May 31, 2011

Veggies in our Neighbor's Garden II

Almost a month ago I blogged about going to dig potatoes in our Neighbor's Veggie Garden.
Last week he invited me to come on Memorial Day to pick blueberries.

As I drove in, I spotted a Tiger Swallowtail nectaring on a Mimosa tree.

Tomatoes corraled.


Blueberry bush

Not only did I pick blueberries but he offered veggies, too.
Squash plant.

Too early for eggplants, but fruits are forming.

The yellowish plants to the left are green beans, the flat kind.
I was invited to pick a whole row; the son-in-law had picked the rest.

Cucumbers are plentiful; that's an eggplant nearest the camera.

He cut an enormous cabbage for me to take home. I had never seen a cabbage with
small cabbages growing around the base. There were enough tiny cabbages for
us to eat for supper like brussels sprouts but with more delicate flavor.

The youngest of their 3 granddaughters was visiting.
It was a grand Memorial Day.

May 28, 2011

When the Deep Purple

Deep purples add drama to the garden.

The only corm to return and bloom of Purple Gladioli I bought last year. 
Beside it are several plants with no sign of a bloom.
Glads are a sometime thing here. We may have several blooms next year.

I showed this on Seedscatterer, I am so proud of it.
Purple Datura, in bud before it gets very tall.
This is a dramatic plant once it reaches some size.

Persian Shield Strobilanthes dyerianus is a great foliage purple for shade.
January's cold took out my line of Persian Shield planted with Lycoris
in the Upper Garden but most of the single plants returned. I always root
some to keep over inside, where it sometimes blooms in winter.

Purple Heart or Purple Queen; Setcreasea purpurea or Tradescantia pallida, is a great
groundcover and a good mixer. Roots easily, tolerates some drought.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

May 25, 2011

Zebras and their Paw Paws

Wildflowers are abundant here according to the seasons. Butterflies returned as soon as the weather commenced to warm and found host plants; Buckeye caterpillars were on toadflax early. It's very satisfyling to know that they will find hosts for laying eggs for a new brood. Asimina angustifolia Paw Paw is the host plant for Zebra Swallowtail Eurytides marcellus. Paw Paw was hardly putting on leaves when the first Zebras arrived.
Zebra Swallowtail on Lantana.

Paw Paw in my garden was planted by a bird or other creature.
The fruits always disappear as soon as they ripen, popular with critters.

Paw Paw grows in close proximity to Lantana where Zebras nectar.
They are also noticed nectaring on Tithonia when those plants bloom.

Slimleaf Paw Paw

Asimina angustifolia in a sandy firebreak. Paw paws are abundant in uncultivated areas.

Farther north Zebras are likely to use Asimina triloba as a host. In North Florida and South Georgia,  Slimleaf Paw Paw is the host.

Zebra swallowtail nectaring on Lantana.
Notice the length of the tails, which is why they are referred to as a 'kite' butterfly.

Garden Lantanas here are naturalized, not the native Lantana depressa.

Maypop Passiflora species

Other butterfly host favorites here are wild vines Pipevine and Passiflora.
 Passifloras grow in fence rows and wild areas, uninvited to the house garden.
Pipevine is forming buds in the back yard. I can hardly wait to see blossoms.

Wildflower Wednesday is hosted by Gail of Clay and Limestone.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

May 24, 2011

Gardenias for a Romantic June

Gardenias are just coming into bloom here. The bushes with early morning sun are first to open. The shadier ones that get evening sun are full of buds but few blooms this early.

My MIL called them 'Cape Jasmine.' Gardenias were introduced to the American South after cultivated plants were found in South Africa by a sea captain, hence the name common Cape Jasmine not to be confused with Crape Jasmine. They are  actually native to China.

Gardenias grow to 7 feet. Very small plants may have dozens of blooms.

Gardenias are easily grown. Do  not panic when old leaves turn yellow, nor love them to death with too much care. They are easy to root in a bottle of water in June or July, or in soil.

Common pests are whitefly, sooty mold and mealybug.
I use oil soap spray. Alcohol swabs work for mealybug. 

The flowers are beautiful. Creamy white thick petals that
unfurl in a whorled bud then open completely. Their
beauty is only surpassed by the incredible fragrance.
The fragrance is not just at night; it lasts all day.

May 21, 2011

Daylilies are not Lilies but they Hang Out Together

  Little Grapette miniature daylily. Wants a new companion behind, maybe a full-size daylily in pink.

Silver Veil, waiting for perennial companions to grow, Persian Shield and pink Pentas.

Seedling Daylily from seed I gathered in somebody's pretty bed.

Lilium. Algarve or Elodie, I forget.
Little Business daylily fronts this bed.

Old red hemerocallis at the end of the day.

Dazzle lily and friends

Longiflorum/Asiatic Lily Hybrid.
These are among the longest-lasting lilies in my garden.
Some more spectacular hybrids died out or were eaten by voles. 

Next fall I plan to plant daffodils around each lily bulb I plant
to see if that discourages voles. I plant daylilies in front of
some daffodils to help hide dying daffodil foliage.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

May 20, 2011

Where the Lilies Blow

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow. --Gerald Manley Hopkins

'Lilies of the Field' (gladioli) grow along the fence at an old house site.
These glads have persisted uncared for, for more than 50 years.

Inside the fence, mowing revealed large drifts of silvery Silk Grass, which is unhurt by mowing.
Silk Grass blooms in the fall.  
The woods are shrouded in shadows as the sun sinks to the west.

He-who-mows left patches of lantanta and mimosa vine while taking out wisteria vines by the acre.

Paw paw grows in the firebreak.

Back in the Garden, Dazzle has commenced bloom.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

May 16, 2011

Fiesta Bed Gets More Tropicals

You don't think of petunias as tropical plants, but they are of South American origin. Some of the old 'wild' petunias that Mama called 'washpot petunias' have appeared beside the carport for the first time in years. Some are splotched, some are solid white. They appear, disappear and reappear over the years since the early 1980s. They have a larger bloom than the little 'Laura Bush' petunia that is my fav.

What I planted in the Fiesta Bed was more 'Laura Bush' petunias. They reseed diligently in the Ruins beds near the side door and tend to smell like a wet dog when it rains. I had moved those above to the far front bed that I call the 'south rock bed' and now some to Fiesta. 'Laura Bush' petunias generally reseed true to color. If a pale one shows up, I pull it to keep the color pure. You either like magenta petunias or not. They front a bed that has mostly blue and purple flowers except for the Tithonia that reseeded there.

I transplanted half a dozen Candlesticks  Cassia alata, grouping 3 each between two Loropetalum in the Fiesta bed. Between those I put 3 Purple Swirl Daturas. All these are small plantss from seed. A Purple Alternanthera had planted itself in the flat with the others, so I tranplanted it with the others as well as the last Pride of Barbados. The other Caesalpinia pulcherrima seedling died before it got big enough to transplant. The links go to pictures of prior years' plants in bloom here.

A little yellow Sulphur butterfly was checking out the Cassia when it was hardly in the ground before I watered well and mulched. I hope there are enough to act as host plant and still grow tall and pretty to bloom in fall.

Esperanza in this bed is not yet blooming size, nor are Pride of Barbados plants which returned from the roots. I'm watching closely for buds. Tropicals return fairly well here but our freezes kill the top foliage to the ground, so summer blooms come later.

I meant to have a Red Bed, but it ended up with tropicalissmo colors: Purple, Magenta, Red, Yellow, Orange. In the hot sun of July, it looks appropriate and butterflies like it.

I had an area ready to plant some zinnia seeds saved from last summer. Buffy was helping and quicker than you can blink, dug a two-gallon hole. Sigh. We believe she really thinks she is helping.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

May 14, 2011

Woods Trail Ride

I was taking still photos as we rode through the woods when I got the idea to make little videos instead to give a feel for traveling through the woods.  
Vines -- probably grape vines, maybe poison ivy?

Various hardwoods and understory shrubs.

I divided the vids into short segments so you can ride all the way, stopping and starting again or just take one short ride just to see.
We are already well into the woods when this starts.

Still going and the woods get denser.

Now we are at woods edge and the trees are more open.
In the next segment, we go faster...

On out into the meadow and stop to look at the following:

I don't visit this area every day, but frequently.
There are pine forests in front of our house. These have no pines, all hardwoods.
In a different time, small woods were prized for shade for cattle and hogs.

May 11, 2011

Look Here, Look There, Lilies

The first Lilies are always exciting.

Both true lilies and daylilies are in bloom. I chose to show only true lilies in this post. True lilies can be distinguished from daylilies by the stems and the foliage. True lilies have a single stem with leaves all the way up. Daylilies have strappy leaves in a fan from the bottom and a separate stem called a scape which holds the buds and blooms. A daylily blossom last for a single day with more buds to open on following days; true lily blossoms last for several days.

Lilies with Loropetalum foliage, great contrast.

LA lily along an Upper Garden path.

LA lilies and Rose Campion

Two views toward the south.
Seedling Camellias that finally have some size,  more lilies
and a white Crape Myrtle. Daylilies on the back side.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas to the left of the bed seen above.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

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