July 31, 2008

Summer display

I inherited these stairs that my friend had designed for her dog, so he could jump up onto the radiators to look out of the window and bark at the mailman. After realizing that they we're too monsterous, I relieved her of them, thinking that I could use them for either my dogs, or for the greenhouse.
Since they are constructed so well, I decided to use them first on the porch, as seen in an earlier post, to display potted Japanese Orchis graminifolia, or Pone Orchis ( and yes, I work on the design team for My Little Pony too, for those of you who did not get that pun!). Anyway, I later moved them onto the deck, where I needed to display the Begonia collection that was getting too baked in the hot greenhouse this summer. This has proven to be a poor location, even though it is on the eastern side of the house, it still gets strong sun until noon. As you can see, these Begonia's are burning, so....

...I switched to Pelargoniums, or 'Geraniums', with various Zonal's, fringed blossomed antique varieties, Fancy-leaved forms and Scented Pelargoniums; all of which can handle the stronger sun of July. Now that it is nearly August, I may switch this display to Tuberous Begonias, as they are starting to bloom. Stay tuned for that post.

Not your average Jack!

For those of you who don't know, there are many species of Arisaema, or Jack In The Pulpit. Here in New England, we find our common species of Arisaema tryphyllum in many woods and streams beds where it is damp or moist. But world-wide, this genus has become extremely collectable, and there are nearly 250 known species, each quite unique in foliage, floral form or overall characteristic. Some are only 2 inches high, others nearly 6 feet. Some tropical, some not. This one species, A. consanguineum is from eastern Asia, a is marginally hardy here in Zone 5 unless one gets a very deep snow cover. I grow it in a container because I still haven't decided where to plant it. It spends the winter in a dry corner of the greenhouse. I grow many Arisaema in containers, they work quite well, and one see's characteristics one often misses in the garden, and they make interesting displays when grouped together with other bulbous Aroids like the much larger Amorphophallus species.

Arisaema consanguineum ' The Perfect Wave'

This named selection from the Oswego, New York rare plant nursery Seneca Hills Perennials, is such a late bloomer ( it emerges nearly after the Fourth of July here) that I keep it in a container in the greenhouse, so that it does not get lost. Of course, it must affect it's size, since the catalog states that it can reach 4 or 5 feet tall when in the ground. I just can't find a place where I would remember where I planted it! Still, the foliage is lovely, and this form has awesome characteristics which one may miss in the garden, such as a slight silver variegation in the leaf, and a wavy edge.

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