Sunday, July 29, 2012

Miss 2012

Re: Garden Walk visitor comments. There is always one plant that everyone asks about. In the past, it's generally been strobilanthes (Persian Shield) that gets all the attention.

This year, however, my 8-ft tall Castor Bean (ricinus) is the one. Which is fun because then I can enjoy the look of horror in their faces when I explain how poisonous the seeds are (possibly the most poisonous plant in the world for this reason). Though not illegal.

Runners-up? All the colocasia (elephant ear)--do I bring it in, how does it get so big, etc. And the tall rudbeckia "Golden Glow." Size matters, it seems. At least this year.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Love the plant; can't remember the name

When I bought this plant at The Plantsmen in Ithaca, in April, it was just a black nursery pot with a few small weeds emerging. Once established in a shady spot, however, it did exactly what it's supposed to do: it grew big serrated leaves and tall stems with small but interesting yellow flowers.

But by then it was July and for the life of me I could not remember what this thing was called. Ken Parker, the native plant specialist at Lockwoods here in Buffalo, came to my rescue. "Stoneroot," he said, looking at my iPhone picture. And so it is. (Colinsonia canadensis, to be exact.)

This might not be for everyone, but it is one of a collection of woodland natives I've been gradually installing. It's medicinal too--supposed to be good for the kidneys. I'm sure mine could use the help, but for now I'm enjoying it for its clearly woodland aesthetics.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

A pretty weed, ID'd.

After pulling bales of this out of my garden a few years back, I encountered it again in a charming garden on Euclid, in Lockport. It's part of Lockport in Bloom. (No linkie from this mobile post.)

It looks great here, and I discovered its name: commelina communis (Asian Dayflower).

You've seen it everywhere, I bet, but it rarely looks as nice as this.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Re: satisfaction. You can get it.

And I already have it, lots of it. Lilium “Satisfaction,” that is. Every summer it’s the same. I puzzle over the pods that are hanging heavy on my various lilium stalks and wonder: “Which one is that going to be?”

It is all being revealed now. The physical evidence, as well as the online bulb ordering records, indicate that I added a lot of “Satisfaction” to the garden in the fall, as well as some “Conca d’Or” and Auratum “Gold Band.” So far, the first of these is earliest in bloom—though, as I’ve already noted, most everything will be early.

I’m OK with “Satisfaction.” It is forward facing, rather than down facing (as many of my lilies are), and it has a relatively mild scent. The colors are very like popular daylily colors. But sometimes I wonder if I’m not better off sticking closer to the species lilium, the ones that look closer to lilies as they would be in the wild. I’m looking forward to the Auratum for that reason.

For now, though, I’ll take “Satisfaction.”