lblanchard: (swannfountain)
There are now four sprouting floaters among the hippeastrum seeds, four more than I have space for. I have trouble committing plant infanticide, so I will probably start a new pot for them.

The parsley started to sprout yesterday.

Out back the Class of 2009 is looking a lot better than it has for awhile. I think the plants were self-pruning, sloughing off the weakest leaves, and now some of them are starting some new growth. All the back yard hippeastrums seem to have weathered the heat wave in the space that spared them the afternoon sun.

I brought Valerie's sansevieria out back for a hosing etc. The portion of the plant that had bloomed has died but there's plenty more where that came from. I don't believe there's any drainage in that pot, which makes me nervous. I may turn it on its side and have Roy drill a hole or two.

The matchbox peppers (my mistake, they aren't firecracker peppers) are fruiting abundantly out front. I don't know that we'll be growing a year's supply of peppers out of one big planter, but it's nice to have all we need for now and some for later.

I haven't seen a fungus gnat upstairs for a week. I've drenched the infected plant twice.
lblanchard: (Default)
Hippeastrum parade is over. This is the last photo. But it looks like there will be many seeds for a robust class of 2011. Downstairs there are about 12 seedlings each in the schlumbergera and the parsley flats. Very nice...

Also, the Nopalxochia has one flower, four buds, and some intriguing swellings. The overwintered impatiens is blooming again, too.

My little maple is leafing out in the backyard. The squirrel and I are fighting over the relative importance of pansies and peanuts in one planter.

2011-04-05_01hippeastrum
lblanchard: (Default)
2010-05-14_01peonyRoy and I started this lovely day by replacing the whiskey barrel planter out front. We had had the current one for a decade...the bottom had rotted out, as had a couple of the staves, and the metal bands were falling to the ground.

So I pulled up all the iris (ick! aphids in the interstices! there will be no mailing of plants to anyone), and then we removed the soil, installed a new barrel (this time with plastic liner), replaced some of the soil and mixed in new soil, watered and let it sit. I planted one big pansy in the center as a signal that this is a work in progress.

I need to get some chemical warfare stuff to go after any aphids that are living in the soil. I pulled off dead leaves and triple-washed the iris, and will put some back in.

We had the front door propped open as we worked, and the Scamp alternately prowled around the steps and skittered back into the depths of the house. He does not love the internal combustion engine.

The peonies are about done, so last night I snipped one off and floated it in a glass bowl, set it on the piano, and played a couple of Chopin preludes. For years, that had been my definition of being a lady of leisure: "I will play Chopin and arrange peonies in a glass bowl." When the outside petals open up completely the bloom is a good 9" across.

The first oenothera opened today. I think I see obvious buds on the rose campion.

The front pansies were definitely past their prime, so I cut them back. I don't know whether they will come back, but they're masked by volunteer feverfew right now, so it doesn't matter.

Yesterday I set out the parsley seedlings in a big planter and today I planted a variegated basil in the center of them. I also made up a hanging planter with the prostrate rosemary I bought at the Flower Show as well as seedlings of parsley, thyme, and marjoram. I tucked some thyme seedlings here and there in the flowerbeds. I also re-potted my new oak seedlings so it has a little more room for the taproot to go down, and surrounded it with parsley and thyme.

Now I am drinking coffee but not succeeding in staying awake. There may be a nap in my future.
lblanchard: (Default)
The wisteria are open, fragrant, and visited by flies and bees.

The moonflower vine seedlings broke through the ground yesterday. They look funny.

I bought a little solar light at the PathMark for $3.98. Works like a charm -- I think I'll buy a couple more.

It's forecast to be cooler and overcast pretty soon. The weekend should be good for transplanting herbs and other things.

None of the hippeastrum are looking too terribly insulted by the increase in light. In fact, they look pretty happy.

I brought out the nopalxochia yesterday. The bay tree has been out since the weekend. I brought up the basil from the basement a couple days ago and brought down the one from the windowsill today. The sansevieria has been out for a couple weeks and is looking shocky. Its shady corner turns out to be mostly sunny.

The pachysandra may stay in their pot this year, I think, and grow some serious roots. I planted an 'alabama sunset' in the center of the pot to add some additional interest.

I see much gardening in my future this weekend.
lblanchard: (Default)
But I did, at least a little, and then went down to make a late breakfast. After breakfast I stood in my minuscule backyard, enjoying the blue sky and thinking it would be so nice to be able to hand out my sheets....

....except that my whole yard is 17 x 17, we've been feeding the sparrows for months, and my sheets would be covered with bird poop in about 20 seconds.

Another good reason to move!

On the other hand, there's a volunteer opp to work on a little public garden outside the Hort Soc headquarters tonight at 5:30. That's an easy bike ride and I'm sure if I turned up with my trowel land my entrenching tool they wouldn't turn me away.

EDITED TO ADD: Garden Notes )
lblanchard: (Default)
One flower on the second scape of 'gervase' is collapsing. (It's the one I pollinated...) The pollinated ovary on the first scape continues to swell. Its stem is green and fat -- the stems of the other three are shriveling and turning brown. I begin to believe we have achieved pollination, but I've seen false pregnancies on Hippeastrum before.

The parsley seedlings looked light-starved, so I took them out back.

Most of the marjoram has bounced back from its transplanting.

And also -- last night sitting at the computer I found myself feeling most uncomfy. So I looked at the thermometer. It was 78F. And the room was muggy because it's full of plants. Eeeuw. I am *so* not ready to put on the air conditioning.
lblanchard: (Default)
Two blooms of the second 'Exotica' scape have opened and mine eyes do spy a *third* stalk coming up -- it's about three inches tall now. Because the stalks are coming up in sequence like this I won't get the all-at-once showy display, but that's okay -- I'll get a mid- or late-April bonus.

The girly bits of the one 'gervase' I pollinated with 'apple blossom' pollen have completely shriveled and died, but I think I detect a swelling in the ovary. All four blossoms on the second scape are open. There's no sudden collapse of the blossom I tried to pollinate with superannuated 'apple blossom' pollen, but it's early days yet. Downstairs, the Class of 2006 has two representatives blooming or about to. Neither is particularly exciting, but they *are* my firstborn, so I'll probably keep them.

The Class of 2009, recently transplanted, has a bit of a case of yellowing leaves. They don't especially like being transplanted when they're not dormant, so it's probably just a shocky reaction while their roots re-establish. Another few weeks and they go outdoors to soak up the sunshine.

Nopalxochia is putting on quite a show in one corner but will be winding down this week, I think, except for two or three outliers.

Thyme is germinating beyond my wildest dreams -- I can't count the number of pinhead seedlings, but it's a heap more than I need. I see the first parsleys today, too -- four or five of them. The surface-sown seeds of the impatiens are plumping up and showing tiny white swellings at the corners, so I expect to have an abundance of them as well. All in all, I will probably have more plants than back yard.

In non-gardening news, Roy and I went to see Alice in Wonderland on the big screen. We both found the high level of the audio intensely painful. I had earplugs in my bag, but only one set; Roy fabricated some out of toilet paper. Thus insulated somewhat from the assault on our eardrums, we liked the film very much. Roy commented on our ride home that he thinks we would have missed a lot of the effect if we'd waited for the DVD.
lblanchard: (Default)
Two peony blossoms are history, another is past its sell-by date, and the third is in full bloom. They didn't last particularly long this year.

and more notes to myself -- read them if you like )
lblanchard: (Default)
It's kind of a yucky day -- overcast, humid, good chance of rain. A good time to think about home and hearth.

For the first time in almost a decade, Roy feels comfortable skipping a weekend vacuuming of the house. It looks as clean to us right now as it used to a day or so after vacuuming. The difference a big dog makes.

a bunch of plant stuff )
lblanchard: (Default)
I see four tomato seedlings poking up in the market pack -- that's more than I need for my little backyard. They're on a windowsill and reaching toward the light. I think I better move some coleus to a windowsill and clear space under the lights for the tomatoes.

The first parsley seedling is also coming up. The hippeastrum seedpods are swelling energetically.

It's wet and warm so the little bay tree is getting some filtered light and rainwater; the three pots of rosemary will probably go out in a little while.

Ferko's quality of life is poor. She's mostly doing two things now -- sleeping or wailing in terror. She wails if I leave the room and then cries herself to sleep. Yesterday she became disoriented and cut loose yowling while I was on a conference call, something I absolutely cannot tolerate. She's leaving messes on the floor. She's 17. I can't stand it any more and have made an appointment with the vet for Monday.

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