Thursday, October 7, 2010

Succulent Border (2005 --> 2006)

A quick look at how quickly this succulent border made it self at home in my front garden.  My front garden includes perennials and annuals.  My dad and I planted this border back in 2005.  It was one of my favorite plants from my parents' garden and reminds me of my childhood.  They still have the same original border which shows just how hardy these plants are.  I remember accidentally running over this border with my bike many times back in the day - they're indestructible!

The small plants from 2005 are actually tiny transplants from my parents' garden.  I'm so happy to have this little piece from a happy, carefree time here with me today.

2005: Succulent border transplant

2005: Succulent border transplant (close-up)

One year later...
2006: Succulent border transplant (close-up)

One year later...2006: Succulent border transplant

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Autumn Has Arrived!

Yes, I'm still around!  These past few months have kept me busy with work and some side-projects, but I did continue to keep up with my garden.  This year, I planted mainly tomatoes and flowers.  You'd think that with my very robust harvest of tomatoes over the past few years, I'd plant some other fruits and vegetables, but after discovering how easy it is to make my own fresh salsa from scratch, I've been addicted to tomatoes!

Roma tomatoes have been most plentiful and the green zebra tomatoes have done well.  Surprisingly, my grape tomatoes haven't produced as much fruit as in the past - maybe it's time for some new seeds?

I've supplemented my tomato plants with herbs - some of which return each year including chives and thyme.  This year parsley returned as well!  Earlier this year, I started a new "subscription" to a local fruit and vegetable supplier, Dobrasevic Food Company, which delivers a "small" box of goodies to my door each Saturday.  Their goal is to work with local farmers as much as possible and supply fresh produce to the metro Detroit area.  Before subscribing to their service and products, I purchased most of my produce from Whole Foods Market.  I still love Whole Foods, but I want to help out the local farmers and Michigan economy as much as possible and I love that the produce is so fresh.  Also, the boxes are so packed with produce that, in the end, this is a much more economical option for me.  Dobrasevic Food Company gives customers a heads-up on what will be delivered, but I love opening the box on Saturday and discovering what deliciousness has arrived.  This has allowed me to learn how to cook new foods.  Typically, a couple recipes are included in the box and I've learned how to make up some of my own recipes.  Here's a peek into the delivery I received on Saturday.

I'd like to post photos of my past deliveries which I've archived onto my laptop and show you a sample of what dishes I've created with each week's delivery.

So much to catch up on!  Hope you're having a wonderful week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

spring sprouts

a few weeks ago, i stopped into my local nursery and garden supply store, telly's greenhouse, and picked up a seed sprouter.  i'm not usually a big fan of sprouts, but i had a sandwich a while back that included alfalfa sprouts and garbanzo sprouts.  it added a whole new texture to the typical sandwich.  so, i decided to give sprouts a second chance - and while i'm at it, why not try to grow my own?  and it happens to be my day off - time to hopefully catch up on home projects that have been lingering for months (some, for a couple years - yikes!).

you see, another one of my dislikes about sprouts is how quickly they can go bad.  i'd buy a bag of them, use about a tenth of its contents and a couple days later, well, they just didn't seem so fresh.  by using a seed sprouter, i can grow sprouts in small amounts whenever i please.

today i started two different seeds, alfalfa and snow pea, in jam jars covered with 250 ml of water and covered them with paper towel and a rubber band, allowing the seed to swell.  tonight, before i go to bed, i should be able to move them to the two-tier sprouter which you can view here.  if all goes well, i'll the sprouts will be ready to eat in two to seven days!

no, i wasn't able to find garbanzo seeds - they ran out of them.  i'll take this as a sign that they are just as good homegrown as the one i had in that dream sandwich.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

seedy weekend

this weekend, i finally started my seeds.  of course, my dad has his own seeds to start with mine.  on saturday, we prepped the flats and today, i moved them into my basement grow station.

here's what's set to grow for 2010:

my plants:

  • fennel
  • japanese eggplant
  • fernleaf dill
  • tomatillo verde
  • green zebra tomato
  • tumbling tom tomato
  • roma tomato
  • sweet italian basil
  • ruby swiss chard

dad's plants:
  • red bell pepper
  • orange bell pepper
  • japanese eggplant
  • tomato
  • okra
  • zinnia

because i'm so late with starting seeds (again), i'm using hydrofarm's seedling heat mats this year.  hopefully i'll be able to plant a few seedlings next month - i'll just need to make sure i give them lots of good nutrients so that they can grow strong in the ground.

today, i took care of some yard clean-up and thankfully, i have they day off tomorrow and hope to separate my clematis and get a few "cold weather" seeds into the ground.

happy spring!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

cities with the most urban gardens

the daily green has published a slideshow of photos of the cities with the most community gardens.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

2008 seed starting (a little late start)

i finally got around to starting my seeds this year! it's been a little crazy lately...i lost my grandmother about a week and a half ago. she lived in the philippines, so my family and i were sort of scrambling to find my parents flights to manila. also, since the last time i blogged, we've added a new member to the family. my sister got a new puppy named diva. she's the cutest thing ever, but of course she needs a lot of attention and training right now. she's a miniature long-haired dachshund.

while i did recently lose my lola ("lola" means "grandmother" in tagalog), i find comfort in knowing that she is in a better place. my wonderful co-workers gave me a beautiful plant arrangment which included a peace lily, african violets, and a type of dracaena. there are a couple other plants that i'm not able to identify, so i hope to contact the florist so i can make sure they are identified - that way i can try to take care of them based on their needs. my grandma and grandpa loved gardening. when they lived with us, they spent many days setting up and caring for the vegetable garden in my parents' backyard. the garden was a labor of love for the entire family. i supposed that's where i also caught the plant bug.

while i'm a bit late in starting my seeds, the weather has been cool on and off. we had a 79 degree day and also a day in the 30s within the past couple of weeks. i truly hope that i'm not too late starting some seeds and that the seeds that i did plant are still viable. i also had a request from my dad to start a few of his seeds while he and my mom are away. here's the list:

dad's plants:

  1. okra - seeds dried in the fruit (i'll try to post a photo soon) - 3 cells
  2. red hot chili peppers (seeds from last year's harvest) - 3 cells
  3. red bell pepper (seeds from last year's harvest) - 6 cells
  4. orange bell pepper (seeds from last year's harvest) - 6 cells
  5. yellow bell pepper (seeds from last year's harvest) - 6 cells
  6. eggplant, oriental long purple heirloom ('05 from ygg seed exchange) - 6 cells
  1. basil, cinnamon ('05) - 6 cells
  2. basil, italian large leaf ('05) - 6 cells
  3. basil, sweet ('06) - 6 cells
  4. dill ('05) - 6 cells
  5. chamomile, german ('05) - 6 cells
  6. parsley, italian flat leaf ('05) - 6 cells
  1. tomato, brandywine, organic ('05) - 6 cells
  2. tomato, red currant ('06) - 3 cells
  3. tomato, roma, heirloom ('04) - 6 cells
  4. tomato, yellow pear, heirloom ('05) - 6 cells
  1. aster, annual sea star mix ('06) - 12 cells
  2. coneflower, purple ('06) - 3 cells
  3. daisies, shasta (from ygg swap) - 3 cells
  4. hollyhock, black, ('06)
  5. marigold, french vanilla hybrid - 3 cells
  6. moss rose, (from ygg swap) - 12 cells
  7. zinnia, cut & come again ('06) - 3 cells
  8. zinnia, giant dahlia ('04) - 4 cells
  9. zinnia, cactus flowered ('04) - 3 cells
everything is currently in humidity trays under cool and warm plant lights. i also moved my cattleya orchid from the window to the lights. i have a couple incandescent lights for heat. everything is plugged into a power strip which is plugged into a timer set to turn everything on between 5a and 8p to get 15 hours of light and warmth.

have a great week, everyone! be sure to take some time out to renew.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

chinese lanterns (physalis alkekengi)

happy easter! lots to do today, so just a quick photo update on the chinese lanterns for the ygg grow-a-long...

these were started from seed on april 23, 2006 under grow lights and then were moved outside on may 29, 2006.

i transplanted a few of the plants into the pot below and they came back in 2007. today, they're still outside and seem to be doing just fine.

it's important to remember that chinese lanterns are invasive (have a tendency to spread throughout the garden and beyond), so choose your location wisely and perhaps contain them in pots as show above.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

palm sunday orchid show

today i attended the michigan orchid society's annual "palm sunday orchid show." there were many vendors and knowledgeable lecturers.

it's been a while since the plant bug bit me, but with signs of spring these past few days, i can't help but think of gardening and plants this time of the year. for me, it's good to have winter come around for a few months. after winter, springtime brings renewal and excitement to my gardening adventures! here are a few more photos of the beautiful orchids i saw today...for anyone who knows me, you'll be amazed that i actually held back and didn't purchase a plant today. orchids are addicting, but i need to find space for new plants!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


in spring of 2004, i moved into a new construction home. it was a scary and exciting time, and one of the things i most looked forward to was having a big bed of tulips each spring. tulips, along with other bulbs, succulents, and orchids are among my favorite plants.

unfortunately, the condition of my soil was pretty bad. the earth consisted of many stones of various sizes, clay, and lots and lots of weeds. because the city of troy, michigan requires a lawn to be put in, i had landscaping and sprinklers put in. the nice folks from rumptz landscape and design removed as many of the weeds as possible, tilled the soil, added topsoil, and also put in brick pavers. they tossed the extra sand into the spaces left empty for planting which actually helped a great deal in conditioning a patch of land by my front porch. it was this little area that i decided was going to be used for planting tulips.

my dad recommended that i add gypsum to the soil as a conditioner. i dug up the earth and also mixed in some bloodmeal to give the bulbs some nutrients. the soil was still in very bad condition, but i had lots of clearance bulbs on hand and at this point, it was already november and the bulbs had to go in or go to waste.

bulbs i planted in the fall of 2004:

franks nursery pink garden collection

flowering time - feb to may
10 darwin hybrid tulip menton (24" deep carnation pink)
30 allium roseum (16" little rounds of starlike flowers, light purple-pink)
10 iris hollandica carmen (24" light purple iris with a tinge of yellow - beautiful!)

franks nursery exotic collector's blend
flowering time - late spring

5 deirdre (22" mixture of green, reddish-pink and cream all in one bloom)
5 greenland (22" mixture of green and cream in one bloom, pointy tips - one of my favorites)

franks nursery tulips white elegance
flowering time - late spring
8 bulbs (very pointy tips)

franks nursery tulips wirosa
flowering time - late spring
5 bulbs (16", roundish bloom containing red and white...reminds me of parrot tulips)

franks nursery tulips angelique
flowering time - late spring
5 bulbs (16", pink roundish bloom)

langeveld tulipa easter basket mixed pastels
flowering time - mid-spring
64 bulbs (16-20", variety of deep pinks, oranges, yellows, whites tinged with purple)

onderwater mid spring blooming tulip
flowering time - april to may
36 bulbs (20" medium yellow)

i had an abundance of blooms in spring of 2005 and 2006. in spring of 2007, i noticed that many of the tulips didn't return. also, my beloved iris had just one bloom. if all goes as planned, i will be planting more bulbs this fall. my main challenge will be finding the right time to do so. i may have to wait until early to mid-november to plant these bulbs and i hope it won't be too late.

here are some photos of the tulips...


to grow means to nurture, cultivate, evolve, and develop. growing also takes time. nearly two years later, i've returned to this blog as part of an effort to reconnect with the things i love, but haven't had the time to keep up. besides gardening, other things i hope to return to are my love of jewelry design and metalwork as well as sewing.

while i haven't been very good at documenting my gardening adventures, i have been keeping up with gardening itself. in the next few posts, i'll be playing a little bit of catch-up...and perhaps soon, will be posting my plans for my 2008 outdoor garden.