Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another Great Day with Some Local Bloggers

Yesterday Racquel and I went drove over the water (rather under the water, Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel) to Norfolk to visit Les in his garden. What a great day! Les has a small garden but it is filled to the brim with interesting plant material. At his front walkway you are greeted by the Red Banana paired with Coleus.
On the other side of the front steps is another Coleus 'Alabama Sunset' paired with Jasminum officinalis, a hardy jasmine with wonderful golden foliage.

His backyard has some of the most interesting plants. One of these treasures is Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Steriodal Giant'. This plant looks prehistoric.

In his backyard is a Linden tree…which I was sure was a Littleleaf Linden, but after seeing a tree with small leaves at the Botanical Garden later in the day labeled Tilia Americana, now I am not so sure. More studying is in order!

A short drive from Les' house is the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Both Les and I had blogged about this garden in the spring when the Camellias were blooming. We strolled around the garden and had so many great plants to take in. I was especially happy with this photo of the Bird of Paradise in the Tropical Display House. There are so many unusual specimens.

From the Tropical Display House we ventured out in to the Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden. It was as if we were walking into a dream…..a gardeners dream!

There are blooms galore and some interesting insects to boot!  

I love the colors of the Lespedeza with Russian Sage
and Black-eyed Susans.

These berries are from a wonderful old crabapple tree.  The variegated Ginger lily is very sculptural.

Look across the waterway, see the Tetrapanax like Les has in his yard?

Here is a dilemma for you…sun or shade? I was intrigued with this pairing –the Ginger lily needs sun and the Caladium are shade lovers. Both seem to be very happy under some very mature trees. Perhaps there is enough morning sun.

Too bad I already offered my ornamental grass photo for the contest…here are two nice combinations.

With relative certainty this pink grass is Melinis nerviglumis 'Savannah'. zones 8-11

Jan at Always Growing shared Cat's Whiskers a little while ago…I was happy to see them in person. I love the tips with a touch of purple on the ends. It is a member of the mint family.  It is listed by Jan as Orthosiphon aristatus. 

The rose garden is in full splendor – each rose is prettier than the next. I really like this one with so many variations of pink on one bush. Of course we couldn't find a name for this one though we think it is one of the Fairy Rose cultivars.

What a great time walking through the gardens with a couple other plant lovers. It was a nice time getting to know both Les and Racquel a little bit better. We will have another mini-blogger get together again soon. As we left one of the Norfolk mermaids bid us farewell……………. I will be back soon!


  1. Such an interesting mermaid. Sounds like you had a good time and took some photos for us to enjoy. Parts of my yard will grow sun and shade plants together. No guessing involved that way. You can just plant whatever. Les is a good host sounds like. Agree that he has a yard full of variety.

  2. It was indeed a great day. Where are we going next?

  3. What a wonderful outing! That Tetrapanax is amazing! WOW! I wonder what the deer would think if I had one of those in my garden. Is a T Rex hiding behind it? It sure gives you that Jurassic Park feel! :-)

    Glad you folks had a great day. I made it over to see Helen's garden yesterday.


  4. How very wonderful you guys are getting together-you all share so much-plant lovers indeed. That tetrapanax in indeed cool!

  5. Janet. sounds like a wonderful day spent in a beautiful garden. It is always fun to see another's garden. Their combinations of plants and colors.

    Great photos of a lovely garden. :)

  6. What a wonderful day, and such beautiful blooms. That Coleus "Alabama Sunset" is very striking and one I hadn't seen before.

  7. Sounds like a fun day! Hardy Ginger grows and blooms well in part shade. I love the dream sequence photo and the picture of the roses -- I'd frame it! It's gorgeous!

  8. Janet~~ Oh how I wish I could have been with you all. Thank you for including vicariously the rest of your blogger buddies. Any idea the name of the second ornamental grass photo with the pink/maroon plumes? I must have it.

    I have the Tetrapanax although mine is only a year old and much smaller. You've got a fabulous photo of it, reflecting off the water... This photo alone should entice many plant lovers to seek it out. Too bad you can't collect royalties. :] Great post!

  9. Sounds like such a wonderful day out, Janet! Visiting gardens with other blogging buddies makes the experience that much more special. Les' Tetrapanax is certainly an interesting-looking plant, but I love the grasses! Is the second one a type of purple fountain grass?

  10. What a great post! I'm totally dotty about Tetrapanax!!
    Wish I could have tagged along :~D

  11. What a fun day! We don't see many of those plants here so it's interesting to see them growing outside. The Tetrapanax is amazing!

  12. Ooh I've never heard of Cat's Whiskers, but I want one!

  13. hi Anna, Norfolk has mermaids all over town, decorated with all sorts of genre. Les was a great host. It was amazing to see all that he had in his yard.

    Hi Les, good company and learned a bit....makes for a perfect day. Next....? who knows!

    Hi Cameron, it was a fun outing. Yes the Tetrapanax was really incredible. I didn't show his voodoo lily -- also a prehistoric looking plant. Saw you went to Helen's, great time to visit other gardeners.

    Hi Tina, we do have a keen interest in plants!

    Hi Beckie, long time no see, glad you are back. It is great fun to see what others have in their gardens.

    Hi Nancy, I really like that Coleus too. It is a sun coleus...really nice collection. It goes so well with the yellow jasmine.

    Hi Sweet Bay, Good to know about the Ginger, it sure looked happy with the caladiums. You are most kind about my rose photo.

    Hi Grace, It took me a little while to find the correct name of the pink grass-- it is certainly one you should have my pink friend!
    Melinis nerviglumis 'Savannah' ha ha don't think I will kick backs for showcasing some cool plant.

    Hi Rose, The second grass is Melinis nerviglumis 'Savannah' and really neat! I think that Tetra is going to swamp Les' yard in no time flat.

    Hi Alice, Wish you could have joined in as well. The more the merrier.

    Hi Catherine, not many people have Tetrapanax in their gardens! There were a lot of great plants at the Botanical Garden.

    Hi Ginger, I really like the Cat's Whiskers. The purple stems and then again on the tips of the stamen were really pretty.

  14. What a great day...and so much fun to be with other bloggers. I think your grass photos are outstanding and I liked the other one, too. gail

  15. Great shots Janet. I had a good time, but boy was I wiped out. ;)

  16. Fantastic! And what stunning pictures. Isn't it great to be able to share an event with other bloggers, too? I wish I could find some local gardening bloggers to share things like this with! Very beautiful pictures.

  17. hi Gail, it was fun to get together with other bloggers. I am having fun taking photos of all sorts of plant material.

    Hi Racquel, I had a great time too, and slept like a rock Friday night. We will have to figure out our next adventure.

    Hi Miss Daisy, Surely there are some bloggers nearby, check through Blotanical... we have had a good time visiting with each other. Glad you like the photos.

  18. Janet, thank you for this interesting, informative and inspiring post! I saw several plants which I'd love to have. Pictures are great! I'm glad you had such great day with your fellow bloggers!

  19. Fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing. I need to get to the Norfolk Botanical one of these days. Haven't been yet. Been a bit out of touch w/following my fav blogs (like yours) lately. With school starting for the kids, I've been very involved with that... Can't wait to catch up on your posts!

  20. Norfolk is on my todo list.

  21. What a lot of exotic and interesting plants. I hardly knew any of them!

    For some reason I find the ginger lilly / caladium arrangement specially intriguing.

    . . . And the Cat's Whiskers - aren't they lovely!


  22. Dear Queen, I expect to be traveling for a few days, and I'm trying to figure out how not to suffer withdrawal from blogs and blogging friends like yourself ;~) Please hold the fort while I'm gone.....

  23. So many interesting plants here Janet! I am thrilled to see the "Cats Whiskers" ~ I've only ever seen them one time in a magazine and instantly liked them. Unfortunately, when I did some research they aren't hardy in my zone. :-(
    Glad you had a good day with some fellow garden bloggers.

  24. Thats so strange Janet ~ my comment (above) has a weird number on it but it's really me (Kathleen from Kaseys Korner)

  25. Hi Colleen, thanks! It was lots of fun. Oh, you need to come down and go to the Norfolk Botanical Garden--great garden!

    Hi Donna, As it should be. :-)

    Hi Lucy, Glad there was something out of the ordinary for you! The more I look at the Cat's Whiskers the more I like it.

    Hi Alice, Splendid travels to you! I will try to hold down the fort!

    Hi Kathleen, what's up with the numbers? Going secret agent on me? Sorry Cat's Whiskers aren't hardy for you. It was a good day.

  26. The Alabama Sunset coleus is really pretty, and I like the cat's whiskers flower as well. Isn't it fun to have local gardener friends? I'm still working to cultivate more of them around here, it's slow going in Spokane.

  27. Hi VW, I really like the Alabama Sunset coleus--especially with some color echoing! It is fun to do stuff with fellow gardeners.

  28. That tetrapanax across the pond absolutely steals the show. It's amazing what one good strong large leafed plant will do for a vignette like that.

  29. Hi Janet, I love, love, love your photo of Les and Racquel (at least I'm assuming it's them) walking into a dream! Very creative! I need to know when you all are going to meet so I can join you! I've got to find a way to get together before the cold winter strikes!! It might be difficult to do, but not impossible! Just let me know;-)

  30. Hi Megan, the Tetrapanax is certainly outstanding!

    Hi Jan, yes, that was Les and with photo editing. Getting together sounds good! We will have to come up with something. Do you want to come all the way down here? Are you looking at visiting your daughter anytime soon?


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