Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Triumph, and Two Indiscreet Insects

Here's my big gardening success story for today. Remember how terrible our amaryllis looked last year? They had a type of fungus, and we didn't get a single successful blossom -- just a bunch of twisted leaves and dry flower buds. I read up on how to treat the problem, and last fall I soaked the bulbs briefly in a weak chlorine solution, stored them loose and dry over winter, then repotted them a few months ago with fresh soil and sprayed them with an anti-fungal agent.

Voila! Mission accomplished. I really thought I was going to have to throw out these bulbs, which we've had for eight years, so I'm glad I could get the situation back under control. I'll probably have to treat them each year from here on out. The fungus apparently never goes away entirely.

Here's another success story, of a different sort. We've tried several times to get groceries delivered, but we were never able to get a delivery slot -- demand is through the roof because no one wants to brave a grocery store. Then the online grocer we usually order from -- Ocado -- sent Dave a message saying they had slots set aside for long-term customers. So he grabbed one and stocked us up on staples. Our kitchen looks like Costco at the moment, but we won't need to buy bran flakes, tonic water, ginger ale, Dentastix and a lot of other stuff anytime soon. Which will make my shopping trips easier.

That's Dave's pineapple upside-down cake on the counter, BTW. He made it a few nights ago after we talked about ways to use our canned pineapple. Terrific!

Here's some of what's going on in the garden:

Our foam flowers are blooming. They're small and somewhat inconspicuous but I like them.

Fly sex! Do you suppose these are the same flies I posted yesterday? Maybe that was their first date. You gotta move fast when you're a fly.

The honesty attracted a cabbage white butterfly, which makes sense -- apparently it's in the brassica family, so it's related to cabbages and broccoli and other plants that cabbage whites like.

I think I mentioned before that our local council has a phone app that allows us to report litter problems. I love this app. On Tuesday I reported a discarded tent that had been lying beneath a tree on our street for weeks. It was gone within half an hour! Amazing, and kudos once again to the trash collectors, who are still working while the rest of us are cooling our heels.


  1. That is a lot of Bran flakes...I hope you also have a considerable amount of loo paper to go with it!!
    I see you have my favourite tipple of the moment on your cupboard...Vodka and tonic.
    I have an exciting day runner bean seeds were delivered yesterday eve so I can get them in some soil. Little things mean a lot.... An actual job to do! They will go into large plant pots....about 7/8 to a pot until they are 6 inches or so and then they can go out into the big wide world......well....the little veg plot! Enjoy the weather. x.

  2. Good Morning,
    Oh My what beautiful flowers! Please excuse any errors I am having a bit of trouble seeing this early morning/ late night for me. It is way past my bed time at 3:30 am.

    I am so happy that Dave was able to get a slot and order for you. No slots have been available to us so my son in law is going to go tomorrow to the grocery store for us. We have already made our list and checking it twice and hope that we can get. I didn't order much because it is hard for him to carry it back.

    I was going to work on my blog tonight but I guess I will just go to bed since my eye site is not letting me see much if at all anything. I haven't had my eye patch on but for a few hours today so I will try to get up early in the morning and do a blog post.

    Big hugs to you and I will talk to you later... Neth

  3. OOOOpsss that was supposed to say Beth lol sorry about that.... lol

  4. It wasn't the flies that were indiscreet, it was the photographer! Did you ask their permission before snapping them during their moment of intimacy? By the way, I understand that there are counsellors who deal specifically with bran flake addiction. There's one in London called Bran Stoker...

  5. Love the pictures of the flies and the white butterfly! As an amateur photographer myself, I know how difficult it can be to get close up photos of moving subjects like insects and flowers, the latter moving in the breeze. The focus is tricky, the light can be difficult, the movement can cause challenges and my patience just wears thin. Congratulations on the beautiful photos. Ah, yes, I noticed all the bran flakes too - good luck with that over the next year or so!

  6. These photos brought joy to my day! You know, SG and I did the same thing on OUR first date. We thought we had to move fast, too. Had no idea we'd live so long!

  7. Of course we all have to comment on the flies because- Fly Porn! Great shot.
    I'm procrastinating here, having planned to go to town.
    No one delivers food to Lloyd. Except my children. But one can only ask so much of them.
    Pat yourself on the back for saving those bulbs. Good job, Steve! You are the Plant Saver!

  8. I love reading how you take care of your flowers and plants. That blooming amaryllis is beautiful.
    Nice supply of food there. I have been a bit surprised by my anxiety about food supplies lately. I think I'm going to have to do a lot more shopping.

  9. A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to plants.

  10. Well done on saving the amaryllis, Steve! I like that bright red color, it's so cheerful. I'm glad you got stocked up on groceries and can stay home and stay safe for the near future.

  11. Congratulations to your amaryllis success!

    Our stocked up larder looks similar, replace bran flakes with muesli, and yesterday, a friend dropped a box of 15 avocado at the doorstep and I fear they will all be ripe at the same time. That's a lot of guacamole.

  12. Congrats on the amaryllis, it's gorgeous! I never would have thought of making a pineapple upside down cake but now I'm carving one. Oh, the power of suggestion. I wonder if I made one if I could freeze part of it. I've been thinking about grocery delivery but so far, I'm still braving the store. I don't have a mask yet so it does make me very cautious when I go. You got a great shot of those two flies in flagrante and I love the pretty butterfly.

  13. Bravo on the Amaryllis treatment. Beautiful bloom. Judy says our pantry is fuller than it has ever been. But I don't think we're hoarding. And I still can't find yeast, and flour is sketchy. But we bought a 10 pound bag of sugar recently so that will last us for a long time. Yes, great catch of those two romantic flies. I got a couple of doves that way a few years ago. Or maybe they were rabbits, I can't remember.

  14. Your Amaryllis is beautiful. I did not realize that they could be planted outside. Mine has already bloomed and gone by so maybe I'll plant them in pots outside. I have a white (I think) Christmas cactus full of buds. I can't wait to see it. It's a new plant. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

  15. yay for saving the amaryllis. and seriously, y'all must eat a lot of bran flakes.

  16. The analysis is just glorious. Good save.
    I am glad you were able to stock up a bit. Dave's cake looks very tasty. A great cake mix hack is yellow cake mix and large can of crushed pineapple, bake at 350*. Can be slathered with Cool Whip, or not. I am a big fan of two ingredient recipes that taste great.
    It is depressing to think flies have a better sex life than most of us. But a brilliant capture.