Before the bloom: Paphiopedilum Hsinying Lady Duck Lady Isabel ‘788’ x adductum v. anitum ‘#13

3 03 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BeforetheBloomlorez

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Jackfowlieara Appleblossom ‘Kapoho’ orchid

3 03 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

AppleblossomOrchid





Wilsonara Tiger Brew ‘Pacific Holiday’ Oncidium orchid

2 03 2013

 

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

TigerBrewPacificHoliday

 





Cymbidium Red Beauty ‘Evening Star’ Orchid

28 02 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PinkOrchidAlt





A few more Ginkgo photos…

27 10 2012

Learn more about the beautiful Ginkgo grove at the Blandy Experimental Farm here.

The following narrative is excerpted from the brochure, “A Guide to the Ginkgo Grove,” published by the State Arboretum of Virginia at the University of Virginia’s Historic Blandy Experimental Farm.

The Story of the Blandy Ginkgo Grove
The Blandy ginkgo grove is one of the largest collections of ginkgos outside the tree’s native China. Given their autumnal glory, a visitor might assume that Blandy’s ginkgos were planted solely for their beauty. But this grove is the happy result of a scientific experiment.

Dr. Orland E. White, Blandy Experimental Farm’s first Director, began collecting ginkgo seeds in 1929 from a single “mother tree” on the University of Virginia grounds in Charlottesville. After these seeds germinated, Dr. White’s students planted over 600 ginkgo saplings to determine the sex ratio of this tree. Most plants are both male and female, but like holly, persimmon, and other species, ginkgo is dioecious, meaning a tree is male or female, but not both. Dr. White hypothesized the sex ratio would be 1:1. He did not live long enough to find out if he was right, but of the 301 trees that survived to maturity and for which gender could be determined, 157 were female and 144 were male. Statistically speaking, this does not deviate significantly from 1:1.

A Living Fossil
Ginkgo biloba is often described as a “living fossil.” It is one of the most primitive seed plants found today, and it’s the only surviving representative of its plant family (Ginkgoaceae) and order (Ginkgoales).

The earliest ginkgo leaf fossils date from 270 million years ago. During the Jurassic (200-145 million years ago), the era of dinosaurs, ginkgos were already widespread. And by the Cretaceous (145-65 million years ago), ginkgos grew in what is now Asia, Europe and North America.

Ginkgos disappear from the North American fossil record about 7 million years ago, and from the European record about 4.5 million years later.

Western scientists first learned of the ginkgo in the late 1600s, when living trees were found growing in cultivation near Buddhist temples in China. Thus, the sole remaining member of what was once a dominant plant group remains a link between the present and our geological past.

The Silver Apricot
The word “ginkgo” originates from a Chinese word meaning “silver apricot.” When mature the fleshy ginkgo seed—ginkgos don’t form fruits—has roughly the size and appearance of a small apricot. Historians trace the earliest documented use of ginkgo as a food and herbal medicine to 11th century China, and it is still widely used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. It’s important to remember that if eaten raw, gingko’s fleshy seeds are poisonous, and we ask visitors not to collect ginkgo leaves or seeds for this or any other use.

Research shows ginkgo extract has three important actions on the body: it improves blood flow to most tissues and organs; it is an antioxidant which protects against cell damage; and it blocks many of the effects of blood clotting that have been related to a number of disorders. Western medicine has recently focused on Ginkgo biloba to protect against memory loss, but clinical trials have not confirmed this.

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





You are cordially invited to Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio

15 01 2012

Mark your calendar! My first exhibit in umpteen years will run from Tuesday, February 28 until Sunday, April 29, 2012. The show will be on the ramp in the Horticulture Center at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. I’ll be hanging the show on the morning of February 27 but I’m making the official start date as February 28. The show will be dismantled on the morning of April 30, so my end date is April 29.

The show reception will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, 2012 in the Horticulture Center. Appetizers and beverages will be prepared by Barbara Kelley of Kelley Hospitality (also known as the Sneeze Guard Heiress).

Artwork will be available for purchase (both matted and framed as well as matted and ready to frame by you!).

I’ll be re-posting this announcement regularly as a reminder to mark your calendars and will include updates and additional information leading up to the big event. If you can’t join me for the reception, you have two months (that’s a lot of days!) to get over to Green Spring Gardens to see the show.

For those of you who don’t live nearby and can’t make it, I’ll be preparing an online “virtual gallery” so you can experience the show from afar, so stay tuned. Thank you to everyone for your support!





Bell Agapanthus

13 07 2011

Native to South Africa, the Bell Agapanthus (Agapanthus campanulatus) is commonly known as Lily of the Nile, although it is not a lily. This herbaceous perennial blooms in summer and is hardy from zones 8 to 10. Several cultivars and hybrids are winter hardy to zone 7. I photographed this emerging bloom yesterday at Green Spring Gardens.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.