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I am excited that this orchid that I didn’t really want has decided to bloom for me this year. The internet wisdom was to keep it dry and not over water it but I left it out in the rain one day and it got throughly soaked. Shortly afterwards a stalk with several buds burst forth. Keeping a close eye on it to see what it looks like once it’s bloomed.0 comments. Top.
Feb 21st and still in bloom. Got down to 1 open flower a week ago but now there’s 4 open and two more on the way. This might be normal for this species, but its amazing to me!
I came home from a stay over in London to find that my orchid plant was turning brown and loosing flowers! I believe it is from the excess heat that accumulates in the conservatory. It still has 6 or so blooms out of the 13 plus it had before but it may be that I’ve caused it too much stress and it will not last till August. I moved it to a spot in the kitchen where it will not get direct sun and the heat is better regulated. It would really be something if it stayed in bloom all that time but I may have signed its death knell. The new olive tree seems to like it though it will stress from lack of water as well. And my poor pineapple top that has hung on all thru the winter got too much water and has turned brown in the center. There are still green leaves on it but I think inattention has killed it off too. I’ll start another one soon. I need the fresh fruit for my blender drinks. 🙂0 comments. Top.
This was labeled as an euphorbia at the garden center but it doesn’t look like any of the google images. Might be related though. It has stubby, barrel-shaped stems and narrow, paddle-shaped leaves arranged in a circle.0 comments. Top.
- Just a quick photo record of my small patch. April 3rd, 2016:
- Avocado, year two
- Amaryllis after the wind storm
- Top shelf with what I could salvage from the green house:
- Shelf two: No idea what’s in these anymore…
- Seeds planted in recycled ready meal containers
- The more hardy things that didn’t need much protection from the cold:
- Some herbs just a few steps from the kitchen:
- A few alpine varieties we picked up at Leckford Estates:
- Last minute addition; a strawberry guava:
I like the idea of re-using things we normally throw out so this spring I’ve made an effort not to buy new pots and hangers for my small garden and find new uses for things headed for the recycle bin anyway. To that end I’ve kept some of the plastic and aluminium trays from frozen dinners and takeaway meals as perfect starting pots for my seeds. I reused the soil I had from a couple of plants that either died of frost or the slug invasion of 2015 (Who knew they liked amaryllis and orchids so much?) where I could and then got in a bag of generic compost. Over the winter I’ve liberally sprinkled coffee grounds and some egg shells in the small patch where I had a succesful cucumber patch last year. I wanted to give a vertical garden another try and I haven’t done one since before I left America so when I came across another design to try that would help keep the plants watered I got re-inspired to give it another go. I still cut the bottles, but instead of recycling the bottom part immediately I use the bottom part as the part that attaches to the fence and allow it to catch rainwater. In the case of smaller bottles I’ve used some large thumb tacks to fasten to the wooden fence and for the 1 litre bottles I’ve used some assorted wall hooks which were leftover from an earlier project: I hung a plastic tray that some annuals came in from the fence but the weight of the plants and water bent it forward and everything fell into the cucumber patch! But anyway, this seems like a promising start and if they do well in the next couple weeks I’ll add some more rows and maybe an irrigation system. I took a photo of the first row in situ but forgot to take a close up so you can see how its done. I’ll add a link to a similar idea below. http://www.makeitandmendit.com/make-it/grow/recycling-and-upcycling-plastic-bottles-in-the-garden/ PS: The green mesh on the fence was already there so I decided it couldn’t hurt. 🙂 Speaking of cucumbers, I saved some seeds from last year’s plants and also some tomato seeds that were rescued from the cutting board.They’re free so why not try them? They may not taste like the tomatoes they came from but I think it’ll be an interesting experiment. Remind me to tell you about the ‘Lornaberries’ sometime. You may have seen the picture of my green house after the wind blew it over. The plastic cover had a long rip where the zipper was and so I recycled it. I probably could have gotten a bit more use from it by duct taping it to the frame but it was a fairly devastating blow and I really considered not growing anything this year. Besides, I only needed it to last another couple of weeks till the night time temps stop dancing around the freezing mark. But today was a new day and I had the idea of cutting up some garbage bags that didn’t fit our kitchen bin and taping them to the frame but I found something a whole lot better! In my shed was a plastic bag that my mattress pad was shipped in. It easily fit over the frame and only had a few holes in it from removing the packing label. The whole thing isn’t as see thru as the original skin but I think it will hold up to the wind a lot better than bin bags anyway. It is open underneathe and was billowing out like a parachute in the wind so I put a few discrete cuts on the leeward side and it settled down. Turns out its not going to get that cold tonight anyway but it has been raining for the past several hours and I’m glad my seedling trays are protected from drowning. Fingers crossed!0 comments. Top.
I know I post a lot of pictures of mystery plants. That’s because the greenhouse collapse this spring resulted in a bunch of things getting mixed together. THESE plants are in a pot marked Incaberries but they look a lot like lettuce to me. I just don’t remember planting any!0 comments. Top.
These are now loose in a packet of what was supposed to be an herb garden selection. I believe they’re dried Incaberries. Much too large for marjoram, mint, parsley or rosemary.0 comments. Top. 0 comments. Top.
I managed to get one or two cucamelons to grow from seed, this one climbing along the wall of my shed has little fruits on it. Everything is growing so slowly this year though it’ll be october before I see anything large enough to eat!My sundew is doing better outdoors, I just don’t think it liked the heat of the conservatory as much as I thought it would. It had died back to a tiny green nub but a week or two in the garden and its bursting its pot! Not really but it did recover nicely… I walked past an unsusual for me anyway yellow Buddleia. I will try to collect seeds from it when they turn. I think it will make a great contrast to Juliet’s Black Knight variety. 0 comments. Top.
You know I’ve had a heck of a time with slugs and snails in my garden. I’ve got plants up on gravel, on plant stands, hanging from the walls and under protective tarps. Snails still seem to get there. And with only weekends to actually do any gardening a snail can do a bunch of damage long before I’m around to remove it. I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that tiny snails had invaded every pot, including the one with a venus flytrap in it. Big mistake! Each trap now has a tiny snail in it. I’m not sure they can digest snails, with or without shells but I took some smug satisfaction in seeing that. And I’m the guy who won’t kill the snails outright, I put them in my garden waste bin to let them chomp away at dead stuff and help create some future compost. Or die in the dark where they can’t do any harm, I’m not sure which. I may have to rig my spare iPhone up and use its time-lapse settings to see what happens. But as this is another rainy weekend not much will happen in the garden till later. I’m going out when the rain lets up to look for adventurous snails but they mostly come at night. Mostly. Also, my pitcher plant actually got enough rain to have water in its pitchers. Will have to check later for empty shells in there too. I wonder if the sundew is hungry…. Anyway, here’s some pics:0 comments. Top.
As continued fallout from the greenhouse collapse of 2016 I end up with interesting pot partners like this bamboo which is sharing a pot with a couple of avocados. And in my pot of mint there’s the last flowering plant in my garden. I didn’t plant many flowers this year so I think this one just drifted in: This huge tomato plant grew in the kitchen window pot next to a cyclamen. Don’t know how it got there but it did not produce fruit this year: The spring was so cool it took a while for some things to even come up. This tomatillo has flowered and produced fruit but its tiny! The berries you see are about the size of pearls. Not going to get much flavour from that plant! The cucamelons are equally small but hanging in there. I’ll post a picture of them once there’s something to be seen. 🙂 The pitcher plant is still going great guns. I’ve put some of the pots up on some cheap plastic crates so they can be enjoyed from inside the conservatory: This one’s growing outside the garden next to the parking space. JJ says its her favourite wild flower but can’t remember the name of it:0 comments. Top.
The foundation to my garden shed should be poured today or tomorrow. I’m excited to get started on things this year. I have about 3 times the space I had before!0 comments. Top.
Lemon-tree grown from seed. Year three I think.
Here’s hoping the rest are as nice!
Transfered two cuttings to pots today. They were rescued from a flower bundle JJ got , not sure what they are at this point but they kept growing after the flowers died back so worth keeping!
I had a pineapple that showed some potential as a cutting so I used a process I saw on Youtube to start it in a pot as well.
I am still saddened by the loss of my previous one, it was about 4 years old when tropical storm Ciara destroyed my greenhouse and then hit them with freezing temperatures. I believe my fig died too. Pretty sure of it, it was a late to leaf last spring but there are mushrooms growing in the pot now. I will order another one from the German greenhouse company I got it from once we are post C-19.
I have a potato that came up from seeds in JJ’s prayer plant pot, and it needs repotting if it’s going to produce any potatoes later this year. Just that the pot I was going to put it in has a wild flower growing in it and I want to wait till it’s flowered before I uproot it. I can always put the potato in another pot. 🙂
I also planted some tomato seeds from a few dried specimens left from last year. I hope they will sprout, I’ve had good luck with them from last year.0 comments. Top.
Weather predictions are finally mild enough at night to take out some of the plants that have been in our flat all winter. I counted 50 pots, some of which had multiple plants in them. I even found a couple of apple seeds that had come up in a pot that already had an avocado growing in it. I have a lot of avocadoes growing at the moment. My ‘orchard’ of avocadoes were destroyed two years ago in late march when we got the gale force winds of a tropical storm. I had 14 or so of them, two of which were 4 years old at that point. I was very sad they died back. I lost a mango tree as well but to be honest I didn’t have much hope for it in this climate.
So I translplanted several plants, repotted some that needed it, and did replaced some lost gravel and soil in the tops of others. I know that doen’s tell you much. I’ll go into more details when I get the pics uploaded.
Planted a few more tomato seeds and here’s hoping something comes up.
Also found a pepper plant we thought we’d lost during the winter, it’s come back and I gave it a quick trim and a larger pot. Looks good at the moment.
Juliet has voted to keep the Japanese maple in the house so I put that in a larger blue pot. It’s doing well , just have to watch the water levels , it’s a bit sensitive IMHO.
She also wants my hydroponics project to remain outside because it has a nice trickling sound, she has claimed it as her ‘water feature.’ It will be nicer once plants are established in it. I need to find a nice plastic bit the right side to float on top of the water. I’m hoping to put three layers on it. Aquatic plants in the water, plants floating on the water on a raft, and more growing in the filter section, which lies horizontal across the top of the tank.
I need to get more photos.0 comments. Top.
Had a few things not survive the winter, mostly due to hurricane Celine or whatever it was called, that hit us late Feb and destroyed my greenhouse. My beloved pineapple, grown from a top bought at Waitrose 4 years ago didn’t survive the temperature drop that came with it. I thought I’d lost my fig and my Japanese maple as well but both have recovered. I’m glad I didn’t reuse the pots to plant something else. The Japanese maple is living indoors at the moment and has full healthy leaves. The fig, is just now, in mid-April showing tiny buds of new leaf growth. I put some new soil and a feeder pellet in the pot to encourage it. To be fair it drops all it’s leaves at the slightest hint of distress and this isn’t the first time I’ve parked it on a shady bench round the back garden fully ready to accept it’s demise. I’m delighted both are on their way to full recovery.
Some cuttings worked on my windowsil this winter, some didn’t, I have a wire plant and a prayer plant going now, and the cutting I made from my ficus bonsai is doing well now, though it did not like the growing lamp. It was actually losing leaves and looking a bit dire till I moved it away from the lamp (and away from the window ) and now it’s got new growth on it and will soon be filled out as if it was it’s own plant and not a cutting from an older tree.
I must have the bravery to cut back the ficus bonsai, it’s doing really well and getting too leggy to keep it’s look. That cutting was from one of three main trunks on the bonsai and I need to cut the other two back and see if they will grow as cuttings while I shape up the bushiness of the original.
I promise to let the cuttings grow to full size, Juliet already has plants for a border hedge or some privacy bushes between us and the neighbors.
I started another pineapple top, two in fact, though the first looked dry and unlikely to survive. I also saw a video for using a ripe banana to start cuttings (I know!) and in the video they used an aloe vera plant. I have one on the stairs window with the Ficus and it’s over grown with stems and leaves at the moment so I took one that was off by itself and it came out willingly and with roots already in eveidence. I decided to eat the banana and plant the aloe vera in a pot on its own.
I also have a small hydro ponics experiment going with an old aquarium but at the moment I don’t have any seedlings to test in it. Juliet likes the sound of trickling water and calls it her ‘water feature.’ I did dig up some chocolate mint we had growing in her fair circle and instead of throwing it away I decided to put it in the tank. It took about 3 days to recover but it looks just fine and healthy in the tank with it’s roots half submerged. But really not a good test, mint plants will grow everywhere won’t they? I should see if I can get some bamboo to grow in there, or something else that doesn’t mind having it’s feet wet. More on that later.0 comments. Top.
My boxwood bonsai tree is blooming! Probably needs a pruning but I will wait till after the flowers have come and gone. The hover bees like the blossoms a lot.
My boxwood bonsai tree is blooming! Probably needs a pruning but I will wait till after the flowers have come and gone. The hover bees like the blossoms a lot.
I haven’t mentioned it much but I have converted an old fish tank into a hydroponics tank and have several cuttings on the go. The pink briarose I posted about last week has decided to bloom. Hopefully, that means it will form roots afterward and I’ll be able to start some along the fence. I noticed on the ‘wild’ side of our back garden fence there are some wild roses in amongst the blackberries and nettles. Some over 6 feet tall. I have to go out there and cut more of it back before it completely obscures my gardening table and shed.
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That’s what I’ve dubbed the minature rose I brought with us from JJ’s house when we moved from the other side of Salisbury. I nearly decapitated it this spring when a sudden and alarming sound came out of my weed whacker and I turned it to look at what was going on. Which sent it buzzing across 2/3rds of the rose bush!
I saved most of it as you can see and tried to make cuttings out of the other bits. Jury’s still out on that one but we’ll see.0 comments. Top.
Is it unusual for a poppy to be this colour? This one came up gratis in JJ’s easter lilly box. We’ve had poppies in our garden before but not one in this shade. I checked around and I think it’s a Patty’s Plum, variety. I will try to save seeds, and maybe make a start from the root stock when it’s had it’s time in the sun, so to speak.0 comments. Top.
Just counted my house plants (and a number of winter visitors! 2c is the high today and frosty!) AND I have 54 plants in pots. Not counting cuttings and seeds yet to peep out.
I know it’s not the season for seeds but I’m giving it a try. Plus I received a mango last week and have to try germinating it. It should be very similar to avocadoes in what it needs, and at least 10 of those 54 plants are avos. They germinate so easily for me that I have to stop myself from planting more.
Of course this isn’t the climate for them, and in feb of last year the green house blew down and killed most of them along with a pineapple top I’d had going for almost 4 years.
One of my christmas gifts was a nice plant shelf that fits in my study window. I am much happier with the distribution of plants now. I have a grow light on them and several different designs for self watering pots in use thanks to my other nifty gift, a 3d printer.
I might be able to finally delve into hydroponics or at least set up a drip watering system.
Watch this space.0 comments. Top.
I was watering my plants downstairs and noticed an amazing thing.
Months and I mean months ago, (AFTER the spring storms destroyed my greenhouse and my 4-year-old pineapple.) I tried planting a pineapple top but it never seemed to take off. The insides went brown and I put it on a shelf in the greenhouse cause I couldn’t quite give up on it. I brought it in with all the other plants this fall and I forgot it again. So much so that I got another pineapple in October and planted it right away. This one seemed healthier to start with, and here in January, it has shown some growth in the very middle. CURIOUSLY the YouTube instructions tell you to water it right down the middle but it seems to accelerate the rotting process. I’m keeping it wet and as much fun as you can get in January.
Imagine my surprise when I decided to bring the first top up to my study and let it get the advantage of the plant lights that I found it had a new bit of growth on it! (See pic below. )You can also see how brown and unlikely the rest of it is, but there is definitely new growth up the side of the original top. I will research around the web and see if I should repot it off like a separate plant. Most likely I will leave it alone for now. It’s gone thru a lot just to get to 2021.
I also noticed that my olive tree is doing Ok out in the cold but I might move it out of the wind when the weather gets blustery.
PS: I would really like to grow a banana but I think I would have to move a long way south of Salisbury!