Tag Archives: ginger lily

Flowers And Other November Ephemera

Today there was a very early morning light rain, followed by fog—a mostly gray, dreary but mild day. The clouds lifted a short time before sunset and the sky colored a bright clear blue, before mixing with apricot, red and orange hues.

A few minutes earlier I went out to inspect the Irises–the ones that have been reblooming for several weeks. As welcome as they are I do find it unsettling to see Irises (and many neighbors’ Azaleas) flowering at this time of year.  This is an unknown cultivar passed-along by a friend. The bud is lavender but opens to white. [Note: November 9, 2013. Thanks to P&B at Petals and Wings for identifying this Iris in her comment below as ‘Immortality’ –the only reblooming white Iris.]

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)--the bud is lavender color

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)–the bud is lavender color

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

In September I had expected the Jackmanii Clematis to flower again but it did not. Today I found one perfect flower under the shelter of neighboring Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass).  This Clematis has interesting seed heads also.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Clematis 'Jackmanii' seed head

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ seed head

Surprisingly the Ginger Lily still has several blooms even after the October frost. The leaves and stalks are turning brown.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

A nice surprise during this garden wander was finding that rich orange hips have formed on Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ along the western border.

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

The sasanquas this year are as pretty as they have ever been. The red one is Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ but the name of the delicate pink and white one is unknown. They have grown up into each other over the years. The pink one was supposed to bloom in autumn and the Yuletide was to wait until winter, but obviously there can be a lot of variation. [Note: November 21, 2013-Thanks to Christina H. in Raleigh who identified the pink and white Camellia as ‘Hana-Jiman.’]

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

One last image for today is that of the Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ I planted in April. This is a dwarf variety and maybe has managed to reach about 12 inches. It was touted as having nice fall foliage and it is beginning to display red stems and burgundy tinges on the leaves.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Garden Recordkeeping Part 2

As September 2013 winds down I have some photographs and notes to record. This is the second of several posts.

Last Sunday I focused on the garden’s Flowering Dogwood for GBFD, but there were several other foliage items to mention. This spring I planted two new Peonies and both seem to have taken hold. This one is Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony).

Paeonia lactiflora 'Black Beauty' (Nightlife Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony)

Coreopsis is supposed to be an easy plant to grow for blooms all summer. I have had mixed luck with them in the past, but the ones I added a couple of years ago are not being given a fair chance.  They are in an overcrowded spot where they become hidden and miss out on the sun.  Recently I uncovered them while trimming back one of the borders. I need to find a good location where they can be seen, possibly somewhere along the Southern side path, although I worry they will want more water than that spot can provide.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) is attractive for its color and leaf patterns. Lightly fragrant, it can be used for cooking (although I have not) and is reputedly attractive to butterflies. This plant overwintered successfully last year.

Salvia Dorada 'Aurea' (Golden Sage)

Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage)

Salvia Dorada 'Aurea' (Golden Sage)

I have been monitoring the progress of the Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) since discovering it in the garden mid-summer.  

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Last week I noticed insects on one of the Callicarpa leaves. As the camera approached they moved en masse toward the edge and underside of the leaf as an avoidance measure. I cannot identify these definitively, but they seem to be Large Milkweed Bugs or Leaffooted Bug nymphs. It is unclear whether they are beneficial or pests.

Large Milkweed Bugs or Leaffooted Bug nymphs on Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Large Milkweed Bugs or Leaffooted Bug nymphs on Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

The Asclepias died out in the garden not to be seen last year, so I added three plants in early spring. I have lost track of two of them but I noticed this week the third one was infested with aphids. When I first spotted the color orange I was hopeful they were Monarch Butterfly eggs but no, not with legs. The aphids washed away easily with a spray from the hose, as suggested by several online resources I found.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) infested with Aphis nerii (Oleander Aphid or Milkweed Aphid)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) infested with Aphis nerii (Oleander Aphid or Milkweed Aphid)

I planted Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) in the meditation circle several years ago and find it self-seeds rather freely. Next weekend our neighborhood is having a plant swap, so I expect that would be a good time to pass some along.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Before the date of the plant swap I also have some canna to divide as it never bloomed this year or last and some Ginger Lily can be shared as well. The Ginger Lily flowers have been abundant and fragrant this year.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

This spring I planted a dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea that is supposed to be nice for autumn color. It seems to be getting well established, but I think I tucked it away in a spot that may be hard to see it.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) are easy to grow and spread themselves around carelessly. Last year I removed a lot of Aquilegia and this spring I was heavy-handed pulling out the Stachys. They are both thriving in the garden though and at this time of year they look fresh. These images were taken early yesterday morning while still covered in dew.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Misty View From The Southern Side Garden

The Southern Side Garden hosts the plant of the moment—Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily). The delicate flowers began blooming last week and have multiplied each day.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

A light rain fell most of the day, but pulling into the driveway after an errand I spotted the enchanting plant near the entrance to the garden path and decided to ignore the misty shower long enough to get a picture or two.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Since spring this part of the garden has had little attention but a few reliable perennials and reseeding Cleome maintain interest.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) is a plant I have enjoyed for years, but I have yet to find a good location for it in this garden. It is not particularly thriving here along the Southern Path, but it does provide a few interesting, colorful flowers.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ has become a summer favorite and the drops of rain made its deep hues appear even richer. It blooms for a while, then takes a break. Perhaps the cooler weather agrees with it. Black and Blue overwinters here making it a very easy-care plant.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Near the entrance gate to the main garden Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ towers above the fence. Blooming since July, this Rudbeckia has made its finest show ever this year.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)-2

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily), foreground.  Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ upper right background.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Almanac

Temperatures remained unseasonably cool by 10-15 degrees. At 7:00 pm it is 70°F.

White Ginger Lily Inflorescence

I had just a moment this afternoon to admire the first blossoms of Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) before a heavy downpour sent me running inside.

First flowers of Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Each day until frost several flowers should emerge and open with a sweet perfume evocative of gardenia.

Newly opened and  emerging flowers of Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

This is sometimes called Butterfly Lily for its resemblance to white butterflies or Garland flower because individual flowers are collected and used to create garlands.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) bud

Ginger Lily Surprises

As I was walking in the side garden today, suddenly a stand of Hedychium coronarium (White Ginger Lily) just beginning to bud caught my attention. In good years fragrant white flowers will perfume the garden in late summer to early fall and it looks like this might be one of those special years.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

This Ginger Lily, a pass-along plant from a horticulturist neighbor, has been an unreliable bloomer, but when it does bloom the effect is so memorable as to make it worth keeping it around just in case.

With plenty of heat and humidity this summer, conditions have been just right for ginger lily to thrive. Though there have been no showers for the past five or six days, there has been a good amount of rain overall, sending these moisture-loving plants up four to five feet in height.

Sometimes called butterfly ginger because individual flowers are reminiscent of butterflies, this perennial is thought to be native to the Himalayas. It is the national flower of Cuba. It dies back to the ground during winter in this zone-7b garden.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) With Hyla cinerea (Green Treefrog)

The second ginger lily surprise today was the discovery of a Hyla cinerea (Green Treefrog) hanging out mid-day, flattened against one of the nearly two feet long leaves enjoying the shade.

Yellowish green with an ivory stripe along its side and yellow dots on its back, this Green Treefrog will be searching for flying insects later tonight.

Hyla cinerea (Green Treefrog)

A Camellia And More

Spied a pink camellia blooming just around the corner of the house the other day and today was the first opportunity to check it out. Though the past several days of rain have left this blossom wrinkly and tired, I still admired its interesting waxy, translucent skin. There will be many more blossoms soon, as the beautiful shrub itself is tightly packed with buds. For now the name of this camellia is lost, probably written down somewhere safe though.

Camellia

Here are a few other scenes from today’s garden:

October Flourishes

A brief excursion around the garden today offered a few unexpected finds, the first being a nearly spent blossom from the Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily). I have been mistakenly referring to this as wild ginger, but ginger lily it is. This pass-along plant from a former neighbor has an exotic look and is deeply fragrant.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

The Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) have been particularly satisfying this year. Although some of the plants have nearly dried up, others continue to produce fresh flowers.

Echinacea (Purple Coneflower)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ has performed well this year. It was moved to this sunny spot from another area that was getting too shady. I attribute the extra rains to its colorful success.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Jackmanii Clematis is supposed to be one of the easiest clematises to grow, but this one has never had a memorable reblooming in the fall. This year’s rains have no doubt contributed.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Just beyond the Jackmanii, is the only ornamental grass in the garden. I fretted over the Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass) this summer, not realizing late summer and fall are when this airy pink grass is at its best. It is not in an ideal location to show it off, so perhaps it needs to be moved. Nearby is Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage), which was transplanted to this area this spring. It is now thriving in this sunny spot. Another late-season perennial, it has spires of  lavender, tubular flowers.

Clematis, Pink Muhly Grass, Russian Sage