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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 ...

18 October 2014

Updates & new plants

Near the end of last week I was feeling rather ill, and I ended up in the ER last Saturday. I'm alright, but I definitely took some time to recover. I am feeling much better, thankfully, so tomorrow sometime I will finally get to snap some pics of beautiful fall foliage! Steve said he knows the perfect place a couple miles away that we can wander around.

Our wedding is next Saturday! We changed some of the plans, which is why I have yet to put up the wedding plan post since I keep editing it. I definitely haven't forgotten! Although I think it may be better to just post it after the wedding so I have plenty of pictures to go with it. Sometimes I get so excited to make a post, and I get way ahead of myself! So sometime after our honeymoon I'll get around to posting it.

Anyhow, I made super delicious chicken 'n dumplings with kale. I also threw in some corn, onions, and carrots. I kept the broth clear and relatively simple. I also prefer actual dumplings as opposed to biscuits. The warm, moist, doughy deliciousness is perfect in this season. As I've mentioned before, I'm not very good with making recipes (I honestly wing it; sometimes it turns out great and other times...well, not so much) but if you take a chicken and dumplings recipe and toss in whatever veggies you like its basically the same thing. You're really not limited to the standard carrots/celery/peas. Go wild! The great thing is my picky eaters gobbled it up -- Steve kept telling me how much he loves my cooking. He even had two heaping bowlfuls of it. I am still blown away by the fact that I got him to eat kale.

In other news... The Fittonia albivenis 'Pink Angel' (Nerve Plant) is doing extremely well despite its encounter with spider mites. Luckily I noticed the plant didn't look well despite recently being watered, and upon closer inspection I discovered evidence of the pests. They certainly made my skin crawl! I immediately rinsed the whole plant thoroughly, and repotted in a new container with new soil. I am thankful it has recovered quite nicely!

However, my Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato Vine) wasn't doing well initially after I brought it home. I managed to revive it for a month or so. But I noticed it was declining again, and the Codiaeum variegatum pictum (Croton) wasn't doing well either. Upon closer inspection I discovered whiteflies and I suspect they came on the Ipomoea, then made their way to the Codiaeum. I managed to eradicate the whiteflies, but the two plants ultimately succumbed. I also had some issues with some succulents rotting, but I've repotted into the gritty mix and I absolutely do not overwater. If anything I could probably stand to water a little bit more. I have yet to figure it out.

I've said before that losing plants is just part of learning, and sometimes even the best gardener experiences losses, but I still was pretty bummed. They weren't my favourite plants but I always hate to see them go. Steve managed to cheer me up by getting me new plants: Fittonia albivenis 'Mini White' (Nerve Plant) and Hedera helix 'Mint Kolibri' (English Ivy)!

I really loved my first Fittonia and having another cultivar is awesome! But my favourite thing about this particular one is that one leaf randomly has a coloured spot with pink veins! I hope that leaf stays there for a long time because I think its so neat.

I have been yearning to add English Ivy to my little apartment jungle, but I always held off. I saw some beautiful variegated cultivars but never snagged them. But, when I saw this cultivar I just couldn't part with it! I mean, just look at how gorgeous it is!

I don't think I could pick one favourite plant out of all the ones we have, but these are totally in my top faves.

I also inherited a Ficus elastica (Rubber Plant) -- which means we now have two of them -- and an orchid of some kind from Ari's grandma. The orchid has no flowers and I'm not quite sure what to do with it as I've never had one before. I'm assuming it is a Phalaenopsis sp. (Moth Orchid) since those are the most common and popular ones available in this area. I'm not particularly fond of orchids, especially that kind, but I will do my best to keep it alive and help it thrive. Perhaps it will grow on me. There aren't any blooms on it so I won't post a photo of it.

Eventually I'll have to take new pictures of my other zillion plants to show how they're doing! I suppose its better to have a plant addiction than being hooked on an actual vice!

That's all I have for now. I'm looking forward for today's adventures, and then sharing them with you! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend full of whimsy.