Archive for the ‘Plants’ Category

New Addition to My Terrarium

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

My niece made a terrarium for my birthday. I have cared for several gardens, but this was my first garden in a jar.

The end of January I moved the terrarium to a new location for a bit more light. When I opened the terrarium Friday morning I discovered a new addition.

Terrarium Interior

Terrarium Interior

Fungus Detail Interior

First glance I thought it was mineral deposits.

Fungus Detail Interior

Sent a couple of images to a friend who works at a botanic garden. Best guess from the images was a fungus.

Removed Ferns

I removed the ferns, cleaned their roots, and potted them up.

Terrarium Interior

Terrarium Interior After the Removal of the Ferns

Curious how the fungus growth will evolve. It brings to mind textural, lichen-like glazes I used when I was working in clay.


Unknown Plant Update and New Planting

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Seeds

Unknown Seeds

Seedlings

Unexpectedly, within 5 days there were seedlings.

Plant Update

The plant looked like this 31 October 2016.

Then so much went wrong. The plant was eaten by a furry one, and then it had bugs, it was eaten again…

Eaten Plant

and then it began to die.

Dying Plant

The plant currently looks like this.

New Planting

Sensing that the plant is sure to die, I planted another pot of seeds 4 February 2017.

Now I wait.


Rescued Cactus Update

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

I rescued some cactus bits that had fallen from this plant in June of 2016. The plant was confined by the fence.

Cactus

Shortly before the plant was confined by the fence, it had several large and lovey white flowers.

I potted up the bits–

Cactus

And now it has loads of new growth–

Cactus

Actually, I recently removed a few starts to make more plants.

A couple of detail images of new additions to its growth. I like that they look sharp and pointy.

Cactus Detail

Cactus Detail

I suspect that the sharp pointy growth is for self propagation.


Seedlings and Growth

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

I planted Hard-shelled Birdhouse Gourds (Cucurbita lagenaria) on November 6th. Four gourd plants emerged December 14th.

Gourds

Since I am still dealing with the squirrel and the weather has been cold and at times rainy, the plants are living in the bathroom. It is the room with the best daily light.

Gourds

The tendrils needed something to grasp onto so I attached some cotton twine to a wallpiece above the gourds. When the time comes for the plants to be moved to the garden, I can snip the twine and use it to attach the gourds to the garden fence.

Will the artist care that I am attaching something to their piece? Nope, it is one of my See a Penny… pieces.

Gourds


Western Peonies (Paeonia brownii) grow on the mountains on the California Central Coast. For some reason the plants are not readily available for purchase in the community nurseries.

I have attempted to grow them from collected seed, but never had success. That was until today. Well, apparently the plants were growing, but I did not realize the growth until this morning.

In early November I placed 10 seeds in a plastic bag with damp vermiculite. I also placed a few seeds in a pot of soil. The seeds in vermiculite have not shown any growth activity.

Peonies

Since I had not anticipated growth in the pot, I wasn’t paying attention. Unfortunately, the pot was in my studio, not very much light, so the seedlings are leggy. I moved the pot to a location with more light.


I found this little something in one of my garden beds in late December. Couldn’t identify it, thinking that it is probably a lily. I planted it.

Unknown Bulb

This is what it looks like today.

Unknown Plant


White Flowers, Roots, and the Squirrel

Friday, December 16th, 2016

This is one of the plants that survived being nearly totally consumed by a squirrel. I watched the squirrel sit in the pot, pull the plant stems over, and eat all of its leaves.

Mum

I popped the plant in the greenhouse until it leafed out and the buds of the tips bloomed. It has been blooming for several weeks.

Got to thinking that it would be a great plant to put in several locations in my gardens. Seems to need little care and not a lot of water.

I checked with the local greenhouses and online, but I could not find additional plants.

This little bit broke off, so I placed it in some water to wait for the bloom to fade.

Mum

The flower lasted nearly as long as the flowers still attached to the plant. This afternoon I notice that it looked a bit spent. When I removed the flower from the glass I was surprised to find root growth. Don’t know how I missed the roots when I changed its water.

Mum

I popped the plant in a pot of soil.

Mum

Then lopped off the flower.

Mum

Since the small broken bit rooted and I had planned to prune the plant, taking cuttings to make more plants is even better.

There is one problem. The squirrel still lives in the garden and loves the plant. He also loves lobelia, violas, and the greens I am growing for my bunnies.

Squirrel

We have postponed completing the garden renovation because every time I plant this area he digs it up. I have tried hellebores, columbines, cyclamen, bromeliads, and ferns.

This is one of his favorite locations in the garden for digging.
Squirrel Hole

After removing the plants and filling all of the holes we had two containers of soil and rock left. The rock is coming from the area around the foundation of the house. So, not a good thing.

Squirrel Rock and Soil

We keep filling his holes and he keeps digging them out. Hardware cloth and rocks do not seem to be a deterrent.

Filled Squirrel Hole

We really did not want to do it, but pretty sure we are going to dig up the entire area and prepare it properly. Digging it up will be made difficult with the root structure of the tree. We probably will find a maze of tunnels and an enormous stash of seeds.

We also tried putting a deterrent over the bird feeder. Did a test. Placed an inverted metal mesh basket over the ceramic tray we are using for offering bird seed. Weren’t sure if the birds would be afraid of it. They liked it fine and so did the squirrel.

Squirrel New Feeder

Since the test was a success, we attached the the basket to some cedar and hung it from the tree.

Squirrel Bird Feeder

The amount of seed on the ground has been greatly reduced since the squirrel isn’t able to lounge in the bird feeder and fling seed all over when he dashes away.

Squirrel Bird Feeder

This is the little guy attempting to hide from me in a drainage pipe at the corner of the courtyard. Unfortunately for him, his cheeks were too full. He had to empty them out so he could make his way safely into the pipe.

Squirrel Drainage Pipe
There is a little pile of seed in front of him.

Why haven’t we relocated him? In September we bought a humane trap. And it worked, the little squirrel wandered in. I talked to him. He stood up on his back feet, clasping one of his front paws in the other. He looked really scared. And it was a very hot day.

I had thoughts of him being relocated and there would not be a water supply, food, or a place for him to safely sleep. And what about hawks and snakes and other predators? I opened the trap and watched him run off. And he has been with us ever since.


Jefferson, Monticello, Notebooks, and Tools

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

I am an obsessive note maker. A small notebook is in pocket or bag, always at the ready.

A Staedtler Lead Holder was my go to writing utensil, until last night. I am in the process of planning a wool, knitted and fulled wallpiece.

The problem with using lead is the possible disappearance over time. But it is easy to erase for changes.

Pencil and Eraser

One of the cool things about the Staedtler Lead Holder is the built in sharpener, which eliminates the need to carry another tool.

Pencil and Sharpener

There are two problems with a felt marker, not permanent and mistakes.

Marker

I stopped by target today and picked up a bottle of Bic Wite Out.

Bic Correction Fluid

It is so much nicer than the last bottle. No longer is the applicator a brush, it is a little sponge wedge that glides nicely.

Back to notebooks and note making. I was delighted to see reference to Thomas Jefferson and his pocket notebooks at this great book art site. It was a different time, but I am not keen on the material that was used for the pages. I do like the idea of reusable pages that you could write notes in pencil and erase when notes are transferred to sketchbook or journal.

Jefferson Ivory Books

According to the Monticello site, Jefferson carried a small ivory notebook on which he could write in pencil. Back in his Cabinet, or office, he later copied the information into any of seven books in which he kept records about his garden, farms, finances, and other concerns; he then erased the writing in the ivory notebook. The photo of the notebooks was taken by Edward Owen.

The Monticello site also included additional information about tools that he carried with him, Among his collection of pocket-sized devices were scales, drawing instruments, a thermometer, a surveying compass, a level, and even a globe.

Got to thinking about tools that I tend to carry with me. When I go hiking I always carry gloves, tool for digging, small cutters, bags for finds, a magnifier, a small flashlight, twine, and often a camera.

The Monticello site has loads of interesting facts and fun things for purchase. I am an avid gardener and have purchased seed from the site. My favorite seeds have been: Sunset Hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot), Aquilegia Barlows, and the Fringed Pink (Dianthus superbus).

Every time I visit the site I look at the wheel cypher decoder. Maybe one day I will actually purchase it.

Jefferson Wheel Cypher Decoder


The Unknown Plant Must be Delicious

Monday, December 5th, 2016

The plant on 2 December.

PhyllisPlant

The plant on 4 December when I checked on it to see if it needed watering. Not sure who munched on it.

PhyllisPlant

Moved it inside to a protected area. Still can’t Identify it. Waiting for it to bloom.


Unknown Plant

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Still unable to identify the plant. I visited one of the local nurseries and asked two Master Gardeners and they were stumped.

We know that it is not a variety of plants by ruling out what we are certain it is not.

Unknown Plant

10 October 2016

Unknown Plant

31 October 2016

Unknown Plant

24 November 2016
The leaf, while growing larger, has changed.

Unknown Plant

24 November 2016
The flip side of the leaf.


Some of the things I have learned from gardening–

Gardening teaches patience.
Gardening teaches respect for nature.
Gardening is a process.
Gardening is an adventure.
Gardens are ever changing and never finished.


Monarch Caterpillars and Milkweed

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

A few days ago I checked out my friends’s garden and was pleasantly surprised to see Monarch caterpillars living on his milkweed plants.

Monarch Caterpillar

According to the National Wildlife Federation there are 12 native milkweeds for Monarchs. None of which are the Asclepias growing in my friend’s garden.

Monarch Caterpillar

I snagged a couple of pods.

Milkweed Pods

I planted 25 seeds in 5 pots.

Milkweed Seeds Planted

Put them in the studio.

Milkweed Seeds Planted

Now I wait.

Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove


Unknown Plant Update

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Seedpods Unknown Plant

Seedpods Unknown Plant

Seedlings, Seeds from Seedpods of Unknown Plants

October 10, 2016 Seedlings from Unknown Plant Seedpods

Seedlings

October 31, 2016 Plants from Unknown Plant Seedpods