Worms and Flowers

Where for art thou, spring

Posted in Flowers, Garden, Weather by Lzyjo on March 14, 2010

Only six weeks ago the world outside was covered with snow and ice with more layers of ice and snow on top of that. Temperatures have consistently been 10 degrees below average. Now that it has warmed up the temperamental  spring weather has set in. Read, thunderstorms, hail, 25-mile-an-hour winds, and a threat for tornadoes.

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By mid January local schools had run out of snow days…..I have to laugh becuase they shut down when it’s cold and they let drivers decide whether they want to go out or not. But that’s another story. The only good part about an ice storm is it’s beautiful, if only for a few hours before they sun begins melting it off, drip by drip. In the Northeast you are expected to drive  in 6+ inches on snow, but here that’s nearly impossible, mostly becuase they don’t have the type of road crews like in the NE. I saw one ice truck and it went by three days after the storm when the road was already clear. Oy.

I’ve already been planting peas, but I fear it’s too cold. On the bright side the lawn is definitely turning green from the spring rains and it won’t be long now.

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Here’s what’s happening at CasaLiz. The frigid-looking pansies are flowering more and more, buds are swelling — leaves ready to bust out. Bulbs are coming up all over the place. Somewhere I expected, others in more surprising locations. Jumping-Jimminy, it’s exciting.

What’s been happening in your gardens?

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It’s a Jungle in here

Posted in Plumeria by Lzyjo on October 27, 2009

We had our first real frost last week. It got down to 34 over the night and frosted the windshield. In my experience, the garden survives the first front only to succumb to the second, harder, killing frost. Anyway, the frost event meant I have to bring my tenderites inside.

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October is lovely. It’s the only month that it is is safe, (cool enough and dry enough) even pleasurable to open the windows. In humble explanation of the f-ugly fly paper, the open window weather means we are testing our holey, ripped screens, that are torn beyond repair and would you believe, not removable! Can anyone tell me how to clean the outside of window with un-removeable screens? (My arms are NOT made out of silly putty.) Humph, maybe the screen will rip more, so I can peel it back to wash the windows. They are those stupid paned windows too, real panes, not one piece of glass. Awful to clean and the glazing is coming off. I’m just waiting for a pane to pop out. (Curse you landlord, “reaping where you have not sown” (Thank you Karl Marx for the quote) Hmmm. I apologize for the rant, but I’m feel, how should I say, punchy this morning! Actually I’ve been feeling punchy this entire year.  I think my entire tone has become more conversational in a deranged sort of manner, now that I don’t have to continually deal with documents written in contrived legal-speak. Anyway. It’s all too much to think about. So overwhelming. The bad economy and everything else this mad world throws at us. That paragraph was almost exhausting. I think I can now continue in a more subdued tone.

Those aren’t even all the plumerias! I cringe to think how much more space these plumerias will take up with they are all in 3 to 5 gall on pots, or when I have to move. DH is so sweet, these stay in our bedroom all winter. (tiny house) I hope it will look more manageable when the leaves come off. There are also a few avocados, a strawberry guava, and an annona squamosa jammed in there. Definitely not healthy in term s of air circulation again. Good thing the leaves are already coming off. Sign. Summer is really over and Indian summer too? Where is it?

Formosa Lily and Poor Woman’s Time-Lapse

Posted in Lillies by Lzyjo on August 20, 2009

The Formosa lily is a 6-8 foot tall species lily, originally discovered in Taiwan, fka, Formosa, growing near the island’s highest peak.

Yushan Peak Photo: From Wikipedia User 'Kailing3' Creative Commons License Attribution


This Tainwanese native is hardy to Zone 5- Zone 10., but requires refrigeration in Zone 9 and 10 to simulate winter. It is also known as August Lily after its typical flowering time. In northern climates the Formosa Lily may flower as late as October.

It’s a little difficult to see in the photos, but there is a faint blush of reddish purple on the back of the petals (or are they sepals?) The flowers have a slight sweet fragrance, nothing to write home about even with nostrils flared inches away from the source. The overall look of the white outward facing flowers is very similar to Easter lilies.

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These photos were taken at 24 and 48 hour intervals approximately. ; )

It took about one month and one week from first bud sighting to blooms opening.

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This lily, more so than other species lilies, is easy to grow from seed. I started this one last spring (’08) and now approximately 18-months later it has flowered for the first time at about waist height. I bought the seeds for a few species lilies for $2.00 per pack of ten seeds from BuggyCrazy. She doesn’t have Formosa Lily seeds in stock right now, but I can attest that everything I bought was fresh and germinated quickly.

My Pathetic Pineapple Sage

Posted in Flowers by Lzyjo on July 14, 2009

Salvia Elegans, Pineapple Sage, had been on my list for a long time. It was last winter when I finally got one. Fragrant foliage scented like pineapple and spires of red flowers that are a hummingbird’s dream. Everything about the plant sounded so cherry to me.

I made a nice space for it, with southern exposure, where it surely would flower and planted it out in the spring. It grew steadily bigger during the unseasonably cool spring. Then the summer heat set in and even with supplemental water and the shade of the sunflower poof it shriveled up, leaving three branches.

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It is a sad, sad, sight. The tender Pineapple sage, hardy, but dying back to the ground in Zone 8 and 9, is apparently as heat sensitive as it is intolerant to cold. Harumphfffffffff.

What should I do. Move on to another humming bird magnet, or try replanting it in a shadier position?

I reeeeeally wanted this one to work out! I still love all of its lovely features, even if it won’t grow for me!