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Discussion in 'How's It Growing?' started by Margot, May 15, 2020.
@pmurphy It looks absolutely stunning. What a beautiful flower !!!!
Yesterday I had to communicate to a friend the unpleasant news of the opportunity of the elimination of his large lemon plant irreparably devastated by the Aleurocanthus spiniferus a tropical Eurodrome originating in Asia which has been devastating since about 2017 in particular the plants of the genus Citrus in every our region.
I was very sorry and I was thinking about it last night wondering how much the sudden eradication of a beautiful and large plant affects the visual perception of a garden. The answer surprised me because I realized that turning in my garden it sometimes happens to me to perceive the void left by my variegated Weigelia florida which I had to eliminate because it had suddenly dried up.
Is it a pathological personal attachment to my plants, being too subject to habit or, again, something that can normally happen?
These are my colorful potted Coleus. They are perennials but they are grown as annuals and there is no year that I do not put 4-5 seedlings in each of the two pots that I prepare by choosing the colors among the myriad that this plant offers
coleus - Google Search
They grow a lot and in a short time the vases are filled with shades of color that are a joy for the eyes. The important thing is to eliminate the flowers at the first hint of flowering because they are insignificant and this allows the plant to branch vigorously.
This year I decided to try to grow only one in height and as soon as he puts the flowers I will remove them to allow the plant to thicken. Also for the other I will do the same thing and soon I think I will have to change the vase gently.
@Arlette, good afternoon Arlette, I love the combination of colours and textures with your basket of Begoinias, Ivy and Coleus. Beautifully placed with the gentle path leading away.
In my garden this morning another Bee on my Hosta Revolution, my Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan with blue sky beyond and my Painted Lady Fern, just ready to unfurl.
A meeting that I hope to do during a tour in the garden is the one with the Sphinx of the Galio or Sphinx hummingbird (Macroglossum stellatarum), a moth of the Sphingidae family, widespread in Eurasia and also known as the Sphinx Butterfly that has diurnal and twilight habits .
It is a frequent visitor to both my Buddleja and Lonicera caprifolium.
It passes very quickly from one flower to another without ever resting: it remains in flight hovering over them for a few seconds, quickly flapping its wings at a frequency of 70-80 times per second !!!
This is why it is almost impossible for an inexperienced photographer to take decent photos. And I, besides being absolutely inexperienced, shoot them with my smartphone even if I enjoy playing with it a bit. But the ones I put in aren’t too bad, (are they?) considering the speed with which it flaps its wings.
To do it justice, and show it as it really is, I also insert two photos taken by a "real" photographer!
Agrius convolvuli - windepijlstaart by fotoopa
Macroglossum stellatarum - kolibrievlinder by fotoopa
@Arlette, I prefer your photos Arlette, it shows exactly what is going on in your garden today. White Buddleia is also a favourite of ours, so that adds to the pleasure.
@Acerholic Kind as always!!!! Thanks!
I vividly remember these growing up as a kid in southeastern Europe, they were abundant and fascinating... I did manage to capture a few in jars (later released) it is the only way to observe them... in flight they almost look like a hummingbird.
Lovely!!! Thanks for bringing up my childhood!
I finally got a break from making jams and jellies (although I still have to collect my rose hips) and decided to water my gardens - which gives me 3 hours to think and plan more projects (this can sometimes be a bad thing). It also gave me time today to noticed that some plants are slower this year and much smaller - my cannas are just now starting to bloom and are half the height they were last year - but I can only attribute this the cool weather we had in June (what we call 'Juneuary').
And as I'm still waiting for some things to start flowering I thought I'd share some different photos of my plants.
Yucca 'Color Guard'
Agave 'Marginata' - this plant is only a couple of years old; the mother plant beside it spans over 1.5 meters
Daylilies and bananas
Mediterranean fan palm
Rice paper plant
Variegated pineapple lily
Trumpet vine and hydrangea
Just the one this morning in my garden. I thought it was lovely on it's own, just starting to unfurl.
Arithium fern 'Metalicum'
I have to thank @Margot for starting this thread and her first words were "We gardeners have more time than ever to work on our gardens in this time of COVID but hardly anyone with whom to share the fruits of our labour."
Being able to share photos of not only our gardens but our accomplishments as well, has not only increased my appreciation for plants but has made me really look at them; to see beyond the beauty of a flower. Yes flowers are pretty, but they are fleeting. While taking photos I've spent a lot of time looking for the "right angle" and "just the right amount of light" but in doing so I've also found the structure of the plant to be fascinating.
When I started my gardens about 15 years ago my goal was to do something that I was told couldn't be done; to bring the tropics north. I wanted a "tropical garden" north of the 49th Parallel. I was interested in seeing what plants could actually grow here so I researched and started acquiring rare and unusual plants that I felt could survive here and give me that desired outcome; I was more interested in hardiness than in appearance.
And I'm ashamed to admit that with your simple words @Acerholic - "it was lovely on it's own" - you have made me realize something I have only recently begun to discovered. Thank you.
@pmurphy, I'm so glad you liked my photo of my fern P. The words in your posting were very touching; there are people on this forum who I delight in reading as well as seeing photos of lovely plants.
Just enjoyed yours 'very much indeed'.
In the end I may not have achieved my "tropical garden" but I am proud of what I did end up with, and can now look at it with fresh eyes.
Clematis 'I am Happy'
@pmurphy, it's 'beautiful' P.
From these recent photos and others you've shared in the past, I would say you have been very successful achieving your goal. I like the way you've used non-tropical plants in addition to tropical ones to enhance the drama and excitement in your garden.
This morning on a flower of the Buddleja White Profusion I had a meeting with a completely black beautiful insect which, however, was completely blue-metallic green in the rays of the sun. Large on the 2,5-3 cm, it a little frightened us at first but it remained quietly to suck the nectar both while the flower was on the plant, and when I cut it to take a closer photograph.
It is an Xylocopa but it is not possible to understand whether X. violacea or X. is worthwhile since the first antennal articles cannot be distinguished in detail despite the attempt to enlarge the photos.
But nothing detracts from its beauty especially when making a short flight it found itself in full sun.
I see that Xylocopa are bees. I didn't recognize that.
@Arlette has mentioned Buddleja species a few times recently in beautiful photos and descriptions of the insects attracted to them.
I feel a certain conflict, knowing that Buddlejas are on the BC Invasive Plant list. I have to wonder why.
It is very presumptuousness of me to question the decisions of those who decide which introduced plants are invasive here in BC. There must be a scale of invasiveness where Scotch Broom, Blackberry and Thistles are near the top but I’m not convinced that Buddleja should rank very high. That said, I would hesitate to plant it just because I wouldn't want to take the chance of introducing something that could become a problem.
When I first noticed Buddleja growing along Highway 1 in North and West Vancouver many years ago, I thought that was pretty neat – such an attractive butterfly- and bee-friendly shrub popping up all on its own. Since then, I have not myself observed any particular agressiveness compared to Broom and Blackberry. Changing climate and weather patterns would seem to discourage its proliferation. I really wonder if its invasiveness should be re-assessed vis à vis its wildlife value.
But who am I?
@Margot I would say: who are we? Because I too contest the inclusion in the list of invasive plants by the Buddlejaa little bit and I thought about it for a long time because I love these plants generous in blooms and colors and in the hospitality towards the "good" insects so much threatened at any latitude and, as I already have written elsewhere, I gave myself an explanation.
This shrub, originally from north-western China and introduced to the West at the end of the nineteenth century for ornamental purposes, is soon out of control, like many other invasive neophytes, sometimes unsuspected (Impatiens balfourii, Cornus sericea, Helianthus tuberosus, Araujia sericifera, Lonicera henryi, .................), that adapt to any terrain, grow quickly, and produce flowers that carry a large quantity of seeds that are easily dispersed even through water and animals; and they also have the ability to germinate easily for several years with each small part of them to root. It can also multiply vegetatively by means of underground stolons and these underground parts can remain viable in the soil for a few years.
For this reason it can form dense populations able to partially supplant the native vegetation.
They say weed it but, and this is where I would make a distinction in favor of a conscious and careful cultivation of the plant in the gardens, this will certainly be true for the spontaneous ones that grow on cliffs and in uncultivated places, floodplains, rivers and rivers. lakes, forest clearings, railway escarpments, from the plains to over 1300 m. where the dispersion of its many seeds finds immense spaces for germination, reproduction and growth. On the other hand, I repeat, it is the very structure of the flower, apical cylindrical panicles 20-50 cm long, which favors the dispersion of the many seeds contained in them when ripe.
In over 10 years that I cultivate the B.davidii I was born spontaneously only a seedling sprouted between the escapes of the tiles of the small sidewalk around the house ... ... it almost made tenderness so attached to life!
I regularly remove the faded flowers and in 10 years that I cultivate them, I was born spontaneously only a seedling sprouted between the joints of the tiles of the small sidewalk around the house ... ... it almost made tenderness so attached to life!
In addition, at the time of pruning (or pruning because they contain repeated exuberance during the year) contain their exuberance during the year) I do not start mowing them to composting but I dispose of them with unsorted waste, closed in the bag.
So no, unfortunately, to Buddleje in nature but yes to those chosen to adorn the gardens?
The unknown and the danger is the scarce attention of man for the conservation of biodiversity which, neglecting simple precautions, endangers the indigenous flora which is sometimes supplanted by the extension of the settlements, in turn by the shading that slows down the growth of the concomitant flora.
As for Buddleja davidii in particular, numerous sterile hybrids have been created, some of which do not form seeds at all, others produce sterile or very heavy seeds, which cannot be easily dispersed by the wind. As a result, it seems to me that in some States the ban on production and introduction into the territory is being changed to allow the sale of sterile and non-invasive species (e.g. Oregon?).
Very interesting debate on what constitutes invasive. Is a plant dangerously invasive if it encourages the ever decreasing insect populations ? Is it invasive if it can be controlled easily ??
Are so called invasive plants really the unwanted intruders that they are made out to be. I'm not so sure !!
Surely there are degrees on this argument rather than a blanket decision on them all !!
Really enjoyed reading both @Margot and @Arlette posts.
This morning in my front garden after some overnight rain my Zebra grass was looking quite nice. It is Miscanthus sinensis ' Zebrinus'.
Another Lobelia erinus volunteer, I have no idea where they are coming from.
Just like L. cardinalis has the most intense and vivid red color, I think L. erinus has some of the most intense and vivid blue.
@Nik, it does not matter where they come from, they are beautiful. The intensity of the blue just pops out at you. Sapphire is very good name for this.
A couple of my summer plants are now starting to flower...and I thought I'd include a couple that look nice on their own.
Yellow wax bells
Rose of Sharon, often sold as 'Blue Satin'
Euphorbia 'Tasmanian Tiger'
Lungwort - funny thing about this plant is that it can have spotted leaves or not. When I originally bought the plants there were 6 in a pack and they all looked the same. I randomly selected 3 plants for each side of what is now my Fern Garden. After a few years I realized that the plants (which had now spread to fill the area) were divided - solid green leaves on the west side of the bed and spotted leaves on the east side. I think I like the spotted leaves...more interesting. FYI the flowers are different colors as well; green leaves have pink flowers and spotted leaves have purple flowers.