31 January 2020

rot? ugh

One of my african violets has been looking unwell- the younger purple one.
I brought it downstairs when I was doing a bit of repotting the other day and started pulling off the outer, anemic leaves. Thought it had gone too dry when I was away for a bit a while ago, and then perhaps overwatered when I returned? But suddenly the remaining crown broke off in my hand.
The center of its underside looks brown and diseased.
If this is crown rot, it's caused by a pathogen- I cut away to healthy tissue, got a new sterilized pot and fresh soil. Crossing fingers it recovers.
(And my mail-ordered leaf cuttings have still not grown, btw)

small swap

My little kalanchoe is getting too big for its tiny pot, and my poor strawberry begonia seems dwarfed-
so I switched 'em
Here's the kalanchoe before it went in. Actually two individual plants, and there's another just sprouting in the large jade pot too. Maybe I'll finally get a healthy one to grow larger. I've been careful to give it only tap or rainwater (as with all my succulents now)
Still don't know about the strawberry begonia. I'm giving it lean water for now, too. Seems to do worse when the leaves get a bit wet- going to water from below and see if that helps.

charlie plants

I tucked some of the rooted cuttings into the main creeping charlie pot.
Cut back the one upstairs, removed pale leaves on its lower stems and repotted it
and took more cuttings of the tops again, which I'll plant back in there once they root

30 January 2020

early birds

I heard a mourning dove for the first time this season. Have seen a few robins flitting about, and a mockingbird flipping its tail in a tree by the roadside today. Cheers!

29 January 2020


I saw a big fat bud on one just the other day.
I think this is another bud coming up:
New leaves are sprouting
in the central sprawl of old ones-
more new leaves
Hellebore seedlings- once again I want to grow them out and transplant
On the sideyard I admire the stinking hellebores- they are so odd looking!
this one is ahead with opening its new foliage- it looks funky!
Definitely another plant I want to get more of, or hope it multiplies and spreads on its own.

round two

Yesterday my paradise fish didn't eat. Sitting in a corner just below the surface. I looked close- ugh, he's swollen around the vent again and I think I saw a red worm hanging. I did the tedious meticulous gravel vac job with a fifty percent water change on the three tanks today, then dosed the second round of levamisole and draped towels over the tanks to keep them dark. Sigh.

At least the guppies and white clouds are still flitting around with plenty of energy.

28 January 2020

sour sorrel

I think I've only eaten the sorrel once so far. Made meatloaf the other day and there was enough leftovers for sandwiches. I thought the tangy zing of sorrel might go well with that. And it's one of the only green things in the garden right now, so I should be eating it!
Tried a few leaves on a meatloaf sandwich- hey it was pretty good.
So the next day I had another one. The leaves rinsed and patted dry-
Nice fresh sharp taste that pairs great with the meatloaf. Definitely worth repeating.
Also tried something new with chervil. Found that under some yellowed and browned chervil stems, there was fresh foliage growing in my planter box. I cleaned up the plant and snipped a bunch. Read a note in one of the seed catalogs that chervil is good on potatoes, so I tried tossing it with olive oil for roasted potatoes.
It came out bland. I think chervil is too delicate for the long cooking time with roasted potatoes. I should toss it in at the end, or use it fresh in mashed potatoes like I do chives.

27 January 2020

how the fishes are doing

Better! I kept a backdrop on the window tank- the fishes seem to feel more secure with a dark side.
At least, they have better color
(I always though it cool how the paradise fish has an oblong pupil)
My white clouds seem to like the change in tank lighting, too. Or they are feeling spunky after the treatment. Two males are sparring and flashing their fins at each other, it's something to see. Lots of chasing around the tank. Of course they're too quick for my camera but here you can see two flaring at each other (lower right corner of the driftwood chunk), third fish is a streak with a stripe just to the right of that (probably a female)
As for the guppies- all the ones in the tenner seem to be pooping normal and the two that were looking so emaciated I considered euthanizing them a few days ago, are now starting to gain their weight back. Fry in the 20H and the two adult females look fine but the mums are still expelling white feces that break up into little bits all around the tank floor (I'm siphoning with a pipette and doing small partial wc daily). Of course the other fishes could have this too and I just don't see it on the substrate. I wonder how long they will go on shedding intestinal lining like that and if it means the infection is worse than I realized. Next levamisole dose is wed (day after tomorrow).

Snail on top of the fake skull- he's not dying after all.

bit of garden green

in spite of the cold. Still have some leaf-beet chard
Sage has a few new leaves
Lavender is sprawling- I'm going to have to cut it back soon
Winter savory- closeup
and focus on the whole. It's one I have yet to make much use of
green onions
not in a garden plot- the hyssop I planted between my driveway and the neighbor's lawn did surprisingly well, in spite of the face I suspect it's gotten stepped on a few times.
the sorrel looks a bit shabby but I have started eating it!
My rue also looks forlorn but on close inspection, there's new tender leaves in the forks and I bet the crown under all the leaf mulch is sprouting, too

feels like early spring

a walk around the yard. Picking up sticks, noticed green stuff growing among the leaf litter and mud, went to get my camera. It seems early, but here they are. Arum:
My ajuga (bugleweed) survived the winter! Of course it did, ha.
Daylilies. I need to clean up their old foliage.
Small bit of cranesbill leaf.
This volunteer plant I still think might be a wild ginger?
Rumex, bold and brassy
Autumn joy sedums. I need to dig and move them.
and my favorite, still-unknown blue-green weed
My newer shrubs are all doing fine (although it's too early to tell with the rose-of-sharon, they won't show growth till much later). Here's my mountain laurel- the one I keep forgetting to give any attention.
Bonus: I found a small black spiky caterpillar crawling on the edge of lawn. Woolly bear- without any brown/russet bands. Can't remember if I ever saw an all-black one before.