Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Best color year for Serviceberries

I read an article touting the virtues of Service berries (these are probably Amelanchier canadensis, Shadblow) as a small tree that had 3 season interest - flowers in spring, red fruit turning to black in early summer and bright fall colors. Our trees had the first two traits but the last was fugitive until this year. The colors have been a dark orange brown for the past 5 years but for some reason this year the colors are quite fabulous. I wonder if it had anything to do with the trees not producing any fruit whatsoever this year?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Faded Beauties

These valiant flowers are actually only faded (old) in a time sense not color. The frost damaged Camellia sasanqua and rose actually retain their color, the Camellia acquiring a bluish tinge along the outer edges of the petals and the rose deepening in color though damaged.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wild Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica

The few remaining fall flowers of the wild Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica . Here's a good site which gives more information about this beautiful and highly scented but very invasive alien.

I was wondering why there were white and yellow flowers. I thought maybe one was fragrant and not the other but both seem to have an equally sweet smell. Then I read the info on the website above and found that the white flowers turn to yellow as they age.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jade plant flower

Flower of the jade plant Crassula ovata. This is the first time this plant is blooming. I rescued two dessicated leaves that were sprouting tiny plants on a shelf in a basement window when we first moved into the house. The leaves apparently had dropped off the plant and were on the bare wood shelf. Those first two plants were given away as gifts but this is another plant from the leaves of the first ones.

I love the pink pistils.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Old and New

I liked the look of this photo, a memento mori kind of picture but also beautiful so I'm including it to the blog.

This is almost the last of the anemones to bloom. It is one of the oldest in our garden which we bought from an now defunct nursery as a tiny $1.49 plant. It looks and is tall like A. Japonica 'Victor Jones' but I can't be sure.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Climbing Hybrid Musk rose 'Sally Holmes'

We bought a couple of these climbing Hybrid Musk roses last week, to replace the Clematis paniculata which I dug up because it was getting to be a bit unruly and had the fault of only a short bloom time.

Though the rose appears to be a soft peach in bud and early bloom stage the mature flower becomes almost pure white with no hint of peach. One of the plants had a mature white flower on it when I bought the roses but the other had a peach bud so I thought they mislabeled the pot but soon realized it was the same flower when it opened fully. They are still blooming at this late date but then, we still haven't had a killing frost and the all the roses seem to like the cool weather.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I don't like the look of the common sumac trees that grow like weeds here in NJ. This is probably Rhus glabra but I'm not certain.

But, during the fall, the sumac puts on a brilliantly colorful show and somewhat redeems itself in my eyes. It looks like the colorful pennants or streamers strung around used car lots. That association is unfortunate but I can't think of any other comparison.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One of the last Dahlias to bloom

I took this picture from above the flower rather than the more normal head on shot which would show the stamen and style.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Million bells

Tiny flowers (1" dia.) of the Calibrachoa, Million Bells, Petunia and Lobelia 'Crystal Palace'.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Small yellow tan mushroom

Fringed Tubaria? The distinct border at the edge of the cap and the dark colored stems (the same color as the border) don't look like any mushroom in my field guide book. Several have almost the same color but no sharply demarcated edge border so I don't know what it is.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wild morning glory

I had a pleasant surprise when I came upon this wild morning glory while filling the bird feeders. I was completely unaware of the vine so was astonished to see such a beautiful flower in a weedy patch.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Anemone 'Andrea Atkinson'

I bought this Japanese Anemone from Bluestone Perennials but the flower doesn't look much like theirs. Mine is a single petal flower which I don't mind at all and theirs looks to be double petaled but I wish they would label the plants correctly. Maybe it has to grow a bit and hopefully next year's flowers will be more robust and will resemble the one on their website eventually.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis

The goldenrods are starting to bloom and this wasp was busily collecting nectar. We mainly have the Canadian goldenrod growing wild here. Though the goldenrods are often unfairly blamed for hay fever, it is the ragweed that causes the allergic reaction. The goldenrod pollen is too sticky and heavy to be windblown. One year we actually bought a Solidago (I don't remember what species it was but probably not S. canadensis) and had a good laugh when we managed to kill it. Imagine killing what is essentially a beautiful weed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007


This is a common Cyclamen (probably C. persicum) we bought from the grocery store last fall and is blooming again. We managed to keep it alive through the winter and planted it outside in the spring. This is the only one to survive out of several. It is frost tender so I'll have to pot it and bring it inside again for the winter.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mystery plant, possibly of the nightshade family

This wild plant's flowers reminds me of a eggplant. I was it growing adjacent to a parking lot and I thought the flowers were rather pretty.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yellow toadflax , butter and eggs or wild snapdragons (Linaria vulgaris)

A pretty but unfortunately an invasive plant. This was taken in the late afternoon near a parking lot.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Seeds of the noxious Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana

I actually find the plant to be quite handsome and the pink stems and green and black berries attractive. I only wish it wasn't so highly invasive and prolific.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Only this one Crocosmia out of more than a dozen survived the winter and is blooming now.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Unknown freebie rose

This floribunda rose was given to me as a gift for buying a certain dollar amount of mailorder plants. I don't know the name of it. Although the plant was puny and I never thought it would amount to much, the rose has thrived and produces an abundance of blooms even after being almost denuded of leaves by brown chafer beetles in early spring. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hibiscus syriacus, aka Rose of Sharon in North America

From Wikipedia: "The Rose of Sharon is a flower of uncertain identity mentioned in English language translations of the Bible. The word in question is the Hebrew חבצלת ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ, which has been uncertainly linked to the words בצל beṣel, meaning 'bulb', and חמץ ḥāmaṣ, which is understood as meaning either 'pungent' or 'splendid' (The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon). The name first appears in 1611, when it was used in the King James Version of the Bible. According to an annotation at Song of Solomon 2.1 by the translation committee of the New Revised Standard Version, this is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for "crocus". Different scholars have suggested that the biblical "Rose of Sharon" is one of the following plants:

* A "kind of crocus" ("Sharon", Harper's Bible Dictionary) or a "crocus that grows in the coastal plain of Sharon" (New Oxford Annotated Bible);
* Tulipa montana, "a bright red tulip-like flower . . . today prolific in the hills of Sharon" ("rose", Harper's Bible Dictionary);
* Tulipa agenensis, the Sharon tulip, a species of tulip suggested by a few botanists; or
* Lilium candidum, more commonly known as the Madonna lily, a species of lily suggested by some botanists, though likely in reference to the "lily of the valleys" mentioned in the second part of Song of Solomon 2.1."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Flower-of-the-Hour, Hibiscus trionum

Hibiscus trionum, aka Bladder hibiscus, Modesty, Venice mallow. Grows as a weed in our yard but I don't see it in our neighbors' yards.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Birch seed

This birch seed was caught in a spiderweb. We have about 5 kinds of birches: Heritage river birch, paper birch, a couple of Japanese birches and an unknown one. I don't know which one produced this seed but I think it may be the paper birch because it was flowering heavily this spring.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Patch of small mushrooms

Tiny mushrooms. Some kind of Coprinus? Coprinus lagopus?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


This is an early blooming hosta. None of the others have flowers much less buds, now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Linden, Tilia tomentosa, Silver linden, basswood, lime

Last year the flowering of the Silver linden brought hundreds of Japanese beetles which were apparently attracted to the sickly sweet smell of the flowers. This year I have only seen a single beetle so far and it was on the Edith Bogue Magnolia flower. I'm hoping this means a smaller infestation of beetles this year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Red clover

Presented to look like a large flower the common red clover blossom can surely rival any ornamental flower? Please click the photo for an enlargement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dying leaves of the water lilies

The leaves of the waterlilies are in a constant state of dying and renewal until the cold weather arrives. The dying leaves exhibit the same brilliant colors of some tree leaves in the fall. They were so brilliantly colored that I was compelled to photograph them.

Monday, June 11, 2007


We've never had much luck in growing Clematis. This is the third year this unknown variety is in the ground. It produced only two flowers last year and only three so far this year.

I like the seedpod pinwheels as much as the flower!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Plantain flower

Some of the weeds have the most interesting flowers. This is of the common narrow-leaf plantain, Buckhorn plantain, Plantago lanceolata. The tan skirt which forms the under part of the flower is actually the spent dried stamens. Click on photo to englarge.

Here's a good University of California website with extensive information on the two most common kinds of plantain - not to be confused with the banana relative.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I think these lupines came in a box of wildflower seeds because I don't remember planting any where they are located. The seeds were planted many years ago but the flowers still appear every year.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Water lily, hardy Nymphea

This is a cold hardy water lily, probably Nymphaea alba, a common but beautiful water plant. It over-winters in our pond which has frozen over to a depth of about 8" thick. The fish and water lilies survive under the ice.

Thursday, May 24, 2007