... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Iris foliage health

I've been calling this self-sown seedling "Pink Volunteer" and hadn't planned on registering it but I may have to reconsider. In addition to the Spring bloom it has also bloomed each Fall for 3 or 4 years now. This year it sent up a summer stalk and I've been noticing how crazy-healthy the foliage has remained when other irises are spotting and browning at the tips. I know that a lot of people seem to only care about the flowers but I think the foliage is reason enough to include an iris in the landscape (when it's healthy foliage that is).


Rosa palustris X fedtschenkoana

No blooms this year but I'm hopeful about next year. This is F1 Rosa palustris X fedtschenkoana. And I don't have any doubt that it's an actual hybrid because the blue-gray foliage takes strongly after papa.

Hibiscus seedling

Not really all that spectacular but not too shabby... this is a seedling from Hibiscus 'Moy Grande' crossed with 'Old Yella'. This is it's maiden bloom and it's in poor soil, so it might perform even better with a little care. It seems to have gotten the size from 'Moy Grande' and the better petal width from 'Old Yella'. I did the cross hoping to see some seedlings with yellow pollen like 'Moy Grande' but so far the two that have bloomed have both had typical pale ivory colored pollen that most of the hardy Hibiscus have.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Goumi Harvest

The "Scarlet Sweet" goumi is really producing! It's only just a few years old and is loaded with fruit.
We picked all these and there are probably twice that many still on the bush.
 Decided to make fruit leather out of them since they're a little tart. So, I ran them through a Foley food mill to separate out the skins and seeds. Then put the pulp and juice into a pot and started heating it. The pulp sort of coagulates into a red "curd" which I skimmed out into a bowl and added it back in once the clear juice had boiled down into a syrup. I added a couple tablespoons of sugar and spread the bright red, thick sauce on a plastic wrap covered baking sheet to finish drying. Pretty close in taste to a Fruit Roll Up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Poppies, wild and cultivated

Side-by-side comparison of the flowers of a perennial cultivated Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale) with a much smaller weedy annual relative, the Long Pod Poppy (Papaver dubium). I always leave a few of the weedy one to reseed because it's such a pretty weed that I don't mind a few here and there.
I know these two should NOT intercross but just for fun I slathered a bunch of the black pollen from the Oriental Poppy onto the stigmas of the Long Pod Poppy. I'll plant those seeds somewhere I can see if anything weird pops up.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Geum urbanum X Geum 'Flames of Passion'

In 2012, I put pollen from Geum 'Flames of Passion' onto Geum urbanum a weedy tiny flowered "herb" commonly known as clove-root. I mostly was hoping to put a little diversity into my little population of Geum urbanum. Some things I'm looking to select for are bigger flowers, bright reds oranges and yellows, and any improvements in the "clove-scented-ness" of the roots. I know it's a long shot, but I was also hoping that maybe one of these guys would get genetically confused and make the clove scent in its foliage or flowers. We'll see...
Here's the tidy foliage of the row of seedlings:
Here's the first hybrid seedling to bloom, compared with the tiny yellow flower of Geum urbanum below it: 
Here's a more extreme close-up of that first to bloom: 

Some purple-based iris seedlings

Here are four of the darkest bottomed iris seedlings I got from 'American Sweetheart' X ('Honky Tonk Blues' x Iris aphylla 'Balascuta'). The second picture shows the second seedling from the left, up close with my hand for scale. My plan is to interbreed these and see how much we can increase the expression of the dark bases.