Showing posts with label Gardening-Indoors. Show all posts

Pinguicula moranensis Blooms

Grown in a west-facing kitchen window since last summer. Probably could use a bit more light, but it seems pretty happy otherwise.



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New Plant Inventory

I know this isn't a really sexy post, so here's a photo of Habranthus robustus flowers.



In preparing to move to Seattle, I culled my plant collection severely. The nigh-constant moves to new apartments (I left my beau in January 2015, a little more than a year after we moved to a new apartment) and the resultant plant stress and neglect were pretty helpful with that anyway, but I wanted to start my collection with a different focus in my new city. I have discovered a love of tuber/corm/etc. plants with a winter dormancy, such as Amorphophallus and Sinningia. These plants survive my neglect best, and they're just darn cool.

So I carefully unpotted and wrapped up the tubers/corms/etc. in newspaper and took a cutting of my Yucca guatemalensis from Mr. Subjunctive/Plants Are The Strangest People. I carefully packaged them for transport--and then somehow packed them in a box that was destined for the movers, instead of my luggage. Two weeks in a moving van is not what these plants wanted. Most of them were dead on arrival. A few survived (the little bulblets from the Hippeastrum seedlings I had grown, for example), and some are questionable. We'll see whether anything else survives. But I'm basically starting from scratch here in Seattle.

I put in a few orders from nurseries and bought some plants at local events. I've updated my plant inventory; you can find it in the navigation on the right, if you're ever curious in the future. I don't plan to expand the current collection much; I'm happy with what I have at the moment, considering the lack of sunlight I have available. I would have more, but my downstairs neighbor who threatens people with guns doesn't want me walking on the gravel on the side of the house because he doesn't want to have to keep checking to make sure it's not nefarious elements. ::shrugs:: I want to do it just to fuck with him, but it's not worth a hole in the chest.

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Orbea variegata Blooms

I bought this two years ago in Berkeley, California, at Cactus Jungle. (The Plant List says it is, in fact, Orbea variegata, not Stapelia variegata. It has been languishing a little--poor light for most of the year (in the house), it's in the same pot I bought it in, and it keeps getting bumped so stems fall off.

But it has filled out significantly, and it's clearly happy where it is out front this summer, because it's blooming.

Orbea (Stapelia) variegata

And yes, it smells.

You have to stick your nose within about 8 inches of the blooms at the right time of day, but yes, it stinks. Taking a whiff any closer to the blooms is distinctly unpleasant.

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Sinningia canescens In Bloom

Sinningia canescens

I started this plant from seed in, say, late 2011 or early 2012. I'm not entirely sure the start date--but I know they were still only small seedlings when I sold most of them at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gesneriad Show, Sale & Symposium in fall 2012.

I'm hoping it gets hairier as it ages, as that is one of the things that I like about this species. There's going to be some variation, of course, and this is only 2.5 years old at most, so it has plenty of time to put grow out its hair!

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Orchids In Bloom

The Dinner Party Harlequin Phalaenopsis I received from the beau's coworker a few years ago is in bloom again!

Dinner Party Harlequin

The Phalaenopsis (Brother Red Hotshot 'Red Cup' x Brother Precious Stones 'Heart') I got from Al's Greenhouse last spring is blooming again, too.

Phalaenopsis (Brother Red Hotshot 'Red Cup' x Brother Precious Stones 'Heart')

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More Amaryllis Blooms

There is certainly more going on in The Indoor Garden(er) world, but these Hippeastrum blooms are certainly the most striking (and uplifting) of the bunch.

This bloom is from the second plant. It is a pretty saturated red with just a hint of orange, just like the first one.

Amaryllis 2 blooming

A close up of the pollen, just for fun.

Amaryllis 2 blooming

Although the face of the flower looks pretty damn red, the back has white streaks like its sibling over at Plants Are The Strangest People, perhaps harkening back to the possible pollen donor being the pink/white amaryllis I had blooming at the same time as the seed parent, "Red Lion."

Amaryllis #2 Back Side

I am, of course, crossing like mad. One of my friends has offered H. papilio pollen--if he doesn't get it to me in time for these blooms, I have a second spike coming up from the second plant, so I can use it on those flowers! Or, I can wait a few years until my own H. papilio blooms, although I'm not sure I have that much patience!

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Starting Seed

I'm starting seed for this year's gardening. I'll be growing in pots in the front yard this year, so I have to be a little more selective in what I grow. I'm only starting 50 little pots of seedlings right now; I sowed these seeds on 6 March 2014.



I sowed:

  • Cutting celery (2)
  • Cutting celery seed collected from my community garden plot last August (1)
  • Tiny Tim tomato (2)
  • Molokhia (2)
  • Shishito pepper (2)
  • Thai basil (2)
  • "Purple allium-looking thing" (1)
  • "Asian mint purple" (1)
  • Black Cherry tomato (2)
  • Tumbling Tom tomato (2)
  • Green cotton from Sheila (4 for me, 27 for sharing)

I'm planning also on perhaps cucumbers for pickling and some other herbs--I'm sure I'll run across a few additional plants to pick up in the spring.

As of 10 March 2014, many of the seeds have already germinated!

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Amaryllis Blooms

My Hippeastrum has bloomed! The photo colours are about accurate--the red has a hint of orange to it.



The second one is about to bloom.



The second one is also sending up a second spike.

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Reminders Of Spring

It's been raining almost daily for the past several weeks, and although the temperatures are in the mid-80s to mid-90s every day, it feels like it's still spring--which is nice, because I feel like calendar-spring disappeared way too quickly for my liking.

So, what have I been up to that's kept me away from blogging for so long?

In September, I got a new full-time job (no more freelance reporting/part-time contract work! Although, feel free to check out the Agritate label to read what I wrote on a blog I started to focus on science and journalism--I imported most of those posts into this blog, and will likely continue reading articles and writing about them here when I start blogging again. I mean, I've been saving dozens of them to review and write about in the past several months, I've just never gotten around to it.). My start date at the new job coincided with the culmination of DC State Fair 2012, a regional plant show I was participating in, and a book proposal I was putting together. A month and a half later, I got a car.

DC State Fair went off really well, despite a few glitches.

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We got T-shirts last year! I'm here with chef Alli Sosna, who judged several of the vegetable and fruit contests.

I won a blue ribbon in the Novice class at the plant show.

Gloxinella lindeniana at Mid-Atlantic Regional Gesneriad Show, Sale, and Symposium
My Gloxinella lindeniana won me a blue ribbon at the first-ever Mid-Atlantic Regional Gesneriad Show, Sale, and Symposium.

I was also offered a contract for the book proposal, but realized all the time I currently don't have and decided to turn it down (I don't have a picture for that).

The car is great for weekend errands--but it also opens up a lot more possibility for weekend travel, to visit nearby family or just to get out of the city for a while. That takes a surprising chunk of time when we do get out and about.


My beau shot this photo, our first of the car, because our first-ever load was a bale of hay to use as mulch in the garden plot.

I've made my goal for 2013 to cut back on volunteering and other projects by the end of the year. That means I'm working to hand off DC State Fair to new leaders, refraining from taking on more leadership roles, and in general focusing on my own hobbies and life. It's been nice, but almost more difficult than volunteering all the time was!

Since making that my resolution over the winter, I've filled my time with new hobbies for some reason. I learned how to spin yarn, on supported spindles, drop spindles, and a wheel. You may have read about the yarn I made from my cotton and the silkworms I raised. But it's not like I stopped there.

Cleaning a Raw Fleece
I've purchased and washed three raw fleeces. This is the first, from a Finnsheep named Beatrice, laying out to dry after washing.

"Tuscan Sunset" Handspun Yarn
I've spun what I consider to be a lot of yarn. This, for example, is 465 yards of merino/yak 50/50 dyed in "Tuscan Sunset" colours--yellow-oranges, pink, purple, and red. It was a random-contest freebie, and a beautiful yarn. So beautiful, I had to knit a shawl with it (because what else do you do with such fine yarn?).

Grouchy Geisha at Sunset Shawl
From start to finish, this took me two weeks. I am addicted to knitting lace, now.

My First Dyed Braid
I've tried my hand at dyeing fiber myself (and learned a hell of a lot from that one botched job--one of the lessons being that even botched jobs can be beautiful when spun).


This is the start of spinning of my hand-dyed fiber. The colours are less muted than I thought they would be based on my inexperienced dyeing and the white patches that show through everywhere. It'll certainly be an interesting yarn when I'm through!

Textile Museum Celebration of Textiles
I participated in the Textile Museum's Celebration of Textiles in the spinners' area, where I helped kids learn how to spin with supported spindles and drop spindles. Plus, I got a few yards of cotton spun up on my tahkli!

But it's not like fiber arts have been the only thing I've been up to. I'm still all plant-oriented, too.

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I started a cotton trial plot at Wangari Gardens this year, to measure the fiber staple length of the 7 varieties stocked by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. This photo is from a few weeks ago, when the cotton first germinated.

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I've been struggling to keep up with my community garden plot, where weeds dominate and my Concord grapes are fruiting.

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I went to several plant swaps this year.

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I've been to Al's Orchid Greenhouse a bunch of times, helping to spread epiphytic and other gesneriads throughout. This is a unifoliate Streptocarpus growing in moss on a cinderblock that holds up a display surface.

I've been busy. It's been a fun several months, but I feel like my blogging should be closer to the front burner than it is. (Right now, it feels more like it's cooled off and stuck in the fridge, not even on the back burner!) I keep delaying blogging because I no longer have time during my commute (I like to knit, and when I'm not knitting, I'm driving because I have to move the car for weekly street sweeping) and I want to revamp the look and feel of the blog. So it just sits here, languishing. But I'm making more of an effort to plan and write; for example, I kept telling myself I wanted to feature each and every one of the above in their own blog posts, as well as other events and topics. But let's be honest--I'll never find time to do all of it the way I want it to be, so snippets it is, and now I can move forward!

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