ru: (Default)
Mostly a note to myself.

Plants that Need Repotting or other Extensive Attention
--The Dracanea
--The Euphorbia
--The Plectranthus
--The white pine (bonsai time!)
--Both umbrella trees
--The Swedish ivies
--The Coleus

...geez, I've got a lot to work on.
ru: (Default)
Okaywhatthehell.

A week or two ago I started a little windowsill herb garden, due to a sudden desire for fresh herbs and a lack of sufficient season growing time. Thus far they've been doing quite well, being all cute and seedling-like and all that.

But today...the HORROR. I went over to rotate them, since they all loves them some suns and need constant reminding that the correct way to grow is 'up', when I discovered that the thyme pot, which had a very large contingent of seedlings, was suddenly very bare. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that somebody had come along and CUT OFF THEIR LITTLE HEADS AND ATE THEM. SERIOUSLY. There were just some tiny seeding stumps where they were, baby leaves gone and everything. Only one managed to survive the slaughter.

Part of me wants to replace them with new seed, but another part is worried it'll only encourage the culprit.

I really want to know what did it too, in part because I feel a vague need for VENGEANCE. I know occasionally I've had issues with some little gnat-like creatures, and there have been one or two hanging around the seedlings, but they always seem much more interested in the soil than in the plants themselves. Perhaps I was wrong.
ru: (strange)
Or just simply list time, as the case may be, because I don't feel like fussing with bullets right now. Either way. Last few days report!

Cut for length )
ru: (angry)
Dear Female Pumpkin Flowers,

You all suck. Here I am, getting up earlier than the already ungodly hour I get up just so I can go outside in the near-dark with a q-tip (since I couldn't find my paintbrush, and I was too tired to care) in hand and pollinate you all, and you're not open. All the males are open, and there are a ton of them, oh yes, but you, YOU, you all are nowhere to be seen, and those of you that are out are still shut, despite looking ready to open. It is not cool to deprive me of precious minutes of sleep like this. Remember who waters you all in this scorching heat.

No love,
Ru

P.S. Y'all are lazy bitches.
ru: (Default)
For the past couple of weeks, the pumpkins have been flowering profusely. Of course, I'm happy about this, because it hopefully means I'll get lots of pumpkins. The other day, however, I noticed something--there was lots of flowering, lots of *repetitive* flowering, suggesting they were waiting for pollinators, but no signs of any pumpkins forming. This concerned me.

At first, I thought I wasn't getting pumpkins because, from what I remembered from systematics, pumpkins and other cucumber-types are dioecious (i.e. There are boy plants and girl plants), which would mean that if I had all plants of one gender or another, I'd be SOL for pumpkins. However, I looked it up, and it turns out while the flowers are indeed imperfect (i.e. It has boy parts or girl parts--not both), they can be borne on the same plant. *sigh of relief* So pumpkins may still be in my future.

While searching for the answer to the flower question, I stumbled across an interesting recommendation. Due to the decline of bees and other pollinators, if you have a small crop of pumpkins (like me), it's recommended that you hand-pollinate the flowers so that they get a good pollination and can set fruit. This would basically mean taking a Q-tip or paintbrush (a la Mendel), brushing the stamens of the males, then brushing the stigmas of the females.

This means at some point I'm going to need to get up early one morning when I don't have to dash out the door for work (pumpkins apparently are frisky and have their flowers open in the early morning, much to the chargrin of this night owl), grab a paintbrush, and play bee. For the most part, I'm okay with this, but there's a part of me that's really weirded out by it. I mean, I'm going to be helping the pumpkins (and possibly the tomatoes too, if the pollination recommendation holdes true for them) have sex. It's like being creepily voyeuristic, or being in the same room while the plants get it on. Gah. Couldn't I just play "Baby Got Back" for them and be done with it?

Avobaby update forthcoming.

THREE MORE DAYS!!!
ru: (strange)
Thanks to the fact that after planting one of the studies we had a fair amount of bedding plants left, and because the prof wants to get rid of them, I came into possession of a few purslane plants today. They're very pretty--pale green succulent leaves with delicate flowers that are yellow in the center and blend into pink pink PINK. I'm not a huge lover of pink, but it goes so well with the yellow and the green, I can't help but like it. I think, since they're creepers, I'm gonna try and get them into a nice big pot so they can coalesce into one big pretty color mass. My only lamentation is that they're annuals. Foo.

While walking around with them today (as I got them kinda towards the middle of the day, and subsequently they had to accompany me on my journeys), I started having a strange thought: With the advent of trucks and other forms of transportation, and the fact that said trucks are used for transporting flowers, and simply the fact that people move flowers from one place to another, how do bees react to such an ocurrence?

I mean, I'm sure it's a very new thing to them to discover potential food sources moving around. Usually they're quite stationary. Are there rucukses in the hive? Are there discussions along the lines of "OMG the food stalks are moving they have learned the art of ambulation girls we must ADAPT. We must learn to herd the food stalks, thus preventing us from having to pick up and move our hive with them because DAMN that'd be heavy."

And how would a bee give a dance that would accurately describe a moving target? "Okay round dance NO WAIT waggle dance and it's north NO WAIT it's east and it's a mile away NO WAIT it's one and a half NO WAIT..." It would make for a very messy dance.

Although on the other hand, maybe the bee that was performing a dance describing moving flowers would cause her sisters to LAUGH at her and commit her to the bee sanatorium with padded hive cells. Hopefully her roommate wouldn't be the bee suggesting that the hive ditch the happy happy pollen collecting mindset and go carnivorous.

...this is what happens when I'm low on sleep.

OH. ALSO. ONE WEEK. ONNNNNE WEEEEEEEEEK.
ru: (Default)
Okay, I've got the beginnings of a gardening journal set up. For those of you interested, it's [livejournal.com profile] greenbookofdays. I'll still probably do all my plant squee-ing here, but when it comes to analyzing why the pumpkins went roots-up, and that it might have something to do with fact that I watered them with Gatorade, I'm going to fire that over there. It's like a little journal of Lessons Learned in the Garden. Feel free to take a peek if you're interested. ^_^

Playing with the formatting for it, though, is giving me the itch to try a different layout for this jounal. I like that Flexible Squares layout. Maybe I'll mess around with that here. We shall see!

Also, Star Tree update: I had to deliver something to the crop science building yesterday, which allowed me a moment to take a closer look at the Star Tree and its counterpart. They're still alive, thank goodness. Somebody's tied red handkerchiefs around them. I'm not sure if that means "keep" or "save for the moment, then chop down". I'm hoping the former. They've destroyed any landscaping around the building. ;_; I realized that this included some rather nice dogwoods. Seriously, what the hell. I'm still having a hard time figuring out exactly what they're *doing*. It can't be an additional wing--I would think if it were, they'd be taking out a specific chunk of land, not razing completely around the building. It's almost like they're going to build outwards all around, but to what purpose, I don't know. Either way, it gets to me. *grumblemutter*
ru: (Default)
I know at least once before I have mentioned my Star Tree here. For those of you that came in late, it's a huge HUGE Japanese magnolia here on campus that, once upon a time, I walked past in a tired fog on my way to an early morning class. Upon gazing at its bright yellow fuzzy buds, I decided, in my sleep deppy condition, that it looked like it was covered with stars. A little later in the season the buds opened, creating this hugemongous mass of pink and white flowers that was downright neublous, going along with the space theme. Either way, I think I can safely say that for these reasons, it's my favorite tree on campus.

I now, however, worry for its safety. The uni has turned its must-improve-must-construct-must-build-moooore eye onto the crop science building, where the Star Tree makes its home. Since then, in their renovation fervor, they have chopped down just about every tree surrounding the building, including a rather hefty Southern magnolia. About the only ones still standing are the Star Tree and its counterpart, another Japanese magnolia almost the same size. I'm hoping this means they're going to spare them. Or it could just mean they're saving them for last.

Uni, please no more chopping. You've done enough. I say you did more than enough after you chopped down that huge oak tree. Please, do not chop down my Star Tree, else you will have a very sad Ru on your hands. ;_;
ru: (Default)
Hm. I appear to be lapsing into more of a once-every-two-weeks update, as opposed to weekly. To be honest, I don't think enough has been happening on a weekly basis to really warrant a whole post. Maybe once Hal gets moving I'll go back to weekly. Hurry up, Hal! We're all waiting for you!

In the meantime, let's check in with Avobaby )
ru: (strange)
Let's see, what's been going on with me...

--My brother graduated high school on Friday. I'm incredibly happy for him. ^_^ Especially since the school system 'round these parts is going to hell in a handbasket. They really need to stop raising the bar so high. Exit exams, senior projects, block scheduling, extra math classes--and they wonder why the dropout rate is increasing.

--I wore my TARDIS shirt today, which ended up getting noticed by a couple of people. I was tickled that there are some in the vicinity that actually got it.

--Did a bit of vegetable tending today, including pinching the latent buds on the tomatoes (as recommended by one of the people I work with to encourage them to flower) and rescuing one of the peppers from the pumpkins. Apparently, while I thought that by planting the pumpkins in front of them, they'd be inclined to move towards the light (and away from them), there was still a rogue tendril that found the pepper and decided it would make an excellent support. So that tendril got cut in a hurry. It also appears that the pumpkins are fixing to flower, which makes me happy. ^_^ It also makes me cringe slightly, because once my veggies start fruiting, the real battle against the insects (and other critters) will begin.

--Speaking of insects, though, I was happy to notice a honeybee buzzing about the thyme today. I'm hoping that means there's a hive somewhere nearby with happy, healthy, not-abandoning bees. ^_^ I've seen a lot of bumblebees around too (they love the salvia), which is nice, but that honeybee really made me smile.

--Okay sinuses, the storm from yesterday has passed through. The pressure in the air has equalized. You can stop hurting now. Don't make me get a headectomy.
ru: (Default)
As mentioned in the subject, I suck. I was kinda beat after Animazement last week, and was subsequently uninterested in doing anything afterwards but lolling around. I'm gonna try and redeem myself this week.

And so, on to the pictures! )
ru: (Default)
I think Arnold's gone on a hunger strike. His last vet visit was to address three things: 1.) Getting his nails clipped. 2.) Getting antibiotics for him, as his annual summer leprosy attack has begun (we're convinced it's that something out in the ground that's active during the summer causes an allergic reaction on his skin that makes him go all mangy. This theory is supported by the fact that his condition improved when we took him with us to Florida one year, and the fact that it only occurs in the summer). 3.) Addressing the fact that he's been having tummy troubles.

The vet on hand (who was a substitute, as I guess our regular vet wasn't available that day) suggested that it might be a food allergy giving him intestinal attacks, and that we reduce his diet to a special dog food and cheese for giving him his antibiotic. This dog food is made of? Potatoes and *venison*, of all things. Apparently the idea behind the venison is that it's a protein he's never seen before, so he probably wouldn't have a reaction to it, or something to that effect. We suspect that it's not the problem, since his dog food hasn't given him troubles before, but being that she's the vet, we've given the new diet a try.

Arnold's *not* happy about having his dog food changed on him. I'm not sure if it's because he's decided it doesn't taste good, or if he's flat-out irritated that we changed it on him (as, being a dachshund, he's a creature of habit), but he refuses to eat the stuff. He's also lost his taste for cheese it seems, as he only occasionally eats it, I guess because he's wary that we've snuck pills in it. It's gotten to the point where we've cheated a little and splashed a little broth on his food, which seems to appease him enough to the point where he'll eat. He's such a little snot. XD

On a different note, twice now, the sunflowers have gone roots up. I've got a few theories as to why (they don't like the soil, they weren't getting enough sun, something kept eating them, etc.), but for this season I've decided to stop trying to grow them. Instead, since it's kinda late in the season to start something from seed, I picked up a couple vegetable plants from the hardware store. Specifically, I got two pepper plants (red and green), and because I was seduced by the concept, a watermelon vine. This is largely experimental, so we'll see how they do. The three of them together cost only about $5, so if they decide to go roots-up as well, it won't be a disaster. Though I'd rather that didn't happen, of course.

Along the same lines, I've been debating the idea of a gardening journal. Since learning to garden, especially with the vegetables, has been largely trial and error for me, I want some place where I can record things I've done over the growing season, what works, what doesn't, etc., so I know what to do for the next go-round and hopefully won't make the same mistake twice. I'm definitely going to do it either way, but the question is, do I want to start it as a separate LJ, or should I just do it as a paper journal? I dunno if anyone would be interested in reading it or not.
ru: (strange)
If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
◊ I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
◊ You will update your journal with the answers to the questions.
◊ You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
◊ When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

◊ ...or you will do whatever the fuck you want, it's not like I own you or something. Yet.


Here I go, answering questions from the delightful [livejournal.com profile] thez!

This is the Ru from the future with a message! I got kinda long-winded! )
ru: (Default)
Well, both good stuff and bad stuff this week.

As seen behind the cut )
ru: (Default)
So, yeah, once again I'm a week behind. I blame it on mourning my tomato seedlings. Or possibly being lazy. Or both.

But in any case, on to the pictures! )
ru: (Default)
Guess what? Iiiiiit's PLANTING TIME!

I've just gotten in from an afternoon of planting things in the yard with dear ol' Dad. I think it's shaping up pretty well. We needed to replace some plants that didn't survive the winter (or were annuals, but I doubt it. They were woody) and fill in bare spots. The ranks of the new inductees include another hosta, two mint thingies with pretty white-ish leaves and purple flowers, a lily-of-the-valley, another bluebell, an agapanthus, some salvia, a dianthus to replace a carnation that took a nose dive, and finally, in the realm of impulse buys, a foxglove and a lemon thyme. I'm in love with the lemon thyme. It smells really nice. I'm hoping if it fares well, we can get an English thyme to go with it.

We've also planted the sunflowers. I hope they do okay, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. I think we waited too long on putting the ground, so they're looking pretty scraggly. But, we'll see what happens. I put a few more seeds into the beds we made, so hopefully something will grow.

That reminds me, though, that I still have the pumpkin seeds I saved from last year. I need to do something with those. Well, I have freshly empty seed pots now, so, punkins ho!
ru: (strange)
Whilst waiting to go home today, I got a chance to take a good, long look at a Hummer that was idling across the street as the lights cycled. Normally, I only see them momentarily as we're on the road, so this was really the first chance I got to try and comprehend them.

Ultimately, I ended up having to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I don't quite know what it was, but seeing the guy who was driving completely dwarfed by the massiveness of the Hummer tickled my funny bone. I guess because there's that idea that a guy who owns a huge vehicle is compensating for something, but a Hummer seems to be overcompensation--it's so big that the driver gets swallowed up by it and ends up looking utterly ridiculous.

On a different note, I put some new tomato seeds into the pot set-ups. I have no idea if they'll grow or not, but I figure it can't hurt to at least put a few in and see. There's a couple of plants that look like they might still be clinging to life, so I'm going to let them be. I went ahead and pulled out the completely dead ones so they wouldn't be a bad influence on the seeds.

"This is your stem. This is your stem on too much of the elements. Any questions?"
ru: (sad)
For those of you who came in late, I've been trying to grow tomatoes from seed. Thus far, this has been working out fairly well. Until today.

Those of you who live in my general vicinity probably know about the wacky weather we've been having, what with the sudden cold front bearing frost, the sopping soak we had yesterday, and the insane wind we're having today, which is causing the chimney to make growling noises and subsequently is making Arnold very nervous, because obviously it's a signal that a horde of hottentots is preparing to come down the chimney like Santa Claus turned Genghis Kahn. Therefore, after having rigged up the tomato seedlings' new home, I was forced to bring them back inside until all the craziness had passed.

Yesterday afternoon, I finally decided that it was time to put them back outside. It looked like the worst of the rain had passed, and the tomatoes were straining to get at the light coming in from the window. So, back outside they went. There was still some rain, but I figured it wouldn't be so bad. They needed some water anyway. Then today I wake up to discover I should be watching out for signs the house is taking a trip to Oz, what with the insane wind we're having. Well, I said to myself, the tomatoes probably aren't that bad off. They're close to the ground, so they can't be snapped apart. I'm sure they're fine, right? WRONG.

I went to check them today as I was putting Arnold outside and discovered to my horror that their leaves have all but wilted away. This is both very saddening and boggling. I know it can't be from lack of water--they got rained on yesterday, and the stems aren't showing signs of wilting. Maybe they got rained on too much. The rain was pretty hard at times, so maybe the leaves got beaten too much. The only other thing I can think of is that maybe they got sun shocked, going from a somewhat shady place to a signficantly sunnier place, but they were fine when they went from the windowsill to outside. I don't think the wind had anything to do with it, since, again, the stems are fine. I really wish I could figure out what it is.

At this juncture, I don't really know what to do. About the only good thing about all this is that upon closer inspection, I noticed there were some baby leaves at the apexes of the plants, so I'm hoping maybe they're still alive enough to keep growing. I guess I'll give them another day. I've still got plenty of tomato seeds, so maybe I'll replant some directly into the pot they're going to be in. That would at least take care of the sunshock question.

Either way. I feel pretty bad about this. ;_;

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