Author Archives: dirtynailz

About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.

Those are orchids????

This plant, which looks for all the world like a succulent, is an orchid. Angraecum distichum is from Africa, and has tiny, white flowers. Orchids are among the most diverse plants on earth, and I enjoy growing the more unusual … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Spring…or not?

We begin on a positive note, with my first rock garden iris, “Katharine Hodgkin” blooming by our mailbox.  Also called “Orchid Iris, or “Dwarf Iris,” (it’s only a few inches tall) this is a cross of blue Iris histroides and yellow … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

These buds are for you

Despite the freakishly cold weather we had last weekend, and the ridiculous vacillations in temperature, the buds on my trees and shrubs seem to be taking it in stride. The Mountain Laurel, a prized, wild understory shrub here in Rhode Island, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Flower time

This tropical-looking flower belongs to one of my newest orchids, a cattleya I won in a raffle at a meeting of my orchid club. It was donated to the club by a member who was moving out west. He was an … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sea and sky

It was one of those afternoons when the sky and sea met in a particularly glorious way. The February light was razor-sharp and the sun was still pale, giving everything a silvery sheen. This is Sandy Neck beach in Barnstable, on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Hunkering down, getting out

I took this photo near our house the morning after last Thursday’s storm. It’s blue-ish because the sun hadn’t risen yet.  That white mound in the center of the frame is a spruce, covered in snow and ice. As I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A failed experiment

In a recent post, I wrote about how members of my orchid club recommended Dawn dishwashing liquid to treat scale and other pests. I mixed a solution according to the recommended formula (3 parts water to 1 part Dawn) and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Brightening a bathroom

This is “Begonia Richardsiana,” a semi-tuberous begonia purchased several years ago for about $12 at Logee’s greenhouses in Danielson, CT. It lives on the windowsill of our master bathroom, with a nice view of a shady part of the garden. If you’re … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Winter woods

I spent some time hiking in the woods over the Christmas holiday. We were in Quebec, and there was plenty of snow. I am always lagging behind the others on the trail, taking in the forest and the details of individual … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Non-toxic plant pest control

Orchid pests were the topic at the most recent meeting of my club, the Ocean State Orchid Society. We geeked out over images of revolting aphids, mealy bugs and everyone’s favorite, scale. One of the club’s most respected and knowledgable members, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments