lblanchard: (swannfountain)
Some years ago I swapped someone some cuttings of Nopalxochia for cuttings of the ric rac cactus, Selenicereus anthonyanus, because I liked the leaves/stems. Last week I thought about getting rid of the plant because it has ugly aerial roots, its stems reach out like tentacles to grab me when I walk by, and it hasn't bloomed. I think the plant read my mind and decided to earn its keep.

Walking by it yesterday afternoon, I saw this:

Well, hello there, says I. I wonder when you'll bloom and for how long. So I looked it up. Blooms at night, it said. Only one night, it said. Very fragrant, it said. So before going to bed last night, I thought I'd check on it. Well, hello there!

They said it was fragrant. I associate that term with a pleasant odor. Pungent is how I would describe the smell -- strong and sharp and verging on repellent to my taste -- the way old stems of parsley, cut and bruised, might smell if parsley were poisonous and caustic. But that should help it to get the job done in the wild during its one-night bloom -- I could smell it two rooms away and I'm a mere human. And it certainly has lady parts like a landing strip. No way Mr. Pollinator will miss that on its way to the nectar!

A pity I have nothing to pollinate it with, thinks I to myself. But wait! Didn't I read that they'll hybridize with disocactus? And isn't Nopalxochia a disocactus? And don't I have one solitary bloom on the backup Nopalxochia in the second-floor bathroom?

Do I need another hybridizing experiment? On the other hand, what are the chances I will have both these plants in flower at the same time again in my lifetime?

It was the work of a minute to scamper downstairs, pinch off a generous pinch of anthers, scamper back upstairs, and smear them around the lady parts. Time will tell whether I have anything. It being a cactus, it will probably take a year for the fruit to mature if this arranged marriage takes. The ovary is about the size of a big fat supermarket grape as it is -- this ought to be huge, if it takes.

This morning the flower has closed up and the smell is gone. Now I wait.

(In other windowsill and back garden news: I found a new flower stalk emerging on my H. striatum. And when I went a-weeding in my two large annual herb pots out back, I found two, count 'em, TWO forgotten juvenile hippeastrums emerging. They overwintered! In single digit temperatures! O frabjous day!)
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
It didn't work the first time I tried it, but that's no reason not to try it again. One of the flowers was willing to shed pollen on my fingertip; the other had an open style. If it takes, I should get a fruit that in due course will produce seeds -- say, in a year or so.

If it doesn't set seed, there will be no trace of these guys in a few days. The one on the left is starting to droop already.

[Edited to add: it didn't work.]

lblanchard: (swannfountain)
The plant is bouncing back nicely. All these leaves were shriveled and limp when I pulled it down from its perch and watered it. By the next morning, the soil was bone dry and the leaves were starting to fill out. A second watering yesterday has resulted in this great improvement. There are still leaves that are pitted and nasty, but I'll prune them out later.

(The nopalxochia is the one on the left. On the right is a collection of my hippeastrums, all grown from seed.)


Oh, and here are the Hippeastrum papilio, recovering nicely from the cure. The one on the left hasn't put out a new leaf yet, but I accidentally uncovered some surface roots in yesterday's drenching, so I'm pretty sure it has a root system of truly epic proportions. The one plant on the table that isn't H. papilio is the backup nopalxochia.

lblanchard: (swannfountain)
I made a Schadenfreude Pie this morning and took it to a baby shower. It was well received. The parents-to-be are both big John Scalzi fans, so they appreciated the gesture. John Scalzi invented the Schadenfreude Pie. I tweaked the recipe a bit (four eggs instead of three, 1/2 cup corn syrup instead of a cup, some buttered graham cracker crumbs to sprinkle over the top). Here's John Scalzi's original recipe with hilarious prose:

And here's a photo of my Schadenfreude Pie.


I was not laughing maniacally at the misfortunes of me this afternoon, though, when I discovered that my Nopalxochia had received far too much sun and not enough water over the past few days. Several leaves have turned an unappetizing liver color and have dark ugly pits. A mess of them are shriveled, too. I gave it a thorough watering and waited more than an hour before pouring off the excess. It was a relief to see parts of it slooooowly rehydrating. Many leaves are goners, though, and the plant is going to require a severe haircut at the very least. I'm relieved that I grew a new plant from cuttings so that if the mother plant turns out to be a goner I haven't lost it entirely.

Several times over my lifetime I've attempted to read Tolkien's Silmarillion with only partial success. So many character names, complex interrelationships, and place names -- and no pegs to hang any of the stuff on. Well, I'm trying again. I have a big hardbound copy in the bedroom, a paperback downstairs and I just added it to my Kindle. Yesterday, I also went trawling through the internets and I found a map! of the Hobbit/LOTR part of Middle Earth, the Silmarillion part of Middle Earth, including vanished Beleriand, and the Undying Lands to the west. Finally! when Tolkien says that so-and-so went from Point A to Point B I can visualize where so-and-so was going. And with that, the pieces are starting to fall into place. I don't think either J.R.R. or his son Christopher, both accomplished cartographers, ever drew this mashup. Indeed, I'm not aware that J.R.R. ever drew a map of the Undying Lands. So this may or may not be completely accurate. I don't care. I'm able to hang character names on place names, see the interrelationships, and make sense out of the narrative.

Here's the map I found -- on Flickr, imagine that! There's a really really really big version there.

Mapa de la Tierra Media y de las Tierras Imperecederas
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
I took a break in what turned out to be a 15-mile bike ride to tie up at Bartram's Garden and wander around taking a few pictures. I stopped at the little pond and thought of [ profile] pameladean's recent post on dragonflyish creatures. I don't know one from another, but I did see a double-winged fat-bodied job with dark spots on its transparent wings and a body that looked like it should be an LED light. Several of them, in fact. One was sitting on a reed and another was zipping around chasing away all the others. Breeding pair, maybe? I also saw some thinnish thingies with skinny little bodies, which I assume was some kind of a darner. I saw blue, too.

This is what is especially for pameladean. I photographed this plant some years ago and we had some back-and-forth about what it might be. It now has a label in front of it -- Spigelia marilandica. It's supposed to be good for hummingbirds. Looks to me like ornamental basil. I think it had square stems.

2014-06-30_0011bartrams_spigelia marylandica

In other news, I am not seeing any signs of pollination of the Nopalxochia but will continue to hope until the flowers fall off. I'm also keeping a weather eye on a cutting of New Guinea impatiens that has at least stopped wilting. I dipped it in Rootone and potted it in seedling mix about a week ago.

And yesterday/today I applied mort aux fungus gnats to everyone in the second and third floors.

EDITED SEVERAL TIMES: [ profile] pameladean, if you're getting notifications every time I change a semicolon or fix bad code, I apologize.
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
What an unexpected bonus for a day that was going well already! I went out to the back garden to see what plants needed their saucers tipped after a heroic thunderstorm. Only because I was getting ready to tip the hanging Nopalxochia did I find three blooms on the same stem -- usually hidden by the pot, a post, and another plant.

Because the plant is outdoors for the summer and not indoors, I think I'll allow the blooms to die and wither on the plant. I don't know if this plant is self-fertile. Nor do I know whether we have any insects in Philadelphia capable of getting inside and pollinating, or whether there is any nectar in there worth the trouble. I've actually never seen the anthers burst open and disperse pollen indoors, so I don't know what the story might be.

But maybe it will achieve pollination. If one of those flowers fruits, I'll let the fruit mature. Seedling nopalxochias -- how cool would that be?

lblanchard: (Default)
I've felt a great reluctance to post lately -- although I've been happily microblogging over at Teh Facebooks. But it's hard to search FB for things, so here's a gallimaufry.

Garden Journal:
  • The hippeastrum Class of 2013 is still soaking, and most of the seeds have sunk to the bottom. I am expecting to see some sprouting action over the weekend, or maybe not.
  • Valerie's sansevieria has put up a flower stalk. I hope this doesn't mean it's getting ready to die; if it dies, RoyJr will never forgive me. The rooted sansevieria in a vase on the mantel are still fine. The cuttings from another of those leaves have put out roots and resist an ungentle tug, but haven't put up any stalks yet.
  • The nopalxochia I rooted from a broken piece is thriving on the upstairs kitchen windowsill. The one I rooted and put on a windowsill in our bedroom, not so much. The one out back is growing like a madman so I am hoping for abundant bloom this winter, or next (I don't think they bloom on new growth).
  • The rosemary cuttings have made strong root growth and a little top growth, so I moved them out of the vermiculite and into potting mixture today. Their parent plants are getting to look a little gnarly and yuck.
  • Schlumbergera continue to crowd me out of house and home and I'd better move some of the seedlings to new homes before it's time to bring in the hippeastrums, all of which are looking pretty healthy at summer camp.
  • All three daylilies out back -- two in the ground, one in a pot, look to me like they're going to be Martian Invaders, based on the size and shape of the buds.
  • The powdery mildew on the auntie's rose is getting worse, so I've dosed it with Bayer 3-in-1 and will spray it if we ever get a dry day. I'll also prune off the affected leaves in the next couple of days.

In other news, I've had a busy week. Last Wednesday was the PACSCL retreat; Friday was the Tommy Emmanuel concert; Saturday was Wanamaker Organ Day.

Looks like a friend is going to pick me up and drive me out to the 'burbs so we can see Star Trek Into Darkness together. His idea...

And speaking of Benedict Cumberbatch (which is the reason behind my interest in the aforesaid film), here's a YouTube of Himself reading John Keats' Ode to a Nightingale:
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
My second Franklinia propagation experiment has worked -- at least so far. One of the seeds has a visible sprout. This is the collection of seeds unscarified but soaked and strewn on the top of a 5 oz greek yogurt container. It has a vented "greenhouse" consisting of a transparent-ish bag with cut-outs on the corners to allow heat to escape, held up by mini-stakes created from kebob skewers. Further bulletins as events warrant.

On the windowsills, I have only four more plants needing to be potted on -- the sansevieria that was my brother's; the rooted cutting from the dead Sarasota sansevieria; a simple heart-leafed philodendron and a syngonium that has been languishing on top of the third floor fridge for half of forever. I will need to find four big pots and I'm starting to think that I'll need to order some, something I'd hoped to avoid.

The rosemary cuttings are slightly more resistant to being pulled out of the vermiculite. I gave a gentle pull on one of them and much vermiculite wanted to come up along with the cutting. I think that means roots and I think by some time next week I should be able to put these in little pots, or possibly a good sized market pack.

I had taken a nopalxochia cutting, kind of by accident by knocking a leaf/stem off the mother plant, a few weeks ago. It rooted in vermiculite with great alacrity. I potted it up not terribly long ago and it's putting out new shoots already. The mother plant is showing signs of mild sunburn on its newer growth but I think it will get over it.

The last chance at Hippeastrum class of 2013 doesn't look like it's aborting, although the two seedpods are deflating a bit. They do that toward the end, anyhow. Then they turn brown and then they split open. I'm not terribly invested in their success. I am, however, looking forward to getting the planter off the sitting room windowsill and out into the garden so I can move the rest of my sixteen juvenile Schlumbergera downstairs. I think I've now said that about a bazillion times in my garden journal, but it's still true. The Blanchard/Lindau Schlumbergera are growing by leaps and bounds.

I'm at a happy moment in which there's not terribly much to do outdoors except enjoy the garden and swat mosquitoes. We had a record rainfall yesterday so a lot of planters need their saucers tipped, especially all the hippeastrums. There's a tiny bit of deadheading to be done as well as the daily patrol of the creeping jenny to eradicate the virginia creeper seedlings that keep popping up at the rate of six or so a day. But when looking around at the back garden yesterday I realized that it's mostly varieties of green with just a couple of blooming plants as accents and any other color supplied by the coleus tucked in here and there (but not running rampant the way it did in my peak of coleus obsession).

Coleus parade, March 23-24, 2006
Coleus cuttings, back in the day

UPDATE: I went out back, emptied the excess water from the hippeastrum and nopalxochia, identified a spot for the Class of 2009, and moved some creeping jenny and one sempervivum to the pot on Webster Street. The daylilies have died back a bit (probably because I forgot all about watering them in the heat wave) and there's too much bare earth. Creeping jenny will fix that.

I also mixed up a batch of mosquito-repellent homebrew. I didn't feel like measuring, so I poured some lavender oil, lemon oil and vanilla extract into a spritzer bottle, added water, and shook. The resultant stuff smells pretty nice so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
I have a baby Franklinia! It poked its wee head up out of the Chobani yogurt cup yesterday morning and now it has two leaves.

This is very exciting for me, but a challenge lies ahead. They're supposed to be fairly easy to germinate but pretty difficult to transplant, and they're extremely finicky about their soil composition and moisture. They like sandy loam, acid, with a pH of 5 to 6. They like to be uniformly moist but not soggy.

The Franklinia was discovered growing along the banks of the Altamaha River in Georgia in the 1760s by John and William Bartram. All specimens were in a two- to three-acre area, growing nowhere else. William went back in 1776 and collected seeds, which he sowed in his Philadelphia garden in 1777 -- a garden, I might add, that's barely two miles from our house. The Franklinia was last seen in the wild in 1805 and all existing specimens are descended from the seeds William collected. Thus, the gene pool is very shallow and the plants are apparently susceptible to a fungus that causes wilt and infests cotton plants. This would explain the Franklinia vanishing in Georgia -- the fungus probably washed downriver.


Swallowtail on Franklinia, July 30, 2011.
This is the very tree whose seed is now growing on my windowsill.

It's a beautiful little tree, amenable to growing in dappled shade although it prefers full sun for the most prolific bloom. It blooms in late summer, autumn, and early winter and it's not unusual to see its white blossoms along with brilliant red autumn foliage. Here's Wikipedia on the subject:

I collected a seedpod on a solo trip out to the Fairmount Park Horticultural Center (different than Bartram's Garden) in April, to photograph early flowering cherries. I scarified five seeds with an emery board, soaked them overnight, and planted them on April 18. I'm hoping for another couple plants but if I can grow this one on I'll be feeling pretty lucky. It should be the perfect size for putting in the ground when we move to our retirement home in a year or two. There will be a beautiful symmetry to this -- we finalized the decision to move in 2014-2015 about the time I collected this seed. Seventeen years ago, I scarified a wisteria seed from Bartram's Garden and planted it in a pot on the day we made an offer on this house.

In other windowsill news, another member of the Class of 2009 sent up a flower stalk while I wasn't paying attention! So I will have one last burst of hippeastrum flowery goodness in a week or two. That will make six solid months of schlumbergera and/or hippeastrum blooming indoors. Not bad. And my Nopalxochia is awfully happy about being fed and about regular feedings and being treated more like the epiphyte that it is (tipping out all runoff water). One can only hope that vigorous flowering will follow the vigorous foliage.
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
And here is the windowsill report:

HIPPEASTRUM GERVASE has about finished its first scape of three flowers. The second scape, of four flowers, is just opening now. Its first flower, with a lot of red, is almost fully open. The second one is starting to open, the third is in full bud and the fourth is in junior bud. I expect to see all four open along about Wednesday, and then the first one will start to fade.

OTHER HIPPEASTRUM: Four of the five bulbs I kept from the Class of 2006 have put up flower stalks. As I recall, the fifth has always been a late bloomer. So far, only one of the class of 2009 has put up a stalk. It's definitely going to be a keeper; I may select four or five others at random. Classes of 2011 and 2012 are showing low-light fatigue, with gangling stems. The same can be said of my five species hippeastrums. Mandonii and Val's papilio will need to repotted. Everybody will go out back and to hell with worries about mosaic virus.

SCHLUMBERGERA: I have way too many of the Class of 2009 and will weed them this fall. About ten of the salmon NOID x 'Madisto' seedlings look vigorous. They'll get repotted in late summer or early fall, I think, unless they have a real growth spurt. I have a couple blooms out of season -- some from a nondescript red whose leaves are more smooth-lobed than my others, and a surprise bud from 'Xmas flame,' probably something that happened because I turned the plant.

NOPALXOCHIA still looks like shit. But the cutting I took looks pretty good, so I may trash the parent plant and keep the baby. I did some recon on Dodo's Nopalxochia at the Flower Show and note that it's in a coir basket, not a pot. Point taken...

SANSEVIERIA: I have cuttings from Bill Schaffer's "J A C K" Flower Show exhibit. I potted them up today.

BASEMENT SEEDLINGS: I have swiss chard, parsley, and a 6" apple tree.

COLEUS: I'm only wintering over the ones with serious provenance now. Chris and Margaret's wedding coleus, Alabama sunset (my first), one I pinched as an anniversary souvenir, and one that grew in a neighbor's pot ("burning bush," I think) and is the one I'm actually saving because I love the way it looks.
lblanchard: (Default)
I have just finished the third heavy drench of mort aux fungus gnats. Good thing, too, because I'm just about out of bacteria. I will have to order more to continue my planned maintenance program.

I think the nopalxochia cutting has completely died. I don't see any green. That will teach me to get impatient and excavate developing roots. If I find another cutting next year I will cultivate zen-like patience. I am scrupulously leaving the sansevieria cutting alone, although I will say its roots are sturdy enough that I can pick up the whole pot by the cutting.

All eight of my H. 'papilio x emerald' seedings have put up second leaves, so I will feed them this week. Last year's H. 'papilio x chico' all look good, with four leaves each. Some of my H. 'Trader Joe x Gervase' seedlings have six leaves. No sign of virus on any of the leaves of H. 'supermarket,' which makes me happy, as I discarded both parents last week. There are some odd markings on some of my H. 'Trader Joe' selfs, but they don't show the mosaic pattern and I'm keeping them quarantined in the sitting room.

New growth on the Christmas 'papilio' and both of its pups. The new 'papilios' are dying back very slowly.

I've picked out a curly willow branch that I'll root for [ profile] halfmoon_mollie and will have to look for a mailing tube when the time comes.

It's a beautiful, clear, cool day today. I have yet to turn on the air conditioner in my office, and am beginning to believe I will make it through June.
lblanchard: (Default)
For the last week or so I've had the uneasy feeling that my scrap of Dodo Hamilton's Nopalxochia was pushed too deep into the vermiculite and that it was too low in the pot, meaning that the cutting was getting too little light (and, possibly, air).

Today I took a deep breath and excavated. The good news is that it has roots more than an inch long. The bad news is that it has a necrotic spot. So I pulled it from the vermiculite and put it in potting medium -- with the pot filled almost to the top with the potting medium and the cutting buried about 1/2" - 3/4" inch more shallowly. If the disruption doesn't set it back, the increased light and air just might do the trick.

I have leaned close to it and promised it lots of attention and a VERY handsome pot if it will only live.
lblanchard: (Default)
About a week ago I mentioned that I thought the Nopalxochia phyllanthoides cutting was on its last legs and that it would be a race between rooting/new growth and the collapse of the original cutting.

Not so! A week or so ago, the cutting was shriveled and wrinkly. Today, although the parts that had browned up are still browned up, the center of it is all plump and healthy-looking and maybe even photosynthesizing! I think it may have taken up water through the new roots and may be making its new plant under the surface of the vermiculite.

Also, I definitely have nine hippeastrum seedlings. One or two of them have put up the first leaflets in addition to their sprouty roots, woo hoo.
lblanchard: (Default)
Yesterday was so much fun that I think today I'll ride down to the Wal*Mart by the Delaware, via. the natural foods store, and buy my summer yoga pants and some whole grains that I can use as cat grass. The skies are a little threatening, so I may change my mind.

Meanwhile, both of my hippeastrum pods are definitely starting to split open. I will give them another day or so in case the seeds are still ripening inside the pods, and then I'll see what I've got. The 'papilio' x 'emerald' is so heavy I've had to stake the stem.

Roy has pointed out, not terribly gently, that there's a hippeastrum population explosion around here and something will probably have to be done. Indeed, and I plan to reduce two windowsill planters to a measly five bulbs, possibly as early as this evening. Virus being a problem, the remaining bulbs will be discarded and the soil sterilized in a 350 oven for a couple hours.

This morning I did something I had been putting off since last fall -- I re-potted the Nopalxochia. An internet friend, a nurseryman, had warned me that I could expect to find nothing but muck at the bottom of the pot after the plant's meltdown last summer, so I'd been dreading the experience. Today I unpotted it and found....healthy, sweet-smelling soil shot through with live roots! So much for my internet expert friend. But I refreshed the soil at the bottom and sides of the pot, watered it in, and think I may keep it indoors this year and see what happens.

I'll want to remember one of these days, so I should comment that on Monday, April 17 Roy and I pruned our curly willow severely. That is to say, we cut it off about 6" above the level of the soil in the pot. We are hoping to have a curly willow shrub. If not, we will have a nice big pot to use for something else.
lblanchard: (Default)
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.
lblanchard: (Default)
I'm happy to have gotten some work done the past two mornings, and expect to put in a solid five or six hours today as well before I knock off for a bike ride. The Macy's Flower Show runs till tomorrow, but for me it's over: I photographed Bill Schaffer's arrangement yesterday. I begged off the shoot of the work-in-progress Wednesday night. After doing Michael Bruce's, I was wiped out the next day (and in fact I think being so tired contributed to the lapse in judgment that caused the comic bike crash) and didn't want to repeat the mistake. Bill and Christian took some point and shoot photos and also a video, which made me a little sorry I missed it.

So here's the Macy's flowery goodness for your enjoyment:

On the windowsills, etc.:
  • I have a pineapple top rooting in a jar of water (plunged into the water yesterday)
  • I have more tarragon seedlings than I know what to do with
  • My Schlumbergera seedlings, planted last spring, have put out a number of full-sized leaves so I think that potting on will be called for very soon
  • H. 'papilio' x 'emerald' is still showing a fine seedpod and a robust stalk leading up to it so I don't think it will abort. It's starting to show signs that it's going to ripen and split any day now
  • H. 'appleblossom' x 'gervase' is likewise maturing nicely
  • H. 'supermarket' x 'papilio' looks a little puny but the stalk is still robust so I don't think it's aborting. Ditto for 'trader joe' x 'papilio'
  • H. 'trader joe' x 'gervase,' class of 2011, has survived its potting on although some bulbs are sulking and leaves are yellowing -- but only one per bulb and I see some new leaves coming up
  • the scrap of Dodo's Nopalxochia that I picked up doesn't look terribly promising, but then it also doesn't look any worse than it did two weeks ago, so I'm not giving up on it
  • I pulled up four seedling maples (cotyledons plus one set of true leaves) from the ground around a little grove of dwarf cut-leaf maples by the Horticulture Center. Two of them show absolutely no signs of shock

I am wondering whether any of my hardy hibiscus have germinated yet, but that means a trip to the basement. Perhaps later.
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.

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.
lblanchard: (Default)
2011-01-20_01teacupAlthough I'd love to have space to grow butter beans, it's also very nice to be able to walk to a store that sells mugs and tea like these. I bought this mug because it reminds me of the illustrations for Monkey Subdues the White Bone Demon, although I didn't find Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy, or the monk once I got it home.

The tea is oolong and not my favorite. There's a tea-shop about a mile and a half from here, but it's not convenient to go to it in the winter because of the short days and the snow. But I just found out that they do mail order! For the cost of two bus tokens I can have my Earl Gray/Darjeeling blend and my Blue Eyes sent to me! The deed is done.

boring windowsill and food stuff )
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)

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