Saturday, September 29, 2012

Be part of the story

Sinningia 'Colorado Sunset' for sale
     Yes, tomorrow, Sunday, 30 September is the Mid-Atlantic Gesneriad Show, Sale and Symposium at the University of Delaware.-------- 531 South College Ave, Newark------ 10 to 4

     Why read about it when you can go there and see unusual plants shown by skilled hobbyist.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

5 Million.....

Poinsettia with ting

Story # 60,

      5 Million…..  iPhone 5’s sold this weekend.

      Even if you don’t like Apple, this should be celebrated with headlines.  For a product to be produced, that fans will stand in line for, is free enterprise at its best.

      If there are 10,000 Garden Centers in the United States, and on a good December weekend each sell 500 Poinsettias, then we have a 5 Million Poinsettia sale.

     This never makes the headlines but it’s worth celebrating.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'Li'l Georgie is available Sunday

Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie'
Story # 59,

      Sinningia ‘Li’l Georgie’ will be for sale Sunday, 30 September, at the Mid –Atlantic Gesneriad Show, Sale and Symposium at the University of Delaware.

     Come there to get one and see for yourself if this is the miracle plant that I’ve been telling you about.

      Every miniature garden needs ‘Li’l Georgie’!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

10% unemployment means....

Table Top Garden
Story # 58,

 10% unemployment means…..

      That 90% are working.

      I worry about the unemployment and under-employed.  Times are tough for many people.

      But some days, I’m worrying about the wrong group.  Try to drive when it’s rush hour, try to find a causal restaurant where you don’t have to wait, try to get into an Apple store without tripping over people, try to find a parking space at our biggest mall, Park City.

      There are parts of our economy that are booming.  So why isn’t the boom absorbing the 10% who don’t have a job or the one that they want.

      Smart people can’t figure out what to do about this.

      Since an individual can’t affect any market, just be very good at what interests you and buy a plant occasionally.  It keeps the economy turning.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Catch up!

Euphorbia heterophylla with color

Story # 57,

     Catch up!

      Somehow you stumbled into this blog today about specialty plants like Sinningias and Streptocarpus.

      It is a loosely connected continuing story.

      You can read it from the beginning in less than 15 minutes.

Sinningia versus Streptocarpus?

Streptocarpus 'Fernwood's Cherries Jubilee'
Story # 56,

 Sinningias versus Streptocarpus?

      So what about categories?

      In the last year, Ferns as a category lead the list.  We always say that colorful beats green and flowering beats foliage.  So why do people buy Ferns?

      The total of Begonias (rhizomatous and Rex) are second best.  Again, non-flowering foliage plants.

      ‘half-pint’ Poinsettias (3 ½”) sell well but Crown of Thorns beat them.

      But this story wants to know about Sinningias versus Streptocarpus?

           It’s Streptocarpus 2 to 1 over Sinningias.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Second place is not bad

Sinningia 'Prudence Risley'
Story # 55,

 Second place is not bad!

      Sometimes it’s not obvious what’s selling until you add up the numbers.

      What is my top selling single plant?

      It’s always surprising to me that Geranium ‘Vancouver Centennial’ leads the list.  People buy this unique leaf pattern all year around.
        So what’s next?

      Sinningia ‘Prudence Risley’ was first available for sale for the Christmas season last year and has continually sold.  We never know why plants are bought.

      This hybrid has never been produced before so it can’t be repeat sales.  Is it because it is NEW or because it has RED flowers?

           Sinningia ‘Prudence Risley’ ---------   Second place finish!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Will Sinningia 'Magic Moment' make the cut?, Part III

Sinningia 'Magic Moment'
Story # 18, Part III,

 Will Sinningia ‘Magic Moment’ make the cut?

      ‘Magic Moment’ continues to impress.

     Back in July we had flowering on a short plant.  Now it has three tall flowering shoots.  It has flowered continuously. 

     It has a nice pink flower and high bud count to keep opening.  This could be worth trialing in commercial quantities.

          Flowers small --------------Flowers tall.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Let's drain the Ocean!, Part IV

Story # 54, Part IV, O.T.

      What did I expect to happen?

      First, almost nothing.

      The idea of draining the Ocean is a more direct solution to the problem of rising sea level, which is going to devastate millions of people around the world.

      Trying to reduce CO2 emissions by curtailing the engines of industrialized nations may be impossible.  Keep trying that, but the problem is the water.

      Dooms-day predictors warn that there will not be enough food for the world’s rising population.  That prediction is just silly.  Economics will ensure that there will always be food-------when the price goes ups, there will be more food produced.

     However, the limiting factor ----- water ----- will have to be dealt with.  We can continue to redistribute the fresh water or gain new water supplies from de-salting the ocean.

      When the cost of water for irrigation of farm crops becomes just another line item in the cost of production along with seed, fertilizer, fungicides and harvesting costs, then pumping from the Ocean will be feasible.

      The only hope to prevent the tide from rising over valuable shore line is if localized pumping is effective.

     I have no idea if this will work.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Let's drain the Ocean!, Part III

Story # 54, Part III, O. T.

Pumping the Ocean dry, Part III.

      One man believes……

      One man believes that the Ocean is going to rise and will have a vested interest in NOT pumping the Ocean dry.

      As reported in Fast Company, Paul van de Camp, Architect/ Developer believes that Maldives, a set of Islands in the Indian Ocean, 5 feet above sea level will disappear and will need to be replaced by a floating resort.

      If the Ocean could be pumped dry near Maldives, his floating golf course would be way less cool if it ended up on dry land.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Let's drain the Ocean!, Part II

     Pumping the Ocean dry, Part II

      It will never work!

      It is almost guaranteed that the wisdom of the crowd can tell you why this won’t work.

1.  Saltwater is very corrosive and difficult to manage. 

     Yes, but the U.S. Navy knows more about saltwater than anybody on Earth.  They can help.

2.  What will we do with the salt that is condensed out?

     We manage far more toxic chemicals than salt.

3a.  If we try to pump water inland from the Pacific Ocean we can not get it over the Rocky Mountains to the mid-west where we need water.

     Of course we can, it’s a matter of the cost.

3b.   A corn farmer in the Midwest who only loses his crop every 5 years due to drought   will never pay for water.

      Don’t be so sure.  Ask a farmer how he would plan the future if he had water available for irrigation for the next 50 years so he would never lose a crop.  Now that corn has gone from $2.00 to $8.00 a bushel, there is more incentive to not fail.

4.   What if we pipe it to drought areas and then they have rainy years?

     There will be a need for multiple drop points.  It will take time.  We have electricity going to every house in the U. S.  We have gas and oil pipe lines that cross the U. S.  We can have water pipe lines.

5.  The idea of combining a solar collector that uses water can not be adapted to saltwater.

     Ok.  That idea was obvious because it is a technology that exists in California and could help justify the cost.  If other desalination methods are cheaper, then do that, but increase the volume tremendously and pump the water inland.

6.  It will be cheaper for millions of people with beach front property to just move inland.


7.  Because water seeks its own level, it would be impossible to pump water away from the coastline fast enough to keep it from refilling.

     From the book, Deep Water, one scientist, Jerry Mitrovica, says that the ‘bathtub model’ is not true.  He says that local sea level almost never equals global sea level.

     Once again, smart engineers could give an opinion about gaining ground from localized water pumping.

8.  Since this will have to be a public works project of tremendous scale, many politicians will have to support it.  It will be seen as folly until a major city is underwater.

     This will be the major reason this will never happen in time to save our coastline.

How do you boil a live frog?

     Put him in a pot of water and slowly raise the heat.  He loves the nice warm water until it’s too late and he cooks.