Time to start bringing things indoors. It's been fun watching my tropicals flourish and grow while enjoying the summer sun. Now they'll have to make due with strip lights and a crowded plant table for the winter months. I am already looking forward to spring.
What a cool find! While on a mountain biking ride in the woods, I came across this "fungus flower". I thought it was so interesting. It is a Monotropa uniflora, also known as Indian Pipe or Ghost Plant. I was even more excited when I learned that it is a relatively rare occurrence. It is an herbaceous perennial, recently grouped in the same family as azaleas and rhododendrons. There's a short article about it on Wikipedia. What a wonderful little flower!
I bought this years ago as a very small plant from a catalog. It was sold to me as a Billbergia nutans, but I think this is an incorrect identification. The flowers are not the same as photos I have seen of B. nutans (Queen's Tears).
I will try to find out what this plant actually is, but regardless - it is beautiful and impressive and I love it!
**UPDATE** I think I have narrowed this down to a Billbergia kuhlmanii, or perhaps Billbergia zebrina. If anyone knows for sure, please advise.
I grew my first veggie garden this year. It's a small container garden on the deck of the master bedroom. I started seeds in April and most of them germinated and made it outdoors. My lavendar seeds did not fare so well - two of nine sprouted, one immediately withered, and the other soon after. My three types of peppers have all done wonderfully!
My tomatoes from seed survived, but never thrived. I eventually went out and bought tomato plants. I also bought dill, catnip, chives, and chamomile.
Other seedlings of mine that have done well include blue fescue and Johnny Jump-ups, just for ornamental value.
The biggest problem in my little garden is that our lot has quite a few mature trees. Even though all the plants get light at some time, none of them really get a large amount of light. Yet, I have still gotten a bit of produce. It's fun and exciting to be enjoying the tasty "fruits" of my labor. I am looking forward to trying again next year with a bit more experience!
I absolutely fell IN LOVE with this tree in Yosemite National Park, California. For as aged and long-lived as it looks (and probably is), it was relatively small - maybe 13 feet? The tree fascinates me. I did not know what it was at the time, but learned later that it is a Bristlecone Pine. Most likely the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine - Pinus longaeva.
These trees are one of, if not THE, longest lived organisms on Earth, reaching an age of nearly 5,000 years! The oldest known living organism is "Methuselah", a Bristlecone Pine in a park in California. The exact location is undisclosed to protect the tree. A tree like this certainly demands respect and admiration!
There were several trees in California that stood out to me and really caught my attention. First, was one that I saw at the San Diego Zoo. I later found it to be a Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo). I loved the colorful, spiky berries. I would love to grown one of these, but they're only hardy to zone 8. Another tree I really enjoyed was the unusual-looking Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia). I had never seen anything like these and was really intrigued.
I had a chance to see the Giant Sequoias as well (Sequoiadendron giganteum). Unbelievable! It is impossible to explain, or to even portray in a picture, how increbly HUGE these trees are. I mean, look at it in comparison to me!
One final tree was a favorite of mine. It was in Napa Valley at the winery where we did some wine tasting. I suppose it is not as unusual as the others I've posted, but I thought it was really neat and kept saying how beautiful I thought it was. But then, I love EVERYTHING after a few glasses of wine.
One of my favorite finds when I go out west. This was my second encounter with the beautiful Calypso bulbosa (Calypso orchid). I simply love these guys! I am always thrilled to see this relatively rare flower scattering the trails in the Rocky Mountains. What a wonderful flower! I saw these at the Michigan Orchid Show a couple years ago. I would love to try to grow a few. They make me smile. I've heard they can be a bit tricky indoors, though not impossible. Maybe I'll give it a shot.
Another orchid I encountered on the trail in the Rockies is the Spotted Coralroot - Corallorhiza maculata. Not extremely showy, but that's usually my favorite type of flower - one that is the unobvious beauty; nature's intricate little gems. One final note - I saw this in the same area as the other two flowers. Does anyone know what this is? Perhaps a coralroot emerging? I know there are yellow ones, but I didn't see any other yellows in bloom anywhere around. (Click photo to enlarge)
Just had a little fun taking pictures of the ferns on a quick trip up North to Glennie, Michigan.
I also found this while traipsing through the woods. It reminded me of a small orchid, but I learned that it is not. I had looked it up at one point and found what it was, but I forgot and will have to look it up again.
I'm Bri. I am currently a student in the Landscape Design and Landscape Horticulture programs at Oakland Community College in Michigan. Once I acquire these degrees I plan on furthering my education - Michigan State University, perhaps?
I love visiting greenhouses, botanic gardens, and nurseries, though I try to limit my visits because I can NEVER seem to leave without making a purchase. What better career for me to pursue than one that allows me to be outdoors and to be creative?
I have found my path - join me on my journey as I learn and "grow"!