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Friday, November 25, 2011

Forcing Bulbs by Accident

Forcing bulbs is so easy, you don’t even have to plan on doing it…

Another one of my annual plant sale traditions is the Houston Garden Club’s infamous Bulb and Plant Mart in October. I planned so far ahead, that I pre-ordered bulbs in August. They have a great selection of amaryllis, I bought a couple more varieties this year, despite the fact that I already have 5 different kinds and I’m not sure where in the garden these will end up. The two newbies this year are Pasadena and White Peacock.

A couple of weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. I went into my home office and decided to do some yoga to relax, hoping that it would help me get back to sleep. In the middle of my yoga session, as I moved into a standing forward bend, I noticed it. Peeping from a brown paper shopping bag. The light green leaves. Oh no! My amaryllis bulbs were starting to grow!

There went my concentration, all I could think about was getting those bulbs into pots. Pasadena was much farther ahead of White Peacock. Now, I have 7 beautiful Pasadena blossoms, all because I left the bulb in a brown paper shopping bag for a month.

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So, you see folks, anyone can force bulbs indoors in the winter. Smile

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

I love Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Lately, life has been so hectic, bloom day is the only excuse I have to spend some time roaming around my garden to see what it’s up to. Despite the fact that my bloom day post is late, my pictures are from the actual bloom day Winking smile.

Finally, the first blooms of pink firespike. This was a new one this year, I’m glad to see the pink blooms as we head into fall. (Yes, I said fall. It is Texas after all)


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OK, these aren’t blooms, but I think they are interesting. These are the fruit of a white turn’s cap.

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Here’s one I have been wanting to post on a bloom day for quite awhile and this month it actually cooperated. It is iochroma cyanea.

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Two of my new rose bushes are blooming. Hopefully they will stay happy in their new home.
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Le Vesuve
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White Heritage

And finally….the pink brugmansia that I received as a cutting is blooming. (thanks Elida). It had a tough time making it through last winter, but it has been persistent. Hopefully, it will make it through another weird weather year in Houston.

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Thanks for checking out my November blooms. For more bloom day posts go to May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Roses, Take Two

IMG_0008My first trip to the Antique Rose Emporium was this past April. It is a great place to visit. I purchased 4 roses and planted them around the first of May. (here’s the May post about ARE)

Now, to recap…I planted four new rose bushes at the beginning of the hottest and driest summer in recorded history in a freshly built raised bed.

Within a couple of months I had a lovely flower bed with four dead rose bushes. I also created and planted several other large flowerbeds this spring and the watering was just too much for me to keep up with. Most everything survived, but my poor roses.

So, I have a new strategy…fall planting. Mike Shoup owner of the Antique Rose Emporium recently mentioned this in an article he wrote for Neil Sperry’s magazine.

“Newly established plants (those planted this spring) showed a lot of mortality. It was just too difficult to get enough subsoil moisture to carry the plants into the hot summer. The lesson here is to plant in the fall to establish a good root system.”

I went back to ARE on Saturday and purchased 3 more roses. This time I bought Le Vesuve and Maggie (same as last time) and White Heritage. I decided to forego Cecile Brunner for White Heritage which has larger blooms and is white, which will give my bed a little more color variety. I replaced my Belinda’s Dream a few weeks ago with one from Buchanan’s. Now, it’s a matter of occasional watering and hopefully summer 2012 will be more forgiving.

This weekend also happened to be the Fall Rose Festival at ARE. I wanted to make it up there early enough to hear Felder Rushing speak, but no such luck. I have had too much going on lately which has left me catching up on my sleep every weekend and my alarm clock just wasn’t loud enough to get me out of bed.

Bianca Stein and Zoe Jenkins

However, I did catch a little Shakespeare. The Rose Festival included Shakespeare in the Gardens, presented by Brenham H.S. theatre students.

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I took a quick stroll around the grounds. The number of butterflies was amazing. IMG_0002

I also noticed the yellow brick road, which I guess I missed during my last trip. IMG_0009

I couldn’t stay as long as I would have liked, so I will definitely have to make another trip out there some time.