Now that's a native!

I posted recently about the Missouri native Hibiscus lasiocarpos that is growing and blooming in my front yard. A few people commented that it is an impressive native. Well, how about seeing a real specimen?

Or perhaps a few? A shopping center near the bakery has some rain gardens that contain this plant, and they are all blooming now.


A look around the back garden

Everything is going wild right now. Lots of heat and rain have kicked the tropicals into high gear. Weeds too, but maybe you won't notice them? Here's a tour of the back yard, starting with a view of what has come to be my main tropicals bed:

I'm standing on the driveway (crowded with plants and empty containers, therefore not being shown today) looking south.


A couple of plumeria problems

I mentioned a while back that my plumeria seemed to be having trouble, the tiny new leaves turning black and falling off. I've since learned that was most likely due to "black tip fungus", and have been debating what I should do about it.

In the meantime though, I've found another problem.


A bloom and a rock

If you are one of the few who follows my garden persona (@inwig) on Instagram you've gotten a sneak peek, but my Pachypodium lamerei has started to bloom:

It's a bit exciting for me!


Artistic custom plant support

For the past few years I've planted elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) in the cement planter next to the front door.

I really like the bold effect that the large leaves produce -- they really work well with the high-frequency fine texture of the yew and the nearby grasses. There's just one problem with this plan, one that I fight with every year...


No time...

No time to put together much of a post, but I don't want to fall out of the habit or I may never start up again.

So I'll show you the Hibiscus lasiocarpos, the Missouri native with the largest flowers.


Little cubes, big impact

As you probably know I spend a lot of time in the workshop now, and I've had several ideas for projects for my own garden this summer. I haven't had much time for them until now, so I got started on the simplest of them last week.

Having to pound a stake (metal electrical conduit) into the ground to help hold this Hibiscus lasiocarpos upright. The stake couldn't be more visible, and it certainly isn't attractive. What was my fix?


Friday Miscellany

Randomness again today.

Who wants to see weird, creepy, tentacles?  I never planted my big voodoo lilies (Amorphophallus konjac), as they seemed to flower just fine sitting bare in a pot. Now though, it seems like they want to grow some foliage!



A severe storm moved across eastern Missouri yesterday, further giving evidence that although the garden enjoyed a mild winter, summer has been payback.

Although I did not have any damage to my trees, home, or cars, my neighbors across the street did.


Wednesday Vignette: Fresh

Hot summer days are luckily preceded by warm summer mornings, the time when things are freshest in the garden.

Like Missouri native Hibiscus lasiocarpos. I still haven't tied it up but the blooms have just started this morning with this pair.


I have problems?

I've had a few problems in the garden recently. I know we all do, as summertime is often rough on our plants, at least when compared to the version of the garden that lives in our heads. You know the one, where everything looks perfect with no work and no attention, when you never have to water or prune or weed or deal with herbivores.

In the real world though things happen, and I've found a few problems. Or have I? Starting with this Ligularia 'The Rocket' that has something weird going on with the leaves.


Something different

Last week we had a couple of days off from the bakery and decided to take a couple of day trips. The first was on a clear, sunny day even though that didn't really matter... we were headed southwest an hour or so to Meramec Caverns. I had been there as a child and my wife had never been, so to Stanton MO we drove.


Flop, or more like smash

I have a problem with drooping, floppy plants right now. Everything was fine until the rains started last weekend -- three weeks or more of dry weather makes you forget what "fun" midwest storms can be for a gardener. Everybody growing upright, a bit dry but otherwise happy. Until the rain.

Yesterday things got even more exciting, as two storm fronts collided in the area and made for some tumultuous weather. We were on the road somewhere close to historic Hannibal Missouri (boyhood home of Mark Twain) when things got scary as shown above. Lots of wind and heavy rain on a winding, hilly country highway, although we were keeping an eye out for debris too.


Madagascar Palm Surprises

My inherited Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium lamerei) is offering up surprises this year.

It's a pillar of spiky loveliness, adding the perfect vertical element to the bed closest to the front door even when seen from down the street. Look closely though and you will be doubly rewarded...


Alliums, clematis and more

I took a close look around the garden a few days ago, and then, thankfully, it rained for two days straight. In fact these photos were taken after the first shower, so things were fresher than they have been.

This is the only way that sunflowers can survive in my garden now: stay small enough not to be noticed by the deer.


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