24 May 2015

some houseplants

I am not doing much with them... but the second african violet is about to bloom- and from the looks of the tiny buds it might just be purple. One of the spider plant offspring has gotten big enough I cut it free of the mother plant (and pegged down two more babies into soil).
Leaves have finally all dropped off the poinsettia, and it started putting out new growth before I cut it back or gave it a dry period. I just did a little trim to shape it, did not shorten much.
Parsley is a biannual plant; have been eating foliage still but it is trying very hard to put up flower shoots. I forgot to sow more seed this spring to have continual parsley at hand...
Half of the coleus starts failed on me- this fallen one has since been pulled out, also the stem to rear that is black at the base. Perhaps my potting mix was too rich?
The parent plant all died, too. But if I can keep this going year after year by just taking new cuttings for new plants, that will be enough.
Nicotiana outside have doubled in size. One growing in a planter which sat through a downpour suddenly grew huge- so I realized they like lots of water. I keep them very saturated now, they never falter and I bet this is what kept spider mites at bay, too.
I had so many more of these still growing in the jug greenhouse (now a tray as I cut the top off after frost danger past) that I took them over to B yard and planted out in a row behind the hosta.

22 May 2015

tank changes

a few things-

I've returned the cherry barbs from QT to the main aquarium. They hadn't shown any symptoms in a over a week after treatment was done. I moved them one at a time, waiting a few days in between to see how the fish readjusted. The first female who went back first, I can't even tell her apart from the others now. The second one continues to show paler marks on her body- scarring? stress? but it doesn't exactly look like lesions, and there's no peeling skin... The little male who went back in last, looks great. He hid for about ten minutes in the stems of a big crypt, then was posturing and displaying broadside to all the other fishes, even though he's still smaller by half then them all!

This week for the first time I gently rinsed out the prefilter sponge- there was more debris and mulm in there than I had expected. Also removed intake pipe to scrub it off thoroughly before putting everything back in place. Have had a minor brown algae issue lately. Trying to remember to feed a little less, now that Pinkie is no longer here. My youngest noticed his absence for the first time today. I changed the background, simply put a pale tan pillowcase over the background board, to see how it looks. I like the look of cherry barb on a paler background, and the colors and forms of the plants stand out more.
Or maybe I just need another change, since missing my blue Pinkie I haven't wanted to look at the tank much.

Java fern continues to do poorly in that tank, although it is picking up a bit in the smaller tenner. I gave up on growing java moss thickly enough to be noticeable, stripped the bits off the fake skull and tied the java fern rhizomes on there instead. They never were clinging well to the stones anyway.

18 May 2015


see this related post

In the meantime, I am still doing some gardening and upkeep with the aquariums, just not finding time to take the photographs (which I enjoy) or post about it much right now.

The nicotiana have doubled in size, I have set out rows of sunflower seedlings and some tithonia in the B Yard, have prepared a little 5x10' garden plot, have plenty of stout tomato, marigold, lettuce, swiss chard, cilantro and broccoli seedlings that really need to go into the ground still sitting in green rows on the deck. Been eating plenty of lettuce already, out of their little pots. Lovely fresh and sweet.

09 May 2015

young nicotiana

I've pricked out a handful of seedlings from the greenhouse jug to put into their individual pots. The look so small.
I'd hoped more would self-seed, but only one pot had seedlings grown in there of their own accord.
There's still over a dozen seedlings in the jug base; I might pot more up when they get a bit larger (too small to handle).

06 May 2015

bye, fish

Pinkie died today. He was over 2 years old, and spent the first year with me in a bowl, so I probably shouldn't be surprised. But it was my fault. He choked on food- I forgot he would even try and fed a whole shrimp pellet to the gang to pick apart- and he tried to eat it all in one bite before I could reach in there. My fault. I didn't notice until took his body out and had it up close, that his fin edges were ragged. The barbs and loaches still in the tank look fine. I tested the water quality, it was fine. Was he stressed, or ill these past few days? I don't know.

He was my favorite fish.
Oh, and I never made note of this before, but I laughed when I saw his picture on the back of a fish magazine!
I'd never seen one like my Pinkie before, in print or in person.

05 May 2015

and there is a rose

I don't really think of this one as my plant, but I've started to give it some care- extra mulch and compost feed, sprayed a good round of neem oil (the flanking bushes looks like they have spider mites arrrrggghhh) and guess what the plant looks gorgeous vivid new lovely greens.
My boyfriend shrugs again at my enthusiasm: yeah, it's green. It's growing. It does that. I'm waiting eagerly to see if the roses are better than before- they've always been small and scrawny, the plant narrow and leggy. It never got pruned or fed before, in all the years I've visited here. So I think this will show.


getting too big for its vase
so I put it in a taller one

the original rooted plant in pot set in a white vase, still is doing practically nothing

04 May 2015


Lots of new sprouting leaves on the top of this plant now.