Thursday, February 25, 2010

Drastic Measures!

Do you recognize these? No? They are Ficus trees! Yep, sorry looking as they are. They seem to drop their leaves just by looking at them. So I started to investigate them and discovered that they had scale. Weird to look at, little flat, brown splotches that were most prevalent on the newest, greenest growth. And there were little sticky spots on the leaves too. At the same time that the damage was being done, the trees were starting to put out new leaves.
I thought that by cutting everything back I would get rid of the pests. By brushing some insecticidal soap over all of the remaining branches, the new growth will be unaffected. And it's still early enough that the trees should put out new leaves and new branches as spring approaches.
That's the plan anyway. Hope this works, otherwise I now have 2 new modern sculptures in the bedroom!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And more!

More Winter Blooms

Still getting the hang of this blogging stuff and discovered I should write and post a pic and put it up instead of trying to add more that one picture at a time. The words then, don't match the picture! so with that in mind, here are some more blooms.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Blooms

Winter is so long and I miss being able to work out in the garden. But I don't have to miss out on the beauty of flowers blooming. I have orchids that bloom throughout the year and enjoy them regardless of the outside temperatures.
The Cymbidium in this first picture bloomed for almost 3 months. I got it in a swap when the flower spike was only 3" tall. I watched it grow to 24" and open to the palest pink color with a dark mahogany color on the lip. The flowers, all 11 of them, were about 3-4" in size. The fragrance reminded me or tulips.

I never used to pay that much attention to orchids. I'd see them occasionally in the market, just plain white or lavender and think that they were rather ho hum. But visiting a local independent nursery, I noticed that there were all kinds of flowers in the greenhouse that I had never seen before. Once I learned they were orchids I was surprised to realize that there were so many unusual shapes and colors to choose from.
I bought a good all purpose book on orchids and devoured it in no time. I then went back to the nursery and chose one that appealed to me and at the same time was of no great expense. I figured the price was worth the learning experience if it should die. Eventually it did die. but I also learned that I just couldn't grow that type. I even tried another of the same kind a couple of years later with the same sad results!
since that time i have become more involved with orchids and can now appreciate those so called ho hum orchids in the store.
These pictures are all of the orchid Phalenopsis. Not a boring one in the bunch. They are all beautiful in their own way. The colors speak for themselves. The shapes are essentially the same but the size and color variations make each unique.
All these are adding to the winter color in my home.