Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The New Guinea Impatiens


Cold winds blow through the streets, and the evenings are getting darker and darker. I remember warm, even hot days and I want to tell and show you my bright plant. This is the New Guinean impatiens.



During summer months in a sunny spot in my garden, New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) bloomed. Like its shade-loving common impatiens, the New Guinea impatiens forms small clusters of foliage with colorful blooming flowers.


I like that the New Guinea impatiens don't require much maintenance. These flowers will continue to show their colors with enough sun and water and minimal care. 


Unfortunately, Impatiens do not tolerate dry air in the house in winter and often die. Therefore, in the spring I sow their seeds to grow in the garden. 

Here is my video about Stockholm gardens:



Stay well, all the best.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Atlas guide to birds for schoolchildren

 Now the work in the garden is over. I clean up the house, including the bookcase. In the summer, there is no time to do cleaning for everyday affairs, and now is the right time.
I love digging into books. Much has been read and much has been successfully forgotten. In the past, books had to be looked for in shops to buy. Often there was a queue in front of the shop door. But those days are over. This month, the renovated House of Books on the central Nevsky Avenue opens in St. Petersburg.

But I digress. So, "Atlas guide to birds for schoolchildren" fell into my hands. When I read  David M. Gascoigne's blog, I'm always amazed at how many varieties of birds there are and how little I know about them.


For example about ducks. It turns out that there is a gray duck (Anas strepera) 44,  pintail (Anas acuta) 46, teal terskun (Anas querquedula) 47, shoveler (Anas clypeata) 48 and other ducks (see photo). All of them inhabit the reservoirs of the tundra, Siberia, taiga, everywhere except the Far North. Duck nests are built on the ground. Beautiful, brightly colored ducks.


Or sparrows. It seemed to me that I knew them all, I see them every day, I feed them with seeds. They are not at all afraid of people. There is a black-breasted sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) 413, a tree sparrow (Passer montanus) 414, a snow sparrow (Montifringilla nivalis) 415, a house sparrow (Passer domesticus). They inhabit most of the country, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Altai. They differ in the color of the head, a spot on the cheek or on the throat (see photo)


Starlings and jays are regular guests in my garden. They are always busy looking for food: worms, insects, caterpillars, clean the garden from pests. Here is the gray starling (Sturnus cineraceus)418, myna (Acridotheres tristis) 419, oriole (Oriolus oriolus)420, jay ( Garrulus glandarius) 421, kuksha (Perisoreus infaustus) 422, (see photo). These birds are migratory, we live in broad-leaved forests and groves, in the European part to the Kuril Islands. They nest in trees. I must admit that I have never seen and do not know the Oriole and the Kuksha.



The author of the book is Vladimir Khrabriy, the book was released in 1988. Beautiful color illustrations are made by a group of artists. Although this atlas is intended for schoolchildren, I think many older people like me can learn a lot from it. All the best.

Video of the birds I painted, with birds sounds.



Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Preparation For Storing Plants

 The summer season ends and preparations for storing plants for winter begin. In the north, many plants cannot survive the winter if they were left in the soil or even just in a greenhouse. For example, Dahlias, Callas and Cannes.

I have a bad experience with storing canna roots. I left them in the greenhouse, wrapped in a special cloth. Despite this, when it was -20 C, they froze and in the spring I threw them away. Cannes were beautiful, with bright red flowers and striped leaves.
Since then, I do not want to risk losing the plants. This summer, the dahlias bloomed beautifully and the bushes grew strongly. When I dug up dahlia bushes, I saw that large thick roots appeared. Of course, I want to keep them during the winter period.


There are many ways to store roots. For example, put them in the basement, cover the roots with wax, put them in a cool place in sphagnum moss.
This last one works for me. I have a lot of sphagnum moss and have a cool place. Therefore, in October, I decided to dry the roots well, clean them from the ground and put them in a box with moss in a cool place. Of course, I need to check the condition of the roots from time to time and moisten the moss so that the roots do not dry out.

Do you store plants during the winter? What methods do you use?


My videos: my watercolors