16 Jun

Lovely Aquatic Plants for Pots and Small Ponds: Nymphoides

Nymphoides is a genus of aquatic plants grown for their lovely white or yellow flowers. These plants are commonly known as Floating-Heart plants because of their heart shaped leaves that float on the surface of the water. The heart-shaped leaves have their roots submerged in the water and small white flowers that nod along the floating leaves.

Nymphoides cristata

Nymphoides cristata/ Image by Mary Keim

Nymphoides is widely grown across Africa, Asia, Australia and America in ponds, aquariums and ornamental water gardens. Most of the species vary in shape and size but their basic structure and growing habit is similar. Unlike other aquatic plants, they do not sprawl much and can be grown in rather small ponds. They can be grown along the margins of ponds in about 12″ of water, or in a pot in open water in up to 20″ of water where they can form small colonies.

Flowers usually appear in mid spring through the summer, and frequently into the fall. Propagation can be done from divisions or runners.

Popular species of Nymphoides include:

Nymphoides indica or Water Snowflake: Fast-growing perennial with white flowers that have feathery edges.

Nymphoides cristata: Beautiful aquatic plant with heart-shaped green leaves that have purple veins. White flowers appear in spring or summer.

Nymphoides pelata: Easy to grow and low-maintenance aquatic plant with lovely yellow flowers.

05 Jun

Highlights from The Painted Garden by Bachman

This year (March 24 to April 7, 2013), the annual Macy’s Flower Show brought exotic floral displays that celebrated the remarkable beauty and landscapes native to Asia in The Painted Garden by Bachman’s.

Started in 1946, the yearly Macy’s Flower Show  attracts more than 500,000 visitors who see the lush landscapes and millions of flowering plants and trees from around the world.

The Painted Garden Show

Flowers in the Painted Garden

The Painted Garden

View of the Painted Garden

Macy's Painted Garden

Orchids in the Painted Garden

Colors of the Painted Garden

Daffodils in the Painted Garden

Images via flickr by Photo Phiend

31 May

7 Plant Varieties to Add to Your Rose Garden to Make It Pop

Roses only bloom at certain times of the year. The rest of the time, they end up with a field of thorny foliage plants. Even with a fully planted rose garden, most flower lovers will find that they will still find themselves wishing they can plant more. No single garden can contain every possible type of plant. Instead of trying to jam everything into one patch, put some in side gardens; you’ll be able to give every flower the space it needs to be seen the way it deserves to be. Now is the time to add companion plants to the your rose garden, so the garden has great focal points at all times:

Daylilies

When not in bloom, they provide plumes of grass like foliage. While they are blooming, they make the garden pop with a variety of colors. Daylilies are rugged, adaptable, vigorous perennials that last for years with little or no care, according to the University of Minnesota.

Daylily in the Garden

Daylily in the Garden/ Image by jacki-dee

Ornamental Grasses

Select the right kind of grass for your region when using it to spice up your garden. Look for varieties that are noninvasive so you don’t have to spend hours pulling out runners. Better Homes and Gardens suggests feather reedgrass, fountaingrass, little bluestem, switchgrass or blue oatgrass for versatility in your garden.

Fountain Grass

Image by Allan Hack

Annual Flowers

French marigolds, zinnias, petunias, and other low growing but bold annuals look great all through the season. Avoid using tall annuals because they’ll block the display once the roses come into bloom.

Marigold flowers

Marigold Flowers

Perennials

By choosing a variety of low growing perennials, you can have blooms in your garden at all times without having to replant. Choose types that grow well in your area and whose colors will not clash with those of the roses. Still stumped? Peruse varieties of flowers by FTD.com for inspiration.

Sweet Alyssum, Lobularia maritima

Sweet Alyssum/ Image by Bill Bumgarner

Foliage Plants

Plants like hostas often have blooms, but the leaves are the showiest aspect. You won’t have to worry about these plants competing with the main display, but they’ll provide great visual interest.

Neoregelia plants

Image by Christoph Diewald

Architectural Plants

These are very bold plants, but they won’t overwhelm your flowers. Small palm trees, bamboo, New Zealand flax, and various spiky specimens will provide a great backdrop for your star performers, according to Houzz.com.

Alluaudia procera

Alluaudia procera/ Image by Natalie Tapson

Shrubs

Low shrubs, especially when perfectly maintained provide that manicured look that gives rose gardens their reputation for being fancy.

Kennedia prostrata

Kennedia prostrata/ Image via flickr

When choosing companion plantings for roses, consider more than how the plants will look together. The health of the roses must be considered first, according to HeirloomRoses.com. Roses are very sensitive to competition for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Choose plants that will not steal essential resources from the roses.

21 May

Brunfelsia pauciflora: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Brunfelsia is a small genus of flowering shrubs and small trees native to tropical climates of the Americas. The plants in this genus are known for their exotic flowers. Most plants in the genus of Brunfelsia are evergreen and drought tolerant.

Brunfelsias make good specimen plants in sunny or partially shaded parts of the garden where they can grow up to 4 meters and produce abundance of colorful flowers that exude sweet fragrance. Among many popular species, Brunfelsia pauciflora and its various hybrids are perhaps the most common and widely cultivated plants.

Brunfelsia pauciflora

Brunfelsia pauciflora / Image by Tony Rodd

Brunfelsia pauciflora grows as an evergreen shrub that can gain the height of 4 meters. The plant is known for its scented and colorful flowers that change their hues from violet-mauve to pale-mauve and then white on successive days. Thus giving the plant its common name – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Other popular species include: B. grandiflora, Brunfelsia australis, Brunfelsia isola (Lady of the Night), and B. nitida (Raintree). Most of these species can be easily propagated from hardwood cuttings and grown in a shaded or sunny spot where they are protected from heavy frost.