The Six on Saturday gardeners were so welcoming of my first post last week, I decided to go again. Besides, I have a few favorite things, and one surprising one, to pass along. Before starting, though, I want to remind my After Eden followers that they, too, can join in by following the directions posted here: (https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/ )
1. Red Buckeye, (Aesculus pavia) is my first today because it was one of my first successes during my Master Gardener certification. This shrub came from a buckeye I planted in late 2004. It has come into its own in recent years, even producing several fruits last year. The bloom is just beginning to develop, but it is already clear why it is sometimes called the firecracker plant.
2. Variegated Solomon Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’) is a repeat from last week, but now the blooms are developing, so I believed it deserved an update.
3. Bellwort or Merry Bells, (Uvularia), is a native perennial that appears in one little patch in the woodsy part of the garden. Reminiscent of the Solomon seal above with its hanging flowers, it is a very tender and delicate plant.
4. Trailing Phlox (Phlox nivalis) is another native wildflower to the Southeastern US. I confess that I never gave it much attention, just showing up in little clumps as it does throughout the wooded area, until I became more interested in native plants. Its leaf structure is different and more purplish than its close look-alike creeping phlox.
5. Dwarf Iris (Iris verna) is the smallest of the native irises, growing four to six inches tall, but its color can be brilliant. That is one of the reasons I selected it for the feature image for this post. It is typically found in dry pine forests, and I do have several pines in the wooded area of the garden, as evidenced by the pine needles in the photo below. I have tried to transplant these irises to other areas, but have had no success. Unfortunately, the blooms will soon be gone, although the leaves will persist through the spring.
6. Candy Cane Camellia, (Camellia japonica ‘Candy Cane‘) is my final selection for this Saturday. It is just about at the end of its show, but in the last two weeks it did something I have not seen before. It has produced a few solid red blooms and a lovely pinkish-red one. The weather here has been so erratic, that I thought all blooms were frozen dead a few weeks ago. The first photo below is what the flower has always looked like. The other two are photos of what I found this week.
If any readers know what is going on here, I’d really appreciate an explanation in the comments.