Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Amaryllis pollination

This hippis season I decided to cross pollinate my plants.
I have in blooms Baby star, Red star, Vittatum and Royal velvet. So I made the first three "donors" and Royal velvet the "receiver".
The three donors all have "stripes" on them and the "receiver" is a dark, solid red. I hope the babies would look nice in some ways, whatever ways, since I don't have many varieties so any results would be great!
Photos of the donors:

and the receiver:

Last year I tried "selfed" Royal velvet and it did give me plump seed pods. However, I didn't use all the seeds because RV is just red with nothing special about it. Also, RV is abundant in the market.

If things turn out right, I'll have some "rare" varieties. Whoa... great prospect, isn't it?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Update on the daylily seed sprouts

I could finally pot the daylily seed sprouts after almost a month. All the six varieties have sprouted and I'm extremely happy with this result.

I've tried to locate the photos that Annette sent me with her email but somehow I could not find it. Don't know what I have done with the email and the attachment! Now I will search the net for the photo of my varieties.
Anyway, all the potted seedlings still looked good after being in their new homes for two days. I hope they will grow well in my garden. It's said that seedlings will reach maturity and bloom in two years time. Maybe they will bloom sooner as they don't have to undergo cold winter in Tuysonvien.
I will plant these seedlings in the garden when the rainy season comes in two months' time. Then they will have plenty of moisture to grow well. What I must do now is prepare the soil for them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My hoyas

Finally I have some blooms from my 'jungle' NOID hoyas.
I tentatively I called this one "Latifolia" due to its similarity to the hoya Latifolia I checked on the net. But now that it has bloomed, I hope someone from GW can help me get its proper ID.

And this one is a brand new NOID, i.e. I couldn't even find one like it on the net.

I also have others named hoyas in bloom, too.
That is the Hoya Obscura. I bought this one last year while it was blooming. But after the first show, it stopped producing peduncles. So I moved it up to Tuysonvien and now it has beginning a new show of blooms again. It seems to have liked the cool weather here.

My Hoya Carnosa (ordinary) is a faithful bloomer for me.

Like the Obscura above, this Pachyclada refused to bloom in Saigon, so I had to move it up. And now, I have two peduncles on this one. It's a little weird that the buds on this peduncle developed at different stages: while some are already blooming, others are still tiny!

Finally, this last hoya has blooms that look like those of a Krimson Queen but I don't see any variegated leaf on it. Maybe it's a reverted KQ?

My living room is filled with hoya fragrance in the evening nowadays. Very sweet!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beautiful blooms at Tuysonvien

After my three-week vacation, I found these beauties awaiting me at Tuysonvien when I returned here this morning.
In the shade house, two of my orchid cacti (epiphyllum) are in bloom. They are the cuttings I brought back from WCR in 2007.

It's a pity I don't have their names. Nevertheless, I'm still extremely happy seeing their beautiful faces for the first time.
I also found my Royal velvet amaryllis still holding off its blooms for me while many others have done blooming. Luckily, there're still second scapes on them so I don't feel too bad not coming back in time for the show.

Tomorrow I will show more blooms from Tuysonvien. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring in Summer

Since every other blogger on the Northern Hemisphere was talking about Spring, I couldn't help but looked closer at my plants to see if they 'had felt' anything. So this morning I went outside with my camera and voila... my plants do feel 'the Spring', too.
First, I found my scadoxus bulb has awaken from its sleep. The bulb looks so plump I hope the bloom will be huge this year.

Next, the bloom-ladden wrightia plants around our home. For a few weeks now Dangiatrang has been filled with a sweet scent in the evening. I don't know what has caused it but these plants seem to have more blooms this year and the scent is so obvious that even my husband, who often complains of a "dead" nose, has noticed it!

Then this one vine, Rangoon creeper - another scented plant - has also beginning to show off its pretty face.

Now I can 'see' spring coming through the plants in my garden despite the fact that the sun is shining fiercely and we are sweating in the steaming heat.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A primitive irrigation method is still good at work!

Have you ever seen a water-wheel?
This method of getting water for irrigation has been used for hundreds of years in my home village, in the central of Vietnam. I was very delighted when I spotted this mini water-wheel during my visit back home.

When I was a child, I often went pass a big water-wheel on my way to visit my grandparents. But this water-wheel is much smaller, perhaps it is made by some individual farmer for his own field only. On this small riverlet, I saw quite a few of them working to move the water.
If you want to see how it works, click on the link for a video clip here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


It rains again!
The weather is odd that it rained a couple of times during the last ten days. Not the usual torrent rain of the rainny season but still enough downpour to clean the air and refreshen the plants in my garden.
Only yesterday these plants still looked "dirty" from all the dust of workmen working on our backyard fence, just after the light rain, everything looks much greener and lush.

The front yard also looks better after the rain as my husband has just mowed the lawn.

The rain has caused the frangipani dropping some of its blooms onto the ground.

Even the gravel driveway and the entrance gate look much cleaner after the rain.

I always like rain. Do you?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Update on daylily seeds - Everyone has sprouted!

Before going on my vacation, I went back to check on the daylily seeds. Guess what? Everyone has sprouted and some even grown quite tall green leaves!
Although not all the seeds I put in one glass sprouted, I have quite a few of each variety and altogether I have more than 20 sprouts.

This is too good to be true! I've read on some web sites where daylily seeds are being sold and people there said "even one sprout in a batch is considered successul". And here I am having this results in my first venture!
What worries me now is whether my neighbor can help nurse these sprouts along until I come back in three weeks' time and pot them up!
Let's hope that all well will end well!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First bloomer of the season

My blue agapanthus are beginning their new bloom season, and this one is the first to start.

This year, I found these plants start much earlier. In the past it was normally late March early April when these plants came into full bloom.

But my dwarf one - PeterPan - has bloomed all "winter" and now looks like it's resting.

I really love agapanthus and it was among the very first plants at Tuysonvien. Their color is so relaxing. I really look forward to their full show in the next few weeks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Big joy!

Big joy for me!
I found my species orchids greeted me back to Tuysonvien with a lot of blooms when I came out to the shade house this morning.
Look at these blooms. Aren't they spectacular?

These "species" orchids normally blooms at the beginning of the dry season. And here are what they have rewarded me for taking care of them last year.
I bought these last season when they were in their last stage of blooming and didn't look so good. It's a pity I cannot have their names in English so I can list here.

I've asked around for the English name of some of my "species" orchids and most of the time I either got none or several suggestions for names so that I got confused!

Perhaps, someone who visits my blog may be able to help me identify. But whether they are named or noid, they bring the same joy and pride to me! Thanks to them, I find happiness everyday.