Thursday, October 29, 2009

Budding up for the holidays

My holiday cacti are budding up. These are new cultivars which I grow from segments.

I'm all ready for the holiday season.

Full House

When my potted plants bloom, I like to bring them inside to enjoy them up close. And these days my living room is full of blooming gals.
My African violets have always resided indoors, on my kitchen counter.

Joining the AVs are many others. The best in show, this week, is a hybrid cymbidium. I must say that this gal is a faithful bloomer, almost to the exact date. Last year it opened the first bloom on October 18 and this year, October 17. Incredible isn't it?

Secondly, another NOID cymbidium. Although the color of the bloom is totally different from what it has been before, I still enjoy the spikes as well.

Then came the oncidiums, also NOIDs. (You must know by now that plant sellers in Vietnam never care to give name tags to the plants they sell!). My yellow oncidium (could be some kind of Bellerina?) with its giant flowering stalk. This oncidium blooms quite easily and regularly for me, though.

And then another oncidium (or something else?) with dark red color.

Next is my Thanksgiving cactus with its second show of bloom. This is an old cultivar (or species?) and normally blooms twice a year.

My Tillandsia cyanea is still going strong. I have detached three of the pups so there're now only three in the pot.

So, that's what're blooming this week in my little corner of the world. What is blooming for you there?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Generation next

After blooming, my tillandsias and cryptanthus are now producing pups.
T. bulbosa.

T. butzii.

T. caput medusa purple.

T. pauciflora.

Although the mother plants will eventually wilt, these young ones will replace them. There's already signs of decay in the aeranthos mother plant.

This one, ionantha rubra came with a pup when I purchased it but has continued to produce two more. Perhaps the mother plant had bloomed while still with the seller.

Let's see how long it will take for these off-springs to reach blooming stage.
Down below in their pots, the cryptanthus are also producing off-shoots as well.
Cryptanthus elaine.

Cryptanthus waterfall.

I really like their leaf patterns. Hopefully I will have more of them to start a bromeliad landscape soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My pitcher plants

All four of my nepenthes are pitchering nicely. I think they are liking this rainy season.
Ventrata is perhaps the best in show with many pitchers.

Then next is Rafflesiana. Though it only has two pitchers at the moment, its pitchers are the largest and most colorful.

Thirdly is Bicalcarata. I like to look at the green, round pitchers.

And lastly, the Thorelii. Two weeks ago, I applied some VF-11 to its leaves to promote leaf growth. Now I have a few pitchers on the plant.

A group shot, minus Ventrata.

My hubby keeps teasing me about these plants as "funny looking". Do you think they are funny? I don't. I think they are very "cute"!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A peaceful morning

Fall has arrived with its light breeze and mornings at Tuysonvien these days are very calm, very peaceful. With my coffee in hands, I sat at the back porch, admiring the scenery beyond. Down below our garden is a patch of vegetable farm where cabbage is being grown for this season. Rows of cabbage look beautifully green in the early morning sun.

Closer by, on the cheery-blossom tree (a local species, not the Japanese species) perched several robins on their way to the day's hunt. Their chippings sound cheerful enough to make me smile.

Even closer by are the cosmos that DH planted in early September. Their blooms waving in the morning breeze resemble colorful butterflies.

What a peaceful morning! I'm so grateful to life for all this, around me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Then & Now

I like to look at "before" and "after" photos of plants to see how things grow. So here, I will post photos of some of my container plantings showing when they were first planted and now, after a few months.
This is my Euphorbia franaganii planting, back in August.

And this is it, now.

Here's how my "succulent fountain" looked when first planted in July.

And here it is now.

Finally, here's my Serissa foetida's "before" photo.

And now. (I have removed the ground cover and replaced with moss.)

Don't you think they all look gorgeous after just a month or two? Exactly as Kris at The Gardens at Melissa Majora has put it, you can always find changes in the plants you grow, even when you return to them the next day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I learned a new thing today

I've noticed that each time I upload an image onto my blog page, the image goes right into the corresponding Picasa Web album. Since I have two blog pages, the image sometimes is uploaded twice and appears in both albums. Consequently, the storage limit gets full very quickly. I figure there must be a way to "re-use" the images that were uploaded onto Picasa, so I searched and Yes, there's a way!
Here's how it works should you want to use a photo which is already in your Picasa web album in your blog.
Step 1- go to your Picasa web album account;
Step 2- click on the album where you have the photo stored;
Step 3- click on the photo you want to use to open up;
Step 4- click "Link to this photo" on the right hand side of the window;
Step 5- click "Embed image", then copy the code in the box;
Step 6- go back to your blog page, click on "Edit Html" and paste the copied code where you want the photo to appear;
Step 7- click "Preview" to see if your photo is there on your blog page;
Step 8- click "Compose" and continue blogging.
I tried and it worked. But the photo uploaded this way will show the source (From...), like this.

From Blogger Pictures
Anyway, it will help save your storage on Picasa.
Good luck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tillandsia Pauciflora and Caput medusa purple

These are the two tillies that are actually blooming at the moment.
These kinds of plants live in air, obsorbing everything they need to grow from the air, so "air", or more specific, air circulation is very important to them.

I hang them outside so they can enjoy as much rain and sunshine as they can. It has been merely a year and now they are blooming.

Just like other bromeliads, blooming sets the ending of the mother tilly's life. I'm expecting pups now.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lavender water-lily

I had three water-lilies planted in big containers for several years in my "tropical" garden. The plants got out-of-hand but the containers were so big I could not change the mud in it to make the plants look decent.
Last month I had some help to re-do the containers. This time, I did not planted the water lilies directly in the mud-filled containers. Instead, I chose some best-looking shoots and potted them in smaller pots using sand as the medium. Then I dropped the pots into the containers filled with water only. I figured doing it that way would make it easier for me to change the water or the medium when the time comes later.
Just about three weeks passed and the lilies have adapted well to their new growing environment. Two of them have set buds and two of the buds bloomed this morning.

I like water-lily for their blooming habit. Once a water-lily reaches maturity and begins to bloom, it will continously produce at least one bloom each day. The bloom has a pleasant smell, too, which is a plus.

I have several small fish in each of the containers to keep mozzies at bay. Each morning when we are outside on the deck, we feed the fish, then have our coffees while enjoying the plants. Life is good!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My hoya blooms

This week while in Tuysonvien, I found three of my hoyas laden with blooms. They are Hoya obscura, Hoya carnosa (ordinary) and Hoya Krimson queen.

These three are among my biggies; I've had them for about two years.
I like hoya blooms for their fragrance. I think these three have the most beautiful scent of all.

Tropical storm Ketsana

I was up in Dalat (Tuysonvien) when the storm hit our coastal provinces last Tuesday. I copied these photos from the media to show you what happened.
These were taken in Hue.

And Danang.

Dalat was also badly impacted with pine trees falling onto the streets and killing a young woman.

Now these provinces are facing a historical flood! The country is mobilizing its force to relieve those affected by the deadly storm.