Monday, 18 March 2013

As Nearly A Year Passes...

Closer to a year since the last post than not anyway. HI BLOG. Missed me?

Okay, so I've been kind of distracted from the personal bloggyness of late. You know how it goes, working in a seasonal job with an impending lay off, take a new job for the winter, hate it with the kind of passion one can only truly feel working in fast food, then all of a sudden when life seems bleak, BAM! Old job calls asking for my return. Could I refuse? No. 

So I'm back working in the garden centre and I am SO FUCKING HAPPY I COULD ALL CAPS.

Anyway, because of the upgrade in joblyness (I am obviously in a lyness kind of mood today) I've been super hectic busy. Working in a garden centre and all this time of year, and being that my job involves ordering and inventory in hard goods, and they require me to take my BC Pesticide Dispensers test for licencing  I've had my hands full with all that. Not to mention I'm still trying to devote some of my time to my hobbies, although I have to say the working environment is obviously affecting my choices there. I haven't been working on my writing or crochet jewelry as much lately, but I have been putting more time and effort into my house plants and aquariums. Despite some massive fish loss in my 20 gallon that seems to have cleared up now, and a broken light fixture in my 40gal and 20gal, and a snail explosion in my 10gal I'd say they are all doing wonderfully. Especially the 10gal, which has had a huge explosion of Java Ferns along with the snails. I want to take some of them and put them in the 40gal and 20gal when the lights are fixed, but I'm concerned about the snails invading all my other tanks...
My first African Violet
Baby Violet
My new passion, however, is really my plants. I've always enjoyed gardening, but where I am living now my back yard is almost completely unsuited for gardening in the capacity that I enjoy most, which is veggies. So over the winter I have shifted focus towards indoor gardening, and have collected a lovely variety at this point in time. I now have three African Violets, a really lovely standard royal blue coloured one with a lovely red colour to the underside of the leaves, and two which have white flowers with a touch of blue on the edges of their petals. I only have two of this variety because the one I purchased recently propagated so I decided to separate the baby into his own pot. 

I also decided to buy some tropical ivy and two random 2" tropicals to go with it to fill out a cute idea I had to up-cycle my old french press that broke. I had a tray which I wanted to set them with some river rock and random semi-precious polished stones mixed in. But the one french press looked odd without something to balance it, and I really lucked out on my trip to the thrift store where I found two little creamers that matched exceptionally well with my french press!

Up-cycled french press planters
Then a miniature phalenopsis orchid caught my eye. I brought it home, so cute and pink and delicate... but one day when it was nice outside my fiance opened the window nearby where my little phal was sitting. He got a shock, dropped all of his 18 blooms. I was very sad, and tried to encourage him to re-bloom off of his two existing spikes, but no success. And then his leaves started to turn yellow and fall off. I had hoped this was just as a result of new leaves forming, but none seemed to come up. After some thorough research I decided to re-pot him, and in that found the problem: his roots were begging to rot. I trimmed back the roots, re-potted the phal into some bark media with charcoal and lava rock, trimmed off his spikes and applied some cinnamon to the areas I trimmed. Now his leaves have stopped falling off and yellowing, and I can see some new growth around his crown indicating some new leaf growth. With luck a new spike will come up soon too. I definitely intend to buy more orchids, I love them.
Before the cold breeze

Then I bought a Bromeliad for my fiance, because he loves tropical plants and I knew after looking at it at work for a few weeks that I just needed to take the Bro home. He shot up like 3" within the first couple of weeks in my sunny living room, which was just fantastic.

Then, as St. Patties day approached, I decided I needed a Shamrock. I bought an Oxalis Shamrock from work, and it looked great but the flowers fell off shortly after I got him home and now his leaves are going a little yellow and brown and the top of the soil is getting a bit moldy  I think it's a double header mistake on my part: too much water, not enough light. I moved it today, but I'm going to hold off on transplanting him for now.

I also, back in January, dropped a bunch of old seeds I found for some herbs into a hanging basket I had kicking around a dropped it in my window. To my surprise, a whole bunch of the basil seeds germinated, and so did a couple rosemary. Today I transplanted out most of the basil and other herbs that were big enough and left a few in the basket, so I have a whole row of little herbs on my windowsill now.

BUT my FAVOURITE and most exciting new purchase is to the carnivorous plant collection. Last summer I  bought three Sticky Sundews and two varieties of Venus Flytrap, one that is more upright and the other is a low growing creeping variety. They went dormant for the winter, but have started coming up again with our early spring this year. So only a week or so ago my boss happened to pick up at the auction 4 Nepenthes plants. I scooped one up right away, due to their rarity here in British Columbia. It's just stunning. It's having a bit of shock from the move to my place and aborting some of the pitchers as it acclimates. I may have to work out a better home for him that has a bit more humidity, but he's just spectacular. His largest pitcher is about 6" with a lovely red colouring at the top.

My cat ate this one... but it came back
Nepenthes Pitcher Plant
The boggy boys before I got the second
Venus Flytrap and the other two Sundews
I've had an amazing idea too, for a really cool fairy garden... (fairy garden example here ) but mine would use carnivorous plants in a terrarium and I'd use little skeletons and monster figurines instead of fairies and junk... maybe I could use D&D minis... hmm....