microb's blog

No blog for 2 weeks
Posted on Sep 13, 2018 2:46 PM

Brain dead I think.
Most work in the garden has been more of the same. Clearing forested areas, moving plants around and cutting grass.
Will be repairing the bridge this weekend. Total cost only $48 for a few pieces of replacement lumber. Will be able to get the wheelbarrow across the repaired bridge.
Went back to The Gardens for volunteer work last Thursday, first time after the great flood. Many plants got washed away or damaged, some small bridges were washed out but the gardens did reopen. For a first time visitor they will still be in awe at the beauty of the garden. Spent my time picking up sprinkler heads and PVC pipe fittings that had been washed down the valley. Then trimmed and cleaned up some Orchids.
Thought I would be going back today (Thursday) but here we are again with heavy rain after Tropical Storm Olivia, so will go tomorrow instead.

Finished cleaning and renovating the back dog kennels. Modified access and fencing so I could make better garden use of the lattice and hollow tile. Spent some time yesterday cutting lattice into 8 inch by 8 ft strips to put around the base of bamboo plants so I can apply bamboo leaf mulch and not have the chickens scratch it away. Should get better bamboo growth next year. Not that I'm complaining this year. Just counted 20 new canes on Brandisii. Those canes are 6-8 inches across so its quite a sight.

Planning a rework of what was planned at the duck pond garden. Started working on it last year. Never really got going so its all overgrown again. I now have an adventurous plant to radically clear the area, move some plants and then build a new water lily pond. Its a wide open space that will get good sunshine for the Lilies. I plan to take hollow tile from the dog kennel area and make a rectangular pond as big as the number of tile will allow. I will then dig out another 1 foot depth and bank the soil up around the outside of the hollow tile. This whole area gets flooded in heavy rain so I need to keep the pond edge above flood depth. The water comes down from our catchment tank overflow and then flows out to the stream so it is a good water garden environment. In dry weather the area is dry.
I'm over run with water lilies at the moment. Red and white night bloomers are blooming and some small purple day bloomers. Most ponds are choked with water lily leaves. Hopefully I can dedicate this new pond to water lily propagation. There is definitely a market.

Another advantage to ponds is frogs. We recently had a transformation of tadpoles to frogs in one pond and for a week we had up to a dozen miniature frogs sunning themselves on water lily pad.

In the process of repotting and cleaning the amorphophallus bulbs. They are starting to die off and go dormant.

Gladioli have just about died back so I will be digging those of the their pots. Not sure if I will dry them in storage or just repot them and let them come up when they are ready next year.

Plant shelf at the back of the potting shed is looking cleaner. Weeds were taking over one end.

Must get out to the Secret Garden and clean up. Its so secret I tend to forget about it. I know there is some trimming to do and probably some self set Costus to retrieve and relocate.

Had one Amaryllis bulb put up a bloom this week. Now is that a late bloomer from earlier this year or an early bloomer for the new season.

Rain is now "on and off again" so maybe I'll get something done this afternoon.

For the record some photos of storm damage etc.

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Weather's great!
Posted on Sep 1, 2018 5:10 PM

A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to this lady who, like all my friends, are garden fanatics. This past Wednesday I was invited down to her garden for a look around and also to dig out some roots from her Barbie and Chungii bamboo clumps. The weather was a little cloudy and showery but just right for that kind of work. but, boy, does she have a lava rock garden. No soil, so it was pick-ax, O'O bar and chainsaw and a lot of sweat but with good results. So two bamboo roots to put in the van. Discussions revealed that the day before she had trimmed her Ti plants and put the trimmings on her green waste pile. So an armful of beautiful red Ti canes ended up in my van. Add to that some other cuttings and some costus plants that were also on the green waste pile and I did pretty good. This lady will visit my garden at the end of the month and pick up White Torch ginger roots and some Hapuu Ferns. I love plant trades.
Weather has turned hot and dry, nuff said.
Thursday afternoon I took the chainsaw to the back bamboo. Trimmed and cut up the one that fell in the storm and then cut down some Oldhamii bamboo that produces plantlets on the high nodes. Sure enough when the 60ft cane falls to the ground there are the young plants. I harvested 16 and will put them in the ground over the next couple of days. They stay good for about a week after cutting but if I leave them up on the cane too long they die.
Yesterday morning I mounted the anthurium plants on trees and hapuu ferns. Whoever invented Zipties should get a Nobel Prize. These were the anthuriums I got a couple of weeks ago and then all work stopped with Hurricane Lane. Forest looks really nice with the new pink Anthuriums in place. Will look even better as they mature and bloom
Yesterday was our semi annual Nurseryman's Plant Sale. Starts at 5pm ends at 9pm. I was near the front of the line and went in with the rush. Spent about 1 hour and $60. Best finds were an Ice Blue and an Ice White Calathea and a Giant Beehive ginger. I have a few more misc plants that I can't recall the names of without looking at the pots.
So today I cleared away some debris in the forest that was cut down a couple of weeks ago and this afternoon I will go plant my new "children".
In between all these activities I'm weeding between pots on the driveway, skimming ponds and occasionally just taking a walk to smell the roses.
Water lilies are blooming well, the bamboos are still putting up new canes and all plants look good.
Just finished planning a renovation of the stream bridge that was damaged when the stream took out the wire fencing and guard rail. The result should be a wider bridge to take the wheelbarrow and more secure railings. The "downside?" is with the new bridge I will be forced to pig proof the garden on the other side otherwise why bother. We shall see in the next couple of weeks.

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A busy 10 days
Posted on Aug 27, 2018 10:22 PM

Yes, we are fine after handling 38 inches of rain in three days. From our own personal perspective we have been very lucky. A lot of stress but no damage. To look at the yard today you would not know it had rained (Apart from the damaged bridge).
Roll back time to sometime during the past week. I went to Aurora's derelict Anthurium nursery. Way off the beaten track, off grid, off road 4 wheel drive. Ended up in a 20 acre cleared area surrounded by giant Eucalyptus trees. Evidence of the anthurium nursery was clear as many acres had metal posts with wires running between them where the shade cloth once stood. Now it was all weeds. .Aurora loves her animals, not plants, so she is raising chickens, geese and peacocks on her own with a few dogs and cats.
First job was to plant the night blooming water lily in her shallow reservoir. This was my trade for anthurium plants. Good size clean water reservoir. Lily will do real well. Could hear the wild pigs in the forest opposite.
Then we jumped in her SUV and drove to the far end of the nursery where the anthuriums are. In this area it is still a couple of acres but the shade cloth is in various states of disrepair and hundreds of anthurium are growing in the weeds. Aurora wanted to keep the red ones. We pulled out a couple of buckets full of pink ones and I was also given a huge orchid plant that was growing wild on the fallen shade cloth. Turns out to be Epidendrum Nocturnum. A yellow orchid that has a night fragrance.
Aurora took me back to my van which we have parked at the local zoo parking lot and home I came. Lots more to that story but not plant related. The whole 20 acres has a very sacred feel to it for native Hawaiians.
Then the rains came and the rest is history - see the Daylily Forum and the Weather in Your Garden thread. Oh I did have a couple of 50 bamboo canes come down with the weight of the rain. Still have to clean them up.
In between times I've been repotting amorphophallus and bamboo seedlings into bigger pots Purchased a couple of nice plants from the local farmers market last week Sunday and this coming weekend we have the Big Island Assn of Nurserymens summer plant sale.
County came out yesterday and today to fix the washed out road, I cut the driveway grass this morning and it has been raining hard this afternoon, and still raining. They say we will have fun when it stops raining.
Will try and remember to post some pics with my next blogs. Still have to down load some from the camera.

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Adding new plants
Posted on Aug 16, 2018 11:45 PM

Over the post few days I focused more time on clearing bamboo leaves from on and around our water tank. Cut down the running bamboo canes sprouting up here and there and raked up six wheelbarrow leaves from the back bamboos.
Yesterday I cleaned out the debris from in and around the hairy, hanging heliconia plant and identified four spots where I could dig out root balls without damaging the main clump. Then the rain started so I had to do a "rain stopped play" time out. Grabbed 10 minute break in the rain to dig out one nice clump with a bloom.
This morning the rain had stopped so I was able to drag the root ball with attached foliage and bloom and slide it into the back of my van. Then it was of to The Gardens to do my volunteer work and hand them the Heliconia as a trade. Getting the Heliconia from the van down into the gardens involves a Golf cart ride with trailer attached. So I get to ride shotgun up the cliff face path. Bump our way up onto the public access road for a few hundred yard ride to the main parking lot. Load up the plant with most of it hanging out the back of the trailer and then head back the same way. This time though me, the passenger, is on the cliff edge side. No kidding it is only about 5 ft of fenced edge before a 300 ft drop into the blue pacific. The road is barely golf cart width and unpaved with lumps and bumps. But, hey, you only live once and it is fun to feel the exhilaration of being on the edge.
Spent some time supervising the planting of the Heliconia and then the rest of the morning was repotting more plants and talking story with the gardeners. When time came to leave we dug out a "Barnum and Bailey" Heliconia, some Calatheas, a white ginger start and an Amorphophallus. Not a bad trade.
After getting home and having lunch everything was in the ground and growing by 4.00pm.
Now if I can just find another plant they do not have.
Walking around my garden I cannot help noticing that everything is growing twice as fast as I can handle them. But that is good problem to have.
I got one more inquiry for Heliconia roots from Craigslist today. Sounds promising. Also one person inquired as to whether the bamboo I was selling was edible. I don't think so.
Weather getting more rainy this weekend so may no get as much done, but I need a rest.

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CB Garden
Posted on Aug 11, 2018 8:53 PM

Has it really been a week. I can't remember what went on that far back.
I did sell a white water lily for $15 to a nice native Hawaiian guy in his 30s, shirtless and tatoos over half his body. Each to their own I say. if he enjoys plants that is a positive.
Thursday was Volunteer day again. Started off hot and humid and then the cloud cover cooled things off but no rain. Scored a small orchid, some Red Ti plants and some ornamental pineapple plants from their green waste site, five potted small hibiscus, kind of lilac colored. I need to look those up. Then to top off the day I was given a pot with two Cannonball tree seedlings. These are amazing tropical jungle trees. A mature tree is probably 100 ft high and the trunk and limbs are covered initially in beautiful flowers and then they produce what can only be described as baseball size brown cannonballs, hundreds of them and "look out below" when they fall. A very cherished addition to my gardens. One is now in the ground and the other is in a large pot.
The new garden area where the tree is planted will be The CB Garden from now on.
I seem to spend all my free time clearing fores this past week. But I making progress.
Went to the local farmers market to get salad and veggies today. My neighbors, Kealoha and Keo (two ladies) were there with a stall. Keo is a wood crafter and makes these amazing wood items with inlaid designs, beautiful polished surfaces to show of the grain of the wood. Kealoha gets my attention and says I should come over and meet here friend Aurora.. Aurora has a stand selling eggs and Anthurium plants. To display the cut anthuriums she has a cooler with water in the bottom and lengths of PVC pipe to standup the blooms. After a brief conversation it is agreed that Aurora will need some of my bamboo pots for her Anthuriums which will enhance the look of her stall. So we agreed that we would trade Bamboo for anthuriums. Aurora also says she purchased a derelict anthurium nursery which has a large reservoir on site. I suggested that it might need some night blooming water lilies and the rest is history. Hope to go visit in the near future, take some bamboo pots and water lilies and come home with more anthuriums.
So after that great encounter I go across to Suzettes plant stall, purchased a nice yellow Vireya and we agreed that I would get my $20 back when I bring her a water lily and a Stromanthe plant. Also got an invitation to see her nursery at some point in the future.
Later this morning I went back to the market with four pieces of bamboo for Aurora and received 6 anthurium plants, went over to Suzette with a flower from the Stromanthe which confirmed she does not have it and she gifted me four Lady Jane anthuriums. I did really well today! Good networking.
Spent the afternoon finishing the clean up in the CB Garden and putting all the plants in the ground.
Life is good.

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