At April’s end

Life has been busy and enjoyable. Haven’t had a lot of energy for blogging here, but I think of it from time to time.

We’re adapting to our new foster, Rainer, and he is adapting to us. He is a very sweet, gentle, shy gentleman, definitely the easiest foster we’ve had so far.

Rainer in golden light

We’re taking charge of the weed situation in the garden plots. There’s this one pernicious weed that spreads everywhere; it has roots that sprawl out, nearly two feet in length. I think it’s ground ivy (glechoma hederacea), and it’s driving me crazy. (The description of it is “a very aggressive lawn weed.” That sounds about right. It’s like the Hun army.) We also need to deal with “the snake pit,” our name for the old wood pile outside the fence, which is very likely infested with snakes.

I am continuing my latest obsession with houseplants and reading stacks of books from the library about them. (There’s one with the best subtitle, and applicable to my situation: “Never Kill Again!”) I’ve also found a whole host of houseplant blogs. There is a blog for every imaginable niche topic; I do really love that about the blogosphere. (If I ever started a houseplant blog, I’d call it Never Kill Again?)

I think my plant interests are also refining themselves, based on the climate of our hovel: I am going to make orchids and tropical-friendly plants my purview. My happiest plants right now are my phalenopsis and my schefflera. As much as I love succulents, I think I will have to relinquish my desire to grow them; our house is just too humid and lacking in bright light. They may be able to live in the sunroom, but I think that’s the only place they’ll survive.

Plant wish list:

Making slow progress with Anna Karenina, but every minute of it is deeply enjoyable.

Houseplant explosion

So, I went a little crazy with houseplants this weekend. I kind of went wild at Fifth Season. Here are the recent acquisitions:

Snake plant
Snake plant.

SNAKE PLANT
Sansevieria trifasciata

When I read that the snake plant (aka mother-in-law’s tongue) is a virtually indestructible organism, I put it first on my list. Apparently, this striking dude can live with little light and infrequent watering. It also shouldn’t be repotted for at least two to three years. One care guide I read said the most important thing to remember with snake plants is restraint; overwatering will kill it faster than anything else. Here’s to hoping that it will live forever! (I also really love the orange ombre pot I found for it at Fifth Season.)

Golden spike moss
Golden spike moss.

GOLDEN SPIKE MOSS
Selaginella kraussiana “aurea”

I wasn’t planning on acquiring this little guy, but he was so light and green and fresh-looking. Mosses like humidity, of which our little house has plenty, so I hope he will thrive on the console table. Mosses also tend to do well in shallow containers, and we have these beautiful aqua bowls (which Guion finds impractical) that serve the purpose perfectly.

Arboricola luseane
Luseane arboricola (schefflera).

LUSEANE ARBORICOLA (SCHEFFLERA)

Also known as an umbrella plant, this guy is in the schefflera family and is most popular among bonsai enthusiasts. It is apparently easy to grow and doesn’t have many finicky requirements to grow. I have it sitting on top of our wardrobe in our bedroom. I want to keep an eye on this one, however, for fear that it may not get enough light throughout the day.

Succulent
Succulent in studio.
Succulent trio
Succulent trio on table.
Succulent close up
Succulent.

SUCCULENTS

I really love succulents. They always look so healthy and happy to me. I kept a few alive for a while last year, but then I neglected them and they shriveled up. So, they aren’t entirely no-maintenance plants. Again, overwatering is a great sin. I am a little concerned about drainage for these dudes and may need to repot the larger one in the bowl, for fear that there aren’t enough small rocks in there.

Thanks to the instructions from this great website on succulents, I am also attempting to propagate succulents from leaf cuttings.

First attempt at succulent propagation
First attempt to propagate succulents.

Looking forward to seeing if this will be successful!

Lemon tree
Meyer lemon tree. (We have since bought a proper stand for it, which will allow for drainage.)

MEYER LEMON TREE
Citrus √ó meyeri

I have been wanting a lemon tree for a while, and we finally decided to get on. The lemon tree will reside in the living room, where I believe it will get a nice amount of bright light (without being too hot or direct). I still need to read more about how to encourage them to propagate and how to handle the blooms, but I am particularly looking forward to nurturing this guy. Have you ever tried to grow citrus indoors?

Orchid (phal)
Moth orchid.
Orchid closeup
Moth orchid.

MOTH ORCHID
Phalaenopsis

I have always loved orchids; I can rarely pass them up. I got this spotted beauty from Trader Joe’s actually. Orchids are one of the few plants I have had success with in the past. Granddad once gave me one that I was able to keep a live for a year and get to rebloom. It died after the second blooming, but I am hoping to try my luck again. The orchid lives in the bathroom, because of its great love for humidity.

Geranium and seedlings
Citronella geranium and Guion’s seedlings.
Citronella geranium
Citronella geranium.

CITRONELLA GERANIUM
Citrosa geranium

I was suckered into buying this citronella-scented geranium, which fits nicely on the table in the sunroom. I also love how very difficult it is to kill geraniums. I have kept them alive, with very little attention, for months at a time.

So. Now. Let the research begin! I have a lot to learn about indoor gardening and houseplant propagation.