Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Passionflower

Passionflower  
There are a few blooms this week on Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) "Waterloo Blue". I'm always amazed by the architecture of the blooms. The vine has become quite vigorous over the years and shares an arbor with Sweet Autumn Clematis and a "Rev d'Or" rose. Unfortunately the blooms have never been profuse with lack of sunshine being the probably culprit. It also has a tendency to scamper over other plants. However, it is easy to pull out.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How many names can a lily have?

Lycoris squamigera

Behold Lycoris squamigera, known by the following common names - "Surprise Lily", "Naked Ladies", "Resurrection Lily", "Magic Lily" and who knows what else. I always heard them referrred to as either "Naked Ladies" (due to the fact that there is no foliage) or "Surprise Lily" (because they seem to appear out of nowhere). 

They are fascinating plants. According to "Garden Bulbs for the South" by Scott Ogden (a book every Southern gardener should own!), the bulbs first came to America by a Rhode Island doctor who grew them in Shanghai, China. In late July, the bulbs produce stalks that rapidly grow 1-2 feet in just a few days and then produce lovely clusters of soft pink flowers (this unusual vigor is caused by an extra set of chromosomes). They don't like warm soils so they do not perform as well in coastal areas or the deep south. In north Alabama, they prefer shadier spots and do well in woodland gardens. 

Whatever you call them, they are wonderful to have in the garden.

Lycoris squamigera  

Lycoris squamigera Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy