Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Visiting 'natural' gardens

Wonderful areas rich in biodiversity are natural gardens, and great places to visit. We like to travel to interesting natural areas around the world, focusing on areas that are rich in natural history and culture. We're off for semester break in South India this year; look for travelblog posts (if I have the opportunity)!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sunrise and crescent moon

I looked out the breakfast room window this morning and caught a glimpse of the crescent moon framed by clouds tinted a rich purple by the sunrise. By the time I took this picture, the color had faded somewhat, as the light brightened.

It reminded me of sunrises in the tropics, as we seldom have such vivid early morning color.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rooted cuttings and winter flowers

I hadn't rooted cuttings much before, and I thought I'd try some Spanish lavender (lovely flowers most of the summer) and an amazingly hardy red climbing rose in front of the house.

(The lavender image is from a fellow blogger from Alabama: somethingthatwontcompute.blogspot.com.)

The rose has flowered season after season with no help from us; it scrambles up an old dogwood tree, and then flowers and flowers. Drought didn't stop it; light frosts are shrugged off. It's amazing. We don't water, fertilize, spray -- it's definitely a rose to grow! But since it pre-dates us, and is of no recognizable variety (without doing any research), I thought cuttings would be easy enough to try.

So in late summer, I took tip cuttings of the lavender and of the rose (this was in the depths of our dreadful August heat), dipped them in some Rootone that I'd had for awhile, and stuck them in some pots filled with half and half vermiculite and potting mix. I checked them a bit periodically, and by late October, both had started to produce decent roots, the lavender most vigorously.

I left the lavender cuttings in the pots, but transplanted the rose cuttings (totally leafless) to a nice rich bed next to the radicchio. I figured they'd be buffered from cold weather better.

I checked all of them today, and hooray! They all seem well-rooted, and hopefully I'll have both Spanish lavender and rose cuttings to transplant in the spring.
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