Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers' Day and Starting Over With Plumeria

Happy Moms' Day!
As you may remember, my outdoor garden was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew last year. A good friend gave me a piece of her plumeria tree, which was also destroyed by the hurricane. Fortunately, tropical trees like plumeria are smart and know how to regenerate after a nasty storm. This spring, my new plumeria is in bloom!!
All you really need to do is take a big stick of plumeria, dust the base with rooting powder, plant it about 10cm deep in decent, well-drained soil, and water daily until it takes root. Wonderful!


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tillies Then and Now: Spanish Moss

Tillandsia usneoides, also known as Spanish Moss, is one of my favorite Tillies. A clump of Spanish Moss is actually a huge congregation of little individuals, growing en masse. A Masse of Moss! Here is my first little bowl of T. usneoides from 2012:
And here it is in 2017. It likes to capture other Tillies, such as this T. intermedia. After a few weeks, it's impossible to untangle the plants, but they seem to do all right together.
Spanish Moss is a natural air filter- it pulls all sorts of junk out of the air, even heavy metals. This makes it very helpful at times like these, when we are in a severe drought, with lots of wildfires spewing ash and smoke into the air. I wish I had enough Spanish Moss to cover the walls of my house! It's being used as a natural bio-filter in Asia, and of course, helps improve the oxygen levels in cities where oxygen is low. Tillies are indeed the future!



Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Hyacinths of Spring, and a Perfume

As those Alert Gardeners who have kindly followed my blog for awhile know, I always have a pot of hyacinths on my writing desk in springtime. The incomparable scent fills the whole house, and I know that spring has sprung! They change markedly over a few days time, and each stage is wondrous:
Fresh from the florist- this is as neat and tidy as they get, very little scent yet....
Here's the full bloom, with a greener, more floral scent. Starting to scent the house!
A couple days later, and the heavy blossoms have drooped over the side. The scent is even more powerful, with a touch of salt and indoles.
My favorite hyacinth perfume is Serge Lutens Bas de Soie, (Christopher Sheldrake, 2010) which really captures the early phase of the blooms. It's kind of the mean green phase. If you know of one that highlights the later phase with that swoony, salty, indolic richness, let me know in a comment!




Saturday, April 8, 2017

Tillies Then and Now: Tillandsia Caput Medusae

Wow, what a difference a few years can make for a Tillie! Here is one of my T. caput medusae- this is one of the more common, sturdy, and beautiful Tillandsias that one can find for sale. They are well worth the effort! So, then and now....
You can see a pup or two, very small. Now fast forward a few years....
Wow! The pups have pupped, and one has bloomed, and now we've got the third generation growing. In terms of size, it has tripled from the earlier version. Not so easy to water now! T. caput medusae can grow into huge clumps of dozens of individuals. They like to hang sideways or upside down, and in the wild, they harbor a lot of ants. Mine is ant-free, and happy enough. I'll keep you updated on its further growth, provided there is still space for me in my living room!


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bloomin' Orchids Indoors and Out, But Why?

Spring is blooming time for most, though not all, of my orchids. Two of my Phals are in mid-bloom. One grows indoors, and the other, outside. What's weird is that though they are the same species, one was languishing indoors with the same care as the other, which thrived. I moved the laggard outdoors and it did very well. Now they're in bloom at the same time, yet totally out of contact with each other. Maybe they just didn't get along??
These two really look like they're having a laugh, don't they?
And these blooms are giving Garden Gnome Jeffrey something to smile about, but he's still frowning. He's always been a grumpy gnome, could be the hurricanes....

Do you have any plants that, though the same species, prefer to live in different environments?


Do We Have Enough Space to Garden? Yes!

This Japanese couple is amazing. For reasons that have nothing to do with gardening, they have a very tiny, yet tall house. They have incorporated vertical gardens. And the wife is an artist! If we put our creativity to work, we can achieve so much! Watch the whole clip to see the gardens---
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fEeh-8OFT8


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Two Sad Notes: Bunns, Chicks, and Tillies (OK, 3 Sad Notes)

There've been a lot of these in past couple years, yes? Perhaps for you, too. Anyway, here goes-
First, there will be no Raven Cam this year. Henry, the husband, flew into a glass window and died of his injuries. The students are debating with their teachers whether to help his widow with their nest, or "let nature take its course", whatever that means these human-dominated days!
No photo, the Raven Cam has been turned off. Most likely permanently.

Second, let's all get the word out about baby bunnies and chicks as Easter presents. NOOOO! Let's go with chocolate, or plushies, instead. As a member of our local rabbit rescue group, I thought I'd share this poem, which pretty much sums it up. Feel free to share, fellow gardeners, and let's save a bunn or chick! Just click on the poem to get the big, readable version:
I'm working on a comprehensive post on "Tillies Then and Now" to show how my Tillie garden has grown and changed over the years. I'll be posting soon, so stay tuned, and remember, Tillies Are the Future! :-)