I want to try guinea hens. Apparently they're really tough (aggressive, even), will roost in trees away from predators, and eat their weight in insects. I'm terrified of this happening again (the great tent caterpillar infestation of 2012).
There is a Storyland in City Park in New Orleans. From the site I can see it's been enormously spruced up since my son was little enough to go there. At one time they had some vegetable gardens in it with hens running loose to eat the bugs.
Lizzy, your seed starting box is truly impressive. Do you buy seeds for lavender, rugosa roses, and other perennials from a US catalog, a Canadian catalog, or do you have some good gardening stores locally?
Bixa, you asked if violets were growing near the bulbous irises in my photo. I don't think anything else blooms as early as those little irises, though violets pop up later in the grass. Any day now....
Breeze, I am a big time seed gatherer. I bought the sweet peas and the strawberry seeds this year from the local nursery on Whidbey, but all the rest I've gleaned from roadsides (and people's yards when they're not looking). Lots of the seeds are old, too. Some of the rose seeds are 2 years old, but I'm giving them a try anyway. The attrition rate is about 10% a year, so I sprinkle them with abandon. Nevertheless, I love seed catalogues and once I start my vegetable garden, will be ordering lots. Because the garden is in the US I'll buy the seeds here; I don't want to be caught smuggling contraband across the border.
Given our lack of winter this year, there are already violets in my garden, along with some daisies. Oddly, I saw some irises (the usual big purple ones) and camellias blooming in a few sheltered gardens this weekend, but my hellebores are late and are just opening. Maybe it wasn't cold enough for them to get going?
We were given a flower from the blanket of flowers covering the casket of my husbands Aunt this past November. I brought it home and let it dry out and put the seeds in an envelope and stored them. I currently have about 4 feet of snow topping my gardens but I am now beginning to think of where to plant those seeds come spring in her memory.
Bjd, the hellebores gave you Valentine roses instead of Christmas roses. <-- That was a joke, but I just looked up hellebores & another common name for them is Lenten rose. I wonder if that was to cover a different blooming time for different climates, or perhaps the seasonal names indicate climate change.
What an absolutely lovely tribute you've planned, Mich. I hope your new planting also self-seeds with time.
Beautifully put, Lizzy. Really, watching seeds sprout is a miracle, no matter how many times you see it.
Thank you Bixa and Lizzy. I plan to harvest seeds from my mom's garden this fall as well as I am beginning to think they might be planning to move into an apartment. It might make her happy if she can come next summer and see her plants growing here.
I no longer have much of a garden to work in, but I've been inspired by all your recent reports to tackle the small area at the front of my home where I drastically cut back all the freeze burned shrubs this afternoon. I have some sort of flowering bushes - golden dew drop? - which send up long, cane-like shoots full of purple flowers each year, keeping the bees and butterflies very happy.
Htmb, thank you! You just solved a mystery for me. I was curious, so looked up your golden dew drop. Lo & behold, it's a plant that grows here that I've long wanted to identify. davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1320/
Yep. That's it! I'd like to keep it cut lower since it's growing in front of a set of windows, but it seems the branches have to grow out a bit before they bloom. I've solved my problem by letting them grow and then cascade over some plastic coated twine. It keeps the shoots off my sidewalk and somewhat away from my windows, while allowing for lots of bloom.
Oh my goodness, so many new additions to this thread since I was here last!! The mini iris and the seed starting projects, all so exciting and refreshing to see and hear about after such a dreary, dismal season here. My goodness, I'm so overwhelmed at the moment with both work for income and my own "war zone" of a garden right here. Machetes rule at the moment, and lots of hard labor.... My back is killing me at the moment from all the hauling I have had to do in the last few days....
We have had some wild violets and spiderworts emerge which are most welcome. The camellias and sasanquas remain resilient.
I have so much work to do and am incredibly overwhelmed but, am always so this time of year, especially after such a cruel cold snap for us.
I'm so impressed with your seed starting/sprout endeavor Lizzy. I managed to shove in a slew of nasturtium and borage seeds in the ground today and see a reemergence of cilantro and parsley seedlings sprouting. I',m kicking myself for not having brought back some potatoes from NY to plant, despite the fact that I can and have "eyes" to plant from here. I really wanted to have some from my "home" ground. Ah, well... Spring is springing here...
You are so industrious, Casimira. Our stinking hot weather seems to have abated and autumn is drifting in. The last few days have been mid 20s and showery so I am resuscitating my strip of garden.
I live in a flat which looks onto a small lawn. then a strip of garden against a fence. I am making a "white garden" (sometimes called a "moon garden")along this area.
The fence is covered with white potato creeper, which has flowers all year. Then against this, a row of terracotta pots containing different flowering in white plants. This year they have been mainly daisy varieties, petunias, geraniums and such. Yesterday I planted out 12 ivory impatiens to replace the other flowers that died in the heat.
My back empathises with yours!
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Grazie for the sympathies Questa but, it comes with the territory.
I am so enamored with white, evening gardens, and, at one time pondered even specializing in such professionally in that so many people whom I worked for only were able to enjoy their gardens in the evening/night time hours because of work. I never actively pursued it but, have personally done so. There are so many plants both white and nocturnally fragrant that grow here that I have have actively pursued and cultivated. There are a couple of books on the subject that I have to dig out and post for you to check out.
Living in a hot climate, I have tended to veer away from "hot" colors as psychically they seem to only enhance the heat...
Oh....am sick with envy Lizzy. I don't know if they will "do" here. I seem to remember that it doesn't always get cold enough for them. Next to figs they are probably one of my all time favorite fruit delicacies. So sweet, tiny little nuggets of pure ruby nectar...
The greenhouse was painstakingly dismantled and hauled off this a.m. Thus, creating an open vista and upon viewing the empty space from my balcony has given me a surge of inspiration. That is one of the things I love about gardening. It not be some kind of static endeavor but, an ever evolving process that inspired this thread.
How boring IMHO that people plant mundane,uninspiring plantings that have absolutely no connection to one's state of mind or practicality and usefulness in their immediate surroundings.
But, that's my garden mentality. and, I have to refrain from imposing it upon others.
casimira, instead of heavy work with machetes, may I suggest groundhogs? Groundhogs will save you a lot of backbreaking work clearing overgrowth. They tunnel too, so any drainage problems you may have will be gone.
We have more than enough here and are ready to export some. As soon as they come out of hibernation, I could send you as many as you want.
Does anyone need any lavender seedling, or papaver somniferum or papaver rhoeas? I have approximately hundreds more than I need or can plant. I could use a road trip, so you live in the continental United States, let me know. If you're willing to help buy me a plane ticket, the offer is open to anyone world-wide. I'll take the risk of the smuggling charges. Help!