Deck the halls, and the walls… with festive succulents and moss!

 

Succulents and mosses and lichens, oh my!

This is the way I like to decorate. A little less glitzy than some, with a bent toward nature and a nod to the garden, which has all but disappeared under a blanket of snow in these parts, I might add.

A living wreath is perfect for placing on the wall all year long, and outside during the summer! This time of year it brings the garden indoors!

Place them on walls, and the dining table, too! During the holidays a living wreath will create the ultimate seasonal table centrepiece!  Candles can be placed safely in the middle, offering a sumptuous dining experience for you and your guests!

Alternatively, if you’re seeking a wreath that will stand up to the elements, particularly winter, and if you’re into green like me, consider a moss wreath. Simple, elegant and timeless, these plump, plush living moss circles look amazing on any door, and they’re hardy enough to take all that winter throws at them!

These cultivated gifts are on special order at the store. Please contact me for more details.

Thank you!

How to grow, pollinate and harvest seeds from an amaryllis – It’s very easy to do!!

amaryllis-vittata-february-2015pistil-and-stigma-for-pollinating-the-amaryllis-karen-sloanPollinating and saving seeds from Amaryllis is very simple. All you need is a light touch.

Step 1: Collect some pollen, (gently), on your finger from the stamen. (see next photo)
Step 2: Dust it lightly on the stigma.
This should be done when the stigma (Pistil) is completely open.

Just a note: Some people use a paint brush to transfer the pollen, but this is not a requirement if you’re very gentle.

 

 

I don’t pollinate any flower with its own pollen. I’ll use the pollen from one flower to pollinate another .

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Unripe seed pod

This is a seed pod that develops not long after, from the pollinated flower that dies back.

Let it mature and turn brown. Then the seed head is ready to harvest.

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Seed pod is ready to harvest.

 

 

 

 

Many people ask me how to bring an Amaryllis  into bloom again…  Here’s my advice:

Don’t dig up your bulbs and stick them in the closet in the fall.  Don’t do it. It doesn’t happen that way in nature! Why anyone started promoting such fiction, I’ll never know.

Seriously, I can’t tell you how much this myth irritates me, and every year I see gardening articles perpetuating this falsehood, repeating it verbatim like parrots, likely by writers who haven’t actually accomplished what they’re proposing you to do..

Because of that, it’s no wonder so many people tell me they’ve given up growing these beauties and can’t get a bulb to re-flower the next year. Purely because something so simple has been made to seem so very complicated…. There’s my rant for today!

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Freshly harvested, plump amaryllis seeds

In any case, bulbs have an internal clock that works very well, with or without our help.

As long as the flower stalks are allowed to die back naturally after flowering, and there has been sufficient water, light and food over the course of the year, (I only give them a bit of very diluted coffee or tea once a month), then you have the secret to getting them to flower again.

amaryllis-wfsMy amaryllis is 130 years old.

It was my originally my great-great grandmother’s plant, a true heirloom, and I cherish it!

It blooms every year, and sometimes twice. I can tell you, it has NEVER seen the inside of a closet!

Treat it as you would any houseplant, all year long, but ease up on the watering in November.

Don’t let your plant completely dry out, but water it once per month until a flower bud starts to emerge. Then water every 10 days or so. After the flowers finish, let the stalks die back naturally. This is very important as this is what provides the bulb with the energy to produce a flower next year… 

If you don’t like the look of the plant while it’s in this semi-dormant state, put it in a room where it’s not so visible. Leaves will die back too, and watering should be lessened again ‘til  mid March when the sun gets higher in the sky, and you’ll see an abundance of new foliage. Water more often, as the cycle has begun again.

Amaryllis vittatum - Wall Flower Studio 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The unusual Rose of Jericho, aka Resurrection plant, (or even) Zombie plant?!

ressurection-plants-at-wall-flower-studioSharing an unusual North American native plant today, (not from my neck of the woods!), but from Arizona and Texas.  The Selaginella lepidophylla, otherwise known as a rose of Jericho, or resurrection plant, is about as drought tolerant a plant as you can get. It is actually classed as a tumbleweed and this seemingly innocuous species is simply amazing! Let me explain why..

Doesn’t look like much, does it?! A dead root ball, perhaps.. However, mist it with some water, stand back and watch the magic begin as it comes back to life.

Back from the dead, as its name suggests! From a dead ball of brown to a thriving green plant with cedar like ferny foliage, and all in about an hour’s time! Considering the time of year with Halloween approaching, perhaps ‘zombie plant’ wouldn’t be far off, after all. 😉

resurrection-plant-opening-wfs-2016-011I’ve taken a series of photos to show the progress from the above photo to green and alive! It turns green pretty quickly.

This was about 10 minutes after watering.

 

 

 

It starts to unfurl… 15 minutes in.

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more unfurling.. 20 minutes in.

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The green colour is much more apparent at this point. Deepening to a cedar green colour… 45 minutes in.

 

 

 

 

 

Almost all the way open! 55 minutes in.

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Filling out nicely and the green is soft and lush. 65 minutes in.

 

 

 

 

resurrection-plant-opening-wfs-2016-021Fully open! Looks kind of like a big ferny, mossy chrysanthemum blossom!

Smells like a forest after the rain.

The best part is, you can let it dry right out again. It will return to its natural dried state,  furled up like an animal in a deep winter hibernation, waiting for spring to arrive once again.

For more information on these lovely and unusual plants, visit:

Thank you for visiting!

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