Wednesday, March 22, 2017

recycled amaryllis

Last year, I bought two amaryllis bulbs that bloomed beautifully months after Christmas.  I couldn't bear to throw them out, as I do other years.  A woman in one of my gardening classes said that she leaves them on her widowsill year-round, and they bloom every year.  So I decided to follow her advice.  I gave them almost no water during the summer, and obviously, they thrive on neglect.

The bulbs became even dryer and more papery their second year.

This one has formed a bulblet under the soil and put out its own leaf.  This will eventually become a full-sized bulb.

Notice that the red and white plant has put out a second stalk, so there will be flowers for weeks to come.

It's the second week of March, a strange time for these amaryllis to be in full bloom, but there you have it!

I will save the bulbs again, and see what happens next year.

This last burst is the second stalk, which was just a bud in the last shot.  And behind is the spent flower from the first stalk.
This bulb has given me a lovely surprise, with so little effort on my part!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

more pretty plants in punta cana

We didn't get to go to an official botanical garden while in the Dominican, but our resort was beautifully landscaped with all sorts of beautiful specimens, many identified with a plaque noting their latin and common names.

Wayne and Heidi with bananas


a slingle palm tree leans precariously out to sea

Euphorbia grows a lot taller than at home

King palm

hibiscus heaven

At the resort in the Dominican Republic, hibiscus of all colours were as common as dandelions at home.  But a lot prettier.  The housekeeping staff even decorated our bathroom with them!

orchids in paradise

At the Dreams Resort in Punta Cana, orchids were perched around the flamingo pool.  I was amazed at the variety.

New orchids are lashed to a tree and kitted out with a bag of fertilizer, and are prepared to bloom soon.

critters at the resort

In February, we were at a resort in the Dominican Republic.  While over 100 cm of snow fell back home on PEI, we couldn't believe the whole world was as green and lush as our little corner of heaven at Dreams Resort.  The peacocks screamed like cats, and were pretty shy, except for one female who sat down beside me on my deck and kept me company for a while.

The six flamingos were really cool.  They hung out in this rocky pool most of the time, but one morning all six walked right past us, on a mission to who knows where.  That cold reptilian eye makes me think they don't like us much at all.

This scene was a real mystery.  The flamingo grabbed some feed from the bowl, turned its head upside down, and pushed his beak back and forth in the water.  The huge goldfish went crazy eating the feed that must be spilling from the flamingo's beak.  Now why would the bird want to feed the fish?  What was in it for him?  The only thing I can think of is that he likes his food wet.

a single straggler

A single female evening grossbeak has been hanging out with a flock of bluejays and mourning doves at my feeder.  She is very shy, and it's hard to get a clear picture of her against the white snow.  I haven't seen that species at my feeder for many years.  I hope she has some of her own kind close by.

Another visitor is this raven.  It is one of a trio that visits the feeder to look for bread and other offerings.  They aren't keen on sunflower seeds or suet.

Friday, February 17, 2017

winter's back

We went away for the first week of February.  We left a mild, easy winter, and returned to snow - lots of it.  Wayne is in Florida (shades of last year) and I with my cold am left to do the shovelling.  First was the deck - the weight of all that snow had to go.  I uncovered the bird feeders, stocked up with peanuts and sunflower seeds, and a crowd of bluejays, starlings, mourning doves and chickadees, along with two ravens, showed their appreciation.

Later in the afternoon, I had a look at the front walkway.  It was a chore just to find the steps.  The snow was packed down by the wind, and easy to cut into chunks.  I had to stop every few minutes to catch my breath.
The car on the left has not been touched for 10 days.  That guy will not be liberated for another week. My car, on the right, was driven yesterday, but is again covered.  The driveway has not been plowed, so I'm going nowhere today.
After 40 minutes of struggling, the steps have emerged.  The pile of snow is up to 45 inches, and I am ready for a well-deserved cup of tea.