June 27, 2013

I vowed when Gardenia foliage obscured white Azaleas in the spring that I would cut them back when they finished bloom.

Yesterday the heat index here was reported by local TV station as 100 degrees. Projects outside must be done in stages. So far I’ve cut all of two Gardenias and part of another, only 3 to go.

When I cut shrubbery, it is very hard for me not to save every piece for rooting.

There are 7 rooted Gardenias outside the greenhouse. There’s really no reason to root more.

There are a half dozen rooted white Kalanchoe in anticipation of Christmas. Stock plants have new foliage that begs rooting as well. Sometimes I just can't restrain myself.

I really got carried away with Schlumbergera.

Epiphyllums are summering on a makeshift bench. There are 3 buds on one, soon to bloom

Epiphyllum, soon to bloom.
This one had 3 buds. One failed, the one on the right. Sometimes they abort for lack of water, sometimes for another reason I don’t know. Ugly foliage is on the ground in a tray. Sometimes a yellow leaf will root and everything turn green and make a good plant. I have 5 pots now, the last three were pieces that broke off and I rooted.

Other people are plant collectors who want one of every cultivar. I want dozens of the one I have.

June 26, 2013

From Seed to Fruit in a Season

The season isn't over and fruit is not ripe but we are seeing progress.

Seed planted late April now producitng tomatoes.
Cassia alata Candlesticks from seed. Bloom expected late summer.
Fruit from Candlesticks are seeds for subsequent years.

From bottom: Cassia alata, Silene from scattered seed, reseeded
petunia and second year Pride of Barbados plant from seed.
Pride of Barbados and Cassia were started in greenhouse.
Flamme tomato plant started in greenhouse in April, now in Front
Garden bed and starting to bloom.
All tomatoes fertilized yesterday and today and given a small spoonful of Epsom Salts.
Black Cherry Tomatoes in Ruins Bed were staked and grass and weeds pulled.
Dark buds of Purple Datura and black stems, plants from seed this Spring.
 Not many seedlings are left in the greenhouse except for a couple of Gerbera Daisies. Something has sprouted where I thought cuttings were earlier that I have to wait to identify until it has true leaves.
Only a month until time to plant perennial and biennial seeds. Some of my Sweet William plants have root rot. Dianthus has a hard time in hot humid weather. Bath's Pinks cuttings are struggling too.

June 21, 2013

Tomato Patch Map

This is an information post so I can keep up with which tomato is where.  There was a written record. I lost it. I pulled up two plants that looked as if they were either diseased or burned by fertilizer which is my worst fear. He-who-mows keeps insisting that they need fertilizer and I keep having flashbacks to 1969 when his Mama told of her pretty tomato plants, "... and I looked out there and Idus and Frank were just stirring fertilizer into my tomato bed...." Burned them to a crisp, that fertilizer.


Brandywine, Stafford's Str.(3)     Kellogg's Breakfast  Aussie  Green Zebra  Assie(2)  Dogma's(2)
#1 does not look like Brandywine


Flamme (3)    Black Krim (3)   Green Zebra(2)   Black Cherry (2)


I finally added more fertilizer just to get him to hush. Two Kellogg's looked burned and I pulled them up. They were replaced with a Green Zebra and an Aussie because those were the best looking seedlings I have. I shaded them with wire trash baskets. They look fine. I did not use the same holes where the others were but moved to the other side of the stakes. Now my spacing is off.

In the front Garden, there is Black Krim and Flamme nearest the road, their not-red fruits for display; maybe they'll taste good, too.

Flamme to the South
The little heart is a dried Redbud leaf hanging
off one of the supports.
Black Krim
Black Krim has blooms

Kellogg's Breakfast is at the end of the rock wall bed near a Kniphofia.
Three Green Zebra march across the rear of that same bed.

I gave them all little labels but the labels tend to get covered by mulch or soil or compost or rooted out by critters or somebody trying to sneak in more fertilizer.

June 18, 2013

Lilies and Gladiolus Simple Arrangement

After last week, I vowed to have no more highly scented flowers or a big arrangement.

I vowed to have no more than will fit in a bud vase.
These Gladioli bulbs came from Dollar Tree,
years back when they had such in early Spring.
One little spike of Larkspur left, tall enough
for the vase when I cut it off at the ground.
Regal Lilies were a fav of my mother.
Once when we visited, she had Regal lilies and 
a sheaf of Larkspur in a white ceramic container.
Looking carefully for Black Swallowtail caterpillars, I cut some umbels of
parsley and some curling wisteria tendrils.
Regal Lilies have a heavy fragrance somewhat like the scent of Noxema skin cream. If we can't live with this smell, next week I'll use Orienpets that have little or no fragrance. I like the encouragement by Erin to use our garden flowers to make a weekly bouquet for the house.
Join the Garden Appreciation Society for week 6. Show us your bouquet, please.

June 17, 2013

Begonias and Tomatoes, Summer Staples

Begonias are much easier than the now-maligned-because-they-get-a-virus and die Impatiens. Wax-leaf Begonias can go without water without fainting and falling over. They let you know they've been mistreated by going all pale in the foliage.

White begonias tried out last evening for a role in pots where
Violas spent the winter beside the circle bench.
Later today I'll go back with fresh potting soil and pot them there.

They are in mostly shade except in late afternoon as the sun goes down. They joined an urn of striped Spider Plants.  One project done calls for another. Now wisteria must be pruned so I can see past and through it.

I made a tuteur style support for Kellogg's Breakfast Tomato that's being adored by a Kniphofia. I drove a rebar piece into the ground and one long stake of the tuteur went into the ground about a foot.

Rebar is the main support -- the wood pieces are mostly decoration, lashed with twine.

Flamme and Black Krim tomatoes and their supports: rebar and decor. I drove wood stakes in the ground beside the plants to discourage armadillo digging here.

Hot, hot today. Forty per cent chance of showers, would be much appreciated.

When I went out to the greenhouse for a moment, a big Zebra Swallowtail flitted past the doors as I came out. I was beginning to despair about butterflies -- they seem scarce for this time of year.

June 14, 2013

There is no Bloom Day in the Greenhouse

Well, there is no Bloom Day in the greenhouse except for a few pots of White Begonias.

Begonias are still in there because I have not settled on where they're going. I'd like pots of white Begonias beside my curved bench in shade but I don't want to lug water to them every day or two. Maybe I'll do it anyway. It would join an urn with some very green Spider Plants with white stripes.

Today I put up shade on the west end of the greenhouse. I used some non-woven polyester material that some chairs we bought last year were wrapped in. It was too good to throw away; I knew it would come in handy. It was a very professional hanging -- I used paper clips, the metal kind with little wires that fold back. 

They come in all sizes and are very handy.

Even with shade and mist, it's too hot for most plants in the greenhouse through the summer.

 No blooms but this Bromeliad, ghost plant, jungle cactus sphere is still in the greenhouse. It appreciates the mist as it sits on the floor, the coolest spot. The rest of the Bromeliads are outside, or given away.

Outside the greenhouse, a watermelon has volunteered in the flower bed, the Sweet Williams are dying off before blooming and there's this:

Gerbera seedling.

June 13, 2013

Mistletoe in Summer and other Fun Things

Mama used to grow this little cactus. I forget what she called it, but it wasn't Mistletoe.

She didn't call it Rhipsalis, either, from the Greek word for Wickerwork.

I first saw this epiphytic cactus on Rainforest Garden blog.

I found a little pot of Rhipsalis and  one of Burro Tail Sedum at a garden center in Tallahassee.

I divided the cactus into three pots and am rooting the pieces that broke off the Burro Tail.

These jungle plants are surviving in the heat and humidity of the greenhouse.

I moved the potting bench and some other fixtures of the greenhouse, including Ike's Wicker stand. Ike isn't overly impressed with the new locations but it may work out better in the winter. He'll be able to jump up on the bench where the flower arrangement sits and onto his beloved shelf on the left. He likes the potting bench, too.

About the flowers -- this didn't work out so well. The resinous scent of the purple Vitex almost did me in. By the time I took it in the house, it had to come right back out and I removed the smelly stuff that was making my nose itch and burn. I left the Oakleaf Hydrangea, Echinacea, Kniphofia and Shrimp Plant. It's still a big bouquet and overwhelms the kitchen table. I'm going back to bud vases.

June 08, 2013

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

In winter when Pine Needles fall, I store them in the stick house. Often to save loading and unloading, I gather them and pile at the ends of existing flower beds, and easy way to discourage grass and extend the bed later.

Pine Straw Mulch

When I'm planting out seedlings and rooted cuttings in spring and summer, I 'borrow' some of the extra pine straw from a bed end to mulch the new plants.

This morning I planted a couple of Iberis cuttings and took more cuttings from existing plants -- at this rate I will never empty the greenhouse.

Eight good sized plants of Salvia leucantha replaced some that died in the long rock bed and added to the beds nearby to give continuity among the beds.

Ike with Pineapple Sage

The remaining Pineapple Sage in a pot got a new home and some pine straw. Its companions are a red gladioli and some Milk and Wine Lilies. I dug up a daffodil siting the Salvia. Sigh.

Yesterday I planted out the remaining Bath's Pinks.

June 06, 2013

A Peek into the Greenhouse before I set everything on the Floor.

Tropical Storm Andrea on the way this morning had me worried just enough to want to make sure no flying crockery went through the greenhouse walls.

 White Begonias repotted on Tuesday except for the one on the left. These cuttings have grown well.

After the Photo, I put everything on the floor in case of high winds. That possibility is not over as I prepare this post but the ceiling vents are locked down and the doors are secured, to the chagrin of  Ike the Cat who thinks this fine weather for hanging out.

Except for some few Tomato seedlings and Iberis cuttings I planted out most everything that was still waiting in the greenhouse. These cool, rainy days are a respite from our usual hot and humid but it won't last. Andrea will move on and the sun will come out again.

June 03, 2013

Like Transplanting in a Steam Bath

We had a half inch of rain last night. Today is alternating cloudy and sunny. The temperature and the humidity were neck and neck for a while.

Just before noon, the temp was 79 and the humidity was 81. When humidity gets that high, sweating doesn't cool you, the moisture beads on your skin and rolls off rather than evaporating.

White Shrimp Plant

I transplanted Shrimp plants and some others. Everything went into the Upper Garden in part shade. There were red Shrimps and a big Gerbera seedling.

Echinacea in the Upper Garden in shade

The red Shrimp Plants went in beside some Echinacea and the little Mariesii Hydrangeas.  I tucked the Gerbera Daisy near another one.

The greenhouse needs to be as empty as possible for summer. Ike the Cat is still going in there but he crawls under the potting bench to rest on the cool floor just out of reach of the mist.

I transplanted a half dozen Tomato seedlings today, one to replace the one the cutworm got in my Tomato Patch and more in sunny beds where I used varieties with more colorful fruits that are not red.

Christmas and Easter Cactus cuttings.
I am keeping a close eye on Cactus cuttings for viruses. They may need to move back inside this week until rain is over. I already removed some in plastic pots from cache pots that do not drain.



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