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  1. J

    Big Brother?

  2. J

    Rushing spring.

    The darn olive trees have decided to bud and not wait for spring this year. So, I began adding a little fertilizer and increased the photoperiod by a half hour. It looks like I will have to hand pollinate them again this year using an artist brush and small fan, which is a job I totally...
  3. J

    Forcing a hyacinth bulb

    Theresa has been bitten by the indoor growing bug and is trying to force a hyacinth bulb. I must admit it is looking pretty good at this point.
  4. J

    You don't have to be crazy, but is sure helps!

    To participate in the Polar Plunge at Lake George, New York.
  5. J

    Diogenes, I think I found one.

    Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar in the marketplace.[4] He became notorious for his philosophical stunts, such as carrying a lamp during the day, claiming to be looking for an honest man. My son just told me his childhood friend...
  6. J

    Eight is enough!

    As my test plant is doing nicely I decided to deflask one more plant. Then, I saw another promising plant I just could not throw away, then another, and another and so on, until at eight I decided enough is enough. I will ask Theresa to get rid of the excess plants before I have a house full of...
  7. J

    When bringing plants indoors for the winter.

    The cold night temperatures are making me close the greenhouse and bring the orchids and olives indoors to spend the winter in tents under the LED grow lights. Fungus gnats are a problem we face when we bring plants indoors so I thought I'd share this method of gnat control: Mix one part 3%...
  8. J

    Deflasked phalaenopsis seedling

    Today I decided to deflask one of the phalaenopsis seedlings to see if they are ready to live outside of the flasks. The seedling was planted in sphagnum moss moistened with a dilute nutrient solution; it will be initially grown in a domed container then gradually be acclimated to life outside...
  9. J

    Phalaenopsis that just won't quit.

    A woman told me a long time ago that Phalaenopsis flowers last so long you get sick of looking at them. At the time I did not believe her but I do now. This plant bloomed in early spring, and here six months later it is still blooming. The flowers are so heavy I have to tie the plant to 2" x...
  10. J

    Anchors Aweigh

    I have been into genealogy for a few years and recently had my DNA tested at Using the results I have located several members of my extended family that I had no idea existed. One young woman, a second cousin, and I are exchanging email and photos on an almost daily basis. In...
  11. J

    Don't throw that container away just yet.

    The afternoon was spent repotting orchids in preparation for winter. Whenever possible I use containers salvaged from the recycle bin. Let's face it, orchids, when not in bloom, are not very attractive plants, so why spend a lot of money on attractive growing containers? Also, most of my...
  12. J

    Exotic pets, Ollie flew the coop.

    Three years ago the neighbors behind us got a large Macaw and installed a huge cage in their backyard about fifty feet from our kitchen window. We have had to listen to this monster screech for three years and could do nothing about it. Our town has very strict laws prohibiting dogs from...
  13. J

    Growing Carnations indoors.

    We love the smell of carnations and I thought I would try growing some hydroponically under grow lights so we would have some to brighten the coming dismal winter days. There was a packet of dwarf mixed carnations in my cache from when I tried growing them in the greenhouse so I used them to...
  14. J

    Dwarf Spicy Greek Basil.

    I thought I would give this a try although we have never prepared any Greek dishes. "Cute little compact plants are only 6-10” tall and are great for growing in containers. It has a spicy, slightly anise flavor and is a must for Greek cooking. Ocimum Basilicum Dwarf Greek Basil Dwarf Greek...
  15. J

    Basil and bugs

    I saw this today and thought I'd share it.
  16. J

    Denbrobium faux pas

    Early in 2017, we had a speaker at the orchid society meeting and as is customary the speaker brought plants for sale. The speaker receives no fee but member plant sales are suspended if the speaker is bringing plants. By the time I arrived all he had remaining were dendrobiums that he had...
  17. J

    Oxheart keeper

    I only had a few seeds for these from Italy, but it is a keeper. Prolific plant about six feet tall with fruit all the way up. (Cuor di Bue ou Oxheart) The Heart of Beef tomato (Cuor di Bue or Oxheart) is a large, heart-shaped fruit weighing 250 to 300 g. This old variety has a slight green...
  18. J

    Hummers the easy way.

    @catjac1975 Congratulations on the picture of the week photo of the hummingbird. I like to shoot them also but I do it the lazy man's way. ;)
  19. J


    A local surveyor gave me seeds for Redorta tomatoes that he purchased from Seeds of Italy. I only planted a few and they got off to a late start, but they are starting to take off. It is a San Marzano and we are looking forward to tying them fresh as well as for sauce. I was not too enthused...
  20. J

    Where's the buds?

    Early this spring we planted two new rose bushes, one a deep yellow and the other almost organge in color. My wife was very excited because they were forming a lot of flower buds. The buds were about to open, however, this moring she found that EVERY BUD on EVERY plant had been removed, just...