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Please note that all content (photographs and text) are copyright of the author. I have licenced the contents of my blog under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License:This means that you can repost and use material for non commercial use only and as long as you give credit to me as the author and include the same conditions for anyone else to use the material likewise.Refer to the link for more information: Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Some rooftop garden fruits and flowers

Well it looks like I'll be leaving Bristol after three years here. Two of those years have been in a flat above the Bristol Music Store where I sort of let my need for plants go a wee bit out of hand.

Our living room / kitchen had plants in every window and then some in a corner that got sunlight. I never turned the heaters on in my bedroom because they were situated infront of the windows and were covered in plants as was the wardrobe which is close enough to one of the tall windows to get lots of light.

Then since there was a flat area of roof out side that I put a few pots out on and then a few more. My bedroom windows were the designated "Fire Escape" although once onto the flat roof there was no way down and as that flat area was surrounded my higher roof areas ... no one on the ground can see you unless you managed to scramble up onto sloping roof and get attention while making sure you did not slip and fall from three story height.

In any case although I had battles with marauding seagulls who pulled up seedlings and scattered them with malicious calculation and searing heat during summer I did manage to get some strawberries as well as some Siberian Irises, Lilies and Agapanthus to flower as well including onions.
The Lilies were pretty cool because they started of orange and then changed to a Deep red. I cannot remember what the variety was. The flowers of the first year were pitiful and I almost threw them all away in annoyance because as with some of the other plants I had gotten the actual flowers did not come anywhere close to the ones in the photo on the label. 

For example the Calla lily which was supposed to be a brilliant yellow came out green. And when I say green I mean it was the exact same colour as the leaves abd stems so unless you noticed that it was not a leave due it's shape being different you would not even know there was a flower there.

The red onions I planted were actually intended for the kitchen but although they all flowered for two consecutive years none got to the size they were supposed to be so although I did harvest a couple and use them it seemed pointless although at least the flowers were intriguing and quite beautiful so it was not a waste of time.

I was disappointed that the giant garlic did not grow much either. Some just grew huge leaves and then vanished. I think at least one was stolen by the seagulls with whom I have a running feud because of their malicious destructiveness. One more than one occasion when I heard sounds outside and went to check and found one up to no good the pestilent creature glared at me when I shouted at it It looked like it was challenging me too, before it decided I was beneath it and flew off very casually.



Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Upcoming posts

It has been a while since I posted anything new due to assignments, research projects and exams taking up my time.

As I mentioned in my most recent post I'm now getting on with a whole lot of housekeeping issues related to this blog as well as my other blogs.
I am currently in the process of going through all the drafts that I had been working on before I had to put things on the back burner to see what needs to be done to complete them. This can range from:
  • Adding photos - which necessitates my hunting through gigabytes of photos to find the ones I need. Although, fortunately I have them filed according to date and location. I have also slowly been adding the appropriate tags to my already vast and growing photo archive. Once I have found the photos I want to use in a post I then need to resize them. I need to do this because I tend to take photos at the highest resolution possible but I cannot use those photos because that will impact on the accessibility of my blog by people whose computers / internet access prevents them from processing such high resolution photos. Having been in that situation I know the impact of high resolution photos and web pages that crash or take ages to load due to limited internet speed or processing power or worse ... eating up a whole months worth or internet megabytes (yes some parts of the world you pay by megabyte not gigabyte). So once I have done that the only thing left other than cropping if necessary is to upload the photo and add the caption.
  • Finish writing the post or rewriting the post. That can range from:
    • Things as simple as just rereading what has been written and then finishing it off.
    •  Verifying some information from reputable sources (which I can then include in the references). Sometimes this leads to new information or contradictory information which I then need to sort out and figure out what is based on solid science and what is pseudo-scientific nonsense. Sometimes it leads to controversy or simply to a debate over something ... which while it complicates things and delays completion of the post as it means I need to read more on the subject, it also means that there is an additional element that I can write about or at least mention, depending on how important the controversy or debate is. Something as simple as the reclassification of a plant could end up in a simple paragraph explaining why this happened or if it is the reclassification of a whole genus or family then that might take a bit more. Or if it is over the efficacy of certain properties then that might start getting a bit technical. Sometimes when that happens I turn to some experts I know to read what I wrote to make sure it makes sense and is correct. In which case I acknowledge their assistance.
  • Adding all the appropriate tags / labels so that the post appears in web searches as well as so that people can find stuff internally by going to the labels and seeing what s available
  • Adding all the references and their web links
  • Reformatting the font, text and general presentation of the data so that the whole blog has a uniform look as well as making it easier for people to know exactly where to find information they want in each post.
Anyway ... its a long slow tedious process which requires time, patience, persistence and meticulous attention to details. Hence the long wait ... Also as this includes fixing up published posts and adding to the lexicons, the lack of new posts gives the illusion that nothing is happening. So, to allay this I thought it might be a good idea to lay out some of the primary posts that I am hoping to get completed over the next few months:

SOME UPCOMING POSTS

  • Propagation of African Violets
  • Intriguing Plants: Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum
  • Intriguing Plants: Umbrella Liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha
  • Intriguing Plants: Strawberries
  • Intriguing Plants: Adendium, Desert Rose
  • Intriguing Plants: African Violets
  • Carnivorous Plants: Sarracenia psittacina
  • Carnivorous Plants: Nepenthes
  • Carnivorous Plants: Drosera capenis, the Cape sundew
Incidentally I will be also working on my other blogs including my blog on etymology, language and translation issues: The Blood of Souls (which takes a lot more time researching and writing) as well as a couple other blogs which are in the process of transformation or formulation.

I also am hoping to get a crowdfunding project to publish a volume of poetry entitled: Dragon Waif: A selection of sketches from the other side of my soul.

I'm also planning on a few more photo expeditions to botanical gardens and other sites for material to use in this blog and others.



Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Friday, 8 July 2016

One more eye candy posts

Here is another quick eye candy post. Some of these will be appearing in some upcoming posts.

Irises


Magnolias in Fort Royal Gardens - Bristol



Fort Royal Gardens - Bristol




Waterlilies- Bristol University Botanical Gardens




Love-in-the-mist (Nigella damascena) - Cabot Tower Gardes - Brandon Hill




Magnolias at Fort Royal Gardens with Physics Building in the Background

Siberian Irises (Iris sibirica) - On rooftop outside my bedroom in Bristol


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Just a quick eye candy post to keep you happy

I thought I should post some eye candy for those who want to see some more photos, while I'm working at getting some more posts that are more detailed.

Lilies - University of Bristol Botanical Gardens





Borago officinalis - Cabot Tower Garden




View of the Gate house and footbridge at Chateau Grand-Bigard - during Floralia Brussels




Cherry Blossoms - Bristol




Cactus garden in Antwerp Botanical Gardens




Crocuses in the Fort Royal Gardens - Bristol




Waterlilies at University of Bristol Botanical Gardens

African Violets - My room in Bristol






Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Resuming posts and updating lexicons and glossaries

Well now that exams are over. I will be trying to fit in some time to do some work on "Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters." This will include:
  • Completing some of the posts I had been working on but put on hold. This includes:
    • Doing the research for the write up on a plant (or fungus, animal, virus, bacteria) or issue
    • Choosing the photos or taking the necessary photos, cropping/resizing the photos and uploading them
    • Verifying any information I use such as botanical, phytochemical and ethnobotanical information as well as medicinal uses both scientifically proven and otherwise. This includes providing sources / reference and hyperlinks where possible.
    • Adding all the captions to all the photos
    • Looking up, verifying and adding the scientific / binomial names and common /vernacular names in English and other languages (where I am able to find them)
    • Including all the relevant tags 
    • Add relevant internal links either to other posts within the blog or to my other blogs where I have covered a plant or topic from a different perspective. For example I have a couple cross posts in The Blood of Souls where I discuss some translation issues regarding the cicada and its song. I also have an almost completed post speculating on the etymology of a plants name which I think is particularly interesting that will be tied to a post on the plant itself which still needs a lot of work and verifying of information since it includes medical and phytochemical information which I want to check in detail as well as run by some people who should have the expertise to be able to tell me if I have presented the information correctly.
    • YES - I do put a lot of effort in trying to make sure that the information that I post is correct and if I find or am told that I have made an error I make the correction as quickly as possible and acknowledge the error and the person who pointed (out with thanks). I also endeavor to acknowledge those who have helped identify a plant (fungus, animal etc) or provided information or assistance.
    • Publishing completed posts
  • Going over published posts;
    •  Checking for typos and other errors
    • Reformatting them so that they are all uniform (especially the layout / presentation of botanical and other information)
    •  Checking the tags
    • Adding links and additional data
    • Adding common vernacular names in other languages
  • Adding to my Glossaries:
    • Glossary of Botanical and Horticultural terms
    • Glossary of Medical and Scientific terms
    • Which I think may be more logical to just merge into one glossary
  • Adding to the Lexicons
    • Lexicon of Scientific/Binomial Names -  Common/Vernacular Names
    • Lexicon of  Common/Vernacular Names - Scientific/Binomial Name
    • The second which I need to think about ab bit more on how to incorporate multiple language entries i.e. all in one or have a separate one for each.
  • Adding to the "Useful Links" which includes not only the hyperlinks to useful sites but also includes:
    •  A description of what kind of website it is
    • A brief overview of the type of information to be found i.e. what sorts of resources it has
    • Any other useful information about the website
  • Updating the Index
  • Visiting some more botanical gardens and places to get more photos of plants and critter. Hopefully I will finally be able to get around to contacting an apiculturist so I can get some decent Bee photos and beehive photos so I can do my long planned Bee posts.
  • I will also be looking into the possibility of providing higher resolution photos for those who want to look at them because at the moment I have sought to increase accessibility of my blog by catering to viewers who may not have access to high speed internet and may also be restricted to a monthly megabytes cap. So I will be looking into ways to accommodate both types of users. I have seen other webpages offer two types of resolution. Of course that will take a while to set up as I will then need to go back and hunt through my archives for the original high resolution files.
I also hope to be able to do some more work on some of my other blogs especially "The Blood of Souls", my blog on Etymology, language and translation issues.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Roof garden: Part 1

Sorry I should have posted this in Winter 2014-15 instead of Winter 2015-16


In anticipation of Spring along with an undeniable craving for more plants around me I think I got a bit carried away buying bulbs, seeds and seedlings to grow. On the heater (which I do not use) under one window amidst the African violets (Saintpaulia) are some Daffodils (Narcissus) and Grape hyacinths (Muscari neglectum), not to mention to Begonias which I am still waiting to see signs of life from.
So with one window chock full of plants already I pretty much did the same to the other. Here (above) I have Asiatic Lilies (Lilium), Siberian Irises (Iris sibirica), Dicentras (Lamprocapnos spectablis), Aquellegias and Fuscias.

I also have more pots of lily bulbs on top of my cupboard.

What can I say they were on sale and my green fingers started itching when I saw them. Okay there were several other reasons. One being that I wanted to be able to get photos of more plants as well as more varieties within each genus or even species (variations and sub species). Another reason was that having the plant myself would mean that I could be in a better position to photograph it at leisure not to mention manipulate it better and even cut the flowers and or pull the whole plant up to photograph its root structure etc.
Basically owning a plant gives me much greater flexibility, freedom and control over what and how I could photograph it especially if I want to take more detailed photos showing specific characteristics of certain plants. I also wanted to be able to show the planting and growth process.

Then as you can see how things were getting a bit crowd with onion and garlic bulbs, Hostas, Dutch irises and Glorisia lilyies and fuscias e inside which is why it was getting a bit crowded.

On the window sill outside I put some Nasturtiums that I had transplanted from their seeding tray into some planting troughs. I was worried about the cold but the seem to be doing fine so far. The daytime lows are around 10 degrees Celsius which is why due to our fridge being too small for the number of people in our flat, I often put milk outside on those few occasions I buy milk. So far the plants I have decided to risk outside seem to be holding up.









Binomial Name: Saintpaulia
Common names: African Violet (English); Violet African (French); (Samoan); 

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Asteranae – Asterids
Order: Lamiales –
Family: Gesneriaceae – 
Genus: Saintpaulia – 
Species: Saintpaulia inonatha, Saintpaulia rupicola, Saintpaulia brevipilosa


Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [February 11 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:


On-line sources:

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Narcissus
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Muscari neglectum
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Begonia
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Lilium
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Iris sibirica
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Dicentras spectablis
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Dicentras spectablis alba
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Aquellegias
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Fuscias.
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for
  •  
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Entry for Celosia argenta L.
  • The Plant List: Entry for Celosia
  • University of Tennessee Herbarium Entry for Celosia argentea

  • Texas A & M University: Entry for Celosia (Celosia cristata)
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Entry for Saintpaulia ionatha

  • Dave's Garden Entry for Celosia
  • Grow African Violets
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Asparagales
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Asparagaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Amaryllidaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Iridaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Iris sibirica
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Lilium
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Liliales
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Liliaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Muscari
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Muscari neglectum
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Gesneriaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Lamiales
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Asterids
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Amaranthaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Caryophllales

Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/