Saturday, January 7, 2017

Faucaria trial from seed

 I have a number of different faucaria that grow at the base of palm trees around my place. Why palm trees ? Cause they sap every bit of moisture out of the ground so fast its hard to believe.  So these guys get watered twice a week in summer, and get rained on in winter.  They tend to grow well in these conditions here, and this year we developed a number of seed pods.

I actually have a few more types that this - just couldn't be bothered taking photos yesterday (the whole hitting 40 deg again here made inside a must)

Anyway, always keen to try new things I tried harvesting some of the seed.  Thankfully its a LOT bigger than echeveria seed, this lot can actually be seen easily without finding a pair of glasses (not that I need them really... well ok, yes I do, but that would mean heading to the optometrist)

 Popped it on some seed raising mix, with some coarse grit over it. Sealed it up.  Placed it in some bright light that wasn't tooo hot (i.e. laundry) and voila - the babies have sprouted (took about 6 days I think from memory)
Now comes the tough bit, getting them through to having 2 sets of leaves.... without die off.  Cross your fingers and hope!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Buddha's Temples by the bucketload

I was lucky enough to find a source for Buddhas Temples this year.  These are gorgeous plants, but not the easiest to find!

Thankfully while "browsing" the web I came across The Succulent Store in Tasmania.  Never having DONE a permit before from Tasmania I wasn't even sure I was able.   Thankfully they were one of the states that are ok for bare rooted plants. (So far Victoria is the only one that insists that we remove all roots from plants before they can come over to WA - you still need a permit, and its still going to cost you around $110 for 20 plants, but at least we can GET plants).

So, talking to the lovely folk at The Succulent Store, and having found out who was interested in plants on my then group, I did a bulk order and we got in 40 Buddhas Temples for the group. The initial $35 cost of each plants ended up being just under $50 by the time I did permits, inspections, pumice, pots etc.   But given to order just one BT from Tasmania would normally have cost $50 ($35 for plant, $15 for postage) I hope no one felt too ripped off.   As I'm not on the group anymore I have no idea how they all went, but I hope that they all survived, and that in the future BT's will be much easier (and cheaper) to find here in WA.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Shadehouse...

For my birthday this year, my partner had decided I could choose one of two things... rehoming the trampoline, or rehoming the cubby house.  I chose the cubby house, theory being its very solid construction and wasn't going to fall apart in the next year or two, and the kids have refused for several years to go near it!

Anyway, a friend and I dismantled it, and it was shipped off to our local Riding for Disabled centre.  The cubby house had originally been gifted to us by a heartkids family, so we thought it deserved to go onto other kids with disabilities.  Anyway, here it is, all put together at its new home (yes we headed out and reconstructed it as well.... well the kids were on riding camp, what better way to go visit them!)  Hopefully the kids out there are getting lots of fun out of it, and we still get to visit it once a wee.

BUT this mean I had a small amount of space... not a LOT, but an area around 2m x 3m. Thankfully I have a friend that is incredibly handy with the tools.  So we commenced Greenhouse build part 1.
 The tales inside were reused from another area - they ended up being permanently attached to the shade house.  We added a tinted roof which is holding up well here in Perth, even in 43deg weather.

Shade cloth was wrapped around next (and a few braces)
 Looking great isn't it!
Part 2 was adding further shelving along the back wall.  These are all angled to allow optimal sun for the plants.

Extra area over one bench was also utilised.

 Then I got to fill the stands.  The kiwi green pots are going to lost in the near future as they hold memories that I no longer want, and seriously I never really liked the colour.  I was just happy to go along with a group decision. I'll be glad to never see that colour again.
 Looks fantastic though doesn't it!!!

There's a door to the right of this that allows you to walk behind the back shed.  I'm using that area for pot storage mainly.  It's only about 1m wide, so not big enough for plants.
I still have more shelving to make.  I managed a pile of wood from Masters as it closed down over here, so its going to be fun constructing things. Can't wait! My collection has seriously outgrown the current available space.

For Xmas mum gifted me with some extra shade cloth and a handyman to install. So this area now has approximately a 5m square area under 50% shade cloth. Things are progressing... just slowly.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Echeveria nodulosa 'Painted Lady' propagation

This is one of those plants I can't decide if I love or hate.  This one is obviously Tissue Culture as it came from the big green box (Bunnings).  This one was a present from a friend, and it flowered prolifically.  I couldn't just NOT attempt propagation, so I am trialling two versions. The mum plant got overtaken by spiders this year, its um on my list of things to clean up.... eventually 😉

Echeveria nodulosa - Painted Lady (with added spiders)

 Flower Stem Leaves
I plucked the leaves from a number of flowering stems.  And as you can see, these are rooting well.  I'll probably pop them into some soil mix soon, just to give them a chance.  No sign of actual babies on these as yet though.
Flowering stems....
These are actual flowering stems, I lopped off the flowers and planted the actual stems in soil.
They haven't rooted as yet (and may not). But its possible to see new growth from within the leaf node.
Time will tell if these growths are actual plants, or just new flowers. Either way remind me to report back!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A trip to Victoria - Part 5 Final Day - James Lucas, Succulents Australia

 Final day, and we are flying home tonight.  Thankfully we left a fairly safe one till last.
Succulents Australia.

 Having finally met James we had the chance to head up to the nursery.  Gorgeous drive on the way up, could happily have spent a few hours in the local towns. Unfortunately, as had been the case most days, we were on a tight time schedule.

Take a look at this set up.  All the plants are propagated vegetatively (so no Tissue Culture here!)

I went home with a wish list a mile long, but thankfully I was allowed to include some plants in James's next shipment to WA, so I only had a couple of weeks to wait.

Gorgeous plants, and fantastic to see them growing in such large quantities.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A trip to Victoria - Part 4 more private collections & Roraima!

Sometimes I manage to meet the most gorgeous people on the internet, and every now and then I am lucky enough to go meet them.  This gentleman is one of a kind, but I don't have permission to say "who" so I will just say, if you are reading this "THANKYOU!"

It was absolutely fantastic to finally meet you in person rather than just talking on the phone.
your plant collection is to die for - but you sir, are one of a kind!  I can't wait to come back and share a glass or two of wine with you.

Having seen our fill there, now it was off to Roraima Nursery.  Oh my stars!
Melbourne people are so spoilt.

Having exhausted looking out the front, we were allowed to go for a wander out the back as well. Talk about paradise!  The biggest of thankyou's to Sue for the wonderful hospitality.