Tag Archives: plants

The Light Coming into the Greenhouse

Here’s a treat: These beautiful photos were taken in the Conservatory range last week by Noah Le Claire-Conway, PhD student in Plant Sciences. (Equipment: Nikon D2X camera with an AF Micro Nikkor 60 mm lens.)

jewel orchid

Jewel Orchid, Ludisia discolor

Brazilian Orchid, Epidendrum sp.

Brazilian Orchid, Epidendrum sp.

Watermilfoil, Myriophyllum aquaticum

Watermilfoil, Myriophyllum aquaticum


Aristocrat Plant, Haworthia coarctata

ice plant

Yellow Ice Plant, Delosperma nubigenum


Spoon-leaved Sundew, Drosera spatulata


Echeveria sp.

Papaya, Carica papaya

Papaya, Carica papaya



Real Rain

That’s what everybody here is walking around saying, with a smile and a grateful look at the gray skies. Yes, it’s been quite a while. I like having a rain day to focus on the greenhouse, dividing and potting up plants, rearranging, cleaning up, and taking cuttings. Here are some greenhouse plants which caught my eye today.


Tibouchina/ Princess Flower


Mimosa / Sensitive Plant








Justicia carnea / Plume Flower


Polypodium Fern

Catching Up

plants in greenhouseWe started early Friday morning, loading plants into the stake body truck borrowed from Agronomy (as well as two pickups). Off to East Farm! (it’s only a mile.)

plants in greenhouseLauren on truckIt rained a little (of course). Two large loads in the stake body and two loads in each pick up, then we set it all up and went home. Saturday started bright and early again, with a hundred or more people lined up before the gate opened at 9 am! We talked plants nonstop all day and sold most of them. Brought the leftovers back in one pickup and now we are catching up in the Botanical Garden for Commencement this weekend!

virginia bluebellsazalea

Where We’ve Been

Where have we been? Mostly out in the garden….

Shortia galacifolia

Oconee Bells, Shortia galacifolia. A rare plant from the Appalachian Mountains.

Spring is upon us and we have been raking, weeding, admiring  the plants coming up through the slowly warming soil, moving stones, cutting down trees, and edging the beds.

Ligularia dentata

Ligularia dentata coming up among the Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum).

Edging is heavy work but I love the way it defines the gardens and makes them look cared for (as well as keeping the grass from creeping into the beds).

Newly edged garden bed

Freshly edged garden bed.

April 17 2013 010

Inside the greenhouse, there are flats upon flats of seedlings. Some are for the garden, some for the All-America Selections Display, and some for the plant sale.

seedlings in greenhouse

Seedlings in greenhouse.

We also made a few trips to the unheated overwintering house at URI’s East Farm, where perennials in pots stay for the winter. Now they are inside and coming up beautifully, ready for the garden and the plant sale.


Perennials in the greenhouse.

solomon's seal

Solomon’s Seal, a beautiful spring perennial.

SAVE THE DATE: Plant Sale Friday May 3rd, 8AM to 2 PM, at the greenhouse on campus, then on Saturday May 11th at the East Farm Festival, 9 AM to 2 PM at URI’s East Farm.

Vegetable seedlings, All-America Selections annuals, and Garden-dug perennials!

Keeping Busy

cordyline in greenhouse

It has been a very busy beginning of the year for this gardener. ( I have to laugh when people ask “What do you do in the winter?”) Well, in addition to caring for the plants in the Conservatory range, scouting the greenhouses, carrying out our IPM program, writing and taking pictures for the blog, keeping the website updated,  getting a required certification, engraving new labels to replace lost or broken ones, and supervising student employees and volunteers, I have a great new opportunity:  to take over responsibility for the “Botany Collection”, a wonderful and fascinating group of plants.

greenhouse 105

The plants are used in the labs for students in BIO 104 (Principles of Biology-Plants), BIO 311 (Plant Structure and Development), and BIO 321 (Plant Diversity). (There are 375 students in BIO 104 alone this semester…wow!) Plants in the collection have been gathered to represent different features like a certain type of flower or a certain type of root. Cactus and succulents, orchids, conifers, aquatic plants, ferns, plants with brightly pigmented leaves, mosses, fruiting plants, vines, many, many flowering plants, and some plants that are just plain curious, are all representatives of groups of plants being studied in Biology and Botany.

all grhs 2 015



plumbago auriculata


FEB 1 2012 039

Each week, plants are brought in to demonstrate the objective of the lab, whether it is simply “Primary Growth” or something a bit more advanced such as sporophyte development. Occasionally, germinating seeds and seedlings are requested for dissection and study under the microscope (what fun!) I start those here and then bring them over to the lab. It all looks so interesting that I wish I were in class!

germinating bean

drawing of beans Tomorrow I am off to New England Grows  — taking the 6 AM train to Boston. N.E.Grows bills itself as “the Ultimate Horticulture and Green Industry Education and Trade Show” and it is truly gigantic. Immense tree digging machinery and backhoes look like Matchbox cars on the floor of the trade show. My job tomorrow will be to give a very quick slideshow tour of the garden, condensing my usual one hour tour into 5 minutes! Then I am free to attend any educational session, so even though it’s not Biology Lab, I really do get to go to class.

students potting up plants

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