hair Style

The sedum in this patio wall pot has become rather scraggly and I confess his hair does look like mine when I work in the garden on a hot afternoon. I am debating whether to pinch this sedum back to give him a haircut or start over with some Mexican hair grass I have on hand.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Buds, Blooms, New Growth...Early Spring 3-5-08

Daffodil "California" and Pansies "Majestic Blue Giants II" Pansies "Purple Rain" and Purple Ornamental Cabbage Swiss Chard "Bright Lights" Red Stems Arundo Donax "variegata" New Growth Sweet Olive Bloom Variegated Confederate Jasmine Variegated Confederate Jasmine exposed to sun Magnolia Fuscata "Banana Shrub" Ajuga "Chocolate Chip" Ajuga "Caitlin's Giant" Tetrapanax "Rice Paper Plant"..Soon To Be Giant Leaves Oxalis Gold Vein Japanese Painted Fern "Ghost"