Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boesenbergia rotunda ( Finger Root, Chinese Ginger Krachai)

May 29, 2012
Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada

Botanical Name: Boesenbergia rotunda

Common names: Chinese Ginger
According to the store owner where I bought it (Lim Bangkok Grocery in Somerset) : Krachai
English: Finger Root

My name for it: Odd looking ginger, of course, this one  belong to the ginger family too if anyone is curios. For my convinience and easy to remember - I will call it Chinese ginger.

I took a bite of the root and it taste milder than a ginger. So, I can say, I found another finger food.!

The package have 3 sections, so I decided to split my propagation style. One will be directly put in the pot in backyard, one is rooted in water, and the 3rd one will be in a propagation dome (AKA the plastic baggy method: wrap the root in moist paper towel - sealed in zip lock bag).

29 may 2012. Boesenbergia rotunda
Okay here is the picture of it, and updates soon as the season progress.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Backyard Garden 2012

May 28, 2012
28 May 2012 Heuchera sanguinea "firefly"
May 28, 2012 - flowering Tiarella cordefolia
28 May 2012 - Heuchera "Palace Purple"
May 28, 2012 Bergenia crassifolia
28 may 2012 - groundcover Ajuga reptans
may 28, 2012 - Astilbe (Pink)
May 28, 2012
28 may 2012 Heuchera spp "Caramel"

I thought I would post some pictures of plants residing in my small backyard. These are perennial plants, I cannot afford to buy new flowers every year.
may 20, 2012 - the rock garden hides the rocks! It is starting to look full. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Impatients balsamina (Rose balsam, touch me not, ANNUAL, EDIBLE ORNAMENTAL)

Summer 2011-Impatiens balsamina in my frontyard.
May 22, 2012

IMPATIENS BALSAMINA - rose balsam, touch me not, kamantigue, surangga

(Tropical - ANNUAL)

It was raining overnight, so my hands was itchy in the morning. I said - hmm which seeds need to be put down?

i put down 7 little mounds of impatiens balsamina on the ground, in the front garden. 

While Impatients balsamina is not very popular in Ottawa, City, this was grows freely in Badian Cebu, Philippines where I grew up. This plant was cure for everything, from bruises to mild stomach pains. I never find it anywhere the local garden center, nor the local seed catalog.
I end up getting some from ebay earlier this year. I have no clue what conditions they need, but I imagine something warm enough - just like coleus ideal growing condition.

Last year, a single Impatiens balsamina grow in my front yard, and I was very excited. It came from the batch of annual seeds from the dollar store.

The name "touch me not" comes from the fact that a mature seed pod will explode when you touch it, spreading its seeds. I know - it was fun as a kid. We know it is almost fall when the seeds just explode. I hope to capture this on video soon - so more "touch me not" are needed in my yard. 

But this time, I want more of the plant. It is all edible - imagine if the kids eat it?
Sure - go ahead, who needs spinach when you have impatiens balsamina?

Hope she germinates for me as she is line up along my front walking pathway to my front steps.
Impatiens balsamina  August2011

SOIL : not fuzzy at all, good well draining loam is ideal, add compost to the ground and she is happy.

SUN/SHADE : partial shade please - okay, she can survive in  full sun, but the plant in full sun tends to grow slower, and just get burned by mid summer.

Pictures of more rose balsam in Summer 2012.
Impatients balsamina 2012
 In 2013, my love affair with Rose balsam grow, in fact, I started taking pictures of the baby balsam in June. I got many of them now in my front yard, in my back yard, and the bees love love them.

I read in Mark Cullen's book - "A Greener Thumb" c. 1990, that the flowers look like tiny roses or camellia. Maybe this is why it is called "rose balsam" - a rose like flowers.

Flowering in Mid July (awesome late flowering annual)

Broccoli: Munchkins

May 22, 2012

I thought i wrote something about broccoli already, but I never get around to it. In fact, the seeds germinated, and sort of ready to be planted now.

I observe that the store seedlings are way bigger than any of my seedlings - but then again, I do not own a greenhouse with good supply of ligth. What am I complaining about? My seeds germinated, despite being small.

with that, kudos little broccoli seedlings! i love you no matter how small and weak you are, you will be cared for by this loving gardener.

Broccoli-munchkin  seedlings  May 22, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Packhoi - Cantong White - Bokchoy

Bokchoy - packchoi cantong white

update: may 22, 2012. it rained overnight and i was excited to see my garden.
of course, 2 pots of seed germinated. one of them is pack choi, very small - brings big smile to my heart.
pak choi germinated on may 22, 2012

I was "sing-sowing" seeds again yesterday and half the seeds fall off the container. I really hope there are few leftover for me this season.

i love this veggie, she easily grow on compost, and water, and I add them on stir fries.

The picture below is from Wikipedia, i hope one day this seed can give me treasure to photograph. Thank you to the owner who share it through the commons.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Basil - Outdoors Sowing

Basic - Purple Dark Opal. I have to admit that I bought this one because it is purple and different. Isn't she a cutie? See the picture from SSE Website:

Basil - Lemon - lemon scent perhaps? This one courtesy of my neighbor Wendy.
This picture was linked from Wikipedia:

Basil - Sweet - this is a familiar face, I always see this one on grocery store display.
The picture is from Wikipedia.

May 22, 2012 - sweet basil germinating after the rain. Yay!

I planted d these seeds outdoors today in 6 inches starter pots. I tend to do too many things at once, and too many plants germinating in my basement. LOL

anyhow, I hope these basil will wake up and grow. I love these herbs on fish.

Tomato - truckers Favorite

Tomato - truckers favorite - SSE

Here is a picture of the tomato from SSE website:

I did not have any luck with my cherry tomato, since I knocked it over. So, today I will try my luck of germinating Seed Savers Exchange truckers tomato.

I have to admit that I am a sucker for heirloom plants. So, here is the story for those of you who are as curios as me.

First introduce to gardener around 1912. This is the best strain of Truckers favorite in SSE collection. Uniform 3" pink globes grow in clusters of 3 to 4. Excellent Flavor. Productive plants with good blight resistance. Indeterminate, 75 days from transplant. 

Well, that gives me a month and a half, fruits coming in around July. Not bad! Indoor propagation for this one. See what happens.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hosta Janet

Hosta Janet (shugart/o hara 1981)

This hosta is bright - lime green in the middle, irregular splashing of dark green in the edges, and some outer area of the leaves. I am intrigues how it holds color till last of the fall.

The Hosta registrar classified her, as medium plant, growing high of 15 inches, and wide at 24 inches (2 feet). It is said to be a sport of Fortunei, with original clump in Iowa, USA. 

Spring 2011 - from Ann in Ottawa
I got this hosta from Ann, and Hosta Janet is pure beautiful. Nothing too symmetrical but nice splashes of color here and there. 

Mine has surive one Zone 5B winter in the ground, and she comes out with 3 or 4 eyes. As you see, it is a single plant, and now there will be four, so that is a very awesome growth within the year.

May 17, 2012 (Year 2 in my garden)  - Hosta Janet coming out from the ground.

I was expecting she would be more pale, but if you look closer - she is deep green. i would not know that she is Janet if I did not keep the tag that An gave me last year. Hopefully, she will go back to the lighter lime green that I like her a lot.

Primula Vulgaris - Shade Perennial

Primula vulgaris  - shade loving perennial in Zone 5b

Lat Fall 2011, I was able to buy some Primula from plant sale. It was not very flashy, just a small clump. She was planted near the hosta, so she is under the shade of a fence.

She actually survive winter, and not only that, she has flower coming out, looks like red. So, I am just happy  - as the hosta are also starting to come up.

WhiteTrillium, Red Trillium, Jack in the Pulpit

There are good and bad things where I live - my fence is back unto the NCC naturalized woodlands. The bad thing is - squirrels eat my plants, racoons, and their friends - and I will be lucky if I pick the harvest first before them. I sort of compromise with them last year - i feed them bird seeds, and they leave my crops alone.
The good about it is the flora and fauna, right in my very own backyard - ostrich ferns, trout lilies, white trilliums, red trilliums. they are just by the fence, probably escaping from the blades of the lawnmowing guys.

Today, May 14th 2012, a day after mothers day, i saw them blooming - well maybe couple of days now, but I did not notice. The wiki facts are listed below and here are the pictures I've taken this morning. 

may 14, 2012 - white and red trillium

may 14, 2012 a white trillium


may 14, 2012 - a red trillium with white trillium

Trillium erectum, also known as Wake-robin, red trillium, purple trillium, Beth root or Stinking Benjamin,[2] is a spring-flowering perennial plant native to the east and north-eastern areas of North America. The flowers are a deep red colour, and the plant takes its name Wake-robin by analogy with the Robin, which has a red breast that heralds spring.

Trillium grandiflorum, commonly known as white trillium, great white trillium, white wake-robin, or in French as trille blanc, is a perennial monocotyledonous plant in the lily family

may 14, 2012 - jack in the pulpit  (note: poisonous plant)

may 14, 2012 - emerging jack n the pulpit (note:poisonous plant)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Bog onion, Brown dragon, Indian turnip, Wake robin or Wild turnip) is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a corm. It is a highly variable species typically growing from 30 to 65 cm in height with three parted leaves and flowers contained in a spadix that is covered by a hood. It is native to eastern North America, occurring in moist woodlands and thickets from Nova Scotia west to Minnesota, and south to southern Florida.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet Runner Beans - red flowers are hummingbird favorites:)

Friday, May 11, 2012

SQUASH-Sunburst Hybrid

Squash - Sunburst Hybrid 52 days

I was walking by Home Depot in Bank Street one day and I was in the garden and seeds section. A lovely clerk recommended this squash to me. I told her that I have a small backyard, and the waltham butternut squash just invaded my whole backyard.

She grab this pack and said: This is a tiny squash 2-3 inches in harvest time, but it won't invade your backyard. I bought it, and never thought about it until today. I was just looking at seeds, and notice the envelop. So, since I have not tried this one before, why not?

This is actually a scallop squash, and the fruit size is 1 -3 inches. Zucchini anyone? Smaller than my Black Beauty Zuchinni, but who cares, its squash, and it is good for you. Fruits show up in summer to fall - aha! great summer sautee for me. Unique bright yellow with a dark sunburst pattern at both ends. Interiro flesh  is creamy white and tender with an extremely tasty mild and buttery flavor.
COMPACT AND BUSH TYPES FOR EASY PICKING. With that description - I am really tempted to put few of them in the pots, and it better be bush, not a crawling creepy ones in my backyard.

Anyways - I started 6 pellets today, and I cannot remember how many in the basement.
Cheers little seeds, and see you when you wake up.



While I did not expect anything from the 2 bag of tulips from Cosco last year, they are actually stunning. Few pictures in the front yard showed me nice streaks and variations.

Wintersowing: Coneflowers


Last 2011 winter, I decided to try wintersowing some coneflower. i feel it was about time to try it, plus I have way too much coneflowers to my liking.

And they are put in a big pot, cover in soil. I water lightly. The winter comes. They are snowed in. The snow melt. And they were snowed in again. And finally its spring. The got rained.

Few days ago, I was so happy to see all the little seedlings coming to life. Nothing more satisfying that seeds coming out - surviving after the process, snow, cold, thaw, rain.

The brave and valiant coneflower seeds! here they are!