Sunday, September 18, 2016

September 18, 2016- a new garden bed and many exciting things

It must be fall. Iowa City just sent out the leaf sucking schedule. Each fall the City will suck up your leaves on a schedule. They give you a map putting your house into a zone based on certain streets. It always takes us a while to figure our where we are. It actually is a good program, as is the City's compost program. They just opened up the compost pile this past week. They sell it for $20/ton at the landfill. Bob and I went out there on Thursday. We filled up many containers. The bill came to $3.65. They have said the program loses money-Duh.

It has been an exciting week. They weather has been great. The last flower on the orchid cactus bloomed yesterday. We have also been waiting for the regular cactus to put on a great show. Cool weather has delayed most of the flowering until tomorrow.

Here is the second flower from 'Unforgettable", the orchid cactus that surprisingly bloomed in September. My how a single flower can be wonderful. The sun hit it from behind in an unforgettable way. This first picture begins to resemble a water lily.



How about a closeup.



I thought this beauty was really only the warm up act to the real cactus.
The final show will come on Monday.
Here is the sequence of pictures over time.



These first two pictures were taken on August 18. You can see the little fuzzy things that are the start of buds. I now know that it takes about a month for the bud to develop all the way to flower.









This biggest cactus had three flowers at one time on July 1, 2016. I think that was the last time it bloomed.
There had been 5 flowers at once on August 31, 2015. If you go to the blog archive for September, 2015 you will find a picture presentation of the cactus and the big flowering event at that time.

Well... that was nothing,......, nothing.

This was Thursday, September 15.

I knew then it was going to be special.






These were from September 17, Saturday.





Here is the shelf they live on in the summer. They biggest one has the most flowers. The other ones have an occasional flower. There is actually one to the right of the big one. It has a single flower. It may flower at the same time as the big one.





So here is this morning, Sunday. Only one of ten buds opened. You will have to wait until next Sunday for the full bloom. I have been doing a Facebook thing lately. Old dogs with new tricks. You can look for pictures there if you have the interest.



Amidst the splendor/excitement of the cacti of one sort or another, other stuff was going on.



This is a Japanese anemone. They bloom in the fall.





This is another one.



Do you know what this is? It is a toad lily. It gets points just for the name. Some variety of these jewels bloom all the way to November.



I got this little orchid about 5 years ago at the Orchid Society's Christmas party. It has bloomed almost constantly ever since.





Here is one of the many seedpods on the yellow orchid cactus. Growing cactus from seed is a challenge, but I am doing it. One of these days I will feature those seedlings.



Here is another fall crocus. They pop up from nowhere in September or later to add much needed color.









Here is the phalanopsis in the backyard. It now has 7 flowers. None have faded yet. They do last a long time.









Then there was the reset of this one bed along Fairview Street. Ron, my new garden helper, and I, reset the bed last week. First we removed all the soil and weeds down to about 12 inches.


Here was the beginning of the week, after we had stripped everything out of the bed.




We then layered professional dirt (from the box store), peat moss, cow manure, more dirt and Iowa City compost throughout. Then it all got mixed up.



Now I have a blank canvass, the gardener's dream.



Here is another view. Imagine what could go there. How about 50 tulips, of several colors.











That's it for this week.
Philip


1 comment:

Catherine Woods said...

My word, what splendid photos of that amazing orchid cactus! I love the photos of the toad lily and phalaenopsis orchids too. Lastly, yes please, a bed of tulips.