Flowering Now: Hibiscus

Hibiscus in the neighborhood

Walking back home after dropping off our car at the repair shop for some maintenance, I spotted this hibiscus. I loved the way it sort of quivered in the light breeze, so I shot a short (9 sec) video to use here along with with an animated gif. Something a little different from my usual still photos for this series.

 

Video: Douglas E. Welch, A Gardener’s Notebook

From Wikipedia…

Hibiscus (/hɨˈbɪskəs/[2] or /hˈbɪskəs/[3]) is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperatesubtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and smalltrees. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ἱβίσκος (hibískos), which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40–90) gave to Althaea officinalis.[4] – Wikipedia.org

More information on Hibiscus:

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** Some of these books, and more, may be available at your local library. Check it out!

Previously in Flowering Now:

Reflection… from A Gardener’s Notebook

Reflection… from A Gardener's Notebook

“The month-end is always a good time for reflection. Reflection on our lives, our gardens and ourselves. At least in the garden we can easily see what has been accomplished and what has been left for another day. If only our lives were so easily sorted out..

From A Gardener’s Notebook by Douglas E. Welch DouglasEWelch.com 

Buy or Download a sample of From A Gardener’s Notebook via Amazon.com 

Just 99¢ until August 24, 2014 

 

Find more gardening books and items in the WelchWrite Bookstore from Amazon.com

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Previously from A Gardener’s Notebook:

Noted: Garden Tech: An App to Water Your Lawn via Gardenista

Garden Tech: An App to Water Your Lawn via Gardenista

Garden Tech: An App to Water Your Lawn via Gardenista

What can’t a smartphone do these days? It can buy you lattes, find out the baseball score, and measure how many steps you take in a day. It can check the weather forecast, and turn on your irrigation system. And if you’re using Hydros, a new smartphone app by Simple Elements, it can check the weather forecast and the moisture level in your soil before turning on your irrigation system. We like the idea behind it: saving water, saving money, and helping the planet while keeping the garden in good shape.

The founders of Simple Elements, Christy and Manuel Masri, invented Hydros after becoming frustrated with their old timer for irrigating the lawn. “We could set the days and how long to water,” said Christy. “But if we were out of town and didn’t know it was going to rain, there was no changing it. It would turn on the sprinklers in the morning, even though it might be raining in the afternoon. After that happened several times, we thought, ‘why not create a controller ourselves?’”

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

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Noted: Get Your Garden Moving for a Magical Mood via Houzz

Get Your Garden Moving for a Magical Mood via Houzz

Get Your Garden Moving for a Magical Mood via Houzz
Contemporary Landscape by Seattle Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers AHBL
 
truly spectacular and deeply satisfying garden, no matter how simple it appears to be, is designed with multiple layers of interest. In fact, the appearance of simplicity may be deceiving. The Saturday-morning DIY shows will tell you about flower color and plant height. A weekend seminar at the local botanical garden will teach you about plant shapes and leaf textures. Then there are the bed lines, focal points and rhythm. Dollar-store wind chimes aside, few of us consider movement as a garden design element worthy of introduction. 
 
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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

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Noted: 15 Great Ideas for a Lawn-Free Yard via Houzz

15 Great Ideas for a Lawn-Free Yard via Houzz

Mediterranean Landscape by Walnut Creek Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Huettl Landscape Architecture
 
The lawn has enjoyed decades of popularity, and while there are still plenty of things to love about a great lawn, that expanse of green can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth. Check out these 15 inspiring examples of yards using gravel, stone, native plantings and more, for fire-safe, drought-conscious and easy alternatives to the traditional green.
 
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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

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Noted: Create Garden Mystery With a Zigzag Path via Houzz

Create Garden Mystery With a Zigzag Path via Houzz

Tropical Landscape by San Rafael Architects & Building Designers VITA Planning and Landscape Architecture

Bed and pathway lines are important to how we view and navigate our gardens. A good garden designer will employ these shapes to influence moods and to dictate how and how quickly we move through a garden. Straight paths are utilitarian, moving people quickly from point A to point B. Curved and serpentine paths create a sense of peacefulness, causing people to stroll at a leisurely pace, stopping to enjoy vignettes and treasured plants. Then there are the zigzag paths. Enter yatsuhashi.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

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Garden Alphabet: Olive (near Morgantina, Sicily)

Olive (near Morganitina, Sicily)

Three years ago we visited the ancient Greek (later Roman) city of Morgantina. We ate our pranza (lunch) under this olive tree that shaded the parking lot. Olives seem to epitomize Italy and Sicily to me. Olives (and their flavorful oil) are an essential part of everyday life in Sicily — and also here in our California home.

Garden Alphabet: Olive (near Morganitina, Sicily)

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 The olive (Listeni/ˈɒlɪv/ or Listeni/ˈɑːləv/Olea europaea, meaning “olive from/of Europe”) is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in much of Africa, the Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and southern Asia as far east as China, as well as the Canary IslandsMauritius and Réunion. The species is cultivated in many places and considered naturalized in FranceCorsicaCrimeaEgyptIranIraqSyriaJavaNorfolk IslandCalifornia and Bermuda.[1][2]

Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The tree and its fruit give its name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilacsjasmineForsythia and the true ash trees (Fraxinus). The word derives from Latin ŏlīva (“olive fruit”, “olive tree”; “olive oil” isŏlĕum)[3] which is cognate with the Greek ἐλαία (elaía, “olive fruit”, “olive tree”) and ἔλαιον (élaion, “olive oil”).[4][5] The oldest attested forms of the latter two words in Greek are respectively the Mycenaean.

The word “oil” in multiple languages ultimately derives from the name of this tree and its fruit.

The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the MediterraneanAsia and Africa. It is short and squat, and rarely exceeds 8–15 m (26–49 ft) in height. However, the Pisciottana, a unique variety comprising 40,000 trees found only in the area around Pisciotta in the Campania region of southern Italy often exceeds this, with correspondingly large trunk diameters. The silvery green leaves are oblong, measuring 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) long and 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) wide. The trunk is typically gnarled and twisted.

The small white, feathery flowers, with ten-cleft calyx and corolla, two stamens and bifid stigma, are borne generally on the previous year’s wood, in racemes springing from the axils of the leaves.

The fruit is a small drupe 1–2.5 cm (0.39–0.98 in) long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars. Olives are harvested in the green to purple stage. Canned black olives may contain chemicals (usually ferrous sulfate) that artificially turn them black. Olea europaea contains a seed commonly referred to in American English as a pit or a rock, and in British English as a stone. — Wikipedia

More information on Olive:

More books on olives at Amazon.com
* A portion of each sales directly supports A Gardener’s Notebook
** These books and others may be available in your local library. Check it out!
Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Book: The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting by Jessie Jeffery

The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting by Jessie Jeffery

Sometimes the best format for a book is digital. The Mix & Match Guide has good information, but I think it is presented in the wrong format.

I wanted to like book, as is has much information that is useful and the design of the physical book us top notch. The photos and writing are well done, but I think the entire concept of the book is flawed in today’s digital age. The majority of the book is divided into an interesting, but difficult to use, mix and match guide to help you match companion plants to your wants and needs.

Perhaps due to my technology background, I kept thinking to myself that this book would have been better as a smartphone/tablet app or web site. Manually matching up the various traits of the plants was difficult, confusing and, in the end, a tedious process that could be much more useful in a database with the logic of the book programmed in. Much thought was obviously put into creating the guide, but teasing out the information and putting it to use is simply too difficult and manual a process.

Not Recommended

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. My opinions are my own.

In the garden…August 13, 2014: Colors, textures and movements of the garden

Agn artwork

Today’s In the Garden… video js an an exploration of the colors, textures and movements of the garden over a lovely soundtrack by composer Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com)

Kevin has recently been hired by YouTube to create more music for the recently added YouTube Audio Library. All the music is free to use (and monetize) on your YouTube videos.

In the garden…August 13, 2014: Colors, textures and movements of the garden

Check out my collection of gardening essays, “From A Gardener’s Notebook” now available as a Kindle eBook. (You don’t need a Kindle to read it, though. Read it on your PC, Link: http://j.mp/fagnbook

Watch all past episodes of “In the garden…” in this YouTube Playlist


Music: “Side Path” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com)

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“In the garden…” is a series for A Gardener’s Notebook highlighting what is happening in my garden, my friend’s gardens and California gardens throughout the seasons. 

Noted: Ferns: A Shade Gardener’s Best Friend via Houzz

Ferns: A Shade Gardener’s Best Friend via Houzz

Farmhouse Landscape by Millbrook Architects & Building Designers Crisp Architects
 
Shade gardeners seem to have more garden envy than any group of gardeners I know. They drool over dahlias, linger over lantana and swoon over salvias, knowing deep down that these plants would soon meet their demise beneath the shadowy canopy of their woodland spaces. The good news is that a shade garden can be the most deeply satisfying garden of all.
 
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