Thursday, May 31, 2007

Balloon flower Bud

The Ballon flower plant with its namesake bud on it.The bud looks like it has been pumped up full of air.Its like a football really.

The petals spring outwards.Im working two long days on Friday and Saturday.I hope to capture the crown inside the flower just after it has opened outwards.

I have plenty of plants growing besides my Asiatic lillies.I will try to photograph them all and display them.I am gardening vicariously by looking at garden blogs :)

Then i can translate all my ideas into my own garden.I have the indoor greenhouse untill then growing lillys, orchids, bird of paradise, etc.

Orange Suprise

Wednesday morning at 545am before my long day. A second orange flower bud had opened like an Asiatic lilly crown.The morning light spills through the window.I will post pictures of my other plants soon, but i love the colours.

The beautiful pink asiatic lillys, and the suprising orange asiatic lillys.They look exotic in my windowsill. Flower bring beauty to your gardens, to your vases, to friends.

They have been used for thousands of years, and still provoke responses in us.The Awww look how gorgeous it is response.

I nevr fail to react like that, and blogging is a good way of sharing. Whether I looked at Alameda poppies, Northern california Asiatic lillys, Kerris Tulips etc they all move me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Arrivals

I went looking for Peruvian Lillies on Sunday, but came back with two new plants.

One is the blue flowered balloon plant, the other is an upright Geranium called Vancouver Centennial I think.

They were to give me some colour whilst I wait for my other plants to catch up.

The balloon flower, when there is a flower bud in colour I will photograph it. This plant had one flower, and one blue bud which opened to this.
It has a white crown to start with but they have opened up now..

The Scarlet coloured Geranium flower.They took a battering coming back to the flat in the carrier bag.
Makes me think of Gone with the wind..

Northern California to Wakefield

The Asiatic lillys, another pink flower has bloomed.I love the colours on the windowsill to contrast with the peeling white washed walls and rotting window frames.

If I knew how lovely they were going to look I would have bought more pots from the nursery.

Maybe some whites, reds, purples, to grow en masse in pots.

Angela in California has them growing outside, and hers look just as scrumptious as mine.

She is my kindred spirit with the chinese ground orchids and Asiatic lillys growing in her garden.The climate difference is obvious with mine being indoors, and hers being outside.I will have to see what else she is growing for future projects :)

My tomato plants need to be cold resistant.The gardeners delight are setting fruits on one plant, the other GD, and the Ponderosa Pink are not doing anything exciting yet.

Monday, May 28, 2007



Morning Suprise

When I woke up this morning I thought the pink lilly had flowered, its only when I got up I realised there were two different coloured flowers on it.
The pink pot had a label that said Asiatic Lilly Pink..I have pink and orange.There are four plants in the pot i have worked out.The stems are growing from a bulb each.
Two of the stems have pink buds swelling now, the tallest one has orange buds.I thought that they were going to change colour to pink!!
Doh, Now I know its because there are two different types of Asiatic lilly.The fourth stem has buds but no colouration yet.Orange or pink?


A few more hours after the last photo.I am posting them singly because i have had problems with the photos not being uploaded properly.The first one is clickable, the others are not.
I took it in from the windowsill to admire it before i fell asleep.....

nearly open...

Last night the bud was starting to open.I was happy that i was not at work to miss out.

Asiatic lilly Face

The Asiatic pink lilly bud looking like a frog face.I know some Orchids look like faces, as do pansys that look like they are laughing.

The green and pink are very animal like :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Flying the nest

After eight weeks the plants for Hilarys village plant stall are ready to be picked up and taken for a weeks body building in her greenhouses. I got them ready last night and lined them up ready for collection.
There are Clary, Geraniums, Cactus, mother in laws tongue, Busy lizzie glowing embers, Convolvulus blue ensign, Midnight runner Violas, Gazania tiger stripes, and Thunbergia Alata salmon stripes.
The plant stand looks destitute now. The plant sale is next Sunday. She does it every year to raise funds for a village charity. It helped last year toddler groups, a junior rugby league team buy new kits, elderly charity groups, the scouts, etc.
Some of the plants i grew are not ready. The Echinacea, the Mimulus, the snapdragon beurre blanquii. These will stay to grow on...
I am not working next sunday so I will be there selling the plants, camera in hand, taking too many photos. A lot of other people have also grown her plants.I cant imagine how many plants will be on sale.
Knowing me I will buy a few to bring back too :)
I am glad that my seed grown plants will help in a small way to keep the village charity going supporting the local community.I have grown attached to my plants though, hence the flying the nest title.I love growing plants and flowers from seeds, but this is the first time I have grown them for another purpose besides to put in my garden.
I will be happy if they can be grown slightly more in a beautifully lit greenhouse with light from all sides not just from my windowsill.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Asiatic pink

The Asiatic lilly flower bud.I hope it opens when im at the flat and not when i'm at work.

Heres hoping :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Asiatic Pink Lilly

The asiatic pink lilly are developing fast, now the flower buds are growing in size and a few have developed a pink tinge. I guess this will darken. The aquilegias start with white flower buds, then the colour appears through like blotting paper. Gradually increasing in tone, the colours shine through.
The pink lillys have grown mad since i bought pink pots with the bulbs hidden in soil. The Oriental Stargazers are also developing buds now, but not as impressive as these pink ones.
They have similar looks with woody stems and outward facing slim green leaves. The flower buds all develop on top within a rosette of leaves, then get pushed outwards.
I have never grown lillys, despite looking at loads of day lillys beloved by American/Canadian gardeners.
The internet is good for making you think about plants you either have never grown or never heard of.
I hope they are brilliant flowers, so i can take more photos. For the five displayed I took over a hundred today. The camera is getting a work out and the rechargeable batterys are lasting really well. About four hundred pics I think if you use the electonic view finder and not the LCD screen.
This week is the Chelsea flower show.I have two long days at work to do, before I can blog about that.
One year I will book time off work and go to the RHS Chelsea flower show, the big mama of flower shows.
Looking at the webcam it looked packed...its good to dream of going. Instead I will be working in the hospital.
I always have my lillys to look forward to flowering instead :)

Aquilegia flowers

Purple Empereor

You guess what it is yet? The aquilegia purple empereor.I used the entrance hall as a photographic studio, opened the blinds, and posed my plants for their pictures taking.

Its a shame my flat has east facing windows that are shaded by tall buildings.

The texture of the flower comes out and the yellow styles hung down enticingly.

Passion flower in Rochester

My sister sent me this picture of her passion flower blooming in her Rochester garden. It had been chopped back severely but has regrown with a passion.Im hoping she will send me a bigger picture.She shrank it down to send it to my mobile.
I love passion flowers, so the small photo stays.Well done Sist, the Hamilton gardeners strike again.
I never thought she would grow anything at all.She likes to sit and read in the garden, but since moving she has got dirt on her fingers and the sun on her face.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wildflowers 2: In the Carpark

Wildflowers outside my window

Wildflowers (or weeds depending on your viewpoint) growing outside my kitchen window.I leaned over the worktop with the window open to take this picture.

The flowers are about four foot in the air, at the end of long stems with serated dark green leaves. The flower buds look like green barrels.

Its dandelion-ish but I dont know the exact name.Even my wildflowers of Britain and Europe is not too helpful.Some of the photos are so close up you can see the flowers but not the whole plant.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In Bloom again

Aquilegia Purple Empereor


From two days ago on my long day, as I chilled in the peace of the sunshine, and birds singing this lady bird walked up and down the peeling bench and posed for me.

I love these little bugs, they are garden heros demolishing aphids before they can decimate your roses.
These are good to find in your garden (Or on a bench in the Alleyway) and make me smile.

Angel in the morning

This lovely picture is taken at the start of the long alley (actually its called Long Causeway) which I walk up to the hospital.
The light and dark are captured by my mobile camera.The fuji camera is too big to carry to work, and too valuble to leave in the doctors room really.
I am just taking photos of everything.The new batterys have lasted for maybe 200 photos and still have not ran out.They are 2300 mA I think.Fat charging batterys, although it will take seven hours to recharge them :)

Morning Worship

The Sun was risen when I walked to work yesterday past many trees, flowers, and weeds.
The Sunlight was dancing through the leaves illuminating them.It was quiet apart from the birds singing.There is a joy in the first hours of a new day.
Especially with the sunshine warming the sleepy plants up, and the wind teasing them with slight motion.
Most people were asleep at half six in the morning, only the early workers were moving about.I saw chattering magpies, who have found their voices recently.They had not been chatty before.
Juvenile blackbirds hop around looking for juicy worms, the original early birds.
Many other little brown birds hopped, flew from the alley into the tree's chattering, play fighting.
They ignore me untill I get too close walking. The blackbirds just move into the hedgerow.They dont fear me, they are like the Westgate pidgeons and starlings. They are semi domesticated, living on chips and kebabs left from the nights..
I love the walk to work.People cannot understand why I walk, and dont drive.I love the wind, rain, sunshine, fog, and the birds and wildflowers. The trees and the dappled light magically lighting up the new day.
Some people go to church for morning worship,I just need to walk through nature to feel relaxed and happy :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday red and green

The Candy pink Fuschia rescued from wilkos bargain (half dead) plant shelf, with the Peperomia.

Love the contrest between the foliage and the pots..

Time to leave for work.Hope all your sundays are restful, and your gardens are growing well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ludisia flowers still..

The Jewel Orchid flowers still in bloom. Chelsea won the FA cup final 1-0 against Manchester united earlier which i watched tortuously..

The game did not live up to all the hype before hand. The Didier Drogba goal was good but it took 115 minutes or nearly two hours of play...

I have been painting tonight a ghost orchid.After reading the Orchid thief I have researched them soon to be a future post. I painted a Bee Orchid the other day too.I am finding flowers good things to paint!

So far I have done dutch tulips, a pink flowered orchid, the bee orchid, and now the ghost orchid. I might be brave and post the photos one day :)

Back to work for next two days so the plants are going to chill and grow nicely I hope.Hils plant sale is a few weeks away.Im debating which ones to send, as i told her I have maybe fourteen feet of windowsill to grow.

Its all for a good cause, and even my small donation will help her raise money for the village charities. Thats a future post as I will take my camera along to the plant sale!

F.A Cup Final day

Saturday,May 19th.The FA cup final is fourty minutes away between Manchester united, and Chelsea.

90,000 will fill the new Wembly stadium and fill it with the sounds of Abide with me.Then the national anthem, and Prince William being presented to the teams.

Its the first cup final at the new stadium.The two best football teams (soccer to usa) in the English premier league.

The Royal family have seats overlooking the pitch.The build up has been off past finals, legendary players, and images of the old stadium which was the heart of English football, where the national team played.

Children watch it with their Family, then play in the street dreaming of scoring the winning goal in an FA cup final.

The photo is from the BBC.Children playing in front of the newly constructed stadium.

Good luck to both Teams.May there be many more finals in the new home of english football.

Dragon fly clip

On the Phalaenopsis orchids old flower spike is this cool clip, holding it to the cane..
I love the light through the dragon fly :)

New buds today

Aquilegia flower bud, growing just when i thought it was fading away with curled up leaves. Plants always suprise you when you think the flowers have gone.

I guess the plant was brought into flowering before being sold.

It looked good but has struggled with the flat indoor conditions i think.

It will either be the purple flower or the white flower. There are more buds developing too. The last lot seemed to dry out before developing...

The camera will hopefully be able to capture the spirit of the flowers once they open :)

Friday, May 18, 2007


Watching the Asiatic lilly buds start growing outwards. There are four flower spikes with sixteen flower buds on.The stems are solid with soft leaves you can run your hand up and down and they spring back into place.
I am working all day again today.I hope the buds develop, and that i am here when they decide to open up.
One stem is nearly two foot half, whereas the others are about a foot tall.
Its quite hard to photograph little and large without being at a distance from it.
Thanks for all the comments, I have written replys.I need to catch up on other peoples gardens and leave comments when im off work.Its 5.55 am :)
The early birds are already up, i know we're moving to summer with the light coming up very early. Have a good weekend wherever you garden, and may all your weeds be wildflowers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hydrangea in a pot

The cutting that fell off Frans Hydrangea bush as we moved it from the bermuda triangle to the side border by her grass.

The cutting had some good roots and has been sat in the pot, just topped up with compost, on a saucer.It has been sat in the windowsill.

The plant has flower buds, and all the leaves are still a luscious green colour.When I move finally I will have the start of a Hydrangea bush.The quaint bush beloved by British gardeners with the flowers like footballs in shades of blue, pink, or white.
There are urban myths about how to make the soil acidic to turn the flowers blue. Alkaline soil makes them come out pink.Fran swore by using iron chippings to keep the flowers blue.
The old MAU (medical admissions unit) had enormous Hydrangea bushes by the fire exit door. Thats where I saw them, and started wanting to grow them. The hottest day of the year last year, and we took cuttings :)
Experience is a thing best learned from, they are better for taking in the spring when the plant is actively growing. Maybe four of five pairs of leaves would be best.
Fran used a glass of water to root the cutting. I used the cutting in soil with a pop bottle over the top to stop it wilting through transpiration. This one was just put into soil, kept moist, and given the best lit windowsill since it moved here into the indoor greenhouse.
I am sure master gardeners can tell me the best way to grow Hydrangea cuttings. They are beautifully foliaged, and this one has flowers developing as shown in the second photo.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A tale of two busy lizzies

Just out of shot is the white stick with Busy lizzie F1 on the label. I found out its called Carousel mixed, a double blooming flower (BL carousel). I had to trawl through my own blog to find the seedpacket which i photographed.My memory had forgotton what i'd planted weeks ago lol.
I got them from Suttons seeds at the end of march, weeks later only three seedlings have grown. Another three are in the soil and may finally germinate.They have taken as long as the 90 day Datura to germinate!
I bought some F2 Glowing embers busy lizzies and have about fourty germinated seedlings.The BL Carousels's have had 6 out of 16 seeds.
The F2's are what i buy every year, they are my busy lizzie work horse who are easy to germinate and grow on into respectable plants.
The BL carousel mix better be spectacular after all the time passed waiting for them to germinate. I think its funny they have been modified to exhibit new characteristics (Double or twin blooms i think it said on the packet). The seeds are still unstable, with slow germination rate and erratic growth.
I grew more because I said I would for someone at work. Hers are growing now, ten healthy seedlings!
Was it too cool for them to germinate? Did the garden spirits not smile on my carousel busy lizzies as much as the F2's?? The F2's have gone in later but germinated in better numbers percentage wise, and lots quicker.
Another gardeners mystery why certain seeds germinate quickly and easily. Whereas others (like the devils seed Parsley) takes forever..
If one double flower blooms I will be happy despite the poor strike rate!
Pictured is the healthiest Carousel busy lizzie, its first picture on the blog :)
I have added this below... googled images of the flowers of the Carousel, and Glowing Embers plants. Its cool to remember what I am growing, the flowering outcome of all the germination, plant care, and nurturing. This is what you garden for the explosion of colours in your garden or in your pots, or in my case on the windowsill.

The Thompson and morgan seed dealer photograph of the Busy Lizzie F1 Carousel mix with the double, and semi double blooms.

The Other busy lizzies Glowing Embers, these are a dwarf variety with the colours as pictured.There were not many images om google though of this variety!

Mystery plant??

Bought today for one pound seventy from Wilko, its described as a foliage plant.But what foliage plant is it?
It has waxy deep burgundy or purple leaves, that look almost black in the shade.The stems are red and look like rhubarb.The leaves are hear shaped, with bumpy ridges running from the top of the heart down.
Also they appear to have stems with pollen on them.White bumpy bits on these flowering stems?
I have tried to search but cannot find anything that resembles the plant.Does any wise blogger know what this plant is?
My digital camera is powerless after the fourth set of batterys ran out :)
I bought some rechargeable ones, but guess what they are supplied uncharged.The batteries are charging now, and i had to use the mobile phone camera to get the pics.
If I knew what the plant was I'd know whether to put it in the window or keep it on the computer desk with me.

Ants Breakfast

I got up early this morning to go outside, and take some outdoor photos.The car park tree that has buckled the concrete has lots of new leaf growth on it.I took a picture of the ants feasting on the new growth.Whether it is very sweet I dont know.
Inside the indoor greenhouse things are growing slowly.The plant closest to flowering is the Asiatic pink lilly. Everything else is weeks or months away from flowering.It is a flower famine at the moment. With my taking lots of photos the main colour is green.So i loved the asiatic lilly buds with a hint of red.
No doubt in the summer there will be a feast of summer flowers to photograph.I will do some painting instead today.I hope all your gardens are growing.I have one more day off before its time to go back to 13 hour days at work.
I have enjoyed my time off, and the blog has had daily updates, several times on some days.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Jewel orchid again..

The Jewel Orchid with its wanderful coloured leaves, some people just grow them for the foliage. It had just been misted, a ludisia beauty treatment.

Asiatic Lilly Pink

Growing on the bedroom windowsill the Asiatic lilly.The flower buds are now being pushed up on stems from the leafs.This bud has a hint of red in the centre.

Caught the pidgeon..

Flying away from me taking a photo. A pair of pidgeons are nesting in the white wall across from my flat. I guess there must be a hole within the corner. They spent all yesterday flying back and forth to the hole carrying sticks and things in their beaks.
I love birds, its just they are difficult to photograph as they wont stay still long enough, and if you move closer they fly away.
My future garden will have bird tables and feeders so i can try to photograph them :)

Frans Peace Lilly

Peace lilly on the 17th April 2007, newly acquired from Frans Nan..

The peace Lilly today on the 14th May. I think it looks reinvigorated. I put it in a new pot, gave it some new soil. I took it away from the sunlight so it got its shade that it loves.
I kept the stones that Frans Nan had put in the pot. They are still deeply stained with tannins from its previous diet of cold tea and rich tea biscuits (in the bottom of the cup i presume).

A large new leaf is just unfurling on the middle/right of the photo. The leaves are a nice healthy green colour.

I am a nurse, so i like nursing plants back to health when I can. I hope it flowers at some point. At Sainsburies yesterday they had peace Lillie's with their white flowers on them.

My mum had one which never flowered in years. That's why I was surprised once to come home from university at Aberdeen to find faded flowers. It had bloomed in my absence.

The leaves on my plant have turned back to a dark green colour, from yellow when i got it. The yellow leaves meant it had been exposed to too much sunlight.

Reading the gardening forums it seems this is a finicky plant to grow.It readily droops, gets brown leaf tips, and is quick to tell you if its unhappy with heat, humidity, fertiliser, or watering.

Learning peacelilly-eze, its plant language is difficult. The more you read the more that the advice conflicts. I am surprised also, how many younger people have inherited them from when some family member has passed away. It then becomes an heirloom plant passed between generations and then they actually care for it, to google how to look after it properly.

I want to look after every plant in my indoor greenhouse. There have been casualties like the nicotiana, the nursery tomato plants, a lot of snapdragons. There have been successes to like the Asiatic lilly, the slowly developing Bletillas, the bird of paradise plant. The old clary seeds were quick to germinate and look lovely now in pots.I have one sunflower from Frans old seeds.It is growing nicely.Eventually it will have to sit on the floor as the windowsills are only six foot high.

Will post some more photos later :)