Flowering Now: Gardenia – beautiful flowers and scent

I love the scent of gardenia, even if it can be a bit overpowering at times. This plant in my garden is  stalwart companion and blooms several times each year. I snip off blooms and float them in a small bowl of water here i the house. It perfumes the entire room and beyond.


The gardenia blooms in my garden

From Wikipedia…

Gardenia is a genus of flowering plants in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern AsiaAustralasia and Oceania.

The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus and John Ellis after Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), a Scottish-born American naturalist.[2]

They are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1–15 metres (3.3–49.2 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, 5–50 centimetres (2.0–19.7 in) long and 3–25 centimetres (1.2–9.8 in) broad, dark green and glossy with a leathery texture. The flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white, or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla with 5-12 lobes (petals) from 5–12 centimetres (2.0–4.7 in) diameter. Flowering is from about mid-spring to mid-summer and many species are strongly scented. — Wikipedia

More information on Calochortus superbus…

Previously in Flowering Now:

Interesting Plant: Erythronium (fawn lily, trout lily, dog’s-tooth violet, adder’s tongue)


I knew nothing about Erythronium until I saw a recent Gardeners World episode where they did a segment on them. They come in so many shapes and sizes that they absolutely fascinated me. It seems they are difficult to propagate for sale, so finding them cane be quite difficult and quite expensive, but they will spread on their own if planted in a favorable spot.


Photo: Wikipedia

Erythronium (fawn lilytrout lilydog’s-tooth violetadder’s tongue) is a genus of 20–30 species of hardy spring-flowering perennial plants with long, tooth-like bulbs. Slender stems carry pendent flowers with recurved tepals in shades of cream, yellow, pink and mauve. Species are native to forests and meadows in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.[1]

The bulb is edible as a root vegetable, cooked or dried, and can be ground into flour. The leaves can also be cooked as a leaf vegetable. In JapanErythronium japonicum is called katakuri, and the bulb is processed to produce starch, which is used for food and other purposes.

They are also widely grown as ornamental plants, with numerous hybrids and cultivars having been selected for garden use. Popular cultivars include Erythronium ‘Pagoda’E. ‘Sundisc’, E. ‘Joanna’, E. ‘Kondo’, E. ‘Citronella’, E. californicum ‘White Beauty’, and E. ‘Rosalind’. Propagation is best by seed in autumn or by division of bulbs, depending on species. Some species propagate vegetatively. The plant is also great as a ground cover, as it will spread over several years.

– Wikipedia
Jump directly to the Gardener’s World segment on Erythronium – Starts at 12:50  

More information on Erythronium:
Some of these books may be available at your local library! 

More Erythronium books, art, plants and seed at Amazon.com

Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

45 of My Favorite Garden Things for April 2014 — from DouglasEWelch.com

My Favorite Things

As always, let me know what types of interesting items you would like to see and I will keep an eye out for them especially. — Douglas

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Garden Decor: Tractor Wheel Garden Wall

Tractor Wheel Garden Wall

This looks to be the wheel from a stream tractor or perhaps an old water wheel that has been used as an opening in a lovely stone wall.

I think this is a great re-use of something that has history but is also big and substantial. I am sure it will last for many years and always be a conversation piece in their garden.

Tractor wheel wall

 Discovered via Pinterest User Amy K

More garden wall ideas from Amazon.com: 

Previously in Garden Decor:

Garden Alphabet: Rosa ‘Mikado’

Rosa ‘Mikado’

This is a specimen of Rosa ‘Mikado’ here in my own garden. The previous owners had planted these, Bewitched, Peace and JFK roses in the garden 18+ years ago and some of them are still going well. The Mikado tend to give is a good show throughout the year. They start our all red and then fade to yellow and pinks from the center out as the blooms age. They make quite a statement in the garden with their bright and changing colors.

Rosa mikado

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Mikado ™ is a popular variety of Rose, which belongs to the Rosa genus (Rosa ‘Mikado ™’). Mikado ™ is a patented hybrid variety.

Red blend hybrid tea rose. Flowers brilliant luminous light scarlet, suffused with yellow at base. Mild fragrance. Full (26-40 petals), borne mostly solitary, exhibition bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Tall, upright. Medium, semi-glossy, medium green foliage. 1

Bred by Seizo Suzuki (Japan, 1976).
Introduced in Japan by Keisei Rose Nurseries Inc. in 1987 as ‘Mikado’.
Introduced in United States by The Conard-Pyle Co. in 1987 as ‘Mikado’. 1
‘Fragrant Cloud’ x ‘Kagayaki’

It grows mainly as a Perennial, which means it typically grows best over a long period (from 3 years+). Mikado ™ is known for its shrub-like growing habit.
Japan is believed to be where Mikado ™ originates from.

Mikado ™ Rose needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

 — MyFolia.com

More information on Rosa ‘Mikado’

Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Photo: Purple Orchid from the Southern California Spring Garden Show 2014 via #instagram

 Purple orchid

Photo posted via Instagram at the Southern California Spring Garden Show 2014

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

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Video: Photo montage from the Southern California Spring Garden Show 2014

This is a photomontage of some sights from our visit to this year’s Southern California Spring Garden Show in Costa Mesa, California including over 100 photos from the event. There is a lot to see a this show each year including show gardens, a huge collection of orchids, iris, succulents of all shapes and much, much, more.

Socal garden 2014 thumb


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


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Flowering Now: Calochortus superbus (Superb mariposa lily) – California Native

A few months ago I purchased this Calochortus superbus bulb at at meeting the California Native Plant Society. Native plants aren’t my typical choice for garden plants, but I loved the look of these flowers when I saw them during the speaker’s slide show, so I picked up one for myself and one for a friend.

The bulbs had been growing rather slowly for the last few weeks, but a few days I noticed flower buds and yesterday one of these opened into this beautiful, if small, flower. Now that it has flowered (with a few more buds yet to open) it will be time to stop watering it so it can go through its normal cycle and fall dormant as the heat of the Summer arrives. It is important to NOT water natives during the Summer, as this duplicates their normal lifecycle and prevents them from rotting, which they seem to do very easily when given water out of season. I’ll place this pot aside once it has finished flowering and bring it out again when the Fall rains arrive.

Calochortus superbus

Calochortus superbus (Superb mariposa lily)

Calochortus superbus

Calochortus superbus (Superb mariposa lily)

From Wikipedia…

Calochortus superbus is a species of flowering plant in the lily family known by the common name superb mariposa lily. It is endemic to California, where it is a common member of the flora in several types of habitat statewide. It is a perennial herb growing up to 40 to 60 centimeters tall with a basal leaf up to 30 centimeters long which withers by flowering. The inflorescence is a loose cluster of 1 to 3 erect, bell-shaped flowers. Each flower has three sepals and three petals all up to 4 centimeters long and blotched with yellow at the bases. There is generally a darker spot within the yellow area, and the base color of the segments may be white to light purple or solid yellow. The fruit is an angled capsule 5 or 6 centimeters long. This plant resembles Calochortus luteus, a chief discriminant being the oval to crescent shaped nectary of C. luteus compared to the squarish nectary of C. superbus.[1]Wikipedia

More information on Calochortus superbus…

Photo: Garden mask and Japanese Maples | A Gardener’s Notebook via Instagram

Photo posted via Instagram at the Southern California Spring Garden Show 2014

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

See all my photos on Flickr

Interesting Plant: Sempervivum (Live forever, Hen and Chicks, Houseleek, Donnersbart)


I remember my grandmother always have pots of sempervivum growing both inside and outside the house. She would have called then “hen and chicks” of course, the common name we all used back in Ohio. This was long before I was taking any interest in the Latin names of plants. (LAUGH)

One of the common names, ‘Hen and chicks”  comes from the nature of the sempervivum to put off little sprouts along its base which gather like chicks around a mother hen. These also make the plant easy to propagate, as the “chicks” can be carefully pulled off and planted elsewhere. These hardy plants are great for any beginning gardener and those who just want something that is always showing some life throughout the year. They also come in a large number of varieties, so there is something here for nearly everyone.

Sempervivum tectorum

Photo: Wikipedia


Sempervivum /sɛmpəˈvvəm/,[1] is a genus of about 40 species of flowering plants in the Crassulaceae family, known as houseleeks. Other common names include live forever and hen and chicks. They are succulent perennials forming mats composed of tufted leaves in rosettes. In favourable conditions they spread rapidly via offsets, and several species are valued in cultivation as groundcover for dry, sunny spots.[2]

The name Sempervivum has its origin in the Latin semper (“always”) and vivus (“living”), because this perennial plant keeps its leaves in winter and is very resistant to difficult conditions of growth.[3] The common name houseleek is believed to stem from the traditional practice of growing plants on the roofs of houses to ward off lightning strikes.[3] The plant is not closely related to the true leek, which belongs to the onion family.

Other common names reflect the plant’s ancient association with Thor, the Norse god of thunder, and the Roman Jupiter. Hence names such as “Jupiter’s beard” and the German Donnersbart (“thunder beard”).[3]

– Wikipedia

More information on Sempervivum:


More Sempervivum books, art, plants and seed at Amazon.com

Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas