After watching 2 days of coverage of the Chelsea Garden Show and noting all the plant names I see, it re-interested me in a project to research those Latin words that appear frequently in plant names. Some are very common and others quote rare, but I figured I would start with one of the most common botanical epithets (as they are called by botanists) — Augustifolia.
So, if a botanist has decided to use the term augustifolia, they are saying that the plant has a stately, noble foliage. While many of the botanical epithets are a bit vague, they do give the gardener (and botanist) a general idea about the form of the plant or flower. One example would be Lavandula augustifolia. For this plant, you can assume from its name that it has the typical traits of a lavender (pleasing scent, purple flowers, etc), but this particular variety would also have stately foliage. Makes sense, doesn’t it? (SMILE)
This Garden Vocabulary series seeks to introduce and explain to you — and in many cases, myself — words and terms associated with gardening. Please let me know if there are any terms you would like me to explore. You can leave your ideas in the comments section and we can learn together!
10 Chelsea Gold Medals Awarded this year — more than any other previous year. The gardens did look quite striking this year, so I can’t say it is a big surprise. Here is today’s list of the plants and flowers mentioned during the coverage. With all the focus on the show gardens today, there are significantly fewer mentions for this post than the previous.
In the neighborhood…Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin)
A. julibrissin is a small deciduous tree growing to 5–12 m tall, with a broad crown of level or arching branches. The bark is dark greenish grey in colour and striped vertically as it gets older. The leaves are bipinnate, 20–45 cm long and 12–25 cm broad, divided into 6–12 pairs of pinnae, each with 20–30 pairs of leaflets; the leaflets are oblong, 1–1.5 cm long and 2–4 mm broad. The flowers are produced throughout the summer in dense inflorescences, the individual flowers with no petals but a tight cluster of stamens 2–3 cm long, white or pink with a white base, looking like silky threads. They have been observed to be attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The fruit is a flat brown pod 10–20 cm long and 2–2.5 cm broad, containing several seeds inside. – Wikipedia.org
The mimosa trees are in bloom at both ends of my block this week. I had noticed the start if the bloom about a week ago, but now it has progressed to full flower. I like the drooping habit of the mimosa leaves and the flowers catch the light, especially when backlit.
Do you have mimosa trees in your yard or garden? Share your pictures and thoughts in the comments!
Photos of Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin)flowers, leaves , and growing habit.
More information on Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin):
My goodness, the number of plants mentioned in today’s Chelsea Garden Show coverage is likely to keep me busy for the entirety of next year. There is something in this list for everyone, I think — everything from Acer to Dahlia to Pelargonium to Xanthorrhaea.
Enjoy your travels through today’s world of plants and tell me your favorites!
I harvest some baby buttercrunch lettuce to give more space to remaining heads and then work through everything on the potting bench to check for success and failure. Finally I pot up lantana layerings from our recent pruning (See In the Garden sereis for more info).
Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady) is an annual garden flowering plant, belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is native to southern Europe (but adventive in more northern countries of Europe), north Africa and southwest Asia, where it is found on neglected, damp patches of land.
The specific epithet damascena relates to Damascus in Syria. The plant’s common name comes from the flower being nestled in a ring of multifid, lacy bracts. It is also sometimes called devil-in-the-bush.
It grows to 20–50 cm (8–20 in) tall, with pinnately divided, thread-like, alternate leaves. The flowers, blooming in early summer, are most commonly different shades of blue, but can be white, pink, or pale purple, with 5 to 25 sepals. The actual petals are located at the base of the stamens and are minute and clawed. The sepals are the only colored part of the perianth. The four to five carpels of the compound pistil have each an erect style.
The fruit is a large and inflated capsule, growing from a compound ovary, and is composed of several united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. This is rather exceptional for a member of the buttercup family. The capsule becomes brown in late summer. The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year. — Wikipedia
While this lavender/purple color caught my eye initially, I see in my reading that these Nigella come in a variety of colors. I am not a big fan of annuals, but these might just be pretty enough to give a try. The small bracts surrounding the flowers give a somewhat “alien” look to the flowers, but this only increases their interesting appearance.
Like many of the plants and flowers I highlight here in the Interesting Plant series, Nigella damascena was entirely unknown to me until I came across it in my online travels. I find that writing this series is greatly expanding my knowledge of the plant and flower world and I hope you find it fun and useful, too.
Do you have suggestions for the Interesting Plant series? Share your favorites with me!
This week marks the 100th anniversary — The Centenary — of the Chelsea Garden Show in England. I have never been able to attend, but each year I watch from afar as show gardens, new plants and new ideas a shared via the web, YouTube and more. You can check out the basic of the show by visiting the Chelsea Garden Show web site.
Here is a view that still exists — in a large part — right up the road from me. This is a vintage shot of The Huntington. In fact, this is one of my favorite places in the entire gardens — the Japanese Garden. This is always my first destination in the garden each time I visit. There is so much there to enjoy and immerse yourself within. This lovely bridge, a traditional Japanese House, a large zen garden, bonsai and a bamboo forest.
It is hard to imagine when the gardens were the private domain of the Huntington family and their guests. Today it is a national treasure which I feel privileged to have to close to me. When family and friends visit, we often take them to the Huntington to give them the feeling that Los Angeles is more than just Hollywood.
“A private, nonprofit institution, The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.
Huntington was also a man of vision – with a special interest in books, art, and gardens. During his lifetime, he amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established a splendid art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from a geographic range spanning the globe.
These three distinct facets of The Huntington are linked by a devotion to research, education, and beauty.” — Huntington.org
Henry Edwards Huntington house, Oxford Road, San Marino, California. (LOC)
[Henry Edwards Huntington house, Oxford Road, San Marino, California. Drum bridge in the Japanese garden]
1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.
Notes: Site History. House Architecture: Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, 1908-1911. Landscape: William Hertrich, gardener, Japanese garden, 1911. Today: Garden extant with restorations. On slide (printed): “176 Fulton Street, New York” (Slide manufactured by: T.H. McAllister-Keller Co.) Title, date, and subject information provided by Sam Watters, 2011. Forms part of: Garden and historic house lecture series in the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress). Published in Gardens for a Beautiful America / Sam Watters. New York: Acanthus Press, 2012. Plate 123.
Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.
I am taking more interest in the plants growing here in the neighborhood, so when I come across and unknown plant — or in this case — tree, I knew I had to ask for your help. Any ideas? It is blooming right now here in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Here are 2 photos of the flowers and leaves. If needed, I can go back and get some further pictures of the trunk and bark.