Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our Zebrine Banana tree

Here is it just after planting the one gallon tree in the front garden. It is a Zebrine Banana tree, supposedly a dwarf banana and not hardy in our area, so I plan on digging it up in the late fall.
May 14th
It took a little while to get used to the heat and dry conditions here, then it took off.

Then by June 18th it started to really take off.

Here we are on July 1.
Now on July 8th! Growing new leaves every 4-5 days, these leaves are over 2 foot long.
June 11 still growing. The phlox in the background and Mountain Mint in the foreground.
Now from today July 18th.Just 2 months and few days after planting the one gallon plant. See at the base of the lighter green leaf another new leaf. What can I say I enjoy this plant a great deal. Although I'm not sure how big it'll be in another 2 months or 4 months when I have to dig it out of the garden to protect it from winter. BTW it already has a baby plant at the base!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Airlie Gardens Bottle Chapel

One of the coolest works of  art made from recycled materials I have ever seen. Loved everything about this.
From the inside!

Back side.
Perhaps a shaman?
Wish the lighting was not so bright here.
 The bench on the inside.

About 100 yards away was a very nice screened in butterfly house. This red Admiral posed for my littler G11 camera inside. They were only three native species that I saw in the house; Monarch, Gulf Fritillaries and Red Admirals.
The fountain in the Pergola Garden created in the early 1900s, it is made of coquina. The steps lead down into the pond. Shame I did not have time to wait for better lighting here. Nice place to sit at the waters edge and enjoy the dragonflies along the edges and herons and egrets over the water in the trees.
Some of the details of the pergola. This is for you Dave!
We walked down this shaded pathway only to find not one but two of these double benches facing each other with an built in arbor over each. The other one was prettier but the light was too bright.
A very cool arch in the 150 foot rose arbor in the camellia garden. No roses on it. Below shows some of the detail of the concrete rose arbor.

Hibiscus over 6 foot tall. We missed the real flower show in the spring when all the azaleas and camellias were in bloom. Can you imagine the amount of networking it took 90 years ago to amass 500 cultivars of camellias, oops I left off a 0 that was 5000 camellias.
Here is a year round flower show IMO. This is Live Oak leaves covered in Spanish Moss.
Here is Resurrection Fern, Polypodium polypodioides on a Live Oak limb. For those of you not familiar with Resurrection Fern it is common in our southeastern US swamps, when it is real dry it'll curl up and look very dead. Give it some rain and it come right back to life as in these photos. A fitting plant for the end of this post as Airlie Gardens has been resurrected  in recent years and is now open to the public as well.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Purple Fringed Orchid

Here is a Purple Fringed Orchid, Platanthera grandiflora
The only one I found at Spruce Knob Lake in the West Virginia mountains. Once I visited Mount Mitchell in North Carolina and found thousands of these in bloom. Hoping to get back to Mount Mitchell in the near future.
Currently I am transferring photos files from 2006 that are on a Lacie external harddrive that has become very flaky and temperamental. Just picked up a Seagate 1.5 TB external harddrive and hope to put all my photos on them and organize them, wishful dreaming right? Anyone suggest a DOS way to move my files as Windows Vista stalls more than it works when moving huge folders of files.

Upcoming on my next post is a look at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina. At one time back in the 1920s the gardens it had every known cultivar of camellias totally 5000 different plants. Unfortunately no camellias were blooming when we were there. I did get lots of photos of the most incredible bottle wall art I have ever seen. A sample is shown below.