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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Another generation of Viola arvensis derivatives (after all)

They got planted too late to put outside, but should be alright indoors all winter. These are seeds from the two orange F4 from Viola arvensis X orange pansy. I'd put pollen on those from a wooly foliage, yellow and purple flowered F4 from Viola arvensis X red pansy. I'm expecting I'll have to go another generation to get orange back but I'm just glad I didn't lose these lines completely, like I've usually done in the past.

Here are links to a post last year about the F4 parents

And the original F1 hybrids

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Best of the winterberry hollies

Once they'd matured enough to tell, I separated the female winterberries out to plant in front of the birches. These were all seedlings bought as a bundle from the Maryland State Forestry Tree Nursery. This female seems to be the heaviest fruiting of the bunch but it might be because its closer to the males (planted nearby for pollination)

Monday, November 13, 2017


Well, I waited too long and the temperatures dropped down into the 20's Fahrenheit. The tops of our radish crop were frozen to mush. Most looked like they still had live growth at the center, but when I cut two "rejects" for dinner they had frozen areas in the root itself. I'm crossing my fingers that some of the "selects" will be okay enough to replant in the Spring for seed production. The "selects" are the most pigmented ones. Here are some examples of rejects that (although poorly shaped and sized) still had the coloring I'm shooting for.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Painting a picture with plants...

My idea here was to have the red winterberry hollies and white birches together against a dark green background of 'Sea Green' junipers.
It's taking a long time to get there, but it's sort of happening...

"Pink Volunteer"

Another faithful rebloomer, I don't know the parentage of this "Pink Volunteer" but it surely had to be from my two diploid MTB (miniature tall bearded) irises - 'Cricket Song' and 'Easy Smile'. It's likely a cross between these two. I don't plan on registering and/or introducing it, but it's fertile and should be a good breeder.

Tristan strawberry

Another plant I'd highly recommend... we got this little 'Tristan' ornamental/edible strawberry years ago at a Wal-mart. In addition to the pretty dark pink flowers, it makes berries too. They may be a little skinny and firm, but the flavor is still good! I don't do anything but pull weeds around it and it just keeps trucking along. Here it is November... and FRESH STRAWBERRIES! 😀

Thursday, November 9, 2017

'Cricket Song' reblooming iris

'Cricket Song' blooms reliably here in Maryland, every Spring and again around the end of October. Sometimes it will also have occasional flower stalks in the summer. Not perfect but sure nice to have around.


A great perennial addition to the vegetable garden. The deer only bother it at times like this, when it's lush and freshly regrown from being cut back to the ground recently. But there's still plenty for us to browse too. Love it!

2017 Radishes

I had to put a chicken wire tunnel over them this season because of heavy deer/rabbit browsing. They'll need harvested soon but can take quite a bit of cold. Can't remember the generation (5 or 6 maybe) from the original cross, which was between Roseheart and Long Black Spanish. Been selecting for high pigment expression.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Seminole pumpkins

We harvested one single early fruit in addition to this batch that we harvested today. There were two seedlings in the "hill" but they grew vines ~40 feet long and rooted wherever the vines had good contact with the soil.
Good mildew resistance and vigor, I think this will be a great addition to our moschata type pumpkin population (so far, we've blended 'Butternut', 'Long Island Cheese', 'Neck Pumpkin', and 'Fairy Tale').

Air layering a mulberry

I wanted to try to propagate this mulberry for a friend, and read that they could be air-layered. Basically I just removed a ring of bark about 1/4 of a inch, in early July, and then wrapped that portion in barely damp potting soil and aluminum foil. Two out of three actually formed roots. The one pictured was the best.
Now it's cut off the tree and potted up.

"White Clubhouse" strawberry

Although small-fruited, our "White Clubhouse" strawberry makes super tasty berries from June until hard frost. I found this ripe perfectly ripe berry today out in the cold drizzling rain. Yum!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Name the bug

Anybody know who this little guy is?