Pot Shots: First Caladiums

~

We are just beginning to have weather warm enough for the Caladiums to come outside and get some sun!  The ones basking in the warmth of our spare room have grown long and leggy, reaching for the light.  And so I’ve brought the other tubs and bins outside to our deck, up against the house and under cover of the eaves where they have enjoyed the warmth of our late spring and gotten a lot more light.

I’ve kept my eye on the new ones with their first leaves beginning to unfurl.  The first to open is C. ‘Burning Heart,‘ a 2015 introduction from Classic Caladiums This is one of the new hybrids from Dr. Robert Hartman that can take full sun.  It is a new color for Caladiums, and I am looking forward to growing it this summer.

~

~

Once I found that I had four of this special variety in leaf, I lifted them this morning from their bin, and brought them into the garden to the pot I have planned for them.

Already growing are two Zantedeschia ‘White Giant’.  These Zantedeschia want consistently moist soil and full sun.  This area of the garden has a high canopy of oaks, but gets a fair amount of sun during the day.  I think that it will be enough sun for them, and not too much for the Caladiums to both do very well.

Completing the pot is one of my favorite ‘spillers,’ Dichondra ‘Silver Falls.’  This silvery gray vine will spill over the sides of the pot, eventually filling in to form a nearly continuous curtain of fine foliage gradually enveloping the pot and its pedestal.  If you buy a pot of Dichondra, you will notice lots of little vines all massed together in the nursery pot.  These pull apart very easily.

A single 3″-4″ pot from the garden center could easily give you a half dozen clumps, each with its own roots.  This vine roots easily from each leaf node and may be divided again and again as you spread it around.  Although a perennial, it will only overwinter here in a very mild winter.

~

~

When we found this huge pot in February, on deep discount at one of our favorite nurseries, I hesitated over its color.  I favor blue pots.

This screaming chartreuse, in February no less, was almost too much.  It sat upside down in our nursery for several weeks while I contemplated what to do with it.  A gardening friend came by and admired it enough that she took straight off to go buy the last one like it!

~

~

Once we actually moved it up into the garden a few weeks ago, we soon realized that the green blends right in and doesn’t look brash at all…. at least not until we added the red Caladiums today!

~

~

I am working this week to plant out as many of our Caladiums, Colocasias and Alocasias as I can.  This is slow going, but will reward us with beautiful foliage plants in the garden over the next six to seven months .

~

This is Colocasia ‘Black Coral’ planted into an established planting of Saxifraga stolonifera.  Although just an old nursery pot, it is large enough to support the Colocasia as it grows to its 4′-5′ potential.  This Colocasia likes moist soil and shade.

~

We’re bringing the pots out gradually, and re-working the pots which held other plants through the winter to accept their summer tenants.   Now that the weather has settled, I want to get the plants we saved last fall out of storage as quickly as we can, so they can all begin a new season of growth.

~

Colocasia ‘Tea Cups’ is finally back outside in its blue pot. It overwintered in the garage. The soil is just warm enough to plant out these white Caladiums today. No more cold snaps, please!

~

Woodland Gnome 2018
Advertisements

Sunday Dinner: Artistry

~

“Art and love are the same thing:
It’s the process of seeing yourself
in things that are not you.”
.
Chuck Klosterman

~

Iris germanica ‘Secret Rites’

~

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
.
Pablo Picasso

~

~

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world,
I, an artist, will answer you:
I am here to live out loud.”
.
Émile Zola

~

~

“Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist
once he grows up.”
.
Pablo Picasso

~

~

“Art washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.”
.
Pablo Picasso

~

~

“It would be possible to describe everything scientifically,
but it would make no sense;
it would be without meaning,
as if you described a Beethoven symphony
as a variation of wave pressure.”
.
Albert Einstein

~

~

“When words become unclear,
I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate,
I shall be content with silence.”
.
Ansel Adams

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

Vases by Bob Leek

~

~

“Art is not what you see,
but what you make others see.”
.
Edgar Degas

~

~

“There are painters who transform the sun
to a yellow spot,
but there are others
who with the help of their art and their intelligence,
transform a yellow spot
into sun”
.
Pablo Picasso

Fabulous Friday: In Bloom

Foxglove

~

This time of year we linger along the drive, admiring the garden in bloom.  Stately Iris stand tall, their long bloom stalks clothed in fragrant blues and golds and purples and whites.

~

~

The Siberian Iris bloomed yesterday… literally.  In the early morning there was a single bud unfolding.  By mid-day, there was a bouquet of intense blue.  The garden is unfolding so quickly this week that if you stand still for more than a few breaths, it has changed before your wondering eyes.

~

Siberian Iris, a gift from a gardening friend.

~

Imagine my surprise to notice the plump, unmistakable buds of an Amaryllis emerging from the Earth on Monday.

~

Amaryllis, Hippeastrum SA ‘Graffiti’

~

We enjoy Amaryllis in winter, when little else will bloom.  They comfort us through the dull wet days of February from their pot on the dining table.

And then, I like to plant the bulbs out into the perennial beds in March, and hope to see them again sometime, if they survive.  So it was that I planted out a half dozen bulbs the spring before last.  And I never remembered to dig them and bring them in last fall… a seasonal casualty of letting myself become distracted, perhaps…

~~

And the Amaryllis “Graffitti’ survived our very long, cold winter, rewarding our neglect with these beautiful blooms, this first week of May.  Sometimes unlikely pleasures feel the most satisfying.

~

Azalea, some of the few buds left to us by the hungry deer, this spring.

~

When you come to think of it, flowers erupting from plants frozen and dormant just a few weeks ago is a rather unlikely prospect.  After all they’ve been through, they’d be forgiven for sulking a bit and basking in this new-found warmth before performing.

But no, they are eager to get on with it!  Our garden woodies and perennials live to bloom, and then perhaps to set seeds.  We are all interested in the next generation, now, aren’t we?

~

Mountain Laurel, one of our native shrubs

~

Or is it just the pleasure of hosting bees and hummingbirds that motivates these outrageous blooms?  There is nothing particularly shy about an Amaryllis, or an Iris.   And for this, we are grateful as we celebrate their season of bloom.

~

Iris, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (reblooming)

~

And so we linger as we come and go on our daily errands.  And we find reason to wander in the garden, watering, trimming, planting; and dreaming of the many weeks of beauty still ahead as spring relaxes into summer.

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

~

~

For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Unlikely

Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is contagious… Let’s infect one another!

On the Eve of May

The first rays of morning sun fuel our garden this last day of April.

~

May is already upon us.  The garden has filled with flowers, and there are more waiting each morning as we walk outside, to see what has changed overnight.

~

Iris ‘Echo Location’

~

This is Iris season, and Columbine season, and the grass is filled with wildflowers season.

~

Native fleabane, probably Erigeron pulchellus, grow in our front lawn. A short lived perennial, this patch grows a bit larger each year. After it finishes flowering, we will mow this part of the ‘lawn’ once again.

~

It all grows unbelievably fast in late April and early May, and I am busily trying to work with the season.

~

Erigeron is a native wildflower in our area.  Too pretty to cut back, we have let it have its real estate in the front yard.

~

That said, it was only 41F when I followed the sun out of bed this morning.  Neighbors in nearby towns had temperatures near freezing over night, and so I don’t yet trust the weather with so many of our tender, tropical plants.  I am crossing my fingers and toes, and planting out as much as I dare, just as quickly as I can.

~

I was a bit surprised to notice the trellis filled with blooming Clematis this morning.

~

Spring rolls over us like a wave, before cresting into full on summer.  And I am working to ride that wave as the garden awakens.

~

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

~

This is the time to set things right; to establish what will grow where, and how, for the next six months.

~

Columbine

~

But everywhere I look, I see something new.  I see opening leaves, emerging perennials, and unfolding buds.

May’s magic lives in our garden, and I hope it lives in yours, as well.

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2018

After experimenting for the past several days with my new Canon Power Shot Elph 180, I am back to my Nikon Coolpix S3500.  Trying to focus in on the fleabane flowers proved the utility of my little Nikon, which lives in the inside pocket of my gardening vest.  It has crossed the country with me a couple of times now, and is officially obsolete in the world of pocket cameras.  But it still takes a great photo and leaves me satisfied.

 

 

Sunday Dinner: Tranquility

~

“Quiet is peace. Tranquility.
Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life.
Silence is pushing the off button.
Shutting it down. All of it.”
.
Khaled Hosseini

~

~

“It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire.
Perfect tranquility within
consists in the good ordering of the mind,
the realm of your own.”
.
Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture.
If our thoughts are peaceful, calm,
meek, and kind; then that is what our life is like.
If our attention is turned
to the circumstances in which we live,
we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts
and can have neither peace
nor tranquility.”
.
Thaddeus of Vitovnica
~
~
“Sometimes you just have to find something
to keep your body grounded,
your mind flexible, and your heart open.”
.
Imania Margria
~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

~

~

“Peace is not the absence of chaos.
It is the presence of tranquility and joy
in the midst of chaos.”
.
Debasish Mridha

Pot Shots I: Viola and Fern

~

This glazed ceramic pot sits by our drive and transitions through the seasons with an ever changing array of players.

The mainstay is the Japanese painted fern, which grows a bit bigger each year.  A deciduous perennial, it emerges in early April but disappears by Halloween.  I plant the Violas in early October as the fern is fading, but they will fry in early summer’s heat.  Muscari, from fall planted bulbs, join the arrangement for a brief appearance.

The pot is surrounded by Vinca minor, English ivy and Mayapples, all here of their own accord.  I’ll pop a Caladium into the pot by mid-May to carry us through the summer.

Conditions:  partial shade, enriched potting soil, gravel mulch

Woodland Gnome 2018

Arbor Day: Planting a Beautiful Future

~

If you want to create a lasting legacy of beauty, plant a tree.  If you want to heal the planet and counteract climate change, plant a tree.  If you want to improve the quality of life for yourself, your family and your immediate neighbors, plant a tree.

~

~

Trees change the world.  They create shade, sequester carbon,  produce oxygen, humidify the air, hold and feed the soil, create habitat for wildlife, support the entire ecosystem, and give a place character.  And in their spare time, they sway in the wind; helping forecast the weather and making musical, soothing sounds.

~

~

Trees inspire awe and wonder.  Some survive to extreme old age; experiencing centuries of life and service.  Trees feed us, shelter us, and mark the passing of the seasons with their annual changes.

~

~

Today is Arbor Day.  First celebrated in the United States in Nebraska, when a million trees were planted in 1872, this remarkable day is observed all over the United States and around the world.  Some call it ‘Tree Planting Day.”  It is a day to reflect on the importance of trees, and to add a tree or two to our environment.

~

~

Other than loving and teaching a child, planting and protecting trees is one of the most satisfying pursuits of a lifetime. Both require faith that our simple acts today will resonate far into the future, creating positive change, and shaping how our community transforms itself for good.

~

A potted Ginko tree that I adoped in early spring, represents one of the earliest trees on the planet, still growing today.  Fossils of this tree’s leaves date to 270 million years ago. Its leaves turn vibrant golden yellow in late autumn.

~

So please celebrate Arbor Day this weekend in a way that feels fitting to you.  Commit an “Act of Green” to somehow enrich your life and community.

~

~

I have been planting Japanese Maple trees this spring.  You might say I’m collecting them at the moment. Japanese Maple trees, with their exquisite leaves, add a bit of elegance to our wild garden.

~

~

The first two I came across were small enough to plant into interesting pots to keep on our deck this summer.  The third, as tall as I am, came to me last weekend at a community plant sale.  I have tucked its roots into a moist and sheltered spot beside the Butterfly Garden.  And so I have committed my “Act of Green” this Arbor Day, and I trust you have, as well.

~

~

If you’ve not had a chance, there is plenty of time this weekend to get outside, visit a park or garden center, plant up a pot of something, and find your own special way to make our planet a big healthier, a bit greener, and a lot more beautiful.

~

~

A tiny investment today can yield a lifetime of satisfaction and beauty.

*
Woodland Gnome 2018

~

~

“The planting of a tree,
especially one of the long-living hardwood trees,
is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost
and with almost no trouble,
and if the tree takes root
it will far outlive the visible effect
of any of your other actions,
good or evil.”

.
George Orwell
~

 

 

 

 

WPC: Living Lines

~

Much of our garden’s personality can be defined by the lines.  There are the lines we create and the lines we allow.

~

~

Do we cultivate the formality of lines straight and orderly, or do we invite ever changing curves and organic softness?

~

~

Our plants grow in lines.  Our beds are bordered by lines… or not.  We organize our garden spaces within the confines of a line.

~

~

Lines give us structure.  Woody trunks and branches frame and fixate; divide, fill, support and explode with soft flowers and leaves.

~

~

We recognize our garden’s denizens by the outline of their leaf; the pattern of the life giving veins networking through them.

~

~

At times, the lines of vines overtake and blur the others.  They extend of their own accord, to their own rhythm, geometry and design.

~

~

There is a primal intelligence in these living, breathing, ever exuberant lines as they stretch towards the light, defying gravity and the gardener’s imagination.

~

~

As the season progresses, all of the lines evolve and change.  New lines criss-cross the old.  Lines swell into curves, then shrivel into zig-zagged shrunken shells of  themselves before falling away.

~

~

Our gardens’ lines inspire us even as they define us, ever unfolding, ever new.

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

~

~

For The Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Lines

~

Sunday Dinner: “Be Fruitful”

~

“Don’t sit at home and wait
for mango tree to bring mangoes to you wherever you are.
It won’t happen.
If you are truly hungry for change,
go out of your comfort zone
and change the world.”
.
Israelmore Ayivor

~

~

“True passion motivates the life forces
and brings forth all things good.
.
Gabriel Brunsdon

~

Double Narcissus ‘Gay Tabour’

~

“Try not to become a man of success.
Rather become a man of value.”
.
Albert Einstein

~

~

“There is no season of your life
that you cannot produce something.”
.
Bidemi Mark-Mordi

~

~

“To be fruitful
is to understand the process of growth”
.
Sunday Adelaja

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018
*
“It had long since come to my attention
that people of accomplishment
rarely sat back and let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things.”
.
Leonardo da Vinci

~

~

“Success is not how high you have climbed,
but how you make a positive difference to the world.”
.
Roy T. Bennett

~

 

Fabulous Friday: First Iris

~

Spring has settled over our garden for another year, as the daffies give way to the rest of their perennial cousins.  The comphrey, one of the first to awaken with fresh leaves each spring, burst into bloom with week with its wine colored flowers.

~

~

Our Iris are all stretching for the sky, and the first golden yellow blossoms are opening.  This is an exciting time in the garden as the beds begin to fill in with new foliage and we re-discover loved perennials who made it through this brutal winter, just ending.

~

~

That isn’t to say that spring is settled.  It was in the mid-30s when I headed out this morning, still dressed in winter wear.  But the sun was golden, gilding every blooming shrub and tree in the garden.

~

~

The North wind gusted all day, like a bored toddler determined to attract one’s attention.   Choosing to ignore it, I stayed out in the sunshine.

~

~

All in all, a fabulous Friday as spring’s promises begin to come true.

Woodland Gnome 2018
Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is contagious… Let’s infect one another!

~

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 598 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest