Thursday, March 16, 2017

10 Years

Wow, I just noticed that my blogspot account turned 10 in January. I was thinking about gardening this year; taking in how warm December, January, and February were and how everything's growing. Now the NE is being battered by a blizzard and the frozen cold temperatures are coming down here giving us some freezing nights for about a week or so.

Thankfully only one iris bothered sending up a bloom but I lost a couple of amaryllis blooms but eh, that's fine, I suppose.

To think back over the 10 years and try to remember all the beds and plants I've tried and lost... Looking over the amount of entries on this blog every year, seeing how the number is smaller and smaller, makes me wonder if I've lost my passion for gardening, or if it's just really the same kind of thing I'm experiencing every year and gaining nothing new about re-posting some of it every year.

Though my more recent posts seem to be a quick condensed version of events, which I guess it's nicer to see how everything unfolds in one post instead of trying to track down progress through periodic posts.

March 16, 2017 - Amaryllis
I remember how I was hell-bent on breeding all kinds of Amaryllis to see if I could get something unique enough for myself to keep around. It was hard to watch the whole thing go up in smoke after the Red Blotch was introduced to the garden.

I still have some amaryllis around. The ones that were in the ground outside were all removed when I couldn't keep up with the fungus, but probably made worse by the vines and weeds that grew in over the fence. The ones in flowerboxes are still okay, mostly because they're protected from rain so the blotch isn't quite able to take over everything while it's still cool and dry right now.

I'm really not sure what I'm gonna plant this year. So far I'm thinking I'm going to get a lot of sunflowers going, if I can. I don't know why but I just seem to miss them all of a sudden. And then there's my personal cross-pollinated desert rose seeds I'd like to plant to see if I can get anything out of those. The ones I started late last year have been unhappy under led grow lights in the den. Hoping some of those survive as I bought them as a unique cross so it's something totally new to have.

Now that I've separated my Dragon's Gold Iris, I think I'll be pampering the heck out of the rhizomes in hopes that there's even more babies to spread out and keep it going. Very funny that I've become extremely attached to it. hehe.

I think I am more surprised by my success with Iris. There's so many of them around that I'm sort of sitting around waiting for some virus or fungus to crop up and wipe them all out. I guess it's sort of pessimistic to think that way, but man...

Hope everyone has a great spring when it finally rolls in!




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum) Seed Pods and Seeds

This has been an interesting journey. I finally had two desert roses blooming at the same time so I decided to look up on how to cross-pollinate them. I came across this really interesting post someone made on how to cross pollinate them. The pictures are extremely helpful; it showed me where I could find the pollen and how to do it correctly. Though they weren't kidding when they talked about it being difficult to see at certain points even when you tear the flower apart and get everything set up for a crossing. I did this on only a handful of flowers.
June 22, 2016 - Desert Roses
June 30, 2016 - Desert Roses
July 7th, 2016 - Appears to be a successful cross!
Somewhere around the 4th, 5th of July, I noticed these two little nubs seeming to stay around a while, while the others would dry up. I didn't want to get excited but eventually it seemed like these two were the only ones that were growing in size!

July 10, 2016 - More growth!

By now it became obvious that I did succeed on just one flower. I made several more attempts after but this would be the only one to succeed. I was prepared for the possibility that nothing would take because of the article stating success rates would be very, very low. So this was exciting!

July 28th, 2016 - Seed Pods growing bigger!
August 6, 2016 - Huge pods!
August 28, 2016 - Seems to have maxed out!

It was incredible to watch this explode in size, especially on such a small plant! The pods were so heavy that I was worried the branch would snap under the weight of it. At first I twined the branches together for more support, and eventually propped the seed pods up against the branches of my larger Desert Rose for more support. And then pretty much left it alone since.

October 10, 2016 - Adenium Obesum seed pods opening
October 10, 2016 - Close up of seed pod opening
It was pretty neat to finally reach the day when the pods started opening and little fuzz balls started popping out.

A seed with the ends puffed out!




I was curious to know how many seeds each pod had so after I prepared the seeds, I counted them. A total of 163 seeds were there, with 48 of them not appearing to be good (they were shriveled up and I felt no lump in them).

I'm thinking next spring I gotta put more effort into seeing if I can get my bigger one to be the mother next time.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Crossed Tall Bearded Iris

I thought I blogged about this before but I guess not. I wrote the flower off as 'dead and gone' when it bloomed. But anyhow....

In 2013, I crossed an Immortality Iris with a "Purple Mom/Black Dad" Iris, and I was successful. I got a seed pod, I winter-sowed them and posted a picture of them growing the next spring/early summer

During Spring 2015, quite a few flowers came up. 


I started documenting the flowers coming up...



...and all of them were purple...



What's this?!



It was the only "white" one to come up and I was completely obsessed with it. Unfortunately around this time, I caught something bad. All I remember is that there were a lot of pollen flying around and then all of a sudden I had a fever, a lot of sweating, and after a week of that, a cough moved in and then went deep into my lungs. That was a nightmare that lasted for way too long. I even went out with a paint pen and scribbled on the leaves so that when I got better, I'd be able to find it and separate it.

By the time I got better, all the original leaves in the pot had died down and gave way to new leaves. I had no idea which one I wanted to dig up, and pretty much wrote the flower off as dead and gone.

Then cue 2016. For some reason the garden did not bloom much this year. I had very few amaryllis blooms, as well as a handful of iris blooms scattered around. I don't know if it was because winter wasn't cold enough? I don't know.

Then to my complete and utter surprise...



Only one iris bloomed in this pot and it was the one that I thought was long gone.



I was absolutely determined to separate it this time while I still can. After the flowers ran their course and shriveled up, I got it repotted in a pot all by itself.



There were two teeny, tiny rhizomes attached to it so I'm hoping it'll eventually take over the whole pot with a bunch of new rhizomes to carry on the legacy.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Crossed hippeastrum blooms

Sorry about the watermarks. Ever since Houzz took over Gardenweb, they seem to have disabled html so you have to upload images there. Made me a bit nervous so I started watermarking all my images I upload there just to be on the safe side.

The crosses below came from one member who sent me seeds years ago and it was pretty neat to see them finally bloom this spring.


The parents "Ebay 1" and "Ebay 2" were shared on the thread where I posted the pictures: Crossed amaryllis blooming: Thread on Amaryllis/Hippeastrum It's further down the thread, posted by dondeldux. It appears to have taken after the mother rather than the father.




The above two pictures of Exotica x Mocca are of the same bulb. It sent up two scapes, four flowers each. I really liked the coloring of this one.


I'm not sure I like this one. It seems bland but it is something new.


 A couple of the Charisma x Selfed are blooming for the second year but this bulb is blooming for the first time and it's interesting that a lot of the speckling and dark red is gone. I really like the simpleness of this flower.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A new year and new flowers....

I think I sort of understand now why some gardening blogs tend to stop abruptly. Sure there's the usual stuff such as life changes, getting busy, new things going on. But after a couple years when you find yourself posting the same plants over and over, it starts to feel like you're not really posting anything new. I guess that's why I got into cross-pollinating plants, to hope for something unique but even that can take years, if ever.

Green Dragon Amaryllis - April 20, 2015
 I was surprised to see that two of the bulbs had bloomed this year. I didn't think I'd ever see them flower again after the initial one that came up when I bought it.


Papilio amaryllis cross (?unknown) - April 20, 2015
The Papilio seeds I planted, one surprisingly sent up a maiden bloom and had a little snafu. It was really bizarre but it's doing its best in blooming at the neck of the bulb. The red lines go to the edge of the petals and the stigma has freckles on it, so I'm guessing it was crossed with something but I am glad it has Papilio in it. I'd love to see it bloom normally next year with several flowers.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Growing Canna Lily Seeds

Last year my Canna Lily grew very big and I collected seeds. I guess the japanese beetles just weren't around that year. I grew two of the seeds out of curiosity to see what it was like. The little red one died during winter but the green one returned in spring. I put it in the ground to give it more space to grow. I'm hoping it'll bloom this year so that I can see if it takes the same color as the parent or not.

Then I found the plastic baggy full of Canna Lily seeds. I figured that because the canna lilies in the backyard are doing wonderful again this year, that maybe...  I decided at the spur of the moment that it'd be fun to try to grow all of the seeds!

May 27, 2014 - Used a toenail clipper to nick each seed
The first step is to nick each seed until you reveal a tiny bit of white. So I had to dig up a toenail clipper to work on each seed. It was a pain in the butt but I managed to get all of them.

Then, the interesting thing is, several people mentioned that they pour hot water on their canna lily seeds and they enjoy the 'popping, cracking' sounds the seeds make in the water. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to do that but they swore by it. I put all the seeds in a bowl, boiled some water, and when the bubbles stopped coming up, I poured that hot water over my seeds. I didn't hear any popping, cracking, etc.

May 27, 2014 - After an hour of soaking
May 28, 2014 - A day later
May 29, 2014 - Planted the seeds
50 seeds were then planted in a greenhouse kit. The remaining seeds were put in an old seed kit. So then the waiting game (I was wondering if I might have boiled my seeds to death.).

June 5, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings popping up

A lot of seeds starting germinating. Pretty excited about that.
June 6, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings
June 7, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings

I was surprised at how fast they were coming up and out. I'll admit I didn't look this far ahead into my plans so I didn't really have anything to put them in. I was also worried their roots would start growing into each other. They got a tad bigger so I got some big pots and lots of dirt....

June 12, 2014 - Canna Lily seedlings
I moved over 30 seedlings, 5 for each pot. They'll probably just grow in there for a bit until I figure out where to plant them.

The funny thing is that as soon as I started growing the seeds, the japanese beetles have shown up in great numbers. I got one of those traps out there that's supposed to lure them over and it seems to be working so far. So we'll see if the canna lilies can survive this or if they'll go back to being chewed down before they have a chance to bloom again.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Charisma selfed Amaryllis

Oops! I thought I posted the rest of the Charisma selfed blooms! There were five buds that came up and one bud aborted so a total of four of them came up this year. I posted about the first flower opening here; and these are the other three that followed suit.

May 13, 2015 - Charisma selfed #2

May 14, 2014 - Charisma selfed #3
May 15, 2014 - Charisma selfed #3 (other flower)


May 15, 2014 - Charisma selfed #4
And to answer a question!: "selfed" means that the original Charisma Amaryllis was selfed by its own pollen. Some seeds were given to me and I planted them in 2012. Five of them (even though the last one aborted its stalk) bloomed this year, which is pretty quick, I think!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hybridizing Hippeastrums - Pink/White NOID x Red NOID

What do you get when you have a Pink White NOID mother and Red NOID father? I think ... ugly flowers?

Pink White NOID Mother
Red NOID Father
I had no idea who Pink White NOID Mother had crossed with in 2010 until last summer when late into the season a flower popped up, revealing that it was fathered by a Red NOID. It was unimpressive and the petals formed big gaps.

This late spring, seven flower stalks came up in the Pink White Mother/Red Father section of the amaryllis bed. I would like to take the opportunity to apologize for the horribly overgrown weedy appearance in the pictures. Mother Nature is laughing at me for putting a very big bed up against the fence where I can not access it from the other side to fend off the vines and weeds that are having a merry old time coming in. This bed is a loss and I'm going to be digging everything up and moving them elsewhere.

On with the pictures. And I apologize for the junk pictures as well. I was obsessing over taking pictures that I guess I didn't realize how many had turned out to be blurry or dark.

May 11, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #1

May 11, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #1
I have to admit that my reaction to the first flower opening was that it was ugly. I was disappointed. I was more impressed with the backs of the flowers. Why couldn't that design be on the petals?


May 12, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #2
This seems to be a repeat from last year except this one has five petals. The other flowers on this stalk had the same 'defect' and I didn't focus on this one much.

May 15, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #3
This one was pressed up against the fence. Lacked white. I really thought I went back to take pictures of the other flowers when it opened but it seems I totally overlooked this one.


May 16, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #4

May 17, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #4

#4 caught my attention. I really liked that a good amount of white was showing through in the flowers of this one. I also liked the little red marks in the throat as well.

May 20, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #5

May 20, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #5
The fifth was pretty much red. And then when one of the flowers opened later on, it revealed another 'gap' in the petal arrangement. Seems to 'run in the family'.

May 23, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #6
Another one with a bit of white in the picture.

May 26, 2014 - PinkWhite/Red #7
And the final one opens.

I won't be tossing these even though I'm unimpressed with a majority of them right now. PinkWhite NOID really hates setting pods and the fact that this is crossed, it's something different. Maybe next year I might get something more interesting from the other bulbs there.

I tried cross-pollinating PW/R#1, using Charisma selfed pollen on two flowers, and Intokazi pollen on two flowers. Charisma selfed failed. The two pods fathered by Intokazi are still there but not doing anything.

I tried PW pollen on PW/R#4. Then I took pollen from PW/R#4 and put it on PW. Ultimately my thought was that I wondered what would happen if PW/R#4 was pollinated by its mother, would the offspring bring forth more white? As for putting PW/R#4 pollen on PW, I just did that out of curiosity, to return the favor while going out there to cross flowers.

What I've noticed when I pollinated the PW/R flowers was that it shares the same 'personality trait' as the PW. It never seems to detect pollination. The flowers will stay open for days and act as if I didn't do a thing to it. And usually, when time tells, aborts all seed pods.