Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Farm was on the Way

I happened to spot a farm while i was cruising through the country side of missouri. It wasn't just any farm, it was a greenhouse. They had a variety of flowers for this upcoming spring and I just had to purchase some while I was there. There were still some plants that I didn't want to leave behind and not take home, but considering how I live in a place where there is no backyard, I had to limit my choices. The plants I picked up were bleeding hearts, phlox subulata 'candy stripe', lamium maculatum 'anne greenaway', and lamium maculatum 'pink pewter'. The two lamium maculatums were bought on the second trip to this wonderful farm. Here are some pictures:
I wanted to wait until the flowers bloomed for the bleeding hearts. : )

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Family

I stopped by Lowe's to look at some cacti like I normally do. Garden centers always attract my attention no matter how unprofessional some can be. Who knows, there are times when they have unexpectedly rare plants or plants that I've been looking for a while. But cacti are all pretty in my opinion and whenever I see new cacti stocked up in garden centers, I HAVE TO take a look. One thing to keep in mind is that big garden centers like the ones in Lowes are most likely to have those fake strawflowers attached to the center of various cacti with super glue. The super glue tends to make the cactus grow a little deformed, and a lot of people get tricked into thinking that these flowers are real. Sadly, these bright colored flowers are not real. I wouldn't want to encourage any cacti wholesalers to continue this procedure of super-glueing strawflowers on a majority of their cacti, but there are times when the cactus itself is a really beautiful kind of cacti. So, unfortunately, I ended up buying one (sorry!). The scientific name for this cactus is Mammilliaria hahniana. It has beautiful flowers that bloom on the crown area of the cactus in the shape of a ring. It also forms some cotton-type substance in between the thorns. White hairs grow from this plant, giving it an "old grandma/grandpa look". In this case, since the common name for this cactus is called "old LADY cactus", it's got an "old grandma look". This cactus had an orange-dyed strawflower (fake flower made out of straw) on the center. I had to use isopropyl alcohol on the glue and a tweezer to slowly take the super glue off. Sadly, during the process, the thorns on the top of the cactus came off. I don't think it's life-threatening for the cactus to have some of its thorns taken off, so I hope it'll be ok. Nonetheless, here is a picture of my pretty new collection:
"Old Lady Cactus". You can see 3 pink blooms and her poor bald spot.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

True Leaf Formation

My plants' true leaves are finally beginning to emerge from in between the cotyledons. I realized that the seeds that I've planted in self-watering pots grew their true leaves a lot faster than the seeds that I've planted in regular pots. Nonetheless, they are all growing happily. All their true leaves are out and as you can see, the pine berry cotyledon on one of them is starting to die off, which is a good thing because that means the true leaves took all the nutrients from the two cotyledons and are growing well. I've also received my self-watering seed starter kit from Lee Valley's and look how fast the seeds grew compared to my homemade self-watering pots. And of course, here are some pictures:
Pineberry True Leaves.
Alyssum True Leaves.
Celosia True Leaves.
Lee Valley's Seed Starter.