Blackberry Lily

24 07 2011

The Blackberry Lily (Belamcanda chinensis), also known as Leopard Lily, is native to China and Japan. Although it is called a Lily, it is actually in the Iridaceae (Iris) family. The leaves look exactly like the leaves of an Iris. This drought-tolerant perennial bulb sprouts two inch flowers in mid-to-late summer (in both yellow and this orange variety) and forms clustered black berries (hence the name!). The flowers only last one day and when they dry they twist into corkscrew-like spirals that fall as the seedpods develop. The seedpods will split open in the fall, allowing the plant to self-sow. Blackberry Lilies can be grown in sun or part shade in containers, beds and borders and can reach 24-40 inches in height. They are propagated by division of rhizomes or by seed in the spring and are hardy from zones 5-10.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Advertisements




Blooming in my garden: Viola sororia ‘Freckles’

28 04 2011

The rare and unusual Sister Violet (Viola sororia) ‘Freckles’, with heart-shaped evergreen leaves and tiny snow white blooms speckled with deep purple spots, is similar to a wild violet. This hardy perennial likes well-drained soil in full to part sun (mine is in shade for a good part of the day). It’s a great plant for naturalistic shade gardens and it spreads by seed and underground rhizomes. I planted my first bunch a few years ago in an egg shaped wire sculpture perched atop a big urn. This year the plant has escaped from its cage and began spreading on the ground!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Dahlias as far as the eye can see…

28 09 2008

I spent well over an hour photographing the rather long “Dahlia Border” at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. I estimate the border is about a half block long. The images below are just some of my images from just this one area. Because of their overwhelming diversity, Dahlias have moved up the list to become my new favorite flower!

According to www.dahliaguide.com/, the Dahlia is named in honor of a Swedish botanist named Anders Dahl. The Dahlia originated in Mexico and was brought to Europe during the 18th century by Spanish explorers. There are tens of thousands of different types of Dahlias. This is possible because the Dahlia has eight genes that control its appearance while most other flowers have just two. They have some of the most diverse shapes and colors of any flower in the garden! Dahlias are grown from rhizomes, although they can be grown from seed as well (though not as easily).

The top photo shows just one small section of this meandering perennial border.

Below are some online sources for Dahlias:

Corralitos Gardens

Dan’s Dahlias

The site below is a particularly good one with lots of information on growing and caring for Dahlias, as well as the “twelve official divisions” of Dahlias, which will show you just how diverse this flower is!

American Meadows

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

NOTE: Be sure to click on “PREVIOUS ENTRIES” at the very bottom of the screen to see more posts in September!