Then and Now Dianthus Pinnocchio

Another one of the sorry looking Hazzard's Greenhouse plants that I received in Early October of this year. I totally forgot that it is now almost 2 months that I have had these plants.
I previously planted some dianthus seeds but none grew from the whole package, not a single sprout. I gave up temporarily on the seeds and just bought a plant. These were very spindly and long and wimpy looking. With some love and care here is then

clematis and dianthus pinnochio
Dianthus Pinocchio the first day I got it.

dianthus early november
The Dianthus early in november

dianthus now
This is my Dianthus now.

Dianthus Now
and now

Dianthus Pinnocchio now
Dianthus all grown now!


Container planting planning

With the weather being cold and grey and some of my plants starting to fade I have looked to brighter things. I have started to think of what I want next year in my containers. What I have for this year I got so late they hardly had any time to grow. Most of what I have is type of plant per container. There are a few that I did some group plantings. I will have to wait until next spring to see if they will look good when grown out.
One site I loved all the plants! Proven Winners has such great selections but I was sad to learn that you can only purchase from retailers. There are retailers near me but the chances I find all these will be very unlikely. It was only after I had put all my combinations together that I discovered it would be rare for me to get them.

This combinations is Black Mondo Grass and African Daisy Sunny Sheila. I love this combo so very much. If I could only get one I would get this. So far I have not found any site that sells Sunny Sheila. I would love to find maybe even another daisy with similar colors or even not a daisy.

cinararia and perilla
This is a Cineraria Senetti Magenta Bicolor and Perilla Magilla. I like Cineraris and feel it would bring out the pinks in the Perilla. Too bad it won't happen tear.

coral bell verbena and pansey
Here we have Coral BVells Dolce Mocha Mint, Verbena Superbena Large lilac blue, and Pansy Violina. I love this combinations so much. Oh the frosty purples are to die for. This combination I might just be able to make.

phlox plectranthus verbena
I love the saturated look of these combinations. I'm a sucker for the bright yellow/green and the bright pinks. This is Dwarf Garden Phlox flame pink, Plectranthus Troys Gold, and Verbena Temari White. I know for sure I can make this happen. There is always phlox online or in the garden center. I'm sure I can find some bright yellow/green foliage plant. And if I can't find verbena I know I can fin some white flowering plants.

rice flower and oxalis
Lastly the Pink Rice Flower and Copper Tones Oxalis. I was so excited about this combination. Once a few months back I saw in a blog this awesome Oxalis. It had these amazing colors and here it is on Proven Winners. I can only wish I could find this combination

For some reason I didn't make a picture of one combination. Woodspurge Efanthis, Twinspur Flying Colors Coral, and Babylon Red Verbena. After my disappointment I decided to try again with a site I knew I could buy from. I went to Bluestone Perennials and found some things I really liked but I was still hooked on what I saw on Proven Winners. I did make photos of what I wanted to do with the plants I found from Bluestone Perennials but my computer froze before I saved all my hard work. Here is the list anyways.

Bergenia bressingham ruby
dianthus deltoides zing rose pink maiden

achillea walter fnke yarrow
arenaria verna aurea

heuchera amber waves
sedum vera jameson

heuchera x brizoides plum pudding
veronica + blue reflection
gypsophilia repens roea

lamium beedhams white
phlox subulat artic dark pink

geranium rozanne cranesbill
aster novi belgii snow cushion
viola mandshurica fuji dawn

Sorry for any typos my handwritten is a horror to read.


Wordless Wednesday



Green Thumb Sunday Sweet Basil

Here is another then and now. I purchase a sweet basil plant yet again from Hazzards Greenhouse

Sweet Basil the Day it Arrived

New Growth

Reaching Higher and Higher

Starting to Flower

I'm starting to wish I had let is set seed. I didn't though, I pinched it back. It has filled out more and looks much healthier now. When I receive it the leaves were rather yellow and sad looking. There were tons of ants where there were flowers. I love the nice herbal smell of the leaves. I used a few in some spaghetti sauce yesterday. I didn't really notice a distinct flavor but I'm shy with new herbs. My fingers smelt like the sweet basil for the rest of the night though even after washing vigorously.

Green Thumb Sunday

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Lemon Balm Then and Now

I'm going to be doing a then and now series. I have several things that have burst with growth. Others have recovered from whatever ailed them. While others have started to dwindle.

Today I'll start with my Lemon Balm. This was one of the plants I ordered from Hazzard's Greenhouse and was very disappointed in. It came all yellow and brown on the edges. I'm not sure what was wrong with it. Possibly the shipping was too harsh on it.

So this was then a few days after I received my Lemon Balm

bad lemon balm
Lemon Balm

I didn't give up hope on the pitiful thing. I plucked off the icky leaves and watered it with love. Now look at it.
lemon balm
lemon balm
lemon balm

Lemon Balm is a perennial herb in the mint family. I had no idea of this when I got it. I love mints and have grown to love the lemon balm scent. Like it's name it's lemon and has a nice minty tang to it. I have yet to use it for tea. The weather is starting to grow nippy so I'm sure I will. I've heard that the crushed leaves are good to repel mosquitoes. It also has antibacterial properties and relieves stress.


Wordless Wednesday

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Hedera Helix

needlepoint ivy
Needlepoint Ivy

One of my favorite plants is ivy. I don't know why but I'm a big vine person. I have always had a thing for ivy for as long as I can remember. My dream house has always had ivy on at least one side climbing up the wall.

Last week when planted the new beds at the Botanical Gardens we also planted some ivy. There were violas, petunias, and allysum for most of the bed. One corner was pretty ruffed up and always in shade. That is the corner we put this new ivy in. I believe it is Needlepoint by looking at the leaves.

Yolanda gave me a little piece since she remembered that I said I loved ivy. How generous. So here is my new little ivy waiting to take off and start climbing.


Green Thumb Sunday even though it's monday


Wow I totally missed green thumb sunday.

Here are a few of my daylilies. I really didn't think any of my daylilies would grow because I didn't really buy large enough pots for all that I got (13+). I crammed them into one large round pot, one rectangular planter, and a medium sized pot. A few have really taken off. There are just a couple that haven't really grown but I have hope. I can't wait until they bloom next year.

So I pretty much forgot about Sunday because I was so busy killing APHIDS!!! Those darn things got on almost everything. They were originally all on my chocolate mint. There were ants on my mint and I thought nothing of them until I found APHIDS. So out I cam with spray bottle in hand to blast the things with soapy water. Then I got the NEEM to make sure those ants don't hoard any more aphids.

I was pleased at my killing on the mint. Off I went to do whatever with the rest of my day happy I had killed the dreaded beasts. Only to find later on for my second watering of the peat pots that I had been foiled! First I noticed suck spots on the coral vine seedling. APHIDS!!! I got paranoid and started to inspect it all. One leaf on corkscrew vine APHIDS, bottom leaves on morning glory APHIDS. So I tore off leaves. Neemed anything I had seen ants on because those devils are the cause of all the APHIDS. I wasn't going to be nice anymore with water and soap. Now I hope all is well but just of note.

I do not like to use neem. I prefer to use the soap and water and whatever organic method. I don't know any organic methods of killing ants. I read that mint deters them but that is bull because I have mint and they were all over that. I'm thinking that I just need to get some fish emulsion or make some compost tea to boost the health of my plants so they aren't so susceptible to getting aphids and ants and whatever else comes at them. I do feel horrible about using neem since it is hurtful to bees. And I did see a few bees come by after my spraying and they went buzzing off at full speed. They didn't like my neem tear, poor bees.

Green Thumb Sunday

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Euphorbia Punicea

Euphorbia Gymnonota

This is one of the unique plants that we have at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. I never noticed it the first time I went there several months back. Right now it is blooming and looks great. I've read that it blooms all year round but I'm not sure if ours does too. Many people that come in ask what it is and greatly want one. It's a large woody shrub or small tree it gets 12-15 feet high. Ours is the size of a tree. It lives in zone 10b-11.

The Euphorbia Punicea originated from Jamaica.  This plant is tolerant of salt and drought. It needs full sun and likes dry, poor, sandy well drained soil. The plant is poisonous to mammals.

I didn't know what this tree/shrub was called until Monday. Everyone kept on asking me what is this tree. I asked Yolanda and she said Euphorbia. Well of course I went home and research because I really thought Euphorbia was a cactus. It took me forever to find what we had because there is so little information on it. It is for sure the Euphorbia Punicea. There is a similar smaller shrub that is a Euphorbia Gymnonota and I thought this was it but now (2013) seems there is far more information out on this plant there there were years ago. The Euphorbia Puniceahas such a special shape to it's leaves and flowers that there was no doubt.

Something I learned that I never knew before is.... Poinsettias are Euphoribas. Poinsettia pulcherrima to be exact. There will be Poinsettia planting at the botanical gardens on the 16th. I'll be there for sure.


Wordless Wednesday



Cocktail Vodka

Cocktail Vodka Wax leaf Begonia
Cocktail Vodka Waxleaf Begonia

No I'm not talking about alcohol. Still can't drink but hubby can in a few weeks so he'll be my inside man! Anyways back to plants. A few months ago I purchase these wonderful Begonia plugs. It was love at first site with these (isn't it for everything?). The color the texture they were beautiful. Sadly I don't think I know how to take care of them properly. I had six, one died. I now have 4 outside as an experiment on what conditions they need. One is inside just in case all 4 outside die on me. The Cocktail Vodka Begonia that is inside is doing well. It is far darker and has more green in it's leaves. The ones outside are not fairing to well. One of the outside Begonia grew and has a tiny flower. They all have shriveled edges or burn spots. When they are in direct sun they get fried FAST. So I have 2 shaded and 2 receiving dappled sun. I also repotted them into better soil. They were first potted in a high peat mix and the peat got rock hard.

Cocktail Vodka

Cocktail Vodka Begonia originates from Brazil. They have fleshy rounded bronze wax like leafs and single rounded bright red flowers. It's a tender annual in most places but in it's natural zone 9-12 it is a perennial. Cocktail Vodka Begonia can be an indoor plant for those that don't have the right conditions for it. It's a fast grower when given the right right care. It needs moist (there is my problem) well drained soil with some to normal humidity. It likes light sun to shade (there is another problem). There is a 12" spread and 6-12" height.

This is my first begonia. I might just fall in love with begonias if these perk up for me. I love the leaves and the little flowers are just a bonus. When I originally got these I couldn't find much information on how to care for the particular plant just begonias in general. Maybe after knowing these facts they will live.


Volunteer = Experience

Exhibit Room
The exhibit room with bromeliads and so much more.

Saturday the husband and I went to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens so I could get started on volunteering. They were having a fall garden fair on Saturday. I thought that would be a good time to go walking around and just visiting the booths. Sadly I got rushed by bad husband who didn't want to be there because we have seen everything. Boo.

fern grotto
Some wonderful plants in Fern Grotto

Today I went down there to go volunteer. They thought I would be good to work with Beverly in the conservatory and green house. Today I went into the Fern Grotto to water and prune and beautify. I was excited because that is my favorite place. There is a waterfall over the wood pathway that goes into a pond. All around there are of course ferns, staghorn ferns. orchids, and many other plants I don't know names of. When I was done there I helped in the exhibit room where there were Bromeliads and aerial plants. I helped Yolanda for awhile picking off dead leaves of the Bromeliads and cleaning up the surrounding area.


While on my break I met the women who takes care of the palms. I don't remember her name, I'm bad with names. She started talking to me about palms and these seeds/fruits she found that she never saw before. She went looking in a book and while looking talked to me about chocolate trees. The botanical gardens has a chocolate tree and it has pods in it. We were tempted to break some open but realized it wouldn't taste like chocolate anyways. I might just go in next time when she isn't looking and break a pod anyways just to see what it's like inside. Well she sent me on a mission to find out about those seeds/fruits since she couldn't find anything in the book. I told her she should look online but she's not computer literate. I am so I found out more info for her. I can't wait to show her what I found and see what she has to say.


Green Thumb Sunday

peat pots
All the little peat pots standing in a row.

There hasn't been much growing drastic growth lately. I have a few things that have surprising started new growth that I took for no good.

I love to grow seeds. To me it is the most gratifying experience. When I start I get carried away. It all started with 1 seed package and 1 little peat pot. Now there are 12 peat pots with little seedlings.

Every night I take my seedlings inside because the 40 degree temps make them wilt. I'd rather be safe then sorry. In my pots I have godetia, pansies, candytuft, corkscrew vine, Mt. Fuji morning glories, coral vine, peony poppy mix, venus poppy, and mint.

I have a green thumb for peat pots. Everything I put in a peat pot that is seed just jets up. When I put seeds in real pots they just don't like to grow.

Green Thumb Sunday

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Growing Herbs and Kiling Cactuses

Kasha and Sweet Basil
Kasha smelling the Sweet Basil

I'm going to start off on the good note. Daily I obsessively check for any new growth. New growth makes me extremely happy. While checking as usual once I get to the herbs the pup starts sniffing. Her favorite is the chocolate mint. I'll rub the leaves and she's just stand there and sniff at it then sniff my fingers.

While she was sniffing I noticed my Sweet Basil has bunched up new growth over the last few weeks. Every day I look I it I swear I see more little leaves on the tip. The new Chocolate Mint loves it's spot and has been growing and put out new leaf buds. The Lemon Balm went through a struggling phase. It looks much better today and new leaves are coming out.

Now for the killing.

Night Blooming Cereus
Night Blooming Cereus cuttings

I've mentioned before I don't really like cactus. My mother had them and I was fine with them. But I knew when I got a cactus I would kill it some how. The Night Blooming Cereus cutting the old women gave me have been rotting. When I checked on them today I saw they were starting to rot under the ground. I pulled them up and cut off the rotted portion. I'm letting the cutting heal over before I repot them again. The unknown succulent and the cereus will be moved indoors for hope of better results. My balcony receives too much sun for them. The old women had them on her shaded porch so I don't think they like my bright afternoon sun.

I just have to say this. I've been job hunting and of course looking for a great plant/garden related position. After calling and visiting every garden center, interior plantscaping, landscaping business with no avail I gave up. While doing my daily online job search yesterday I saw plant technician. Of course I called and asked them to find my application and sign me up for that. The owner is not sure if he really wants anyone for that position right now but maybe for spring. They are conducting interviews next week. I really hope they decide they do need the position and need me. Ha I wish.

Also in gardening work news. I finally got a call back from the San Antonio Botanical Gardens about volunteering. I'll be going in on Saturday to get started. I hope I get to do the plant propagation greenhouse helper. I love plant propagation! On Saturday the Botanical Gardens will be having a Fall Garden Fair. I'm dragging the husband of course and my camera.


The Greens And Pinks

I noticed today that many of my plants have green and pink. Some because of the seasons other just naturally. I don't know the names of some of my green and pink plants. Anyone out there know please do tell me.

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This is something I don't know what it is. I received this from that lady who gave me many plants. She gave me this pot with this palm like plant and some other plant in it. I wish I knew the name so I could better take care of it. It has some nice pink edges to it.


I received this plant as a gift from a previous coworker of mine. I loved this old lady she helped me so much and was like a mom to me. I would always talk to her about gardening during work. We would look on the internet for interesting plants we liked to share with each other. I gave her some seeds of corkscrew vine, lantana, and probably so much more. I'm a real big giver. She gave me these cuttings from a plant that she has which grows like crazy. It's edges turn pink during certain times of the year. When they aren't pink they are white/cream. She couldn't remember the name of it and I haven't been able to find it.

dwarf weeping crape myrtle sacramento
Dwarf Weeping Crape Myrtle "Sacramento"

This is was the first little tree I got to start as a bonsai. It's not a correct specimen for bonsai but I'm keeping it small anyways since I don't have room to really let it reach it's full height. I don't remember how big it gets. It went through transplant shock and lost quite a few leaves. I haven't seen any new growth but the leaves have started to turn pink. When spring comes I'm hoping new leaves will form.


This is another unknown. It is in the same pot with the palm looking thing above. The women that gave it to me says it turns pink on the edges. I haven't seen it turn yet but I will be waiting. Yet again she didn't know the name of it. It looks kind of similar to the gift plant I got from my coworker. They are different from one another because this one has rounder thinner leaves and they are on stems.

If anyone knows what they are or any clues how to find out please do tell. I would love to find out more about the mystery plants I have.