Thursday, June 17, 2010

Who's Yo Daddy?

DNA is now a part of our every day lives thanks to TV shows like "CSI".  And finding out who our relatives are has become even more popular thanks to shows like "Who Do You Think You Are?" 
(Or was that The Maury Povich Show?)

Well, the plant world is not being left out. Plants are now being classified by their DNA rather than their appearance. This is the result of a 10 year collaborative effort by taxonomists from around the world - the APG III (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) Project.

And the results are amazing! Indian Pipe is related to the Azalea and Sycamores are kin to the Protea.

But then, aren't we always amazed at who we're related to??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Goddess in the Garden

This is a shot of Aphrodite Frittillary resting on some Lime Oregano. When it's wings are open this beauty is Orange and Black. The Oregano is an ornamental I don't cook with this kind. I love the color! I've been tucking this in between my rock beds and this year it's looking wonderful.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Husband compared it

to taking an etch-a-sketch and shaking it to what I did to one of our gardens.

This is the first of many posts showing the rebuild of my gated flower garden in the back yard that has eight plots all about 3 feet deep and 10 feet wide, with gravel down the middle and in between the beds. I planted in or around 2000 or 2001. The idea very much inspired by the garden in the movie Practical Magic.

Last year I completely ignored this garden in order to get props finished for Halloween. And the year before....well, I let it slide more than I should have. So this year I knew that I really had to tear up a big chuck of the invasive perennials dead roses (I think the daises choked them.....daises are evil that way :D )

This project is a whole lot easier to do when husband comes along and digs them up rather than me spending 20 minutes trying to get one plant out....he can remove most everything in one of beds in a few minutes. So he was out there on one of the sunny days (we have had a few) and dug up most of the garden.

Now you might should have given some of these away - I would have if all my gardener friends did not already have a yard full of this stuff from my previous "giveaway parties" :D

We tore out:
  • A butterfly bush tree (really, it was about 6 inches around)
    several other butterfly bushes volunteers (there is a reason they are not allowed in to be sold in our area anymore)

  • A way too friendly Cape Fusicha that not only took over the bed it was planted in....but at least three other beds and I could tell by the way it looked at me when it saw the shovel, that it was on its way across the street to the neighbors garden

  • Purple Coneflower - lots of purple coneflower - also very friendly and made home in just about every bed in the garden.

  • Shasta Daisies...again another plant that had managed to take over an entire bed or two

  • Fever Few......I remember reading once that fever few is important for safe travel charms.....I believe them...all you have to do is plant one small bit and pretty soon it will cover your property to keep you from leaving.....which I guess is helping you travel safe since you cannot leave your house anymore :)

  • Grape Hyacinth - I am sure I will never be done pulling that out of the yard

  • Tickseed - I left one small plant in the garden....and I am keeping an eye on it....well, maybe both eyes :)

  • Some very sad Blaze climbing roses that never really did much climbing

  • Very neglected lavender, that looked like it had been trotted upon by a giant....but it did smell lovely when I dug it up :)

  • mortal enemy, but very important for mojitos....and after a few of those...I don't care so much that it has taken over the yard again :)

  • Many, many volunteer cherry tree starts.....note to the twin cherry trees that flag my vegetable garden...your days are numbered. :)

  • Then we pulled out several walnut and hazelnut tree starts along with moving some tulips from the veggie beds back into the garden....I know the squirrels thought they were being helpful :)

Pictures of the garden after the tear out on the next post.

I have been buying, native or at least zone friendly and less invasive plants for the garden! More pictures of my progress to follow.

Frog Queen

Friday, June 4, 2010

Invasive Species Alert

I think that all of us should be aware of this very aggressive invasive species, and especially those of us who have Faerie Gardens!

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Daylilies and Bee Balm

This is the time of year when we have hundreds of daylilies blooming. In just about every color you can imagine from yellow to orange to red to pinks to purples. We have the Common Tawny Daylily planted in borders around several trees and flower beds. We also have a hundred or more hybrid daylilies. The flowers of most species open at sunrise and wither at sunset, possibly replaced by another one on the same stem the next day. If only the oranges and purples were still blooming in the fall what a beautiful display it would be for the Halloween garden but their blooming will have ceased by then. So we also plant dozens of marigolds, orange daisies, orange and white impatiens, verbena and Bee Balm. We thought we would share just a few of our beauties with you!

Bee balm is an herbaceous member of the mint family. It is commonly grown in gardens and can be found along roadsides and in fields across the United States. Bee balm is also known as bergamont or horsemint. Bees, hummingbirds and butterflies are strongly attracted to the aroma and colorful flowers of the plant, hence the name bee balm. more