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

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I got weary hand cracking hazelnuts with those little squeeze-type nutcrackers, so I decided to treat myself to an early birthday present... a Davebuilt hand crank nutcracker. It's noisy and certainly takes some muscle but HOLY SMOKES it was fast. Processed the 2013 harvest in about 15 or 20 minutes. Then I had to sort through and pick out the nuts, but it still was a whole lot easier. For hazelnuts, I'd sure say the Davebuilt is a winner. Here are some pictures of the bounty...


Not at all related to plants, but just had to share this picture of one of the two pretty swans up at the Hagerstown city park. I was also fascinated by the hundreds of jumbo sized carp. We even saw a big goldfish, and about six koi among the swarms of normal brown carp. Cool park!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Viola arvensis seedlings

Still kicking after all the abuse this winter has dealt them... these are the Viola arvensis seedlings from pansy pollen. Soon they ought to be exploding into growth and bloom...

Survival of the fittest

I unintentionally started this iris experiment back in 2002 I think, with a cross of 'Clown Pants' X 'Rosemary's Dream'. The seeds germinated well in these two medium size plastic pots and I getting them into the ground just never seemed to be at the top of my to-do list. The first picture shows them coming out of winter in February of 2004. Cleaned up and even sporting a bloomstalk, the second picture shows them in May of 2004.
Fast forward 10 years... the third picture shows what's left of them still in those same pots.
Keep in mind that they've never been fertilized in all that time. AND they've endured repeated spells of drying out, when I've forgotten to water them. Heck I don't think I watered them hardly at all last summer. So these few remnants have got to be some of the toughest little guys around. Gotta get them into the ground finally after all these years so they can show me what they can do in normal conditions.