Signs of Spring

Achillea millefolium on 3-10-19, #552-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I took a few photos of the first perennials and bulbs coming up on March 7 and 10. Some have started coming up while others are a little slower. This winter has not been near as cold and we did have snow off and on which was different than last year. It makes a big difference as to what comes up and when. The constant cold spells and followed by warmer temps and thawing in between can cause some problems for some perennials. Even older well-established perennials can rot during winters like this one if not in a well-draining location.

The above photo shows new growth on the clump of Achillea millefolium closest to the house (o the north side) The one farther away from the house has not started coming up. I haven’t checked the one in front of the chicken house or by the barn. I haven’t noticed if the “wild” Achillea millefolium has started to come up or not. 2019 is our 8th anniversary.

Some of the Hosta has started coming up in the shade beds, but Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on the north side of the house is showing no sign. Hopefully, this is because the soil is still too cold in this spot.

I am going alphabetical order with the photos…

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-7-19, #551-1.

The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ (Bugleweed) under some remaining snow on March 7 is green and sending out new growth. 2019 is our 9th anniversary.


Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-10-19, #552-2.

The colony that is by a Chinese Elm is still looking brown…


Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ on 3-10-19, #552-3.

The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is starting to emerge from its winters sleep in the southwest corner bed. I need to keep a watchful eye on this one when its bugs start to open to see if it is really a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. I think someone goofed and put the wrong labels in the pots. The flowers on ‘Lunar Eclipse’ change color and I could have missed the “yellow” phase. I still think something is whacky though.


Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ on 3-7-19, #551-2.

All of the Heuchera (Coral Bells) are growing new leaves now. They don’t usually completely disappear over the winter even though they are dormant. Above, Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ is getting ready to strut its stuff again in 2019. It was definitely a top performer last summer even though the Japanese Beetles stripped its shade.


Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 3-7-19, #551-3.

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ struggled a little last summer but hopefully 2019 will be better. Maybe a little of ‘The Good Stuff’ is in order. This plant was nibbled on last spring but I am hoping it will escape that fate this year.


Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 3-7-19, #551-4.

I AM THANKFUL for the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ continuing to do well after I almost lost it a couple of years ago. I moved it only a few feet from where it was to a new bed and it perked up. I really like this cultivar. We are celebrating our fifth annversary.


Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 3-7-19, #551-5.

Heuchera ‘Venus’ made it through the winter very well and appears to have started growing before the others. Maybe it is getting off to a good start for an AWESOME 2019. 🙂

If Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ returns it will be a miracle. It struggled last spring so I moved it to a new location. It continued to struggle and remained small although it was growing new leaves. It basically fizzled out by the end of the summer. BUT, you never know…


Geranium sanguineum on 3-10-19, #552-4.

The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) has had a few green leaves all winter. I wanted to move a few of these here and there last spring but didn’t. I think it would do better in a better-draining location. Sometimes it does very well here but sometimes not. To damp and crowded seems to cause a bit of a crown rot issue. They have survived here since dad relocated them from the “other house” in 1996. I planted them first in 1981 when I lived I “the other house” after grandpa died. Maybe this spring I can spread them around a little more. I guess this is the 38th anniversary of when I first bought the Geranium sanguineum from Bluestone Perennials in 1981.


Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ on 3-7-19, #551-6.

To be or not to be, that is the question… I bought this Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ from Mast’s Greenhouse last June 7th but it remained very small. That was very strange since this cultivar is supposed to get big. I am not sure if it was mislabeled or if the company they bought it from used a growth retardant to keep them small. Maybe they didn’t want to put them in a bigger pot. That would be weird since it is a Hosta and it seems they would have put them in larger pots in the first place (since ‘Blue Angel’ is a large Hosta). You just never know… I will see what happens this year… If it remains small I will have to figure out what cultivar it is.


Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 3-10-19, #552-5.

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is getting off to a good start although it is looked like this most of the winter. It is kind of weird and seems to like a good part of its, umm, clump above ground. I put it deeper last spring after it got going, and then again later I think and here it is like this again… GEEZ! This is my first miniature Hosta so maybe this is normal for them. I don’t know… The roots have not heaved up because it is firmly in the ground. Weird… I am just thankful it survived two winters doing the same thing.


Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 3-7-19, #551-7.

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is getting ready to start its second year. This is a very delightful gold-leaved Hosta that always brightens up the area. NICE!


Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 3-7-19, #551-8.

Hmmm… There appears to be a hole where Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is supposed to be… What kind of a deal is this? Did it rot? Maybe it fell into a mole run… I will have to check in a few days.


Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 3-10-19, #552-6.

One of the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is just barely beginning to emerge while the other hasn’t even started. Hopefully, they will both come up so I can put them back together again. This is our 5th anniversary.


Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 3-7-19, #551-9.

The always AWESOME Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is up and ready to rumble. When this Hosta starts coming up and temperatures cooperate, there is nothing that can stop it. It takes off and starts growing like crazy. This is quite a beautiful large dark green leaved Hosta that I really like. This may be our 10th annversary.


Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ on 3-7-19, #551-10.

The Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ is just beginning to come up. Its clump is pretty large but only 1-2 sprouts have come up so far. This multiple award winner is always beautiful and one of the reasons I like Hosta so much. This is our 10th anniversary.

Hosta’s ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’, ‘Empress Wu’, ‘Kossa Regal’, ‘Red October’, ‘Sum and Substance’, and ‘Whirlwind’ have not appeared yet… ‘Empress Wu’ was coming up last March 3 when I took photos. ‘Abique Drinking Gourd’, ‘Krossa Regal’, and ‘Red October’ take a little longer. ‘Sum and Substance’ and Whirlwind’ were new in 2018 so I am not sure when they normally wake up.


Lycoris squamigera on 3-10-19, #552-8.

The Lycoris squamigera (Ressurection Lily, Surprise Lily) are up and beginning to give their spring display of green leaves. After the leaves die the bulbs will lie dormant then flower around the first part of August from their dormant bulbs. I thought they were Amaryllis belladonna for many years because they look and behave very similar. Both are members of the Amaryllis family Amaryllidaceae. These have not been flowering very well for several years and no doubt have been here since at least the 1960’s. Oh yeah, it also shares the name Naked Ladies with several other members in the family.


Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ on 3-7-19, #551-11.

The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny) is off to a good start for 2019 because it remained all winter. When winters are very cold like last year, it completely disappears. No telling where it is heading this summer since it didn’t die back over the winter. GEEZ! That’s OK because there are several bare spots I can stick it as well as move it around here and there. It makes a great groundcover and living mulch. 🙂 This is our 5th anniversry.


Nandina domestica on 3-10-19, #552-9.

The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) has had a few green leaves all winter. I really love this shrub and I am very glad I bought it with me from Mississippi. Although it is a Japanese native that has become invasive in some areas. The Missouri Department of Conversation website says, “Many cultivars are available having more or less reddish leaves, smaller overall size, and so on. These are currently very popular in garden centers. We urge you to try a native-species alternative.” Hmmm… Heavenly Bamboo are evergreen in warmer climates. If you haven’t tried this shrub, I suggest you do. You will see why they are one of my favorites. It has been 11 years since I met the Nandina domestica.


Narcissus pseudonarcissus on 3-0-19, #552-10.

These Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Daffodile, etc.) have also been here on the farm since the 1960’s when my grandma, no doubt, planted them. There is a HUGE group of them beside the Lycoris squamigera. If these plants could talk I am sure they could tell you a lot about their history.


Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ on 3-10-19, #552-11.

The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is growing again and ready to have the old trimmed away. I really like this plant because it is about as care-free you can get. Thriving in the fill in the corner by the back of the house and back porch, it doesn’t get a lot of attention but still performs amazingly well. I have concluded ‘Walker’s Low’ is a cultivar of the hybrid Nepeta x faassenii instead of Nepeta racemosa because it doesn’t seem to spread by seed. The seeds are sterile so this cultivar stays in a tidy clump. If it were a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa, it would be spreading by seed as well. Well, I am making that point because some websites call it Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (i.e. The Missouri Botanical Garden). One of the parents is N. racemosa… Ummm… One reliable website also says Nepeta faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ which is also incorrect. It should be written with an “x” to say it is a hybrid… Strange how the Missouri Botanical Garden says it is a cultivar of N. racemosa then say it has to be propagated by division because the seeds are sterile… Just saying… This will be our 3rd summer.


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-12.

I uncovered the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ last week to see how it was doing. I usually keep a big flower pot over it over the winter just in case. The leaves didn’t even turn all brown and crispy this winter. This is our 6th anniversary.


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-13.

I was glad to see new growth early again this year and I am always HOPEFUL it will flower. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I thought surely it would flower last year since it got an early start but it didn’t. You just never know… I thought about switching places with it and the Baptisia, which I still might do. The Baptisia gets taller and somewhat pushy…


Physostegia virginiana on 3-7-19, #551-14.

The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) has been covered with leaves in the southeast corner of the old foundation. Leaves always blow in this corner so the Obedient Plant is well protected over the winter. It has spread quite a bit which is why I wanted it in this spot. It is one of “those areas” I wanted something to fill in the corner which makes mowing and trimming easier. Putting “invasive” plants in corners where they can fill in seems like a good idea to me and it works nicely. Only our 2nd anniversary.


Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 3-10-19, #552-12.

I really need to do some work on the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’. I have them growing in various places and they all do OK. BUT, a couple of years ago I put a few in the northeast corner bed of the old foundation. It this spot they have gone completely bananananananas so they need to be spread out a little. There are also several Rudbeckia hirta (the wild species) in this location which has also done well. This is our 7th anniversary (from Walley Morse in Mississippi).


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 3-10-19, #552-13.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (May Night’) is always jumping and raring to go and the first of the perennials to emerge. This plants clump has barely gotten larger since the spring of 2013… This is our 6th anniversary.


Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ on 3-7-19, #551-15.

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’, like the other Sedum, are all aglow in their winter colors. Well, I suppose it isn’t really glowing, more like blushing. The lower leaves of the sedum fall off during the winter while the top leaves remain and turn a reddish color. I thankful Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ survived the winter. Hopefully, the plant with the mostly white leaves will return so I can attempt to take a few cuttings. Such a joy when one of your plants “mutates” into something different. This is our 7th anniversary (I brought it from Mississippi).


Sedum kamtschaticum on 3-7-19, #551-16.

The Sedum kamtschaticum (Orange or Russian Stonecrop) that isn’t variegated sprawled out a bit last summer which led more plants. I really like the bigger chartreuse-green leaves on this Sedum. If it does well, maybe I can determine if it is the subspecies Sedum kamtschaticum subsp. ellacombeanum which is larger with bigger leaves. This is our 3rd anniversary although it seems much longer…


Sedum spurium on 3-7-19, #551-17.

I still haven’t decided if I should call this Sedum spurium the cultivar ‘Dragon’s Blood’ or not. It has always done well but it doesn’t appreciate being called ‘?’. There are other options besides ‘Dragon’s Blood’ which determining the cultivar somewhat difficult. ‘Dragon’s Blood’ has been popular for many years and since I bought it unlabeled from an Amish Greenhouse, it is pretty likely that is what it is. This could be our 4th anniversary.


Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ on 3-7-19, #551-18.

The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ has really spread a lot since 2017 and it kind of getting out of its boundary. It tells me since it is a Sedum spurium it doesn’t have boundaries. I think we need a new contract specifically describing its limitations…


Sempervivum ‘Killer’ on 3-7-19, #551-19.

Last summer the Sempervivum ‘Killer’ amazed me with so many flowers! I had not had any Semps flower before, so I was pretty impressed. The problem is, Sempervivum are monocarpic which means the plant that flowers die… That has left a lot of dead plants in this cluster although there is a number of smaller pants that are taking their place. I just have to clean up the clump and make sure all the rosettes are in the soil. There are quite a few that are just laying on the surface of the soil. This is our 2nd anniversary.


Stachys byzantina on 3-10-19, #552-14.

I think there is only one remaining clump of the Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear). I am thankful it survived and has spread somewhat so I can relocate a few. This is our 6th anniversary.


Syringa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-7.

There are several Lilac (Syringa sp.) in “the other yard” that are very old. Heck, they were old and overgrown when I was a kid. There are different species of Lilac and they don’t all bud and flower at the same time. Only one is budding at the moment but the other two will soon follow. There was another one but it had Poison Ivy growing in it. I sprayed the Poison Ivy after a few years of trying other means to eradicate it. Next thing I knew, the whole Lilac bush was also dead…


Tulipa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-15.

The AWESOME cluster of red Tulips are up and soon will dazzle us with flowers. There was a big bed of tulip in the “other front yard” grandma had planted many years ago. when I moved to the farm in the 1980’s I dug what I could up and moved them along the fence by the garden (I also added more I bought). None of them are there now but there are always a few that come up in the old bed. They are still there because the bulbs are so deep I couldn’t find them.

I haven’t noticed the yellow Crocus in “the other yard” that magically came up last spring. Neither dad or I planted them and neither one of us had ever seen them before. That covers a 37 year period…

Well, that’s it for now. I hope your spring is filled with joy and happiness and you have a great summer ahead. I am so glad to see the grass beginning to turn green and the trees budding out. Time for some color! Time to GET DIRTY!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive.

TOP 10 Likes & Dislikes + Being Thankful

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I am seemingly at a loss for ideas to write about this time of the year. So a few times I have followed the suggestion of fellow bloggers. This time it appears Mr. Jim Ruebush of “HOW I SEE IT” has made another suggestion…

I mentioned getting stuck was on my top ten list of things I don’t like in the last post. Then, in his comment, he asked if I could fill out the list of top ten things I didn’t like. We both agreed it would be interesting to see the list of other people as well… Then Debbie agreed a top ten list would make a great post.

However….  What would a top ten list of things we don’t like without a list of what we do like?  You need to follow negative thoughts with 1-3 positive thoughts that relate to the same thing. 

For example… “I hate it when I am in a hurry and my boot string breaks.” Followed by “I love my Redwings Boots. I like having spare shoestrings on hand.” Or maybe, “It’s a good thing the strings are long enough so I can just tie a knot in the string.”

Now, what can I say positive about poison ivy? That would be tough except it wouldn’t have to be about poison ivy. It could be about a vine or a vine that turns red in the fall. Well, I’ll just stick with the fall color because I am not particularly fond of any vines…


POISON IVY-leaves turn red in the fall

THORNS-Jim also mentioned in his comment his dislike for thorns. The one reason I don’t plant Roses is because of their thorns and having to prune them. Blackberry bushes are the same. But I do enjoy the flowers and I am thankful for the berries. 

JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE-But I do like the flowers and the hummingbirds like them, too.

GETTING STUCK-Thankful for having experience and being careful NOT to get stuck.

FLAT TIRES-Hmmm… This recently happened on a gravel road out of the blue. I put on the mini spare and it was also flat. It has not ever been used and the car is a 1996 Buick. But, I was thankful that my best friend lived close so I walked to his house We brought his air tank, aired up the flat and I drove to town and had it repaired (then bought new tires). 

DEAD BATTERIES-But I am thankful for the battery charger. 

LOCKING MY KEYS IN THE CAR-GEEZ! Thankful for coat hangers and the fact the driver window doesn’t close all the way. I am thankful I have only done this a few times.

LOCKING MYSELF OUT OF THE HOUSE-Thankful there is at least one “secret way” to get inside. Thankful I have only done this three times and weird why it happened at all.

RUNNING OUT OF SOMETHING I FORGOT TO REPLACE-Thankful I can do without until I go shopping again. Doing without shows us we can live without certain things. It also helps us to remember next time or to make a list.

MOLES, VOLES, RATS, AND MICE-The only thing I can think of is the opposite. Not having moles, voles, rats, and mice. Using poisons isn’t always a good thing, but if there are mice or rats in the chicken house… Guess what? I use a bait called Tomcat. It works very well. I have been tempted to use it in the garden for the voles, but I have been told that wouldn’t be a good idea. I have no idea why… When I moved back here in 2013, I went to the chicken house one night and it was ALIVE! I told dad there were a lot of mice in the chicken house and he said the cats would get them. Well, there were a couple of holes in the foundation of the chicken house and the cats did sit outside waiting. But, to say there were a lot of mice was a complete understatement. Dad was 82 at the time so how long had it been since he was in the chicken house at night… After a couple of years, I couldn’t take it anymore. I bought a package of Tomcat from the feed store. In three days there were no more mice… Chicken feed consumption went down by around half. 

A couple of months ago I saw a piece of bait outside by the feed room door. I thought that was pretty weird… I opened the door and “HOLY CRAP!” A rat had been very busy and had dirt piled up about 2 feet high (I am not exaggerating). Just think of the hole under the chicken house floor… I had ran out of Tomcat so I went right to the feed store for more. Problem is, it doesn’t work as well on rats. It took a couple of days. Then a week or so ago, another rat was trying to move in. I have not seen a rat, or any evidence of any, for many years until this year. 

GETTING STUNG-For the most part, bees and wasps are beneficial and harmless. BUT, there are members that have bipolar disorder that are so territorial and protective of their nests they will chase you down the street. For those, I am thankful for wasp killer. Not just any old rinky-dink spray, I am talking about the cans that can shoot 20 feet away.

BEING SHOCKED BY ACCIDENT BY THE ELECTRIC FENCE-Sometimes I touch an electric fence to see if t is working so I get just a tingle. There have been times when I have accidentally touched it and the results have been mind-blowing. It was like a shotgun going off in my head. It made me wonder if all my memory had been erased. I am thankful we do have electric fences good fences in general, though. Well, I think this is one of those times when you say positive affirmations in the hope of having better fences in the future and won’t need to use electric. Electric fences are OK, but they need to be maintained. You have to make sure the deer haven’t screwed them up every day or so. Even though the “local” deer know where the electric fences are, dad always said that deer that are new here don’t know. I think they can see the current that we can’t although I am not sure. Sometimes they get spooked and pay no attention to where they are going. Just think about it… How many times have you ran into a closed door during the night, or stumped your toe on a table leg that has always been there? 

PLANTS DYING-I hate it when a new plant dies, or even one I have had for a long time. But, I am thankful for the plants that always do well. I am thankful for having had the experience with the ones that have died. I am thankful that there are so many plants to choose from and for the ones I haven’t met yet.

WINTER (cold, snow, frost, freezes, ETC…)-OK, so I am just going to say winter in general. Even though I close to hate winter, I have rather enjoyed the “S” this year for some whacky reason. I must have slipped a cog… Hmmm… Maybe it is the stillness on a winter’s night. I realize if you live in the city or a neighborhood where there is never a quiet moment you may not experience this. If you live in the country there is nothing quite like the stillness of the night during the winter. Especially when there are a few inches of snow on the ground. So, I am thankful that winter only lasts part of the year. I am thankful that maybe some of the Japanese Beetle grubs won’t make it through the winter. Plus all the other insects pests that feed on plant leaves. I AM thankful for the opportunity to live in a tropical climate. 

CLEANING HOUSE AND DUSTING-I don’t like cleaning house or dusting but I don’t like a messy house or dust even more. Therefore, once in a while I do have to clean. Especially when company will be coming. So, I am thankful for company once a month or so…

WEEDS-The age-old “what is a weed” statement has been overused. How about, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I have a lot of “weeds” because to me they aren’t weeds. Well, I suppose that completely depends on where they are growing and what they are. There are many “weeds” growing in the pasture along with wildflowers. Ragweed, Ironweed, and Jimsonweed are weeds because their names say so. In my opinion, any plant that is invasive and not useful as a pollinator or food for wildlife and/or growing where it doesn’t belong is a weed. Jimsonweed is a beautiful plant, but not in the garden (or the pasture for that matter). BUT… I am thankful for trimmers, mowers, and being able to pull them up.

DECEPTION AND BEING LIED TO-Believing something that we have been taught is true all our lives only to find out it isn’t true (or at least the way we have been taught). But, when you find out the way it really is, it a very liberating experience. Then you find out the endless opportunities and how AMAZING life really is… “The truth will set you free, and when you are free, you are free indeed.”

NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY OFF DEBTS-Have you ever made debts thinking you could pay them off as long as “this or that” happens”. A series of unfortunate events happened a couple of times in my life which left me unable to pay off a few debts. Not big debts necessarily… Not to mention “other” debts that keep growing you can’t seem to do anything about… GEEZ! The positive thing is that we learn by our mistakes and hopefully won’t repeat them.

CAMERA BATTERY DYING-I am thankful to have electricity and a charger.

Ummm… I think that is more than 10. If you stop to think about it, there are a lot of little annoyances we have to deal with. So many things are avoidable and we learn to “maintain” our lives so we don’t have to deal with them. Like running out of clean clothes so you won’t have to wear dirty socks for a week. You just have to buy more socks or maybe do laundry more often. I try to have as many shirts as socks so I will run out at the same time. I have two pair of jeans, one stays clean while the others get dirtier all week. Keep at least one extra of everything you use and run out of frequently. 


Well, this one is a little tricky and not necessarily in order…

MAKING CONTACT… I could write a long paragraph about that, but those “who know” know what I am talking about. 

Ummm… I can’t mention the second thing.

A plant flowering for the first time.

Finding new plants.


Good movies.

Watching the birds.

Comments on my blog and blogging.

Experiencing new things. 



Hearing the birds in the morning. Being able to buy birdseed so they will also be thankful.

A well-groomed lawn… Not necessary my ard for the past few years.

Gardening. There are many reasons I enjoy gardening.


Trying something for the first time and it works.

Good friends.

Talking walks in the woods or on the farm.


Feeling good.

My new mattress. AHHHH YYYYEEEESSSS! I recently bought a hybrid mattress on eBay. It came rolled up in a box, 10″ springs plus foam and all. That was quite an experience in itself. I placed it on the old box springs, careful to make sure it would jump in the right direction. You can imagine what happened as I started cutting the plastic wrap… Yeah, that’s what happened in a split second… 🙂 I was thinking about making a post about this and I should have set up the camera and taken a video. Anyway, the mattress is great!

Of course my iMac and camera.

Smiles and laughter.

I better stop there or you will think I can’t count… There are so many things I like and enjoy I just can’t even begin to write them all down. I (we) have so much to be thankful for. 

I was reading a few days ago that we should name three things we are thankful for each morning before we get out of bed. So, I do this every morning. 

Every night when I go to bed I give thanks. This is a good idea whether you thank God, the Universe, The Creator of All, Mother and Father God, the Archangels, or whoever you choose to give thanks to. I am not so sure it really makes any difference at first who you thank. Just saying thank you can make a big difference. You should say “thank you” for any little thing that comes along as well as the big things.

You can give thanks for the air you breath, fresh water, good food, your vehicle, the birds, the sky, the sun, your healthy body, your taste buds, your hands, your feet, the plants, the flowers, the moon and stars, your eyes, your ears, your job, the money to pay bills, your friends and family. All the good things you enjoy you should be thankful for. Even if you don’t say “thank you God”, just say thank you… After all, who is God anyway? OK, don’t get me started on that one. That would NOT be a good item for a post for someone with a research disorder… I would take you all the way back to the Sumerian Tablets. Hmmm… 

I just deleted the next paragraph…

I do have questions about a few things that I am STILL working on. Things I just don’t understand. It isn’t right not to know the answers to all our questions. In fact, we have the right to know. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t know. It is your life, it is my life. We need to embrace life and all it’s awesomeness and with all our awesomeness. We are spiritual beings with energy that connects to everything. This is a scientific fact. Not mere words… There are many things that we are told we aren’t supposed to do that we are supposed to do. Things we are told there are no answers to that there are answers to. If you have been brought up as a Christian you have fallen through a funnel and into a bottle. Well, I have crawled out of the bottle. Now I call myself a “Progressive Christian.”

I don’t know why people are sick and suffer through life. I just don’t understand… To be perfectly fine one day and the next miserable. I have known many perfectly healthy people that have died or now has cancer. WHAT THE HECK!?!?!? I have read a lot about cancer and watched The Truth About Cancer series. I understand but I don’t understand either.

One thing that really bugs me, and I hate to bring it up… We make people live when they want to die, or need to be able to make the choice. I am not heartless, but if I were born a quadriplegic and couldn’t feed myself… What quality of life would I have? Quality of life… We are body, soul (mind), and spirit. When your body dies your spirit moves on (one way or another-LOL!!!)!!! I say one way or another because it depends on what you believe and I am not going to argue with you. You can believe what you want, but like I always say, “THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT.” So, in reality, we are a spirit living in a borrowed body. So, does your spirit want to live in a broken body? I better stop there, but this could be a really good topic for discussion. How do we make a decision for someone else? After all, one of the greatest scientists of all time was quadriplegic…

One thing I have been doing lately is taking several courses on DailyOM. My thanks to Masha (A Sweeter Life) for sharing the website with me. 

I have watched a lot of documentaries on and some of the recent discoveries would really amaze you. From the scientific community, through archeology and spiritually. It is all coming together. We are finding out many answers about our hidden past, things we weren’t supposed to find out and how it sometimes relates to our future. Science has come a long way just by asking “who are we?” It is like the Universe is answering. It’s pretty amazing! There are also a lot of very good documentaries on YouTube. Just be aware that some people have different opinions and some are a little whacky. 

OK, I better end this post or I will never finish. I do hope you comment and even maybe post about your opinions on your blog. Everyone has thoughts on many subjects… The spoken (and written) word is very powerful.

So, what else are we going to talk about? You name it, I’ll post it. 🙂 Within reason, of course.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, take a good deep breath, and always be thankful.

Ummm… And AGAIN!

Hello Folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. It seems when one snow melts another comes to take its place. This one will be followed by VERY cold temps… The forecast originally said it was going to start snowing at 2 AM and snow for 10 hours. It also said we could expect a total accumulation of 6-7 inches. Well, at 2 AM the forecast had changed and said it would start around 3 AM and would last only 6 hours. I think I checked about 4 AM and it still hadn’t snowed. I don’t exactly remember the time I last checked because I was half asleep. I remember checking the radar around 3 AM and it was weird. I should have taken a screenshot. The cloud was like a horseshoe shape and we were in the middle then it surrounded us.


The wind was blowing when I got up and there wasn’t a bird in sight. They have been enjoying their new feeder in the tree in front of the house. One day a Purple Finch and a Gold Finch were on the feeder at the same time. By the time I got the camera, they had flown off. It is sometimes hard to take photos of the birds in front of the house because every time a car goes by the birds fly into the tree.


I am not sure how much snow we actually received because of the wind but I am sure we didn’t get 7 inches. Some of the drifts are well over 12″ deep, though.


My son and his friend are here now and they piled up some of the brush from the ice storm. Then yesterday we helped the preacher from church (not the church next door) remove the brush in front of a lady’s house (who goes to our church). Ummm… For some reason we brought it here instead of taking it to the city barn. The yard was a bit soft but we had no problems until the last load. I told the preacher to just put it in drive and not to put his foot on the gas pedal. That worked the first two times but not the last time. The tires started spinning and I told him to stop and I would get the tractor. Well, I had to air up a flat tire and I needed to charge the battery a little. By the time I was able to get the tractor ready he was stuck much worse. Over the years I have learned a few things about getting stuck in mud and snow. Once the tires start to spin you need to stop. If you can’t get anywhere in reverse, just stop and make a new plan. I rate getting stuck in the top 10 of things I like the least. I suppose in the winter it would be number 1 while in the summer it would move down the list and be replaced by poison ivy. Maybe thorns…


Snow and frost (the “S” and “F” words) are pretty high on the list. The “F” word is number 1 in the fall. I do like the patterns the snow makes from the wind blowing.


There was a drift on the north side of the old foundation in “the other yard” which I DID NOT jump into. I may have when was younger but it has been a while I have played in the snow…


Another drift along the southeast side…


Ummm… The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) doesn’t mind the snow. Last January was so cold it turned maroon!


No plants on the front porch yet…


Nothing to say about this…


Everywhere you look is a bright white on a sunny day.


The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ has been tucked under this flower pot for a while.


The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) seems to be holding on to a nest of snow.


There was an old bird feeder in the barn so I decided I would stick it in the ground yesterday. This was dad’s feeder when I was growing up where we lived before.


A Flicker was wondering where it came from…


Back in the front yard, a few birds were enjoying their seed. Usually, there are a lot of Juncos but this time there were a few species of sparrows and a pair of Cardinals.


While taking the photo of the birds through the window I noticed the Stapelia gigantea is growing a new side branch. It is going to be really exciting when it flowers…


The forecast has changed somewhat over the past few days. For several days it said the low for tonight was going to be 1° F. Now it says 2… Well, at least it sounds better. Of course, the wind chill is a different story. Currently, at about 3:30 PM, the temperature is a windy 15° F and it feels like -6. 😐

That’s all I have to talk about for now. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Stay warm or keep cool depending on where you live.

Here We Go Again…

Hello Folks! I hope this post finds you all well. After a few days of warmer temperatures, another cold front has moved in. The forecast over the past few days changed somewhat and seemed to vary from website to website. Last night the forecast said 2-4 inches of snow beginning after 7 AM.

The above photo and several below were taken at 10 AM. Not too much to be concerned about at that time.


I checked the forecast again and this time it said we could expect up to 7 inches…




At about noon I needed to leave. I went to turn the furnace down and as I looked out the back door… WOW! It had snowed A LOT in two hours!

Pulling out of the driveway onto the street, it appeared not too many people had been out. The wind was blowing a little and what tracks would have been made earlier were already covered up. I had two places I needed to go whether it was snowing or not. Driving down the streets in town was one thing, but when I came to a highway that had not been graded… That was a whole different story. The snow was coming down pretty good and everything was white. I could barely see tracks on the highway but I eventually made it to my first destination. I was supposed to drive a tractor around 12 miles away on the other side of town. Any of you who have ever tried driving a tractor on a slick surface knows that is a bad idea. Needless to say, I didn’t make it very far before I chickened out. I got back in the car and ran a few errands in town and went home.

At about 5:30…


It appeared it had stopped snowing but when I went outside it was drizzling a little. I normally measure the snow on the back porch railing but since the wind had been blowing there wasn’t enough to measure



I had put out more feed after I returned home and the birds were happy I did. The Junco’s and Cardinals are the main birds that eat under a maple tree in the front yard. I saw a pair of Nuthatch one day and they are always fun to watch.


No sitting on the front porch today…


A male Cardinal was resting in the Dogwood behind the house so I had to get a shot.


OH, the darn sparrows! Neglecting to clean out and cover the holes months go when “I should have” has made a cozy place for the sparrows over the winter. I didn’t cover the holes because it got cold and snowed and I felt sorry for them. I seem to have a feeling when the Martins arrive they may experience some resistance. Well, the plan is to clean out the house at least a month before the Martins arrive and cover the holes. Maybe that will encourage the sparrows to nest elsewhere.


Most of the Oxalis have went dormant, but the Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae in the big pot came back to life already. I hadn’t been giving them water so they would go dormant but when I was taking photos I saw these had sprung back into action. I don’t especially want to water them because the two bigger dormant Amorphophallus bulbs are in the same pot. I gave them a little water since they came back up hoping it won’t affect the sleeping Voodoo Lilies. You never know.  Maybe they will come up, too.

Sorry, I haven’t written to much on the blog lately but I am at a loss at what to write about. I have been working on the plant pages to the right a little but I am not sure if I will be able to get all the plant pages finished by the end of winter or not. I still have maybe 100 or so to add plus updating as I go down the list. I haven’t even started on the wildflowers!

I think that is all I needed to say so I will close this post. I hope you are all well and staying warm (depending on where you live). Be safe and stay positive.


The Belmont Rooster’s Favorite Stuffed Meatloaf

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing very well. I used to follow a few cooking blogs that were very good, but recently I started following In Diane’s Kitchen. She has MANY very interesting mouth-watering recipes she shares on her blog. Her post from December 12, 2017, was about her Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf. I left a comment telling her I had a stuffed meatloaf recipe that was delicious. She asked what I stuffed it with so I emailed her the recipe. Unfortunately, she is having difficulty with her email. I had hoped she would have received it so she would cook it and put the recipe on her blog. BUT, since that didn’t work out, I decided I would do it myself. So, I cooked it for dinner tonight. Well, Sunday evening, depending on when you read this.


I enjoy cooking because I enjoy eating. Of all the recipes I have tried, this one is my favorite to eat. It first started out when I was in Mississippi. Suzanne (Dr. Skinner) found out I liked to cook, so before I even arrived in California, she had started buying cookbooks. When I was packing the last of her truckloads to move to Mississippi I found box after box of cookbooks she had bought for me. I never counted how many, but just guessing, I would have to say over 300… She started buying them on Ebay where she could by A LOT at a time so I had many of the same cookbooks and a lot I wasn’t interested in. After she passed, I chose the ones I wanted and let the rest be auctioned off. Of course, mom and grandma had several cookbooks, which are in the bookcase in the dining room.

I cooked several recipes while she was still alive, including the Savory Stuffed Meatloaf I found in a Betty Crocker Hamburger Cookbook on page 33. I can’t find the cookbook right now, so it is a good thing I put the recipe in the computer. I will look more later and add the photo if I find it. Suzanne said the recipe was fit for a king. She said when we invite people for dinner, you can cook anything you want except for this recipe. I guess she wanted it for herself… 🙂

You will find other versions of Savory Stuffed Meatloaf online and this recipe is also on a few other websites.

I have cooked this recipe several times and have tweaked it somewhat. I will put the list of ingredients as is in the cookbook but I will tell you where I changed or omitted some of the ingredients. There are three parts, the meatloaf, the stuffing, and the topping.

I had to get up early this morning and was pretty tired in the afternoon. I tried to take a nap but couldn’t sleep. I had making this post on my mind so I got up and went to the grocery store. When I arrived back home, I began…

First, we will need to preheat the oven at 350° F and make sure the rack is in the center.


The Meatloaf…

The recipe calls for:

1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 slices bacon, cut up (opt.)
1 teaspoon salt

½ cup milk
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1 egg
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

I modified this recipe a little and didn’t add the dry mustard. I also usually substitute minced garlic in place of the garlic powder, more than 1/8 teaspoon of course. The bacon, which is optional, adds a little interest to the first bite. I had normally cooked this recipe without the bacon until the last time. It was very noticeable with the first bite, but after that not so much. Kind of wakes up your taste buds for sure, so I cooked it with the bacon again this time.

I usually buy ground beef that is 90% lean but they didn’t have any at the store today. So, I bought ground chuck which was 80% lean. That means this meatloaf may shrink a little more than usual.


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well…


Dad always said when you make a meatloaf you have to mix it with your hands and squeeze everything together. So, that is always what I have done when I make meatloaf.  One more thing I need to add to the list… Paper towels so you can wipe your hands off before washing them. You wouldn’t want to get the camera all goopy, would you?


The Stuffing…

¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ teaspoon salt
1 small onion, chopped (about ¼ cup)
¼ teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon thyme
½ cup chopped celery
dash pepper
2 cups soft bread crumbs

This recipe wouldn’t be the same without the stuffing. Besides it being mandatory if you are going to call it a stuffed meatloaf, it is AWESOME!!! I always use butter in my food instead of margarine. There are some spices in the cabinet that are very old, including the Sage.


Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the onions and celery until tender. If you don’t make sure the onions and celery are tender, you will have crunchy stuffing in your meatloaf. That is just weird…


You can add the other ingredients anytime you want, but I usually do it after the celery and onions are somewhat tender.


Once the mixture in the skillet is ready, add the bread crumbs and stir until the butter mostly coats the bread.


Preparing The Pan For The Meatloaf…

Not all meatloaf pans are created equal. You will need a 9″ x 5″ x 3″ pan and I prefer glass for some reason. You will need to use approximately 2/3 of the meatloaf mixture to kind of make a boat, going up the sides of the pan to about 1/4″ from the top. It is best to do this right before you add the stuffing or it will sag. It is kind of hard to get this evenly but that’s OK. Practice makes perfect. 🙂


Then, fill the inside with the stuffing mixture.


Then, add the remaining meatloaf mixture to the top of the stuffing. You will need to squeeze the edges to the top part or it will separate somewhat during cooking. Kind of like pinching the bottom and top crust together when you bake a pie.


I usually cover the pan with aluminum foil and put it in the oven while I am making the topping. Don’t ask me why because I have no clue…


The Topping…

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoons vinegar
½ cup water
1 cup catsup

Many people make meatloaf without a topping, but to me, that is like making a cake without icing. I always substitute minced garlic in place of the onions. I remember once I put way too much garlic in and realized later that wasn’t a good idea. I thought I could never have too much garlic but I soon found out there is sometimes a limit.


Mix all the ingredients together then…


Take the meatloaf out of the oven… That is if you put it in the oven already in the first place. Spread enough of the topping to evenly cover the top of the meatloaf and then but it (back) in the oven. I usually put the foil back on for a while in case it splatters, not that it will that much. I just don’t like cleaning ovens. Problem is, while the pan is full the topping will stick to the foil a little. As the meatloaf shrinks this won’t be a problem.


Baking Time…

The cookbook says to bake at 350° F for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Well, for me that is not long enough. It takes at least 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Every so often, maybe every 20-30 minutes or so, take the meatloaf out of the oven and put more topping on it. I kind of made that part up, too. You can, of course, put all the topping on at once, but experience has taught me to add a final coating when the meatloaf is almost finished. Sometimes, but not always, the meatloaf will split in the middle leaving a small gap with no topping. We can’t have that. 🙂

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I dump out some of the oil after an hour or so and again when I add the remainder of the topping. Just go slow and be careful or the meatloaf will try to jump out of the pan.


Finished Product…

After an hour and 30 minutes, the meatloaf will be done. The coating was nice and glossy but there was a small crack in the middle. I put on a little more remaining topping, drained the oil out of the pan, then stuck it back in the oven while I took up the rest of the meal. Only 5-10 minutes.


Oh, that looks sooooooo good!

The recipe says to take it out of the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes before cutting. I can never wait that long…



The photo looks like it still isn’t quite done, but it seemed to be. I have taken it out before and had to put it back in again. I hour and 30 minutes may work, and actually, I did put it back in for another 5-10 minutes. You could probably easily cook it for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Normally, you can take a toothpick and check like you would a cake but that is a little difficult with the topping. Once the meatloaf shrinks, you may be able to stick the toothpick in from the side. Which is what I did this time because this one shrunk A LOT!

Come to think of it, some of the pink color could be the bacon…


The first bite left me speechless. I closed my eyes and savored the moment… Amazing! Makes me so thankful to have tastebuds! I always put three good-sized slices on my plate, but sometimes I have to put one back. That is like half of the meatloaf!

If you have the opportunity to prepare this meatloaf, let me know how it turned out and if you have any suggestions.

That’s all I have to say right now. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Stay warm or cool wherever you may be. As always, GET DIRTY if you get a chance.


Ummmmmmmm…. 8″ PLUS!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. It started raining yesterday morning and the forecast didn’t look good. The forecast said a total accumulation of 3-8 inches by the time it was going to stop snowing. It is about 2 PM on Saturday when I am writing this post and it is just barely snowing.

The above photo was taken at 12:44 AM Saturday morning and there was 4 1/4″ on the porch railing.


There was not a sound. It is so neat how calm is it while it is snowing. The wind was barely blowing and the temperature was around 30° F. This was is very wet and heavy snow.


I got up a little after 4 AM and looked out the back door. I saw what appeared to be lightning. I went and got the camera and looked out the door on the north side of the house. Then there was a green flash but it wasn’t lightning. I took another photo just as it flashed again followed by a buzz. Apparently, a limb fell on a power line or something.  I called the power company but was put on hold because of high call volume. Then I saw two pickups from the power company turning down the street across the road.


When I got up again about 8:30 AM I saw what hap happened during the night. I went and got the ruler and there was 8″ of snow on the porch railing. GEEZ! The cats weren’t on the back porch and there was still a little cat food in their pans.


Hmmm… The top broke out of the pear tree. It isn’t an edible pear, maybe a Bradford Pear or something.


The tree was damaged several years before and there are usually a few limbs that break off during the winter.


Actually, it will look better now without that limb that was taller than the rest. Natural pruning.


I don’t think I will be doing any potting today…


The maple trees stand up pretty well under a load of snow.


One of the maples in the front yard.




Even the yews along the house are full of snow…


I guess I have to admit the trees look pretty neat covered with snow.


Apparently, the cats are in the barn. I saw one of the fuzzy tomcats in front of the barn earlier but he did not come to the house. The short-haired tom eventually came to the house and ate a little then ran back to the barn. I went out and made a path for them to come to the house and saw there was no snow along the barn Susie finally went up the path and came to the house.


That’s what happens with Chinese Elms…


Well, this doesn’t look so neat…


The power line going to the chicken house had stretched all the way to the ground because a few limbs fell on it. I removed the limbs which helped a little. Luckily the line didn’t break.



Fortunately, I did not lose power but I am sure many did. I messaged my daughter who lives in Springfield (about 2 hours south) and she said they just have rain. This is a wet snow and temps will be in the low 30’s for a few days. It is melting and a lot of the snow has already fallen from the trees and power lines. There is still a little more snow and freezing drizzle in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow but it is supposed to warm up into the 40’s next week.


On a brighter note… The Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ I have in the bedroom has decided to flower. I believe it is this plant’s first flower. I kept a few Alocasia upstairs this winter while the rest are in the basement.


The Schlumbergera truncata I picked up from Wagler’s Greenhouse is also now LOADED with buds. This one will have peach-colored flowers.

I will have to admit, this snow does look nice. I cannot believe I said that!!!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive!

Christmas & Birthday Past Once Again…

Hello everyone! I hope this email finds you all well and recovering from Christmas. I went to my sisters for Christmas because I couldn’t think of enough good reasons not to go. She didn’t like it that I spent Thanksgiving alone even though she did invite me. I didn’t see her invite on Facebook because I didn’t look until after it was over. I didn’t spend Thanksgiving alone because I had to, it was because I chose to. So, I went Christmas morning, stayed the night and came back home on Wednesday.

I made it to her home in Raytown, which is a suburb of Kansas City, with no problem. You would think to get out all you would have to do is go backward, turning right instead of left or left instead of right, on the same streets as before. Well, the last time we went, I somehow got turned around and getting back where I was supposed to be took a little longer. This time was even worse… 

How in the h— can you follow the directions backward and get lost? Well, when I was on 63rd and turned the right direction on to get on Raytown Road, it led to not being able to continue. The lane I was in ended and became one way. I did not notice that when I came… So, I thought maybe I screwed up and went the wrong way. I went back to 63rd and went straight on Raytown Road, passing 63rd. I stopped at a convenience store and asked how to get back on 50 to go to Warrensburg. The fellow was from India and he had no clue. I thought, “How can someone live here and not know how to leave?” I went to another store only to have the same strange answer, also from a man from India… I stopped at another store and a man not from India gave me the same answer. A delivery man was bringing in supplies, who must drive all over the city, and he didn’t even know… Then after driving around more, I stopped at yet another convenience store and asked a lady at the counter. She had no idea. Luckily, another lady was there and told me to turn right at the intersection and go as far as I can then take a left… So, I did that and somehow got to where I needed to be.

Now, Christmas evening, my sister and her husband went to see the lights at a park. It took a while to get there but the wait came after we arrived. Ummm… We have a very nice “Christmas In The Park” here in town where the churches and other business have their own displays. It’s very nice and you can drive through with no waiting. But, in Kansas City, it is not so easy. I am not sure how many miles it was from the main road, winding around, and waiting in this long line of traffic. I am not even sure how long it took because I didn’t want to know. Once there, though, the wait was worth it. It was a grand display and Lawrence County has been doing this for 31 years. 

On the way there, my brother-in-law started out driving similar to the way I came except he turned on Raytown Trafficway instead of Raytown Road. Then, on the way back, he came on Raytown Road and said, “This is the way you came in.” 

On the way home, I was thinking maybe you are supposed to take Raytown Road to their house and Raytown Trafficway when you leave. So, I check online to see. Sure enough, that is correct. You don’t leave the way you go. GEEZ! I didn’t tell my sister what happened but I will definitely remember for the next time. If she reads this post, she will see anyway. I never bothered to get driving directions for the return trip because I didn’t think it would be different. Lesson learned… Well, I very seldom ever get more than 30 miles away from home and I HATE driving in the city. I will be so glad when we can step in a booth and say where we want to go and get out and be there in a matter of seconds.

I also wanted to tell you I had a breakthrough. I realize why I don’t like Christmas. Deep down in my subconscious mind, it is because of glitter… Last Tuesday when I went to take the trash out at the church I saw where the youth had been working on their Christmas play for the following Sunday. The glitter was everywhere! The table was covered! I knew then that it would be trailed all the way up the stairs and into the sanctuary. Then, when I went on Saturday to clean for Sunday morning, it was terrible. Sure enough, it was all over the stairs and hallway. 

I didn’t go to the Sunday service because I didn’t want to see all the glitter during the program. Reminding me of what I had to clean up. I went on Monday to clean for the Christmas Eve service… While they must have cleaned a little because the sanctuary wasn’t that bad, the pulpit was covered. I had to wash it off with water because the vacuum cleaner wouldn’t touch it. I didn’t go to the Christmas Eve service either.

Then, on Saturday (today or yesterday depending on when you read this), I went to clean the church to get it ready for Sunday. GEEZ!!! I did vacuum, as usual, vacuuming the carpet as always, cleaning the restrooms, taking out the trash as usual. Once glitter is on the carpet you can’t worry about getting it all off. That much is just impossible. So, I will just vacuum as always every week and little by little most of the glitter will eventually get sucked up or go further down into the carpet. Just in time for more glitter next Christmas… 

It is now December 29. One good thing about my birthday being on the 29th is that no one seems to notice. Only three people remembered and the lady at the bank also noticed the 29th was my birthday. Even on Facebook, where you get a notification when it is someone’s birthday on your friend’s list. I “usually”, but not always, send a Happy Birthday. Not one Happy Birthday. 🙂 Very good! I don’t really need a reminder. To the young people, I am an old man, so I sure don’t want them to know. I am only 58 and far from being old… Now, if I was 90 and they didn’t remember, I would throw a fit! We sing Happy Birthday to people at church, but usually, they somehow forget about mine. I don’t bring it up either. 🙂 Even growing up as a kid, we didn’t celebrate birthdays. For me, we just had Christmas anyway. 

Well, I guess that is all I wanted to talk about for now. Another year is almost over and we will be in 20… Umm… 19.

Until next time, take care, be safe, and stay positive! I am not sure how dirty you can get, but I seem to be doing fine in that respect.

Still Alive and Kicking…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I just wanted to make a “short” post and let you know I am still alive and well. I have been working on a new post since October 29, which will not be short. 🙂

I wanted to talk a little about cactus and show the differences between the plants in my collection. October 29 was a nice spring-like day so I took the cactus outside for a photo shoot. Then, as I was working on the post on December 1 I decided to see if I could get good close-ups of their spines. It worked out amazingly well with the help of a magnifying glass.


While I was working on the post I was also doing further research about the individual species description, mainly on Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms). I also had to use the glossary on So, I learned a lot more about my plants. I always enjoy making posts and pages while learning as I go.


Cactus are indeed very complex plants and I wanted to share some very interesting features about each one in my small collection.

I normally only work on the blog in the evening so it takes time to write a very long post. This didn’t seem to be a post I could write in parts because of the information in the beginning.

Once this post is finished I can get back to reading your posts and catch up. Until then, be safe, stay positive, stay well… GET DIRTY if possible.

Third “S”…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I took a nap in the afternoon and a few times I woke up and could hear the wind blowing. The forecast said the day would start out rainy and was supposed to “S” in the afternoon. Before I got out of bed I was thinking about what I could prepare for dinner. I needed to go to the store because I had run out of ice cream.

I got out of bed and went into the kitchen to warm up a cup of coffee and saw it was “S—ing”. After a week of nice weather we wish would last all winter, we get another “S”.  The National Weather Service said it was 30° F with a wind chill of 16. The wind speed was 26 mph with gusts up to 36 mph.


There quite a mixture of the size of flakes, some fairly big. It was ‘S—ing” so much I could barely see the cows gathered around the bale of hay I took out yesterday. There is still one in the smaller lot in reserve.


The House Sparrows are thankful I didn’t finish cleaning out the Martin house… Well, I thought about it but saw it was going to “S” and get cold so I decided maybe they might need shelter. GEEZ!


I had to open the sliding door to get good photos and was very surprised when The Barn Cat (yeah, that’s her name) came in the house. I have been here five years and she never came into the house. Once she did stick her front feet in, but never all the way. She didn’t stay long, though.


The front porch looks strange with no plants on the tables…


Umm… According to the calendar, the first day of winter isn’t until December 21. Here, in mid-Missouri, we have already had three “S—‘s” with temps in the teens! Some parts of the country have had a lot worse. I have been in much worse so I am not going to complain. I am thankful to have a warm place and food to eat.

As I walked past the living room, guess who I saw? Susie. She snuck in while I was taking photos… She was hoping I was going to let her stay in. I suppose it would be OK but I don’t really need a house cat… There are four others and it wouldn’t be right for her to be inside. I had cats inside in Mississippi which were no problem and were in and out as well as litter box trained. Mom always had cats that would come inside and so did my ex… There were all housebroken and would go out when they needed to. The cats here are outside cats and not housebroken so that could prove not to be a good idea to allow them to be inside… If you want a cat inside, they need to be housebroken and litter box trained. Mom had a cat before that would actually “go” in the drain in the bathtub…


The view from the north side of the house… The forecast for a few days will be cold.


Wednesday will be the beginning of a warming trend at 42° F with a low of 33.

I still needed ice cream, so after I finished with the photos I went to the grocery store. There weren’t many people driving around downtown, but I was very surprised at how many were at the grocery store. Apparently, I am not the only one who needed ice cream. At 6:50 PM when I am finishing this post, it is still “S—ing” like crazy and the wind is still blowing.

How is the weather in your neck of the woods? Until next time, take care, be safe, stay warm and stay positive. It may be a little difficult to get dirty for a few days, but I am sure I can find a way. 🙂

Thanksgiving Day Update

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I struggled to think of a title to this post. There are several bloggers who do a Wordless Wednesday but I always have plenty to say. I have also done a Wednesday Wanderings but I really didn’t go anywhere with my camera but on the farm. Then another day past and it is, or was, Thanksgiving day.

I did miss another chance for a great photo and video a few days ago… A really neat whirlwind of leaves in the south end of the back pasture. It lasted for quite a while, too. GEEZ!

I did manage to get a photo of our resident villain on Tuesday. The Red-Tailed Hawk has been visiting near where the hay is stored. I have seen it several times but never had the camera. It flew behind a tree by the pond probably thinking I couldn’t see it… No doubt it is hunting for mice or voles, but it doesn’t hesitate to nab an unsuspecting small bird.

(Note: Lisa commented and said the hawk is a Red-Shouldered Hawk and not a Red-Tailed Hawk. I noticed it didn’t look like the Red-Tailed Hawk that stays in the back of the farm. The maps online say the Red-Shouldered Hawk are farther south and to the east of this area. I am not sure they stay here year around, but I have seen one of them, sometimes two, in this same spot in the past.)


I still haven’t finished cleaning out the Martin House. The House Sparrows moved in right after the Martins left and they have almost every nest stuffed full! They spend the day in search of seeds and insects but they are usually at the house in the morning and by early evening.


I did finish cutting the Cannas Wednesday afternoon and the bed is all mulched for winter now. I am sure glad I don’t have to dig their rhizomes and bring them inside for the winter. I am thinking about contacting my good friend Walley in Mississippi to see if he still has his yellow Cannas. He gave me a start before when I lived in Mississippi but I accidentally left them behind when I moved back here. Maybe he could send a few my way.


The cats always enjoy sleeping on the pile of leaves especially when it is cold and sunny. This cat has been known to sleep in some very strange places, though. He even likes to get in small boxes and flower pots just barely big enough to curl up in.


The moon looked really nice when I went to get the cows from the back pasture. The time on the photo says 4:53 PM and the moon is on its way up. A few months ago I could leave the cows in the back until about 9 PM…


A few of the cows were already waiting at the gate. I think they heard me singing or talking to myself. Sometimes, not always usually lately (which means maybe less than 40% of the time but not necessarily) they are at the gate. Sometimes, like Tuesday, a few were at the gate but walked away when I arrived while others were coming toward the gate. The calves are getting the hang of it and walk toward the gate when they hear me or see me approach.


Sometimes they are eager to get to the front pasture for the evening and I have absolutely no problem. Sometimes… Oh, I am sure you get the picture by now. 🙂

One thing I have learned is that cows are not the most patient of critters. Tuesday morning when they were waiting at the gate to go up the lane, I thought I would scratch a few of them behind the ears. The first three really liked it, but the fourth said, “OPEN THE GATE ALREADY!”  Even though they don’t have hands, so they can’t make a fist, she has learned that is what the top of her head is for. She is one of the older cows and is pretty much intolerant when it comes to friendliness if she is anxious. July, however, is the opposite. I think she would stand and let you pet and scratch her for an hour.


The calves are always funny. When I open the back gate the cows, if they are at the gate, come right into the lane. If I am still standing in the lane the calves are a little hesitant to walk past me. They will stand there at the opening and talk it over first. Wednesday evening, after much deliberation, they all managed to build up the courage to go past me but one. It was the first born heifer with the completely white face. She walked away from the gate and for a minute I thought she may jump the fence. I walked into the pasture toward the Persimmon tree and she finally went in. I had to check to see if there were any Persimmons left and I found only two… So, I guess that’s it for them until next fall.

I took a few plant photos Wednesday evening then a few more this morning. The camera battery went dead and I had to recharge before I could finish.

I hope you don’t mind another long post. I could easily break down every photo for a single post…


The newest members of the cactus collection are in the kitchen windowsill. I plan to make an insert with two shelves.

A friend of mine and I were recently discussing plant markers. I told him the last ones I had bought were too small and he said he uses old mini blinds. I had one I was going to throw away, so this Wednesday morning I cut several 5″ pieces and they work great! They are wide enough to get plenty of information on them on both sides. I like putting the scientific name and common name on one side while the date I brought them home on the back. I also write down the dates when I repot them into larger pots. Eventually, the permanent marker’s ink fades and I have to rewrite. He said he uses a pencil… Hmmm…


The Kalanchoe delagoensis plantlets are still doing OK. They have grown a little but probably won’t do much during the winter. Just as long as I can keep them alive until spring… I mist them about once a week.


When I brought the cactus inside from the back porch, I just carried their table in and put it in front of the sliding door. This is not an ideal spot because they don’t receive much sun so it was just a temporary solution. Several of these were in the kitchen windowsill for two winters but they are now in larger pots.

I discovered something when I brought the cactus inside and had to re-pot a few into larger pots. Normally I don’t re-pot until the spring but I had just received my bag of pumice and was itching to try it out. One of the biggest problems I have with cactus and succulents in the winter is their soil gets very hard. I barely ever water them during the winter, some not at all but their soil needs to be loose, not hard. I think this happens because the peat in the mix drys out and a lot of the perlite has floated to the top. Pumice is similar to grit but acts more like perlite because it absorbs water. When the water is released it also adds nutrients to the soil. By repotting the cactus in the fall, their soil will remain loose throughout the winter. 🙂


The new shelf I made for the south window is working out very well. I used boards from the loft in the barn. I made it similar to the one I made in Mississippi for the kitchen window (out of old Cypress boards).


The shelves are adjustable so I could possibly lower the top two or even remove the bottom shelf. That way I could add another shelf. Last winter I just had a table here which was high enough to put some of the bigger succulents under it. The bottom of the window is only 10 1/2″ from the floor so they received plenty of sun. While cactus, for the most part, isn’t that particular about being in full sun, especially over the winter, a lot of succulents will stretch and get weird if they don’t have enough. That’s why I have to avoid growing Echeveria and a few others I have grown in the past.

For the most part, all the succulents are on this shelf plus a few cacti.


They are all doing well but I noticed some brown scale on the Peperomia obtusifolia. The Cotyledon ‘Silver Storm’ seems to be making progress with its spraying program. So far, the new leaves are scale-free. There are a few succulents that are very prone to brown scale which I have learned to avoid. Some get it a little and are easily plucked off. I keep an eye on the Crassula ovata ‘Lady Fingers’ or ‘Gollum’.


I say “or” because I bought this plant unlabeled and it looked like a ‘Lady Fingers’ at the time (I had one before). It has grown quite a lot and now it’s leaves look like ‘Gollum’. Anyway, I noticed it also has a few scale as well but they can be removed without spraying.


If you have scale and need to spray, make sure you use something that is ORMI certified and does not smell like alcohol. Neem oil may work but I haven’t tried it. I do have a product with Neem oil as an ingredient which is also certified organic that would also work. Unfortunately, the brown scale doesn’t actually fall off even when they may be dead. You have to remove them by hand or remove the leaf. You could remove the infested leaves, but sometimes that isn’t possible. The Cotyledon is really bad and even the stems have scale. I have thought about throwing it away but I couldn’t see myself doing that. I tried neglecting it this past summer, thinking it might die on its own. Well, it seemed it seemed like it and thrived… So, I sprayed.


The Huernia schneideriana is doing very well and there are new offsets coming up.


The new Stapelia gigantea is also doing very well. This plant is a cousin to the Huernia and both are Carrion Plants. Even though this one will have big and beautiful flowers, the smell will be less than pleasant…


Sedum adolphii and its Oxalis friend are doing good. Yeah, I know… This Oxalis is probably a weed to most people but I kind of like them. I don’t hardly pull any of them up in the flower beds so why wouldn’t I allow it to grow in the house? 🙂


The Kalanchoe x laetivirens is doing good, as usual, but feels a little annoyed with me right now. I removed all its plantlets so they wouldn’t be jumping into the nearby pots. There is a nice row of them along the wall behind the shelf…


There are several Kalanchoe luciae on the shelf, but this one looks the best. When I see its leaves start to wrinkle I know it needs a little water. Otherwise, no water for the succulents during the winter…


The Aloe juvenna and Kalanchoe orgyalis are enjoying the winter on the bottom shelf. Aloe juvenna are very easy to grow but need a good amount of light or their leaves will stretch. The Kalanchoe orgyalis keeps growing taller and may be touching the bottom of the next shelf before long.


Umm… Almost every plant on this table should be in the basement. Last year the Oxalis went dormant before I even brought the plants inside for the winter but this year they have not gone dormant yet. I guess I am going to have to take them to the basement anyway. The Begonias can also be in the basement but they look so good where I can mingle with them once in a while. The Begonias on the table have hardly lost any leaves since I brought them inside. They have pretty much been on the dining room table except for a few days last month. I put them on the table in the front bedroom Tuesday evening after I gave them water.

The bigger pot in the center of the table has the two bigger dormant Amorphophallus in it… So, watering the Oxalis in that pot may not be a good idea… I need this table for the cactus in front of the sliding door…


The Begonia withlacoochee ‘Brazilian Lady’ always loses a lot of leaves when I bring it inside. That’s OK, though. It will be fine. One winter it went completely dormant and came back in the spring. Well, I guess a change is in order for the name of this plant. While it is available under the name Begonia ‘Brazilian Lady’, I just found out the registered cultivar name with the American Begonia Society is ‘Withlacoochee’ (ABS #765) and it IS definitely this cultivar. ‘Brazilian Lady’ IS NOT a registered cultivar. It was registered as Begonia ‘Withlacoochee’ by someone named Michelson in 1977. Someone came up the hybrid name Begonia withlacoochee and was even listed as such in the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Click on that link now and it will say “server error”… The cultivar is a cross between two unidentified species, one being an unidentified “Brazilian” species… So, now I have to work on the plant’s page to the right. >


The Ledebouria socialis and Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’ are doing quite well. I am not supposed to water them over the winter so they will kind of go dormant. I read where if you wanter them over the winter they will continue growing new leaves and not go dormant. You want them to go dormant so the new leaves in the spring will be larger and it will flower. If it doesn’t go dormant, it won’t produce flowers.  Ummm… That would be a disappointment because of the reasons I bought them was for their awesome flowers. SO, I am trying to avoid watering them…


Ummmmmm… How’s that for a neat leaf? The Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae grow these impressive leaves. The color and size… Maybe I should keep this one upstairs for a while longer. 🙂


The Oxalis tetraphylla (Iron Cross) leaves aren’t so big right now… The bigger leaves died and the new leaves are small. Weird…


The Tradescantia sillamontana are waiting to go to the basement so they can sleep for the winter. I will cut their stems off once the plants go dormant and they will come up after a few months. They have done very well all summer and now it is time for a rest. They would stay awake upstairs all winter but they get really out of shape.

So, it is best

for them to rest…

The Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart) will also be going to the basement but I may take a few cuttings first…



The Tradescantia fluminensis variegata (maybe I should write that “var. variegata”) and…


The Tradescantia zebrina will be staying upstairs for now. It is my first winter with them so I am not sure how they will do either upstairs or down in the basement. I know they will do OK upstairs but I am not sure about a stretching issue. If they go dormant in the basement… Will they come back up or will they be dead. Maybe I should take cuttings and experiment. 🙂 How else will I know?

In the other bedroom…


Well, the table in the other bedroom is experimental. I had the Callisia fragrans and Tradescantia sillamontana on this chest but grew tired of that. The Tradescantia needs to be in the basement so they can go dormant. Tuesday evening I moved the Callisia and Tradescantia sillamontana and put a few other plants here. This spot only gets good sun in the afternoon so a lot of plants won’t do well here over the winter.

I kept the smaller Alocasia upstairs because they don’t do well in the basement. When I say smaller, I mean the ones that are under 12″ tall. Somehow, when I was moving plant s inside, one of the bigger Alocasia ‘Portora’ managed to sneak in the dining room. Then, when I moved the Tradescantia sillamontana out of the bedroom, the Alocasia ‘Portora’ somehow snuck into the bedroom… Of course, I could bring up a couple of other Alocasia to keep it company. How about the biggest ‘Calidora’? It will probably touch the ceiling even with its pot on the floor.


As I mentioned earlier, the smallest of the Amorphophallus finally went dormant a few days ago. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to stay green all winter.


Ummm… Yep, this is the Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) Mrs. Wagler gave me a few months ago. I know if I had have put them in the ground they wouldn’t have made it through the winter because they barely had any roots. Typically they are only hardy in USDA zones 8-11 but the ones I brought here from Mississippi in 2013 did survive at least one winter. I was surprised that Mrs. Wagler had some in one of her flower beds and happy she offered to give me a start. These will have blue flowers instead of pink like I had before. Walley Morse gave me the first start in Mississippi in the fall and I kept them inside until the next spring. So, I know they will grow in the house. 🙂 Well, they are a very neat plant and they will spread in the right conditions…


I moved the Tradescantia ‘Pale Puma’ in this bedroom on Tuesday evening even though it may well be moved to the basement. It just depends on how well it grows here. The one I had before went dormant in the basement and came back up in the spring with no problem.


The Callisia fragrans that were on the chest are now on top of the bookshelves… I think they will survive anything and anywhere. If you know someone who says they can’t grow plants, take them one of these… I have proof…


On July 12 when I potted all the offsets from the original plant, a couple were very small and I thought I had more than enough in pots. So, I threw these two smaller offsets in the yard. When I was mowing a few days later I picked them up and put them on the back porch. They have survived with NO soil and no additional water since July 12… Now you can turn me into the plant humane society for neglect. I am experimenting, but I think I am about to give in.

OK, I think I am finished with this post now. I want to get it published before midnight or I will have to edit it again. Grammarly says I have 11 errors but we have been in a little dispute over a few words. Like the words lose, loses, and loose… I used all in this post correctly but Grammarly doesn’t agree… OK, I went back and fixed the “errors”. I did mess up a few times I didn’t originally catch, some I clicked on “ignore” which is only a one time deal. You can add words to the dictionary if it is a word Grammarly doesn’t recognize (like botanical names :)). So, I teach text edit and I teach Grammarly and it likewise shows me when I screw up. Text edit sometimes jumps to conclusions but all you have to do is click on the “x” and it changes the word back and you can then click on “learn” so the word is added to its brain. If I am in doubt, I highlight the word and click “look up” and the dictionary tells me if I am right or wrong. Then if I have to install a new hard drive or need to use Firefox or Google, I have to teach again. That’s OK. Just part of life. We learn and we teach. I know if I go back over this post several more times I am likely to find something else every time. I don’t mind if you correct my grammar. In fact, I would appreciate it if you did. But you also have to recognize people from different countries spell and use words differently… 🙂

Now, I better quit. Until next time, take care, be safe, be well, stay positive… You know the drill. Just be good and GET DIRTY!

Abomination — Sweetgum and Pines

While visiting a local home improvement store today, I took a look at the garden section to see what grotesqueries the plant wholesalers have cooked up lately. They did not disappoint. I am, by now, inured to things like paper flowers glued to cacti or Phalaenopsis orchids with dyed blooms–If you desperately need a cheap […]

via Abomination — Sweetgum and Pines

Mulching The Canna Bed, Etc.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. Today was a good day to start mulching the Maple leaves in the “other yard” (across the driveway) and cut down the Cannas.

I had planned to go to the Farmer’s Co-op to pick up a friend’s feed for his cows since he was out of town. Someone else comes to feed his cows and would be at his house at 3:30. After that, I was scheduled to meet with someone else at 4. The plan was to work on the leaves and the Canna bed between picking up the feed and before and after my other appointment. Well, it didn’t happen that way…

When I went to pick up the feed at 1:00 I was told to come back at 4. His feed gets mixed and put in a hopper on the back of his truck and they were to busy when I went. SO, I went back home and called him and explained what had happened. He then texted the other guy so he would know the feed would be late. Then I called the other person I was supposed to meet with at 4 and told him we could go ahead with our meeting ahead of time. But, he and his wife had to go somewhere else first and he said he would just come over when they were finished. He didn’t make it until after 3 and stayed until I had to go back to Farmer’s Co-op. Then, when I get there, they told me they still weren’t ready and would be at least another 30 minutes. So, I went to my friend’s farm and met up with the guy who was there to feed his cows. When he was finished with some of the feeding he told me he would go get the feed himself because he needed to tell them he needed more for tomorrow. I don’t know how he will do that since they apparently don’t mix feed on Saturday.

Anyway, while I was waiting, I decided to go ahead and start on the leaves.

I usually run over the leaves and suck them up in the mower’s grass bags. That always proves frustrating because the tube keeps getting clogged. Then I have to turn off the mower, take the tube off, and shake out the leaves. I have tried different things to prevent that but it still happens. Last fall, on the south side of the house, I just ran over the leaves and blew them toward the south bed where I ultimately wanted them. It worked much better with no frustration. So, this time I ran around the leaves in “the other yard” in a circle blowing them toward the center. I know that means some of the leaves get chopped up over and over, but the whole point is to get them mulched. So, it worked out pretty good.

After a while, the mower started having some difficulty because the leaves were getting too deep. The bigger mower would have probably handled it fine, but one of the belt pulleys broke the last time I mowed. Good thing it was the last mowing of the season…

The goal was to get the leaves mulched and into somewhat of a pile so I could put them in the trash can and take them to the Canna bed.


It’s amazing how plants that were 10′ or so tall a few weeks ago could look so pitiful now. After a few “F’s”, two snows, wind, and very cold temps they look like a disaster.

After I finished mulching the leaves I started cutting down the Cannas. Remember, there used to only be 10-12′ of Cannas along the garage but I spread them out the entire length this past spring. After cutting down about 1/3 I decided I needed to stop and cover them up before my company came and I couldn’t finish. I didn’t want the rhizomes exposed to the cold air with nothing. I will try and work more on them Saturday, but I am not sure how much time I will have. We are supposed to have a “wintry mix” move in Saturday evening… 😦


There are plenty of leaves from the Maples trees on the south side of the house. Their leaves are 99% on the ground. Dad said these were Jefferson Maples…


The two Maple trees in front of the house are a different story. These are the last to change color and they hang on longer. Dad said these two trees are Sunset Masples…


The northeast corner bed doesn’t look so amazing now… Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ still has some dull green…


The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ doesn’t seem to mind the snow. It’s not the snow that kills plants (well… I guess that depends on the plants and how cold it gets, huh?). When it gets really cold, there won’t be a trace of this Creeping Jenny. Then, like a miracle, they start popping up off and on in the spring to check the temperature. It’s kind of funny actually…


The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) can take pretty cold temperatures. There have been winters they have remained green the whole time. Still growing after about 35 years.


The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) I brought with me from Mississippi doesn’t mind a few “F’s”, snow, or cooler temps. Well, to a certain point… It thought last January was a bit much and I agreed…


Ummm… The south bed… The Salvia‘s and Elephant Garlic are pretty much all that is green. That is beside the grass and weeds… The Iris are growing again which is always a good sign.


OH, poor Phlomis! Every winter as soon as there is a forecast for an “F” I cover the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ with the big flower pot. The pot that is behind it as a matter of fact. I really like this plant so I am very protective of it when it comes it getting ZAPPED. This time I had other things on my mind and completely neglected this plant. I guess we know now it is fairly “F” tolerant and can withstand temps down to 12° F. Thank goodness! I now have a sticky note on the wall that says “PHLOMIS” to remind me to cover.


The Sempervivum ‘Killer’ seems to be enjoying the cooler temps. It flowered like crazy starting late in the summer. I had never seen a Sempervivum flower before, so it was quite a treat. The sad thing is that Semps are monocarpic which means the plants that flower will die. The good thing is there are plenty of new offsets.


Yep, I always laugh when I look at the Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla). Not because it is a funny plant, but because it always looks different from one time to the next. It always smiles at me but I dare not give it a hug and you can definitely forget about a kiss! It always asks me if its name has changed and I always tell it no. I am trying to keep it a secret that there are two subspecies of this plant and one variety (plus 12 synonyms). I do tell it that is a bit short because it is actually a succulent sub-shrub that grows 3-6′ tall. It seems to like spreading outward instead of growing upward which is one reason I always laugh. I can hardly wait until it flowers, which could take a few more years…

I stopped by the grocery store on my way home and the cashier said he heard we were supposed to have a “five-year winter.” I have no idea what that means and I am not that anxious to find out. Umm… I am not going to look it up on the internet either because I don’t want to know… Five years ago is when I moved back to the farm and we did have plenty of snow… Now my sister can say, “See the persimmon seeds were right.” GEEZ!

Well, that is it for now. The post would have been longer but I ran out of photos. 🙂

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, stay well, don’t fall down the steps, don’t burn yourself cooking, don’t stick yourself while sewing. When you get aggravated try some breathing exercises to relax. Life has its ups and downs but it is actually a miracle in itself and we are truly amazing creatures. I know eventually, our bodies get old and we may become bald, fat, and wrinkly. Some of us have worse health problems than others. We still have a lot to be thankful for even though we may not feel like it sometimes. Sometimes when we aren’t doing so good just knowing that others love and care about us makes us feel much better. Sometimes we may need a change of environment, take a vacation to get away for a while (or permanently). Maybe all we need is to take a walk with someone we are close to. Maybe we need some time to ourselves to be alone with the Universe, with God, or whoever you choose to call him (or her). I have come up with this neat little exercise that always makes me smile.

Well, I better stop for now. Take care always and GET DIRTY if you can!

Second Snow…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and warm. I realize that some of you are in warmer climates and are in the spring season. Here, as you can see, it is not warm and there are no spring flowers blooming…

The forecast yesterday said it was going to snow, so throughout the night, I kept looking out the sliding door to check. Eventually, I did go to sleep. Then, this morning when I got out of bed…

The cows were eating hay, which they were glad to have available. I had also put a second bale in the small lot by the barn in reserve.


It didn’t get below freezing so I didn’t have to go cut ice on the pond. That’s good!


Susie and The Barn Cat aren’t very enthused about the snow. The other three cats had eaten and probably went to the barn by the time I took this photo. The Barn Cat (in the box) was given her name by my parents because she seemed to always stay in the barn. She has spent most of her time on the back porch this past year so maybe a name change is in order. Susie is the only cat that comes inside the house when she can sneak in. She makes her rounds and when she is satisfied she attempts to stay in longer. She tells me she will be OK in the house and won’t bother anything… One evening I let her stay in to see what she would do. Next thing I knew she was on the bed getting ready to take a nap…


Winter… Snow… Cold… No plants on the front porch.


Just a dreary cold wind and still snowing.


Seasons come and go and I know winter will eventually lead to spring. For many years we didn’t have any snow before the first of the year. I hope this isn’t a sign we will have a very snowy winter.

I can just hear it now… “Well, the persimmon seeds had a spoon inside. That means we will get a lot of snow.” I left the snow shovel on the side porch from the last time. Does that mean I was asking for more? I certainly did not ask.

I have been making some good progress updating the plant pages on the right. I have A LOT more to add but I wanted to get the pages that are already published updated with recent photos, proper links, and make sure their scientific names are still correct. I am also trying to discipline myself to keep current with your posts as well. Once I get started reading I get sleepy. I try to make a comment but sometimes I don’t know what to say and just click on “like”. I do read your posts, though, so if I just “like” I have read it. I haven’t really started promoting my blog yet so I only have 87 followers on WordPress. Some days I have well over 100 visits to the pages on the right but very few readers leave “likes” or make comments. Maybe no one can leave a “like” or make a comment unless they have a WordPress account, have signed up to follow (even by email), or something. I don’t know. I do enjoy reading your posts and I am thankful for all who make comments here.

I thoroughly enjoy the WordPress community and being able to share photos and experiences here. I have a great appreciation for bloggers who take time to do the same and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. My first blog was The Mystical Mansion and Garden which I started in 2009 from when I was living in Mississippi. I had a lot of pages and information about porcelain companies and Japanese Kutani and Satsuma, Televera, etc. Of course, most of my posts and pages were about plants and gardening. I received A LOT of comments from people asking questions about antiques. I started my first Belmont Rooster blog in 2013 when I moved back to the family farm here in mid-Missouri. This is my third Belmont Rooster blog and hopefully it will remain for many years to come… Many bloggers that I used to follow, and were followers, have stopped blogging. I feel like I missed something when I was in between blogging. Where did they go? What happened to them… Blogging does take time and many people who have families have to juggle between jobs, family, and blogging. I also have Facebook and Twitter accounts. I haven’t been on my Twitter accounts for a very long time, though. I just can’t get into Twitter… I guess I have a Twitter block. 🙂

I follow a few blogs that I followed since 2013 and some haven’t posted for a few years. I used to have close to 500 followers and climbing. I would spend hours promoting the blog, following, and making comments and looking for more. We went through this “award” phase which I am glad has settled down. I don’t remember how many blogging awards I had in 2013, but there were many. For me, I think I like quality and not quantity. I am not here to set records, be awarded, or even claim to be a great gardener or blogger. I just enjoy growing plants, gardening and sharing my experience that may be helpful to others. I also enjoy the relationship with my fellow bloggers in the WordPress community. I am also on another journey which I may share at a later time…

Well, I guess I better stop writing and get a few other things done for the day. It has finally stopped snowing for now but I doubt I will be making a snowman. 🙂

Until next time… Be safe, stay positive, healthy… You know the drill. Try and GET DIRTY when you can! Even if you have to stick your finger in a pot.

Ummm… First Snow of 2018

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and keeping warm. The weather forecast has been predicting snow for today. By this afternoon we hadn’t had any, so I did a little work in the yard. I was hoping it would not happen. Then I took a nap and got up about five. I looked out the sliding door in the dining room and what did I see? It was snowing…

The car was outside because I hadn’t cleaned up the sawdust in the garage from a few projects I had finished. So, I cleaned up the garage, swept the snow off the car then moved it into the garage.

Needless to say, sometimes I can be a bit of a procrastinator. I put off digging the bigger Colocasia esculenta rhizomes until yesterday (one is the largest I have ever seen). I haven’t raked any leaves yet because I am waiting for them all to fall off and dry. My “higher self” kept telling me that it may be a good idea to rake the leaves anyway because of the weather. How will the leaves dry when they are wet? Did I listen? Nope…

When I was going to take the cows to the back pasture today they weren’t around. They were probably in the north hayfield grazing in the back so I just left them alone. Once again, my “higher self” reminded me I should take a bale of hay out in case it snows. Well, it wasn’t snowing, so I started cleaning the Martin House out instead.

It was pretty chilly and my hands got cold, so after I cleaned out the top tier, I went inside. Normally, I clean out the birdhouse after the Martins leave. This time the sparrows moved in and my sister, who was visiting earlier, suggested I just let the sparrows have it. So, maybe I can blame her for persuading me not to clean it out at the time. I didn’t see a single sparrow this afternoon when I was cleaning out the birdhouse but almost EVERY nest compartment is FULL of their nests.

During the heat of the summer, many things were put off until it got cooler. Now it is cooler but it has been rainy. When it wasn’t raining, I found other things to do and always tell myself there will be plenty of nice, warmer days it can be done…

That’s the good thing about not having a “to-do” list anymore.

So, tell me… What have you been putting off?

Until next time, stay positive, stay well, be safe… GET DIRTY! I can always get dirty because right now there is plenty of dirt in the house (with all the plants inside).

Crazy Cow and No Camera…

Hello folks! I hope this post finds everyone well. A couple of strange things happened this evening. If I take the cows to the back pasture I go back and get them before it gets dark. Normally when I call them they come but sometimes I have to whack a stick on a tree limb. This evening that did not happen. One of the cows was next to the back fence but most of them were by the gate they were supposed to go through. Instead of the other cow coming to the gate, the rest of the cows where she was. Then they started walking the fence in the wrong direction. So, I tagged along in case they knew something I didn’t. Well, you never know.

As it turned out they were just being weird. Once I got them turned around, instead of going toward the gate they went to the north end of the pasture. So, I went around the back side of the pond to get them headed in the right direction.

Well, when I got to the cows they could apparently sense I was a little perturbed by their behavior. One of the cows, I think maybe Fatty, was 3-4 feet from me and she looked at me and said, “WAIT!” She reached down and picked up an Osage Orange ball. Well, here we call them hedge apples… Anyway, I thought she lost her mind! It was huge and she was acting like a dog wanting to play fetch or something. Well, it fell out of her mouth and she picked it up again. It fell out of her mouth again and it landed at my feet. She picked up another one and it also fell out. She didn’t give up, though, and found one that was smaller. This one went all the way to the back part of her mouth.

Now, although I was anxious to get the cows to the front pasture because it was getting dark, I was kind of concerned about this cow with a hedge ball in the back of her mouth. She just stood there looking at me, trying to chew this big ball in her mouth. She stood there, slobber running out of her mouth, attempting to chew this thing up. I began to wonder if she was choking… What if she did choke? How in the world would I perform a Heimlich maneuver on a HUGE cow?

FINALLY, she made progress and the hedge apple started breaking up. I stood there and watched this crazy cow eat a hedge apple until I knew she was going to be OK.

For the most part, cows seem to be pretty particular about what they eat and a cow as old as this one should have plenty of experience. I wasn’t too worried about it being harmful but I checked online anyway. Apparently, cows and other livestock have died from Osage Orange. Not because it is toxic, but because it can lodge in their digestive track if they try to swallow it whole…

Cows, like us, use their molars to chew, so she had to have the fruit in the back of her mouth. With all their slimy saliva, it could have easily slipped down her throat…

After that experience, I wished I had the camera with me so I could have taken a video. Almost always when I don’t take the camera I see something I would have liked to have a photo or video of. In all my years around cows, I have never seen one eat an Osage Orange fruit. I have seen them pick them up but they always spit it out.

This experience reminds me of one of the Old English Game hens that got the front of its top bill stuck inside of its lower bill. She came out of the chicken house and walked up to me like she was saying, “Ummm….” I could tell she looked a little off, but in a few seconds, I didn’t get a good look at her. She ran off and I had to chase her down. I picked her up and saw her predicament. I took her to the back porch and sat down with her trying to figure how I was going to get her beak unstuck. Then she shook her head and it popped out. Again, it would have made a very interesting and memorable photo… One of those YouTube moments that no one would ever believe could happen.

How many photos have you missed?

Here I am wondering what to post about this winter. You just never know…

Until next time… Stay positive, be safe, stay warm (or cool), and GET DIRTY!

Malva sylvestris Fall Show

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. For the past few weeks, the Malva sylvestris in front of the church I attend has been going crazy. Apparently, it likes the cooler temps and moisture fall brings. They don’t seem to do well during the heat of the summer, but now it is strutting its stuff.

Malva, Mallow, French Hollyhock, Etc.

Malva sylvestris ‘Zebrina’ ?

MAL-vuh  sil-VESS-triss

Malva sylvestris L. was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

The genus, Malva Tourn. ex L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. It was first named and described by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, but I am not sure what the complete name was or when he named it. I read the pages online but I can’t make sense out of it. 🙂

Carl Linnaeus published two volumes of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. The second edition was published in 1762-1763 and the third in 1764. Other volumes were published after his death by other authors.

Plants of the World Online by Kew currently lists 53 accepted species in the genus Malva. They grow in various parts of the world and may be annual, biennial, or perennial. I’m not 100% sure if they are perennial in this bed or if they come up every spring from seed (even though I clean out the bed every spring). Some species that are annual in some places are perennial in others. Several species have become popular as garden plants and many species are also edible. Some species are also considered an invasive weed…


A few of the plants in the right side of the bed have grown very large leaves.

Malva species have been mentioned as far back as the third century when Diphilus of Siphnus, a physician, wrote that mallow juice lubricates the windpipe, nourishes, and is easily digested.


Almost as large as my hands…

Lord Monboddo wrote that Malva was planted upon the graves of the ancients, stemming from the belief that the dead could feed on such perfect plants.


The flowers are a purpleish-pinkish color with darker stripes. This may be the cultivar ‘Zebrina’ but I am not sure.


After trying to figure out the different species of wildflowers on the farm, it has become a habit to look at the backside of the flowers…


The Organic Facts website states Malva sylvestris speeds up wound healing, protects against infection, reduces inflammation, reduces signs of aging, improves respiratory health, optimizes digestive function, improves sleep, and is used for the treatment of headaches. Malva sylvestris is powerful, so if you take prescription drugs you should consult a physician before using because of the possibility of drug interactions.


I have wanted to do something with the bed in front of the steps at the church but I haven’t decided what would look good. No one really takes care of it except for when I do occasional weeding. The bed is long but not too deep… I have some ideas, though. The Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’ I grew in the northeast bed is a good candidate, but it just depends on what is available at the local greenhouses.

The temperatures have taken a drop today and the forecast says we have a chance of snow maybe on Thursday. After the “F” a few weeks ago, it warmed up so I put some of the potted plants back on the front porch for a while longer. I moved them back in earlier Tuesday evening… The leaves on a few of the maple trees are almost all on the ground now, but the two in the front yard and hanging on… Almost time for Fall cleanup.

Well, that’s it for this post. Stay well, stay positive, be safe, and GET DIRTY!


Three Very Good Plant Documentaries

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I watch a lot of documentaries on YouTube about various topics and stumbled upon Botany: A Blooming History Part 1 of 3. It was AWESOME! So, I had to search for the other three parts.

They are REALLY good and I know they answered a lot of questions. I always wondered how Carl Linnaeus named so many plant species. I always thought, even though his abbreviation was used, maybe he didn’t actually name them all but was the first to write about them. In this first part, I found out that before Linnaeus “re-named” plants, they had VERY long names. Besides genus and species, the rest of the name had to do with plant features and characteristics. So, Linnaeus shortened their names to just genus and species, sometimes completely renaming them or reclassifying them. Of course, over the years, many plants have been renamed and reclassified several times.

The narrator does a very good job talking about the earlier botanists whos work shaped the way we classify plants today.


Botany: A Blooming History Part 2 of 3 Photosynthesis.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that photosynthesis was figured out. In history, a physician/botanist that opened his mouth to say that plants had healing properties was arrested. To think plants could heal was blasphemy toward God. He was put on house arrest. Until one of his research projects, people thought plants ate soil. So, he set out to see if it were true. He took a few fig trees, weighed the plant and the dry soil and waited. After five years, he re-weighed the trees and the soil. Although the trees had grown the soil weighed almost the same that it did five years earlier. His conclusion? Plants drink water…

They didn’t get the picture and even 17th-century botanists didn’t know much about how plants grow. They had been so busy identifying and classifying plants, writing books and making a name for themselves (and arguing among themselves) that little attention was given to what makes a plant tick.

I could say more but I think if you are interested you would like to watch the documentary for yourself. In one part, though, “the man” who figured out what plants do with carbon dioxide was “let go” from “a” university and later his boss was given the Nobel Prize… Thirty years later, he wrote a book telling about his “teams” work and never mentioned the name of “the man” who actually figured it out. Well, in the beginning, “the man” and his boss were working on the same question but they were in disagreement. Actually, “the boss” didn’t realize “the man” didn’t agree with him because “the man” was working on his own experiment behind his bosses back… As a result, “the bosses” theory was proven wrong and “the man’s” theory was correct… Well, there is a little more to the story, but you get the idea.


Botany: A Blooming History Part 3 of 3: Hidden World

Part 3 takes a closer look at plant breeding and inheritance. It’s amazing how the early botanists and researchers did such hands-on experimenting all without the use of modern science. Much like we would do in our own garden and flower beds.

YouTube has a lot of very good documentaries in just about every niche you can think of. Since December 2016 I have become interested in ancient civilizations. As a kid, history wasn’t one of my favorite subjects but lately, it just fascinates me what has been discovered in recent years. From YouTube, I also subscribed to Some of the videos on are somewhat out of date because I have watched newer videos that contradict or improve on the older ones. Well, many people have their own opinions, too.

OK, now I will stop so I can continue. Until next time, have an enjoyable weekend. Be safe, stay positive, embrace life around you, and just go outside and take a deep breath. Of course, as always, GET DIRTY!

End of October Update: After the “F”

Northeast corner bed on 10-28-18.

Hello folks! I hope you are all doing well. Our first frost came and went and as usual, it warmed up again. I think that’s what I don’t like most about the “F”. The plants get ZAPPED then it warms up again! After moving the potted plants in I can move them back out after a few days. Not all the perennials were affected, though, and some are quite enjoying the cooler temperatures. I took a lot of photos today and still wound up with 80 after editing. I usually take two of each in case one is blurry or comes out whacky. Sooo… Do I put them all on one post or spread them out? I think all at once this time. 🙂 Never know what tomorrow will bring and it may take a week or more if I spread them all out… Been there done that…

The top photo is of the northeast corner bed. The Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ is still looking very good (even without flowers). Pretty much everything else has given up. There are still a few green leaves on the Coloclinum coelestinum.


The Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’ did awesomely well all summer but one ZAP did them in…


The poor Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’ was looking so GREAT the day before the “F”. Darn it! The Heliotrope is always one of my favorite annuals and this one did better than others I have planted in the past. Hopefully, I can find it again next spring.


And what do we have here under everything? Oh yeah! I almost forgot about the Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis). When I planted it in this bed I didn’t expect for it to get covered up. Then the Conoclinum coelestinum came up late and it really did get covered up then. Every time I checked on it it was still alive, though. It was a tiny cluster of plants to start with and now there is only one stem. Maybe it will survive the winter and come back up in the spring. We shall see. I will have to put a stake by it so I will know where it is because it will either die or go likely go dormant…

On the other side of the steps…


The Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ is still alive and well. This is the only Monarda I have grown that hasn’t gotten mildew and died. I know there are mildew resistant cultivars but I have not seen any locally. The Monarda fistulosa growing in the pastures are all gone now, but they aren’t bothered with mildew either.


The Conoclinum coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum, etc.) in this bed are still green and lively although their flowers don’t look so hot. I hope they reseed for next year and come up a little earlier this time… Maybe I should save some seed because I would hate to completely lose these plants. Dad got his start from Aunt Inez (his mother’s sister) many, many years ago. Last winter was very hard on them…


The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ had a very good summer and grew quite a bit. It is the worlds largest Hosta and will grow larger next year. Supposedly it will mature after five years…


The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ did well this summer and still looks good after getting ZAPPED. I forgot to take a photo of the other one…


The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny) had a great summer and spread even more. It spread clear up to the front of the steps! It seems to do much better in more sun even though I keep telling it to spread more in the shade. It just won’t listen!


Well, now that’s just pitiful! The Colocasia esculenta got ZAPPED and now it is growing new leaves. The smaller ones I planted on the north side of the chicken house and under a few trees (I have so many!) didn’t even get ZAPPED and are still alive and well. The Xanthosoma sagittifolium is doing well in the basement. It still thinks I lost my mind for putting it in a pot and putting it in the dark.


I know I need to just dig them up and store them for winter but I haven’t gotten around to it yet… Next thing you know, this one will be blooming like the other one… Well, I think that time has passed. This isn’t Mississippi.

Now for the south bed…


The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is as happy as ever. It doesn’t mind the heat of the summer or the cooler temperatures. The big flower pot behind it is on standby for later. I turn the pot over and stuff the whole plant inside the pot during the winter. Trust me, when the temperature drops, it will fit one way or another. This frost wasn’t a freeze, but when the time comes and we are going to have a hard one… It will fit. Then when we have warm days, I uncover it to get some sun. Eventually, however, it will turn brown and go dormant. Seems like a lot of trouble for a plant, I know, but I think its worth it. Truthfully, it may survive without the trouble but I am not ready to take the risk yet. It isn’t supposed to be hardy here but it has survived five winters so far… Thanks to the pot. 🙂 It will fit.


The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ which turned out not to be a ‘Lunar Eclipse’ thinks its time to grow new leaves. I sheared it a while back to give the Phlomis more sun because it was getting carried away. Maybe this coming spring it will decide to be a ‘Lunar Eclipse’ after all…


The south bed has certainly seen better days. The Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ had another successful summer. Now it can drop THOUSANDS of seeds for next spring… If you would like some seed, just ask… I have to send some to Raphael Goverts, senior content editor at Kew, so you just as well have some, too. He asked for some seed and I am happy to send them. Once they grow, I hope it encourages them to re-evaluate and change the name back to Celosia spicata instead of saying it is a Celosia argentea… At least include the infraspecific name Celosia argentea var. spicata as a legitimate name. Whether that happens or not, I am calling it that anyway. 🙂 Nuff said… (for now). Well, it is totally impossible for Celosia spicata to be a synonym of Deeringia spicata!


I was very surprised to see Ms. Argiope still alive and kicking… She seems to have lost some weight though.


The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ is still flowering as are the…


Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ and…


Salvia farinacea Cathedral ‘Blue Bicolor’.


The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ is still OK but it flowered poorly all summer. It says it was on vacation after five years… It may be secretly on strike because it wants a sunnier location. I moved the Elephant Garlic that was growing behind it because I thought it might spread a little better then it barely flowered. What’s a guy to do? It follows my 15-second rule about complaining, which I am grateful for. Complain for only 15 seconds about a subject and you will always know what I think… It complained about the Butterfly Bush in 2014 and I still know it isn’t happy about it… When I removed the Elephant Garlic, all it said was, “Ummm…”…


All the Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) are still alive. I am not going to mention their seeds… I will just say they are well prepared for future generations.


The southeast corner bed can speak for itself… There are plenty of Brocade Marigld seeds here and in the corner by the back porch. If you would like some seed, just ask and I will happily send some to you.


The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) I brought from Mississippi is still looking great. I know I have mentioned it is my favorite shrub several times, but it is my favorite shrub. They are evergreen in the south, but here, if the winter is very cold it will go dormant.


The three Angelonia angustifolia ‘Perfectly Pink’ are not dead yet but the “F” knocked their flowers off. Angelonia are perennial but maybe not here. We shall see when spring arrives… You just never know what kind of winter to expect.


The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) I out in the southeast bed is looking good still.


All the Elephant Garlic started coming up a while back and will remain green and growing most of the winter. It just depends on the temperature. Last January was definitely a test for their hardiness.



The Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) is enjoying the cooler weather.


The two maple trees on the south side are looking really nice now but the two in the front yard haven’t even changed color yet.


The roses between the basement steps and back porch are flowering pretty good now. They can flower all they want without the Japanese Beetles eating them now…



You don’t have to say much about Roses. They speak well on their own…


All of the Iris are getting on with their fall growth and the Iris x violipurpurea ‘Black Gamecock’ is really spreading! There have never been this many!


Dad’s red Cannas… That’s all I can say…


The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is very hardy and will remain green pretty much all winter. I have been really surprised how well it has done in this old fill dirt along the wall. This will be its second winter.

Now, for the “other yard”.

The big old maple tree in the “other yard” (where my grandparents lived) is all glowing in its autumn colors.


The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) may appear to have been set back by the “F”, but it is just pretending. It has a hidden agenda…




Those dead flowers are LOADED… That is just a small sample.


The ZAP didn’t affect the Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ one bit. It wants to flower even more! This is its first year flowering and it doesn’t want to stop.


The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla)… Like I mentioned before, it looks different every time I take photos. It grew this long branch this summer and now looks lop-sided… GEEZ! With spines like this who would want to argue with it?


The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ loses most of its leaves during the winter but it will be fine…


The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ loses more than its leaves but it will be fine, too. If it can survive last winter, it can survive this winter. It has survived since 2012…


This Sedum spurium, maybe ‘Dragon’s Blood’ keeps its leaves most of the winter. It was unnamed when I brought it home but I am 99.9% sure it is a Sedum spurium but only 40% sure it is ‘Dragon’s Blood’.


The Sedum kamtschaticum has been weird most of the summer. I kept the Celosia from growing in this bed this summer so it could have more sun but it decided to be silly. It sprawled out and developed a hole in the center of the clump. It never did that before. I don’t know…


This is the rest of the Echinacea purpurea (Purple Cone Flower) I dug up from the, um… In front of the sign up the street. They did very well and I am hoping to spread them out in this bed this coming spring.


This is the northeast corner bed next to the old foundation in “the other yard”. The rhubarb completely went dormant after the “F” but the horseradish is looking great! I didn’t deadhead the Rudbeckia hirta (the wildflower) or Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’. The Rudbeckia hirta will spread by seed while R. fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ seems only to spread by rhizomes. They need to be spread out more this coming spring…


There are a lot of Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ in there. Want some? They don’t spread that much in a shadier location, but give them full sun… Yeah, they like it a lot! They are drought tolerant but do like a little extra water when it stays hot and dry for several weeks in the summer.


The rhubarb and horseradish need to go to the garden istead of being in the flower bed.

Now for the shade beds…


The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ looks a little beaten up but it is still green. Most Hostas get a little weird when the temps start cooling down even before an “F”. Once they have performed well all summer they are ready for a winter’s hibernation…


Umm… That is, or was, the big and beautiful Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’.


Believe it or not, this is Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’…


Hosta ‘Guacamole’ #1 still looks pretty good…


Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ (right) almost looks variegated now. H. ‘Dancing Queen’ doesn’t look like a gold Hosta when the temps get cooler because its leaves turn green. I forgot to take a good photo of the new Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ (in the background). I am hoping it survives the winter and proves to me it really is a Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ should be a large plant but this clump looks more like some miniature cultivar. If it doesn’t grow like it should next spring, then it definitely is NOT a ‘Blue Angel’. It is possible Mast’s supplier used a growth retardant but I can’t imagine why they would do that with a Hosta unless they didn’t ant to put them in a larger pot…


Although this photo is a little blurry, the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ made a great comeback this past summer. The mole runs in the other bed may have been one of its biggest problems.


The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ also made a great comeback after many died last winter.


Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is growing new leaves like it was spring. It didn’t do that well this summer. I really need to mulch the shade beds better to keep the soil damper and cooler. The Japanese Beetle invasion didn’t help either when they stripped the leaves off the Chinese Elm trees…


Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ definitely wants to hibernate for the winter.


Heuchera ‘Venus’ is also enjoying the cooler temperatures. It did fairly well all summer but not as well as 2017.

Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ got off to a bad start and ultimately didn’t make it.


Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ wants to hibernate, too.


Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ says a blanket would be nice…


Hosta ‘Guacamole’ #2 is also still looking pretty good. I still think I will put this one back with #1 in the spring. I don’t like the same plants in different locations…


The Hosta ‘Red October’ never quite recovered from its issue with the mole run in the other bed this spring. I put them in two different locations but will put them back together this spring.


Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ was new this spring and it has done well all summer.


Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ was one one of the top performers this summer despite its small size.


The Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) went nuts as usual… Many people comment about how neat it looks but none have committed to taking any home with them/ 🙂 This has proven to be a perfect location for the Equisetum, but it thinks any location is perfect.


The Achillea millefolium has done fair in front of the chicken house but it trying to sneak around the corner. It says it doesn’t get enough sun but I told it that was a good thing. Somehow it doesn’t believe me… I think its funny how the Achillea will move all by itself… The clump I moved in front of the barn is doing well but I think the cows reach through the fence and nibble on it… Of course, there are still two clumps in the north bed… One is completely in the sun now and I have no idea how it got there.

Now, it’s time to get the cows from the back pasture…


It is strange how all the Mulberry trees on the farm have practically lost all their leaves except for the one that is leaning. It leaning over is strange in itself. It just started doing that last spring…


It was 6:30 PM when I took this shot. The air is getting cooler and there was hardly any breeze at all. No birds chirping, no cicada making their evening racket, no lightning bugs (fireflies)… All the bugs and butterflies have found shelter for the evening.


The north hayfield is full of Redtop that grows after the hay is baled.


Not sure why I took this photo of an old hedge post (Osage Orange) covered with dead Virginia Creeper.


I finally finished mowing the back pasture so the cows can go to the back and graze. A friend and I had to work on the mower before I could use it. The old mower had a wheel but no tire and dad may have bought it that way. I had been using it like that but not allowing the wheel to touch the ground. Then, this past summer when I was mowing brush, the pin came off of the gizmo the wheel is on. I bought a new one but the pipe the gizmo goes through was too small. So, we got another pipe and my friend cut the old one off and welded the new one on. Good to have a friend with a cutting torch and welder. Good to have help when you need it, too.


The cows really enjoy being in the back pasture.


When I go get them to bring them back to the front pasture all I usually have to go is say, “Come on. Let’s go.” Well, usually that works. If it doesn’t I get a stick and smack it on a tree limb or something. Then they say, “Oh, now the human has a stick.”


They are growing their winter fur now…

One of the best things about fall is…


The persimmons…


I always have to eat as many as I can find on the ground. They are the ultimate fall fruit. 🙂 Just don’t bite into one that isn’t ripe. :):)

My sister asked before what was inside the seed. She said that someone posted on Facebook that there was a spoon inside the seed. People used many methods in the past to predict winter weather but most are just myth. I have checked persimmon seeds in the past and they all have an image of a spoon inside no matter what the weather is like during the winter. It’s like looking at the Wooly Bear Wooly Worm. As folklore says, it depends on how many black bands are on the wooly worm. Research has shown that the color of the bands reflects the past summers weather and not the upcoming winter.


On the way back to the front pasture, July had to lag behind as always. She enjoys a good scratch behind the ears. I kept telling her to come on because the other cows were way ahead of her. She looked at me and said, “You don’t have a stick…” So, I left her behind and caught up with the other cows. Eventually, she started coming and a few of the other cows started mooing at her… Cows can be quite entertaining sometimes.

Well, that is it for this post. I have been working on the pages to the right, getting them updated, adding links for further reading, etc. I still have a lot of pages to add but that will be a winter project. I am not sure what all I will blog about over the winter but I am sure I will think of something. Have any suggestions? I promise I will start reading more of your posts over the winter, too. I changed the email address to where your posts will be sent so I think that will help.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, stay warm (or cool depending on where you are). As always, my friends, GET DIRTY!

First “F” of 2018

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I am a little tardy with this post but that isn’t unusual. The forecast said we would be having our first frost on Monday evening (the 15th) so I reluctantly prepared for the event. I moved the potted plants inside on the 10th but they are still not all in their proper places for the winter.

I discovered a few problems. #1, I have more plants than before, and #2, a lot of them are in bigger pots so they now take up more room.

Several of the plants on the table will overwinter in the basement. The Alocasia, for the most part, are already there. The Begonias will rest but not lose all their leaves (well, they didn’t last year anyway). The bigger Amorphophallus in the green pot in the center of the table have already done dormant but the Oxalis have remained wide awake. Last year they went dormant before I bought the plants inside. Instead of one pot with Oxalis, I have four. It is so funny how the leaves close up at night. So, I suppose I will put them on the table in the front bedroom until they go dormant. The succulents should go into the back bedroom window so they can have sun from a south facing window.


Ummm… The cactus that were on the back porch are temporarily in front of the sliding door. Last winter, and the winter before, I kept most of the cactus in the kitchen windowsill. BUT… They are all in larger pots than before. PLUS…


The new cactus are in the kitchen windowsill now. The pot on the left has the Kalanchoe delagoensis offsets in it. I am hoping they will grow even though I know what will happen when they do. 🙂 My plan is to make a shelf and put another row of cactus in this window. I may be able to make two more rows. The glass on the right… The last time my sister was here we went to Wagler’s Greenhouse because she wanted ANOTHER Popcorn Plant. Hers keeps dying but she keeps buying more. Wagler’s didn’t have any small plants but they had a HUGE hanging basket. So, Mrs. Wagler took several cuttings and told my sister she never had any luck growing them from cuttings. Then, she gave me the cuttings and told my sister, “Maybe he can get them to grow.” I put a few in a pot and the rest in water. I kept the pot damp but they died after a couple of weeks. The cuttings in the water are still not dead but they have not rooted. WAIT A MINUTE!!! I mean Candy Corn plant not POPCORN!  It is also called Firecracker Vine. Well, I don’t think it will work. It needs to be done in the spring and not in the fall… There is a moral to the story of my sister continuing to buy plants that she fails with, but I am not going to say anything. It would be like giving advice I am not using. 🙂 I usually try three times and that’s it… The keyword here is “usually”.

My problem is not with plants dying, it’s the ones that barely hang on and never die… I try this and that until they perk up and take off or they die.


Right now, the Tradescantia sillamontana and Callisia fragrans are in the north bedroom in a west facing window. I am trying to give most of the Callisia away because I certainly only need one. The Tradescantia sillamontana will go to the basement (as well as the other Tradescantia) so they can go dormant because they get all weird growing inside over the winter. Best to let them go dormant and regrow in the spring.  I have an experiment going on with two of the smallest Callisia offsets… I didn’t put them in pots several months ago but they are still alive. Honestly, I threw them in the backyard but when I was mowing I saw them and put them on the back porch. I guess since they are so persistent I will have to put them in pots after all. GEEZ!

Since the forecast said “you know what” was inevitable, I had to make a decision about the Xanthosoma. I messaged a new Facebook friend who is a member of the International Aroid Society Group (among other groups) to quiz him a little more about what he suggested I do about it during the winter. He is actually the one who told me what it was in the first place. The question is (or was), should I let it get ZAPPED and then dig the rhizome like I do with the Colocasia or should I put it in a pot then take it to the basement. Since I am a Xanthosoma newbie… After a very lengthy discussion with him about the Xanthosoma and many other plant related subjects, I was still somewhat confused. He didn’t recommend it get zapped, though.

Well, on Sunday afternoon I had to dig the three Alocasia I had been experimenting with over the summer. I wanted to see if they would grow larger in the ground than in a pot. After being in the ground all summer I couldn’t tell that it made that much difference if any at all. I had plants that were the same size that I left in pots and they were all the same size by the end of the summer…

Anyway… After I potted the Alocasia I went for the Xanthosoma… I am so glad the Alocasia I have now are hardier than some I used to have. They can take cooler temps pretty well as long as they don’t get zapped. Some of the species I had in Mississippi would go dormant even if they thought it was going to get cold… I had to move them inside before 45° F. The three Alocasia in the ground took temps below 40.


As with Alocasia and Colocasia, I am always surprised by their lack of roots. Strange how such HUGE plants can have so very few. After I dug it up I could see it had three offsets that hadn’t made it to the surface yet. The offsets are definitely MUCH larger than what Colocasia or Alocasia produce. I had been confused about the difference between bulbs, rhizomes, tubers, and corms but I think I have it figured out now. Colocasia, Alocasia, and Xanthosoma grow from rhizomes (even though they don’t look the same). The Amorphophallus grow from corms.


Now the Xanthosoma is in a pot for the winter. The plant is 60″ tall and spreads out 80″! The Alocasia in the basement grow upwards so they don’t take up a lot of space. This plant takes up a lot of room!

One thing “the guy” said was that he was mistaken about my Xanthosoma’s identity… He initially said it was a Xanthosoma sagittifolium but he has since changed his mind. He said it may be either a Xanthosoma robustum or X. atrovirens because it hadn’t produced as many offsets as X. sagittifolium normally does, its glossy leaves, variegation, and how it has grown so wide. He said the random variegation was a characteristic of X. atrovirens but they don’t get such wide leaves and aren’t so broadly spreading. He also said they don’t have such dark green (almost teal) leaves and not so glossy. So, he thinks my plant is X. robustum. I checked with Plants of the World Online and it says Xanthosoma atrovirens is now a synonym of X. sagittifoliumX. robustum is an accepted name. SO, now I guess I have to go back and change everywhere I have the incorrect species name. That includes its page to the right, several posts, and all the photos.

I did take photos of the beds before the “F”. Even so, not all the perennials were affected. Luckily, the Phlomis is still looking as AWESOME as always. That’s good because I forgot to cover it with the big flower pot…

Well, I guess that’s it for this post because I am running out of words for now. Until next time, stay well, positive, and GET DIRTY!

What Just Came In The Mail?

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. We have had some cooler temperatures in my neck of the woods the past few days. While the cooler temps are a nice break from the heat, it means “you know what” is on the way. I know many people like fall, and for some, it is their favorite time of the year. For me, it means I will soon have to bring plants inside then the big ZAP will come. It actually got down to 44° Wednesday night (Thursday AM)! It also said it would be warmer the following days and evenings. While many plants are still OK, it will trigger dormacy in others. My bigger Amorphophallus already went dormant last week but the smaller plants are still alive and well. That’s weird. Why did the older plants go dormant and the smaller ones didn’t? Just another learning experience, huh?

A few days ago I went to get the mail and was surprised to find this little box. Hmmm… What could it be?


When I came back inside I opened it to have a look. Hmmm… What is that?


Ummm… Someone sent me a wad of toilet paper… It feels like something is inside.


I unwrapped it and found a surprise!


Looks like a ball of cotton with roots!


OK… Just kidding around a little. I had been browsing around a little on Ebay looking at the cactus and succulents and found this gem. I know, I know that isn’t a good thing sometimes. There are a lot of nice plants on Ebay and so many you don’t find locally.


I ran across a listing for this Mammillaria plumosa also known as Feather Cactus. It was definitely something I have not seen at Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, or the local greenhouses. It reminds me of a very hairy Thimble Cactus (Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis).


Well, the seller did say he was sending a pot. This is just a teaser pot that attaches to other pots for form a stack of pots he has available. I am sure many people go ahead and buy more pots, but I think I will pass. I suppose it is a good idea and it would save space.


There are several plants in this cluster but it is impossible to tell how many with all the wool. VERY NEAT for sure. Who could pass up such an AWESOME find? A single specimen could take a couple of years to offset.

The name Feather Cactus comes from 40 or so interlacing radial spines that are kind of arranges like fathers. This furnishes protection against the hot desert sun. It has no central spines.


I can only imagine finding a plant like this in the desert in Mexico. It would look like a pile of snow, Maybe this species lives where it cooler and grew its own blanket.

Its status in its natural habit is listed as “near threatened” by the IUCN Red List. Llifle said it grows on limestone cliffs in sparse xerophytic shrubland and there is a continuing decline due to ongoing plant collecting. Apparently, the species is illegally collected for the ornamental trade. Locals collect the plant from the wild and sell them at local markets at Christmas time as they are used to decorate nativity scenes.

Well, it is getting late so I better warp up this post. Until next time, stay well, be safe. eat your vegetables, drink plenty of fluids and give your “other half” a big hug if you have one… Don’t forget to get dirty if you have a chance.

What Can I say? Lowe’s Had A Clearance

New cactus on September 21.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. A few days ago I went to Lowe’s to see if they still had the Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis I had left behind before. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it was no longer there BUT there were other cactus and succulents on clearance. 🙂 They were all labeled but the names of all but one were incorrect. Well, not actually incorrect I suppose, they are now synonyms of another species. I wonder how long it will take the industry to catch up with the name changes? Since all these cactus are from The Cactus Collection from Altman Plants, maybe when they run out of labels they will change the names. Kelly Griffin, one of the foremost Aloe breeders, works for Altman. Hopefully, he has some influence.

I have learned a lot about plants over the years, and the world of cactus has taught me a lot. What we think of as thorns on a cactus are called spines. Spines are actually leaves. The body of a cactus is a stem. Stems can be smooth or covered with “protuberances” which are usually called tubercles. The tubercles of Mammillaria species are “nipple-like” while other species are ribbed or fluted in shape. The size of the tubercles sometimes depends on how much water the cactus is storing. Up to 90% of the mass of a cactus may be water.

I could go on, but maybe I should make a post about cactus anatomy. 🙂

So, let me introduce you to my new companions in alphabetical order…


The Echinopsis huascha (Desert’s Blooming Jewel, Torch Cactus) was labeled Trichocereus grandiflorus Hybrid. When I checked with Plants of the World Online by Kew, it said the name had changed. I also checked with Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) and it listed several varieties and another species in the Echinopsis huascha Group. I found the Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora more closely matched my new plant because of the length of the spines. My plant’s spines are fairly short where the others are longer. The problem is, Britton & Rose, who gave the variety that name, apparently didn’t validly publish their description… Hmmm… I read a very long list of comments on a forum about this plant. Even though I want to call it Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora, I guess I better stick with Echinopsis huascha for now… You can call a plant any name you choose as long as the scientific name is validly published. There are “rules” that apply when someone names a plant…


As I was walking around the plant department I ran across this 8″ pot on clearance for $5.00.  As you can see, they are good sized plants. Unfortunately, the one in the center had died and was laying on the shelf… Funny I saw the pot had a label but didn’t read it until I was home and started writing their journal pages… The label on the pot says Trichocereus grandiflorus Hybrid… If I had looked when I was at Lowe’s I would have put the smaller pot back. 🙂

Then, of course, there were several Mammillaria I’ve never heard of before. Many Mammillaria species have a lot of similar characteristics but certain things separate them from the rest. Mammillaria is a VERY LARGE genus and most are quite easy to grow. Some have, and still do have, multiple scientific names because different people have discovered them in various locations throughout Mexico and some are, umm, variable. Reclassifying is a work in progress and now we are down to 162 accepted Mammillaria species (according to Plants of the World Online by Kew). The Plant List named 185 species in 2013 (plus 93 infraspecific names), a total of 519 synonyms, and only 448 unresolved species… I currently have 10 species which means I have 175 to go. 🙂 Well, I could have mentioned how many species there are in the entire Cactaceae family…


This lonesome fellow is labeled Mammillaria nejapensis. I thought, “GEEZ! What kind of a name is that?” I checked out the name on Plants of the World Online and now its correct and accepted name is Mammillaria karwinskiana (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh kar-winz-kee-AH-na). Kind of reminds me of when you have to type in the letters to prove you aren’t a robot. Sometimes I can’t make them out and ask for another set which is sometimes worse than the first set. Maybe that means I am a robot… Well, this is undoubtedly one of those cacti I will have to call by its common name when in a hurry which is Silver Arrows. Plants of the World Online lists 45 synonyms of this cactus! You can click on the plant’s name to find out more details… Oh, one more thing… This species is one of only a few that are also known as “Owl Eye Cactus” which are known for their dichotomous branching. That means the stem will divide.


This one was in a predicament when I found it… It was laying on the shelf out of its pot with very little soil on its roots (or in the pot). I thought it looked pretty neat, kind of “club-shaped”. I picked it up and it automatically knew it was going to a new home. What could I do? Although the label says it is a Mammillaria celsiana, Plants of the World Online and Llifle say that name is now a synonym of Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii (Golden Pincushion). Not even Dave’s Garden has a pronunciation for that name! This fellow is very spiny but friendly. This one also divides dichotomously.


The forth cactus is labeled correctly and the easiest to pronounce. It is Mammillaria mystax (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh  MY-staks). Like many species, information says it is a solitary cactus. I could never figure out why it says they are solitary when they usually have plenty of company. If not accompanied by many other plants of other genera and species, it makes its own company. Solitary, in this case, means they are at first a single stem. Here again, this one divides dichotomously. That is weird because when I first started this post and was researching Mammillaria karwinskiana, I thought it was special because information says very few species do this. Now I see all three new Mammillaria species in my collection do the same thing. Hmmm… Information online lists a few species but these are not on the list which is because they are now synonyms of other species. 🙂 So, does that mean they are all Owl’s Eye Cactus? Apparently, Owl’s Eye is in reference to the way they look when they start to divide. Kind of like the way a persons head looks when they have two crowns instead of one. (I have an old friend who has two crowns…).

What makes Mammillaria mystax so special? Well, according to Llifle, this fellow grows long entangled spines around its crown. It says it does this “in the wild” but doesn’t say whether it does this in captivity (cultivation). Sometimes plant language makes one scratch their head. When we write about characteristics we learn a few things we can pass along but have to sometimes translate. Makes us sound brilliant when actually we also just learning. There is a lot to learn and I always learn something with each new plant I bring home.


This is a few Kalanchoe delagoensis (Chandelier Plant, Mother of Thousands) plantlets. Lowe’s had several very nice succulent combination planters but they were pretty expensive. One of the planters had a really nice Kalanchoe delagoensis in the center. The planter was $22.00 and I certainly didn’t want to pay that much when all I wanted was the Kalanchoe. It had quite a few plantlets that somehow made their way into my pocket. They are pretty small and didn’t have aerial roots yet so I am not sure if they will survive or not. Ummm… Was it stealing when I am actually rescuing the plantlets?

Well, I better close for now. It took a while to finish this post because there seems to be a lot going on now. I have several posts in line so I better get caught up.

So, Until next time… Stay well, be safe, enjoy the cooler temps because “you know what” is right around the corner. As always, GET DIRTY!

Whoops! NOT Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’

I haven’t really spoken to her that much because I am a little shy toward plants that confuse me. Something seemed very, very mysterious about her right from the beginning. I could sense she had a dirty little secret. Just her flirtatious glances and smiles, pointing to the upper part of her leaf and the apex… Oh, I look, because she is hard to ignore… She is trying to tell me something but she wants me to find out on my own. When she starts to grow a new leaf, she will say, “I wonder what this one will look like.” I just give her a speechless look and walk away. Even when I mow by her, she is always giving that mysterious look and sultry smile. When I walk out the door or walk by her, she always knows I will look at her. No matter how hard I try to resist, I can’t help myself. A while back, temptation really got the best of me. I ran my hand along one of her leaves to feel the seam along the edge because I noticed something else different about her. Hmmm…

Hello folks! I hope this post finds all of you doing very well. Remember in the spring when I posted about buying the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ bulb from a seller on Ebay? I was somewhat hesitant but I bought one anyway. I admit, I kind of manipulated the guy into sending me the largest bulb (tuber) be had. I told him I was a blogger, and sent a link, and said I would mention him whether this bulb turned out to be an actual Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ or not. I questioned him because he was selling this cultivar as a bulb and not as a plant like everyone else. The other thing he said that got me to wondering was that he said he was getting them from a ‘supplier” and he said they were from the Wellspring strain… Ummm… I knew he was taking about Wellspring Gardens from Florida because I had bought A LOT of plants from him in 2009 and 2012. In fact, my first Colocasia gigantea and Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant came from him. Not to mention the ancestors of my Alocasia. This guy sells inexpensive starter plant from tissue culture, not bulbs… Anyway, the seller on Ebay said he sent the largest bulb and even lost money because it cost more to ship. Hmmmm….

Well, the plant came up about the same time the Colocasia esculenta did. As they all grew, I figured it would at least keep up with the Colocasia esculenta. It was from a bulb, after all, so I actually thought it would outgrow its neighbor. But, that didn’t happen. Colocasia, I mean Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ is the biggest… Ummm… Well, it was the biggest Colocasia, but since the name changed back to Leucocasia, I can’t say that now. Anyway, whatever you call it, it is supposed to be big.

Then its first variegated leaf emerged. That was very odd since I had never seen any variegated Leucocasia gigantea with variegated leaves. I searched the images on the internet and there was none. There are variegated cultivars of Colocasia, but not of the C. gigantea… When this happened, I tried post the photo to the Aroid group on Facebook. Well, the post wouldn’t post… After the second variegated leaf emerged I needed to try it again. Not only that, but the top part of the leaves looked different than the plant from last year. 

I had taken another photo of its leaves a few days ago, so Sunday afternoon I tried posting a couple more photos to the group. This time it worked… The first comment said, “It is a Xanthosoma.” The second said…  “Agree. X. sagittifolium. Not Leucocasia or Colocasia or Thai Giant. Cool that it has some variegation, though. I hope it does not outgrow it. Perhaps it will show up with more variegation in a stable form in some of the hundreds of pups with which it will fill your garden.” More would be great, but so far, no offsets…

Knowing this plant’s actual identity is great and now we can stop looking at each other weird. The correct common name is Arrowleaf Elephant Ear. It is also great to add another plant to my list. Oh, crap! Now I have to completely change the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ page and add one for Xanthosoma sagittifolium (zan-tho-SO-muh  sag-it-ee-FOH-lee-um).

Until next time, stay well and be positive! As always, GET DIRTY!



I Just Went To Take Plants…

Hello folks! I hope this finds you all doing well. Yesterday, Friday the 14th, I went to Wagler’s Greenhouse to take a few plants. I took all but three of the Billbergia nutans (Queen’s Tears) and two of the four Alocasia ‘Portora’ I had separated and divided. Last time I went there I resisted temptation and didn’t bring any plants home. That wasn’t the case this time… I brought home eight plants. Well, I couldn’t help myself and I wasn’t in the resisting mood. After all, when I take plants and give them to her she gives me plants. This time she also slipped me a $20. 🙂 I still have two Alocasia ‘Portora’ to take because I couldn’t get them in the car. Mrs. Wagler was excited about the Queen’s Tears, especially when I showed her photos of their flowers. A few other people have brought her several other Bromeliads so it will be interesting to see how they work out. They do look AWESOME! Fortunately, she only has one of each.

All the plants I brought home were unnamed, but I already knew what six of them were. Two I didn’t know so I put their photos on the Facebook group called Succulent Infatuation. Within minutes, a member sent the ID of one of them. The other, however, remains unnamed for the time being. It is MUCH easier than looking at hundreds of photos. 🙂

In alphabetical order…

This cactus is an Acanthocereus tetragonus also known as the Fairytale Cactus. I think I had one of these several years ago that didn’t make it. I didn’t have an ID for it, but a member of Succulent Infatuation gave me the name not long after I posted the photo. I wasn’t going to bring one of these home, but this little guy kept giving me a sad look. I told him to stop looking at me like that and Mrs. Wagler said he was saying, “Take me home with you.” So, I gave in…


I really like Begonias and I spotted this miniature beauty that I had to bring home. It is a VERY small plant so I figured I could easily slip it in somewhere.


Its largest leaf is only 3″ long by 2″ wide. I like the way its leave spiral…


This one is a Crassula tetragona, also known as Miniature Pine Tree. I recognized this plant because I had taken a cutting from one at Lowe’s in 2012. Well, it was a very small cutting and it didn’t take root. This plant is currently 9 1/2″ tall. There were quite a few pots in the greenhouse with Kalanchoe diagremontiana growing in them as well and there is one in this pot. She has the same problem with them falling off in all the nearby pots like I do. She has the biggest plant I have ever seen anywhere!


She had several Peperomia obtusifolia so I brought one of them home, too. I had one of these before but gave it up in 2014. They make nice companions but have strange flowers…


I finally picked up another Schlumbergera truncata. Normal people know these as Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus, etc. She had pink, scarlet. and peach flowering choices so I decided on the peach. She said the scarlet was more of a bright reddish pink and the peach was more of an orangy color. I have enough pink flowering plants so the choice was clear. I am not a “pink” person except for maybe a couple of things in particular.  We are not going to discuss those on a plant and gardening blog, though. I haven’t had a Schlumbergera as a companion since I gave them up when I moved back here in February 2013, so I was happy to bring this peachy girl home…


She had several different Wandering Jew and I had been thinking about trying a few but never brought any home before. So, I decided I would bring this Tradescantia fluminensis variegata home with me. It could be the cultivar known as “Quicksilver’ but who knows… No telling how many years this plant been passed around or who she even got her start from and where they got theirs.


From photos online, ‘Quicksilver’ seems a little paler. The species Tradescantia fluminensis has green leaves but this is the variegated form. There are other cultivars available with different variegation, some half-and-half and one with a pinkish cast. This Tradescantia species is also known as the white-flowered Wandering Jew. It will be interesting to have a white-flowered member of the family although she said hers has never flowered…


At one time or another, this species has been a separate species. One of several names was Tradescantia albiflora


I cut one of the stems in half and the other twice and stuck the cuttings evenly around the pot.


While I was at it, I decided to pick up a Tradescantia zebrina… This species is quite common but I have never had one so what could I do?


The undersides of the leaves are solid purple…


Who could resist a smile like that? 🙂


I still haven’t figured out what this little fellow is and I don’t even want to guess. Hopefully, someone on the Facebook will have an idea. If not, then I will post a photo on the CactusGuide Forum. There are so many possibilities and just guessing would always leave me wondering.

Later on, I re-potted the xGasteraloe ‘Flow’ and removed its four offsets. I also re-potted the Huernia schneideriana into a larger pot. I was going to re-pot the Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) but became dark… Getting used to the decreasing day length now is cutting down on how long I can stay outside in the evening. Oh well, it happens like that every year. Sad to say, it will likely “F” next month. Some of you didn’t follow my blog before, so you don’t know what my “F” and “S” mean. Frost or freeze and snow… Once I get the Aristaloe aristata repotted I will post about all three.

I am STILL working on the wildflower post. Yesterday afternoon I went out to take some better photos of a couple of plants. Wouldn’t you know it, I found another plant to photograph and ID. It has very, very interesting TINY flowers that I couldn’t get good photos of. Sometimes I have to take the magnifying glass to get good photos but I didn’t have it with me… It is weird how many weeds we take for granted have such neat flowers if we just take a closer look. You have to be careful, though, because while some wildflowers are herbal remedies, some are VERY poisonous… This plant didn’t look like something I would want to sample.

Well, I better close this post for now. I have a lot to do today but just wanted to get this post finished while I am drinking my morning coffee. Now I am finished with my coffee so off I go…

I hope you have a great weekend! Stay positive, safe, and be well. Smile at the world and it will smile back. Well, usually. 🙂 Don’t forget to GET DIRTY if you have time!



Welcome Kleinia stapeliiformis

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I know I am enjoying a break from the heat since it rained. I like being able to sleep with the window open at night and hear the frogs and crickets. Last week I was browsing the Facebook Group called Succulent Marketplace USA and found a member offering Senecio stapeliiformis. It looked pretty interesting, so I just couldn’t resist. I checked the species out online and it seemed it may be a fairly uncomplicated plant to have as a companion. I made a comment asking about the plant and the seller promptly responded. I received the package today and was surprised to find six individual rooted stems. I was only expecting one! My thanks to Lanie Ruiz for a smooth transaction and successful shipping. Thanks, too, for introducing me to this plant.


Of course, I had to do a proper name search to make sure the name was still Senecio stapeliiformis. According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, the accepted name has changed to Kleinia stapeliiformis. Well, the name of several species of Senecio has changed back and forth among the two genera for a while. In fact, it was given the name Kleinia stapeliiformis by Otto Stapf when he described it in the Botanical Magazine in 1924. It was first named and described by Edwin Percy Phillips in Flowering Plants of South Africa in 1921.

It was strange that the scientific name is written Kleinia stapeliiformis Stapf instead of Kleinia stapeliiformis (E.Phillips) Stapf. Shouldn’t it be that latter using Senecio stapeliiformis E.Phillips as the basionym since it was the first name? Weird. It was also strange that, even though Version 1.1 of The Plant List says Kleinia stapeliiformis is now the correct and accepted name, Tropicos doesn’t have this name in its database. As I have mentioned before, The Plant List was a cooperative effort by the Missouri Botanical Garden (of which Tropicos is a division of) and the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The Plant List has not been maintained since 2013.

Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) still lists this species as Senecio stapeliiformis and also lists (without photos) a Senecio stapeliiformis subsp. minor. Dave’s Garden has a page for both Kleinia stapeliiformis and Kleinia stapeliiformis subsp. minor.

This plant is a member of the Asteraceae Family of flowering plants along with 1,867 other genera. According to Plants of the World Online, the Kleinia genus contains 72 (hmmm. It was 67 the night before) accepted species. WAIT A MINUTE!!! They list TWO accepted Kleinia genus. Kleinia Mill. and Kleinia Jacq.! Something is whacky with that. I think I will email Raphael Goverts, the senior editor of Kew, to find out what’s up with that… POWO lists no accepted species in the genus Kleinia Mill. while Kleinia Jacq. has 72 accepted species…  Llifle says the accepted species are in the genus Kleinia Mill. Some databases say that all the Senecio species are now in the Kleinia genus, but Plants of the World Online maintain a whopping 1,441 accepted species of Senecio… Plants of the World Online is still uploading data and MANY of the other databases aren’t up-to-date. It is very difficult to keep track of name changes when they don’t all agree. Maybe they feel the names will eventually change back… Besides that, anyone can use whatever names they choose based on a “legit” description by the person who named the plant. So, even though some databases say one name is correct, others can correctly use a synonym as the correct name. That’s what confuses me…


I like reading all the information on the Lifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website but sometimes it can be a bit confusing. The editor writes VERY LONG sentences and leaves out a few punctuation marks where needed. I think MOST of the information is contributed by Cactus Art and both websites may, in fact, be from the same person. I have sent emails to both and get no response. Well, Llifle says readers can contribute photos but I have not been able to do that.

Anyway, the Senecio stapeliiformis, I mean Kleinia stapeliiformis, is a perennial succulent with erect to reclining stems branched from the base. It spreads by rhizomes and can apparently be grown as a groundcover in frost-free climates. Llifle says it is “probably” a winter grower which needs water beginning in October. Hmmm… It produces leaves on the growing tips which apparently turn yellow and fall off in April. I guess it in its native habitat in Africa it goes dormant during the summer months when it is hot. So, in nature, this plant doesn’t receive water during the summer months (which is why it goes dormant). However, according to Llifle, “others say” it is an opportunistic plant which will grow year round if given water. They also say it should be grown “hard” in the nursery so it will keep a compact growth habit… Apparently, if given water, it is a fast grower and will even cascade and make a good plant for hanging baskets. It sounds like my Huernia schneideriana (the Carrion Plant).

The page for this plant on Llifle shows several nice photos which include its flowers. It says they produce “large orange hawkweed-like flowers.”

So, this plant should be interesting… 🙂


While putting the new plants in their new pot I noticed there was a tiny stowaway. I wasn’t sure whether to call the immigration department or maybe child services. I messaged Lanie and told her about the stowaway and she said he looks like he needs a new home. She said she thought it was part of the Peanut Cactus she had next to it. If that is what it is, I now have an Echinopsis chamaecereus, too. It is very tiny and is now happily resting in its own little pot. 🙂

If you want to know more about my new companion, you can click HERE which will take you to the page about the species on Llifle.

I am just about finished identifying all the wildflowers I took photos of last Thursday and Saturday but I have to go look at a couple of plants again. The flowers of another plants photos were kind of blurry so I may retake those, too.

So, until next time, stay well, be positive and take a deep breath of fresh air. Get out in nature and just embrace the fact that we are all part of an amazing planet. Don’t forget to GET DIRTY whenever you have a chance!

Repotting Alocasia ‘Portora’ & Billbergia nutans

Alocasia ‘Portora’ waiting to be separated…

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. We have had several days of rain and seeing the sun was a welcome site. Even though we needed the rain and I am grateful for it, I didn’t get much done outside. Thursday and Saturday I went for a walk and took quite a few wildflower photos. I am still working on identifying a few so that post will be ready on… Well, I better not say when because it might not happen that day either. 🙂

After church, I decided it was a good day to separate the Alocasia ‘Portora’. I couldn’t think of anything else to keep me from it (as I hoped), so I put the pot on the potting table. Then I went to get the wheelbarrow to mix soil in. Since the new bag of potting soil was in the garage, I thought it would be a good time to air up the tire then use it to move the bag to the back porch. After the tire was aired up, I thought maybe I should go ahead and air up the front tire on the tractor. Well, I went ahead to the back porch.


Then I remembered I needed to water the chickens. It was such a nice day and the chickens had not been out for a long time. Since I was going to be on the back porch I decided it would be a good time to let them out for a while. Talk about happy chickens! They were so glad to get outside!


Once the big chickens went around the chicken house I let out the Old English Game Bantams. They were also very happy to get out. One of the hens wasted no time stretching out in the sun.

OK… What else can I do before I start on the Alocasia?


I couldn’t think of anything else so I went to the back porch. There were five pretty large plants that needed to be separated plus a couple of very small plants. The old bulb in the center finally went all the way dormant and part of it has rotted. Well, it is several years old… It “was” the Alocasia ‘Portora’ I chose to bring with me when I moved back here in 2013. It was removed from its mother’s pot in 2012, I think. Its mother was the original Alocasia ‘Portora’ I bought from Wellspring Gardens (in Florida) in 2009. She was so HUGE when I left Mississippi in February 2013 I decided to leave her with a friend. Little did I know then, I could have just cut the leaves off and brought it with me…

Then I had to get the pots Mrs. Wagler gave me a couple of weeks ago for the plants. She also gave me some “previously used” potting soil to mix with the new potting soil. Since they foliar feed, and since four of these plants will be going to Wagler’s, there wasn’t any point in putting 100% new potting soil with timed-release fertilizer in those pots.


When I started separating the pots I found a good-sized nest of ants in the bottom pot. I found one a few days earlier in a smaller pot, too. GEEZ! Every fall when I bring plants inside for the winter there is always one that has a nest of ants in it.


After I mixed the potting soil, I took the pot of Alocasia ‘Portora’ to the wheelbarrow and removed the plants from the pot.


There were a lot more roots, but you always lose a few when you separate the plants. They will grow more roots and be just fine. It is much easier to remove the plants when they are smaller, but I almost think they do better when they are larger. I have been doing this for almost 10 years and I have great success either way. Smaller plants have a tendency to go dormant in the winter and sometimes they don’t recover.


Most of the dormant bulb had rotted but the top part and part of the bottom are still solid.


Susie Q jumped on the table to see if she could help. She didn’t stay long, though and was content watching from the railing. You can see the yellow tom cat is curled up in a box sleeping in the bottom left corner of the photo. He likes getting inside of anything snug to sleep, even empty flower pots that are barely big enough for him to curl up in.


Alocasia doesn’t have a really extensive root system but they do need a large enough pot to hold them up. You can put them in larger pots right from the start, but I have found I like to “pot-up” as they grow larger. Once I get the plant in the position I want them, I will up the pot with soil then put three stakes in the pot and tie the plants to them. The stakes keep the plant in the center and standing upright until their new roots can hold them up.


I had filled several pots with the potting soil I mixed and when I went to get the second one there was a tree frog on one of the rims. We have LOTS of tree frogs and you are liable to see them in the strangest places during the day. One day there was one sleeping on top of the handle to the screen door. One even liked the doorknob on the garage door. Come to think of it, I have several photos of them on doorknobs and the door handle to the shed and chicken house.


I removed the top part of the rhizome and put in its own pot as well as the smaller plants.


Well, the seven Alocasia ‘Portora’ and the top part of the tuber (bulb…) all have their own pots now. I will take the four bigger black pots to Wagler’s and keep the others. I also have a couple of other Alocasia ‘Portora’ besides these. Of course, there are still several pots of Alocasia gageana, ‘Calidora’, and ‘Mayan Mask’…

I could have stopped there and called it a day but SOMEONE is giving me the eye and tapping its foot…  Someone is actually not a single being, but many now, who have been patiently waiting for… Ummm… How long? I can hear them whispering among themselves. I heard one of them say, “Why did he put us on the back porch last month? Wasn’t it to remind him we needed new pots of our own?” I also hear, “No, maybe not. I think it was because of the Japanese Beetles. But he did say he was going to give us our own pots.”


Let me see now… How many times I have upgraded the Billbergia nutans (Queen’s Tears/Angel Tears) pot? I have only had a few bromeliads as companions and this one is by far the most AWESOME! I am grateful to Walley Morse, a good friend and fellow plant collector from Mississippi (who I have mentioned MANY times), for giving me the start of this plant. No doubt the original cluster is in the middle of this pot somewhere. It will NOT die. Billbergia nutans may be one the most indestructible Bromeliad in the history of mankind. (I have to butter it up because it has been waiting for so long).

I took it out of the pot a few years ago and put it back in… It was packed then and it just keeps on keeping on. What would it be like if I lived in a climate where it wouldn’t have to be in a pot. Well, just check online and you will find out. These plants are actually grown as a ground cover… To top that off, check out their page on the right by clicking on its name (above) and you will see their AWESOME flowers.


The reason I keep putting off doing anything with this plant is because I had no clue what to do. How do you separate such a mass of plants and roots? I mean, they are packed in this pot much tighter than sardines in a can! What if I kill it?

OK, so that is just an excuse, right? After all, I am The Belmont Rooster… 🙂 Walley called me his “gardening guru” on the answering machine so I guess I better live up to it, huh? What would he think if the plant he gave me is cramped in this pot? Oh, no! He may even read this post!


I heard something jump on the table and looked down to see the tree frog had made its way to the table. He found a pot to scoot under.


So, I removed the, ummm, plant from the pot. With all the rain we have been having, the roots were completely soaked. The last time I did this, maybe in 2015 or 2016, it was dry and the roots were white. It appeared the bottom half of this mass was mostly rotten. Hmmm… I wonder if the good roots are feeding off of the old rotting roots. I would like to say I never had a plant get this root bound before, but that wouldn’t be true. I will never forget the Parlor Palms… If you have a Parlor Palm and it has been in the same pot for a couple of years, it’s time for a larger pot… Trust me. 🙂


Sometimes when you are unsure of what to do, just do it anyway. Making mistakes and learning is just part of life…


So, I went ahead and took a big butcher knife and removed the lower half of the roots. The last time I did that was with the Parlor Palms in Mississippi. I only removed a few inches from their roots, though, and they did NOT approve.

But the Billbergia nutans is a completely different type of plant than Parlor Palms. The butcher knife, even though dull, easily sliced through the mass of roots. Then I started slicing what was left in half. Now that was a different story… I did get it cut in half, then quarters, and so on. It appears this plant is all connected… but separate. 🙂 After all, they do spread by rhizomes…


Ummm……….. I think they expanded after I took them out of the pot! How did they all fit in the pot? The clay pot on the left is the original pot Walley gave me my start back in 2012… The pot on the right is the one they just came from… It could have easily filled one twice that size by now.


I put the largest cluster in the pot I just took them from and the rest I will give away. They can easily be divided even more… They are much happier now and have some soil to sink their roots in. I will wait a while before I pass these on because I want to make sure they will be OK. (If you know what I mean. I have to whisper because I don’t want them to think I have any doubts).

After I finished repotting, I took a few photos around the house… It is 1:03 AM, so I think I will post them tomorrow… Oh, crap! I have to finish the wildflower walk first…

So, until then, be safe, stay positive and well, take care, be AWESOME and GET DIRTY!


R.I.P. Mr. Argiope

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. Sunday afternoon I planned on taking a few photos which led to some weeding. As I was taking photos, I asked Mrs. Argiope where her husband was. She became a bit testy at the question and abruptly informed me that he was NOT her husband. But, she went on to explain that she invited him to dinner one afternoon but it had been a slow day… Sometimes I throw a grasshopper in her web, but Sunday there was none to be found. That in itself is a bit strange… Then Mrs. Argiope didn’t seem to happy with me when I was trimming and pulling weeds under her web. This darn maple tree keeps sending up sprouts along the wall and her web happens to be attached to one of the sprouts. I removed the other sprouts and one messed up her web. She ran for cover are gave me a very bad look. For a minute I thought she would invite ME to dinner…

I am still working on part two of the cactus and succulent update. Some of the photos I took earlier are out of date so I took a few more on Sunday. Umm… 42.

So, until next time… Have a great and awesome day, evening, rest of the week and so on. Stay positive, amazing, and be well. Most of all… GET DIRTY!


Bed & Plant Update Part 4: Cactus & Succulents Part 1

Hello again! I hope this post is finding you all well. I decided to make the forth plant and bed update about the cactus and succulents. I really like cactus and succulents and over the years have had success and failure. I had many more, but I gave up most of my plants in 2014 and had to start over again. I buy most of my cactus and succulents from the local greenhouses, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s. The bad thing about starting over is that I haven’t found many of the plants I really enjoyed before. Some plants I gave up had sentimental value that can never be replaced. Well, life is full of making changes and sometimes we make a wrong decision. I hope I am much wiser now than before. I don’t mind making changes, or even giving away all my plants, as long as the change is for the better. I can always find more plants and even make their conditions better next time.

This post will probably be pretty long and I am going to try and update the pages for these plants as I go along. That will be OK unless I run into some name changes and get frustrated. 🙂 That has happened a lot lately. Then I get frustrated, write an email to the content editor of Kew, write a lengthy reply that I don’t send, and then get writer’s block for a few days. Well, be happy because I just deleted a long paragraph… 🙂


Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave)…

The Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave) is doing very well and is happy in its larger pot. I have grown several Agave species and most have done very well. I have found that the smaller species, like this one, are MUCH easier to handle. I don’t think it was getting enough sun, but it is getting more here on the front porch now.


Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe)…

I acquired my first Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) in 2009 from a piece that had broken off of a plant at Wal-Mart in Greenville, Mississippi. I looked around to see where it may have come from and found a plant labeled Aloe squarrosa. Then, in 2012, I bought a similar looking plant labeled Aloe zanzibarica (Zanzibar Aloe). As it turned out both of the names were incorrect. There is no such species as Aloe zanzibarica and practically all plants labeled Aloe squarrosa are actually Aloe juvenna. In fact, Aloe squarrosa is rare in today’s marketplace. I was glad I found another one of these plants at a local greenhouse in 2017. They are a really nice small clump-forming Aloe that is very easy to grow. You just have to put them in a larger diameter pot every few years and give them adequate light during the summer months when they are actively growing. Their leaves should be somewhat short and if they grow longer they aren’t in enough light. To much sun and their leaves will burn. You have to be somewhere in the middle. I put this Aloe juvenna in a larger pot on July 12. You will notice there are short and long leaves on the plant(s) in the above photo. Sometimes they were in enough light and sometimes not. 🙂 Oh, yeah, there are a few babies in this pot.


Aloe maculata ‘Kyle’s Grandma’…

Well, I will tell you, this Aloe maculata (Soap Aloe) is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH happier now. It is in a larger pot on the front porch where it can get the attention it likes. Some plants are kind of shy and some like attention. Just like people. This Aloe loves it when you touch its leaves and tell it how well it is looking. Yeah, I know. You think I’m crazy. Just click on the name and go to its page and you will see for yourself… This plant and I have a LONG history dating back to 2009. This plant’s ancestor was the first of many plants and cuttings brought to me by my good friend Kyle Hall while I was living in Mississippi. It was my first Aloe, and maybe my first succulent. I didn’t know the species name so I called it Aloe ‘Kyle’s Grandma’ (I didn’t know his grandmothers name at the time either). Go to the page and you can read all about how many offsets I had… I was the Aloe maculata king. 🙂 The page covers 8 years… I skipped 2015 because I didn’t have it then.

When I had to start plant collecting again, I had given several of these plants to Wagler’s Greenhouse. So, I brought another one home from there in 2016. It did not do well because I was busy doing this and that and did not pay much attention to it. Then, when I moved the plants to the front porch, put it in a larger pot, and it is where everyone can see it… Most everyone who goes to the front porch notices this plant right off. It is soaking in the attention and thriving. 🙂

I think I owe a lot of my enthusiasm about plants to the Aloe maculata. It encouraged me to be myself and never give up. I made many new friends in Mississippi because I gave them offsets of this plant.


Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe)…

I bought this Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) in March. I put it in a larger pot and it has done very well. Although this was originally thought to be a species of Aloe, phylogenetic studies show the Aloe genus is polyphyletic and this unusual species IS NOT an Aloe. It is closely related to the Astrolabes and to the four Robustipedunculares species of Haworthia. Because its genetics are unique, this species is in a new genus of its own. The Aristaloe aristata has been used to create many x Gasteraloe hybrids.


Cereus repandus f. monstrose on 7-29-18, #487-29.

The new Cereus repandus f. monstrose ‘Rojo’ I bought from Wal-Mart in March is still doing very well. If you have or purchase a plant labeled Cereus peruvianus monstrose ‘Rojo’, it is the same plant. Even though it may not look like this one because there are many shapes to the monstrose forms. I bought my first Cereus peruvianus ‘Rojo’ in 2009 and had it until 2014. The species name has changed MANY times… I like the “monstrose” or “monstrosus” form better than the straight species and this particular plant because it is growing upright. Monstrose forms appear in nature in several species of cactus but the cultivar ‘Rojo’ was created by man. 🙂


Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’…

GEEZ! What can I say? I first saw the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ (Pig’s Ears, etc.) at Wagler’s Greenhouse in May 2017. They had quite a few plants and they looked really nice. I was tempted but I knew what would eventually happen. I knew after I bought it home it would eventually become infected with brown scale. I also knew it needed a lot of light to keep it looking as good as it dit at the greenhouse. Well, eventually I gave in and brought one home on June 6 (2017). It took off growing like a weed and started to stretch. By July it was showing signs of brown scale. Fortunately, I don’t have any other plants that are that susceptible to brown scale. By the time I needed to bring the plants inside for the winter, the Cotyledon looked like a completely different plant than when I bought it. I was tempted to leave it in the basement, but I moved it to my bedroom for the winter. Well, it survived and is STILL growing, stretching, and it has LOTS of brown scale. I really need to cut the tops off of all the stems and regrow them on the back porch. I think I will do that this week… Just in the short time it has been on the back porch, the top leaves are doing what they are supposed to and not stretching. That shows me this plant absolutely needs the brightest light possible. It has also proved to me it isn’t about to die…


Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ cuttings…

As I am writing this post and got this far (on August 6), I decided to go right out and take cuttings from the Cotyledon ‘Silver Storm’. Now, we will see what it will do. First, the cuttings need to scab over for a few days before I put them in pots. Now, I have to figure out what to do with the scale. Normally brown scale are easy to remove, as with the Crassula ovata. You can just pick them off with your fingernail. Well, the scale on this plant is different and they can’t be removed with my fingernail. So different it may not be scale at all. I don’t know… Maybe I should attach photos on a Facebook group to see what the members have to say. I do have a bottle of insecticide that is OMRI certified with neem oil. Maybe I will try it.


Crassula ovata ‘Lady Fingers’…

The new Crassula ovata ‘Ladyfingers’ is also doing well. I bought this plant from one of the local Amish greenhouses on May 5. I had one before for several years so I was very glad to find another one. Although there was no label with it I knew what it was. If you find a plant at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart like this it will probably be labeled Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ or Crassula ‘Gollum’. If you click on the link you will go to this plants page. On the page, you will find a link to the article written by Roy Mottram explaining the difference (with photos) explaining the difference between ‘Gollum’ and ‘Ladyfingers’. A few of the leaves may be a little Gollumy, but most of them definitely say ‘Ladyfingers’.


Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla)…

Well, the Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) has definitely gone through a growth spurt this summer. It has gone completely silly! But, that’s what I like to see. I was given this plant when it was very small by Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2016. It is very interesting because it is doing or has done something different almost every time I take photos.


Delosperma cooperi ‘Jewel of Desert Grenade’…

This Delosperma cooperi ‘Jewel of Desert Grenade’ has been weird. It looks like it isn’t happy but it is ALWAYS flowering up a storm. When I was at my cousin’s house they had these in a planter and they were so full and lush… Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t use my cactus and succulent recipe on the Ice Plant. The last one I had was in 2010 in Mississippi and it did great then all the sudden it died. I think I overwatered that one, though. But my cousin’s wife waters their almost every day! Hmmm… Maybe I should buy several of these next year and experiment a bit. 🙂 I may repot this plant and put in regular potting soil with fertilizer. Yeah! That’s what I will do!


Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus)…

The Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus) is still alive and kicking, or should I stay “sticking”. I bought these two Golden Barrel Cactus in 2016 and they have slowly grown. I always measure the cactus at least once a year to see how much they have grown. According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, there are only six accepted species of Echinocactus. Version 1.1 of The Plant List (2013) named six accepted species (plus two infraspecific names), a total of 107 synonyms, and 469 names that were still unresolved… This species has received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. When the cactus were close to the Chiese Elm Tree, the dead leaves would stick on their needles. The Japanese Beetles were always getting stuck in this particular cactus more than the others.


Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ on 7-29-18, #487-39.

Well, I don’t know… When I bought this cactus in 2016 the label said Echinobivia ‘Rainbow Bursts’ and it said it was an intergenetic cross between Echinopsis and Lobivia. Well, all the species of Lobivia were moved to other genera, mostly the genus Echinopsis. So, now I am just calling it Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’. Recently I have narrowed the actual name down to two species. Funny how none of the photos on Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) or other websites show the offsets growing on the side of the plant like this. The reason the cultivar name is ‘Rainbow Bursts’ is because the plants can have different colors of flowers (not on the same plant). The reason I haven’t removed its kids is because I only need one of these plants… Several have fallen off but I don’t know where they rolled off to.


Espostoa melanostele (Peruvian Old Lady)…

The Espostoa melanostele (Peruvian Old Lady) is still alive and well and growing. Some cacti are very slow growing, but this one has grown 5/8″ so far since I last measured it in October last year. It is now 6″ tall and it was 2 3/4″ tall when I bought it in February 2016.


x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ on 7-29-18, #487-42.

The x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ is doing very well as always. I have had several x Gasteraloe cultivars and all but one did very well. The four offsets are getting a little cramped so I either need to remove them or put the whole clump in a larger pot. I bought this plant in July 2016 and it is currently the only x Gasteraloe I have.

I just finished updating the x Gasteraloe ‘Twilight Zone’ page I had been calling Aloe x ‘Twilight Zone’ since 2012. The plant had a Proven Winner’s tag that said Aloe Hybrid ‘Twilight Zone’. The National Gardening Association was calling it an x Gasteraloe. So, I sent the creator, Kelly Griffin, a message and quizzed him about it. He said it was indeed a Gasteraloe and told me what species he used to make the cross. He named it after the intro to Rod Sterlings Twilight Zone (the TV Show).

I think I will go ahead and publish this post and start working on the next cactus and succulent update…

Until next time, stay positive and stay well. Most of all… GET DIRTY!



Begonias and Sedum adolphii Repotted

Begonias ‘Sophie Cecile’, ‘Fannie Moser’, ‘Frosty’ and the unknown, plus the Sedum adolphii re-potted…

Hello again already! I finally re-potted the other four Begonias early this evening. When I was bringing the Begonias to the back porch, Sedum adolphii yelled out, “WHAT ABOUT ME? YOU HAVE PROMISED ALL SUMMER!”


Sedum adolphii in its new pot…

Sedum adolphii has watched me take plants and bring them back in new pots and potting soil all summer. I promised him during the winter I would give it a new pot and soil if it survived the winter and did better this summer.  Well, he has done much better so today I gave him a new pot and fresh potting soil. I call this plant he because adolphii sounds like a man’s name.

Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) was named by Raymond-Hamet in 1812 and is a native of Mexico. I believe the species was named after Adolphe-Théodore Brongniart. He was a French botanist and scientist and one of the founders of modern paleobotany. He also helped prove that pollen existed. Hmmm…

If you find plants similar to this labeled Sedum nussbaumerianum, it is this plant. That name is a synonym of Sedum adolphii… The industry markets a lot of plants under the incorrect name.

That’s all for now. The cactus and succulent updates are coming up next I think. Until then, stay well, be safe, and enjoy all the nature around you. As always, GET DIRTY!

Argiope aurantia-Black & Yellow Garden Spiders

Argiope aurantia (Black and Yellow Garden Spider) male and female…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well! Yesterday when I was watering in the north bed I discovered a couple of new friends. If you remember last year I posted about three different Black and Yellow Garden Spider females I had been watching. The bigger one in the Forsythia disappeared. Now I have another one to watch. 🙂

This time, she is not alone…


Argiope aurantia female on 8-12-18, #495-2.

This girl is pretty good sized already. I didn’t get the take measure out because she was already not happy with me… I was watering the Colocasia esculenta and she got a good soaking. I didn’t know she was there until she moved…


Argiope aurantia male on 8-12-18, #495-3.

Then I noticed she was not alone in her web. She is being courted… This is the first time I have seen a male Black and Yellow Garden spider in my life and it is pretty exciting. He is so much smaller than she is.

I think the story goes that she doesn’t like him she will eat him. If she does like him she “may” allow him to live after they, you know, do their thing…


Today, Monday, he is still alive and well. He is keeping his distance, though. He is so small and hiding up my the leaves you can barely see him. He is giving her the eye and she is giving him the eye but perhaps for different reasons. Maybe she is thinking he is just a boy and she needs a man. We shall see how this plays out…

Well, I am afraid one of them may not be long for this world. I am pretty impressed he has lasted this long.

There is another interesting spider with its web attached to the water hydrant I need to take photos of, too. I just haven’t remembered to take my camera when I am getting water for the chickens.

Until next time, which may be sooner than you think, stay well, be safe, positive and so on. You may not have time to get dirty before my next post. 🙂

Bed & Plant Update Part 3

The bed on the south side of the house…

Hello again everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. After a week of nice weather, it became very hot again… One day it was 98! A couple of times we were SUPPOSED to get rain, but we didn’t get a drop that I noticed. We did get a few drops as a teaser on Thursday afternoon.

I was working on the cactus and succulent post and updating their pages as I went along then I realized how long that would take. There are 40 different cactus and succulents so I will probably put them in 2-3 posts. Then I realized that by the time I was finished, the photos I took of the other plants would be out of date. So, I decided I better finish with the perennials and then go to the cactus and succulent update. Then I have to take photos of the Alocasia… I had to take a few more photos for this post because a few were already outdated. Umm… Even the photo of the bed is outdated now! The south bed has plants that are very drought tolerant but a little water really gets them growing… I think the Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and the Canna stragglers must have grown a foot or more since I took the above photo on July 29…

So, here we go with round three of the plant and garden update… I am kind of going in order, not alphabetically…


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’…

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ feels like it has been dethroned. It is still doing amazingly well even though its new neighbor has taken over the southwest corner bed. I think maybe I need to make some changes in this bed because the Phlomis is no longer the tallest plant here. So, next spring, I may trade places with the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ and Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’. Even though the Phlomis came up early this spring than normal (under the pot I cover it with over the winter), it did not flower. I am still scratching my head over that…


Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’…

Although the Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ (False Indigo) has done extremely well, it was a bit of a disappointment. When it FINALLY did flower it seems it turned out not to be ‘Lunar Eclipse’ after all. I had to double check the label and it does indeed say ‘Lunar Eclipse’. It only had a few flowers and they didn’t last very long. It was not near the show that photos online depict. I planted it last spring and it didn’t flower until this year, so maybe it will have more flowers next year. And you never know… Maybe next year it will decide to be ‘Lunar Eclipse’. One thing for sure, it is certainly a strong grower. BUT, the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is hidden between the shrubbery and this plant. Maybe I need to cut it half off.


Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’… On July 29.

Oh, yeah! The Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’! This is a plant no one should be without. They are heat and drought tolerant, will grow in full sun to part shade, have nice dark green and maroon leaves, have flowers that attract bees and butterflies, etc. Although they “can” grow to 8-9 feet tall, you can pinch them back when they are young and they won’t get that big. Some of my plants don’t get that tall, though. The other problem is they self-sow. Well, I guess that is a good thing in a way, but they produce a lot of seeds which leads to a lot of seedlings the next year. I used to try and find somewhere to plant them all or give as many away as possible. I thought about planting some along a few country roads or maybe along the highway. But, you know, once you give someone these plants they either have plenty or don’t want them again. Apparently, you either love them or hate them…


The longest flower spike so far on a Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on August 11.

I ran into a little snag a few weeks ago while updating the ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ page to the right… I deleted a very long paragraph explaining the dilemma. In fact, I deleted it several times. If you want to read about it, you can click on the plant’s name above. 🙂 I am leaving the name of this plant as Celosia argentea var. spicata even though that name is not an “official” accepted name on Plants of the World Online. I better stop or I will be deleting another paragraph… Deeringia spicata!?!?!?!? OK, OK! You have to read the page…


Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 7-29-18, #487-84.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue flowers very well when I remember to keep the dead flowers removed. It has been a bit of a sprawler this year for some reason…


Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’…

The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ has pretty much run its course I think. They have been flowering non-stop for several months. I think I am going to cut the plants back and see what happens. Maybe they will regrow and flower again. If you would like some seed, just let me know…


Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’…

The Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ flowered then stopped after I deadheaded it. Now it has another flower and several buds. The flowers are really neat, though!


Salvia farinacea Cathedral™ ‘Blue Bicolor’ on 8-11-18, #494-8.

Salvia farinacea Cathedral™ ‘Blue Bicolor’ has been at it all summer. The plants are not near as tall as the Salvia farinacea ‘Blue Bedder’ I grew in Mississippi which is a good thing. I like tall plants, but I had to keep the ‘Blue Bedder’ tied to small bamboo stakes.

Those little plants in the middle are Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar). They were slow coming up this spring and some of them are STILL coming up… There are hundreds of tiny plants along the border of the bed.


Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ on 7-29-18, #487-80.

The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ has done OK but… I really like the color of the flowers but I think the plants are lacking something. They don’t seem to mind the full sun here, but they just don’t have any ZIP. I think adding ‘The Good Stuff” in the spring is a good idea, but I am wondering if a good timed-release fertilizer incorporated into the soil would be a good idea, too. Of course it would be a good idea? Now I am sounding like an idiot!

Well, I don’t like using commercial fertilizers in the garden and flower beds. The soil in the garden is AWESOME but not so good around the house. I mix “The Good Stuff” in the soil in the spring but maybe I haven’t been using enough. I foliar fed with AlgoFlash fertilizer when I was in Minnesota and in some in Mississippi and I still have about a half a bottle. Now, where is that hose-end sprayer?


Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) on 7-29-18, #487-97.

The Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) that did come up and grow are doing very well. These plants will get bigger but not overwhelming. It’s the flowers and seed pods you have to watch out for. Once the flowers become seed pods they need to be deadheaded very soon. They will continue to flower over and over after they are deadheaded then you leave the last batch of seeds for next years plants… Well, don’t leave them all. 🙂


Achillea ‘Moondust’…

The Achillea ‘Moondust’ has been nothing at all like the Achillea millefolium. This guy is short! Well, after all, it is only supposed to get 12-18″ tall. After it spreads a little it will look even better. Sometimes only planting one plant isn’t a good idea and I should have bought more of these… Whereas the Achillea millefolium is a spreader, this one apparently has better manners. 🙂


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 7-29-18, #487-85.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ seems to be enjoying itself but it is taking a break from flowering. Normally it flowers all summer if I deadhead it from time to time. There was a good-sized clump of Elephant Garlic behind it that was getting a little pushy which I removed a few months ago. It seemed to appreciate that and started spreading out but where are the flowers?  I asked it what the deal was and all it does is smile at me. I have had this plant since 2013… It is usually more upright but this year it is laying down on the job.


Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’…

Butterfly Bush Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’ is now getting with the program. The above photo was taken on July 30 but it is looking even better now. It is attracting a lot of butterflies and Hummingbird Moths. I need to take another video of the Hummingbird Moths…


Angelonia angustifolia Angelface®’Perfectly Pink’, 1 of 3…

The three Angelonia angustifolia Angelface® ‘Perfectly Pink’ in the southeast corner bed are really awesome. They have been non-stop bloomers and the flowers last a very long time. They were flowering when I planted them and I have never had to deadhead them. They just keep going and going!


Marigold ‘Brocade Red’…

The ‘Brocade’ Marigolds (Tagetes patula) are doing very well everywhere they are. I had worked for several years collecting the seed of only the red-flowered ‘Brocade’. For a while it proved to be successful, but when they self-sow not all the flowers turn out to be red… Now, they come up by the hundreds and I don’t have to save seeds anymore. But if I want only red flowers, I would have to deadhead all the flowers and continue saving only the seeds from the red. Then, any that come up on their own the following year would have to be pulled up. I did that for several years when I was trying to get them going, but now that they are really going it would be a lot of work… I did manage to keep them from coming up in the south bed, however, and I think this little bed at the corner of the back porch is plenty. There are a few in the southeast corner bed and the corner bed behind the old foundation (and a few other places). Umm… I really need to update their page soon.


Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)…

Talk about a spreader! The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) has filled in this corner really well along the old foundation. I bought one plant at one of the local garden clubs plant sales in the spring of 2016 to fill in this corner and it has really done its job well. I don’t know what cultivar this is, maybe ‘Alba’. There are cultivars available, such as ‘Miss Manners’, that doesn’t spread aggressively. Actually, this could be ‘Miss Manners’ and maybe it would even be more aggressive is it weren’t. 🙂

There is a strange problem with this plant I haven’t figured out yet. The tops and some of the leaves turn brown as if they were scorched. They have done this from the beginning and watering has nothing to do with it. I only water my plants after they are in the shade. This happens as soon as they start growing in the spring and continues until frost…


Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)…

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) I transplanted in the bed behind the old foundation in May has basically finished flowering. I think they did pretty good considering this was their first year here. The one in the southeast corner bed is doing well although it didn’t flower. I am pretty sure they are a cultivar, but which one is a complete mystery. One thing is for sure, they are definitely NOT the straight species you find growing along the highway… I may have to go collect some seeds and scatter them in a few locations on the farm.


Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’…

The Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ in the corned bed behind the old foundation WAS doing very well. This is a really nice cultivar and one everyone should try. They grow well and flower in full sun to light shade (even part shade to some extent) with no problem. Flowers can be deadheaded to encourage repeat blooming and to keep them looking tidy. They slowly spread by underground rhizomes but do not come true from seed. Mine have not self-sown as far as I can tell. They are getting a little thick in this bed because I transplanted them a little to close in the first place. They need good air circulation and prefer moist soil… OK, so I gained a little more experience. In the north bed, where it was shadier so the soil stayed damper, they did very well… Here, in the full sun, they need to be watered more often. I water the beds every two or three days which I suppose isn’t often enough for this bed…

Being as crowded in this corner bed as they are is not a good idea because too many plants do cause an air circulation problem, especially when there is no breeze. If I watered more often bacterial infection would be worse when plants are too crowded. So, with this summer being so dry, this bed has had some real issues… Everything in this bed, including the Marigolds around the edge, have just about dried up. I use an automatic sprinkler for the south bed and Cannas, and also used it with the shade bed, to give them a good thorough soaking. But it won’t work in the corner bed behind the foundation. Somewhere I have an old round sprinkler I brought from Mississippi… I wonder where it is… 🙂

There are also a lot of Rudbeckia hirta (the wildflower called Black-Eyed Susan) growing in the south bed and in the corner bed behind the old foundation (in front of the ‘Goldsturm’ above). I let them pretty much grow wherever they want and we get along fine. The plants in the corner bed, however, up and died…

Well, I think that is it for this post. The next post will probably be about the Hosta and other plants in the shade bed. Then one about the Alocasia. By then, I may also have the Cactus and Succulent Update ready… Ummm… It took several days just to get this post finished. GEEZ! I just looked at the clock and it is 2:50 AM!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, stay well, and GET DIRTY!

Bed & Plant Update Part 2-Plants On The Front Porch

The front porch…

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well! Well, it’s time for the 2nd update. I have to laugh as I look at the above photo. It is a mixture of cactus, succulents, tropicals, and just plants… They are kind of arranged by the amount of sun they like and get, which isn’t necessarily the same. Being on the front porch is a little challenging because I am trying to mimic light shade to mostly sun… At first, I had most all of them on the table but the Oxalis didn’t like that at all. I moved the plants to the front porch because their world changed after the Japanese Beetles destroyed their light to partly shady area behind the shed. I will admit, I like them closer instead of in “the other yard” where they were farther away. I can even water them at night if I have to. A few of the cats used to sleep on the front porch but I rarely see any here now. Sometimes the yellow cat sleeps on the railing.

So, how am I going to do this post? Hmmm… Most of the plants on the porch are succulents and one cactus. All of the plants on the back porch are cactus except for one succulent and the Alocasia ‘Portora’ which doesn’t belong there. She is just visiting until I get the four plants separated. In a few days, a lot of the plants at the far end of the table will be gone (taking them to Wagler’s Greenhouse) and then I will move the cactus on the back porch to the front porch.

All but two plants in this post have links to their page on the right side of the blog. They are probably not 100% up-to-date yet.


Amorphophallus sp. at 20″…

The Amorphophallus sp. (Voodoo Lily, Corpse Lily, Devil Tongue, etc., etc.) is doing great. They were getting a little scared under the Chinese Elm with all those hungry beetles flying around. Once they started sampling the Amorphophallus, I moved this pot to the porch on the north side of the house. Right now, these two plants are 20″ tall.  The sun proved to be a little much for the Oxalis triangularis when this pot was on the side porch, so after I removed the nine babies I put them on the front porch.


Some of the Amorphophallus kids on 7-29-18, #487-12.

For those of you who may have missed the post where I removed the babies, you can click on “Re-potting The Amorphophallus”. All nine of them are doing great, even the very small one and the one I accidentally broke off.


The four Begonias on the corner table…

The Begonias are doing great on the front porch. I thought they may have been getting to much afternoon sun here, but they seem to like it. Pictured here are Begonia “Frosty’, ‘Fannie Moser’, and ‘Sophie Cecile’. I bought those three from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2017. The plant on the lower right corner is older and I do not know its name. It has thicker leaves, maroon undersides, and some of its leaves are spotted and some not…


Begonia x withlacoochee ‘Brazilian Lady’…

Of all the Begonias I have grown over the years, I really like the Begonia x withlacoochee ‘Brazilian Lady’. I acquired my first plant from Pleasant Acres Nursery in Leland, Mississippi when I lived there in 2012. Begonia x withlacoochee isn’t an “accepted” infraspecific name, but it is the “official” hybrid name between Begonia thelmae and either Begonia juliana or Begonia peruviana. It has looked better than it does in this photo but it is better than it was a few weeks ago. The above photo was taken on July 29, and today (August 4) I noticed it has A LOT of flowers coming on…


Callisia fragrans offsets…

The Callisia fragrans (Grandpa’s Pipe, Inch Plant, etc.) is quite a plant for sure… I am not just saying that because I want to give you a plant. 🙂 Most of the time I can give my extra plants to Wagler’s Greenhouse, but I asked her a few days ago if she wanted these offsets (I only need one). I couldn’t hardly believe she said no… She never said no before! So, I have 12 pots with offsets and the pot with the old stem… Why did I keep the old stem? I have no idea. Today I noticed several of the small plants are already sending out offsets. GEEZ! Here we go again! The offset with the flower… Well, I should have taken a photo. This plantlet started flowering MONTHS ago and the flower stem is still getting longer and the flowers are getting bigger. The flower stem is growing straight up and is 24″ tall. Well, if you want to know more about this plant, it does have its own page… Click on its name.


Oxalis tetraphylla

The Oxalia tetraphylla (Iron Cross) is doing much better now. I had to move the Oxalis to the back of the porch because they don’t like to much sun. One of its common names, Iron Cross, comes from an old cultivar by that name. It is also known as Lucky Clover, Four-Leaved Sorrel, and Four-Leaved Pink Sorrel. Since I have a four-leaved clover now, I am sure to win the lottery. 🙂 The Japanese Beetles sampled this plant earlier…


Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae

The Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae (False Shamrock) are delightfully happy. You can never have too many Wood Sorrels. They are just AWESOME. You can grow these inside as a potted plant or allow them to go dormant. You can also force their dormant bulbs to come up…


A couple of Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae flowers on 7-29-18, #487-74.

Plants of the World Online lists 545 accepted species of Oxalis. They produce pink, yellow, and white flowers. Some species are “variable” and can have either pink or white flowers.


Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae flowers closed for the evening on 8-4-18, #491-1.

Not only do their flowers close for the evening, but their leaves fold up as well. Well, at least the Oxalis tetraphylla and O. triangularis do this because I have them on my porch…


Oxalis stricta (Yellow Wood Sorrel) closed for the evening…

Out of curiosity, I went outside to see if the Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta) closes at night. Yep… All closed for the evening.


Soleirolia soleirolii (Baby’s Tears)…

To think this Soleirolia soleirolii (Baby’s Tears) started out as a tiny “break off” from my sister’s plant she bought last year while we were out plant shopping… At the time, it looked like a species of Sedum with its tiny leaves. The leaf tips were kind of sorta serrated at the end and I thought, “this is not a Baby’s Tears” (I said that to myself…). Well, after all this time, I think it may be possibly, probably a… Ummm… Baby’s Tears.


Scabiosa columbaria ‘Blue Note’…

The Scabiosa columbaria ‘Blue Note’ (Pincushion Flower) seems to be doing well. It will have a few flowers then after I deadhead it will flower again. This is the first year I have grown Scabiosa so I am not sure if it doing well or not. At least it is still alive.


Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora Brilliant’ on 7-30-18, #730-18.

The Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora Brilliant’ has been weird… I lost two last year and this one has died and came back to life twice. My cousin has a few of these plants in a planter and they look AWESOME! They are supposed to like full sun and heat this plant doesn’t appear to like that either… I really like Scaevola and I am determined to be successful with them.


Tradescantia sillamontana on 7-30-18, #488-20.

The Tradescantia sillamontana (White Gossamer Plant, White Velvet, etc.) is doing very well. It is looking much better now but for a while, it looked a little ragged. The Japanese Beetles didn’t snack on it’s leaves that much, but its fuzzy leaves collected a lot of their poop and debris from the tree. There are three pots of these plants (somehow). I take them to the basement in the fall where they go dormant. After a few months they start coming back up then I give them a little water. They make good houseplants but get a little strange if they don’t have the right amount of light. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for this plant yet…


Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart) from Walley on 7-29-18, #487-99.

My good friend and fellow plant collector, Walley Morse, from Greenville, Mississippi sent me a box with three different plants and some Cosmos seeds. In that box were several cuttings of the REAL Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida). I gave him his start in 2012 so I was very glad he sent these cutting to me. There were a lot of cuttings, but I cut the stems down a little and put a few in this pot. The rest are elsewhere. They will take off in no time. The other two plants he sent are succulents I have not identified yet. 🙂

Walley and I became good friends when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi. We have exchanged a lot of plants and his yard and flower beds are AWESOME! Did I say AWESOME? Many plants I grew for the first time in Mississippi came from him. Then when I was leaving Mississippi to move back to Missouri in February 2013, I gave him most of the plants I left behind. I am not sure how many times we filled his car…