Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Poppies abound in Chanticleer this past weekend. From frilly ones with jagged edges to dainty ones in all lovely shades of pink, purple, and red. In some flower beds, it feels like a Monet or Van Gogh painting! Come enjoy these beauties soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Comeback Cabbage

A survivor from the mild winter last year, this purple cabbage plant has started sending off small yellow blooms since April and looks set to establish itself in the little corner of the backyard. It is really healthy looking even though this is a fairly shaded part of the yard and the soil is very poor here.  

What's blooming outdoors

Just got back from a vacation and really surprised to see beautiful blooms in the backyard welcoming us home!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's a beautiful April weekend in Chanticleer Gardens. While a little too chilly for a long lazy picnic, it was bright and sunny and the succulent plants are certainly soaking up the sunshine. The potted displays in hypertufa and cement containers were dazzling with colorful echeverias, sedums, and sempervivums. I really like the marine theme in some of the arrangements that incorporated pieces of coral, sea shells, and beach pebbles. These are definitely great ideas for my own garden in the making!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Succulent arrangement

This little arrangement in a glazed ceramic bowl has been doing pretty well since I planted it in the summer. I got this lovely bowl at an arts fair featuring Penn students' work. The bowl has no drainage so minimal watering is necessary. The highlight of the arrangement is the striated aloe placed slightly off-center. Two different types of senecio provide some height for the arrangement. And tucked in the foreground are tiny sempervivums. Finally, the top is covered with fine sand and some decorative pebbles and seashells. VoilĂ !

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blooming stone

Can stones bloom? Yes they do. Here's a picture of one of my Lithops living stone plants doing just that in February. So amazing isn't it?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Orchid bloom in the winter

This day has finally arrived after a long time in waiting! After almost 3 years of fussing over this store-bought Phalaenopsis orchid plant, it finally set off its first bloom this winter! There are at least 7 buds on one stalk and another 6 on a second stalk so it looks pretty healthy, I think. My previous acquisitions of orchids have failed to reflower even after many months of attention and I've started to believe in other friends who also had no success that it is futile to bother. "Just get new ones once they fade" was the usual advice.

I'm not sure what exactly made the difference but I left this plant in the yard in light shade from late spring through the fall and it just received rainwater and occasionally drenching on the hose. When the weather got cooler, I brought it indoors next to a south-facing window where it gets 1-2 hours of direct sunlight each day. As the air in the apartment is very dry, the orchid gets a drenching soak every 3-4 days with rainwater that I collected or just regular tap water. I've only fed it with one watering with orchid fertilizer since and it seem to be doing well.