GRAPEVINE: Jagger Flower, Bonfante Gardens, Gerald Darby, Black Dahlia, Belgium Garden, Stitchwort, Golden Lace, Blue Notes, Rusty Foxglove, Garden Houses, Fasciation, Disaster Art, Disaster Eats

Manganese dendrites on a limestone bedding plane from Solnhofen, Germany. Scale in mm. A crystal dendrite is a crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form. Click image for Wiki.

Manganese dendrites on a limestone bedding plane from Solnhofen, Germany. Scale in mm. A crystal dendrite is a crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form. Click image for Wiki.

Meet the Jagger Flower aka Hot Lips. Yes, its real. This is the sluttish blossom of Psychotria elata, a native of tropical America. Combined with Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate and Love-In-A-Puff? Photo nalhuerayen via Flickr. Click image for Psychotria elata's Facebook page.

Meet the Jagger Flower aka Hot Lips. Yes, its real. This is the sluttish blossom of Psychotria elata, a native of tropical America. Combined with Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate and Love-In-A-Puff? Photo nalhuerayen via Flickr. Click image for Psychotria elata’s Facebook page.

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” – Thomas Jefferson

Bonfante Gardens
The park, which has trees and gardens as its central theme, is the realization of a 20-year dream for Michael Bonfante, the former owner of Nob Hill Foods. He wanted to share his passion for trees with people, especially children, his hope being that if children learn to appreciate trees at an early age they will “have their whole life to enjoy them.”     MV Voice

Iris x robusta ‘Gerald Darby’
Iris x robusta is a designation for hybrids of two native American irises (Iris versicolor x Iris virginica). ‘Gerald Darby’ is a marginal aquatic hybrid cultivar that is noted for its attractive violet-blue flowers and variegated spring foliage.     Missouri Botanical Garden

Le Rouge et le Noir: Where the black dahlia gets its color
…A study published in BioMed Central’s open-access journal BMC Plant Biology reveals for the first time that the distinctive black-red coloring is based on an increased accumulation of anthocyanins as a result of drastically reduced concentrations of flavones.     PhysOrg

Wim van Wassenhove’s Garden, Belgium
As I discovered soon after moving, the most important criteria in shaping the Belgian landscape are neatness and practicality. What the Belgians seem to love more than anything else are immaculate lawns, tight hedges, and all manner of pruned, trellised, pleached and espaliered plants.     The Garden Wanderer

Stitchwort in the Backyard
My gut feeling told me, “That’s a food plant.” It looked like a kind of chickweed, but I knew it wasn’t. It was obviously perennial, and chickweed is annual. I knew chickweeds: mouse-ear chickweed, starry chickweed, common chickweed, giant chickweed. This wasn’t one of them. Another kind of chickweed?     Forager’s Harvest

How to grow: Patrinia scabiosifolia
It may not have the impact of some plants, but Patrinia scabiosifolia is a gem that ought to be much more widely grown. In fact, it is precisely this lack of substance that endears it to gardeners who like plants that mingle well with others.    Telegraph

Blue Notes
The winter here in southeastern Pennsylvania has been relatively mild, but we’re still a long way from the lushness of summer, so it’s a good time to be looking at pretty pictures. Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite blue and purple-blue flowers and combinations.     Hayefield

Digitalis ferruginea “Rusty Foxglove”
This unusual variation will add height to a shady corner of the garden and looks lovely dotted among ferns or other woodland plants and spectacular at the back of a border. Considered a robust biennial or short-lived perennial, given the right conditions it will perpetuate by self-seeding. The blooms are and are extremely attractive to bees.     Seedaholic

Design Elements: Garden Hideaways
Do you wish for a special little hideaway in the garden where you can get away from it all?  …If so, here are a few garden houses that perhaps will give you some inspiration to construct your very own.     Juniper Hill

Fasciation: Fascinating distortions of the plant world
Fasciations are widespread phenomena reported in more than 100 vascular plant species affecting dicots and monocots in 39 plant families and 86 genera. The term refers to a flattened or ribbon-like appearance.     Colorado State University Extension

L.A. arboretum turns wind-toppled trees into artistic windfall
It was almost one year ago when wicked Santa Anas sent hurricane-force winds through Los Angeles County, whipping off roofs, snapping power lines and leaving 350,000 residents in the dark for up to a week. …When the staff at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden arrived back at work in Arcadia, they found 235 trees destroyed and 1,000 damaged.     Los Angeles Times

As Not Seen on TV
A well-deserved smackdown. Restaurant Review: Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square.     New York Times

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

The beautiful Ocotillo (Fouqueria splendens), a common sight in the Sonoran Desert. In Spring, the branches are tipped with brilliant red flowers. Click image to learn more at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

The beautiful Ocotillo (Fouqueria splendens), a common sight in the Sonoran Desert. In Spring, the branches are tipped with brilliant red flowers. Click image to learn more at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Ocotillo in bloom. Photo Basin and Range Watch.

Ocotillo in bloom. Photo Basin and Range Watch.

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