Saturday, September 25, 2010

IT'S THE CAT'S WHISKERS

It was a favorite expression of my father to describe something wonderful. Along with the "bee's knees"

This morning I took a stroll around the garden and exclaimed out aloud on three occasions. First when I saw this plant in flower. It is commonly know as 'cat's whiskers' and in the botanical world as Orthosiphon aristatus. It is a herbaceous perennial but only to zone 9. I will have to take cuttings if I want to keep it over the winter, and I do! Thank you Robin, at Get Grounded, for this passalong. I had completely forgotten about it so my absence from the garden this summer, and any kind of weeding, saved it. I spotted it last week and noticed the development of flower panicles at the end of the stems. I was just waiting to see what the flower looked like as I had no idea what it was. This morning, when I saw the flowers open I knew immediately. I had a grin like a Cheshire cat, even though I'm from Lancashire!


The second surprise came in the cactus pot. I had seen flower buds developing and this morning the first flower opened. This, despite the fact that the cactus itself has gone from an upright form to a prostrate form over the summer. Even after rain it hasn't perked up but it is flowering.


Three years ago I planted several Lycoris radiata bulbs in the English garden. I thought they had disappeared. Nothing until this morning. Only two showed up but I'm thrilled. I must put a marker in the ground so I remember where they are.

9 comments:

  1. I forgot about cats whiskers not being frost tolerant. Now then, if only I can remember that when frost season starts...

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  2. I love Cat's Whiskers. We used to grow it in our butterfly garden at school. Thanks for posting.

    BTW: Cool weather is waiting in the wings..any day now it should arrive. Time for those pumpkins.
    {:-)
    David/ Tropical Texana/Houston

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  3. I got my garden's first ever Spider Lily bloom just last week. Isn't it so exotic looking.

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  4. You did have some lovely surprises, didn't you? I love cat's whiskers. They have some beautiful stands of it at Mercer Arboretum. It's on my list of things I want to put in next year.

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  5. Is that cactus freeze hardy here Jenny? It is just stunning.

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  6. Katina- i hope I remember it too. I plan to take cuttings.
    D M and family-I can't wait for that cooler weather-this week?
    Ronnie- I was truly excited. NOw I think I need to get more.
    Jayne-It was a beautiful morning with some beautiful surprises. One would have been enough but three!
    Bob- I don't think it is hardy Bob. I bought it at Lowes last year when they were selling plants off. It has the look of a non hardy cactus. The bowl will go into the shed over winter.

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  7. I truly adore cat's whiskers and my life will be like the bee's knees if I remember to look for them next spring! Yes, the lycoris went crazy this year with the timely rain. By next year, you'll be in glory!

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  8. There is nothing quite like finding things in the garden that make you gasp! Lovely findings that day, for sure!!! Gorgeous!!!

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  9. Julie- That is so true and that day I had 3 surprises. More than any gardener could ask for.

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