Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today's Flowers #55 - Rose

Rose - the queen of cut flowers. There must be thousands of varieties of roses; so many to choose from; one for every taste and size. Pictured below are my miniature roses. They are only about 1-1/2' tall, with tiny leaves and flowers and are excellent for potted plants. I bought these at an end-of-season sale 2 years ago for $2.49 each ... not bad for years of enjoyment! ;)
All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

This one is a climbing rose. I don't know what I did wrong this year, but it only gave me about 3 blooms!

This is an old-fashioned rose. It has very tiny thorny stems but the flowers are very fragrant! I believe their rose hips can be used for tea.

Here's another old-timer. The seven sisters rose, it's a cluster of beauties and every rose has a different shade of pink. It is an antique rose variety.

The two roses below were given to me by a friend who was re-arranging her garden beds in the early spring, and I was surprised to see it bloom the same year! I think these type of roses are known as "wild" roses.

... my friend told me that they are not only very hardy but resistant to disease as well. She even demonstrated how to propagate, which I want to try next summer.

The roses below are not from my garden but from a friend's garden.
I read it somewhere that if you want healthier roses, bury banana skins just below the surface of the soil. They provide calcium, sulfur, magnesium, phosphates, sodium and etc. to the soil. And if you plant garlic, and parsley by your roses, it will increase their scent and repel aphids.

I highly appreciate them in flower arrangements ... classic and elegant, don't you think?

To see more exotic and gorgeous flowers, please visit Today's Flowers hosted by Luiz, Denise, Valkyrien and Laerte.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Today's Flowers #54 - unique garden treats

Time for Today's Flowers again! ... hosted by TF team, Luiz, Denise, Laerte & Valkyrien. Interested to participate? ... please visit their site.

Today, I am featuring treats from Mother Nature! lol It seems like every year I get new plants from the old and I don't even have to do anything. The 3 photos below are my original phlox ... noticed their solid colors?

... and then one year, I noticed this phlox with creamy-white centers.

... while this one is just the opposite. I don't remember planting these two, besides, I stopped planting phlox because deer love them... and i have a love-hate relationship with deer ;) Could it be the results of the top three above? ... i don't know.

Last year I harvested seeds of these fluted cosmos from a friend's garden, I remember the seeds were of pink, darker pink and white ...

... dark pink

... plain white

... and what a nice surprise when this pale/soft pink came up this year!

... here's another look of that pale pink

Here's an old timer burgundy-red cosmos, seeds were harvested from last year.

... pink/purplish cosmos

... white cosmos

... and another surprise! ... a very light pink cosmos w/ burgundy edging appeared this year! Each petal is outlined in burgundy-red! I will surely gather seeds from this breed.

...and how about this cosmos? I definitely did not have this last year. I love the look of its petals, like they were painted with a brush. It will be thrilling to watch what wonders will emerge next year.

... a close up.

Here's my favorite ... my solid peachy-orange colored hibiscus

... and then one day, I noticed one, just one multi-colored bloom! Is this unique or what?

... and how about a Siamese twin coneflower? lol ... certainly a double beauty and a double pleasure for me and the bees!

... can't resist to show you this!

Oh well, as they say, variety is the spice of life and I surely welcome new flowers each year. Thank you, Mother Nature!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's Flowers #53

Today's flowers are: gladiola, sunflower and dahlia. I love planting these because once they bloom, they'll give you an instant bouquet!

... they are awesome in a vase!

If you're interested in participating Today's Flowers, please visit the TF team, Luiz, Denise, Laerte, and Valkyrien.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Middlesex Music Festival

Last Saturday, our son's band, Funk Uncle, performed at the neighboring music festival. Hope you don't get tired of listening ... being the proud mama that I am, I just have to share this video! lol! Our son is the one wearing a green baseball hat and he is also the lead guitarist.

It also happened that the boy friend of our daughter was visiting from Delaware, so after watching our son's band, we all hurried home for a backyard picnic. I grilled the usual, hotdogs, hamburgers, steaks, and corn on the cob. From left to right, our daughter, Dan, and Dilara, our daughter's bff. They were roasting s'mores ;)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Today's flowers #52 - the other Rose

Rose of Sharon, that is ... well it's not really a rose but part of hibiscus family. ;)
For Today's Flowers, I am featuring the beauty of Rose of Sharon. Pictured below is my all white RoS. I've seen shades of blue, red, violet, and pink with contrasting colored "eyes" but I seldom see an all white one.

If I remember the tag correctly, I think my RoS is called Diana, it is pure white with ruffled blooms.

What I love about Rose of Sharon is its profusion of buds! If you click to enlarge, you'll notice that it's loaded with buds! This gives them a long blooming period.

... a double or ruffled Rose of Sharon?

This one was taken at one of the gardens where I work. It's two in one, because a pink and white were grafted.

... close up.

See these blooms? ... butterflies and hummingbirds will find these irresistible.

Unlike Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon can stand up to frost. They leaf out late in the spring, so please do not declare them dead; I made this mistakes once and dug up what I planted the year before then I noticed that the roots look ok so I planted it back ... and sure enough, some sign of foliage started to show later, its not dead! :) what makes Rose of Sharon happy? ... give it a sunny spot, and humus-rich soil and it will reward you with profusion of blooms when summer comes!