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Alabama Adventures: Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest

After hearing about Pinus palustris from several southern botanist friends, I had to see the trees for myself! I had the great pleasure of ...

16 April 2014

April snow brings May flowers...?

I know that sometimes we get snow in spring here in Illinois, but regardless this is still odd weather! For a few days we hit the mid-60s to low 70s, then dropped to low 30s with snow. This weather is delaying planting. On Friday when Steve and I went out, some stores were finally putting their plants out in their outdoor gardening centres. I can only assume they went right back in! The 10-day forecasts say there will be more rain and cloudy skies, but mid-40s to upper 50s if we're lucky! Better than more snow.

On Sunday, Steve, Ari and I wandered on some trails near the river in Gurnee. We saw a lot of moss, fungi, and fallen trees...

 We also saw some flowers, which Ari loved!

We also saw some ducks playing in the river. It rained and we were soaked, so we grabbed a bite to eat while drying off. When the rain subsided, we went to a small path near Steve's childhood home. We saw more moss, and lots of pretty landscaping! There are two small parks there, so next time when it is warm and not so rainy, we'll take her there.

There was some moss in the wooded area behind our apartment, and with permission from the landlady, we collected some.

It was easy to get the moss. Here is a guide:

Afterwards, I grabbed an old baking sheet, dumped some dirt on it, misted the soil, then plopped the moss down. I patted it, removed some debris (a dead leaf, a stick, and some sort of larvae thing), then misted again. So far, so good!

Another thing I did lately: I rearranged the succulents, they look a lot prettier this way! I also was bored with having all the plants in separate containers. I think they should all be fine together in a tiny bit of sun.

These actually were not labeled, but I believe I have Crassula perforata 'String of Buttons', Sedum hernandezii, and ...Sedum nussbaumerianum, perhaps? I know if you put them in sunlight their colour changes a bit! Or maybe they are Graptosedum. I have no idea, as most of these didn't come with a label!

I also planted a few in another container, and I also put some of the pretty rocks we found at the beach on Saturday in with the succulents.

 I love these rocks because they have pretty, perfect 'lines' through them that are completely different from the rest of the rock. On the right are some of the succulent 'babies' I've been talking about.

On the right, more Sedum hernandezii. Out of all the succulents I've tried propagating from leaves, the Sedum hernandezii have been the most successful. Each one has rooted!

On the left, another Crassula perforata, and on the right a rooted Sedum? Graptosedum? The white rock is a bit translucent, and reminds me of sea glass. I like the striped rock a lot, though not as much as the other two with the single white stripes.

When we collect more rocks, I will decorate the containers with them! I also plan on using the moss in some of these. Perhaps I can use some moss for the fairy house I plan on building for my mother.