November 21, 2014

The Insouciant Gardener

'Lackadaisical' was the other word I considered but it isn't that I lack bodily energy or enthusiasm, I just fail to be as diligent about some things as I could.

One of the things I am not diligent about is labeling. The Amaryllis above bloomed last month out of regular Amaryllis season through my failed diligence. I don't know its name -- it lost its label. Does it really matter? No. What matters is that it is healthy and hardy.

Now that the freezes are done for a few days, I poked around in the greenhouse and hauled up the Amaryllis that were lying on their sides to keep water out of the pots, ripped off the dead leaves and took stock. Some could use just a scoop of topdressing with fresh potting soil. They have more resting to do.  

I've more Amaryllis than I remembered. There are two pots labeled 'Benfica.' I remembered only one. They're both awfully fat for one to be an offset. Some pots have no labels. I am not distressed about labels. When they bloom I recognize them most of the time.

There are plants that I have not rested because some are seedlings or offsets and not quite blooming size. If they get a notion to bloom, they'll bloom without rest -- and without labels.

 I am hoping that pots of bulbs sitting around the greenhouse will eventually produce blooms like these from 2011. I'm experimenting with Tazetta narcissus that grew in someone's garden for the past five decades to see if they'll bloom in a pot. I dug Exotica Amaryllis from my own garden before the freeze to see if they'll bloom again in a pot. 

I may still order off for Amaryllis. Vendors continue to send tempting emails. I can make room.

November 19, 2014

The Best Part of Waking Up

I love the story about the little boy who put toy soldiers in his Grandmother's coffee mug because 'the best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.'

He-Who-Mows and Makes Coffee sometimes has to reset the coffee maker before I drag out of bed but this morning I was up before daylight to see if the temperature really got as low as predicted. Shortly after I got up, it dropped one more degree to 24º which I think was the low. The greenhouse stayed well above freezing because I set the heaters higher than necessary, still fine tuning.  

A blog that I read had links to all kinds of accessories for coffee drinkers on her post this morning. One of the items was a deluxe milk frother. For free I put a little milk in a pint jar and shake hard. Take off the lid and microwave a few  seconds for hot froth. The deluxe machine does not heat. 

Usually if there isn't much milk in the jug, I just shake the jug hard for instant froth which cools my coffee just enough.

Oh, did you notice the Thanksgiving Cactus? First Schlumbergera to bloom in the greenhouse. I brought it in last night to enjoy indoors. I had to coax a tiny frog out of the outer pot before I left the greenhouse.

Another freeze predicted tonight. I'll wake up to Folgers in my cup and Frost on the landscape. My children never called them soldiers, they said 'Little Army Men.' I think I'll buy a bag of them for Christmas.

Folgers does not know that we use their product. We buy our own. 

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