Monday, June 11, 2012

Supply, Demand, Spiders, and Dragon Wings

Fern and Caladiums
For those who have kept up with my journeying I am back in my home state.  It is taking some effort to re-enter the hotter temperatures but I am dunking my head in cool water often and wearing baggy white T-shirts as I make my gardening rounds.

I was pleased to see that most of my planters at work survived my absence.  Thank you to staff and those who watered for me.  This fern and the caladiums are brightening up a dark spot.  I am glad to see the fern flourishing, because I am ready to severely cut back a prominent deformed azalea and the fern will need to cover up the stubby trunks.  They should put out new growth relatively quickly.  I will be watering and sloshing fertilizer lavishly to try to speed the initial regrowth.

I really enjoy the begonia/fern/caladium plantings.  As long as you can provide some shade and plenty of water and some fertizier you should have attractive results.  Could I just say that "Dragon Wing" Begonias rule.

Dragon Wing Begonias
In one of those odd modern dilemmas of supply and demand there were no Dragon Wing Begonias in our town, at least not at the places where I am required to shop from work.   Several years ago I read about this fancy begonia in a gardening magazine.  It was described as a "begonia on steroids".  I thought "Ha!" what hype! But when I saw some red ones I bought a few.  Wow, I was wrong, they were just as advertised, maybe even better.  The next year there were no red ones, but there were some pink ones, I used them.  They grew just as well, but I needed red for the color impact. The following year  there were no red ones or pink ones.  I saw a few already in planters, but I didn't want to buy the whole expensive planter.  A couple of years ago I ordered my own seed.  It is expensive, around $30 for the smallest amount.  They was hair-raising to grow and plant.  Begonia seeds are seriously small.  Think period at the end of size-six font.  Because these begonias are so tough, I have been able to maintain my plants ever since, and there still weren't any Dragon Wings locally.  Just don't understand the marketing rationale I guess.

Garden Spider and Grasshoppers on Tomatoes
The garden has suffered from the hot temperatures.  Kudos to the on-site co-gardener for his watering efforts there.  Now that the surrounding grass has died the grasshoppers have found our well watered greenery.  Our Garden Spider is on patrol but if you look very closely at the spider photo I count at least five grasshoppers in the web's immediate proximity.  We need more grasshopper-munching sneaky spiders.

I need an economy where I can trade grasshoppers for begonias.  I guess that is marketing and DIY philosophy.  How to get what you want, how to get rid of what you don't want.  The DIY part is the realization that just like my local Lowes isn't going to supply the plants I want/need, and the Garden Spider can/will only do so much, I will have to figure it out for myself.  It is a battle of wits and wills.


  1., what happened to the frickin grey santolina??? easy to grow...can't get it ANYWHERE! I have checked so many out of town suppliers. POSSIBLY in fall from a little rock nursery from a far off supplier. what the hey! grow some o that, and I'll pay you a trillion dollars

  2. Trillion dollars you say? I will get right on it!

  3. Inflation ballooned while you were away. A trillion$ was a little over $100 only a few weeks ago, but don't let that discourage you from growing Rachel's santolina.