20 December 2011

pear future

These little things are pear seeds!
They even look kinda pear-shaped, don't they? I took them out of the core of a few organic pears ate last week. Most of the seeds inside there were flat but the few nice plump ones I saved. Thinking if I could experiment and grow a little apple tree from seed, why not a pear?

19 December 2011

odd timing

I have noticed signs of spring. Fat buds on the trees, and robins in their branches. A neighbor's forsythia down the street trying to bloom, yellow clumps on the ends of its bare branches. And in a public spot where daffodils always bloom, I saw bunches of fat shoots coming up through the mulch. Curious, pulled aside some of the dead-leaf litter around my daylily corner and yep, mine were trying to grow too.
But the coldest part of winter is still around the corner. Did the freak october snowstorm and then this mild, warm weather convince some growing things that it was spring already? if the real cold comes, will these plants go back into their dormancy and sleep, or will they suffer. I can only wait and see.

16 December 2011

corn stripes

My other Dracanea, the Corn Plant, also seems to be thriving since its repotting.
You can see that some of the newer leaves have bright paler green stripes down their centers, whereas the older leaves below the stripes are faded. I don't know if this is because of the age of the leaf, or because less light reaches the lower foliage?
But I do know it's happy again because new young leaves are growing.

14 December 2011

dragon tree

I'm happy to note that the plants involved in my little pot-switcheroo some weeks ago are all doing fine now.
This Dracanea has quite recovered; it dropped a few more lower leaves but is growing some lush new ones atop and overall looks very healthy.
These photos really do not do the plant justice. I love the red edging of the leaves, but can't quite get it on camera.

13 December 2011

rose hips

I have some rose hips, ha ha! I've always admired these small, wild roses that are planted in public spaces, and in a few yards around my neighborhood. This one untrimmed rose that overhangs a sidewalk has pink flowers and such pretty bold green leaves with red edges. The other day I noticed it had tiny red and orange hips, looked like little berries. So I picked some and put them in my pocket.
In another yard on a different street I'd noticed a more modern, large rosebush with some nice, fat hips on it. I had been toying with the idea of snipping some, or asking the people in the house if they'd mind. But I was too shy. What if they wanted to propagate their own roses? what if they thought I was weird, a total stranger knocking on the door asking to cut something off the rose bush? I should have done it, though. Just a few days ago walked by that yard and the entire bush was gone. They had cut it down to the ground. So I know they didn't want their hips, they didn't even want the rose plant.

I don't know when I'll try to grow these. They're in the fridge for now.

12 December 2011


I have some new plants! A little gift for myself. The first is a Croton, also called Jacob's-coat because of its many colors. I thought these were tough plants but after bringing it home read more about it and they're actually quite sensitive to watering (great, another plant that can't use my tapwater).
Hopefully I can take good care of it and keep its leaves brilliant.
It's keeping company with my Phalo right now.
The other is just an ordinary little Poinsettia, but how bright and lovely! I have high ambitions for this plant; I want to follow Thalassa Cruso's directions for letting it go dormant, regrowing in spring and forcing the red "bloom" again next year. It will be a challenge!

10 December 2011

baby crassulas

the little cluster of baby Jades getting so crowded how could they grow
so I gently pulled them apart and replaced spread out (in the same little pot). The parent leaf had some roots so I stuck that back in the soil of another jade pot, just to see what happens.

09 December 2011

dreary mums

The yellow pot of mums is succumbing to the cold and hard frosts. But honestly, I like its appearance better this way. I've never been fond of yellow flowers, and the neon-yellow brilliance of mums seems unreal to me. I like pink better. I didn't know these would get a pinkish hue as they fade to brown.

08 December 2011

young leaf

This is my favorite of the Avocado plants. I took a picture from each side, I'm that fond of its appearance.
It's even growing some new leaves right now!
The other two plants, not doing so well. They're alive, but don't look as nice. The largest, first one I grew still has its awkward shape. And the smaller, third plant is starting to loose its leaves, not happy. Well, perhaps. It has new foliage coming too, but so small I couldn't get a close-up in focus.

07 December 2011

orchid stem

I cut the dying flower stem almost completely off my moth Orchid. It was turning yellow and I was afraid of rot infecting the rest of the plant. This time, instead of dusting the cut end with cinnamon I smeared it with a crayon, having read that wax should be applied to cuts when you prune plants, to keep out bacteria.
The young leaf is definitely getting bigger! I'm not sure how long the plant will rest before flowering again... if it ever does...

06 December 2011


I still have a weedy bed of overgrown Beets out there in the garden. It's the only bed I haven't cleared yet. Must get to it soon.
I made one final attempt to eat a few.
Simmered them a long time until tender, but the taste was still off. Not terribly bitter, not inedible, but not sweet either. Definitely going to compost them all. Blah.

05 December 2011


I've never seen my Garlics grow so much in fall, they've really liked this warmer weather and their deep bed of leaves. Hoping for some fantastic garlics come next summer!

04 December 2011


My Rhubarb all remains well-tucked in for winter with its leaf blanket. The two end plants have disappeared; I hope only with the usual demise of foliage for the end-of-year. But the middle plant, which was the youngest of them all, still has nice big leaves with some fat red stems that almost tempt me to cut and eat them! I think it also got the most coffee-grounds mulch, wonder if that had something to do with its vigor.

03 December 2011


It's turned out to be a nice, long warm fall (after that freak snowstorm in october!). I've long since cut down all the swiss Chard and composted the bug-eaten leaves (had been giving bunches of it to a friend every few weeks, since I wasn't eating it myself) but of course some of the stumps I failed to pull out of the ground are insisting on growing new leaves.

02 December 2011


The pink Cosmos are starting to die, the smaller second-generation plants that seeded of themselves this fall. I've really enjoyed their colors; here's a few photos of them.

01 December 2011


my mother-in-law bought me this pot of chrysanthemums when she was here visiting. I never put it in the ground, it's been brightening the spot outside our door on the porch. The color is so vivid. Never had mums before, although I see them all over the place in the fall, lots of people have them in their yards.