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

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hybrid Gladiolus seedlings

These are the corms from two seasons of growth from seeds. The seed parent was a relatively cold-hardy Gladiolus named 'Boone' that I think was recovered from an old homestead in North Carolina (?). It has grown here since 2009 unprotected but against a wall. The pollen parent of the seeds that grew these corms was the tender, winter-blooming, night-fragrant species, Gladiolus tristis. I had to freeze its pollen for several months to be able to use it on summer-flowering 'Boone'. I sure hope at least a few of these will bloom this coming summer.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Glad to have another ally in keeping the rodent population under control.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rosa laevigata

Was just talking about this great rose species over at the Rose Hybridizers Forum. It's a stubborn one to try to hybridize with, but it's so cool that I'm gonna keep on trying. I'm hoping that my little plant is big enough that it'll maybe at least have a few flowers in the Spring. Winters can sometimes really clobber it here, but in mild years when it doesn't get too severely cold, most of the growth will survive. Crossing my fingers that'll be the case for the rest of this winter. So far, it's even still got quite a few green leaves. Here's the whole plant and a close-up of the foliage.

Pomegranate Seedling

Only got three germinations so far, from the 'Russian' pomegranate seeds we planted, but two of them are doing really well. Here's one of them.


Ladybug relocation program ;0)

Found this little friend buzzing around the kitchen about a week ago, so I relocated it down to the basement, where I've got an ongoing aphid problem. I put it on this pepper that I'd been trying to overwinter indoors. It seems pretty happy with the smorgasbord of aphids because it's been moving around on the plant but hasn't left it. Wish I had a few more of these to work on the aphids.

'Hardy Chicago' fig cutting kept indoors

Two days ago I got to eat an almost ripe fig. It wasn't as sweet as ones grown in sunshine, but for January it was still kind of cool. We'd rooted this cutting in a two-liter soda bottle bottom. It was intended to be planted over at my brother's house, but it got so late into Fall and then it started fruiting... so we figured we'd just keep it indoors until Spring. The yellowish one on the right looks like it'll be ripe soon too. Who knew - fruiting figs could be houseplants.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Somewhat Unintentional Experiment

I planted these two pots of iris seeds in the Fall of 2002. They germinated Spring 2003. This picture shows them in February of 2004.
The cross was 'Clown Pants' X 'Rosemary's Dream'. They came up so thickly that I figured I couldn't plant them all in the ground. Time got away from me and some died of crowding, rots and such until... fast forward 10 years... they're still sitting out there, STILL in those same pots. Only the most stubborn, toughest few remain. I REALLY ought to put these into the ground when Spring comes.
And I'll have to get pictures when I do.