Sunday, December 14, 2014

What I did on my summer vacation. Part 1

It's been too long since my last post, forgive me.  Time seems to fly by.

I really worked all summer at my day job, but every chance I got I headed west to the mountains.  I caught myself twice turning west on my way home from work.  Strong pull those mountains have for me.  I'll do this in parts, and unfortunately I can't even include the entire summer.  I lost my hard drive in July and lost so much data and pictures.  Backup, oh ya, on another partition of same dead drive.  Any way!!

 August 2014

 Highway 11 west
 Highway 11 west
 I've yet to make a positive ID on this?  
I'm leaning towards Symphyotrichum laeve - Smooth Aster OR Symphyotrichum ciliolatum - Lindley's Aster.  This family can be tricky to figure out.

 Highway 11 west
 Yup, you guessed it, Highway 11 west
 And again....
I never get tired of this view, ever. 

Abraham Lake, AB
Abraham Lake, AB    This is MY spot.  This is where I go to ground myself in this crazy world.  The wind is so incredible here, you can lean into it, it will push you!  It is so exhilarating! 

 And another image of those incredible mountains.  :)

Stay tuned, more to come.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Clivia and more

What the!  It's 2014?  Wow, and I'm embarrassed to say, it's been over a year since my last blog.  (Head hangs in shame)  Excuses, life.  It's been a year to say the least, and we'll leave it at that.

But spring is just around the corner here in Red Deer, AB.  There are icicles dripping from the eaves, the roads are slushy, the car is FILTHY......... but one can see the new buds fattening up on the lilacs, or maybe it's just wishful 'seeing'.  The snow has melted away from the white spruce in the front yard and some of the evergreen plants are teasingly showing their green.  (I was just going to take some pictures, went to the window and it snowed last night, so much for that idea.)

Instead I'll share some pics of what's going on in the house -

This is albuca ? setosa, hmm, I could have sworn that one had a tag.   This plant is going nuts this year, bloom stalk after bloom stalk, and more.  It's been blooming since November.  Gotta like that.  I really like albuca and grow many of them.  They're tough bulbs and they bloom mid winter.  I put mine out on the back deck in the summer where they soak up all that heat and sun.  Unfortunately my self pollination attempts are not working, so no seed.  I will be offering bulbs this summer, once it warms up.

The hippeastrums are winding down, for a couple of weeks it was glorious!

This is Peacock Blossom, a new acquisition this year.  Was supposed to be scented?  I didn't detect anything at any time of day.

This one I lost the tag for years ago.  I think it's Pamela, but can't be certain.  
Picotee, Red Lion, Neon and more also bloomed but did not manage to get decent, blog worthy, photos. Maybe next year.  

This oxalis has been sitting on my computer tower forever.  It is a very happy plant, it hasn't stopped blooming in forever.  It gets droopy once in a while, when I forget to water, but a quick drink and it bounces right back.  
Anything that blooms or has interesting foliage is always welcome in our home.

Which brings me to clivia.  What is up with the sudden want of clivia?  I've received a lot of hits on the website from people looking for clivia over the past month.  Was there something on tv that has prompted this?  As well, there have been quite a few plants purchased in the past couple of weeks, and no one minds that I can't ship until it warms up.  (PS I have a lot more clivia to go)  

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm overjoyed that there is more interest in clivia.  They are a truly wondrous plant.  I saw my first in a flower store in the building I worked in, back in 2000.  I admired it for days but couldn't really justify putting out what they wanted for it.  Clivia don't come cheap in Canada!  I got back from lunch one day and there it was sitting on my desk, a co-worker had purchased it for me.  I'm very glad that this beauty is still going strong as it reminds me of the truly generous gesture that was shown to me.

I've just added 10 of the above clivia to the website.  Three of them are near blooming size, I would think that with proper care they should bloom within 2 years.  The other seven are about 3 years away from blooming.

I took a good look through some of my older clivia (started 2005 to 2009) and it appears as though four of them will bloom soon.  I'm very excited about this, 3 have no label, but the other one is grown from seed gifted to me from Connie & James Abel in S. Africa.  Very excited indeed.  

Clivia have to be one of the easiest plants to care for.  They don't like direct sun and will burn if in it, especially outside.  In their natural habitat, they grow on the forest floor, and in the trees, and out of the sides of rocks.  They are tough as nails, take neglect well, and to get them to bloom, put them in a cooler room and neglect further (don't water) until you see the flower stalk coming out.   And the blooms   

Need I say more.

Oh ya, this is what a tray of 500 seedlings looks like