Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Living Stones (Lithops) are Moving Indoors for Winter with the Graptopetalum

Like many other gardeners, I love my succulents. 
Not sure yet what kind of winter we'll be having so I'm beginning to pull in the plants I want to keep for next season. 
For the first time, I grew some Lithops this year. (I guess I should add that I purchased these at a nursery and by "grew" I simply mean that I didn't kill them during the past 6 months or so.)
The Graptopetalum pentandrum ssp. superbum I actually purchased last year at Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco and it has been a lot of fun with its unique coloring. (Obviously, the photo above overemphasizes its purple hue.) 
As for the Lithops, I must confess, they didn't completely escape my neglect. I feel badly they split a bit, but I will take better care of them now. 
Currently indoors in the plant room, I expect they'll be quite happy here in the window where it's much warmer and drier during the winter months. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ode to the Japanese Maple in the Back Garden during Autumn

When the house was first purchased, not long after my Wasband and I married in April of 2004, my mother purchased this weeping Japanese Maple for us from a nursery out in Clackamas County. 
If you know anything about the nursery trade in Oregon, there are certain plants or trees which are raised like puppies in puppy mills and the Japanese Maple is one of them. 
When Mom found the poor thing after it had been mistreated rather badly and the trunk was very deformed. [If you look very closely at the very bottom of this photo (above) you will see a sort of ledge where the innocent little thing was choked.] She was able to buy it, and another, at a great deep discount.  
During the worst of times, pruning this thing became a form of meditation for me. I love nothing more than pruning weeping Japanese Maples. It's a thing I have for making them weep I guess because the key is to let them drape and flow like waterfalls. 
Do not think that I am an expert on this subject though because this one hasn't been shaped up for awhile. 
There was a beastly vine too who chocked out a section in the back and it still hasn't grown back in just yet. 
Of the few Japanese maples I have left in the garden now it is by far my favorite at this time of the year because of its bright color.

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