Video: In the (Ohio) Garden…My Sister’s Ohio Garden short

A short scene from my sister’s Ohio garden including Huerchera, Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum) and even blueberries.

Photo: My Sister’s Ohio Garden

Just a quick Instagram snap of my sister’s Ohio garden from last night. We are visiting family back in our old home state and I am working to capture some views of the gardens here.

Donna garden

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Container Garden Update 33: Cleaning up the potting bench before vacation

Agn artwork

It’s time to clean up the potting bench before we head out on a short vacation. I retire some failed cuttings and seedlings and pot on some of the successful rooting experiments so the “garden sitter” has a little less to do. Parsley and lettuce are left to go to seed in an experiment in self-sowing.


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Video shot with Canon VIXIA HF R400 HD

Music: “Whiskey on the Mississippi” Kevin MacLeod (  – Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Free Daylily Computer and Smartphone Wallpapers for July 2013

Here is a selection of free wallpapers for your computer desktop or smartphone. Right-click and select Save Image As… to download them to your own computer. On your smartphone, click the image to see the full-sized image, tap and hold, then select Save to Camera Roll. You can then attach the wallpapers using your phone’s preferences.

Desktop Wallpaper

Daylily desktop

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iPad/Tablet Wallpaper

Daylily ipad

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iPhone4/Smartphone Wallpaper

Daylily iphone4

Download full-sized iPhone 4 wallpaper

iPhone5/Smartphone Wallpaper

Daylily iphone5

Download Full-sized iPhone 5 Wallpaper

Previous garden wallpapers:

In the garden…June 28, 2013: Installing an electronic timer for my soaker hoses

Agn artwork

Update: June 28, 2014: Unfortunately, none of the 3 timers I installed lasted more than a couple of months. They all exhibited problems opening and closing the water valve. By the clicking noise they all made, I am guessing the gears for the valves failed after a while. Badly disappointed and I have returned to using the manual clockwork timers I originally replaced. These seem to have a much longer duty cycle.

I install the second of 2 electronic water timers on my soaker hoses in the back garden, replacing some mechanical timers. I did this in order to increase the amount of water for certain sections of the garden without having to turn them on manually each day. This will be especially important when we go on a short vacation and leave the garden in the care of our “garden sitter.” (SMILE)

Rainbird R672CT Water Timer


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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.

Garden Alphabet: Rudbeckia

Garden Alphabet: Rudbeckia

I always love the exhurbence of Rudbeckia or “black-eyed susan” as they are commonly called. They seem to explode with joy and color and always turn their faces to the sun. This makes them really easy to photograph in most cases, as they seem to glow in the sunlight. Their dark centers show off their lovely golden petals in contrast with one another.

Garden Alphabet: Rudbeckia


Rudbeckia /rʌdˈbɛkiə/[1] is a plant genus of 23 species in the family Asteraceae.[2] The species are commonly called coneflowers and black-eyed-susans; all are native to North America and many species are cultivated in gardens for their showy yellow or gold flower heads.

The species are herbaceous, mostly perennial plants (some annual or biennial) growing to 0.5–3 m tall, with simple or branched stems. Theleaves are spirally arranged, entire to deeply lobed, 5–25 cm long. The flowers are produced in daisy-like inflorescences, with yellow or orange florets arranged in a prominent, cone-shaped head; “cone-shaped” because the ray florets tend to point out and down (are decumbent) as the flower head opens.” . —

More information on Rudbeckia:

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Interesting Plant: Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris)

Interesting Plant: Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris)

I just did a short video on hydrangeas a few weeks ago, so I was quite surprised when I saw this climbing variety. While regular hydrangeas don’t thrill me all that much, I have become interested in climbers of all types recently including roses, clematis and other vines.

I love the way this looks climbing up the side of the old barn in the photograph. It looks so wild and native, even though it comes from Asia. I’ll definitely have to look further info this plant and see if I might be able to fit it into my garden.

Climbing hydrangea

 Interesting Plant: Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris)

“Hydrangea petiolaris, a climbing hydrangea (syn: Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris), is a species of Hydrangea native to the woodlands of Japan, the Korean peninsula, and on Sakhalin island of easternmost Siberia in the Russian Far East.[2]

Hydrangea petiolaris is sometimes treated as a subspecies of the closely related Hydrangea anomala from China, Myanmar, and the Himalaya, as Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris. The Hydrangea anomala species differs in being smaller (to 12 metres (39 ft) ) and having flower corymbs up to 15 cm diameter. The common name Climbing hydrangea is applied to both species, or to species and subspecies.

Hydrangea petiolaris is a vigorous woody climbing vine plant, growing to 30 to 50 ft (9 to 15 m) height and 5 to 6 ft (2 to 2 m) wide. [2] It grows up trees and rock faces in its native Asian habitats, climbing by means of small aerial roots on the stems. The leaves are deciduous, ovate, 4–11 cm long and 3–8 cm broad, with a heart-shaped base, coarsely serrated margin and acute apex.

The flowers are produced in flat corymbs 15–25 cm diameter in mid-summer; each corymb includes a small number of peripheral sterile white flowers 2.5-4.5 cm across, and numerous small, off-white fertile flowers 1–2 mm diameter. [2] The fruit is a dry urn-shaped capsule 3–5 mm diameter containing several small winged seeds. — Wikipedia

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More information on Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris)

Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Garden Decor: Shovel Head Daisy

Shovel Head Daisy

No, this isn’t a new hybrid for your garden…well, maybe sort of. Rather this piece of garden decor is made from discarded shovel heads. Not sure who would have this many shovels around. Maybe they might be picked up at a local farm auction or the liquidation of a construction company.

That said, this is really nicely designed and would make a whimsical addition to nearly any garden and something I will keep stashed away in my idea file for a later time.

Shovel head daisy

Discovered via PInterest User Gayle Staehnke

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Garden Vocabulary: Sepal

Garden Vocabulary Logo

To paraphrase Old Possums Book of Practical Cats, “The naming of plant (parts) is a difficult matter. In this edition of Garden Vocabulary, we focus on the part of plant that most people ignore, even though is can be a large part of the decorative aspect of a flower.

It can take quite a bit of investigation and close observation to tell the difference between sepals and petals in some flowers. In this picture of a Passiflora flower, the long white structures all look to be petals, but according to my research, they are both sepals and petals interspersed around the plant.

Passiflora flower, fruit and Gulf Fritillary caterpillar

Of course, we need not know everything about every plant perfectly but it can be interesting and fun to investigate new plants and flowers and see what you can learn.

What can you share about this Garden Vocabulary entry? Help educate us all in the comments!

Garden Vocabulary: Sepal

“A sepal (/ˈsɛpᵊl/ or /ˈsiːpᵊl/)[1][2][3] is a part of the flower of angiosperms (flowering plants). Collectively the sepals are called the calyx (plural calyces),[4] the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower. The word calyx adopted from the Latin calyx,[5] not to be confused with calix, a cup or goblet.[6] Calyx derived from the Greek καλυξ a bud, a calyx, a husk or wrapping, from Sanskrit kalika, a bud.[7] Usually green, sepals typically function as protection for the flower in bud, and often as support for the petals when in bloom.[8] After flowering, most plants have no more use for the calyx which withers or becomes vestigial, however, some plants retain a thorny calyx, either dried or live, as protection for the fruit or seeds. Examples include species of Acaena, some of the Solanaceae, and the water caltrop, Trapa natans. In some species the calyx not only persists after flowering, but instead of withering, begins to grow actively until it forms a bladder-like enclosure around the fruit. This is an effective protection against some kinds of birds and insects, for example in Hibiscus trionum and the Cape gooseberry.” — Wikipedia

 Flower parts
Glossary of plant parts from
More information on Sepal:
Previously on Garden Vocabulary:

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!


In the neighborhood…June 22, 2013: Daylily (Hemerocallis)

In the neighborhood is a collection of video and photographs gathered here in my own Southern California neighborhood. What’s happening in your neighborhood. Share some of your photos with AGN readers and myself in the comments.

In the neighborhood…June 22, 2013: Daylily (Hemerocallis)

As you can see from these pictures, daylily, in all their varieties are quite popular here in the neighborhood. I am even thinking of planting some myself. I have a few empty beds in the front garden that could benefit from their showy nature. They come in a wide variety of colors, although right now it seems to be the orange and red-orange varieties dominating the bloom right now.

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

“Daylily is the general nonscientific name of a species, hybrid or cultivar of the genus Hemerocallis /ˌhɛmɨroʊˈkælɪs/.[1] Daylily cultivar flowers are highly diverse in colour and form, as a result of hybridization efforts of gardening enthusiasts and professional horticulturalists. Thousands of registered cultivars are appreciated and studied by local and international Hemerocallis societies.[2] Hemerocallis is now placed in family Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae, and formerly was part of Liliaceae (which includes true lilies).” — Wikipedia

More information on Daylily (Hemerocallis):