Sunday, March 1, 2015

Painting Over Plants

It's been miserable, wet and cold here for days, so I've been doing more painting than gardening.
Peacock, detail, M Robb, 2015, watercolor
Paintings are funny things. Sometimes, one is just ready to be born, and it's finished in a matter of hours, or days:
Hot Spot, M Robb, 2015, acrylic and metal leaf
Sometimes, one can take years. It gets put away in some dark corner, or the garage, only to be pulled out and finished when a certain problem is solved or new technique is mastered:
Windsurfers, M Robb, 2013-15, acrylic mixed media, 3x4ft
A wonderful biography of Marc Chagall by his second (common-law) wife, Virginia Haggard, explained that the painter never threw away a single painting. He might re-paint, or completely paint over a canvas, but could never bear to just chuck it out. Some painters are chuckers and some are hoarders, I guess! I've done both, but tend toward the latter. Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lithops in the Mist

Quite by accident, I came to note that Lithops, at least young Lithops, like a nice morning mist. The young Lithops that I grew from seed are about 2 years old now, and they live near my Tillie Towers, which get a daily morning misting:
Detail of a Tillie Tower
I've noticed that the pots of Lithops that get the accidental misting have been regenerating with greater strength and resilience than those that don't get the mist. So I've started misting all of the Lithops several times a week. It makes sense that they would enjoy some good morning dew, as in their native desert environment, that would be a good way to get a little water, and dew is not unusual in the desert in the morning. We have had lower humidity here in the last year or so, and even though it's a tropical zone, the house seldom rises about 40% humidity. Do any of you mist your Lithops?


Friday, February 20, 2015

Some Flowers for the Weekend

One of my rescue Phalaenopsis has bloomed. I had no idea what color its flowers would be, or if it would flower again at all, as the roots were pretty rotten when I took it home. Imagine my happy surprise when I saw the flowers were...green!
Green-blooming Phalaenopsis, MRobb, 2015
And my Tillandsia caput medusae is blooming as well:
Tillandsia caput medusae, MRobb 2015
Finally, my Argyrodermas bloomed a couple of weeks ago, beautiful! Have a wonderful weekend!

Argyroderma in bloom, MRobb, 2015

Growing Non-Native Plants: TLC or Tough Love?

My herbology teacher and I got into a debate about growing non-native plants in our gardens. Not about growing nasty invasives, cuz' we don't do that, just useful plants that didn't evolve here in the New World tropics. We have different Philosophies of Gardening.

Her opinion was that the non-natives should be thrown in the garden and left to live or die under natural conditions. If they didn't make it, it wasn't meant to be, and if they adapted, all good. She doesn't like to garden much. I love to garden and so I took the opposite approach. Give the non-natives tender loving care and observe them for awhile before making a decision on whether or not to cultivate them long-term. I mean, with the crazy, non-traditional weather we're all having, maybe that's an approach for the natives as well. She strongly disagreed. Her point was that the human gardener is only a temporary advantage and eventually any plant outside will have to live on its own, without assistance. Long-term, she's got a point there. On the other hand, my sand dune will be underwater in about 10 years, so that long-term view isn't particularly relevant except in the case of seaweed and seagrass....
Beauty Berry, a Native

Passionflower, Another Native (But don't grow it on the beach.)
Natives like Beauty Berry and Passionflower don't need any particular care. They're easy-peasy.

Gynura procumbens, a Useful Non-Native
Gynura procumbens, an Asian medicinal plant, is a non-native, non-invasive, but grows splendidly here. Or so I thought until the Siberian Express showed up. We actually hit the freeze mark this morning. We'll see if my non-native, tropical medicinals survive. What do you think about taking special care of useful non-natives? Do you think they should "sink or swim"??


Saturday, February 14, 2015

A new name for Adromischus cristatus

You may not know this, but my post on Adromischus cristatus, the Key Lime Pie Plant, is one of my top 10 posts in terms of how many times, and how widely, it's been read on this planet. (I have no idea where, or whether, it's been read outside of this planet.) Who would have guessed it would be so popular? Well, it is a truly amazing plant.
Adromischus cristatus, MRobb
Alert Gardener Wired Eek has given this plant a much more fitting name than "Key Lime Pie Plant"--the "Footy Plant". That makes so much more sense. The pudgy leaves do look like weird little green feet.  I mean, what was someone smokin' when they named it "Key Lime Pie"--obviously something that was giving them the munchies! I like the name "Footy Plant" much better. Don't you?
A. cristatus, the "Footy Plant", a closeup of the "feet", MR

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Still Recovering....

Yup, workin' on it, and waiting for the doctor's "all clear" to get back to normal. Hey, at least the IV is out! Hope everyone is having a peaceful week, or at least, peaceful moments now and then.
Just Waiting, MR 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why No Posts?

I've been (quite unexpectedly) in the hospital, but once I'm off bedrest I'll be back with a proper post. My apologies!
Leu Gardens, Orlando, Florida