Friday, February 10, 2012

I am still alive!

What can I say but the life of an Apple employee is a busy one!

I am working on using my free time to catch up on this blog as well as learning new things!

So currently I am studying up on some herbs and such, learning guitar and learning mandarin chinese.

Don't ask me why I am doing all of that now, but I guess I will blame it on the new year!

I have not learned much chinese besides simple things, but I am learning a lot!

So, until my next post, I will leave you with some of what I have learned:


See whether you can figure that out...without cheating! :-)

Friday, March 25, 2011

New update on my seed wishlist!

So, I have been busy at work collecting seeds from my wishlist still! So far, I have knocked the list down by 13 more plants, some of which I have started indoors since last frost is approaching fast! I will be planning my garden as soon as possible, and will share my ideas, etc. soon! Also, look forward to some beautiful photos from this year's cherry blossom festival in Washington, DC. I get to go with my best friend and her husband in about a week! 

Here are the seeds, cuttings, etc. That I have now! Only 41 more to go!

Bell peppers
Purple cabbage

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photo of the Week!

So, I had been running out of photos that I had taken earlier on before winter came along, but with spring on its way in, I grabbed my camera and took to shooting some of the blooms already peeking through at my house! I love this picture of the hyacinth blooms that I took this morning! It sums up spring in Maryland for me currently: rainy, gloomy, but still beautiful and promising of the bright colors ahead!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I have been a naughty blogger.

I am ashamed to say that I have been slacking on my posts here! My cilantro post has been lying here half finished and much has come to a halt as I excitedly prepare and plan for spring and my upcoming garden. I have not forgotten about my historical posts and will be starting them back up, as well as sharing with you my spring updates soon, once I finish my preparations.

Also, feel free to check out my extra writing, now being published on in the gardening section!

- Posted from my iPad

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Question: I live in Maryland, and am wondering what kinds of flowers are there that don't attract bees?

This is a great question! I had to research this one a bit! Overall, its hard to think of flowers NOT having bees all over them, since bees are the major pollinators out there. I know that it can sometimes be a challenge and a pain to have a beautiful garden full of flowers while keeping it from becoming a bee social spot. But, bees are not the only pollinators out there! In the list of plant pollinators, bats, birds, wind, gnats, humans, and flies are responsible for a lot of pollination as well. When it comes to picking an anti-apiary flowering plant, there are a few factors to consider.

This happens to me every time I go out in the garden!

The first thing that you would want to look at is the colors of the flowers. Color plays an important role for when bees are searching for nectar hotspots. Blue, violet, purple, white, yellow are popular colors that bees have been found to flock to. Reds, oranges, and pinks are well-known for attracting birds and butterflies. But that being said, color alone is not the determining factor for what drives bees wild over flowers.

The shape of the flower plays a very big role in what flowers are bee-friendly. It may not seem like much when looking at a flower, but to a bee the shape of a flower can affect whether it can even get to feast on any of the nectar. For instance, a tiny flower like a daisy is going to be easy for a bee to suck nectar from, since it's proboscis (it's straw-like mouth) does not have to go far to reach it's destination. But if the flower were a long tube-like flower such as sunset hyssop (agastache rupestris), it is going to be much more difficult for a bee's short proboscis to reach the nectar. This also applies similarly with single-blooming flowers versus double-blooming flowers: the cluster of petals in a double bloom make it harder for the bee to get access to the nectar.

A bee's proboscis (the orange colored "straw")

Easy for a bee to get nectar from

A much longer proboscis on a butterfly

This flower was made for a hummingbird's long bill or a butterfly's long proboscis!

Scent of a flower plays a large role in attracting bees, as one would imagine. The more fragrant the flower, the more attractive it is to bees usually. So, avoid things like honeysuckle, jasmine, and so on. Local wildflowers or native flowering plants attract more bees in general than more exotic plants. Lastly, bees are more attracted to plants in the sun than in shaded areas.

So to summarize, all of the factors I mentioned should be things to consider when making floral choices. Of course, it would be untrainable to find a plant that fits all of those requirements at once, but out of all of the bee deterring features, the top things that I would recommend looking for first would be low scent flowers and long tubelike blooms.

Some plants that come to mind quickly would be hyssop, salvia (some of the longer blooms), moonflowers (it blooms more at night, though it blooms in the shade as well), peonies, day lilies, irises.

Great question!

- Posted from my iPad

Monday, February 21, 2011

Question from Jack: I love your fishcicles. How can I do that on my blog?

Hey jack!

Glad you like my little fishies! Well, I don't know what type of blogsite you use, but I use blogger here. I found the widget for some virtual fish and it allows you to change the background. I just used an image of icicles as the background!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photo of the week

A beautiful ice plant bloom (probably Delosperma cooperi) from earlier in the year. I miss summer! So sorry for being a bump on a log about getting my Cilantro post up, folks! It seems all I want to do when I get off from work is sleep, sleep, SLEEP! I Definitely am working on it!