Friday, July 13, 2012

Green Thumb

Just thought I would share with you all some PROGRESS from my patio.

Our office manager at work and I share a love of letting plants kick our sorry butts.
It's so sad, but so true.

We each decided that this year we would start gardens and track progress on how our plants were doing. We have good days, and we have bad days. And lately, we've had mostly bad days.

I only did peppers this year, being a newbie and all, but she went all out in her garden. She's got all kinds of lettuces, squash, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries... you name it. I am severely jealous of her landscape. Meanwhile, I'm stuck with anything that can be grown in a pot... which is, actually, a lot.

Our daily conversations and e-mails are riddled with questions to each other, googling and sharing information.
I've got bug problems... she's got worm problems.
I've got over-watering issues... she's got under watering issues.
I've got spiders... she's got ants.
Our saga goes on and on and yet we still do it. We bond over our mutual affection toward these living things, and how we generously pour money from our pockets to spend on supreme organic pest control, specialty soils, expensive calcium pellets, meticulous pruning, and re-location to wherever we think these inanimate objects would be happiest.

And how do they re-pay us?
They mold.
They bruise.
They die.

And what's worse is that we keep coming back for more.

However, there is one thing on my patio not giving me attitude. My succulents.
My glorious, thriving succulents.

My gardening buddy had clipped leaves from her own succulent garden, which she started from clippings a friend had given her a couple of years ago. We traded services (succulents for knits) and I propagated these little guys with minimal TLC.

Literally, all I did was dip these little pieces in rooting hormone and planted them in cactus soil. It took about a month to see some growth. I checked daily and waited and waited and waited. Just when I was ready to throw in the towel last week, I noticed the smallest bit of growth. I excitedly snapped a picture to send her. (Granted, about half of the clippings she brought me did not make it, but I believe it's because I planted them too soon and did not let them properly scab). Here it is, only one week after noticing the initial growth and just look at these little guys! I couldn't believe my eyes.

just planted: May 6, 2012
(circled are the little survivors)

today: July 13, 2012
look at this little guy!
he is the 5th clipping counterclockwise from the top.
today: July 13, 2012
these guys really grew.
they look like such babies in the first picture!
today: July 13, 2012
so proud :)
It is amazing to me how this plant can be cut from the leaf (not even at the root), stuck in the dirt, hardly watered, and effortlessly yield these beautiful plants when I can't get my jalapeno to grow to save my life. I don't get it.

Nonetheless, I am extremely satisfied with the growth of my little succulents. I will definitely do this again and again and will be hard pressed to purchase any succulents in the future. With minimal effort, I easily grew these at home with little cost. Winner winner chicken dinner.

I am hopeful that the new batch she clipped for me and I planted last weekend will have the same luck.

new baby clippings :)
grow, babies, grow!
Last, but certainly not least, the only other two things in bloom on my patio are my beautiful kong coleus and my sunflowers. I started the sunflowers from seeds, planting them indoors near a window on a Thursday and by Monday morning, they had already sprouted! I kept them inside for another three weeks before planting them outside and they have really taken off. Hopeful to see some beautiful golden yellow flowers this summer :) 

the ever beautiful coleus 

sunflowers: week one

sunflowers: week three

sunflowers: week five


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