Friday, November 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-November, 2013

Well, not a whole lot going on in the yard today, but a fair showing from those that ARE here.

First up, my golden shrimp plant, Pachystachys lutea, which I've nicknamed Bob Fosse because of its perpetual jazz hands

Next up, my pink quill, Tillandsia cyanea. This little beauty hasn't bloomed in quite some time, so it's a welcome sight on this November morning.

Finally, we have a reliable standby, red ginger, Alpinia purpurea. Unfortunately, it is also reliably difficult for me to photograph without over exposing it, but I sort of like the fiery little glow that makes it look like it's lit from within, soooo...I'm just gonna go with it.

I just realized that all of today's blooms are of the flower-poking-out-of-a-deceptively-colorful-bract-that-could-easily-be-mistaken-for-the-actual-flower variety. The real blooms in these pictures are the white parts of the golden shrimp plant; the purple part on the pink quill; and, if the red ginger were actually blooming, there would be a compact, waxy, little white flower poking out from all that red. So, technically, I guess that was a little bit of a cheat, but I won't tell if you won't!

I hope you're all having a Happy GBBD and that you'll head on over to visit our host, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens to see what else is blooming today. And, if I don't see you before then, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a day full of love, laughter, and gratitude.

P.S. I also have some lavender blooming, but I couldn't get nearly as good a picture of it as Frances got of hers, so head on over to Fairegarden to get an idea what my lavender looks like on a good day...with a better background...and a better camera...and a better photographer! Just promise you won't abondon me after you see all the gorgeousness that is Frances's blog, 'kay?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-September, 2013

Well, helloooooo! Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day to everyone out there! At first glance, I didn't think I had much going on worth documenting today; I think the plants all feel like I do--they just want to come inside and lie on the cool tile floor. But, since they aren't allowed to, I figured I wouldn't either. I got myself out into the yard, and, wouldn't you know it, I found some real little gems.

If you visit me regularly, you know that this mystery orchid has been keeping me in blooms for months now. I wish I knew what it was so I could tell you; but, if you really want one, you could print out a picture and take it to your local Long's Drugs and ask them if they could special order you one from Hawaii. I'm sure it would be no problem.

Technically, this is my neighbor's red ginger, but it's in that weird little property-line space between our houses, so I'm claiming it for today. Normally, you just see one spike, like that little one poking up in the background, but for some reason, this one has decided to go nuts and unfurl the biggest cluster I've ever seen. 

My crape myrtle surprised me this year with quite a lot of blooms compared with previous years. Of course, the height of their show was in August, during all of the non-GBBD days, but that's OK. I know they were there, even if I don't have proof!  

My coleus (red leaves) managed to sneak a little purple stalk into the middle of the Blue Daze (Evolvus glomeratus) blooms next to it.

I pruned my bleeding heart (Clerodendrum thomsonae) at the beginning of August, and it's rewarding me with lots of blooms right now.

My Pink Quill (Tillandsia cyanea) hasn't bloomed for quite some time. I was beginning to wonder if I needed to repot it, but it appears that I don't! 

The same Pink Quill, just from the other side--I have this planted under an awning, so the other side gets the sun as it's passing by; this side is in the shade.

Another flower that I haven't seen in a while! The notes I have for this orchid say, "Bllra. Peggy Ruth Carpenter 'Jem'" I don't know what all that means, but there you go.

When we first moved to Hawaii, this Jewel of Thailand (Curcuma cordata) is one of the plants that I earmarked as a "someday" plant as I flipped through my Tropical Ornamentals book. (Actually, now that I'm looking at the book, Curcuma zedoaria is the one I earmarked, but...close enough!). I finally found one a few years ago, and, as highly-coveted as it was, it almost manages to sneak past me every year. Every time I've just about forgotten about it or assumed that it must be dead, it starts sending up little green shoots (around the beginning of June--who starts growing in June??). Then, about the time I've decided it's never going to bloom, this little gem appears as if out of nowhere. 

Well, this tiny volunteer passion flower is a viney intrusive mess, but it does have some nice little flowers and provided quite the photo op, really. Not only can you see the little green bulge that might turn into a tiny passion fruit, but if you look closely enough (click to enlarge), you can also see the teeny tiny red ants that are running around all over it. 

That's what my garden has managed to produce during this hot end-of-summer month. What's going on in your garden? Visit our GBBD host, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens to see what else is blooming or to share your September gems. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-August, 2013

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! I'm cheating a bit today since, once again, I am not home for GBBD, but I did happen to find myself walking around Wellington Botanic Garden on GBBD, so I figured I would showcase some of what's blooming in their mid-winter garden.

I'm afraid I don't have much info., just lots of pictures, but please enjoy. I know I did!

So, that's what I saw blooming in Wellington Botanic Garden. Visit our GBBD host, Carol, over at May Dreams Gardens to see what else is blooming around the world! (Sorry, this is my first real post using the Blogger app, and I don't know how to incorporate a link).

Monday, July 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day--July, 2013

Welcome to my yard in July! It's late in the day here in Hawaii, so I'm sure you've probably already been over to visit Carol at May Dreams Garden to see what everyone else has blooming in their yard... but if you haven't, please stop in and say hi to our wonderful host. Meanwhile, if you can stand looking at one more yard on this beautiful July day, then let's get to it!

I can't figure out my crape myrtle at all--I never know when to expect flowers, and at least once a year, I'm convinced that I've killed it, so it's always a nice surprise when it blooms.

Evolvus glomeratus (Blue Daze) looking a little more purple than blue here today, but that's OK.

Both my lavender and my basil are almost always in bloom.

This ice blue plumbago is going crazy right now. I guess after the year+ that it spent living in a bag between my friend's yard and mine, it's decided to take advantage of its spot in the yard.

I planted some Noir de Carmes melon seeds from D. Landreth Seed Company, a few weeks ago, and I already have a flower!

I also planted some far, I have discovered that I am not much of a radish farmer, but I can grow some pretty good radish flowers. 

My unidentified orchid that I got bought at Long's Drugs a few years ago. It is making the best of the saddest "repotting" situation ever. What a trooper!

My favorite daylily surprised me with a new bloom the other day. With red ti leaves in the background and my hardy ice plant (Delosperma cooperi) below, what more could I ask for?

This is another mystery plant for me. When the leaves unfurl, they are a gorgeous purple color; eventually they turn into the mellow green that you see on the left-hand side of the picture. The flowers are sort of secondary, but they are always a nice little surprise when they show up.

This is another mystery bloomer that I always forget about. The variegated grass is the main attraction, and every once in a while, when I'm poking around in the yard,  I'll discover that it has decided to flower. Once again, it's always a nice surprise when they show up.

Do you have anything in your yard that makes surprise appearances? What's been your favorite surprise so far?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Latest Progression Obsession: Keeled Treehoppers, Part II

Previously, I introduced you to some keeled treehopper nymphs, spikey little alien-looking critters that had invaded my tomato plant. Well, after a while, being a spikey little adolescent takes a toll on a critter, and, like a lot of us, they eventually decide to just mellow out and become smooth, green, tank-like adults. OK, I need to work on that a little, but you get what I'm saying.

Unfortunately, the picture quality in this series is not quite as good as it was in the last one (but you can still click on any picture to enlarge it)--I took this set of pictures before I took the set of pictures in my previous post, and I hadn't quite perfected the iPhone macro shot yet. Also, I was sitting in a dark room. Wearing a headlamp. Don't ask, impressed that they came out as well as they did, OK?'s how you go from this:

to this:

in just 20 short minutes. (This is, like, the best make-over ever!)

First, you wriggle out of your old, spikey shell, with your little wings all folded up behind your head like little white spitballs.

It's OK if they start to unfurl a little bit before you're all the way out. Just keep your head down and keep going.

Whew! Now that you are out of that cramped little space (how did you get by in there for so long??), you can really start working on those wings.

Almost there...

They're all nice and fluffed up, now make them just a tiny bit longer. (Oh boy, there are going to be some disappointed people landing on this page through key-word searches!)

Perfect! Now you can start elongating that helmety-looking bit with the orange racing stripe.

Good, good, now bring it down a little.

A little more...

Keep going...

Perfect! Looks good! 

Very streamlined.

"Hello...Are you my mother?"

Now, turn around, face down your past, and prepare to go out into the world and wreak havoc on my tomato plants.

Yep, just like that.

So, whaddaya think? Pretty cool, huh? I mean, not for my tomato plant, but from a transformation perspective, it's pretty impressive. The only bummer about this is that they don't seem to have any natural predators. I did get a lizard to eat one of the adults, but it didn't seem very impressed; and the nymphs are just as pokey as they look. I wouldn't want to eat one! My tomato died, and the treehopper numbers started dwindling. A few started showing up on other, smaller tomatoes, and I couldn't let another population explosion occur, but I couldn't bring myself to squish them or spray them either. I ended up picking them off and dropping them onto the lanai. I was hoping to lure in more lizards, but they're no dummies; they weren't interested. I figured if any treehoppers made it back across the lanai and up into a pot, well, maybe I'd just let them be.       

"Do I look like some kind of dummy to you? I'm not eatin' one of those things."