Can you distinguish the plants from the rocks? Lithops, aka stone plants, are a favourite botanical freak but I am very tentative about growing them. I’ve killed a fair share and even though I have an intellectual understanding of their needs, I still don’t feel like I truly “get” them in practice. I currently have 2 plants and I haven’t killed them yet so that’s saying something, I suppose.
My friend Barry grew these from seed. He says they are about 2 years old. Look at the exciting colours in there!
I never see anything that interesting in stores. I’ve got a packet of seed that I bought back in the spring. I hope to grow them this winter once my outdoor gardening activity cools off. Since I’m feeling a bit nervous about the experiment, I’ve started a Lithops Grow-Along thread in the You Grow Girl Forums. Support, camaraderie, and accountability just might be the ticket to success. Wanna join me?
And I am growing it!
Back in February a secret somebody, whose identity I will not reveal (pinky swear), gifted me a package of seeds of the only open-pollinated (OP) blue tomato to have been raised by natural plant breeding techniques (not GMO). I was under the impression that this yet-to-be-released tomato was so secretive that I didn’t plan to write about it at all and was extra careful not to show it in photos until last week when I did an internet search and discovered that everyone and their second cousin has been growing and writing about it willy nilly.
Perhaps it is not so secretive after all.
This experimental blue tomato (sometimes going by the name P20) is being produced by Oregon State University in an attempt to create an uber-healthy tomato with a high level anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant found in blueberries.
Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ is the sea holly that was stolen from the street garden back in May. This is what it would look like now. Look at that blue!
I took this photo while visiting the garden/s of Paul Zammit and Uli Havermann. The sea holly grows in the front “yard” (the yard is all garden) where it is sunny and the soil looks to be quite free draining.
Their backyard is a whole other world entirely — a beautiful terracotta-filled world that I did not want to leave. Someday I hope to get through the millions of photos I took and post a few here.
Here’s another snap from their garden for a taste.
Some friends and I drove out of town yesterday to visit two farm-sized gardens. I took about a thousand photos, and yet of all of the images I could have picked to show today, I chose this one of the tiniest dianthus I have ever seen in my life. I might be on a bit of a dianthus kick. I did buy three different types this spring.
I spotted the single flower, smaller than half an inch, hidden deep among a field of mid-sized grasses and common field plants. How I noticed it — a needle in a giant haystack — is beyond me. My trusty copy of National Audobon Society’s “Field Guide to Wildflowers, Eastern Region” indicates that this plant, Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria) is not a native to North American but was brought over from Europe. The common name is a reference to Deptford, England, where it was once found in abundance.
There are several pansies and violas that claim to be black, but when it comes down to it they are purple, more or less. Ever since Mr. Brown Thumb posted about his not exactly black, black viola, I have been meaning to pull out a photo of Viola cornuta ‘Black Magic’, the blackest flower I have ever seen. It lives! The black viola lives! The colour in my photo above is pretty true to life — there’s no Photoshop trickery at work here. In fact, I’d say it looks a little more purple in this light than it does on the average day. From afar it has a smoky softness about it.
I bought a single pot of it this year, and only one pot because boy did it break the bank. I’ve complained about the “Not 99 Cent Pansy” before, however this plant, this single, solitary plant, ran about $7.99.
But it was worth it. I’ve had it for over a month now and I look at it fondly every day.