Sunday, October 16, 2011

Angel Trumpet Blooms

Several days ago I posted an entry entitled "Leaving A Legacy" in which I discussed sharing the Flowers that I enjoy.  One of the Flowers was the Angel Trumpet plant.  Today I had the opportunity to take several more images of this lovely flower in a better lighting situation.  Therefore I decided that I would share them with all of the readers of this Blog.  Enjoy the beauty!!!  I took these pictures just a few minutes prior to 7:00 P.M. when there was no Sun light. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Leaving A Legacy

I recently was afforded the opportunity to present a program to a Garden Club Meeting.  There were sixteen members in attendance and I took the opportunity to discuss the "Pass Along Flowers" that I enjoy in my Gardens.

 The Hostess for the meeting happened to have a Night Blooming Cereus on display in her Garden Room so I started the presentation with a discussion of how I received a cutting from a fellow gardener many years ago.  I discussed how easy this plant is to care for and how it thrives in full shade.  I also stated that I also kept my two plants in fourteen inch pots so they could be Wintered over in the garage so that they would not freeze.  In recent years we have enjoyed three cycles of bloom at intervals of about 40 days.  I also discussed the lovely fragrance that these flowers have and the fact that they open in the late evening and usually achieve their peek beauty at about 10:00 P.M.  The plant itself is rather ugly, but the beauty of the bloom is to be coveted and enjoyed for the one night that they put on their display.  As I stated above, the plants that I enjoy were from a cutting a fellow gardener passed along to me.

 The next flower I discussed was the "Angel Trumpet."  I did acquire this plant from a mail order nursery.  That stated, I have shared many cuttings through the years with many fellow gardeners here in Middle Georgia.  They are very easy to root and I take cuttings each Fall and place them a jar of water after I have treated the stem with root tone to prevent rot.  Then in early March I transplant them into fiber liners  for future planting in small pots, once the danger of frost is past and place them on the deck.  I have experienced great success with this method and I transplant the plants as they grow larger into twelve inch pots so that I can arrange them along side of the deck.  Additionally I have about a dozen plants in the garden with a East orientation so that they do not receive too much Sun.  In the peek of Summer I have often had to water them twice a day so that the leaves would not droop.  In the Fall, just before a frost I cut the plants down to the soil line and place pinestraw and/or leaves over the plant.  Then in Spring I uncover them and they flourish.  Just as with the Night Blooming Cereus, I usually get the opportunity to enjoy three cycles of bloom each Year.

I then shared my love of the "Lenten Rose," which can be in bloom as early as Christmas and present their lovely display through March.  I enjoy these low growing plants, which the deer to not harm, every Winter.  The colors range from white, lime green to the light red you see here.  Some are even purple.  These plants enjoy the same soil conditions and shade that Camellias appreciate.  You can acquire these on-line and if you want a specific color I have seen them sell for as much as $38.00 a plant.  The Lenten Rose plants that I enjoy in my Gardens are of many colors.  They easily reseed themselves and, again as with the other Plants I discussed, require a minimum of care.  They do appreciate a light feeding of liquid fertilizer a few times a Summer and the leaves remain green all year.  I recommend this plant for the long term beauty the green foliage presents and most especially the beauty of the bloom during the Winter months.  These blooms are a challenge to to photograph.  You can view the stick I used to prop up this flower so that I could get a good picture of the beauty of this bloom.  The Lenten Rose does not present a fragrance; but the beauty of the bloom in the bleak Winder months make them a valuable addition to any shaded landscape.  As I indicated above, the fact that deer avoid Lenten Roses makes them a coveted addition to any urban landscape scheme.

I concluded my talk with a brief discussion of the "Daphne Odera" shrub.  I first saw this lovely, fragrant plant at a "Southeastern Flower Show" in Atlanta many years ago.  When I returned to Macon I found a local Nursery that had them for $7.00 for a one gallon liner.  Of course I acquired eight or nine plants.   These plants have become so desirable that I often see them in Garden Centers for $30.00 a plant in a one gallon liner.  One thing about this shrub to always remember, they appreciate well drained soil and flourish with a minimum amount of maintenance.  They are slow growers and even though we have had ours for many years I have never had to prune them.  They are now about 24 inches tall and 36 inches across.   One word of caution, this plant may grow for years and years and they decide to perish.  Therefore I would recommend that you acquire one or two every few years and place them in your landscape so they are ready to take the place of the plant/s that perish.  I have never attempted to transplant any of our plants.  I have been told by a very experienced local Plant Person that they are quite easy to root.  Just like the Lenten Roses, this plant thrives in the same shaded setting as a Camellia plant; which we have in the same general area.  The Daphne Odera also presents a very pleasant fragrance.  The plants we have are in the general area of our driveway and as I bring in the morning paper on a damp humid day in Winter I always appreciate the lovely fragrance.

Please be aware that the images I have included in this Blog Post are my own as my additional hobby is photography so my Flower Growing Hobby and my Photography Hobby support each other.

I concluded my talk by emphasizing the fact that it is always nice to be able to share cuttings and plants with other people.  Leaving a Legacy for future generations and passing along the love of beauty is the life long mission of every Gardener.  In fact, as someone at the Meeting pointed out, there is no known source for the Night Blooming Cereus that anyone was/is aware of.  Therefore, it is a true Pass-A-Long plant meant to be shared by gardeners everywhere.

Take The Opportunity To
Pass-A-Long Your
Love Of Plants At
Every Opportunity.

Thank You!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Night Blooming Cereus

October 9th, 2011

Once again I have had the opportunity to enjoy these lovely, fragrant blooms.  Later this week I will capture the final blooms of the Angel Trumpets that adorn the East Garden.

I always keep the Night Blooming Cereus Plants in fourteen inch pots so that I can Winter them over inside the garage.  I have found that this works very well for this tropical plant.  As always they require very little care, just a bit of water once in a while.