20 January 2010

Wednesday Links

Another great post from Deborah Silver over at Dirt Simple -- about container gardening. The post includes a series of photographs of a dizzying array of different designed in the very same set of containers. If you are looking for inspiration for your containers this year, start with this post!

Kinda off topic, but: I'm proud to be writing this on blogger now that google as finally taken a stand against censorship in China! Now we just need Yahoo, Microsoft, and all the rest to join them.

Mr. Subjunctive of PATSP writes forcefully of how EASY it is to have things blooming in the middle of winter. I feel humbled... My house plants generally consist of things I grew outside all winter and am trying to overwinter. I shall hereby go to www.glasshouseworks.com (my favorite wacked-out source for tropicals -- though I have to admit, the quality of plants from them can be pretty hit and miss) and order their winter blooming house plant collection -- because I really don't know diddly about house plants, and would rather let some crazy person in Ohio pick them out for me.

For all you Southern gardeners suffering through a harsh winter, The Patient Gardener makes a good point: Hard winters provide lots of valuable information about what is REALLY hardy. (I can say this with a smile on my face because here in Michigan we are having a remarkably mild winter, and I'm expecting all sorts of things to survive.)

Young people aren't going into horticulture -- at least in Southern Australia. I've not seen numbers for the US -- I wonder what the trend is here?

Bert Cregg, over at the Garden Professors (and just down the hall from me in real life) has a nice post suggesting alternatives to the over planted blue spruce. I've been thinking more about winter interest of late, so cool conifers on my list of things to get this spring.


Carol said...

Very interesting post! I never think political is far removed from personal... great news about google! I had not heard it yet. ;>))

mr_subjunctive said...

Why let some crazy person in Ohio pick out your plants for you, when you could let some crazy person in Iowa pick out your plants for you?

I like Aeschynanthus: though I haven't had particularly broad experience with the genus, the ones I've been acquainted with have been decently well-behaved, and they're one of only two and a half gesneriads I can grow (the half is Saintpaulia, which I can grow, but not very well; the second is Nematanthus, which I also recommend for winter blooming). Aeschynanthus blooms mid-winter to mid-spring; Nematanthus blooms off and on throughout the year; Saintpaulia blooms year-round.

Anthurium andreanum cultivars are fairly easy for me to grow, so long as I resist the temptation to move them to too big of a pot. They do need substantial light to flower, but otherwise are pretty easy, and I like the leaves whether they're flowering or not. They'll bloom year-round.

I hear nice things about Billbergia nutans, but I've never seen one for sale anywhere. They bloom in early winter.

I also really like Clivia miniata as a foliage plant; I haven't been able to reflower mine, but in fairness to the plants, I haven't been trying very hard either. I don't think it's especially difficult; I just haven't bothered to learn how to do it. They bloom in late winter, if they're going to bloom.

Euphorbia millii will bloom for most of the year -- for everybody but me. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but mine hasn't bloomed since I got it here.

I love Pedilanthus tithymaloides, but I've never seen one flower indoors. So don't listen to GHW on that one.

Abutilon cvv. bloom year-round but need lots of fertilizer and light. They've become one of my favorite plants since I got one this summer.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis will bloom year-round, but tend to look like crap during the winter, and don't bloom nearly as much from about November to April as they do the rest of the year.

I don't recommend Eucharis grandiflora; I like the plant, but it doesn't like me. They will bloom in winter, though.

Joseph said...

Thank you, crazy person in Iowa! I shall take your recommendations to heart. I actually HAVE a Clivia, a yellow one I grew from seed (I have no restraint when it comes to seeds, so basically all my house plants are seed grown) -- it has bloomed every winter in the past, but decided to bloom in August last year. Which was totally uncalled for. I keep hoping it will decide to bloom again this winter, but so far no signs of flowers.
I used to have an abutilon, but it always had white fly so I composted it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Joseph. The tomato seeds arrived safely, over the weekend. Thanks so much. They will be fun to grow. Do I need to worry about them crossing with the other tomatoes I grow?

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