Sunday, May 26, 2013


While the Grow Write Guild prompt asked about changes to your garden, as the closest thing I have to a garden at the moment is my houseplants, I decided it would be best to write about those instead. 
Back in the fall of 2011 I moved out of the house and into my a tiny closet of a college dorm room. The only greenery I took with me was a small clay pot with a spider plant stolon taken from a large plant back at my house in Michigan. Over the course of a year, I went from one plant to three, to eight, to twelve. Now that I'm in a large apartment, my plant count is currently at eighteen houseplants; that count not including the five tomatoes and three pepper plants that will soon be going into a friend vegetable garden. 

My collection began with that little pot that is holding up a
 few of my books and was soon joined by another spider plant.

My plant propagation class soon bumped my total up even higher.

My hibiscus plant was one of the biggest additions.

My first African violet has now become four African violets
through propagation and division.

Here is two of those new African violets with a bit of a
view of the pothos plant.
Also added to the mix has been two orchids, a snake plant and a pothos taken from one of my mom's pothos plants at home. Soon I might have even more African violets from a propagation project I'm working on right now. And I love each one of my plants and dote on them all the time. Each new plant is exciting in the way making a new friend is exciting. Thinking about it, my "garden" of houseplants has gone from a sentimental attachement to home through a spider plant, to a horticulturalist and plant geek's garden of misfits, propagation projects and friends. And I'm quite glad it's turned out that way, even if I sometimes look at my little corner and wonder just how I came to have so many plants. 

Current houseplant "garden".

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blooms of Campus

It's a little sad that I'm only posting this now. Last year, I was posting "What's Blooming on Campus?" back in April! Thankfully, the weather is finally acting like summer and campus finally got some color. Below the pictures I've got a bit of an update on what I'll be up to this summer and what you can expect to see from me through my posts!

White Magnolia

Pink Magnolia
Apple Blossoms
Tulips are springing up everywhere on the St. Paul campus.
Yellow and red tulips.
An adorable crocus variety I found blooming on the West Bank.

Finals are also finished with so I actually have time to blog now! I passed all my classes (hooray!) and now all I have in front of me is my job at the greenhouse, being a tour guide for the university, and gardening with one of my best friends once she's back from studying abroad. So you can expect vegetable garden posts from me this summer, as well as some other Twin Cities gardening related topics. I'll be getting back into Grow Write Guild posts as well. My next post will hopefully be one of those. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring! Spring?

So Minnesota has decided it doesn't remember what season are anymore and, despite the few days of gorgeous, spring-like weather we had last weekend, yesterday brought almost a foot of snow to the southern part of the state. Thankfully, the Twin Cities didn't get any and instead get to enjoy chilly, cold, gray weather. I'm sure all the plants that got excited and sprouted during the warm weather are rather confused by this point. Frankly, I am as well. Last year, we had daffodils by the beginning of April, and this year we're dealing with 30 degree days at the beginning of May. Doesn't really make much sense.
Thankfully the St. Paul campus has some color to offer up in the form of the adorable little scilla flowers that blanket the more wooded areas.

In other news, last week I started my greenhouse job and am having a really good time. Just being able to work in a place filled with plants makes even the more simple tasks enjoyable. We do a lot of rearranging displays, watering and lots and lots of sweeping. My favorite task so far was when we got a new shipment of  moth orchids in and I got to help unpack the boxes, tag them and set them out on display. It was like a mini Christmas, pulling plant after plant out of the boxes, all with amazingly vibrant colors. They were right in mid-bloom and absolutely gorgeous. Some of the larger varieties included some giant, pure white blooms, a white variety with purple spots on the petals and a purple center, one with yellow-green petals and a purple center and rich, dark purple ones as well. There were tiny ones too, some bright pink with yellow edges, purple with darker centers and peach colored ones with gold centers. I've probably ranted enough about orchids now... Anyway, I've found I have to learn things in a really short amount of time, and by no means do I know even close to half yet. But I have another full weekend of work starting tomorrow, so we'll see what that brings.

I'm planning on filling another Grow Write Guild prompt for my next post, but I'll probably be pretty busy until finals week is over. So probably somewhere around the 17th or 18th I'll try to have that up.
In the meantime, I leave you with more scilla carpet pictures. I hope spring is proving to be a lot...springy-er than mine!