Spring is Coming, Part 2
Fruit tree in bloom
No need to explain, right? What could be more beautiful than a fruit tree in bloom on a perfect spring day? Now all we need to do is make it through the next few months. Good luck!!
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Too bad there's no way to show the scale of this plant. It looks so ordinary in the photo. In real life, it's about 15 feet tall and looks like giant daisies from outer space!!
If you're in Zones 9A through 11 and have room for a mammoth daisy tree (20 feet high is not unheard of with these guys), you're in luck. Now all you have to do is find a plant, which seem to be in short supply. So is information about growing tree daisies. Read below the fold...
The demonizing, restructuring, and privatizing of our present public education system not only in Chicago but across the country, thanks to bipartisan political (corporate-enabling) will (with the powerful engineering of consent of citizens by the corporate media) has more to do with “disaster capitalism” profiteering, racism, and poverty than the unfairly scapegoated role of the American teacher.
The ruthless union-busting/weakening by this bipartisan political will is also foreshadowing across the board/across the nation slashing of work pay, benefits and conditions for all American workers.
Here are some excerpts from various writers and activists about the “big picture” of what the Chicago teachers' struggle actually represents: Read below the fold...
Very much in bloom here in Zone 10. These trees are quite common here in LA, the pink ones especially, but there are also white and lavender varieties. Crape myrtles are deciduous trees, which the Sunset garden book describes as having a "very attractive trunk and branch pattern." The trees bloom from July to September. Read below the fold...
(see last comment for more details on this plant)
This has to be the simplest little flower ever -- there are so few details, it almost looks fake. But I can assure you it isn't. It's roughly the size of a quarter and growing on a gnarly old shrub type plant, about four feet high and studded with thorns. And it has an odd pink/red fruit, about the size of a large grape, which you can see below the fold. Read below the fold...
Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia nicolai
Common and giant, or white, birds of paradise
A tale of two birds of paradise, or BoPs, if you will. The first is the ordinary, run-of-the-mill, official LA City Flower, shown above. The second is the super-sized version, fondly known as Big Bird around here, which apparently traded in the brilliant (or what some might call garish) color scheme for a more subdued palette with a lot more height (see below). Read below the fold...
Butterfly bush or summer lilac
Butterfly bush is a big (4 to 10 feet tall), rangy plant that can survive just about anywhere in Zones 5 through 10 with proper care. Some sun and an average amount of water keeps it happy and the type of soil is not as important as good drainage. In addition to attracting butterflies, buddleias are irresistible to bees and hummingbirds. With just this one plant, you'll have a non-stop pollination party going for weeks! Read below the fold...
Easy to grow in any zone, sweet alyssum self sows in mild climates and blooms throughout the year. The tiny (1/2") flowers grow close to the ground, making them good candidates for ground cover or the front row of a floral border. Bees love alyssum, maybe because the flowers smell like honey.
How can it be August already? Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago that spring was in the air and gardens were just getting started? Now it's almost fall. How did that happen?
Anyway, chrysanthemums are turning up in stores, so autumn is definitely around the corner. "Mums," as they're commonly called, start blooming in summer, but they're such popular fall flowers that they're practically synonymous with autumn. Read below the fold...
Fothergilla gardenii x Fothergilla major "Mount Airy"
Mt. Airy Fothergilla, aka Witch Alder
Here's a white flower for Zones 5 through 8 -- an outstanding example of a flowering fothergilla from Corrente regular Lex. Believe it or not, the pom-pom style white flowers are not what the plant's best known for, as he explains: Read below the fold...