Saturday, February 27, 2010

Beautiful Mysterious Blue

I subscribe to Ontario Gardner and every Saturday morning I always receive a wonderful newsletter from them and I found this one to fit in just perfect for the way I've been feeling lately "Blue".  So I am sharing with you today.  Must get my hands on the blue impatien. Thank you Ontario Gardner, now my spirits are starting to rise considering it's snowing again.

Ten Neat Things about Blue

1. Blue impatiens. Impatiens namchabarwensis is a semi-woody, branching, one-foot tall plant with delicate true-blue blooms that was discovered in a small region of the Himalayas in 2003. Today I received notice that Dominion Seeds has a limited selection of plants available for purchase by mail order. It's a tender perennial, so you could either treat it as an annual or, given the $15 apiece price tag, try overwintering the fleshy roots indoors.

2. Blue nasturtium. Tropaeolum azureum is a species of nasturtium with a lovely blue colour tending toward violet. It's from Chile and was brought to Europe as early as 1843 by a collector named William Lobb. I'm not sure why, but it's devilishly difficult to get hold of; I know of no Canadian dealer.

3. Bluest blues. Blue is the most difficult colour to breed into plants. Blue pigments have a tendency to shift toward pink, purple and red in different pH levels.

4. Blue mushroom. Lactarius indigo is a remarkably blue wild mushroom that grows in coniferous forests of eastern North America. When broken or cut, it exudes a blue milk that slowly turns green after being exposed to air. Not sure who figured it out, but this mushroom is edible.

5. Blue butterflies. The beautiful iridescent blue colour of some butterflies tends to come not from within-from actual pigments in the insect-but from refraction of the scales on the wings. The oranges and yellows, on the other hand, are pigmented scales.

6. Blue frog. The okopipi frog of Brazil is a poison dart frog that is a lovely cerulean blue with black spots that differ from one individual to the next. It exudes poisons that will paralyse or kill a predator that doesn't heed the warning blue colour.

7. Appetite suppressant. The colour blue is a natural appetite suppressant, and not only in frogs. It is theorized that loss of appetite is a common reaction to the colour because so few naturally occurring foods are blue. Perhaps I should paint my dining room blue.

8. Blue for spring. Blue is the colour of grape hyacinths, one of the loveliest flowers of spring. It looks stunning against the bright yellow of daffodils.

9. Blue for shade, blue for sun. Many blue flowers are shade tolerant. Some examples: forget-me-not, browallia, Siberian bugloss, periwinkle, Jacob's ladder, some pulmonarias, baptisia, and violets. For sun, try Victoria Blue salvia, many veronicas, many campanulas, delphimium, blue flax, blue pansies, many cranesbills, blue asters, nemophila (baby blue eyes), convolvulus, and borage to name just a few. Lobelia prefers part shade.

10. Blue roses. There is also the elusive blue rose which rosarians have been trying to breed for years. Roses lack the gene to produce true blue colours so blue roses have come to stand for the impossible quest. After much failure, some have taken to dying the roses, but in the last few years, a Japanese company has used genetic engineering to insert a gene, taken from a petunia, into the Cardinal de Richelieu rose. Sadly, the true blue still eludes the breeders. The new rose marketed by Suntory is a mauve colour.

From top to bottom: (1) A rare royal blue flower. (2) The edible Lactarius indigo. (3) A flutter of blue butterflies. 4) The beautiful yet lethal dart frog that hails from Brazil. (5) Sure it make look cool to children...but for adults, milk should only be consumed when white.
-Dorothy Dobbie

Friday, February 26, 2010

Winter Blah's

Oh boy, it has hit me.  The Winter Blah's.  The recent snowstorm that hit yesterday sure is  not helping matters.  For awhile I thought maybe spring was just around the corner.  The days are getting longer, the snow is melting the sun is shining and then the snow starts falling and falling and falling.  I cannot even take a picture of it I'm so blahhed.  Not sure why I am, the seeds are coming in the mail daily, the new seedlings are doing fantastic and I'm even growing some things I've never tried before and still I'm in the winter blues.  So how do I get myself out.  Not sure but I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.  Some of those seedlings need to go into their bigger pots.  Please spring come soon! How I ache to have this again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Sweet Potato Experiment Update

Remember a little while ago I found a sprouting sweet potato and had the idea of trying to grow it inside.  Well this is what it looks like now.

It is growing into a beauitful lush vine.  I just love the purple leaves with the lime green veins going through.  I cannot wait till it grows even larger.  But what is really making me wonder is will it actually produce tubers?  Truly that is my goal. So stay tuned.

I thought this was  a really neat looking picture this morrning.  The sky is just a lovely place to look for beautiful pictures.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh Boy, February is Flying by!

As you can see I have not been very active these past couple of weeks. It has been absolutely crazy around here.  Between 3 kids sick, dance classes, competitions and speech making, there has been not much time to garden or blog.  I will be back soon as the indoor greenhouse does have sprouts.  Yeahhhh, so in the meantime I hope you enjoy the pic.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February, the month of LOVE

February the month of LOVE and what better way to express your feelings to one another then by flowers.  Here are the top 10 flowers representing Love.

10. Iris - The Iris is one of the loveliest flowers, and has the meaning of faith and hope. The three points of the Iris are said to symbolize faith, wisdom and valor. In Ancient Roman times, it was used for purification.

09. Sunflower - The gorgeous and luminous Sunflower stands for adoration. Long ago, women who wished to conceive would eat sunflower seeds. Sunflowers are also known as the emblem of spiritualism.

08. Gardenia - The sweet smelling Gardenia symbolizes love and peace and along with the daisy, is one of my favorite flowers. Scattering dried gardenia around a room is said to stimulate peaceful and loving vibrations.

07. Lilac - Lilacs have been loved by many generations, both for their breathtaking beauty and for their irresistiblearoma. The Lilac is said to ask the question "Do you still love me?" to the receiver. The Lilac is also a symbol of protection and was first planted in the New England region to protect against evil.

06. Carnation - The promising Carnation, very popular in corsages, stands for fascination and should be given to someone who holds you captivated. The Carnation also has healing properties and in Elizabethan times, was used to defer sickness.

05. Orchid - The orchid is commonly one of the most used floral symbols of affection in the West and stands for love, beauty and seduction. Be careful to whom you give this flower to, as it's message is clearly put across.

04. Lily - Lilies (excluding Lily of the Valley) stand for beauty and are extremely popular in wedding ceremonies. Lore surrounding the Lily states that whoever finds the first Lily of the season will bring strength to him or herself.

03. Tulip - The highly popular tulip also stands for love as well as protection. In fact, Middle Eastern countries wear this flower in their turbans for protection.

02. Daisy - Daisies, a personal favorite, symbolize innocence, purity and loyalty. The Daisy is said to bring love to the receiver. It is also said that whoever picks the first daisy of the season will be possessed by flirtatious spirit beyond their control.

01. Rose - The rose is a classic and a staple involving anything to do with love, especially Valentine's Day. Roses simply mean, "I Love You" but they also have other wonderful qualities. Rose petals sprinkled around the home are said to calm personal stress and household turmoil. You could go even further and add Rose Oil to make a sensual bath for two.

Here are the meanings of some other flowers.
Primrose (love), Sweetpea (friendship and chastity), Magnolia (fidelity), Pansy (love), Passion Flower (peace and friendship), Hibiscus (meaning lust), Periwinkle (love and lust), Hyacinth (happiness), Lavender (love, longevity, happiness, and peace), Plumeria (love), Violet (love, lust and peace) and Jasmine (spiritual love) would also all be great additions to any bouquet.

First Love
· Asters symbolize beginnings.
· Azaleas represent first love.
· Daisies mean innocence.
· Hyacinths are representative of young love.
· Purple lilacs represent the first experience of love.
· White roses symbolize innocence and purity.

Long-Time Love
· A Red and White Rose combination represents unity.
· Baby's Breath means ever-lasting love.
· Honeysuckle symbolizes the bonds of love.
· Lavender means devotion.
· Pink roses symbolize lasting friendship.
· Stephanotis, or Madagascar jasmine, means happiness in marriage.

Unrequited Love
· Sunflowers mean adoration.
· Pomegranate symbolizes unspoken desire.
· Yellow Tulip represents hopeless love.

Passion and Desire
· Anthurium means intense attraction.
· Calla lily symbolizes magnificent beauty.
· Orchids represent ecstasy.
· Pansies symbolize the unspoken thoughts of lovers.
· Peach roses expresse desire.
· Red roses represent passion and love.

Missing You
· Agapanthus, or African lily, symbolizes love letters.
· Astilbe, or False Spirea, means "I will wait for you."
· Heliotrope inspires thoughts of devotion.
· Gladioli represent strength of character, a necessary asset to anyone far away from their lover.
· Ivy means fidelity
· Violets represent faithfulness.
· Zinnia symbolizes the thought of absent friends.