Rhodochiton atrosanguineum- Purple Bell Vine

Rhodochiton atrosanguineum- Purple Bell Vine

Sometimes I feel like if I put out to the universe what I am looking for then these things tend to show up. Okay, universe, you’ve been alerted, on the top of my “plant wish list” is Rhodochiton atrosanguineum, “Purple Bell Vine”.  Are you familiar with this plant? The first time I saw Rhodochiton atrosanguineum was during a garden visit as part of the Garden Writers Association conference in Buffalo, New York last summer. As I toured this homeowner’s garden taking photos I literally stopped when I saw this plant. It doesn’t happen too often that I see an entirely new plant. Well, new to me, that is. What could this be?  Where do I get one? The Purple Bells Vine was being grown on a small obelisk structure and had completely engulfed the metal frame. … Read Full Post
Will my orchid bloom again?

Will my orchid bloom again?

As the last bloom falls from my orchid I find myself asking the important question, “Will my orchid bloom again?” How do you know what to look for and is there anything you can do to encourage another flower? This lovely little miniature orchid was an impulse by from a visit to Home Depot. I am a sucker for all of the things near the checkout line, so a display of small orchids for $6.99 wasn’t even worth fighting.   Large or small, you can get an orchid bloom again. I find that most orchid flowers last 3-4 months in our house if they were purchased in good condition with a several of the balloon-like blooms yet to open. What a deal these orchids are compared to cut flowers!… Read Full Post
2017 New Caladium Varieties

2017 New Caladium Varieties

Each year caladium growers from around the country reveal their new caladium varieties for the public. Okay, caladium growers from Florida reveal their new caladium varieties. You can see a quick tour of their fields in this previous post. During a quick visit to Orlando we made a point to stop by the Florida Flower Trials at Harry P. Leu Gardens to take a quick look at the newest varieties being tested. I would certainly admit to being biased with my love for caladiums, so seeing these new caladium varieties was a top priority. I was excited to see some of the new colors and shapes, with more lance leaf caladiums entering the market. I fully admit that I have weird “plant geek” tastes for plants, so I was instantly drawn to the new ‘Tinkerbell’ from Bates Sons & Daughters.… Read Full Post
What does poison ivy look like?

What does poison ivy look like?

What a way to start a blog post, eh?  “What does poison ivy look like?” has been heard a few times around here lately. We are clearing out an area of old trees, shrubs and underbrush and my lack of familiarity with some of these plants is prompting this question.   So, what does poison ivy look like? Leaves of three, let them be… Leaves of five, let them thrive.  This little rhyme is keeping me in check these days with my poison ivy “sightings.”  Look for plants with leaves in groups of three as an initial indicator. Not to get too technical, but I have to put in here that technically these are leaflets, comprising a single leaf. As a vine, look for hairy roots that are holding on tightly to a tree or wall.… Read Full Post
Formal Double Form Camellias

Formal Double Form Camellias

Camellia season is starting to wind down and I am left with images of beautiful camellias in my mind. Mostly, I picture the formal double form camellias. These little showstoppers are my favorites. Not always the largest, but with amazing form that only formal double form camellias can achieve. When I was first introduced to camellias, I was unaware of the different flower forms. I saw only beautifully saturated flowers of all different colors and sizes. It wasn’t until I saw one of my first formal double form camellias that I understood just how important the flower form is to camellias. Camellia Forms Camellia flower forms are divided into six categories: Single: One row of not over 8 petals and having conspicuous stamens.… Read Full Post
Yellow Flowers? Tabebuia Trees

Yellow Flowers? Tabebuia Trees

Tabebuia Trees are starting to steal the show… again. It seems like each March the most commonly asked question is, “What are those yellow flower trees all over town?” Those, my friends, are Golden Trumpet or Tabebuia Trees. Well, maybe that isn’t entirely true. The name “Tabebuia” has now been replaced with “Handroanthus.” Just when people were starting to learn real plant names they went and changed it. This is why people stick with the common names! According to Wikipedia, “the name Handroanthus was established in 1970, but was not generally accepted. In 1992, its species were included in Tabebuia in the most recent revision of that genus. Handroanthus was resurrected in 2007 when a comparison of DNA sequences by cladistic methods showed that Tabebuia, as then circumscribed, was not monophyletic.”  Huh.… Read Full Post
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