Thursday, October 20, 2016

Amaryllis By Christmas, Maybe

Trees have finally started to turn colors. It's a late start attributed to the weather according to the local nightly news. The National Forest Service talks about the exact amount of cool weather, pigment in the leaves, length of nights, and the weather helping to determine the colors of the leaves. A beautiful leaf on my car window teased me after work. Instead of getting out the car and bringing it inside with me, I actually thought it would stay attached for the ride home. Unfortunately it flew away with the breeze as the car moved. They'll be plenty of leaves for me to pick and admire this fall. I'd better pick them soon because it's predicted to be quick visual show this fall with trees suddenly changing and falling faster than usual. From what I see in Philly, I agree. A pile awaits me outside my house.

I've been getting a lot of views from unwanted sources. If you're not interested in gardening, and sharing your love of things that spring forth from the earth don't bother. I'm not interested in ads or unwanted views. For all those that enjoy a glimpse of my attempts at gardening, good, bad, and the ugly I appreciate you and enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks for the support.

It's a white bloom amaryllis named Merry Christmas. Lets see if it lives up to it's name and blooms by Christmas. One more awaits planting another day. If I stagger the potting time, I'll have amaryllis till spring maybe. The porch will be their home wile they sit in cooler temperatures developing roots till ready to bring inside.
Hopefully the container is large enough for both. It's deep so it should accommodate the roots. 
House plants were taken inside off the porch last week. A poor looking pepper plant may come inside under lights. Can a  pepper bloom indoors over winter? My clivia was repotted after making sure it still had roots. It had roots but has never thrived so maybe it's not receiving what clivias require at my house. Maybe over winter, the pots on the porch can be washed, organized and ready for spring and I can work on my cushions for the settee that I keep talking about sewing and haven't started. The settee also needs a spring re attached. The porch will soon be sharing wood for the fireplace. Our weather has been so unpredictable. Cold enough for heat and just short of 90 degrees yesterday, in the 80's today and cooling down again this weekend. And to think I wished for a fire in the hearth. The fan is blowing on me as I write.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Weekend

Freshened up the planter. I like this version better.

The mum is still in it's pot. It'll be easier to remove it when it's no longer as pretty and time to transition to Christmas.

The pansies are beautiful but it's horrible to come outside every day and clean up the soil squirrels have scattered everywhere digging in the soil. They can't possibly trying to hide nuts. More cayenne pepper added. 
A beautiful dark pansy.
Back to Vinvilla Orchard's.
He was nice and posed for me.

Waited patiently for our turn on the hay ride.

It was a beautiful day.
Montauk daisies are beautiful. My small patch are also pretty out front.

Ended the weekend taking in plants from the porch to the seed shelf. Wiped down 2 shelves for plants. Still have a few more to bring in.
The geraniums didn't do well on the porch this summer. Lets see what happens over winter under lights.
I bought dichondra silver to see if I can over winter it till spring.
Mint, thyme, and rosemary.
Ivy leaf geranium.
Also trying to over winter calebrachoa.

Still have to bring in my small fruit trees. Lets see if these can thrive and return outside in spring. where will my seedlings go?

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Nurse's Day Off

Wednesday was a beautiful day in the city. While in Center City for an appointment I had to take advantage of the weather to visit the bookstore and stop at a needlepoint shop that I spotted on a previous visit. Haven't done needlepoint or cross stitch in a while but maybe visiting the store will encourage me. There's only so much time in a day and work, sleep, housework, reading, and gardening fill most of my days. Although most pictures of flower arrangements I took didn't come out a few did. It's looking and feeling like fall. 

Rittenhouse Square is having a craft fair this weekend. I haven't been in a few years. Maybe I'll come this weekend but Linvilla Orchards may win out. It wouldn't be fall without going to see the pumpkins, a hay ride, and apple cider doughnuts. Thinking about fishing and picking apples this year. 

Couldn't leave Barnes and Noble without some magazines and 2 books. I've started reading the books and love them both. One drew me because I  previously shared that I loss my mom in 2014 and since then have been doing some reading about the experiences of others who have loss their mothers and what life is like afterwards. I've read a couple of chapters and like the book although I'm not looking to discover and learn about my mother because I feel I knew who she was. I loved her and we had a good relationship. She was a beautiful and good mother, friend, supporter, and encourager. She loved her children. The chapter on "messages from beyond" mirrored some of my experiences since my loss. The Garden Interior may be my second best gardening memoir although I've only finished the first chapter, the writer's style makes me savor every word.  Yes I would recommend this book to other gardeners who enjoy reading about the gardening experiences and adventures of other lovers of God's gift of the earth and the beauty he created to spring forth from it.

What did I think of  Rittenhouse Needlepoint? Many years ago there was a needlepoint shop in this area. They sold beautiful canvases printed with the most unusual and exotic designs and quality threads and other accessories. One plus of the shop was discounted canvases. I saw nothing discounted at this shop. The tiniest canvases were big prices. No, I would not pay over $100's for a needlepoint. Maybe people who make that type of money do. Do you know how many plants I can buy with that? Okay, I saw nice designs but not like the other shop. Rittenhouse is a nice shop with 4 good reviews on line. It's appealing in appearance and pretty. The staff is friendly and doesn't hound you to buy anything. They even have classes. If you go, remember it's on the second floor above another shop. Will I go back????? I think I'll go on line and look at their full line of canvases and maybe if I see something I like, I'll go back but they're other shops that may have more variety and other choices that I'd like. The plus. It's wonderful to see this type of store still in business because many people don't know what needlepoint, cross stitch and this types of stitching is. Needlepoint goes back to ancient Egypt and is still often what I still see women do when I watch old movies of affluent Victorian women in their homes. I learned to needlepoint from a teacher in school. When I grew up, amazingly home economics, sewing, and cooking were still subjects taught in school.  She taught me the basket weave stitch but there are other stitches such as the continental. I prefer basket weave. As a child my mother did embroidery and embroidered pillow cases, doilies, and tablecloths and this may be why I still love these types of linens. I haven't learned many of those stitches and my mom is no longer here to teach me but there's still time to learn. I always tell my daughter, you can teach yourself anything. 

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera and don't fully know how to fully use my phone camera so I couldn't capture how pretty the flowers were.

After coffee at Barnes and Noble and meeting my daughter who was also in center City for an appointment, we had lunch at the CheeseCake Factory, stopped at Reading Terminal Market another favorite and finally made our way home. I didn't order the cheesecake because I have other plans at Linvilla Orchard's. I'll see you there.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Preparing for Bulb Forcing and The House Plants

Transitioning from putting the garden to bed and getting plants ready to bring indoors although fun, can be just as much work as gardening outdoors. Although I don't have a separate refrigerator to chill bulbs in, I'm going to put them in their containers and they'll sit for 12-15 weeks eventually in cooler temperatures until time to bring inside to bloom. Magazines and books have a way to make houseplants look so inviting with inventive designs, containers and arrangements. I'm working on my houseplants. It's an added benefit that plants cleanse the air inside homes but I love them for their beauty, blooms, and variety.

 Two in each.The large amaryllis from Primex should fit these containers.
Last years amaryllis compared to the ones from Primex. No comparison! I have two and they did well all summer. I removed them from soil today and put them in brown paper bags to rest for a while in a cool dark place till time to plant again. This is the first time I haven't thrown them out and won't be wasting money when they can be saved from year to year.
Last years looks healthy. 
Looks like it's grown a baby.
I searched during the summer for bulb forcing vases at the thrift store and did find containers that I can use but really loved these today from the dollar store. Colored forcing vases on line cost much more than clear glass. The only color they didn't have was blue but maybe someone else liked them also and bought out that color. I'll look again on another day.

My favorite colors.
This winter I'm trying to make the plants look prettier. Started with a butterfly also from the dollar store. I'll probably add a cache pot and some moss, maybe. The leaves of the begonia from Primex last week was starting to curl and get dry even with added pebbles and water for added humidity so I put it in my small conservatory and it feels better to the touch from the added humidity. They've never been easy for me to grown indoors but hopefully it makes it because it's a pretty variety.

Sad excuse for African violets. I'm going to repot them except for the one in the corner which was repotted last year after I brought it. She should be in bloom with pretty deep purple flowers but I haven't been fertilizing her. They're my way to have guaranteed blooms during the winter as long as I feed them and provide hours of light. The light from the lamp on my table is usually all they need to stay in bloom.

I think this is a dracena. It was $3.00's and has grown in the few weeks I've had it. Trying to stay with plants that will thrive indoors in the conditions in my house. 
Pothos on each side of the fireplace. Given to me by my mother years ago. Anyone should be able to grow a pothos. When it came to my house the leaves were huge. One by one they died. I figured out that the larger and older the vine, the large the leaves will grow.
Second pothos from mom.
She's doing good since I started watering her more. From mom's house. Glad I haven't killed it.
Not sure of the name but it's a miniature and I've killed one before. Let hope this one survives. It was brought for a terrarium.
The bromeliad recently purchased for winter has lots of pups and the reason I chose this one. The foil wrapper needs to come off. I'll do that soon.

ZZ plant has loved the environment in my house and has thrived. It was tiny when I bought it and continues to add new branches sitting on the window seal next to the air conditioner with no direct sun and very little watering.
The candy I've been buying is sabotaging my weight loss. This was bought to be a terrarium and I think it needs to return to that purpose. I won't give up though. My body feels so much better with the small amount of weight I've loss. Remembering why I started this journey every time I think of making a poor food choice has to be my priority. I don't believe in avoiding foods because this often leads to feeling deprived and binging. Planning what I'll eat and including some treats works best for me but I need to stay committed to only eating what and the amount I planned.
Plant abuse. Never took the rabbit's foot fern out it's pot. It's still alive but it needs care and a fresh start after the container is emptied, cleaned, and fresh materials added.
Hopefully I'll get to the seed rack tomorrow after other chores. I have to start bringing plants in off the porch. Prune back geraniums I pulled last week and plant to go inside, plant an elephant's ear that didn't stay dormant when it arrived from Georgia, and spray my citrus trees and banana with homemade inscticidal soap. The geraniums are my seedling I started last fall and I love the pale pink and white flowers. It would be nice if it didn't get like this every season.
One of 2 fresh bouquets to brighten up my Saturday.

Snap dragons and puruverian lilies. I like thim before they fully open.