Plant of the Day: Wild Coffee

I’ve never before seen this color in nature, so of course I had to take a picture. Our guide told us that this plant is the wild coffee bush, introduced to Madagascar when humans first began inhabiting the island 2,000 years ago. The berries are white or pale yellow at first. They then turn turquoise and finally red when ripe, … Read more

Plant of the day: Species tulip

red species tulip

Species tulips are different from the regular, large-blooming garden tulips cultivated over centuries by the Dutch and others. They’re called species tulips because each variety is, in fact, a separate species that also grows in the wild in their native habitats of Turkey, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. They’ve had minimal to no breeding to differentiate them from their wild ancestors. Read more …

Plant of the Day: Jacob’s Ladder

purple bell-shaped flowers

There are at least two species of Jacob’s ladder: Polemonium reptans and Polemonium caeruleum. The first is native to the northeastern United States, while the latter is from Eurasia and should be limited to gardens in North America. I’m not great at telling the difference, but since this specimen is part of a native plant restoration at a local park, I’ll guess it’s Polemonium reptans.

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Cats and houseplants

lilo the cat eating houseplants

Spider plants, tremble in fear. The highlight of Lilo’s week, other than escaping out the back door and hiding under the deck a few times, was the other night when we had our first frost. I brought in several my houseplants from outside to keep them from getting frost-killed and stuck as many as I could in the kitchen sink to … Read more

Free houseplants: Sweet potato vine

sweet potato vine

I like to keep sweet potatoes around. They’re an easy snack for both me and the cat. Throw one in the microwave for 4-6 minutes and voila! I eat the orange part, and Lilo snacks on the skins. But sometimes I misplace a sweet potato until it’s so old, it’s started to sprout a vine. Pretty, isn’t it? Instead of … Read more

Houseplants on the cheap

I brought in my houseplants for winter last night. This jade is one I’ve had for several years; I started it from a cutting way back when, which is how I get most of my houseplants. What can I say? I like free stuff. But if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve figured that out already. This year, I’ve decided … Read more