Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Greenhouse Monday pictures.

So the long weekend madness is far from over. Because of the cold weather, it carried over into this week and it's far more busy than I anticipated. We're loaded and ready to go and even sold out on a few things (which is insane because I've NEVER been THIS sold out before!). I thought I would take a few pictures of the greenhouse monday morning, even though I only get to it wednesday. It was decent but messy. The week is our recovery time though I have to say, truck after truck after truck is killing us. KILLING US.

KILLING US. But in a good way of course.

(above) This was changed this morning because it wasn't holding enough, so instead of that big blue thing, I changed it to two flat tables (we move furniture a lot) and now it's looking really good. I'll try and take pictures tomorrow.

(above). Don't get too excited. It's an impatient. I'm not sure if I posted this before but I have this in a four inch pot and it's thick enough to grow it as a standard (in tree form). Mental, Yes, I realize this. It's also $12 bucks. Imagine. haha. Well, thats what we live for over in our greenhouse, the weird and unusual if we can.

Joey (Ptilotus). If you see him bloom, let me know. I'm still waiting on it. ha. We put him next to Angelonia and Iresine, but those two don't like him just yet. Wait until they see him blooming! Drought tolerant baby! Full sun and looking smashing!

Hibiscus. Not a thriller but a double! Guess what I found though?? A yellow double hisbiscus standard! In my greenhouse! yes!!! I was so excited, I picked it (I know, I'm such a noob) and showed my sister. Her excitement was less significant.

MINE! It was suppose to be mine. Of course, I waited until the weekend was over and they were all gone before I considered buying one. Way to go Andrea. Way to go.... Andrea.

Geraniums, Nemesia. I thought it was a pretty picture.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's blooming in the Greenhouse!

Geranium 'Esspresso'. Looks like someone needs a spellchecker, but I kid you not, this is how it's spelled. Do I know a lot about this perennial? Not too much. Hardy to zone 4, full to part sun, May-june blooming. It's actually a nice little plant, more english garden feel to it.
Dicentra ' Burning Hearts'. If you don't know this one by now, get to know it! It's a sister to 'King of hearts' , dwarf variety but witha beautiful dark red flower. Full Shade and just a stunning plant all around. It's a new variety and boy, do I love it.

Sisyrinchium 'bermudianum'. Here's the greenhouse worker admitting that I didn't love it until I tried to sell it to someone. I wasn't thrilled with it at all until (of course) there were two left and snatched up, walking out the door. Didn't I regret that judgement because suddenly, I had this "I must have this plant" panic and couldn't do anything about it because I had just sold it. Just. Shame on me. SHAME ON ME.

A collection of Heucheras, burnnera. Can you name them?

I think I've spoken enough tonight and it's creeping well past my bedtime.

The painful Gardener

There's nothing like going out to get your hands dirty in the garden, hunched over, one hand supporting your body, the other working frantically against the time it takes for your back to call it quits. Your wrists complain with a increased ache that climbs up your trembling arm and you push your back into the opposite of an arch, trying to stretch that dull ache out, just to hold off a little longer until you get this weeded/planted/pulled.

You know your limits and so does your body (maybe your body knows a little more of your limits but tolerates your stubborness for only so long) and then it hits. That slow uprighting position you take when your either on your knees (heads out of gutter - thank you!) or standing up, finishing the job. Your hands immediately go to your back and you arch it, but you're not really paying any attention to the pain that hammers up your spine and right down your sciatic nerve. No! you're patting yourself on the back, a brief nod to the good day and time well spent on your garden. Your plants will thank you later.

Too bad your back won't.

Isn't that when we treat our back to a nice hot shower and a silent promise to take it easy the next few days and enjoy smelling the flowers.

I know back pain. I had a back injury four years ago and as someone who's walked out from two spinal taps, I can tell you that at thirty, it's not getting better. I thought to post this to a different journal but it really does apply here to other people, many other gardeners who ignore their back and keep on working. It's not the way to go. Plants will be fine and while my front lawn and backyard grow faster with each passing day, it's not that big of a deal to cut it down. It'll get done. Just like the house cleaning.

I can honestly say that my back has no time to recover. What, with working a labor job (yes, THIS retail job falls into a heavy labor category) and working out to repair the damage, my back has been nothing but forgiving. Chiropractors are the way to go, especially when I can't fix the problem myself. Mind you, I go to the gym, I run, I stretch, I do weights, etc ,etc ,etc, but I also take two days off on the weekends and those days off are for me and my back. I've had my chiropractor take up the position of personal trainer too only because back corrections are so hard to fix and you can easily further the damage. This applies to gardening too where people are hunched over for hours, picking weeds (oh my, you should SEE the weeds in my garden!) and digging holes. Save your back. Rent a machine or get some young thing to do it. Especially where holes are concerned.

For me, I wake up early early in the morn (5am if I can) and I run with the dog. I come home, drop the pet off and head out to the gym, spending forty minutes there, lifting weights and stretching. It really sets my mood for the day, pushing me into something positive that I can ride for the next eight hours. It also does wonders for my back. I come home at night and again, once the family is fed, baby put to sleep (I have a 19 month old), then it's grabbing the dog and out for another run!

I am by no means a thin little thing (okay... welll im 5'2") but I weigh 160 lbs of overweight flub that I'm trying to get rid of. I packed it on in december (wow hey! Where did All that WEIGHT come from!) and have not been able to be rid of it ever since. I wont allow myself to buy new clothes but wear hand-me-downs (my punishment for gaining 20 lbs in a month!), I've cut out the sugar, cut down on the breads and I drink lots of water. I find that when I exercise, my body naturally shoos away the sugar cravings and I have more urges to drink water than I do anything else. Ive heard of people cutting out a lot of eating in general but I work a labor job and lets be honest here. I cut my portions down but by no means do I cut food out. Doing so would be foolish to my body and downright abusive. My body needs fuel to run and just like a well oiled car, it needs vitamins. Tea has nearly been cut out of my diet and I don't drink pop. Pop drinkers! Cut it out of your diet and guarenteed you'll lose 20 lbs in three months just because you left that behind!

It's a trialing task and listen, we didn't gain that weight over night. It always takes time and it's not about the end result, it's about the journey. This also means going to bed at a respectable time, giving my body the time to regenerate and relax. On my days off, on the weekends, I take a pill to fully relax and wind down, usually the robax (back relief thinger?) and I do it only when I can't come out of a work high (it's a mode thats difficult to phase out of once home). I try not to take any medications because they make me groggy and they also can't be that healthy for you.

A back injury like mine is by no means permanent and the soreness in your back can be changed too. You just have to want it bad enough and find ways to make it work for you. I change things up all the time, after a program runs it's course for 6 weeks, it's changed, challenging my muscles to new and fit ways to maintain a healthy and workable body, especially in the job force.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Hodge Podge Friday

At work, across from vegetables, in the shrub and tree lot, we have a pond. It's where we send everyone to go to talk about trees and shrubs. It's a key meeting point and everyyear we plant stuff into it. Well, last year, one of the employees pulled a lot of stuff out, cut back and opened up the garden so I could go in there and plant the hell out of this garden with bulbs. Here's the result of autumn planting.

You bet it was a lot of work.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What's new in Annuals!

Okay. I lied. Not what's new exactly but what came in. Some of them are new. Some are not. We just got them in the greenhouse and they're going pretty good. We sat down last year and picked out our varieties, found the ones that grow better, bloom more, and are more uniform in growth habit. That's where we differ from the regular greenhouses, where they're annuals are generic, ours are superb! I know, it sounds like I'm bragging but I speak with pride about our annuals. I know people don't get that excite for annuals but I do and that's because I run the annual side. How can I get this excited? It's easy. When the product comes in looking a million times more amazing than I anticipated, I know I have good, strong product that won't disappoint.

Agyranthemum Crimson Merlot
Coleus 'Sedona' (proven winners)

Iresine blazin' rose

Coleus 'Henna'

Alternanthera 'Raspberry Rum'
I'm so sorry I havn't been posting! I've been busy! More to come soon. I'll throw up snippets when I have more time but now, I have customers waiting!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Standard shopping

My son looking suspiciously bad and cute at the same time.
Last week I got the pleasure of going to another greenhouse and going standard shopping. It took me awhile to find someone to show me the new stock that had just arrived (it was everywhere) and I was looking for specific things. Eventually though, I snagged someone and we walked around and I discovered some neat things amongst many hibiscus standards, Mandevilla vines and dipladenias.

Texas Sage. Nice little standard. I only got six of these and already they're walking out of the door.

Shrimp Standard. Florida Amercians know this one because it's a very steady and known plant down south. Up here, it doesn't necessarily grow fast but it holds the blooms for a long time and in a standard, it's really really different.

So I whacked my knee off my son's bed. the crib broke last night beyond repair and he knocked his milk offthe table this morning (which the dog proceeded to clean for me). Just a side note, if you ever have a baby, have a dog first. Having a dog around when youhave a baby isn't just nice, it's really really handy. I swear, I'd be cleaning everything up off the floor everyday if it weren't for the dog. Im now taking the position of secondary cleaner, after the dog licks it up, I clean it (with all natural cleaner - not hard chemicals - another thing to think about when having babies and dogs).