Thursday, April 20, 2017

This Weekend!


Saturday & Sunday, April 22 & 23
10-4pm each day
My booth is #204

 
Featuring a variety of regional booth artisans, Spring Fest will fill the Depot grounds with art and crafts in all different mediums...all free to the public.
Spring Fest will include live music - food trucks, wine & beer - youth activities - and demonstrating artists.

Location:
Depot Art Center
611 R Ave, Anacortes, WA 98221

Friday, April 14, 2017

Seed Collecting: LIGUSTRUM japonicum 'Texanum' (Japanese Privet)

I really like to collect seeds from various plants, I have three, two male and one female, Privet (Ligustrum Japanicum texenum) 

the female bloomed and went to seed, males don't seed but you need them to pollinate your gals, she'll bloom and seed.  so I collected the seeds that the birds left on the bushes.

Here's some stock photos of the Privet and what you can do with them, 
They are an evergreen so they keep their leaves all year.
Here's a LINK to some great info on these Privets.
 
They make great hedges...
 and great topiaries...
and have a nice flower, however some say they are very allergy prone to these, so be warned.
After blooming they get these black small berries (another stock photo)
 I collected my berries on 4-10-17
I like to leave them on through the winter for birds to eat and so they get their cold stratification. 
here are the berries that were left and that I collected
You need to get the seed out of the center of the berry,
(as with most berries like this, this technique will work on most)
 so I started to pull off all the "pulp" and put the seeds into another container, I then realized its making a mess, sticky and they were staining my fingers a beautiful blue/purple...
So I thought it would be better to soak them in warm water 
I didn't get a picture but the skins started to peel quite nice and if I squeezed the berry the seed would pop right out,
I put the seeds into more water to get the excess skin and pulp off.

I then strained the seeds a few times...
they got nice and clean and I soaked them once more, any seeds that floated to the top I discarded..
and here is what was left...
I'm going to soak them overnight in warm water and will get these planted in seedling pots within the next few days, you don't want to let the seeds totally dry out.
I will do another post once these get planted and updates will follow on the process!

Have questions or comments?
Leave them below!











Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Plants in Bloom!


the Rodgersia has sprung up out of the soil!



the wild flowers and Hellebore's are doing great



and the Blue Elf Aloe is in bloom
The Zanzibar and Gibsonii Castor Beans got transplanted into larger pots a couple days ago, they'll get planted out side once they get more leaves and it warms up a bit. They are very fast growing!
The Japanese Skimmia (male) is in bloom and smells delicious!
the female is almost in bloom....(not pictured)

after the whole Clematis trellis fell down out front from all the snow, I didn't know if it would bloom after we remade everything and strung it back up, but its blooming beautifully, I'll have to get a picture of the full plant, its amazing!
This Clematis is an evergreen, so it keeps it's leaves all year and blooms in spring through summer, it's called "Snowdrift" It's my favorite, It also smells like Jasmine.
We had a new visitor to the patio garden, an Orange breasted Finch... How cute is he!? He had his female partner with him but she was a bit shy...





Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring is here: New Buds and the dreaded leaf fungus!

I'm so glad Spring is here, bringing new buds and seeing all the plants emerging from the ground is a gardeners Christmas! 
however Springs warm, wet days and cool damp nights brings some trouble too....
the dreaded Leaf FUNGUS!  

My Japanese Loquat tree is the victim of it....
 See all those spots in the picture above? 
It's fungus....
My remedy (which I hope works) is the age old Baking Soda and Oil trick...
Here the recipe:
Per Gallon of water,
4 TEAspoons Baking Soda
2.5 Veggie Oil
Gallon of water
Add all ingredients together, shake well and add to spray bottle.
First your going to sadly cut off all the leaves that are infected, in my case all but a few were.
Put the leaves in a plastic bag and in the garbage, NOT the compost or food waste bin, fungus spreads easy and will stay in the leaves and compost. 
Spray the entire plant, stem, both sides of the leaves, every part that you can!
Including the ground, be sure to pick up any fallen leaves on the ground too, throw them in the garbage too!
Now hope for the best! If it doesn't work, then you will probably have to get some Chlorothalonil
I don't like to use chemicals if I don't have too....
I'll keep everyone posted with updates on the Loquats outcome...

On the Good side of Spring look at these pictures!
My Euphorbia Martini has outdid itself once again, it's already about 5-6ft tall with massive blooms! Can't wait to see how big it gets in the summer!
My Gunnera is waking up and leafing out 

The Bananas are growing quite quickly now that it's warmed up, each stalk has about a 5-16" new growth on it

I though I had lost this vine due to our harsh, snowy, freezing cold winter,
I was going to re use the bamboo stakes and the planter, when I went to disassemble it all, I noticed tiny green buds coming out of the vine...
 So exciting!

I wasn't going to have any "food" plants this year except my tomatoes... 
but I was given some Rhubarb plants..
Then it started... 
I went to pick up my tomato plants..and some cucumbers, and three types of peppers, then I found my lettuce, spinach and radish seeds, so they got planted... then my garlic I thought I picked last year started popping up and all the herbs too.... and I picked up a new Basil plant....
Well now I have a Food garden again....
I have Spinach planted in this empty space in front of the Loquat and to the left of the two Rhubarb (above)
I made a Cucumber trellis (above) lettuce and radish are planted behind it, herbs are on the right side.
The tomatoes are just in their starter pots for now, they will get in the ground soon.
As for the peppers, they're inside in their starter pots too, it's still a bit cold for them to be outside.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cold Hardy Banana: Update

On March 14th I uncovered the Cold Hardy Bananas, 
as you can see they're already growing from the centers! 

Once they grow bigger the first leaf usually is the first to die, so I don't really worry about the brown tip. I will just end up cutting it off.

Have questions? 
Leave a comment below!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Reworking some paintings...


I decided to add some hand painted floral designs to some of my paintings....






What do you think?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

5 Days until Spring is Official! Early Blooms and Buds

Only five more days until Spring makes it's official debut! 
today in the garden I saw all my Hellebores blooming!

 I just love them! Especially these ones that look like a lotus

My Black elderberry tree is starting to get leaf buds!
The Forsythia too!
and the Heather/Heath is blooming
I'm so excited for Spring!






Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cold Hardy Banana Uncovering

Since we're getting warmer weather.... 50's daytime and 40's nighttime..
 I decided to partially uncover my Cold Hardy Banana trees, I left the bases and stalks mulched and wrapped in the bubble wrap, just in case we get another cold spell.
The stalks were taller but fell over, due to me not having enough mulch around them, (my neighbor insisted on throwing her leaves away instead of giving them to me to use as mulch) so, if your bananas fell over like mine, you want to cut the stalk down to where its still rigid,I just squeeze it a little to figure it out,  you'll see the center still has green in it, the black muck is ok. It will grow from the center of where you cut it off.
 The center will ooze/weep the moisture and turn a bit dark, but it will be ok! Don't cut it unless it gets super mushy!

 If there is another frost or cold spell when it reaches below 34 at night I will throw some burlap over the tops of them.
 For now I think they should be fine in the current weather.
If you have questions leave a comment below!



Signs of Spring!


Plants and flowers are starting to emerge from their winter slumber!
I believe these are Alliums, I'm not sure what the small, bright green leaves are...I'm sure they're some sort of wildflower I had last year that reseeded itself...
I don't weed to much at this time of year unless I know for sure it's a weed. I've pulled out to many flower seedlings in the past.

Not sure what these red leaves (below) are either, I'm thinking it might be a Heuchera, but the leaves are thick and leathery and growing larger than the normal Heuchera, If you know, please leave a comment. 
I didn't mark any of my plants last year, so it will be a surprise (not intended) as plants pop up everywhere, this year I'm marking everything so I don't see a "blank" spot and plant something there, just to find out there's bulbs under the ground, I've done that to many times and split the bulbs in half with my shovel or spade.....

UPDATE: 3-27
I figured out this red leaf plant is a  Ligularia! I have a couple more popping up too!
Yay!
Grape Hyacinths (Muscari)
 I just planted my new Japanese Loquat Tree (Japanese Plum), yesterday, I don't expect it to fruit but it's a nice addition tropical to the garden with its large leaves.