Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coral Vine

Vines sure can grow like crazy!  I guess that is what they are meant to do in their natural habitat or in the jungle!  This is Coral Vine or Antigonon leptopus.  Say An-TIG-O-non  Lep-TO-pus(easy as Latin names sound like they look).  It is native to Mexico and is listed as an invasive exotic species in Florida. I can imagine it taking over there.   I love the flowers.



Research says it is evergreen.  But I know it to look crappy in winter so it gets cut back hard.  I had one at our old rental house in Arcadia in a whiskey barrel and would let it climb up a Eucalyptus tree.  But the whole thing was too big to fit in our large(the largest) moving truck.  So, I left it with my neighbor.   Then I hunted nurseries here in Burbank(only 23 miles away) for 2 years unsuccessfully.  I finally mail ordered a tiny 4" pot of it.  I wasn't sure where to plant it, just knew that I needed it :-)  So I planted it on the birch teepee in the front yard on which I also have a climbing rose called Bouquet Parfait.



You can barely see the teepee.  There are 3 legs.  







 The first year it grew about 4 feet and still got cut back in winter. This year it is almost smothering the rose.  It grew so big that I tied a rope from the teepee to the house roof to give it somewhere to go.  It DID!  It has reached the roof about 15 feet away!  My Rick is not too happy about it reaching the roof.  I was worried a little. But I will dig it up and plant it elsewhere in a few months.  But I am enjoying it's flowers and crazy growth now :-)  




















Saturday, August 30, 2014

Night Blooming Jasmine

Night Blooming Jasmine is native to Asia and the West Indies.  It grows up to 13' tall, takes sun to part shade and is frost tender. Here in SoCal it might get frost burn in winter(if we have a frost) and look crappy but almost always recovers.  It is a fast grower.  Mine is 2 years old but I've been pruning it to make it bushy. 

























Hot August Nights are great for Night Blooming Jasmine which is not even actually a Jasmine but Cestrum nocturnum. But not so much for me.  It has been so hot that we have kept  the AC on until almost bedtime.  That means that I can't open the windows to enjoy the intense fragrance of the one Night Blooming Jasmine plant under our kitchen window.  And we live too close to the freeway to leave our windows open at night.  So I would be happy if the weather would cool down at about 6:00 or 7:00PM please.  Can you do something about that?  Thanks :-)





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunflower Heads

Sunflower head by Aprille

This is one of my Sunflowers that was 10' tall! After the yellow petals drop, the head begins to turn downward. Research says you must wait to cut it to obtain the seeds until the back is brown. If you don't wait the seeds will not loosen easily. IT IS TAKING FOREVER! I'm waiting. I just hope the birds don't get them before I do.

Sunflower leaf by Aprille


I have seen finches eating the leaves. Weird, right? They sit on the tops of the leaves and just eat what's up towards the sun. Those leaves are like 10" across. So 3/4 of them turn downwards. Birds can have the leaves but not the seeds. Are you growing sunflowers?

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Bright Spot In August


Just had to share that my Fair Bianca, a David Austin English rose is blooming today. It is a "bright spot" or shall I say a "cool spot" in these dog days of summer and oh so fragrant! I can't wait until Autumn because I'm so tired of sweating. And as soon as the weather cools ALL my roses will be blooming!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dog Days Of Summer


We're in the middle of the dog days of summer. We've had it fairly good since there's been no 100 degree temps in a month or so. But it has been in the 90s for weeks. I complain about the weather because I suffer(don't do well) in it for a living. I work in the morning before it gets too hot. In SoCal we have summer from June through October. The other 7 months here are the best for working outdoors.



I just wanted to share a bright spot to these dog days. Here is a reblooming bearded Iris Pure As Gold. If you've been following for awhile you know that I love Irises. I have 53 planted, bought 2 yesterday and 2 more came in the mail. It's so wonderful to almost always have an Iris blooming!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gomphrena "Fireworks"

Back in February I was at my friend Kathy's house taking rose cuttings and I saw this amazing plant in bloom in her garden.  She told me that it was Gomphrena "Fireworks".  Say GOM-free-NA. I promptly went home and looked it up on the internet.   It is from the Amaranth family and native to the tropical Americas, Australia and Asia.    I found plants only sold at Annie's Annuals up in the San Francisco Bay area but it wasn't available then. I put it on my wishlist and waited.  It was probably May when it became available and I mail ordered one plant of it(expensive with shipping) plus a couple others.  I planted it in the ground and it is doing fabulous, blooming almost since I got it.  It is about 3 feet tall now.



Flash forward to last week when I was at my local Armstrong Garden Center and what do I see, a whole flat of 4" pots of that Gomphrena "Fireworks".  Now, it's the dog days of summer, 90º out and I shouldn't be planting. But I was pissed off that it was so difficult to get back in winter and here it is so easy to get now! Ugh, so I bought another.  Had I a bunch of money I would have bought 10 as it's an amazing plant that makes great cut flower filler too!  Said to be an annual, I hope it lasts longer than just this year.  


Happy gardening! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hose Wreath


I got this idea from Pinterest. But every photo I saw used new materials. I wanted to recycle old materials. Did you save an old hose, maybe to use pieces as tree ties or something? Use a piece for a unique upcycled garden wreath. I added a pair of orange rubber gloves, an old sprinkler head, a tiny clay pot, some used tie tape and a cluster of huge Eucalyptus seed pods from a tree near downtown Burbank that we stopped to pick. Trash to decoration. I hope no one steals it.