February 28, 2013

Grapevine Wreath on Potting Bench

Alison suggested putting something on the back of the potting bench that
I will see as I come into the greenhouse. I tried a grapevine wreath.

What do you think, do I need something more colorful to hang on the back of the potting bench? A sign? A plant on the shelf that hangs over? I have spider plants. Pennant flags? Something I haven't thought of? Plant the grapevine wreath with epiphytes in the manner of Rainforest Balls? I have Christmas Cactus cuttings and rhapsalis.

February 27, 2013

Greenhouse Space

I wrote about best use of Greenhouse space in early January. Adding more portable shelving gave me more space for plants. I've tried hard to determine the best arrangement of greenhouse 'furniture' and here's the latest plan.

The potting bench that was in the left corner as I walk in the door was directly under one of the nozzles of the mister. It was continually wet last summer.

The three-shelf unit was first in the center, then at right angles to a wall shelf and the potting bench.


The Potting Bench is now at right angles and the shelves along the north wall. They changed places.
It seems odd to have a potting bench in the middle of the floor but I think it is going to work.

It may seem odd to have the back of the potting bench face the door. Here's the rationales: I can look outside the door instead of the back wall. The vintage wood medicine cabinet that I use for storage opens the 'right' way if it's on the left end when I work. I had moved it to a very awkward position to get it away from the moisture of the mist nozzle.

Turned the other way, the cabinet would prevent the cat's path to his favorite perch.  The apron on the back kind of hides my 'mess' if the bench isn't tidy. My bag of potting soil is better hidden. I guess you could say I've created a 'potting nook'

A bromeliad, some Pineapple Sage and a Fern went up high. It may be too warm for them up there soon but there will be other plants going outside as the weather warms. We just need to get past the last frost.

It took two days bringing the plants and equipment from just the shelf unit and bench back inside once I got the furnishings moved, and rearranged so that everything fits. I'm still moving things around. Some cuttings had to be stuck of course and other little tasks. The Christmas Cactuses still need watering.

Very little on the south side changed except for moving plants from place to place. I'm excited that there are two Amaryllis buds about to bloom. One is a third bud from one of the bulbs from Christmas. One is a rebloom from the previous Christmas. I can't remember which it was, so the color is a surprise.

Lane looked out the window and said, "Look!"

A Pileated Woodpecker was walking around on the ground eating.

I guess even woodpeckers like to vary their diet, ground bugs instead of tree insects.


 We caught a glimpse of the Downy Woodpecker pair but I couldn't get a picture of them.

Out of about a dozen photos snapped through the window screen, 3 ignored the screen.

She walked up the tree after I took this but all the pictures focused on the window screen instead of the bird.
By the time I remembered that the screen in the front room does not cover the upper half of the window, she flew toward the pines just as I looked out.
I wish I'd gotten a photo when she spread her wings and flew up into a pecan tree before she finally flew away. I rarely see one with wings spread. They fly like a wild turkey, hardly flapping at all once they get going.

February 25, 2013

My Orchid in Bloom!

It was a Mother's Day present, maybe four years ago. A phalaenopsis orchid in a glass cylinder with stones topped with reindeer moss was lovely in bloom. 

When the blooms faded, I cut off the stalk as directed. The green leaves lasted. And Lasted. I watered once in a while when the stones were almost dry and the moss stopped being green. Years passed. One day last summer I noticed a rough greyish stem that turned out to be an aerial root, soon joined by more aeriel roots.  Finally just after New Year's I noticed there was a green smooth stem. It had a 'mitten' on the end.

Seven weeks passed since I noticed the bud forming. a second bud formed, now a third. This morning the first bloom is almost open, a lovely surprise. I had forgotten how it looked, only that it was white.

Small in comparison to the potted orchids I bought in January, but precious to behold.

The greenhouse gets too cool so the orchids bloom indoors.

February 20, 2013

Peeks at Strobilanthes, Epiphyllum oxypetalum and Ferns

 Epiphyllum corner. Night Blooming Cereuses wait here for Spring. There are four big plants crowded up together here. Come spring, I'll trim the ugly leaves and move the pots outside to shade.

Bird's Nest Fern was not happy in the house in an east window.
Here under a shelf, it has put on new leaves. It needs frequent
scruitiny for scale or mealy bugs, which appeared last year.

My new ceramic cache pots with Pentas plants in each.
Pentas are waiting for warm weather, they are not fond of
winter in a cool greenhouse, but these have blossoms.
I thought of a use for the red pots I passed up and will look
for them when next I'm in town.

Persian Shield has commenced winter bloom. One of my favorite plants,
I started rooting a piece of Purple Heart in each pot for even more purple.

Happy little pot of violas outside the greenhouse, plants from saved seed started last fall. .

February 16, 2013

The Termperature Takes a Downturn, not Spring after All

Just when everything was budded out and starting to burst into bloom and we're talking 'early spring' the wind shifts to the north and cold blows in. We expect 25ºF tonight and 27º tomorrow night with a high tomorrow of 52º which may seem balmy to some but is uncomfortable in the South.

I even wrapped little volunteer tomatoes with improvised row cover. Tommies Toes will be such a treat for salad if I can keep them going and since they are there....

When the sun peeked out today the greenhouse warmed to the seventies and I transplanted some rootbound Pentas.

I went ahead and tucked a Neoreglia bromeliad into this pot of Wax Begonias.

Now to find a use for a tray of Kalanchoe cuttings and many Spider plants.
The bromeliad I used is a little sister to this one.

I made a big mistake today. I had a packet of Nigella seeds so I sowed them in an 18 cell tray of planting mix. Wait! Nigella dislike transplanting and beside that, should have been direct sowed last November. I knew that. I'm wavering between trying to transplant before the taproot gets very big and scooping the tops off the cells and sprinkling them in the bed with all those volunteer petunias. Nigella would probably be most happy there.
I dragged the pepper plants I cut back and the two eggplant plants with blooms back into the greenhouse. They'd been enjoying the air outside until it got so cold.
I have a little list of seeds to order off for. Black Pearl Peppers, White Madagascar periwinkles and some Geraniums. Last year I intended to buy a geranium plant and never did. I saw somebody's blog -- maybe it was Tootsie's -- where geranium seeds have sprouted and I decided.... No one vendor I've looked at have all three kinds of seeds. Does anybody know one who does?

February 15, 2013

Bloom Day in the Greenhouse February, 2013

Remember that this is a hobby greenhouse, inexpensive but affordable as compared to the better quality structures usually seen on blogs. Ten by 12 feet; a greenhouse is never big enough.

Gipsy Queen Hyacinths are nearing the end of bloom.
Hyacinths outside are blooming now. Forced in pots of soil,
these can go into the ground when they fade, to bloom again next year.

Heated by two small electric heaters set to come on low fan speed when the temperature dips below 37 degrees in a climate where prolonged freezes are rare, plants are grown for pleasure.

Pentas cuttings, not as happy as they would be in a warmer season, will
go outside for the delight of butterflies when the weather warms.
In the blue pot on the shelf above them, Neoregelia bromeliad.
Pots of Pineapple Sage with a branch of Russelia
equisetiformis hanging over them with similar blooms.
Persian Shield cuttings are blooming, blossoms usually only seen in winter.
Strobilanthes dyerianus is used in the summer garden for purple foliage.
Kalanchoe in bloom at left, cuttings in near view beginning to bloom.
Behind is a pot of pink Begonias.
I'm thinking of taking out some Begonias and putting a Neoregelia  bromeliad in
the pot with Begonias, an idea suggested by Steve Asbell of Rainforest Gardens
When warm weather comes I may combine Kalanchoes with Graptopetalum.
Thank you for visiting my greenhouse.
We're celebrating February Bloom Day with Carol of May Dreams Gardens.
My outdoor blooms are on Secrets of a Seedscatterer. February Gold is the theme.

February 14, 2013

Display Ideas Come from Everywhere

Sitting at the piano behind the floral offerings at a funeral yesterday, I looked up to see a container on the ledge in front of me with a small Areca Palm and an Orchid plant. Lovely.

I  moved my Palm over beside the Orchids to give them more of a
Jungle ambiance.
I would never press my luck by trying to put them in a container together.
Happy Orchids last a long time in bloom.  I bought these in bloom about a month ago. 
They are in a clear pot inside a cache pot that also has a drain hole.

New buds continue to grow in the glass cylinder.
Long roots grew up the sides before I ever saw a bud.

February 12, 2013

My 2011 Amaryllis has a Bud!

Two of the previous year's Amaryllis plants remained in pots. They grew nice foliage and I let them die back by withholding water in late summer.

I thought I was timing them for Christmas blooms. 
One still has no new bud but a nice secondary bulb has formed,
 as this one has on the left.  

A different view of the bud. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't label.

The color will be a surprise. I know it isn't Appleblossom because
Appleblossom was in a clay pot. There are pictures of one with a
peach colored bloom but the pot didn't show.

This year I wrote their names on the pot. Nymph has another bud on a
stem that already bloomed, and another bud coming out of the neck of
the bulb. I've never seen that secondary bud on the stem before.
Nymph, the Hippeastrum with the strange bud above.
The stem on this plant was much shorter than we usually see.

I'm looking forward to the new blossoms.

February 09, 2013

New in the Greenhouse

When we went to the city, I bought two new flowerpots and two new plants.

First the plants:

Burro Tail Sedum.
I forget why I wanted this, except that it always looks so good
in photos. Of course, in photos, the stems are usually about eighteen
inches long. I'm willing to wait, tiny pots were all they had.

Rhipsalis, Mama used to grow this. I plan to use it in Rainforest
Drops, when it puts on more growth. My Rainforest Drops turn out
as Grapevine balls that sit instead of hang, you will see below.  

 Now the pots:

My new flowerpot. I didn't have a plant I wanted to pot up just now,
so I set my grapevine ball on it. Since the Schlumbergera went out of
bloom, the ball needs a bit of enhancement.
I put a Noregelia Bromeliad in my new cache pot. I failed to turn its
best side to the front but you get the idea. Ike the cat loves to shred
Bromeliad leaves.
The new Rhipsalis got into this pic, too. I wish the Epiphyllums behind had shown up better.
They've really taken off and it's a while until they can go outside.
That tomato plant right rear had a ripe tomato. I picked it.
It's time to plant more seeds.

February 06, 2013

Gipsy Queen Hyacinths

I can never decide on a forever favorite.

Gipsy Queen, frequently described as Apricot, Orange or Pink.

These are less mature. Tight buds hardly hint at the beautiful color.
Only a few blues left.
2012 Hyacinths in Pink shades.

Mixed Hyacinths. I like to separate them into what I believe will be pastels,
yellow and whites, and blues/purples. The bulbs may be pale, tan or dark.

The real trick is to plant early or late blooming hyacinths
together so that they bloom together.
Gipsy Queen, Top Hit and Pink Pearl in a previous year.
A last look at Gipsy Queen, 2013.

February 02, 2013

Butterflies in February?

After last night's freeze, I didn't expect to see butterflies in the greenhouse this morning. At one time there were 3 American Painted Ladies. I wonder where they spent the night?

These look like the same butterflies I see out front on Lantana.
They've been quite shy about having their picture taken.
In the greenhouse, they were so busy they didn't mind when I got close.
One of them was fairly tattered. I wonder if a bird almost got him?

They were very attracted to the Hyacinths.

Side view of the closed wings.
Gipsy Queen Hyacinths are breaking color.
Those butterflies ignored them.
White Kalanchoe in bloom. Behind are 'Victoria' Salvia and
Lantana cuttings. At the front is an eggplant plant, no fruit. 

My favoritea right now are begonias. Those are tomatoes in front, even a ripe one at far left.

A last look as I go out the door.


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