February 24, 2015

Busy Work


Hippeastrum

Yesterday was sunny with some wind. I hauled out a couple of pots of seedling Amaryllis that were getting hit or miss watering behind bigger pots of something else so they can get better care.


Seedlings planted in 2012, photo from 2014.
Bulbs have doubled in size now and have new growth.

I divided another cluster of Amaryllis seedlings that were in a single pot. There are now 8 small pots; two pots have 2 small bulbs. This is the kind of busy work that I most enjoy.

Hyacinths

I brought a pot of Hyacinths into the house  -- the pot on the right. When they reach full bloom I am mostly done with them. Joy for me is in the growing. 

Likely one bulb of Woodstock and 4 of Jan Bos. 

Candytuft


Other busy work took care of Iberis. These are heirloom Candytuft that I have had for more than 40 years. They moved once again because there wasn't room for the tractor to easily come through with a scoop to move dirt from beside the new shed site without running over them. 

Note: the concrete slab for the Mule Barn is curing, forms are gone and the building is being fabricated in Doerun, GA.

I replanted Candytuft farther back in the bed and took cuttings. A dozen cuttings: some new growth pieces and some with hardened stems just to see.

Geraniums Are in my Plans

One of the Swedish bloggers that I read had photos today of her Pelargonium plants. She took 70 cuttings from 10 plants and said she had 60 more to stick. That will make 140 plants total because the 10 old plants looked great.

When I read that a local high school plans a plant sale next month, I decided to buy a flat of 15 Geraniums (Pelargoniums). Maybe I should rethink that. If they all live, imagine the cuttings I will be compelled to take late next winter.

I haven't grown Geraniums that I remember since 1975. We had a Boston Terrier who always stopped to smell the geraniums when he went outdoors. When he died an untimely death, I planted Geraniums on his little grave in the back yard and inscribed his concrete slab, "Here Lies Happy, a better man than what shot him."

February 23, 2015

Hyacinths, Again.

I rarely cut a flower for a Monday Vase. I do love flowers in a pot.


Moss with fruiting bodies looks like grass.





Anybody can force tulips. I like mine growing in pots. Some gardeners enjoy Hyacinth vases with water. Bulbs do need a chill period, DIY or order pre-chilled bulbs. Remembering to buy bulbs when they're first available early fall  means you could have Hyacinths bloom at Christmas or for Valentines.

These can be slipped out of the pots into a bed of soil outdoors when the blossoms fade. Next year's blooms might be kind of small but subsequent years they'll be a joy. I have pink Hyacinths putting up little buds outdoors now. Some have already bloomed. Pink seem to be the longest lasting, but don't discount the blues.

February 21, 2015

Where Are my Blue Hyacinths?

I was sure there would be at least one blue out of 15. There was a blue on the package label along with all these and one other color. These turned out to be  excellent mixed pots.













I didn't FORCE anybody. They are blooming outside here, too.
I noticed that Blue Festival is starting to bloom. Need more.

Coming attractions: Amaryllis, tricked into early bloom.


February 18, 2015

Mule Barn Footings Dug

Ready to pour concrete as soon as the inspector comes by.

 If you need perspective, the farm shop beside it is 50' wide.

The Mule Barn will be about the size of a 2-car garage.



 

I am so excited to get this far. It was cold this morning and will be colder tomorrow. 

When the floor is poured, then the Steel company will fabricate the building. I don't know exactly how long concrete has to cure but progress will be slow for several days, then the building goes up quickly.

In case you missed that little tidbit, my Mule is a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle, not an animal. 

It's been 60 years since Mama used to help me catch the neighbor's mule kept in our pasture and put a bridle on him. I rode the mule to the neighbors and waited while Mr. Vincent plowed his garden. Then I led the mule home because it was all sweaty from the work. The Mule I ride now never gets tired or sweaty, it just has to have fuel if I want to keep going. 



February 17, 2015

Hyacinths Were like Planting a Box of Chocolates

"... you never know what you're going to get," said Forrest's Mama. She was right.

I bought a mixed bag of 15 Hyacinths with 7 different colors on the package front. I divided them by bulb color, think that the light tan bulbs would surely be white and yellow which it looks as if they will be.



The purple bulbs I figured for blue and maybe a pink or two. I think there are some surprises in those pots.




Do I see orange? Can that be beet-red? First to open is a darker pink than what I usually buy. Am I going to have Fiesta pots?

I made plans earlier to buy certain colors next fall. I may try this again instead. It's exciting to see something different than expected when the weather is less than ideal outside.

February 16, 2015

Kalanchoes Potted Up

Hard to believe that I wrote to pot up Kalanchoe cuttings and actually did so and put them where I wrote they should go. Immediately I broke a bloom, watering other plants.

Kalanchoe cuttings


Work started on the Mule Barn on Monday. Freezes are coming so it may progress slowly.

Hyacinths are starting to open. I expected all the dark bulbs to be blue or purple. First opening is pink. I noticed in some of the NW Garden Show photos that they mixed all colors willy nilly in an explosion of color.



I like to separate mixed bulbs into similar bulb colors and see what kind of combos I get. My favorites are shades of pink and lavenders, or several blues together. Yellow and white works well too. Maybe next year I'll order off for more combos or all of a color for different spots.

I've been watering a good-sized potted Agapanthus from seed and a pot with several plants with similar leaves that I thought were also Agapanthus. I looked more closely today. I think the pot with the smaller leaves is a pot full of seedling Amaryllis with small bulbs formed. Won't that be a daisy? They are crowded and need separating.

You would think I would label better. Then there would not be all these little surprises, however.


February 14, 2015

Bloom Day in the Greenhouse

Just a peek at a few blossoms.

Begonias are usually a sure thing for blooms.

Stunning in red, they are pretty in pink, too.

Mistletoe Cactus Rhipsalis has fat buds about to open.

There are white Begonia blooms at lower left, just so you
know I have white, too.  Amaryllis bulbs are slow so this
is as close to a bloom as I have, a fat Benfica bud.
Behind are Kalanchoes just coming into bloom and you 
can see tomatoes in the back ground. I picked 3, ripe.

Tomatoes are still blooming too.

Spider plant entered into the spirit of things with little
white blooms on long, long stems.

Chlorophytum comosum blooms, little spiders on the ends.

First of Pentas cuttings to bloom. Ready for Spring.

 Usually there are blue conehead blooms on Persian Shield in late winter. Only Purple Heart has blooms so far. They are in separate pots but jammed in together willy nilly under a bench for a little shade.

Hyacinths are blooming outside while these just kind of 
took their time. At least the buds were not killed when I 
put them in a refrigerator to chill where there was fruit. 

I dressed the pots with moss as the Swedish do.
Winter is not over. These will be wonderful in bloom.

Join the fun at May Dreams Gardens on Sunday to see what's blooming in gardens everywhere. 

If you haven't a bloom to show, rush out and buy an orchid plant. They are not nearly as difficult as you've been led to believe. The one I bought before Christmas has just shed its last bloom and my older plants have new bloom stalks emerging, one with fat buds the size of grapes. I keep mine in the house in an east-facing window.


February 11, 2015

A Peek into the Greenhouse: Changes

It's possible to cram many plants into a small greenhouse. What gets difficult is getting around to reach everything for watering.


Not so long ago I moved shelves from against the wall to a right angle. Some plants were hard to reach and I felt that space was wasted in front of the potting bench.


So moved the shelves again -- out to the middle. There's a path on either side and I can reach everything that needs watering

If you look carefully, right in the middle, Ike the Cat is lounging on the potting bench. Then he decided that everything newly placed was HIS domain.
 Leveling was a real trick. It took a crowbar prying up a brick and my digging out a little sand underneath to get things somewhat level.


The boards on the red cart were supposed to be for seed trays. I thought the painted tin pots would discourage Ike. He just knocks them off. I think he ate an anole today. I walked up just in time to see him swallow the last of something green.

One change that is very pleasing was getting the Bird's Nest Fern out from under the shelf above it. Fronds were starting to grow through the cracks between the boards.
 While nobody was watching, a new crop of 'birds' hatched out in the center.

If too much light here, the fern and the palm can trade places.

Looking in the opposite direction.
Mistletoe Cactus has buds, so cute. 


Tomato plant in the corner, Kalanchoe cuttings in bud and 
an Amaryllis. Most of the Hippeastrums lost their labels;
This one has 2. I still have to wait until the bud opens.
I think it is Benfica but the other label says Appleblossom.

Today was fine weather for working outside. Tomorrow night we expect a low of 27º and 28º on Friday night. 

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