25 June 2017

sweet potato plant

I really like having them just in a pot this year. Every other day I inspect it for leaf hoppers- they keep showing up- and so far it's doing pretty well. The other two pots of sweet potato vine on the front porch aren't doing so well. They have lots of bug holes. I don't check them nearly as often.

24 June 2017

there was a baby fish!

in my window tank!
This was the best I could do for a picture- it was very small, its entire length barely the width of the swordtail's eye. Where did it come from? Must have been an egg from the latest serape tetras' spawning stuck on some hornwort trimmings from the main tank, that I threw in here earlier this week. My first thought was: it will starve. But I saw it ingesting tiny specks of things. My next was that it would get sucked into the filter, or eaten by Fabio, who appeared to be making attempts to grab it. One of those must have happened; when I came back to look again ten minutes later, couldn't see it anywhere. Haven't seen it since. Oh well.

I admit I thought I never want to raise baby fish but when I saw this one I was so astonished and thrilled. I thought how cool would it be, to raise a few tetras of my own, instead of buying more to complete my school?

Funny, when I first saw it, pale thin thing Fabio nipped at, I thought it was a bit of degraded plant material. Then I saw it jerk, moving against the current and thought it was an insect had got in the tank. When I looked close and realized it was a baby fish, all I could do was stare for several minutes. Perhaps someday there will be more!

23 June 2017

first trim

My kid was coming down with a cold- just a sore throat and mild headache, but she looked miserable- so I pinched off my rosemary for the first time, and made her some tea. Two mugs of rosemary/honey tea, and her cold only lasted three days. Love this plant.

stand for a fern

I took this old, unused cat tower/pedestal, stripped the carpet off, sawed off the corners to make it less square (unfortunately not very evenly)
gave it several layers of wood stain and turned it into a stand for my foxtail fern. A much better way to show its airy grace.

22 June 2017

brown bug

What is this insect?
very dark olive brown, and the underside of the abdomen greenish.

spiders

Finally got a decent picture of an orchard orbweaver spider- there's lots in the garden this year, and we are careful not to disturb them.
I also have many of these brown spiders or maybe it's daddy-long-legs (here on a borage plant).
Wolf spiders and jumping spiders are among our favorites.
I found this jumping spider on some clothing after hanging out laundry. Tried to get a detailed photo- when the camera got really close that tiny spider would lift its front legs towards the lens- threatening?- and then it leaped onto my hand, or my camera! I kept putting it back on the cloth to try for the picture but jumped on me repeatedly.

21 June 2017

new succulents!

A large box came to the house last week, and it wasn't full of rocks like usual. It had plants- a surprise from my husband. So very very dry when I lifted them, but they can take it- these are all desert-area succulents. And completely new to me, so I have to do some reading up on their care.
This one, is very particular: lithops. The plant that imiatates a rock. My youngest calls it "the butt plant".
String-of-pearls: a trailing plant in a hanger. Heard of it before, never seen one in person until now.
This is pink ice plant- some call it miniature jade- and it can grow into a great shrub outside with beautiful pink flowers (but frost would kill it so I need a pot sized to come indoors for the winter).
And my favorite of them is the variegated elephant bush-
the leaves are fat triangles!

I want to repot them all from their travelling containers, but first need to go get some specialized soil- cactus mix- because the stuff I usually use would poison them with richness.

ring of salvia

around front yard tree- filling in some space, doing just what I wanted. Even gets a few looks and nods from neighbors on their walks (small celosias are not worth a glance, this year) someone asked me if they're another type of hosta!

20 June 2017

daylilies

My daylilies are still flowering,
so I got a few better photos.

sad fern

Not sure what to do with my boston fern, this year. I simply cannot find a good site for it. Front porch was not the best place- it gets banged up by people passing and kids throwing toys or kicking balls  (even when they're not supposed to) last year rim of the pot got broken.... I also like it better on the back deck, to see it more often. But there is no spot where it can reliably stay in the shade- I have to run out and move it twice a day... Maybe I should keep it under the deck, and just get to enjoy it when I'm down in the garden.

companion plants

I think this is the first time I grew carrots among the tomatoes- a gardening book I read once mentioned the two plants benefit each other in some way. It does look like my carrots are growing more vigorously than ever before- and this in the brand-new garden plot I just set up over grass last fall!

19 June 2017

two peas in a pod

literally, all the peas in this pod were in pairs

pretty borage

Another borage appreciation post.
I love how the flower buds seem to glow pale silver.
I'm not checking the foliage as thoroughly for aphids and other pests anymore, since most of the plants now have a resident spider.
Found a few flowers that look pink! instead of blue.