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First Canna Blooms

May 27th, 2009


Canna glauca 'Panache'
Canna glauca ‘Panache’


Canna 'Dawn Pink'
Canna ‘Dawn Pink’


Canna 'Cardinal Sinn'
Canna ‘Cardinal Sinn’

Canna Buds Appear!

May 25th, 2009


Canna 'Dawn Pink' is one of the first with buds.
Canna ‘Dawn Pink’ is one of the first with buds.

WooHoooo! Dawn Pink is going to bloom any minute. Every time I walk among my cannas, I find a new bud. So far, I have spotted them on Cardinal Sinn, Edna Tulip, Orange Punch and Panache. There is a good chance some of these will be open tomorrow.

Dazzler Gaillardia With Canna Seedlings

May 20th, 2009


I'm definitely dazzled by Dazzler
I’m definitely dazzled by Dazzler

This is the first bloom of Gaillardia ‘Dazzler’ – who I grew from seeds. I have five of them in my rose garden and gave some to my Mom, too. They are supposed to be different colors. We shall see.

Notice the canna seedlings in 6″ pots in the background. They are coming along nicely, already showing their own personalities. Some are shooting straight up. Others are short with curly leaves. Cute. It is a joy to watch them grow and develop.

Awesome!! Natural Enemy Turns Fire Ants Into Zombies!

May 12th, 2009

BWAaaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! Exactly what their bite victims have been wishing would happen to them:

The flies “dive-bomb” the fire ants and lay eggs. The maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away at the brain, and the ant starts exhibiting what some might say is zombie-like behavior.

“At some point, the ant gets up and starts wandering,” said Rob Plowes, a research associate at UT.

The maggot eventually migrates into the ant’s head, but Plowes said he “wouldn’t use the word ‘control’ to describe what is happening. There is no brain left in the ant, and the ant just starts wandering aimlessly. This wandering stage goes on for about two weeks.”

About a month after the egg is laid, the ant’s head falls off and the fly emerges ready to attack any foraging ants away from the mound and lay eggs.

Iris Adventure Down On The Farm

April 24th, 2009


Yellow iris found on the family farm
Yellow Iris found on the family farm

While we were visiting the family farm in Brownwood, Texas yesterday, I spotted some familiar blue-green leaves. And then, WOW-eeeee! There were irises in bloom at a spot were a couple families used to live. Their trailers and what-all are gone, but the irises remain.


Purple and white irises were most numerous
Purple and white irises were most numerous

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27 (KJ)


Blue iris - yet a third variety found
Blue iris – yet a third variety found

Only one of the four varieties we found was not blooming (below). It was easy to tell it was different however, by the greener and very narrow leaves.


Long narrow leaves distinguish this iris from the others.
Long narrow leaves distinguish this iris from the others.

My wonderful husband grabbed a shovel and dug me up a “sample” of each kind.


Somebody is coming for a ride with me!
Somebody is coming for a ride with me!

Blue Iris

April 13th, 2009


Tall blue bearded iris
Tall blue bearded iris

We received starts of this tall and elegant iris from one of my husband’s co-workers. They have multiplied well and bloom every year. They smell to me like grape koolade.

Yellow Iris

March 22nd, 2009

A yellow iris in Canna Land
A yellow iris in Canna Land

Vegetables Return To Canna Land

March 18th, 2009


Poolside bed with leaf lettuce, dill and cilantro
Poolside bed with leaf lettuce, dill and cilantro

The poolside bed has been planted with canna rhizomes. They are starting to sprout! Before planting I dug out the soil and installed a plastic liner next to the block wall. This is meant to keep my water in my canna bed. I interplanted with leaf lettuce, dill ‘Bouquet’ and cilantro ‘Santos’. This is an experiment to see if the salad will have time to grow before the cannas shade it out. Stay tuned.


Martino's Roma - heirloom tomato
Martino’s Roma – heirloom tomato

Tomatoes have returned to Canna Land as well. The two varieties pictured here are planted in the pathway garden bed. The day after I set them out we had horrific wind, but they seem to have overcome.

Marvel Stripe - heirloom tomato
Marvel Stripe – heirloom tomato

I collected the seeds for Marvel Stripe from a grocery store tomato. I couldn’t believe it when they all came up!

Omega’s Mega-Rhizome

March 3rd, 2009


Canna 'Omega' rhizomes are big and sturdy.
Canna ‘Omega’ rhizomes are big and sturdy.

The string of rhizomes above is about 3 feet long. I’ve been digging up Canna Land so I can repair the beds and implement my new planting scheme. The weather has been nice here and it feels great to be gardening!

Who Is Cinabrina?

February 26th, 2009


Cinabrina or Maculata - That is the question.
Cinabrina or Maculata – That is the question.

Such a complicated name situation for a pretty little yellow flower! Canna compacta var. cinabrina was first offered by YuccaDo Nursery. It turned out to be extremely fertile, so the predictable happened – seeds and rhizomes turned up all over eBay. The spelling “cinnabarina” is also common. Now this sweet canna is determined to be Canna indica var. maculata. Canna compacta is commonly called Robert Kemp and not the same species as Maculata.

Taxonomy aside, Maculata is darling with its wavy leaves and profusion of spotted flowers. The hummingbirds love it, too.

More about the name controversy


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