March 31, 2014

Too Old for Easter Eggs, I Collect Flower Pots

Now that Epis and Begonias have evacuated the greenhouse, there is room but is there ROOM? I set some plants out on Ike's little porch: parsley, a trio of Porterweed seedlings and some chartreuse Alternanthera.

The rainbow of pots is a temporary notion. Schlumbergeras to the right must move outside soon into a shadier location where they thrived last summer.

Purple Heart Cuttings -- can there be too many?

There's no sign of regrowth on White Shrimp in the garden.
Glad I have these few.

My old Bromeliads are dying. Half a dozen pups are potted up separately. They need brighter light to turn pink. I took out the Neoregelia in the top of the grapevine ball. It never flourished in that medium, nor did the Schlumbergeras which seem to prefer a pot of soil of their own..  Pineapple sages in tin cans are ready to plant out. I found one plant from last year with new growth.

Firecracker finally blooming.

This pitiful piece of Persian Shield dried up and died but it still bloomed.

So why did I leave the Christmas lights up? It was a real effort for an old woman to climb up there and get them in place. I decided to just leave them. They look swell at night even when it isn't Christmas. FYI, climbing up isn't a big deal. Getting back down takes coordination.

It's all fun but I do have to stop unnecessary climbing.. 

March 30, 2014

Moving Out

Spring is here. It's time to move big pots out of the greenhouse. Epiphyllum oxypetalum -- I have six pots -- and mixed pots of Spider Plants, Foxtail Fern and Waxleaf Begonias needed to go outside despite the offhand chance that they might have to come back for a night or two if late frost threatens.

Buffy helped load the little truck with pots of Begonias and friends.

I threw in a couple of Cane begonias for color to get them out of the way.

Some fine tuning and transplanting yet to do, but they are
safely in place under a big Red Cedar in semi shade.
I am contemplating painting the bench. What do you think?
Moving leggy Epiphyllums in wind was tricker. One bot flew off the
tailgate that I left open during loading. Two long branches had to be
secured with a bungee cord. I finally got them all in.

One of the pest control crew rode along.

Epis spend summers on a rough bench with an old headboard for support,
leaning among Philadelphus and Gardenia that shade from late evening sun.
Only two stems broke; they'll root for more plants needing homes.
I look forward to the first buds signaling big summer blossoms.

Now to find places to plant out rooted cuttings including Purple Heart.
It lives up to the name T. pallida in shade, becomes bright purple in sun.
According to Yang, Pennisi, Son and Kays, T. pallida has been judged exceptionally effective at improving indoor air quality by filtering out volatile organic compounds, a class of common pollutants and respiratory irritants. Maybe I'll just more the yellow pots into the house.

March 26, 2014

March Winds and Daffodils

Remember in elementary school when we memorized Christina Rossetti's little poem about the wind?

It wasn't just the leaves trembling yesterday when I heard a noise and looked to see a gust of wind take out the greenhouse doors that I thought were well secured? Not only the doors but a roof panel and an end panel went to the ground.

There are no pictures to show. I don't have time to make pictures when we old people are struggling to get everything back together.  Everything is back in place, no real damage. Doors need new rollers.

What I do have to show is late Daffodils: Hillstar, a beautiful jonquilla.

A double with no name, not in a place where
I planted doubles before.



Hawera, en masse

He-Who-Mows, sweeping up debris and pine cones. 

Last of Tulips with newly blooming Daffodils.

Daffodils tend to be late the first year planted. Alyssum blooming.
Tulips will not make a significant appearance next year, if at all.
Daffodils will remain, on a slight slope with good drainage and sun.
There's no real interest in the greenhouse worth a peek right now that you haven't seen before. If the cold wind EVER stops and temperatures go to normal for end of March, plants will start moving out-of-doors. Easter Cactus is in bud and may bloom timely.  
Funny thing, earlier yesterday, we laid out an 8 x 10' space for a greenhouse add-on to the tool shed. My plan is to use storm windows that we took off the house to make a second greenhouse, unheated, for cool season plants like Gerbera Daisies to spend the winter protected from frost. He-Who-Mows estimated that the cost of another polycarbonate greenhouse like the present one would be much less than the materials to complete a home-built of a smaller size even with windows we already have.
Less picturesque, the kit, but probably the better plan as far as cost. The work will take about the same length of time.  For a while there when the wind gusts were so bad, I wondered if we'd be putting up 2 greenhouses, one to replace the one that was about to blow away.  We're already discussing measures needed to diminish wind damage.

March 17, 2014

Amaryllis Minerva, Maybe

As best I remember this is Minerva. It looks like photos I saw online. I can't remember how many years back I first planted it.

Minerva with Appleblossom

I've had Appleblossom in all stages of bloom and the last 
one is a bud, out of sight at right. Benfica is trying to get in
the picture, too, its second round of bloom.

Minerva, at least I think so.

Up close. This Amaryllis is not as red as most photos show.

I wish you could smell the incredibly sweet fragrance of Appleblossom.

This last look shows the Appleblossom bud, and Benfica
about to open at right.

We had 4 inches of rain this past weekend. It is damp and cool in the greenhouse, ideal for blooming bulbs. 

Spartacus put up another bud and is about to open. The only potted Amaryllis that has not bloomed is Nymph. It has huge leaves, no sign of a bud. Maybe in the summer; they seem to have their own timetable despite the best forcing methods.

I need to mention that a greenhouse is not required for growing Amaryllis. They grow equally well in the house. When the weather warms, the plants go outside in front of shrubbery until time to put it somewhere warm and dry, withhold water and let the leaves dry off. It can rest anywhere.  Bring it out to the light when the rest period is over and water once, then start regular watering when you see growth that is usually a bud. Near a sunny window is as good as a glass house. Newly purchased bulbs in fall get a drink after they're potted and then wait for green. 

March 15, 2014

Bloom Day, Inside and Out

Orchids from last year have come back into bloom, well, one is blooming.
The other has a bloom stalk with tiny buds if you look closely.

These, another orchid in a glass cyclinder, a Spathiphyllum and a Pothos are
my only house plants. The Peace Lily signals to water Orchids when it wilts.

Outside the greenhouse, I am trying to make a White Garden.
Candytuft is as white as it gets. I've had Iberis for 40 years, 
started as cuttings from a late friend's Garden.
I planted out white Hyacinths forced in pots of soil this year.

Miss Winnie gave me white Iris last year. We don't know where the
Purple came from, probably a seedling among the white.

Inside the greenhouse, this box of Purple Heart and Persian Shield are
cuttings that I intended to plant out. I think I'll keep them in a container.

Strobilanthese blooms in the greenhouse. Once in a while I get blooms
during the summer. They are a novelty.

Mistletoe Cactus Rhipsalis put on buds.

Rhipsalis bloom and buds.

Easter Cactus in bud. At left is a bloom of Firecracker Fern.

Rhipsalidopsis buds. Maybe they'll bloom by Easter.

Appleblossom Amaryllis are not only lovely, they have a sweet
fragrance, rare in hippeastrums. Benfica has another bud about to open.
The tall Appleblossom is in its third year of bloom. Three of the others
are new this year and I forget whether the one in bud is Appleblossom
or maybe another color, from a previous year.

Angel Wing Begonias. Several cuttings in a pot make a big show.


March 14, 2014

Bloom Day Preview

Angel Wing Begonia

Appleblossom in different stages of bloom.

White Shrimp Plant: White bracts, pink blossoms.

March 09, 2014

Sunday Best in the Greenhouse

We're having a warm spell during which I need to haul everything out and do some cleaning one day soon.

Kalanchoes are blooming and blooming and blooming.
Easily rooted, they bloom most of the winter.
Should I get other colors?

Burro Tail sedum. Every little bean that breaks off will
make a new plant. It takes time, faster with a longer piece.

Purple Heart Setcreasea and Persian Shield/Strobilanthes.
Both are starting to bloom.

I think this is a red and white 
Amaryllis, maybe Minerva. 

Various stages of bloom. Fun. 
Mostly Appleblossom, the unopened tight buds.

Another view of Appleblossom. When I'm in the greenhouse, what a treat to catch a whiff of the sweet fragrance of Appleblossom, a good reason for having several and timing the blooms to open in sequence. (You don't really think I planned that, do you?) New bulbs are blooming later than the one from a previous year because they were planted late, but it is a thought, to start them 2 or 3 weeks apart.

Are your forced bulbs all done? Do you have plans for forced bulbs next year?

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