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New Year, New Beginning

January 5, 2014
Viola cornuta, Brassica rapa

The balcony garden refuses to realize that it’s actually winter… but then, the weather isn’t trying very hard, either.

2013 wasn’t the best year here in the Nettle Nest. Too many dumb timesucks, not enough gardening or reading or blogging. You have seen the state of my TBR pile and potting bench and window sill.

But I’m trying to do better now. Which means I have a list of things I have to do every day (blogging and (indoor) gardening and reading among them, along with going outside, because I really need to stop hibernating) and a lot of websites are blocked because I apparently don’t have the self control to stay away from them otherwise, and I’ve started some cress seeds because I miss homegrown food.

Lepidium sativum

And it means I’ve gathered all my terrible looking Tradescantias and taken what cuttings I could and thrown the rest out:ny100_9119s Tradescantia fluminensis

ny100_9121s Tradescantia

I can’t tell you how liberating it felt to throw out these plants – especially the hanging basket, although the other ones also looked pretty dreadful, especially once I’d chopped off everything that could be used as a cutting. (And now I have an empty hanging basket… whatever shall I do with it?)

And it means that I’ve finished reading two books since Christmas (rereading Trudi Canavan’s Age of the Five, and it appears I sort of know one of the people mentioned in the acknowledgements (mostly online, although that was years ago, and I briefly met her in person)… it’s a small world, especially within the fantasy genre!)


But it also means that my daily bit of going outside led me to a garden centre today, and you know how it goes (even though I would prefer to have fewer plants instead of more):

“Oh, but I really need something new to put in the pickle jar!” (Because the Fittonias that I used to have in there grew so big they pushed the cover off and then they dried out.)

ny100_9126s Selaginella martensii

And, “Oh, miniature amaryllis!” (And this one might actually be the pink-edged white it promised to be.)

ny100_9124s Hippeastrum Cultivar

And, “Oh, pretty Dracaena, I’ve never seen this one before!” (It is called ‘Sunray’ and looks prettier in person.)

Dracaena marginata

So much for reducing the plant population in the Nettle Nest…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2014 05:36

    Oooh, that is a pretty Dracaena! Now maybe I want one of those, too!

    My spare bedroom (formerly, the plant hospital, currently the new greenhouse) could use some cleaning as well. On to the list it shall go! The plant cleaning never ceases…

    Wishing you well in 2014, Ivy!

    • January 5, 2014 13:31

      And the same to you, Liza!

      No, the work certainly never ends. I just hope I will have more energy to deal with it this year!

  2. chris permalink
    August 23, 2016 23:25

    I was looking for photos of Tradescantia and ran into your fun blog! I was wondering, why do think they tend to look raggedy after a while? I’m hoping I can keep mine looking lush.

    • August 24, 2016 05:32

      I think in part it is a natural aging process. It’s probably easier to keep it looking good if you can give it the best possible growing conditions, like bright indirect light and regular doses of fertiliser, and if you cut it back regularly to encourage the growth of fresh branches from the base of the plant.

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