Winter Interest

Look outside and what do you see? Fog, gray skies and a few recognizable twigs that may be dead or may have survived the recent cold spell. We will know about that by June. Many folks are in holiday overdrive right now but I prefer the quietness that winter brings. In zone 8, Western Washington, I have Pampas grass waving, Heather blooming and Euphorbia looking good after a week with lows near 20* F. Look closely and enjoy the plants that have winter interest. If you don’t find any, make a plan for your viewing pleasure for December 2014.

20131211-134726.jpg

20131211-134742.jpg

Advertisements

Exploring the world of Fuchsias

I tend to read a lot of gardening books during the (North American) Winter because my library has a good selection checked in 🙂 Does anyone else do this? Right now I am fascinated with Fuchsias and found a really straight forward book written for a beginner to the topic.

 

 

Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. Copyright 2000

Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. Copyright 2000


I have acquired a few of these plants with a long flowering period and have been focusing on those hardy in my zone 8 garden.
Fuchsia flower types

Fuchsia flower types


According to this book they are easy to propagate so that may be one of my winter greenhouse activities.
Plant propagation.

Plant propagation.

Mums from the beginning

I really enjoyed my mums last fall and I was told to take cuttings this month to have more of the same mums next fall. Apparently the plants from last fall will not produce very well unless cuttings are rooted and new plants started.
20130311-220425.jpg

There are several ways to get the cuttings to root. I chose Hormex rooting hormone and perilite.

20130311-220443.jpg

After 3-4 weeks the rooted cuttings go into 4 inch pots with potting mix. The after 4 more weeks I will look for roots coming out of the bottom so I know it is time to go to a larger pot. This potting up continues until July 4th when they should be in a final pot for growing and flowering.

20130311-220455.jpg

Click on the mums or Chrysanthemums in my word cloud to the right to see the mums blooming last fall.

2012 Success in the veggie garden

The new garden in a new climate brought lots of planting choices that were new to me! Kale and Swiss Chard are new to our diet and the not very adventurous spouse will now eat both in various raw or cooked forms, but not several times a week; I have to space it out. That in itself is an accomplishment! I was getting pretty sick of steamed broccoli which seems to be a 12 month harvest here. So here are some of my best veggies of 2012.