Sunday, September 30, 2007

More Light

and cooler weather means more color on Echeveria 'Afterglow'

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Ceramic Pot

can be made plant friendly by drilling a hole in the bottom with a diamond tipped drill bit.

Test Your Botanical Knowledge
Elongated 2.5" balloon-like pale green pods covered with spiky hairs distinguish this milkweed with narrow, pointed foliage and creamy white blooms in late summer. Interesting cutflower, fresh or dried. From South Africa

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fingers Jade

Crassula ovata 'Gollum' has red rimmed, indented, cylindrical leaves. This plant has several synonyms: Monstrose Jade, Trumpet Jade, Gollum Jade, ET Jade, Crassula argenteae, etc. More sun brings out the red rim color.

I picked the dish garden above up from Lowes.
Aloe ciliaris
Portulacaria afra variegata
Echeveria hybrid 'Blue Sky'
Senecio kleiniiformis

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Succulent Arrangement

Succulents included are:
1 Senecio cylindricus
2 Opuntia microdasys/Bunny Ears
3 Pacypodium lamerei/Madagascar Palm
4 Pachyveria 'Blue Pearl'
5 Pachyphytum bracteosum
6 Echeveria 'Afterglow'
7 Cotyledon tomentosa/Bear's Paw
8 Austrocylindropuntia

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Quite a variety I've added to my collection. Now to make an arrangement. Can you ID any?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cypress Vine

Lots of small flowers attract hummingbirds. Ipomoea quamoclit is an annual and reseeds prolifically covering everything. The winglike cotyledons and feathery foliage of the seedlings are easily recognized should you want to remove them. It's great for covering an unsightly area.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Red Spider Lily

Since Lycoris radiata blooms with no foliage, planting among ferns is a great solution. It's foliage emerges after bloom and is present throughout the winter while the deciduous southern shield fern is absent.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Advice From A Tree

by Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

In an iron skillet, melt a stick of butter and crumble over the bottom a packed cup of brown sugar. Add cherries and pineapple. Mix a yellow cake mix. I like Pillsbury. Pour it into the skillet and bake. Let's eat. It's pretty made with pineapple rings if you are serving a few large portions. Use tidbits if serving many.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fall Garden Observations

Osteospermums are beginning to bloom again. I love the blue centers. I noticed the Lycoris radiata buds today. I was wondering if they were going to make it through the late freeze followed by summer drought this year. I moved some Asphidistra eliator in position to conceal an air conditioner visible from our back entrance. It needs a protected position in Zone 6.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pale Periwinkle Pink

A delicate color shows up almost white in the strong light of summer. I'll add some more intense colors with them next year. There are many seeds sprouting underneath the plants. I hope some wait till next spring. Not only are they pretty in the garden but, alkaloids extracted from Catharanthus roseus/Madagascar periwinkle are used in pharmaceuticals to treat leukemia. Of course, you would not concoct your own brew. They are poisonous.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Purple Shamrock

Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea reblooms every time it rains. They have to go dormant several times a year so they wax and wane in the garden. Most have them indoors but they are hardy to Zone 6.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bloody Dock

Bloody Dock/Rumex sanguineus var. sanguineus likes moist conditions and is hardy to zone 4. Cut back flowers to keep the plant from becoming tall, weedy, and going to seed. Although I haven't tried it, I've read young leaves can be added to salads.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Not only are birds beautiful in the garden, but they provide the service of pest control. Bluebirds like live meal worms. You can get live mealworms at aquarium stores.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chicken and Rice Soup

As the days grow longer and cooler, I enjoy cooking more. There's nothing like soup on a rainy day. Left-over rice inspired it. Add a carton of chicken broth from the shelf, a tablespoon of butter, and chives from the garden and quick as a wink dinner is ready. It's even better served in pretty dishes.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rachel's New 'Do

Click on cube to view photo. Click to resume rotation.

Can you believe? Before we made chicken and dumplings for dinner, Rachel prunned shrubs and cleaned out a flower bed while I tended the pool. And, we still looked good.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Time To Plant

I'm adding some bulbs to the garden. I'm trying to resist planting a tulip feast for the squirrels this year. They will not bother the narcissus.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chrysanthemums Say Autumn

I picked up flowers at Kroger on the way home from spa day with Rachel. I now have happy feet. Life is good.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Slow, Soft Showers

after a long, hot drought is just what we needed and what we have been having for several days now. My ponytail palm is going to be part of a succulent collection I will have inside this winter. I usually have African violets but I want a change. Succulents are so carefree as houseplants.

Remembering 9/11

Charlene, a fellow gardener, wrote:

*sigh* That day changed everything for me. For quite some time after, I was a volunteer at the Family Assistance Center at the pier. My law firm let me do it pro-bono full time. I created death certificates for families who lost their loved ones. New York City was filled with people running around trying to help. There were booths everywhere at the Center, and interpreters ready to interpret in about 20 different languages. People walking around with special dogs meant to comfort people. Sadly, the place was mostly filled with just volunteers. There just wasn't much one could to do help but boy did we try. Afterwards, I felt like I should never delay doing something I really wanted to do. A little over one year from 9/11, I was flying back to NY from Viet Nam with my new daughter.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cacti Rejuvenation

Just a little rain and the cacti look refreshed and ready for action. I've had them for a long time.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Canna Foliage

is very colorful. I think I like the foliage more that the flowers. It's root hardy in my area.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Banana Walnut Pudding

I added a sliced ripe banana, mini-wafers, and chunky walnuts to vanilla instant pudding for this twist on an old favorite. My secret ingredient for the best pudding in the whole world is to fold in about half a small container of Cool Whip to make it light and fluffy. Yum! Let's eat.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Dragon Wing Begonia

is a good plant for containers and hanging baskets. I was surprised to see some rooted cuttings planted in a container in the shade survive this summer's heat without much attention.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sweet, Sweet Rain

Sweet Rain
Add Glitter to your Photos

We didn't get much more than what I would call heavy dew but, something is better than nothing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Summer Wind

It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors; the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far, in the fierce sunshine, tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern;
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven,
Their bases on the mountains - their white tops
Shining in the far ether - fire and air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer's eyes away. For me, I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays his coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air?
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves
He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
The pine is bending his proud top, and now
Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes!
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!
The deep distressful silence of the scene
Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds
And universal motion. He is come,
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings
Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs
Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers,
By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
Nod to each other; glossy leaves
Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
Were on them yet, and silver waters break
Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.

William Cullen Bryant

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Perennial Hibiscus

I'm rooting some cuttings of an all white perennial hibiscus. It produced a seedpod. Although I do not know if it will come true from seed, I'm sending it to a fellow forum member.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

Feasting is how we celebrate almost anything. Ribs, potato salad, Wickles, lemonade pie, and a minty vodka something to drink served on Rachel's new deck furniture. A hummingbird was investigating us so we put up a feeder and soon there were two hummers.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Gerbera Daisy

This pink one, though not fully opened, is beautiful this time of year. Gerbera daisies, tender perennials, of many colors are wonderful in the garden. As pot plants, keep them pot bound for better bloom.