31 December 2012

December 2012 Flowers In The House

Indoor flowers on the last Monday of the month

There are no indoor bloomers in the December house. I will join in the holiday spirit with some indoor plant material.

My Nandina berries played a big part in transforming the basic greens into something seasonal. Boughs and berries were stuffed into the Red Star Beverage box. Berries and cones adorn the usual door wreath with a few red baubles. And simple berries contrast in the mostly white bathroom - (those are not black tiles - green and blue.) That's holly and ivy above the windows with the small but charming tree.

Add your indoor holiday flora to other garden bloggers' Flowers In The House at Jane's blog Small But Charming.

27 December 2012

Beavers Go Sustainable

Huntley Meadows Park replaced the boardwalk with a 'Trex'walk a while back. The pressure-treated boards on the walking surface were not holding up, so synthetic boards were installed to take their place. The beavers thought this was an upgrade to their neighborhood, and took advantage of the high tech materials by incorporating the boardwalk into their new lodge.

The beavers smartly used local traditional materials such as renewable mud and sustainable natural wood, resulting in construction that achieved a 'silver' LEED rating.

Other photos of the scenes at Huntley Meadows show that even in late November, color is still found: in the berries, the late autumn leaves, and the dead swamp grasses.

02 December 2012

On The Road From Asheville

You probably notice I am still writing about my September trip to North Carolina here in December. I am trying to stretch out the posts to cover the winter months. In my rental car from Ashville back to Greensboro for the start of my convention, I stopped off in a small botanical garden in Kernersville. A speaker at one of my Master Gardener classes recommended the place after I told her of my garden trips around my convention trips.

On a sunny day I pulled into the Paul J Ciener Botanical Garden parking lot. There was a large planting along the edge of the parking lot and a new building on the other end. I learned after talking with the attendant in the building that the planting was the botanical garden. There is a master plan and nice map of the five acres planned for development, but at this time, the parking lot garden was it.

The site had been a car dealership. The owner of the business left it with some money to start a botanical garden, so the entire place is relatively new. I thought this was a fitting use for the land after its run as a paved lot selling cars.

These are a few of the items that captured my attention, as alien life form never seen before. Excuse my photography in harsh direct sunlight.

Around the building was a walk with annuals and vegetables, and along the path was this pepper plant never seen or heard of before. Yes, one plant had purple, red, yellow, orange, and cream color peppers growing on it like multi-colored candies. I must know what this was.

Colocasia in extra large - not elephant ears, but I would say dinosaur ears is a more appropriate term.

Bananas in variegated leaves are new to me, or were these diseased?

And finally, what in the world is this egg growing out from each cluster of orange star flowers?