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!

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).