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So the 'papilio' x 'emerald' pod is a little browner and the slit is possibly a millimeter longer. Sigh. An internet friend tells me that these pods often take 60 days from pollination to maturity. This one was fertilized on February 25, which means it has gone 51 days so far. Nothing to do but wait, I suppose, and feed the plant every two weeks.

'Apple blossom' x 'gervase' appears to be ripening apace. It may pop open before the other one does, and it was pollinated on March 7.

I have one hugely pregnant daffodil and four that aren't too far behind. I took two of the fancy ones and mashed their sexy bits against one another. Who knows what I'll get?

No apparent change on the Nopalxochia. It's a sorry little cutting but no worse-looking than last week. Keeping fingers crossed.

My maple grove is doing very well on my windowsill. I have whispered to them that I will find them all good homes, and I think they listened.

Weather Underground says it's 81F already. I'm going to love riding to the PathMark.
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Macy's Flower Show ends today but I'm already through with it. Some of the larger plantings are showing real signs of stress. I suspect that some of the palms did hard time at the Philadelphia Flower Show before being installed at Macy's. I fear for that one, although the color is just right for the photo:


On my windowsills, the "maple grove" (four seedlings pulled up on Thursday) all seem to be recovering from transplant shock. Two of them never showed any. The other two, smaller and more delicate than the large ones, wilted significantly but each has one completely recovered leaf. Everyone else is pretty much status quo since yesterday.

UPDATE: No, there's real progress on the pineapple top -- I think. I see bumps that I'm pretty sure are developing root nodules all up the sides of the peeled stalk.

Down in the basement I have no joy on the hardy hibiscus. Calendar says they should be starting to peek up now. I'll wait another week and then whine to the seedsman. UPDATE: Blast and damn! While moving things around to water plants under the lights, I knocked over the tray containing three of the four hibiscus pots. No possibility of finding sprouting seeds, I don't think. So if none of the four or five seeds in the last pot doesn't germinate, I'm flat out of luck on hardy hibiscus. (Probably a blessing in disguise. Where would I put them?)

If I want to go for a bike ride today I should go now -- there's very little wind. Later it's supposed to be 15-25 mph, with gusts to 30. But I'm not inclined to get up and go out right this minute. Much nicer to sit in my little office, drink coffee, and update LJ.

Oh, and I think I have a pregnant daffodil out front. Hmm....
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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.

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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Last night we were sitting out back. I looked at the crispy maple and told Roy that I was thinking of ripping it out and planting something else.

Today it made a bid for getting a second chance.
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2010-06-30_02crispyleavesNow that I'm riding my bike almost every morning, I'm carrying the little pocket Kodak in preference to the big heavy Nikon. Coming in from an absolutely splendid ride in a cool, nonhumid early morning, I stopped to take a picture of my poor little maple, whose tender newest leaves got crisped in the recent heat wave.
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It went up to the mid-90s today, and the newest of the maple leaves crisped up on all their edges. Grrr.
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I just started some rudbeckia seeds. I hope they bloom this year.

Yesterday I noted buds all over the wisteria.

We are noticing that the leaves on the red maple are thicker -- it must like being in the ground (what a surprise).

I'm ordering a new refrigerator today for delivery Tuesday.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Photo, right: the 'gervase' hippeastrum I've been raving about -- just as beautifully raspberry-colored as the first one I saw. And it has a second flower stalk! And perhaps if I treat it right it will send up some pups!

Yesterday was a marvelous blue-sky day, so we decided to see if we could find Longwood Gardens. We'd just sent in a year's membership on Thursday and were doubtful we'd be in the system yet, but we found it and they had us in the system! So we explored acres and acres and acres of conservatory. Like the Flower Show only with better light and fewer people at 10:00 on a Sunday morning. By the time we left the hordes were arriving, so now we know when to go. I did spend a minute sleuthing out the shoppe -- which will sell you everything from $$$$ orchids, wardian cases and suchlike gimcrackery to a $2.75 packet of french thyme seeds from Renee Shepherd.

On the way down to Longwood, we noticed a nursery ("Terrain at Styer") that has been a Flower Show exhibitor, so we stopped on the way back to pick up the soil amendments we needed for the back courtyard. They have their very own blend of organic potting mixture made right there in Chester County from various ingredients. Not surprisingly, given that Kennett Square is/was the mushroom growing capital of the country, they also sold spent mushroom growing medium (that would be well-rotted cow manure and straw) as compost.

I made unhappy faces when we got home so we agreed that we'd at least start breaking up the concrete. Not surprisingly, once we got rolling we were happy to keep it up. I mostly did bits around the edges, although I did swing the sledge for two bouts while Roy caught his breath. We dug past the brick and coal-clinkers rubble to the icky clay that's the real soil here, and got a hold about a foot deeper than we needed.

We mixed the icky clay with some "topsoil" we had -- a sort of gallimaufry of broken crockery, potting medium and rotted houseplants that I'd been building up in the corner -- and with some of the fancy Chester County stuff -- watered it in nicely, dropped in the maple tree and called it a day. That side of the yard looks a little empty without the motley crew of mismatched pots and milk crates lined with contractor bags that had previously passed for a garden border.

The old aquarium stand has moved up to our sitting area behind the house so that my expanding collection of hippeastrum can sit in the shade but out of the wet. The plants will get less than an hour of early day sun there, not enough to fry them, and strong shade including some light reflected from another building. I think/hope they'll do better there.
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Two peonies are blooming (one is approaching its sell-by date) and a third is looking ready to pop. Memorial Day weekend starts in a couple of hours, so I guess I'm going to have peonies on Memorial Day, whee!

There were a few crisped up and dead leaves on the small maple. I have no idea why. They were all in one spot so perhaps there was some reason -- bird with particularly corrosive droppings, perhaps? I may repot it this weekend just in case the pot-to-root ratio is off again.

It has occurred to me today that now that I have some, you know, actual soil that's not being peed on in the backyard, I could plant some daylilies amid the hostas. Also rose campion and oenothera and feverfew. I think I have about 10 rose campion volunteers. They won't bloom till next year, being biennials, but their fuzzy silvery foliage is decorative. And I have tons of feverfew. Oh, and I still have blue flag iris in my front bucket. I didn't send it all to [ profile] pameladean and [ profile] clindau.

Now that it's blooming abundantly, the wisteria is a little disappointing. The flowers at one end of the cluster are fading before the ones at the other end have come into being. Not festive like [ profile] kightp's at all. But it's the wisteria I've got. I must take its picture this weekend.

I look at the hippeastrum seeds a couple times a day, even though they aren't likely to start sprouting until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest.
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Two warm days and the red maple's leaves are unfurling.

I can see and count three buds on the peony so far -- I think the biggest shoot has shot up six inches in the past two days. There are eight shoots this year, one more than last year.

The hostas are unfurling. The perennial sunflowers are poking up. I think I see a second columbine.

I set my tomato seedlings outside.
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I sent two of my seedling rescue trees -- the peach and the flowering crab -- to a better home in New Jersey. My daughter-in-law came up in her Honda and we were able to put the root balls in the passenger seat/well and then snake the supple trunks and branches through the place where the back seat folds down and reveals an opening to the trunk. Because they were supple we could curl them around the trunk.

I also sent her home with a forsythia that came home with me from the rescue garden by accident; seven or eight oenotheras; four rooted cuttings from the mystery broad-leafed evergreen, a piece of curly willow; a Looking Glass begonia and two coleus cuttings (the mutant trailing purple brocade and 'ruby jewels').

Next I think I'll administer the euthanasia to the potted elm. it will almost certainly catch Dutch Elm Disease when it reaches adulthood, if indeed it reaches adulthood in that pot. It was an accidental survival, a seedling I neglected to pull up. I could put the curly willow there and then put the tree I really like, the red-leafed maple I've been growing from a wee thing, where the willow was. Right now it's where the peach was.

Less shade now; maybe my tomatoes will be happy this year.


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