Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Field Trip

Oh, the joys of living in small states.  The New England Aquarium, where I volunteer, needed someone to drive to Rhode Island and pick up a seal crate from another group (the rescue group had transferred an injured (or sick) seal to this other group and it's a busy seal season so they needed the crate back).  When asked if I could go I had two thoughts:  1)  woo-hoo!  I've never been to Rhode Island before and I'll be able to check if off my list of states I have been to (did you know that the full name of Rhode Island is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, making it the state with the longest name as well as the smallest land mass?  And that spell check thinks I'm spelling it wrong so I double checked myself.  If I lived in Rhode Island I'd be offended by that!) and 2)  how far away from the site I'm picking up the crate is Logee's?

Logee's is a tropical plant mecca.  They propagate and sell lots of indoor plants and outdoor tropicals.  They do sell mail order as well as walk in and I requested a copy of their catalog this year.  Wow.  Lots of cool stuff.  And they're only in Connecticut, not too far away.

Sooo...  I hopped in the car and drove for an hour and a half to wander around greenhouses.  It's a fun greenhouse complex to wander around in, the place is packed with plants.  In the middle of the greenhouses many of the plants are growing in the ground, these are the parent plants they propagate from.

I took my husband's small camera so many of the pictures turned out bad.  I'll have to go back with my (good) camera so I can show all ya'll who don't live around here what you're missing.  

Many of the isles are so tight you have to  squeeze past the plants.  Not that I mind.  I'm very tactile and I love to touch plants.  It gets me in trouble when the plants don't like to be touched (Poison Ivy is particularly offended when touched, I've learned to leave her be and not try to caress her hairy vines).

I managed to get out of the place spending less than $100.  How?  You ask.  Good question.  The answer is that I only had 45 minutes to wander around before I had to head over to Rhode Island for the crate exchange (and, oh, yeah, I had to leave my backseat open to fit the crate).  I guess I'll have to go back.

I did get inspired, though.  I now realize I need to add a sky light or two to The Breezeway.  This is the room that connects the house to the garage, the room that we use to enter and leave, the room that has the deck off the back, the room where most of my plants live since it has good sized windows on both the front (West South West) and back (East North East) side.  I've already convinced The Husband that we need to add a window to the bit of the breezeway that faces South and is behind the garage.  Just ask Him, He'll agree.  Right, honey?

So I know you're champing at the bit to find out what I did buy so here goes...

Adenium obesum 'Red' a red flowered Desert Rose.  I just love the cool shape of the fat trunk.  I think I'll put this on my desk.  My primroses are just about done blooming and the rosemary I've been overwintering will be going outside for the summer soon.  Good thing I have a large desk!

Vanilla planifolia variegata.  Variegated Vanilla plant.  Yes, this is the plant used to make vanilla extract.  Yum.  I doubt I'll ever make vanilla extract from my home plant but what a great plant to grow in the kitchen.  Where I keep my orchids (yes, vanilla is an orchid).  The herbs are in The Breezeway.  Of course.  To keep them in the kitchen would make too much sense.

Another orchid I picked up is this blogalong plant .  A blogalong plant is something you saw in someone else's blog and decided to try.  I co-opted the term from Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  This is a Ludisia discolor 'Black Jewel' or Black Jewel orchid.  It's got nice, dark leaves with racing stripes.  It will go good in the kitchen since George the Second is in there (This is the George plant with dark leaves, I know it's hard to keep them all straight.  At least Logee's labels everything so when you get home you know what you've got and don't have to call it George!).

I've never grown Streptocarpus before.  They make nice flowers but there must be some reason I don't have them at home.  I'll have to look them up on line and see what other gardeners have to say. (ooohhh, this one gets a bad rating from Mr. Subjunctive at Plants are the Strangest People.  That's not a good sign.  That guy can grow anything.)  This one is Streptocarpus 'Texas hot chili'.

Lastly  my homely looking Meyer's Lemon (Citrus limon 'Meyer').  Not much to look at now but I expect lemons in a year or so.  This is really what I wanted to go to Logee's for.  When we lived in LA I was able to get fresh lemons all the time and learned how to make lemonade.  It's sooooo much better when you make it yourself.  Huh.  Look at that, I'm drooling over this plant.  

I was tempted by a lot of other fruiting plants they sell (Avacado?  Another favorite.  Do they have a house plant sized Mango?  Maybe I should just rip the roof off the Breezeway and make it into a greenhouse.  Hmmmm...  That's a good idea!  Don't tell The Husband yet, let me break him into the idea gradually.  Maybe I'll offer to put a hot tub in there, too.) but I only had limited time and space in the car.  As it was getting the seal crate in and out was a bit of a challenge.  

So that was my Friday.  I've been in three different states today and now I need to go buy some pots!

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