Sunday, October 24, 2010

Move Finished

All Andrew's Plants has moved to

I have some behind the scenes things to fiddle around with like Categories/Tags, my Blogroll, the header etc but for all intents and purposes this blog is now live.

Feedburner seems to have done everything very well and if you only read this on an RSS Reader you may not even notice a difference.

Let me know if you run into any problems with anything and I'll try to work them out otherwise welcome - same blog, new location.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Moving to Wordpress

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I think that my blog will be moving to Wordpress over the next day or two. I'm reading up on it and it should be a quick painless process to move my blog over to a Wordpress blog. At the same time I'll merge my old Zone 5 blog posts into the same Wordpress blog and delete it. This blog will redirect automatically (Edit - there may be some difficulties here - it will redirect but it may not do it automatically so that may delay the process a little bit) and the RSS Feed will remain the same with the (new today) Feedburner address. All in all it should be a quick and painless move and hopefully at the end of the day everything will be much better for it.

I've already been playing around a little bit in Wordpress and the blog is set up (set to private at the moment) and it seems like a very good publishing platform that does what Blogger can only do using hacks and workarounds by default. Please consider AllAndrewsPlants on hiatus until the move is finished, it may take longer than I'd hoped!

New Plants

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Cyperus haspans - Dwarf Papyrus
Cyperus haspans - Dwarf Papyrus

Zantedeschia sp. (White Arum Lily)
Zantedeschia sp. - White Arum Lily

Hibiscus acetosella 'Burgundy Aquarius'
Hibiscus acetosella 'Burgundy Aquarius'

The Pond Department was clearing out the last of their tropical water plants, the ones that didn't even sell at 80% off, and I grabbed these three nice little plants.

The Hibiscus is a plant I've wanted since Aaerelon tweeted about it. Not so much that I'd jump at the chance to get it when they were 80% off, but certainly enough to settle for the worst looking one for no charge!

The Dwarf Papyrus is interesting. I've never been overly thrilled by them before but I've seen a few pictures of some nice big ones that have made me reconsider. Unfortunately I don't have space for the nice big ones but hopefully after quarantine/division/repotting I'll be able to have some of this in my Mom's turtle tank and I can have some in my fish tank and another bit to put outside over the summer.

This particular Zantedeschia sp. is possibly (I stand to be corrected here) the showiest flower on an Aroid (In terms of being beautiful and elegant anyway). Others may be larger or smell more like dead bodies but this is just stunning. It came with some moss and Azolla as top dressing.

I've tried keeping Azolla indoors before but it didn't work out (too little light) so hopefully I can have better luck with it this winter. I absolutely love the way it grows right over wet soil without issue just as easily as it spreads over water, forming a stunning mat of green (or red in high light).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Really cool winter container idea + more

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This container featuring Protea blooms was pretty sweet. Unfortunately I did not catch the name of the designer but if I can get it I'll post to give him credit. It was a pretty sweet container all around. They will apparently do well outside in a container over the winter provided they stay frozen. Freezing & thawing will do no good for them.

I may have managed to get my blog to redirect to the Google reader provided mobile friendly version of my site but just to test if you have a smartphone could you visit my blog by typing in the url and let me know if the redirect works for you?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Aloe flowers open + More succulent pictures

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Aloe Full Plant Shot

Aloe Flower Spike

Aloe Flower Closeup
Closer still.

While I had my camera equipment set up (cough - lamp turned on, stool in front of a large speaker) I decided to shoot a my Echeveria I'm still waiting on and another that's not going to flower soon but is offsetting nicely.

Echeveria Full Plant Shot
I think this might actually be Graptoveria 'Debbie' or 'Spirit of 76' - thoughts? It's already losing some colour from the lower light inside - it's a fantastic frosted pink outside in full sun.

Echeveria pulidonis?

Also thanks to Mr. Subjunctive (Congrats on your blogiversary!) Cactus Blog for the link love today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some flowers that missed Bloom Day

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These are both first time flowerers for me and even though I've got a pretty good idea what they'll look like they'll still be nice to see. I'm sure I won't be disapointed, both are beautiful even just in bud and regardless, I bought both of these plants for their leaves. The flowers are a nice bonus I hope to see soon! (You can see both (including leaves) in earlier stages of bud development here - The Aloe has been coming along much faster than the Echeveria.)

Echeveria buds
These are the soon to open buds of an Echeveria The whole things a frosted pink colour and the orange-pink of the buds looks like it'll be a nice touch.

Aloe Hybrid Buds
For the record that's approximately my favourite colour in a flower. Not too different from the colour of the Echeveria on the lowest buds. I don't think the colour will spread to the tips so the effect of the open bloom may not quite live up to expectations but time will tell. Time will also tell if similarities to my Haworthia buds will carry through to the flowers.

In other news I'm planning a trip to Lee Valley Tools - one of my favourite stores but slightly out of the way. I needed wanted to pick up a few things but it's always worth getting everything you need in one trip so you don't have to go as often.

Looking around for a few things on their site (do they have these? I haven't seen them on their site, will ask in store - sounds like a perfect solution to my problem) I stumbled on a Self-Watering Patio Garden that looks exactly like one Mr. Brown Thumb reviewed. It's slightly more expensive than I might have wanted to pay but I may get one anyway. I had a really bad time with Tomatoes splitting and would really love not to have to deal with that next year. With the size of the container I could put two Tomato plants (all I usually grow) and all my herbs and in it and save space too which is huge when you're trying to fit as many plants as I am in as small a space as I have. Reviews I've read are strongly positive as well.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2010

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A few more things still flowering outside this fall Bloom Day. This may be the last outdoor Bloom Day until next March, but that will depend entirely on the weather. If it's like last year I may still have some plants flowering in mid-November but we've already had a few light frosts. We'll have to see how that goes though.

But this month... There's quite a bit that's still going. Sure there's a lot the same as I had flowering in September but it's still nice to have this much still going in the garden.

Chelone obliqua
My Pink Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua) is still going strong. I'd never even noticed the way it branches and flowers lower on the stems. I wouldn't have noticed either but I was chopping it back to make room for my Rhododendron. By the time the main flower stalk has finished though so have most of the side shoots. I think it's more "Oh that's interesting" than anything practical. The flowers are actually kind of ugly strange. There's not that much else that's as reliable for fall flowers though and the leaves are actually a very nice dark glossy green.

Purple Pansy
This little Pansy seedling has popped up on my patio and (other than being eaten by earwigs) is doing well. Of particular note is that this seedling is identical to its parent. I need to try to collect some seeds from it for next spring.

Morning Glory
This volunteer Morning Glory comes from my neighbours yard and is growing through and around my Honeysuckle. The Honeysuckle's still flowering with lots of buds to open, and I know there's at least one open today (I can smell it) but couldn't see it for a picture today. It's nice though because by the time this has started to flower the Honeysuckle is mostly finished with only the odd bloom here and there.

Red Rose with Miscanthus 'Little Kitten'
And because I love it so much here's my Red Rose again, this time with the seeds of my Miscanthus 'Little Kitten' - the smallest Miscanthus I've ever heard of.

Also still flowering in my garden but not pictured is my Toadlily (Tricyrtis hirta 'Tojen', Sedum 'Lynda Windsor', there's one or two flowers on both my Clematis 'Rebecca' and my Hall's Honeysuckle and just missing Bloom Day are my Mystery Aloe (x Haworthia?) and Echeveria, both of which have moved inside the house for the winter. Plenty of African Violets and the like too, but maybe we'll be looking at more of those next month?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kniphofia 'Papaya Popsicle'

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Picture from work. Nice colours on this variety. Not ad nice in the picture ad in real life. It's too bad the leaves always look so terrible on these because the flowers are so cool.

In slightly related news my mystery Aloe should be open soon. The flowers look at this point much like the buds on my Haworthia but with some orange colour to them. Maybe it'll be open by Bloom Day? Should have an Echeveria open by then too.

I also managed to get all my perennials (including my Rhododendron) and bulbs planted today and most "tropicals" brought inside for yet another frost warning tonight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Need advice: wintering Musella lasiocarpa

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As the nights get cold and after our first frost of the fall (!) serious thought has to go into wintering some of the plants. Most are easy, they are going somewhere inside the house (where they'll all fit is a question for another time) but the Musella is not.

NOID Rose with Musella lasiocarpa
For obvious reasons my Musella lasiocarpa has become a favourite plant of mine.

The best I could hope for outside I imagine is survival of a very very heavily mulched root, leaving me with a plant that will never flower. I am in zone 5, my backyard is easily a 5b to 6 because of how sheltered it is but I would be seriously pushing all of my luck to think anything that's only reliably hardy in zone 7 would ever survive and thrive for me outside. So that's out of the question.

Bringing it inside the house is out of the question as well. This thing is huge.

My garage is probably the best bet. I'm hoping that the dormancy will mean that the darkness will not be an issue - no leaves = no need for light, right?

The pot will be wrapped probably in a foam pad (the sort that you might use while camping under a sleeping bag. I'm not sure how thick a layer this will make, so maybe I can place all that in a larger box with something like straw around it?

To protect the stems... I'm at a bit of a loss. Moisture should not be a huge problem because it won't be getting snowed on in my garage but I'm not sure what will be the best material for the job - newspapers? Blankets? Something that will breathe more? A wire frame with dry straw? Should the pot be dry or how often should it be watered?

Unfortunately this is also a new garage door and I've never payed attention to how cold it gets in there in winter. I'm sure it goes at least as low as freezing, a big plus though is that there won't be any wind which is usually the worst killer of plants here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tricyrtis hirta 'Miyazaki'

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Another picture I took at work. The spotted varieties have been growing on me though I'd still say I prefer the plain one I already have.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Orchid: Miltassia Cairus 'New River'

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I picked this up today (Over an Oncidium Sweet Sugar 'Million Dollars' and two others that were quickly ruled out) and I'm pretty excited about it. On my wishlist is another Miltassia (Mtssa. Shelob 'Tolkein' AM/AOS, 'Webmaster' or 'Okika' with its variegated leaves or probably any other cross I find) so it'll be nice before I try ordering a pricier orchid online to see if I can keep a Miltassia alive and better yet re-bloom one.

Miltassia Cairus 'New River'
Miltassia Cairus 'New River'

It's a nice dark purple with some subtle spotting that might remind someone of a Rorschach test, this picture, however, is right out of Freud.

Miscanthus purpurascens

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"Flame Grass" has never been a favourite of mine, the plumes are not as nice as a lot of other Miscanthus varieties and the fall colour has never blown me away. Here it is though looking about as good as it ever does, which is actually not too bad. I guess it's nice too for its slightly narrower shape than any other Miscanthus.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heucherella 'Solar Power'

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Just got some of these at work and they are stunning. And I thought 'Golden Zebra' was nice...

In other news sorry about not posting as much as I'd like but not much new has been going on with my plants so there's really not been all that much to talk about. I've also had a pretty bad cold that I'm mostly over now too so I can hopefully post more now. We've gotten a few interesting things at work as well I've taken some pictures of so there's at least that I'll be able to post over the next couple of days.