Amazing Orange

I don’t normally like to grow orange flowers but some of these were from a discounted “mix” pack in seeds or bulbs. One thing I’ve learned is never to buy a “mix” of any plant offerings online unless you don’t mind getting ugly colors. I didn’t know that so I bought several of daylily mixes and I got a bunch of bright orange that I would’ve never purchased had I known.

However, now that I have them, I learned to like them since I raised them from pups. They stand out in my garden of pinks and purples.

Now this Big Kiss White Flame Hybrid Gazania (what a mouthful) is actually one that I picked out on a seed website.  Have you seen anything more vibrant? The flower is about 3″ wide with bright yellow-orange and red petals. I gush with delight when I see this flower open up every morning!

This is an orange California poppy that was in a mix. I was hoping it was pink or purple but this is what sprouted. It is cute though.

This Ruby Spider daylily is the BOMB! What an amazing show of red and orange in this outrageous beauty! I would love to have a bunch more of these.  Sadly, it opened for a day or so and I was not able to enjoy it more.  There are some new ones getting ready to open soon though.

At Last rose is one of my favorite of orange roses. Flowers are smaller than most roses but it has beautiful shades of oranges and yellows.

Below is an orange zinnia from a mix. This is really an unexpected color in the seed mix but I think I am in love with it. This picture is actually a day before it fully bloomed that’s why it had those neat beige colors in the center. I wish it stayed like that forever.

These daylilies below are all from a mix. As you can see they are quite orange and almost red. I’ve had these for a couple of years but this is the first time I’ve seen it flower.  They are all over my garden and so ORANGE!

Here are some of my pretty garden pictures. The best time to catch beautiful pictures of my yard is on a cloudy day because it shows off the colors so vibrantly. In the picture below I have a plumeria, pink alstroemeria, iris, and tall pink Verbascum Southern Charm way in the back.

Below is another garden patch nearby where I have a 3 year-old sage bush with purple flowers, purple magnolia, purple daisies, purple roses, lily tree (center), and the pink, fast-growing Strybing Beauty.

In this picture below are General Sikorski clematis, blue chicory flowers, plumeria, and magnolia Souvlangiana.

Below are some rose mallow, yellow daisies, and a Red Baron peach tree. The Red Baron will change its leaves into red sometimes in early September, I believe. As you can see it has grown quite a bit since last year when I first wrote about it.

That’s all for now. I have more to show you in a few days!

Five on Friday

Has anyone heard of a blogger movement where bloggers post “Six on Saturday”? I don’t know much about it other than bloggers would write about six things in their blog on Saturdays. For some reason those words sound annoying as a title so today I am making fun of it by writing “Five on Friday”. I’m pretty sure I won’t be writing “Five on Friday” again so this is IT!

1. Nicotania Deep Purple is a tobacco plant. These flowers are a gorgeous purple.

2. Sprekelia formosissima is also known as an Aztec Lily. This is a very unique flowering bulb.

3. Black hollyhocks are beautiful and interesting plants. There are not many black flowers out there that looks quite as cute as these guys. This year they grew about 12 inches taller than last year and are producing more flowers.

4. Zinnia in orangey pink color, beautiful but so far I have only one!

5. Impatiens in pink. I adore this pretty little flower, so sweet and similar to an orchid flower. Those colors are exquisite.

That’s my five for today! Have a great weekend.

Gardenscape

Recently I started playing a gardening game called Gardenscapes in which you get to restore a neglected garden to its former glory.  It is a lot of fun re-doing the fountains and hedges, reviving and cleaning up old plants.

In the real world I do that in my backyard too. For many years I have lived in my house and neglected the yard. We had grass put in when my boys were young.  The last four years I became interested in gardening when I inherited some of my mother-in-law’s plants. I realized gardening is a great mental and physical benefit so I started hauling out almost all of the grass in the backyard to create my garden. I am so glad I did because my garden now is so colorful and lush. I have put in a lot of back-breaking work but when flowers bloom, it was totally worth it.  It has frequent visitors such as birds, bees, ladybugs, butterflies, slugs, and worms of all kinds.  There is a healthy ecosystem in my backyard.

Although it looks like a “jungle” as my mom and kids like to call it, I really like that the inner garden is disguised by the big trees and bushes maturing over the years.  It makes the garden feel like a “secret garden”. Below, I have two official entrances to my garden, each are flanked by trellis arches with clematis and passion flowers growing on it.

Passion flower trellis

Did you see the passion flower fruits that are hanging off of that trellis? I was so excited to see them since I didn’t know whether the kind I grew would bear fruit!

Clematis trellis
This view is from the back of the garden.
Right side of the garden

The above picture is the right side of the garden and starting from the front right is my sage, magnolia souvlangiana tree, blue chicory, purple daisies, pink rose bush, and pink Strybing Beauty bush next to the tall brugmansia tree on the far right.

The scenery above is a view into the front of the garden.  In the front I have a holly hock bush, pink geraniums, foxgloves on the right with the yellow Charles Grimaldi brugmansia in the back. On the far left, I have the purple and white foxglove bushes, a White Bouquet tansy ground cover, orange At Last roses, and an orange tree behind it.  I have some poppies growing in this area that hasn’t gotten tall enough to make it in the picture.

Finally, below are a collection of some new flowers blooming these past few weeks. My pink Pompom poppy finally has a couple of flowers that didn’t look diseased, most were in very bad shape.  I tried growing them many times but this is the first year that it flowered.

Poppy
Purple Emperor nasturtiums
Princess Victoria Louise poppy

Cinco de Mayo Rose

Since today is Cinco de Mayo, I would like to do a quick share of my Cinco de Mayo floribunda rose. Yes, this rose is really called that and I bought it this past January because I saw a picture of the color of this rose in a magazine. It’s a gorgeous red with a shade of purple, it’s a very unique red. I bought it bareroot but as you can see how beautiful it has grown in just a few months!

Cosmos

This spring I planted a couple of new cosmos. I love the colors and flowers of cosmos. I try to grow them from seeds every year. They are so vibrant and fun. I put quite a few in the ground but for the first time this spring I am growing several in pots because I didn’t have room in the yard.

Cosmos planted in the ground can get pretty big and unwieldy so I am mindful of that this time around.  They are very easy to care for and can tolerate poor clay soil. I think they make attractive wispy plants between larger leafy bushes.

Rose bonbon
Cranberry
Apricot lemonade
Lemonade

In the garden I have a few more exciting flowers in bloom below. As you can see my clematis from last year has really taken off with four times more flowers! I have a sunflower looking beauty below that I am not sure what kind it is. Then, I have a 3′ tall branch of a poppy called Drama Queen that is deep burgundy with frilled edges. It really is the most dramatic looking poppy I have ever seen!

Clematis General Sikorski
Sunflower
Drama Queen poppy

In the picture below I have a couple of Epiphyllum orchid cactus cuttings that was left neglected with no soil, water, or pot and yet it is starting to flower, whereas the ones I have in pots are not doing well at all. I think it might be because I water them too much. Neglect is what it needs!

Have a great week ahead!

Roses

Recently I planted some really amazing new roses in my garden.   One in particular is called Koko Loco and it changes colors as it aged. It starts out a deep salmon pink color, then to cocoa, eventually fading out to an almost lavender color.  This is not your average rose! I love growing uncommon things.

Another rose that is particularly beautiful to me is the Love Song rose. It has the most perfect purple lavender color ever.

This Sparkle and Shine rose has an amazing yellow color that I like and I don’t usually like yellow flowers. It has good form and reminds me of a hibiscus and peony. It is such a cheerful color in the garden.

Another phenomenal beauty is the Plum Perfect rose, which also has a beautiful, vibrant plum. I love the double flower form of this rose.

Below are a few other favorites from years before. Oklahoma and First Prize are huge flowering roses, in full bloom they are larger than my hand as you can see from one of the pictures. Oklahoma is a deep red, very dramatic.

Below are a few other honorable mentions that are not roses I thought you might enjoy.

Geraniums
Hibiscus
Dwarf pomegranate

Bonsai

I have always been intrigued by bonsai trees but the last couple of years I was blown away by how beautiful a wisteria tree can be as a bonsai.  I’ve always loved wisteria trees but have heard they are vigorous climbers and need a lot of space to grow out.  Since I have a lot of other things growing in my backyard, I didn’t want to worry about an unmanageable wisteria, turning it into a bonsai tree seemed the perfect solution. 

I bought the wisteria about a year and a half ago.  I let it get used to the environment for about a year.  This winter I trimmed its roots and planted it in the bonsai pot below. 

I wasn’t sure if it would make it because it was dormant when I trimmed it down.  The last few months it started sprouting healthy green leaves.  The wisteria below is called the Blue Moon wisteria and this is what it looks like now.  One annoying thing about wisteria is that it takes at least 5-7 years before it flowers! 

Below is another wisteria I am growing, it is the Japanese wisteria.  I transferred it to this bonsai pot while it was dormant a few months ago.  It has not broken out of dormancy yet.  I hope I will have much success with this one too. 

Another pretty tree I want to put in a bonsai pot is this bougainvillea.  The colors in this tree are wonderful, all my favorites!

I left the bougainvillea out in the sun after I stressed it out by trimming and transplanting.  I shouldn’t have done that even with a tough, drought tolerant wonder like this bougainvillea.  I should have left it in the shade for a few days to de-stress, give it plenty of water, and then bring it out in the sun after it acclimated itself.  Below is what it looked like after being left out in the sun.

That was pretty sad to see.  I’ve never seen a droopy bougainvillea before!  I gave it water and put it in partial shade and it recovered. 

I am also trying my hands at weeping willow trees and azaleas too.  I may have some pictures to show for next post. 

As always, below are a collection of new flowers in my garden.

Bearded Iris
Lemonade Cosmos
Rose Bonbon Cosmos

These Champagne ranunculus are so lovely.  Everyday there are different shades of salmon and light/dark pinks. My all time favorite!  I love these.  They look like perfect roses.

Magnolia Trees

I love magnolia trees! I have two kinds in my yard: Souvlangeana and Genie. Souvlangeana is more common in my area. It is a pink and white colored flower. It starts out with a deep purple bud then once it starts to open, it turns light pink like the first picture below. The Genie is the second picture and it remains a dark purple throughout the flowering cycle.

I bought the Souvlangeana thinking it was going to be a dwarf tree but later found out that it is not a year AFTER it was planted in the ground (oops!). Magnolia trees will grow to be over 15 feet tall and definitely should be careful when planting them too close to your property or power lines. The Genie tree above is two years old and is about 4 ft tall. They were only about 1 ft when I first planted them.

Souvlangeana flower.

The tree above is the Souvlangeana. This one is about two years old also. This year it has bloomed a lot more than the first year. The first year I had only one flower!

This is my Genie tree that is about to have two flowers. See the purple flower above.

This is my garden on an early morning stroll. Lots of pretty colors out there. I love pinks and purples so there is a bit of that here. The neighbor behind me grew bougainvillea but he told me most of the blooms are on my side as you can see the deep purple colors.

Below are some of my other favorite things growing in the yard.

Rose mallow

Abandoned succulent that is about to set gorgeous yellow flowers. I rested this bunch against a dirt area with no water and total neglect. Look how happy it is. It’s about to have beautiful yellow flowers that bees are attracted to.

Happy succulents: Aeonium kiwis.

This picture above is an onion that I put in the ground. The stalk is growing to about 3 foot tall, stiff, and strange-looking like something out of the movie Little Shop of Horrors.

That’s all for now. Next week I will share about turning some of my favorite trees into bonsai.

Poppies, Ranunculus, and Hibiscuses

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with taking care of all my plants. The heat and strong winds caused a lot of stress to me and my plants. Everything got dried up quickly and the leaves were turning yellow. I am spending a lot of time watering, mulching, and fertilizing. Along with caring for these existing plants, I also had some seedlings I was growing from a couple of months back. Several of the poppy seedlings I put out in the ground got eaten by pests or die from heat. It was very frustrating to see all your hard work go kaput within days.

Right now my biggest challenge since I have a million plants out there, is I need to figure out an irrigation system. I have been DEEP watering many plants by carrying buckets around the yard. It is hard work and my right arm has been screaming in pain! Mulching helps a lot in keep plants happy but summer heat of 85 degrees Fahrenheit or more here will demolish many plants in no time. I need to be prepared.

I have also inherited 8 of my father-in-law’s trees so even more plants to care for! I feel it is my obligation to not let plants die, that’s why I work so hard in watering, mulching, and fertilizing. I did get a very nice red maple and a redbud tree from my father-in-law that I have always wanted so that’s a good thing.

As hard as I have to work for my garden, they still bring me the greatest joys in seeing them bloom in the spring and summer months. I think this year my garden will be quite EPIC and I can’t wait to see mature plants bloom more prolifically. I also added some newbies like these ranunculus and poppies below which are devastatingly beautiful.

All of the above pictures were from a Champagne ranunculus collection. It’s hard to believe but the various shades of orange, salmon, and pink is from the same plants at different times of the day and after a number of days. They have been in bloom for at least five days already and they look like they will last a few more days. I am thrilled with having ranunculus in my garden. These have my favorite colors pink and coral. I definitely want to add more of these for next year.

The above picture is my Afghan poppy. It is the most amazing looking poppy and plant I have ever seen. It is about 4′ tall and the flower stayed like this for several days, unopened. I’m not sure if it would ever open because today my gardener blew the petals off (I’m so mad about that). If you look out in my yard and you see this amazing plant standing majestically in pink and white, you would smile at it too. Luckily, there is another bulb forming below this flower so I should have another flower soon.

These purple poppies are called Poppy of Troy. I was lucky enough to get several flowers. They are sneaky though. They bloom early in the morning and by afternoon the petals usually fall on the ground. I am at work during the times they bloom so I had to ask my husband to take these pictures during the day. I love these. The purple is so beautiful.

The above are Apricot Chiffon poppies. These are sneaky too, blooms during the day and closed up by late afternoon.

The rest of the below pictures are some of my favorite blooming hibiscuses. These are gorgeous and will be blooming for the next several months.

I hope this post showed you some of the best things God has to offer for us to enjoy. With a little of our own hard work these beauties will give back tenfold!