Monday, June 26, 2017

One Step at a Time

The Bifurcatums sisters had their twice-weekly bath today and I noticed they really like it here, they are showing some growth! 

Speaking of platyceriums, I'm currently also acquiring 2 more platys from a fellow member of a Platy group but they are of unknown ID, not Bifarcatum for sure though! I'm really hoping the Ridleyi I should be getting tomorrow will be a gorgeous one. Ridleyi is one platy that I MUST have. Take a look at her and you will see why. She's perfection.

Anyway, I probably killed my basil plants when I was cleaning the balcony, I broke two of the three plants and another I pulled out as I noticed there was white stuff around the root system. The basil plants grew a lot of aerial roots so I figured they would actually survive but the picture will tell you otherwise. Among the basil, nestled a couple of sweet potato slips that I missed out when I was transplanting. By the way, the transplanted slips did not survive.

The heirloom tomato plants however surprised me a lot. They have started to flower despite the lack of size. 

Yesterday's spring cleaning also brought my attention to my lovely Ylang-Ylang who has never failed to flower, she's getting taller than me!

A random shot of the bamboos at our building vicinity. It's interesting/hilarious to see they grow sideways, instead of upwards.

Building My Own Urban Jungle

I decided to clean my balcony up and so I spent RM80 getting a new garden hose (bought a wrong one and had to buy another).  It was such a b*tch de-kinking the new hose I was throwing a b*tch fit. All I wanted to do was just cleaning my balcony.
In the end, I threw the hose in the dryer and spin for 10 minutes, they came off hot and easier to handle. After spending almost 2 hourse scrubbing the floor and some of the pots that covered with those ugly mineral deposits, KL decided to rain, scratch that, it was not rain - it was a storm so my balcony was dirty again. Thank you very much.

That aside, I would like to point out that this apartment has the best sunlight, it is VERY bright so I should take advantage of this although I have to be careful and be selective with the plants I want grow indoor. I've started with 2 platyceriums (the humble and common bifurcatum) and tomorrow I should be getting at least a Ridleyi as the nursery texted me this morning saying she has one coming in. I've missed out a P. Wallichii and a P. Elephantotis at a very cheap price last week for I wasn't sure if it's a Bifurcatum. Having that said, my quest for platyceriums has been very challenging.
Lesson learnt, that one. 
I'm quite fascinated with kokedama and am thinking if I should do kokedama for the hanging plants or should I just use pots. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Replace & Remove

Today, I moved the After Dark babies to a slightly bigger pot and nailed the first elkhorn frame properly to remove the string and also puffed up the elkhorn with more sphagnum moss and half over-ripen banana.

Cute sphagnum moss.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trial and Error

Let's start with something nice.

This is one weird bloom, it grew leaf in the disc.

My poor darling, magnolia lily. I really hope you would survive this.

On another hand, I found these 2 pieces of wood at the office that I thought might be suitable for fern mounting but I probably should saw off some of those tiny branches that stick out like thorn.

Scouting for the species I want has been quite discouraging despite having to confirmed with 2 sellers (one in Ipoh and another all the way in Singapore) as they are taking their time to respond to me. The agony.
So... I bought another bifurcatum. This elkhorn came with a nasty surprise - a frog. Yuck. I hate frogs. A frog jumped out from the pot and when I was trying to shoo it away, I knocked the elkhorn over and broke some of the fronds. 

My hammering nail skill is somewhat improved, or not? I bought new nails this time and the hardware store guy told me to hit the nails as hard as I can to lessen the number hits therefore increasing the accuracy. Well... actually, I started off pretty well, the top right was my first attempt, both nails got hammered nicely and then for whatever reason, I started to suck at it... look at the top left. But anyway, I will re-do the first frame so I can remove those hideous strings and at the same time, to stuff more sphagnum moss to and some overripe banana. Not the skin, the flesh as someone shared with me the pesticide-laden skin killed her stag unless you are feeding the organic banana then you are fine. The things I learn!

This time, I learned to pick a good stag.  It should show growth - green shields and growing fronds. What caught me off-guard though was how delicate the shields are! I cracked it while tying it with fishing line. Also this time, I nailed a few nails on the frame so I can tie the fishing line but turned out I didn't have to. The open frame design is already perfect and perhaps, I just need to hammer a slim plank behind it so I don't dirty the wall.

It also has a tiny shield and I took extra care not to be blocked by the fishing line. The fishing line I bought is also a little too thin that I need to be careful so it won't cut into the stag.

Finished product. It took the first elkhorn's place - the bathroom.

The first elkhorn is moved to above our bed.

An instagram worthy shot of the first elkhorn in its original place - bathroom.

Speaking of sphagnum moss, I'm disappointed with the one that I have because it's full of crap. 

Some of the biggest crap I had to pull out from the bag. Good quality sphagnum should be pure sphagnum without any other material.

 On the last note, we are looking into moving to a landed property. With that said, I would have plenty of space for gardening, be it ornamental or edibles. This is something that I tremendously look forward to. I hope to have a room full of light that I can flood them with plants like below pictures.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Here and There

I've been cracking my head on how to make a new mount for the staghorn -  I even went to scout for some wood in the mini jungle next to my building. Found a nice dead trunk but I didn't spray myself with mozzie repellant so I gave up sawing it half way. Just too many mozzies. And then I found some sticks in our laundry room that were left by the previous house owner and so I decided to make a lattice. Sawing them into shorter length was the easiest part, turned out hammering the nails was the worst thing ever. I gave it up and used hot glue and strings instead. To think I'd be as skillful as my dad in carpentry....

Stupid Odyssey pulled her out from the kitchen sink breaking the fronds and she also bit a chunk of the shield 😭.
**Update: this is supposedly elkhorn fern, Platycerium bifurcatum. 

My poor hydrangea! She seems recovering a little bit, growing some shoots out.

On a better note.... look at this perfection.

 Longan surprised my by growing new leaves.

I'm still suffering from a curse - adenium can't bloom fully!

Sweet potato sharing pot with Thai basil. The former isn't doing pretty well though.

My heart breaks as I'm witnessing Magnolia losing more leaves. I really hope I'm doing the right thing.

Went to the local florist today and got myself some sunflowers and some James Storie Orchids. Love how vivid the colors are!
A few pictures I took from the florist.

Was very tempted to buy the hibiscus but... 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Drastic Measure

I'm suspecting the magnolia lily is suffering from root rot so I pulled it out, washed away the soil and cut the roots. I really hope this will help her.
Other than that, I've transplanted the Thai basil into the sweet potato pot, let's hope they survive.
Tuberose looked paler and drier than usual and with a closer look, they are being attacked by spider mites.
I dismounted the staghorn fern from the ikea frame as it grew mold, I left it in the kitchen sink for a soaking and Odyssey got hold of it, shredding some of the leaves off.

Another Hit and Miss

Some plants aren't doing great and I had to have a minor surgery on my foot that I didn't get to spend time taking care of the plants. It has been also too hot lately.

Well, some plants are loving the sun, especially the ylang-ylang. 

The younger bachelor buttons could not withstand the sun, 2 died. 

Yellow calla lilies died. I'm thinking to report this to a smaller pot.

My poor hydrangea.

I should move the tomato planter out to the sun.

2 of the sweet potatoes died. Leaving another 2, the smaller one is not doing too well.

It's so hot, I'm bringing the magnolia lily in. Can't risk it.