Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays!

To all that follow us or just visit, we would like to take this time and wish you and yours a Happy
Holiday and may you have a great New Year!

Update on the new Greenhouse.

A couple folks emailed me and asked how the new greenhouse was going, lots of learning as it's completely different from what I did have.  I still love it!!  Only problem is I didn't have the heart to chalk the panels so I had to find a way to keep the heat in.  I didn't think of putting up bubble wrap which one friend suggested this past week.   I figured the first year would be a learning year and it has been.  So since it wasn't chalked we decided to tarp it.  Late in the fall I was finding lots of debris
from the neighbor's pine on it and the sap was just unbelievable hard to remove so I covered it with a piece of plastic and tucked it up so the windows could open.  We started with that and added the old blue tarp from the old greenhouse and soon found it wasn't big enough.  So we found a heavy duty silver one at Harbor Freight that would fit over the top.  I allow my husband to decide how to put it up and boy was that a big mistake!   We folded it in half and covered the back of the greenhouse and allowed the old blue tarp to cover the front and allow the one side to open for the door.  We soon found out with the last wind storm and the 67 mph winds that that wasn't going to work!  So the next day I found myself putting the plastic and tarps back up.  This time I decided to just put the plastic back up and cover the front with the blue tarp like we had it but the silver tarp I found covered the whole greenhouse with plenty of room in the back to tuck it into the brick area.  Photos will show just how well this worked.

Here is the plastic cover and in the spring I'll cut the bottom off so that the windows will open and then tape the top to fit to protect from the sap.

Next is the old tarp to cover the door front.

Here is the east side all tied down.

This is the silver tarp and how it is tied down so I can get in the front of the greenhouse.All I do is lift the front corner and slide in after untying it.  Husband would like to put  a velcro door on the front but for now we are not going to temp it.  I go in every few days and water when things look dry.  I currently have two small heaters inside to warm it at night.  Our temps so far have stayed above freezing with only a hand full of nights dipping to lower 30s.  With the last wind storm we had our power outage of a few minutes so I had to go out and reset the heaters.  I have some buckets of water out there just in case to keep warmth inside.  Next year I hope to have a rain barrel in there for water use and also keep it warm.  Might have to do this after the holiday as our temps about to drop some.

Friday, December 12, 2014

12/11/2014 Wild Ride!!

Mother Nature has not been kind to us out here in the Pacific Northwest!!  Yesterday was one of those days that started off with a nice rain, what we here call liquid sunshine and by noon the clouds did part and we got to see the sun.  Matter of fact it was t-shirt weather for a few hours!!  Then the fury of Mother Nature hit from the south!!  We fought winds in the 50 mph range and it wasn't fun!
Around 4ish the tarps were blown off the greenhouse and the classic car.  I was out putting the tarps on the car and moving the ones for the greenhouse to the garage.  I had to tie the windows down again on the greenhouse and decided I had enough of the wind.  Headed for the house in time to sat
at the front door to watch one of the neighbor's tall pines split and come crashing down.  What a rush!!  The other neighbor came out and moved her car to our driveway as it wasn't a pretty sight.
I then watched from the safety of the inside of the house only going out to move tarps on the car and the brug house.  At one point it had blown the door wide open the cement block was pushed away from the door.  Today will be clean up day as you all know I won't allow the junk to lay in my yard
like the other neighbors do.

We lost one window on the new greenhouse so I need to get that ordered but will only replace it in the spring.  Bubble wrap will be used to keep the heat in.


Well that wasn't a lot of fun!  I dropped a large cement block on my hand and ended up in the urgency clinic that Sat. due to the one finger was all red/purple and black. I was so lucky nothing was broken and it put me out of commission for a week.  I know it was over my 10 lb limit but someone had to do the cleanup.  I don't dare say too loud my yard is cleaned up for the winter, as thing are going I'll be out cleaning up the yard again is we get another wind storm.  So far this year we have taken 2 truck loads and 8 -45 gallon bag of leaves off the yard, let me tell you it's not our trees!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Seeds!!

               Hibiscus coccineus 'alba'  aka TX Star 'White or Alba'   -  10 seeds for $2.50
                        Hollyhock mix - 20 seeds for $2.00 (lots of other colors)

                                                       Datura Hybrid - 10 seeds for $2.00

Datmansia- 10 seeds for $2.00

            Karma's Kolumbines--Aquilegia f var p. k.'Rosea' - 20 seeds for $2.50  (12 packages only)

                                                Datura 'inoxia - $2.00   (1 package only)

  This is what I have so far, more to come so check back!  Will send after paypal is accepted so if you are interested let me know and I'll figure out the postage.  Also will add photos later if you need to see what these are.

I will only ship seeds at this time of year.  We don't start shipping plant material until sometime in May.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Upon Request.......

I will be starting something new this next year.  Since I have one lady that makes requests for plants and knows I will only send when I know they are well established this is the route that I'm going to be taking this upcoming year.  Every year I do one B. Sanguinea 'Karma' on ebay so that plant is in the process of being rooted.  I will try to get a list of the Brugmansia that we currently have for you to select which one you want us to start.  We have taken cuttings already of a few that we know others have requested or wished they could purchase.  We will be doing each cutting in the cascade ice bottles so we can watch them root so we know when they are ready.  So far we have 'Karma,' "Frosty Pink' and B. Shorty's Variegated.  I just took a few more cuttings of the Sanguineas varieties.

So we will have a few odds and ends but would rather hear from you as to what you want rooted.
I will also be rooting some of the White Iochroma which we find will winter over here outside in
the pot.  We started our plant from seeds from Park seed, they were to be blue but we got a white one.

Remember that  these take time to root and we do small tip cuttings unless we have more that we can take.  Last spring we did take tip cuttings of the B. aurea hybrid 'Culebra' which are currently about 2 inches tall.  Keeping our toes cross as this one is becoming one of our favorite.  

We have also started some of the seeds last fall of the vulcanicola hybrids seeds we were able to obtain but have yet to see the plants bloom.  We have seen what someone else has posted on them on eBay so these might be exciting to some.

I have also started some seeds from the B. arborea Sorr of which I currently have two plants but have yet to see them bloom.

Also I have a couple other hybrids which I will list later beside my Ludger Aurea (pure) project that was started a couple of falls ago.  I have allowed these plants to grow naturally and no pushing as these are awesome plants.  I'm in hopes to get these into the ground this next spring as they getting huge.

List to come!

Fall Projects

Now that the plants are in it's time to finish up on the fall projects.  Early Sept. dh took a week off from work and decided to do replace the south wooden fence.  His boss told him he could take off the week if only he did something fun too besides the fence.  She knows we work doing projects here or up at the folks, but this time he was to do something fun.  So we also decided take a road trip to the beach if the fence got done first.  We got it down and back up faster than dh thought he would so that meant that he would have some fun time.  When we also knew that some to the south of the garden fence needed new boards and since it was going so well we might look at that too.  But we decided it was time for phase 4 of the PVC fence to come into play.  So we got a couple estimates after deciding it was time to do the whole yard.  We have been fighting that neighbors that think they can play ball in our and other neighbor's yards.  After finding the ball in our yard this past weekend we were shocked that they had the nerve to stand at the end of our driveway and scream at us to come out and get their ball for them!  You want me to get your ball that has no rights being in my yard, you have got to be kidding!  We have watched how you and you kid plus the other kids trample in the other yards and hit vehicles with the ball.  You are totally nuts!!  So far no damage to the plants but when it comes to that there will be the courts to deal with.

So we once the estimates were in we decided a two weeks ago last Monday it was time to get ready!!  First was the removal of the Variegated Weigela, removing the cement edging and pulling the bark back on the east side of the wooden fence.
 The whole 3/4 of the lot line is lined with this and it was well over 5 foot tall.  Here is the last few plants.  What fun!!  Then a week ago Monday it was time to take out the fence, while dh dug the posts I was given the task to take the fence down and load it up to take it out.  This side of the fence was in really bad shape due to the trees and had a couple sections blown down in a bad storm a few years back when we lost the front tree.  It was time to replace it all so the option was given.  Here is the section after it was removed.  We old folks had a heck of a time getting the poles out due to how the last repair was done, let's just say the thought was add more cement to hold them up!  Someone never thought he would have to remove them.  It was hard but we did it without having the kids come help!  We had a full truck load last weekend to take to the recycler.

We are going to have them tie into the phase 2 end of the project and have them bring it all the way down to the electrical box on the northeast side of the property.  We are tied of the kid climbing the tree and the mess we have to see on that side.  So on Monday that all had to be cleaned out so the guys can put in the posts today.  We put up netting to keep them out of the yard.  We also have a couple other neighbors' that have animals that are allow to run as they don't care either.  I am not a happy camper if I have to pick up animal waste from my yard!!   More to come when things progress.

Progress today10/14/2014, the poles are in and now we wait a few day before they finish to make sure the cement sets up.

Today was the day that the panels when in and they redid the back Northwest corner to now match the other corner instead of the two not being attached.  So now the back yard is completed and time to work on the front.  We are in hopes to do phase 5 early next year, picket the remainder.  We are just tried of the neighbor's ball going into our yard and need a permanent way to keep the wondering dogs from getting into the yard when they should be on a leash and have no business doing their business in our yard.  See fences do make for good neighbors.  :  )

B. Sanguinea 'Karma' Seedpod

Some of you were waiting for seeds off our crossing of the above this past spring.  So sorry to say this past weekend the seedpod was found laying on the ground and didn't get any bigger since moving her to the Brug House.  When we opened it we found this:

As you can see the seeds didn't form.  What we are going to do is plant these and see what happens.
This cross was our B. Sanguinea 'Karma' X Datmansia so we think it's best we just plant them here.

We are currently keeping our toes cross for a couple more crosses we have just done prior to moving some to the Brug house.

B. Frosty Pink X B. Wild Thing

TNN's solid sport off the Reverse Variegated X B. Wild Thing

Let us know if you are interested in testing either of these seedpods.

We also took from TNN's reverse Variegated another solid sport this fall and keeping our toes crossed that she will root and grow as the other sport has.   The first one has made an awesome plant.
When we removed this last sport we were forced to cut the mom plant back to the white sport due
to the trunk was stating to decay.  Here is what we have today.

I am wanting to see this sport bloom and see if we can get seeds, I know sports are tricky and not worth some folks time, but I have time!!
This sport attracted a lot of attention when folks were here to tour.  Most folks just don't understand why variegation come from and the fact that folks need to test them.  This spot is just breath taking to see her grow and do what she does.  She was up under the solid sport so she had shade and grew like crazy.  Now that she is in the brug house we are seeing more leaves grow.  This one is the one we will allow the leaves to grow and we strip all the others once a month during the fall and winter months so they don't take over and there is a bug issue.

karma 'Happy Toes' Garden Closes for the Season!!

What a year we had and it's time to close the gardens for the season.  We opened the gardens in May with the annual garage/plant sale, didn't have many plants as we were planning on moving so they went really fast.  Many folks told us they look forward to our plant sales as we grow unusual plants
they can't find.  I even had a lady that wanted canna and she wanted me to dig some up but it wasn't going to happen.  Had to promise that we would have some for her next spring.  What a fun few days as we also opened up the whole yard so folks could also see the back, instead of just what they could see from the front.  We had well over 450 folks walk the yard this year. With several plant folks asking if we would join their garden cubs or make arrangements for their clubs to come visit.  I was really surprised how many of the folks stopped and made requests to take photos before bring out their cell phones.  Even the younger generations showed respect by staying on the path and asking questions not running all over the yard.  Even Sable enjoyed the little folks which we don't usually get here.  A learning experience for her too.  I even chuckled when a couple folks returned with their friends to show them the gardens.  I'll tell you it's a lot of work to prepare for this but in the long run it was great to share my passion with so many and to get some of the younger folks excited about gardening.  I even had one lady state our garden was better than any of the gardens on the County's tours all rolled up into one place and not having to travel to many gardens.  It was even suggested that next year we should charge for this.  Not in it for the money, just want folks to know we folks up north can garden, it's about the timing of doing things.

I was able to put a few plants on Craiglist that we decided to remove from the yard or not plant, our
nana were a huge hit but folks are really funny.  They see a huge plant and want that instead of the smaller plant that we were selling.  Trust me, they will get huge in no time!!  Take a smaller one and they will adjust better than a huge one that you will have to baby to make sure it grows.  But I was talked out of a couple larger ones and all I can say is best of luck!!

We got really busy fast with different projects and learning the greenhouse was a lot of fun, completely different from the old one and I had to adjust several times.  Love it!!   But when one finds a hummer inside and they can't figure out how to get out, make one adjust again!  It was fun
getting him out and not letting Sable in the greenhouse.  She loves to go in there due to we have
frogs that have decided they love it in there.

We even decided since we had a very hot /dry year to start putting the plants away due to it was cooler in the brug house then outside.  It has more shade and the temps in there stay cooler which many of the Brugmansia Sanguinea which I mainly grow love.  Once in there they took off like crazy.  So we stared putting the plants away this year in early Sept. with the last ones going in the greenhouse this past week.  I still have a few bloomers out in the yard but they can stay out until frost shows up.  It is nice having all the plants put away already!!  Come on old man winter, I'm ready!!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My World is Changing!!

                      My world is about to change!!

After many years of desktop computers it's time to move my trusted desktop to the security cameras.  A whole new world with a laptop; HP, 15.6  touch!!  Ya all know how well the cell phone went over, now this??  Please be patient with me as I have lots to learn!!  Already shut off the narrative as she was about to drive me nuts.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Epiphyllum / Orchid Cactus

As some of you know one of my passions is my hanging baskets of Eppies.  This year I found on Craigslist a man that had hanging baskets and pots, the price was reasonable so we went on an adventure to check out what he had.  It was a chance to get all my pots to match!!  Replace the ones that well it was a hazard to stand up under according to my husband.

Once you get your first Eppie to bloom you will be hooked on them. Very easy to care for and they will reward you with some awesome blooms.

Doesn't this look nice, matching pots all around.  Thank You Rod!!

When I talked to my sister yesterday I told here I would put up more photos of our cactus for her to take a look at, so here is more photos for you to enjoy.

E. Cereus

As the blooms fade then either drop or produce seedpods.

leaves shapes on one plant may also vary from long and round to really thin.
Partial shade or bright indirect light for best growing conditions in zones 8-9 and 14-24.  Considered a tropical not a desert cactus.  Plant needs rich, quick draining soil with sand.  Let cutting base of cactus dry for a day or two before planting.  Do not over water!!  To over winter these, they need to be in a frost protected area.  To fertilize these use a low-nitrogen fertilizer before and after blooming.  Hope this helps.

We were surprised this past week when we found a couple more late buds on some of our eppies, it's really late in the season for them to set buds and bloom.
E. Cereus