... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


We had about a foot of snow last weekend and now the crocuses (croci?) are just about open.
Woo Hoo!!! Spring's gotta be close!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Some of the siblings of that kale I posted a few days ago. The first one is a throwback to the 'Green Glaze' collard greens but with a more compact form. The original crosses were of 'Green Glaze' with dwarf blue scotch kale and a purple ornamental cabbage.
Here are four more. Two are glossy types (lower left and upper right). The other two look like outcrosses to the Tuscan kale I had flowering nearby that season. 

Three more of the fish hybrids

Went back through the old pictures [October 1995] and found these three more. The first one is from sailfin molly male with female guppy, and although blurry, you can see the red and blue spots on the tail. The second two were from a Gold-Dust Lyre-tail Molly male with a female guppy.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dark Kale

Last Spring I tried starting some of my kale lines that I'd been working towards combining glossy foliage and purple pigment. Between damping off and a thrips infestation, I lost everything that sprouted. I didn't throw out the pots though and just let them dry out and wait a while. Later in the summer, water leaked down into the pot from something I'd set on top and a new wave of germinations started. This was the biggest of those seedlings. I planted it in the ground last Fall and caged it to protect from the rabbit population boom. It got a lot of the purple-ness but is not a glossy. There are a few glossy siblings still under lights in the basement and also two of the seedlings look like they might be from pollen of the Tuscan kale I'd also been growing. 
Here's a little closer picture

'Red Majesty' Gladiolus

I wanted some fire-engine red glads to try forcing for early bloom, to use for a mixed pollen experiment I've been planning. I found these 'Red Majesty' at the local Home Depot store and bought three boxes.
I was surprised to find that the corms are purple tinted - pretty cool looking!
 I wanted blooms to open late April into early May, so figuring 90-100 days back I started the first batch Jan 26. Saw the first sprouts coming above the soil line yesterday. I hope I've got it timed correctly. We'll see!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fish hybrids

Not plant related, but found these old pictures from when I was playing around with interspecies fish crosses (back 15 or 20 years ago). These hybrids came from virgin guppy females kept with various molly males. The three stripey looking ones on the left were from sailfin type molly. The other three are from a Gold-Dust Molly. All F1 offspring were male and I never got any further generations - I think they were relatively sterile - but you never know. So I thought maybe these pictures would inspire someone to give it a try.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Trail Cam Pictures

I'd been curious what might be living in the big hole behind the garden and Santa brought me a trail camera (Tasco 3MP Model# 119256CW) for Christmas, so... I set it up in movie mode and caught a quick little red fox zipping in to check out the hole one night. I don't think that it's the fox's home though because after the recent snow there were fox tracks all throughout the yard and not a track at all coming from that hole. Also I've had the camera staking out that hole quite a few nights and this is the only time the fox has popped in.
By the way, in case anyone else has this trouble (which is one of the reasons I'm posting this)... the camera went into LOCK mode and I couldn't get it to take any more pictures. It wouldn't let me reformat it in the camera either. I looked all over the web and couldn't find anything that would work to fix it. Finally, I just reformatted the SD card in our laptop and all is good again. Just go to "My Computer" and right mouse on the SD card. You should get an option to reformat that way.
Now I've got the camera set up to record where I toss our compostable kitchen stuff. The tracks were especially busy around there.