Showing posts with label Garden Update. Show all posts

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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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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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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Birthday Plant Grab

I go to the local Cactus & Succulent Society chapter's August plant sale every year to celebrate my birthday and buy some pretty wicked plants at dizzyingly low prices.

For example, this year, I nabbed 5 Gasteria species for a friend whose birthday is a few days before mine for about $10. The plants I picked up for myself were about $20 all told--and only because of a whopping $15 specimen of Deuterocohnia brevifolia. I only picked up four plants for myself (reasonable, right?).

Birthday plant grab

Spiky mound at top: Deuterocohnia brevifolia
Bottom right: Haworthia truncata
Bottom: Haworthia magnifica
Bottomish middle left: Ledebouria pauciflora

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Doritis Flowers

My horticulturalist friend stopped by a few weeks back with a gift of two Doritis in spike--one with pink and yellow flowers, one white and yellow flowers.

Doritis champorensis

They're the only orchids in the front yard this year. I love seeing them when my friend and I are chatting on the steps--he has to stop me from getting too wrapped up in the plants, though, or I'd completely lose track of our conversation.

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Amorphophallus pygmaeus 'Pewter Pan' In Bloom

I took this photo about a week ago. The tuber was delayed in breaking dormancy (could have been my fault) and was hidden among taller pots on the side wall out front, so I didn't really notice when the leaf finally came up. It's a short Amorphophallus just 6 inches tall, but it gets a nice dark leaf with a silvery look to it. When I noticed the leaf was growing I pulled it out--and found a flowerbud!

Amorphophallus pygmaeus 'Pewter Pan'

On Monday morning, I took this photo with my phone once the flower opened a bit.

If I get seed, I'm propagating like mad. I don't have other Amorphophallus in bloom right now, but maybe I'll get lucky?

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The New Yard

The beau and I moved to a new apartment last October. I don't believe I mentioned that. Surprisingly, most of my plants survived the winter indoors--I think it helped that I upgraded to T8 fluorescent fixtures and got a better case/misting system for the humidity-loving plants (although they are unhappy with me now). I've been really trying to cull the herd and focus on plants I can grow well and couldn't live without. I've been better about that, and about purchases--I make fewer purchases of plants I know won't work for me. It's taken a long time, but I'm starting to learn!

The new apartment is south-facing, so it gets more sun in some parts of the yard where I keep my plants. My landlord says she loves coming home and seeing these plants looking so great, so I'm happy they seem to like their new home.

I took these photos on a cloudy day last week, thus the poor lighting. Over the next little while, I'll share some snippets of what I'm growing from photos I took this past week. And hopefully after that, I'll have more new things to share (and the time to post them).

Front view

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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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Amaryllis Buds

I started Hippeastrum from seed I collected from a stalk in March 2010. A year later, when I moved to Saudi Arabia, some of the seedlings went to live with Mr. Subjunctive. When I moved back to DC and had the seedlings I brought back with me confiscated by the USDA in fall 2011, Mr. S kindly sent two of the seedlings back to me.

From fall 2011 to spring 2013, they lived next to the window in the basement, getting watered occasionally and getting very little light but never going dormant. I potted them up and put them outside this past summer, and this December, I started withholding water from them to force them to go dormant. And they're finally rewarding me with buds!

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