Saturday, April 28, 2012

Urban Wilderness - Part 4

Alongside carefully tended gardens and public plantings, less "intentional" greenery is also once again popping up everywhere. A few days ago I came across this showy little climber from the Fabaceae or Pea Family in a bed of lilyturf (Liriope muscari) planted last summer:


Does anyone happen to know what species this is?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Strange Fruit

Among the plants I bought when I visited the Lyman Estate Greenhouses in Waltham, Massachusetts, in early March (see post here) was a young Anthurium scandens. It has been flowering continuously ever since, producing a new inflorescence alongside each new leaf. They are not as showy as those of other Anthuriums grown specifically for their flowers, but I still think they are lovely in an understated sort of way. The very first inflorescence already on the plant when I got it has set fruit and over the past week or so the berries have been swelling rapidly, producing this rather strange-looking formation:


I am not sure when exactly the fruit are fully ripe so for now I will just leave them on the plant. Eventually, though, I want to try to germinate the seeds since I would love to have more of this quirky and thus far problem-free plant.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tropical New England?

Like much of the eastern half of the United States, we here in New England have had an extraordinarily mild winter. Even so I was surprised when I took a different way home today and came across two clumps of what appears to be Canna indica 'Mactro', more commonly known as Tropicanna Gold Canna, vigorously resprouting after evidently overwintering in place.

One clump...

...And the other one a few feet away on the same property

I vaguely remember cannas of this variety flowering in this frontyard last summer and fall. Their location at the foot of a south-facing wall must have offered extra protection, and might also go some way towards explaining that they are already so far along in terms of regrowth. Even if last winter was exceptional, this makes me wonder if with careful siting and a heavy winter mulch, in-ground overwintering might be an option for cannas in the garden back in Michigan, somewhat similar to how I treat my Japanese fiber bananas (Musa basjoo). There is not really any suitable place in the house to overwinter the rhizomes and I am usually not around to dig them up in the fall and start them up in the spring, so this might be a way to have cannas again despite those obstacles.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Picture from Home...

This morning my mom sent me this awesome picture, taken "in the neighborhood":


The blossoms of apple trees (Malus sp.) are actually Michigan's  state flower, and crab apples as well as fruiting apples in many different varieties are among the most common trees in gardens as well as public plantings in our area.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flowers Back Home

My mom just sent some more pictures of the garden back in Michigan, and among them was this shot of a clump of yellow miniature irises (Iris sp.) flowering in the frontyard:


I do not remember planting these so they must have been among the numerous iris cultivars that were already in the garden when my family moved in, yet I do not remember seeing them in bloom before. The fact that they bloom so much earlier than their larger bearded iris cousins probably meant that I always missed them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another German Article...

...this one an interview with Tita Giese, who creates innovative urban green spaces in Germany and has some rather provocative things to say about public horticulture and landscape architecture:

Die Dschungelkönigin

For more information on her and her work, in German as well as English, you can also visit her website here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cactus Surprise

My bedroom window has become a bit of a jungle - a state I am quite happy about - and yesterday as I was watering and picking out some yellowing leaves I discovered a pleasant surprise hidden close to the window pane: my white-flowered Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) had produced an unseasonal flower, without me even noticing the bud as it was developing.


These little unexpected discoveries are among my favorite gardening moments.

German Article about Garden Culture

For those who read German, here is a recent article from the German newspaper Die Zeit about the place of gardens and gardening as part of popular and national cultures:

So viel Draußen war nie

The piece is not particularly deep or detailed but I was pleasantly surprised to see garden culture discussed in a mainstream non-horticultural publication.