Monday, February 21, 2011
Got some more bare root strawberry starts. These are TriStar. Popular day-neutral. Cheap, $9.99 for 25 plants. Now several of the planters contain strawberry plants. They looked brown and depressing in the bundles but once planted and watered some had green leaves. Not sure if I ever bough bare root strawberries before. Seems pretty easy.
Ning and I put together his new composting barrel. It took about an hour. We should have done a YouTube, it was rather simple yet complicated at the same time. Turns nicely. Kitchen scraps will go into this one. We also added some starter compost as inoculum. Now a turn a day keeps the compost cooking.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Side view, showing the completed, mulched areas as well. Getting closer... That hardy Windmill Palm is 8 years old. I trimmed the lower leaves, to make it look more "palm-like". It's a good, low maintenance, low water demand tree for this area.
I transplanted this oriental poppy from a hidden, inconvenient spot. I grew it from seeds about 8 years ago. Nice big red flower. The inspiration was, my grandfather grew poppies from seeds. Something tells me he thought they were opium poppies. They're not! I've been beleiving they're too sensitive to be transplanted, but I don't know where I got that idea. The plant and its roots looks a lot like a dandelion, which can be chopped off and regrow, so maybe it's more resilient than I thought. I hope so.
These are some of my "Quincy" chinese chives, descendents of plants I grew from seeds 40 years ago. I left on the dried flowers to mark the spot and protect new shoots, but I like the appearance of new plants coming up through the dried stems.
Shiro plum. Closer.... closer.....
Radishes planted 3 weeks ago in barrel. The chicken wire is there to reduce cat and squirrel digging. Seems to help.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Pulled away a lot of the creeping phlox. The idea with that groundcover was it would keep weeds away. Instead, it sheltered crabgrass and other grassy weeds. So I'm pulling it all up.
I gave the blueberries and rhododendrons a scoop of Whitney's organic acid shrub fertilizer, and mixed with the compost mulch.
Roses have an inch of growth. Chinese chives are a few inches tall. Pussy willow is blooming. Stone fruit buds are swelling. As I type it's raining like crazy.
I don't know what's got into me. Yesterday I returned and bought a Montmorency Cherry and a Stanley Plum. The cherry is another tart (pie) cherry. I don't know if it is red juice - something I like. Rationale is as with the other tart cherries, later bloom less likely to be killed by frost, compared with sweet cherries. Plus I enjoy making pies and it's hard to find real pie-cherries at the grocery store. The pic is from Edenbros.com. References list Montmorency as self-pollinating as well, so no concerns about going from flower to flower and tree to tree with a paintbrush. Plan is to keep it pruned small as I do all of my fruit trees. I don't know where I will plant it. Dumb idea to buy a tree not knowing where it will be, even though I've thought about it for several days.
Similar for the Stanley Plum. Not sure where I will plant it. This is also listed in most references as self pollinating. Unlike my other plum trees, which are Asian plums, this is a European plum, not the same species at all so really qualifies as a totally different beast. So I'm not replicating other fruits. Pic is from EdibleLandscaping.com, which I like very much but is too far from me.This pic of Stanley Plum flowers also from EdibleLandscaping.com. Which kind of makes the point, my "backyard" orchard isn't all about fruit, it's about flowers, fragrance, growing stuff, puttering, and super-slow food, and a "green" thing to do. I'll find a spot for it, I have several places in mind.
Part of my rationale is I suspect the genetic dwarf peaches won't last too long, and I'll want replacements. Peach Leaf Curl is too much hassle. It takes a few years to get fruits, so I want a head start. I can move them next Spring if needed, they won't be too big. The trees are actually quite large, though, 6 foot. I will prune them back severely once Spring is here, to promote low branching, "Backyard Orchard Culture" low branch training.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Sunday, February 06, 2011
My photos don't do it justice. It was amazing. The orchids were huge, the room was filled with fragrance, and the displays were awesome. I would make the trip just for this alone.
This Phaius may be recognizable from a recent posting, under an entirely different name. From the illustrations from the "Temple of Flora". Interesting coincidence.
Love the Cymbidiums.
The displays dwarf the visitors.
There are various Mayan-inspired displays. Makes me wonder if Bateman's "The Orchids of Mexico and Guatemala" was the inspiration. Too much coincidence not to be the case.
The orchid show was not in the climatron, but afterwards I walked around the botanical garden, and this was a nice scene of that massive tropical "flying saucer". Much of the garden was almost abandoned - it was serenely beautiful.
Oh, that's me.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
No chance this weekend to plant them. I dug the holes before work, and when I got home there was the package. So I planted them in the dark, via flashlight.
Nice looking trees, as usual for Raintree.
The strawberry plants are in the fridge until I can plant them.