Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Organic Rose Propagating

I hate rooting hormones.  They are strong and can be harsh on other plants in the area. Most perennials root from cuttings very easily.  Many will root over the kitchen sink in a vase of water or just by placing them in a flower bed where you want it and keep it moist.  Many vegatables can be grown from the parts that are left over from dinner.  Roses are stubborn.  They are heavy feeders and need an extra boost to get the cuttings to root.

I have cut many roses and found that the best hormone free way is to use a potato.  I prefer little red potatoes since they are a little softer.  I will let them sit around for a while till they become a little over ripe.  This will make them even softer.  They are nice and juicy to keep the rose cutting moist.  Here is what you will need to propagate a rose from a cutting organically:
~ over ripe red potato for each cutting you have
~ a fresh cutting of at least 4 inches
~ lime (not the fruit)
~ rich soil
~ screwdriver
~ water

I start with my potato and screwdriver.  In the center of the potato, I take the screwdriver and make a hole halfway through the potato.  Then I work the edges of the hole until it is about the width of the cutting of the rose stem I have. Do not forget to clip your rose cutting at a 45 degree angle on the end that you will place into the potato.  Once the hole is the right size, place the cutting into the potato.

I dig a hole around  three to four inches deep to place the potato and cutting into.  I do no use a deep hole because I only try rooting roses in the spring and summer while the original rose bush is active.  I throw in a few pieces of lime as a fertilizer on top of the potato before I cover it with dirt.  I water it well. Cover it with dirt and water it again.  I water deeply every day until new growth is seen.

It is that easy and fast to start a new rose bush, plus it is hormone free finally!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Little Gardener

The little monster went shopping again this weekend. While I was looking around he found a huge red water can and a black pot he wanted. He said black was best so we could write what we planted in the pot on the outside with his chalk. Smart little guy!

He picked out his potting soil to fill the container. Then he went for the flowers I knew it would be something red. Always red. He found a huge Dahlia tuber already producing seven or eight long eyes. Placed it in the shopping cart like a pro then went to the annuals.

He took his time starting with the bright red petunias and finally ending on a plant I have never used before. He grabbed a six pack of them because they looked like trees! Of course they were red.

As soon as we got home we filled the container half full of rich potting soil. He leveled it out, added a little lime and his tuber. He had to hold the tuber in place while I poured on more soil since one eye had already produced a fragile three inch stalk he had to protect at all cost!

He topped off the container, gently covering his dahlia. Next came the little red trees as he called them for the edges. He dug his first three holes around the edge of the container. Gently pulled his little annuals from their flimsy home, separated the bottom of each root, and carefully placed them into their new home.

He did the same with the next three while I watched with little direction to give. He is a pro by now! All finished, I carried it to be placed by my red rose where he wanted it to stay. He filled his watering can and watered all our flowers that afternoon. I sat back and watched. Enjoying the view of him working and not me.

While watering he found that his zinnia seeds had sprouted! He was so excited that he wanted to plant more at the pond. He ended up planting more sunflowers, zinnias and carnations. Then the tadpoles distracted him. Apparently now we are raising a hoard of the tiny things!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A morning walk in the garden

We have had a busy weekend with my stuffy nose and all. This morning I took a little time before the rest of the house woke up. I went for a quiet walk where the only nose to hear are birds chirping. The wind from yesterday is gone and the trees are still.

It was so peaceful and refreshing. The grass and flowers had drops of morning due still on them making the blooms glisten in the rising sun. The colors were so bright this morning and the water drops look amazing sitting on the rose petals. Happy Sunday morning! Hope everyone has a great day!

Friday, April 26, 2013

More iris blooms

We went for a walk to feed the fish yesterday and I found a couple new blooms. There is one pale yellow iris blooming. It was a little surprising since I have not seen it in a while.

The last few pictures I took are of a very old purple Dutch iris. The colors are very rich and crisp, but I prefer a bearded iris over this variety. The Dutch iris looks more like a lily but they bloom out flat. I like flowers with a little height to them. Still the beautiful color is welcome any time.

I am still in search for an almost black iris. Any suggestions are welcome. I am thinking of starting an iris swap. Like a seed swap but with easy to grow bulbs and tuber plants. I have loads of them starting to come up!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Dark Side of Spring

I went for a walk yesterday afternoon since I was tired of sitting around feeling awful. I thought maybe a little moving around would help. It cheered me up at the time and my nose actually stopped running. This morning is a different story. My nose is failing me and feels like it is twice the size it should be and is so dry it could fall off at any time. I think it is highly unliky anyone would want to see a picture of my nose, but I did capture a few good ones in my brother's yard. No, not of my stuffy head but of a very pretty tall bearded Iris.

The colors are very bright white with a deep purple bottom. He has a lot of these in his yard. More than a dozen that are grouped together are all in the same growth stage and should all start to open blooms by this weekend. He ha also had a tiny, but very cute azalea with a really bright reddish orange color.

I love this one!

Hopefully the darker side of spring will leave my nose alone soon. The air is not yellow with pollen swirling around like a dust cloud. My truck is still yellow even with the rain from last night. I think today will be a day of loads of reading and rest. I think rest is much need and way over due. Plus the clouds have set in, so maybe today will be the last day of allergies for me for a while. What is your favorite rainy day or sick day activity?

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Pefrect Sunday Afternoon Planting

We had an amazing day yesterday.  We got to sleep in a little, then decided to go shopping since Lego City Undercover finally hit the shelves for 3DS.  We have both been wanting to try it out.  While waiting for that store to open we hit few local stores that had gardening supplies.  I finally got my second petunia handing basket.  I used the same wire basket and topsoil. The petunias I picked up needed a little care.  The have a very pretty purple flower with white edges.  All of the flowers had a few rips in them, so I brought it home in hopes of making the next wave of flowers a little more pleasing.

I placed a layer of dirt on the bottom and half way up the sides.  I took the flowers out of their black plastic seedling pots they came in.  The roots were so think that there was very little dirt left in around the roots.  I pulled the roots apart gently before placing them into their new bigger home.  Then added more top soil to fill it up and watered the hanging basket before placing it on the front porch.  Of course I had to let the little monster climb back up on my shoulders to hang this one as well.  He knew what he was doing this time so my back did not suffer as much.  It could also have been the new game he wanted to go try out.  As soon as it was hung he put his hands on his hips, smiled up at me, then took off inside.  His job was done.

I love the white edges on these little guys.  The color is amazing.  I think after these flowers have been spent, I will pinch these back a little.  The are really tall and I would like for them to fatten up a little before growing up.

 My first hanging basket is looking great.  It has almost filled the basket completely now and our first full wave of flowers are beginning to open up.  I took the basket down to try to rid some of the pollen that has covered everything and finally got to me.  I am so stuffy today I can barely breath.  I hate head colds and sinus infections.  Maybe a little honey and cinnamon tea will help me out or at least I hope it will.

The little flowers are looking great as they just started to open up during the past two days.  The foliage has filed out the basket and gotten a lot thinker than the tiny little things that I brought home a few weeks ago.  I am very happy since this is my first time to have hanging baskets.  I am still learning, but love the annuals that are growing.

 I was very surprised when the little monster looked at a few seeds packets during our shopping trip and picked up a very pretty red carnation and a packet of Zinnia seeds.  We had already looked at the pretty little seedlings outside, but he did not want them.  He wanted to plant his own seeds.  So, that is what we did.  I am so happy he picked up a bright red carnation.  I was thinking about planting a few myself.  I am a sucker for ruffled flowers.  Too bad we did not find any pretty roses or lilies. 
 These are the little carnation seeds I poured into his hand to plant down by the pond.  He saved the rest to put close to the house.  He picked the "perfect spot", dug him a little line to place them in and covered them with dirt.  He grabbed a few stones to mark where his planting started and then went for his water bucket to give them a little drink.

He did the same with the zinnia.  He said he wanted these two because he loves red and thought the carnation would look great with my red rose.  Today, we are planting what is left into a few different containers he wanted.  Hopefully they will do great for him.  I have gotten everything set up for him so we can plant before heading off to the baseball fields.

So far this year he has planted: tomatoes, peppers, okra,sunflowers, petunias, asslym, sunflowers, zinnia, carnations, and helped me with a few lilies.  He says he still wants squash and watermelons.  I think we are going to have a very busy summer.  At least it is not as busy as when I was a kid.  We had acres of purple hull peas, okra and I don't even remember what else.  The heat had you fried and drained by the time you had one bushel of peas.  I miss the peas, but not the long, hot days picking them.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Container Lilies

I love any kind of lily.  This year I wanted to plant a few in a container since we have plans to build a new home.  I wanted them to be easy to move to the new location so I decided to place them into a few pots.  Every year I buy a few new bulbs and tubers.  I can not help it.  It is an addiction for me.  This year I finally got a really deep purple calla lily.  I could not wait to plant it when I got home.  I did not even wait on the little guy to finish his day at school to help me. 

What I used : a few medium sized pots that I liked the shape and color of
                      three bags of potting soil
                      Coffee filters in the bottom of each pot
                      A light layer of pebbles in the bottom of each pot
                     3 daylily Dream Legacy roots
                     3 daylily Calico Jack roots
                     3 calla lily Schwarzwalder bulbs
                     3 dahlia Marble Ball tubers

This is my smaller pot with only Calico Jack in it.  I am waiting on a few lilies I have ordered to add to this mix and compliment each other with similar colors.  I am patiently waiting to see the outlined edges of this plant.

The other three flowers are in the square container.  I placed the calla lilies in the front corner of the pot, the daylilies in the middle from one corner to the other, and last the tall dahlia in the back corner.  I have never planted dahlia before, but the are a beauty.  I love the marble look and could not pass up the "Plant for Hope".  EuroBlooms will donate thirty cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every package sold.  How could you pass that by?  I am a sucker for all things pink.

I also try to plant something different every year to add a variety.  The only thing that I can not get to live so far is a hydrangea.  I have always wanted a huge one in the yard, but they hate me.  They never even make it through the summer.  Oh well, I am happy everything else always looks amazing. 

More shopping for now while I wait for these little guys to make their presence know this summer.  I can not decide which climbing rose I really want.  Any ideas on your favorite climber?  What is your favorite lily? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wisteria Sprouts and Blooms

I have a few pictures of my grandmother's wisteria that has started blooming this past week.  I had a little pot with five seeds I had planted from my mother's wisteria.  One of the seeds has grown so much since it was planted last month.  As of yesterday I had four of the five seeds breaking through the ground and reaching for the sun light.  Our plans are to place each one in it's own pot and let it start growing.  Training it a little along the way.  Next year, they will find their own little home along the pond climbing trees and eventually hanging over the water just a little.

This is my biggest wisteria from the planted seeds! I can not believe it has grown so much.  Hopefully this next little cold front will not bother it.  I may bring it inside this after noon just in case.

My grandmother's is trained as a little tree.  The blooms look wonderful.  The bees are loving it and in the two days since this picture, green leaves have taken over.  The purple pops with the foliage breaking through.  It has been cloudy and super windy, so I have not had the chance to take a photo of the new foliage.  

I know many that hate these pretty little things since they can become invasive.  All they need is a little care each year.  A light pruning goes a long way.  The wisteria above actually needed a little pruning, but this past year has been a long one. 

My camera needs to be trashed as well.  I spent all day yesterday trying to decide which new camera I want to purchase.  Any suggestions on a great camera?  I would love one that takes great low light pictures as well.