Gloriosa (Flame) Lilies

February 26, 2015

Gloriosa Lilies also known as flame lilies and glory lilies thrive in fertile, well as drained soils and in full to partial sun. Gloriosa Lilies consist of 5-6 tender climbing vines which are native to South Africa. These tender bulbs are also a vine that climbs by means of tendrils at the tips of their leaves and are quite poisonous when ingested. These specialty flower bulb is quite a mystery to many but they have been grown and distributed to gardens across America with astonishing success. This climbing bulb will grasp at anything for climbing up so it is ideal that you provide support to vines giving its tendrils something to cling to as well as for showing off its beautiful foliage.

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Image Source: www.floridagardener.com

Gloriosa lily bulbs are hardy in zones eight and nine. In cooler climates the bulbs will need to be dug up in fall after full senescence and stored in moist peat moss over the winter. Gloriosa lily bulbs require at least 6-8 weeks rest period, so it is important they do not dry out during storage. Gloriosa lily bulbs cannot handle a freeze, either in storage or down to bulb depth during their growing cycle. In the northern hemisphere store through the winter and plant again in the spring with warmer temperatures. These exotic-looking lilies produce an abundance of yellow and red flowers with petals that curl backward to resemble a flash of brilliant flames. Those big, crimson-red flowers are nothing short of glorious. Their unusual and exotic flowers have been featured on US postage stamps, and are the national flower of at least one African country. They make an outstanding cut flower in arrangements, and the configuration of their stamens and pistil has been compared to a clock and a minute hand.

 

Image Source: http://www.myclimatechangegarden.com/blog/glory-lily

Gloriosa Lilies can be grown indoors, plant them in pots 2-4 inches deep in a mixture of two parts rich potting soil, one part builders sand and one part peat moss. Place in indirect light and keep soil evenly moist. After blooming, withhold water and fertilizer, allowing the plant to go dormant. In the garden, plant gloriosa lilies in well-drained, organic soil in a location that receives full sun or light to medium shade. Gloriosas prefer warm temperature and to extend blooming period start the tubers inside in late winter and then transplant them to the garden in spring.

Gloriosa Lilies can reach up to 8 feet in height and would require support with a trellis or other suitable object is recommended. They can be left in pots of dry soil after blooming and should be replanted in fresh soils in spring. For those with pets please be mindful that the Gloriosa Lily is poisonous when ingested.

Image Source: http://mardeross.com/tag/gloriosa-lily/

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Gladiolus ‘Zizanie’

February 24, 2015

Gladiolus is a genus of bulbous flowering plants in the iris family and is sometimes referred to as Sword Lily. These flowers are easy to grow and are especially valued for use in floral arrangements. Gladioli produce tall spikes of large blossoms, in a rainbow of colors. Only clear, true blue is missing; white, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange, salmon, and even green gladioli are available, along with many bi-colors. These classic flower spikes have been adorning midsummer gardens and bouquets for generations. Today’s gardeners can choose from a wide range of flower forms, colors and heights, so there’s certainly a gladiolus for everyone’s taste. Gladiolus is generally grouped by flower size into classes from miniature to giant.

If planting gladiolus primarily for cut flowers, they would be best planted in rows. Prepare the area, stake and tend the plants and harvest flower stalks when they grow in neat rows. Glads can also be used to provide color in annual beds and borders, planting them in groups of seven or more is ideal for achieving the best effect.

Image Source: https://brentandbeckysbulbs.com/Bulbs/

The ideal location for planting the Gladiolus is an area where the soil drains well. If the area still has water puddles 6 hours after a hard rain, scout another area. Plant the gladiolus where they will receive full sun. Dig holes and plant the corms 7 inch deep and about 8 inches apart. After planting, water generously soaking the soil to settle it around the corms. During the growing season if rain does not occur, water them regularly. Weekly deep waterings are better than light watering every day. About 1″ of water per week is a good estimate of the water needed during the active growth periods.

 

Image Source: http://www.eutopiamall.com/

Gladiolus is only completely hardy in zones 8 to 11. In zones 6 to 7, they thrive if the bulbs are protected by a thick mulch throughout the winter. Use fertilizer in the care of your gladiolus, as they come up, you can fertilize the new gladioli batches when you see the flower spikes start to show. After you pick the flowers, you can fertilize again.

During the winter instead of leaving the gladiolus in the ground you can dig the corm up, shaking as much soil as you can from the corm. Trim the leaves back to within an inch from the corm itself store it in a dry cool place in a mesh bag. You can replant them when spring arrives. Gladiolus plants are a lovely addition to any garden. Knowing how to grow gladiolus and proper care of gladiolus will ensure that these delightful flowers will grow well in your garden.

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Radiant Perfume Rose

February 21, 2015

Radiant Perfume Rose is a medium yellow grandiflora bred by Dr. Keith W. Zary and was introduced by Jackson & Perkins in the United States in 2005. This award-winning floribunda rose bears beautiful 4-inch-wide, strongly fragrant, apricot-yellow blooms that appear in clusters. It’s compact and offers good resistance to powdery mildew and rose rust. The large double flowers (17-25 petals), borne mostly solidary bloom form and blooms in flushes throughout the season.

Image Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c3/85/c0/c385c01aebd840b8452a14b9f60296bd.jpg

 

Radiant Perfume can be used as a cut flower or in the garden; it is quite a looker in the landscape with its graceful form and richly golden color. This hybrid tea’s combination of spectacular color, tantalizing lemon fragrance, and glossy green foliage is sure to add impact to your landscapes and bouquets and grows to up to 5 feet.

 

Image Source: http://d24hmuzuqtr8sm.cloudfront.net/media/catalog/product/cache/3/image/372x/17f82f742ffe127f42dca9de82fb58b1/r/a/radiant_perfume_rose.jpg

 

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Purple Emperor Butterfly

February 19, 2015

The purple emperor is one of the rarest, most elusive and most beautiful of the UK’s butterflies.

The size of a small bat, fearless and aggressive it’s a butterfly that has inspired legions of followers of “the purple persuasion” to travel miles in the hope of catching a glimpse of it.

And the Savernake Forest is one of the very few hunting grounds in the country where this “connoisseurs butterfly” can actually be seen.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8576000/8576445.stm

How to see them

Purple Emperors are at their best on sunny days from mid-summer through to the end of July when they can be watched by scanning the tree tops with binoculars.

The best places in Wiltshire to see them include Bentley Wood in South Wiltshire and around the Ailesbury Column in the Savernake Forest where a colony is known to exist.

Image Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Purple_Emperor

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Bleeding Heart Flower Plant

February 18, 2015

Bleeding Heart Plant is a species of flowering plant native to Siberia, northern China, Korea and Japan. This plant has attractive mounded foliarge with arching stems of delicate, heart-shaped flowers in spring. It thrives in moist woodland gardens along with ferns and other shade-lovers. Bleeding Heart grows best in cool, moist conditions, it will grow in full sun, but in warmer and drier climates it requires some shade.

Flower colors include yellow, pink, red, and white. It blooms in spring and may rebloom sporadically throughout the summer in cool areas. Height ranges from 6 inches to 2 feet, depending on variety. The outer petals are bright fuchsia-pink, while the inner ones are white. The flowers strikingly resemble the conventional heart shape, with a droplet beneath – hence the common name

Image Source: http://georgeweigel.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/bleedingheartatminter.jpg

For care and maintenance, apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line.

Image Source:  http://eyeonlifemag.com/static/500af2aac4aa3053c4fc5ae1/500b3b86e4b02ad5a4c5fd57/500b3b86e4b02ad5a4c5fd85/1330814822088/1000w

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Isabel Renaissance Rose

February 14, 2015

The Isabel Renaissance Rose was bred by L. Pernille Olesen and Mogens Nyegaard Olesen in Denmark in 1991. Isabel Renaissance Rose is an upright, shrub rose with green leaves. It has deep red flowers that are fragrant and bloom in summer and possibly again in late summer until autumn. It has very good disease resistance. The flowers are dark red with moderate old rose fragrance with approximately 25 petals and an approximate diameter of 5″. The flowers bloom in flushes throughout the season.

Image Source: http://www.mein-schoener-garten.de/jforum/posts/list/930/2314601.page

This lovely variety has healthy strong upright growth and produces deep red blooms with an old fashioned look. Another classic rose in the Renaissance group which are becoming increasingly popular over recent years. As with most of this variety it has a good long flowering period and plenty of blooms right through to the autumn. The young foliage is bronze red and maturing to glossy deep green. Probably one of the most popular of the group.

Image Souce:  http://www.lundhede.com/r-isabel-renaissance.aspx

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Box windows are a fun way to bring the outdoors into your kitchen.  If you’re quite handy, you can take on this little project yourself!

Step 1: Construct the Box

Cut wood to size. Window boxes are generally slightly wider than the window frame. One materials option: pressure-treated plywood. Cut 45-degree angles on all ends. Use wood glue in corners. Follow with 2″ deck screws. To trim window box, glue and nail 1×1 molding to the front of window box and then cut two cross patterns for the box. To attach cross fretwork, cut two battens to size. Hold battens diagonally on the box. One goes from upper right corner to center of lower fretwork, and the other goes from upper left corner to center of lower fretwork. Mark the angles on the battens so they will fit between the horizontal and vertical frame. Cut, glue and nail battens into place. Cut two more battens to create two more diagonals. Cut them in half and cut them to fit. Glue and nail battens in place.

Step 2: Provide Drainage

To provide drainage for the window box, drill holes in the bottom of it. A forester bit makes very clean cuts. Water will drain easily and this will help avoid root rot.

Article Source: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-build-a-window-box/index.html

Image Source: http://elizabethmeltonparsons.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/kitchen-window-impations.jpg

Image Source: http://ruggvalley.com/slides/details/Window-box.jpg

Image Source: http://0.tqn.com/d/flowers/1/0/R/F/-/-/windowKHurley.jpg

 

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Yummy Yummy Sugar Cookies

February 8, 2015

Here is a fun recipe that I use to make yummy sugar cookies.  Good luck with making your own!

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup softened butter
  •  1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar, for decorating

Image Source: http://dailyupdateinteriorhousedesign.blogspot.com/2011/07/latest-platter-of-decorated-sugar.html

 

Image Source: http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-553999/game-name-a-cakecookiepie?pg=8

 

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/malai_sw33tz/creative-sugar-cookies/

La Ville de Bruxelles Rose

February 7, 2015

La Ville de Bruxelles is a Damask rose and is one of the most sublime of old roses. This rose has full pure pink blooms that open almost flat, somewhat cupped, holding perfectly arranged petals in perfect arrangement until the moment they fall. La Ville de Bruxelles was bred by Jean-Pierre Vibert in France before 1837. The clear rich pink, fully double, nodding blooms are some of the largest and most luxurious to be found among the old roses. When fully open, the petals reflex at the edges leaving a slightly domed centre filled with small petals. There is a strong, rich, fruity fragrance. It forms an upright, vigorous shrub with spreading growth, prickly stems and plentiful, pale green foliage.

Image Source: http://www.paulbardenroses.com/ogr.review2005b.html

The La Ville de Bruxelles is a vigorous, spreading medium-sized shrub with a height of approximately 3′ to 5″ and a width of 3′ to 5′. The fragrance of this rose is astonishingly rich and is “essential rose” in quality. This rose doesn’t seem to have black spots but is it susceptible to other leaf spotting disease. It seems to grow well with very little pruning, fertilizing, weeding or watering.

Image Source: http://www.rosesloubert.com/collection%20loubert/2002/ville%20de%20bruxelles%20(la)%20corymbe%20m.jpg

 

Image Source: http://www.roses.webhost.pl/2008/08/la-ville-de-bruxelles/

 

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Cedar Waxwing

February 4, 2015

Cedar Waxwing is a member of the waxwing family of passerine birds. It is mostly a medium sized bird approximately 6-7 inches and weigh 30 grams of brown, gray and yellow and is named for its wax-like wing tips. It is native of North and Central America. Waxwings have a crest that often lies flat and droops over the back of the head. The wings are broad and pointed, like a starling’s. The tail is fairly short and square-tipped. The head of the cedar waxwings are pale brown and the chest fading to soft gray on the wings, its belly is pale yellow and the tail is gray with bright yellow tip. The red waxy tips to the wing feathers are not always easy to see.

The two common calls of these birds include very high-pitched whistles and buzzy trills about a half second long often represented as see or sree. Its call can also be described as “high, thin, whistles, they often call during flight. Cedar Waxwings are social birds that you’re likely to see in flocks year-round. They sit in fruiting trees swallowing berries whole, or pluck them in mid-air with a brief fluttering hover. They also course over water for insects, flying like tubby, slightly clumsy swallows.

Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waxwing

The cedar waxwings prefer to establish their habitat in trees at the edge of wooded areas and or “open” forests especially those that provide access to berry sources and water. They are frequently seen in fruiting trees. These birds are also attracted to the sound of running water and love to bathe in and drink from shallow creeks. This bird consumes berries and sugary fruit all year round including dogwood, serviceberry, juniper, cedar, hawthorn and winterberry

Mating season for this bird begins around the end of spring and runs through late summer. The male will do a hopping dance for the female and she’ll hop back if interested. The male and female will sit together and pass small objects back and forth during courtship. The female waxwing will build the nest and it would take her about five to six days to complete building the nest. Usually 5 to 6 eggs are laid and the female incubates them for 11 to 13 days. The eggs are oval shaped in various shades of light or bluish grey with irregular dark brown spots or grayish brown splotches. Both parents feed the young and normally there are only one or two broods per mating season.

Image Source: http://www.birdsgallery.net/cedar-waxwing/

Image Source: http://birdnote.org/bird/cedar-waxwing-bombycilla-cedrorum

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