Thursday, March 19, 2009

March: finally flowers!


Kind of a sad display. I really should plant more but by autumn I'm usually burned out on gardening and need a break!

Milkweed fruits that failed to disperse last year.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March: new juniors

I bought four plants at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Three came from the vendor of succulents and cacti, where one of the sellers assumed I was a moron. I asked him how soon the plants would need to be transplanted, and he informed me in the friendly, deliberate tones of someone talking to a willful child that if you never transplant them, they're not going to get any bigger now, are they? Yeah, thanks, that's kind of why I asked the question, which he never did answer. Anyway, the final plant came from the African violet seller. I don't know why I have a hard time getting into violets. I like the true Viola violets in the yard so Saintpaulia shouldn't be a huge leap. I do have one and I love the fuzzy leaves and deep purple flowers. I'm going to make an effort to embrace the violets, and thus brought home a trailing variety.

Peperomia ferrerae, Gasteria sp. (tongue plant), and Echeveria setosa cv. Doris Taylor. I can't get over the leaves on the Peperomia! I have another with the more traditional flat rounded leaves and you would never guess they're closely related.

Saintpaulia sp. 'Foster Trail' - I can't wait to see the flowers!

Bonus: Oxalis sp., prob. triangularis, from the grocery store.

Bonus bonus: Bowiea volubilis close-up showing cool branchiness. Yes that's a word.

Monday, March 09, 2009

March: Chicago Flower & Garden Show

I left work a bit early and went to the Garden Show on Navy Pier today. It was lovely as usual but would it be wrong of me to say I was underwhelmed compared to past, pre-Rosemont years? There seemed to be fewer of the Big Impressive Gardens than usual, no model railroad, and fewer big woody plants (though I realize those are expensive and unwieldy and the early leafing is harmful). I also missed seeing the houseplant competition winners (though the photo competition was nice). I managed to make it out of the marketplace with only four plants. I kind of regret not going back to look at the oak-leaf earrings but maybe next year (or maybe I was harboring some resentment that he had no basswood jewelry!).

The Chicago Park District garden was my favorite by far. They can come install it in my back yard as soon as the show is over.
More pictures here (plus bonus duck!): Flickr photoset

Sunday, March 08, 2009

March: the climbing onion continues to overachieve

Bowiea volubilis, now putting more effort into branches than apical growth. What a cutie!

March: be careful what you wish for

"Well dark clouds are rollin' in/Man I'm standin' out in the rain
Yeah flood water keep a rollin'/Man it's about to drive poor me insane"
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood

Happy Spring!!

On a drier note, New Juniors for me to attempt to keep alive! I visited Gethsemane Gardens yesterday and helped them water their plants by drooling covetously on everything. I couldn't manage $400 for a topiary ivy, but I did bring home these:
Euphorbia milli 'Somona' - crown of thorns

Alocasia x amazonica 'Polly' - African mask

An Oxalis that I think is mislabeled... probably Oxalis triangularis

Stromanthe sanguinea 'Tricolor' - The greenhouse guy warned me that this one needs lots of humidity (it seems he can tell my house is the Gobi Desert just by looking at me) and I fear for its safety in my arid hands but it's so gorgeous I couldn't pass it up! I mean, look at it!!

Also, a quick stop at Home Despot yielded a big bottle of Osmocote, a tube of caulk (for the bathroom, not the plants), and these:
Schizanthus NOID, possibly x wisetonensis, butterfly flower or poor man's orchid (though it is cheaper than a Phalaenopsis so go figure) - thanks to Cathy for the heads-up that HD had these in stock :)

An 88-cent primrose, Primula vulgaris. I didn't need another primula but for 88 cents, what the heck?

It's almost time for me to start repotting. I have three grants and two abstracts to write but as soon as they're done, out comes the trowel! Also, I'm heading to the Chicago Flower and Garden show tomorrow. More juniors may be imminent, depending on what I can carry on the 'L'.