Sunday, 8 April 2018

Air Plants - are still alive !

So I think I bought these Air Plants about a year ago ..... whenever I have bought these , I have usually ended up just watching them slowly wither away .
 I must be doing something right , because look at them now .....not a lot of difference you might say ...except that they are still here !

 Here they are having their , just ever so slightly , warmer than tepid soak over night in the kitchen sink .

In the morning , I gently shake off the water, carefully pat with a paper towel and then leave them to finish off and readjust while I have my cup of tea .

I  muddled up their plant labels , so cant tell you what they are , except that they are all possibly varieties of Tillandsias .
 I love epiphytic plants...that grow up on the branches of trees and on cliffs amongst ferns lichens and moss ....mostly coming from Rain Forests and mountain sides in South America . I have quite a collection of Epiphyllums up in the greenhouse I thought I,d give these a go .
 My only concern with them is "Are they being ethically sourced ?" With respect for the environment..that being the beautiful rain forests...the so called "Lungs of the our planet Earth " .

I feel uncomfortable that they have had all their roots / aerial roots cut off . I know that they dont actually put their roots into the ground , but the aerial roots are important ......anyway , that is just me having a moan !
 I love the way the one above sparkles in the light as if sprinkled with glitter .

 This one had a hole in the main part of the plant , I discovered this when I opened the packet . We bought them whilst on holiday , so too far to return it..I thought this would be the first one to pop it's clogs .
 I didn't give up on it though and now it has a little pup/side shoot .

 I found this beautiful piece of  drift-wood on the beach and I am thinking of attaching my plants on to it and suspending it in the window ....somehow .
 Thing is ....the plants need to easily be taken off for their fortnightly soak ....hmmm ...
 The sun is shining here in Mullion today , blue sky....just back from church ...going to sit in the Summer house and do my embroidery .
 Have a peaceful Sunday all  .  love Debbie x

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Re-potting Schlumbergera truncata

  I am re-potting 4  Schlumbergera truncata otherwise known as Christmas cacti , into a nice new hanging basket .
 Also re-potting one small Rhipsalidopsis gaertnerii otherwise known as the Easter Cactus into a slightly bigger pot . This one is a piece from one of my mum's cacti so very special to me . They are so called , because this is roughly when they flower .

 They are all different colours and it should look pretty when they flower .
Behind I am preparing a window box full of Begonias and  Pelargoniums which I have saved for several years now.

 I have used Multi -purpose compost and perlite...which is making the basket heavy ..I only remembered this at this point ....I,m worrying about my kidney cancer scan with contrast coming up on Monday ... I am so scared I can hardly think straight  at the moment .

 I have hung the basket up in the porch , I think I will get a stronger hook for it though .

 The plants look happier already . When the weather warms up a bit more I will hang it outside  and all through the summer .
 Through my kitchen window I am delighted to see the Woodpeckers are back .
 Hope you had a lovely Easter .....wish me luck....say a prayer for me .

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Planting my Colocasia esculenta

So first things first , a load of washing and another and then to hang out on the line ....we woke up to a glorious sunny morning ... so I like to get my washing done and out on the line good and early . I also scrubbed the kitchen floor and polished my Cornish Piskie bellows that I found in a wondeful bric-a-brac shop in Charmouth .
 All that before Palm Sunday 11am mass at St Michael's Mullion  ...and with the sun shining we were able to do the beginning of the service outside ..which we haven't done for years !
  Anyway after church we took off for Poldhu Beach ....yes coffee for him and a chocolate ice cream for me . There were even more people on the beach than yesterday. Lots of happy children playing in the sand  .
We,ve been pretty much relaxing for the rest of the day and I,ve just been pottering about  .
 I bought a nice Woodlodge terracotta pot , handmade and which is supposed to be frost free from Trevena Cross Nursery in Breage and a bag of compost in readiness to plant my Colocasia esculenta corm .

                                                    Top of corm .

 I have grown one of these before but lost it over winter because I had tried to keep it ticking over in it's pot in the greenhouse . Actually I,ve now been told that you treat these like Dahlias in the late Autumn you dig them up cut off the leaves and roots and let them dry out . Store them in a box of perlite or dry compost and start them off again in the Spring .
 Anyway the first thing one has to decide is ...which is the top and which is the bottom ?
 With my one, it is very difficult to tell ..but the smooth side with the concentric rings is the top  ....see picture above .......

                                          This is the bottom side up .
It usually has little holes or is pitted and some hair like roots.  Mine was the last corm in the box  and is a bit on the small side and it is very difficult to tell which side is top from bottom . You can plant it on it's side if you are not sure .

So I lined the bottom of my pot with newspaper and put some of the chippings from the drive on the bottom .  I usually get told off for doing this , but he didn't notice me doing it this time ...he he he !

I pretty sure that this is the top , if you look closely you can see little "eyes" which I think are where the shoots/new leaves will grow out from . The one in the right hand bottom corner is even slightly green .

   Here it is all nicely nestled into the compost ... mmm .....I love the fragrance of the earth .

 Beautiful thing . I will be coming along to check on you often , waiting excitedly for those first new shoots .

 So then I thought I,d give it a drink of water and the rose fell off the watering can ...compost went everywhere and the corm turned upside down ....

 I had to re-settle it with some more compost ....laughing at myself ..I wheeled it up to the greenhouse . The greenhouse is really quite warm after all the sunshine today , but I think it will be cold tonight if the sky stays clear .
 I put the pot on a large block of  polystyrene and will cover it with newspaper over night .

                     Blue sky here in Mullion today ,such a lovely day !

                                                          Primroses .

                                                       Cowslips .

                      I,m keeping everything under fleece again tonight .