Showing posts from August, 2018

Divide Daylilies Now

Now that the Daylilies have completed their three-months of flowers, it is a good time to divide them. Soon, all their leaves will be invisible and you will have to wait until next spring to find them again. 

Daylilies are not the same as true lilies but are called that because their blossoms look like true lilies but their flower last only one day. They are all originally from China (
Hemerocallis flava and Hemerocallis fulva are the orange daylilies you see growing in ditches and old homesteads. They have been cultivated for their medicinal properties since 479 BC and their bulbs are still cultivated for flour which you can purchase or make. (Daylily Root Cake recipe at  Many gardeners make fritters with their flowers.
Divide yours to make more plants. Start by cutting the remaining leaves so you can see the root crowns at the surface of the soil. Dig a large circle around the entire clump,  allowing for the roots that grow se…

Tulsa's Gathering Place in NYT

The New York Times was moved to print an article about The Gathering Place. Here's the link -

TULSA, Okla. — The landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh is a diviner of places, a city whisperer. 
Though he had never set foot in Tulsa, he was coaxed to a flat, ho-hum stretch of land overlooking the Arkansas River by the billionaire philanthropist George B. Kaiser, who was bent on building a park. Confronting this hodgepodge site with killer views of an oil tank farm and a power plant, Mr. Van Valkenburgh, who created Brooklyn Bridge ParkMaggie Daley Park in Chicago and other celebrated cityscapes, responded the way he typically does. “A limitation,” he will say about challenging terrain, “is the beginning of a gift.” Seven years later, the Olmsted-style transformation of 66 acres in the central city is now Gathering Place, a much-anticipated $465 million park that opens Sept. 8 as one of the largest an…

Amaryllis Bella Donna or Naked Ladies

Surprise lilies surprise us twice a year:  In the spring when they are only dark-green, strap-like leaves and again at the end of summer when leafless stalks emerge and bloom with pink trumpet flowers.

In Latin the name means ‘to sparkle’ and Amaryllis is a shepherdess in a poem by Virgil. Also, Bella Donna means beautiful lady. The other names for this South African native include naked lady and hurricane lily.

The bulbs are said to bloom for 75 years since they are carefree about the soil and water they are provided. The bulbs multiply and form large clumps over time.

Although some gardeners plant the seeds, the seed pods rob the bulb of strength so we remove the flowers when they finish blooming.

To divide a clump, dig carefully so the roots remain in tact. Separate the bulbs and shake off the soil. Leave any healthy green but remove the yellow leaves.

Turn the soil, adding compost, peat moss or aged manure as you go in order to enrich the planting area. Replant the largest bulbs i…

Coneflowers for Oklahoma Gardens

Echinacea means medicine for colds for most people but for gardeners Echinacea (Coneflowers) bring to mind beautiful tall, daisy-like flowers that persist throughout our hot summers to fill vases and feed butterflies. 

Traditional coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea, have deep pink petals and a gold-rust center. Only Mother Nature could come up with that color combination and make it work. Even when the flowers fade to soft pink from the sun’s hot summer rays, they attract butterflies and bees as well as garden walkers’ eyes.
Coneflowers are perennials so rather than having to re-plant every year, they multiply a bit every year, enlarging the size of the clump and bringing more beauty to full sun and part-shade flower beds.
You can purchase plants but the seeds are easy to propagate. From seed to flower takes about 90 days and they need a bit of chill to emerge so plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep in prepared soil in late winter while there is still a chance of frost. 
If you prefer to plant them…

Daffodils for Sale

Each year Jason Delaney posts his list of daffodil bulbs for sale and each year I order more. Surely the 8,000 we have now can't be enough.

I look for a) height, b) bloom time and c) color.

a) Height because you probably don't want to plant the 26-inch tall ones in the same places as the 8-inch ones. Dwarf ones close to the house and tall ones farther out is how we do it but you are the artist in your own garden so do whatever makes you happy to be outside.

b) I select some early, mid-season and late so we have flowers for 6 weeks or more.

c) Color because having some W-W (all white) some Y-Y (all yellow) plus the other wonderful combinations makes walking through the garden in the spring an "Ohmygosh! Look at that one." experience.

Here's the link to this year's list - His online ordering system doesn't seem to be set up yet so you order by postal mail or email with PayPal. The information is at the bottom of this order form.

Tropical Hibiscus

Muskogee gardener Karen Coker grew her first Variegated Tropical Hibiscus when she had an interior landscape business in Raleigh N.C. 
“I bought it from a greenhouse supplier around 1998,” said Coker. “I was drawn to the leaf size and color, its blooms and the braided stems.” “It won three awards at the Western North Carolina State Fair in 2004.”
When it was time to move to Muskogee in 2005 to help care for her mother, the shrub was too big to bring along so Coker donated it to the North Carolina Arboretum after taking a set of cuttings to start a new shrub here.
Those cuttings have grown into a container plant that is 4-feet tall and wide that has won awards and ribbons at the Tulsa State Fair. 
Coker is ready to take cuttings to grow a smaller Tropical Hibiscus and is looking for a new home for her award winning plant.
“Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is cold hardy only in zones 9 and 10 and has to come into a greenhouse or a well-lighted house every winter,” said Coker. “It has grown too la…