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The Garden
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Skrog Productions



Joined: Jan 07, 2009
Posts: 1076
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

plants looking good phobos Smile
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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I managed to get the first pepper seeds in the ground yesterday and they are now placed inside my incubator.
It usually takes about a week for the first seeds to sprout so I will post updates when that happens.


Here's a description of how I plant my pepper seeds, I use this procedure for some other seeds as well.

presoak:
I first soak the seeds in some lukewarm water. You could add some peroxide or camomille but I found that this
isn't really necessarry for pepper seeds which usually have a high germination rate (maybe I shouldn't have
said that Wink). I use plastic cups which I label with a marker beforehand.

I started with the following seeds.
- Kung Pao [KPAO]
- Habanero manzano [HAB M]
- Numex twilight [NUM T]
- Rain-forest [RF]
- Bolivium bumpy [BB]
- Purple tiger [P TIG]*
- Solanum pseudocapsicum [SOL]
* seeds came from the peppers I grew last year and since they are placed close together
there is probably some cross-polination happening so they could be hybrids.


I selected 3 of the best looking seeds from each and 6 from the Solanum of which I will sow 2 in each cup.
I can't start with much more seeds or they won't fit in my incubator (more about that later). I let them
soak for a couple of hours while I make some other preperations and will at least wait untill they have sunk
to the bottom. Some seeds might keep floating but this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't viable (at least
not for pepper seeds).


sowing medium:
I use regular potting soil and coco coir in a 50/50 mix. Coco coir is available as compressed bricks or slabs
to which you need to add water. It's easy to transport, cheap, can hold a lot of water and unlike potting
soil it absorbs water very easily when dried out. It generally doesn't contain any nutrients so by itself it's
not a great growing medium although it can be used to start seeds and you could add some liquid fertilizer.

TIP: if you use hot water the coco coir bricks will expand and fall apart much quicker. I always start with
a couple of liters of boiling water and use a container with a lid.



containers:
I also use the white plastic cups to start the seeds. I use an old soldering iron to melt a drainage hole in the
bottom and this year I also made 2 holes in the side because I noticed last year that the bottom holes can
get clogged. They might also provide a bit of extra oxygen to the roots. If you use a soldering iron like I do
make sure you have some ventilation. it generally doesn't create a lot of fumes but you don't want to breathe them.


sowing:
I fill the cups loosely with the soil mixture up to the top and then let them soak in a tray with water untill
the soil is fully saturated. Once saturated I use the bottom of another cup to compress the soil and press out
some excess liquid. After that I fill the cup up to the top again with some more soil. I use tweezers to plant
the seeds about a cm (1/2 inch) deep and press the soil down with my fingers. After that they go into my incubator
which is set to a temperature around 23C (between 70F and 75F).


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Seeds planted and getting comfortable in my incubator.
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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

so what's this 'incubator' ?

The incubator is something I put together many moons ago and is a so called TiT (Tub in Tub) incubator. They are mostly used for growing
fungi but work great for seeds as well. It consists of 2 nested storage containers (tubs) with an aquarium heater submerged in water
in the bottom one. For mine I used aluminium spacers between the tubs so the top one isn't just floating. I also went a bit more fancy by
creating a polystyrene box to add some extra insulation.

I found some old photos of the building process:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I also made a lid out of a wooden frame covered with bubblewrap.
This adds insulation to keep heat and the moisture in but lets light through.


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robsol
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Joined: Apr 24, 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, that's pretty neat. You are getting good at it too, by the looks of it. Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

flower


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SB bulb.jpg



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It was snowing yesterday except it wasn't snow that was falling down but moss. I was standing under a big tree and
moss was falling down from it around me, so I gathered some. Very Happy I have some moss naturally growing in containers outside
and it always suprises me how resilient it is. In summer it gets full sun and dries out sompletely, in winter it gets covered in
snow and freezes solid. But still it grows great. I want to grow some inside and tried it last year without any luck. I think the
biggest porblem might have been light although I didn't water it very well either, but since it dries out completely outside
that shouldn't necessarily kill it.

Anyway, with moss almost literally falling into my lap I will give it another go. I converted a small wooden crate I got from
the supermarket (something oranges where transported in) by lining it with a trash bag. I also added some spacers underneath
mostly because the bottom was bulging outwards but it should also prevent it from getting too wet and provide better drainage.
The plastic netting that was still attached was perfect to cover up the drainage holes so soil doesn't fall out. I 'planted' the moss
in patches so it has room to grow and I also found some other mosses which I put in the corners. The crate is placed insides a
propagator which is currently under a CFL.

I found some more moss today and some tiny plants but maybe more about that in another post


edit: forgot to mention that before transplanting the moss I first soaked it in a cup of water for about 30 minutes to get it fully hydrated.


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Skrog Productions



Joined: Jan 07, 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

love the copper wire SB flower build Smile Smile Smile

Dave.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I also made some macro shots as it is best viewed from close by. Makes for nice wallpapers. Razz


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks dave Very Happy The bulb seems to be growing pretty well.
I think it might be a daffodil which would go nice with the yellow pot.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
Makes for nice wallpapers. Razz


Good idea. Very Happy

I chose the last one.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good choice dwarf

Here is the one I set as wallpaper which is almost the same but just a little bit more close-up.
And two other macro shots of some very tiny flowers (about 2mm).


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ok, one more. Similar flower as above (tiny flowers - 02) but on a different plant.
I tried to get the lighting and focus a bit better.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

THE GARDEN OF LIVE FLOWERS

Quote:
'I should see the garden far better,' said Alice to herself, 'if I could get to the top of that hill: and here's a path that leads straight to it — at least, no, it doesn't do that — ' (after going a few yards along the path, and turning several sharp corners), 'but I suppose it will at last. But how curiously it twists! It's more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, this turn goes to the hill, I suppose — no, it doesn't! This goes straight back to the house! Well then, I'll try it the other way.'
And so she did: wandering up and down, and trying turn after turn, but always coming back to the house, do what she would. Indeed, once, when she turned a corner rather more quickly than usual, she ran against it before she could stop herself.
'It's no use talking about it," Alice said, looking up at the house and pretending it was arguing with her. 'I'm not going in again yet. I know I should have to get through the Looking-glass again — back into the old room — and there'd be an end of all my adventures!'
So, resolutely turning back upon the house, she set out once more down the path, determined to keep straight on till she got to the hill. For a few minutes all went on well, and she was just saying, 'I really shall do it this time — ' when the path gave a sudden twist and shook itself (as she described it afterwards), and the next moment she found herself actually walking in at the door.
'Oh, it's too bad!' she cried. 'I never saw such a house for getting in the way! Never!'
However, there was the hill full in sight, so there was nothing to be done but start again. This time she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a willow-tree growing in the middle.

excerpt from 'Through the looking glass and what Alice found there' by Lewis Carroll


As some of you might know I am big fan of Alice in Wonderland, or I should say 'Alice's adventures in wonderland' and 'Through
the looking glass and what Alice found there'. I often had ideas for an Alice in Wonderland themed garden (also an Alice in
Wonderland themed synth) but it would require a lot more space than I have on my balcony and actually would require a real
garden. I could make an A.i.W. themed balcony of course but I am already using most of the space for my pepperplants and
(other) nightshades. However, it occurred to me that there is something I might be able to do.

The above excerpt is from a chapter called 'The garden of live flowers' in which Alice comes across a bed of talking flowers.
(Actually all flowers can talk but in most gardens they make the beds too soft so that the flowers are always asleep) In this
chapter 5 plants are named that live in the flowerbed:
1. a Tiger Lily
2. a Rose
3. Daisies
4. a Violet
5. a Larkspur
(also a willow tree, but ehm,. yeah)

As it turns out these are all available as perennials and would actually go together quite nice. So maybe I could plant them all in
a single pot or stack some pots or get creative in another way. This biggest problem is going to be sourcing the plants as there
isn't a nice nursery nearbye, at least not to my knowledge. I could order them online but shipping could get very expensive unless
maybe I could get them all at once. I actually did find a shop that had 4/5 plants but shipping costs are almost 30,- so that's not an
option. I don't want to grow them from seeds (if possible) as it can take a couple of years untill they flower and are more likely to
die in the meantime. But let's get a bit more into detail about the plants anyway.

Tiger Lily [Lilium tigrinum 'Splendens']
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
They can get quite tall (up to about 1m) and produce many gorgeous orange flowers with black specks. They are grown from a bulb
but sadly enough it is a rather large bulb and wouldn't fit through my mailbox, else I would actually be able to get it quite cheap. Maybe
I will come across it someday as it doesn't seem to be a very unusual plant. In the meantime I will keep looking online for a good deal.

Rose
There are many varieties of roses some big some small, climbing roses, some grow more like bushes and there are a lot of colors
available too. In my case I think it would be wise to get a red one or else I might lose my head. I think this would look the best and
most recognizable anyway. I actually did find one that would look perfect but is most likely very hard to obtain. It's the Rosa parade
'Gigi' which almost looks like it has white roses that are painted red (something that occurs in 'Alice's adventures in wonderland')


Probably easier to obtain and not very expensive would be the Rosa 'Nina Weibull' they don't grow very tall and have nice red flowers.


Daisies
The only plant that is given a bit more info about. first of all: she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, so these
would be placed at the front of the container. Also the color is know as a bit further on there is the following section:
'Never mind!' Alice said in a soothing tone, and stooping down to the daisies, who were just beginning again, she whispered, 'If you
don't hold your tongues, I'll pick you!' There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink daisies turned white.
So a mix of pink
and white daisies. It would be tempting to get common daisies [Bellis perennis], which is one my favourite flowers, but they are white
although sometimes with pink tips and I am not sure if they are truly perennials or just propagate by spreading and seeding. I did find a
pink variety which also has flowers that are almost white but as with the rose it will probably be difficult to obtain. It is the Marguerite
daisy 'Comet Pink'. (if labeled correct)


Violet
Probably the most easiest to obtain and there are a lot of varieties, though not all of them are perennials. Pansies would also be nice but
although they are Violas they are not Violets. Maybe something like Viola odorata would be suitable.


Larkspur [Delphinium]
These can get very tall (up to 2 meters) and are available ranging from white, pink and some stunning blue shades. Luckely for me there
are dwarf varieties too. Something like the Delphinium grandiflorum 'Blauer zwerg'. It doesn't have the eye catching spikes of flowers but
is still very nice. I actually tried to grow it from seeds once but wasn't very succesful. (maybe I still have some old seeds I could try)


Maybe I can find something that does get tall but no too big, they probably won't get huge in a pot anyway.

a willow tree isn't an option of course unless I would get into bonsai but I better not start with that. Maybe I could get a miniature one
like the ones they use for model trains. also:
Quote:
Alice didn't like being criticised, so she began asking questions. 'Aren't you sometimes frightened at being planted out here, with nobody to take care of you?'
'There's the tree in the middle,' said the Rose: 'what else is it good for?'
'But what could it do, if any danger came?' Alice asked.
'It could bark,' said the Rose.
'It says "Bough-wough!" cried a Daisy: 'that's why its branches are called boughs!'

so a piece of willow bark or a branch would be fun too. Laughing


I don't know if I will be able to obtain any of these plants any time soon so it is more of a long term project. Maybe it would be a good idea
to start with a rose and try to keep that alive as they do require some special care and my balcony might not be very suitable for it.
Also to have a bit more space I could plant them or some of them in my 2 larger planters. However, I am not able to move those away
to protect plants from too much heat, rain or cold. (having a rose in it's own pot would probably be best anyway).

btw. I could also deviate from the book and use the 1951 animated disney film for inspiration which has a lot more flowers in it.
You can find a list of them here. I already have some get-up-in-the-morning glories.

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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some more photos of small plants and flowers. The first one is one of the plants that has the tiny
yellow flowers. I removed some of the bottom leaves and it's starting to look a bit like a tree Laughing

The other 2 photos are from a plant that has some pink flowers. They are not so tiny but still pretty
small. I wonder if it is some kind of viola.


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AlanP



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm starting to think you should take up bonsai trees, phobos Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Laughing I'd probably like it, seeing that I like unusual sized things (either big or small).
Also seems like a very relaxing hobby, untill you snip off the wrong branch of course.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"The Garden of Live Flowers" might not be such a long term project as I initially thought. I first went back
to the garden centre as they had a collection of bulbs last time I was there but had no luck finding a tiger lilly
or any of the other plants. They did have some pink and white daisies but not the hardy perennials and I don't
need them flowering now. It actually doesn't really matter that much if they aren't perennials, so might get
some at a later date. I also checked some other stores on the way but didn't find anything.

Next option was looking online. I was mainly looking for the Tiger Lily as bulbs have to planted rather early
and are available now. I found 3 shop with reaonable shipping costs. The price of the bulbs was slightly higher
at one of them but they also sold some roses, not really what I was looking for though. Searching with some
different names I came across the Lilium Lancifolium 'Flore Pleno' which is a Tiger Lily with double flowers. It was
almost twice the price as the other shops but I could buy a single bulb while the other shops sold them in a pack
of 3 and the shipping costs where even lower. Still for a single bulb the price + shipping would be rather high.

However, they also had roses and actually had the Rosa 'Nina Weibull' and cheap too. So cheap that if I screw
it up it's not a big loss. I also found some violets (I choose the 'Icy but Spicy') and some nice small Delphiums
(belladonna 'Piccolo') which do seem to have the more typical flower spikes but only grow to a height of
around 50-70cm. I did have to order 3 though which bumped up the price a bit. So that's 4/5 plants already.

I received the Tiger Lily bulb today which is nicely packaged in a bag with some moist soil. The other plants will
be shipped seperately since they are live plants (not that a bulb is dead of course) and have to be transported
rather fast once packaged. I hope I will receive those next week as I will be home from work, else it might
get a bit problematic.



(I was just checking the site and for whatever reason the prices of all the plants I've ordered seem to have
gone up Laughing )


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's going to get pretty cold next week so placed the bulbs inside just in case. They are enjoying some sunshine at the moment sunny

(yes, I know, I should clean up a bit)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When I got some plants from the garden center I also bought a jar of peanut butter for birds. They did sell holders
for them but I thought they were a bit overpriced and I could make it myself. I didn't have any suitable wood though
so I tried something with copperwire but wasn't really happy with the result. Last friday I came across some cheaper
ones and took one home. I painted it, used pieces of pinecone to add a shingled roof, and replaced the square
stick with a twig. I tried to add some other twigs as well but couldn't find anything that looked right. I did make
a pouch for the jar which helped with the natural look a bit. I think it's just in time as it is getting a bit colder and I
woke up today to a world covered in snow.

(the glossy look of the roof is caused by amber from the pinecones flowing out after drying them in the oven


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What a nice looking idea for a bird feeder. I never thought about using common peanut butter. Smile

How do the birds like it?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's actually not common peanutbutter, I think that's a bit unhealthy for birds. There is special bird peanubutter availble
though and the one I got also has some nuts/seeds and berries/fruits in it. I know birds love it but they will first have to
find it out here.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
It's actually not common peanutbutter, I think that's a bit unhealthy for birds. There is special bird peanubutter availble (...)

Thanks for clarifying.

I usually feed peeled peanuts and tollow/seed balls.

Once I used hemp seeds which the birds really liked but it was messy.
The following summer my 78 year old neighbor commented mischievously that there were drugs growing next to my bushes. Shocked

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have some of those balls too but the birds haven't shown any interest in those in the last couple of years.
Maybe they just don't know they're there but it also hasn't been very cold in recent years. I had some peanuts
for while (with shell) and magpies went nuts for it. Haven't tried hempseed, at least not for feeding birds Wink


An update on the pepperseeds: so far none of them have sprouted Sad. I had expected at least some of them
but maybe it just takes a bit longer. I do wonder if it might be related to the potting soil I used which is higher
quality than what I usually use and has some fertilizer in it. Although it doesn't say so on the bag it could also
have something in it that prevents seeds from sprouting. There is a little bit of mold growing on top so I dug
up some of the seeds to see if they aren't just rotting away but they looked fine. I will give them another week
and if there still isn't anything sprouting I will put some in a wet coffeefilter, which worked great wih the morning
glory seeds last year.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well, I guess I spoke too soon, or maybe not soon enough. I just had another look and noticed a little hook. Razz
The first one to sprout is a Numex Twilight. Welcome to the world little guy!


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