Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring Fever

Despite the fact that I should wait until after Mother's Day I decided to get my annuals going early. Here's the porch before...

...and this is after (not much different yet, but when the vines get going it will be.)

The basket above already had a nice mix of flowers, but I added an ivy for more contrast.

I only bought one lavender, and I get itchy when there isn't symmetry in my planters so I made it a tabletop stand-alone.

This planter has a nice geranium, white pansy, pink daisy, and this great-smelling dianthus...'s the label-it smells like cloves!

Above is this clematis 'Carnaby' and a bunch of red pansies to hopefully keep the clematis roots cool.

The other planter has a contrasting geranium, the white pansy, pink daisy and more clove-scented pinks.

These geraniums are fancier than the usual ones that I buy, I hope they rebloom enthusiastically all summer.

The rest of the planters are for seeds (as well as dollar-store solar lights for fun). This one has moonflower vine, peas, cherry tomato, pole beans, and mini cukes.

The other planter with the light has blue morning glory, along with the aforementioned peas, a different cherry tomato, pole beans, and mini cukes.

One "extra" planter kinda messed up my quest for symmetry, but I had room so what the hey. It has sage, fennel, salvia, fennel and sage. I'm excited to see if this stuff grows!

This is my first try at really planting up my porch, we'll see how it holds up to local creatures (including bored school children) Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Insistence of Life

Look what I found growing from a crack in the pavement next to a garage in my apartment parking lot! A tomato plant with fruit!

I was walking by and tend to notice weeds, bugs, and pretty much anything but the other humans around me. When I spotted this, it just blew my mind.
Has anyone else ever seen anything like this before?

I never thought of a vegetable (okay, tomato is fruit) as a spontaneous, wild weed...but here it is. So insistent on growing and producing that it's nearly un-stoppable. If we could get more healthy food growing from sidewalk cracks everywhere, just think of the effect on our diets. (I did not try a tomato from this plant though, just in case some person or their dog peed on it at some point. Guess that's the caveat, eh?)

Autumn Orchids

Our keiki project phalaenopsis orchid is blooming beautifully, but I'm still not really seeing a "baby plant" where I started the keiki. No leaves or roots yet...

...but if the green stem-looking thingies all turn into bloom scapes like this one I'll be happy!

The green vanilla orchid has reached the top of the tree fern pole, so I'm trying to encourage it to grow the other way. Eventually I'm hoping it will be completely epiphytic and cover the whole thing.

The variegated vanilla is still pretty small, but still alive and growing some, so I'm happy!

The recently mounted tolumnia 'Tequila Sunrise' is very unhappy and appears to be rotting. Looks like I got carried away keeping it moist...bummer.

Brassavola nodosa, fragrant Lady of the Night orchid (upper right) and cymbidium 'Suzie Q' are both doing well, Suzie is especially vigorous but neither has bloomed yet. I tend to get excited about collecting orchids without keeping a close eye on cultural requirements, so I'd better read up if I want more than survival from them (although survival is certainly encouraging   :)

                                     Suzie is at least twice the size she was when I bought her!

Lady of the Night was a re-mount I did awhile back, and she hasn't really made use of the large cork mount yet, but I'll do my cultural homework and see if I can make her happier.

Maxillaria tenuifolia is doing okay...

...but I think mounting an orchid on driftwood isn't such a great idea. The wood just doesn't hold moisture well enough, I think cork is way better. I'll leave this one as is though, and do some reading to see what I can do to inspire a bloom.

I see why they say that phalaenopsis are "easy" orchids, it's the only one that a rank ameteur like myself can get to bloom more than once (so far). Never underestimate the perseverence of an ameteur however, their hope/stubbornness springs eternal!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

It All Started With One Re-potting

The whole thing started when I decided to bring in and repot my recently-acquired jasmine plant. Night temps were dipping into the 50's, so I wanted to begin bringing in the houseplants.
First I made room by removing dead plants. So long, african violet. You were awfully pretty for several years (six I think!) The smaller violet I had died awhile back, so I guess I'm out of the violet hobby for awhile. Good opportunity to try some new plants I've never grown before, like the jasmine.

Two of my lithops didn't make it, I'd read after potting them that they don't like shallow pots but chose to leave them and see what happens. See plants die. Die plants, die. *sigh* (That's plant-killer haiku', lol.)

Nice spot opened up now, more "front row" exposure for some cacti that need it...


Another spot for a plant from the porch to go, or maybe...

 ...this plant that I also repotted to a nice deep pot. It was floppy before, now I want it planted deeper and growing properly. Looks kinda pissed for now.

So for the jasmine that started all this, I decided to repot it into the pot containing this passion vine. The vine has been wandering all over the room, but no blooms and the pot is quite large.



 See? Large pot, nice obelisk trellis and the plant takes off anyway.

Here's the spot to make the cut...

...there! Small root ball, smaller plant=smaller pot. I only have so much room in this apartment, so it had to be done.

Decided to try it as a hanging plant, maybe it will get bushier if I trim back each vining branch. I just hope I haven't trimmed it so much that it dies, but it's too late to do anything but wait now. Grow or die is the basic plan around here anyway.

                                        Time to repot the jasmine, it's fairly root-bound.

Okay! Now I have a plant that will make more use of the obelisk before trying to escape.

Update on this non-hardy plant I bought this year-I misidentified it as a bougainvillea, just assuming I knew what it was when I bought it.

Had I bothered to look at the tag I'd have known it was a similar-looking bush, not a vine. Oh well, now I won't need to buy another obelisk.

More cultural info, sounds like it's near full-sized now.

Fairly root-bound too, like most all plants from big box stores.

This pot isn't much deeper but lots more room on the sides, one web page I looked at mentioned these plants like that sort of re-potting. Funny how a single repot project can morph into more.

By this time I had the table nearly emptied anyway, so why not tackle a re-organization project? This poor vintage card table has been suffering water damage from various plant mishaps...

...time to use the tablecloth I found on Amazon awhile back. I felt the pattern was very appropriate.

       There! Much better! Some room left for the two brugs yet to come in...

...but standing room only on the table next to it.

I reconfigured the hanging plants too, removing all the passion vine tendrils and letting a couple overwhelmed plants get more light. (They needed a turning, too.)

And here's our project-starting jasmine in its' new home. I'm sure a few leaves will drop off as it gets used to less light, but then I'm guessing it will reach for the sky to find more.

                                   Alternatively it may just get pissed and die, only time will tell. At least my plant room got a mini-makeover. Thanks for the inspiration, jasmine!