Please, show us your pics of plants in very porous 'Premium' mix:

meyermike_1micha(5)January 28, 2012

I love the positiveness that comes from these forums and to see one experience the true benefits of well air rated mixes, how to make my own 'Premium' mixes, and to understand how they work!

If it wasn't for a few special people, one in particular, whom took the time to help us understand the workings in a container and how soil mixes relate to their health, I would of had nothing to post here that has survived past a year.

I have certainly learned that a 'PREMIUM' soil mix is not one that comes straight out of a bag or from most local shops, unless, you buy one where 'fine' particles' is only a small fraction of the whole mix as in 'Fafard', very hard to find for most.

Unless you are growing plants that like swampy mixes, such as some carnivorous plants, one has to appreciate what is taught here about container mixes and how they benefit our plants when grown in well air rated and very porous ones.

Thank for showing me how to make them, and for helping me be successful!

This forum is a blessing and I have yet to find another where one invests so much time helping others to understand these facts, and how to make them work for our plants as some of mine can attest to pictured here:-)

If anyone else has a few pics to share of plants grown in amended mixes that encourage good aeration where fine particles in only a small fraction, or where small particles are non existent, please share:-)


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About the carnivorous plant comment, they need aeration as well, and it is very difficult to provide consistently wet, aerated, and highly humidified soil for these buggers. I use spagnum moss, charcoal, lava rock, and bark, nothing smaller than 1/8".
Other than that, your spot on with everything else, and I can't wait to try a modified version of Al's mix this season (I usually use a very similar mix, but with completely different components, still very well aerated and almost no fine particles).

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 9:41PM
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A nice variety of healthy plants and great photos too , what sort of camera do you have?

A slightly off topic question, you mentioned Fafard bagged potting mixes, I checked out their website, they seem a cut above the average manufacturer. Has anyone asked them if thet are willing to make 5:1:1 mix or even gritty mix?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 5:40AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I just love all of your variegated jades!

I use the gritty mix too.

I bought some of Fafard's retail cactus mix. I wasn't impressed. The medium was a very fine mix, and I felt that it held way to much water for cactus and succulents.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:39AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Just a quick comment: Fafard's RETAIL potting mixes aren't what I would ordinarily recommend. They have a terrific professional line, however, with lots of good options. I've never had a problem (in three different states) getting a privately owned garden center or nursery to special order for me.

Mike discovered, when he went asking around one day, that one of his local nurseries had (literally) tons and tons of it, as they used it themselves for their own plants!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:50AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

It seems really odd to me that they make different mixes. Due to the poor quality of the soil I bought, I'm hesitant to buy their product. If the professional mix is that much better, why not sell it as the retail mix and keep customers happy?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Hello Mike,

As usual, your plants are doing beautiful. I LOVE your Jades!!!! Colors are gorgeous.

A question..

Are you talking about a certain mix or amended bag mixes?

Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:49AM
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Hello and good Sunday all!


Good question:-)

I am talking about about any mix that I can turn into a 'Premium' mix made from scratch or from a bag.
Because I understand the importance of very good porous mixes, and how they work with all the plants I grow, I can literally turn a bagged mix into a much better one like you do of course, this would be a blessing if that bagged mixes were the only choice I had, or make one from scratch with using stable ingredients that do not deteriorate.
It's funny, but I can't tell you how many times I go to a store and watch people buy a bag of M.G., and by pass the perlite which is what they really need.

I can use products such as Turface, Pumice, Perlite, small stone, Extra course sand, Crushed Granite, Bark and other ingredients to my favor when I combine them.
The options I have in making a great mix is virtually endless, but one first must begin to understand why it is so important to do so, and learn how to manipulate these to best suit their plants needs.

I can use M.G. or a Nursery mix and add ingredients to it so that the finer bagged mix stuff only makes up a small fraction of my mixes. You know what I mean, but for those that don't I will give an example.

Take for instance M.G. Lets' say that it is the only product many here have access to, or don't want to hassel with making their own, all they have to do is by bark and perlite and make these two products the majority of their mixes while only adding a little M.G.
I will take 5 cups of small sized bark, one cup of perlite and then one cup of MG. This then becomes a mix that will not compact or break down as fast as a mix right out of the bag with a majority of the ingredients being to fine to last.

I can mix Turface, granites and bark together and make a product that will last indefinitly if I am willing to water more without fear of rot or salt issues.

I can use equal parts of Pumice, Bark, and Perlite and make mixes that my Hoya and CC's respong well to that stay evenly moist. My plants THRIVE in this.

Am I correct when I say that even you use very porous mixes and encouraged me to do so years back with the only few succulents I had?

Whip! How are you! Thank you for your comments.

Yes it is odd that 'Fafard' would make such a great mix and seem to only it in bulk to local nursery's. I actually use a couple of products from them, the heavier mixes that work fantastic when I can not make my own or when I don't have the time to do so. I love the one in particular called ' Nursery Mix' in which 80% is bark and the rest peat. All I do is add my own perlite. I know there is another bag they sell that you can literally use straight from the bag, but I can't remeber the name.
As Rhizo has suggested many times, you could always ask your local Nursery to get some or look form a local distributer that actually sells to retail customers.
Sometime their mixes are labled a different name.

Am I correct when I say that even you use very porous mixes and encouraged me to do so years back with my succulents?

Hey Alan, I use a Fijifilm 10x one. I love the way they take pics whne you are in a rush.
Fafard does make one close to the 5.1.1 mix called the Nursery Mix and one other that I think Rhizo or Al knows of. As for gritty, I don't think so:-(

Bob, you are so right! I must try one again. I don't even thing a water loving reed plant, which is a bog plant, can do good unless somehow there is air in the water. Thanks for that tip:-)

I am ever so grateful I learned these concepts and the foundation of these mixes here and will forever be indebted.
This is a great place to hang out and learn from those that take the time to explain the concepts of 'Soilles Mixes. Understanding these concepts and how it works is key! I can find thing local that will fill my needs that others can not:-0)

Learning how water behaves in containers with appropiate mixes,along with fertilizers is something I hope to help others with beacause someone took that time with me!
Thinking of how plants from the 'roots' up is key.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:16PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mike! ;-)

Toni, I believe Mike is talking about bark-based and grit-based mixes primarily.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Mike...Yes, it was I who suggested the importance of adding other mediums so soil was well-draining.

While some use MG straight from the bag, I add other mediums for balance. Can't even guess the number of times I've repeated 'there is nothing wrong using packaged soils as long as they're amended.'
Especially when it comes to succulents.

I argee..MG is a billion dollar corporation. During summer, people load bags of MG on pull-carts, stocked high.
Those same people come back for more..that says something.

Josh, I believe Mike's is talking about all mixes..He mentioned MG..we know MG contains Peat. Toni

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 3:30PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yeah, Mike's post wasn't there when I mine doesn't make much sense.
Gotta love Gardenweb's shotty platform.

Hey, Toni, the 5-1-1 contains peat, as well. Peat does have a role, just not a main role ;-)

That said, one cannot amend a Miracle Grow mix - that's not what Mike is doing.
What we need to say is that Mike amends his bark with a small fraction of peat (or Miracle Grow).
Big difference semantically.

Let's say Mike is making a cherry cobbler. Mike's main ingredient (bark) is like the dry ingredients
in the cobbler. Then he adds the cherry filling (Miracle Grow) to his dry ingredients - he amends the dry
ingredients with a smaller percentage of wet ingredients. Can you imagine what would happen if Mike
reversed the process - adding a small amount of dry ingredients to a large amount of cherry filling?

He wouldn't end up with a cobbler, he'd end up with cherry soup.

That's the difference between amending a large volume of bark with a small amount of peat,
versus amending a large volume of peat with a small amount of bark (or perlite, gravel, et cetera).

We don't want to encourage the misconception that drainage will be improved by adding small amounts
of bark, perlite, or gravel to peat-based mixes.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Mike,

Beautiful pictures!!!

I'll be back to post some of mine!!!

Looks like this will be a fun thread to see some beautiful Plants/trees!!!


See you in a few...


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:51PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

People keep coming back for McDonalds and Taco Bell fast food, liquor and nasty cigarettes as well ..... and those certainly aren't good choices; that says something too - that very often people can't be counted on to make the best choices.

According to what Mike just said, he is adding 1 part of peat or a bagged soil and 1 part of perlite to 5 parts of pine bark. No matter how you choose to describe what he's doing, it's still the recipe for the 5:1:1 mix.

Good thread, Mike - enjoyed all your pictures, as usual. Hang in there, man, spring's a'comin'!


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:22PM
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First... wonderful photos, Mike! Your plants all look incredibly healthy, beautiful and happy!

That said, it's the CONCEPT of what Mike does that's important to understand. We, as growers, need to understand first and foremost that growing within the confined space of a container is very different than growing in the ground... and we need to know how things work under the soil surface within a pot, because a plant's health begins at the root zone with healthy roots... and we need to know why we do the things we do, like use the ratios of ingredients we use.

Understanding simple science and physics, the basic stuff we all learned in school, can help us immensely in container growing. So, if we understand the concepts of what we're doing, it will be so much easier to choose amendments and medium ingredients that will give us the results we're after. Let's face it... not every area of the country, or the globe for that matter, will contain the same choices in amendments and medium ingredients.

My recollection is that tapla is responsible for introducing these concepts, offering basic recipes, and explaining the information in such a way that we don't need to be longtime or professional growers to obtain the same optimal results in growing that we think only experts can achieve.

The gardening industry, on the whole, is no different than any other... it exists to profit. Therefore, it's up to us to do our own homework... researching, learning the basics, and finding the truth... using logical thought and common sense to draw our conclusions... and taking a lot of what's written on the internet in general with a huge grain of salt.

The very best abridged, yet complete, information on container growing I ever read is still a part of this very forum. It's tapla's article titled "Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention". I believe it's reaching its 14th or 15th time of being reprinted and brought back by popular demand.

Reading that article was the catalyst that brought me the level of success in container growing I had always wanted to achieve. It dispelled common myths, corrected misinformation, and generally allowed me to understand the CONCEPTS I'd been missing, mainly due to an industry that isn't about happy consumers and healthy plants, but one of profit.

I think it's important to give credit and respect where it's due... so, thanks again, tapla, for providing this amazing primer, for sharing your knowledge and experience with us, for explaining in layman's terms the concepts, and the basic, vetted science and physics important to healthy container plant growth!

Normally, the article in question can be found on the first page of this forum, but in case it's not, a quick search using the title will bring it up for anyone interested... and there is literally tons of corresponding information to round out the reading experience for the novice.

In closing, it's not so much the precise ingredients used... it's understanding how they work, and why you use them in particular ratios.

Again... solid work, Mike! See? You have all the necessary knowledge, and you've put it into action... and it shows in how healthy and lovely your plants look! :-)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:39AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

All is well here. I've been using "amended" mixes for a few years. Reading and learning from the great people of this forum. Last summer was my first go at the gritty mix for my succulents. I couldn't be happier. I've been wanting to put some of them into larger grow boxes so they wold have lots of root room, but was hesitant to do so in peat based soils. Once I was able to make my own soil, and seeing it work, I knew it would work in the grow box. I can't wait for summer to try it out.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:37PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Please clarify, Whip - are you amending a bagged soil or making your own?


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:41AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Both. I use the gritty mix for my succulents, and I use a 50/50 blend of MG orchid soil and C&S soil for my tropicals. I water my tropical plants about every 2-3 days when they're outside in this mix. I'd have to water every day in a mix that held less water. For the succulents, I couldn't be happier with the gritty mix. Sorry for the confusion.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:51PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I also wanted to thank you for your generosity and sharing all of your knowledge. I've learned a lot about gardening from these forums, and a large part of that has come from you.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:05PM
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Pictures please?????????? Where are they?:-)

By the way, thanks so much for all the participation here and for all your kind words everyone!

It was Al who first showed be the concepts of a good soilless mix and helped me to understand the workings of water, fertilizer, and especially the root systems in great porous mixes and never likes to take the credit for my success, and then everyone else here whom have had so many ideas and suggestions and experiences put together, to help me round out my success!

Hi Al, Alan, Bob, Josh, Jodi, Laura, Rhizo and Toni, and Whip1!

Thank you! Now pics please?:_)))

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:48PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Guess my cherry soup analogy went right over some heads....

But that's okay because I have an even more apt analogy to demonstrate use of the term "amend" ;-)

When you pour your coffee in the morning, do you say that you are amending your coffee with sugar,
or do you say that you are amending your sugar with coffee?

It doesn't make sense to amend sugar with coffee. By the time you've added enough coffee to your sugar,
the volume of coffee far exceeds the volume of sugar with which you started...and you should have simply
started with coffee in the first place.

Show me a cup of sugar that is "amended" with a little coffee and a little cream, and I'll show
you an undrinkable cup of "coffee."


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Here are some pictures for you Mike!!!

Nice thread!!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 2:13AM
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Well, hello Laura!

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your pics with everyone! I can always depend on you to for support, to encourage others, and take the time to share your most beautiful plants that NEVER dissapoint me along with all the nice folk here:-)))

Beautiful Laura! Thank you so much again. I am loving that little 'Rosa' and in bloom:-))) Nice.
You are always so kind and thoughtful as all my friends here are. I am pretty dissapointed though that they have no pics to offer:-(
I am sure soon though:-)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 1:16PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

All are in the gritty mix or the 5:1:1 mix and are fertilized with Foliage-Pro 9-3-6.

In Turface fines only:

Garden shots

See ya!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Al!!! I am honored with so many pictures, and I can't wait to get home and show my mother who was hoping you would post at least a couple.

Way beyond her expectations and what great display of your knowledge of growing in containers, and for all that you have taught us:-)
Of course, I hope to keep mine as good looking as yours with all that you have shown me.
By the way, I LOVE that little jade, the frogs, chickadee, the great set-up of your yard which is to die for, and of course your best friend.
So much to glance over and a walk in your yard would be priceless from my perspective.
By the way, I am still very sorry about the loss of your friend and companion. He was certainly a handsome trooper that I am sure has brought you many dear memories.

Your shared knowledge with us of what makes yours so flawless and beautiful has touched that of a many of ours
and I will always appreciate that:-)

I can't wait for them nice warm summery days to come back.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:04PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

The blooms on the last DR are incredible! I love the colors!

As always, your Jades and Bonsai amaze me. I hope some day to have plants that nice.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:59PM
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:) Al, I LOVE those frogs! Especially the one with the toad squishing the frog.

Thanks for the inspiration!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Al posted this yesterday and I very much concur. Cross-posted here since it has such perfect
bearing on the discussion of "amending" various mixes. Bolding mine.

"If you remember the pudding example where we added BBs to pudding until there was an improvement in aeration,
it's easy to see that the BBs need to be a very large fraction of the whole (85% or more) before there is improvement in aeration.
That's why you can't effectively amend a soil comprised of fine particles. If you need to add 80% bark and 10% perlite to peat or a heavy soil to ensure your plants will get the benefits of better aeration and a reduced PWT [Perched Water Table] height, you're not adding 80% bark to the fine particles, you're adding the fine particles to the bark. No matter how you describe it, the maximum benefits are seen when the large particles are by far the largest fraction of the whole."


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:24PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Take two....

"If you remember the pudding example where we added BBs to pudding until there was an improvement
in aeration, it's easy to see that the BBs need to be a very large fraction of the whole (85% or more)
before there is improvement in aeration. That's why you can't effectively amend a soil comprised
of fine particles. If you need to add 80% bark and 10% perlite to peat or a heavy soil to ensure
your plants will get the benefits of better aeration and a reduced PWT [Perched Water Table] height,
you're not adding 80% bark to the fine particles, you're adding the fine particles to the bark.
No matter how you describe it, the maximum benefits are seen when the large particles are
by far the largest fraction of the whole."

Again, courtesy of Al.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:47PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I meant to thank you for the kind words in your posts, Whip. You too, Mike - as always.

Josh - your analogy a few posts upthread, pointing to the fact that we don't amend our morning sugar with coffee was spot on. Yes, you can amend heavy, water retentive soils with bark and perlite, but it's very ineffective until the bark is a very large fraction of the whole, at which point, in the eyes of most, we have amended the largest fraction (bark) with peat and perlite. The gritty mix is a different story - same principle taken to another level. You're always thinking! ;-)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:53PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you, Al, that is most appreciated.
When I read your post last night (particularly the bolded portion) I said to myself, Aha! perfect!
I know that you're very careful with words and qualifiers, and the key word you used was amended "effectively."
In my first post to this Thread, I stated that one cannot amend Miracle Grow...however, I should have said
"one cannot amend Miracle Grow effectively."

Clearly, I am in the camp that feels it more logical, honest, and accurate to state that the "largest fraction"
is being amended by the smaller fractions. Words and syntax are important, whether we're describing
how to prepare a potting mix or a cup of coffee.

Alright, back to the pretty pics... ;-)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:21PM
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Josh, great points indeed! I am so sorry I missed those points but as Al says, you were spot on and ALWAYS thinking, even despite being sick. I have learned tremendously from you too!

Yes, I must say that I just helped someone over at another forum that only wanted to use M.G. and perlite. I told him to use 4 parts perlite and one pinch of M.G or should I say part.:-)

Thanks Josh for your input on this thread. I really appreciate that
Al, you are so welcome! I wish you the best:-)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:31PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Many thanks, Mike!
I hope your headache clears up with a bit of rest.

I'll be by to check out the M.G. and perlite Thread. You, too, are always helping others.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Thanks Mike!!!

Always glad to post some pictures!!!

Really enjoyed Al's pictures. Makes me think im at a garden show when im looking at his yard.

Quite lovely!!


I had to go back and see if my DR was blooming in those pictures. The last two photos were of my Penang Peach Plumeria that is blooming right now.

Thank you for the kind comments!!

I am really enjoying the colors right now. The scent is not what it could be as in the summer, but i cant tell then when to bloom!! : )

Hopefully this variety will surprise me with another infloresence this summer and have the wonderful smell of peaches!!!

Hi Josh!! Loved your Orchid!! Congratulations!!! : )



    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:56AM
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Laura, I'd give anything to live in your climate... however, I soon may be if the climate patterns keep changing as rapidly as they are! We've had virtually no snow this year, and extremely mild temperatures. I'm actually a little worried that some of my plants in the gardens haven't gotten the dormancy they need to bud and flower. But anyway, as always, your photos are gorgeous!

Mike, you've come so far in your growing ability... I just adore all the blooms you have! As I mentioned above, in my first post, great work! Beautiful results! Hi, Mom! (waving!)

Al, what can I say that I haven't already said?! Superb! I get more and more interested in giving bonsai a try through viewing your photos!

Nice photos, as well, Whip! I see your medium of choice is very durable and porous, too! Nice plants!

I'm so upset with myself... I accidentally broke my camera. The lens won't operate as it should, and I can't get a decent shot out of it. All I have is what's already part of my photo album online, which most of you have seen. I hope the hubby can fix it... but if not, that's where my next saved jar of change will go... to buy a new camera.

With the weather the way it is, I'm wondering if I should just be patient... just in case... or if I should jump the gun a little and get some early spring work done outside. It's only February. I'm just not sure how this lack of precipitation and lower temperatures are going to affect everything. We were walking around without coats in January, and the temperatures have been in the low to upper 50 degree F range. We only experienced a few rather frigid cold snaps, but nothing like anything I've ever experienced before in my life. It's actually a little frightening, considering all the roses and other valuable plants I've put in over the past 6 years, or so.

I guess only time shall tell...

Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures, people... it does wonders to dispel those winter blues! :-)

Well... time to get some rest... have a great evening, everyone!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 12:46AM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

Here are some that have been planted for awhile and some were more recently planted thanks to someone (me) being too lazy to sift for gritty mix, even though the ingredients are sitting in the back yard most of the time.

The 'vertically challenged' one is made of old plastic yard edgings turned upside down and attached to a grate. The letters on the sign are from old license plates. It's planted with 'pork and beans' sedum.

I find most of these pots, clowns (these guys are screaming for some more appropriate plants, lol), ladies and terra cotta wine coolers aka wine bricks at thrift stores, yard sales, etc. They get holes drilled in the bottoms then filled with gritty mix and planted.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 2:13AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

that big clown pot has to be one of the creepiest I've ever seen!
Great detail!

Such a shame that the spacing is jacked up in this Thread.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Linda, some very original ideas represented, and beautifully done! Nice pictures! Thank you for sharing!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:29AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Jodi,

So nice to see you!!

I hope you get your camera fixed soon!! Cant wait to see what is blooming in your farm and around your greenhouse!!!

Hope all is well with you and your family!!! I was just posting on another forum and thought that you and Mike would like to see some other colors form the summer. I know that i love to see everyones pics..makes me smile to see all of the beautiful flowers we all grow!!!

Al's yard makes me feel like im at a Botanical Garden!!

Thank You AL for all of your beautiful pics!!!

Soo i wanted to bump this thread for Mike and send some color his way...hope you like it too Jodi!!!



Orchid catcus

Daisy WIlcox

Salmon Brug


Royal Hawaiian

Elizabeth Thorton Lemon Drop

Take care,


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:07AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


I wanted to mention that i loved what you did with the wine coolers...great idea and i love the "vertically challanged"

Great job!!!

Thanks for the pics!!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 7:56AM
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They're all so wonderfully colorful and delightful, Laura, thank you for sharing such pretty blooms! :-)

It's especially nice to see at this dreary time of year. We've had a very odd winter, with hardly any snow or truly cold weather... which I haven't minded, quite honestly! But I'm kind of worried about some of my garden plants that require a long, cold dormancy in order to bud and flower well!

Your flowers and yard photos always remind me of a nice tropical island somewhere... warm, breezy, with the scents of all those gorgeous blooms floating around! :-)

Like an idiot, I was holding the camera wrong and hit the wrong button on accident. I think I stripped the gears that operate the lens and focus mechanism. Hubby said since everything is made of plastic these days, he's not sure he can repair it, but he'll try. This is the second camera I've ruined... I dropped the last one on cement in front of the garage, and broke it. He was able to repair it, but we got the new one because we found a great deal, and we gave the repaired one to our daughter, who didn't have a camera at the time. I've got my fingers crossed that he can fix this one.

It's only February, so there's nothing at all happening in the greenhouse. It's not heated. But very soon, I'll take some cuttings from a few shrubs and bring them in to force in vases of water... forsythia, the pink French pussywillow, and a few other things. This year, I have no room to start a lot of things early... and I'm still not sure how this very strange winter will affect everything.

Thank you for sharing, Laura... they're all just so lovely!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Ummm, I have no idea where to begin everyone !

Breathe taking to say the least!
Josh, first off, I hope you are feeling much better my good friend!
Please stop by again when you are up to it. I would love to see your beautiful Orchid here in your premium mix. It's so lovely Josh!

Laura! Amazing and at this time of the year! Color is just what the Doctor oredered for Mom and for me! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful plants. You know, have you noticed that Plumeria do FANTASTIC in the grittty mix?! Your colors and vigor attest to that. Mine did fantastic for the first time too but then the mice came by and killed them:-(

Laura, do I LOVE the yellow ones. They look like they are very fragrant. Look at the size of your Brugs! I tell you, the sun in your area must be so much more enjoyed by your plants than mine. I could only wish the sun was as strong as yours in summer to force lots of blooms on my DR's..

Guess what? I think I am going to get some flowers on my Cactus Orchid very soon for the first time!!! I will post if so. They are growing in a version of the 5.1.1 mix, I think Josh's version which I love too!

I miss the summer and those pool days. They will be here before we know it! Thanks again so much for sharing:-)

Jodi!!!! Hello again! I REALYY appreciate all your support and very kind words. You have been such an inspiration to me in all you say and do. Your ability to grow nice plants has encouarged me in many ways. Your words of common sense and explanations means so much. Thanks again OUR dear friend!
Now as for holding cameras, that is another
I can't wait to see some of your plants too:-)
I hear you about an odd winter. It was 55 today here and teh mosquitos were out near my pond! I wonder if the frogs will be out early? I need to uncover my pond soon.
As long as the ground does not warm beyond the 40's, everything should stay in rest stage!
My main concern would be watering my plants so they don't dehydrate. The shallowed bushes I have need to be watered since I have no snow cover. You should see how FAST the ground dries out. I am concerned about dried out plants.
So, I pass the hose to all my plants and do they drink:-)

Linda! Wowowowoa. I never saw such interesting pots before. I love them and as Josh said, that clown is quite
That verticlaly challanged is awesome!! Where do I get one of those? I can imagine all my succulents in that thing taking up no room at all. I love your set-up and everything about it. Nice plants growing in the gritty mix I must say!
Thank you so much.:-)

Al, Mom would like to visit sometime for a free tour, and so would I!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:04PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good morning, Mike.
Ask, and ye shall receive ;-) Here's a somewhat blurry image for you of my Orchid
basking in the morning sun with my other plants in premium mix....


    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:59AM
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THANK YOU! Look at how nice it looks even today! That is one nice Orchid and certainly a treasure. I wonder how long the flowers will last? They have certainly darkened with time to a very rich pink.

Lovely Josh and it seems to be thriving in your premium mix! I just made another batch for my new orchids I will be getting shortly. I can't wait.

I hope this day allows you to hear and breath btter buddy

I see 'Ponderosa' and all the other special plants you have are doing great.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:22PM
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