Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Heat is ON!

The heat and humidity arrived about a week ago. Way late for southern Alabama. Now it is like walking out into a well I remember the feeling.

There is one or two good things about the southern climate. The first is the humidity doesn't age one's skin and keeps one's hair from drying out and the other is the lowland tropical plants LOVE growing here for a good 9-10 months of the year.

The Colocasia around the pond and out front are huge already and some have to be watered daily where they get hit by some afternoon sun. I have planted some castor beans around them so soon they will have some protection.

The Ozone layer is so destroyed that even sun loving plants now have a difficult time with full sun. I have found that I need to plant all the Musa and Ensete bananas in partial shade now so that they don't get direct sun from 11:00 on. Otherwise their leaves scortch.

My latest aquistions in the plant kingdom are one of Brians Petasites (purple) which is a new hybrid. He and I are both hybridizers although this one I believe he got from China some years ago. I highly recommend Brians Botanicals on Ebay for those who love the tropical and 'tropical look' plants.

One of my favorite plants to hybridize is Ricinus (Castor Bean) I have some seeds left of my latest hybridization that I call, 'Blue Lightening'. The new leaves come out a metallic Blue later turning to a lime green with red veins. The trunks and branches are a metallic violet. Since there are always new leaves coming out at the top it is a real stunner in the garden. If interested you can email me at: or Seeds are 10 for 4.99 and plants are 1 quart for 8.99

Will write more later on the gardens latest additions and successes. Later gator!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This has to be the coldest May I can remember...And I have lived in Alabama for many decades. Low 70's during the day and low 50's at night? Crazy!

Yesterday I spent fertilizing all the bamboo groves. I usually do not use chemicals, but I didn't have enough of my Bunny-Worm compost to do the job this time. It sells out faster than they (my bunnies and worms) can make it! LOL! It really does the job and is so good for Mother Earth. I was saddened to use the 13-13-13, but the groves were not fertilized in February so I had to get something down. Their shooting season was very disappointing this spring.

I'm starting more Lotus seeds for containers and getting more Castor Bean plants out in the ground or large containers. I am growing the New Zealand Purple along with all my others this year and am very excited by their coloring and vigor. I think they will end up being fantastic for my hybridiation program. I have been hybridizing Ricinus for many years. Some I use cross pollinization and some I nuke the seeds with my microwave. To do this I tape seeds all over the front of my microwaves door and leave them there for about a month or more. By doing this, I get some crazy hybrids that you can find nowhere else on earth! Some experiments have produced Metallic Blue new leaves which change to lime green with red veins that are absolutely stunning. The stalk and branches were a metallic bright pink! No one could figure out what these plants were. I sold out in a heart beat once people saw pictures of the plants or saw them in my gardens.

I have also gotten some pretty strange variegations of the leaves. Blue splotches mixed in with green or red was another stunner. Each season is always a new surprise for both me and my new and loyal customers alike!

My grown son and hubby surprised me on Mothers Day with mushy cards filled with what every wife and mother loves....$$$ Db said, "Well, Miss Debbi, where do you want to go spend your loot, Lowes?" (he knows me so well!)

I am not thrilled with our Lowes store here in Prattville, AL. The buyer has no imagination and there is seldom anything new or exciting in the garden section but I did find a gallon Japanese Painted Holly Fern and a gallon Old Fashioned Holly Hock before I left so it wasn't a total waste. I also bought a light fixture for over my kitchen sink which I have wanted for awhile. Now you will think we are running a whore house since I didn't realize that the red shade would be quite as "red" as it is. LOL! Changing to a frosted bulb may help so I will try that.

Today will be spent working on the mosaic I am doing on the floor in the third bedroom before my grands get here for the summer break. I'm almost done and will be able to start the grouting soon. If I have the energy, the rest of the day will be spent working outside getting more things planted out. Later gator!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


It is raining outside. Well, you didn't expect it to rain inside, did you??? (smile)
We need this rain so you will not see me complaining about it here even though we need to go to the grocery store. Big deal, you say? Yes, it is for us. I am in my late 50's and Db is in his early 60's so the long walk from the Jeep to the five or six steps up to our front door is tiring with a lot of grocery bags. WoW! I'm exhausted just writing about it! ;-)

Today I was going to work on the third bedrooms floor, but I doubt getting to it till tomorrow. My grandkids are coming for a month and I need to finish laying the ceramic tile mosaic I started some months ago. Db and I don't always think ahead as to time and energy on our projects. Actually, I am almost finished so one more day will not hurt.

Yesterday I watered and fertilized pots and baskets with manure tea; that took about an hour or more. I hang a lot of baskets in trees so I have to walk all over the place with watering can in hand. My hose wand gave out last year and I have yet to replace it. Watering a couple of acres filled with flowers and vines is beautiful to look at but is also a lot of work. I won't complain about it too much until the temperature reaches 95 with equal humidity come next month.

I managed to work on my blog a bit this morning around 5 AM so my readers can sign up for changes. Pretty good idea. I am signed up to a few myself and find it a great way to start my day by reading of other gardeners joys and woes.
We're all in this together...trying to make a little piece of paradise here on earth that we can take pleasure in.

I was watching a program on Tokyo last night before I went to sleep. I had recorded it and just had not the time to watch it until then. How crowded that city is. Supposedly, the most crowded on earth, yet little crime. Strange. I couldn't live in a big city but I guess if you are born and live in one all your life you adjust. Me, I need open spaces, fresh air and wildlife around me. I grew up around farms and have lived the majority of my life on homesteads of my own. I would not cope well in a city or even a town. Thank God for my little place here.

Guess I will get off since I hear thunder coming closer and closer. Don't need to lose my modem again.

God bless and keep you and yours till next time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I really could not believe how cool this morning was. I don't call waking up to 50 degrees on May 7th in southern Alabama "normal" in the least!

Is it just me, or does it seem as if the weather is going topsy-turvy everywhere? Climatic changes are a normal occurance in nature, but this fast? Boy, Revelations is certainly showing it's truth!

I have planted some Lotus, both seeds and rhizomes from last years water gardens and they seem happy enough. Maybe I will even get some flowers this year, who knows!

The bamboo shooting on the cold hardies was not a good one this spring. The weird winter/spring temperatures really did a number on them. The hot then cold was not condusive to a good shooting season. A shame!

This morning I planted up three Colocasia species that I ordered from a tried and true supplier of water plants. You really get what you pay for with .