Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Orchid Whisperers

For years I admired orchids but had never gone so far as to purchase one for our home. Then a little more than six years ago my mother died and one of the flowers we received was an orchid that we still enjoy today. I have had several people tell us that they love the plant, but cannot keep them alive or get them to bloom. My wife and I have developed a skill I suppose with all of our growing experience and now some people are calling us Orchid Whisperers.

I won’t claim to speak Orchid or that by any means we are experts, but over time you begin to understand what it takes to make a flower thrive. Our showcase for these exquisite beauties is a window in my wife’s hair salon. It is on a east facing side of our home and gets very little direct light. Another person shared they were only able to enjoy blooms for a month at most. We have had blooms last three months or more.

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In all I think we have about eight plants in varying stages of growth. This usually means at least three or four in a good bloom cycle, which means we get to enjoy some downstairs in the salon and one or two upstairs in our living area. To me colorful blooms are like medicine lifting my mood and putting me in my happy place.

The final two are pictured in our rehab area upstairs, a south facing bay window that holds a variety of flowers including Amaryllis, African Violets and whatever orchids have finished their bloom cycle. Usually within a short period there is a new emergence of growth on an orchid placed here and following that new buds appear.

Tell me about your orchid experiences in the comments.

End of Month View – May 2016

This is part of a monthly opportunity to take photos reflecting the progress of your gardening adventures over the past thirty or thirty-one days depending on the length of the month. Depending on your climate this may be quite a bit of growth or none at all. For me it is at the cusp of summer and a lot of growth is happening. So sit back, relax and let me show you what we are enjoying these days. Oh and this is hosted by Helen Johnstone at The Patient Gardener.

In my climate zone the middle of May is the time we can finally put our annuals outside without fear of frost damage. I had to hold off an extra few days this time around as May 10th is usually the bench mark, but we had frost early on the morning of the 13th, meaning it was the 17th before I finally felt free to move things outdoors.

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Above you see another window box outside the window of my wife’s hair salon on an eastern facing window where the Gerbers will not have to endure full sun conditions. There is also some trailing Verbena to help fill out the box.

 

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Here is two large clumps of Wild Geranium and a smaller one of a different variety on the back side of the pansies that line the retaining wall outside the hair salon. Although you cannot see it, their are seed pods developing now.

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This is a new type of Dianthus (perennial variety) we added this year. It is just beginning to bloom.

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Our Dahlias are slow to emerge, but are beginning to show themselves. We love to cut these and make fresh arrangements throughout the late summer blooming period.

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This is our first time trying a raised bed for anything. After having such terrible fortune with tomatoes succumbing to blight we wanted to give this a shot.

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The sporadic moisture throughout April and May have caused everything to grow sluggishly. We finally replanted beans after waiting as long as we felt we could for the first seeds to sprout.

The bed on the left was re-mulched and has many blooms that will come either late in June or early in July. The bed on the right has mainly hostas, with a new butterfly bush in the rear that may take a while to be seen.

rue, but due to the nature of the trip, flying 1,300 miles to Be 006

If you zoom in on this picture you will notice the freshly planted Gerber Daisies. Usually when the heat comes the pansies die back, but we worked really hard to get this new variety of Wave Pansies established and they continue to thrive.

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This is another place we worked really hard to get the Wave Pansies established, planting them last fall. Usually by now we have Geraniums in place, but the pansies still are hanging tough.

rue, but due to the nature of the trip, flying 1,300 miles to Be 002

This is a long term project, a flower bed on a steep bank I don’t want to have to struggle to keep mowed. Right now it has Wild Geraniums, Japanese Iris, Gazanias, Cosmos and a few Wave Pansies. I hope by the next EOMV it will show much more color.

Tell me what you think fellow EOMV contributors!