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!

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!

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Greenhouse Is Here!

I cannot tell you how happy I am to finally have a real greenhouse again after all of these years trying to make cuttings without one!  Upright fuchsias are pretty hardy and I was able to make thousands of cuttings in the past without a greenhouse because I used a breathable sheer cover for them. 

But out here in the oak woods, it is an entirely different game and I've been struggling every since I moved the nursery here 8 years ago, to try and do anything at all beyond just keeping my stock plants alive and protected from all of the wildlife.  The deer adore fuchsias....

So do the gophers and worst of all, the rats.  Not little pet store rats.  Great big wood rats that destroy everything looking for edible seeds and shoots.  And gophers will chew right through the bottoms of thick black plastic pots to get at the roots of the fuchsias.  Squirrels looking for a safe place to bury their acorns, dig in all of the pots, dislodging vital name tags... 

The first year, it was my dream to have a huge display garden of all 350 varieties planted along a long slope.  So I spent a huge amount of time clearing that slope, digging 350 holes big enough to put 5 gallon sized fuchsias into, and then planted all of my stock plants here.  Only to have them all freeze that winter in a freakishly cold winter snap here by the ocean.  And when they tried to come back up from their base stems, the deer mowed them down.  This meant building a deer proof enclosure, and digging all of them back up, re-potting them, and moving them into the enclosure.

During this time there was no material to make cuttings with, so I had no inventory to offer.  And no income.  Without the ability to be here and monitor all the different needs of small batches different varieties of cuttings in person, while I worked other jobs and went back to college, it was basically impossible to create a new inventory.

With great expectations this winter, I started out by sowing over 20 varieties of flower seed in order to raise funds and be able to start making fuchsia cuttings again.  But as soon as I moved them outdoors to the grow shelves, the bumper crop of rats (everyone in this entire county is screaming about the rat population explosion this year) immediately broke into everything and dug everything up in their search for anything edible.

That just about did me in.

But I can't give up! 
I opened an Amazon Handmade shop ( Amazon.com/handmade/Pedricks  ) to sell the lavender items I've been making from the field of lavender I planted to replace the field of fuchsias. 
The Etsy shop is still up as well, but fewer people even know Etsy exists (Etsy.com/shop/Pedricks)
And I will be adding another 100 lavender bushes to it as soon as they are big enough.  It is my hope that sales of lavender will continue to fund my efforts to get the plant nursery restarted.  With a focus on the hardy upright fuchsias I fell in love with way back in my days at the once famous Antonelli Brothers Begonias Gardens where I had an acre of greenhouses growing ferns.

With this little greenhouse, who knows?  I just might finally be able to sow some fern spore again as well!

Thank-you to everyone who helped me get this little greenhouse!  A second one, twice it's size, has a space reserved for it down below if all goes well this spring and summer.

Of course it is raining cats and dogs right now.  But as soon as the greenhouse is put together, I will post more photos here!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

PedricksCorner Needs a Greenhouse

I've never really needed a greenhouse before because the hardy upright fuchsias don't need one.  Even the cuttings just need shelter from the elements for a short period of time.  But when I moved the nursery out here to my current location 7 years ago, I had no idea I'd be dealing with freezing temperatures in the winter, grazing deer that can take down flimsy plastic fencing, gophers eating right through the bottoms of black plastic pots, squirrels digging in pots to bury acorns and dislodging plant labels, and now rats. 

To finally get the nursery rebooted this spring, I have sowed all kinds of flower and vegetable seed to get the ball rolling while it was still too cold to make cuttings.  When I transplanted most of the seedlings outdoors onto shelves, the rats discovered the sprouting sunflowers and loved them so much that they destroyed almost everything looking for more!!

So I need a small greenhouse.  One to start and then maybe a few more side-by-side.  And I can get one big enough for the seedlings for just $300 right now.  If I had $300...
This little greenhouse is 6 feet by 8 feet.  The perfect size to get started and it even has a sliding door.

Help!!  Please share this post, tell a friend who loves fuchsias, or anyone who loves lavender!  Because selling items I've made from lavender is the means by which I am funding the renewal of the nursery.

And I've opened a new Amazon Handmade shop to sell my lavender items for everyone who hasn't heard of Etsy yet or just prefers to use Amazon.  Free Shipping! Amazon.com/handmade/Pedricks

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Custom Seed and Cutting Soil Blends

As promised, here are the one half gallon bags of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.  As well as one pound bags of sand.  I did some searching to see what others are offering and most of them are offering quart bags of individual ingredients.  Half a gallon is two quarts and I am offering free shipping! 

With these ingredients, you can create the custom soil your particular seeds or cuttings need to get a good start.  Most fuchsia seeds, for example, are so tiny, they need to be sown onto a moist surface, but not buried.  A thin layer of fine sand over peat moss or vermiculite, gives you a smooth surface and you don't have to worry about tiny seeds falling down into the gaps between chunks of soil.  I hope to be sowing some fern spore this year and this is exactly what I will need.

You can buy each ingredient individually, or in sets.  The set shown, also includes the sand.
And if you drop me a note on Etsy telling me that you saw my post here, I will add a set of 10 white blank plant labels in your order for free!

Seed And Cuttings Starter Kit with Free Shipping

You will be helping me get the fuchsia nursery back up and running.  Everything depends on what I can accomplish during the next six weeks!

Royal Velvet is doing great!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Introducing Planting Mix Supplies and Blank Plant Labels

I am getting into the swing of things and looking forward to all kinds of floral and vegetable seed coming up soon!  All of the items I have listed in my Etsy shop will also be added to an entirely redesigned website I've been working on this winter.

To get the ball rolling, I will be offering small flowering plants first.  Such as viola's, primrose, labelia, godetias, zinnias, etc.  While the fuchsia cuttings root and grow large enough to survive shipping.

Meanwhile, I have begun offering blank white plastic plant labels in sets of 20 for $5.00 a set and free shipping:

Blank White Plant Labels

And today I listed One Pound Cleaned and Sifted Sand for $10 and free shipping.  This amount is perfect if you just need a little bit to cover the soil in a house plant or for starting fine seed that must be sprouted on a moist surface.  It can also be used to create your own soil mixes for the specific needs of your plants, cuttings, or seedlings:

Tomorrow I will be adding perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss in quart bags.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Kamei Glass Vase Vintage Hand Blown Glass from Osaka, Japan by Toshichi Iwata

Update 2/5/2019 I relisted it as an auction again but I dropped the price.
People!  If I am going to have any chance of finally restarting the fuchsia nursery again, it has to be now.  Horticulture is time sensitive.  I need to be making and monitoring cuttings right now.  I can't be gone all day working elsewhere and keep them alive.  No, I cannot use automation to monitor them.  They are in small batches and each variety has different requirements.  Please help, if only by sharing this post and/or the facebook post on PedricksCorner.  Thank-you!

I just listed this vintage hand blown glass vase my dad purchased in Osaka, Japan in the 1960's.
You can see it on EBay here:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kamei-Golden-Glass-Vase-Original-Box-and-Labels-Numbered-D-701-Toshichi-Iwata/233113147908

And here is a little bit about it:

Kamei Glass comes from Osaka, Japan and the Kamei Glass Company or the Kamei Glass Works.  Kamei glass was usually high quality glass and in current times is often mistaken for Sklo Union (Scandinavian) or Murano Art Glass (Italian).  Although Toshichi Iwata (1893-1980 and sometimes referred to as Tosti Iwata) was heavily influenced by the twenty years he spent exploring glass techniques in Murano Italy from the mid 1930’s to the 1950’s, he returned to his family’s large glass-works in Osaka where he began producing original studio pieces.  He also oversaw the production of the company’s other pieces for export.  The Kamei Glass Company produced a range of glass including tableware, novelties, vases and “Art Glass” from the 1960’s until they closed in the mid 1990’s.
           His studio pieces can be identified by the strips of imbedded gold with random bright colors stretched and pulled like millefiori.  And then covered with a translucent layer of clear glass.  His pieces were a part of the Japanese studio art glass scene and these contemporary designed pieces are now rare.

The fuchsia nursery needs my full attention from now until this summer when I begin making lavender wands again and funds from this auction might be the only way I am able to keep moving forward towards getting it back up and on-line again.  

Please help by sharing this post any way you can.  EBay even has buttons now that enable you to share a listing via Twitter and Pinterest!  Thank-you!

And if you know anyone who can translate the tag, please let me know!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Hope For 2019

Things are coming along for 2019.  The fuchsias are doing well and if proceeds from selling lavender keep up, I will be able to keep working on getting the  nursery back on-line this spring.  And maybe, by this fall, I will get the opportunity and have the means to start throwing clay again.  Just used this big bowl I made in 2016 and wondered if and when I am going to get to make another one, or two, or one hundred!  The lavender wand inside is nine inches long.  This is one of the biggest bowls I was able to make while I was learning to throw.  An on-going learning process I hope to continue for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Winter Flowers on the West Coast

Just thought I'd share one of my favorite native flowers with you.  I try to spread these guys out everywhere I can here.  Tucking some of them into the potted plants.  These Labrador Violets, Viola labradorica, are blooming in our Mandarin Orange tree pot.  I'll keep you posted on all the other places they are tucked into.  I hope to be able to offer them in the nursery by this summer.  Did you know the flowers are edible?  #lovepurple #loveviolet

Friday, January 4, 2019

My Color Palatte So Far

Can you tell I've been collecting embroidery floss for awhile?  Ever since I was a little girl and my grandmother taught me to embroider.  Some of these go back to then.  Sometimes I snap up batches at a flea market or garage sale.  My collection now stands at almost 1,000.  Would I turn down new colors?  Never!  I still need to arrange the colors better, but at least now they are in 4 cases instead of 10.  If you too, love embroidery floss, I have a secret for you.  Visit the fly fishing department of a big box store... they have better containers for less than the crafts department!!  
What does this have to do with fuchsias?  Well, maybe someday I can embroider a few of them.  Meanwhile, I promised to create a special piece for a friends Christmas present and the next thing I knew, I was looking for the right colors of floss...  I'll be working on live fuchsias later today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year from Fuchsia peniculata

This is one of our species fuchsias here.  Paniculata grows up to the roof of the house and I walk under it to fill the bird feeders every morning.  These flowers are from this morning and they enjoy full on sun all afternoon until sunset.  And they keep the resident hummingbirds happy all winter, as does the Fuchsia splendens down the hill.
This is the walkway under the Fuchsia peniculata in the summer.