Kokedama Succulents for Christmas

Last Christmas, I shared my project on making succulent kokedama to decorate my 6 foot pencil cactus. It’s getting down to 19 degrees tonight, and my houseplants take over my thoughts.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

My kokedama tree spent the summer outside on the porch. Most of the original succulents had to be replaced once or twice before spring. I would call it trial and error growing them into kokedama during the winter.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

Spring came, and they thrived (despite me being too busy with daylilies to keep up with their watering).

Kokedama succulent ornaments

I think I have around 18 now. Most came from Home Depot. I’m thinking I’ll get ribbons or bows for them for Christmas.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

The challenge is that the pencil tree sits along a wall with no plugs. I do boost light from a few feet away, but can’t really hang lights on the tree.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

I love succulents because of their wide array of leaf colors/ shapes and ease of care. The kokedama only need to take a swim every 2-4 weeks.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

I’ll try to post an update after I decorate them. In the meantime, stay warm.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

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.

 

Colorado Day: My Top 10 Red Daylilies

August 1st brought a cool day with rain.  School starts next week, work is buzzing.  But, I tell myself, we are still 6 weeks from fall and the short day, cool seasons. August 1st is also Colorado Day.  Colorado means red.  So, since I have no new cultivators today (but still 50+ in bloom), I thought I would share my top 10 red daylilies.  Here they are in no particular order:

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Ruby Spider – one of my oldest daylilies – 2019

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Baja – another oldy but goodie (looks like velvet) – 2019

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Route 66 – nice colors (she brings to mind my spring road trip) – 2019

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Maya Cha Cha – This is for my Granddaughter, Maia! – 2019

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Apache Bandana – an eye-catching flower – 2019

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Santa’s Pants – a jolly old soul – 2019

 

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Fox Ears – I simply love the shape! – 2019

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Nurse’s Stethoscope – I helped name this one (my legacy) – 2019

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Navajo Rodeo – I like the distinctive shape and the name – 2019

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Kachina Firecracker – looks like red ribbons – 2019

What’s your favorite?

The Daylilies of Winter

The heat of July is upon us!  I got stung by a wasp last night and I get a local, allergic reaction.  So, my hand is red, swollen, blistered and itches horribly.  Summer . . . one of my favorite seasons.  Yet, those bugs . . .

So, to shift thoughts to times where wasps are non-existent, let me shift to our one and only Premier daylily bloom today. (I still had almost 60 in bloom).  Her name is Candy Cane Dreams and I got her as a bonus with Santa’s Pants.  I had no idea where to put her, so she is in the barrel planter with Black-Eyed Susan and Stella.  She is kind of cool – she does look like Santa’s Pants!

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Candy Cane Dreams 7/29

OK – So that always gets me thinking of the winter named daylilies.  Here is Santa’s Pants from a few days ago:

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Santa’s Pants – July 2019

What others that bring to mind winter . . . surely Lime Frost (in bloom today)

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Lime Frost 7/29

And, Black Ice (from a few days ago):

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Black Ice – July, 2019

What about Desert Icicle? – here she is from this weekend:

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Desert Icicle – July, 2019

Santa Fe Christmas, of course, blooming today:

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Santa Fe Christmas 7/29

Oh, and Funny Valentine from a couple weeks ago:

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Funny Valentine – July, 2019

Orange Flurry from today sounds like snow:

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Orange Flurry 7/29

What about Autumn Jewels from today to start to cool off?

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Autumn Jewels 7/29

I’m feeling cooler already – now for the antihistamine and hopefully some sleep.

 

Five Months Until Christmas!!!

The rain is pouring outside as the thunder crashes.  It was hot today and I had over 70 blooms, again. For some reason, the 7/25 hit me as 5 months until Christmas.  The daylilies will lie still under the ground and snow; under layers of leaf mulch.  I will be inside bored and playing with orchids and poinsettias as the daylilies rest before the next season.  I thought I would share my two Christmas named daylilies from today as a reminder that the seasons change so quickly.

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Santa Fe Christmas 7/25

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Santa’s Pants 7/25

I got called in early to work, so my daylily photos had to wait until after work – late afternoon.  Some were a little weathered, but all were fully open (which is a challenge before work).  I had 3 new kids today – and I forgot to take a photo of Navajo Grey Hills.  I saw it but got distracted by all the others so had to blow up a photo of it in the background (see top photo).  Tired and out of sync.

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Navajo Grey Hills – 7/25

Today’s Premiers include Classy Lady – she was one that was either a bonus or an add on to a lily auction order.  I like her shape and color – she is a consistent bloomer.

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Classy Lady 7/25

Tiger Kitten gave us her first purr for the season.  I am fairly sure she was a bonus.  Seriously, I paid nothing for many of my daylilies.  Others were only a few dollars online.  Nurse’s Stethoscope was my most expensive at about $100.  But, I helped to name her so it was a treat.  (She suffered a set back with the cold spring but finally has a scape.)

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Tiger Kitten 7/25

The last Premier is Bella Boo.  I got Bella Boo and Platinum Pink Palet Whispers for $10 for 2 deal at a local nursery a couple years ago.  I stuck them in the same pot.  I think this might be Bella’s first bloom ever in my yard.

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Bella Boo 7/25

My flowers are so beautiful at peak.  I love the huge spiders the most.  Tomorrow, we will see what blooms after the downpour.   PS – Speaking of Christmas and poinsettias, the cold spring has my plants looking like they should in mid-June.  Sort of wondering if they will come back enough before fall.

The Independence Thirteen

Wow . . . It was slow on Solstice and I have only thirteen on the 4th of July. Last year, I had 40 something. And, for the last several years, I’ve had white daisies, blue bells, and Ruby Spider all in close enough proximity for a July 4th shot. Not this year.

Today isn’t only the 4th, but also the day before my trip. It was my dad’s birthday and my due date with my youngest daughter. My family have been a bit like daylilies in my life . . . Enjoy them when they last and consider each day a new beginning. Still, the 4th is both a community day and a time PTSD can rear its ugly head.

Cricket Call 7/4

So, here we go with the one Premiere for today:

And, 11 sweet reruns.

Canyon Colors 7/4

Hopi Jewel 7/4

Land of Enchantment 7/4

Mesa Verde 7/4

Comanche Princess 7/4

Purple Many Faces 7/4

Ojo de Dios 7/4

Petite Petticoats 7/4

Golden Stella 7/4

Yellow Stella 7/4

Saratoga Springtime 7/4

Yellow Punch 7/4

Maybe not red, white and blue – But the Southwest and Native American names certainly honor our heritage.

Oops, missed one!

Chama Valley 7/4

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.