Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Willow Tree Gardens is Ready for Winter!

Just before Thanksgiving, I visited Willow Tree Gardens to enjoy their Christmas open house.  I'll post some of the glitz of the holiday carnival later.  Today, for the end of the second week of Advent, are some shots of the outside.  How lucky we are to live in a climate where there's something interesting happening in the garden year round!

Sempervivum (always alive) are aptly named and looking marvelous!

I rather like the arcs of hecureas in these displays. Do you see that poppy blooming?

It's a perennial Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)  What sort of magic is this?

What to do with that old wicker furniture?  Use it to display pots!  

Fun colors but they look like they'd be a bit chilly outside this winter.

The truck garden has produced veggies all summer but the large squash (or was it a pumpkin this year?) that grew from a pot where the engine was has been cut back.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful!

But the greenhouse is so delightful...

And since there's no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

The forecasters are predicting snow to arrive in our area at about 4:00 p.m. today.  Bummer, because that means no late start or snow day at work but it will make for an interesting commute from my day job  to my night teaching gig.  What's worse, temperatures will warm during Thursday night, snow will turn to rain and probably everything will be clear enough that there won't be a late start on Friday.  Don't get me wrong, I love my jobs but hanging out at home for an extra hour or two is pretty swell.

After picking the persimmons on Saturday,  I threw the last of the plants inside.  Cordylines for the greenhouse and the last of the begonias were cut off, their pots stored in the basement.  Now there's just a path in the greenhouse as the plants take up a lot of space. (They grow you know.)   Currently (Wednesday evening) it's 31 degrees outside and the predicted low is 25.  Brr.  Just ran out to the greenhouse to make sure that the heat is working and it's 45 out there.  Here's what it looked like on Saturday.  While it's pretty full out there, there's still shelf space for small plants.

The two vertical stalks just right of center are the bottom parts of the tallest papyrus I've ever had or seen. (I don't get out much so it may be normal)

The tops of this go up through the rafters of what used to be the ceiling/floor of the upper part and are now touching the peak of the roof which is about 20 feet high. 

Speaking of available shelving, one might think that a gardener would stow the  unsightly plastic containers in a shelf before taking a picture.

 Schlumbergeras add some floral zing.

The desert and jungle huddle together against the cold. 

Captive elves keep watch.

Just like the rest of the garden, this space gets less of my time during the cold months but it's sure a treat to be able to have so many plants that push the hardiness envelope!

I'm ready for spring, how about you? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday Vignette

On Monday morning, snow fell and stuck on rooftops and plants for an hour or so. The weather is supposed to get very cold and soon all the trees will be bare.  There are a few trees still celebrating autumn and this Acer palmatum 'Peaches and Cream' is usually the last of it's clan to give up the party.  With the green of native evergreen Oxalis oregana beneath, the red and green combination is a perfect way to welcome the festive season to come.

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see what's grabbing the attention of other bloggers this week.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Shake Them 'Simmons Down!

Shake Them 'Simmons (short for persimmons)  Down  is found in songs from different American folk cultures such as Scotch-Irish communities of the Appalachian Mountains and African -American communities of the South.  Gathering persimmons from my tree this year, which has been done a little at a time hasn't seemed as easy as shaking a branch.  Rather, I've found that a bit of a twist and moving the fruit backward is necessary to get it to come off of a branch.  Because freezing temperatures were predicted, on Saturday, I took one last look out the kitchen window at the festively bedecked persimmon tree, the sight of which has made me smile.  From experience I've found that the fruit can take a bit of a frost but being frozen turns it to mush so off the 'simmons came.

In summer, greenery covers up much of the debris (yard art) that is all visible at once this time of year.

There are a few areas on the skin that are black but it doesn't seem to be detrimental to the texture or taste of the fruit.

This is the first year in the 20 that I've had the tree, that it has borne ripe fruit.  One year it produced three but they froze and last year, when it produced a few  fruits, the squirrels (I hope they were squirrels)  ate them while they were green.    What a nice surprise.  Okay, Paw paw, got that?  Time to follow the persimmon's lead and start producing!

Monday, December 5, 2016

In A Vase On Monday

Today's offering was hastily assembled as it was a busier weekend than usual.

With temperatures below freezing predicted, the persimmons needed to be picked from the tree.   The colors of the heucheras didn't read well in these pictures but they echoed the orange color of the persimmons.

Maple-leaf roses from a few weeks ago were just sitting around waiting to be spray painted. 

I went to the store to get spray paint, found this poinsettia, and forgot the paint.  Oops.

Yes, the poinsettia should have been in the middle flanked by the heucheras but the handle on the basket would require squishing around the plant too much and it might get wrecked.  Maybe a different receptacle will be found later. 

So there you have it, my lopsided and strangely-colored (google photos changed their editing tools again and took away several options.)

I couldn't stand it and wanted to make it work so tried something different.  Still not doing it for me. 

Sometimes less is more or at least less frustrating. 

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting In a Vase on Monday.  Do click here to see what others have put together this week. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

It's Poinsettia Time Again!

From Molbak's a couple of weeks ago come these examples of the most-purchased plant in the industry.  

Love them or hate them, they're back. 

Molbak's has a dizzying array of varieties all beautifully displayed.  How delightful to admire the bright colors and contemplate hauling my collection  out of the basement for the season. Nah, I'd have to vacuum and dust first.  Yikes.

Maybe some elves will come by and decorate for me. 

Forgot the name of this beauty. 

Princettia Pink

Pull out all the stops, the carnival of Christmas has begun even though it's still Advent.
Happy weekend all!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

So, There Was A Sale At Flower World

Not just any sale but 40% off all indoor plants.  If one is a member of Flower World's e-club (free to join) he receives an additional ten percent off of all purchases even on sale merchandise.  But wait, there's more.  If one spends more than fifty dollars, he gets a free Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar' ( two 6" pots or one 8" pot!)  Some would call this an offer, I prefer to think of it as a challenge although, how much of a challenge is it to spend fifty dollars at a nursery?

Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar'  is a wonderful compliment to poinsettias for the holidays.

Flower World does not carry baubles, bangles, ornaments, soap, stationery, scarves, handbags, or other gift items (not that there's anything wrong with that.)  What they carry is plants, acres and acres of plants. (Three of those acres are inside so the weather is always perfect!

The heating bill must be outrageous but walking in the tropical houses when it's cold and windy outside is a spirit lifter!

Assorted cacti and succulents. 

Philodendron 'Prince of Orange'  is always an eye grabber!

Calethea 'Medallion' - Oh, the purple undersides of those leaves.  These DO NOT like to dry out at all and want to be kept moist. (Don't ask me how I know.) Most of my house plants are either not fussy about water or dead.  Okay, some water lovers live in the greenhouse where they can be watered with a hose and they are alright.

Cordyline terminalis 'Miss Andrea' 

Hopping from the tropics to outside, the berries if Ilex verticillata on bare branches are gorgeous. Unfortunately, the plant is rather dull the rest of the year.  Oh to have enough space to hide a few dozen of these shrubs!

Camellia sanguinea 'Apple Blossom'

Camellia x 'Buttermint' looks like it could melt in your mouth. 

 It's still autumn but already the primroses in my garden and those at Flower World are blooming as they will all winter.

Vibrant blooms of Tibouchina urvilleana.  

Our visit was the weekend before Thanksgiving and the staff was just starting to make wreaths.  

Maybe I'll be inspired by their creations to make my own.  On the other hand, dragging the fake one out of the basement is a lot easier.

How lucky are we to live in a climate where all of this is evergreen?

Musella lasiocarpa in bloom.

Cotinus 'Grace' still holding on to her glorious foliage.   

This picture doesn't show it well but the foliage of Calathea 'Silhouette' also has brilliant purple undersides.  There's an empty jardiniere in the parlor and I promise to keep it watered this time. The foliage pattern is just too seductive.  We'll let it ride in the cart for a while, enjoy it and put it back. The last bit didn't happen.  Oops.

Temperatures are predicted to plunge below freezing next week.  I hate to see autumn go. 

 We'll still have these cheerful Kale/Cabbages to keep us company through the winter!

See you next time, Flower World!
My Haul:   Calathea 'Silhouette', Camellia sanquinea 'Mondel', Heucherella 'Sweet Tea' , and a free Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar'