}

November 11, 2010

Forcing Bulbs

PLASTIC POTS ARE BEST, SINCE THEY DO NOT CRACK, BUT THEY ARE UGLY, SO FIND SOME THAT FIT INTO CLAY POTS SO THE WHEN YOU BRING THE POTS INTO THE HOUSE TO FORCE, YOU CAN HIDE THE PLASTIC.

YOU CAN REALLY JAM-IN BULBS (THEY PREFER IT), IT GIVES YOU A BETTER DISPLAY. THESE POTS ARE SMALL, BUT I AM ONLY FORCING A FEW BULBS THIS YEAR.


Every year, I want to force a few bulb, for there is nothing like the scent of Hyacinths or Narcissus on a snowy, winter day, be it in the greenhouse, or on the windowsill indoors. Forcing isn't something I fuss about, since I plant most bulbs outdoors, my method is simple, I just sneak a few bulbs out of the bags that I am planting, to pot up for earlier bloom. Six Hyacinths here, five triumph tulips there, a dozen crocus - all make great forcing subjects. Hey, it's fun and I really don't ahead except with some fancier bulbs which you all know about.

I use plastic pots, since the bulbs must be placed in a cool, near freezing location for ten weeks, and clay pots might crack. But since I dislike the color of plastic pots, I make sure that I have sizes that I can slide into clay pots, once I bring them into the greenhouse. No fancy soil, I simply use ProMix, a professional potting soil, and just plant my bulbs halfway down the depth of the pot. They are watered-in, and placed in a trench in the garden, where I cover them with leaves and a tarp since they need darkness. I will move them to a dark, storage room in our cellar, where root vegetables used to be kept, around Christmas, since heavy snow will make removing pots difficult. Around the New Year, I will begin introducing pots into the greenhouse, where my winter will be enhanced with daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. 

The Impressive new Martha Stewart Living App for iPad


THE FUTURE JUST GOT BEAUTIFUL. THIS COVER SHOT IS A MOVIE!, YOU CAN WATCH THE PEONY OPEN, OVER AND OVER AGAIN!

Today we've been busy playing with our iPads, and the new Martha Stewart Magazine digital App called - Boundless Beauty, exclusively for the iPad, which was released today by the amazing creative people at MSLO. As an big Adobe, RISD and MIT Media Lab fan, I've been hearing about this for a while. It's been worth the wait.


Imagine scrolling through a long vertical image where many dozens of Peony are shown with the flick of a finger.

If you have not tried any of the iPad apps, which are different than simply downloading a digital magazine, you must try any of the incredible apps in addition to the regular magazines. Adobe InDesign 5 had many significant improvements, particularly, this new method of creating interactive documents (imagine a pdf where you can scroll with your finger, up, or down, left, or right, tap on a picture and it becomes a movie, tap on another and the illustration might rotate, tap on a caption and the image changes. Better yet, imagine taking any paper magazine, and tearing out all of the pages, and then rearranging it in a grid, like a giant poster, where all of the articles are aligned vertically, yet you can scroll sideways. Amazing.


I encourage all of you to try this new Martha Stewart Living app, since there are terrific articles on peonies, orchids, and all of the things you used to love about her brand, before it became too branded. And, for $3.99, it's a bargain! Of course, you do need to buy an iPad, but you must. It is changing everything!

P.S. Any garden society who isn't thinking about this is crazy. Look....your journals are already being designed in Adobe InDesign and saved as a PDF to go to the printer. So there is no reason why you cannot do this, too. All you need to do is to buy the upgrade to CS5, and save your doc as a grid pdf. When you add a photo or image, you can choose if you want a video, instead. SO - Plant societies take notice....who is going to take their expensive printed-on-paper journal and do this first? I know my next issue of Plant Society will be designed in this format....but there is NO reason why NARGS, the Daffodil Society, even the American Primrose Society can't do this for minimal investment.  It's been 3 months since I bought my ipad, and it never leaves my bedside, ( Except when I travel).

November 3, 2010

The challenge of photographing Nerine

ABOVE - UN-RETOUCHED IMAGE OF NERINE 'KEN SCOTT', NOT AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF THE REAL TINT.

DRASTICALLY PHOTOSHOP ADJUSTED IMAGE, WHICH DOES NOT LOOK REAL, A SIDE-BY-SIDE PERFECT MATCH WITH THE LIVE FLOWER.

Nerine sarniensis 'Ken Scott' has this amazing smokey color.  A new Nerine that I added last year to my collection, this photo may look too color-adjusted, ( it is) but this was my attempt to try and capture the actual color of this unique flower color. I feel that the petals here are exactly what the live blossom looks like. Nerine are so challenging to photograph digitally. Below, are some images of 'Ken Scott' without adjusting the color, for some reason, the yellow tint really intensifies in sunlight, and in shade, it goes orange.
MORNING SHOT OF NERINE 'KEN SCOTT'


NERINE 'RENOIR', WHICH IS EASIER TO PHOTOGRAPH FOR SOME STRANGE REASON, I IMAGINE THAT MUCH OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH HOW LIGHT IS REFLECTED WITHIN THE PETALS.

A PALE PINK NERINE SHOT IN SHADE, IS MORE ACCURATE SINCE LESS LIGHT IS REFRACTED