Monday, September 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-September, 2014

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! As you can see, it was a rainy morning, here in the garden, but that's OK; it made for some nice little highlights in my morning pictures. This is the first GBBD I've done since two huge hurricanes threatened to barrel down on top of us back in the beginning of August. We were on the mainland at the time, so we were dependent upon the kindness of friends/neighbors/housesitters to get all of my plants moved out of harm's way while also minimizing their ability to become airborne. Luckily, we didn't get hit with much here-a brief period of intense wind and rain, but no real damage. When we got back home, all of my plants were still in their emergency locations, so not in their normal sun/water/shade locations, and it took me about another week to get them back where they belonged. Luckily, they all seem to have weathered the storm nicely and are looking lovely today.
My trusty, unidentified pink/lavender orchid is blooming on the back porch.

A few months ago, I found some loofah seeds at a local plant exchange and decided it would be fun to grow my own bath scrubbies. I've been looking at these flowers trying to figure out which were males and which were females and not really sure how I was going to tell...until I looked at this one today. It's a female! 

See how it looks like it's got a stem resembling a mini zucchini? That's how you know it's a female. The males just have regular skinny little stems. Now, I just need a male flower to open up so that pollination can happen.

Another unidentified pink orchid.

There's always a red ginger blooming somewhere in the yard! Supporting cast include red ti in front and variegated hau in the background.

There's NOT always night-blooming jasmine blooming, and even when there is, the flowers themselves get very little love. They're usually closed up by the time I get around to taking pictures, but they're actually quite sweet, even without their perfume.

This little guy is ALWAYS in bloom, and it has as many names as it does flowers. Cuphea hyssopifolia is like the Mad Libs of heathers: false heather, Mexican heather, Hawaiian heather,   (place where you live) heather

I am forever pulling these weeds out of my garden, but they have such teeny tiny little flowers that I figured I would just let them be today. 


Oh, sorry! I didn't mean to be all up in your grill. Hi, crape myrtle!

This poor lavender (I believe it's Lavendula pinnata) is the straggliest thing ever, but it keeps trying, and the leaves have an interesting earthy-lemony sort of scent. 

The good news: I have some Puakenikeni flowers blooming today.

The bad news: My Oriental fruit fly population (Bactrocera dorsalis)... 


...also seems to be blooming.

That's what's going on in my yard today. What's blooming in your garden? Please visit our GBBD host, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens to share your blooms and/or admire others. Happy Gardening!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-May, 2014

Seriously? I haven't done one of these since November?? I was thinking February, at worst January. Sheesh. Well, happy GBBD, everyone! I am doing a super abbreviated tour of my yard today, but first, here's what's blooming in my house!

I'm not sure what kind of orchid these are, but they are part of a bouquet that hubs brought home about a week ago. 

I love that they look like somebody cartoon painted them and then sprinkled them with gold and silver fairy dust.

OK, let's go outside because one of my favorite flowers is blooming today! It's a daylily, and that's about all I can tell you. That, and it smells fabulous. Here you go:

When I went outside at 6:11 this morning, she was just thinking about waking up to greet the day. Looks like she got a little fairy dust on her as well. 

An hour later she was pretty much wide awake...

and just needed that extra half hour for the sun to warm her up and make her shine. Did I mention she smells fabulous?

You know what doesn't smell fabulous? A corpse flower, Amorphophallus titanum. No, I don't have one of these in my yard, but Foster Botanical Garden has three, that's right, three, that are blooming right now, so I'm going to cheat a little bit and show you what's blooming in their gardens today (well, OK, yesterday, but still).
Corpse flower inflorescence-if you zoom in on the diagram (or click on the "corpse flower" link above), you can see that the plant goes from a tuber into either a reproductive (flowering) stage or a vegetative stage. On the right-hand side of my photo, you can see the leaf (which looks like a tree) of one of the plants in the vegetative stage. The crazy thing is (like there’s only one crazy thing), this growth cycle, into miniature tree or giant flower, only takes about 2 weeks (talk about progression obsession-you know I'd be all over documenting that)! 

This flower has just bloomed and is already starting to close back up. OK, technically, the spathe (the pretty petaly-looking part) has just unfurled. The actual flowers are all on the inside at the base of the spadix (the tall part in the middle...for which the flower is Latinately named). The pot on the left has an Amorphophallus konjac (voodoo lily) that has put out a leaf instead of an inflorescence.

Side view: In the background, you can see another plant that bloomed a few days ago, and the spadix has already started to collapse.

Collapsing spadix, spathe falling off, flowers, both male and female, on display for all the world to see. It’s hell gettin' old.

Flowers at the base of the spadix-male (top, yellow) and female (bottom).

The actual flower parts of a corpse flower. Also, kind of stinky when you start getting this close. Or downwind. I would recommend staying upwind-they don't call them corpse flowers for nothing!

I went back a little bit later and caught some afternoon light coming through the spathe. Obviously, I played around with some of the light and color balances-it didn't look this dramatic in person, but the drama was definitely there, just waiting to make an appearance.

Since I don't have one of these in my yard to obsessively photograph, you can check out some time-lapse videos that other people have made of corpse flowers blooming.

To check out what else is blooming today, or to show off your garden blooms, please visit our hostess, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens and enjoy today's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts!