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: (Default)
I left my big sansevieria out in the back house over the winter and it died. However, one of the leaves dried up toward the roots but was still green and solid in the middle in that curious undead way sansevieria leaves have. So I cut a couple of slices and stuck them into potting soil. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember which ends were up (it makes a difference when you're rooting sansevieria, apparently). But I stuck them in and hoped for the best.

Earlier today I knocked over the pot. Blast and damn. I picked up the cuttings and one of them has two fairly robust roots on it. If it's not the worse for wear after its tumble out of the pot, I may get a replacement plant out of this. Pretty cool -- the original plant was a piece of plant larceny I committed in a Sarasota FL parking lot in 2000. The plant bloomed like a madman. Every year. I don't imagine I'll be seeing bloom from Son of Sarasota for a couple of years, though.


While cleaning my office, I found a nest of bank statements and cancelled checks from the late 1990s, including one for a significant amount that I'd written to Roy. I don't remember why I did it but I was clearly disgruntled because the memo line says "Blood from a turnip."
lblanchard: (Default)
Looks like 'gervase' x 'apple blossom' is aborting. I'm not terribly upset -- I will have more than enough experiments from the Class of 2012, I fear. 'Papilio' x 'emerald' still looks good, and so does 'apple blossom' x 'gervase,' which was pollinated the same day. Too early to tell on the other crosses. Another 'gervase' is opening and I think I may just dab a little leftover 'emerald' on one of the flowers just because I can.

Look at this pretty seed packet:


Proceeds from the sale of this open pollinated heirloom hardy hibiscus (H. moscheutos) will benefit the City Harvest program, so I'm doing good by growing plants. Imagine that! I also have no idea what I'll do with 10-15 hardy hibiscus plants, assuming good germination. Actually, I do: dividend plants for the PHS member appreciation day; gifts to the going-green neighbors with rain gardens; possibly one or two in the Julian Abele park if the powers that be will deign to accept them. Or perhaps some guerrilla gardening in the new Wal*Mart rain garden!

Here's more about the seeds from Hudson Valley Seed Library:

([personal profile] karenkay, be sure to click the link and scroll down to see that ukulele is the instrument of John Bartram!)

In other news, I salvaged a leaf segment from the presumed-dead Sansevieria and will attempt to root one piece in vermiculite and another in water.
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.
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.


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