Sunday, March 21, 2010

Orchids and Violets

These two orchids are in bloom in the light garden now.  The lady slipper is Phrag. Andean Fire and the other one is SL. Psyche 'China" l. cinnabariana x s. coccinea.  Its all Greek to me.    The Andean Fire seems a bit droopy.  Psyche is a vibrant orange with 3 blooms this time.
This is one of the African Violets in bloom.  I played with this one in my photo editors.  In Virtual Studio, I can correct the 'temperature' as I had neglected to change the white balance to florescent when shooting.  I also used the dodge and burn tools, as well as sharpening in photoshop.  Virtual Studio also has noise reduction and a few other good things.  Google the Optic Verve or Virtual Studio and do a free download, if you are interested.
Another of the violets in bloom.
All of the plants in the light garden survived my two week trip away from home.  Andy and Tara looked in on things.  Thanks.
In the garden today, I mowed the grass -- first mow of the year.  The crocus field did not get mown, of course.  The leaves need to harden off.  When the crocus leaves begin to brown, I can then mow the grass where they grow.  Andy topped up the pond a few days ago... the leak seems to be even slower, now.  I skimmed some of the plum tree dropped blooms off the pond.  I put the grass clippings around the strawberry plants and added some manure compost to them and to the rhubarb which is now about 2 feet high.  I cleaned up a few more perennials, dug out dandilions, moved one of the old clay pots that contains a lily and moved the rocks around a bit.    It was fun playing outside, as it was a beautiful sunny 12 degree day.

The Rock and Alpine Garden Club has its Spring Show and Sale  next weekend:
The annual Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Sp[ring Show for 2010 will be on Friday, March 26th and Saturday March 27th, at Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus Rd.  Show hours are from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m on Saturday.  The members plant sale is from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Speciality nurseries will sell plants during the entire show and seeds will be on sale throughout.  Afternoon teas will be available.  The show will feature door prizes and a silent auction.

This is an annual event for me, although I have not entered any plants in the show yet.  I like to go and see what people are growing and to purchase precious little plants.  The little Daphne, a tiny grey mounding plant, and a very nice polyanthus marginata from last year are thriving in the small rockery and in a pot.  Over the years I have managed to get a few very nice alpines growing.   Last year, we went away for a month in the hottest time of the year and some of my new purchases perished.  The ones I put into pots do not do as well as the ones that go directly into the rockery, or into very large pots.   I have 3 large pots that only need good fast draining soil and then I could have a few more alpines.   I will see what might be available, but should get the pots ready, now. 

This year, I should redo the woodland path and the woodland area itself, needs cleaning up.  The bluebells are just taking over everything.  They are nice, but so very invasive.  The garden is not too bad right now.  It helps to keep up to the weeds and any needed renovations.  The arabis, daffodils, hyaciths, polyanthus, hellebores, camillias and both magnolia shrubs are in bloom.   The moss garden is slowly growing. 

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