Thursday, April 21, 2011

Walking Iris

Walking Iris (Neomarica gracilis) produces offsets which flower in the very early spring . When the offsets touch the ground they root, and in this way walk away from the Mother plant.This habit accounts for another name of the plant,Apostle plant. I grow them in pots so the offsets never reach the ground .The offsets can be taken off and set in pots and they readily root and  start growing. Information I have gathered suggests that they will live outdoor in zone 8, but the one time I tried them outside, they did not survive the winter.I have grown these for years and have forgotten where I originally got them although I do remember they were given to me. I have heard that there are yellow ones, but I have never seen any, except in pictures. (Google images is a wonderful thing!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rooster Violets

Recently a friend and I were talking about Bird's Foot Violets (Viola pedata) and he said they only grow in full sun, in poor soil. A few days later I was walking in a part of my yard I seldom go in, and there they were! I was thrilled because in the past I had tried to transplant them without luck. Now I realize I had given them too rich a home and in response, they died. The next day I found a clump in the inhospitable area near my mailbox.When I was a child, there was a place on a bank near my grandmother's house where these violets grew in abundance in the red soil that was devoid of organic matter. A few years ago I visited an abandoned (well, almost) cemetery where they all but covered the ground. Whenever I spy a clump, it brings joy to my heart.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cemetery Pryamid

These three pictures were made at a cemetery that is almost lost in the woods.  Even though the pyramid is large (8/9 feet tall) it almost disappears into the undergrowth. The person who showed it to me said you could not see it unless someone showed it to you, and he was correct. The standing marble slab has a Masonic symbol  followed by this inscription:

Our Father
McKendree Tucker
Born Mar 5, 1808
Died April 16, 1884
Soldier of Christ, well done,
The battle fought, the victory won,
Come to reap the sure reward
With all who've labored for the Lord.

The pyramid is made of a combination of brick and the flat flint rocks that are common in this area.The pyramid has been plastered over with cement. It is cracked in places and a sweet gum sapling is growing out of one of the cracks. Several other small plants have established a foothold in the cracks. I hope to return and spray these invaders, as they can rapidly degrade the structure. There is a stabilizing pillar of rock that protrudes from the apex  of the pyramid, and on one side of the pyramid is an opening into a tunnel. The tunnel is lined with brick. A large rock lies beside the opening, symbolizing the stone that was rolled away when Jesus rose from the dead.
To one side is another marble slab with an inscription that is  very difficult to read. It is not so well preserved as the upright slab marker, probably because leaves and other debris collect on it and ate away at the inscription through the years. I hope to return and do a rubbing to see what this marker says. To the other side is a grave made by stacking flint rocks as is common for old graves in this area. I see no marker associated with this grave.
One thing is evident: the person laid to rest in this spot was greatly loved and a huge effort went into making a suitable marker .

Further Info Supplied by a Reader

Rev McKendree Tucker
4 March 1908 , Milner, Georgia

This noted minister of Christ was distinguished for the part he performed in Eastern Alabama in the early days of Congregational Methodism -distiunguished (sic) honorably by this after having already won renown in Georgia and elsewhere...
he had all earnest desire for the salvation of others. Even at the early age of fifteen, it was common for him to lead in public prayers and addresses which left a lasting impression upon young and old. Not a few would in these early years have gone on to Heaven and area stars in his glory crown.
In 1828, at the age of twenty he was licensed to preach. Two years later he withdrew from the M. E. Church and cast his lot with those who were at that time just establishing the Methodist Protestant Church, his father being one of the Baltimore Convention who in 1830 framed the constitution. and discipline of the M.P. Church. The reason McKendree Tucker asigned for his change of church relationship was that he was opposed to that arbitrary power of the Espicopacy which debarred the lay members any place in the Annual or General Conferences. Said he: "I is a principle of tyranny that lords it over God's Heritage... the laity are taxed to build churches and pay the salary of preachers the government should...ed as backsliders and distributers of the peace." Had he been seeking popularity, this was certainly not a step he would have taken against the advice of many friends; but his generous nature and democratic training gave him an undaunted devotion to civil and religious liberty and to rights due to man from man; both politically and ecclesiastically.
For twenty-six years he labored in the Methodist Protestant Church, traveling on horseback all over Georgia, preaching salvation and mutual rights and liberty. For three or four terms he was President of that Church, thus filling the highest office in it.
But in 1856 (four years after the foundation of Congregational Methodism) he moved from Newton County Georgia to Chambers County Alabama. There he found no M.P. Church, but a large membership of Congregational Methodists near by. He was not a man to act hastily so examined, his brother says, "thoroughly" the Constitution and Government...

john b pedersen added above on 13 Jan 2008

Rev McKendree Tucker Editorial in.. The Watchman - General Organ of the Congregational Methodist Church

Eppes Tucker, son of McKendree Tucker

Judge Eppes Tucker

1923 , The Lewis Publishing Company, 1923; Vol III, p.150

It is given to comparatively few men to enjoy the grateful distinction of seeing a flourishing city grow up within their experience in a community where they were leaders and first movers in starting the development that later generation enjoys. Such has been the distinction of Eppes Tucker, Sr, one of the oldest members of the Florida bar, and a leader in his profesion and in the public affairs of Lakeland from the very beginning of its corporate existence.
Mr. Tucker was born in Newton County, Georgia, Spetember

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chenille Plant (Acalypha pendula)

Acalypha pendula
Chenille plant is a lovely and unusual looking plant plant. The blooms grow long and hand down so that
 it is best grown in a hanging basket. It needs to be kept moist, but getting too dry will severely damage the plant as
well as the blooms. (The voice of experience). It blooms best in high light situations and enjoys a summer outdoor with some shade to keep it from drying out too much. Last summer mine started looking very poorly and washed out. I found out that chenille plant is a heavy feeder and it perked up when I gave it a dose of fertilizer.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rex and Other Plants in the Greenhouse

I am showing this picture because even as a bad photo, it is still beautiful. Such a broad color range and leaf style! Makes my mouth water! The orange in the back are Clivia lilies, and they have bloomed exceptionally well this year. The yellow is Friendship plant (Kalanchoe)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nun Orchid

Phaius tankervilliae)

Nun Orchid (Phaius tankervilliae) blooms in late winter/early spring. I have grown it successfully for several years in the greenhouse. A friend tried it in the ground (on my advice) and although it eventually came up the next summer, it never bloomed. Further reading has revealed to me that this orchid is only hardy in the costal south, zone 9/10. (Southern living advice)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

About Basic Dignity

This is too good not to share. And we all need a reminder....

About Basic Dignity

This is too good not to share. And we all need a reminder...

Kwanzan Cherry Tree

I love these late flowering cherry trees. I believe this is the variety known as Kwanzan. The wads and balls of blooms are just stunning to me. I have heard that these trees do better in places that are colder, but it is hard for me to argue with the beauty of this.

Broken Tree in Baptist Hill Cemetery in Auburn, Alabama

Monday night's storm brought down a lot of trees and limbs in the area. This tree which was broken in Baptist Hill Cemetery interested me because of the way that it broke. The top broke off at the point where the limbs started, as if a giant hand just snapped it off. I am not sure what kind of tree this is....Maybe oak??

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Baby Turtle

This is my new baby turtle. It got caught in a swimming pool skimmer and has come to live with me as of about a week ago. It is not a red eared slider, or at least it does not have red ears. If you would like to tell me what it is, I would welcome any suggestions. It is cute as can be, but it has not eaten anything since I had it. I have offered it a bit of chicken gizzard but it was not interested. Neither did it want anything to do with some floating turtle food.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Empress (Princess) Tree

These two  Empress trees (Paulownia tomentosa) are visible when you drive along AL 147 N, just before you get to the big hills before the Gold Hill railroad track. (What is the name of that creek between those tall tills? If you know, tell me.) This is another tree that was imported from Asia. It produces these beautiful (fragrant?) lavender flowers in spring before the leaves. The flowers are followed by pecan shaped capsules. The capsules split and release a myriad of  winged seed which in turn can produce a hoard of invasive baby Empress trees. The capsules themselves turn black, staying on the tree till the next spring, becoming an eyesore till they finally drop before the new flowers appear. So,like Wisteria, enjoy the flowers while you can, because the rest of the year you will curse this invasive lady.
The tree in China has been used to make boxes. It may get as tall as 60 feet.
The first time I ever saw this tree was on a trip to the Southern Appalachian Wildflower Pilgrimage in Gatlinburg,Tennessee.  It was growing and flowering in waste areas as we began the drive into the lower foothills. I thought it was beautiful, at least from a distance, and you will, too. Just do not plant it on your own property.
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