Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm a genius!

The sun's been so intense lately that it's been frying leaves on my african violets.

Can't move the shelves to a different window... don't have any others that get any light.

Can't do anything to the window, since it's actually a sliding glass door.

What to do?

Why, tape some parchment paper across the back of the shelves, of course! Voila, the light is filtered and won't burn the plants anymore!

I'm so proud of myself for thinking of it!

shelves 8-16-08

Saturday, August 2, 2008

House Painting is BAD

Well, it wasn't as good a summer on my balcony as I'd hoped it would be. 

I received notice on Monday, June 16th, that my building was getting painted and that my balcony would need to be cleared off by Wednesday morning. I spent all of Monday and Tuesday nights carefully unwinding the stems of my clematis from the railings on the balcony, then moving everything into my living and dining rooms.

Since most of my clematis are fairly young, they didn't have so much growth that unwinding them was all that difficult. I definitely lost a few stems to breakage, though, and any buds that had been forming died off from being inside for a week and then going back out in the sun again. Only one of my type III clematis - the Vinosa Violacea - bloomed for me after that. The others never started putting out buds again after the first set died off.

Ah well, there's always next year.

My African Violets, however, have been having a banner year. For the first time ever I've successfully grown babies - a ton of them, in fact! I've also been getting far more blooms on the adult plants than I've ever gotten before, but I've been awful about finding time to take pictures and post them. 

Pictures of the babies. They're all in little plastic solo cups until they get strong enough for bigger pots. (You can click any picture in this post to see a larger version.)

Some of the older babies are already big enough for "adult" pots. Clockwise from top left: LLG Dazzling Fantasyland, LLG Outer Orbit (LLGOO), an unknown (from the supermarket), two more LLGOO, and LLG Allison's Laughter. LLGOO has been amazing - I've gotten more babies from its leaves than from any other. I probably have 15 or so!

Rob's Boolaroo (left) and Ness' Ruffled Skies (right). Both of these have been in bloom for months with no sign of letting up anytime soon:

Other plants - avocado (left) and hoya (right). I've been waiting for over a year to see whether this hoya will survive here, so I'm pretty excited to see new growth on it. That new stem has burst out over the last couple of weeks and grows about 1/2 inch per day!

Here's the clematis update - Venosa Violacea is covered in blooms. Unbelievable that this was just a baby plant in a 2" pot when I bought it last fall. 

Here is Asao #1. It's almost reached the top of the arch and I'm hoping to get a second round of blooms from it before the fall rains hit:

Other things I'm growing outside...

A coworker brought in a bunch of baby tomato plants about a month ago that she started from seed. I took one home, punched a hole in the bottom of a hanging planter (I've run out of room on the floor of the balcony!), and decided to try my luck. There's only one stem on the plant, but there are a few blooms coming out. The weight of the tomato will likely break the stem, I'm guessing. Too bad. It would have been nice to be able to grow tomatoes this way!

tomato 8-2-08

I'm also trying my hand with strawberries, but I started too late to get any fruit this year. 

I went a little crazy with nasturtium seeds in early spring, and am getting a ton of blooms now:


Here's what I did with my window boxes this year - petunias, snapdragon, and lobelia, although most of the lobelia fried in the sun (as visible to the right of the petunias in this pic):

Finally, here are some pics showing the whole balcony. There's a lot of green and very few other colors, but I have high hopes for next year!

Christmas Day

Okay, I know. I'm terrible. I haven't posted in forever. I have a good excuse, though - it's impossible to take pictures of my m...