Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pink Saturday - A Plant That Will Leave You Feeling In The Pink!

I'm not going to show you a plant this Pink Saturday that has large, showy flowers like last Saturday's lotus. As a matter of fact, the flowers of this plant, although pretty, are not its main feature.

If you are not already familiar with scented geraniums let me introduce you to one of my favorites - the Lime Scented Geranium. Plant this beauty next to a path or in a pot close to where you sit in the garden and breath deep! The slightest brush of your hand produces the scent of fresh-cut relaxing...

I keep my scented geraniums in small pots spread around my front porch. When I water them their different scents waft up to tickle my nose. These pelargoniums have dainty, delicate flowers in a cool shade of lavender pink. Their leaves are a delicious deep green with a slightly blue cast and are only about an inch in diameter.

The leaves of lime scented geranium are edible and can be used in ice tea, layered in sugar to give it a delicious lime scent and unique flavor, potpourri and sachets. Come join in my obsession with the scented geranium!

Be sure to visit Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for more delicious Pinkness!

Another Obsession - The Stately Iris

"Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest,

Who, armed with golden rod

And winged with the celestial azure, bearest

The message of some God."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

shown: Louisiana Iris 'Black Gamecock'
suitable for garden, pond or bog.
A prolific, free flowering iris, the foliage provides
structure in a garden even when not in bloom.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pink Saturday - The Lovely Lotus, Part Two

Last week for Pink Saturday I wrote about the spunky little lotus, Momo Batan. This week I want to show you the majestic Mrs. Perry D. Slocum. In my imagination this lotus is an elegant grande dame in a pink ballroom gown!

Dr. Slocum was a pioneer in the hybridization of water lilies and lotus and named this exquisite lotus in tribute to his wife. It will grow to 6 feet tall with the blooms being held at least a foot above the pads. The pads on the plants we grew this year were up to 18 inches across with blooms nearly as big! People would see it in the nursery yard, pull over to ask what it was, then promptly buy it so that they could have one of the these giant beauties for their very own.

Mrs. Slocum is the only "changeable" lotus, its flowers are vivid pink on the first day, pale pink on the second, creamy yellow on the third and creamy white on the fourth! The picture above was taken of three blooms on the same lotus plant, and - being bog plants - they are also grown in a 7 gallon feed pan which can be placed anywhere in your garden!

We will begin anew with tubers in early spring, come join me in my obsession with the sacred lotus...

Be sure to visit Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for more delicious pinkness!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Accidental Tabletop Bog Garden

I am so overwhelmed and currently have too many things to do and absolutely no time to do them in. So I am going to ignore the madness and write a small post dedicated to my tabletop bog garden.

I keep this tub outside my backdoor on a table where I can contemplate its beauty. It is just so green, I just love that! What a blessing it has been - when I was too weak to walk outside I could look out the window at it and thank God for that little tub of greenery and for my life.

It was created when Hurricane Ike was barreling toward Galveston, and only 35 miles inland, our home. My husband put all my plants on the ground in our side yard, locked up and away from the windows. Some of these plants were bareroot, removed from a bog garden that I had in Arizona. I threw the bareroot plants into a 7 gallon feed tub and hoped for the best. I was in the middle of an intense round of radiation therapy and too weak and sick to worry about the plants. So, for the next few months I totally neglected this little tub other than to water it when I could, thinking that I would get around to dividing everything up into individual pots.

Obviously, that never happened and though I am healthy again I'm not going to touch this pot, it is just too cute! What a happy accident, no soil, no fertilizer, just water - no wonder I love these little wet wonders!!

The bog tub includes: Dwarf Cattail, Horsetail, Variegated Japanese Iris, Louisiana Iris 'Gamecock', White Rain Lily, Arrow Arum, Pennywort, Aquatic Four Leaf Clover. How fun!

Friday, July 24, 2009

HAPPY PINK SATURDAY - The Little Pink Lotus Goes To A New Home!

I work Saturday, Sunday and Monday at a small organic nursery in the Houston Heights. I used to be the manager there until a battle with cancer derailed me. Now that that battle has been won, the owners of the nursery hired me back as soon as I was able to work. So, I am back at this same precious little nursery, not as manager, but outside with the plants I love! The new manager is wonderful and I get to do what drew me to that nursery in the first place, work with the plants, obsess about plants and share our plants with customers both new and old! I am in heaven…and talk about physical therapy! I could barely move when I went back to work, now even the intense heat of Houston cannot stop me!

One of the first things I did when I went back to work in late March was cut and plant the lotus tubers. I planted them in 7 gallon feed tubs, which at that time looked very optimistic because the tubers for the little lotus I am writing about were about the size of my little finger and only one tuber was planted in each tub! They are slow to start out with tiny floating pads only an inch across, but like the little engine that could, they end up being the most breathtaking plant – pictures do not do them justice!

Fast forward a few weeks...

I sold the last of the lotus a week ago, the tiniest little lotus we had grown, we just didn't know if it would make it. To commemorate the many weeks we took care of it until it was a fully grown lotus, I placed it on a chair on my front porch before I delivered it to one of our customers and took some pictures.

It was kind of like when you take pictures of your child, you raise them up - let them go out into the big wide world – and take pictures along the way!

So for this Pink Saturday I am sharing with you the dwarf pink lotus named ‘Momo Batan’ (nelumbo nucifera ‘Momo Batan'). This delightful little lotus only grows 2 to 4 feet in height. It has beautiful pink peony type flowers held slightly above the foliage. The lotus pads are unique in that they are waterproof - when you put water on them the water resembles liquid mercury when it runs off! These are called “bowl lotus” because they can be grown in a large bowl on a table.

Lotus are easy to grow and bloom profusely during the summer months, they do not need a pond, they are a bog plant and can be grown in almost anything that will hold water! Please consider one for your yard next spring, I'll be happy to share my obsession and help you in your journey with the amazing lotus!

Visit Beverly at How Sweet The The Sound for more delicious pinkness!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Am So In Love With Cannas!

from the greek 'kanna' meaning reed-like plant
I always liked cannas, didn't like the damage from bugs that attacked them, but liked the plant none the less.
I remember a stand of cannas in a park in Dallas; it came back every year bigger and better than ever, but it was just a passing thought, didn't intend to plant any of them.
Then, I moved to Houston a few years ago and everything changed.
They are everywhere here! Gorgeous! Luscious! Extravagant!
I was hooked! So, this is the summer of the canna for me. I am currently growing several varities, four of which I have for sale in my little stores.
What I have learned so far:
*Cannas have a long and varied history-others have been obsessed long before I came along
*People swap the names around pretty freely, cannas will have different names in different countries, states or persons 'Pretoria' is another persons 'Bengal Tiger'...use whatever suits you!
*Cannas are not a lily even though people call them "Canna Lily"
*Cannas love water and sunshine-lots of it
*Some cannas are more susceptible to leaf rollers than others
*I love them even with chewed-up leaves (I found out that leaf rollers are the caterpillars of skippers, the little orange butterflies of my childhood, so I share the leaves with them)
*I love variegated leaf cannas (essentially all thing variegated), BUT
*the solid leafed 'Australia' and 'Orange Punch' are my favorites this year!

cannas I currently grow: 'Australia', 'Pretoria' (aka Bengal Tiger), 'Durban' (aka Tropicanna), 'Pink Sunburst', 'Orange Punch', 'Stuttgart', 'patens' (aka Paton)

cannas I currently sell: 'Australia', 'Pretoria', 'Orange Punch', 'Pink Sunburst'

above are pics of recent blooms in my garden: 'Australia', 'Orange Punch', 'Pretoria', 'patens', 'Pink Sunburst'
If you have any questions about canna, canna pests, etc. please let me know! If I don't know the answer, I will know where you can find it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome To My Pond And Bog Blog!

My greatest desire is to share with you my passion for all things water garden - hence this blog!
Bog and pond plants are nature's water purifiers - they filter runoff before it hits our bayous, bays, lakes, rivers or aquifers. In today's ecologically aware culture rain, water and bog gardens are being created to responsibly and creatively deal with water runoff, low spots in yards and by municipalities to clean water before it hits the storm drains.
BUT...they are also being created for pure pleasure, their sheer beauty and their ease of maintenance. I find that all the ecological benefits of these gardens come naturally when we just concentrate on building them for our own enjoyment.
I wish to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you, while learning new things from you! Let's go on this adventure together - we will have so much fun!

Photo: Mrs. Perry D. Slocum lotus (nelumbo nucifera 'Mrs. Perry D. Slocum') taken the first day of bloom, end of June, 2009.