Wow. It’s been so long since I last posted. I have been sitting on this for a while wondering where to start so I think I’ll just start with yesterday.
I bought a new plant! Whenever I pass by “Poppies“, my favourite local floral shop I can’t resist peering in the window to see what’s new. Recently I saw a lovely epiphytic cactus hanging near the front window. Yesterday afternoon as I was walking by temptation got the best of me and I went inside. I was all set to buy the plant, a Rhipsalis, when I caught out of the corner of my eye, hidden amongst the foliage of a cluster of plants another pencil cactus in full bloom. The Rhipsalis was large and crazy with long prehistoric-like tendrils hanging down, but the new plant, a Hatiora salicorniodes (related to the Easter Cactus), was also pretty large and bursting with small orangey-yellow flowers. After a lot of deliberation, flowers won over prehistoric tendrils and I went for the Hatiora.
I took a bunch of photos this morning when the light was good.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
We popped into the C.N.E last night for a bit of picture-taking and happened upon the Toronto Gesneriad Society table displaying the largest selection of the craziest African violets I have ever seen! Some of the names were just a little bit naughty, and some of the plants over-the-top Vegas Show Girl shimmery, giving me the impression that the African violet world isn’t totally about doillies and perfect leaf formation.
I had a bag of cameras on hand that prevented me from purchasing any plants, however they were selling standard leaf cuttings for 2 bucks a piece. It took me a good 20 minutes to make a choice but in the end I chose 4 very ornamental variegated leaf varieties. I chose:
- Deadly Sting
- Ness’ Orange Pekoe
- Northern Seduction – Has dark burgundy flowers. Leaves variegated mostly along the edges.
- Sonoma Imapink
Growing African Violets from Leaves
It is very easy to grow an entire African violet plant (or two, or three) from a single leaf. All you need to do is cut the stem end on an angle using a really sharp blade. Then you just pop the stem into some moistened vermiculite and wait. Of course, don’t forget to keep it moist. Soon enough the leaf will set root and start to produce little plantlets around it. Transplant the babies and you’re off. You can have your own full-grown ‘Dirty Face’, ‘Lady Diana’ or ‘Nancy Reagan’ plant in six short months!
The raccoons may have got a lot, but they didn’t get my tomatillos.
A few weeks ago my beautiful blue jade corn was devastated by squirrels or baby raccoons. We’re not sure which because both have been spotted on the deck since then. I’ve been so miserable about the loss I couldn’t bring myself to write about it until today. Not only did they devour all the immature cobs, but they destroyed all the plants too ensuring that there will be no corn harvest this year. I was so excited about harvesting small cobs of blue corn. I didn’t even think to protect them because I have never had that much trouble with squirrels or raccoons on my deck.
Up until now the worst damage has been some chunks taken out of green tomatoes or a bit of digging in pots. I did lose a tiny sundew plant last year as a result of the incessant digging but that was peanuts in comparison to the damage ravaged in one night of mayhem! Not only did they destroy my blue jade corn plants, devour several tomatoes, tear at the roots of my jasmine plant, dig up nasturtiums and leave a mess in their wake, but they also ate my lovely burgundy okra! Thankfully they did not destroy that plant and a new batch of okra are coming to maturity.
Well at the very least I now have a real, honest understanding of the kind of loss one can experience at the hands of urban critters. Live and learn!
Yikes. It’s been a long while since I’ve updated. Obviously an awful lot has happened in my gardens since my last update. The weather has been the strangest this spring/summer of any year I can recall. It has been wetter, cooler and greyer. As a result, some plants have grown taller and bigger than ever before while others are stunted and sad.