The plants just keep getting better, and there was the wildlife!

Background information from Wikipedia:
Telopea truncata, commonly known as the Tasmanian waratah, is a plant in the family Proteaceae. It is endemic to Tasmania where it is found on moist acidic soils, similar to Western Washington west of the Cascades.  

The flower heads, known as inflorescences, are terminal—that is, they arise on the ends of small branches—and are surrounded by small inconspicuous hairy bracts.

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Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

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I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

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I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

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Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Miniature Garden Inspiration

Every year I like to try something new and this seems to be the year for a miniature garden. Not a fairy garden, but just a small scene yet to be determined. Inspired by Janit Calro’s book “Gardening in Miniature” and her display at #nwfgs this year! I think this will be my new area of gardening to explore this summer.

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Janit explains plant selection and scale very well in her book and on her website http://www.twogreenthumbs.com
Maybe I will be able to work in a micro mini rose.

Greenhouse problem solving

I keep what is referred to as a “”cool greenhouse,” meaning no winter heating. That works and is common in this maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest, but is not without potential problems. Last winter I had some stored, potted plants and a few winter vegetables slowly growing, for winter harvest. I also had a fungal attack within the greenhouse, probably something that came in with the potted plants and bloomed in the humid air of our rainy season. This is where the book I referred to yesterday became enormously helpful. Since the greenhouse is such a small in closed space, there is generally no air movement, making a prime environment for insects and fungi. One of the early chapters in “Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion” showed a simple fan set up to provide circulation needed for two reasons: first to foil insects and dry out the area and second to move around CO2 and O2 for improved plant health. Last summer as part of purchasing supplies to repair the greenhouse roof, I did a trip to Charlie’s Greenhouse in Mount Vernon, WA and saw a small fan for $37.00 for greenhouse use. I have been running it for a few hours during the day.

Fan.

Fan.