Updated Orchids 2009 Gallery

I’ve added eight new orchid pictures to my Orchids 2009 gallery.  They’re the ones toward the end of the page, starting with Neofinetia-falcata-1.

Neofinetia falcata is a miniature vandaceous orchid, sweetly scented, although the scent is more obvious at night than during the day.  Stanhopea oculata is a rather large plant, that blooms out of the bottom of the hanging basket, with flowers that are about 4″ across.  It smells like vanilla.  Make that vanilla coca-cola.  The Zygopetalum is a hybrid that smells a little bit, but not in an obviously floral way — more like a tulip that has a really faint, and rather unidentifiable smell.

The updated gallery can be found here.  Enjoy!

Woo-hoo — Two New Galleries

. . . are available on The Orchid Place.  I have a new “Garden 2009” gallery uploaded, as well as a “Roses 2009” gallery.

I’m really beginning to love the Jalbum software I use to compile these galleries.  At least Jalbum doesn’t force me to store them on their servers and link over to them.  I compile and store them locally, modify the relevant index page footers to add my own copyright, FTP the suckers up to the right subdirectories at my web host, and bingo-bango, it all works.

For direct links to those two galleries, click on the one(s) you want to view:

Alright — enough pimping my flower porn.  Until my next batch of roses bloom over the next week or so, that is . . .

I love roses.  So, sue me.  😉

First Rose of the Year

As much as I dislike orange, this one’s not so bad.  It was just there among the foundation plantings the previous owner had.  Judging by all the other roses, some I planted, and others that were already there, it should only be another week or two before the place starts to pop with blooms.

The previous owner had a thing for hybrid teas, which are nice, but generally are hit-or-miss in terms of hardiness for this USDA zone, and some are really susceptible to black spot.  I prefer antique roses — Reines des Violettes, Cécile Brünner, Sombreuil, Grüss an Aachen, etc.  Most of the ones I like in the catalogs are mosses or gallicas.

Let’s hope the damn deer don’t get them.  A deer already munched one of the roses that had been planted perhaps a foot from the house.  The telltale sign it was a deer is the clean 45 degree angle bites, roughly waist height.  I put some wind chimes out there, after I saw that, and there hasn’t been any further damage to it.  It never should have been planted that close to the house, but it’s too well established by now to easily transplant, and this isn’t the time of year to attempt it, anyway.

Progress

A funny thing happened on the way to the orchids.  Some of you may know that my brother died roughly a year and a half ago.  Remember all that bullshit with Nicky railing on and on for weeks about me fucking his corpse, then his ashes?

My brother used to host my orchid website for me.  The servers were left running for a few weeks, but after that, poof.  I maintained it myself, so I had all the files to upload elsewhere, but he had registered it for me in his name for 10 years, and there were something like three years left until it expired.  After dragging my feet for a long time, I decided not to wait until the domain came up for renewal, and just bought a similar domain with hosting for it.

Since these things can take two or three days to get seeded throughout the internet, I worked on it from the back end for a little while, but it wasn’t publicly available.  Then I forgot about it for a few months.

Finally, I got off my butt and pulled an all-nighter to whip it into shape, fueled by coffee and nicotine.  I’d forgotten how many picture galleries there were.  I’d even forgotten to FTP a few of them up to the site, and a couple of them had multiple index pages.  That’s a lot of pages to edit, especially since it dawned on me that they all contained cute little house icons that pointed to the old domain name, plus I had to change all the footers.

Top that off with making sure the files for the entire domain were in a subdirectory of my primary account, dictated by my web host, and yeah, it took me all night.  I ended up doing a little trial and error, then writing down where the files belong at the host, and where I pulled them off my hard drive, so I wouldn’t have to start from scratch next time I do maintenance on it.

The software I used to generate those picture galleries dates back to 2001.  No way was I about to regenerate all of them, and fiddle with the settings for each to try to make them look prettier.  Some I didn’t bother to upload at all, and probably won’t.  I had to laugh when I saw that some had the logo.gif file on the index pages, and others didn’t.  That logo has the old domain name.  I can fix that graphic later.  At least the footers have the correct domain name.

Anyway, the pages and galleries are up, all the links work, and so does the blog I decided to add for the first time.  God do those old galleries look quaint!

I’ll add more galleries when I get around to creating them.  I certainly have enough pictures to do several more, but am reluctant to keep using an eight year old copy of Arles.  There’s got to be something a whole lot more customizable, and not so archaic looking.  I’ll find something I like.

So . . . if anyone’s curious enough to go take a poke around, here’s the home page.  Navigation’s pretty easy once you get there.

OT: Match the Flower to the Fruit

It was pretty slow in The Land of Nitwits yesterday, after the Polymancer thing got resolved, so I took the opportunity to mess around with my food blog, and Foodbuzz.  I’m still trying to figure out the nuances of how Foodbuzz works, but hey, FoodTV gets boring with all the reruns.

I got a little silly, and decided to depart from my usual recipes and restaurant reviews.  So, I posted a “match the flower to the fruit it produces” entry on my food blog; I have my Foodbuzz account set to pick it up as a feed.

Anyway, if any of you want to waste a few minutes, seeing if you can recognize which flower produces which fruit, go ahead and have fun with it.

OT: Early May Garden Pr0n

The previous owners of this house left a bunch of stuff sitting out over the winter in pots, just plopped among the foundation plantings.  Many didn’t survive.  Some were annuals; the rest were perennials.  I planted the surviving roses weeks ago, along with four new ones I bought, and most of them are now in bud.

Three potted perennials were a mystery to me, but looked healthy enough, so I planted two and left one potted, to see what would they would become.

HOT DAMN!  They’re blueberry bushes!  It’s still too soggy after eight straight days of rain to plant the potted one, but I moved it around the side of the house near the other one that’s blooming.  Hopefully that’ll lead to some cross-pollination.

I uploaded 15 more garden pictures of various things today:  christmas cactus, lilac, spanish bluebells, blueberry bushes, sage, amaryllis, bleeding heart, and some mystery tree near the front walk.  The tree gets pink buds that open white, and produces little cherry-like red fruit (no pits in the fruit, though) later on.  That thing sends up suckers like no tomorrow.

The new pictures are here, in case anyone’s curious enough to take a look.

Garden Pr0n: Amaryllises

These are finally open enough to take pictures.  The red one’s rather ordinary, but at least it’s a really dark, velvety red, instead of a brash red, or worse, an orangey red.  The white one with the red edges and speckles is a bit of a disappointment.  The flower is a “double,” but even after a few days doesn’t seem to want to open any farther, despite my diligence about keeping it watered.

In case anyone is wondering about the decidedly non-amaryllis-looking leaves behind them, one’s an oncidium, and the other’s a cattleya.  The paperwhite narcissus are over to the left, but all you can see are a few leaves, and maybe another bud head.  It’s simply easier to water the plants indoors if I group several of them together in utility trays.

Pictures behind the cut . . .

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OT: Aster Garden Pr0n

It was daylight, but overcast, and I had the flash turned off.  I could have messed around with the brightness, contrast, and gamma correction, but I rather like the photo the way it is.  It looks like the flower is floating in the darkness.

The nifty thing is that I originally planted an aster years ago, but several feet away from where this one is growing.  I think it’s a Professor Kippenburg, although it is a darker blue/purple than most other pictures I’ve seen online of that variety.