|October 1, 2008 14:20 - Golden Anniversaries, Cattails And Ancient Egyptian Skulls
This short piece about the 50th anniversary of a local flower club is typical of many that are reported in the press every other month. There is a brief description of their activities and a picture of several of the members. But the point that intrigued me was the rather sneaky way that they stole a march on their neighbouring club. Read more..
If you are a wild food forager or just like eating unusual plants, you should find this article interesting. Pat Biggerstaff lists several non-cultivated plants or weeds that can be eaten including nettles and dandelions. But the main subject of her piece is the cattail. She describes how cattails may be enjoyed in a salad cooked as asparagus or a vegetable, turned into flour or picked fresh and served as you would potato. Read more..
With the start of a new month garden calendars abound. Here are two that you may find useful. Sharon Morrisey is the consumer horticulture agent for the Milwaukee County University of Wisconsin Extension. Lawn care comes top of her list, and then she follows up with a week by week list of tasks. Read more.. Clavin Finch PhD writing in the Wilson County News also starts with the lawn paying particular attention to sandburs and how to deal with them. There's plenty of sound advice on what to plant now and suggestions for trees and shrubs for local conditions. He also finds room for some tips on bird feeders that exclude squirrels and white-winged doves. For local residents there is a Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden Raffle for which the main prizes are two custom built gardens on the site of your choice. Read more..
And finally the story of a man who unearthed two ancient Egytian skulls while digging his garden in the north of England. The skulls which are believed to be more than 2000 years old were acquired by a previous owner of the house who buried them in the garden after his wife refused to have them in the house any longer.
October 7, 2008 14:55 - Container Gardening, Veggies And North Texas
In "Container Gardening, South Dakota Style" Brenda Johnson chats with Lois Quatier and Patty Taylor about their different approaches to container gardening. Lois who comes from Yankton has been creating container gardens for 20 years. She enjoys rotating her containers around her yard so as to create a new look. She also has some helpful tips on how to care for trailing vinca and how to keep rabbits at bay. Patty Taylor on the other hand is a herb enthusiast. She talks about her "grazing patch" where her neighbors gather to talk and nibble her herbs. After sharing a salad recipe Patty has some planting tips and reveals a great resource for choosing plants. Read more..
This piece by Bill Cary profiles five great gardeners who view gardening as a public sport. On display for all to see is their motto and well worth a visit by all accounts. At the age of 92, Henriette Suhr is the grande dame of the group and her garden in Chappaqua is the result of fifty years of dedicated effort. Garden designer Page Dickey has written five books about other people's gardens and is now writing one about her own. John Mickel is a fern fanatic, whereas Ed Bonci blames his mother-in-law for his dahlia habit. Then there's Phillis Warden who is such a hands-on gardener that she doesn't like to wear gloves. Read more..
In England people grow their veggies on an allotment, but down under in Sydney, Australia they use the streets. "In a variation on guerilla gardening, Sydneysiders are moving veggie plots from the backyard to the street verge, and converting formerly fallow public land into mini-market gardens" according to Tim Elliot. So far the council has been "happy to turn a blind eye". Read more..
It’s prime planting season in North Texas and Erin White is dying to dig in. "Even if you don’t have a green thumb, gardening experts say, you can put just about anything in the North Texas ground this time of year and expect it to grow. Native plants, especially, will flourish, and with far less effort on your part than it would take to start a rose garden."
October 15, 2008 12:56 - Fall Cleanup, Shredded Leaves And Fire Ants
It's the middle of October already and fall cleanup is in full swing. Not only in yards and gardens throughout the land, but the papers are full of it too. "Put your yard to bed" by Susan Skorupa is a typical example. "The days are shorter, temperatures are cooler and the gardening season quickly is ending for another year. It's easy to just shut off the lawn sprinklers and forget the yard work until next spring, but now is the time to prepare lawns and gardens for winter with hopes of getting a head start on next year's growing season" is how she introduces her piece and then goes on to give some really useful advice. Read more..
What have tuna fish and fire ants got in common? Willie Chance tells us about his tuna fish sandwiches as a somewhat unlikely lead in to his article about how to control fire ants in your lawn. He suggests a two-step program with the first treatment carried out in the fall and then a second application in the spring. Read more..
"Green Gardening: Save Time, Money and the Environment" is the ambitious claim of this article by Anon. It's all about leaves. Don't waste your time and energy raking them up. Instead use your mower to cut the grass and shred the leaves at the same time. "Shredding leaves and leaving them on the lawn is good for the grass and saves you time". And there are two further ways of using those shredded leaves. Read more..
GardenVisit.com is a company that organises garden visits around the world. The company is celebrating its 10th birthday and is giving away two magnificent ebooks "24 Historic Styles of Garden Design" and "The Principles of Garden Design" both by Tom Turner. All they ask is your email address. The books will be available until the end of October. Read more..
And finally the October issue of my monthly newsletter Garden Ramblings is now online. Do take a look.
October 24, 2008 10:50 - Noisy Plants, Praying Mantis and Horoscopes
In "Sound Gardening" by Maureen FitzPatrick we are introduced to a shouting broome whose cry of "hands off" makes clear the undesireability of moving this established shrub. But for other perennial plants the opposite is true. Unless they are divided every two or three years they will die. Listen out for the clumps that cry out for the scalpel and watch for the snarl of roots revealed when dug. Read more..
For Margaret Lauterbach garden cleanup usually contains some happy surprises. These include "some overlooked onions, a poblano and a large eggplant we completely missed before frost, the stub of a fingerling potato sticking out of the ground, and a few - very few - praying mantis egg cases". She goes on to explain how to protect the egg cases through the winter. On a similar theme I heard a suggestion the other day that if, instead of putting all decayed vegetation into the compost, you tie a number of hollow stems into a bundle and lodge them in a hedge or fence this will provide shelter for overwintering insects. Read more..
A recent press release announced the launch of the World's First comedic gardening web series "We Grow Together". Full of quirky, odd-ball humor, the new web series is the world’s first comic look at the gardening show. Each five minute episode dispenses genuine gardening advice while following the offbeat relationship between its two hosts. Dour New England Master Gardener Brad Chipwillow and eternally perky co-host Lana Chang strike up a chemistry that extends beyond the flower bed. Reactions have been mixed including this contribution:
"Ummm....I'm quite confused. It has all the horrible acting and special FX from local television programming mixed w/ predictable jokes. I honestly don't know if its funny because its bad or if its even supposed to be funny." See what you think - here's the link.
I gave up reading horoscopes years ago, but I see that the Old Farmer’s Almanac has come up with a new twist. It links astrological signs to gardening styles. For instance - Aries (March 21 to April 20) You are a fiery, energetic and quick individual who likes spicy, invigorating plants and foods. Taurus (April 21 to May 20) Carrots, beets, potatoes and turnips appeal to you and flourish under your care. As an aquarian I apparently favor easy-care plants, like pumpkins and squashes. Read more..
Dutch Gardens have just announced their Fall Sale where you can pick up some bargains at up to 47% off. For instance this
Eden's Perfume Peony was $22.95 but is now just $12.99.