Goldie's Garden

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Chinese Evergreen Transplant: Failed 

What started off as a successful transplant experiment … didn’t end well. I said I’d update over a year ago and never did bc well… Life happens.   

Unfortunately, life is not what happened to my transplanted Chinese Evergreens

Transplanted Chinese Evergreen

Indoor plants have never grown well for me.  It’s possible that the air quality in our old base-housing was just too poor … or it was too cold in our ice box house with the A/C running at 68 degrees (chill)… the plants probably need 70 plus to thrive… Or a combination of those things plus lack of sunshine and constant movement bc I could never find a decent place to put them! 

Our old house was so dark that I couldn’t find a spot that got decent sun and was away from air vents! All the vents were directly above our windows. So if the plants got warm sunlight they also got freezing cold air flow! Not an ideal environment. I tried moving them out of the cold spots but then it seemed they were in a very dark corner. They didn’t like it and I just couldn’t win, so I put them outside in the pots in the front yard and let nature run its course. 

One pot started perking up but then finally bit the dust after the move to our new house in January. I clung to these plants and it was so hard to let go … For good reason I suppose, but the why didn’t occur to me until I started writing this post. It’s clear to me now that these plants served a purpose in my grieving process. 

As of today the soil is still in all three pots, but it’s time to finally say goodbye and give the soil back to the earth. (Which is symbolic since grandpa was farmer.)

A new chapter has begun, in life and gardening. 

This quote seems fitting to end on:

Once something has outlived its usefulness in one area of life, its purpose for being in existence is no longer the same. The leaf that captures a stream of sunlight, and then transfers its energy to the tree, serves one purpose in the spring and summer, and another completely different one through the fall and winter. 

Guy Finley

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Transplanting a Chinese Evergreen 

 In October we brought home this very special plant from my grandfathers funeral service. Gifted to us by grandma, I read the tag and was pleased to see it was a “Low Light” variety! We buckled it in the car and carefully drove hours home in the cold winter weather.  It’s the first indoor houseplant I’ve managed not to kill. It’s important to me to keep this plant thriving for obvious reasons.

Not only because it serves as a beautiful reminder of my grandpa but also it provides clean air and should improve the health of our family (unless someone eats it …)

Warning the Chinese Evergeen is NOT edible and is poisonous if ingested! This poor evergreen has endured a 2-day car trip from Kansas to Florida and then nearly a week sitting in the backseat of my Honda!  Oops. Needless to say it has had a rough start. By the time we moved into our house, it had yellow leaves curling under with black cracked tips.  

Based on what I know from my outdoor garden experience it’s typically good practice to get rid of leaves that are too far gone.  If they’re already dying, the best thing to do is clip and rid of them, since we want to make sure the new forming leaves stay healthy by getting the necessary nutrients from water and plant food.

Many sites online said over-watering was likely the cause of yellow leaves that were curling under but I had been cautious so I doubted that was the problem. 

First, I removed all the discolored leaves and any that looked like they may have been diseased. Then, using a damp cloth at room temperature I wiped the dust off the good leaves. Put the pot near a window that gets a decent amount of morning sunlight and kept the soil moist to the touch. 

Within 2 weeks, three different room changes and very little improvement, I figured it was time to upgrade to a new pot. 

A few YouTube instructional gardening videos later, I felt confident in my attempt to turn one potted plant into three potted plants.   Bought the self watering, plastic flower pots that aren’t fancy but are inexpensive and simple enough to blend in with any decor. Supposedly, they have good draining and ventilation that mimics a natural outdoor environment, which I hope will give the best chance of survival. 

Went up about 2-inches in pot size. I didn’t go too much bigger than the original pot but I wanted to leave enough room to place 4-5 stems in each pot and have room to develop a new root system.     

Here’s what I used… Hope I’m not overdoing it by using fertilizer sticks and potting mix that includes food! We shall see.The pots were moved into direct sun only for the sake of one picture of all three plants, but it’s recommended not to put Aglaonema in direct sun. My first attempt at transplanting an indoor plant, hopefully I’ll have a good update post in a few weeks!

No clue what it is …   
A friend thinks it’s a succulent plant … Been scrolling through pictures online with no luck.  If you can identify this plant, please leave a comment below.  Thanks:)

Prepping our Garden for 2 Typhoons this week in Okinawa

Welcome Typhoon Guchol and Introducing Tropical Storm Talima.

Looks like once Guchol leaves us tomorrow, we get a break until Thursday when Talima passes by. Fun fun!


A quick few iPhone pics of today, before the typhoon arrived. 20120618-210151.jpg

We prepare by moving the flowers/ pots to shelter. Pretty much anywhere they won’t get directly hit by 150 knots of wind. They’ll mostly get an overspray of rain and just enough wind to not destroy them completely.20120618-210221.jpg

Justice accidentally dropped a pot. It was the one she named “Pot Pot”. But we luckily had an extra pot for a quick and easy transplant. No harm done. Except to the pretty decorative ceramic pot;(20120618-210229.jpg

Of course the kids use our rope and bungees for stuffed animal dog leashes, so they’re lost and not found when we need them.

As a last minute ghetto rig… We tied the grill down with bandanas! Whatever. It worked. And you can see the lovely, decorative rust courtesy of previous typhoons and the regular rain and humidity of Okinawa!20120618-210240.jpg
Our power is likely to go out soon. Hopefully, I’ll get around to posting a garden update next week. I’ve been super busy lately and the garden blog is first to get neglected!

My Little Helper – a garden update

Every garden needs a little helper

Soft, diffused shot through the screen door of my house
Soft,  Diffused shot through the screen door of my house with my new 55-300mm lens

 Season 2 – Day 5

Here’s images from March 29th, 2012. Which was the fifth day after planting our first Jiffy pots. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast our garden started sprouting this year.  Within a week we transplanted into real pots.

Checking the growth of our seedlings
My little helper checking the growth of our seedlings
Checking the growth of our seedlings
Checking the growth of our seedlings

Season 2 – Day 9

The following images are from April 2, 2012.  Watermelon Poppies, Snowdrift and Queen Sophia Marigolds, and Morning Glories.

Snowdrift Marigolds
Snowdrift Marigolds

Unfortunately none of the Snowdrift Marigolds have survived.  Not sure why, but apparently the Snowdrift seeds do not like our climate or possibly I am planting in the wrong season. Maybe I should plant these in the autumn and see what happens.

Snowdrift Marigolds Close Up
Snowdrift Marigolds Close up – this was cool, one of the seeds that did not take was attached to one of the sprouts as it popped up. I’m guessing the rain washed it into the other pot.
Watermelon Poppies
Watermelon Poppies – These did not survive but started off looking pretty good.
Morning Glories and Marigolds sprouting Day 9
Morning Glories and Marigolds sprouting Day 9

Season 2 Day 40

The following images are from May 3rd, 2012.  I didn’t have much time to photograph everyday so we’re skipping from day 9 to day 40.  Nonetheless it’s a nice visual of how the well Queen Sophia Marigolds are doing.  The Snowdrift Marigolds and Watermelon Poppies did not make it.  The rain has continued for the last month, which may have contributed to the demise of the once promising seedlings.

The queens are the only to make it to “pot status” and here’s the growth update:

"Biggie" is our smallest
“Biggie” is our smallest in our largest pot
you can tell we’ve had lots of rain with the soil splatter on Queenie’s name tag
Massive MoMo
We call him Massive “MOMO”. A medium-sized pot and our widest growth yet.

MoMo lost his name tag to wind and rain.

Our Smallest Pot
Our Smallest Pot – My daughter has continued the re-naming process of Pot-Pot aka Jewelz aka BFF Jewelz. Can’t imagine what we’ll call Pot-Pot next week.

The image below is our Convolvulus Morning Glory and is doing well.

We started with 2 of these hanging on the concrete lattice.  The other basket had a sprout about  the size of a half-dollar.  You won’t see a picture though because some sort of creature ate it all before I had a chance to get the camera!  Possibly a caterpillar based on what the munch marks looked like.

Morning Glory
Morning Glory

Season 2 Planting Day 1

Morning Glory sprouting
Morning Glory sprouting

Here’s to the start of Season 2. On March 25th, we planted our first batch of seeds in the Jiffy Pots and starting mix (soil). The Morning Glories were sprouting by March 28th.

What We Planted

  1. Snowdrift Marigolds
  2. Queen Sophia Marigolds
  3. Watermelon Poppies
  4. Morning Glories – Convolvulus Mix

click any image to enlarge.

Jiffy Seed Starters and Seedlings in My Dryer

*this was all happening oh say March 25th-ish… and it’s now May.  But I always make a list of Blog To Do’s or a “I Need To Post This” List.  So here’s to me playing catch up.

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Last year, we planted directly in the pots.  This year I thought it was time for another experiment.  That’s what it’s all about anyway… learning what works and what doesn’t.  So we started our babies in Jiffy Seed Pots.

Justice helped put the seeds in the soil and then of course we watered them and left them in the sun all day. At night we took them inside so they wouldn’t get rained on or eaten by pests.  I was extremely worried about the seeds getting too cold in our house.  Mainly because our A/C is always on and it’s like an icebox, especially at night.  I’ve read about putting the seeds in the oven, but I’ve been known to set the oven on 450 and walk away… to come back and pull out a burnt pizza box!

2012©J. Martinez
seeds staying warm overnight in the dryer

So to remedy this I decided to put the seeds in the dryer, in the laundry room because we have no air vents in there.  It kept the seeds warm and cozy all night for the first week. Each morning I’d pull them out of the dryer and take them back outside until the sun went down.  If it was raining I’d simply set the seeds near a window with good light.

Watermelon Poppies, Queen Sophia Marigolds, Morning Glories, and Snowdrift Marigolds

My First Officially Published Clover.

Shameless Self Promotion Alert: I’m very happy to announce my first officially published image is now online. This clover picture was discovered here on my blog post about Identifying Garden Weeds. Turns out I was wrong about the type of weed it actually was. Identifying these little buggers is harder than I thought.

Check out the slideshow (linked below) to find out what type of weed this actually is…or was. 


View the 11 image slideshow at Which is a website brought to us by The National Association of Realtors®.  The website covers home ownership related topics and seems to have tons of useful information. 

Since Goldie’s Garden is obviously, you guessed it, a blog about gardening. Here are the topics that caught my eye on

  • Outdoors – Including sections on Landscaping & Gardening, Plants & Trees, Irrigation, Tools, DIY Paver Projects, Outdoor Lighting, Outdoor Kitchens, and Seasonal Maintenance.
  • Green Living – Solar Energy, Saving Energy & Water, Recycling & Reusing, Homemade & “Green” Cleaners, Air Quality, and Earth Day.  

Here’s a few other topics of interest:

  • Home Improvement
  • Maintenance & Repair
  • Protect Your Home
  • Home Taxes & Financing
  • Support Home Ownership

 I’ll definitely be going back and reading some other articles about gardening and someday when we move back to the states and settle down to buy our first home I’ll be visiting for new reasons. Look at me,  now I’m daydreaming about floor plans. 🙂

Here’s the full link to the slideshow:


Meet the Queens: (with Biggie and Smalls)

Introducing Biggie, Smalls, MoMo, Queenie, and Pot-Pot aka Jewelz

Two weeks ago we planted our first seeds for the season.  (Our in ground planting experiments were an epic failure to say the least, but that’ll be a later post.)  Last week, my daughter thought that our Queen Sophia Marigolds needed names. Completely a spur of the moment creation, I simply cut the paper and wrote the names as Justice spouted them off.

These are the best names EVER!   (My 29-year-old brain could never have chosen better names.)

A day later 4-year-old Justice changed her mind about the name Pot-Pot, and wanted to call it Jewelz.  The Sharpie and I agreed it was too late.  If you’re wondering why… I’m 5’2″ and I need a ladder to reach my marker collection, as Justice has artist tendencies.   Needless to say,  she continues to correct me every time I call it Pot Pot.


What a great idea  


Now we can easily keep track of which Queen is our most successful and possibly by the end of the season we can determine why.   All planted under exact circumstances.


There are no differences other than pot size. Which is significant, because it is a huge factor that needs to be considered when planting.

Like myself, many novice gardeners go and buy the cutest ‘lil pots that coordinate well and are totally in style, yet may have no business in your garden!  It all depends on what we plant in the pot after all.


In this case size does matter

…and we are gonna make sense of it this year.   Last year,  I stunted the growth of all of our flowers due to over planting and the use of small pots for plants that needed more space to grow.

Lesson learned.  This year we will discover exactly which size pot is best for the Queens.


MoMo has grown to what I call “massive status” in the last week. He’s ready to bloom already!  I can’t wait to show the updated pictures of MoMo. I’m not sure why but I keep calling MoMo a “him”… I think these names have actually given our plants personality… MoMo must be our Drag Queen!


Biggie is actually our smallest plant to date.

It’s gonna be an exciting season:)


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