Botanical notes, illustrated

This is the package the Dianthus seeds I planted last year came in:

These are the Dianthus that came from that package:

Something’s not quite right here. Also, they were supposed to be annuals, but every plant came back this spring and is blooming copiously now.

This is the package of Eryngium that I found at WalMart last year:

Note that the package doesn’t say exactly which species or variety of Eryngium it contains. The picture looks like E. alpinum. Inside the package were just two small roots, not three, and only one survived. It’s blooming now, and it looks like this:

Something’s not quite right here, either. My best guess is that what I have is E. planum. However, according to what I’ve read, E. planum gets two or three feet tall, and my plant is already chest-height. I expect it will eventually reach five feet.


One of the orchids I recently ordered is a hybrid of Cattleya aclandiae. I was curious about it and looked for more information. This is what I found:

Cattleya aclandiae can grow 10 to 20 feet tall. Found in the coastal state of Hawaii and Brazil, you can find the species growing as much as 62 miles. Commonly called the dwarf Cattleya, this species can grow to a height of 3 to 5 inches.

Yeah, right. I think what we have here is another instance of Artificial Stupidity. The internet has become useless for finding out anything. Keep your reference books handy.


Recent snapshots from my garden:

California poppies are borderline hardy here in Flatland. In a sheltered location, with a bit of protection they can survive a Kansas winter.
The last peony
The first lily

From the community college garden:

Asclepias speciosa detail
Geum triflorum, or “prairie smoke,” was the one disappointment of the seeds I started this year. After a month’s stratification, only two weak seedlings emerged, and they didn’t survive long. Next year I’ll probably just order a plant. Until then, I can observe the plants in the college garden.
Penstemon, showing the bearded tongue

From my friends’ garden up the street:

Breezy day
Strawberry in hiding

There are more pictures here.


Rose and motorcycle