February 27, 2009

Top 10 Plants for Garden

1. Confederate Jasmine - Trachelospermum Jasminoides

The confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is generally described as a Perennial Vine. This Dicot (dicotyledon) is not native to the U.S. (United States) and has its most active growth period in the Spring and Summer . The Confederate Jasmine has Dark Green foliage and conspicuous Orange flowers, with conspicuous fruits or seeds. Leaves are retained year to year. The Confederate Jasmine has a Long life span relative to most other plant species and a Rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Confederate Jasmine will reach up to 2 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 2 feet.

The Confederate Jasmine is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by Bare Root, Container and Cuttings. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below 7°F. Confederate Jasmine has Medium tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
2. Rosemary - Rosmarinus Officinalis

Rosemary is an attractive evergreen shrub with pine needle-like leaves. It's trusses of blue flowers last through spring and summer in a warm, humid environment. It will grow to a height of between 3 and 5 feet.
3. Flowering Dogwood - Cornus Florida

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood, syn. Benthamidia florida (L.) Spach) is a species of dogwood native to eastern North America, from southern Maine west to southern Ontario and eastern Kansas, and south to northern Florida and eastern Texas and also in Illinois, with a disjunct population in eastern Mexico in Nuevo León and Veracruz.
A single inflorescence, showing the large, white petal-like bracts and the tight cluster of small greenish-yellow flowers.

Flowering dogwood is a small deciduous tree growing to 10 m (30 ft) high, often wider than it is tall when mature, with a trunk diameter of up to 30 cm (1 ft). A 10-year-old tree will stand about 5 m (15 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, simple, oval with acute tips, 6-13 cm long and 4-6 cm broad, with an apparently entire margin (actually very finely toothed, under a lens); they turn a rich red-brown in fall.

The flowers are individually small and inconspicuous, with four greenish-yellow petals 4 mm long. Around 20 flowers are produced in a dense, rounded, umbel-shaped inflorescence, or flower-head, 1-2 cm in diameter. The flower-head is surrounded by four conspicuous large white, pink or red "petals" (actually bracts), each bract 3 cm long and 2.5 cm broad, rounded, and often with a distinct notch at the apex. The flowers are bisexual.

While most of the wild trees have white bracts, some selected cultivars of this tree also have pink bracts, some even almost a true red. They typically flower in early April in the southern part of their range, to late April or early May in northern and high altitude areas. The similar Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa), native to Asia, flowers about a month later.
Close up of a flower cluster showing the four yellow petals on each flower.

The fruit is a cluster of two to ten drupes, each 10-15 mm long and about 8 mm wide, which ripen in the late summer and the early fall to a bright red, or occasionally yellow with a rosy blush. They are an important food source for dozens of species of birds, which then distribute the seeds.
4. Coconut Palm - Cocos Nucifera

The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the Family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only species in the genus Cocos, and is a large palm, growing to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4-6 m long, pinnae 60-90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly leaving the trunk smooth. The term coconut refers to the seed of the coconut palm. An alternate spelling is cocoanut.

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropical world, for decoration as well as for its many culinary and non-culinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm has some human uses.

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. The fruit is light and buoyant and presumably spread significant distances by marine currents. Fruits collected from the sea as far north as Norway have been found to be viable (and subsequently germinated under the right conditions). In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in the South Pacific. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26ºN and 26ºS.

The flowers of the coconut palm are polygamomonoecious, with both male and female flowers in the same inflorescence. Flowering occurs continuously, with female flowers producing seeds. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating. Coconuts also come with a liquid that is clear like water but sweet. The "Nut" of the coconut is edible and is in the shape of a ball or is on the inside sides of the coconut.
5. American Holly - Ilex Opaca

The bright red berries, distinct deep green leaves, small white flowers and the diversity of the plant makes it an excellent choice for many homes.

The American Holly grows in several zones, specifically Zones 5 to 9, and is well adapted to almost all soil types. This means the plant is fine in clay or sandy, acidic or rich soil and everything in between. It is very hardy and thrives in full sun or partial shade.

One of the best features of the American Holly is the fact that it can either serve as a focal point in a garden, growing to heights of 40 to 50 feet, with the typical evergreen pyramid shape. If it is privacy that you crave, the American Holly can be trimmed down to serve as a hedge.

Despite the functions of the tree, the American Holly offers food and homes to many animals and you will find yourself not only enjoying year round color but also a host of friendly animals to your yard. It is a well-known fact that the luscious berries that reach maturity between September and October are enjoyed as a food source by birds and deer alike. I should mention that, although deer and birds enjoy the berries they are poisonous to humans.

Lastly, if you are interested in having a successful American Holly in your yard, complete with berries, it is important to plan for more than one. The American Holly is a dioecious, which means that male and female are found in separate plants. To pollinate correctly, there must be more than one tree. Another detractor of the American Holly is its slow growth rate. On average, an American Holly can take roughly 4 to 7 years before it even begins to blossom and it gains an average of only 12 to 24″ in height each year.

Still, despite its detractors, the American Holly is a hardy plant that grows in a wide variety of zones, soils and geographical areas. It is a perfect addition to any yard, whether you want a decorative tree or a nice hedge.
6. Weeping Willow - Salix Sepulcralis

BOTANISTS would probably agree that, among flowering plants and trees, there is not a more puzzling group than the Willows. Though of comparatively recent introduction, there is no Willow so popular and familiar, from its exceptional form and beauty, as the Babylonian, or "Weeping" species (Salix babylonica). With the Poplars, the Willows form the Natural Order Salicaceae, a group, the smallest of which is entitled to the name of shrub, though within the arctic circle they sometimes do not exceed two or three inches in height.

The whole group are characterized by having their flowers in catkins, the "staminate," or male blossoms being on distinct trees from the "pistillate," or female ones. Among the difficulties of the study of Willows are the facts, that the male and female trees are often dissimilar, that in many species the flowers and the leaves are produced at different times of the year, and that hybrids (i.e. seedlings resulting from the fertilization of the pistil of one species by the pollen of another) frequently occur. The Willows differ from the Poplars in having generally narrower leaves, these being for the most part lance-shaped, with a finely-toothed margin, often pale-colored on their under surfaces, and furnished with the two small leaf-like appendages, known as "stipules," at their bases, though these often fall off early. The catkins of the Willows are made up of scales, or "bracts," fringed with hairs, but not notched like those of the Poplars; nor is there in the former group the least vestige of a "perianth." In the genus as a whole the number of stamens is variable; but in the Weeping Willow, as in many other species, there are two in the axil of each scale of the male, or "golden palm" catkin, which, however, is little known in this case.

Willows belong mainly to the arctic and north temperate zones, and the Weeping Willow proper seems to be a native of extra-tropical Asia, from Japan and China to Armenia and the banks of the Euphrates, and of Egypt and North Africa; but pendulous varieties of other species are also known in cultivation.

Though some kinds of Willow inhabit the barren tops of alpine mountains, or the equally barren plains of arctic latitudes, the Weeping Willow agrees with the majority of its genus in frequenting the water-side, or at least some situation where its roots can obtain a good supply of moisture. In such spots it may attain a height of forty or fifty feet in as many years, with a diameter of two or three feet.

The Weeping Willow belongs to the group known as Crack Willows, from the brittleness of their twigs at the joints. These belong to the section of the genus known as Vitisalix, characterized by producing their leaves and flowers simultaneously; by their flower-stalks bearing fully-developed leaves; by their catkin-scales being of a uniform, generally pale, color; by the filaments of their stamens being perfectly free from one another and hairy on the lower part, while the capsules are free from hairs; and by their leaves being "convolute"--i.e. rolled together in the bud, like a scroll of paper, with one free edge. Considering that we have between eighty and ninety distinct kinds of Willow in this country alone, the above apparently elaborate description of one of the three main divisions of the genus is not mere technical refinement.

The section Vitisalix contains three series, distinguished by having five, three, or two stamens respectively to each flower; and the last of these three series, to which, as has been implied, the Weeping Willow belongs, contains two minor groups, the Albae, or White Willows, and the Fragiles, or Crack Willows. The White Willows have minute stipules, "ovate-lanceolate" in form, capsules almost stalkless, and stigmas not only forked, but recurved. The Crack Willows, on the other hand, have good-sized "semi-cordate" stipules, stalked capsules, and merely forked stigmas. The several species in the last-mentioned group are distinguished from one another by the color of their young shoots and by the forms of their leaves. The young shoots of the Weeping Willow are pale green, very slender, and with a slight twist at the point of origin of each leaf, being, of course, also distinguished by their drooping habit of growth. The leaves are technically termed "lanceolate, acuminate," being some five inches long and only an inch across, tapering to a point, with a finely-serrated edge, smooth above, and with a grey bloom on their under surfaces. This species is also characterized by the ovate form of its ovary.

As to the scientific name Salix, we are told, in Thomas Newton's "Herball for the Bible" (1587), that--

"The Willow is called Salix, and hath his name a saliendo, for that it quicklie groweth up, and soon becommeth a tree. Herewith do they in some countres trim up their parlours and dining roomes in sommer, and sticke fresh greene leaves thereof about their beds for coolness."

Though this etymology "from leaping" may be doubtful, even with the analogous case of our own word "quick" applied to the Hawthorn, there can be little doubt that the old English name "Sallow" is a corruption from the Latin, whilst the other two names, Willow and Withy, both probably refer to the flexibility of the young branches.

Though the Weeping Willow is commonly planted in burial grounds both in China and in Turkey, its tearful symbolism has been mainly recognized in modern times, and among Christian peoples. As has been well said: "The Cypress was long considered as the appropriate ornament of the cemetery; but its gloomy shade among the tombs, and its thick, heavy foliage of the darkest green, inspire only depressing thoughts, and present death under its most appalling image, whilst the Weeping Willow, on the contrary, rather conveys a picture of the grief felt for the loss of the departed than of the darkness of the grave. Its light and elegant foliage flows like the disheveled hair and graceful drapery of a sculptured mourner over a sepulchral urn, and conveys those soothing, though melancholy reflections that made the poet write--

"'Tis better to have lov'd and lost,
Than never to have lov'd at all.'"

In the classical poets, we meet with only a few allusions to the Willow as growing by the water-side, and as twisted into baskets by the ancient Britons, the word `basket' itself being one of the few words which, under the form "bascauda," ancient Britain seems to have given to the Latin vocabulary; but from Elizabethan times it is invariably the symbol of forsaken love. This is remarkable, since, with one notable exception, all the Biblical references to this group of trees are associated with joyfulness and fertility. Yet for Spenser it is--

"The willow worne of forlorne paramoures;"

whilst in addition to the ballad fragment sung by Desdemona, the beautiful description of Ophelia's death, and various other allusions to the tree, Shakespeare, in the Merchant of Venice, represents Dido lamenting the loss of AEneas

"with a willow in her hand,
Upon the wild sea banks, and waved her love
To come again to Carthage."

It is difficult not to associate the Willow that

"grows ascaunt the brook
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream,"

with the Babylonian species, which, however, Shakespeare certainly never saw; but so pathetic is the lament of the Jewish captives, that one can well believe it may have permanently altered the symbolism of the once joy-inspiring Willow. There is a pretty legend that its boughs first drooped under the weight of the harps, as the exiled Hebrews sang: "By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered thee, O Sion! As for our harps, we hanged them up upon the willow-trees that are therein." The Arabian story-tellers, however, have a very different tale to tell. They relate that David, after he had married Bathsheba, was one day playing on his harp in his private chamber, when two angels appeared before him and convinced him of his sin. Thereupon he threw himself upon the ground, and lay forty days and forty nights weeping bitter tears of penitence; and in those forty days he wept as many tears as the whole human race have, or will, shed on account of their sins, from then until the Day of Judgment; so that two streams of tears flowed out into the garden, whence there sprang up two trees, the Weeping Willow and the Frankincense-tree, the boughs of the one drooping in grief, whilst the other constantly distils tears of sorrow.

The torches used at funerals by the ancients were made of Willow wood; and it may have been a tree of ill omen, seeing that the soothsayers of Babylon are said to have foretold the early death of Alexander the Great, from the fact that the boughs of a Weeping Willow swept the crown from his head as he was crossing the Euphrates in a boat.

This beautiful tree is said to have been introduced into Europe by Tournefort, and was almost certainly first brought to England, in 1748, by Mr. Vernon, a Turkey merchant of Aleppo, who planted a tree, from the Euphrates, at his seat at Twickenham Park. Its alleged introduction by the poet Pope is a poetical fiction, of which there are several versions. The poet, it is said, was with his friend Lady Suffolk, when she received a basket of figs from Turkey, or Spain, and noticing that some of the twigs of the basket seemed to have life in them, he exclaimed: "Perhaps these may produce something that we have not in England," and accordingly planted them in his garden.

As the greenish-yellow flowers that appear in May never produce seed in this species, and as almost all Willows can be readily propagated by slips, this is the way in which this tree is always multiplied, and in this way it was introduced by Governor Beatson into the island of St. Helena, where there are no native Willows. The form, however, planted over the tomb of Napoleon, from which many cuttings have now grown into large trees in England, seems to be a distinct variety, having reddish shoots and no stipules to the leaves.

Though perhaps its wood might be used, like other Willows, for crayon charcoal or for paper pulp, and its bark possesses some of the medicinal and tanning properties of the group, the Weeping Willow is practically a purely ornamental tree. As Gilpin says, it is "a perfect contrast to the Lombardy poplar. The light, airy spray of the poplar rises perpendicularly; that of the weeping willow is pendent. The shape of the leaf is conformable to the pensile character of the tree, and its spray, which is lighter than that of the poplar, is more easily put in motion by a breath of air. The weeping willow, however, is not adapted to sublime subjects. We wish it not to screen the broken buttresses and Gothic windows of an abbey, or to overshadow the battlements of a ruined castle. These offices it resigns to the oak, whose dignity can support them. The weeping willow seeks a humble scene--some romantic footpath bridge, some quiet grave, which it half conceals, or some glassy pond, over which it hangs its streaming foliage." In the words of Cowper, a poet who would be familiar with the newly-introduced species
7. Bush Morning-Glory - Ipomoea Leptophylla

The bush morning-glory (Ipomoea leptophylla) is generally described as a Perennial Forb or herb. This Dicot (dicotyledon) is native to the U.S. (United States) and has its most active growth period in the Spring and Summer . The Bush Morning-Glory has Green foliage and conspicuous Purple flowers, with conspicuous fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the Summer, with fruit and seed production starting in the Fall and continuing until Winter. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Bush Morning-Glory has a Short life span relative to most other plant species and a Rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Bush Morning-Glory will reach up to 3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 3 feet.

The Bush Morning-Glory is usually not commercially available except under contract. It can be propagated by Bare Root, Container and Seed. It has a Moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have High vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below 47°F. Bush Morning-Glory has Medium tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
8. Southern Magnolia - Magnolia Grandiflora

The Southern magnolia, or magnolia grandiflora, is the royalty of Southern trees. Growing easily in agricultural zones 7 to 10, it towers up to 50 feet tall with glossy evergreen foliage and produces large white blossoms that exude a beautiful fragrance. It adapts to a variety of soils, and once planted, requires little care and has few pest problems.
9. Arabian Jasmine - Jasminum Sambac

Many species of jasmine – the delicate floral emblem of Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines – are renowned for their superb sensuous scent, and the very valuable essential oil is produced in several countries for perfumery and aromatherapy.

Common jasmine (J. officinale) is a frost-hardy, tall twining climber with compound leaves and five-petaled, intensely fragrant flowers fused into a tube at the base. Brought to Europe in the 16th century, it is now extensively cultivated commercially for its flowers in southern France, Spain, India, Egypt, China, Algeria and Morocco.

Arabian jasmine (J. sambac) is used to make a fragrant tisane in China, the blossoms being hand-picked early in the morning and mixed with dried green or Oolong tea. Native to India, it forms an arching bush.

Double-flowered forms of J. sambac, favored for garlands and religious ceremonies, include the very double, miniature rose-like ‘Duke of Tuscany’ (syn. kudda-mulla), the semi-double ‘Maid of Orléans’ and the smaller-flowered double ‘Belle of India’.

Other common fragrant, white-flowered species include angel wing jasmine (J. nitidum), the pink-budded J. polyanthemum, Azores jasmine (J. azoricum), Canary Island jasmine (J. odoratissimum), J. multiflorum and J. floribundum. There are a number of yellow-flowered species, some fragrant, but they are not used herbally.

* Varieties: Fancy leaf forms include ‘Argenteovariegatum’, ‘Aureum’ and ‘Frojas’. Fragrant J. x stepanense is a pink-flowered hybrid. The large-flowered Catalonian jasmine, also known as royal jasmine, poet’s jasmine or Spanish jasmine, is variously regarded as a variety of J. officinale ‘Grandiflora’, or as the separate species, J. grandiflora.
* Position: Plants prefer a well-drained soil enriched with rotted compost. Most species require warm to tropical climates but in colder areas can make excellent glasshouse plants.
* Propagation: Propagate jasmine from semi-ripened wood cuttings.
* Maintenance: In cold areas J. sambac and its varieties should be overwintered under protection, as they are unlikely to survive frost exposure. Trim J. officinale immediately after flowering.
* Pests and diseases: Jasmine plants grown in the open have few problems; however, those grown under glass can be attacked by whitefly, mealy bugs and spider mites.
* Harvesting and storing: Gather fully developed buds in the early morning and add the opening flowers to tea. You can dry them for herbal use. Lift the roots of J. sambac in autumn and dry them for medicinal use.
10.Golden Bamboo - Phyllostachys Aurea

The golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) is generally described as a Perennial Vine or Shrub or Graminoid. This Monocot (monocotyledon) is not native to the U.S. (United States) and has its most active growth period in the Spring and Summer and Fall . The Golden Bamboo has Green foliage and inconspicuous flowers, with inconspicuous fruits or seeds. Leaves are retained year to year. The Golden Bamboo has a Long life span relative to most other plant species and a Rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Golden Bamboo will reach up to 15 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 15 feet.

The Golden Bamboo is usually not commercially available except under contract. It can be propagated by Bare Root, Container and Sprigs. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -3°F. Golden Bamboo has Low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.


Opatija Accommodation said...

Many people loves to grow flowers in their garden. but they didn't know what to grow.... thanks for this information...

Sess fertilizer Man said...

very nice plants,but it's extremely difficult to maintain a garden and protect the plants.Some plants aren't good in cold and some plants need shade.It's a lot of responsibility when it comes to taking care of your garden.The plants look great/I'm sure they would be beneficial to the beauty of the garden if added.