Sunday, April 26, 2009

Flowers This week.

More iris this week. Suspect is the first with the dark falls and caramel colored standards. It is an arilbred but looks more like a bearded. Oyex, the second definitely shows the aril in the shape and shadings. It has small leaves and not much of a presence until it flowers. Then you can't take your eyes away.

And finally, my irrepresibly pink sweatpeas. Every blessed one of them is pink, and not just pink but a particularly disgusting lavender pink. Since they are growing in the raised bed where I hoped they would be finished by planting time, I don't know how long I will put up with them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flowers This week. p1

This week, I am seeing more flowers in the yard. Here are two to start things off.

The first is a euphorbia with cheerful orange bracts. The second is the sweatpeas that I planted last fall in the mistaken belief that they would start growing and blooming early and yes I don't believe that April is early.

At least this year they came up last fall and didn't die. The next problem is that they are pink. I was sure that they were assorted colors and I most definitely would not have selected a packet with exclusively pink flowers, especially a magenta pink like these. There are only a few flowers so far and these sweatpeas had better put on a good show to make up for their pinkness.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Repotting Cymbidiums

This afternoon I repotted some of my cymbidium orchids so I thought I would share the process. I use coir bricks as the potting medium. Coir is the fiber from coconut husks and you can buy it compressed into bricks which you soak in water before use. I use the mixed bricks which contain larger chunks of the husk.

The second picture shows the plants waiting to be repotted.

The third picture is the coir after soaking.

The fourth picture is one of the plants broken apart out of the pot. You don't need to be delicate with them. I also clean out dead leaves and the dry fibers around the pseudobulbs to make the plant more attractive.

The fifth picture shows part of the plant repotted with the remaining part waiting it's turn.

Finally, the last picture show the class of 09 perky and eager to grow and get ready for blooming next year. I am hopeful that these will bloom for me. I usually don't expect plants to bloom the first year after repotting but i don't get around to repotting them until well into the summer. This year I am early enough to hope that they get a good long growth season.

The two plants that are blooming now need repotting but I will wait until the blooms fade.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Another Cymbidium

I'm awash in orchids this year.

Well, maybe not awash but three plants with blooms is my best performance yet in the foothills.

King Arthur (Sweetheart) is my best bloomer, both here and in So Cal. This year I had two plants bloom, one in December, when it normally bloomed for me down south and now this one in April. Behind him you can see the pink I showed a week or so back.

I am feeling very optimistic that next year will be a bloom bonanza. Several of my plants are over grown and need repotting. I am going to do it soon to give them the best chance at blooming next year. The ones I potted last year should be definites. I received my coir bricks last week so as soon as the rain stops, I'm ready.

Friday, April 03, 2009

First Iris

Here is my first iris this year. It's an Arilbred. You can easily tell from the beautiful brown blotch and if you look carefully you can see the domed shape of the bloom. I am particularly pleased because it is a true test of a plant to come back a second year on my rockpile.

Logic would argue that arilbreds would be a good bet given that they like dry summers (at least from one parent) but you never know. Then, also sometimes wet winters make a plant that you would otherwise expect to be happy die on you.

Some of my others seem to be coming on strong, others are still there and some are missing. Life is a great experiment and it's wonderful when you can experiment with something as beautiful as this. I am lousy with marking my plants but this one is most likely Burra Sahib although it isn't so domed as the picture in the catalogue.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Put a Tiger in Your Tank, Pam

Pam Penick, Gardener, Designer and Blogger extraordinaire uses stock tanks in her landscapes, both as water gardens and planters to raise her plants to higher levels. It was an inspiration to me as I looked to find a container for a water lily last year (there is a story there but let's save it for later). Anyway in my daily web browsing, I found this lovely pool and since it's an idea that not even Pam has incorporated into her garden, I want to share it with her. I love it when I can reciprocate.