Monday, April 25, 2011

Orchids Galore!

This lovely orchid photo was taken at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens near my home in Richmond, VA. Orchids Galore! ran from mid-March through April in their spectacular 11,000 square-foot Conservatory. Click on the photo above for more photos of these gorgeous and exotic plants. I'm not by any means an expert, but here are a few things I've learned about growing orchids: (1) you should water them lightly, a couple of ice cubes about once a week will do; or (2) I have recently started watering mine with a week solution of a special orchid fertilizer so I can get them to bloom more often. They do take long rests, but the bloom period lasts a good couple of weeks.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thanking Mother Nature

I've been thinking a bit lately about the many things I am thankful for. This lovely Serviceberry Tree in my backyard came to mind this morning. I am thankful for the cool weather we've been having because the flowers have stayed on it longer than usual this year. I am thankful to Ruth, the wonderful nursery worker at Stranges Garden Center for recommending it, and all her help to me in the past. This tree is native to my area (mid-Atlantic) and makes a lovely patio tree because of its small size (under 25 ft). It produces tiny blue berries in June which are very good for making jam, but I let the birds have them because they love them so much. I especially love the fact that you can easily grow perennials around the base of this tree, so I've read, but I haven't gotten this far with my landscaping yet. The area is still be developed (as you can see!)