Hello from Shenzhen, China

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Hi all, so glad to find you.
American, from the south, living in China.
The Mrs. and I have two large balconies for our garden, one facing east and the other west, plus a large kitchen window.
Mostly we grow African Violets because they are small, beautiful and easy to grow.

My avatar is the recently acquired horseradish because it was so difficult to find here. Very happy to finally have it.
Not certain of the zone we are in but it never freezes here. Lots of rain and plenty, plenty hot most of the time.
Insects that enjoy munching on plants are very abundant. Its a constant vigil to try and control them.
A spray of alcohol and water seems to help but the critters sure seem to know our address.
We've even had birds fly into our house to peck at fruit in the kitchen. And more than once we've seen a small fruit bat dining on our little fig tree.

We grow things as a hobby just for the fun of it.
 

alp

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A spray of alcohol and water seems to help but the critters sure seem to know our address.

The have special AI!

Welcome to the forum. Hope you have an air-con unit or summer can be very unbearable.
 
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Hi alp,
The summers are brutal but the winters are to die for. I can usually be found hiding in an air conditioned room during a heat wave.
The bugs have AI? I'm think homing sensors connected to GPS. Flying in formation with tiny bibs strapped to their necks. (Wait, am I rambling about the mosquito problem?)

Revised: A spray of alcohol and water all over yourself seems to help but the mosquitoes sure seem to know our GPS coordinates.

Maybe unrelated but lately we've been getting involved in fermenting, pickling, and (soon) canning vegetables.
It doesn't take much to keep us entertained while we scratch our arms and legs.
 

alp

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You will love winter there as it is so mild. Snow is virtually unheard of. How long have you lovebirds been there please?

Yes, mosquitoes are nightmare. You could try screen windows or a net which you must have for your bed unless you have air-con! The indigenous burn incense sticks to ward off the mossies, but the smell, as I remember it, was repugnant.

Have you sampled the local lychee or dragon eye fruits?? Now I am nostalgic. Always remember my eldest brother standing next to the tree and eat them right from it! Yummy ... When you have time, go to Hong Kong to sample their delices .. I can't say it here or I will be banned .. It's like, "How can you eat them? They are so cute?" I can understand the mentality though! Yes, how can I be so CRUEL?
 
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Thank you all for the warm welcome :)

@alp, The Mrs and I are still on our honeymoon... going on 11 years.
We often visit HK, for us its just an hour away. She loads up on cosmetics and other unnecessary items while I attend to important matters... like who has the coldest beer.

Oh my! We eat well and dragon eyes are great when fresh and cold. The trees can cause traffic jams when the old women throw their plastic water bottles to knock some loose.

Uploading a picture to see how that goes.
Made some fresh horseradish sauce for a shrimp cocktail. Its a bit dark as all we had was dark vinegar.

 

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@alp, sorry, I didn't answer your question.
We met in Nanjing and have lived in Shenzhen for the past 5 years.
We don't have kids but we do have a Myna bird that never, ever stops talking.

I'll try uploading another image to see if it works better...

AV1apr2018.jpg
 

alp

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Haha! The sun is out and visitors are due end of next week. Another excuse to have a chuckle looking at these African violets. I used to love them and in Hong Kong, it was easy to grow them as it was not half as hot as in Essex. I had about 200 pots and when our part of our property was reclaimed for widening the road, I kept looking at the man who counted every single one of them. It was hilarious. They were my friends and I loved them so much. To see so many here is just unreal and nostalgic.

The Mrs and I are still on our honeymoon... going on 11 years. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!

I would definitely be one of those women causing mayhem, not to say traffic jam, if there were a fruit tree around. Be very careful as I was told that the seafood / fish in China was full of mercury ..:eek:
 
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@Sheal, thank you for the welcome.

@alp, when my Mom passed away many years and tears ago she also had about 200 African Violets that we had to find homes for. She too was bitten by the AF bug.
I tried to warn the Mrs about the addiction of growing even a few AFs yet it still got out of hand. And I am also to blame.
Here's a picture of my potting bench...
AF1.jpg


3D printed a paper pot forming tool. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1997509
Started a leaf and it produced 2 babies. After awhile the mother leaf was removed and I sliced between the 2 babies to separate them. Then let them recover for two weeks before potting them in their individual cups.

AF2.jpg


AF3.jpg


The separation was clean and easy.

AF4.jpg


AF5.jpg


So yes, it is too easy to have too many African Violets.
 
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So yes, it is too easy to have too many African Violets

You must have some special magic Lloyd :) - or I'm lacking it. Not one African Violet has survived in my care. In fact I'm incapable of keeping any indoor plant that flowers alive. :rolleyes:
 
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@Sheal, I have no special magic (unless you include world-class foot rubs) because I also can't seem to get indoor plants to flower, but mostly they do stay alive.
My main job is to keep her kitchen windowsill looking good and that means rotating out the blooming AVs that are on the balcony for the tired ones in the kitchen window.
I suspect there is not enough strong light in the window to sustain the blooming plant.
I mostly water them with a very diluted Miracle-Gro solution whenever there are any blooms.

We don't lose many plants. Our failures have usually been from buying bad soil, a pot that was much too small, or not giving the plants enough time on the balcony.

myJobIsToMakeHerLookGood.jpg


Yes, we've had a few "head scratchers" when a plant died and couldn't figure out why :(
 
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SCORE!!
Got nice planters for free.
The street improvement people left hundreds of these along the roadside so I captured a few.

score planters.jpg


Only needed 2, but at that price (free) I doubled my order :)

score 4 buckets.jpg
 

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