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BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011

Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 01 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 11 - 11:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 11 - 05:32 PM
Bobert 01 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Jan 11 - 06:55 AM
gnu 02 Jan 11 - 10:22 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 02 Jan 11 - 10:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 11 - 03:50 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 05:23 PM
maeve 02 Jan 11 - 05:31 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 05:43 PM
Cats 02 Jan 11 - 05:59 PM
LilyFestre 02 Jan 11 - 06:13 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 06:25 PM
Janie 02 Jan 11 - 07:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 11 - 10:19 PM
Sandra in Sydney 02 Jan 11 - 10:41 PM
LilyFestre 02 Jan 11 - 10:43 PM
Liz the Squeak 03 Jan 11 - 06:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 11 - 11:08 AM
Bobert 03 Jan 11 - 11:14 AM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Jan 11 - 12:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 11 - 04:29 PM
EBarnacle 04 Jan 11 - 01:11 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 01:05 PM
Janie 05 Jan 11 - 01:36 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 02:08 PM
EBarnacle 05 Jan 11 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 02:35 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Eliza 05 Jan 11 - 02:59 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jan 11 - 04:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 11 - 10:56 PM
Janie 06 Jan 11 - 01:45 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Jan 11 - 09:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 11:33 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Jan 11 - 11:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 12:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 12:47 PM
maire-aine 06 Jan 11 - 08:03 PM
Bobert 06 Jan 11 - 08:17 PM
Janie 06 Jan 11 - 09:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 11 - 10:06 PM
maeve 07 Jan 11 - 03:46 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 07 Jan 11 - 06:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 11 - 12:07 PM
Bobert 07 Jan 11 - 12:35 PM
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Subject: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM

Here you go, Bobert, and I hope you'll be a regular contributor. It seems like you just moved to Virginia, and now you're headed to North Carolina. We await news of the zone, soil type, water quality, native plants, wildlife predations on your garden, etc.

My garden will continue to creep down the side yard along the driveway toward the street (an Edible Estate) and I have a couple of new beds underway directly in front of the house. Since the won't work without irrigation, I'll probably have to put in soaker hoses and a quick coupler on the front yard hose.

For point of reference, we are scattered through various hardiness zones and soil types. I'm in zone 7B and I do a lot of xeriscape plantings except in the vegetable garden (though it doesn't hurt if the plants are hardy there also!) Limestone underneath, blackland prairie that is rock hard when it gets dry. I use a lot of compost and soil amendments.

I have a few pretty things, lilies, Texas star hibiscus, iris, and daffodils that come back every year. Lots of slavia greggi around the yard, and the rosemary has pretty little blue blossoms. The silverado sage has lovely lavendar flowers a few days after a heavy rain. I tend to put in perennials and save my energy for the vegetable portion of the yard.

Good gardening to all of you, please report regularly!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM

Well, I just got my first issue of "garden porn", aka Johnny's Selected Seeds. But I'm in Zone 4 so it's gonna be awhile. I'm planning a big ol' sustainability garden, so tis the season for reading, planning and dreaming!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 11:59 AM

Do you start seeds inside? I keep intending to, and then realize the time has passed. Ideally I should start seeds this weekend to be ready for planting in a few weeks (especially beans and lettuces).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 05:32 PM

Most of my tomatoes from last summer are ripening fast now, but they're not very pretty. I'll blanch, cut up, and freeze them.

I have a couple of those fancy Boston Bibb lettuces that they sell with the roots. Know what? They grow if you plant them. I have one that is getting big enough now I'll start pulling the outer leaves off (I ate must of the lettuce then planted the little green core). The local grocery took them out of the fancy boxes and mixed them with the regular bibb lettuce, but didn't cut the root off the bottom, so they came at a very reasonable price. :-)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM

Well, we've been waterin' and waterin' the 400 or so plants that I dug and have in various sized pots... They are all in barns and dry out frequently... We're collecting water from one of the barns into about 30 5 gallon buckets when its warm enough to rain, then they freeze, unless we drag 'um in the one barn that doesn't freeze as bad...

Kinda weird not planning the veggie garden but we are still in garden/house limbo and the new house (should the banker accept the short sale" has a nice garden spot that the present owner is allowing his neighbor to use for his horses... Hmmmmmm??? Think we're gonna have to evict them first thing... No, we'll try to work somerthin' out but we're gonna need some of that acre or so that the neighbor has fenced in with the horses... Maybe he's got some other "open" area that we can use for the veggie garden but around the house is a little too shadey to grow good veggies...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 06:55 AM

Not garden - that's a deserted frosted wasteland covered in bay, ivy, pittisporum and cat poo....

BUT.... for the first time in years, 3 out of 4 of my Christmas cacti have flowered, including one that hasn't flowered (or done much in the way of anything) for the last 13 years. I inherited it when my father died in Jan 1998, and it's never done so much as put out a new leafy thing that didn't die off. Suddenly, this year, it's got half a dozen flower buds on it! I did think I may have been overwatering it, but as it has been neglected for months on end, I don't think that was it. I have just recently (because I'm trying to not kill some houseplants on loan from a friend who moved house and isn't settled enough to take them back yet) been watering a little more frequently, but I was wondering if, with the snow we've had this last 6 weeks, the variation in light might have been the catalyst - it hasn't moved from its shelf since I put it there in 1998....

Anyway... thought I'd share.... :-P

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: gnu
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:22 AM

I have ice growing on the wires and trees but it's expected to be 4C later today so I'll likely lose the whole crop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:30 AM

My annual reminder of the virtues of NATIVE GARDENING:

"Green"/eco-friendly gardening is native gardening, and vegetables, plus other consumables, should be the only exotic-flora we plant or hybridise - as doing so can help limit food-miles, etc. By filling our other garden spaces with natives, we use less water and other resources, whilst aiding the native-fauna that, over the centuries, evolved with them. (Even high-nectar exotics, such as Buddleia, that are very attractive to some native-fauna, should be avoided, because they upset nature's/God's balance – God created evolution, too, that is.)

Our green gardens, with their vegies and natives, can be made still-greener by the addition of compost heaps/bins; a wildlife pond – for native frogs, newts, and so on, rather than exotic goldfish; bee- and bird-boxes, plus carefully-selected regularly-cleaned feeders; rain- and grey-water butts; by growing everything organically - including thrifty home-propagation, plus species-swapping; and by leaving some lush neglected patches, decaying branches, etc.

From here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 03:50 PM

And this is my annual annoyed response to WAB. Your lunatic fringe stuff doesn't typically fit this discussion. Somehow you take rational concepts and turn them into nonsense. It never fails to irritate.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:23 PM

I almost feel like a fraud, these days, participating in the gardening threads. I mostly only can reflect on "Gardening Past." Most of my gardening is fantasy and daydreams about what I would do if I had time, these days.

However, I am very grateful that I confidently know all of my dear gardening friends on these threads will continue to welcome me. You can't know how grateful I am for that.

My Johnny's catalog arrived mid-November. It is the best reading and daydreaming book ever, as far as I am concerned.

Just home from spending New Year's with my parents. Snow hit up there before I had the chance to get their front garden cleaned up, but the ground was clear when I arrived Friday night. I had hoped to cut back all the frost-killed perennials, pull out the annuals, and pinch the pansies over the weekend, but it was too rainy to get out there and do garden clean-up. I noticed the irises had never been cut back. I'll be back up there in a couple or three weeks, and will be sure to do that so the iris borers don't have an opportunity in spring.

Yesterday I reflected that in years past, my New Year's tradition was to plant more spring bulbs. Haven't done that in 3 years now. Hopefully, the day will come again.

If you will bear with me for a moment, Melonoma is very erratic in it's growth. Since Thanksgiving, and especially in the last week, Dad is increasingly fatigued, sleeping much more, and his appetite has radically dropped off. He could plateau, however. Maybe he will live to see the early spring bulbs bloom one more time, and the pansies come on strong. It would be verging on miraculous if he saw the first of the roses bloom, but it could happen. Or he may be entering a steep decline and be gone within the next 3-4 weeks. He so loves spring and the flower and veggie garden in spring. I so much long for him to see at least part of one more spring. I don't know if he longs for the same or not. Our conversations recently focus being be grateful for each moment in the now, and what needs to happen to assure Mom is attended to once he dies. He considers anticipatory nostalgia to be This week I am going to start a planter indoors with seeds of lettuce and spring greens and onion sets. Maybe I will carry it to him, and maybe I won't. An early indoors planter is a sorry excuse for the season of early Spring, and his world and concerns are getting smaller and smaller by the day.

Once it sprouts, if it seems it might brighten his last days, I'll carry it on up to West Virginia. Otherwise, I will set it outside here in late February or March, and reflect on how much Daddy would approve each time I harvest a little salad.

Thanks for listening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:31 PM

Ahhh, Janie. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:43 PM

Oops, cut myself mid-sentence up there.

He considers anticipatory nostalgia to be an indulgence and waste of precious present time.

No, maeve. Thank you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Cats
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 05:59 PM

I have wild primroses out on the bank, hellebores out in profusion and snowdrops sprouting. Also have one or two pots of bulbs which are shooting to about 3 or 4 inches of green which I think are daffodils. The garden needs a really good spring clean and weed. Had some gardening vouchers for christmas and have decided to use them to plant a heather bank near the old cyder press base.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: LilyFestre
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 06:13 PM

Janie,

   Does your dad like to watch things grow? If you are looking for something with a little color you can always force some crocus or tulip and even hyacynth bulbs. Amarylis is fun to watch grow too...they grow so fast and get so tall with giant blooms. It is tradition in our home to have a *race* to see who's Amarylis grows the fastest...we name them and everything. It's just nice to focus on something else. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. (((Hugs)))

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 06:25 PM

The pulmonaria maeve sent sent up leaves that are still standing. I expect the crested iris will emerge in spring. Won't know if the bloodroot survived until spring. It goes dormant here by mid-spring, but there were leaves on the roots maeve shipped. I am concerned the late summer and fall were so dry, and that I was unable to stay on top of watering sufficiently for it to have survived. Time will tell.

Bobert & P-vine have generously gifted me with three unusual azaleas over the past several years. Two, one started from seed, and one from a rooted cutting, are still in pots and are doing OK. The japanese azalea (sorry I'm too lazy to go root out the name right now) with such exotic blooms, has been in the ground two years now, but appears to be very vulnerable to at least two southern USA pests, lacebugs being one, and some sort of mite-like insect being another. If I could consistently and alternatively spray it every 2 weeks with neem, insecticidal soap, and dormant oil, as well as keep it well watered during drought periods until it were large and otherwise thriving I think it would be fine. I have managed so far to keep it alive, in spite of not having the time to give it the attention it needs. I hope this coming year I will be able to give it the attention it needs to firmly establish itself to the point it can survive and reasonably thrive in the face of assured neglect.

Pass along plants mean a lot to me. (Plus, I am a bit of a narcissistic plant snob), and I hope I am able to give this azalea the minimal nurturing it needs to eventually establish itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 07:02 PM

Redundancy are my middle name. (sorry for not proof-reading.)

Thanks for your ideas, Michelle. Dad is less enamored of watching things grow indoors than he is with watching and participating in natural seasons. I am the same. Having said that, it can be delightful to observe forced bulbs, and growing plants indoors out of season can be "soul food."

When my sister died, 20 years ago the end of this month, some one one sent a truly lovely spring planter to the house of forced hyacinths and paperwhite narcissis.   Olfactory memories are very visceral and very powerful. Their fragrance has filled me with a sense of dread and sorrow ever since. In the last 3-4 years, I have again begun to appreciate their fragrance gently wafting on a March breeze out-of-doors. Dad and I recently talked about this. He is in about the same space as am I.   That is why I am planting spring greens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:19 PM

Janie,

If spring is taking too long to get here, then you can take measures into your own hands to find something that will make late winter rich and interesting. Do you have a nursery in your area that would have Japenese flowering quince or forsythia? If you pot one of those and bring it indoors, you can probably get it to bloom before it would outdoors. For me, the surprise of finding the backyard quince (I planted it in 2002) in bloom tells me that spring is almost here. The forsythia was another of my northern seasonal markers, but I know they grow in these southern areas also, at least as an introduced shrub. And I suppose if you're really desperate for an early spring, you could go dig up some skunk cabbage and bring it inside. (At least, they were probably the first in the Pacific Northwest, and I get the impression from the landscape that you probably have something in the jack-in-the-pulpit family in your area swamps and wet areas beside roads, etc.)

You're in the realm of important ceremonies that represent what it is that is important to you both. Sometimes just a whiff is all you need.

I flew to Seattle to see my mother the last time when she was in Virginia Mason hospital, being treated for metastasized breast cancer. I walked over to the Pike Street Market to pick up a gift, something tactile she would enjoy holding, and as the clerk wrapped a piece of carved soapstone, she told me that the Copper River salmon were in. I mentioned this to Mom later, and she asked if I happened to have some for a meal anytime soon, would I bring her a bite?

I was spending the nights with friends, and in the morning I called the restaurant down at the yacht basin and asked if they had Copper River salmon, and could fix a lunch for me to take to her in the hospital. They were very nice and said of course. She was barely eating anything at that time, mostly on IVs, but I took that straight to her and she ate a couple of bites of salmon and she loved it. She wasn't eating much then, and my brother finished the rest - might as well not waste it! Nothing else appealed to her in the 2 more weeks she lived, nothing else food-wise was remarked on. But I am so glad that I was able to bring her something she really treasured for an important meal. If the fish hadn't been running, I'd have found a way to get some frozen, but I'd have gotten it. So do what you can to bend nature to your will and turn up with one of those surefire signs of spring, and I think you'll accomplish what you are hoping for. Take care of yourself during this time, let yourself enjoy those flowers also.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:41 PM

My garden is 4 windows as I live in a 4-room apartment. Plants stand at different heights on the sills & hang at different levels.

My north-facing window has flowering plants:
Begonias - one I've had since at least 1978, it probably came from my parent's garden when they left Sydney, others include more recent cuttings & seedlings.
Geraniums - the pink one a clipping taken from a garden a few years back, the new red ones were seedlings boughta few months back.
Christmas cactus & Zygocactus - the same plant under different names: some flower winter ie. mid year, some flower spring/summer ie end of year.

My 3 east-facing windows have mainly green indoor plants as they face the next building & don't get such good light. The one flowering plant is also a refugee from my parent's garden - a hoya which flowers most years.

When I move in a few years I'll be in a ground-floor apartment & have a very small raised garden to accommodate my sore knees & back. It will include a lemon tree & a franjipani tree, hopefully tomatoes & a few vegs, & some flowers & maybe some potplants. I'll be living with some inner-city farmers & gardeners who will have the type of gardens discussed above. I'll still have plants in every window! And hopefully one will be north facing.

It will be great to have proper yards after living here since 1980 in a block with a very tiny courtyard containing only green leafy plants.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: LilyFestre
Date: 02 Jan 11 - 10:43 PM

Garden catalogs have started flooding in around here too. We have a special basket for those kinds of catalogs that is kept between our chairs. It's totally dream time. I love to plan out the garden with my honey...we make an event out of it! The only item I care about getting this summer is my Providence corn. Of course there are several other things I'd like to see or try in our garden but they all come AFTER my PROVIDENCE corn!!!! I also have my eye on a climbing rose this year!

I'm off to dream of warmer days and dirt on my hands and face. :)

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 06:17 AM

A tragedy to relate....

An inquisitive cat has knocked the single bud off my white Christmas cacti, but at least I know it still has it in it to flower! With any luck and a following wind, it will put forth another bud. In the meantime, I can look at my forced hyacinth which are filling the room with perfume out of all proportion to their size. Plus, I know now by process of elimination that the one cacti not flowering is the red one.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:08 AM

I bought 2 very inexpensive little pots of christmas cacti at my local discount grocery last year. I repotted them and they have at least tripled in size. I knew this was the kind of plant that buying small and very inexpensive was fine, because it wouldn't take too long to be the size of the pricier ones. One of them has pink buds but hasn't opened any yet, and the other is putting energy into new segments but no buds. I'll have to put both of them in the window where the one with buds is to see if I can get blooms one of these days.

I couldn't have much in the way of houseplants for years for the very reason you mention - cats. There was one old guy who would eat just about anything. I didn't want him killing himself on the toxic ones, and I got tired of fighting him off of the few non-toxic I had around. Now I'm slowly expanding my houseplant holdings.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:14 AM

Janie,

We'll be in yer neighborhood next week for the Greensboro Nurseryman and Trade Show...

If you can "call in sick" on the 14th and want to get in we can arrange it even though it isn't really open to the public...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 12:46 PM

Plants/gardening have been such an important part of my life prior to Montreal. The full carload of house plants I took across the country from near Phila. to Whidbey Island, had to be left behind when I crossed the border into Canada. I managed to retain some of the planters and look forward to re-filling them. I also rejoiced with a friend who adopted some of the larger ones. I especially miss the four foot jasmine tree which delighted me two years ago when I could actually SMELL it for the first time - a sign that my MCS was less severe at that time. I had not even been able to smell lilacs for ten years.

Replacements are coming slowly: a Clivia miniata which is just finishing a month of bloom at the darkest time of the year! It had finished blloming last pring at Home Depot so I got it for a reduced price - willing to wait for the next go-round. Offices and industrial buildings becoming defunct have donated several large foliage plants which brighten our LR. And broken pieces of aloe vera and Christmas Cactus which are rooting - as I root for them!

I spent tremendous effort in the back yard last summer, restoring beds which had been unused for years. The yard included two truck loads of trash and lots of old bricks and chunks of concrete from when it was a horse stable. Considerable digging unearthed a 3x6 foot piece of concrete which is immovable and about 8 inches lower than the beds adjacent. At that point (August), I fell and injured my back for the season; I am still considering the better way of dealing with this object - get someone to break it up? utilize it as a feature? In what way? I am still waiting for a garden shed "near" there. Actually considering the possibility of one made of concrete blocks with the capacity of having a waterfall coming off the roof into a pond - about where this concrete pad is??? This may be a fantasy?

Anyway, around the edge of three sides of the yard, I planted shrubs and perennials, bought and donated, in profusion, knowing that "next year" they would fill in beautifully.
Found some heritage tomato plants at a co-op and learned which ones did well and also that they could have been planted MUCH sooner and done better. Also planted a round herb bed in a round wooden frame found on the street on trash day. I painted it and it provides separate compartments for four kinds of thyme, oregano, sage and two lavenders. from the wonderful Richter's Herb Farm. The 25x40 space is walled on all sides and probably offers a zone 5 micro-climate. It gets more sun than I expected.

I have a shade bed which includes a Solomon's seal (I hope it comes up again) dug from amongst the poison ivy at a deserted, falling down property in Ontario. The sunny side is reserved for vegies, including rescued rhubarb, so stunted the leaves were smaller than my hand! I dug a trench, sifted the soil and put manure in the bottom. Maybe this year...

I keep in mind the mantra of my 85 year old gardening friend: "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 04:29 PM

My organic guru said it's time to plant a lot of stuff already here in North Texas. Means I'll have to get out and work on the garden, adding soil amendments, digging some of the new beds. I bought a pair of swimming goggles to see if they keep my eyes from watering in the cold air. That is one of the biggest reasons why I don't get as much gardening in as early as I'd like. If they work, I'll get a pair for prescription lenses.

The garden gets better every year. And this year I need to work on my rain barrel again. It went unused last year, but I was lounging in the tub the other day, mulling the upcoming yard work season, and had an epiphany about how to manage it. More about that later.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 01:11 PM

As I sit here in the living room/indoor garden, the lettuce is abounding; the horseradish continues its mysterious ways; scallion stubs grow to amazing heights and the mint is trying to take over the room. We keep most of the same plants going, summer and winter. Various herbs are kept potted all year long.

My sister gave me the Christmas Cactus 35 years ago to decorate my office during my internship. While it has never spread, it has never died and puts forth flowers every November. It is an old friend and has lived in several places with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:43 AM

Further to my above post on NATIVE GARDENING, whilst our selection of indoor plants is, logically, not as critical to the ecology of our greater environment, I still choose natives, such as English ivy/Hedera helix.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:05 PM

Walkabouts Verse, how CAN you recommend not growing Buddleia? I have always done so, and the number and variety of butterflies on it never ceases to delight and amaze me. Ditto Iceplants (pink, not red) I should imagine that huge numbers of garden plants and flowers are not strictly native, but nevertheless give enormous pleasure. I'm mad about wildlife (member of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB etc.) and have many little corners in the garden for sheltering small beasts. But unless some foreign plant is a real piggy (eg Japanese Knotweed) I see no harm in it. I also buy large packets of selected annuals for creating butterfly and bee nectar havens. They make a gorgeous show, perfumed to the skies. (Particularly Scorpion Plant) Many of them aren't native, but are welcomed nevertheless. The worst thing is a concreted plot with the odd tub of a box tree. No life at all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:36 PM

I thought already posted this- hope I didn't carelessly type it into the wrong thread....

My Christmas Cactus (red) finished up just before Christmas. Have had it about 10 years. Probably needs repotted. The first year after I moved I had no blooms, last year a few blooms, and this year more blooms, but it still has not bloomed as heavily as it did in the old house. Guess I best mess around with location and lighting, eh?

Am having 7 wood windows replaced this week. Cold frames! They are the same width as my raised beds, small enough to not be too heavy to lift, so should be able to rig something up to use them as lids pretty easily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM

Because, Eliza, if we plant species that have NOT evolved with our native fauna over the centuries, we are (to varying extents - some worse than others, as you say) upsetting nature's balance. And does Buddleia really deserve its flavour-of-the-month status - bit scruffy! Ivy, on the other hand, deserves a much better press, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:08 PM

Well, I've always cut my Buddleia right down in the autumn, and it doesn't look scruffy. I've got three different ones, one is quite pink in colour, another gorgeously dark and the third just ordinary. Are you even against roses? Because I don't think they're native, I couldn't bear not to have some roses in my garden! I love ivy too, it provides a good shelter for overwintering creatures, and a very nice dark backdrop for more colourful things. I'm thinking of Oxford Ragwort and Sycamore, both non-native and rather badly behaved, so I concede you do have a point!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: EBarnacle
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:14 PM

Consider that quite a few public spaces have "Shakespeare Gardens." These are gardens which have all of the plants mentioned in Shakespeare's works. Somehow, I suspect that many of these are not native Americans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:35 PM

Exactly, EBarnacle, and also grass and prairie gardens (for example Beth Chatto's wonderful drought garden here in England) which are designed with North American plants. Even Lavender is not native to the UK. If one eradicated all these non-natives, where would we be? I just couldn't bear to lose all the delightful species of plants from around the world for this cause. The people at Kew would have forty fits! Last century, plant collectors went to the four corners of the Earth to bring us new examples. And plant breeders have devoted their lives to cultivating them. I don't feel I can agree with this purist viewpoint. But I do respect the concern for native wildlife and for maintaining the balance of Nature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:39 PM

...but the Dog Rose/Rosa canina is native to England, and wonderful, I think. (Apparently, it's the one that all the exotic roses have been grafted onto - hardy stock, because it's native, I suppose.)

For any Aussies reading this, I see, via the web, Don Burke has recently released a book on native gardening, called "Indigenous"; as I say, it's the good way wherever you garden, in my opinion.

And, to those over the pond, who's promoting native gardening there..?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:59 PM

Yes, the Dog Rose is delicate and beautiful. Most of our wildflowers are superb. I'm getting very interested in this viewpoint. But doesn't wildlife adapt to new things? Is it all bad? Or are some innovations beneficial?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 04:39 PM

The exception I've argued for, above, is vegetables and other consumables - to cut down on food miles, etc. But surely using remaining gardening space to create, as closely as possible, native habitat (so much of which has been lost to modern farming, etc.) has to be good for the diversity of native fauna and flora.

I accept that creating an attractive native garden can be quite a challenge (in Australia and England, e.g.), but it has to be a good challenge for gardeners to take-up. Thus, I was pleased a couple of years ago when Monty Don started a native-garden trend - but, sadly, it seems to have waned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 10:56 PM

At this point in time, there are so many species, benign and invasive, scattered all over the world, that planting native in the attempt to sort that out is fruitless.

Planting native plants to encourage the local wildlife is fine, but in this day and age, gardeners also have good options for appropriate planting from other regions and other continents for xeriscape reasons, for aesthetics, for food and other healthy uses (drugs, medicinal teas, pest control, etc).

I resent and resist Walkabout Verse's attempt to appropriate the sciences to his cockeyed religious views. (Even high-nectar exotics, such as Buddleia, that are very attractive to some native-fauna, should be avoided, because they upset nature's/God's balance – God created evolution, too, that is.)

He presumes to speak for his god (who he probably considers THE god and insists is it the same god that other religions worship, thereby appropriating them) to proscribe what we shouldn't do as gardeners and to prescribe the type of planting we should do based upon his preferred dogma. It's a bunch of nonsense, and is useless the garden.

Go post your doggerel on your web site, WAV, and leave the gardeners alone to do their work as experience and science dictate.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 01:45 AM

What Stilly said....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:02 AM

S.R.S: we agree on some exotics "for food and other healthy uses (drugs, medicinal teas, pest control, etc).", anyway, as above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:33 AM

You're using the word in the definition, again, WAV. Give it a break and go post your gardening ideas on your pages. I'm sure you probably have readers there who share your ideas and I'm sure you'd be happier there.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:57 AM

That's not for you to say, SRS - I did start another separate Native Gardening thread, but it was deleted by a moderator; so, as such an argument DOES fit within a "Gardeners' Report" thread, I posted it here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 12:10 PM

So you got kicked off of a goofy thread you started and now choose to bring your nonsense here to sift it into the conversation instead? Prepare to be ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 12:47 PM

This weekend is supposed to be rainy, and then it will get very cold. I may take time tomorrow to work in the yard and put the employment hours in over the weekend.

Two things in particular - one method of knocking out pre-emergent weeds is to use an organic mix of 10% vinegar, orange oil, etc (see Howard Garrett's Winter Weed Control Update) is to hit the things coming up now in the dormant lawn and garden. It doesn't act like the environmentally-obnoxious chemical approach one finds in commercial "weed and feed" products. This stuff works pretty well on contact and isn't going to do any harm if it does get rained on 24 or 48 hours later (not like washing herbicides and fertilizer into the surrounding water system).

I need to start moving around some of my raised beds. They were too close together, but since they're not held in place by lumber on the ground, it's a matter of shoveling the dirt to where it needs to be and beveling the raised bed edge with the shovel. This worked just fine this year.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maire-aine
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:03 PM

Hi. We're not expected to go above 30F (-1C) all next week, here in southeast Michigan. But I am beginning to "think spring".

I'd like to find a vareigated (white & dark green) holly bush (I guess I'll need male & female). If anybody can suggest a reliable source, please let me know (either here or PM).

Thanks,

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 08:17 PM

Well, as I have stated in the past, "Native is not native at all"... I mean, let's get real here... We, along with critters, have move seed and pollen around the planet so much that it now just comes down to hardiness, Ph, light and not much more... What's the difference if a bird carries a seed or a man carries it??? None... So much for natives, unless anyone here is a thousand or two thousand years old and can tell us what was growing in any given place on the planet back then... And then, who cares???

Sorry... Just narrow thinkin' on some folks part...

With that, still waterin' the 400 or so plants in containers waitin' for the move...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:31 PM

Question about our native smooth hydrangea. I have a few of them. Don't think they are Annabelle's, but they are cultivars. Books and articles talk about cutting them back to about 6 inches every year or so once they are established. I haven't quite got up the nerve to do that. Anyone have any experience with them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 10:06 PM

All of the hydrangeas in my experience were in Seattle, and I don't think anyone did anything except let them sit there and grow the blossoms. My father's house had one in a poor dried out raised bed near the door and he didn't do a single thing to it ever and it kept on growing and blooming. Talk about "benign neglect!"

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: maeve
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 03:46 AM

Janie, our practice is to prune 'Annabelle' and similar hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) first thing in the spring. They bloom on the current growing season's wood, so in our climate the practice of annual spring pruning serves to remove winter killed stems and increase new growth, thus increasing bloom with the increase in new shoots. At the same time, we can shape the shrub and control its size.

Different species of hydrangea require distinctly different pruning- or lack thereof. 'Endless Summer' blooms on both new growth and last year's growth. Still others may never need pruning except to remove dead wood, control size, or restore vigor.

This link may be helpful:http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/how-to-prune-hydrangeas.aspx


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 06:13 AM

"Well, as I have stated in the past, "Native is not native at all"... I mean, let's get real here... We, along with critters, have move seed and pollen around the planet so much that it now just comes down to hardiness, Ph, light and not much more... What's the difference if a bird carries a seed or a man carries it??? None... So much for natives, unless anyone here is a thousand or two thousand years old and can tell us what was growing in any given place on the planet back then... And then, who cares???

Sorry... Just narrow thinkin' on some folks part..." (Bobert)...

On whose part? There's a huge difference in the effect that humans (such as the brave but misled Victorian plant-hunters) versus, say, birds on the wing can have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 12:07 PM

I don't know anything about the particular hydrangea at Dad's house, or the one in our yard in West Seattle, except that they withstood all weather, and while I think we occasionally cut flowers and took them in the house, nothing else was done to it. The flowers were either pink or light blue, or both, and I'm sure whatever cultivar was in the yards in the 1960s had been there for a decade or two already, so is probably not even part of the discussion of modern varieties of the plant.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 12:35 PM

There are hundreds of bees and birds for every man, Verser, and they are out there moving seeds and pollen around on some level all year 'round... Among the humans less than 10% care much about gardening and of them only a small percentage of them are hybridizing... I'd say that makes man far less involved in propagation and hybridization of plant material than our outdoor friends...

B~


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