Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Quotes Saying
And have a good gardening season!

Gardening in Philly

Reading a post from a fellow blogger about winter farmer's markets and the possible lack there of in urban areas, inspired me to write about gardening in the city. Philly does garden and offers a multitude of farmers markets in various neighborhoods in the city. We also have some unique arboretums, nurseries, and gardening events in the city. In my opinion, there can never be too many gardening events. Events offered by  Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in my neighborhood and some others were cut in 2014 due to funding. A review of this years scheduled events show even fewer local neighborhood events. Here is a link for their 2014 events. In spite of these cuts, there is still an array of gardening events and classes offered by nurseries, garden stores, and arboretums in the city.

I'll have to venture out of my neighborhood to places I haven't explored like Bartram's Gardens about 15 minutes from Center City,  Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in Chestnut Hill, and Awbury Arboretum in Germantown which is in my neighborhood. I'm ashamed to say I haven't visited and drive by one or more times weekly in spite of receiving e-mail notifications of offered events. Spring is a beautiful time so maybe I'll plan on visiting there first.  There are other gardens in the surrounding areas including Longwood Gardens, The Barnes Arboretum, Andalusia, and Chanticleer all within a short drive from Philly in the surrounding counties. I will be focusing on only those in Philly. I hope to keep updates on what events are happening. Bartram's Garden has a nice catalog of native plants available in their nursery. Here's a link to the pdf.

Lets start with farmer's markets since this is what inspired this post The Reading Terminal Market immediately comes to mind because it's my favorite that I've been shopping in since my mother introduced it to me as a child. When she was alive she went weekly and I as often as I could. I've talked about them before and shared some pictures on the blog this summer. The Terminal offers fresh and local foods, produce, breads, fruits and vegetables, candy, coffee, meat, fish, flowers, and a multitude of crafted items  including quilts, soaps, jewelry, herbs, spices, and candles. You have to come visit. I just saw on their web site that the now offer delivery. I'll have to go back and read this.

Another farmer's market is on Saturday's year round and Wednesday's in Center City on Rittenhouse Square. Rittenhouse Farmer's Market is a nice market there year round in 4 locations in Philly. The streets surrounding the square is lined with vendors. It offers fresh and local food items including vegetables, fruit, fish, meat and poultry, artisan breads, and other items. On Wednesdays the market is open in University City. Other locations include Chestnut Hill, and Bryn Mawr which is not in the city. If you join the e-mail list they'll e-mail you a list of what vendors will be there. Here is a link for their Face Book Page. You may have to create a Face Book account. Keep saying I'll go and take pictures. I'll eventually go and post some. 

The Italian Market on 9th street is not exactly a farmer's market but one of the oldest and largest Italian markets in the United States. I remember weekend visits to the market with my mother during my childhood. Walking through the market with streets lined with fresh fruits and vegetables and any type of store you could imagine. The butchers shop, spice shop, fresh bread, anything you can imagine. Haven't been there to shop in years. I'm going to have to renew this tradition. I can't go with mom but I'll drag my daughter along although she's been to the market with a close friend who lives in South Philly, but probably only for a Philly cheese steak.

This is a link for a map of approximately 35 farmer's markets in Philly. Click on the balloon to see where the market is. You can also see markets in the suburbs of Philly. Greensgrow Farm has become popular. It's located in I believe the Northern Liberties section of Philly. It's a working farm in the heart of the neighborhood that grows some of it's produce and also purchases goods from local farms. They offers gardening classes and events. I'll write more about them when I add more to this page.

In my neighborhood we have three farmer's markets that I'm aware of. There may be more. I know of one on Wayne Avenue where there is a neighborhood garden. I have seen tables there where they sell some of their produce. I'll continue to do my research. The one down the street from my house is at Grumblethorpe which I've shown pictures of and blogged about before. They sell produce grown on their grounds.Sadly I don't see the other farmers markets l isted for my neighborhood. I will do the research and post their locations later. I feel like Germantown is often looked at as a "lost cause." Not to the people who live in this neighborhood. It is one neighborhood in Philly like others where people are trying to rebuild and show pride in their neighborhood. Not only do the people who live here have to take pride in their neighborhood but the city has to invest in it's neighborhoods. This area has had some recent renovation such as the regional rail project at Wayne Junction and upcoming renovation to Maple Wood Mall. A small corridor of Germantown Avenue also won an award in the City Gardening contest I entered for their greening efforts which were beautiful. I hope this is continued and expanded upon.

I came across this article on line about Philly neighborhoods and how they got their name. I included this because it's interesting to me and I can quickly refer back to it. I hope you enjoyed what I felt like posting about today. This page will be updated and expanded upon as I have time and locate new gardening information. Thanks for stopping by.

The Seedlings

My seedlings aren't progressing  as I'd like especially the first 8 geraniums I transplanted. They're slowly loosing leaves and yellowing. I can't say it's due to over watering or gnats. There was no problem until I repotted them so I think it was the seed starting mix  that transmitted some type of virus or disease. If I loose them I'll be sad. It took work to get them to this stage. I do have more seeds that can be started. Another set of geraniums are doing fine. It's probably may also be the osmocote. I mixed this in the mix before potting them up. When I transplanted the second set I didn't add osmocote. 

It's time to start other seeds. Don't know where to start. Washing old seed starting trays in soapy water and bleach should be a start. Maybe tomorrow. Seedlings dying or not doing well upsets me but I try to remind myself that some seedlings will die and sometimes what happens is out of my control. Provide water, fertilizer, light and hope for the best. So what else will I be starting. Possibly a variety of coleus, more geraniums, impatiens, calibrachoa, petunias, licorice plant, euphorbia, black eyed Susan vine, more vinca, sunflowers, zinnia, balloon flower, maybe dicondra emerald falls, and some others. Some will be started later such as zinnia and sunflowers. Too early to start them. I also need to read how to start my ornamental sweet potato vine tubers. Canna and caladium will be started on the porch when the weather gets warmer to give them a start before planting outside. I also want to sow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli.

Blooming in the house.The blooms are very aromatic. Not too loud.

I was talking to my aunt on the phone while tending to my seedlings and I knocked the African daisy seedlings on the floor. They may be dead by morning. Can't worry about that. If they're alive tomorrow I'll pot them up.
Dragon wing begonias progressing. Many still small. I guess the healthiest seeds do the best.


Coleus and vinca.

It's a pretty coleus.
Geraniums and African daisies.

African daisy

More cuttings rooting and blooming. I have to pinch that bloom off.
These aren't doing well.

Some foxgloves still surviving. They're delicate. I have them in a zip lock bag to maintain moisture. If they dry out, it could be fatal. I hope they eventually get large enough to handle and transplant.

These are peach and yellow go go begonias. It's taken this long for them to start germinating. Only a few in each tray have germinated. I don't know what to do with them. I need the space for other seedlings. I'll have patience with them but they were started the same time as the dragon wing begonias. It took over a month for a few to start germinating.

That's my clivia. I'm hoping it'll bloom this year.
Yes another orchid. They're so cheap in the store. Three for $10.00. I bought one.
Time for some more color and blooms. My amaryllis and some more paperwhites.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6, King James Version

In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:1-5, King James Version

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. All went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and lineage of David. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men. Luke 2: 1-14, King James Version 

All blessings, honor, and glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Winter Blooms

Didn't I say I was supposed to be cooking? Well, I cook some, sit some. I don't know what will get cooked tonight. I started with cabbage but still have yet to do potato salad, baked ham, a turkey, macaroni and cheese, and a seven up pound cake. I should have done the cake this afternoon while I was awake, alert, and energetic. Thank God I don't have any Christmas gifts to wrap.The turkey can wait until tomorrow along with the gravy and the macaroni and cheese. It would be nice to get the other things done tonight. Dinner tonight is seafood; is almost done. 

My latest plant purchase is a stephanotis floribunda. I went to the produce market yesterday for fresh flowers for the table and saw it there. Better known as Madagascar jasmine, wax flower, and bridal wreath. Fall and winter are just as wonderful as spring and summer but in different ways. The variety of blooming plants adorning garden centers, nurseries and produce market certainly woo me at this time of year as blooms outdoors have long since faded. I love to see blooms inside the house during the winter. I've wanted one of these plants since first seeing it several years ago around this time at the garden center. For a hefty price that I wasn't going to pay. No hefty prices at the produce market yesterday. It was $5.00. How to keep it alive? I've been reading about how to care for it on the internet. Of course the aroma along with the white flowers is what drew me. I also love scented flowers. Keeping a plant indefinitely is always  the plan when I purchase it but, things happen. It would be nice if this lived after blooming. If not it was only $5.00's. My saying regarding plants; we'll see.

Christmas Eve

I'm supposed to start cooking. This year no family dinner at my house. The first time in over 20 years. I'll still be cooking for my daughter and I and anyone who drops in. Maybe she will cook dinner for tonight while I work on part of Christmas dinner. Just have to get up off the couch. The fire is soothing, makes me want to nap. Haven't gotten a thing done today. The first thing I did this morning was come look at and watering my seedlings. Slower progress since transplanting that I thought it would be. Still early but seed starting time is almost here for most that start from seed. It's also time to winter sow.

Do you remember her from the island of misfit toys on Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer?

Kitty must have an ornament.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Victory Or Not...

Parents are wise people. Had I taken my mom's advise years ago I wouldn't have to worry if I'll have spring flowers. Last week the squirrels decimated my bulbs. Dug, scattered, ate, and just bit into many and left them. This is really the first year I've had a bad problem with them. Got my chicken wire. Dangerous stuff, handle with good gloves because it's sharp. An extra piece would have been good. The 8 foot piece I bought wasn't enough. It was easier to cut than I'd thought it would be. So, all areas aren't covered but hopefully some bulbs will make it. It would be priceless  to be able to watch from the window and see what the squirrels do when  they come to my yard for the next meal.

An allium. I see squirrels don't like bulbs in the onion family. good to know.

The bulbs are really confused. Many are above  ground already. Our weather had been so variable.

That should not be up.

Plant vinca and you'll never have to plant it again.
Acanthus looks like it's grown some. It's adjusting to Philly.
Tell the mini roses it's winter now, or does winter start tomorrow?

I hope my rosemary looks better than this next summer. I'll add some fresh soil and see what happens.

I put the fig tree inside, a little late.

Ate a chunk of tulip and left.
Will use these and brick to hold down chicken wire.
Chicken Wire

Vinca is so pretty and simple.

Not pretty but necessary.