Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chrysanthemum Festival I

The Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood gardens outside Philadelphia is the largest
display of mums outside Japan.  These are all show mums, grown for artistic and aesthetic
purposes, not for your ordinary garden.  They are all in greenhouses, and this is the
largest of the conservatories.  There were 17,000 mums on display here last week.

This is inside the front doors - blankets and a ball of yellow mums, large beds of white
Shasta mums, yellow Edo mums, and two 500 Flower Domes of lavender mums.  Each
of these domes is only a single chrysanthemum plant.

This is looking in the opposite direction toward the Orangery, with Yellow Balls of Mums
and red curtains of mums.

Looking to the East, you can see White Mum  Balls and topiary trees of Gumdrop Mums.

All of these blossoms of Kokka Hougiku are on a single mum plant
supported on these iron armature.  It takes a year of training to achieve this.

Close-up of Kokka Hougiku blossoms on one plant.

Another single Kokka Hougiku crysanthemum trained to display 500 flowers.

These huge crowns are on White Shasta Mums, where all side flowers have been
pinched off so all the energy goes to the top, single flower.  They are 9 inches across.

The beautiful head of a single White Shasta Chrysanthemum, one flower per stem.

In the background is a bush of "Butter Creme Senna."  In front are the
White Shasta Chrysanthemums.

This is a totally new variety of mum known so far only as "Edo 16."  These new varieties
are noted for their irregularity and twisted petals.

Another example of "Edo 16";  every flower is different.

A blanket of yellow mums wrapped around a column.

This White Ball of Mums is about four feet in diameter, is made of an iron armature
with several mum plants growing inside.  A number of these hang from the ceiling and are
lowered on pulleys each day to be watered.

The Easter Half of the Main Conservatory.  An aisle goes all around with beds of mums
on both sides.  We will walk there next.

The Northeast Aisle is lined with white "Icey Isle" mums on one side with topiary trees of
"Gumdrop Chrysanthemums."  That is a single mum plant, trained to be a tree, and then
pruned so that it fills out only on top.

"Icey Isle" white chrysanthemums.  They were snow white and prolific.

"Icey Isle" white chrysanthemums.

Northeast Aisle with "Icey Isle" white mums, yellow "Marguerite Daisies," and
topiary trees of "Gumdrop" anemone mums.

A topiary tree of "Gumdrop Anemone Chrysanthemums."  That is a single mum plant,
trained to bloom only on top; all other buds and leaves were pinched off.

Down below, on both sides, were "Crimson Tide" chrysanthemums - the big,
beautiful "football" mums.

"Crimson Tide" irregular in-curve chrysanthemums.  Notice how all the
petals curve to the inside, but irregularly.

"Crimson Tide Chrysanthemum"

Looking back to the center and the Orangery to the North from the East Aisle.
Notice the Red Blanket Mums, Yellow Ball Mums, and Gumdrop Topiary Mums.

"Icey Isle" white mums.

Along the East Aisle was this magnificent single mum plant topiary of red "Kurume" mums.
They are not growing from that tree, but thin stems of the chrysanthemum plant can be seen
along the trunk and tied to it.  This is a single red plant, pinched and pruned so that it
only shows flowers at certain points.  This takes a year of training and preparation.

"Candid" chrysanthemums along the aisle were a rich cocoa color.

When the sun streamed in, the cocoa color seemed browner.

"Candid" Chrysanthemum head.

The East Aisle with a variety of chrysanthemums blooming.

Baskets of "Tradescantia" hanging and "Sir Galahad" Mums below.  The Festival runs
from Oct. 22 to Nov. 24, and as flowers begin to droop, they are replaced overnight with
totally new plants just coming into full bloom.   I saw wholly new varieties of mums
appear each day.

Along the East Aisle, the "Zaryah Spider Mums" were some of the most special.

This is a single "Zaryah Spider Mum," about 12 inches across.  Only one flower is allowed
to grow on each plant, and all the other buds are pinched off so all the energy goes into
the only spectacular flower on each plant.

The bed of "Sir Galahad" mums was one of those to appear on my second day,
as if from nowhere, but actually from one of the 60 working greenhouses in back.

"Zaryah Spider Chrysanthemum"

"Sir Galahad Chrysanthemums"

A bed of "Zaryah Spider Mums."

"Statesman" bright yellow anemone mums filled the beds.

"Yellow Megumi Chrysanthemum" topiary trees; each is a single plant.

"Yellow Megumi Topiary Trees" - a single plant

"Powder Puff Chrysanthemums" - theya re about four inches in diameter.
These plants produce many blossoms on each plant.

"Powder Puff Chrysanthemums."


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Daylilies in August

One of the most varied and colorful of the blooming flowers was the daylily.  The English
Garden / River Meadow was filled with large beds of various varieties and colors.
Their botanical name is Hemerocallis.

"Yellow Dazzler"

Daylilies are perennial plants, whose name alludes to the flowers which typically last
 no more than 24 hours. The flowers of most species open in early morning and wither 
during the following night, possibly replaced by another one on the same stalk the next day.
 Some species are night-blooming. Daylilies are not commonly used as cut flowers for formal 
flower arranging, yet they make good cut flowers otherwise as new flowers continue to open
 on cut stems over several days.

"August Pioneer"

Hemerocallis is native to Eurasia, primarily eastern Asia, including China, Korea, and 
Japan. This genus is popular worldwide because of the showy flowers and hardiness of 
many kinds. There are over 60,000 registered cultivars. Hundreds of cultivars have fragrant
 flowers, and more scented cultivars are appearing more frequently in northern hybridization programs. Some cultivars rebloom later in the season, particularly if their capsules, in which 
seeds are developing, are removed.

 "North Wind Dancer" was very festive with lavender, purple, cream, and yellow colors.
It was one of the larger daylilies.

Similar but with deeper colors was "Delilah."

A normal, single daylily flower has three petals and three sepals, collectively called tepals, 
each with a midrib in either the same or a contrasting color. The centermost part of the flower, 
called the throat, usually is of a different color than the more distal areas of the tepals. 
Each  flower usually has six stamens, each with a two-lobed anther. After successful
 pollination, a flower forms a capsule (often erroneously called a pod).

"Beauty to Behold" was a beautiful soft, lemon color


The daylily is often called "the perfect perennial", due to its brilliant colors, ability
 to tolerate drought and frost and to thrive in many different climate zones, and generally low maintenance. It is a vigorous perennial that lasts for many years in a garden, with very 
little care and adapts to many different soil and light conditions.

Usually flowers are named after women, but this is not true of daylies; many species
 were named after men.  This is "Augustus Sanders."


"Techny Water Bug"

I don't know where this name comes from.  Techny, Illinois, is just outside Chicago, but
I know of no connection.  These are small flowers, maybe like bugs on a pond.  The bush
is covered with them.


"Singing Sixteen"


 Daylilies have a relatively short blooming period, depending on the type. Some will bloom 
in early spring while others wait until the summer or even autumn. Most daylily plants
 bloom for one to five weeks, although some will bloom twice in one season ("rebloomers)".

"Uptown Girl"

"Bunny Girl"

There are more than 35,000 daylily cultivars. Depending on the species and cultivar, daylilies
 grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 1 through 11, making daylilies some of the more 
adaptable landscape plants. Hybridizers have developed the vast majority of cultivars within
 the last 100 years. The large-flowered, bright yellow Hemerocallis 'Hyperion', introduced in
 the 1920s, heralded a return to gardens of the once-dismissed daylily, and is still widely 
available in the nursery trade. Daylily breeding has been a specialty in the United States, 
where daylily heat- and drought-resistance made them garden standbys since the 1950s.

"Chinese Hornbill Lilies"
These were rather small, but there were hundreds of them all over the bush.

"Lemon Zest"

"Daniel Mann"

Hemerocallis is one of the very highly hybridized plant genera. Hybridizers register hundreds 
of new cultivars yearly. Hybridizers have extended the genus' color range from the yellow, 
orange, and pale pink of the species, to vibrant reds, purples, lavenders, greenish tones, 
near-black, near-white, and more. However, hybridizers have not yet been able to produce 
a daylily with primarily blue flowers in forms of blue such as azure blue, cobalt blue, and
 sky blue. Flowers of some cultivars have small areas of cobalt blue.

"J. T. Davis"

"Yellow Star"

The highest award a cultivar can receive is the Stout Silver Medal, given in memory of
 Dr. Arlow Burdette Stout, who is considered to be the father of modern daylily breeding 
in North America.

"Skies Ablaze"

"Totally Awesome"

The flowers of Hemerocallis citrina are edible and are used in Chinese cuisine. They are
 sold (fresh or dried) in Asian markets as gum jum or golden needles or yellow flower 
vegetables. They are used in hot and sour soup, daylily soup, Buddha's delight, and moo shu pork. The young green leaves and the rhizomes of some, but not all, species are also edible.


Hemerocallis species are toxic to cats and ingestion may be fatal. Treatment is usually
 successful if started before renal failure has developed.

"Cape Cod"

Plant Daylilies to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Beginners learn quickly, and the 
old pros know. An investment in Daylilies pays great dividends. Foliage that looks great
 all season, flowers in a rainbow of colors, no special care and now, many that reward you 
with both a spring and fall season of bloom. "Reblooming Daylilies" are just that. Big bloom
 during regular Daylily season in late spring, and then bloom off and on for the rest of the season, usually with a burst of bloom before fall.

"Frances Joliet"


Still blooming
spring to fall
do it all.
Standing firm
tall and bright
bursting buds
a pretty sight

"Rudbeckia Goldsturm" - a sea of golden flowers

"Rudbeckia Goldsturm"

"Chelsey"  Helenium / Sneezeweed
These were incredibly prolific  bloomers with hundreds of flowers
all over the bush.

"Golden Helehium"  /  Sneezeweed

Helianthus "Sunshine Daydream"
This is related to the sunflower and makes an excellent tall flower at the back of
the garden, hardy and blooming for months.

Helianthus  "Sunshine Daydream"  blossoms

These are clematis seed pods, which appear after the flower has bloomed,
died, and fallen off.

A different variety of clematis, still in bloom.

Clematis seed pods

This was called the "New Varieties Garden."  It contained new varieties, for
example, of New Guinea Impatiens.  Until  now they have always been a flat, solid
color like red or white or purple.  But now they have developed varieties whose
petals vary, for example, from pale pink to rose to magenta, all on one plant.

"Sun Standing Salmon Impatiens"

"Cream Colored Cannas.  This are big, tall flowers, excellent for the back
of a garden.

"Red-Orange Cannas" with dark purple leaves, dramatic showpieces in a garden.

"Variegated Swedish Ivy" - and that is the color -
 cream, pink, red veins, very colorful contrast


"Golden Swedish Ivy" - another new variety

Cafe Courtyard.  Would you like a nice, cool drink and perhaps a little
light refreshment after a long walk through the gardens?

Lots of white Spider Plants / Cleomes around the fountain.