Monday, May 26, 2014

American Orchid Society Show
The Orchid Society of Minnesota held a spring show "A Growing Obsession" April 30th through May 4th. Oncidiums and Phalaenopsis dominated displays, Encyclias and Lycaste also dotted presentations.

The fluorescent lighting and spot lights played havoc with photography. I believe I still took some good photos for your enjoyment. I bought a couple of rupicolous laelia species restarting my collection.

Rosy oncidium

One of many phalaenopsis
Pretty pink
The photo does not capture the gold rim effectively.
Classic white
Large cattleya
Beautiful Lycaste
Purple-black Vanda
Attractive ladyslipper 
Nice cluster of cattleya flowers
Yet another cluster.

Really enjoyed the show and hope you enjoyed the photos!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Has come to town
Wearing a yellow petticoat
And a pretty green gown

I prefer daffodils as harbingers of early spring over other bulbs. People often select tulips but they are neither as vigorous or persistent as daffodils. Hybrid tulips are prone to animal damage often flowers are snipped and eaten as they bloom. Daffodils never fail to cheer up my soul. Their bright colors accent early greening gardens.

With proper selection of varieties daffodils can accent your garden for months. They can be forced to bloom indoors and grow well in pots.

On May 3rd I visited the Daffodil Society of Minnesota show. I present pictures from that display, I do not include names of varieties as some are collections, I want to spark your curiosity to learn more thru DSM and the American Daffodil Society.
Show tables with awards
Collection of three cultivars
Trumpet-cupped daffodils, the greenery accents the collection holds the stems in place.
Multiple collection
On white wings
Beautiful yellow with white accents
Graceful Small-cupped daffodils 
Three of one cultivar
A Poeticus variety
Double daffodil, more than one flower to a stem.
Fancy, orange rim on yellow.
Small yellow corona, full-formed white perianth segments.
Subtle flower
A bold white daffodil

Striking color combination.
Pink cup, more shade more pink

Another multiple

A woodland or meadow planting of daffodils en masse is a site to behold.
In Minnesota meadow plantings are difficult as grasses tend to be too vigorous and tall.

Hope you enjoyed and are encouraged to plant daffodils!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Finally Spring has arrived!

April showers wet, wet, wet! May flowers and more.

To the right is Tulipa tarda a species tulip from Central Asia. It goes in subalpine meadows, talus fields and slopes in full or partial sun. Unlike hybrid tulips it is persistent and reseeds. I've been told it tolerates Black Walnut tainted soils.

I attended the opening of Gardens of Rice Creek on May 3rd, the Skunk Cabbage was blooming.

This is Western or Yellow Skunk Cabbage. It is noted for attracting pollinators and repelling varmints such as squirrels and rabbits. 

It loves swampy wet ground and was blooming near the flooded banks of Rice Creek.
The owner of Gardens at Rice Creek was showing guests her growing collection of cold hardy Rhododendrons. She had on hand seedlings of crosses made from her cultivar collection.

In my garden a green-leaved white flowered selection of Rhododendron ledebourii was blooming profusely. This shrub spent the winter protected from cold and dessicating winds under a six foot snow drift.

Rhododenron ledebourii

Siberian Iris seedling

This Siberian Iris seedling has great promise. Its three years old, I hope to see it bloom for the first time. You probably cannot tell from this picture but it germinated and has been growing on the edge of a rock garden and sidewalk. In the summer months, especially in droughty August with air temps in the high 90s the radiated heat from the sidewalk was intense, this seedling showed no damage. Could this grow well in arid or southern climates?

Asarum canadense, Canadian wild Ginger is a beautiful native groundcover for partial to full shade.

Wild ginger unfolds

Peonies erupt with reddish foliage which eventually turns green as it matures and begins to bud. Last year the season was aborted by days of strong winds and rains.

Martagon lilies quickly shoot up and unfurl their foliage.

Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Northern Bush Honeysuckle takes its time to leaf out. Another underrated native shrub, prized by the highway department and underutilized by the gardener.

Variegated with blue flowers

"Bowles Variety" periwinkle, Vinca minor is an evergreen groundcover for dry shady areas.

Can't wait for the taste of rhubarb. Sauce, cake, cookies, and pie, especially Rhubarb Custard Pie my favorite birthday treat!

I love springtime!