Friday, February 29, 2008

Note to Self: This Flower Bingeing May Be Going Too Far

Or maybe not.

See, if I just buy a few every pay day, it doesn't really do anything to Mr. Budget. Plus, for my little $.88 and $2.49's and so forth, I get at least $100 of happiness.

I'm starting to get intrigued with these things called kalanchoe. The colors on the flowers are phenomenal. I'm usually not a fan of *doubled* blooms - where they have lots more petals in each flower than Mother Nature intended - but these? They look like tiny roses to me. That's the bright red one out in front. I've been planting different colors of them in Walter's western garden. I'm starting to find out that all kinds of succulents I thought were jade plants and such are actually kalanchoe.

And who doesn't love these electric blue lobelias? Go ahead, click the pic. This is a nice one to click.

Lobelia doesn't do all that well down here, especially in summer, but I'll see if I can baby these along. In the Pacific Northwest, a place I adore - a place where I can breathe - they do fabulously well. You see huge hanging baskets of them everywhere you go.

More marigolds. I've been deadheading the spent blooms, trying to keep the plant from croaking two weeks after I plant it. I think this may be working. Must have more fresh marigold plants to experiment with. Besides, I didn't have any this color yet.

More yellow snapdragons. I want Rockets. They grow like 6 feet tall. I grew some in New Orleans that were almost 8 feet. But nobody seems to grow Rockets any more; I can't find them in the usual nurseries.

So this year I stopped grumping and bought these short ones. I must have snapdragons. MUST.

If I ever get myself organized, I'll buy some seeds for the Rockets and sprout the little suckers myself. Problem is, they sell the seeds in spring, but we can only grow them in winter, so I need to sow them in September or so, and the nurseries are not selling the seeds then. I'll have to buy them in spring and put them in the fridge and hope some will still germinate.

Posted by Picasa

And...last but not of the most elegant flowers known to humanity. Calla lilies.


Surely I can figure out how to grow them down here. Surely.

oh, pretty, pretty!

And! No, don't worry, I didn't drive them home on the scooter platform! I just put the plants there as I unloaded the car.

What? You were hoping for the next installment on Walter?


Desert Cat said...

Ooh I love the color of lobelias! They don't do well here either, although you can find them in the nurseries.

For snapdragon seeds, try the garden catalogs. You can order them whenever the time is right. When I was a kid and garden obsessed, the Park Seed catalog was my bible. One year I bought a dozen packets, each a different color of a top line hybrid grandiflora petunia line--30 seeds per packet. I carefully sowed and sprouted and transplanted them starting in January, and had a couple hundred started petunias in my greenhouse by late spring. I was planting them in neighbors' gardens just to find homes for them all.

Any idea how fussy petunias are from seed? I had the patience of a saint back then (not to mention all the time in the world to devote to my hobby.)

k said...

We hardly ever see lobelias in the nurseries. And the fact that a plant doesn't do well here does NOT generally stop the nurseries from selling them, the dirty rats!

Park Seed is great. A BIG one. Another one I like? It's an English one called Chiltern's. You can get all sorts of unusual seeds there.

Just before the 'net, I was up to about 100 catalogues a year...not including the orchid ones.

Petunias are a flower of my childhood, full of those old imprinted memories. I bought them as bedding plants for many years. And loving to save money AND grow stuff from seed, I checked into it for petunias.

I was actually so intimidated I never even tried.

My hat is off to you, in a BIG way! If you had so many you were giving them away, you must have done a great job.

Pretty Lady said...

Gosh, my early petunia memory is not nearly so pleasant. I had a little patch of white petunias next to the porch, when I was about eight, and one morning I came out and they had been eaten by snails. The whole patch, in one night.

I am not ordinarily a vindictive person, but those snails lived short and miserable lives after that. There is such a thing as 'virtue in moderation'; I would have been happy to sacrifice half a leaf here and there for a snail-snack, but eating the whole plant down to a stub was excessive. I never had another petunia after that. The memory was too traumatic.

Cala lilies, on the other hand, grow like weeds in the Bay Area, and seemed remarkably impervious to predation by snail when I lived there. We had a snail infestation then, too; my Roommate from Hell decided to drown them. She left jars filled with bloated, rotting snails all over the yard. She also tried to sprout seeds in boxes full of pure peat moss, and tried to start a worm composter without reading the directions on the box.

I evicted that roommate and both my life and my garden were much happier afterward.

I knew a woman who discovered that garden snails are actually the same kind they make escargots from. She collected a big box of them, fed them organic lettuce for a couple of weeks, then boiled them up with garlic butter and threw a dinner party. This seems the best remedy for snail invasions of all, but I never tried it myself.

Lovely flowers! Please to show pictures after they are installed in garden!

Granny J said...

Oh, my, it is that time of year again! The brilliant deep blue lobelia likes it here, except for June & early July, when the sun fries many plants. Move the lobelia into the shade and it's happy again, but the pansies never recover. Interestingly, snaps are perenniel in Prescott. Gave up on marigolds, which I love, because both the snails AND the grasshoppers much them down to nubs.

Jean said...

Pics of your beautiful posies are always welcome. Such a day-brightener.

Mr. Bud said...

ok sis. my pants are down. I'm not a 'lerker' anymore. oooh. the blog families expand. (although, I have not finished your archives. but indeed, that is the past, now isn't it)

q-estion. do you have a greenhouse?
I have made and know a way to make one that is quite cheep and may help in fostering the children.

pepektheassassin said...

Walter? Wull...not exactly. I was wondering if you know where your mask is, and if so, are you planning to wear it?

Nancy said...

Hey Mr. Bud! I'd like to know about the greenhouse!

and K....

Pepek is DO have your mask and gloves handy, right?

Desert Cat said...

PL, pure peat moss is how I started my petunias, and is the recommended method due to it being sterile. Of course you need to fertilize once they emerge, but the advantages of pure sphagnum peat for fussy seed starting are numerous.

Pretty Lady said...

That may be true, DC, but my roommate certainly didn't know that. She simply equated peat moss with potting soil. The cantaloupe seeds didn't recognize it as soil at all, and failed to germinate.

k said...

Pretty Lady, having your babies get eaten overnight is just heartbreaking. I, too, have lost my patience with snails and slugs. I was letting them live, but they've abused my hospitality. I have holes in my orchid leaves. They now get stomped the instant I see them. (DC, don't let Barry the Ginormous read this, okay?)

The Roommate from Hell only had to tip over her containers once a day, and clearly didn't. EEEWWWW! Was she using the beer trap method? I did that down in New Orleans, and was quite happy with the results. I may do it here now too.

I'd give a lot to have callas growing like weeds. But I'm trying again. This time I planted one set of bulbs and one full-grown plant. Perhaps that one will evade the Bastard Bulb Eaters.

One day I may post about my adventures trying to grow fresh escargot down in New Orleans. That was fun.

Granny J, we do pansies only in winter here, too. This time I planted a bunch of violas instead. And I've never heard of anything eating marigolds! In fact, lots of people plant them as a natural pest deterrent. That surprised me.

I found some seeds for the tall snapdragons. I got so excited I'll probably plant some now and save some seeds for fall. Hey. It might work. It could happen.

I also surfed up info that lobelias can do well here as a winter annual. This may really brighten up my bedding plant life.

Jean, I love to hear that. I hesitate so often, thinking, *Who wants to look at flower pix?* So now I want to post some more!

Mr. Bud! Bro! Welcome, welcome, welcome! I am SO delighted to have you here. And so thrilled to see you're reading my archives! To me, that feels like such a great compliment. Thank you.

Did you see the ones where I drove 110 miles through the eye of Katrina, taking pix out the window as I drove? That was fun!

As far as greenhouses, we don't use them much in South Florida. Some people need cool houses. Some nurseries need shade houses. That's about it. Most of our trouble isn't of the *how to grow things* variety, but the *how to KEEP things from growing* issue. I have to turn down plants all the time because I'm simply out of room.

Oh, Pepek! Nancy! I wish so much I'd read this before I finished work that day. I kept telling myself, *as long as I'm not messing with the compost I'm okay...* but of course I was digging in the dirt, and laying down pine bark nuggets, and all without the mask...and now the lungs are wheezing with every breath, and I'm coughing up yellow gunk again... argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We're a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive process and our whole group might be grateful to you.
my site > buy youtube views reviews