Archives For Nature

Black Necked Stilt

June 30, 2016

The black-necked stilt is a locally abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found from the coastal areas of California through much of the interior western United States and along the Gulf of Mexico as far east as Florida, then south through Central America and the Caribbean to northwest Brazil southwest Peru, east Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. The northernmost populations, particularly those from inland, are migratory, wintering from the extreme south of the United States to southern Mexico, rarely as far south as Costa Rica; on the Baja California peninsula it is only found regularly in winter.

Adults have long pink legs and a long thin black bill. They are white below and have black wings and backs. The tail is white with some grey banding. A continuous area of black extends from the back along the hindneck to the head. There, it forms a cap covering the entire head from the top to just below eye-level, with the exception of the areas surrounding the bill and a small white spot above the eye. Males have a greenish gloss to the back and wings, particularly in the breeding season. This is less pronounced or absent in females, which have a brown tinge to these areas instead. Otherwise, the males and females look alike.

Downy young are light olive brown with lengthwise rows of black speckles (larger on the back) on the upperparts – essentially where adults are black – and dull white elsewhere, with some dark barring on the flanks.

Data Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-necked_stilt

 

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-necked_Stilt_RWD4.jpg

Image Source: http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/birds/charadriiformes/Himantopus%20mexicanus/index.htm

Image Source: https://www.utahbirds.org/birdsofutah/BirdsA-C/BlackNeckedStilt6.htm

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African Queen Lily

February 16, 2016

The African Queen Lily boasts huge trumpet shaped blooms in shades of apricot and tangerine.  African Queen grows to be about 3′ -4′ tall and is highly fragrant.  Grows easily in zones 3-9 in full sun.  Color fast even in the strongest summer heat, this beauty makes a striking addition to any summer garden.

Project1

Image Source:  http://z5suburbangardener.blogspot.com/2011/11/happy-thanksgiving-everyone.html

Image Source:  http://www.easytogrowbulbs.com/p-1134-lily-trumpet-african-queen.aspx

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Bolivian Fuchsia

September 7, 2015

Bolivian Fuchsia is a species of Fuchsia native to southern Peru, Bolivia and northern Argentina. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree with toothed, hairy or hairless leaves, sometimes with red veins and terminal, pendant panicles of pale pink to bright pink flower tubes with pale pink to red sepals and red petals in summer and autumn. The pendant flowers are terminal about 2 inches long with pink to vermillion tubes and reflexed sepals. Fuchsias prefer partial shade and should never dry out. They love water and cooler summer temperatures, making them a favorite for the Pacific Northwest. They are heavy feeders so feed with a a quick release, water soluble fertilizer every other week during the bloom season.

Image Source: http://www.strangewonderfulthings.com/109.htm

Start planting the bolivian fuchsia start them from transplants around mid-spring. Many gardeners transplant fuchsia around Easter. Normally you would plant 4 to 5 transplants in the average size hanging basket. Planting all of the same variety in one basket makes a much nicer show. Prune back dead or broken branches in spring, especially on plants that were left outside in areas with mild winters. Plants require protection from direct sun and temperatures reaching the mid 90s. The plants are hardy to about 25 for short periods. Propagation is by seed or cuttings. Many consider this one of the most fuchsias. Zones 10 to 11.

Red Fuchsia boliviana

Bolivian Fuchsia

Image Source: http://www.strangewonderfulthings.com/125.htm

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Vintage Belle Jewelry has been making broken china jewelry since 1994.  Our passion is to help our customers find a piece of broken china that brings back a fond memory or to make new ones with their families.  Thanks to all of our customers and fans who have helped support Vintage Belle broken china jewelry become a success over the years!

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Based on the number of herbs you want to include in the container and the spacing required, determine the size of the garden’s container.

– select a container

– add potting soil

– position and arrange the herb

– pack the soil

– water your new herb plant

– label them (just in case =)

 

Image Source: http://camillestyles.com/uncategorized/transformed-hanging-herb-garden/

Image Source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/5593672/Indoor-Outdoor-Herb-Garden-with-Chalkboard-Placards-by-Meriwether-of-Montana-modern-outdoor-pots-and-planters

Image Source: http://youngwifesguide.com/last-minute-gardening-mothers-day-presents/

 

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Day Breaker Rose

June 23, 2015

The Day Breaker rose is an exciting, vigorous floribunda that will surely brighten any garden with the colors of dawn. This rose was bred by Gareth Fryer in United Kingdom in 2003 and introduced in the United States by Edmunds’ Roses in 2004 as Day Breaker. This floribunda blooms non-stop throughout the season, producing petite clusters of perfectly formed spiral 4-inch blooms that open in warm yellow tones, blending apricot and pink. The perfect spiral form will have floribunda exhibitors clamoring for more plants. Shiny, clean, deep green leaves have rims of red, and the sprays of flowers seem to sing, “Here comes the sun”.

Image Source: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/1702735/daybreaker-pros-and-cons

This elegant rose has 26 to 40 petals that blooms perpetually throughout the season producing strong tea fragrance. It has medium, bushy and glossy dark green foliage. It can be used for beds and borders, container rose, cut flower, exhibition or garden. Ensure good air circulation to cut down on disease pressure and remove spent blooms to encourage re-bloom. This cultivar is reported to have better than average disease resistance.

Image Source: http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/spicysquid/29

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Alcea also known as Hollyhock is a genus of flowering plants native to Europe and Asia. Hollyhocks are annual, biennial, or perennial plants usually taking an erect, unbranched form. The flower stalks  on hollyhocks can reach heights of 9 feet tall and can tower above a garden, adding a  lovely vertical element to your garden. The flowers of hollyhocks may be solitary or arranged in fascicles or racemes. The notched petals are usually over three centimeters wide and may be pink, white, purple, or yellow.  Gardeners enjoy growing hollyhocks in borders against walls and fences where their spectacular flowers stand tall above all else.

Hollyhocks need full sun and moist, rich, well drained soil something that novice gardeners made a mistake of when they planted hollyhocks in a soil that is a bit dry. Prior to the start of planting prepare the area by working in plenty of organic matter such as compost or aged animal manure into the garden. This step is essential to improve the condition of the soil by improving the drainage and increasing its ability to hold water and nutrients.

Hollyhock

Next step is to sow the seeds just beneath the soil 1-2 weeks before last frost. In 10-14 days the seeds will germinate, after that thin to 18-36 inches apart after seedlings have sprouted. During dry conditions water as needed to ensure flowers keep blooming. To obtain bigger bolder blooms add organic flower fertilizer every couple of weeks. Cut stalks to the ground when the flowers fade.

Bear in mind that hollyhocks are susceptible to fungal diseases, such as anthracnose, rust and powdery mildew, which can disfigure the leaves under severe infestations. Avoid overhead watering whenever possible, properly space plants to improve air circulation and apply copper or sulfur spray to prevent further infection.

 

Image Source: http://saratogawoodswaters.blogspot.com/2010/06/hollyhock-memories.html

Birds Blog Button 3

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Fabulous Ferns

May 15, 2015

A fern is a member of a group of roughly 12,000 species of vascular plants that reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers. They differ from mosses by being vascular (i.e. having water-conducting vessels). They have stems and leaves, like other vascular plants. Most ferns have what are called fiddleheads that expand into fronds, which are each delicately divided.

Leptosporangiate ferns (sometimes called “true ferns”) are by far the largest group, but ferns as defined here (ferns sensu lato) include horsetails, whisk ferns, marattioid ferns, and ophioglossoid ferns. This group may be referred to as monilophytes. The term pteridophyte traditionally refers to ferns plus a few other seedless vascular plants (see the classification section below), although some recent authors have used the term to refer strictly to the monilophytes.

Life cycle of a typical fern:

  1. A diploid sporophyte phase produces haploid spores by meiosis (a process of cell division which reduces the number of chromosomes by a half).
  2. A spore grows into a haploid gametophyte by mitosis (a process of cell division which maintains the number of chromosomes). The gametophyte typically consists of a photosynthetic prothallus.
  3. The gametophyte produces gametes (often both sperm and eggs on the same prothallus) by mitosis.
  4. A mobile, flagellate sperm fertilizes an egg that remains attached to the prothallus.
  5. The fertilized egg is now a diploid zygote and grows by mitosis into a diploid sporophyte (the typical “fern” plant).

Image Source: http://www.fernlifecenter.com/about-fern-life/why-the-fern/

Ferns are among the oldest living plants on earth and there are both indoor and outdoor types of ferns. There are about 20,000 species of ferns in 150 different families. In their native habitats, most ferns grow on moist, nutrient-rich forest floor where they can receive little light and some are epiphytes are nestled on branches of tall trees. Ferns are different from mosses by being vascular, they have stems and leaves and are the most versatile plants on the planet. They first appear in the fossil record 360 million years ago but most of the current families and species did not appear until roughly 145 million years ago. They grow in many different habitats around the world and were at the height of their evolution during the Carboniferous Period (also known as age of ferns) where they were the dominant part of the vegetation at that time.

Many types of ferns flourish both outdoors and as houseplants. Outdoor ferns thrive best in partially shaded areas and those grown indoors flourish in bright light, provided they are not placed in the path of direct sunlight.  In general ferns rarely suffer from diseases or insect infestations and are easily grown by even the most novice gardeners. The diverse forms of ferns offer plenty of variety to choose from, making htem fascinating to grow indoors in hanging baskets or perched on pedestals. In the landscape, gardeners frequently plant ferns as edging and to add texture. Some types do well in containers, and most resist rabbits and deer and they range in size from just a few inches tall to more than 12 feet in the case of the tree ferns.

 

Popular indoor ferns include: Holly Ferns, Boston Ferns, Maidenhair Ferns, Staghorn Fern, Button Fern and Bird’s Nest Fern.

Holly Fern – commonly known as leather leaf holly have 3 – 5 inch leaflets lining the fronds of Cyrtomium falcatum, the leaflets are dark gree, glossy and shaped like holly leaves without the spines. This fern loves cool temperature (under 75 degrees F), moderately high humidity and moisture. It is hardy in zones 7-10.  They are available in three species including Japanese, Hawaiian and East Indian holly ferns.

Boston Ferns – are the most popular of the houseplant varieties though they would also grow wild outdoors in many regions. They have dark green leaves with many deep, evenly spaced indentations in the edges and benefit from frequent but  light misting of the fronds and can grow to gargantuan proportions. Care and maintenance for this type of fern is quite easy, just place it where it’ll get indirect light (some direct morning sun is fine) and keep it moist.

Maidenhair Ferns – is one of the most delicate types of indoor ferns. It is a unique plant with thin black stems and small, dainty leaves. It’s also one of the fussiest, preferring high humidity that’s difficult to maintain in most homes. Maidenhair ferns grow well in the corners of large bathrooms because of the humidity but cannot survive in direct sunlight.

Staghorn Fern – this species commonly grows on the bark of trees in Asia, Africa and Australia. It will make a good houseplant if planted in a coarse soil with good drainage. It has two set of fronds: green and brown, the green fronds are fertile and resemble stag horns and grow up to four feet long while the brown fronds are infertile and grow outside the green fronds. They are short, flat and round.

 

Popular outdoor ferns include: Bird Nest Fern, Ostrich Fern, Japanese Painted Fern, Australian Tree Fern, Asparagus Ferns and Cinnamon Fern.

Bird Nest Fern – are often thought of as garden garnishes as they are compact providing a great constrast to the flowering plants in the garden. They prefer shade and can grow on rocks and trees as well as in soil.

Ostrich Fern – is one of the tallest and most majestic of outdoor fern varieties with frond that can grow to five feet in length and are a striking accent at the back of any shady garden bed. Ostrich ferns like moist soil and shade. Water them infrequently at ground level, making sure not to get any moisture on the delicate leaves to make them more compact.

Japanese Painted Fern – is almost always grown for its silvery or sometimes purplish foliage. It is a close relative of the Lady Fern. The fronds grow to a length of 12-18 inches and taper at the tips. They are darker down the center with lighter edges. For those living in areas with harsh winters, this would be the perfect outdoor fern as it can withstand temperatures as low as -30F degrees.

Australian Tree Fern – is a tree that can grow up to about 30 feet tall with eight foot fronds and trunks. It grows well all over the rain forests in New Zealand and Australia and can be planted only in a climate with heavy precipitation and warm temperatures. These fabulous ferns can add height and Jurassic drama to a woodland landscape design.

Asparagus Ferns – has three varieties with the most common type having fine, needle-like leaves that are irritating to the skin. They need to grow outdoors as they require strong light. They also have the tendency to become invasive and once they do its almost impossible to eradicate them.

Cinnamon Ferns: are commonly found growing wild along creeks and streams which means they require lots of water if they are to be planted in a garden. This fern grows about five feet tall and has two kinds of fronds: the infertile ones are bright geen and the fertile ones are deep, brown cinnamon color. If you want tall plants, site them in shade and keep their soil constantly damp. For more compact clumps, grow them in brighter light and drier soil.

Data Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fern

Curled Leaf Image Source:

http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/curled-fern-leaf/

Fern Life Cycle - Fern Life Cycle

Image Source: http://4hdwallpapers.com/fern-life-cycle.html

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Charmed Wine Oxalis

January 28, 2015

Oxalis is the scientific name, often called shamrock – is beautiful and comes in more colors than just green.  It’s easy to care for indoors and out and can be enjoyed year round.

The Wine Oxalis is a perennial grown for its unusual triangular, three-lobed leaves of green or purple and charming stems of small, five-petaled flowers. Native to South America (Brazil & Argentina), this little distinctly handsome plant is most often grown as a houseplant in temperate regions and as ground cover where freezing does not occur often.

"Charmed Wine" Oxalis!

Image Source: http://rotarygardens.blogspot.com/2014/03/shamrocks-seem-appropriate.html

Image Source: http://www.sobkowich.com/products/Proven%20Winners/products_pw_oxalis_charmed_wine_pending.html

Charmed Wine Oxalis

Data Source: http://www.herbs.mb.ca/en/retail-greenhouse/c378147488/c378154173/oxalis_charmed_wine.html

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Begonia Escargot

January 19, 2015

Escargot begonias (Begonia rex) are a variety of rex begonia that produces spiral-shaped foliage that curls around at the base of the leaf. It takes its name from the snail-like curl pattern at the base of the leaf.They’re typically grown for their showy foliage, not their flowers. Escargot begonias prefer partial sunlight, moist but well-drained soil and plenty of fertilizer. They require little maintenance and pruning isn’t necessary. Escargot begonias grow best in areas with high humidity, but excessive watering can cause fungal diseases or rot. They grow as annuals and are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11.

 IMAGE SOURCE: http://frustratedgardener.com/tag/coleus/

Escargot Begonia’s attractive twisted heart-shaped leaves remain dark green in color with showy silver variegation and tinges of brown throughout the year. It features dainty clusters of shell pink orchid-like flowers at the ends of the stems from late summer to mid fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. Escargot Begonia is an herbaceous evergreen annual bedding plant with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance annual bedding plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don’t particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats.

IMAGE SOURCE:  http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/7560059

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Creeping Jenny Plant

January 12, 2015

Creeping Jenny plant, also known as moneywort, is an evergreen perennial that thrives in USDA zones 2 to 10.  It is a low growing ground cover that thrives in sun to shade.  It can be invasive, and may be best used in container gardens or “hard to grow” areas of your landscape.

Image
shaded path (hostas in back, love the golden creeping jenny).... Garden path is curving to back right of pin, a bit hard to see it.... gorgeous shaded setting too!!
Window Box Impatiens - shade plants that bloom all season   (shown here with creeping jenny)
Broken China Jewelry Washington Colonial Pink Double Rose Sterling Pin Brooch

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