Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Orchids and Bromeliads in the Conservatory

     Recollecting last September and my trip to Sweden I want to tell you about a day spent in the Conservatory of the Bergius Botanic Garden, Stockholm. These photos made me come back in those warm and humid halls full of beautiful plants.


First I went right to South African room, maybe you remember in my previous post that the Fern room was closed. The air was cool and moist, there were plants from temperate rainforests of South Africa. I saw flowering orchids, anthuriums, bromeliads and amaryllis.

In other part of the room the Epiphytes were planted, the trunks and walls were full of them. Epiphytes are the plants that grow upon other plants in order to get closer to the sunlight, but without being parasitic.  

Among the succulent plants found in the South African room there were spurges, aloes (that are my favorites). The shrubland known as fynbos and semi-desert plants, such as proteas, restios, geraniums and heath also were in this room.

 In the humid tropical Palm hall bananas, papaya and palm trees thrived among the lianas and aerial roots of the rainforest plants. Cacao and papaya trees, cotton tree also were cultivated here.

In the subtropical section there was a bed of the insectivorous pitcher plants, they are fascinating plants able to digest insects and absorb the nutrients. I'd like to grow them in my garden to fight with snails and slugs :))

Here is my video about Bergius Botanic gardens:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

GBBD in February

          Hyacinths are in bloom on my windowsill in mid-February. Since autumn I put them in a cold area for 6 weeks, then in a cool place. In late January hyacinths gave roots in water and then their buds started growing. Actually, I wanted them to bloom for my birthday in January, but apparently the cooling time was short and flowering occurred in February.

It seemed to me that I took the white hyacinths for forcing in water, but they began to blossom pink flowers. Well, pink hyacinths are beautiful with white poinsettia!
Other hyacinth bulbs I planted in pot after 6 weeks cooling time. They are still small, but blue flowers have appeared. Apparently they will be in full bloom at the end of February.


Since autumn except hyacinths I had put for cooling muscari, crocuses and tulips, later I planted them in the soil. Crocuses likely won't bloom at all. Tulips are still opening their leaves. Muscari began to bloom, one blue flower has appeared! This was my first experience, probably I did something wrong. Maybe these bulbs need longer or shorter cooling time? 

 The orchids beautifully bloom second month though the days are cloudy and the sun is not enough. White orchids bloom the third year the red one which is a gift opened all the buds and is very pretty.

What is your experience in forcing hyacinths, crocuses, tulips, muscari?
Which way do you like more - in the water or in the soil?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Greenery and Birdsong on the Celio Hill

Peaceful, safe and beautiful park is an oasis of greenery and birdsong in noisy Rome, it's a good place to relax. The Celio hill or Caelian Hill situated up above the Colosseum is one of the famous seven hills of Rome, Italy. I could reach the Celio hill on foot from the Colosseum metro station. It's not as high as the Palatine hill   The entrance was free. It's a public garden now.

I've before read that in 1553 the Mattei family purchased the land and subsequently created the beautiful garden. Near the entrance gate there is a stand saying that some years ago the original flowerbed designs were recreated as well as improved upon modern irrigation system, playground area, fountains, a fishpond to fascinate children, information signs and benches. 

 The 'Parco del Celio' became more grassy and shadier. I strolled by paths up and down the hill and saw interesting drinking water fountains, here is my collection:

Much of Rome's history seems to have passed by this garden, in that part of the Celio hill the massive Temple of Claudius was, huge building blocks from the temple dominate over the garden.

High in the pines I've seen a nest. Suddenly the bird flew off and to my surprise it was a parrot! Green parrot was very busy looking for something on the ground.

As other visitors I had a few restful hours enjoying autumn sun and listening to parrot songs.