Monday, March 30, 2015

Gardening: It's Working

So, you'll remember recently I posted about picking up a few bulbs and roots, and was going to attempt to grow them. If not, click to read: Gardening: How Does That Work?  Having never grown actual garden plants before, I started everything in pots so I could control their environment and watering better, and make sure no animals dug the bulbs up before they got a chance to sprout. So here's how it's going.


Tricyrtis 'Blue Wonder.' Not sure what happened. One day it was wilted, then totally collapsed into a rotten mess the next day. (Tricyrtis hirta was growing next too it, same soil mix, same watering, same few hours of evening sun. So I may get another and try it again, keep it slightly drier this time?)


Canna 'Pretoria.' Actually, the correct name for this cultivar is Canna 'Bengal Tiger.' They are the same cultivar, but 'Bengal Tiger' was registered 1st. I only started 2 of these bulbs, I don't have a ton of full sun spots for them at the moment, so 5 was too many. It doesn't look variegated though, so I'm hoping the right bulbs were in the package?

Ismene festalis. Started all 3 bulbs, all 3 have come up.
Tricyrtis hirta. What started as a root is now a small plant, and doing phenomenal. I'm working on the part-shade garden 1st so this one's going in the ground soon.

Ismene festalis from bulbs, Tricyrtis hirta in the small pot to the lower left.

I also made an order with Plant Delights Nursery Inc. Prices and shipping were reasonable, but I was a little nervous ordering from a large scale production nursery. I just ordered one of some things that looked interesting. I'll be ordering from them again shortly. Everything was packed well and looked great on arrival.

For the full sun spots: Canna 'Australia', a purple/black leaved cultivar with red flowers and Canna 'Phasion' (Tropicanna Canna,) purple/pink with yellow and red striped leaf cultivar (super tacky and fabulous, look it up if you've never see one before!)

For the part shade garden: Drimiopsis maculata, Asarum shuttleworthii var. harperi 'Velvet Queen', Tricyrtis lasiocarpa, and Helleborus x hybrida 'Black Diamond'. I'm primarily excited about the black flowered Hellebore. If it does well, I'll be getting more of the other black flowered cultivars out there.

Left: Asarum shuttleworthii var. harperi 'Velvet Queen, Right: Drimiopsis maculata (just emerging)

Left: Tricyrtis lasiocarpa, Right: Helleborus x hybridus 'Black Diamond'

Just starting out are some Crocosmia 'Lucifer' bulbs, as well, so it'll be awhile before we see anything of those. Almost everything went in the ground a few days ago, so give me a few weeks and maybe I'll have a decent picture of these growing to take.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Traveling Sarracenia

I was going through some old photos to dump off my phone to make some space and got a little nostalgic. One consistent thing throughout moving around so much has been my Sarracenia. Many of my plants have moved from apartment to apartment covering well over 1000 miles in a car and managed to be just as flexible and accommodating to change as my family has been. Sarracenia has been the one genus I have had zero losses from despite every move, changes in temperature and sunlight levels, occasional neglect, and being boxed up a few times. They have become my favorite plants to grow because they are so remarkably tolerant. Besides watering, there's not much I even do for them now. Here, I can leave them outside in the same spot all year. No more mulching, rubbermaids, refrigerators, or any of the other methods I used over the years to try and protect them while giving them a proper dormancy.

Back in NY on my cement stoop. This is the earliest picture I took of my first Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa. I can't even remember how many years this plant has lived with me, maybe 8 years now? It wasn't even mature enough to bloom in this picture and I had already had it for a few years before I even took a single picture of it.

S. purpurea ssp. venosa & typical VFT

Dragged that Sarracenia & VFT down to Florida, where the temperate carnivore collection expanded to what fit in a window box and on the edge of the apartment's deck for the next 2 years.

The view from the last apartment, 2013 or 2014.

S. leucophylla 'Tarnok' flower, spring 2014.

S, flava var rubricorpora "Red Tube", spring 2014

This is the last move for a while. The Sarracenia and the rest of the temperate carnivores have it good now. They earned the sunniest spot in the yard, so this should be their best growing year ever. I've been confined to apartment growing (lack of space) for so long, that I have been expanding the collection a lot more since last fall. Right now, my set up is a display shelf that's been taken apart and being used as a stand. Looks terrible, so maybe I'll take a group shot when I can figure out something functional that'll also look nice for them.

It's also been spring here now for a few weeks, so there will be flower photos coming up here shortly!