30 Nov

Lovely Flowering Vine: Macfadyena unguis cati

Macfadyena is a small genus of flowering vines from tropical regions of America. The one commonly known species from this genus is Macfadyena unguis-cati. The name translates in English as Cat’s claw creeper.

Macfadyena unguis-cati is grown as an evergreen vine under full or partial sun. The plant grows up to 5 meters and uses its tendrils to climb attached surfaces. Bright yellow flowers in appear summer and cover the entire plant.

Macfadyena unguis cati

Macfadyena unguis cati/ Image by Reinaldo Aguilar’s 

Macfadyena unguis-cati is propagated seeds, cuttings or tubers and grows well in a sandy soil. Because of its vigorous growth, Macfadyena unguis-cati needs to be properly trimmed and pruned to keep it in proper shape. Quick growth also makes this vine as excellent choice for growing against fences and walls.

23 Nov

12 Hardy and Beautiful Ferns to Grow in Your Garden

Ferns are excellent plants to grow in shaded gardens. Known for their attractive foliage (known as fronds), these lovely plants offer a great variety of form and size to fit in any spot in the garden. Most Ferns are slow growing and can take several years to reach their mature size.

Following is a list of some hardy and beautiful Ferns that you can grow in your garden as ground covers or border plants, under large trees or along ponds and pools.

Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern)

Attractive ornamental fern for shaded borders and pathways. Forms large clumps of finely textured fronds. Easily grown in average and well-drained soil.  (Zone 3 – 8)

Adiantum pedatum

Maidenhair Fern/ Image by Joshua Mayer

Athyrium forma rubellum (Lady in Red)

Low maintenance fern characterized by upright, fresh-green fronds with red stripes. Suitable for shaded spots in garden where it can grow in a well-drained but slightly moist and rich soil. (Zone 4 – 8)

Athyrium forma rubellum

Lady in Red fern/ Image by Valleybrook Perennials

 Athyrium vidalii (Japanese lady fern)

Small and easy-to-grow fern, suitable for rock gardens and borders under full to partial shade. Prominent green fronds of this lovely fern are beautifully contrasted by deep red stems. The plant prefers moist, slightly acidic and well-drained soil. (Zone 5 – 9)

Athyrium vidalii

Japanese lady fern/ Image by Powell Gardens

Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern)

Ideal for borders and rock gardens, this lovely fern produces leathery green fronds. Grows in a well-drained, acidic and moist soil. (Zone 5 – 8)

Blechnum spicant

Deer Fern/ Image by Peggy A.

 Cyrtomium falcatum (Japanese holly fern)

Beautiful evergreen fern with upright leathery fronds that resemble holly branches. Grows in well-drained soil and under full to partial shade. Not suitable for colder climates. (Zone 6 – 9)

Cyrtomium falcatum

Japanese Holly fern/ Image by Leonora Enking

Dennstaedtia punctilobula (Hay-scented fern)

Beautiful fern with delicate green fronds that turn to yellow in in fall. The plant emits fragrance of fresh mown hay when crushed or bruised. Grows in rich, moist but well-drained soil. (Zone 3 – 8)

Dennstaedtia punctilobula

Hay-scented fern/ Image by Nicholas A. Tonelli

Dryopteris clintoniana (Clinton’s wood fern)

Low maintenance and semi-evergreen fern with prominent upright fronds. Grows easily in a moist and organically rich soil. Suitable for fully or partially shaded and marshy spots. (Zone 3 – 8)

Dryopteris clintoniana

Clinton’s wood fern/ Image by douneika (flickr)

Dryopteris tokyoensis (Tokyo wood fern)

Beautiful fern with erect fronds that grows up to 4 feet and spreads across 3 feet. Grows easily in partially shaded spots. This lovely fern requires moderate but frequent watering and is suitable for most shaded indoor/outdoor spots. (Zone 5 – 8)

Dryopteris tokyoensis

Tokyo wood fern/ Image by Ferntastic Nursery

Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’

Excellent ground cover with arching, evergreen fronds. This lovely fern forms compact clumps of displays striking striking shades of orange-red to copper-pink on new growth. (Zone 5 – 8)

Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance'

Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’/ Image by James Gaither

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich fern)

Excellent fern for mass plantation especially under trees or in empty landscape pockets. Clumps grow up to 4 feet and spread across 8 feet. (Zone 3 – 7)

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich fern/ Image by Ryan Somma

Osmunda claytoniana

Good for growing along ponds and steams. Grows easily in semi-shaded areas where it gets moist environment in a rich and slightly acidic soil. (Zone 3 – 8)

Osmunda claytoniana

Osmunda claytoniana/ Image by Bahamut Chao

Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive fern)

Large fern that loves moist conditions. Grows well along ponds and streams and produces rich green fronds. This lovely fern is useful for growing in marshy areas as a beautiful ground cover.

Onoclea sensibilis

Sensitive fern/ Image by Tom Potterfield

13 Nov

Lovely Flowering Shrub with Sweet Fragrant Flowers: Abelia

Abelia is a genus of lovely flowering shrubs from Asia and Mexico. Loved by gardeners because of its compact growth, Abelias are excellent specimen shrubs for gardens and landscapes. The genus of Abelia consists of more than 30 species and many hybrids.

Most species of Abelia grow from 1 to 6 meters and produce attractive glossy foliage accompanied by beautiful flowers of white, pink and mauve colors. Flowers are usually fragrant especially in summer evenings.

Abelia grandiflora

Abelia grandiflora/ Image by Leonora Enking

Abelias can be easily trimmed to form desirable shapes and size. These lovely shrubs are quite hardy and adaptable. Most species will tolerate drought and frost. Propagated by cuttings, Abelias will go good under full to partial sun.

From a large number of available varieties to choose from, you can start with popular species like:

Abelia grandiflora is a medium-sized flowering shrub that grows up to 3 meters and produces arching branches with small glossy leaves. Pink flowers with light fragrance appear in mid-summer.

Abelia Edward Goucher is a popular hybrid variety and is grown for its longer flowering period (usually much of the summer till early fall). This compact flowering shrub grows up to 5 feet and usually forms dense and rounded shape. The lustrous green leaves turn to pinkish-purple in winter.

Abelia grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ is known for its red stems and bright, golden yellow variegation on glossy green leaves creating a kaleidoscope of color. The plant makes an excellent specimen shrub for indoor use.

10 Nov

10 Lovely Flowering Varieties of Hibiscus for Your Garden

Hibiscus also known as Rosemellow is a large genus of flowering shrubs. These lovely bloomers are known for their beautiful satiny flowers that come in many different colors. If you garden in warm, temperate, subtropical and tropical regions, growing Hibiscus can be rewarding.

For your inspiration, I am displaying 10 beautiful varieties of Hibiscus.

Pink Hibiscus

Image by HPatri (flickr)

Yellow Hibiscus

Image by Gertrud K.

Hibiscus red

Image by Brian Valentine

Hibiscus white flower

Image by Roy Cohutta

Hibiscus moscheutos 'saxon'

Hibiscus moscheutos ‘saxon’/ Image by szakszonlaszlo (flickr)

Hibiscus

Image by Martien Uiterweerd

Hibiscus schizopetalus

Hibiscus schizopetalus/ image by Pratap Bhanja

Pink Hibiscus flower

Image by Neuro (flickr)

Hibiscus

Image by Eckenheimer (flickr)

Hibiscus moscheutos

Hibiscus moscheutos/ Image by Frederico Ferdinand

08 Nov

Lovely Flowering Shrub for Garden Borders: Spiraea thunbergii

The plant featured today is Spiraea thunbergii. It is one of my favourite flowering shrubs because of its delicate spring flowers and interesting foliage. Spiraea thunbergii grows up to 5 feet as a dense, twiggy shrub and produces attractive narrow leaves. The beautiful foliage grows on wiry stems that densely branch out from the main stem of the plant. The interesting formation of leaves gets more beautiful in fall when the green color of leaves turns to golden-yellow to orange and bronze. The leaves fall of in winter and start sprouting again in early spring.

Spiraea thunbergii

Spiraea thunbergii / Image by Wikimedia Commons

Flowering starts in spring and last for many weeks. The white delicate flowers of Spiraea thunbergii form small clusters that cover the entire plant. Exposure to full sun encourages growth of flowers. Because of its interesting foliage, beautiful flowers and growing habits, Spiraea thunbergii makes an excellent border plant for gardens and landscapes.

Spiraea thunbergii can be easily grown in a slightly moist but well-drained soil. This lovely shrub loves sun but tolerates light shade. As with most plants in the Rose family, propagation of Spiraea thunbergii is done from layering or cuttings.