amaryllis (ranchero) 3/28/12

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Each Fall, I increase my Amaryllis collection with a new, specially researched bulb. Last year I purchased a Papilio hybrid and this year went even more exotic with Hippeastrum Cybister Evergreen.  Today I got the surprise of my life when i noticed a third flowerscape  in front of the strappy leaves at the container’s rim:  Yowzah ❗


Hippeastrum Cybisters are a species of tropical bulb from South America whose flowers are thin and spidery-looking. Unlike their more common Amaryllis cousins, cybisters keep their leaves year-round. This particular cultivar is evergreen in another way, too—when the buds open they’ll (hopefully!) look like this picture, (pasted from the catalogue at🙂 )

Hippeastrum Cybister Evergreen

If you’re even the slightest bit interested in growing Amaryllis or Cybisters , I highly recommend reading Trends in Modern Hippeastrum Hybridizing.

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂

Green transport, green leaves

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope the day surrounded you with family, friends and festivities! 🙂   Instead of cooking, we celebrated at Mulligan’s Beach House, where I kept an eye out for all things green, the topic of this week’s photo challenge. :mrgreen:

In the gallery that follows, you’ll see:

  • kitschy blue-green bench
  • green roof
  • green ocean
  • green tropical plants seen through my shadow
  • people who feel green from eating too much
  • green transportation to work off the “too much” :mrgreen:

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 🙂 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

I initially read this week’s challenge incorrectly: I thought the topic was URBAN renewal 🙄 which would have been a problem.  Regular (garden variety? ha!) renewal….not so much!  THAT I’ve got on “lockdown”–to coin a phase from today’s young ‘uns!!

Take a look. 🙂

In the case of this Crimson Rambler morning glory

….renewal happened overnight:

Next, a Madagascar Palm transplanted last winter

Madagascar Palm, 11/16/12

…has color changes showing renewal of at least 1/3 of its body.

And then there’s the Dracaena Deremensis Warneckii I accidentally damaged….

Dracaena Deremensis Warneckei, 11/11/12

I needn’t have worried; it practices self renewal, the same way an Aloe Ciliaris does:

Aloe Ciliaris 11/11/12

This last photo illustrates my all-time-favorite renewal process, common to all kalanchoes.

Kalanchoe Daigremontiana 11/15/12The Mother of Thousands plant ( aka Kalanchoe Daigremontiana) renews along the leaf margins, dropping hundreds of tiny clones to sow and grow beneath her!

So there you have it, renewal in spades!  Please forgive the garden puns, I just can’t resist! They make me 🙂 and break into dance…Happy Dance!

And THAT renews my soul!

Until next time….

🙂 🙂

Also all mine!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

For this week’s challenge, I”ll start with a picture of our screened backporch. This area is all mine! It’s the place I begin (and end) each day, and where I work on my blog when the weather is nice:

This porch is mine!

When sitting at the little table, this is what I currently see:

Also all mine!

Since we’re on the subject of holiday displays………

This Costume is MINE!!

This costume, known as  “Meat & Potatoes!” is mine, and mine alone! It was quite the hit at last year’s party!


Until next time!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

Since last weekend, we’ve been stuck under the outer bands of Tropical Storm Debby.  This excessive precip worked wonders on seeds I’ve been growing in pots, and softened the ground SO MUCH: ➡ ideal conditions to create a new flower bed, and move some other plants around!

New Canna Bed (foreground)

Rear Flower Beds (New Canna area in foreground)

Canna Bed, Close-up

Three years ago, I received 4 canna lilies as a housewarming gift. They naturalize SO fast I can’t keep up with them: even after giving away 30 (yes 30!!!) I still have as many growing in various spots around my front and back yards!  Although only one has visible leaves now (behind the white paver in the above photo,) I dug up and divided 7 rhizomes to begin this new bed. In a few weeks I’ll post an updated pic to illustrate their growth rate!

Admittedly, these beds don’t look like much…the cement pavers don’t even match, 🙄 🙂  but by summer’s end they’ll be all but invisible. The ground here is sandy and pavers tend to sink as the plants behind them rise!  Why spend money on things no one sees!?  When I create, I like using whatever I have around (or can get for free!)

Something else to show you 🙂

Remember the day I planted bald cyprus trees? I was all excited by a wild morning glory vine I’d found, and took a cutting?   Here it is, transplanted in the other bed along the back fence:

Ipomaea Cairica

Ipomaea Cairica aka Mile a Minute Vine 😉

The tiny cutting I planted really DID grow fast! It’s just about ready to climb the trellis I created by unhinging a “screen” we got (for free!) when a local clothing shop closed last summer.  Here’s a better look:

A repurposed retail screen becomes a trellis

If the “trellis” looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen my passiflora scrambling over it’s disassembled other half!  What once held scarves and purses, now holds flora…gives real meaning to “going green” now, doesn’t it!? 😉  If anyone is curious about the other flowers pictured… from foreground to rear, they are:  Amaryllis , Snapdragon, Kniphofia Tritoma, Mexican Petunia, Snapdragon, Amaryllis. With the exception of the Amaryllis, all were started from seed in containers and transplanted to the garden over these last rainy days.

So there you have my “creations“….to see how others interpreted the challenge, click on the Zemanta provided links below.

Until next time…..


Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

Through all of human history, people have worshipped the sun.  The ancient Greeks revered it; Aztecs and Mayans built entire civilizations around it; even early Christians involved symbolism from sun worship in their burgeoning faith–think halos and stained glass windows.

If ever a photo challenge was tailor made, this one was meant for me:

I, too, am a sun worshipper! 😎

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

From first grade through high school I attended Catholic Parochial schools run by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Then it was off to college where I was taught by Jesuits. .Although I’m no longer religious in an organized, institutional way, sixteen years of faith based knowledge permeates my thinking.  While some may freely associate the word “indulge” with cake and chocolate, my mind goes immediately to “indulgence” instead…which leads to the Reformation and Purgatory, and how posting a picture of Martin Luther to personify the movement is totally bush league!

So i decided to indulge in a different free association to come up with a better idea; this is how it went:

  • bush league
  • bushes
  • re-read yesterday’s post
  • Look at unpublished field trip photos
  • Cull 20 pics down to 3 favorites
  • Can’t decide
  • Decide I’m being self-indulgent
  • Eeny meeny miney mo!
  • Here we go:
Pond at IRREC Teaching Garden

This is NOT purgatory! 😉

Indulge in the beauty of nature and you might see Heaven on earth (instead of Martin Luther!)   😉

Until next time….. 🙂  🙂