Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Lavender Is In Full Bloom Again

Yes!  It is that time again.  Time to start making lavender wands as fast as I can all summer long.  As it is too hot in most areas to ship live plants.  But the fuchsia cuttings are all doing well and I hope to have a great inventory ready to jump into next spring of 2020.

Meanwhile, it smells wonderful in here.  The heady scent of buckets of fresh lavender!
This year I am retiring three colors and adding three colors.  I will still have black, brown, and pastel yellow ribbon for those who choose them for custom orders, but for production, I will be adding a wonderful new blue called Tornado Blue, a Mint Green, and a pastel Baby Blue.

I hope you take a minute to visit my Etsy shop:  Pedricks
Or my new Amazon Handmade shop which even has a large chunk of my inventory
ready to go as Prime:  Pedricks
And for those who prefer EBay:  lavenderwandsandpedrickscorner

Friday, May 31, 2019

Is It June Yet? All The Cuttings Are Doing Great!

Just a quick update and bit of eye-candy.  All of the cuttings are doing really well.  Wow, what a difference finally have a greenhouse again after all of these years makes! 
Some of the plants I did cuttings of, were ones I have never tried to do before.  Because, as I mentioned before, I first wanted to see how well placed the greenhouse was and what the conditions inside would be.  It turns out that it was far too wet to keep the Cistus happy and my first tray of those did not do so well.

But on the upside, I have had incredible success with most of the others!  Like Purple Solanums, Plumbago, Lilacs, Penstamons, Lemon Verbena, etc.  And because Princess Bushes or Tibouchina urvilleana has been on my list of plants I wanted to grow in my nursery since way back in my days at Antonelli's, I am thrilled to say that all 400 cuttings are doing great and they are four weeks old now.  A very good sign that they should all make it.  I didn't even have to use a large portion of the stock I have been accumulating, so as soon as there is room in there, I will be doing another 400 cuttings.

What's not to love!?  The deer don't eat them.  Hummingbirds, butterflies, and the bees love them.  And so do I!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Fuchsia Cuttings As Fast As I Can

To test out the greenhouse, it's location in terms of light and shade, the temperature, humidity, etc.  I first wanted to try cutting of other plants I knew I could make hundreds of cuttings of and not sweat it if I had to replace them.  I've been able to make over 2,000 cuttings in the last week and all are doing far better than I have ever had cuttings do before.  So I am very optimistic right now!
So today I am starting in on the fuchsia cultivars.  Beginning with Chang, Burgundian, Fanfare, Popple Corn, and Lottie Hobby.  And then on from there!  Most of the fuchsias won't be ready until it is too hot to ship them, unless I am able to purchase a means of protecting them.  But they could also be shipped when it cools down in the fall and before it gets too cold again.

Here is Chang, one of my favorites.

Please help me be able to stay and monitor thousands of cuttings.  Small batches of plants in such a wide variety cannot be taken care of with automated misting.  Plus, the windows and doors to the new little greenhouse are not automated.  You can help just by following and sharing.  Mothers Day is coming up and I have lots of items available made from the lavender I grow.  The links to my internet shops are on the right hand side of the blog.  Thank-you!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Dragonfly called Orange Meadowlark Laying Eggs

I was out gathering material for making cuttings and this orange dragonfly caught my attention when I decided to check and see if the little pond had polliwogs in it again this year.  And it does!  The ones you see are of our little native tree frogs.  It took me a moment to realize that the dragonfly was tapping the wet surface of the green algae because she was laying eggs!  I believe her latin name is
Sympetrum vicinum.

Monday, April 22, 2019

I See Green! I Finally Have A Greenhouse!

I did it, I put the entire greenhouse together myself!  It's only a six foot by eight foot greenhouse, but it is new and it is mine!  Thanks to a few people who helped me be able to purchase it, get the box here, and then a bit of help with the clips on the top roof panels.

Today I finished the door, the floor, plugged up the two gaps in the foundation two by fours, and began moving plants inside.  And once I get more shelves in there, I'll be able to fit up to 4,000-6,000 cuttings in it.
Can you see the green inside?

Now I can really get down to making cuttings again.  But a great deal hangs on my ability to stay here to monitor them.  All of the cuttings are in small batches from hundreds of varieties of fuchsias and a few of my favorite plants.  Each variety of fuchsia and each different kind of plant has different requirements when it comes to water, light, and how long it takes them to root.  So if I have to use an automated misting system, there is going to be a huge amount of loss.

I need to be here.
And to do that, I need your help.

I need people to please visit either my EBay store:
My AmazonHandmade store with is now Prime for most of my items:  

Or my Etsy shop where you can read hundreds of reviews from people who have been purchasing lavender from me for years now:

If lavender isn't your thing, then I'd be happy to send you one of my ceramic pieces:

Thank-you!  #thefuchsiasarewaiting  (and the Fuchsia boliviana 'alba'  are growing fast)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

I Think I Can! And Streptocarpus Seed From China

It was raining for a couple of days, but I finally got to work on the greenhouse again this evening.  And I would have gotten a lot more done, if I hadn't put the first two main posts in upside-down...  Which I didn't realize until I went to temporarily place the four corner brackets.  The guys in the videos all said that those brackets should be placed loosely because it is going to be necessary to put other pieces behind them.
Now it's dark and I am going to put the windows together indoors.  Yes, that is a plural!  The photo only shows one window and the details on-line only mention one window.  Even the guys in the videos were surprised that there are two windows.  Yeah!
Meanwhile, I love streptocarpus and used to have a large pot of them under my cherry trees, but they didn't survive the move here.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money buying live plants right now and no one, NO ONE, in this area grows them or even knows what they are, let alone sells them.  So I had to order seed from China.  Not a problem, we grew them from seed at the Antoneli Brothers Begonia Gardens.  That is where I got the ones I had.  They aren't nearly as delicate as people believe.  Like I said, I grew them outdoors under the cherry trees.  Anyway, the seed was supposed to have arrived three weeks ago.  And it just might have arrived today, I need to go down the hill to check the mailbox.  How wonderful, the greenhouse will be done tomorrow, just in time to sow some tiny tiny seeds.

Progress on the greenhouse!  There are a lot of tiny little nuts and bolts that all have to be done by hand.
And a photo of my steps happily blooming under the cherry trees way back when.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Will I Be Able To Put This Together Myself??

   I finally had time to start putting the greenhouse together and the first thing I did was watch a few YouTube videos of people putting together the exact same greenhouse.  And it was a real eye-opener. 
   For example, all three people mentioned that the specs for building the foundation were off by half an inch.  Meaning that the square wood base I didn't know I needed because the photo on the box has the greenhouse sitting on grass, should not be built using the calculations in the instructions!
   Since I can't fit 8 foot lumber in my little Nissan, and I wanted to make sure I had some wiggle room for the foundation, I decided to have the 2x4's cut into half the supposed length needed for each of the four sides of the greenhouse, and just half an inch shorter than the specs called for.
   I figure that if I wind up with small gaps, that would be a way for excess water to wash out.
   The other cool idea which I hope to implement in the future, was one man's idea of putting it all together and then building another low wall and putting the whole greenhouse on top of that.  Effectively making the greenhouse two feet taller for a tall man!  I like that idea because that would give me more room for shelves, as I am hoping to be able to stack my tube trays four high using plastic modular shelving.  I already have six sets of those and I know one tube tray will fit on each level.
   So today I was able to get the box unpacked.  And there are A LOT of pieces to this thing!

  Then I was able to build the 2x4 base.  The "floor" is temporary.  I thought that was what I was going to be building and the boards were a temporary means of making sure that gophers and rats couldn't burrow in.  But I need to make it much better than it is.  I didn't have enough matching pieces of wood on hand.  
  I had to build the 2x4 base because the bottom rims of the greenhouse frame have a lip that hugs the edge of the square.  This was why the guys in the video were saying that after they built the wood frame base, the metal frame didn't fit onto it.  They all had to remove half an inch for the lip of the aluminum frame to fit snug.

   At least all three of the videos I watched made it seem as though I ought to be able to put it together by myself.  And all three men mentioned that they were actually impressed with how well made this little greenhouse it, because at first glance, they had their suspicions.  One of the good ideas I gleaned from watching them, and there were a lot of good ideas, was using a little weather stripping under the roof panels to stop them from rattling in the wind.  Also, it is designed to insure that the wind won't blow the panels inwards, but if the door is open and there is a gust of wind, it could blow them outwards.  So I am going to add a few well place screws to prevent that.
  The printed instructions really are lacking a great deal of information.  There is no way I could put this together without having watched those videos!
  And then, ha!, it is going to rain!  So I got a the base and four corners put together and now I am hoping it isn't going to rain as much as they say.  At least I don't have to worry about aluminum getting wet.  It is a greenhouse after all, it is always going to be damp inside!

   Stay tuned for the completion!