Eye candy, batch #2

11 12 2011

Pulled from the archives of my personal refrigerator magnet poetry, I give to you my handcrafted attempt #1:

January snow blanket melts
cold February moon gone
March winds a memory
a luscious light envelopes
tiny crocus petals whisper spring
most delicate green grass emerges
rain sweetens the earth
bird song filters down
from the impossibly blue blue sky
warm breezes weave through
a gorgeous tapestry of color

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Thread-leaf Agave

25 10 2011

Originally from Mexico, Thread-leaf Agave (Agave filifera) is an evergreen perennial succulent. The name “filifera” means “carrying threads.” It thrives in dry and hot climates and is drought-tolerant and low maintenance. It prefers full sun to light shade and needs regular watering in summer, but must be kept dry in winter.

Tequila is made from the leaves and rope, food, soap and other products are made from the fibers and pulp (pretty industrious plant, I’d say!). Agave filifera rarely flowers, but when it does, greenish flowers bloom on a 6-foot tall spike. Some can bloom annually, while others only bloom every 30-40 years (As a gardener obsessed, I’ve developed a store of patience—contrary to what my family and friends might say!—but I doubt I’d have the patience to wait for that show!) The flowers turn maroon as they age.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Echeveria setosa

25 10 2011

Echeveria setosa, a member of the Stonecrop family (Crassulaceae), is native to Mexico and is commonly known as the Mexican fire cracker or firecracker plant. It blooms from early to late April with bright red and yellow flowers. Echeverias are my favorite type of succulent and these on display in large glazed pots at the U.S. Botanic Garden are stunning! Photographed in the First Ladies’ Water Garden, part of the National Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





In bloom at Green Spring Gardens today

1 07 2010

We’ve had two days of strangely cool weather here in Northern Virginia—which were preceded by a long row of 90+ degree days! It actually feels like spring today (and it’s July—unheard of!), so I got out for an hour to shoot at my favorite local garden (and donate 40+ gardening books to their library while there—don’t feel sorry for me, though, the loss hardly made a dent in my stash—I’m almost embarrassed to say).

I’ll concisely identify the plants below later, but I think that #1 is an allium—possibly Allium stellatum x nutans or something similiar (located in the lovely rock garden at the visitor center circle driveway), #2 is on the tip of my tongue (please stand by), #3 is a Ptilotus exaltatus ‘Joey’ or Pink Pussy Tail (also in the rock garden and a plant that I’ve not seen before today), #4 is one of my (and the bees) favorites—Purple Coneflower (Echinacea), and #5 is a type of Clematis. I’ll be diligent and get back to you with exact identification on the questionable ones.

The imaginative gardeners at Green Spring Gardens have added a new feature to the gardens near the visitor’s center—a wonderful summer-sky-blue stucco-textured wall atop a brick raised bed. They’ve mounted several “living sculpture” framed boxes filled with various succulents on the wall and the raised bed contains other desert-loving plants. It looks very southwest inspired and adds a great pop of color to that area of the garden. I’ll get photos of the blue wall feature on my next jaunt. The garden was buzzing with both bees and people—artists from a local art club set up to paint, joggers and walkers were out in full force, kids on tricycles circled round, and a group of kids on a field trip flooded the garden. Enjoy this most unusual weather while you can, folks—it won’t last long!

ID UPDATE: I’m pretty confident that the top photo is a Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum). These plants prefer sun to part sun, thrive in average well-drained soil, and are drought tolerant. They self-sow aggressively and need deadheading to prevent them from doing so. Deer resistant and hummingbird friendly! I had so much fun photographing these plants that I’m going to try to add a few to my own garden next year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.







Flower power

6 05 2009

Unidentified succulent or sedum ground cover in the beautiful rock garden at Green Spring Gardens…once I figure out what this plant is, I’m squeezing it into my garden!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Bluer than blue

2 02 2009

Remember that 1978 hit song, Bluer than Blue, by Michael Johnson? Check out the video on youtube. Kinda low budget video, isn’t it? Ah, well, it’s the song that matters, right? Another song of his that I love is, “The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulder.”

Let’s see—I’ve received three requests in response to my “what color collage next” question. One requested a collage showing variegation. One was a request for the color teal. Uh…thanks for the challenge, gals! And the third one was for blue, which just happened to be the color I was working on! (Jan and I were on the same wavelength.) I’ll work on those first two (more challenging) requests, but in the interim, here’s a collage of nothin’ but blue! Blue isn’t a really common color in the garden, yet I was surprised I had enough images in that color to create this collage. I would love to be able to grow the extra-heat-sensitive-needs-cool-rainy-summers (which we don’t have in Northern Virginia) lovely sky-blue Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia), a native of southeastern Tibet.

Other blue flowers include:

Statice
Sea holly (Eryngium-–which I grow in my garden—and it is a beauty)
Hydrangea
Delphiniums
Chicory (shown below)
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella—shown below)
Cornflower
‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glory (shown below)
Forget-me-not
Bearded iris
Himalayan blue poppy (there are other shades of blue poppies as well)
Scabiosa (beautiful pale blue; I’ve grown them but they flop over too soon!)
Scilla
Veronica Speedwell
Globe thistle (Echinops)—I have several of these in my front garden
Muscari (grape hyacinth—some varieties lean more toward blue than deep purple)
Pride of Madeira (leans toward purple-blue—unbelievably beautiful plant—wish it would grow in our area)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Echeveria in bloom

28 02 2008

Speaking of succulents, check out this really beautiful “succulent homage to Monet” on Sunset magazine’s website below. Looks like an easy project that mimics a lily pond without the real water. I know what my next garden project is going to be this season!

http://www.sunset.com/sunset/garden/article/0,20633,1227738,00.html

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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