The Last of August

I’m sitting in my tent, dosed in natural melatonin. There is cool air . . . It feels nice. Desert camping was hot all but about 2 hours a night. It will get down to 50 or so tonight. Good sleeping weather.

Purple Grasshopper 8.31

This shift also means only 3 blooms today. Honestly, it is a little bit nice to not have a million photos to take. But, I already miss the excitement of checking the garden for Premieres.

Frans Hals 8.31

Today brought travel to the 4-corners region. If you know Colorado, you know that means a drive over the San Juan Mountains. 10 k feet above sea level.

Ruby Stella 8.31

The largest city in the area is Durango and I wanted to see if their nursery had any nice succulents or air plants. The best route is over Red Mountain pass, which is high, curvy and no guard rail. I got vertigo and was sick for 2 days last time I drove it, so I take the longer route now. Adds an hour but oh well. I use to drive Red Mountain in chains in a blizzard at night. Those days are gone.

Animas River 8.31

So, I ended up with 2 bromeliads – one in bloom and one with 2 pups. I also got a small red desert rose (succulent) and another cool succulent. I was thinking of what I read about not having too much variety. The bromeliads are the same family as air plants so they bring familiar features.

My new baby red Desert Rose 8.31

I want air plants and succulents/cactus to be my core plants. The other major groups I’ll keep are orchids, begonias, poinsettias, amaryllis, calathea, African violets. I have a few others, but I’m giving a lot of miscellaneous plants away. Since you can decorate most plants with air plants, that should help blend things in together.

My white Desert Rose in bloom – taken a few days ago.

I have my new plantlets in the hatch covered by a blanket. The bromeliads are far from their natural habitat. The succulents won’t care. No clue what I’m doing tomorrow. It’s a nice problem to have.

Tired

It’s crazy – I had 13 cultivators in bloom today. Hello . . . It’s August 20th. The weather is now acting like desert weather. Hot and dry. It was in the 90s today.

Purple Corn Dancer 8.20

It’s been a year tomorrow since my surgery. After that, I could not be in the sun for a few months, so the blog just stopped . . . Until the poinsettias bloomed. I only had Purple Corn Dancer in bloom, anyway. Healing was a journey.

Purple Thunderbird 8.20

I never know what to think this time of year. Tired of the heat but dreading the cold, dark seasons ahead. Tired of my camera but don’t want to miss the late bloomers. Hate to see camping season end but ready for some mellow hikes around home. I think my daylilies are in a similar place with life right now – still blooming but longing for a rest.

Cripple Creek 8.20

PS – I ordered my new 2 in one laptop. My old one was tired, too.

Shape Shifter 8.20

Purple Grasshopper 8.20

Indian Sky 8.20

Orange Flurry 8.20

El Desperado 8.20

Chaco Canyon 8.20

Coberg Fright Wig 8.20

Ruby Stella 8.20

Frans Hals 8.20

Chaos and Routine

The school year feels like it has started. The new faculty are awesome. Eventually, the routine will settle in, but the chaos takes time to run its course.

Indian Sky 8.19

And, as that happens, the daylilies thin. I have maybe 18 cultivators with buds. Probably about 100 buds. It’s hot, some of them are too thirsty. I lost a few this week.

Shape Shifter 8.19

I start to think about fall chores. Should I put a drip system in the front garden? I need to fix some things in the Southwest garden.

Purple Grasshopper 8.19

By the time the final grades come in, we will be talking about Santa Claus. And, my poor poinsettias. Why aren’t they growing faster. I usually start forcing the first ones about now. I have 2 of 6 that are blooming size. Maybe I need to up their water? Why did 2 grow big?

Frans Hals 8.19

And, my amaryllis have bloomed more this summer than last winter. I had 4 blooms this summer, though my seeds haven’t sprouted.

Navajo Curls 8.19

Fall and winter start to occupy my mind. Air plant decorating . . . They look cool in with cactus, which gives me all sorts of ideas.

Cripple Creek 8.19

For now, I need to focus on this week. Looks like I need a new computer. Sigh. I’m hoping Santa can still afford to bring me a new camera for Christmas.

Heirloom Heaven 8.19

Drizzle and Dragons

Sunday. I decided not to work on work until later or tomorrow because my energy is feeling all the change. I slept in and woke up to delightful drizzle in my garden. I had 18 bloomers and one Premier – Heirloom Heaven. She was a bonus and she is supermini. Also, one of my most reliable fall bloomers. I know the season is starting to close-up for another year when I see her.

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Heirloom Heaven – 8.11

That said, I still have well over 100 buds – maybe close to 200. Last year, I had 18. So, the blog will continue.

I also had another one of my amaryllis bloom today – Double Dragon. Pretty color and shape. It makes me wonder about the real triggers for blooming because my bloom rate is better in the summer. I am considering leaving these guys out and just cutting water this year. Or, maybe leave them in the cellar until spring. I would have more room for other plants with plan B, but my bloom rate might be better with plan A.

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Double Dragon Amaryllis 8.11

I have also come to terms with the fact that I am burned out with my orchids. Oh, I still love them but work is requiring more energy than anticipated and I have come to dread orchid chores. So, if a few die off, that is OK. I decided to try air plants because they are more resilient to drought but still look good in glass, like my water culture orchids. I purchased a few to fill dead orchid areas. That should help my winter pass. It feels like fall today!

Air plants in glass

Air plant in macrame hanger

The Shrunken Days of August

My eyes are so tired that they drip with tears.  I woke up before dawn, but dawn is getting later.  And, my sprinklers now go off after dark in the evening even though I have not reset the time.  Work starts earlier and ends later.  Things always seem chaotic at the start of a school year.  I am tireder than is healthy – it impacts my wellbeing.  I can’t push the envelope the way I use to.  Neither can the sun — it begins its rest cycle.  I feel a bit sad because I don’t like the cold, dark side of the year.  Mostly, though, I feel tired.

So, I had two Premiers today that I want to talk about before sleep.  Frans Hals is one of my early mail order daylilies.  It has been moved around the yard a few times.  I thought this was the most beautiful daylily I had ever seen – this and Best Seller.  I believe they were in my first batch of roots.  Now, it looks kind of ordinary.  Still, a nice late bloomer.

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Frans Hals 8/9

And, my apologies to Chaco Canyon and Kachina Dancer.  I got them mixed up.  The one that bloomed earlier is Kachina Dancer.  Chaco Canyon was divided and I thought her division had put out some small flowers – but it was Kachina Dancer.  My main Chaco lost a scape to a storm in the spring – but managed to send out a re-bloom spike that opened today.  Clearly, a different flower.

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Chaco Canyon 8/9

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Kachina Dancer – July, 2019

Thirty-two today.  I have broken records nearly every day for a month.  As the days shrink, so will the daylilies.  Perhaps we all need a rest.

Oh – and my Apple Blossom Amaryllis baby bulbs (mom was pregnant about 3 years ago) finally bloomed! Merry Christmas – Winter Solstice is coming.

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Apple Blossom Amaryllis 8/9

Lovely Ladies

As I download, upload, and edit photos every night, I try to think of some meaningful focus for this blog.  Tonight, I am tired and what strikes me are the lovely lady names of some of today’s bloomers.  They all look like they are dancing to me, too.

Classy Lady caught my eye first thing!

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Classy Lady 8/6

Dancing Maiden is getting some great, flowing blooms now.

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Dancing Maiden 8/6

Rosie’s Red always adds such color to the front garden.

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Rosie’s Red 8/6

Nona’s Garnet Spider is doing morning yoga.

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Nona’s Garnet Spider 8/6

Maya Cha Cha is always an eye-catching gal ready to meet the day with a smile.

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Maya Cha Cha 8/6

Lobo Lucy is a fine redhead.

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Lobo Lucy 8/6

Black-eyed Susan shines on.

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Black-Eyed Susan 8/6

And, Ruby Stella is a non-stop bloomer this summer!

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Ruby Stella 8/6

The top photo is Spirit of the Morning, who woke up dancing a beautiful ballet.

And, amidst my flourishing daylilies who have not been bug sprayed or fertilized all summer due to my busy schedule are my Christmas plants.  My baby amaryllis bulbs of 3 years ago are sending up spikes now!  But, my poinsettias still look like they are frozen in early June.  New leaves, but small.  I started fertilizing . . . but I usually bring these in late August to start the bloom cycle and these guys are nowhere close to ready.  Well, one is big and full.  Two are small size but not pigmy.  Three are pigmy.  What to do with them if they don’t correct in the next few weeks???  Was it the cold spring??? And, oh, the fall daylily chores start to cross my mind – maybe move a couple that haven’t bloomed or add a front garden drip system.  A gardener’s mind is always dancing.

 

The Christmas Succulent Succulent Tree

It’s almost Christmas. My poinsettias are looking a little worn down and my amaryllis have yet to send up a stalk. So, Saturday I was looking for something else on the web and succulent ornaments popped up. For some reason, that grabbed my attention.

I have two 5-6 foot pencil cacti that come in for the winter. One of them is my regular ornament and lights tree. My cats do not mess with those. I’ve used them as Christmas Trees for years now. I think they like the lights. They are succulents and a close relative of the poinsettias. My second cactus is not near a plug, so it’s been bare. But, it hits me that I could hang succulent ornaments on it.

I spent the morning shopping for succulents and moss. Home Depot had several colors of twine. I was set. I came home and made the kokedama (moss balls) and dipped them in algae water. Then an ornament hook, and my succulent became a succulent tree.

Today, I decided I needed a few more succulents. It occurs to me that I could make a star out of a larger moss ball. So, off to the store for supplies.

The star was a challenge to make. I’m a little worried it won’t last, as the cuttings need to root and the moss will be damp for a few days. It was also too heavy to set on the tree, so its suspended from the ceiling.

Anyway, I’ll probably need to add a plant light to that area. I’ll leave the babies up year-round. I imagine they will love my porch in the summer.

I wonder if the project is sustainable? It seems like the succulents ornaments may need to be enlarged if the succulents grow. They are not rolling stones.

And so it is, the first year of the succulent succulent tree.

Christmas in August: The Ugly Daylily

The blooms thin out way too rapidly this time of the season.  Every day brings another finale or three.  I hung the black-out curtains on the poinsettia bloom closet so I can start forcing them in a couple of weeks.  It’s 90 degrees outside so it doesn’t feel right.  The amaryllis will come in soon, too.  Speaking of amaryllis, Ambience bloomed this weekend.  Well, more like she is blooming.  Unlike daylilies, she takes her time.  She blooms every summer at this time.  I call her the ugly daylily.  Unfortunately, the bugs love her thin blossoms.  But, her color is stunning just the same. She looks like Christmas in August.

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Amaryllis Ambience 8.11

Now, back to the real daylilies for the past two days.  I took last night off of the blog . . . needed a break.

Finales:

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Mini Pearl 8.11

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Royal Palace Prince 8.11

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Tiger Kitten 8.11

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Navajo Curls 8.12

Other Saturday and Sunday blooms:

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Pink and Cream 8.12

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Blue Beat 8.11

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Stella de Oro 8.11

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Ruby Stella 8.12

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Purple Corn Dancer 8.11

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Dream Catcher 8.11

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Indian Sky 8.11

That’s all folks.  We are headed into the quiet of late August.  No new scapes at this point.  I think we needed monsoon rain for that to happen.

 

Attachment, Separation, and Loss

Today, it is just finales.  Worked today . . . big reorg at work.  Like starting over.  I imagine a lot of chaos before it settles into anything with a rhythm, again.  I’ll lose most the students I have worked with for two years.  Finales remind me of something one of my instructors in midwifery school taught me once – Life is like a placenta: It is all about attachment, separation, and loss.  I am attached to my blooms . . . and then they go away.  Sometimes they are back in a year, and sometimes they don’t bloom every year.  Life is unpredictable.  But, there is a cycle to it.  Can you believe that my poinsettias and amaryllis come in next month to start their rest cycle?  Heavens, time to gear up my bloom closet for the <12 hours of light per day for the poinsettias soon.  They have loved summer in the yard. Hope for a colorful Christmas while the daylilies sleep.

Finales:

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Adios Albuquerque 7.26

 

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Cheddar Cheese 7.26

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Mildred Mitchell 7.26

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Bold Tiger 7.26

The Ugly Daylily!

Here comes winter.  And, time to focus on my indoor bloomers.  I am taken back by still having buds on my Santa’s Pants daylily.  Especially when my poinsettia is in bloom.  For fun, I plucked off the bloom late in the day and placed it in the poinsettia.

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I have increased the sun to the poinsettia since that time, and the pink is really darkening up.  This was dapple pink last year. This is my second time to rebloom a poinsettia – and I did better this year.  Boy, you gotta want that bloom.  I have been covering with black trash bags and putting under my desk (that now has a curtain to block the light underneath).  This one bloomed quickly and easily.  My smaller one lingers in deciding to bloom.

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Oh, and I got 3 new amaryllis bulbs to start.  Mine are still in hibernation and set to come out in about a week and a half.  I am guessing I will have blooms through January.  Of all my winter bloomers, the amaryllis remind me most of daylilies.  The bid stalk and the huge bright blooms.

And, a new poinsettia – orange is what I wanted most to replace.  I think a purple if I see one, too.  Maybe a variegated one. That is it though.

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A new Thanksgiving cactus, too.  I’m about done planting up my house now.  It is on to creating grow light areas in a couple new places to boost the light.

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