30 August 2010

Allan Armitage via Greenhouse Grower

Greenhouse Grower dot com has a page of Allan Armitage video clips online.
In each clip, Armitage talks about and shows a great new plant he is enthusiastic about.

Here's the link


29 August 2010

Why Did My Plant Die? by Charlesworth

Why Did My Plant Die?
By Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
from his book
The Opinionated Gardener- Random Offshoots from an Alpine Garden

You walked too close. You trod on it.
You dropped a piece of sod on it.
You hoed it down. You weeded it.
You planted it the wrong way up.
You grew it in a yogurt cup
But you forgot to make a hole;
The soggy compost took its toll.
September storm. November drought.
It heaved in March, the roots popped out.
You watered it with herbicide.
You scattered bone meal far and wide.
Attracting local omnivores,
Who ate your plant and stayed for more.
You left it baking in the sun
While you departed at a run
To find a spade, perhaps a trowel,
Meanwhile the plant threw in the towel.
You planted it with crown too high;
The soil washed off, that explains why.
Too high pH. It hated lime.
Alas it needs a gentler clime.
You left the root ball wrapped in plastic.
You broke the roots. They're not elastic.
You walked too close. You trod on it.
You dropped a piece of sod on it.
You splashed the plant with mower oil.
You should do something to your soil.
Too rich. Too poor. Such wretched tilth.
Your soil is clay. Your soil is filth.
Your plant was eaten by a slug.
The growing point contained a bug.
These aphids are controlled by ants,
Who milk the juice, it kills the plants.
In early spring your garden’s mud.
You walked around! That's not much good.
With heat and light you hurried it.
You worried it. You buried it.
The poor plant missed the mountain air:
No heat, no summer muggs up there.
You overfed it 10-10-10.
Forgot to water it again.
You hit it sharply with the hose.
You used a can without a rose.
Perhaps you sprinkled from above.
You should have talked to it with love.
The nursery mailed it without roots.
You killed it with those gardening boots.
You walked too close. You trod on it.
You dropped a piece of sod on it.

Anne Pinc's Garden

This beautiful evergreen fern in Anne Pinc's garden is just one of the wonderful treats she shared with us.

Like many plant-smart people, Anne walks her garden spouting common and Latin names at the same rate of speed and no matter how many times I say "What?" I can't write them all down fast enough.

Two white kittens roam the gardens and even allow visitors to pet them.

This large foliage plant stands taller than a person behind the shade structure in the photo below. Chinese Rice Paper Plant seems to thrive here. I saw it all over Tulsa, too.

Look at this elegantly simple structure. It provides a haven for shade loving perennials and breaks up the path to the pool and greenhouses.

I saw bowtie vines at three Tulsa gardens last week. All 3 of them were from Bustani Plant Farm. Steve and Ruth Owens are getting the hot, new plants distributed to the best gardens.

And, Anne. What a wonderful, generous person.

Plant people are some of the best people we meet in this life.

28 August 2010

The Field Guide to Fields by Bill Laws

National Geographic Books released "The Field Guide to Fields: Hidden Treasures of Meadows, Prairies and Pastures"

Fields is a fascinating read that provides a guide to the progression of fields over the course of human history.

Flowers, grains, crops, flowers and creatures great and small are included. There are several full-page crop descriptions with an identification guide, uses, cultivation history and primary growing area.

The illustrations are paintings that beautifully illustrate animals, crops and scenes from nature.

I've enjoyed reading and learning how they interacted and changed each other over time.

Fields is a 220 page paperback. $17.50 at the National Geographic link above.

26 August 2010

Reduce Summertime Watering = Xeriscape

Mid-August is the month of watering every plant we want to keep alive for next year or even for the cooler fall days that are coming.

August is also a time to consider which pots, flower beds and areas would be ideal to convert to low water plantings.

Good candidates for low water usage plants include: beds just past the reach of the garden hose, the hot dry area along a street, driveway, sidewalk curb, around the pool or at the base of a rural mailbox, gigantic ornamental pots, and on the edge of a hill in full sun.

Xeriscape (pronounced zeer-eh-skape) does not mean zero landscape. The homeowners who adopt that definition, install a front yard composed of stones, rocks, driftwood, and plastic skulls.

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (keepoklahomabeautiful.com), states that, Plants are selected for a xeriscape based on their ability to grow and thrive with minimal watering and maintenance. Normal levels of watering during the first year establishment period are required since new plantings don’t have sufficiently developed root systems to survive without supplemental watering.

The plants that would not tolerate a low-water garden include Azaleas, Hydrangeas, lawns of fescue or bluegrass. Water loving plants should be planted in their own beds with easy irrigation.

Constant watering is a pain we want to reduce but reducing the amount of lawn is just as good a reason to consider Xeriscape. Mowing with a gas mower for 20 minutes has the same impact on the environment as driving 20 miles.

Plants that are native to the U.S. are good candidates but so are plants that are native to similar planting zones around the world. Lavender thrives on a dry hillside in Muskogee and is native to the rocky hillsides of Italy and the Mediterranean (lifeinitaly.com).

Xeriscape is gaining popularity. For example, the Edmond OK Parks and Recreation Dept. partnered with OSU to develop a 7,000 square foot Xeriscape Demonstration Garden (http://bit.ly/craZe1) at Bickham-Rudking Park.

A two-acre Xeriscape Demonstration Garden operated by the City of Colorado Springs Colorado, displays a wide diversity of slow-growing, perennial, water-wise plants.

Colorado Springs Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
with Garden of the Gods in the background.

Even water wise plants need have well-amended soil, room to grow and water the first year. Be sure to choose an area where they will receive 6 hours of sun and good drainage. Avoid putting these plants in low spots, clay soil or under downspouts.

A few selections that bloom in the summer and require half the water –

Black-Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida varieties include clasping coneflower, brown-eyed Susan, Gloriosa daisy, Indian Summer and Cherokee Sunset.

Coneflower, Echinacea species include Narrow leaf, Purple, and Wavyleaf Purple

Evening Primrose, Oenothera, biennial, takes 2-years from seed to bloom. Oenothera macrocarpa incana Silver Blade grows 10-inches tall, with silver leaves and yellow flowers.

Garden Phlox, Phlox paniculata. Fragrant. Tall forms grow up to 4-feet. Phlox paniculata Bartwelve is an 18-inch tall dwarf.

Germander, Teucrium chamaedrys, is a fragrant, shrubby, herb with butterfly flowers.
Oregano, Origanum vulgare. Compact form is Woods Compact.

Hardy Plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, has cobalt blue flowers on trailing stems. Use on a trellis or as groundcover.

Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber or Jupiter’s Beard, is clump forming with pink flowers. Scented flowers and grey-green leaves.

Red valerian

Sedums, Stonecrop - dozens of leaf shapes, flower colors and sizes.

Thyme, Thymus. Mother of thyme forms a perennial ground cover carpet with August flowers.

Wormwood, Artimisia, shrubby with fragrant silver leaves. Common wormwood is 4-feet tall, Silky is 9-inches tall.

Yarrow, Achillea, flowers in a dozen colors, both early and late summer, if pruned.

Learn more:
Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (keepoklahombeautiful.com)
CO State Xeriscape (http://bit.ly/a0zBjS
TX Xeriscape (http://bit.ly/Rmefx), and

Plants are at local nurseries, High Country Gardens (highcountrygardens.com) and Digging Dog Nursery (diggingdog.com).

24 August 2010

Fall Broccoli Seed Starting Redux

My method for seed starting is to fill the bottom half of the container with new potting soil and the top half with peat moss based seed starting soil.

Redux - because the first planting of broccoli seeds because burned up during our 2 week relocation to the surface of the sun. Broccoli grows in 75 degree days and 50 degree nights. If temperatures sustain much hotter or colder, you can say bye bye.

Make a hole in the center of each cell. Broccoli seeds are planted one-fourth to one-half inch deep.

Drop a couple of seeds into each hole and cover with soil. Fill the tray under the seed starting container with water. A drop of seaweed fertilizer can be added to a gallon of water to get the soil ready to receive the roots.

Seeds need soil contact points so press the soil down onto the seeds.

This step is not necessary but I do it. Sprinkle the top with vermiculite.

Spray the top of the soil with mister. I'm putting on diluted fungicide to reduce the possibility of damping off disease.

Broccoli seeds will not germinate in the weather we are currently having - it's still too hot. These will come into the air conditioned house for the ten days they need to pop up.

22 August 2010

Reliable Summertime Flowers

Summertime flowers that can take the sun and heat tend to have dusty colors and silvery leaves. Not all, but many.

Wormwood is a good example of summertime beauty with cool, silvery, water-surface coloring. The drier the better. Here, the groundcover is gravel. Artimisia has been widely used as a medicinal herb, too. Sweet Annie can be started from seed in the spring.

Agastache has come into its own with more colors than the familiar blues.
Sunset Hyssop is sown from seed in the spring and blooms heavily in August's heat.
Shades of Orange Agastache is available from High Country Gardens.

Seseli elatum grown by Tom Clothier and gummiferum at Annie's Annuals are both August winners. Clothier's seed germination database says to sow seeds at 68-degrees and if they don't germinate in a month, chill them and try again.

With all varieties of Oregano available, a gardener would be hard pressed to say there isn't a flower color to go with their scheme. This thorough article by
Sally Bernstein can help you choose which seeds or plants to put in next spring. Pantry Garden Herbs has seeds and seed starting help.

20 August 2010

Can You Say Xeriscape?

Xeriscape (pronounced zeeriskape)is gardening with a minimum of water use. With water considered to be the the gold of the future, all of us would be wise to consider how we can reduce water use in the landscape.

70% of water used in urban areas is used for non-consumption purposes, including irrigating golf courses, filling swimming pools, residential, park and commercial landscaping.

On the homefront, removing all grass is gathering steam as a major movement.

Some people take out all the plants and put in rocks.

Others prefer a low water-usage selection of plants with mulch.

I have a preference. What's yours?

19 August 2010

Volunteer at Linnaeus Teaching Garden in Tulsa - Upcoming Training

Barry Fugatt

A teaching garden is a public space where everyone from the community can come learn about plants. Most teaching gardens are staffed with volunteers who give tours, teach classes and answer gardening questions. It’s an outdoor classroom, with vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants, and a water feature.

The Linnaeus Teaching Garden is tucked away at the back of Tulsa’s Woodward Park and behind the Tulsa Garden Center main building. The 1.5 acre teaching garden is part of the Garden Center (http://bit.ly/9ZkP90).

Barry Fugatt, horticulturist for Tulsa Garden Center is the director of the Teaching Garden where 230 volunteers provide tours, give classes, answer phones and greet visitors.

Beginning in 2005, Fugatt was instrumental in the original concept , design, and fundraising for the garden. The initial money to start construction came from 3,000 individual donations, and then, companies came forward to donate materials.
Fugatt and the volunteer coordinator, Rebecca Fernandez are in the process of recruiting new volunteers to participate in the 2010 volunteer training.

We are always dreaming,” said Fugatt. “We want volunteers to catch the dream and our enthusiasm.

Fugatt is the former director of OSU Extension-Tulsa and the Linnaeus volunteer modules resemble the OSU master gardener program. The Linnaeus volunteer training begins Sept 8 and ends Dec 2. Each Wednesday, class begins at 9:15 and ends at 2:30.

In addition, 50 hours of volunteering are necessary for certification. The cost is $85.00.

Volunteers learn about plant pathology, entomology, hardscape, water gardening, and plant propagation, plus, take trips to tour nurseries and garden production companies such as Greenleaf Nursery.

When the training is complete, volunteers choose where they want to participate.

Options include children programs, Golden Pond senior services, tours, hospitality, phones, website, education and work in the garden. Half of the volunteers tend to the plants.

Fugatt holds monthly meetings that are attended by 150 active volunteers. Additional training, trips to gardens, planning and other activities happen at those meetings.

The people who volunteer for Linnaeus and the public are all blessed by being here, Fugatt said. The volunteers help us find new ways to bless visitors.

The $2 Million Linnaeus project includes an administrative building, garden shed, glass house, paved walkways, waterfalls, outdoor education area, and a pond. Fugatt says it was accomplished with a zero budget.

All 20,000 plants in the garden were donated by wholesale companies such as Ball Horticultural, Greenleaf Nursery, Goldsmith Seeds, Hines Horticultural, Monrovia, Tawakoni Plant Farm and others.

Our goal was an outdoor classroom where we could teach and excite all ages, Fugatt said. Woodward Park is the jewel of Tulsa’s park system and was the perfect site.

Fugatt said he attended every rubber chicken event he could and visited every business he could think of, showing the renderings and asking for help.

With the favor of God and half a million dollars, we moved ahead, Fugatt said.

Architects, builders, concrete and hardscape companies responded with donations of labor, equipment and materials. Three hundred tons of boulders were donated for the construction of the water garden. Tulsa sculptor, Rosalind Cook, contributed a six-foot tall bronze statue of Carl Linnaeus, the garden's namesake.

The donor companies are identified with signs and plaques outside and corporate materials on display inside the barn-shaped administration building. They are also listed on the website at http://bit.ly/d5ipRR and http://bit.ly/diGaLN.

We want the industries that helped us to be blessed by their contributions, Fugatt said.

Tulsa Gardens Now, an online monthly garden tips newsletter, is on the website at http://bit.ly/9RQAJB.

Southern Living Magazine recently spent three days at the garden, gathering information for an upcoming feature article.

Want to volunteer? Contact Rebecca Fernandez at 918-746-5136 or Barry Fugatt 918-746-5137.

17 August 2010

Renee Reed Talks Herbs on Saturday

This coming Saturday, Aug 21
Garden Writer and owner of Reed's Designs will speak at the Flower Garden and Nature Society of Northwest Arkansas in Springdale.

Herbs - Their Folklore and What to do with Them

Northwest Technical Institute
Student Center
709 S. Old Missouri Rd.
Springdale AR
Coffee 9:30
Program 10:00 a.m.
Free and open to the public
Info 479-521-9090

Lynn Rogers,program chair 479-841-8759 and 479521-9090

16 August 2010

Golden Tortoise Beetle on Morning Glory Leaf = Holes all over

We have an insect tolerant garden. When I see tiny holes in soft green leafy plants, I assume beetle, but rarely figure out what kind because beetles move so fast.

More than half of the Morning Glory leaves have these distinctive beetle-holes in them.

Well, this morning, one of the culprits was visible so I could research it and learn about it.

What's that bug says it is Charidotella sexpunctata, sometimes called a Gold Bug. Both the larvae and adults eat the leaves of Morning Glories.

Scarabogram gives more information online - a 1994 article by Louise Kulzer.

The golden tortoise beetle is a stunning, vibrant metallic gold color. It has a magical quality, not only because of the brilliance of its color, but also because the brilliance isn't permanent. Metriona can alter color within a short time period, turning from brilliant gold to a dull, spotty reddish color. The gold color also fades when the insect dies. What controls the color while the insect is alive is an intriguing question, but one for which I have no answer. [The gold color is caused by a thin layer of moisture between the cuticle and an inner layer of the elytra. Apparently the insect is able to voluntarily squeeze this layer, reducing its thickness and eliminating the gold color. This change also occurs involuntarily when the beetle is under moisture stress, and, of course, when it dies.

Tortoise beetles overwinter as adults. In the spring the adults begin to feed, mate, and lay eggs. The larvae emerge and feed through the summer, and pupate in late summer. Adults reportedly emerge in the early fall, feeding until the morning glory gives up the ghost for the current season, and then hunker down among plant debris for the winter. I've only seen tortoise beetles on morning glory, which, in my opinion, is poetic justice. I wonder, however, if in the spring they might use alternate food plants since it takes a while for morning glory to put out many leaves, concentrating as they do on getting those stems out there. Natural history observations would be welcome, fellow Scarabs. Remember as you pass vacant lots to look for morning glory and holes in leaves. And do take a minute to look underneath.

Thanks to What's That Bug and Louise Kulzer.

15 August 2010

And, Still They Bloom

It's a miracle that so many flowers continue to bloom in a week of 105-degree days. But, bloom, they do.

The Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) is just about finished but the butterflies seem to find one last drop of nectar.

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) puts on a show whether or not we water that bed on the other side of the veggie garden. If we water, they stand taller but talk about heat and drought tolerant! And, they are all volunteers.

Sweet Williams (Dianthus Barbatus) is one of my favorite plants. These I started using Ivy Garth seed and the ones that made it into the ground have been a big success. They stand up to the heat. If they aren't watered soon enough they stop blooming but bloom the day after water from the hose hits them.

A tip of the trowel to Botanical Interests for publishing a fall herb and vegetable planting guide. Check it out here.

Hume Seeds vegetable fall planting guide is here.

Fall Wildflower planting info from American Meadows is here.

As soon as temperatures come down a bit and the soil cools, you will want to plant something. You know you will. Start the seeds now for planting in a few weeks. Just keep them out of full, direct sun. It's too hot for them, too.

11 August 2010

Butterfly Festivals

This weekend there are butterfly festivals in Kansas City MO and Dallas TX. And there is a possibility that in the years ahead, there will be a butterfly festival in Muskogee at Honor Heights Park.

Friends of Honor Heights Park has set a goal of creating a teaching garden and butterfly house in the park. The designer provided an animated tour of the proposed garden that you can watch at http://www.friendsofhhp.com/Friends/Our_Goals.html.

Friends received a foundation challenge grant and now needs the support of the community. In order to receive the grant funds, Friends of HHP has to raise $200,000 through memberships, grants and donations.

You can help by joining or by making a contribution by credit card at www.friendsofhhp.com, or, by mailing a contribution to Friends of Honor Heights Park, 4211 High Oaks, Muskogee OK 74401.

The educational and recreational benefits of such an addition to Honor Heights Park will be limited only by the imagination of teachers, families, plant enthusiasts and environmental groups.

Events such as weddings and reunions could be held inside the fenced area, gardeners can learn about plants, and children could learn the value of caring for the environment. It will be a multigenerational attraction.

The Festival of Butterflies at Powell Gardens, near Kansas City, is a celebration of the beauty of butterflies and moths. The Festival runs from August 6 to August 15.

We attended the first weekend. The park was filled with families, school groups and area residents. In fact, a horticulturist told us that the usual weekend park attendance is 1,200 but during the Festival of Butterflies, park attendance averages 20,000 per weekend.

The entrance to the park was extended by an outdoor butterfly breezeway. It is actually a greenhouse structure with doors at each end. Three weeks before the Festival, they put the netted breezeway in place and filled it with butterfly attracting plants. Local butterflies moved in and the doors were put up. Children and adults were in awe.

The Powell Gardens conservatory is filled with purchased tropical butterflies for the two weeks of the Festival. At the end of the event, the remaining tropicals will be shipped to permanent butterfly houses in Wichita KS and St. Louis MO.
There are dozens of family activities at the Festival. A woman dressed as a butterfly formed a parade with children who had made wings and butterfly headbands.

Groups of children played musical instruments around the splash pad. For $3 a child can paint a flower pot that a volunteer put a small plant in.

Monarch Watch has a plant filled, netted structure at the Festival. Monarch butterflies flit among visitors and through the mist provided by an overhead pipe. Net cages hold caterpillars eating plants and chrysalis hang from branches.

For more information see www.powellgardens.org or call 816-697-2600.

The other Butterfly Festival this weekend is on Saturday at the Texas Discovery Garden, Butterfly House and Insectarium. Their Butterfly Festival includes educational booths, plant sale, crafts, classes and butterfly talks from the Dallas County Lepidopterist Society.

For more information see http://texasdiscoverygardens.org or call 214-428-7476.

The proposed Teaching Garden and Butterfly House for Honor Heights Park will be similar to the greenhouse size butterfly breezeway at Powell Gardens. The water features and the Teaching Garden area will make it a distinctive attraction. With community support, it will become a reality.

On September 28, Friends of Honor Heights Park is holding a membership drive and fundraising event. The $10 admission includes food, drinks and music by the Heather Nelson Trio (http://heathernelson.net). Check out the Friends website or come to the event to learn more.

For more information about the fund raiser call Connie Stout 918-682-6783.

10 August 2010

Knee High Weeds full of Mosquitoes

We are having an excessive heat warning all week.

And yet, the 4-foot high weeds needed to be taken out of the fence-line shrub row.

That area is bug heaven and I always get a dozen bites when caring for it. That's why the weeds grow so tall before I have the courage to fight them back.

Despite the 100-degrees and the cell-cleansing perspiration pouring out of my pale skin, the Eco Smart Organic Insect Repellent worked.

It's an organic, Deet free, Insect Repellent and not one bite.

Also no skin irritation, no red spots, no burning from chemicals.

Here's a link to the Eco Smart bargain bundles

09 August 2010

Powell Gardens - 30 miles from KC MO

We visited Powell Gardens, this past weekend. The reason for the trip was their Butterfly Festival but we love going there. It's a beautiful space.
The volunteer coordinator told me they have over 200 volunteers they can count on for events.
Half price membership? Hold me back. We joined.
The normal entry was blocked in favor of having everyone pass through the butterfly breezeway.

All the butterflies in the breezeway are locals, mostly swallowtails. But everyone was in awe nonetheless. Butterflies are irresistible.

There were lots of displays, activities for children, book signing and plant sale for the grown ups.
Outside, the Big Bug art was worth seeing. The artist, David Rogers lives in NY where he also does large branch art.

07 August 2010

Organic Gardening How to videos

Although the quality can be uneven, eHow is launching a new series of organic gardening videos that should be better than average.

Called "Grow Cook Eat", Willi Galloway promises to teach viewers how to grow backyard food and cook it for their own tables.

Here's the link. What do you think?

06 August 2010

It's Sunflower Season

The sunflowers are bursting out. They are covered with bees
most of the day.

These fabulous blooms came from Renee's Seeds, though
I'm not sure which packets I planted.

But at this point it seems unimportant what their names are.
I go out and admire them a couple of times a day.

05 August 2010

Vesper Iris, Pardanthopsis dichotoma Plus Blackberry Lily, Belamcanda = Candy Lilies, X Pardancanda norrisii

Many of the flowers we enjoy growing are the result of a gardener's curiosity and efforts. One example is the Candy Lily, also called Orchid Lily or Paintbox Lily. It is a hybrid between a Blackberry Lily and the night blooming Vesper Iris.

Its scientific name is X Pardancanda norrisii. Its parent's scientific names are Pardanthopsis dichotoma and Belamcanda Chinesis, making Pardan + canda the name. The X means hybrid and norrisii is for Samuel Norris, the original back yard breeder.

One parent, the Vesper Iris, a Siberian native, has light green sword leaves and mauve or purple-blue flowers with white and yellow markings.

Vesper Iris, also called Star of the Evening, opens in the late afternoon during the summer. When the flowers fade they twist into spirals and fall.

Bustani Plant Farm is one source of Vesper Iris plants, www.bustaniplantfarm.com and 405-372-3379. Ruth Owens at Bustani provided the photos you see here.

Ed Rasmussen of Fragrant Path, www.fragrantpathseeds.com, said seeds are $5 postage paid - checks only. Their catalog calls Vesper Iris by its old name, Iris dichotoma.

Sow Vesper Iris seeds in the fall in a peat mix, in a cold frame outside, or in a refrigerator. In the spring move them to bright light and keep them damp. The seeds can take a year to come up. Move each seedling to a pot and plant in part shade.

The other Asian Candy Lily parent, Blackberry Lily, is named for the black seed clusters that form after the flowers fade. With the characteristic iris fan of leaves, Blackberry Lily, Belamcanda chinesis, is also an Iris not a lily. It grows easily from seed, likes sun and an average amount of water, and is hardy in zones 5 to 10.

Summer blooming Blackberry Lily flowers last one day but each plant produces dozens of the spotted orange flowers. The flowers are the reason for two of its common names, Leopard Lily and Belamcanda Freckle Face.

Wherever Blackberry Lily seeds fall on fertile soil, a colony of plants will develop. If you plant Belamcanda from seed, give them 4 to 6 weeks of cold. Either plant them outside in the fall or refrigerate the seeds for a month before planting in early spring.

There are new varieties of Belamcanda. Plant Delights Nursery (www.plantdelights.com) has Belamcanda chinensis Hello Yellow, a dwarf Blackberry Lily with bright yellow flowers.

Dazzler, grows only 12-18-inches with flowers in mixed shades of yellow, white, red, orange and cream. The online store, Jellitto, www.jelitto.com, offers Dazzler seeds.

Candy Lily is the most commonly used name for the X Pardancanda norrisii. Its flower colors are often speckled, mottled, tiger striped or freckled, resulting in the other common name, Painted Lily. Mr. Norris’s hybrid, grows up to two to three feet tall and 18-24-inches wide.

It is easy to grow X Pardancanda norrisii from seed but there is no way to predict which color combinations you will get. From a pack of seeds the resulting plants can vary from 1 to 3 feet tall and can bloom unpredictably over a period of time.

Divide and transplant clumps of plants in late summer, after the leaves turn yellow, or in early spring when you see them coming up.

X Pardancanda norrisii, Candy Lily seed, is available from Park Seed, www.parkseed.com, 800-845-3369 and Seeds of Change, www.seedsofchange.com, 888-762-7333.

Parks says that their seed-grown Candy Lilies are drought, humidity and heat tolerant. They describe them as brightly colored as a rainbow and as variously colored and marked as a bag of marbles.

Candy Lily plants are available from www.bluestoneperennials.com, 1-800-852-5243. If you purchase plants, put them into the ground or pots as soon as they arrive, so the roots do not dry out.