Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blasted!

Ugh, you won't believe it....my pendulous Cymbidum's spike has mostly blasted. Probably all thanks to the in and out activity over the holidays. The new spike was stuck and I went to help it out only to snap the damn thing! I'll be lucky if I get to see a handful of flowers....it should've been about 15 on one and 10 on the other. :(

On another note...I don't know if it's b/c it has been cold or what, but the squirrels haven't figured out my zip tied suet basket yet. YAY! They did eat all the seed out of the lower level of my bird feeder, but the top is full and they can't get to that easily so I will just leave it as is! Been tough keeping the water from freezing out there. Just snowed again last night and ran out of salt. I have re-stocked with two 50 lb. bags!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seedlings!


Left: Pomagrante seedlings! Right: Bhut Jolokia seedlings!


These seeds were from a store bought Pomegranate. I have no idea how they will turn out. I saved about 10 seeds while I was eating one and planted them all in this container figuring that a lot of them won't sprout. I guess I was right! Two sprouted out of 10! One is above the soil surface and one is below that you can see through the side of the cup.


I honestly did not think these seeds would've sprouted. I traded for them and they did not look very fresh and took quite awhile to sprout. I realize it is not summer and that temperature might've not been high enough, even on a seedling heat mat, but when I saw that my Pomegranate seeds sprouted I checked on my Bhut Jolokia cup that was under another cup for added warmth and there they were! I am excited :D

On another news....my Paph. lowii looks like it might be finally growing a spike after all these years! This was my first plant that I had bought at my first orchid society meeting in 2001. I remember that it was a lot of money for me to spend on a seedling at $20! Boy have I come a long way from loosening the purse strings since LOL Anyway, I suspect that it is a spike because leaves grow alternately, but the up and coming growth is coming out of the same side as the last leaf! Keep your fingers crossed! I have been waiting forever for this beauty to bloom!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bhut Jolokia Seeds


Wow! Just got more Bhut Jolokia seeds in the mail along with samples of the pepper dried! First off....REALLY fresh seeds! Two....you can smell just how spicy those samples are in the little plastic bag without even opening it! Came with some nice tips too. Can't wait till it is warmer so that I can start the seeds! Already have one seedling growing....would like a few more!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mary Lou's Christmas Cactus

The mother plant of this one shown had belonged to my fiance's grandmother, who had acquired the plant from her own mother, his great-grandmother. It could be at least 100 years old or close to it since Mary Lou was 92 herself! Anyway...my piece of it bloomed on the day of her viewing after she passed away and started wilting today when I got the thank you card from her daughter for the flowers.



Helcia sanguinolenta x Trico suavix 'Megan' AM/AOS

This is fragrant too!

From Orchids


From Orchids

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh They Are Too Smart!

It was either yesterday or the day before. I came home to both feeders empty. I thought "WOW! They must've been hungry after that freeze!" When I went out to refill the feeders I noticed why...the squirrels stole it all! Somehow they figured out how to open the suet holder and they took the WHOLE cake! Bastards! So I put in a new one and zip tied the door. No getting out now! Unless they get smart on me and chew off that zip tie, which wouldn't be too far fetched...

They have also figured out how to hang over to eat the bird seed. I really don't mind sharing the seed, but I am getting a bit tired of what pigs they can be about it! I really don't want to put one of those baffles over the feeders. They are so dang ugly! Guess I either have to learn to deal with it or get one.

Paph. villosum Bloom #2

Paph. villosum Bloom #1

Paph. villosum

Bhut Jolokia Seedling

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cactus

I was given a piece of Xmas cactus by my fianceé's grandmother, whom just recently passed away last Thursday. We are actually about to go to her viewing in a few minutes. This plant had belonged to either her grandmother or great grandmother and had gotten to be quite the big plant. As I went downstairs to my light stand I noticed it was blooming for me! How appropriate that it would be on today. Took some pictures of the one bloom (it only has 2) and will post them later.

My Paph. villosum's other bloom is starting to open up and it looks like it has deeper color too! No petal problems either! Woo!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Keeping the Bird Bath From Freezing

So I don't have the fanciest bird bath on earth, but really, do the birds even care? All I did was buy a sturdy clear plastic drainage dish for plants from Lowes for $3.99 and filled it with warm water so that it would last awhile outside before freezing into a 12" ice puck. It's nice and shallow so it works perfectly for the birds.

I didn't buy the $20 heater for the bird bath because I have no where to plug it in out there and did not want to run an extension cord. So in this weather, I go out several times a day to replace the frozen water, but yesterday, I thought, "Gee...what about those hand warmer packs?" I have a whole box of them and I doubt I would ever be able to use them all before they expire. Not exactly the cheapest way to do it, but one pack last eight hours! While it does not keep the whole bird bath from freezing up it does keep the center from freezing completely. What I do is I activate it and place it under the dish. What works well about this dish is that it has built in feet so it is elevated off the ground...just enough space for a heat pack and for air to get under it to keep it going!

I see why the top of my feeder empties out so quickly....the squirrels! I saw a crow here for the first time. He better leave all the shiny stuff in my yard alone! Some little bird was brave and stayed on the tree while I checked on things. He even let me watch him for a bit flitting around and eating!

Anyhoo....I am getting sleepy...woke up early to go to Handmade Arcade. What a zoo it was! I'm starting to think the early shopper pass wasn't such a bad idea afterall....!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tomato Catalog

WOW! I got this catalog that is all about tomatoes! AND....they had my favorite! Black Krim! Check it out:

www.totallytomato.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tis' the season!

For blooms! A Paph. villosum has started to open for me (wish it would bloom in March instead!), a Dendrobium from Australia is in spike and a Helcia x Trico is opening up for me! It's even fragrant! Exciting times :D the Brassavola nodosa is still working on what I think is a spike. The butterworts are still blooming their heads off!

I did throw away two plants...they just never did well for me and it was time to put them out of theirs and my misery. A Cyd. has gone dormant (no watering! YAY!).

I still have all these Clivias I grew from seed that are getting bigger and bigger every year! I honestly don't have as many plants as I did before, but because they keep getting bigger I am running out of room! I wish they would bloom so I could see whether they are worthy of keeping or not!

Monday, December 7, 2009

BIRDS! And Squirrels....

Wow, I came home today to find that my grey squirrel was sitting IN my bird feeder helping himself! Somehow he had gotten the bird feeder to slide ALL the way down the branch so that the feeder was right up next to the trunk of the tree! You bet I moved that sucker back up to where it was a flimsy branch! I also see a TON of birds feeding and chilling out in the trees above! I found a large ceramic drain dish for plants that I cleaned out and put warm water into also. Maybe they will drink/bathe in it. It's quite noisy in my backyard, but I'm glad they have finally found my feeder! I just hope the city rats don't come....I think I saw what looked like mice/rat poo yesterday :(

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wildlife

I forgot to mention in my last post....my new bird feeder finally got a visitor! I think it's one of these:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3207/3075226789_b170c43e74.jpg

It's a Chipping Sparrow. I also saw a black squirrel at my suet feeder the other day! Never seen a black squirrel in my neighborhood before! I thought I only had a grey squirrel! This guy was quite fun and agile to watch. He would hang off that itty bitty branch the feeder was hanging on by his two hind feet! Then dangled down to the suet feeder to eat. Soon as he got something he'd high tail it back to a safer branch to eat! He didn't eat a whole lot....the suet cake is still out there! Guess he gave up and decided it was more effort than it was worth?!

Garlic is Planted!

Yesterday winter arrived. It dropped down to 23˚F! Moved my Cymbidiums back inside and I almost missed my peppers. Yes, PEPPERS! They were still growing! One was starting to ripen up too, but alas, I had to cut them off. The cold was affecting the leaves and I knew it would not survive the night temperatures in the low 20s. Today, just as I had expected, autumn was over, which only means one thing...time to plant garlic!

The soil had a frozen crust on top, which is exactly perfect for planting garlic! I planted 20-some cloves of Music and the mystery garlic John had sent me. I somehow got them mixed up so I can't tell which is which! I also planted one called German Red, but I'm not sure how well that one is going to grow since it looked a bit shrunken already. Apparently it doesn't keep well! I still have plenty of room to grow tomatoes next year in the same plot (I know I'm not supposed to! But I didn't get the blight this year so it must be working???) as well as maybe a few herbs too! I think I am going to try to grow more herbs so I can dry my own next year! (Thanks Jen!)

Anyhoo....time to study and after that....play with my indoor plants for a few months till spring arrives! Stay warm!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

OOPS...

I was a bad gardener the last few weeks....I knew I was due to water my orchids, but I failed to check on them at the very least. I was lacking sleep so I didn't bother.... Today I found two dead plants and one that did not look so good! I watered them all. I'm sure most of them will be ok, but I hope the one that isn't doing so well will bounce back! Found another orchid in spike/bud and ready to bloom! This will be the 3rd time it has ever bloomed for me. Not exactly a show quality flower, but it is quite pretty nonetheless! Will post a picture when it does finally bloom!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cymbidium Honey Bunny 'Sweet Bell'

Went to the November orchid society meeting today and George Hatfield was our speaker of Hatfield Orchids from California. He specializes in Cymbidiums and brought pendulous ones for sale. I couldn't help it, but to get one too since I had no luck with the traditional upright Cymbidiums. So this is the one I picked out, Cymbidium Honey Bunny 'Sweet Bell'. You can see a picture of it in bloom at Hatfield Orchids. It is my largest orchid to date I believe! I didn't mean to get one as big as this, but it's hard to get both flowers and plant size sometimes! I didn't want another pink one as I already have a pink one so I picked this yellow one. It has two spikes ready to bloom this winter already! I'm excited :D Below is a pic of how big this plant's leaf span is compared to my fake fireplace and my dog, Samba!

Stargazer Lily Bulbs

I had planted my Stargazer lilies in a rush when I first got them and did not think about how they would look eventually. So I finally got the chance to move them since their foliage has turned yellow. They are easy to snap off! I hope it doesn't hurt them, but they sure have grown! No wonder they were taller than I this year with tons of blooms! I did, however, forget to put some bone meal down when I replanted them. Oh well....I will top dress them later! Here's a few pictures:


The largest bulb...actually it had grown another bulbs and both of them were stuck together! Check it out...the bulb has its own fat roots and then all the tiny roots at the top (closer to my hand) must be what feeds the plant itself.


One of the other larger bulbs....also a multiple with a smaller one. The smaller one was grown next to a honeysuckle. Not sure if it made a difference, but it was definitely a smaller plant this year unlike the other two.


A look at where the stems snapped off when I dug them up. This is the largest one. You can see how big it is compared to my gloved hand! I don't think they were any bigger than a bulb of garlic when I first bought them! They sure as heck weren't yellow either! Not sure what made them that color...

Brassavola nodosa

A few years ago I purchased a flask of Brassavola nodosa seedlings. I sold all of them and kept only one, the biggest strongest one. I should've kept them all and made a specimen plant out of it! Anyway, I was downstairs in the basement this morning and noticed that it is spiking! At least I think it is a spike...it doesn't look like a leaf! I'm pretty excited as this is such a beautiful white orchid and it's fragrant to boot!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dendrichilium in Bloom

This is Dendrochillum ecalosum x bicalosum.

Masdevallia in Bloom

This is Masdevallia Sun Spot x triangularis.

Oncidium in Bloom


This is Oncidium Moon Shadow 'Tiger Tail'

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Meyer Lemon in Bloom

Hand pollinated three blooms today!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Meyer's Lemon

I got a Meyer's lemon a few years ago on sale. It almost died once. I threw it on the side of the house and told it that if it survives it gets to come back inside in the fall. I guess my pep talk worked :) It has given me one lemon a year. I guess that is all it can handle being that it is just a tiny tree. If you haven't tasted this lemon you HAVE to! It's technically a lemon x tangerine. Looks like a lemon, but once you taste it...oh my! It is sweeter than normal lemons, perfect for lemonade! You can totally eat this without making that face! I highly recommend it! They are easy to grow, tolerate abuse well too! They are thorny, which I did not realize when I first bought it, but there are so few spines that you can just cut them off, which is what I did. They are pretty long and jab pretty darn well!

Anyway...it blooms twice a year for me, spring and fall. This fall it is LOADED with flower buds! The first two buds opened today and oh do they smell heavenly! I have one full grown lemon on there right now that I am waiting for to ripen up. The spring bloom gave me another baby growing. Hopefully the bees are still out right now and I will be blessed with more! I may have to play bee here! I'll have to get a picture of it tomorrow.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pomegranates

Just read an article about growing pomegranates. I never thought about what they grew on. Sure sounded like a weed! Anyhow...it sounds easy to grow, but maybe not here in zone 6a. It would probably have to be potted up for me, but how do you keep a tree small while still bearing fruit of edible size?! Well if you live somewhere where you can grow them it's worth it, I think, since they cost about $2.50 each at the cheapest! Check it out:

http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/pomegranates.html

Also, google for "pomegrante+plant" and you'll see what it looks like!

Fall Activity

In a recent post in my organic gardening group someone mentioned an easy way to turn my clay soil into good soil. Only thing you have to do is plant Daikon radishes! They grow deep and break up the clay. Then when you leave them in the ground over the winter here in zone 6a they freeze and die. Thus, decomposing and enriching the soil. Sounded like a great idea! The only problem is that I have part sun or shade, but I'm going to try it anyway even though they require full sun! I ordered my seeds from Seeds of Change.

I dug up my Dahlia 'Seattle'. I hope I did things right. The clumps have definitely gotten bigger, but whether they will become bigger plants next year remains to be seen! I also dug up some of the "potatoes" from my ornamental sweet potato vines. Going to let the rest of them rot in the soil just like the Daikon radish plan. They don't grow as deep, but something is better than nothing!

Last night for Halloween I got a total of 10 kids only. Two girls, my neighbor's kids, took two full sized bars each! That irked me a bit...greedy kids! I figured there would be more kids this year since Halloween was on a Saturday, but we only got about 1/3 of the kids we normally get. Good thing I didn't buy much candy! All my Halloween decorations are down and the fall door decoration is back up. I did forget to take off that fake spider web stuff though. Will do that later.

It was time change again and we gained an extra hour today. Sure was nice! I'm feeling a bit lazy.... However, I did manage to get myself to vacuum the first floor and clean the bathroom at the very least! More orchids are about to bloom too...!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

American Chesnut Trees

Today at the dog park in South Park I noticed a sign.... I've seen these trees before many times, but did not realize what they were or what they were doing in, of all places, a dog park! The sign mentioned something about American Chestnut foundation or something to that degree. So there was my answer finally! Someone had planted American Chestnuts here in this dog park! If you don't know, American Chestnuts are susceptible to a blight that was carried into this country on the Asian Chestnut tree, which is resistant to the blight! But not ours! Ours have been affected by this blight severely. So....check out this site and become a member or volunteer! Save these beautiful trees!

http://www.patacf.org/patacfhome.htm

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Paph. villosum

My Paph. villosum grew two new growths after the original growth flowered and eventually withered away, but I am proud to announce that the two new growths look to be growing a bud each! I am hoping against all hopes that it will bloom about 2.5 months later than it did last time so that I can put it in our spring show to be judged! I may have to move it to a cooler room until I want that bud to be opening up! This is what the first bloom looked like:


Last year and the year before I had my Phal. equestris in the show, but both times it was suspected of being a hybrid. Well this last weekend at the Orchid Festival a different vendor (than I got mine from), also had a Phal. equestris....suspiciously like mine! I asked Tim about it....he seemed to be into Phals and whatnot (he specializes in them!) and he agreed that it was Phal. equestris. I told him my story and I knew I had a good plant! It ***IS*** Phal. equestris! He said they come in all different colors and I even showed him my plant, a pic of the flower, and a spent flower and he agreed that I was right! So next time that I show it, I will have to let Tim know and he said he'd bring in a bunch of publications to show the judges. Maybe I will finally get an orchid named after me! One can hope... :)

This is a flower of my Phal. equestris:


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Orchid Festival

So Saturday morning I was supposed to do the Heart Walk. Meanwhile, my alarm decided it had other plans for me. Maybe it was a good thing since I was wiped out and needed sleep badly. I woke up a half hour before I was supposed to be there and I could've made it except I had guests over and our one and only bathroom was occupied. So instead, I decided to go back to bed and sleep in! I made it to the Orchid Festival around noon-ish. Ended up purchasing two little Phals, a Masdevallia, and a terrestrial orchid that I can plant outside!

After that was over I went home and skipped the Halloween party we were invited to also because I just did not have the energy to stay up late and socialize and Justin did not feel like it either after his fiasco with the car.

This morning I again got up late, figuring that the Orchid Festival isn't nearly as busy as our spring show and I was right. I found parking right away! I think (hope) that the vendors were pretty happy with their sales. I hope it was worth it for them to come! I couldn't help myself...bought a Cyp. pubescens today as well as 5 double pot hangers for my Epiphyllums.

After coming home, I planted my Betilla striata alba next to my regular pink Betillas. I sunk my wild blackberry into the ground to save it from the winter. I will dig it back out come spring since I planted it pot and all into the ground. I also planted the saffron crocuses that almost washed away during the spring storm. They had all sprouted and was ready to bloom! The only thing I did not sink into the ground was my miniature evergreen. I think I might take my chances and leave it on my enclosed front porch and see. Worst comes to worst I can throw it in the coal cellar where it stays around in the 40s during the winter.

I think I am ready now...waiting for the first hard frost so I can plant my garlic. I am also hoping my mystery peppers will ripen up before the frost hits! Still trying to decide if I should sink a pot of grass into the ground also....probably should as well as the pot of strawberries and succulents. Need to find more space where they won't be mistaken for weeds!

I forgot....I still need to dig up my sweet potato vines once the frost gets them as well as my caladiums. They are getting there! The sweet potato vines are a bit wilty today. I wish I had a greenhouse! It'll be interesting by the time we move out of this house. I am taking my plants with me! Yes, the ones outdoors! The three peonies and all the orchids are coming with me!

I am quickly running out of space indoors....! Help!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Not Ready Yet!

Looks to me like we are going to have our first frost this weekend. :( I am so not ready! All my plants are inside the house so they don't get frozen. My Bulbophyllum bloom is wilting. My Phrag. is about to bloom its second bloom. I have two more orchids in spike! I think they are finally getting the hang of blooming all year round finally :) We finally turned on the heat today! THANK GOD! It was FREEZING in here! 59˚F this morning!

I did my first clinical today, future in-laws are coming in tomorrow afternoon, Heart Walk Saturday morning (I hope it doesn't rain/snow!), Orchid Festival this weekend at Phipps Garden Center on 5th & Shady, and if I can handle it....a Halloween party. I might have to bail on that one! I am lacking in enough sleep as it is already!

Oh yeah, I also cut down my Black Krim tomato plants. :( Unfortunately I do not have any seeds from it saved, but maybe that big large rotten tomato I threw into my vermicompost bin will sprout :) I also moved my lilies back against the garage wall. Just need to pick the last of my unripe peppers and plant my garlic!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

So I thought maybe it was just a fluke, but it seems like my green tomatoes were starting to rot. Why I have no idea. So today I cut them all off and trimmed off all the bad parts and made fried green tomatoes for the first time tonight! They sure taste unique! I think I like them though! :) Have enough leftover that I have frozen them for next time!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This just bloomed: Bulb. Sanguineopunctatum x Bulb. annandale


Just got this from Sarracenia Northwest and it was in bud! Look how cute the little flower is! It is Pinguicula emarginata.


This is Phrag. sangentianum 'Candor' x Phrag. besseae 'Candor Fireball'. This time it spiked and bloomed outside and the color seems to be deeper and the flower bigger also! Nature did it well apparently! This flower just fell off. It is a successive bloomer so the second bud is getting ready!


This is some sort of bean vine I saw in bloom while trying to find where they were filming a movie in my neighborhood. It's real pretty!


I thought this was pretty cool....this was taken at the Waterfront Lowes where a bee was eating from one of the Echinacea flowers in bloom. Looke closely...there are pollen stuck to the bee's legs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tomato Plants

My tomato plants are well above my head and was blooming like crazy, but lately...the leaves look like they got burnt by a hot exhaust or something. There are a few green tomatoes on there still...one is ripening up. Maybe all the rain last week did the damage?

On a non-tomato note....my Plumeria is in bud, but since I had to move it back inside it is trying to go into dormancy. I don't know if I'll get to see the flowers or not! :( My Paph. & Phrag. are still in bloom! Things are going well....indoor watering is winding up! Been quite chilly here lately...I love fall, but I am certainly not looking forward to winter!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Native Lawns

Why didn't they think of this BEFORE?! This is why gardeners have black thumbs....growing things that aren't meant to grow where they are!

http://www.wildflower.org/nativelawns/

Non-gardenesque....G-20

I had to share this even though it has nothing to do with gardening....or does it? You be the judge...they are awesome photos though:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeykennedyphotography/sets/72157622325696177/show/

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall is Creeping Up...

The cooler weather has hit Pittsburgh. It rained all weekend till the late afternoon today. Finally managed to take the dog out for a walk and as we were on our walk more and more evidence that fall was on its way was showing. When I got home I checked the forecast and just as I thought...the nighttime temperatures were getting down into the 40s & 50s. Time to move the orchids back indoors! As many plants as I gave away/sold this summer it seems I have more plants than before...even Justin noticed as he was watching the football game while I hauled my plants back inside. I was good this year, I promise! But we are dealing with living things and they do grow....so I may have less plants this year, but they are bigger and bushier! Some I have propagated so I must find homes for those. Most of the plants are inside now with the except of a few...those that need a chill or that I have not found room for them or do not want them to go dormant just quite yet! It will take some juggling....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My New Babies

These are different types of Butterworts, a type of carnivorous plant.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's in Bloom

Phrag. Sangentianum 'Candor' x besseae 'Candor Fireball'

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grass Spiders



Lately there has been A LOT of these grass spiders. They make these dense sheet-like webs with a funnel in the end. If you disturb the web they run back into the funnel! Sometimes they curl a leaf up and attach their web/funnel to that. Sometimes they take advantage of a situation like when I found this one....a piece of the Sycamore tree's bark landed in just the right position so the spider built its web right into it since it was already curled up! Anyway...hate all the webs they make, but they are neat....except there seems to be an over abundance of them lately. I'm glad they eat the bad bugs, but their webs aren't the prettiest or discreet. These guys aren't exactly tiny either!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Forgot How Relaxing Gardening is....

I haven't been able to just fiddle around in the yard for awhile till today. I went to class, took my test and was out of there early! Came home, took the dog to the dog park, and then proceeded to clean off my cobwebby orchids that had been summering outside. I also had to repot a few things, but not too many. Moved the rose out front. Hope I got enough of the roots for it to survive. Trimmed up the walking stick tree, watered all things needing water as well as fertilizer. Thinned out the trees in the back so that the back of my yard gets a bit more sunlight than before. My neighbor had piled MORE stuff back there. Wonder who I can report this to? I am really tired of the disrespectfulness of it all. Yeah, I know it's not my property, but it affects my property! Maybe I should send her the bill for having to fix up our garage because all her crap was rotting it out and pushing it over! Grr....

On a better note...and completely off the gardening subject...I got assigned to Shadyside Hospital for my clinical! YIPEE!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This is a stink bug apparently....according to what Scott of Phipps Conservatory says. He's an entomologist. That's means he is a bug guy! These bugs come from China and I have only started noticing them since last year. I saw them a lot when I lived in Seattle, but not here....now they are! They are not native and are all over the place! About dime sized...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Disrespectful Neighbors

Ok, I know the land behind my garage isn't ours, BUT...it was/is the cause to our garage being pushed over and rotting when we bought the house all because it is a bit of a wasteland where all my neighbors dump their yard wastes back there. When the stuff decomposes it becomes heavy dirt pushing on our freshly renovated garage. I've asked my one neighbor once already to please stop putting her garden waste back there. She got a compost bin and the city picks this stuff up! WHY put it back there?! I noticed she put a bunch of stuff right up against the garage too. Thanks! I am quite annoyed by this and I am not sure what else to do. I know it's her yard waste because it's the same exact plant matter as those in her yard! I have picked up some of the stuff and thrown it back into her yard. I don't know if she'll get the picture because I've done that before and she still didn't. Next time maybe I'll bag the stuff and leave it in her yard with a note on it "The city picks this stuff up. Much appreciated if you would make use of our tax dollars instead." Think she would get it?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Corn Gluten

I mustered up enough energy today, despite having a head cold, and put down my fall application of corn gluten. I know it's not actually fall yet, but it's going to be dry this week so it's perfect time to apply. At least, I hope it is! This will be my second time I have used it in the fall. Supposedly in two more years my yard will be weed free. I guess we'll see! It makes for a nice fertilizer anyway. All these posts online saying it's an expensive fertilizer....I guess it is if you compare it to synthetic/poisonous fertilizer, but it could be worse really. I think I paid $25 for a 50 lbs bag anyway. I still have enough for spring. I think the bag is going to last me four seasons, 2 spring and 2 fall. Seriously, not bad if you divide it out that way!

Sunflowers

Although I can't grow these....I'd like to blog about it for future reference when I do move to a different house with more sun! My latest Gardening How To magazine speaks of sunflowers that are bigger than the Mammoth variety! American Giant and Sunzilla top out at 16 FEET tall! :o Kong is a branching variety that grows 10-14' tall and Titan grows 10-12' tall. I can't wait till I am able to grow some of these in the future! The article also said that they will always bloom facing east, so plant accordingly! For cut sunflowers....cut when a few petals come off the center. To harvest seeds....let dry and tap out the seeds. Any that don't fall out are not ready yet!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bhut Jolokia

What's that you say? It means ghost chile...three times hotter than a
habanero! I planted four seeds tonight. They are known to be hard to
grow so I wanted a head start for next year! Hopefully I will be
successful!

-
Cindi
Rabies Challenge Fund :: www.rabieschallengefund.org

Monday, September 7, 2009

Habaneros

I haven't tasted the fruit of my labors yet and probably won't until I make a pot of chili out of it, but I was told by my crazy raw whole habañero eating fiancé that apparently my home grown habañeros beat the heck out of the store bought ones! Must be my organic fertilizer and neglect!

Not a Fan of Grasshoppers...

So I was told those cute little baby grasshoppers this spring wouldn't do much damage...well they do! I have not been able to enjoy one dahlia flower! They apparently like them as much as I do except that they like to eat them whereas I like to look at them! I found one the other day....still quite immature, but much bigger than I saw them earlier this spring. It was about 2.5" long. I said that's it! Squashed the bugger. Guess what? The rest of my one open dahlia flower is opening up without damage! YIPEE!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

TALL Plants!


So I have had some incredible plant growth this year! Check this out....my Stargazer lilies (out of bloom) and my Black Krim tomatoes are taller than I am! I'm only 5'3"!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

German Red Garlic

So I love garlic. :) When I do cook I cook with A LOT of garlic! I guess it's why I love Italian food :) Garlic just makes things taste SO good! And without salt! So at the farmer's market today I found these GIANT garlic bulbs! No, they aren't elephant garlic.... The guy said they are strong tasting, very garlicky. SOLD! It wasn't cheap though...it was $3 per bulb. I was going to get two, but I decided to get one only. I'll just plant all the cloves and eat it next year! Man I need a bigger yard....I can see why people who grow garlic end up with huge garlic patches!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Honeysuckle Berries

My honeysuckle has grown these very pretty berries after flowering. I
never knew they had berries, but I guess I should've known they
reproduce somehow! LOL Anyway, they are quite interesting to look at
since they change colors!

I'd show you a pic of my dahalias, but I have some hungry grasshoppers
eating them all :(

Largest Black Krim Tomato

This is the largest tomato I have this year and it isn't even done
growing yet! Not sure what went haywire here because all the others
were half its size! Hopefully no rain is going to split it!

Moneywort

This is the prettiest greenery ever! I love how it cascades over the
wall. It does grow everywhere, but it is easily pulled up and a
perrenial to boot!