Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Please note that although garden peas (Pisum) are quite edible and delicious, Sweet Peas (Lathyrus) are poisonous, both the flowers and the peas.
For a quite detailed history of the Sweet Peas, see http://www.ngb.org/gardening/fact_sheets/fact_details.cfm?factID=17
I've been working on wild flower photos, so there will be some more in the days to come.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I did a google search and could only find nurseries in England and Germany who sell this, so I'm not sure you'll be able to find one. There is also a really expensive pure white flowered form, also not availabe except at Asiatica and they're closing any day now.
I didn't take a picture of the leaves, but they sort of remind me of an astilbe, and the plant is about the same size as one. The flowers are on wiry stems that can be up to 3 feet tall. (if mine had been that tall, I wouldn't have had to crawl on the ground to get the picture!) They need well-drained, humus rich soil in light to medium shade. It needs a sheltered spot as it doesn't like being in the wind. They will grow in zones 4-7 and are native to only a small area in Honshu Island, Japan.
I'll see if I can find something else unusual for tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Anyway, the thing I find the cutest are the baby ferns. I'm not talking about those stoloniferous kinds that spread all around, but those that spread by spores. I've thought about trying to start some myself from spores, but haven't gotten around to that yet. Not that it's hard, but you have to be able to focus and keep an eye on them, and right now, there's too much happening around here to add another chore to my list.
This first picture is of some baby Japanese Painted Ferns, Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum'. These appeared this spring under one of the shelves where our plants that we have for sale are kept. No ferns have been in that spot for a couple of years, but here are the babies. The biggest of these is probably about 3 inches long/tall now. Next year when they come back they will be full sized plants and I'll either transplant them or pot them up.
I'll be back in a few days, once I finish canning the 100 pounds of tomatoes and 20 pounds of cucumbers (bread and butter pickles) that are sitting in my kitchen.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
My other annuals planted this year are these balsam plants. It was a package of assorted colors and though they seemed to take forever to start blooming, they are wonderful now. The hummingbirds seem to like them.
Now for the butterfly that had landed on a cosmos. These orange cosmos, planted at the edge of our parking lot last year, that came back from self-seeding.
And this butterfly what was sitting on a butterfly bush - how perfect.
And this is the foliage on those seedling cannas I wrote about a few days ago and which someone asked about. I'm not totally pleased with the picture, but I hope you can see that it is thinner and more of a blue/green than most of the others which have broad leaves in green or variegated patterns. It is also very upright. As I said before, these only seem to grow about 3 feet tall.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
These are some of the seedling Cannas that I've been working on. These are about 4 years old now and although they usually bloom the first year from seed, the blooms don't really come into their own until they they are a few years old. One of the parents was a species Canna that had small flowers and the pollen parents were various sizes and colors. All of the foliage is a blue green with long narrow leaves. If you're used to the Cannas you see most of the time, this would look very different. Unfortunately, I didn't get much of it in the pictures. They also tend to be shorter, most only about 3 feet tall.
Anyway, this first one is a nice baby pink.
And here's a salmon colored one.
This is a darker pink
And a pale yellow with some peach colored spots on some of the petals. One of the parents had some speckling on the petals, but not all of these have picked up the trait.
This last is a red that is pretty much identical to the species that was one of the parents. The plants with these red flowers are much more robust than the ones with the pastel colored blooms.