Flowers with Spots

Flowers with Spots

It is almost embarrassing to admit that for years I have been against flowers with spots. Too gaudy perhaps? Too in your face? Almost like a gimmick for plants? I don’t know if any of these were the reason or not, but after many years on the market I am now the proud owner of a petunia with spots and it is gorgeous! Petunia Surprise ‘Sparkle Red’ by Dummen Orange How to use flowers with spots in containers I actually think containers are the VERY best way to use flowers with spots. These little gems need to be up close to fully be appreciated. I’ve planted my petunia Surprise ‘Sparkle Red’ at the edge of a container near our front door. It is the very first flower that people stop at to admire. It is easy to combine these with other plants for a very nice composition. I actually think that a pot of just flowers with spots would be too much, but in combination with others it really helps them to stand out. Even though none of my other plants are flowering, the others provide a sort of green backdrop to which these spotted flowers really stand out. Changing patterns of flowers with spots The photo above shows 2-3 day old spotted petunia flowers (specifically, Petunia Surprise ‘Sparkle Red’ from Dummen Orange). The photo below shows flowers that have just opened today and you can see how the white pattern in these really changes. It is part of their charm to see the increasing white as the flowers age. The folks at Dummen Orange are responsible for releasing these to the market. I’ve always been a big fan of almost all of their plants and these are adding to the growing list. The habit for this is described as “semi-hanging” and reaffirms it as an excellent container plant. There are several varieties of petunias with spots available. I believe the dark purple has been on the market the longest. I’ve ignored these for long enough that I might need to get out and see if I can find one of these to grow...
Essential Flower Gardening Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know

Essential Flower Gardening Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know

There is nothing quite like the beauty of a garden full of flowers. A well-maintained flower garden can add a touch of elegance to any home, and it can also be a great source of enjoyment for homeowners and their guests. If you are interested in starting a flower garden or improving your gardening skills, you will want to read on for some essential tips and tricks! Photo by Jill Wellington:  1) Start with a plan Before you start digging in the dirt, it is crucial to take some time to plan out your garden. First, decide what kinds of flowers you would like to grow, and then research which varieties will thrive in your climate and soil type. Once you have a plan in place, you can begin mapping out where each plant will go. If you are new to gardening, it might be helpful to start small with just a few different types of flowers. This way, you can get a feel for how much work is involved and whether or not you enjoy the process. You can always add more plants to your garden later on! 2) Choose suitable soil One of the most important things to consider when starting a flower garden is the type of soil you will be using. Different plants prefer different types of soil, so it is essential to do your research before purchasing. Ask a staff member at your local nursery or gardening store if you are unsure about what kind of soil to get. They will be able to help you choose the right option for your plants. If you are planning on growing flowers in pots or containers, use a potting mix instead of garden soil. This type of soil is specifically designed for potted plants and will help ensure that they have all the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. 3) Invest in quality fertilizer Fertilizer is an essential part of any flower garden, as it helps the plants grow strong and healthy. However, not all fertilizers are created equal! When choosing a fertilizer for your flowers, select one that is high quality and specifically designed for use on flowers. This will help ensure that your plants get the nutrients without being damaged by harsh chemicals. Additionally, it is essential to follow the best tree fertilizer label’s directions carefully. Over-fertilizing can be just as harmful as not fertilizing, so make sure you know how much to use and when to apply it. 4) Water regularly Another vital element of successful flower gardening is regular watering. Depending on the type of flowers you are growing, they will need different amounts of water. For example, desert plants typically need to be watered less often than other plants. Make sure to check the labels on your plants or do some research online to determine how often they should be watered. Once you have a watering schedule in place, stick to it as much as possible. Consistent watering will help ensure that your plants stay healthy and happy! By following these simple tips, you can create a beautiful and thriving flower garden that will bring you joy for years to come. Gardening can be a lot of work, but it is also...
Upgrades To Consider For Your Garden This Summer

Upgrades To Consider For Your Garden This Summer

Summertime is almost upon us, and following the previous year, people everywhere are looking forward to it even more. Wishing for the sun to shine, to be able to sit back in the backyard with friends and family, to have a couple of glasses of wine, while dinner cooks on the Grill for you in the background, and to hear your children laughing and playing blissfully. Doesn’t that sound perfect? So, let’s make the most of this summer by spending time in the garden with loved ones, savouring the small pleasures. Here are some ideas for making your yard stand out this year so you can spend all day relaxing in it. This year, replacing some of the kid’s outdoor toys and garden play equipment is a must. There are numerous options and playsets obtainable that will allow children to enjoy being out and about rather than being hooked to computers and tablets during the summer season, wasting their time inside. Most play places now include a treehouse, slide, swing, and a variety of other exciting play features. They are durable and endure a long time, so they are a wise investment. You may also put a sandpit on the lawn so they can play and construct sandcastles without having to go to the beach. Growing your own veggies and fruit is one way to make your backyard shine apart from others. You don’t need a green thumb or a lot of room. When you begin small and observe how issues go, do some study and then add additional elements as you are comfortable. Strawberries, tomatoes, and fruit trees are some of the simpler to get started with. Fruit trees usually come partially developed, so all you have to do is plant them and care for them, and you’ll have fruit sprouting before you know it. How convenient would it be if you wanted some pears for breakfast and could just go into your garden and pick one up? You can also look at your garden and if you are making the most of the space you have. Sometimes if you aren’t great at gardening it can feel very overwhelming but you can always look for help from professionals. You can look at Love Landscaping and see how they can help. They may be able to help you get the garden you’ve always wanted in the space you need to work with or at the very least make your garden feel more like a paradise to relax in. The upkeep and maintenance of your landscaping have a significant impact on the exterior appeal of your home. A simple, well-kept lawn can provide a sense of pride to the appearance of your property. These kinds of solutions are critical in locating the ideal landscaper in your area, one that is competent enough to maintain and handle your property with the utmost care and respect.  These will all help your summer at home be just as magical as it can be, but remember to get out as much as you can...
Are Calathea plants toxic to pets?

Are Calathea plants toxic to pets?

Calathea, also known as the Prayer Plant, is a common houseplant with gorgeous foliage. For many of us adding this to our homes, it is important to ask the question: are calathea plants toxic to pets? Calathea plants earn the name prayer plant because when the sun shines on its leaves it opens very wide, and when the sun sets, they close up like folded hands. Calathea is a genus of nearly 300 plant species native to tropical America in the Marantaceae (arrowroot) family. I am one of those people who will be fighting the new genus name, Goeppertia, for a long time. I will forever call my rattlesnake plant Calathea lancifolia instead of Goeppertia insignis. Because of its attractive leaves and relaxing properties, it is one of the most popular plants. Rattlesnake plant, Goeppertia insignis instead of Calathea lancifolia Tropical plants thrive in low to medium light, which makes them ideal indoor plants because they flourish in partly shadowed areas. Avoid exposing them to too much direct sunlight, as this can dull the leaves and possibly cause them to become scorched or sunburned. You would anticipate these houseplants to thrive in high-humidity environments, as do most tropical plants (mist them regularly if you live in drier areas or invest in a humidifier). Keep their soil moist but not soggy, since this can cause browning of their leaves, and the soil should be well-drained and porous to avoid root rot, which can destroy the plant. Water your lovely botanical once a week, and it will flourish. But, even if it enhances the attractiveness of your home, the question ‘are calathea plants are toxic to pets?’ remains a popular one. Are Calathea plants toxic to pets? According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, all types of Calatheas are non-toxic to both pets and humans. The calathea plant is safe for all pets, including cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds. However, some pets may chew on calathea leaves, rendering them unattractive. Calathea orbifolia, Calathea medallion, Calathea rufibarba, Calathea ornata, Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant), Calathea makoyana (peacock plants) are all safe for cats, dogs, and horses. See? I am still calling them calathea instead of Goeppertia! Because it contains no hazardous or irritating compounds, your pet will not be harmed by eating, rubbing against, or otherwise engaging with the calathea plant. Calathea is non-toxic to pets and people according to the USDA. Calathea is non-toxic, non-poisonous, and non-harmful to cats, dogs, and horses. It is not harmful, but if your cat eats a lot of it, it can cause stomach problems. These species, on the other hand, eat only a modest amount of grass on a daily basis. As a result, do not be shocked if you discover your cat eating it. No plant elements, such as leaves, stems, trunks, or roots contain any substances that may hurt your cat. Is Calathea Pet-Friendly? Calathea is a pet-friendly plant. A calathea does not poison any cat or dog species. But your cat can harm your plants by climbing them. Calathea does not emit any harmful substances, hence pets are safe in this situation. But, ingesting a lot of leaves could be hazardous to one’s health. Is Calathea plant Cat-Friendly? Yes, Calathea is a cat-friendly plant. Both a cat and a calathea can be kept in the same home. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure it is not harming the plant in any way, or you will have to take measures to keep the plant safe from the cat. Is Calathea plant Dog-Friendly? Yes, it is. Dogs are unaffected by Calathea. Calathea is a fantastic houseplant because it is not dangerous to your dog too. If your dog eats the leaves of your Calathea, it will shock the plant, therefore instruct him not to approach it or store it on a shelf where he can not reach it. Why are calathea safe for pets? Calatheas are completely safe for pets because they have no harmful ingredients. Some houseplants are toxic to pets because they contain compounds (such as insoluble calcium oxalates) that, when swallowed, can cause extreme discomfort and even organ failure. Pets can be harmed by the water that surrounds the stems of certain houseplants or cut flowers. It is your pet’s grooming habits, not their nibbling or chewing on foliage, that puts them in the most danger of ingesting poisons. Even a small amount of contaminated plant materials mistakenly swallowed by a pet might create difficulties. Lilies, for example, are so toxic that merely wiping lily pollen from a cat’s fur or whiskers can cause kidney failure and death. Calathea, on the other hand, lacks these chemical compounds and is a natural food source for herbivores. How can calathea be toxic to pets? If the calathea plant has not been treated with a systemic pesticide, a topical pesticide, or had the leaves shined with a petroleum-based cleaning, it can be pet-friendly. Any of these factors, when combined or alone, can make a pet severely sick or even kill them. We will also mention that solidified fertilizers can be toxic if ingested directly from the soil. Large amounts of any plant can induce stomach distress, excessive salivation, diarrhea, and other problems. With these suggestions in mind, it is best if you can keep plants out of reach of pets and small children until they are trained. Calathea plants make great, sometimes challenging, houseplants Greenery can still be used to decorate your house and garden without endangering your pets. Calathea plants are absolutely suitable for cats and dogs and may be used to brighten your home. Calathea is one of the houseplants that can be kept alongside pets without harming them and add beautiful foliage to your home...
Hatching Black East Indie Duck Eggs

Hatching Black East Indie Duck Eggs

Black East Indies are beautiful bantam duck with a beetle green sheen to their feathers. They make an excellent addition to a barnyard or home flock. Black East Indie hatching eggs can be hard to find, but they are worth the effort to do so! Once you have them in hand I hope that these simple instructions are helpful to you. The green sheen of Black East Indie duck feathers is beyond compare. Why Black East Indie hatching eggs? Black East Indies can be hard to find locally. For many people, ordering hatching eggs is the only way to acquire these birds. Ordering hatching eggs, of any breed, and having them sent through the mail is risky and I generally consider anything over a 50% hatch rate to be a great success. If you are receiving your Black East Indie hatching eggs through the mail, unwrap them carefully and allow the eggs to rest (blunt end upward) for 24 hours before setting in your incubator.   Black East Indie hatching eggs may vary in color from a dark charcoal grey to just barely an off white color. Most ducks start the season laying the darker eggs and they gradually lighten up over the season. Do not worry, the color of the egg will not effect the quality of the duckling. This is a very dark Black East Indie egg! Eggs may not be perfectly clean, but that’s okay. If there are large chunks of debris on them you can remove them with a fingernail. I have also used a small piece of very fine grade sandpaper to clean. The key here is to avoid using liquids that could allow bacteria to enter the egg. Hatching Black East Indie eggs Much of the information available on incubating and hatching chicken eggs can be applied to ducks, as long as the important differences between these two species are taken into account. Since duck eggs take 28 days to hatch instead of 21, you may need to adjust your incubator. Hatching Black East Indie duck eggs should be turned (either by hand or by a turner) from days 1-25 with a relative humidity of 40% or so. I find that I can have healthy sized air sacs with this slightly lower humidity.  For the last three days of the incubation period do not turn them or open your incubator if at all possible. During this time increase your humidity to 60-65%. Some folks will recommend up to 75% humidity but I find that this lower amount works for me. I do like to “cool” my eggs for 15-20 minutes each day by removing the lid of the incubator for a little bit. When I put the lid back on I give the eggs a light spritz of water. I do this from day 8 until day 25. The pencil line on the eggs that you see here shows where the air pocket is at in the eggs. I mark this right as the eggs go into “lock down” for their final three days. I’ve found that the ducklings will unzip themselves right along this line when hatching. If I am hatching eggs and I see a pip outside of that mark I can keep a close eye on it to see if assistance is needed. There is lots of information online, but I really like the details at https://www.metzerfarms.com/ They have a very nice visual of what hatching duck eggs should look like when candled during their development. Are Black East Indies Call Ducks? Nope. Black East Indies are not call ducks. They are slightly larger than call ducks, have much longer beaks, and in my experience are more able fliers. They comingle well together and, if allowed, will breed together and produce black ducklings with with bibs. The best part is being able to enjoy these bantam ducks the rest of the year! Don’t be surprised if a few of the hatchlings have a yellow tint to their bellies, this will fade away and you will still end up with beautiful black...
Back To Top