What's in Bloom Archives - Early Fall

What's in Bloom Archives

Yellow Alder

Yellow Alder

Turnera ulmifolia comes from a small family, and is one of only eight genera of herbs, shrubs and trees native to tropical America and Africa. The species ulmifolia, or yellow-alder, is a shrub generally growing two to three feet tall and capable of spreading to an equal width. In shape, vein pattern and texture, yellow-alder’s leaves are very similar to elm leaves.

The deep green leaves are oblong-ovate in shape with serrated margins (edges) and can reach four inches in length. The 2-inch wide flowers are usually yellow, but can sometimes be violet at the base. Many stems originate close to the ground but they branch infrequently forming an open, leggy plant.

Those planted in the full sun branch more and stay fuller than those in partial shade. Clear yellow flowers are produced daily, each lasting several hours before closing at night. New flowers open the next morning. Leaves stay dark green with little or no fertilizer.

In Tulsa this plant is an annual and requires full sun to show off its best qualities. It can be used for container or foundation plantings, border or mass plantings and is also touted as a butterfly-attracting groundcover with showy flowers. There is something very eye-catching about delicate bright yellow flowers opening on a background of coarse textured deep green leaves.

This plant can be viewed in the raised bed right outside our barn patio.

Brugmansia Angel's Trumpets

Brugmansia - pink
Brugmansia - yellow

Brugmansia is a genus of six species of flowering plants that are known as Angel's Trumpets. Brugmansia are large shrubs or small trees, reaching heights of 3–11 m, with tan, slightly rough bark. The leaves are alternate, generally large, 10–30 cm long and 4–18 cm broad, with an entire or coarsely toothed margin, and are covered with fine hairs.

The name Angel's Trumpet refers to the large, very dramatic, pendulous trumpet-shaped flowers, up to 20 inches long and 10–35 cm across at the wide end. They are white, yellow, pink, orange or red, and have a delicate, attractive scent with light, lemony overtones, most noticeable in early evening.

Brugmansia's are easily grown in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, in frost-free climates. They begin to flower in mid to late spring in warm climates and continue into the fall, often continuing as late as early winter in warm conditions. In cool winters, outdoor plants need protection, but the roots are hardy and will re-sprout in April or May.

In 2015 find yellow Brugmansia in a pot in the Herb Garden.

Cypress Vine

Cypress Vine

Cypress vine with its tiny red flowers and delicate fern-like leaves, grows well on an arbor. It is a hummingbird favorite. This annual plant produces hundreds of flowers--and thousands of seeds--usually insuring its presence from year to year.

It is an annual vine (to 7m with support), and blooms summer through early autumn and thrives in fertile, well-drained soil. Since it is self-seeding it must be managed so it will not become invasive.

You will find a Cypress Vine growing in the Vegetable Garden

Cypress Vine

Cypress vine arbor in the LG vegetable garden


Pink Lotus

We all admire the beauty of a lotus blossom. Additionally, they provide a tremendous amount of benefit within nature. Lotus is a genus that contains many dozens of species distributed world-wide, roughly between 70 and 150. It is a genus which is adapted to a wide range of habitats, from coastal environments to high altitudes.

Most species have leaves with three leaflets, but also two large stipules at the base roughly equal in size to the leaflets, thus appearing to have five leaflets; some species have pinnate leaves with up to 15 leaflets.

The flowers are in clusters of 3-10 together at the apex of a stem with some basal leafy bracts. This genus can fix nitrogen from the air courtesy of their root nodules, making it useful as a cover crop.

The Lotus flower is a symbol of purity, wisdom and enlightenment. Throughout many cultures over time, the lotus has been a powerful image and spiritual symbol. The lotus plant starts its life rooted in the mud and over time rises through the water to blossom above the water into a beautiful, radiant flower which always brings an uplifting feeling when viewing these amazing plants in our pond. (2016)

Cotton and Sorghum

Red Cotton

Naturally-colored red cotton growing in a container.

Have you thought about using vegetable plants as a decorative planting on your patio that would be a great conversation starter? Cotton and Sorghum would meet that criteria.

These two plants normally have two totally different purposes; in addition to being crop plants, they are also used by farmers as rotation plants to increase the yield for each plant.

The cotton plant is generally a shrubby plant having broad three-lobed leaves and seeds in capsules or bolls; each seed is surrounded with downy fiber, white or creamy in color and easily spun. Imagine explaining to your children or grandchildren how their t-shirts are made from this plant.

New for 2016: We have a naturally-colored cotton plant growing in a container in our Vegetable Garden - Red Cotton!

Naturally-colored cotton is cotton that has been bred to have colors other than the yellowish off-white typical of modern commercial cotton fibers. Colors grown include red, green and several shades of brown. When the boles actually open, the cotton tends to be a rather washed out shade of one of the colors. The cotton's natural color does not fade. Yields are typically lower and the fiber is shorter and weaker than the more commonly available "white" cotton.

This form of cotton may feel softer to the skin and has a pleasant smell. Naturally-colored cotton is still relatively rare because it requires specialized harvest techniques and facilities, making it more expensive to harvest than white cotton. By the 1990s most indigenous colored cotton landacres or cultivars grown in Africa, Asia and Central and South America were replaced by all-white, commercial varieties (source: Wikipedia).


Colorful sorghum growing
in a container.

The Sorghum plant is a genus of numerous species of grasses, some of which are raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of a pasture. Researching these plants can give you a lot of material to use for great conversations along with providing you with a very different and interesting plant to watch as it matures.

See cotton and sorghum growing in our Vegetable Garden. (2016)

Creme Brulee Corabells

Creme Brulee Corabells

This vigorous cultivar prefers shady afternoons in our growing zone. Organically rich, humus rich, medium moisture and well-drained soil keep foliage texture and color evergreen.

This plant can be found on the south side of the Entry Walk between the first and second Pergolas. (2016)

Gaillardia Arizona Apricot

Gaillardia Arizona Apricot

This free blooming, long flowering perennial is hardy in Tulsa’s zone. The blooms are yellow at the edges, then deepen to a rich apricot color at the center. Relatively maintenance free, it becomes drought tolerant after it's established. Removing old blooms will encourage continuous flowering.

This can be found across from the main entrance to the barn, in the flower bed across the driveway. (2015)

Dichondra Silver Falls

Dihcondra Silver Falls

Dichondra Silver Falls has soft, rounded, silver colored leaves on trailing stems. It can be used as a ground cover or for great contrast in a mixed plant container. It also is effective along rock walls where it can cascade downward. From a hanging basket, it will cascade downwards to 3-6’ long in one season. As a ground cover, plants only rise to 2-4” tall, but spread rapidly by stems rooting at the nodes to 3-4’ wide in one season.

You can see Dichondra Silver Falls in our Entry Garden and along the border of the drive. (2016)

Dichondra Silver Falls

Dichondra Silver Falls cascades over a wall in front of
a Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud.(Entry Garden)

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

This leafy green vegetable is often used in Mediterranean cooking. It is considered to be one of the most healthful vegetables available. Not only that, it can add color to your 'edible' garden. The leaf blades can be green or reddish, while the leaf stalks are usually white, yellow, or red.

Pictured is "Red Chard", which is growing in the Vegetable Garden.(2016)

Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus

A common name for this plant is "Sticks of Fire." It is a drought tolerant plant, which can be grown in containers both indoors and outdoors. All parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten, and are toxic to dogs and cats. Handling the plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.

The structure of the plant is unusual and striking. It can be found in our Greenhouse garden.

Short Stuff Zinnia Mix

Short Stuff Zinnia Mix

Short Stuff Zinna Mix sports huge double blooms in bold colors on plants just 12 to 14 inches high. The double blooms have rows upon rows of petals, forming lovely pompons that keep their shape and brilliance even in punishing summer heat and humidity. The mix contains all the bright shades for which Zinnia is beloved: white, yellow, orange, red, pink, magenta, and lavender. Its blooms meaure 4 inches across – on a plant that is only 10 to 12 inches wide!

Short Stuff begins blooming with the first hint of summer heat, and continues until the cold fall temperatures arrive. It can be used for filling in those strips along the sidewalk and on either side of the driveway, where other plants bake out in the summer heat. And it's also a happy container plant. When tucked between vegetable plants, it acts as a pest deterrent

In 2015, find this pretty short stuff zinnia mix in the driveway curve outside the fence, near the greenhouse.

Althea Fireworks

Althea Fireworks

How about a multi-color Rose of Sharon for your garden?

This woody shrub is excellent for late summer garden color. Plants can get to around 12' tall by 10' wide and grow in somewhat of a vase shape. Flowers are white, red, purple, pink or violet or a combination and either single or double.

Also known as Hibiscus Syriacus Tri Color, this plant starts to flower in June and continues through September. It grows well in about any soil and has done nicely in our garden during both rains and hot weather.

You can control the size of this plant with heavy pruning in the early spring each year which also helps to produce larger flowers in summer.

Althea Fireworks

You will find Althea Fireworks in our Fountain Garden and in the Entry Garden by the sidewalk along the driveway (2016).

St. John's Wort Blue Velvet

St. John's Wort Blue Velvet

This attractive shrub has beautiful blue foliage and golden yellow flowers in mid-summer. Tolerates most soil conditions, but must be well drained.

St Johns Wart is a sun loving, mounding, and densely branched shrub with lustrous blue green foliage. Bright, clear yellow flowers blanket this disease resistant plant. St. Johns wart is easy to grow, and adapts to most conditions.

This plant can be found on the wall between the Veggie and Fountain garden.

John Fanick Phlox

John Fanick Phlox

If you like to watch butterflies and humming birds in your yard, this tough phlox which grows in 3' tall clumps is a winner. This perennial phlox was named after an outstanding San Antonio nurseryman.

It is a hardy perennial with showy clusters of light pink blossoms with darker pink throats accompanied with dark green foliage. It has a compact growth habit and is heat and drought tolerant.

It can be found in the Linnaeus Boulder Garden and don't be surprised to find butterflies enjoying it.(2016)

Autumn Carnation Encore Azalea

Autumn Carnation Encore Azalea

If you love Azaleas in the spring, you will be amazed with the new Encore Azaleas. Fall is right around the corner and these Azaleas are in full bloom near the wall of our outside classroom in our Linneaus Garden. With blooms in the spring, summer, and fall, Encore Azaleas offer little maintenance and are big on color.

Autumn Carnation has an exceptional flower quality, color, and lustrous dark green foliage which make this variety an excellent landscape addition. Encore Azaleas are easy to grow, and they adapt to most conditions. They prefer slightly acidic well drained soils and require once a year feeding of a slow release fertilizer.

After the spring blooming period, these amazing azaleas begin growing new shoots and start blooming into full flower in mid-summer.



Helianthus annuus (sunflower) is a perennial plant that usually spreads rapidly and becomes invasive. It can grow to six feet tall in woodland areas, next to creeks and available moisture.

Not only do sunflowers add bright color to your landscape, their seeds attract birds.

Ours grows in the LG Veggie Garden.

Castor Bean

Castor Bean

Castor Bean plants originated in Ethiopian Africa, have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and have naturalized in warm climates worldwide.

If the seeds are chewed by animals or humans, poisonous toxins trigger severe diarrhea and dehydration which can cause death. Keep children and pets away from these plants. Some people say you can plant castor beans to keep moles out of your yard.

This colorful specimen grows in the LG Veggie Garden.

Coleus - Kong Junior Lime Vein


Kong Junior Lime Vein coleus has a dark magenta streak with lime green variegation,

This plant is hardy and brings excitement to the garden.

Ours grows in the LG Fountain Garden.

Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree

Check out our Lemon Tree.

Located inside the gate to the garden nearest the barn, this potted tree is growing fruit which is just beginning to turn yellow. This tree will over-winter in our Greenhouse and continue its growth outside next spring.

By Sandi Rebman and Linda Woodard
Photos by Marc Schreiber