Sunday, October 23, 2011

A few updates

Last week was very busy at work and I wasn’t able to write as many posts as I normally do. I hope things will calm down next week.

In the meantime, here are some updates on posts from earlier this year. I find it interesting and useful to compare progress between now and then. Look for more updates as the gardening year winds down.

Next  Silver carpet (Dymondia margaretae)

Originally published on May 29, 2011, this post describes planting silver carpet (Dymondia margaretae), a tough South African native, in the narrow strip between our front lawn and the flag stone walkway. I planted 12 small plugs which initially didn’t look like much.

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Dymondia margaretae on 5/28/11, right after I planted it

Now, five months later, these small plugs have completely filled in, suppressing all the weeds that would have started to grow there by now. The rate of growth of Dymondia margaretae has been a very positive surprise. I’m very happy with the outcome and can’t wait to see the small daisy-like flowers next spring.

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Same planting strip on 10/22/11
(never mind all the plants sitting on the walkway; I’m getting things organized for the winter)
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The Dymondia margaretae has filled in completely

CLICK HERE for an update on Dymondia margaretae (August 2012).

Next Bamboo muhly in full flower

On June 9, 2011, I wrote about the wretched state of our bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa), a lacy desert grass that bears a superficial resemble to Mexican weeping bamboo (Otatea acuminata subsp.aztecorum). It had begun to flower on a large scale to the point where most of the leaves dried up completely. I still have no explanation for this phenomenon; it reminded me of the mass flowering of bamboos but in spite of its name this grass is not a bamboo.

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Muhlenbergia dumosa in full flower on 5/27/11

I’m happy to report that the plants have recovered fully and look great again.

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Potted Muhlenbergia dumosa on 10/22/11
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In-ground Muhlenbergia dumosa on 10/22/11
 

Next Bye bye calla lilies

On June 5, 2011, I wrote about our calla lilies beginning to look tired in the early summer heat. I cut back all the foliage and let the plants rest.

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Calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) on 5/30/11

In September, new leaves started to emerge, and now this planting strip is looking great. A few more weeks, and we’ll have calla lilies in flower!

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Calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) on 10/22/11
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Calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) on 10/22/11
 

Next Queen of the night

In mid-August a segment of a Queen of the Night cactus (Cereus hildmannianus susp. hildmannianus) I had rescued from the yardwaste pile produced four gorgeous blossoms. Each flower lasts only one night, opening at dusk and closing in mid-morning the following day.

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Cereus hildmannianus susp. hildmannianus on 8/17/11

Three flowers were in bloom at the same time. I used a small brush and transferred pollen between the three flowers. I’m happy to say that my efforts were successful, and we now have three fruits in the process of ripening. They’re still hard so it looks like we’ll still have a few weeks to go before they’re ripe. They are supposed to be very tasty. I’ll keep you posted.

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Cereus hildmannianus susp. hildmannianus fruit on 10/22/11
 

Next Angel wing begonia

In late April, I received a small angel wing begonia (Begonia aconitifolia x coccinea) cutting as part of a plant trade. I potted it up and kept it in the shade on our front porch where it has thrived.

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Angel wing begonia (Begonia aconitifolia x coccinea) cutting I received on 4/28/11

Just recently it produced its first bloom, which to me is a clear sign that it’s happy with the way I’ve treated it—keeping it moist and occasionally giving it some all-purpose Miracle-Gro fertilizer.

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Same cutting blooming on 10/22/11
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Close-up of flower

Unfortunately, our climate is too cold for angel wing begonias to stay outside through the winter, so it will join the ever growing rank of plants I’ll have to bring inside. This will be an interesting winter for sure, considering I’ve never had to overwinter plants in the house.

5 comments:

  1. Glad to see your little collection of updates, especially the bamboo muhly which is looking great, such a light and airy plant that begs to be touched! :)

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  2. I'm glad you saved this plant. What a beauty! Those flowers are wonderful. I love the fruit. I just posted a pic of my fruit on Facebook.

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  3. I like your Queen of the night & Angel wing begonia (awb), btw if you don't mind, I would like to trade my awb cutting with your, because my awb flower color is pink but your awb flower color is red.
    I hope that you will reply to me asap at nguyenfamily143@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. The flowers on my angel wing begonia are pink as well. The photo above is redder than the flowers actually are. I'm very sorry.

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    2. Thank you so much for replying my message.
      Ohhhhhh I thought I could trade a red flower Angel wing begonia with you but ohhhhhh, so how big & tall is your awb now? Can you up date some awb pix, I'm eager to see it & never got bore with awb ever no matter what color the flower is.
      Once again thank you.

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