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Jerry Sullivan's Blog

The journey of seeds, no travel agent required.

Category: The back yard | Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:26 pm

I was inspecting some of the houseplants that had vacationed outside during the summer and found that a seed had impaled itself in the leaf of a spider plant. This set me to thinking......plants for millions of years have developed many different ways to spread their seeds far and wide.
Seeds with sails for instance use the wind to travel great distances. Some land on fertile ground and germinate, others like the cat-o-nine tails landing on the ground is a death sentence. The seed has to land in water. The mother plant however, may send hundreds of thousands of seeds on a turbulent ride using the prevailing winds to greatly increase the odds that some will find a body of water. Birds of course, because plants produce desirable fruit and berries, spread all kinds of seeds in their droppings. Palms on tropical islands began their journey as coconuts using the ocean currents. Plants like impatiens or jewel weed send their seeds flying by the explosive action of their seed pods. Many plants have burs or spiked seeds to catch the fir of a passing animal. The animal sheds its fir, cleans themselves or brushes against another object and the seed falls to the ground. Trees such as the maple send squadrons of seeds on a helicopter ride to new locations. Even the actions of humans are not beyond assisting in the dissemination of seeds. How many times do you return the seeds of a plant back to its source. There are many other ways plants send their seeds to a new beginning. Maybe you know of another way.

.....just thinking....

Now what did I do with that seed I took out of the plant?

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Dropped by its mother :-(

Category: The back yard | Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:10 pm

People come and go at work and along with them go their plants. I saw one such plant in the lobby waiting for its owner to pick it up and said to myself, "what an unusual plant the segments look like bottles". Later when I game back to ask the owner the name of the plant it was gone. I looked at the vacant window sill it had been sitting on when I spotted a small green segment two cm long, dropped from the plant as it was being taken away. I took it back to my office, put some potting soil in a plastic fruit cup with a lid, planted the segment and hoped. Success! It grew into a Drunkard's Dream or Hatiora Salicornioides. The resulting plant so far does not seem quite true to mom. Close.....but the segments are not bottle shaped, even though the original segment had a bottle shape. See pic.
It has a cousin Rhipsalis gaertneri which had a similar issue. As the plant matured it developed into the expected plant. I guess i will have to wait.

Hatiora Salicornioides ( photo / image / picture from Jerry Sullivan's Garden )

Last edited: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:36 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 306 times

Rescuing herbs

Category: The back yard | Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:18 pm

Herbs to rescue: Basil, Rosemary(takes a long time) Sage, Oregano, Thyme(I had a tough time with this (no apologies for the pun)). Getting cuttings from your own garden assures quality. From the store it's a challenge. Years ago I seem to remember mint. I was walking across a boggy area and smelt mint. I have mint in my garden so it was probably from cuttings. Sounds like a good forum entry....How many herbs can we propagate from cutting.


Last edited: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:24 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 305 times

Rescued from the cooking pot.

Category: The back yard | Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:08 am

Winters approach makes a lot of last summers flowers a distant memory. However, some interesting diversions are just a weekly trip away. Next time you are in the grocery store stop by the the fresh cut herbs section, the ones in plastic boxes and rescue some victims from a culinary cooking pot. Hospitalize the herbs in a water container and wait for roots. When the roots are sufficient for potting, transfer to the new more plant friendly pot. The herb will really appreciate the new home. Later enjoy the flowers as they develop. Last year I rescued a package of sage.


sage flowers ( photo / image / picture from Jerry Sullivan's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 926 times

Spruce up your bottoms, Glug Glug, Friends

Category: The back yard | Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:32 am

The plants that are chosen for window spots always want to look their best otherwise they find themselves relegated to the basement looking up at a grow light. A plastic bottom while functional and prevents spills that damage the window sill only go so far for esthetics. A couple of years ago I started buying colorful single plates of various sizes and shapes at discount stores to replace the plastic bottoms. The plants look better with a colorful plate or bowl under them. You were thinking plant bottoms.....Right?:-)

Tomorrow is watering day it takes one gallon upstairs and two gallons for the thirsty jungle looking up at grow lights. Sometimes I spike the water with fertilizer, the plants enjoy a good feast.

Last year I tried to winter-over a Mandevilla and failed miserably. This years Mandevilla is doing better. It has grabbed on to a Philodendron for support and encouragement. They have become fast friends:-)


This blog entry has been viewed 276 times

Outside in, snip snip, wildlife alert.

Category: The back yard | Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:08 pm

Not all backyard, outside plants get to expire with the dropping temperatures of fall evenings. Some plants, usually the ones with flowers, get to follow the houseplants. After all, these annuals provided color enjoyment all summer long and now scream "me too, me too" when seeing the others head for a warmth of the house. This year Impatiens and dianthus made the cut, they will be featured as they flower.

Speaking of cuts. Not all plants make it inside the house with their roots on. Plants within sight of the computer screen are now cringing. With limited counter space or as the plants get too big the scissors come out and....snip snip. The shortened version gets plunked Into a container of water. New Plant:)

I was resting on the couch the other night when a member of the backyard air force buzzed my ear. Whoa! said I. This lady should have crash landed with the rest of her sisters a couple of weeks ago. They do not have de-iceing capability on their wings when it gets cold:-) A new creature check of the shortened plant life in containers of water revealed that one lady left her children unattended.
Down the drain they went.

Other tasks are calling. preview.... submit

Last edited: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:20 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 795 times

Plant moving day, lights, ducks, frogs

Category: The back yard | Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:20 pm

I did this a couple of weeks ago but since this is my first entry.....
The houseplants vacation in various spots in the back yard for the summer-early fall then over a couple of days they move inside. The grow lights get turned on and it's push and shove to get them all to fit on the cellar benches under the lights. Creature check did not turned up any unwanted occupants inhabiting the pots, like ants etc. About a third get to occupy the choice window spots upstairs. The Christmas cactus is now blooming. All the plants are adjusting to being inside.
A couple are no happy about being re-located.

Outside...nets over the two small pond. I call them ponds but at 3x5 meters they will not attract ducks flying by. The bullfrogs like them. The nets keep out the tree leaves. No fish. Not deep enough.

Enough typing....hit submit.....see what happens

This blog entry has been viewed 304 times

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