Pretty Pink Posies

Okay, what can I say?  I like alliteration (heading).  Years ago we had a pastor who had three point sermons using alliterative headings for each topic.  Got my attention.

Back to pink:  many little girls love the color and want their clothes, rooms,  and accessories to be pink.  I don’t remember ever having pink as a favorite and am not particularly fond of it now.

redpinkfHaving said that, there is something sweet about pink flowers.  Just look at the Gladiola above.  They have been blooming profusely and make wonderful cut flowers.

redpink2In a new flowerbed, we recently planted these Drift roses with  pinkish coral flowers.  The best thing about Drift roses are that they stay low and spread out sideways.  At least, the information about them states that they will grow no taller than one and a half to two feet.  My plan is to keep everything in this bed low.  We’ll see how that goes.

redpinkThis Pigeonberry bush (Rivina humilisL.) is also called Rouge plant and Baby peppers.  That name may come from the red berries it produces.  It, too, is supposed to stay relatively small – 1 to 3 feet.  Due to poor planning in the past, many of my plants have outgrown their space.

redpink1Pigeonberry is a Texas native and does well in zones 7 – 10.  It blooms from spring to fall plus it has berries in the winter.

redpink6Can’t pass up showing Double Delight roses when I talk about pink.  Great aroma and all around great performer.

redpink (3)This Dutch Onion probably falls in the lavender category, but has a slight pinkish hue.

redpink (4)I’m not sure how they’ll do in the summer sun and may have to move them.  But since they’re bulb plants, I figure they will peter out soon and will return next spring.

redpinklGood old Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) has returned and is quickly filling in its space.

redpinkjAnd they definitely need to be confined to an area.

redpinkoAnd the Rose of Sharon Althea (Hibiscus syriacus) have leafed out and are blooming.  These were planted about five feet apart years ago and are crowding each other but continue to be healthy with many flowers.

The good or bad thing about Altheas is that they produce hundreds of new plants each year.  So you have lots to share, but you also must pull up the sprouts before they get too big.  Some come up under my rose bushes and aren’t noticeable until they reach the top of the roses.  So I end up having to cut them off each year at the ground.  This involves an almost prone position on the ground reaching under rose bushes.  Not fun.

redpinknThis is also a Rose of Sharon although the blooms look entirely different.  This is a Double Rose variety.

redpinkqThorn of Crowns looked pretty all through the winter inside, but is adjusting outside in the semi-shade and should bloom abundantly.

pinkAn African Violet on the window sill with delicate flowers.

pink1Ice Plant came back in a pot even after the cold winter.  Such a brave little soul with a vibrant color.

“Wind chimes:  When ten thin tinkling tin things twinkle and tingle in the wind twinkling and tinkling the ten thin tin things make a tingling tintinnabulation of joy”  unknown

A little much?  Sorry.  Couldn’t resist.

African Violets

African Violets are not nearly as difficult to grow as I used to think.  And they bloom almost all year long.  This provides another source of flowers inside during these long, icy, gloomy winter months.

africianvioletI only have two different colors of flowers because both plants were given to me.  But I have several of those because I propagated them.

A lady in our gardening club showed us how easy it is to create many African Violet plants from just one.  Just take a leaf, make a small cut at the bottom of the stem and stick it in potting soil.  If I remember, I also dip the stem in rooting powder first.  The soil should be in a small, shallow container.  African Violet potting soil is recommended, but I just use the potting soil I already have.

The important rooting conditions require placing the container in a clear plastic zip lock bag, but do not zip it.  Also, keep the soil damp.  I slide the container out of the bag, spritz the soil with water in a spray bottle and put the container back into the bag.  This needs to be done whenever the soil dries out.

When small leaves grow around the original rooted leaf, remove the whole new plant with roots and plant into a pot. africianviolet2It works best if it is put in an African Violet pot that has a hole in the bottom for a string to hang down into a water source.   Just choose a small pot that fits into another container but doesn’t fall into the water.  The idea is to water the plant from the bottom water source rather than water being poured into the top soil.

africianviolet5One of my favorite pots is a coffee mug.  The plant above is in a plastic margarine container.  Just poke a hole in the bottom with an ice pick, pull the string up into the container and put the soil around it.  Then put water in the mug.  This particular butter container fits just above the lip of the mug.

The above picture shows a characteristic of African Violets.  The leaves die from the bottom of the plant.  This is normal.  Just pull off or cut off the dead leaves and flowers.  This keeps the plant looking fresh and neat.

africianviolet3Special fluorescent lights are not required.  A window sill where there is bright indirect light works really well.  In my location, that means a northern exposure.

Now I would like a deep purple African Violet.  So I just might have to buy that one.

“The toughest part of a diet isn’t watching what you eat.  It’s watching what other people eat.”  Unknown