Monthly Archives: February 2015

End of the Month Garden Review – February 2015

So it is the end of February, dead of winter, and the expectation is there will be nothing of value to show in my flower and vegetable gardens. Not only is that true, but my gardens are mostly insulated with multiple inches of the white stuff. For a person that finds such a great serum from the flower and vegetable growing process this time of year rings so hollow. The only fun I have flower wise is watching my indoor plants go through their changes.

Last year this was for sweet corn.

Last year this was for sweet corn.

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Behind this bench and chair there is usually a bed of cascading wave petunias in the summer.

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This is a massive clump of Japanese Iris that will be on their way back to life as soon as the weather breaks.

 

Last year this was for sweet corn.

Last year this was for sweet corn.

The main vegetable garden, where we grow tomatoes, cukes, beans, watermelons and peppers.

The main vegetable garden, where we grow tomatoes, cukes, beans, watermelons and peppers.

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A Montana Ruebens Clematis that is always very gorgeous in the summer, but for now is just a dormant set of twigs.

The Dahlias are a family affair

For decades my family, including my grandfather Joe Hoss, my namesake, my dad as well as his brothers, Uncle Charles and Uncle Jim have all grown Dahlias. These stalwarts of our cutting cultivar garden always help to put the wow in any bouquet. These were the best choice as my offering to the weekly floral photography invitational called the Floral Friday Fotos.

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A pretty solid assortment of all our cut flowers in 2014.

A pretty solid assortment of all our cut flowers in 2014.

 

 

 

 

Can you say anticipation?

For me there is just nothing like the entire process of a blooming plant. From the first signs that the bloom time is near all the way through the sometimes painfully slow bud process, this wonderful treat of God is such a natural high for me. Of course each plant has its particular process, but just the promise of the color and beauty of the bloom set makes it all worthwhile to me.

As I author this particular post there remains the remnants of two USA centered winther storms, #Octavia and #Pandora that combined to drop almost a foot and a half of snow on my area, which is in the mountains of Virginia. Our elevation is abour 2,300 feet above sea level, but the snow we get might toal 5-6 inches per winter. This year has been exceptional and should have put me into a mental tailspin. You see I suffer from a form of the Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is directly ties to lack of sunlight and being couped up due to weather. But, thanks to our love of plants for one part, i have something to keep my mind satisfied.

Seven or eight years ago we enclosed a carport to make a den. When doing so we installed a south-facing bay window. As it happens it was a genius idea as it relates to the indoor plants we favor. In particular our Orchids and African Violets seem to thrive here.

You can see the idea of Battleground Farms to encase the bulb in wax is not a great one.

You can see the idea of Battleground Farms to encase the bulb in wax is not a great one.

 

We baby the Orchids here until they get to the bud stage then we relocate them to my wife’s hair salon which is in the basement of our house. They are a wonderful conversation piece and thrive due to the light conditions there, benefiting from northwestern exposure.

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With floral reinforcements like this to buoy my mood i am in good shape until the wide canvas outside thaws. I invite you to return for the series I publish about the innumerable varieties in my outside landscape. Also look for the 2015 A to Z posts where i will showcase at least 26 plants I love.

The lilies, oh the lilies!

To say I am partial to lilies is a supreme understatement. I love every kind. I have some Asiatic ones that I transplanted from my parents yard as well as some day lilies we bought to add to our beds.  These were the best choice as my offering to the weekly floral photography invitational I joined last week. it is called the Floral Friday Fotos.

This is a blackberry lily.

This is a blackberry lily.

The Asiatic I transferred from my home place.

The Asiatic I transferred from my home place.

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One of the many Calla Lilies we have planted with our Dahlias.

One of the many Calla Lilies we have planted with our Dahlias.

Next week I will share several photos of the Dahlias we enjoy as cut flowers all summer. Until then happy bloom chasing!

 

For the Sake of Volunteers!

If you are a true and seasoned gardener you will nod with a knowing satisfaction when I mention volunteers as well as their place in your gardening world. A volunteer can surprise you with its unexpected appearance and beauty, especially when it emerges in a bed of something totally different.

When we talk about how this can happen we have to consider the way different plants reproduce. Some have seeds while others have growth from extensions that will grow underneath and emerge in another nearby location. By and large most of my volunteers result from the first option as the seeds fall from a parent plant a year or more previous.

The sunflowers I have pictured definitely are the benefit of previous plants as they are all  within a short distance from last year’s plants. I saved half a five gallon bucket of seeds from sunflower heads, but the only plants I have are strictly volunteer. I will try to collect these seeds to re-plant next year.

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The wave petunias back nearly every year and it varies what different colors we enjoy. The fun part is waiting to see what volunteer plant sprouts where and what color it shows when it blooms.

Orchids as tonic

I AM SO EXCITED! I FINALLY HAVE FOUND MY PEOPLE!!!! Okay, now that I have that out of my system I will inform those who visit my blog what exactly i have discovered. Through the WordPress Reader I stumbled across another weekly invitational challenge to post photos of my floral finds. it is called the Floral Friday Fotos.  I LOVE taking photos of blooms. hence the name of this blog.

From the looks of the other links there is a heavy influence from the Land Down Under in those participating, so perhaps i can make some friends where the koalas and kangaroos rule.

I have some photos of the various orchids in our home to share. Obviously these are inside plants where I live, which is in the mountains of Virginia. They help me make it through the cold and dreary doldrums without blooms from November through March.

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