MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Friday, January 30, 2009

I love you, Mr. Double Otto!

Have you ever got frozen after clicking a flower picture to enlarge it? It looked good, very good right after you downloaded it from your camera. But when you clicked it and it jumped on you from a computer screen? This is what happened to me when I saw the image of these fuchsia flowers. I saw the petals as I never saw them before and then, droplets - tiny and not very tiny - resting on the petals. I was startled, paused for a few seconds and then started to cry (well, almost). Isn't it a BEAUTY itself? Thanks God for creating such a wonderous sight. Thanks humans for inventing devices to catch a wonderful moment and keep it so that we could enjoy it again and again.





This picture was taken in late November. It was misty that day, not rainy, just misty.

Fuchsia Double Otto.

I have two plants, both of which grow in containers and bloom til frost. Very good information about growing hardy Fuchsia can be found on the Northwest Fuchsia Society Website:


Rules are different for plants in containers and plants in the ground. Those in containers need shade, more water and more food.

HAPPY GARDENING! I HOPE YOU ENJOYED LOOKING AT THESE FLOWERS AS MUCH AS I DID.
Another picture of this plant is here: My Best Bloom of 2008

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I lived with a stranger for 4 years...


I looked at him for 4 seasons. I smelled him, I touched him, I admired him. I showed him to my girlfriends and they got jealous. I was amazed by his reproductive abilities. I did nothing special for him, but he returned every summer to my garden, and not alone - with hundreds friends. I didn't know his name (see previous post). I know now, thanks to fellow blotanists. Karrita, Cameron, Tina helped me in my search for his identity.
Jared (Pleasant Hill Rambles ) put the final world. My mysterious stranger is
Silene armeria. Thanks, Blotanical!
I love this plant. Some web sites call it invasive. It doesn't bother me that it self-seeds, since my perennial bed is pretty big. If I don't like it in certain place - it is very easy to remove. I like that it appears in large groups. It creats waves of bright pink spots.



Other names: None-so-Pretty, Catchfly.
Height: Up to 2 ft.
Flower Color: Brilliant magenta, pink.
Plant Type: Annual. Grows quickly, blooms heavily. Regrows next spring if seeds fall on bare ground.

It feels good to find an answer. And it is somehow ... sad. I enjoyed looking through the books, web sites, comparing pictures, guessing. I found an answer and lost a mystery. I think I need to find another one. This time it could be in my garage. Another stranger. I knew its name, but forgot it. It's huge and very particular. I killed it once, but it survived. Well, it is a different story.

******************************************************************************
From Wikipedia:
Silene armeria, commonly known as the Sweet William Catchfly, is a plant of the family Caryophyllaceae. Originally a native of Europe, it has become widespread in the USA. A small-growing form is known as Dwarf Catchfly. The name comes from the way in which small insects are trapped by the sticky sap exuded onto the stem. However it is not currently regarded as a carnivorous plant, though it has been identified as a carnivorous plant in the past.[1]

References
Williams, Amy. (1913). Carnivorous plants of Ohio. The Ohio Naturalist, 13(5): 97-99.

What plant is this? HELP!





I have this misterious plant in my perennial garden. First year, after we moved here from Midwest, I took all the seed packages I had and spread the seeds around. I think everyone has such packages received from relatives, friends, from catalogues, garden shows, etc. I had a bunch of them, some were already expired. I said my usual: If you want to live, you'll survive! Sure enough, next spring I got several survivors. This one, on the picture, looks like an annual, selfseeds, and goes strong already for 5 years without my help.


There are thousands of them and they create beautiful bright pink wave in the corner of the garden.

I am sure it is some ordinary plant and you can help me to get its name. I took it once to a nursery, but a person whom I asked couldn't help me.
Thanks for your time!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Worth planting - Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica )

This is one of my favorite evegreen shrubs. Gorgeous big tropical-looking leaves, magestic creamy white flowers followed by clasters of black fruits...



The flower head looks like a giant snowflake, doesn't it?


I love Fatsia because of its hardiness. My three plants looked dead after December heavy snowfall.


Yes, some leaves and branches got black, but plants survived!

Monday, January 19, 2009

December Hummingbird


I was walking around the house after that heavy snowfall when I heard a fluttering noise - a little bird jumped out of a fuchsia bush. Fortunately, I had my camera and managed to take a picture. Poor bird, everything was absolutely white around! Those bright flowers got her attention. I hope she found some nectar!
Click the picture to make it bigger

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Love You, Arizona!

It was nice to spend a couple of days in warm, sunny, colorful Arizona, this time a year.




Thank you, Mary Ann, for letting me pick up those ripen bright yellow lemons from your wonderful tree! I am just wondering how did I get so lucky to pick that particular fruit that looked like a giant among others?





Just look at him! I marked him with O on the picture above.



I am glad I didn't take him home. I could never eat such a character! By the way, what have YOU done to him?


Click the picture to make it bigger.

MY PICTURE OF THE DAY. HYDRANGEA


Hydrangea is one of my favorite plants. Isn't it beautiful, even now?!






Name origin: From the Greek hydro (water) and aggos( jar); referring to the cup-shaped fruit.

I never thought that Hydrangea had fruit! I called those little things "seeds".


Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Midwinter Night's Dream

It's January, but I am starting to dream about dirt, new and old plants, digging, planting, clipping, blooming ...



This is my main perennial area. I never planned it. I just throw seeds there, put newly bought not-planned plants or those that grew in other areas of the garden, remove ovegrowth. Accidents happen. Sometimes they are not bad.

AND IN MY MIND, MY GARDEN GROWS...

Isn't it amazing - you read someone's poem and realize that it is exactly what YOU are thinking about?!


"In winter's cold and sparkling snow,
The garden in my mind does grow.
I look outside to blinding white,
And see my tulips blooming bright.
And over there a sweet carnation,
Softly scents my imagination.
On this cold and freezing day,
The Russian sage does gently sway,
And miniature roses perfume the air,
I can see them blooming there.
Though days are short, my vision's clear.
And through the snow, the buds appear.
In my mind, clematis climbs,
And morning glories do entwine.
Woodland phlox and scarlet pinks,
Replace the frost, if I just blink.
My inner eye sees past the snow.
And in my mind, my garden grows."

Cheryl Magic-Lady, Winter Garden
Click the picture to make it bigger

Winter Forest

Forest is also a garden, isn't it? Nature garden.




Friday, January 16, 2009

My Picture of the Day. WHITE NOSE

This is Amur. He is a mix! He is German - obviously, he is Canadian because he was born there, he is American because he lives here, and he is Russian because his owner is Russian-American.
I hope he is not confused!
Click the picture to make it bigger.

Why to Love Radish?



I love radish! Radishes have been reported as beneficial for teeth, gums, nerves, hair and nails. They are also said to stimulate the appetite and to relieve nervous exhaustion. Radishes will relieve cases of constipation and catarrh, reduce overweight and help dissolve gallstones. (J.M.Kadans, Ph.D.

Encyclopedia of Fruits,Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds for Healthful Living)


Addition to this post, after I got comments from Tina :http://tinaramsey.blogspot.com/

These are the pictures of long red radish taken from Russian site http://www.seeds.spb.ru/radish.html and white radish called Chinese or Japanese radish Daikon.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

I AM NOT CRYING, AM I?


Ligustrum got hit by the snow falling from the roof when temperature went up. It was a foot of snow! I am not going to remove it right away. I'll give it a chance: straighten it up, cut broken branches and see if it survives. (Ligustrum Amur Privet, Ligustrum japonicum).



Cordyline couldn't stand such a low temperature. I am wondering if it could give a new growth from the top?!
Cordyline (Dracaena).

(Click the pictures to see them bigger.)

Why To Love Parsley?



I read somewhere that parsley is one of the most wonderful plants in the world.
Reported health benefites:
The richness of minerals as well as the high content of vitamins has made parsley valuable for cases of anemia, nephritis (inflammation of kidneys), tuberculosis, halitosis, menstruation disorders, feevers, congested liver and gall bladder, diseasis of the urinary tract, rheumatism, arthritis, obesity, high blood preassure, dispepsia, etc. (J.M. Kadans, Ph.D. Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds for Healthful Living). They recommend
to eat parsley raw for preservation of the food value.

MY PICTURE OF THE DAY. Dog Days

Click to enlarge


Click on me! How many things one picture was able to catch! A foot of fluffy, clean, soft snow; a pot covered by snow on the table that is covered by snow; a palm tree with icicles on its leaves, a lacy gazibo; a hedge that is almost as high as a layer of snow on it; fur trees' reflection in the window; a rose bloom with a snow hat; a doggy that went nuts from being happy!

Die Hard

Clematis 'Dr. Ruppel'



Calendula


Japanese Maple



Escallonia




Clematis 'Dr. Ruppel'


(Click the pictures to see them bigger.)

Winter '08 Garden

This winter is incredible! We got one foot of snow!













This picture, above, is one of my favorites.
It was my every day task - to brush off snow from my palm trees.



(Click the pictures to see them bigger.)

Some of My Favorites

Helleborus 'Royal Heritage'


Perennial Bed


Perennial Phlox



Astilbe x arendsii 'Bridal Veil'


Shrub Rose


Petunia


First Grapes in My Life


Perennial Bed


Rhododendron


Clematis 'Dr.Ruppel'



(Click the pictures to make them bigger.)

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