Author Archives: Chris Armstrong

HBR Guide to Remote Work HD2336.H37 2021

In case you are still working from home or may have to at some point, this book provides a few tips to help you develop or improve the unique set of skills you will need for remote working. The book provides the best practices, tips, and insights from a variety of experts to help with these skills.

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Aerophyte – “air plant”

Air plants get their name due to that fact they are generally found hanging in the air. Air plants are a nickname for Tillandsia which is a genus of around 650 species.  Tillandsia are in the Bromeliad family.  To be an Aerophyte means the root system is very minimal and is used to anchor the plant base in shifting or loose desert sand/substrate or to attach to another plant or tree.  They can be found in a wide range of environments, from humid rainforests to dry and arid deserts. The bulk of tillandsia are found in Central America, South America, and Mexico but they are also native to parts of the Southern United States like Florida.

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Four O’clock Plants

Four O’clock plants (Mirabilis jalapa) were originally found in the Andes Mountains of South America.  The Four o’clock is classified as a perennial, especially in warmer zones where the chances are good that if you allow your plants to go to seed in the fall, they will self-seed in the garden.  If you plant them in pots you will need to collect the seeds and plant again for the next season.  These tuberous-rooted plants produce slightly pointed oval leaves on branching stems. The approximately 2-inch-long blooms are trumpet-shaped with five petals, and they come in several colors, often shades of pink and red.  Some four O’clock plants produce flowers in multiple colors, sometimes with marbling or other markings. This is a fast-growing plant that often sprawls in the garden. They get their common name because of the way they bloom. The flowers open in the late afternoon, typically around 4 p.m. or so, and then remain open until the next morning. They have a lemony-sweet fragrance.  Four O’clocks bloom each year starting around June and stretching all the way to frost in the fall.

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Cosmos Flower

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) are annual plants with colorful, daisy-like flowers that sit atop long, slender stems. The leaves are deeply lobed and feather looking depending on the type. Cosmos have varying heights and are available in many colors.

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Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisies are commonly grown for their bright and  flowers.  They originate from South Africa. Most are hybrids of Gerbera jamesonii and Gerbera viridifolia.  Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) are tender perennials and will grow year-round in USDA Zones 8-11, but you can enjoy them in the spring and summer in any climate.  They come in various sizes and colors including pink, yellow, salmon, orange and white. Flower size is anywhere from 2 to 5 inches across and a height from 8 to 24 inches.  They are bred for their color and flower shape.  They can be grown both indoors and outdoors and are commonly used as cut flowers.  Plants thrive in full sun and sandy soil but tolerate light shade.  Choose a site with six to eight hours of sun.  Crown rot is a common problem with gerbera daisies. The crown should be visible above the soil and allowed to dry out between each watering. Plants can be mulched.

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