Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dusty Miller Trying To Grin and Bear It During This Heat Wave

I like to grow certain plants, as well as planting trees, in memory of people special to me. Both my mother and grandmother loved Dusty Miller so this one's for them. Seeing it gives me happy flashbacks to my childhood.

Old Fashioned Dahlia.....Every Dog Has His Day

This old clump of dahlias was planted in the front bed over 50 years ago and has received only benign neglect, and it is truly an example of the survival of the fittest.

Bandages on a Very Sick Japanese Maple

For nearly 20 years this Japanese Maple tree has been beautiful in the front yard, but has gone into decline over the past 2 years and sadly to me is now half dead despite my best efforts to treat and revive it. It looks pitiful and bare without most of its leaves, so I decided to hang a dozen begonia baskets from its limbs for a punch of color and greenery. However, I dislike the tacky effect...reminds me of silly autographs on the cast of a broken leg or those gaudy Band-Aids on a scratched child. This winter when it goes dormant, it will need major pruning.

Painting of Coleus

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wild Summer Poinsettia and Creeping Fig

Years ago I got this native wild plant from our woods and planted it in the yard.Now it is everywhere I look but I don't mind a bit. Somewhere I read that it is called "Wild Summer Poinsettia" but all I know for sure is from its milky sap that it is in the Euphorbia family. When fall arrives, the red blotches will become bright red,and then this weed really starts tap dancing.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Dwarf Golden Acorus

Of the 3 types of Acorus that I have, this super dwarf golden variety is my favorite. In the shade it is not as bright a golden color as those growing in more sun. I like the way it grows in swirls, like a cowlick on a kid's head.

Pot of Peppers For Good Luck

Many years ago after I graduated from the University of Mississippi, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in Thailand and Laos for 7 1/2 years. The Thais and Laotians traditionally have very hot (as in hellfire and damnation) peppers growing near their front doors for good luck plus handy plucking to add fresh to ALL of their meals. I like to grow them as ornamentals only since I can no longer eat very spicy food. Of course, if they bring us good luck and keep bad spirits away from the front door, that is an added bonus too.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Variegated Artemisia 'Oriental Limelight'

Another tough, tough evergreen plant that flourishes here. No insects touch it due to its pungent odor of mothballs. This artemisia is so different from the various silver leaf types, but I like its drooping habit and subtle variegation.

Red Star Cordyline and Ornamental Sweet Potato Vines

This New Zealand plant is doing surprising well in this hot and humid climate and its skirt of ornamental sweet potato vines keeps its feet cool.

Crepe Myrtle Trying To Hitch Hike Down The Street

Today it is a sweltering 101 degrees outside but the tough Crepe Myrtles could care less. How could I dare prune off this wayward limb sticking out in the steet with this beautiful cluster on its tip? I'll let it catch a ride with a passing car.

Persian Shield Shimmering In The Morning Sunshine

Whoever named this tropical plant didn't know their geography very well. Its origin is Burma not Persia (modern day Iran), but I'm glad we now have it in Mississippi. The metallic-looking leaves of purple and silver are dazzling.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Coleus Playing Peek-A-Boo With A Foxtail Fern

I am turned on by the contrasts of shapes, colors, and textures of leaf combinations. This huge old Foxtail Fern is like a mother hen with chicks of coleus all around her.

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave......

I don't have the heart to rip out this impudent, tenacious, weedy volunteer morning glory trying to strangle one of my Angel Trumpets simply because it starts my day off making me smile as I go out to pick up the newspapers.

Plumb Crazy About Plumbago

The light never seems right for my camera to adequately capture this rare shade of blue that I love.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Magnolia Seedpod or Seed Cone

Birds must eat and pass these bright red seeds before they can sprout.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Favorite Ornamental Grass......Cabaret

This is the most beautiful variegated grass I have ever grown. A Frenchman who loved the nightlife of cabarets knew what's what when he named this champion.