The Harry Weathcroft Rose

August 21, 2015

The Harry Weathcroft Rose was discovered by Wheatcroft & Sons in the UK in 1972. It is a highly unusual Hybrid Tea Rose with petals that are red and generously striped with gold. It is bushy with a vigorous habit, large bloom form blooming in flushes throughout the season and mild fragrance. It can grow to a height of 70 to 100 cm with a width of up to 60 cm.  This adorable hybrid tea rose is hardy in USDA zone 7b through 10b and is susceptible to blackspot.

Harry-Wheatcroft-Hybrid-Tea-Rose

Image Source: http://beardcommunity.com/forum/read.php?f=5&i=33254&t=33254

For spring pruning remove old, dead or diseased wood and cut back canes that cross. In warmer climates, cut back remaining canes by about 1/2. In colder areas, you’ll probably need to prune a little more than it. A popular old favorite striped Hybrid Tea rose, suitable for a garden border or patio container.

Harry-Weathcroft-Rose

Image Source: http://www.roses.uk.com/rose.cfm?roseid=1004

Harry-Weathcroft-Rose

Image Source: http://www.allaboutrosegardening.com/Harry-Wheatcroft-Rose.html

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Great Horned Owl

August 21, 2015

The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is an adaptable bird with a vast range. It is sometimes called the Tiger Owl, Hoot Owls, Cat Owls or Winged Tigers. It was first seen in the Virginia colonies and it got its species name “virginianus” from the Latinised form of the colonies’ name. This owl is the heaviest extant owl in Central and South America and the second heaviest owl in North America.

The Great Horned Owl is easily recognized by its earlike tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare and deep hooting voice. It is the owl depicted in the storybooks and is one of the most common birds in America equally at home in the deserts, wetlands, forests, grassland cities, backyards and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics.

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_horned_owl

The female Great Horned Owl is slightly bigger than the male, an average adult weighs about 1.4 kg, has a length of 22 in with a wingspan of 49 in. There is a considerable colour variation of the owl’s plumage between subspecies but the body shape remains the same. They are heavy built, with barrel shaped bodies that has broad rounded wings and large heads. The facial discs are rusty brown to ochre-buff, paler around the eyes with a prominent blackish rim on each side and there is a white patch on the throat. The iris is yellow except in the amber-eyed South American Great Horned Owl. The upperparts are mottled brown and the underparts are light brown. The feet and talons are slightly feathered and are large and powerful. The overall color tone of the Great Horned Owl varies regionally from sooty to pale. They are also natural predators to preys heavier than themselves like the skunks and porcupines.

Great Horned Owls have adapted to many different places and climates. You can find this widespread owl in woods, particularly young woods interspersed with fields or other open areas. Its breeding habitat extends from subarctic North America throughout most of North and Central America then going down to South America.

Bubo virginianus -Canada-6.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_horned_owl

The Great Horned Owl is nocturnal and activity begins at dusk but in some region may be seen in late afternoon. Both sexes may be very aggressive towards intruders when nesting. They hunt by perching on poles watching for prey. From their high perch they would dive down to the grown with folded wings before snatching up their prey. The prey almost always dies immediately when grasped by its large and powerful talons. Common preys of the Great Horned Owl are medium-sized mammals such as rabbits and hares, moderately sized rodents such as squirrels, mice, rats and voles.

Breeding season is in January and February when the male and female hoot to each other. Unlike other birds they do not build their own nest instead they utilised nest from other birds like the crow, hawk or heron. They sometimes use the nests of squirrel’s nests, abandoned buildings or artificial platform. Two to four eggs are laid which are incubated by the female for 26 to 35 days. For 6 to 7 weeks the young would start roaming the nest and other branches, they don’t get to fly well till they are 9 to 10 weeks old.

A Great Horned Owl in captivity is known to live up to 29 to 38 years and wild owls can live up to 13 years. Most deaths are related to man through shooting, traps and road kill. Their only natural enemy is the Northern Goshawks over nest disputes. The Great Horned Owl is not considered a globally threatened species by the IUCN.

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The Great Egret

August 20, 2015

The Great Egret also known as the common egret, large egret is a large, widely distributed egret. This  S-necked white bird is found throughout the Americas and around much of the world. In North America it is more widely distributed, and it is ubiquitous across the Sun Belt of the United States and in the Neotropics. Great Egrets are tall, long-legged wading birds with long, S-curved necks and long, dagger-like bills. In flight, the long neck is tucked in and the legs extend far beyond the tip of the short tail. All feathers on a Great Egret are white while their bills are yellowish orange and their legs are black.

Great egrets are found near water, salt or fresh, and feed in wetlands, streams, ponds, tidal flats, and other areas. They snare prey by walking slowly or standing still for long periods, waiting for an animal to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills. The deathblow is delivered with a quick thrust of the sharp bill, and the prey is swallowed whole.

The-Great-Egret

Common food staple is fish but they use the same technique  to eat amphibians, reptiles, mice, and other small animals. You’ll find Great Egrets in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. These birds nest in trees, near water and gather in groups called colonies, which may include other heron or egret species. They are monogamous, and both parents incubate their three to four eggs. Young egrets are aggressive towards one another in the nest, and stronger siblings often kill their weaker kin so that not all survive to fledge in two to three weeks.

The Great Egret’s beautiful breeding feathers where in huge demand for hat decorations during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Great Egret made a comeback after early conservationists put a stop to the slaughter and protected its colonies; as a result, this bird became the symbol of the National Audubon Society.

Image Source: https://fsuornithology.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/great_egret/

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/501821581

Broken-China-Jewelry-Blue-Bird-Bluebird-Pin-Brooch-Sterling-Silver Broken-China-Jewelry-Blue-Birds-Pendant-Sterling-Silver

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Gardenias

August 20, 2015

Gardenias are best known for their fragrant white flowers and generally found outdoors in southern regions and are admired for their glossy green foliage and fragrant blossoms. These beautiful plants are grown as ornamental shrubs in warm regions and as patio plants that are brought indoors in cooler areas.  As gardenias are heat loving evergreen shrubs they have become a gardening symbol in the Southeast. It is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania and is also known as cape jasmine.  As of 2014, The Plant List recognizes 140 accepted species of gardenia.

gardenia

Image Source:  http://www.topinspired.com/top-10-scented-plants-that-will-make-your-garden-a-fragrant-paradise/?utm_source=Top+Inspired&utm_campaign=75f42676e0-Mail_Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_550e25f7d0-75f42676e0-165811289

The requirements for growing gardenias are very exact and must be met to insure your plants continued to bloom.  Select a site with full sun to light shade and moist, rich and well-draomed soil. Gardenias prefer acidic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0. Avoid planting gardenias near concrete walk or foundation where the pH maybe too high for food growth. It is best to plant in spring or fall, space the plants 3 to 6 feet apart. It is highly recommended to have the soil tested beforehand to determine its pH level and if necessary add an adequate amount of sulfur to lower the pH level between 5 and 6. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.

Gardenias require an inch of rain or equivalent watering each week. Apply a 2 to 4 inch layer of organic mulch to keep the soil moist, reduce weeding and maintain constant soil temperature. During the growing season feed monthly with an acidifying fertilizer. Pruning is advised in early spring shaping the bush and deadhead after flowering to encourage more flowering.

Image Source: http://404239lawn.com/pruning-gardenias/

The best way to protect any plant from pests is to keep it healthy and prevent over-crowding. Gardenias are vulnerable to various insects including: aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, thrips, scale and whiteflies.

 

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What is My Birth Flower?

August 17, 2015

BIRTH FLOWERS BY MONTH

JANUARY – CARNATION

Symbolizes:  Love, Fascination, & Distinction

 

ImageImage Source:    http://tinyurl.com/oe7l2b2
FEBRUARY – VIOLET
Symbolizes:  Faithfulness, Wisdom, & Hope
 
 violet flowersImage Source:  http://tinyurl.com/odbf6a2
MARCH – DAFFODIL
Symbolizes:  Domestic Happiness, Respect, & Friendship.

 Image Image Source:  www.creaturecomfortsblog.com

APRIL – SWEET PEA
Symbolizes:  Love, Youth, & Purity.
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Image Source:  Image Source:  http://tinyurl.com/ongbdwq
MAY – LILY OF THE VALLEY
Symbolizes:  Humility, Chastity, & Sweetness.
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JUNE – ROSE
Symbolizes:  Love, Beauty & Appreciation.
ImageImage Source:  http://tinyurl.com/oeodpfu
JULY – LARKSPUR
Symbolizes:  Levity, Light & Strong Love Bonds.
Image Image Source:  http://tinyurl.com/q8vsmux
AUGUST – GLADIOLUS
Symbolizes:  Strength, Calm & Integrity
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SEPTEMBER – FORGET-ME-NOT
Symbolizes:  Patience, Daintiness, & Remembrance.
Image Image Source:  http://tinyurl.com/plmwddj
OCTOBER – MARIGOLD
Symbolizes:  Warmth, Elegance, & Devotion.
Image Image Source: http://tinyurl.com/puscb8v
NOVEMBER – CHRYSANTHEMUM
Symbolizes:  Compassion, Friendship, & Joy.
Image Image Source: http://tinyurl.com/ofwhzcr
DECEMBER – POINSETTIA
Symbolizes:  Good Cheer, Sweetness, & Success.
ImageImage Source:  http://tinyurl.com/p7s2jam




The Everlasting Series of Hydrangeas is a super tough line of Hydrangea macrophylla (big leaf hydrangeas) bred by Kolster BV in The Netherlands. These amazing new selection were bred for the cut flower market, so they have amazingly tough stems, strong, deeply colored, thick leathery foliage and strongest, longest lasting mop head blooms ever seen.

These series consists of Everlasting™ Amethyst, Coral, Garnet, Harmony and Ocean, they combine the  blooms of cut flowers with the long lasting qualities of a gift item and the hardiness of a shade-loving garden plant all in one. This is an extremely versatile series that honestly goes from gift to garden.

Amethyst-pink-and-blue-Hydrangea-everlasting-coral-garnet-harmony-ocean

Image Source: http://plantsnouveau.com/plant/hydrangea-everlasting-amethyst/

Everlasting Amethyst Hydrangea has sturdy long last flowers that begin fuchsia pink or violet blue, depending on the acidity of the soil and do not have browned edges at the end of the summer, but rather exhibit ever greater amounts of lime green. The compact 4 x 3′ bushy shrub springs forth with long-lasting blooms that change colors like chameleons, offering a new dimension in color interest. Great summer flowers with sturdy stems that hold clusters upright. Blooms will rock your favorite vase. The Everlasting Series is cold hardy to zone 5 (-29°C/-20°F) and blooms during the summer through autumn.

Hydrangea-everlasting-coral-garnet-harmony-ocean-pink-and-blue-broken-china-jewelry

Image Source: http://www.waysidegardens.com/everlasting-revolution-hydrangea/p/47825/

 

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Summer Nights Hybrid Tea Rose was bred by Verlie W. Wells in the United States in 2005. This Tea Rose have delicate yellow petals with a soft, rosy pink hue that deepens as it moves to the outer edges. The flowers unfurl in spirals to a stunning 5 inches across, set off dramatically by rich, dark green leaves.  Reaching to 5 feet high and as wide as 4 feet, the hybrid is great in the garden and ideal for patio containers.  It is highly versatile and is great in beds and borders as well.

For pruning it should be to  half its height or 18 inches off the ground and the removal of old canes and dead wood in the spring will help the hybrid thrive. Sever canes that cross.

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/diyboards/roses/

The remaining canes should be cut one-third — more trimming is needed in colder climates. With the proper minimal care, ‘Summer Nights’ will be a year-round showpiece.

Anyone will easily fall in love with this gorgeous new hybrid tea, reveling in its lovely licorice fragrance and exquisitely formed blossoms, whose soothing colours evoke memories of sweetly remembered sunsets.

 

Old Country Rose Roses China - Broken China Jewlery

 

 

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European Robin

August 14, 2015

The European robin most commonly known in Anglophone Europe simply as robin is a small passerine bird. It can be found throughout many parts of Europe and is the most easily recognized by the people. It has an orange-red breast and face, olive-brown wings and back, a white to light-brown belly. You can sometimes see a blue-grey fringe around the bottom part of the robin’s red breast patch. European robins have brown legs and their tail is bluntly square. They have large, black eyes and a small black bill.

The sexes are very similar, if not identical, though some texts suggest that the brown forehead is “V” shaped in females, and “U” shaped in males, though even this is not always apparent. They have a brown bill and legs.

The juvenile Robin has speckled buff-brown upper parts and underparts. They have no red feathers so that adult birds do not attack them in territorial disputes. The speckled feathers are lost in a partial moult when the bird is about two to three months old.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_Robin,_London.jpg

European robins have a lovely warm, warble that consists of a melodic rippling of notes. In autumn and winter, some say their song becomes more mournful and melancholy than it is in spring and summer. Their call is a sharp, highly pitched ‘twick’ or ‘tick’ that can be repeated in a series of rapid outbursts. This call is used as a warning signal or as a proclamation of their territory. European robins are notoriously territorial and can be quite aggressive to fellow members of their species who are unwelcome within their claimed plot of earth. During the spring and summer this territoriality is for breeding, but at other times individual robins hold territories for feeding.

The Robin’s diet is principally insects and worms, which it will normally catch by swooping, that is to say, snatching its prey on the ground after watching for movement from a perch above. They will also often follow a gardener that is digging the soil over for any easy pickings.

Image Source: http://www.birdforum.net/opus/European_Robin

When the male robin has found a mate, he will strengthen their bond by bringing the female food, such as worms and caterpillars, which she begs for noisily while quivering her wings and is often mistaken by the observer to be the mother feeding the young. Once the female has laid her eggs, she stays in the nest for up to two weeks, crouching low over them, well concealed with only her brown back visible.  The male brings her food, sometimes as often as three times in an hour. Robins breed from April through August.  After hatching, the young are ready to fledge in two weeks. As many as three broods may be raised in one year. European robins are not endangered or threatened and their populations are increasing in some parts of their range.

Image Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/photos/000/793/79398.ngsversion.dfbc6bdeda7428512a5708fb893a7657.adapt.768.1.jpg

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Daylily is a flowering plant in  genus Hemerocallis. It has been described by garden enthusiasts as “the backbone of the perennial garden” however though backbone would generally mean as fragile things, daylilies are anything but, they are close to being indestructible. They thrive in a wide range of soils and in sun or partial shade. Professional horticulturist have long bred daylily species for their attractive flowers. Daylily is native to Eurasia including China, Korea and Japan and it is popular worldwide because of the showy flwoers and hardiness of many kinds. Around the world there are over 60,000 registered cultivars, hundred have fragrant flowers and more scented cultivars are appearing more frequently in northern hybridization programs.

Image Source: http://www.distinctly.on.ca/floydcove/Picassos_Intrigue.html

Since the early 1930s, hybridizers in the United States and England have made great improvements in daylilies. Originally, the only colors were yellow, orange, and fulvous red. Today, we have colors ranging from near-whites, pastels, yellows, oranges, pinks, vivid reds, crimson, purple, nearly true-blue, and fabulous blends. Many people are familiar with only the common yellow or orange daylilies which are often seen along roadsides.

 

For planting daylilies, select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. In areas with hot summers, light afternoon shade will keep brightly colored flowers from fading. Plant in spring, spacing the plants 1 to 3 feet apart. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches, then mix in a 2 to 4 layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.

 

The wise daylily gardener will apply a proper cultural program which includes watering, fertilizing, mulching, possibly spraying, grooming, controlling weeds, and sanitation. Daylilies can be quite prone to pests and disease when they get old and lose vigour. You can prevent this by dividing clumps every other year in either spring or autumn. The problems to watch out for are rust, spider mite, thrips and aphids. Slugs and snails can also be a problem.

 

You can purchase Daylily Picasso’s Intrigue from the following:

 

eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Daylily-Seeds-The-Big-Picture-x-Picassos-Intrigue-6-Seeds-/151633370816

Riverbend Gardens & Nursery: http://riverbendgardens.net/daylilies

Guidry’s Daylily Garden, LLC: http://www.patrickguidry.com/new-images-04-5.html

Jardins Shefford: http://www.jardinsshefford.com/hemerocalle_pq.php

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Candelabra Primrose

August 11, 2015

 

Candeabra Primula or Candelabra Primrose refers to species of primula, which hail primarily from the northern hemisphere with the greatest diversity, found in the Himalayan region, especially Yunnan, Sichuan and Burma.

The Candelabra Primose is worth growing for its sheer size and attractive flowers that clothe the stems in whorls. They are suitable for herbaceous borders or as marginal plants beside ponds and will thrive if given a place where the roots will not dry out during the spring or summer.

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Image Source:  http://threedogsinagarden.blogspot.com/2015/05/duff-doon-evers-part-3-woodland-gate-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/VAqDz+%28Three+Dogs+in+a+Garden%29

 

The candelabra primroses belong to the section Proliferae. As a group, they are easy to recognize. All produce rosettes of upright leaves from which rises stiffly upright flower stems 30-60 cm tall. The flowers are produced in whorls along the length of the upper flower stem. Each whorl opens sequentially with 6-18 flowers per whorl and up to 8 sequential whorls. This flowering habit means the plants are in bloom over a period of 4-6 weeks. This section is native to wet meadows, marshes and mountain streamsides of SW China (Yunnan, Burma, Sichuan, Bhutan) with one species found in Japan. They are hardy to at least USDA zone 5, but some are even hardier.

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They are great for planting along streams and garden ponds or in bog gardens. They will grow in both sun or part shade but require more water if grown in the former situation. Some are evergreen but most are deciduous and overwinter as a tight, acorn-like knob. They are easily grown from seed especially if the seed are fresh. They need 4-6 weeks stratification for maximum germination. Mature plants may be divided after they bloom.

The main pest is root weevil larvae which burrow into their thick, thong-like roots, causing the plants to collapse mid-summer. Biological control is available via predatory nematodes.

The term candelabra primula encompasses several species and hybrids that bloom in sunrise/sunset shades of yellow, orange, apricot and rose. The range of colors comes from the fact that the plants cross-pollinate so easily, so you can start with a pot of yellow and a pot of red, and after a few years you’ll have your own varied collection. It includes P. pervulenta and P. japonica  which are stunning sights when they bloom in early June. They are ideal to grow streamside in a lighted shaded area. Some, such as P. allionii are small plants for stone sinks and the troughs used for watering the livestock — items difficult to come by, as most of them have been snapped up for specialty rockery gardens.

If you are a fan of primroses and want to extend the blooming season of this lovely group of perennials, then why not develop a spot to grow the elegant candelabra primroses!

Sources: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/505#b#ixzz3iJNw9Lq8

http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/homegarden/article/The-Grounded-Gardener-Primroses-really-can-be-a-1265653.php

http://www.seedaholic.com/primula-candelabra-hybrids.html

 

 

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