Epiphyllum Orchid Cacti

I have been growing these orchid cacti since December 2020. I got them when they were only cuttings but they have grown quite a bit. They seemed to be very easy to care for. I water once a week and leave in bright shade or morning sun. It took a couple of months of watering the cuttings before I saw any greens on the stems.

I bought a mix of cuttings so I have no clue what some of these flowers will look like. The seller wrote the names of some of the cuttings as you can see.

Some grow stems outward like spider legs (below).

And some will grow shoots next to or around the main branch. My understanding is that they flower after they become rootbound in the spring.

This pot below flowered for the first time this spring. I have it in this pot for over 3 years. As you can see it is a bit overcrowded with stems everywhere.

The color is a vibrant deep pink. It lasted only a few days if I remember correctly. I had only this one flower. Hopefully next year I will get more. I’m still learning about this plant.

Best Blooms of Spring and Summer 2021

Happy first day of Autumn! I am so excited that Fall/Autumn is here because the weather will be cooler and it is a great time to start planting or moving plants. It is also a time for cleaning up the yard since the whole summer was spent watering plants!!!

I was thinking la few weeks ago that this year has not been a good flowering year for my garden. I felt a lot of things didn’t take off as well as I had hoped. Looking through my collection of pictures this past spring and summer, I was surprised to see that I DID have an incredible garden this year! This post is showing the best of the blooms in spring and summer.

Spring Blooms

Summer Blooms

That’s all of my favorites for spring and summer! I hope it was a fascinating post for you too! I love looking at all these pictures and this would be a great photo album for years to come.

Hibiscuses, Roses, and a Smattering of Things

A few of my favorite hibiscuses and roses are starting to bloom in abundance this week. For this week one of my newer hibiscuses bloomed and some more than the previous year. Hibiscuses are very easy to grow here in California because they like warmer weather. It seems late summer is the best flowering period for my hibiscuses and they will flower all into the fall too.

I have some nice looking roses growing now too. Pretty colors these guys are but they are not scented ones, unfortunately. All of my roses here are first year growers so the flowering is not very impressive but I expect next year they will be more plentiful. I think the root system is not very strong so the heat we’ve been having caused the petals to be a little burned on the edges.

Below are the smattering of flowers and fruit that are appearing in my yard.

Dahlia
Dondo Blue
Chicory flower
Carrot flower – carrot going to seed
Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica)

I will leave you with this picture of my one and only papaya tree that has been growing fruit these past few months. I started out with about 13 successful seedlings but I gave some away. I kept about 4 plants but this is the only one that survived these past 3 years. It is now about 9-10 feet tall. The bottom fruit was the first one to turn into a fruit. I hope it doesn’t fall off the tree and getting eaten by my dogs or some other creatures in the yard. This was the first fruit that I have grown from seeds so a lot is riding on this!

Anyway, have a wonderful week ahead!

Hibiscuses and Pink Flowers

Last week I took some time off from posting because it was a holiday.  I definitely felt guilty for taking time off as if it’s a weekend job to post something every week!  Well, I used the time off to clean up the yard a bit since the weather was nice.

There is not a whole lot going on in the yard right now because of the terrible heat but a few flowers managed to bloom.

When I was writing up this blog, I tried to upload my pictures but WordPress said I didn’t have enough storage to upload any photos so I relented and paid them for the lowest plan, the “Personal” plan, but at a discount. I held back on renewing my plan a while back in anticipation of them offering me a coupon like they did last year and just a few days ago, they DID! So, I managed to use the coupon for this plan renewal. It would be better if it was a coupon for the Premium plan but this will work! Aside from gardening, I do know a few things about shopping and waiting around for good deals online!

Enough about WordPress, let’s talk about beautiful flowers! A lot of the following are flowers you’ve seen earlier in the season or a few weeks ago. I think every picture is showing something different in the flowers each time no matter how many times you look at the same plant…the lighting, the shape, the colors of the flowers, and time of the year changes its beauty daily.

The Cape Primrose below is one I recently bought but a few weeks ago it had only a couple of flowers at a time, this time there are five gorgeous beauties! That’s SOMETHING!

Plum Perfect is this rose below.  I planted it in February this year.  A few months ago it flowered about 3-4 flowers but this time I had triple that. I managed to get some for my desk at work.

PLUM PERFECT AND ICEBERG WHITE ROSES MIXED WITH STATICE

Mantisalca Salmantica is this awesome, fluffy flower in pink and white. It has been blooming from mid spring until now, although less prolific than it is now. They are adorable pompom-looking flowers!

The below flower is a pink rose mallow, a hibiscus variety that goes dormant in the winter and comes up in the spring. I grew this from seed and this year it grew twice taller about 5 feet tall. This pink flower has some nice shades of dark and light pink!

This white Althea Rose of Sharon hibiscus is a new addition to my yard and bloomed for the first time. If you have been reading my blog posts you know I love hibiscus very much. In fact, hibiscus is my favorite plant! I have at least 12 of them and always looking for more.

HIBISCUS that starts out pink and changed to light salmon color by the end of the day.

Now, I will leave you with my cutie Faucaria Tigrina (tiger jaws) succulent. I know it is not exactly pink blooms to fit with the theme of this post but it is an adorable one. I think my plant is a bit sunburned or diseased but it seems to be okay. The flower bloomed for 2-3 days, opened up in the morning and closed at night. So, like this flower I will close this post on a late afternoon on a Friday. Have a great weekend! I hope the weather is good wherever you are!

Angel’s Trumpet and Other Delights

Angel’s Trumpet, also known as brugmansia, are blooming abundantly in my garden this week. Two varieties I am particularly excited about finally bloomed. The Pink Velvet was recently potted up after it was living unhappily in the ground for over two years! It flowered a little bit before but the colors were not the true pink color that it was supposed to be. In this pot now, it bloomed more flowers and the colors are delightfully pink and true to its kind. It starts out white and the next day it changed to pink!

Angel’s Trumpet Pink Velvet

The double pink trumpet below is truly adorable with its double ruffles like two flowers stacked in one. It opens into a light yellow first before turning pink like the picture below. What a wonderful work of God!

Audrey Lea Angel’s Trumpet (double pink)

This Charles Grimaldi has been in the ground for 3 and a half years and it is about 9 feet tall. I grew them by my trash bins area to combat the smell when I take the trash out! It is strongly fragranted in the evenings.

Hibiscus

I’m not sure which kind of hibiscus this is because I planted this long before I thought about being a gardener. I bought it because I LOVE the colors of this hibiscus. Amazing colors! This one is also in horrid clay soil for years but periodically fertilizing seems to help it flower from August until November, sometimes in hot December, too!

Cape primrose “Wow

This little beauty below is spectacularly beautiful with its half ivory and magenta petals. It really does make you want to say “wow” when it flowers. This is a new plant for me and I meant to keep them indoors but for now it’s in mostly bright shade. I don’t water it too much either, only every 3 days.

Four O’clock

I love these Four O’clock flowers. To some people they may seem invasive as they keep appearing everywhere in the yard but it has really beautiful colors like this yellow below. I have dark pink, light pink, orange, and this yellow all over in my backyard. I posted about them in many of my posts before.

Maximillian Sunflowers

Funny story about this sunflower plant is that last year I planted this when I was in a hurry so I did not make a note of where it is to water it. I forgot all about it after I planted. So naturally it died from lack of water ,I guess, but this year it appeared. I had a “that’s where it went” (face palm moment) when I saw it bloomed. By the way, isn’t that a beautiful cranberry hibiscus bush in the background?

Buddha’s Hand

Isn’t this Buddha’s Hand the weirdest fruit ever? It really is creepy and cute at the same time! It’s green now but will turn yellow in a few more weeks and should be good for eating. I never eat these but have used for decorations. They smell really nice and citrus-like. Ignore the long grass weeds in the background. They are so out of control, I have no time for it!

Dragon Fruit

I never thought I would like this plant but it is growing on me. It’s ugly and cactus-like at first but now that is has grown in this pot for more than 2 years, it is starting to sprout a fruit as you can see below. I never liked store bought dragon fruit but maybe this baby will convince me it’s a plant worth keeping.

Well, I will end this post for now. Getting ready for a fun-filled gardening weekend where I pull weeds, clean up the yard, and possibly plant some hibiscus.

Summer Blooms

Rosella’s Dream Lily

Rosella is a beautiful light pink lily. It had three large flowers on a short 12-inch branch, maybe because it is only in its first year of bloom.

Shrimp Plant

This Shrimp plant is very unique and tolerates heat and dryness well. I have seen them grown in masses on the streets. I like how they look so I purchased them years ago to fill my garden. The flowers are soft and feathery and look like shrimps.

China Asters

I grew a mix of China Asters this year and so far I have many beautiful colors. A few blogs ago I showed them in purple, white, and dark pink. I don’t know much about asters but I love how they grow to have so many pretty flowers!

Poppy or Mantisalca Salmantica

I thought this was a poppy but I cannot find proof in my seeds collection that this is a poppy. I used a plant identification App and was identified as being similar to this Mantisalca. I can tell you that it is heat tolerant and has many beautiful blooms.

Red Courtesan Sunflowers

Just a beautiful red color! I love these sunflowers!

Plumbago

I love plumbagos for its drought tolerance and beautiful flowers. It blooms in clusters in the summer. It is great to grow as a privacy hedge since it fills up and out very quickly .

Amaranth

This new amaranth sprouted in the same location that I planted several last year. It must have reseeded. The ones from last year had their leaves munched up by some creatures. These are edible leaves to humans too. Somehow this perfect little amaranth was unscathed. I love red leaves in plants, so striking in the garden!

Daylily

Beautiful yellow daylily to end the blog! Have a great weekend!

The Art of Wanting Less in Gardening

Recently I read an article on how to curb spending on clothes and other material goods. Let me just say that I have a problem with spending and it led me to that article. As I was reading the article, I thought I should apply those tips to gardening as well, since that also seems to be a problem for many gardeners like myself. I think a lot of gardeners have a tendency to keep buying and planting more plants. Once we get started, we enjoy the beauty of the plants so much that we want to collect MORE and MORE plants!

If you have been reading my posts you may have noticed that I have a lot of interesting and unusual plants. I like to plant unique things and I like to try a lot of different seeds. If you take a walk in my garden you will notice I own a lot of plants. I can’t seem to stop collecting plants and these days I don’t have time to do that much planting and caring for them. So the tips below are going to be my go-to checklist before I buy new plants.

By the way before you look at the list, check out the beautiful flowers that got me in trouble with spending and hoarding.

Dahlia “Fairway Spur”
Plumeria

TIPS TO PREVENT PLANT HOARDING

  • Reduce your exposure to plant catalogs and emails (take your name off their lists!)
  • Take stock of what you already have. Ask yourself, “Do you need another hibiscus or poppy?” If you already have 10 poppies out there, you don’t need another one, do you? Do you have space to put that plant?
  • Wait 24 hours to see if you still really need that plant? Most of the time I find that I don’t really NEED to have that plant after all. Actually, in gardening, I don’t think there ever is a NEED for any plants. It is all WANTS WANTS WANTS!!!
  • Take a break from buying for a week, a month, or several months. If you can do it, and I know it is almost impossible, try waiting a year before you buy a new plant. You will notice that when you don’t buy new plants, you actually have a lot of time to do other things. This also means one less plant to worry about watering, fertilizing, and mulching.
Iochroma Cyanea “Royal Blue”
Picasso Calla Lily

Blog Posting

This August 9 will be my one-year anniversary of blogging.  My motivation for starting the blog at the time was that I wanted to share pictures of my flowers and garden with friends and family.   I also wanted to share with others outside of my close circle. I know that it takes years and a lot of time and money invested into blogging to eventually have a sizeable following.  Right now, the most satisfying payoff to writing these posts is knowing there are people all over the world who “liked” the blog and are viewing it.

However, I am at a crossroad now where I have to decide whether I want to pay WordPress more money to have special features on my posts or to boost my blog out there to attract more viewers.  It seems that if you don’t have the Business account, your blog gets drowned in nowhere land and not even you can find your posts! 

I haven’t really invested much time and certainly not much money into this project and I don’t plan to in the near future. I may look into other sites to share my stories and pictures.  I think for now, I will post what I normally post for my current followers and anyone else who manages to find my site.  I know that viewership will be very low because I closed my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, so no referrals there.  I hope to use other media platforms to promote my blog further down the line.

If anyone has advice or feedback regarding blogging or whether you think it’s worthwhile to pay extra for the WordPress Premium account, please let me know.

I’d like to end this with some of my favorite asters this week.  These were all grown from seeds. Colors are so pretty and flowers are quite big (2-3 inches wide).

I will conclude with this adorable hibiscus. It is just THE perfect hibiscus. Notice the heart-shaped petals! Amazing!

Baby Succulents

There are some really cute and adorable succulents growing right now that I wanted to share. It has been hot here in southern California. A lot of my succulents are growing in the half-day shade area and I’ve had to water them at least every 3 days to make sure the leaves don’t get crispy.

Ladyfinger Cactus
Sempervivum Lively Bug and Hens and Chicks Golden Nugget
Sempervivum Mona Lisa
King protea
Sempervivum Suixie from Slovenia
Various Sempervivums

I’m not sure the name of the above succulent but it has the prettiest flowers and petals.

Flowers

So far the summer here in my neck of the woods have been pleasant.  I know many places across California have had a terrible heatwave over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) but we’ve been getting the high 80s in Orange County.  The temperature have been good to me and my plants.  I am constantly impressed by flowers that keep popping up in my backyard.  In this post are the latest finds this past week.

Heartleaf Four O’clock

These Four O’clocks are great drought tolerant plants.  I hardly watered this plant in our heatwave and it still managed to grow and bloom every day. I love the purple and yellow colors. This was in a container that I inherited from my father-in-law.

Yarrow

I’m really not sure what this flower is but I think that I planted it from seed.  On a plant identifying site, PlantNet, it is suggested that it resembles a yarrow. I think this is prettier than yarrow because of the delicate flower forms within this flower and the baby blue color.  See how there are about three dozen little flowers within this flower? Amazing! Since I am still not sure, we will call this a yarrow.

Kalanchoe

I love the colors of the kalanchoe flowers below.  The yellow is really a very bright and cheery yellow. I forgot to water it a few times and it had some dead leaves and the resident spiders spun webs all around my plants. 

The colors of this kalanchoe are wonderful, these are all my favorite combination of colors. I’ve never seen these colors on a kalanchoe before.

Lemon Aura Sunflower

This adorable sunflower below is only about 14 inches tall but it is such a sweet beauty and perfectly formed.

Anemone

Anemones are so pretty. I planted many anemones late in the spring and so far this adorable white anemone is the only one that popped up and I had it in a pot while the others are in the ground. Strange, I tend to kill things in pots. Sorry, the below picture is a bit blurry. It was the best I had of this one before the petals fell off. I did manage to cut one to put in my vase for work.

This vase has an anemone, yellow alstroemeria, pink and yellow dahlia, and an orange rose in the back

Blackcurrant Swirl Angel’s Trumpet

This Angel’s Trumpet flower below is the prettiest so far this summer. Previous blooms were marred by sunspots but these are just perfect. It only bloomed for a day though. I have it in a pot but it will do better in the ground I’m sure. I have three that grew successfully from seeds and now I am begging friends to take them but no one has room for them.

Rudbeckia Sahara

These reddish looking rudbeckia Sahara was a plant I purchased and the ones below it were ones I grew from seeds.  Maybe the variety is different or the soil environment is different but the colors on these plants are wildly different.  The flowers seemed to be dried and fried, very unhealthy looking. These red ones were advertised to be more orange, yellow, and red colors. I am a little disappointed they didn’t turn out as pretty as the ones I grew from seeds below that.

The two pictures of the rudbeckia Sahara below are the same flower and they were grown from seeds in a pot. The petals became lighter as it aged. I really love the light orange colors in these. They make me smile when I look at them.

Algrostemma Milas

This is my first time growing these Algrostemma Milas.  It is such a cutie!  I love the brushstrokes in the center.  They seem to be tolerant of drought and heat.  So far they are only about 18 inches tall and they are flowering generously.

Purple coneflowers

This purple coneflower is the slowest to grow.  I didn’t know that when I started growing them from seeds. It has been a year now and it finally flowered! It is definitely worth the time waiting because the colors are amazing!  Who would have thought to put purple and orange together on this flower!  It really stands tall and loud in the garden.

I know there is a bit of a blur on these pictures but I can only blame a) on my camera b) on my eyes.  At the time I took the pictures, I had bifocal contact lenses on that made things look kind of clear to me at the time but in reality it is not once I take off the lenses.

Dill Flowers

These dill flowers are the neat, aren’t they?  I love the smell of dill.  I like to pinch off a few leaves to smell once in a while when I’m in the garden.  I am going to leave the dead flowers into the winter, hopefully this will set many more seeds for next year’s growth. 

More Lily Trees

Here are more of my favorite lily trees growing in the garden.  I love their wonderful fragrance.  They are so tall and stately in my garden.  Many of these are about 3-4 feet tall with at least four flowers in bloom. 

That’s all for now! I hope next week I will have more exciting flowers to show you.