December 30, 2012

A Last Look in the Greenhouse, 2012

This will be the last peek into the greenhouse for 2012. Christmas flowers turned out differently than I had envisioned.

'Nymph' Amaryllis still has not bloomed, so it moved into the house to see if consistently warmer temps will encourage it. It has a second fat bud trying to catch the tardy one. 'Benfica' which bloomed so magnificently is fading as a second scape rushes to fill in.

Bird of Paradise foliage and fern underplanted gives the
tropical look that I love. Schlumbergera on the back wall
are fading fast. Last to bloom was a peach color, which
we'll see in a moment.

Freezing temps last night and predicted for
tonight sent my seedling veggies inside.
Spinach, carrots and lettuces.
 

Sweet William seedlings will go outside soon. The awkward
cuttings are Brugmansias and behind them, small
cuttings of Gardenias for a hedge when summer
arrives. They grow fast once planted out.
Under the bench is a huge Epiphyllum oxypetalum
peeking out. They have to be tucked somewhere
for winter protection and don't seem to mind where.

Graptophyllum and Rusellia make good companions.
The Firecracker Fern has bloomed since I brought it in.
Pentas cuttings and more Epiphyllums are behind.
 
Pineapple Sage adds more red blooms. Red is
the January color in here until hyacinths
bloom in blue and peach.

If you look closely you can see a green tomato.
Container vegetables are new this winter in
the greenhouse.
 
The last Christmas Cactus to bloom and buds
remain. We had blossoms in pink, scarlet,
white, yellow and peach.
 

I bought this Staghorn in a tiny pot last January.

More red: a Begonia that seeded itself into the floor last fall. I dug it
and planted in a pot. Surrounded by Bromeliads, it seems happy.
Viola seedlings I potted up seem happy, too in a turquoise strawberry pot.
 
I had hope for at least green leaves for Christmas
if not blooming hyacinths. They finally have
green tips. My new Tillandsia arches above.
 
A last look at the seedling Begonia and some Bromeliads.
 
 
I want to have a seating area and a tea table and more accoutrements to make my greenhouse look like those on Pinterest that are so pretty and interesting. Somehow bits of cuttings and little seedlings and emerging bulbs just take up all the room.
 
The cat demands his space and the dog really needs room to turn around to leave rather than backing out like she did today when seedling containers temporarily blocked the path. Nights will be above freezing after tonight and we can clear the path. When heaters are not needed at night, I can move them out of the way as well.
 
Tonight's low is predicted 32 degrees F. The next few nights will be above freezing. On freezing nights I have 2 electric heaters set on low.
 
 
Happy New Year from the Greenhouse.
 
 
 
 
 
 


December 25, 2012

Just in Time for Christmas

Schlumbergera blooms according to a schedule of watering, light and some internal Christmas Cactus triggers that I cannot explain.

Merry Christmas from the Greenhouse.

1 - This is the first bloom on this color.
Is it called Salmon, Peach or Orange?

2 - Almost open.

3 - This cutting was rooted at the end of summer and still made it to
bloom in time. The blue cache pot turned out an excellent choice.
 
Scarlet plants have been in bloom since
Thanksgiving. Some of the smaller cuttings
have just started, all scarlet save one are
from the same plant.


White was earliest bloomer of the cuttings from Miss Trudy.
It still has open blooms but many have faded.
 
 
Almost too late, I realized I never uploaded a pic of
 yellow Schlumbergera, subtly distinguished from the white.
 
 
 
In other news:
The hoped-for Hyacinths are finally showing tiny green tips.
I'd hoped for blooms to wrap in moss and raffia for Christmas.
They'll be Valentine favors. My timing was a little off.
These are Blue Jacket, note the purple bulbs.
Gypsy Queen's bulbs are White and bloom a peachy pink.
 
Some years I buy mixed Hyacinths, separate by color and
plant like color bulbs together. Sometimes you get a range of
a single color like blue, sometimes you get real surprises!

December 21, 2012

Pentas for Christmas


Pentas lasted almost to Christmas outside. A few Butterflies were out briefly yesterday before the rain and wind picked up.
.

Christmas Bouquet, 2012 -- A bouquet picked for Christmas is a rare treat.

I went out and picked as many Pentas stems as I could. I have plans for white Pentas in a bed of whites next spring. You can't have too many 'Ruby' Pentas, just ask the butterflies.

Pentas in Summer
 
When flowers in my bouquet fade, I'll clip off the heads and keep the foliage in water all winter. In the spring, I'll cut off the bottoms of the stems and root them.


 'They' say there's only about a 10% success rate, but last Spring I had really good rootings and in years before.


Pentas in 2008

There are already rooted cuttings in the greenhouse, lots of pink and rose and a few
lavender too but they never seem enough when planting time comes.





December 13, 2012

Just Can't Get enough of Christmas Cactuses

Yes, Ma'am, I know the correct plural is Cacti. That's the Latin plural. The English plural is Cactuses.

Back in the early fall, Miss Winnie brought me cuttings from her Sister Trudy's Christmas Cactuses. One Easter Cactus and five of the Christmas kind. The scarlet one bloomed first, similar if not identical to the only Christmas Cactus I had.

My original Schlumbergera, bought at a bargain after Christmas one year.
 
Second to bloom was the white, a stunner. It's fuller now
since more buds opened while we had a warm spell.
 
Love the pink!
 
There's a yellow that is going to be fully open
ahead of the pink.
 
The slowest to open is still with tight buds that
i expect to be that pretty peach color unless it
surprises me and turns out lavender.
It will be splendid either way.
 
We are about to have cold again, perhaps down to 34 degrees F. tonight.
I set the heaters in place. Maybe tomorrow I'll bring this Amaryllis into
the house where it can speed up opening where the temperatures are steady.
 
 
Jungle Cacti lend themselves to creative plantings.
 
I'm linking to Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. Join us there to see what's blooming. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

December 08, 2012

It's Beginning to look a Lot like Christmas Cactus

The Schlumbergera cuttings taken back in the early fall are in bud. My original Christmas Cactus bought after Christmas some years back is in full bloom.

Purchased at a big box store after Christmas at a bargain.
Repotted twice since and gave up six cuttings last summer.
 
White Christmas Cactus is so elegant.
This was a recent cutting from Ms. Trudy.
The others have not bloomed but are in bud.
I can hardly wait to see the colors.
 
These next three pics are of rooted cuttings that I stuck in a
grapevine ball full of moss along with some Graptopetalum
and some resurrection fern with a bromeliad on top.

A better view of Graptopetalum and the bromeliad.

From yet another direction. This gets daily watering while
we are having a warm spell. It sits atop a closed pot.
 
The Christmas flowers are spacing themselves for a long season.
There are Schlumbergeras that are just coming into bud.
An Amaryllis is almost ready to bloom, another just peeking
out of the bulb. Another that I hope to see before Spring
is from last year and I'm hoping for rebloom.
 
Also in the greenhouse are Pineapple sage in bloom, four nice
cuttings from Susie to whom I gave S. elegans before mine died
and she's returned the favor. Firecracker Fern has bloomed
nonstop since it came inside, and red begonias. All are festive.
 
One last peek at the White Christmas Cactus.
By Christmas we should have white Kalanchoe blooms.
 
 
 

December 01, 2012

Blooming December First


Anxiously awaited, they're finally opening -- not all at once.



Growing in moss inside a grapevine sphere.



 
 
 
 
 
First white blossom.
Cutting rooted this summer.
 
 
Tillandsia cyanea I bought just recently,
blue blooms coming out of pink bracts.
 
 
 







 

Mathotiana Camellia.

Sissy planted this more than 40 years ago.
It was pulled up because it was too close to the house.
Eventually it grew back from the roots.
Still to close to the house, I just prune it back.
These first early blooms are larger than usual.
So pretty.



 
Joining Tootsie for to Flaunt our Flowers on Fertilizer Friday. It's cold where Tootsie gardens and she's wrapped up her greenhouse because it is cold and snowy outside there. I picked up pecans wearing a tee shirt and jeans here today. We've had a frost and many tender plants are gone here.

November 14, 2012

Thinking Outside the Pot

Not all house plants must grow in a traditional pot. Steve Asbell introduced me to the idea of plants growing in a grapevine ball.


My homemade grapevine balls are loose and clumsy. I expect the plants to eventually take over so the vehicle is simply a tool. Grapevines are abundant here, so maybe my wrapping technique will improve. Enough space has to remain so that long-cut moss and the root balls of plants can be inserted. Rooting cuttings in a tray with a long thing root bed seems ideal.

I used what is at hand here: Christmas Cactus cuttings, Graptopetalum rosettes and Resurrection fern, topped off with a Bromeliad pup.

 
Hanging is not convenient, so I set the sphere in an old clay pot with lots of patina. The pot sits in a bonsai saucer or on a tray of pebbles, depending on my whim as I search for an ideal spot.
 
 
Later I set the ball into the top of a decorative cache pot.
See at the bottom, there's a frond of Resurrection Fern?
 
Resurrection Fern turned out not ideal for a Moss Ball.
 
This fern likes a constantly moist surface and plenty of humidity. Once it dries out, I have a hard time 'resurrecting' it. Next I will try some kind of dainty fern that came up in the Greenhouse floor.
 
Graptopetalum makes a good contrast to finer foliage. Its only drawback is that it tends to get leggy. I just break off and restick when it begins to hang on a long stem.

Only the fern at the bottom retains enough water
 to stay green and not all of it looks hydrated.
 

I can hardly wait for the Schlumbergera to
open, six weeks before Christmas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 10, 2012

Ike Gives a Tour of his Domain

Come right in, Ike give tour.
These plants grow good, Ike give them attention.
Rogue petunia come up in Violas, not Ike fault.
First of planted trays fall upside on floor, not Ike fault, either. Dog!
 

Meowm puts fragile plants in heavy crockery. Ike no tip over cache pots.
Amaryllis have big bud.

 
Ike have runway to back on shelf behind this staging.
Firecracker fern and Graptopetalum good companions.
Ike not know why Ghost Plant leaves fall off so easily.
 
 
 
Peeper frog hide in Bromeliad. Ike stalk anoles.
Anoles, frogs and toads help with pest control.
Ike keep mousez away, also squirrelz.
 
      Ike lie on bottom shelf of wicker stand.
Ike love bed, best seat in greenhouse.
 
      
Heliconia blossom.
 
Christmas cactus have budz;
if Ike break stem, root more plants.
See below in little blue pot top left.
Ike not worry, every piece root.
 
 
Meowm buy bromeliad for 2 bucks, in tiny green pot.
Now happy in big pot.
 
Bromeliad have babies growing already.
 
 
Ike love on Epiphyllums, make grow.
Step on rooting cuttings, get scold.
 
Bromeliad and Christmas cactus.

You come back, see Ike plantz grow.
Ike love attention.
 

 

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