Friday, September 24, 2010

The Seedy Side of Gardening

I was just lookin' around at the fall garden and was reminded that it's not just about flowers, what about fruit?

'Carmencita Pink' Castor Bean

These Ricinus (castor beans) have really intriguing seed stalks containing spiny globes that look like medieval weapons. Of course with beguiling shades of pink and red.

'Carmencita Red' Castor Bean

 'Japanese Beauty Berry' Callicarpa

In sharp contrast are the glossy 'Barney' purple clusters of Callicarpa or Japanese Beauty Berry. They remind me of a bawdy shade of lipstick.

Sweet Bay Magnolia

Then from some other planet are these "creatures" in the Magnolia virginiana. These seeds are borne in an aggregate of follicles (go ahead, Google that, I dare ya). Other Worldly to say the least.  

Northern Sea Oats


Much more common are the Northern Sea Oats and Chasmanthium. You can almost here them rustling in the breeze.

Clematis 'Mrs. Robert Brydon'

Finally, Cousin Itt joins us from the Clematis Genus. These swirling, furry   dervishes stop traffic in the Show Garden.

Thanks for stopping by.....


Friday, September 17, 2010

My... Things Have Grown

Power Plaza

I just turned around and WHAM the Power Plaza planting is going "Bananas."

Castor Beans and "Grand Daddies"

I jumped into one shot so you could get a proportion. I'm 6' 4".............the castor beans in front are loaded with seeds and the "grand daddies" in back must be over 15'. Remember these are annuals.

Red Abyssinian "Bananas"

The Red Abyssinian "Bananas" are as monstrous as ever! There must be a gardener hiding in there somewhere?


Yes, things have grown. The koi in the fountain are fattening up for winter (aren't they cute?). 

Scoparia 'Mellangolly Blue'

Over in the blue corner, a pleasant surprise, Scoparia 'Mellangolly Blue' has rebloomed with the return of cooler weather and some rain. Scoparia is a nice powder blue colored ''shrublet" not often found but grown as an annual.

Eucalyptus 'Silver Dollar'

Andrew, more blue please. OK.  Eucalyptus 'Silver Dollar'. These seedlings really shine in the early fall sunlight.

'Heavenly Blue' Morning Glories

 And more? Perfectly blue morning glories aptly named 'Heavenly Blue.'

P.S. The quiet midweek days are an ideal time to visit on our Garden Pass. 
Talk to you next week.


Friday, September 10, 2010

September Slips In

Oh yes, the drought is back.

Some bright spots…

How about these fall blooming Colchicums popping out of the Lysimachia? Easy as pie, you just have to buy the bulbs early! Fall "crocus" produce lots of leaves in the spring, die off for the summer, and the flowers emerge (naked) in September.


Sweet Autumn Clematis

What's that climbing in the birches? Clematis? YUP, again a fall blooming species, ternifolia (used to be paniculata among others). They sprawl up the arbor and off into the branches. It looks like a white birch in bloom. GOTCHA 

Argentina Sky

....and just one more mention of the fantastic Salvia species and varieties. Bluer than blue and hummingbird magnets! Just a few to note, uliginosa (Bog Sage), guaranitica 'Argentina Sky', and 'Indigo Spires'

Indigo Spires

............pray for rain............CU next your bulbs ordered? Don't forget paperwhites,


Friday, September 3, 2010


A warm (and I mean warm) week was enjoyed by all as current staff and alums made various presentations. Opening day found garden and greenhouse staff a like sharing valuable info on some projects. Here Tom Kievit discusses the ins and outs of sheet mulching.

Kim Fusaro, Head Gardner

Head Gardener Kim Fusaro regales visitors with herbal know-how and Cindy Muro, Greenhouse Manager previews a repotting demonstration.
Cindy Muro, Greenhouse manager


Four superintendents gather together at the formal tea party. Lots of Horticultural hoo-ha here! Pictured here: Tom Wright (current Superintendent of Parks & Grounds), John Van Etten, Diana Weiner Story, and Chet Davis.



Elizabeth Scholtz, attending Garden Holiday (and hosting) for 44 years is recognized with a summer house in her honor. Lots of great stories and memories!


Cindy Lou has been at it again with a taste test of 18 different teas from garden acquisitions. Tasty and inspiring to all!