Sunday, February 26, 2012

Neighbors come to visit

Neighbor's cats occasionally come visiting.  I find them lounging on the patio table, chasing chipmunks through the garden foliage, or annoy the birds at the feeders.  Its is usually the birds complaining (or my own cats) that call my attention to visitors.  This time the visitor distained from entering the yard, and instead sat high atop the fence, watching my cats watching them.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Helleborus, a closer look

The Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) are in full bloom now.  flowers of white, pink and purple fill the garden.  I picked one stalk with an open flower and several buds for the table.  The open flower is a very pale pink shading to yellowish green.  After several days the the stamens began dropping.  Some were caught by the sepals, but most landed on the table.  The remaining pistils and surrounding nectaries were now very easy to see.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Indoor surprise

Our indoor house plants are reorganized in the winter, to make room for outdoor plants that can not survive the frost and for Christmas plants that hopefully will be blooming, and of course the Christmas tree.  This year it meant moving a rather odd looking succulent with 2 ft long leaves from a window it had been in for a very long time to a window that has a bright southern exposure.  I wasn't even sure where this plant came from, or what it was, but it needed to move.  Well it seems to really like its new location because it sent up a bloom stalk!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Joyce's Camelias

I received a container of beautiful Camellia blooms this week from Joyce.  Camellias are small evergreen trees that are covered in beautiful large pink to red flowers.  They are a popular ornamental in the deep south, where they are grown for their flowers.  A related species (Camellia sinensis) is grown for its leaves, tea leaves.  

Camellia flowers are seldom used in bouquets as they just don't last well when cut.  The blooms are instead floated in a shallow bowl of water.  Joyce has several trees that exhibit a wide variety of bloom types, each as lovely at the other.  I was able to sketch only two before they began to fade and drop their petals.  A delicate pale pink Double-flowered Camellia cultivar and a dark pink with white Simple-flowered Camellia cultivar.