November 09 Updates

jodik_gwNovember 21, 2009

Good Morning, Everyone! I'd like to share a few photos updating the happenings in my neck of the woods, as it were.

First, the white flowered Hippi I recently purchased at Rural King is not white, at all! I think it may be an Apple Blossom... the bud is growing in a pinkish hue, which is not unwelcome! I anticipate a beauty!

Second, the bud on Phal "Sogo Grape Fireball" is fattening up quickly! This will be a dark beauty!

Third, these little babes are fattening up, too! Maia is a great mom, and she's taking excellent care of her brood...

Here's the first little guy to show a slight opening of eyes... what a tired little babe... check out that yawn!

The weather has been surprisingly mild, considering it's November, and a few surprises were visible in the gardens...

This is Altissimo, I believe...

A Buck rose... the name escapes me...

Another Buck... name unknown at the moment...

Strangely, a climbing Forsythia blossom is open now...

A late flush on our red climber... name unknown...

The buds are still coming from the pink Knock Outs...

The last bloom on the scarlet rose...

And finally, a miniature beauty on a background of variegated mint...

Thank you for joining me on a tour of the current happenings here in the Midwest! I hope you enjoyed it all! I will keep updating the pups... and the hippi, of course!

Happy Gardening!

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Hi jodik, thank you for the share. I realy enjoyed it. Isn't it lovely to enjoy one of these surprises thanks to the mild weather. My oriental poppy has been busy flowering since October and it's plumping up one bud at the moment. If it stays mild I will have another flower in December!!!

Hellebores foetidus is having loads of buds already. And my annual Clary is still flushing its second flowering. And my cerinthe is bushing up. Some plants continues its flowering: osteopermum, fuschia, dahlia, hebe. Although I have to say I can't wait for spring for those tulips and other new bulbs to show its presence.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 12:37PM
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Great photos, Jodi! The pups sure are cute!

Roses are pretty as well. I recently gave mine a good prune job to they'll be in top shape for a good Christmas display, so nothing to share as of yet. Although my new hippi additions are sending up a ton of scapes, so won't be too long before I can share those photos.

Can't wait to see more updates from you!

Phoenix Ryan

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 1:40PM
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Off topic, jodik, but mama has a nice, shinny coat -- do you mind telling me what dogfood you feed her? Dog food (and cat food) is one of my obsessions and I am forever asking this question of people as I gear up for another dog and cat some day.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 5:08PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)


first, those ups are so cute! I bet they're a bunch of little pigs!!!

Second, congrats on the phal spike!!!!! How exciting! My phals have just recently starting sending up spikes. I'm really excited to see these beauties again.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 6:14PM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Jodi, as always, wondreful photos I so enjoying your world through your photos! love the ami bulb and look at you go, girl, with orchids!! Finally and MOST important, those puppy babes are sooooo adorable. I had a runt irish Setter who fell in love with a full blooded/bred/sized Golden. She had 9 pups like Maia, on Good every 45 mins to 1.5 hours. It was an incredibly long day! she was just as doting as your Maia! Pups are so sweet and cuddly! i loved having all them warm bundles to love! Lil bright-eyes isn't yawning...just shouting HEY TURN THEM DAMN LIGHTS OUT, I DON"T WANNA LOOK AT FLOWERS!!!

Oh and I love the Var Mint. I grow all kinds of mint but can't find the var. one. reminds me of cuban oregano.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 7:55PM
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What a lovely collection, jodik, and what a happy family! I do love the photo of your bloom peeping through your 'jungle', too.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Thank you so much, everyone!

Maia is a wonderful first time mother! I was a little worried that she wouldn't quite "get it"... but she's doing very well, albeit a bit thin from pouring all her intake into milk production. We'll have that fixed in a jiffy, though...

To answer your question regarding dog food, patann, we currently feed Exceed from Sam's Club, lamb & rice formula... only because this is all our budget will currently allow. I'd prefer to feed Abady, but it's out of my price range. I'm honestly not a huge fan of most dry packaged or canned feeds. And I am NOT an advocate of the BARF Diet, either! Nor do I condone vegetarian dog diets!

Along with the kibble, we use Pure Performance, Gestation & Lactation formula supplement... which is our very own brand of feed supplement. We've worked for over 25 years with bullbreeds and canine nutrition, and we've recently begun to market our product. It's all natural, no preservatives, and it truly does make a big difference! I stand firmly behind it!

Ryan, I'm so thrilled to see the bud on this Phal! This is its second bloom. It was one of the young plants I got at the Orchid Festival last year. I'll post a picture when it opens... and I do hope to see yours when they open, too!

Grace, it's so nice to have a mild autumn... it seems to bring out more buds on all the roses! Most of our roses are new, so seeing all these blooms is a real treat!

Cindee, I've got some magazines to send your way... I will grab a few pieces of the variegated mint for you, too! Be aware, though... it can really take over! I don't even remember planting it, to be honest... I think it may be a sport or mutation from the plain leaved stuff I put in about 4 years ago. Anyway, your name is on a bunch of it!

Phoenix Ryan, you're so lucky to have roses for Christmas! We'll be in a deep freeze by then! But come spring, the roses here will leaf out again, and the blooms will come! I probably should prune a few of these down shorter... but I just can't bring myself to hack them off!

Clancy, that bud should have been a white... or at least, that's what the box said! I don't care, though... I know it'll be pretty no matter what it looks like!

I will definitely update on the pups as they grow... very soon, their eyes will open... and they'll be fighting and growling like little bulldogs do! They are fun to have around... until the mom stops cleanup and the job falls to me! :-)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 10:48PM
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taz56(z8 Ga.)

Jodik,everything is beautiful, but I must amitt the pups
still my heart every time. Thanks for the smile on my face.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 3:38AM
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You're welcome, Susan... I have to smile, myself, every time I stand over the whelping box and look at the pups... they're so adorable!

The whelping box is actually just a 500 airline crate half, but Maia's so small that it's perfect. She's one of those dogs that tucks nicely under your arm for carrying... not too big, and not too small!

We'll be moving the little family into a cardboard gaylord very soon. You know those cardboard bins that watermelons or pumpkins are displayed in at the grocery store? They make fabulous disposable puppy boxes... we set one up, cut a door for mom in one side, and when she stops feeding them, we use pine or aspen bedding to keep the pups clean. When the pups are gone, the whole box is disposable... bacteria, germs, and all!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 5:30AM
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Jan Sword

Jodi, beautiful blooms!!! especially the pups!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 6:36AM
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Thank you, Jan! I'm excitedly awaiting the opening of orchid and hippi blooms... and also the little eyes of the babes! It's quiet at the moment... everyone napping after a big feast at Maia's buffet!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:39AM
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Your roses are beautiful and so are the babies. They are so much fun when they are little.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:52AM
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e36yellowm3(7 Raleigh, NC)

Jodi, looks like you've got lots of exciting things going on (and keeping you busy undoubtedly). Do you keep the phal under your lights? It looks great. I received one a year ago as a gift and am just learning about how to make it rebloom (thanks to Ryan too). Alana

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 4:35PM
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Also, Jodi, after your hippes are finished blooming, do you put them back under your plant lights? Thank you for the dog food info.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 11:51PM
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Yes, the pups are a lot of fun to have! Their eyes are opening a little more every day, and soon, personalities will begin to show a bit... it's quite an experience!

Patann, my husband has spent the last 25 to 30 years researching canine nutrition, and from his study, he determined that Abady was the very best, but for those on a budget, the Exceed from Sam's Club was the best for the price tag. All the designer and well-known brands are not what they're cracked up to be. Dogs are carnivores first and foremost, even though they do like some greens... so the first ingredient on any bag of kibble should always be meat or meat byproduct. Part of the reason dogs have skin issues and allergies is related to genetically weak immune systems, and part is due to all the grains, preservatives, and other chemicals in current feeds.

I probably shouldn't, but I keep all the orchids grouped together. They're close to the window, and under the lights. I just let them do their thing. I've had one larger orchid re-bloom for me, plus this little one. I'm not even sure what I'm doing right! But I'm trying! I think it's the amount of light.

As far as the hippis go, I move them around depending on leaf growth, really... the ones that are resting go on lower shelves, and anyone in bloom or growth is kept under the lights, as close to the window as possible.

The funny thing is that the bulbs I keep in the north window grow the largest, greenest leaves... and they re-bloom reliably every year. Lady Jane is even blooming twice this year, and she sits on the north facing windowsill. Go figure!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 7:30AM
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gmwill(5 Northern IL)



After more than half a year to get myself into gardening in general, Hippis in particular, this is still very overwhelming for me. Don't get me wrong, they are really wonderful!

Thanks for sharing!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:48AM
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You're very welcome GM! If not to share, then what is it all for? :-)

When I first began to grow houseplants, I dove in hard and fast... and then I realized that there was so much to know!

30 or more years later, I'm still in learning mode! It's a process, I think... one that requires patience, research, and a great love of what we grow.

It never ends, the learning... but it's the journey through it all that nets so much enjoyment!

Keep Gardening, and Be Happy!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:17AM
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allstarsgymnast7(7, Southeast TN)

Looks like my phal is just a few weeks behind yours!

And those puppies!!!!! Adorable! Good thing they aren't weaned yet! They'd all be barking and begging for the turkey being served on Thursday! Dog and cat mothers amaze me. While twins and triplets are naturally possible in the human world, I could not imagine as a human mother having 6-12 kids the SAME age. Amazing animals. And they handle it with such grace and patience!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:16PM
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betonklotz(7b Baltic Sea coast)

Your winters in Illinois can't be that bad if there's still so much colour in your gardens! Here it's all grey in grey. Winter season in Germany, makes me wanna go south *sigh* ;)

Please show more pictures when your Hippies are open!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 5:55AM
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I will definitely post bloom photos! It should be soon... I have the one orchid and one hippi in the process of opening.

We're right around a zone 5b and a zone 6a, so the winters tend to be milder than when I lived further north... I grew up and spent most of my life in zone 4b, which is a bit colder and snowier! Illinois is a long State, so it has quite a few zones! Trust me... I, too, would love to move south!

This particular litter of pups proves out our supplement theory... Maia has had nothing but natural homemade feed and supplement since before SHE was born! Her mother was fed a natural homemade diet, so Maia has been getting the best since conception, through gestation, all through her youth, and now into her own pregnancy and subsequent whelping... the previous dogs of this breed averaged 4 to 6 live pups, or thereabouts... and here she is with 9! And a first litter! And all are healthy... no deaths at birth!

Of course, this would never happen in the wild, hunting and nutrition being what it is... but when we add up all the evidence, feeding a natural, balanced diet is so much better than plain store bought kibble, which amounts to junk, basically.

And... Maia was conceived when her mother was quite old. She passed away about a year after Maia was born... of natural causes. She was old for her breed.

Anyway... my point is... we've been studying canine nutrition for decades, and have recently perfected our formula for supplement. We've run test after test, and Maia is part of the proof. It is wonderful to actually see a dream realized!

As a stepmother of three, I could never imagine raising more than say, 4 or 5 children... but not all of the same age! That would be way too much for me!

Imagine what Maia's system must process... she must eat enough to provide herself and her pups nutrition, she must clean up and process their waste... it's an incredible amount of stress on her interior organs! I actually prefer small litters, but I'll take whatever she gives me. They all will have good homes. And then, Maia will rest for a few years. Money is not why we breed.

Don't forget to post a photo of your Phal, too, allstars! I'd love to see it!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 10:07AM
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