Spider Mites and Nepenthes Alata

A few weeks ago I found webs on my nepenthes but thought they were from normal spiders. I’ve never had experience with spider mites and didn’t recognize the signs. Tight webbing, clear little teeny tiny eggs, and previously healthy leaves turning yellow. In fact, I thought I might have been overwatering it… so I backed off. Unfortunately, I think the dry soil conditions helped spur mitey (pun intended) growth.  After a few hours of research, I realized what they were and set off to banish them.

I went to my local gardening store and bought a natural spider mite killer. So far the regime has been: blast Nepenthes with water in my tub, let dry for a day or two then thoroughly drench it with spider mite killer, making sure to get under leaves and crevices on vines. I’ve only done this twice. What I have noticed so far is that spider mites are definitely dying as I see their little carcasses in my tub after I spray it. Hopefully, a few more weeks of this will kill all of them and the eggs.

I spend my weekends going to nurseries, taking pictures of them and then going home to do a few hours of research. This process determines which plants I’ll put on my ever growing Plants I Want List. I bought a new plant this weekend, my first calathea! Calathea angela to be exact! I love the broad leaves and purple underside with the mix of light green to dark on top. I really wasn’t expecting to buy another plant (That’s not true. I admit, it’s pretty hard for me to walk around a nursery and not be tempted to take someone home) but I’ve had some good success with my maranta and decided to take the plunge with a calathea!

Calathea angela

 

Maranta Update:

My maranta’s doing pretty well now! I made a YouTube video a few weeks ago because my maranta’s leaves had been turning yellow and I finally know why! I thought it was because I watered it with seltzer water (which contains salt) but no! It’s because I was overwatering. I stopped for a few weeks and behold! Now healthy and a ton of new growth!

Maranta

It was looking lopsided so I decided to take a few cuttings. I put one in water to root and then the other in soil. Yay for plant experiments!

 

 

Beginner Backyard Cut Flower Garden

My mother’s skill as a gardener has always inspired my love for gardening. Not that I’m very good at it…but she really kick-started it for me today.

During the Winter, I bought a bunch of tulips and crocuses that I kept putting off planting. I sent her some in the mail and her’s are now taking off! Mine have been in my closet since Winter so today, I did a bit of research and quickly realized I should have stuck theses babies in the ground waaaaay earlier.

DSC00256Apparently, most tulips require a significant amount of time in very cold to freezing conditions…good thing I procrastinated fixing lost my heater for about 8 weeks back in Winter!! So here’s hoping that was enough!

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Many bulbs already started sprouting, with yellow hue stems. I prepared a container and squeezed each one for any signs of rot, then stuck all 40 of them in together.

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I got bit and couldn’t stop there. The sun was too luring after 3 months of rain and overcast. I built a few raised beds and decided to give gardening another crack! I now have a tulip (hopefully they flower!) trough and dahlia bed (Firebird, Hawai’i and Dinnerplate)!

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I soaked some recently acquired ranunculus which are now in a bed of dirt, pre-sprouting in a safe place. Hopefully, I’ll have some healthy shoots in about 14 days!

First steps to my dream flower garden! Attempt Number: 15

*What about the photo with the tulips? I shot that at the Portland Nursery to get some inspiration and to pet some beautiful flowers.

Sunny San Diego

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Columbia Street, San Diego, CA // February 2017

Flew down to San Diego as a plus one to a wedding for the first time. Respite from the dreary weather was appreciated. Portland had been raining for months.

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Ballroom and reception area at the Cuvier Club.

Weddings are beautiful occasions. A collective current of love for two individuals is so strong it pulls people from all over the world. A celebration that manifests with some aid from alcohol and the couple’s favorite songs.

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Harbor Seals, San Diego CA February 19, 2017.

And of course! Seeing the wildlife!

Columbia View Park, St. Helens, OR

Misadventure led me to Columbia View Park in St. Helens, OR. I had intended to go to Warrior Point, Sauvie Island. Due to laziness and lack of research, I ended up driving through Linnton, Scappoose and finally to St. Helens, OR. I’d packed a lunch and snacks and was determined to explore a little so I found the closest green shape on the map and headed to Columbia View Park. It started to rain about thirty minutes after arrival. Here are some pictures of the brief walk.

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Silent Disco and Strangers

While waiting to meet up with Natasha, an acquaintance of Ally’s- she drew someone into our small group while at Laurelhurst Park. Her name was Tamela and she had such a kind spirit. We chatted for a minute and become home base. There was also a Silent Disco starting up and she’d offered to pay for the experience. What a generous and amazing woman! If she hadn’t told me the struggle she was going through, I would’ve never guessed it. She was beautiful. Her eyes shone and her smile was warm. She played frisbee with us, she’d caught on really quickly. I like people who are in it to win it 🙂 We had some good rounds of catches and throws.

 

 

I’d never been to a silent disco in Portland! Thanks Tamela, Ally and Natasha for spending a moment with me, in the sun, on the grass, playing frisbee and pointing out all the dogs that appeared.

Personal Manifesto

It has always been difficult for me to maintain consistency with most things in life. Blogs, good intentions, goals all fall under that column. I drafted a “manifesto” and posted this on my door and now I’m posting it here as my “first blog” (for the 20th time). After sustained hiatuses I usually start blogs over, from scratch, adopting new identities without a new voice. I didn’t have an urge to do so for this, so I figure this is as good as any other thought vomit I’d normally have.

  1. Days are long but the years are short.
  2. In yourself, have the capacity for faith, rebellion and humor.
  3. An eye to see, heart to feel and courage to follow. Choose from your heart and your life will fill with things you love. Only love is free.
  4. Fertility of imagination. Creativity and restraint = beauty.
  5. Sweat once a day. The potential of the human body is limitless. Nourish yourself.
  6. Err on the side of positivity and positive energy in all things.
  7. Curate a healthy disregard for commonplace elegance. Make more choices. Do not accept complacency.
  8. Style is multidimensional. Feel free to change.
  9. Work is an overrated activity.
  10. Be fearless.

I’ve never written a manifesto for myself. No guidelines when I get foggy. I read it almost everyday incidentally, while rushing out the door or before I go to bed. It helps.

Lamb Leaf Fat