|September 2, 2005 10:41 - Log Cabins and Fuzz
Writing about a subject like gardening tends to follow a regular cycle as you record the progress of the seasons and try to provide helpful hints at each stage. This tends to result in a good deal of "more of the same" as the familiar pattern repeats itself from year to year. Gardening writers are always looking for fresh angles and today Virginia Hayes has come up with "Fuzz". Tomentose is her subject meaning covered with hairs. Read more..
To be a successful gardener you need a certain amount of discipline to learn the techniques and skills involved and then to put in the regular work required. But to remind me that there is a lighter side, I have a calendar hanging on my wall with a series of cartoons entitled "The Funny Side of Gardening". The picture for September shows a garden shed which has been converted into a bar with a group of husbands grouped around with drinks in their hands enjoying a good chat.
The reason that I mention this today is that I have just seen a press release from a company that is advocating this approach. In effect they are saying "forget about mowing the lawn, weeding and watering plants - cover your backyard with one of our log cabins instead".
September 15, 2005 10:42 - Did you miss World Naked Gardening Day?
I have just realised that it is nearly two weeks since my last post and, in case you are wondering why you have not heard from me, I should explain that the first week of September I was away on vacation. On my return I found that my computer had picked up a trojan horse and once that had been removed, I had to get down to preparing my monthly Garden Ramblings newsletter which is published today. If you have not seen this before, do take a look.
September marks a turning point in the year. Summer is behind us and the gardening columnists are starting to talk about the tasks that lie ahead. This is Mary Robson's view:
"September means a new year to me. Many of us, especially perennial students, associate this month with renewal and change in the air. That holds true for gardens also. September pulls us out of summer lassitude and forward into the joy of a busy fall gardening season. Here are some of the things we're thinking about at this time of year." Read more..
Before you rush out to tackle all those jobs take a moment to reflect on and record both your succcesss and failures of the current season. Danny Flanders has some useful advice on keeping a garden journal and also includes some helpful hints on flower photography. Read more..
If you missed any of these it will be another year before they come around again. Saturday 10 September marked the finale of National Waffle Week or the lesser-known Swap Ideas Day. Did you know that it was also World Naked Gardening Day? Read more..
September 19, 2005 11:43 - How to Deter Rabbits and Entice Butterflies
"Abundant rainfall has provided for the growth of lots of desert vegetation - resources for an explosion in the population of rabbits and other wildlife" says John P. Begeman. How can you protect your favorite plants from this new generation of hungry predators? Fences and sprays are his recommendation. To learn the details and to find out what really works, read more..
Although rabbits are most unwelcome visitors, there are others that you do your best to encourage to spend time in your garden. I am talking about birds and butterflies. How to attract these delightful creatures into your backyard is the subject of numerous articles and here is one more from Mike Bush. Apart from the obligatory Butterfly Bush, he has a couple of other suggestions which are illustrated in the accompanying video. Read more..
If you are wondering where to start with your fall gardening tasks, here is a suggestion from Becky Homan. "One of my favorite gardening tricks in cool fall weather is to fill pots - just emptied of their tired summer annuals - with a couple of inches of rocks or broken terra cotta, coarse compost and fresh potting soil, plus lots and lots of tulip and daffodil bulbs." Read more..
September 21, 2005 14:33 - New Garden Decor in a Wire Basket
Looking for something new in garden decor? How about a wire mesh container filled with old stones? Doesn't sound too promising, does it? But that is what Brian Anderson, a sculptor from Llandre, near Aberystwyth in Wales is producing. He calls them Pebblecubes and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have recesses in which you can place a plant pot or, for the mini variety, a tea light. And if pebbles sound too dull, you can choose glass nuggets instead. Take a look at his website Pebblecubes where you can find all the details including lots of pictures.
After all the excitement of World Naked Gardening Day, I have to report that October 1 is dull old Organic Gardening Day. That's not really fair since interest in pesticide-free and organic farming and gardening is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance — at least among serious gardeners with one eye on the environment. In fact this is an event to be hosted by the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Urbana. Read more..
September 24, 2005 09:32 - What's Hot on the Garden Scene?
Want to know what's hot on the garden scene? Felder Rushing
has all the answers but before you can interpret the results, you need to understand the jargon. What with Mega-blooms, vertical gardening, environmentally sensitive gardens, signature gardens and the concepts of "do some of it for me" plants and products (versus time-consuming "do it all yourself"). Then "empowered" plants that are easy to grow, pest free, compact and long-blooming as opposed to needy plants (high or regular maintenance). What we need is "curated consumption". Read more..
"Are you tired of picking tomatoes, zucchini and peppers from your summer vegetable garden? Are you ready for something different?" asks Keith Muraoka. "Well, while we continue to enjoy the fruits of our labors, remember that we’re blessed with a mild fall/winter climate that is perfect for growing - you guessed it - winter vegetables!
And it’s not too early to start thinking about fall/winter vegetables. I always laugh when I talk to gardening friends back East, who are beginning to put their gardens to bed. For us, we have a whole new season to plant!" Read more..
September 30, 2005 11:16 - Come into the jardin, Maude
The headlines are full of quotations today. "Come into the jardin, Maude" is the title of an article in the Economist business section charting the rise in popularity of gardening in France.
"ALONGSIDE the out-of-town hypermarkets that ring French towns, a new species is spreading like ivy across the landscape: the suburban garden-centre. Offering everything from sturdy perennials to hardwood gazebos and citronella flares, brands such as Truffaut, Jardiland and Gamm Vert have taken root. Jardiland now has 106 centres across France, an increase of 33% since 2000. Gamm Vert has expanded its retail space by 20% since 2001. The French have traditionally been more passionate about trimming meat than privet hedges. So what is going on?" Read more..
"To Till or Not to Till" that is the question posed by Dianne Olsen in her piece in which she discusses the merits of both approaches. But what both camps apparently agree on is that you should test your soil every year to check the pH value. Read more..
And finally a commercial with a difference. Dutch Gardens are joining the fight against breast cancer. They have selected a pink "Survivor Tulip" and promised that for every package sold, they will donate $5 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $5000. Take a look.