Thursday, 29 December 2011

Happy New Year Wishes to All : )

Wishing all of my gardening friends much joy & prosperity for 2012. May all your seeds sprout and your harvest be bountiful.

- Lets all collectively wish for an early Spring, too! ; ) -

Cheers! - Karen

Monday, 19 December 2011

DIY Terrarium - Creating Indoor Gardens - Holiday Gift Ideas

Lots of moss in your garden or property? Have a nice apothecary jar hanging around, and perhaps a little 4" tropical plant? Here's something to make as a gift for that gardening friend!
The only thing that one might need to purchase is charcoal. You can get this at any pet supply store. Charcoal filters the terrarium's ecosystem, keeping bacteria and other nasty things from growing in the soil, especially if the terrarium ever happens to get overwatered.

Line the bottom of the jar with small rocks or pebbles.

I picked mine from off of the driveway! (Rinsed them off, first!).

Add a couple teaspoons of charcoal Add some soilAdd the plant. Tuck it in well.

Add moss around the plant. Different types are great and offer more visual interest.

Add little sculptures to it if you like. Water but not too much!

If the lid is on, and there's lots of moisture, take the lid off and let it escape.

Ease back on watering. These are easy care gardens that don't require that much water, once you find the right balance.

Don't keep them in direct sunlight. I learned the hard way one warm sunny day, that this will cook the plants.

Enjoy and share with friends! Have a very Happy Holiday! : )

Sunday, 18 December 2011

DIY Natural Hostess Gifts from the Garden @ Wall Flower Studio

Dried Rose Petals in an organza bag. Perfect for that top drawer! If you're having the family for dinner, put one on each plate with name tags. The recipients get to take it home. : )
Dried Lavender in a muslin bag. Great for throwing in the dryer. They lightly scent towels, sheets, and all laundry, and can be used over and over. They're completely natural, too! No chemicals at all, and eco-minded friends will really appreciate that.

Kindling Bundles - aka: Herbal Firestarters - A wonderful way to start the fire in the holiday hearth, while surrounded by friends & family!

All of these are all really fun & easy to make, if you have dried some flowers hanging about from the previous growing season. They're perfect as little hostess gifts. Try tying the sachets on a wine bottle, or add the kindling bundle on top of a gift, instead of using plastic bows. I just think most people really appreciate, and of course, love to recieve a handmade, thoughtful gift like these! They're great to dress gifts with, and it looks like you really put a whole lot of effort in, when nothing could be farther from the truth!

Enjoy! : )

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Orchids for the Holidays!

As much as I like Poinsettias, and it sure is the season for them, I'd have to say, flowering plants that might seem a little non-traditional to some people, like these Orchids, can be a really great alternative. Happy Holidays from Wall Flower Studio!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Pollinating Saving Harvesting Amaryllis Seeds & basic Botany 101 too!

Saving Seeds from an Amaryllis is easy to do!
All I do is dab my finger on the pollen from the anther. The Anther is the male part of the flower. Then I gently rub it on the stigma of another flower. The Stigma is what gets fertilized, which in turn eventually creates the seeds. (We're getting into real flower reproduction territory, now. See the link I've provided below. It has a diagram with names & descriptions of plant parts needed for doing this. Its basic botany, and very helpful to anyone not familliar with these titles!). Next step... After the flowers are pollinated, the waiting begins. Many pods are developing. It doesn't take long. A couple weeks at the most. At this point, I'm still hand pollinating the flowers.

This is a nice plump seed pod developing. You can see where the flower has dried & turned into the seed pod. It's almost like an ambilical cord!

The seeds pod dries naturally and has now split open on it's own. Harvest time!

Finally, the seeds are free of the pod. Keep them in a dry place where it's not too hot. I have mine in a glass jar in the cupboard. Next post. Planting and sowing the seeds! That's very easy, too!

Diagram of a flower's anatomy: Enchanted Learning - You'll find an excellent printout. Great for teachers and anyone else who'd like to know more about flower reproduction & Basic Botany.

I hope you have fun trying this at home. It's very easy to do, and rewarding for any gardener!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

#DIY - Outdoor Decor - Windowboxes & Containers with Natural Materials

Windowboxes & containers are a great way to welcome friends and family with a splash of color.

The materials used here are various evergreens, red dogwood. eucalyptus, pinecones, and native ilex berries. You can use a little, or a lot! Depending on taste. If you have access to some property where any of the items I've mentioned grow freely, then budget isn't an issue!

If you don't have access to florist sponge, (Oasis), just fill the container with wet cedar mulch. It does a great job holding all the stems in place.

The berries pictured above are Ilex mucronata. (Formerly Nemopanthus mucronatus.)

They're native to north eastern North America, and as you likely guessed are in the Holly family. Funny thing is, they have a deciduous leaf, which they drop over the winter, which is different from the Holly we recognize for the holidays, and is what you'd call a broad-leafed evergreen. This Ilex likes to grow in marshy areas, and seems to like wet feet! You may need hip waders to collect them!

Have fun decorating! It doesn't have to cost a fortune when using some of nature's gifts!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Blooming Now - Amaryllis & Paperwhites @ Wall*Flower*Studio

My last Paperwhite Narcissus is blooming now. I have it strategically placed between the kitchen & dining room, so I can smell it's lovely scent! Most people are very definite about the perfume from this flower. I've found people either love it or hate it. There doesn't seem to be an in between opinion!

My Amaryllis vittatum is blooming like mad. This has been ongoing for 3 months, now, since I brought it indoors for the winter. It's not hardy here in Ontario, so I do baby it! I've hand pollinated the flowers again, and already collected many seeds from it. What gifts it offers me! I have several seedlings started from this heirloom plant, which is over 120 years old.

A close up of the Amaryllis flower. It has a really pretty sheen about it. The flowers are a bit smaller than the large hybrids bred today. I'm just happy to have something blooming now. We have snow outside, blanketing the garden, and Like many people in the northern hemisphere, I'm impatiently awaiting next Spring! Thanks for visiting!