Gardening on the Last Weekend in August

Saturday, I cleaned up the square where I previously planted the four Fun Jen Bok Choy that was attacked by some digging critter.

Four Red Winter Kale Planted

In its place, I planted four Red Winter Kale plants and placed wire edging around it to try to deter whatever critter did the digging last time.

Bok Choy 'Fun Jen' Potted Up

I then decided not to plant some of the other Fen Jen Bok Choy in the square foot garden bed and planted four in a large Daiso pot.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Tricolor' Potted

The Tricolor Hydrangea that I recently purchased looked like it need to be potted up, so I did that, placing it in a 3-4 gallon pot. I also moved it over to a more shaded area.

My Aunt and Cousins came over and I gave them some Red Giant Mustard and a cutting from both my Santa Barbara Red Dragonfruit and the Dragonfruit that I grew many years ago.

Dragonfruit Progress

Now that I see my old Dragonfruit plant getting bigger and bigger, I really need to figure out where to plant them. I initially thought of planting it by a pole in the front yard, but I noticed the Santa Barbara Dragonfruit in that area gets too much sun and is getting bleached out, so I need to fine a more shaded location.

Unknown Succulent

As I was cleaning an area under our Bosc Pear tree, I noticed a multi-stem succulent that was growing there, it started rooting but was still able to pull it up. I thought it would look nice if it were properly planted into a pot and given more light. So I planted it into a 3 gallon pot. I didn’t know what it was, so I posted a query with a photo of it to Flickr and Instagram and some responded that it was a Sedum praealtum.

I noticed that the Bromeliads that I purchased back in June (2016) are doing well.

Neoregelia 'Lucky ???'

The Aechmea recurvata of them actually has two pups now.

Aechmea recurvata

I moved the Echeveria ‘Chroma’ from the front yard where I thought I may get attached by slugs and snails to the back to join all my other succulents.

Echeveria 'Chroma' Blooming

I took six cuttings from a broken Iresine branch and also potted up a little Spearmint cutting.

Iresine and Spearmint Cuttings

It was already dark Sunday evening and I ended my gardening by potting up a Masdevallia barlaeana ‘Harold’ that was still in a 2-inch pot into a hanging Orchid basket.

Masdevallia barlaeana 'Harold'

March 14 Gardening…

I’ve been away from home for a few days and got back this afternoon and started planting.

First thing my Mom told me when I stepped out into the backyard was that our Zygopetalum Orchid opened it’s first bloom. This made me really happy. We purchased this as a bare root Orchid at the Pacific Orchid Expo three years ago.

First Zygopetalum Blooms

I purchased a Asiatic Lily called Tango Blend from OSH in El Cerrito. There was an spot in the front yard filled with weeds, so I removed what I can, added new soil and planted all six bulbs. I also planted some Agrostemma in clusters here and in two other locations in our front yard.

I planted two of the three Pepino Dulce into 5 gallon pots which will be placed in the front yard. Here, they will get full sun and hopefully produce a lot of fruits. I’ll plant the third one into the SFG soon.

In a continuing effort to incorporate veggies into our front yard, I planted all the Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ seedlings into the two big clay pots, which now has the Sweet Peas and Agrostemmas. I think this will make a nice and colorful filler for the pot and also provide some veggies!

Epidendrum Wedding Valley ‘Sakura’ flower…

Epidendrum Wedding Valley 'Sakura'

I love the flowers on this Epidendrum Wedding Valley ‘Sakura’ we recently purchased.

2011 Pacific Orchid Exposition…

Oncidium macrathum

Today was really nice day. My Mom and I went to the Pacific Orchid Exposition in San Francisco. We set out around 9am and stopped by Subway to get a footlong sandwich for lunch.

When we got to Fort Mason—where the venue was—it was difficult to find parking. There were tons of empty parking spaces, but because it was the weekend, around 40% of the spaces where reserved for people with marina license… which was annoying, because there were like a hundred spaces that was empty. I had to circle twice and park about a mile walking distance.

I was worried that my Mom would have a difficult time walking, but luckily the weather was nice—nice enough to remove my jacket—and we enjoyed looking at all the plants along the sidewalk and parking lot.

Pacific Orchid Exposition 2011

The Expo was really nice as always, but because it was Saturday (we normally go on Fridays), there were a lot of people… so I found it hard to snap photos right away. I had to wait patiently for people in front of me to finish looking at the display, before I can move closer. Dispite all the people, it was nice seeing a lot of amazed looks, especially from people who I assumed were first timers. It was hard not to smile a lot.

There were die-hard photographers who had expensive cameras, tripods and remote flashes. I noticed that there were a lot more people who had DSLRs (with varying degrees of experience). There were also a lot of point-and-shooters. I heard a few people saying things like “I didn’t get that shot” or “It was blurry”. I actually offered to show a couple people how to turn on the macro setting. I was rewarding hearing them tell me that their photos looked a lot better.

I initially thought I would use my macro lens, but I found that it was easier to use my zoom lens, since I had to stand back a lot of times. I took quite a few photos, and hopefully they turned out well. I’ll post the photos in a separate blog entry and most likely a slideshow.

After seeing the exhibits, my Mom and I went out to a bench, sat and had our lunch, before we embarked on the sales area.

My Mom commented a lot that there were more exhibits and more orchids. To me, it seemed like there were the same amount, or even slightly less, but I think the increased number of people, maybe it made it seem bigger.

When we walked through the sales area, I found that I didn’t find much Orchids that I wanted to buy and was content on soaking in all the varieties and trying to pick up what will do well outdoors in our area. I wanted to get more Masdevallias, but I didn’t see any that caught my eye… well, I should say… I didn’t find any that caught my eye at an affordable price. There was one I really liked, but I didn’t want to pay $85 for it.

My Mom was really enjoying seeing all the Orchids and I could tell that she wanted to get a couple, so she was scoping for cheap ones. I encouraged her to get an Epidendrum Wedding Valley “Sakura” (I think that’s was it was) that she was eyeing because it was only $15 (cheap, compared to all the other Orchids at the show). We nicknamed this the Lollipop Orchid, because the flowers were in a cluster at the very tip of the tall plant. It was said to be easy to grow indoors and out… and “grows like a weed“.

We also stopped by the area where they cut and divide big plants (mostly Cymbidiums) and sell them as bare roots. My Mom wanted a green one, but we didn’t find a true green variety, so she settled for a yellow-green one call Cymbidium Sleeping Beauty ‘Inca Gold’.

We then watched a demo on how to divide a large Cymbidium and I actually learned a lot. One thing was that it’s better to use a smaller pot than one that too big for the Orchid. This way there is less medium and it can drain and dry out easier. If the pot was too big, it may have the tendency to retain too much moisture, especially in the center and lead to root rot, which he showed us on a big pot where there were no roots in the middle and all the healthy roots on the outside where they were able to dry out a bit between watering.

I also discovered that when you divide an old Cymbidium, you can save the old pseudo bulbs if it’s firm and plant it and get another plant. With all my rooting-various-plants experience, I don’t know why this never came to mind. Duh?

So this summer, my Mom suggest we divide our existing Cymbidiums to smaller pots, which we we planning even before the show.

After visiting all the booths, and not purchasing any Orchids for myself, I returned to one vendor where I eyed a couple cheap Orchids. I got a Epidendrum Wedding Valley “Yukimai” (“Excellent Patio Orchid”) which I think I will plant with the Epidendrum my Mom bought. I also got a Dendrobium White Grace “Sato”, which the sign says was a “good beginner’s choice” and “cool growing”… although it also said “warm growing” on another sign. Finally, I got a “Ultra-Mini Cymbidium” that I knew my Mom wanted to get call Cymbidium Sweetheart “Elegance”.

We finally got out of the Expo around 5pm… Dang! We spent almost 6 hours there!… It was still nice out and we headed back to the car, walking slowly (aching feet). My Mom liked the exercise, but I think she was getting tired, so I told her to sit and rest a couple times on our walk to the car.

We purchased a total of five Orchids at the 2011 Pacific Orchid Exposition. All of these are cool weather Orchids and will be living in our backyard patio.

POE 2011 Purchases

– Cymbidium Sleeping Beauty ‘Inca Gold’
– Dendrobium White Grace ‘Sato’
– Cymbidium Sweetheart ‘Elegance’
– Epidendrum Wedding Valley ‘Sakura’
– Epidendrum Wedding Valley ‘Yukimai’

Feb 26, 2011 Garden Update…

The Tidy Tips Folia that I sowed 3 days ago are already sprouting…

One of my Mom’s Cymbidium Orchid is just about to bloom.


Some of my Mom’s Alstroemeria were slightly damaged from last night’s frost, so she placed these plastic domes over them, since we are expecting another night of frost.

Frost Protection

DIY Orchid Pot

Converted Orchid Pot

I converted a regular 4″ pot into an Orchid pot by cutting 8 vertical lines on its side.

I repotted my “Birthday 2010” Orchid (from Dave) from a 3″ pot to this converted 4″ Orchid pot.

Nanay’s African Violets + My Unknown Birthday Orchid Blooming…

  • 7:00pm Last night, my Mom was really happy to show me one of her African Violets finally blooming. Ruffled white flowers with purple in the middle. #
  • 7:16pm My unknown Orchid that I got for my birthday is starting to rebloom. I’ll have to take a photo and post it so someone can ID it… #