~photoblog of a WNY zone 6 gardener

Friday, January 23, 2009

Buffalo News, Wegmans and Me

Iris Honorabile
Iris 'Honorabile'

I was somehow lucky enough to be picked as the photograph of a Wegmans employee for the Buffalo News article on Wegmans being #5 in Fortune's list of companies in America to work for. Probably because the kids' faces are just perfect as I show them a Pom Pom mushroom.
Wegmans is a good company to work for. Their policies and benefits are much better than many other businesses.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If This Isn't Love, Then What Is?

Part of a Jamaican garden

My sister-in-law just sent me this email:
"Does Wegman's sell casava? Its a veggie, I think, that made bammies...a slave food that I'd love to make for the boys. It was soooo good.
I went on a tour with a guy who helped me steal seeds and he took us thru his friend's garden. Wait til you see the pics. This girl wins garden walks every year. (he usually doesn't do this on his tours but I told him about you)
I'm home, and yes I am COLD!

Pilfering seeds and smuggling them back from Jamaica, now that is more than a
Sister-in-law. That is a true friend!

Here's a pic of an orchid she took. Hopefully more photos will arrive soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Buffalo Botanical Gardens


The Buffalo Botanical Gardens are a great place to visit any time of year. When this pic was taken of course the outdoor gardens could be explored, but going inside the glass houses during winter is wonderful. One can spend a better part of a day just slowly strolling through and taking in all the plants.

There are always events happening at the Gardens and even if there are no events. You can always find some really cool plants in bloom.

Even plants not blooming can be quite interesting.

I'm a volunteer with the Ivy group. The Gardens have one of the largest if not the largest collection of ivies in the USA.

I love the orchids. They look so good, so easy. I know this isn't true! I can't keep them alive at home. Well, I am house plant challenged to begin with. Plants that survive winter with me are awful tough.

I'm much better with these types : )

I've only skimmed the surface of all the amazing plants the Gardens hold! It is a definite must see for any plant lover.
(I figured out how to put in a link!)
A very well know place to eat close by is Curly's
(look another link!)
Oh and how could I forget to mention the Basillica. Our Lady of Victory Basillica is very close to the Gardens. It is an amazing church. Father Baker http://www.buffalodiocese.org/frbaker/index.htm (and another!) who has been up for sainthood for a long time started this church. My husband came from OLV. Many of the babies born to teen mothers in the Buffalo area were adopted out of there. And misbehaving children like me were always threatened with being shipped out to Father Baker's if they did not shape up.
Anyway, even if you are not a religious person it is a sight to see. Besides the gorgeous church, the grounds are beautifully landscaped.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In Memory of Nita

Dianthus Rainbow Loveliness
Dianthus 'Rainbow Loveliness'

A friend from work died today. She was much too young at 45. She had a huge personality. Everyone always knew when she was around. She was fun loving and always spoke her mind. She was also a good mother. My heart aches for her 13 year old son, an oversized kid for his age. I was struck with the way he hung on her with such love on Take Your Child to Work Day. You don't often see that when boys start to become young men.
She had a heart condition, and from what I gather she didn't take her heart pills for a day or two and had a heart attack. She probably didn't have the cash to refill her prescription and thought she could make it until payday. I'm not sure what she was thinking, but I know I will always remind people to take their meds. Don't think you can skip a day or two, and it will be ok.

I will always remember her wonderful soul.

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Winter Blues...

The cold isn't going anywhere for awhile! Thank goodness for wood burning stoves. It really makes the house quite toasty.
The comments from the last post made me think I should post more photos!
Speaking to Tom about Forget-me-nots, I said how I love the carpet of blue they make in spring.
I originally planted them in this area near the Zebra iris.
Zebra Iris, Allium, and forget-me-nots
They have since traveled down the driveway and they bloomed in the front walk this year. I think they look great with the tulips.

Here's the gorgeous little Iris reticulata. It blooms very early when most of the garden still is asleep. Sometimes they get covered in snow, but they will still be blooming when the snow melts.
These cuties should be planted where you will notice them so early. I have them along the front flower bed in front of the porch. Out back would be no good since no one ventures there in late winter/early spring. I've had visitors get very excited to realize they were real plants that were blooming. It is fun to see a 75 year old woman act like an excited child over the blooms.

Here's my own clematis that I mentioned to Cogardengram.
This Clematis sprouted on its own a couple years ago. I moved it next to a rambling rose. It finally bloomed!
When I first saw it bloom. You don't know how excited I got! I couldn't believe my baby was so beautiful.

Here's another blue(almost) beauty that I forgot about. See what winter cold does, makes you forget how wonderful June was! This is Veronica 'Royal Blue' with the polyantha rose 'Marie Pavie'.
Marie Pavie, polyantha, with Veronica Royal Blue
Ok, I'll take a break for now. Hopefully I've posted enough to have taken the chill out of the winter cold!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Winter Blues

Virginia Bluebells
Virginia Blue Bells

It has been too cold, and the cold is here to stay for awhile. I'm feeling blue. Hopefully this passes soon. My husband told me I need to get planting more seeds! One of my loves is blue flowers. There aren't many true blue flowers out there. There are many violet blue flowers, and I love them too especially campanulas(bluebells,) but they don't make me sigh like true blue flowers.
Mertensia virginica(Virginia Bluebells) is a wonderful spring ephemeral that more people should grow. ( A spring ephemeral is a plant that after blooming in the spring goes dormant for the summer.) It doesn't require much of anything to do exceptionally well. Since it goes dormant during the summer, drought is not a problem. I have mine beneath a large shrub rose that itself is in a semi-shade location. It is well behaved developing in to a larger clump slowly.

Brimeura amethystina
Brimeura amethystina

Alpine Hyacinths(Brimeura amethystina) is another true blue that is often unknown to many gardeners. It is a spring flowering bulb. It blooms mid May here. It is diminutive, but at the edge of a walk like in my garden, it is quite pretty. It will reseed if conditions are right. I have more than the few I planted years ago, and I happily saw a new one blooming across the walk this spring.

One more blue to help take away the winter blues...
Salvia Cambridge Blue
Salvia 'Cambridge Blue'

This is one heck of a pretty annual. It really shines August to frost like many salvias seem to do. It is drought resistant and performs well in pots. Seed saving is a bit of a pain with this plant, so it is often high priced seed in catalogs or difficult to find in trade. Since the flowers bloom in succession, not all the seed ripens at the same time. Once seed is ripe though, it falls fairly quickly from the plant. So one must check often for seed, but it is well worth the trouble to have seed to grow this plant every year.
Other true blue(or pretty darn close!) flowers I grow:
Anchusa 'Blue Angel'(annual) and 'Loddon Royalist'(perennial)
Forget-me-nots, Myosotis(perennial), and Cynoglossum amabile(annual)
Echium 'Blue Bedder'(annual), and Viper Bugloss(biennial)
Centaurea(Bachelor Buttons, annual)
Nigella(Love-in-a-Mist, annual)
Brunnera macrophylla, species and 'Jack Frost'
Iris reticulata
Allium azurea aka Allium caeruleum
Salvia 'Black and Blue', and other Salvias
Veronica 'Crater Lake Blue' and 'Royal Blue'

All this writing about blue flowers has made me feel better! I need to go plant more seeds as my husband said and I might really start to smile.
If you know of any other true blues I must grow, please let me know!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year


It seems like mid winter already. There has been lots of cold wind and snow for the past month. I know I must get out there and start setting out my seed containers for winter sowing soon. Some perennial seeds need a cold period or they will not germinate. On another day, I will post pics of this process. It makes difficult seeds seem quite easy.
Hoping 2009 is a wonderful gardening year for you all!

Favorite Garden Blogs

Favorite Tomatoes

  • Humph - Green
  • Stump of the World - Pink, my absolute favorite
  • Little Lucky - Small Yellow Bicolor
  • Prudens Purple - meaty Pink
  • Carbon - Black


About Me

My photo
Plantaholic, from annuals to perennials, from tomatoes to roses. You name it; I love it! I often get very busy with my business and life and don't post as often as I would like.