Sunday, February 25, 2007

Amaryllis. The amaryllis rebirth is always amazing to me. The potted plants spent last summer in a shady but bright place in the garden. I watered & fed them with fish emulsion about once a month.

I brought them in late August and let them dry in a cool dark place under the plant tables. I started giving them a little water before Christmas and added a little potting soil to the top. I kept them in the same place and gave them a little water about once a week.

About 6 weeks later, I saw a tiny bit of green poking up from the bulb. Then I moved them to a sunny location and watered well. And, like magic, a beautiful bloom. As with every year, not all of them will bloom. I'm happy with one out of five - in time to combat the "February Funk" and get me in the mood for the Philadelphia Flower Show. My space and time allow only 5 plants.
I have 2 varieties - both were gifts so I don't have names. The plant pictured here is called "the one Pam gave me." I also have a deep red I call "Rosey's Daughter" because my uncle called the original "Rosey". How's that for a scientific explanation?

Some of the bulbs will need to be divided this spring. If I can find someone to give them to, I'll repot the "babies" and give them away. If I can't find someone to give them to, I'll plant them in the garden & enjoy the foliage for the summer. Please leave an comment and email address if you're looking for a free amaryllis - no guarantees :-).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hibiscus. What can be better than blooming hibiscus in February? Or a sunny day on the beach in the winter? Or a visit to Mayan ruins so hot that it made you spend the entire afternoon in the pool? We returned from the Riviera Maya, Mexico back to reality.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cuttings. The cuttings are growing nicely and present a pretty winter windowsill in February. I have about 20 to 30 plants in various windows in the house. I'll start taking cuttings from the cuttings soon and should have a good crop to set out in May. I put them in a sheltered spot on the deck around the beginning of May to harden off. Then they should be ready for garden or pot by the time the danger of frost is over - about May 15 in zone 6.

The impatiens cuttings have not fared so well. I have one left - and it doesn't look happy. Ah, well, that will mean a trip to Hickory Grove for new plants (definitely not a hardship!) Hickory Grove, in Catasaqua, PA, has great plants and I usually come away with more than I planned.

I will also need some Dusty Miller. As annuals, these pretty gray plants usually survive the winter in my garden. But, I know I will need to replace a few that don't. And, a I'll need a few petunias and marigolds and maybe a new rose. See - that's how it goes.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Cow Pots. I just followed this link from the National Gardening Association Regional Newsletter.

Looks like a great idea. The peat pots I've used in the past never seem to let the roots grow through. Even though I put a bunch of holes in the pot with my thumb nail at plant time, the pots end the summer intact. I noticed that the pots don't degrade when I re-potted annuals from the garden to bring inside to take cuttings for the next summer.

I may give them a try this year.