Showing posts from November, 2014

Amaryllis Day 10


Book: Organic Pest Control

With growing consumer awareness about the dangers of garden chemicals, turn to The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control (by Fern Bradley) as the most reliable and comprehensive guide on the garden shelf. Rodale has been the category leader in organic methods for decades, and this thoroughly updated edition features the latest science-based recommendations for battling garden problems. With all-new photos of common and recently introduced pests and plant diseases, you can quickly identify whether you've discovered garden friend or foe and what action, if any, you should take.



If you are looking for a plant that is happy in the shade, produces great foliage and beautiful flowers then look no further than the hosta. The hosta is a native of Japan and it was Englebert Kaempfer (1651-1715) who was a doctor and botanist with the Dutch East India Company who was the first Westerner to see a hosta. Kaempfer was also the first to draw and describe one. He gave them names which reflected the style of the times calling one Joksan, vulgo gibbooshi Gladiolus Plantagenis folio (meaning 'the common hosta with the plantain-like leaves'); the other he named simply Gibbooshi altera (meaning 'the other hosta').

The hostas were renamed by also by a doctor who followed Kaempfer who was also a botanist. Carl Thunberg (7143-1828) renamed the hostas in Linnaean binomial style, calling one of them Aletris japonica, transferring it to the genus Hemerocallis in 1784. It was an Austrian botanist, Leopold Trattinick (1761-1848), who first proposed the generic name Ho…

Bean in Kitchen Window


Planting an Amaryllis from Kit


Christmas cactus


Rose of Sharon

The Rose of Sharon or Hibiscus syriacus, depending upon variety is hardy from zone 5a to zone 9 and I am a zone 3 or 4 gardener. Soil ph ranges From 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) The Rose of Sharon is referred to in the Bible in King Solomon’s Song of Songs I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. The flower's symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, meaning immortality. Diseases: If leaf spots are seen, pick off and destroy the infected leaves.If bacterial leaf spot causes problems, pick off and destroy infected leaves. Canker can kill branches or entire plants. Bright,reddish-orange fruiting bodies may appear on the bark.Prune out infected branches. Flowers may be infected with a blight caused by a fungus.Bud drop can be caused by too much or too little fertilization. One po…

The Gardener's Imperative

For the true gardener there is no gardening season. There is an outdoor period beginning, locally, after the May 24th long weekend and ending usually in late September.

However, in the days, weeks and months between that time there is the indoor gardening season. For some, this consists of taking care of a variety for houseplants, for others this time involves study and reflection, looking through the garden journal, examining what worked in the previous year and what did not. 

Spending time in seed catalogues, dreaming of next years garden and making plans. For others, it is both. I fall into he later category.

My houseplants are only two, an ivy and a Christmas cactus; however, this year I started a bean seed in the kitchen window. At the moment it is approximately 18 inches high.

My point, I must garden or be involved in garden related activities. Gardening is an imperative. It brings me pleasure and challenges and plants make great companions.

Last Of Fall Apples

The last few of this year's apple crop, still on tree.

Stem Cuttings: Propagating Houseplants

Many houseplants can be propagated from stem cuttings. The cuts need to be made with a sharp knife or razor blade as you do not want to bruise the stem which may split the stem and casue rot to set in. If you plant this operation ahead of time you can be sure to water the plant about two hours before you cut. This ensures that the stems and leaves are fully charged with moisture. If you are using a flowering stem, pinch the flowers off first. If you want to hurry up the rooting process you can coat the cut end of the stem with a root hormone. Rooting in water: make a clean cut just above a leaf axil or node, this allows the parent plant to make new shoots from the top axils.make a second cut immediately below the lowest node of leaf axil of the cutting and then gently remove the lower in water ; it may take up to 4 weeks, but do check, for 2-4 cm of new root to appear. Now you can place the cutting into a potting mixture. I have found this to be a very effective method fo…



Christmas Plants: Amaryllis

The amaryllis loves a bright sunny window and will produce its large, trumpet shaped flowers when properly situated. This makes sense as the plant’s native land is South America’s tropical zones.  If you want blooms for the Christmas season then make sure to purchase a Christmas flowering variety. The Apple Blossom variety is white with soft pink touches. The bulbs are large and will produce up to three stems that have four to six flowers per stem.  The Apple Blossom will reach a height of approximately 20 inches (50cms) and will flower six to eight weeks after planting.  The name amaryllis comes from the Greek αμαρυσσω (amarysso) which means "to sparkle". The amaryllis flower is named for a heroine in Virgil's epic poem 'Eclogues'.  There are two plants that are often confused, the Hippeastrun hybrida (Amaryllis) and the Amaryllis belladonna (Belladonna Lily). This hub refers to the former the Hippeastrum hybrida. The amaryllis is one of the easiest bulbs to ge…