Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Concolor Lace, pelargonium with vivid flowers

I found, by chance, a marveled scentedleaf pelargonium, with deeply divided leaf and small red blossoms with pronounced dark reddish feathering to the upper two petals.

Concolor Lace, Filbert, Shottesham Pet scented pelargonium flowers and leaves

I really love its vivid color, unusual for scentedleaf pelargoniums flowers.

Concolor Lace, Filbert, Shottesham Pet scented pelargonium vivid blossom

The plant is known as 'Concolor Lace' aka  "Shottesham Pet" or "Filbert" scented pelargonium (geranium).

I have read many times about this variety of Scented Pelargonium and I saw many pictures of it... but only now I was finding a real plant to see, feel and smell it.

The foliage seems to have a pungent smell - with some notes of spicy nutty or hazel (is said that this is the reason why is sometimes referred as Filbert).

Concolor Lace, Filbert, Shottesham Pet scented pelargonium small cutting

Its compact columnar growing habit makes this plant a suitable pelargonium for a new project... Plenty of time here, especially being just a little healthy cutting ;-) 

Welcome to my home! Cross my fingers to root well!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gardening with Kids

Flowers had became a passion with us... you already know this ;-) . Our kids try to follow us in this passion and we spent many beautiful days gardening with them.

 Veggie gardens - first sowing seeds project of our kids
Veggie gardens -  first "sowing seeds" project

We explained them many times that you will became self-sustainable only if you had acres or a huge yard, but is enough to put some seeds in some soil, to water them carefully, to put them in a lighten spot ... and you'll be amazed how quickly will appear the little plants. Actually you can nurture plants on a farm, in a small balcony on X floor of an apartment building in a big city or in your room... is just a matter of pleasure, time and space and, why not, a modality to overcome everyday stress.  

Well, we really love to share some of the successfully experiments of carrying for plants done this summer by our kids.

 Veggie garden - sowing seeds project

Few months ago, both of them planted in a big plastic pot their own veggie garden: with beans, onion, radish, cucumber and red pepper ..starting them from seeds. Both of them made "fancy arrangements" when planted the seeds, discovering somehow their own personality... They planted white onion with radishes seeds in half of the pot, and climbing plants (beans and cucumber) in the other half . You may remark some differences in their design. 

Veggie garden - sowing veggie seeds project

It was very fun to see how carefully they planted the seeds. This year seems to be started a challenge between them to see how good are they at struggling to grow veggies and flowers and to care them properly.  Who water the plants?  ... in Vancouver the rainy weather with moderate warmer days helped them a lot ;-).

I know the plants were really crowdy for a while... but important was that they harvested their own "crop".

Kids project - sowing coconut seeds
Kids project - sowing coconut seeds

In the same period of spring they started (unexpectedly) another experiment. They have taken a bunch of Pelargoniums Grossularioides seeds  gathered last year from our garden (coconut scented foliage) and sow them in a tiny transparent plastic pot with vermiculite... They were very curious about how to scarified the seeds when we were sowing last set of pelargonium seeds ... and we were very happy to explain them the entire process.

Don't ever underestimate the thriving power of a seed or the power of a child to change the world ...  

Listening to their story, their project was a little bit different than ours: the seeds were removed from mericarp and "carefully scratched", then were planted in vermiculite in a small transparent plastic pot "to see better the roots". The pot was hidden in their room for few weeks, close to the window... until when they decided to share the result with us, because became worried about the unexpected number of plants grown. We helped them to move the seedlings in a big jardiniere and after few months, they gather their own coconut seeds.

Kids project - harvesting coconut seeds planted by them
Kids project - harvesting coconut seeds sowed by them

We are really happy for their success and we encourage them to continue their gardening because we believe that day-to-day involvement with plants have enormous potential to charm and improve any life.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fern Leaf, the Pine Scented Pelargonium

Rose scented pelargoniums / geraniums have always been the most popular of the fragrant-leaved types ... but the pine scented really will make you to love it once you  discover it and why not, will add a little flavor and spice to your life.

 pelargonium denticulatum, fern leaf, pine scented bonsai

Most people likes the pleasant fragrance of pine. And if you mix the pleasure of smell with the delightful image of the finely divided leaves with a lacy appearance (like fern leaves) and a sticky hairy texture .... the result  will be the beauty of the Pelargonium Denticulatum plant.

Known also as Fern-Leaved Pelargonium, Pine Scented Pelargonium, Geranium Pine, Fern Leaf Geranium or Pelargonium Filicifolium,  is a drought resistant plant, easy to care and very suitable to be grown in sunny spots.

 pelargonium denticulatum, pine scented and finely divided leaves

Its feathery leaves release a strongly pine scent (balm) when brushed against or crushed.

 pelargonium denticulatum, fern leaf, pine scented flower

This plant was grown with accent plants in this small bonsai pot  in last half of year. I was really happy to see how it bring into flower.

It has a distinctive lavender flowers with the 2 upper petals divided...looking different... like having 7 petals not 5 like all pelargoniums.

 pelargonium denticulatum, filicifolium, fern leaf, pine scented bonsai

It was wired for two months to obtain this shape... you can remark the wire in this picture taken two months ago.  What can I say?  It is an interesting houseplant easy of culture, with showy leaves and flowers. I love the idea that from a tiny seed you may obtain such a beauty...


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