Sunday, May 10, 2020

Cape Primrose Streptocarpus Gesnariads Are Showing Colors

Just a quick update on the the new colors that are showing up in the streptocarpus that have begun to bloom.  Here are a pink and a purple.  There is another one opening up that is going to be a deep maroon red and another one that is going to be a very pale pink.

I am going to keep the ones that are showing colors so I can make cuttings from the leaves and be able to offer baby streps with known colors in the future.  This is so exciting, I have waited so long to see this species of gesneriaceae bloom again like they once did under my cherry trees.

Look out!  These are going to be the new outdoor shade flowering rock stars.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Streptocarpus Are Doing Great!

   So far so good!  The greenhouse is NOT heated and although I had wanted to heat it for some of the other plants I am over-wintering in it, I am kind of glad that it doesn't have any heat.
   Why?  Because I want the streptocarpus to be weather hardy.  Just like the upright fuchsias I had hoped to be growing in there instead, I want my plants to be strong enough to endure outdoor conditions. 
  Most flowering plants you see in the garden centers this time of year have been grown in heated greenhouses and then thrown out into the cold of the garden centers they are shipped to.  Most nurseries are not concerned if those plants survive or not because they figure you'll just come back for more sooner.
  That is one reason why they have begun to market fuchsias as "annuals" when in fact, they can live for over 100 years.  If you toss them out every year, they make more money that way.
  But I digress...
  It does get down into the high 30's here and can also freeze at times.  So it is still possible I might see damage.  But so far so good!  I even spotted one that had put out a flower spike yesterday when I was filling orders for the west coast states.  So I brought it in and planted it up with a few others.
  And I bought insulated protective sleeves for shipping the plants.  So far, everyone has been very pleased with the plants on arrival.  Maybe, just maybe, Streptocarpus just might be the means by which I can afford to finally salvage my struggling upright fuchsia collection.
  A girl can hope.  It's been over 8 years now since I made the mistake of moving the nursery here and had all of the stock freeze to ground level and then had the deer mow them down when they tried to come back up.  Then it took a few years to afford to be able to build a deer proof enclosure and move the survivors into it.  Meanwhile, with no income from the nursery, it was necessary to work many jobs and put a lot of time into the lavender instead.
  I can't wait to see all the colors and forms these Streptocarpus will be!
  They look great growing under big upright fuchsias!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

New Lavender Filled Pendants and Baby Streptocarpus

I am glad to say that I was able to make over 3,000 lavender filled wands again this season.  To be honest with you, after making them for 14 hour days until midnight every single day for three and a half months, it is kind of hard to stop.  I do this because it can only be done in such a short period of time and then it is impossible to make more until mid June of the following year.

So after pushing myself so hard for those few months, I always feel a bit lost when it is time to stop.  Like, what do I do now?  Of course I have more than enough to do, but another part of me wants to start searching to see if anyone might have a stray English lavender bush in their yard that still has lavender on it and green stems that are still pliable.  Because maybe I don't have enough plum purple smalls....

All the baby streptocarpus are calling to me to get out there and finish transplanting them all into the tubes.  I've got over 1,100 of them already into tubes, with at least another 2,000 waiting.  I hear I should see color by November, and I can't wait!  I am tempted to start selling them now, but then, what if that super dooper incredible new flower is one of the ones I sell before I see it bloom????

Meanwhile, I made lots of lavender filled pendant "blanks".  I mean I make the tiny little "wand" without a handle and leave the ends open so I can make them into pendants throughout the winter.  This year I bought 100 teeny tiny bottles and am having fun thinking of items to put into them.  Starting with, of course, lavender flowers!
What do you think? 
I am making about 40 of them into sets of 5 each so I can ship them to Amazon Handmade FBA.  Which means "Fullfilled By Amazon" and makes those listings Prime because Amazon will fill and ship the order.  The majority of my lavender filled wand inventory will be available on Amazon Prime this year.  A great deal of it is already there.

All of this is of course, a means of making a living while I continue to chase that dream of getting my fuchsia nursery back up and running!  All the stock is still here!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Queens Tears Billbergia nutans

Whoops!  That should be Billbergia nutans, left out an "l"
This is the perfect time of year to plant this incredibly easy to grow bromeliad.  They need little or no care out in the garden if planted in the ground, or even a large pot.  Like "air plants" they can even survive a long time just sitting in a large empty pot as long as you often mist them a bit just like they'd get up in the tall trees of the jungles most epiphytes come from.  Epiphytes are plants that grow on tree trunks or even large rocks, like many ferns, bromeliads, and orchids.

But these are as tough as pineapples, which are a bromeliad too!  And grown out in the full sun by the acre.  And the deer do not eat them!

You can also grow them indoors as houseplants if you make sure they get enough sunlight.

Why do you need to plant them right now?  Because they bloom as early as February in mild climates like the zones 9 and above.  And to do that, they need to have been planted and given a chance to root first.  It is so much fun to see all of these hot pink spikes grow out of the clumps and then suddenly drop out these blue and yellow flowers i.e "the queens tears."

I have plenty for you!  Just visit my Etsy shop or my EBay shop.  I have bare shoots and I have rooted shoots.  From six inches to two foot shoots.  And I only offer shoots that have not bloomed yet!  After a shoot blooms, it puts out at least one or two new shoots that will bloom the following year.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

What Do 50 Medium Orchid Pink Lavender Filled Wands Look Like?

Like this!  Just finished this custom batch for a new customer who I am hoping will become a regular customer, as I have a feeling this order is for one of their clients.  I have never actually counted how many wands I can make with one 100 yard reel of double-sided satin ribbon because I am usually switching sizes and colors too often in each batch of lavender I cut, to do that.
But it was interesting to discover that making these 50 medium wands took one whole reel.
Time to order more Orchid Pink ribbon!

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!