lblanchard: (swannfountain)
Okay, here you go. Dozens of images of the twelve miniature settings at the Flower Show.

Includes labels with info about each exhibit.

Louse Krasniewicz, pictured here, runs a blog about her minis:
lblanchard: (Default)
I have finally finished editing my Flower Show photos and uploading to Flickr. In what is surely an abundance of overkill, I have included 761 photos. This does not include the 300-plus photos from setup week, nor does it include Roy's photos, which still remain to be edited.

I like it as a slide show, to be accompanied by lovely music and a glass of wine, and perhaps a bit of needlework. It runs about an hour:

And I finished just in time, too -- the Macy's Flower Show opens tomorrow. Not as big a deal, but I do want to get some shots. The theme this year is Brazil, and the plant list looks suspiciously like Hawaii leftovers.

With no photo editing to do today, I'm turning my attention to seed starting and seedling potting on. First step is soaking all my containers in bleach. Once they've been sterilized and dried, I'll start some marigold seeds...pot up some basil, marjoram, parsley, and thyme seedlings in individual market pack cells...and finally cull the Class of 2011 and pot on the 15-20 robust of the 50-plus seedlings.

Today is the much-feared Day 28 for the 'papilio' x 'emerald' seed pod. If a pod is going to abort, it generally does it by Day 28, and mine looks fine. Next hurdle, some time in the next 10 days, is seeing if I got real seed or just chaff. Other developing pods (pollinated March 7 and March 19) still look promising.

Earlier today I opened the plastic bag containing the canna roots I dug up last fall and left in the unheated Anderson House. They're putting out roots and shoots. The sansevieria I left out there has apparently given up the ghost, although the volunteer spider plant that was in the pot oddly enough has not. I think I'll cut back the sansevieria foliage, water the pot and see what happens. One leaf still has some life in it, so I may take a cutting -- I've never tried that, but there's a first time for everything.
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There's a long day stretching ahead of me with no trips to the Convention Center. Oh, I could go over and watch the tear-down, but that's mostly a bunch of sweaty guys moving tons of mulch, pavers, and construction debris and cursing mightily as they load 25' palms into trucks to go to greenhouses etc. It's pretty sad.

I scored a pineapple plant (no idea how to care for it, but I'll figure it out), two sprays of dendrobium, one treated with ammonium sulfate to turn it improbable colors, and a sort of rusty-colored anthurium. Oh, and a piece of wedding cake from this happy couple:


Bill and Kris were married on the Show floor Wednesday night, and the reality TV guy "The Cake Boss" provided the cake. There was a sheet cake for the Wednesday night reception, but the real cake remained on display until the Show closed, when Kris cut it for some of their friends (including Roy and me). She had forgotten to get forks, though, and the cake was replete with chocolate mousse filling, so it was messy. But good. Much more flowery goodness will be posted after I do some real work.

Meanwhile, on the windowsills: both seedpods on 'papilio' are swelling, although they've been known to grow and grow and then abort, or mature but produce only chaff. Downstairs neither of my cross-pollination experiments is clearly successful (this was 'Gervase' x 'Apple Blossom' and vice versa). Perhaps that's just as well, because I'm out of windowsill space. Meanwhile, one late bloomer from the class of 2006, one of the ones I was going to discard, is showing promise of being the pick of the litter. Just goes to show...

All my test herbs have done well, so I may try potting some of them along and growing them out as my backyard herbs for the season. Swiss chard did well, too, but I had it in such a wee pot that it died of thirst during the Flower Show.

Roy is now infected with Flower Show Fever and will be working next year's Show.
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Actually, they haven't gone anywhere. I'm just whipped by my schedule and this cold, so although I've shot some 2,000 frames since I last posted I'm not going to do much processing and uploading until the show is over. Then I can stretch the show, sort of, but processing them a few at a time.

I did take a minute to post a few yesterday because of the special nature of the event: Pearl Harbor survivors at the Pearl Harbor exhibit, "Remembrance." The Flower Show folks and the exhibitors both wanted copies. You can click this one and reach the set with the rest. I only captioned the big group shot, figuring the Flower Show / Downend folks could pull the captioning info from that one.


[edited to add a small irrelevancy I'll want to remember: yesterday I pollinated 'Apple Blossom' with 'Gervase' and vice versa. Will it work? I shudder to think how many Hippeastrums I'm going to have in the class of 2012 if it does.]
lblanchard: (Default)
LJ entries will resume when life eases up. Right now I'm having too much fun.

(But I need to remember that Apple Blossom opened up 2/28 and Exotica today, with Gervase about ready to pop. I think I detect swelling of the ovaries in H. papilio, too. And also: 5 of the 10 swiss chard seeds have sprouted so far. I don't need to buy any seeds this year, except maybe for some marigolds.]
lblanchard: (Default)
That's that for H. papilio. Both blossoms are shriveled. There may be an Act II if either fertilization experiment takes, but I can't tell yet whether the ovaries are swelling.

Once the styles were receptive, I noticed drops of nectar practically dripping from the innards. I guess that's the lure for the pollinators.

Here's a photo of what's left. *Sigh.*


Downstairs one of the 'Apple Blossoms' is unfurling and the individual 'Gervase' buds are fattening up. The 'Exotica' buds are growing even as the setpals start to unfurl, so they may escape the rubbish heap, too. And the buds on Trader Joe NOID and all its children are looking good, as is the solitary Class of 2009 cross with Apple Blossom that is leaping into bloom this year.

I shot many images at the Flower Show last night but had no time to fool with them, so I uploaded them to Flickr, with a "family" lock on them. My contact at the Hort Soc is an honorary family member for the duration; he can download the ones he likes. He's been putting them up without post processing so I think I may spend a little time with the images tonight before I hand them over. My images are getting used both on the Flower Show Blog (where I do my own postings as lbphilly) and on the Flower Show page on Facebook.
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This bulb was a Christmas gift from my daughter-in-law. I potted it up on December 30 and it's getting ready to bloom. There are two wonderful things about this plant: 1) it's a species Hippeastrum, and 2) it's immune to the dreaded Hippeastrum mosaic virus.

They are notoriously insouciant about coming into flower, often going for years without sending up a flower scape. Given their druthers and enough space in the pot, they will offset madly. I ordered one in the late 1980s, when they were ruinously expensive, and for two years all it did was throw offsets. I must have had 20 of them. I gave the wretched thing away at last. This time, I think I'll let it offset a bit and then keep it pot-bound and see what happens.

But now, I'll see one bloom. At least once in my lifetime.

Hippeastrum 'papilio,' February 18, 2012

In other news, I am reading three books more or less at the same time. The first, Waking Up In Eden, is a memoir about working in a Hawaii botanical garden. This is in preparation for the Flower Show, of course, and I bought it because I heard Lucy talk at the PHS library. Besides, she's a former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, which makes her a bit of a hometown girl. It's very tasty.

The second is The Enchanted April, the book on which the film of the same name is based. The librarian at PHS has put together a collection of "books for people who are hooked on Downton Abbey," and I took this one out the evening I went to hear Lucy talk. It's tasty, too, and it has become my breakfast reading, which is preferable to either the capitalist or the socialist rag we get delivered.

The third is Villette by Charlotte Brontë. Spurred by something [ profile] poliphilo wrote, I'm on a Brontë kick. I downloaded several from Kindle and am reading them on my cell phone at odd minutes. I finished the eminently forgettable Agnes Grey a few weeks ago and will move on to The Professor and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in a bit.
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On an extended lunch hour today, I went to the Post Office, where my special cookie cutter for the Amo Te springerle heart mold was waiting for me. Then I went to Fante's, the font of all cooking supply wonderfulness in the Italian Market, and bought four vials of flavoring -- oils, not extracts -- almond, anise, lemon, and lavender. I have everything else I need. So I think that springerle is going to be GAME ON this weekend. I read another recipe that has another set of baking instructions -- put them in a 375 oven to set the design and then drop the temp to 300. Okay, I'm game for a trial of that method.

Meanwhile, back at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, I've been invited to become one of the bloggers on the official Flower Show blog. The dewy-faced laddie who does social media wanted to train me on the software. I got there and, sheesh, it's Wordpress. I've done my first blog entry and it's sitting in draft form waiting for his approval. The deal we struck is that he's going to provide secure storage for my Nikon so that I won't have to drag it along on the Show floor when I'm leading tours. I am hoping that I'll be able to transition from tour guide to social media and still retain the coveted access button at some time in the future.

It was a pretty nice day today, temps in the high 40s, so I biked about 8 miles. It felt awfully good.
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Happy New Year! It's the Year of the Dragon this year, and my local supermarket (Sieu Thi BIG 8 Supermarket) gave out these calendars to its customers. My son lusted after it, but it's mine, Preciousss. So I got him something else almost demented from one of the bazaar stalls in the same plaza as the Big 8.


Since it's a holiday, in a manner of speaking, I did the bare minimum of mission-critical deadline work this morning and knocked off around noon to make chocolate snickerdoodles for Roy. In a little bit, I'll knock off for the day, go have something to eat, and then head over to the Horticultural Society to photograph some orchids at the request of the librarian, who is hosting a pre-Flower Show orchid exhibition.

I'm also going to get a quick training session on the HortSoc's blogging platform so that I can join the merry band of unpaid contributors. I must say I'm really looking forward to it.
lblanchard: (Default)

Six days till the next Flower Show tour guide meeting -- and view of the show floor. Or maybe five days till the next etc., depending on how badly I'm jonesing for the smell of mulch.

The first hippeastrum started to open yesterday -- apple blossom, with just two flowers, but that's all right. Today it's fully open.

Schlumbergera are winding down, but I still have three plants with blooms, and two of those plants still have unopened buds.

The Nopalxochia outlier is almost fully open, but not quite. The two other buds have a long way to go.

Meanwhile, I had an unexpected gift: one of the rooted impatiens cuttings I overwintered is taking off and it has a flower! Three begonia cuttings, rooted and potted up, have buds too.

Seeds from Park Seed arrived yesterday: impatiens shady lady (blushing beauties mix), and double curled parsley. I will add them to my two kinds of basil and call it a day, seed-wise.


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