Thursday, January 03, 2019

Orchids on a rainy day.

So...I risked life and limb to get a few orchid photos for you. Okay, well seriously, I got really wet. It is pouring and the back yard and greenhouse are flooding. Again. 

I am particularly proud of this collection of blooming orchids. Some I’ve had for a very long time, some are two years old, but all of them are reblooming. Which is how I rate successful orchid growing. Keeping the plants alive is relatively easy, but getting them to rebloom can be tricky. Just in the last year my reputation as the kiss of death for phalaenopsis orchids, after forty years of growing, seems to have switched around and I have had two rebloom and none are dying. I consider that a big win!!!

Starting at the top....miltonia ‘Sunset’ orchid, old cymbidium orchid, pink cymbidium orchid, phalaenopsis orchid, budding oncicium orchid, jasmine cutting I’m growing up greenhouse supports and a couple of flooding photos. 

I am worried about the lime tree. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Holly and Cedar for Christmas

Almost 40 years ago I planted two holly trees. An English plain green and a variegated Holly. The variegated holly got berries for the first time this year. I was so excited. I had really given up. So the arrangements that I make every year, contain variegated holly WITH berries this year instead of just plain.

I always make tiny bouquets using the little pieces you trim off the bottom of the holly. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Kombucha Brewer back in action...Part 1 and 2

Part 1 - My Kombucha Brewer has been in storage for a few years. I had a bottle of beautiful Kombucha at my neighbours last month, and I gave my head a shake. Why have I NOT been making this. He bottles up the Kombucha. He muddles fresh fruit and puts about a tablespoon in each bottle. He then does the secondary fermentation and gets a lot of fizz doing it that way, his blueberry was exemplary. I went over today and had a smell of his not quite ready blackberry kombucha. OMGosh. 

My old Scoby hotel was dead. I mean dead. So I had to throw that out. I went and bought a bottle of unflavoured Kombucha to start a Scoby from scratch. It is formed and liquid is fizzy. 

Part 2 - The SCOBY formed beautifully, and Kombucha was delicious, and then I broke my shoulder in August. I drank what was ready, but I was incapable of taking care of the brewer. So it has languished until now. Today I drained the now vinegary Kombucha, leaving about a cup of Kombucha and my now huge SCOBY. I made some lovely new organic green tea, added sugar and water and it is now ready to age for a week or so. I am so anxious to have some of my own lovely Kombucha. Life returning to normal. 

Look at how lovely this homemade SCOBY is. This time I didn’t get fancy. 
I used a bottle of this plain unflavoured GTS Kombucha. That’s it.