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!

Benefit Garden Tour Hosted By Flower, Garden and Nature Society of NWAR

Purple coneflowers and wild white 'Annabelle' hydrangeas on the 13th FGNS tour

Annual Through the Garden Gate Set for June 11

The Flower, Garden and Nature Society of Northwest Arkansas will host the 14th annual Through the Garden Gate tour. Scheduled for Saturday, June 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain or shine), this year’s tour consists of six of the area’s finest gardens. Proceeds will benefit  the Flower, Garden and Nature Society of NWA and the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. “FGNS has contributed over $27,000 to BGO in the last 13 years,” said Joyce Mendenhall, president.

The private gardens available for viewing are: The Dillard Garden at the Farmington residence of Mary and Tom Dillard, Survivor’s Garden at the Fayetteville residence of Martha and Mark Haguewood, Mainview Garden at the Fayetteville residence of Judy and Jay McDonald, Mascabado at Mission Esperanza at the Fayetteville residence of Denise and Hershey Garner, Dutch Hill Garden at the Rogers residence of Marilyn and John Holland, and A Friend of Nature at the Rogers residence of Paula and Lewis Yarborough.

All gardens are included in the ticket price of $15 for adults and free for children 11 and younger. Additionally, homemade refreshments will be served at Mascabado at Mission Esperanza. Tickets are available at the Bank of Fayetteville (Dowtown Square and Crossover locations), Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and Westwood Gardens in Rogers. The Fayetteville Farmers’ Market and each garden will have tickets available the morning of the tour.For more information, call Lois at (479) 442-4640 or email gloriamc@cox.net.

Musings on flowers in June

It seems we jumped right from cold weather to hot, 95°! This first flower is an unusual native wildflower, Penstemon murryanus. Its leaves are fleshy and perfoliate, which means the rose-colored stems go right through the middle of the leaf. The bright coral flowers are hummingbird favorites.

architectural leaves are striking in the border


new clematis compliments rose

My new clematis, C. florida sieboldii, has really bloomed well. It is paired with a ‘Night Owl’ rose, which is a single purple with a yellow center of stamens.




This beardstongue or Penstemon, ‘Betty’s Choice’, is a native that is covered with lavender blooms every year.  Rose Campion, with silver leaves and magenta flowers is a knock out in the border. One more wildflower in the garden is the Purple Milkweed. Its intricate flowers and long leaves feed and host the Monarch butterfly.

                                                                                                            penstemon named for my friend Betty

This milkweed is another host for the Monarch butterfly.

Lychnis coronaria


FGNS to sponsor internationally known garden speaker and author.





MARCH 19, 2011





Time: 9:30 a.m.

International garden lecturer and designer, award-winning author, naturalist and photographer. His books include: Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide, Native Alternative to Invasive Plants, Perennial Combinations, Perennials For Today and many others. Mr. Burrell will sign books after his lecture. The books are available at Nightbird Books on Dickson St. in Fayetteville. Show your FGNS membership card for a 10% discount. Call 479-521-9090 for more information.