Thursday, August 9, 2018

Lavender Wands Season Is Going Great!

Lavender wands were first created by the Victorian ladies to preserve the lavender from their gardens.  When lavender dries, unless it is picked before it is in full bloom, the flowers fall off of the stems. 
When they weave the fresh lavender into these little ribbon baskets, when they dry out, the flowers are caught in the basket to be enjoyed for many years to come!

Growing long stemmed English Lavender and weaving it into wands is how I hope to finance the rebuilding of my fuchsia nursery.  In the summer, when my lavender is in bloom, this is all I do 24/7 as fast as I can until all the lavender is gone or is too dry to continue working with.

Last year I made over 2,300 wands!  How many will I be able to make this summer of 2018?
If all goes well, and I am able to sell enough lavender wands to enable me to spend time making and monitoring thousands of heirloom upright fuchsia cuttings, then I will finally be able to begin offering young starts for sale again.  Maybe even before winter sets in!

My newest addition to the 30 shades of double-sided sating ribbon I use, is vintage embroidered Jacquard ribbon.  The patterns are not printed on the surface, they are woven in.  I am only using these vintage ribbons on a few of my huge wands.  Out of over 2,000 wands per season and over 35,000 stems of lavender, there are rarely enough stems long enough to make more than about 100 huge wands.  And it has not been easy to even find these ribbons!  Some of them have come from Denmark, and a few of them all the way from Turkey.

So far, I have ten varieties with one more coming from Turkey.  I just hope it gets here in time to be able to use it this season.  The lavender is already beginning to dry out and there may not be any stems left that are long enough.  If you want to get someone something extra special, one of these would fit the bill!

To see all of the others, please use this link to my store on Etsy:
Or this store on EBay:  Lavenderwandsandpedrickscorner

Friday, June 1, 2018

Fuchsia splendens

Here is the smallest of three big Fuchsia splendend attempting to take over and being photo bombed by a Cistus flower with a native California Catalina Mallow in the background.  And you can't see him, but an Anna's hummingbird is vigourously defending all three from the Rufous who just show up for the summers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Crash Course in Dreamweaver CS5.5

I have been working through a "Classroom" in a book for Dreamweaver CS5.5, which although it is not the newest version of Dreamweaver, it is in a language I can handle.  The newere websites require a whole new language!

And although I am learning a great deal, yesterday I decided I had better jump ahead to the portion on how to connect ones website to it's server.  Not as simple as writing a blog!  I gave my pc away and this laptop had never had to connect to the server.  So it didn't have the information I needed and I could not get it to work yesterday before I had to go to my job. 
And this really needed to be accomplished in order to post updates to the website!

Today, I have to thank the tech support at GoDaddy for being patient with me and being awesome at answering my questions.  All these little boxes to fill in and I didn't understand what went where!

The long and short of it is, I was able to make the connection and update the home page for the website.  Now I can relax in my efforts to learn how to upgrade the website, like fixing that banner, and get down to making cuttings!

If all goes well, I get to spend the month of May focusing on making thousands of cuttings, coddling some new Fuchsia boliviana 'alba' seeds into growing (so excited!) and get the field of lavender weeded before it blooms.  As growing lavender and making it into lavender wands is the only way I can both finance this new effort to get the nursery going again and be able to be here to watch over thousands of sensitive fuchsia cuttings as they root!

So if you want to buy heirloom fuchsias such as Rose of Castille, Voodoo, and Sundial, stay tuned and maybe even buy some lavender items!  Thanks!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Can't Give Up!

I do not know how I am going to do it, or if I will be able to do it.
But I have decided that I cannot give up on the hope of growing upright fuchsia varieties for sale.
The number one thing that has stood in my way these last six years has been the necessity of being able to monitor fresh cuttings until they are rooted.

I don't know how many times now, that I have made thousands of cuttings, only to have to abandon them to work elsewhere.

At first, I am going to focus on the old standards.  The basic simple reds and blues that  grow so vigorously.  And a few of the non-hybridized species.

Even this though, is weeks away from being able to happen since it is vital that I tend to the lavender first.

If you are inclined to help in the hopes of seeing me be able to offer small rooted starts again, then please help my other blog get noticed.  And click through to my Etsy store from the Pedricks page
Help me help others to get noticed.  I am not asking you to buy anything.
All I am asking you to do is "follow" the blogs, the twitter, the Pinterest, and the Facebook pages.
Click on the links.  Especially please click on the links to my Etsy store Pedricks

Clicking on links, following, "liking" posts, all of these things strengthen search engine connections and increase the possibility of coming up in a search.  Website analytics literally tell me exactly where each and every click came from and what people were searching for.

In order for me to have hope of getting the fuchsia nursery started back up, I need to have the income from the lavender.  Because then I can be at the nursery to monitor young cuttings and rooted starts.

I also need to rebuild the website for PedricksCorner so it can handle all of the new technology out there.  That takes time and is something I could do and still be here to take care of the fuchsias.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

That Was It

   The Kickstarter campaign was my last ditch effort to fulfill my life long dream of a small plant nursery growing fuchsias and a few other favorite plants.  If it had been successful, even with the tragic turn of events for Michael Breneman, I would have been able to finally focus my time on making cuttings and caring for them at a crucial time of year when it is still possible to make and grow cuttings without the support of a heated greenhouse.

   But do to the fact that Gustavo Beyer of Alladin Nursery and Gift Shop's decision to disregard the verbal agreements between Michael and I (we have been friends for over 35 years going all the way back to the Antonelli Begonia Gardens where we both worked for many years) and then shut me out of the nursery when I did the unthinkable.  I took an inventory of Michael's remaining plants after the retirement sale was supposed to have ended.  It will not be possible for me to continue to try and restart my plant nursery.

   I took an inventory for two reasons.  The primary reason being that Michael had told me that Gustavo was considering purchasing his remaining inventory after the sale ended on the 17th of September.  One of the reasons why Michael and I had not cemented our agreement was that until he knew how well the sale would go, he didn't know if he wanted to go with Gustavo's offer to purchase the remaining inventory.  Michael felt it would be too much money for Gustavo to have to pay all at once.  So Michael was thinking that I would instead get a percentage of his percentage as I took care of his plants and helped sell them as time went along.
   In order for Gustavo to have any idea of how much the remaining inventory was worth, it had to be counted.  In in order for the count to be fair, I first took the time to go through the entire greenhouse, cleaning it as I went and documenting this in Kickstarter updates to my campaign, and threw away all of the dead plants and emptied out all of the 2" and 4" pots which had no live plants in them.  In all, I emptied over 1200 2" bands and stacked them in their flats by the back wall.
   When Gustavo, Michael's life partner (who had a right to know the value of Michael's remaining inventory), and I had dinner after a meeting with Michael's doctors, I brought out the sheet with the tally of the inventory.  And I brought a sheet detailing all of the work I had done since the 15th of September.  I didn't even include the month of work I put in prior to Michael's original official retirement date.  Which tragically also turned out to be the day he had a massive heart attack.

   Gustavo was not at all happy that I had taken and inventory and he was especially upset that I would share this information with Michael's partner.  He declared that I was to get out of the greenhouse immediately and that he was only going to pay me $500 for my work.  But after I had removed all but the plants Michael had agreed to give me in return for his continued use of 100 square feet of the greenhouse for as long as he needed it, Gustavo declared that he wasn't going to pay me a dime and that I could not have any of my plants.  The last thing in the world he wanted in that greenhouse was someone who could count and keep records.

   Only Gustavo knows what has become of all the plants in Michael's extensive collection that he had packed into the 100 square foot area and the others he had intended to take home.  And only Gustavo knows what has become of Michael's entire inventory.  Because Michael has yet to receive payment for any of the sales made from the first of September and on to now.

   This was a financial blow I was not in a position to endure and therefore have been working several jobs since.  One full time.  Which means that there is not only no time to make cuttings, there is no time to care for them if I did.  I barely have time to keep the stock plants alive.

   That was it.  After six years of trying to recover from moving the nursery and having it freeze and then mowed down by deer, having to dig it all back up and build a deer proof enclosure, and meanwhile work many jobs, I give up.  It just makes me to sad to even water the fuchsias now.  And the jobs I have do not make anywhere near what I need to be making.

   When I started the Kickstarter campaign, I was so full of hope!  I didn't ask anyone I knew to make a pledge, I just asked them to please share the links, leave a comment, read the updates, etc.  Because Kickstarter watches the traffic a campaign is getting, very closely.  They even count how many times the video is watched and how many times it is watched to the end.
   Campaigns that capture a lot of interest, are almost always chosen as one of their "Projects We Love."  And if a campaign is tagged as a Project We Love, it is almost always a guaranteed success.  Some of them obtain ten times the amount of funding requested.
   But only a couple people could be bothered to share, some shared the wrong page, and only one person could be bothered to leave a comment.
   So it failed.  Thanks, thanks so much.
   Yes, I am a bit angry about it all.  The jobs I have are not sit down jobs, they are not good jobs.  They are what I could find on short notice.  Time has run out.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Michael Breneman of Michael's Fuchsias Galore and Exotic Begonias

There has been a tragic turn of events for Michael Breneman and I have posted an update regarding Michael on the Kickstarter campaign, which can be read by using this link, I hope you don't mind using a link instead of having me repost it all here, thank-you.  Last Kickstarter Update

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Have You Even Heard Of A Favicon?

You know how when you go to a lot of websites, especially for well known services or businesses, next to their web address, there is a tiny little logo?  For example, Blogger has a B with an orange background.  And when you save that website to your bookmarks, that same tiny logo shows up next to their web address.

Well, I was wondering how they did that!  And as you might imagine, since I didn't know what that was called, it was not simple to just google it.

But I eventually not only found out what they are called, but how to add one to the website.

Now I need to decide what that tiny logo should  be!  I would like a fuchsia flower with enough color definition to show up as a fuchsia.  And I'd rather use one of my photos than use an drawing.  So I have come up with four possibilities and I am wondering which one you would choose if you could.  If you would like to help me decide, you can leave me a message on the facebook page for PedricksCorner here:

Here are the four I am considering so far.  The finished image can only be 32x32 pixels, so I have already made these pretty small and they are going to be even smaller.

I am kind of partial to the first one, which is 'Party Frock' because it is the fuchsia on my websites banner.  But the third one, 'Duchess of Albany' has very nice contrast that will show up in an itty bitty favicon.  What do you think?