Memories in Orange – Yellow and Blue

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“Yellow Skeletons on Distant Blue” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Standing on the side of a mountain… Photograph of the trees…

Excuse me while I slip out the door…

Memories… Memories of another time…
Memories of my darkest hours… Days… Weeks… Years…

I have been to the end before… A land of perpetual night…
Even in the darkness we must strive to see the light…
Self inflicted pain hangs from an orange extension cord…
Surrounded by needles… Surrounded by rotting boards…

Fate is an excuse we blame when life has got us down…
Heaven is alternative to our souls rotting in the ground…
Experience is relative… Darkness is a state of mind…
Walk across the dirty water and you are who you’ll find…

Blood in the water… Muddy sewers mainline to nowhere…
Mind like a pantry… Shelves empty and the fridge is bare…
Alone in this nightmare because no one knows the lie…
If a junky dies in the city… Does anyone care if he cries…

Orange street light reminder of the places I have been…
When you fight a dragon choose a sword over a pen…
Frost falls on the minds of those who lay out in the cold…
Every one of us dreams about the rainbows promised gold…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Repetition – Spring Highlight

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Something different… The colors of industry… Used to highlight a snapshot of nature… Repetitive… But perfect… Poetry in photos… No captions required… “Blue and Orange” – Marcegaglia Warehouse – Homestead, PA “Dogwood Firework” – Rebecca Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs […]

A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 72 – Jewelweed

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“Jewelweed” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Impatiens capensis…  But much more commonly called “Orange Jewelweed”… Also less commonly known as “Common Jewelweed”, “Spotted Jewelweed”, “Spotted Touch-me-not”,or “Orange Balsam”… Is an annual native to North America… The common name “Touch-Me-Not” is a result of the seed pods which explode when touched…

Jewelweed was one of the first plants I attempted to use medicinally… I grew up in a small community called South Park, PA… For those wondering… It is directly South of North Park… The community is largely wooded and as a result I spent a large amount of time among the trees… We were a motley crew that lived a high impact lifestyle of building forts and tree-houses… As a result we got hurt a lot… A friend had learned of this plants use as a rash treatment in Boy Scouts… Because of this we applied Jewelweed to every wound and burn we got…

So imagine my disappointment a few years ago when I returned to this plant… As is typical I can spend a large amount of time digging for info… Sadly… One thing is pretty clear to me… The medicinal qualities of this plant can not be confirmed… In fact… Most professionals agree that the effects are most likely placebo… But as far as I am concerned… If a plant works for you… Then who cares what modern medicine says…

Last summer I noticed massive patches of Jewelweed dying in Frick Park… This makes me question whether or not this plant is affected by the “Impatiens Downy Mildew” that is currently ravaging my region… Making growing Impatiens all but impossible the last two years…

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So… I have a huge announcement coming next week… Literally… It is coming in the mail and should be here early next week… Made possible by a donation from a fellow blogger who will be thanked properly in the near future… Either way… I have a game changer on the way… Stay tuned…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_capensis

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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Falling on the Dreams of Whitney Avenue

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“Hanging in There” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – First accumulating snow of 2013…

The evening snow is a deep hue of blue…
Falling on the houses of Whitney Avenue…
Falling on my hands and falling on my head…
Falling on the dreams of those still in bed…

Underneath the snow the spring bulbs grow…
When the flakes melt the magic will flow…
Magic that falls from the heavens above…
Snow covered setting among the rising love…

Silent night among the cold white sights…
Shadows of blue among orange highlights…
Winter snowflakes flutter around…
Settle like seeds without making a sound…

Seeds spread out across frozen land…
Waiting for spring till they grow up grand…
Growing up tall for the whole world to see…
A healthy garden is one that grows me…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Growing Citrus Trees From Grocery Store Fruit

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Have you ever eaten an orange and wondered if you could grow the seeds? The short answer is yes, rather easily actually… I have been doing it for a while now with excellent results! This post is meant to explain some of the methods of propagating citrus trees used in commercial orchards, as well as a fun way to grow your own citrus trees at home as house plants.

A few of the tools I use for this project - Latex Gloves, Paper Towels, Clean Water, Plates, Razor Bades, Peat Pellets and Fruit of course...

A few of the tools I use for this project – Latex Gloves, Paper Towels, Clean Water, Plates, Razor Blades, Growing Medium and Fruit of course…

I am always looking for new and different indoor gardening projects I can pass the cold winter weeks with, I even have a mango tree growing from a super tasty ‘Golden” mango I ate last spring. A few winters back, I was eating a Meyer lemon that was absolutely full of seeds, each seed sent up 5 or 6 sprouts.

kumquat

Grafted “Fukushu” Kumquat – Grafted 2/14/2011

I have had several different types of citrus trees in the past but they were purchased in a green house and were quite expensive. I did some research on the internet, and was quite disappointed with the tiny amount of information that is available on starting citrus trees from seed.

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Seed Grown ‘Clementine’ Tangerine… A tasty one as well… About 1-year-old…

Naturally, commercial citrus growers need to ensure the best possible crop, and want to make sure all their trees are of the same high quality. To do this, each new tree they plant is grown, or propagated, not from a seed, but by grafting or budding. In most citrus trees, the scion, or top of the tree, is a different variety from the roots or rootstock of the tree. Citrus growers plant trees whose tops will grow “Washington” navel oranges, or “Eureka” lemons on a rootstock that has special characteristics like disease resistance, quick to bear fruit or restricting tree size for easier harvesting.

SeedStudy

After obtaining the seeds, by whatever tasty method you choose, wash and dry them thoroughly. Begin by cutting the point off of the top of the seed, then the seed will easily peal using your fingernails. Citrus seeds should always be planted immediately, they do not save well.

Trees that are grown from seed may never produce edible fruit, but they make great houseplants, and are a great way to cure the winter gardening itch. The foliage of citrus trees have a scent similar to the fruit it produces, a gentle rub between your fingers will release the oils and brighten up a cold winter day. The smell of a citrus tree in bloom is a scent that can’t be matched, even when they were in my backyard I could often smell them from 10′ away… Indoors the entire house will smell like sweet citrus nectar – not sure how else to describe it…

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I have removed the hard outer seed coating, and am showing you a small window into the thin seed membrane… Clean off the seed until you see green…

A number of citrus trees will come true from seed. There is a way that you can tell by examining a few seeds from the fruit. Peel off the outer and inner seed coat, it the seed is polyembryonic, i.e. has many embryos, it will come true. When you open the seed you will see that the various embryos will be convoluted upon each other. If it is mono-embryonic there will be one embryo with two distinct cotyledons. Almost any sweet orange will come true from seed, as well as key limes, grapefruit, tangerine and tangelo. Two varieties that will not come true from seed are “Temple” and “Pomelo”.

MultiCoty

Showing two seeds with multiple cotyledons, these seeds will sprout several seedlings upon germination. These should be planted immediately, they will lose viability as they sit exposed to air.

I find germinating the seed is actually the easiest part of growing citrus trees, my method is rather straight forward. I start by cutting open the fruit in a way as to not damage the seeds inside. Wash the seeds off and place them on a towel. I like to use a medical scalpel, but any razor blade will work, cut the seed at the tip being careful not to damage the fragile contents.

Once you have removed the tough exterior shell of the seed there will be a thin membrane covering the cotyledon that will still need removed. This layer reminds me of the thin covering around a peanut in its shell. Carefully remove this coating using your knife, being extremely careful not to damage the cotyledon, sometimes you can simply rub this layer off with your fingers… Just remember to be careful not to damage “ANY” part of the seed…

Peat

You can use any medium, but I prefer peat pellets, they are simple, cheap and clean. Simply put them in some warm water for a few minutes and they will expand, then you just pop the seed in the hole… Easy!

I prefer to use peat pellets, but any growing medium will work. Plant the peeled seeds knobby side down 1/2″ – 1″ deep, if its cold, provide supplemental heat to the growing medium and cover them with something to create a greenhouse. Germination seems to take anywhere from 5 days, to several weeks, after a few weeks, the seeds have probably rotted and should be discarded. I have had an 80% germination rate using this method, plant only the biggest, juiciest seeds in the fruit, and maintain a consistent level of moisture.

fruitOnce the seeds germinate, remove any cover and move the seedling to a light source. After the first true leaf appears, re-pot the plant into a larger container. Let the tree dry out between watering, and feed once every 6 months with a high acidity fertilizer. If you live in the north, citrus fertilizer is rarely available so substitute with azalea/rhododendron fertilizer.

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First “Meyer” Lemon of 2013 harvested February 1st.

I should mention that citrus trees grown from seed can take 10+ years to bear fruit, and longer indoors. But when you live in a part of the world with cold winters… And don’t own a heated greenhouse… Than you really just grow citrus for the fun of it… And occasionally if you do everything right… Maybe you will get enough fruit for an adult beverage or two…

peace – chriscondello

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