for November 7, 2015
This Week's Gardening Ideas:
November 3, 2015
I like to have a little extra color for fall in the front garden, so I use natural items I can purchase. A few pumpkins placed strategically where they are easily seen from inside or outside of the house add a homey feel. Stage each one on a planter, pot, urn, or garden bench and add a few fall trimmings from around the yard to complete your display.
November 1, 2015
|An Ever-Changing Landscape|
When I was young (as in much young-er), it never occurred to me that the vast "hand-managed" landscape that I call "my yard" would ever become a thing of constant change. Looking back at old pictures reminds me of how trees, plants and grasses are living, ever-evolving things! Now that I've "arrived" at the threshold of "age and wisdom", I find that hindsight clearly is more revealing and accurate than foresight! I had previously written an article titled: "Some Thoughts On Garden Planning," which dealt primarily with managing volume, size, and workloads in gardening. This article involves primarily trees and the "involuntary" or "natural" events that can affect them. Whether we are city or country dwellers, we are sometimes faced with tough decisions concerning them. (892 words - Read the full article)
The most popular images last week from our plant database:
Noteworthy acorn tips given this week:13 people gave for the idea "Hummingbirds, Beware the Yellow and Black Argiope Spiders!" by Gardenbees
9 people gave for the idea "Thistle: Don't Blame the Bird Seed" by Chillybean
6 people gave for the idea "Fall Decorations" by Paul2032
6 people gave for the idea "An Ever-Changing Landscape" by TBGDN
5 people gave for the idea "A Nice Rooting Environment for Large Cuttings" by GordonHawk
3 people gave for post #980005 in "Banner for November 1, 2015 by HoosierHarvester" by HoosierHarvester
3 people gave for the Multi-Plant Photo #3857 by 4susiesjoy
3 people gave for post #983348 in "Moved and getting wanting to build my dream garden" by kaykay
3 people gave for post #984186 in "Banner for November 7, 2015 by luvsgrtdanes" by luvsgrtdanes
3 people gave for a blog post by kaykay
The most active threads this week:
Some new reviews from the ATP Green Pages:
recommended Eldon Tropicals
Awesome deal and great plants.
I ordered two peppercorn (Piper Nigrum) vines late (after closing) on a Tuesday in late October. The website looked a bit stale and possibly neglected. The price was great, better than most online sources I'd seen. The website said the plants were in 4" pots, and the photo of the plant showed a soda can (for size reference), with a small round (4-inch) pot with a small vine growing and three leaves developed. I was prepared for a small plant, but the price was good for me, and I have time and a green thumb, so I'm pretty confident a live small plant won't take too long to grow bigger.
I did call them directly after lunch on Wednesday. I was slightly concerned by the stale look to the web site and some of the non-positive reviews on some other sites. I wanted to make sure they received the order (and noticed that the order was there), and I also wanted to assure them that there was no frost or dangerous low temperatures in the forecast for my area for the next 5 to 7 days, and to inquire as to when they planned to ship. I was told my order would ship on Thursday by Priority Mail and I should expect it Saturday.
On Friday morning I noticed an email from the USPS showing that Eldon Tropicals had shipped me a package Thursday, and the tracking number was included, and the expected delivery date was Saturday.
My package arrived Saturday, and when I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised to find two excellent pepper corn vines in small 4-inch pots. I wish I had taken pictures of the packaging. The packing was excellent. it looked a lot like the pictures from the other reviewer here, virginiarose.
The plants I received had 3 and 4 vine runners on them, not just one straight start of a vine as shown in the picture on their website, and each runner had 4 to 6 fully developed leaves. On one plant, there was even the bud of a bloom already forming. These plants were much larger than shown on the website, and in excellent condition.
I'm very happy with my plants. One is growing in a nice hanging planter in my kitchen now. Here is a picture of that one in the hanging planter I made for it:
This picture was taken only two days after I received that plant from Eldon Tropicals, after I transplanted it into the larger pot in the hanging planter.
The other plant is in a 3 gallon container in my "tropical room" with two of the longer runners in smaller nursery pots next to the main pot, hopefully setting roots for more vines for me to grow, trade, or sell.
I just ordered from SRQ Hoyas for the first time. As of a few months ago, I had no idea what hoyas were, but after seeing hoyas offered in the NARR multiple months in a row and after reading about them in the forums, I grew quite interested in hoyas and I knew I would order from Joni because she is such a generous contributor to ATP's NARRs. I was also very pleased with her responsiveness in email, she answered my questions promptly and was very friendly and helpful; which, to me, confirmed that I chose the perfect person to order from!
I couldn't decide which specific varieties I wanted--plus, I like surprises!--so I purchased her bundle (6 cuttings for a lower price) and received the following:
H. (carnosa) 'Rebecca'
Heuschkeliana spp. heuschkeliana
When they arrived today, they were well-packed and very healthy-looking! My favorite and most anticipated one was H. davidcummingii. I had mentioned to Joni in an email that it was the one I was most interested in and I crossed my fingers, hoping I would get it, and I did! Not only that, but the cutting of H. davidcummingii she sent me has two active peduncles-I can't wait to see them open soon!
I also love that she included clear instructions as to how to root the hoyas and also a pamphlet of hoya categories (like the 'Guidelines' she has on her website) so that I have a physical copy of it for future review.
The hoyas that arrived in this bundle have a nice variety of leaf shapes and the H. nummularoides one even has a slight fuzzy softness to its adorable leaves. All of the varieties in this batch had plain green leaves though--except very slight specks on 'Rebecca'--so my next order will probably include one or two that have very distinct coloring on their leaves. I'm really excited to see how these grow!
H. davidcummingii peduncles:
I would gladly recommend purchasing from Joni for anyone interested in trying hoyas, especially if you are looking for particular varieties--she has quite the collection!
[Edited to add: After sitting in water for a few hours, each cutting really shines in its own way! H. lacunosa 'Tove' really does have cute, visible dimples; DS-70 (green) has a nice velvety feel to its leaves; H. davidcummingii has a striking contrast between the top and bottom of the leaves that is very visible the way my cutting is sitting in the pot; H. heuschkeliana ssp. heuschkeliana has the most adorable little round leaves; H. 'Rebecca' has pretty, delicate, silver-ish flecks on its leaves; H. nummularioides has leaves that are like heuschkeliana's, but slightly larger and a little bit fuzzy.]
recommended Tropical Plants & More
I ordered 6 Bromeliads from Tropical Plants & More and they are so amazing. Not only did some have babies, but they are also really, really big and healthy. I will be ordering more from Tropical Plants & More and I highly recommend them for awesome plants.
We keep growing, because ATP is where all the excitement is these days! Check out these numbers from last week:
- 217 members joined.
- 4,935 posts written.
- 973 images posted to the plant database.
- 837 plants added to personal inventory lists.