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

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Since it's supposed to be a blog about plants, here's a traditional Christmas favorite. This poinsettia was given to us in a beautiful mixed planting last year. My wife repotted it and lovingly cared for it over the past year, and this is the result.
Anyway, we hope that everyone has a great holiday season and a wonder filled new year!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Taking a walk around a frozen lake and saw this heron hanging out. Just thought it was cool 😎

Peppers getting a day outside

Hoping to overwinter these peppers indoors, but the aphids are getting thick on them. So, I put them outside yesterday for a soapy water spray. The temperature got pretty close to freezing by the time I brought them back in but they sure look happier every time they get fresh air and sunshine.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Here are two of the hopefuls - Easter Cactus flowers that had been pollinated by Christmas Cactus. One flower has fallen off but left the tiny fruit behind.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Arundinaria tecta

A light snow fell today and looked pretty dusting this native North American bamboo (Arundinaria tecta). It's just a small area but in my imagination I can see the large areas called "canebrakes" that were (maybe still are) covered by this little bamboo. It's about up to my armpits at the highest. Supposedly all sorts of wildlife made their homes in the vast canebrakes. Looks like a good place to hide to me.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Goldrush apple

Found this ugly looking apple hanging on our 'Goldrush' tree. The one side still was pretty tasty underneath the ugly skin. Guess I'll give it a couple more years before I decide whether it stays or goes.

Christmas Cactus cross

This pink cactus is actually a Spring-blooming "Easter Cactus" but it's got a few blooms right now. And since we've got lots of Christmas Cactus blooms right now, I figured it would be fun to try some crossing. I marked the ones I pollinated, with a black dot (Sharpie marker), so I'll know if it's worked. So far all unmarked blooms have dropped off along with the tiny fruits when they've closed. One of the marked ones is still holding on, even after closing.
This coral- colored Christmas Cactus is the pollen I used.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fox den?

This hole is in the side of a dirt pile that I saw fox pups playing on top of twice this Spring while I was mowing. I'm betting it was a den but I plan on setting up a trail cam next year to see if I can get confirmation in the way of cool pictures.

Callery pears

Another example of the bigger sized callery pears that occasionally show up here. They're super astringent, but we found out that problem can be alleviated by crushing them and letting them sit overnight in the fridge before pressing. Then the juice is pretty tasty.

Hosta seedlings!!!

I didn't really expect these to grow, since they were so light and shriveled in appearance. I'd expected the seeds to look more like daylily seeds.
After a couple months of waiting, I'd given up. So, I was going to reuse the container for planting some strawberry seeds instead. When I started scraping the perlite covering off, I was surprised to find that the Hosta seeds WERE actually germinating!
These seeds were collected off 'Razor's Edge' and I'm not sure if they're from the x tardiana pollen I'd put in it, or if they're just from self pollinations. Either way it'll be fun to see what they look like.