Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

Trapped Cactus Update

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Trapped Cactus

Trapped Cactus Starts 07/28/17

Trapped Cactus

Trapped Cactus Starts 04/15/18.

One section is heavy and resting on the ground. Have taken starts of the new growth and placed them in other areas of the garden.

Plan to build a small trellis to support the cactus to keep it a bit more upright.

Trapped Cactus

Trapped Cactus One of Two Buds

Trapped Cactus

Trapped Cactus Second of Two Buds


Trapped Cactus

Trapped Cactus April 15, 2018

Trapped Cactus

Trapped Cactus April 15, 2018 Buds

Trapped Cactus Bud

Trapped Cactus One of Two Buds
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Trapped Cactus Bud

Trapped Cactus Two of Two Buds
20180420



Garden Today

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Brug and Wisteria

Wisteria and a Brug


Pumpkin Seed Activity

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

Made a decision that this Spring I would clear out my box of seed. Some of the seed was either purchased or harvested as long ago as 1999, so quite old. They were not kept in the best of conditions, just a box in the garage where they were forced to endure all temperature changes.

Pumpkin Seeds

Are Pumpkin Seeds Harvested in 2011 Viable?
I popped the pumpkin seed in a tray on 3/21/18.

Pumpkin Seeds

This is what I found this morning, 4/4/18.
The small out of focus sprouts next to the pumpkins are carrots.

Loads can go wrong from planting to harvest. First comes seedlings, followed by vines, transplanting to garden, then pumpkins.

Since beans are usually quick to grow, pretty sure they are no longer viable. There isn’t a single sprout.

This is the first time using trays from Plantel Nurseries. I like that the trays are sturdy, less soil is used per cell, and the trays are a great space saver. When I rotate them, they are a tad heavier than they appear, but again very sturdy.

I became aware of the trays when I visited the Santa Maria fair last summer. Plantel Nurseries was giving away free vegetable plants and the plants were in their trays. The plants were easy to slip out of the cells. Still taking cuttings from the kale, chard, and celery plants I brought home from the fair.


Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seed Sprouts 4/4/18 Evening


Beauty Found in a Dying Plant

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Succulent Near Drive

Succulent Near Drive
June 2017

Succulent Near Drive

Succulent Near Drive
April 2018

Succulent Near Drive Detail

Succulent Near Drive Detail

Succulent Near Drive Detail

Succulent Near Drive Detail

Succulent Near Drive Detail

Succulent Near Drive Detail

Succulent Near Drive Detail


Spring Planting and Folded Paper Pots for Seed Starting

Monday, March 19th, 2018

I recently read through all of the seed planting recommendations for plants that I plan to add to my gardens.

Most of the seed will be planted in Plantel Plant Trays from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.

Plantel Plant Trays

It is recommended that some of the seed be planted in biodegradable pots, to prevent disturbing the roots of the seedlings.

Rather than purchasing peat or coconut fiber pots, I decided to use the Yellow Pages that have been piling up in my studio. Does anyone actually use printed paper phone books?

I viewed several, how to fold paper pot tutorials. DIY: Newspaper Pots for Seed Starting/Cuttings on Youtube is the best tutorial I found. The instructions are clear and easy peasy. Before beginning to fold a sheet from the Yellow Pages, I removed a strip from the side to alter the proportions.

Tadpole

The pages were torn to 4.25″ x 8.5″

The strips will saved for use when working in clay.

Folded Paper Pot

The finished folded pot is 1″x1″x1″.

Whenever I learn a new skill or technique, I always think about how it can be used in the studio.

I have made loads of boxes in the past, but rarely a square. This is a square box, roughly 3.5″, that I never quite completed. It is tree wrap with some dried plant bits and twine.

Not Quite Completed

Paper Pots

49 Paper Pots Ready to Use


Pleasant Surprise

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

Several years ago I purchased a Solandra maxima from a fellow at the Saturday Farmers’ Market.

Bloom

April 4, 2013 Bloom

It became a 12 foot long plant on a trellis. Numerous cuttings were taken to make more plants that are growing in a numerous locations in my gardens and gardens of friends.

Last year after the annual bloom, the plant lost all of its leaves. I meant to remove it, but just couldn’t find the time.

This evening I was photographing the Brugmansia growing in front of the Solandra maxima.

Brugmansia

To my surprise I found that the Solandra maxima is leafing out.
Solandra maxima

Don’t know why it was without leaves for nearly a year, but I am glad I didn’t remove the plant. Maybe it will even bloom this year.


After the Rain

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

New Cactus

New Cactus

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive?

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina 5 February 2018

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina Today


New Plants for Succulent Gardens

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

I have been looking at the little iron bunny in one of my succulent gardens. It seems to disappear into the soil. Had thought that laying a bed of flat grey rocks for it to sit on. Today when I was visiting the neighborhood nursery, I saw this plant.

Aloe

I have a rule when purchasing plants. They must be planted the day they are purchased.

Today was unusual because it was and still is raining. Rainfall on the CA Central Coast is a bit of an odd occurrence.

Aloe

I slipped on my seldom used raincoat, pulled the plants out of the pot…

Aloe

Eight aloe and a cactus.

…and popped them in the garden.

Aloe

Placed one directly in front of the little iron bunny with two more plants in an imperfect triangle.

Aloe

Three aloe in a previously open space in the garden.

Aloe

Two small aloe juxtaposed with some plantlets in the making, all near the memorial bunny.

Cactus

The volunteer cactus could use a dusting.
Tomorrow when it is no longer raining, I will remove the soil from its spines.


Washington State University Alumni Magazine

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

I received my MFA from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. While there, I was using cuttings from trees and plants in my mixed media work. I became a bit familiar with some of the folks in the Horticulture Department when I was looking for potential sources for art materials. Not only did I find great materials, I also found starts of numerous plants that I grew in my studio.

While I was traveling over the weekend I read the Washington State Magazine Summer 2017 issue. The magazine is full of interesting information about folks at WSU and alumni. Since I have been caring for Monarchs in my gardens, I specifically wanted to read the article about Monarchs.

After reading a number of interesting articles, I read an article on the Newsmedia page about Linda Chalker-Scott’s book, How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do (Science for Gardeners).

How Plants Work Book

I read the excerpt available on the amazon site and decided to purchase the kindle version of her text. Even though I love books, especially beautiful Timber Press books, I didn’t want to wait 2 days for delivery.

Linda Chalker-Scott also posts on the Garden Professors blog. After reading a couple of posts, decided to subscribe.


Patina Gone Crazy

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Patina

Patina

Patina

After a short time this occurred–

Patina

Patina

Patina

What was the patina used for? I strung together 3 kinds of shiny steel washers in code for a 3-bunny gravemarker.

Memorial Piece

This is what the washers looked like when they were removed from the solution.

Memorial Piece

And now as part of the grave marker–

Memorial Piece

Memorial Piece

Eventually the piece should become rustier, more aged, a bit more similar to the oxidized bunny marker.

This is another memorial for a bunny burial space.

Mr Smith Memorial Piece

Used the same washers to make the coded memorial piece. I suspect that they have oxidized because the area of the garden gets watered frequently and the little inlaid ceramic cup does not have a drainage hole.

How many bunnies do I have buried in my courtyard? Eight. That sounds like a lot of bunnies. Eight bunnies have lived with me during the past 25 years. My oldest bunny lived a long, but not long enough 13 years.

The simple rust promoter formula found online.

Patina Formula