Fayetteville Square flowers offer stunning color combinations.

‘Bishop of Llandaff’ dahlia with monarch.

More beautiful combinations using coleus and purple oxalis.
‘Black Pearl’ ornamental pepper, used in several locations, was a standout among other plants.
Black Elephant Ear, zinnias and coleus are bright and beautiful.
Flame Flower Vine, Senecio confusus, has very bright orange-red flowers and attracts clouds of butterflies

A recent afternoon stroll around the Square yielded some wonderful photos of plants combinations. Also, a black-leafed ornamental pepper really caught my eye, so I’ll have to have ‘Black Pearl’ for my garden. It will have to be grown as an annual. Their use of the flame flower vine, Senecio confusus, was so beautiful. Enjoy!


2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day


                                                                                                                                                    North Berm with Castor Bean and Hibiscuses



                                                                                                                                                                        ‘Diana’ Rose of Sharon


                                                                                                                                                                   Texas Star Hibiscus, H. coccineus



                                                                                                                                                 PeeGee Hydrangea with Red Banded Hair-Streak

Creature Feature

Here are some of the creatures attracted to the host  plants that I include in my garden as an invitation for the butterflies and moths. The first is the hagmoth caterpillar in an unusual color. The moth it metamorphoses into is small and not often seen. The caterpillar is usually brown with long hair, said to imitate a cast off tarantula skin.

Small Hagmoth caterpillar

The Spicebush Butterfly is a beautiful black swallowtail. The host plants are spice bush and sassafras. My spicebush is only 7 inches tall, but it had 3 caterpillars on it. I moved them to a small sassafras tree so they could continue developing. This morning, when I checked, there were two more small caterpillars besides this one which is mature and should change into a chrysalis soon.

The spicebush caterpillar is one of the most endearing with its green color and cute eye-spots.

The last caterpillar is a new one on me. It is called the Milkweed Tussock caterpillar and I found it on my Swamp milkweed. They  have so many hairs of different colors that they look like little bits of yarn moving around. At first, they are all clustered together where the eggs were laid and as they mature, they move off. The moth they metamorphose into is a medium-size tan moth with a large yellow abdomen with black spots on it.

These milkweed tussock caterpillars look like bits of yarn moving around the swamp milkweed.

This is the best time to observe caterpillars, so get out in your garden and start looking. Better yet, take a child with you. They love creepy crawlies as much as I do.

Plants that can stand the heat.

Here are some photos of plants that were blooming this morning. Today is 110° in the shade, so in the sun, it is probably 115°.  We water every morning, but by noon, some of the plants

are already wilted again. Remember to water your trees! (The variegated shrub in front of the hibiscus is ‘Fairy’ a Caryopteris.)

Castor Bean plant with Mr. Lincoln rose.

Hibiscus mutabilis 'Rubrum'

These Gerber daisies look cool even in 110° temperatures.

It’s 104° in the shade! What’s blooming?

It's 104° in the shade!

With the daily temperatures running 104°, as you see, up to 106°, what could possibly be blooming???? Well, actually quite a number of things. Rose of Sharon, roses, PeeGee hydrangeas, ‘Tardiva’ hydrangea, Rose hibiscus, Joe Pye Weed (a butterfly banquet), crepe myrtles, ‘Lime Light’ hydrangea, crinum lily ‘Ellen Bosanquet’, dahlias, native honeysuckle, garden phlox, Cardinal flower, reblooming iris, and rose verbena.  One new little bird, a face only a mother could love, baby cardinal in the Japanese golden cedar. Enjoy the blooms below, some are what I call, flying flowers (Giant Skipper, Buckeye and Black Swallowtail).

The baby cardinal, in the Japanese Cedar tree, has a face only a mother could love.

Cardinal Flower blooming in the bog area.

Joe Pye blooms are butterflies' banquet.

Blood-red dahlia contrasts well with boulder and crow.

Crinum lily 'Ellen Bosanquet' is about to open.

Reblooming iris looks delicate despite sweltering temperatures.

'Ellen Bosanquet' open, a fountain of big, messy foliage and stems 4-5" tall.

'Tardiva' Hydrangea paniculata

All flowers are refreshing in this heat. 'Lime Light' looks as fresh as a daisy!