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By chalyse on Jul 28, 2014 9:06 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Spanish Sketch')

In Zone 9b (Local Temps = Min 25/Max 108)

Vigor and Flower: Spanish Sketch has done very well in partial shade in 9b, with no insect infestations seen, and does well growing slowly as it winters over in the garden. The background color of the petals when viewed in the morning show the nice subtle pastels and shading of a dormant, and deepen and clarify into full tet. colors by mid-day. It was tested by the University of Arkansas in 2001 and was ranked as being highly resistant to rust there, which means that few or no pustules were observed on the plant's surfaces when exposed to rust. This is noted as an excellent possibility for both garden display and hybridizing toward resistance.

Scape and Foliage: The scape is medium thickness and very sturdy, though it can sometimes take on a not unpleasing slight but upright "S" shape. It holds multiple blooms very nicely and at a very attractive height over the foliage. The fans are able to maintain wider-bladed and more plentiful foliage, starting out a little thin-bladed in center growth, but thick at the outer edges of the fan, and hold eight or more blades on each fan. Spanish Sketch's foliage has stayed a deep green compared to most others.

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By flaflwrgrl on Jul 28, 2014 8:25 PM, concerning plant: Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica 'Tuscarora')

Tuscarora Crepe Myrtle is a stunner! The blooms are absolutely vibrant. The Tuscarora has tan, heavily exfoliating bark, which reveals a slightly deeper shade of trunk underneath. The bloom period for this Crepe Myrtle runs about 70 days, starting in early July. It puts on a show, too, with heavy bloom where the panicles are 8 inches wide by 12 inches long. Tuscarora sports an upright vase shape and has a slightly slower growth rate than many varieties, but its spectacular floral display makes up for the slower growth rate.
Tuscarora is one of the cultivars developed by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture National Arboretum, and as such has outstanding mildew resistance. The Arboretum introduced it in 1981.
This cultivar is a great choice for limited spaces because of its growth habit.

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By TBGDN on Jul 28, 2014 3:53 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Silver Pink')

This came directly from Gilbert Wild Nursery back in the Mid-1990's. It has survived several transplants as well as total shade, hot sun, and soggy soil conditions. Although not showy or "glitzy," it has a quaint charm about it that is appealing when viewed along a shady path in the garden. We've grown it approximately 16-18 years: It is a very rugged plant.

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By kqcrna on Jul 28, 2014 3:48 PM, concerning plant: Blackcurrant Sage (Salvia x jamensis 'Hot Lips')

I have this plant in a container near my front porch and the hummingbirds visit it often. It has produced mostly solid red blossoms with just a few bicolor ones.

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By chalyse on Jul 28, 2014 6:54 AM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Dream Legacy')

In Zone 9b (Local Temps = Min 25/Max 108)

Vigor and Flower: Dream Legacy succumbed to crown rot the spring after it was planted here, following persistent struggles with aphid infestations during the prior summer, and never produced a bloom.

Foliage: Foliage was somewhat on the narrow side which makes it difficult for a cultivar to do well here, and the plant is a dormant which can also be problematic in our climate.

My recommended alternative tet for 9b would include evergreen Spanish Sketch which has the benefit of being able to maintain wider and more plentiful foliage, and does well growing slowly as it winters over in the garden. The background color of the petals when viewed in the morning show the nice subtle pastels and shading of a dormant, and deepen and clarify into full tet. colors by mid-day. I have not seen any insect infestations with this cultivar and the foliage has stayed a deep green compared to most others. It was tested by the University of Arkansas in 2001 and ranked as highly resistant to rust, which means that few or no pustules were observed on the plant's surfaces when exposed to rust. This is noted as an excellent possibility for both garden display and hybridizing toward resistance.

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By bonitin on Jul 28, 2014 5:47 AM, concerning plant: Kiwi Fruit (Actinidia deliciosa)

I had a male plant in the past. It made flowers, but of course no fruit as I didn't have a female.
Now I have only a female plant as the male died due to Vine Weevils.
As I had no more space for another male, I wasn't really expecting fruit on the female Kiwi vine, but to my surprise it does give fruit without a male!

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By dirtdorphins on Jul 27, 2014 7:58 PM, concerning plant: Cranesbill (Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Crystal Rose')

The color of the blooms is really more of a 'hot pink' than the rose tones my camera somehow blessed them with...

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By TBGDN on Jul 27, 2014 7:06 PM, concerning plant: Garden Onion (Allium cepa 'Walla Walla Sweet')

This is our favorite onion. It is exceptionally sweet, and it goes well on cold sandwiches, such as roast beef with mayo, or sliced roast chicken breast and mayo. There is nothing better to add crisp taste to summer salads. They do not store well, and therefore we use them straight from the garden. That is not a problem here because they are in high demand for the table.

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By TBGDN on Jul 27, 2014 6:51 PM, concerning plant: Cucumber (Cucumis sativus 'Early Fortune')

This is my first year for this cultivar. I prefer Straight Eight, which is earlier, and the taste and texture is equally good. With this said, it is still a good variety.

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By plantladylin on Jul 27, 2014 5:06 PM, concerning plant: Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta cayennensis)

Stachytarpheta cayennensis can be a noxious weed and is listed as a Category II non-native invasive plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. This variety of Blue Porterweed is an upright perennial growing to 3 feet in height with branching stems, a woody base and long tap root. The dark purplish-blue flowers last just one day and are attractive to Butterflies.

For Florida gardeners it is better to acquire and plant the native species (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) which is a low growing, spreading groundcover that does not get as long and lanky or become a noxious weed like the non-native S. cayennensis.

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By mattsmom on Jul 27, 2014 3:46 PM, concerning plant: Coneflower (Echinacea 'Leilani')

Excellent grower, perfect blooms, non fading, great in my zone 4 garden.

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By valleylynn on Jul 26, 2014 11:53 AM, concerning plant: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'St. Cloud')

Here is a very interesting quote from Kevin Vaughn, talking about a new seedling from S. 'St. Cloud'. I hope this lovely seedling will be named and placed on the market.
Thumb of 2014-07-26/valleylynn/69f4f9

JungleShadows said:Lynn,

Well I certainly enjoyed the visit! It's always good to have another set of eyes look over the seedlings. Hope the little class in crossing was a help too. I think you know about pollen now and where it should go and how you have to wait until the flower is at the right stage.

The seedling that you couldn't read is a new baby from 'St. Cloud' X self. It has both tufts of hairs and lots of very prominent cilia. As you may remember from your visit, 'St. Cloud' has pale pink flowers, not the bright rosy pink flowers you see in most arachnoideum hybrids, indicating a yellow or pale flowered other parent. When you self pollinate 'St. Cloud' you begin to see some of the segregation of the traits from the other parent. Obviously 'St. Cloud' has a parent with some genes for prominent cilia as 3 of the seedlings in that group do. The one you photographed is the champ for this, however. It also has exceptional wide leaves and an unusual shade of green. Of course this seedling is only 3 months old so it will not show its true colors until next spring. Based upon the size of this plant after just 3 months I assume it;s going to be BIG.

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By gardengus on Jul 26, 2014 5:27 AM, concerning plant: Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Successfully grown from seed using the winter sown method.
Produced white ''buttons'' 2nd year and is 4 ft tall and covered in blooms this (3rd) year

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By Weedwhacker on Jul 25, 2014 1:52 PM, concerning plant: Hot Pepper (Capsicum annuum 'Garden Salsa')

This is a hybrid, medium-hot pepper, about 8 inches long, that starts out green and turns red. Very productive in my northern garden, and one of the varieties I grow every year. Excellent for adding just a bit of heat to any dish -- I love to dice up both red and green peppers and add to sweet corn, for my own "Mexicorn." Also good raw in a salad. About 73 days to maturity.

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By chelle on Jul 25, 2014 9:12 AM, concerning plant: Signet Marigold (Tagetes erecta 'Lulu')

I haven't noticed many self-sown seedlings from last year's plants, but there is one growing in the fork of a tree stump at just about eye level. If it lives to bloom I'll post a picture. I guess this might be a good beginning indication that this plant needs very little sustained moisture and very little in the way of added nutrients.

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By chalyse on Jul 25, 2014 5:02 AM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Double Red Royal')

In Zone 9b (Local Temps = Min 25/Max 108)

Vigor and Flower: Double Red Royal has performed well in the semi-shaded area of our 9b garden. The double bloom is fully formed from the first flower open, and two blooms will often open on different areas of one scape at the same time. The buds are almost as beautiful as the flowers in terms of garden interest and display. The spent flowers retain a lot of color and darken and curl nicely. Though not noted in the cultivar's registration, the petals have a thin white edge, the edge is somewhat serrated, and often has extra petal material often referred to as "angel wings." It was ranked as resistant to rust in 2001 by University of Arkansas testing, which means that less than 50% of the plant's surface showed disease when exposed to rust. This normally was noted as being visually acceptable, easily trimmed of infected leaf ends, entirely self-recovering without need for treatment, and a good choice for hybridizing toward resistance.

Scape and Foliage: The scape is straight, sturdy and as thick as any Tet (though it is a Dip) and holds even two very substantially doubled flowers well at the same time. Though my pictures show an angled scape you'll notice the fan also leans out at an angle away from the crown (the fan itself lays somewhat diagonal to the ground), so the scape itself is straight out from that fan. At the apex of a clump, then, the scapes would be vertical. The foliage is wide and fairly well open toward flat, with a typical open-fan arrangement that is just loose enough to give some variation to the silhouette. Leaves are similarly classicaly arched with some occasional ruffle to them.

Fertility: Takes easily both ways with dips.

Overall an outstanding cultivar for zone 9b.

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By chalyse on Jul 24, 2014 12:03 AM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Highland Lord')

In Zone 9b (Local Temps = Min 25/Max 108)

Vigor and Flower: Highland Lord started out as a healthy plant years ago in our gardens, but gradually lost vigor and dwindled down, along with other long, narrower-leaf daylilies that consistently under-perform in summer temps above 90-100 in our zone 9b. It did not increase over three years. Just not enough vigor in the leaves to support more gain than loss, and not an appropriate cultivar for use in a drought tolerant hybridization program. A real shame as it looks in photos like it would have a pleasing flower. Developmentally delayed bloomer at best, progenitor of downward spiraling at worst, it will be replaced with a wider leaf cultivar.

Scape and Foliage: The fans did not produced a scape during three years in 9b. The foliage is long and more upright than most, with few leaves. The aspect of each blade is somewhat tightly closed in a "V" rather than more open or flat.

My recommended alternative tet for 9b would include Party Popper which, though it unfortunately takes a year to stabilize color, has a fresh blend of red to pass on, and has proven to be a great garden performer and pod parent. For home display gardens, the dip Double Red Royal is a standout stand-in in 9b, and was tested at the University of Arkansas in 2001 where it was It was ranked as resistant to rust, which means that less than 50% of the plant's surface showed disease when exposed to rust. This normally was noted as being visually acceptable, easily trimmed of infected leaf ends, entirely self-recovering without need for treatment, and a good choice for hybridizing toward resistance. In shade, it displays closer to the purple end of the red spectrum here, but in full sun it is much closer to a deep medium red, and it has a hearty, velvety substance that is fairly sun fast.


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By 4susiesjoy on Jul 23, 2014 8:34 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Cerulean Warbler')

This daylily is an early morning opener even on colder days. Its colors are very bright and attention getting when it first opens, but by midday it has faded to a pale version of its earlier self. Still very attractive even then, however.

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By gardengus on Jul 23, 2014 6:09 PM, concerning plant: Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo 'Genovese')

Every bit as tasty and productive as the green type, but much more colorful and with a more tender skin, I believe. Very pleased with this variety. I will grow this again.

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By Dayjillymo on Jul 23, 2014 2:57 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'In Search of Angels')

In Search of Angels has been quite a pleasant surprise for me. It has grown well and its blooms are a much more vibrant, more exciting shade of rose than I imagined it to be. Photos I have seen do not do it justice. I have used its pollen this year, and some early pods are developing. I am very happy with this plant. Zone 5.

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