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Posts Tagged ‘Orchid’

I have had mixed success with orchids during my tenure as amateur gardener; from stunning success to tragic and untimely deaths. However; this week, I am happy to announce another glorious success! My little orchid’s flower stalk has unfurled herself into this vision of beauty.

Hello World!

Hello World!

I find the Anther Cap/Column quite interesting in its sinister looking appearance; which to me looks like a mix between a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica and a skull that would seem right at home on the cover of any late 80’s heavy metal album cover art.

Miltassia Shelob 'Tolkien'

Miltassia Shelob ‘Tolkien’

Miltassia slowly opens to reveal her inner self

Miltassia slowly opens to reveal her inner self

The orchid is a Miltassia Shelob ‘Tolkien’; Family Orchidaceae; Subfamily: Epidendroideae; Tribe: Cymbidieae; Subtribe: Oncidinae; Alliance: Hybrid; Genus: x Miltassia. She slowly unfurled herself beginning Friday night and finally opened fully by Saturday night. This genus is a hybrid of the genus Miltonia and genus Brassia orchids and was left in my care in 2012 by a former colleague who was moving and unfortunately could not take her Orchids with her. I was thrilled to be able to share these images with her and to again thank her for the wonderful gift; needless to say, she was quite happy!

Miltassia's purple lip almost fully extended

Miltassia’s purple lip almost fully extended

Miltassia from behind

Miltassia from behind

Elsewhere in the gardens of Casa de Froio: Flowering plants continue to offer cheerful brightness and subtle color interest. A Primula cluster provides a stunning study in pink against her green foliage’s backdrop; A delicate snowflake shines brightly in her maze of Calla Lily green; and my resident and new favorite garden critter, Miss Katydid, shows off her natural camouflage within the foliage of Big Boy Avocado.

Primula in Pink

Primula in Pink

Snowflake plays hide and seek amongst the Calla

Snowflake plays hide and seek amongst the Calla

My resident Katydid continues to occupy my Avocado tree

My resident Katydid continues to occupy my Avocado tree

As always….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Croton v. Super California

Croton v. Super California

Today, I thought that I would highlight some of my patio plants which get little (or no) press here on my little blog. One of those that I don’t believe I have ever mentioned is my Croton v. Super California. It is a plant much more to home in Florida than here in Northern California; however, along with my Anthurium (also one that typically doesn’t always fare too well here in Northern California), she has been enjoying the confines of my patio without a problem.

The Croton is a mix of wildly vivid colors; which my camera unfortunately does little justice to represent! From bright reds, to dark greens, and just about every shade of yellow in between, the Croton is quickly becoming a great focal point in a fairly benign portion of my patio garden.

My sidewalk cutting fuschia

My sidewalk cutting fuchsia’s first blooms!

Next is my little fuchsia. She has been trying to gain a foothold for about a year now; withering and coming back, only to wither again. I think this time she has found the right place in the yard to give growth another try! She was grown from a very crudely obtained cutting when I happened upon her mother tree one day while having lunch with a colleague. I rooted her in water and then planted her and she was doing fine for a while; however, ended up withering to near dead looking. I put her outdoors and let nature take her course. Well, she has finally regrown to the point of setting these blossoms; time will tell where she goes from there.

An orchid bloom stalk curls out like a snake's head

An orchid bloom stalk curls out like a snake’s head

One of my orchids has finally decided to send up a tentative bloom stalk!! She is still tiny and I am not wholly certain of the type/variety. I believe she is a Cattleya; however, I have no idea of the variety nor of the bloom color. From the looks of the above bloom stalk I am thinking the flowers will be white; yet, who knows with Orchids! Stay tuned friends!

That is about all that is new from this side of the garden; so I will leave you today with some of my favorites from the week!

Cut flower arrangement from my garden

Cut flower arrangement from my garden

The sole calla lily continues to darken

The sole calla lily continues to darken

Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

Amazon Sunset, Parrot's Beak (more like claw!!)

Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak (more like claw!!)

Happy Gardening Friends!

Happy Gardening Friends!

~ Noah

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…the patio plants remarked in unison as they peered through the sliding glass door which separates the outdoor patio garden and the land of the houseplants.

Purple and White Cineraria springs from its planter

Purple and White Cineraria springs from its planter

Indeed, historically the stand-out flowers of my garden have lived outside on the patio and not indoors. There have been a couple of exceptions; the Paphiopedillum Callosum Orchid being the most notable of such exceptions; however, she only bloomed once, though I would love if she would grace me with another her glorious slippers! With the recent addition of Cineraria and Primula to my indoor plant collection though, the outdoor patio now has a serious contender for stand-out flowers at Casa de Froio!

The window box in glorious bloom

The window box in glorious bloom

Primula and Cineraria apparently really like each others company!

Primula and Cineraria apparently really like each others company!

Pastel blue Cineraria

Pastel blue and Sparking White Cineraria

Still, one should never count out the patio garden’s potential and this week; as in weeks past, the patio garden did not disappoint! The Pansy, Viola, and Primrose continue to be a long-lasting source of beauty which entices me outside quite often. There is also a wonderful anticipation waiting for me outside in the shape of what I hope to be right around the corner; a sea of glorious Snapdragon blooms!!

The snapdragon plants now tower above the pansy and viola

The snapdragon plants now tower above the pansy and viola

There are still no buds on the snapdragon stalks, so my anticipation may be premature as my past snapdragon have usually waited until mid-summertime to start blooming. Although with the unseasonably warmer temperatures that Oakland had this spring, I do hold out some hope for early blooms! Looking back through my post from last year, I may have to wait until July; however, I am hopeful for May or June – I suppose that only time will tell!

Elsewhere around the garden the Pansy (Supreme Clear Scarlet and Majestic Giants II – White/Blotch), the Viola (Helen Mount, Penny Yellow, and Pandora’s Box), and the Primrose (Pacific Giant Blue and Purple Supernova) continue to thrive and poke and peer from every corner of the patio.

Supreme Clear Scarlett and Majestic Giant Pansy

Supreme Clear Scarlett and Majestic Giant Pansy

Slightly smaller; yet still impressive, Supreme Clear Scarlet pansy

Slightly smaller; yet still impressive, Supreme Clear Scarlet pansy

Helen Mount Viola surround a Majestic Giant

Helen Mount Viola surround a Majestic Giant

Ms. Jade continues on her road to full recovery from her unceremonious dumping and is thriving in her new redwood planter box! It appears that the Primula that I added to her planter like it as much as she does!

Ms. Jade continues her road to recovery!

Ms. Jade continues her road to recovery!

Ms. Jade's new neighbor, Primula Acaulis White

Ms. Jade’s new neighbor, Primula Acaulis White

Down at the far end of the garden in the big yellow planter box; the Hydrangea are leafing out nicely and should be ready to bloom right about the same time the Snapdragon are blooming, which will be a wonderful color-explosion for Summer that I am very much looking forward to. In addition, the bulbs that I received from my ex-wife last year have just begun to send up their first shoots of the season and I am hopeful that I will have another guest appearance of the glorious Amaryllis bloom of last year. That Amaryllis was hands down, no contenders need apply, easily the most beautiful flower I have ever seen, let alone was able to grow!

The Hydrangea Return

The Hydrangea Return

A bulb bursts to life!

A bulb bursts to life!

The Euphorbia continues her  flowering stage

The Euphorbia continues her flowering stage

Finally today, I leave you with these parting shots; I just really liked them and thought that I would share!

Purple Supernova Primrose

Looking up through the Purple Supernova Primrose

Unknown Purple Daisy

Unknown Purple Daisy

Until next update –

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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The primrose have re-bloomed!

The primrose have re-bloomed!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful winter solstice seasonal celebration in whatever manner is significant to yourself!! I am sorry that I have not been super active lately, this can explained on two fronts:

1. I work in non-profit / development, and end of year fundraising just kicks the living shyte out of any free-time one could possibly hope to have

2. The garden has just not been doing anything super interesting lately!!

Soggy (but happy) plants!!

Soggy (but happy) plants!!

As you may be able to tell from the above images, it has been raining like no-ones business out here in Northern California lately, which I am sure the patio plants are enjoying immensely!

My Christmas Tree w/ natures ornaments

My Christmas Tree w/ natures ornaments

I also recently discovered that it has been 2-years since I began writing this little online journal of life as told through a patio garden in Oakland, CA.

Happy Blog Birthday!

Happy Blog Birthday!

A lot changes in 2-years; however, much remains the same within those 2-years –  I have had the same job, working for the same kick-ass organization and I have had the same lovely garden apartment for the last 2-years. I have been very fortunate to have handful of wonderful friends that have been constant for those 2-years! Of the things which change, there is of course the love of my life, my wonderful kitten, Ms. Gretchen and the sadness in the dogs that I have lost over the past 2-years: Krychek, Dana, Sckrych, Piper, Queequeq, and Odin – you are all loved and missed.

New Growth for the New Year!

New Growth for the New Year!

I am now looking into 2013 and for once, actually looking forward to the year that is coming, so friends, break out the champagne (or seltzer water if you are so inclined) and let’s welcome the new year in style – one hand in the dirt, the other reaching for a better world for every living creature on this big blue marble we are flying through space upon!!

The Garden at year's end

The Garden at year’s end

Peace Lily

Peace Lily

The jungle!

The jungle!

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!!

~and~

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!!

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While those two shouldn’t generally equate to happiness, there is just something about today’s rain which feels comfortable and happy. The plants are all enjoying Mother Nature’s watering, even the houseplants spent the night outside and came back into the house happier and cleaner. As I looked around the apartment last night; sans plants, I was again reminded how much simple houseplants pull together the entire decor into a home. This is why I love my plants and gardening so much, they are so much more than just plants, they are a tie which binds the spirit of me and where I live.

Euphorbia glistening in the rain

Today’s post is really just a collection of pictures from today that I found particularly interesting. I love the way that plants look when they are beaded up with raindrops, I hope that you also enjoy them.

Primrose soaking in the rain

Ms. Jade sprouts a new limb!

More of the Euphorbia glistening with raindrops

A lone viola brightens Ms. Jade’s foreground

Fragaria x. Lipstick doing what she was designed to do – be a lovely cover!!

Tuscan Kale, now indoors, makes a comeback!

Well friends, that is all from this garden today – I hope that your gardens are also bringing you as much joy as mine brings me!

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~Noah

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Sunday’s flowers ~ Photos from the Patio!

I really wanted this weekend to last just a little bit longer! The weather here in Oakland has been lovely and it was a joy to spend some time out on the patio this weekend! Oh well, work is necessary to make our past-times and hobbies possible!

In garden news this week… not really a whole lot!! Just lots of flowers coming and going into bloom – a few pansy, a smattering of viola, some snapdragon, and a light dusting of snowflakes – looks like all of the pruning that I did a couple of weeks back is now paying off with some quite colorful dividends.

So friends, for today, just some photos that I liked from the weekend. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

A Dragon Surveys the Land

Another delicate pansy graces the garden

Snowflakes in Oakland – Indeed!

Lone yellow primrose in a sea of green

The potato patch looks promising! Yukon Golds = Yummy!!

The Euphorbia continue their sprawl outward and upward

That is about it for today friends! Until next time – HAPPY GARDENING!!

~ Noah

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Well, I must say that it was a pleasure to have you stop by!!

Am I the only one who feels as if September went by extraordinarily quickly? Oh well, she was a darn good month all things considered; with amazingly nice weather for the gateway to winter month and the fact that I was finally able to complete the dreaded re-potting/re-soiling of most of my patio plants; however, the highlight of September 2012; was for me, the celebration of being able to share the preceding 6-months with my first cat; Ms. Gretchen!

Ms. Gretchen!!

Ms. Gretchen has had a roller-coaster of a life over her 8-years of wandering the big blue marble. Born feral on the rather unfriendly streets of East Oakland, CA, she spent the first year of her life living in an abandoned lot that the neighbors used to raise chickens. After being rescued by the good folks at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary when a staff member learned that the lot was to be built upon, Gretchen was adopted by a woman who runs a cat sitting business in Berkeley.

One cat soon became four cats – with the addition of three young males to the family. The relationship was fine for a while; however, the tranquility was smashed when the males decided that she would be the target of their aggression and she endured repeated attack and spent much of  the last two-years in hiding. Unable to find a home for the now 8-year old Gretchen, the sad reality of euthanasia became a frightening reality. With so many companion animals in shelters that never get adopted, the chances of a fearful and super shy cat such as Gretchen being considered adoptable by shelter staff was an unrealistic expectation. Sadly, the end result of the rampant over breeding and thoughtless casting off of dogs, cats, and other companion animals in America when they become inconvenient is that cats like Ms. Gretchen get euthanized. There is simply not the physical space for cats that cannot be adopted due to aggressive or overly fearful behavior.

A lazy Saturday in the Sun

Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary again stepped in as Gretchen’s guardian angel and listed her on their re-homing page. A chance cross-posting of the ad by one of my friends to her Facebook page resulted in Gretchen and I meeting (well, not really meeting, but seeing each other). I agreed to provide her the home she needed and for the first two-months, Gretchen hid under the bed until I went to work or until I fell asleep before she would venture out to eat, drink, or visit the litter box. Thankfully, with a little patience and understanding that I was working on her schedule, those days are now in the past. Today, as soon as I get home, she comes out, meows, I meow back, and she comes over for her showering of love session, then she eats her dinner, we play a bit, and she spends the rest of the night on the back of couch right behind my head (she is there right now as I type this – meowing every now again to ensure that I am still here – don’t worry Gretchy, I’m not going anywhere).

I was fortunate to find her, it is hard to express how much you learn about yourself when you have a frightened, shy cat to care for.

Happy Six-Month Anniversary Gretchy-Cat!!

——— ———

And now, for something completely different…  

Let’s take a trip out to the garden, shall we? First, let’s make a quick pit-stop to visit the orchids!!

I think the orchids are getting ready to say hello!

The orchids appear to be going into super growth mode, with new foliage and roots appearing and growing bigger everyday! I cannot wait to see what their flowers look like. I have three varieties and being a complete orchid neophyte, I can’t even begin to guess at what species they are. The orchid that bloomed last year (which actually opened right around this time last year) is a Paphiopedilum orchid (see her in bloom!) which I had to wait until the flower opened to identify! That is okay though, I love the process of learning by research and the identification of a plant species as vast and diverse as the orchid was definitely a learning opportunity!

Ms. Orchid enjoying the late afternoon sun

The orchids new foliage continues reaching outward

Outside, a few snapdragon are blooming alongside the ever resilient primrose and voila, the coleus v. kong mix is rebounding amazingly after its near soil level pruning, and it appears that Mr. Squirrel’s rooting-up and partially eating most of last season’s Yukon Gold potatoes is causing volunteer plants to spring up in various containers around the patio!

I can imagine Mr. Squirrel digging up a ‘tater, eating a bit of it, dropping the uneaten portion where ever it was that he was enjoying his tasty morsel (apparently the relative safety of my patio’s various containers), and then returning a few more times to sample another spud from his recently unearthed treasure trove of tasty comestibles. The reality of the situation may not have gone down exactly (or even remotely) like that; however, that is the story that I am running with!

Volunteer ‘tater plants! Thanks Mr. Squirrel!

White Primrose

Snapdragon

Coleus v. kong mix

That is about everything new from my little patch of green in the concrete jungle! As usual, I leave you with my parting shot:

~Euphorbia-rific!!

The quickly spreading Euphorbia garden

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~Noah

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