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Category Archives: 2013
Photo | An Outdoor Living Room with Interior Appeal
An outdoor room decorated with elegant interior style. Photo courtesy of Vampire Decor.
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Photo courtesy of Gino Santa Maria.
Yet another potentially dangerous food additive “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA.
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New plants to try: Ceratotheca triloba
My visit this fall to Montrose hasn’t stopped inspiring me. Ceratotheca triloba, also known as South African foxglove, is an unusual annual plant that thrives in gravel soil.
It looks a bit like a cross between a salvia and a foxglove. Like foxgloves, it grows 3-6′ tall, attracts bees and hummingbirds, and gently reseeds itself to spread gracefully around the garden. At Montrose, it grew in the pathways.
The front of the blossom looks very much like that of a foxglove. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t photograph the flower’s face without stepping in the borders.) I imagine it looking most attractive in the company of Salvia leucantha, Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’ and Callirhoe involucrata.
I think I must get the rest of my cyclamen sown, and quickly.
Cyclamen from seed: Presoaking method
The backlog of unsown seeds in my refrigerator and elsewhere in the house makes me no different from any other gardener, I suppose, but I don’t have the seeds of the plants I want now.
A personal law of mine, which I follow from time to time, says I may not purchase more seeds until I have planted the ones I have. Now is one of those times: I deeply want primula seeds, but I haven’t finished sowing my cyclamen yet.
Continuing with my unscientific experiment of propagating cyclamen from seed:
Cyclamen propagation: Presoaking method
Cyclamen have a hard seed coat. Softening the seed coat by presoaking the seeds is said to expedite germination.
- Soak the seeds for 12 hours in warm water. Rinse the seeds, and sow into pots.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of sand or vermiculite, then add a layer of grit or gravel (I’m using chicken grit).
- Water well.
- Exclude light: I’m further covering these pots with black plastic, just in case the layer of grit isn’t enough.
- Keep the pots cool: They should remain between 60-69° F (16-21° C).
- Check back periodically. Germination may take 30-60 days.