Black-eyed Susan belongs in every sunny garden. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is one of the most common of all wildflowers. It has from 10 to 20 orange-yellow neutral rays around a conical, dark purplish-brown disk of florets containing both stamens and pistil. A Swedish naturalist, Linnaeus, named the species Rudbeckia after Olav Rudbeck and his son, who were both professors, and hirta in Latin is “rough hairy”.
The Black-eyed Susan has also been called many other names, such as Gloriosa Daisy, Yellow Daisy, Brown Daisy, Yellow Ox-eye Daisy, Poorland Daisy, Brown Betty, Blackiehead, Golden Jerusalem and Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba). They grow in open sunny places, dry fields, along roadsides and just about any type of soil.
Create A Barrel Of Petunias – Most petunias are half-hardy perennials but they are best grown as annuals, as the plants tend to become leggy and less floriferous in their second year. In their first year, they flower continuously from early summer until fall, but as with most plants that flower for a very long season, it is important to deadhead spent blooms to keep the display going.
Their leaves and stems are covered with downy hairs and the leaves are also quite sticky, so grow them away from heavy pollution or they will gradually become smothered in black dust.
Useful Ground Cover Plants – The best ground cover plants are evergreen. St. John’s wort (Hypericum) can be grown in a shady part of the garden where its bright yellow flowers will grow out of the darkness. Rose of Sharon (Hypericum calycinum) flowers from early summer to early fall. It makes a good specimen plant in non-shady places, too, but if planted in a border it can be invasive.
The periwinkles (Vinca) are excellent at covering the ground but can be invasive too, so plant them in woodland where they will have to struggle a little. Vinca minor grows to only just off the ground. It normally has pale lilac flowers but white and dusky red forms are attractive and slightly less invasive.
How To Make Herbs De Provence – Herbs de Provance is a traditional blend of aromatic herbs that flourish in hills of southern France during the hot summer months. Used by the handful when fresh, herbs de Provence is also good using dried herbs.
Bay leaf, thyme, fennel, rosemary, chervil, oregano, summer savory, tarragon, mint, and marjoram are some of the herbs typically used. Orange zest is sometimes included as is lavender, though the lavender is less traditional and was added more for the benefit of tourists who saw lavender fields as almost emblematic of the Provence region. Traditional or not, the addition of lavender is a nice addition to the blend.
Spring Adonis – The legend has it that this attractive yellow spring-flowering perennial sprang from the blood of Adonis, lover of Venus, when he was killed by a boar. It is used as a heart tonic and the flowers are a brilliant sight when they open in the spring, turning to catch the sun’s rays. The herb is also used in the treatment of low blood pressure and its strong diuretic action can be used to counter water retention. The plant will grow in containers in full sun or partial shade and likes well drained, fertile soil with the addition of some leaf mould. Continue Reading
Indoor bonsai is a relatively new idea which has not come from Japan. The center of interest appears to be Germany but the concept has now spread to other countries. You can buy indoor bonsai trees from garden centers and nurseries throughout Britain.
The basic difference from the traditional outdoor bonsai is that non-hardy trees and shrubs are used here. Indoor bonsai are generally much better suited than hardy types to the conditions found in the average home, and of course they must be kept indoors during the winter. Thus they can be regarded as true house plants, although during the summer months they should be given the standard bonsai treatment. This calls for keeping them outdoors and then bringing them inside for a few days at a time.