Poinsettas and Cypress

Oh winter and plants. It does slow the growth down and you don’t have to water as much but for me it is a challenge to make sure there is enough warmth for them and moisture. My son greeted me at the door with the look of “You’re kidding right,so where do you actually plan to put those? I am happy to report all three are quite comfortable.

My new poinsettia

Love, Love poinsettias. I remember the full, sturdy Poinsettia that my grandmother owned. Not using an ounce of “plant food. For some reason this year it seems the colors of the poinsettias I saw were more of pinkish color not the red. By now several of the pinkish leaves have dropped off and I see the tiny buds of new leaves breaking through. I don’t keep them in direct light but I mist them twice daily. The house heat causes them to dry out more. Of course I only water from the bottom about a 1/4 cup once a week. Even though I let my water sit out for awhile its cold so each night I sit the water container on the hood of the stove so by morning the water is at a nice tepid temperature. It has opened up quite a bit. Listening to a gardener on television she state contrary to popular believe poinsettia are NOT poisonous. Of course they are not meant to be consumed but if they are they cause a lot of vomiting not death.

European Cypress tree

So excited about something type of plant (well tree) that I added to my plant collection. I found a European Cypress measuring 16 inches tall which can grow up to 15 feet tall and up to 5 ft wide. I will be pruning them. I even bought a tiny one as well. I am able to keep this one on the window sill but it drinks water quickly. I believe for two reasons: the house heat and smaller part.

Cypress de Lawson/ European Tree

I watched the store for the mark downs and on Xmas Eve I bought all three. (Who else was going to take them home?) Can’t wait to place them in the larger flower pots for the Spring weather.

Next post: Comparison photos of my plants from last year to the summer.

Nature’s Night lights and Brush stroke

I call the two photos of the fire glow sky a night lamp for my plants.

It as been quite different for the weather here in Maryland. Brought back to mind the poem “Rain,Rain” and I did want it to go away. My plants thoroughly enjoyed it. The warm mist and humidity caused them to grow even more. With the hurricane passed and then the cooler weather with rain came the following sites. I enjoy sitting outside when the evening permits. Take a look at the sky which I believe to be one of The Creator’s best projects. There was actually a reddish-orange tint mixed in with the blue. Beautiful huh! Just as quickly as this photo was taken 10 minutes later it changed into the sky below. It was a gentle wind too that pushed the clouds into the very fluffy shapes.

I was on my way to the store on a Friday evening and as I looked up caught this spectacular image A RAINBOW. I actually ran all the way back home to get my camera and boy was it worth it. The last time I actually remember seeing a rainbow of this magnitude was as a little girl. Yes that long. The Creator’s promise of things to come.

Maryland rainbow

I am so truly thankful that I had a chance to witness this magnificence!!   The sky remained  bright for all of 15 – 20 minutes. Everyone outside seemed to stop and look at it and didn’t say a word just looked. Ahhh rainbows bring Peace.

No wonder I love nature so much. Must be the “country-girl” part of me.

Next Up: My Fall garden.

Bonsai Lecture

On August 23,2011 I had the pleasure of attending a Bonsai lecture at the Druid Hill Park/Howard Pete Rawlings Conservatory. Loved it. I always say plants are my second love (my son might argue that since he says my home looks like botanical gardens).  

The Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory

                                               garden just outside of the conservatory

conservatory garden

  This artwork is just at the entrance to Druid Hill Park. They contain pictures of children and artwork.

The Bonsai  lecture was free and open to the public was small and quite informative. Some things I now know about Bonsai is that Bonsai (pronounced
bone-sigh) is an ancient oriental horticultural art form. The word Bonsai
 literally means, in both Chinese and in the Japanese language, tree-in- a-pot (via http://www.bonsai-bci.com/whatis.html. Ok so I have (as many others) have been pronouncing Bonsai incorrectly.  Bonsai are on my plant to-do list and I was not going to miss this opportunity to learn about this gorgeous plant art form. The basics are that the plant have an extremely well nourished feeder and support roots. Of course organic materials are the best. Our lecturer recommended cat litter. (Hmmmmm) Simple tools are required for pruning such as bull-nose pliers. You should decide what shape the particular tree forms then you will need to prune it in that shape.

This particular Bonsai is gorgeous and 5 years old. Yep the first thing you will need is complete patience. As for pots some can be grown on marble slabs. The slabs sustain the roots and keep the roots in one place but if you use pots/dishes they should have good drainage holes.

The lecturer informed the audience that some of his Bonsai have come from people wanting to rid their yards of the trees and others he bought from local garden shops.

Three forms of Bonsai.

The front of the tree should “bow towards you”. The front branches should have “out held arms” and an even shape.

Our lecturer added that good “beginning Bonsai” are Ficus (one of my favorite trees) and Tridad Maple.

Lastly there was a Bonsai help clinic at the end of the lecture.

I truly enjoyed the Bonsai lecture and was thankful that it was offered to city residents. Learned there is a Bonsai meeting group as well. Think I will join to further learn more.

Look for my post about my first  Bonsai by the end of the year.

Wrapping up the Summer

I am really near tears – summer is closing up. I LOVE the summer for being outdoors, the heat   and humidity love my skin and hair and last but not least my plants grow and grow and grow. Now the summer sun and heat are not without providing extra care….regulary misting, and/or standing my pants on stones w/alittle water. Moving some to the sun. Now my petunias absolutely loved the sun. Then when it rained wow you would think it was a whole new plant. If it is one sure thing I know about plants is nothing is better for it than the rain. Instant vitamin.

My Wave petunias

  Just home from the store.

In my overstock pot find.

Enjoying the sun.

I had heard so much about the Wave petunia. Hardy and drought resistant. For my experience maybe if they are grown in the shade but in the full sun on a patio I kept them misted twice daily and watered fully about every day or every other day.

My Marigolds

Tiny flower and really strong. Maryland got in the 100’s a couple of weeks and I was so busy tending to my other plants almost forgot about these little guys. The soil was almost dry and they were still standing strong and steady. Ummm I think I’m like this plant!

This week has been overcast and in the high 70’s but lower 60’s at night. The marigolds still have buds that haven’t opened yet. They should go all the way thru September.

NEXT UP: New additions to my plant family and end of the season plant goodies I found.

From plants to summer flowers

Oriental Totem Pole Plants

When I don’t have my crochet hook in my hand I have soil,plants or a watering can keeping me busy. The other obsession PLANTS.  I do believe I have a green thumb but I also believe that nature does most of the work along with  my secret weapon *** I talk to my plants.  Reguarly. My conversation with them is good talk, how fast and wonderful they are growing.  I also  mist regularly and  use only water that has sat in the sun for at least 2 days.  Last year in February I acquired the two Oriental totem pole plants. Although they are of the same species they are so different. One log was wider and longer.   The first 3 months just required them being placed in 4 inches of water and in a warm and sunny location until spouts started breaking thru the wood.  Since it was winter then I worried alittle about the warmth but they can take the 55 degrees as the lowest temp (though not recommended).    After that time in the water I noticed spouts coming out. Excited I was. Its a peace to taking care of plants and my Nana taught me well.  After the 3 week period I planted them in soil and watered.  Now take a look at them:

      The  larger one and more spouts are growing out of the wood but at a slower pace now.

This is the smaller totem pole, I tend to talk to him more (just because he is smaller and needs the added attention) Smiles!!!!   I  have both of them outside now. They love the sun but do better with a water mist during the early morning or afternoon.

You can read where I got mine from and more facts here:

Hoping to add more of the exotic plants before the summer ends. I’d love to hear and see your unusal plants. Hope you share!

Until next time keep the Faith and happy planting.