Backyard Garden: A Virtual Tour

Because I haven't updated about my own plants in a ridiculous amount of time, I thought I'd share an update about plants that used to be mine and are now thriving in someone else's garden.

Two years ago, when I vacated my plot at Newark Street Community Garden, I ended up giving a bunch of my fruit plants to a contractor I work with at the day job (we talk pickling, canning, and gardening a lot when she's in the office working for us). She picked up strawberry plants, a grape vine, blackberry and raspberry canes, rhubarb, and more from me--and they are super-happy to be living with her now.

This spring, she has sent me a couple series of photos; I've even been the lucky recipient of some of her bounty (she had very, very tart strawberries--I loved them!).

Here are the strawberries in May, growing next to the raspberries:

She's been having some issues with the raspberries--they are vigorous growers! I'm sure she'll get a wonderful harvest next year. They and the blackberries look really happy now, next to the grapes and strawberries.

Here is what the rest of her backyard garden looks like--tomatoes, dill, cucumbers, beans, radishes, squash, and so much more!


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Hippeastrum Getting Ready

The Hippeastrum I grew from seed I crossed are ready to bloom again this year! They grew out front last year and had quite long, luscious, green leaves. I brought them into my office in December, stopped watering them, and waited for all the leaves to die back. Last week, I saw some new leaves trying to pop up, so I decided to start watering again; and this week, the flower stalks started shooting up! This will be the second year these babies bloom.

The second Hippeastrum's main bulb rotted out--it stayed too wet for too long.

But look! One of the side bulbs it had produced is sending up a flower stalk!


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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Amorphophallus Bombardment

Various Amorphophallus (several paeoniifolius from different sources, a NOID, and smaller ones under the canopy--plus some Ledebouria etc.)

Various Amorphophallus

Amorphophallus bulbifer with the barest hint of A. titanum in the back on the right

Amorphophallus bulbifer

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Homestead Hobbyist Fiber Review

I've been dyeing fiber for six months now, and I have enjoyed every last minute of it. Some of my favourites? Well, here's a photobomb:

Darkness on my new Polwarth/Yak/Mulberry Silk 50/25/25 custom blend


Deep Sea Squid on Yak/Silk 50/50


Golden Harvest on Baby Camel/Silk 50/50

Golden Harvest

Toxic Waste on Falkland

Toxic Waste

Midnight Garnet on Rambouillet

Midnight Garnet

Which turns into this when spun

Midnight Garnet

Japanese Maple in October on Merino

Japanese Maple In October

I've really been enjoying some of the yarn and knit/crocheted objects folks have shared in my Ravelry group, too. (You have to sign up/in for the link to work.)

And this week, Stephanie of the Hot Pink Socks Reviews blog is reviewing some of my hand-dyed fiber! I dyed a colourway called Silver Pops for her on Falkland wool and sent her two braids--one for her to play with, one for her to give away to her readers.

Silver Pops on Falkland

If you'd like to read Stephanie's review (part 1 of 2), head over to her blog. In both her review post and in her Ravelry group, you can enter the drawing to win one of the above braids! You just have to follow her blog or join her Ravelry group, and then leave a comment sharing what your favourite colourway I've dyed is. I'm encouraging folks to check out my sold items, not just the items for sale, since I dye mostly unique items and many of the sold items are quite stunning (if I do say so myself!).

It's interesting to see what folks say they like--I'm surprised that people like Toxic Waste (see above) as much as they do, because I think it's pretty daring for most folks (yellow seems to be a pretty intimidating colour, but I'm learning to love it!). If you have a Ravelry account or are willing to sign up for one, you can see how the above braid spun up and was turned into a cowl!

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