Thursday, June 29, 2017

Music not on today, gardening rushes to fill in the opening

I used to explain to Handsome Partner that it was no good waiting till I was unoccupied to talk to me, because that would never happen.  Always something going on.  Funny, since he was very much the same way, but he used to get het up when I moved from one thing to another without a pause.

 I'd encourage him to just barge in and say what he wanted. That's the difference between someone who grew up the elder in a family of two kids, and someone who grew up the youngest in a cast of thousands.  You don't wait for a space to talk, because there won't be one. You make a space!

Today, case in point, music originally moved because weather expected to be very hot, hard for me to drive, park, walk, play, retrace journey in blazing hot car, etc.  But then cancelled anyway because one player under the weather.  So gardening seemed to just rush in and take over.

I went out this morning before it got too torrid, to the nursery in search of hens and chickens. Been wanting some for ages, never succeeded with them, largely because they need good drainage, and the  &*&*&*& sprinkler system which drowns our areas daily in season never gives them a chance in the ground.  

But the advent of the nine hole strawberry pot was great, much better for drainage.  And today that took over half the day, just as well I wasn't playing, too, used up a lot of energy on gardening.



Found a nice colony of hens and chickens, and estimated that, separated, they would be about right, and here they are, in progress. 



 I should explain I never did this before at all, was just more or less guessing how to handle things, but I think plants sense when you mean well and have a kind touch, so I'm hopeful.

Anyway, this is how it worked out.  


The white tube thing is a Martha idea,  for once I tried a Martha idea. I had pvc piping in various lengths left over from building bits of weaving and spinning equipment, and my next door neighbor kindly drilled holes in the length of this piece, after arguing that I'd cut it wrong, he would cut a bit more off, so what the heck, he was doing the drilling, I let him go ahead.  I think it's too short now, he thinks it's fine.

The idea is that you can water much better this way, pour the water down the middle of the pipe, let it seep out the drainage holes drilled at intervals, and we'll see how well it works.  I poured in about a quart before it started to seep out the bottom, so now we'll see.  And hope the little chicks don't fall out before their roots get settled.  I'm wondering if this might be good for other plants, too, to get water deep into the plant rather than seeping down from the top.

Anyway, back at the strawberry pot, I put in soil at the bottom up to the first level of three holes, settled hens and chicks in, then filled up to the next holes, more plants, and so on.  The pvc pipe was inserted before all this, and the rising soil level held it steady after a bit.  Then the remaining plants filled up the top nicely.

Here you see the top of the pvc tube from another angle,but it's pretty well camouflaged by plants.


This lovely setup will come indoors once the weather turns in the fall.

I seem to have got off on succulents lately.  I took care of some over the winter for a friend, and they did fine with my somewhat inexpert care, so I investigated how to propagate from them, since they're now home in his yard, and I'd taken a fancy to them.  A bit of research persuaded me it would be workable. He agreed fine to my taking off a few lower leaves to try out.


Here's the parent plant, looking very nice if I do say so, sitting in its antique copper and porcelain scuttle aka its summer home,  and here are the leaves, gently turned and snapped off,
 

And here's the plate of them, back in my kitchen, and their eventual clay pot homes. 



Now comes the hard part. Waiting.

It can take days for them to scab over at the point where they were broken off the plant, then I will lay them on top of the planting medium that is even now on its way to me, coco peat. Then weeks more ensue before I see if tiny roots emerge, and after that plants which can be transplanted. But I'm ready for it, as you see.  

Some of my best plants have started with a leaf or a little cutting. A lot of my houseplant and other gardening involves leaving stuff alone.

Gardening is a great antidote to the stress of today's political scene, and handling plants like this just feels more important than fretting. You can't rush it, so you may as well slow down, observe, just see all the details of what's happening indoors and out.

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