Clippings by brandymulvaine

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RE: Donn's plant bands (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: donn_ on 07.27.2009 at 05:09 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

They're not really my plant bands, they're Monarch Zipset Plant Bands:

http://www.monarchmfg.com/PlantBands.htm

I use them for seed starting.

Photobucket

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clipped on: 07.28.2009 at 07:38 am    last updated on: 07.28.2009 at 07:38 am

RE: Poppy update (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: carrie630 on 04.16.2009 at 08:43 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

token - I direct sowed my poppies this way: I scattered the seeds within the diameter of a plastic, round container that had holes soldered at the bottom. I watered the seeds well, placed the container OVER the seeds and then put a rock on top of the plastic container (preventing it from blowing over in harsh or even slightest winds)....The holes in the container let rain in (but I watered here and there) and also air...

It worked great! When I had germination, I actually kept the lid on for a while, then removed them and let them grow and now they are almost ready to bloom and about seven inches tall (maybe more)....

I did this in the Fall btw - and the seedlings survived the coldest temps we had here.

Carrie

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clipped on: 04.18.2009 at 09:05 am    last updated on: 04.18.2009 at 09:06 am

RE: What I've Sown Recently (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 03.15.2009 at 11:25 am in Winter Sowing Forum

I've fallen behind in my reporting and since I save these for reference later, here we go:
Mar 7
Indula-sonnenspeer and goliath
dianthus
delphinium-butterfly mix
clematis-heracleifolia
ginseng
hollyhocks-antwerp
columbine-flabella
lavender-pink
Mar14
KMOTGG
alyssum-royal carpet
love lies bleeding
larkspur-cannes mix and rose
pansy-carmel spice, got the blues, and flambe terracotta
viola-penny sunrise,angel tiger eyes, and bowles black
california poppies-sunset
pearly everlasting
stock-giant imperial mix and dwf ten weeks mix
nicotiana-alta and jasmine
ladybells
sweetpea-lord nelson and drk knight
hollyhocks-red, yellow, and black
cosmos-palidor, sunset, and sulphur mix
rudbeckia-double gold
clematis-fremontii
callirhoe involucrata
cladrastis lutea
false nettle
amaranthus-orange
lychnis-flo jovi
-B

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clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 12:04 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 12:04 pm

RE: What I've Sown Recently (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 03.07.2009 at 09:37 am in Winter Sowing Forum

on Mar 5th I wintersowed:
batch buttons
canendula oktoberfest and citrus cocktail
helenium moerheim beauty
knautia macedonia
monkshood
nemesia
blue fescue
-B

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clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 12:03 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 12:03 pm

RE: Today I sowed... (Follow-Up #125)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 01.25.2009 at 02:23 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

on the 15th of Jan I sowed:
snapdragons-black prince(thanks jaleeisa!)
stock-giant imperial mixed
monkshood-blue bishop
caryopteris-first choice
columbine-mixed kinds and colors
some weird thing I found growing in a field
stock-evening scented
viola-bowles black(thanks jaleeisa!)
viola-penny sunrise
sweet autumn clematis

on 24th Jan I sowed:
Lavenders-munstead dwf,hidcote dwf,english tall(vera),and lady

NOTES:

should say Jan 21st, not the 15th
clipped on: 01.25.2009 at 02:24 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 11:38 am

RE: What I've Sown Recently (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 03.04.2009 at 05:23 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Today(Mar 4th) I wintersowed:
garden heliotrope
evening scented stock
dianthus(mostly chaff I think!)
malva that I snatched
columbine
echinacea paradoxa
masterwort ruby cloud
african daisy
hollyhock-antwerp and red
canterbury bells
catnip
blue cohosh
-B

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clipped on: 03.04.2009 at 05:23 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2009 at 05:23 pm

RE: What I've Sown Recently (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 03.02.2009 at 09:17 am in Winter Sowing Forum

yesterday (mar 1) I WS:
canterbury bells
larkspur
nigella and
asters
-B

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clipped on: 03.03.2009 at 06:44 am    last updated on: 03.03.2009 at 06:44 am

RE: Unexpected consequence of not spraying (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: jbcarr on 02.26.2009 at 08:42 pm in Antique Roses Forum

Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC has a no spray old rose garden. It can get a bit sparse in the heat of the summer, but the roses seem to do well. A cemetery like Hollywood in Richmond Va is by default no spray. Not a true rose garden of course, but it has lots of OGR.

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clipped on: 02.27.2009 at 07:22 pm    last updated on: 02.27.2009 at 07:22 pm

RE: I hope you understand... (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: susan926 on 02.26.2009 at 08:40 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Oh Trudy,
Why do some people just have to take advantage and work the system? I will never understand what makes us all tick.. I always bring tons of seeds to share when I teach a Wintersowing seminar, but since we moved from the 2 acres my seed supply dried up for next year. Now I will have to just become a snatcher full time, other wise I would offer you seeds:)

Hugs,
Susan

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clipped on: 02.26.2009 at 10:30 pm    last updated on: 02.26.2009 at 10:30 pm

RE: Addtional Today I've sown (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 02.20.2009 at 11:22 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Today(Feb 20) I did little plastic cups of
alyssum "oriental nights"
sweet william "sooty"(Thanks Cathy!)
wallflowers mix
and I started my tomatoes-inside of course!

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clipped on: 02.20.2009 at 11:22 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2009 at 11:22 pm

RE: Addtional Today I've sown (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 02.16.2009 at 01:01 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

146 Carol! WoW!
I might have between 50-60 but most of them are little water bottles(shovel size!!LOL!!)or little plastic cups.
Yesterday(Feb 15) I sowed:
persimmon
trailing snapdragons in a hanging basket
lobelia cascade in a hanging basket
petunia balcony 12 little cups
flambe mix
prizm sunshine 2 cups
lilac madness
aladdin nautical mix
scarlet flax
english daisy a pink and a mixed colors
alyssum aphrodite
knautia m...something
crimson clover
armeria
dianthus microchip mix and plumarius
-B

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clipped on: 02.16.2009 at 01:06 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2009 at 01:09 pm

RE: Addtional Today I've sown (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 02.13.2009 at 09:54 am in Winter Sowing Forum

Yesterday I finished up the ginseng that I ordered-just had 9 left, if they sprout this year(fingers crossed) they'll put up one leaf only! I won't be able to harvest until year 5. I also did some daylily crosses from a trade(Thanks Maureen!) I didn't do HOS just one seed in one little water bottle!
-B

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clipped on: 02.16.2009 at 01:02 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2009 at 01:03 pm

RE: Digger Dee and others: Vole Update Please (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: jclark42 on 05.16.2006 at 09:35 am in New England Gardening Forum

Hi Everyone,

I've been keeping up with this thread and thought I'd give my $.02. My wife and I live in central CT and for the past year have been fighting a loosing fight against voles. We've always had them in our lawn, which didn't bother us much. Last year they took over a newly-planted butterfly & hummingbird garden and systematically devoured most of what we'd planted. This year they sprung up in the beds adjacent to our house. Over the winter they wiped out every lily in one bed, and Hosta in another. What's worse is the plants they didn't eat (like ferns, Astible, etc.) they uprooted.

We've tried to use repellents (MoleMax, BobEx, etc) to no affect. This weekend, after seeing fresh damage to another bed, something had to be done. To verify these were active tunnels, I found the surface entries to their and covered them with cardboard. The next day I removed the cardboard and noted which tunnels they'd excavated underneath. I set snap traps baited with small bits of apple at the top of each active tunnel. I covered the trap with a 2 gallon plastic pot weighted with a rock (to prevent the squirrels from getting caught). I set 6 traps at about noon. By the time I'd set the last trap, the first trap had got a vole. By 2:00 I'd gotten six.

I haven't caught any others in the past few days so I moved the traps to the next bed. I have no idea how many there are in our yard, or how extensive the tunnels are. I absolutely hate to trap them but the repellants didn't work and the fact is, there are not many natural vole predators around. It's awful work, but I've come to terms with the fact that it's either them or our plants.. one has to go.

I've found a pretty good reference on voles at the University of Maryland web site: http://www.agnr.umd.edu/MCE/Publications/PDFs/FS654.pdf

-Josh-

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clipped on: 02.12.2009 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 02.12.2009 at 05:49 pm

RE: Today I sowed (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 02.08.2009 at 12:01 am in Winter Sowing Forum

Wow chickenmom! busybusybusy!! And you're right, it's so much more fun that cleaning house!!LOL!! I had to make myself go do dishes BEFORE I came out here to the computer!
Today I sowed:
Inula sonnenspeer(thanks Wendy)
Inula goliath(thanks Nicole)
lavender rosa
ginsing
echinacea atroruben
columbine flabellata alba
clematis heracleifolia
hollyhock antwerp mix
-B

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clipped on: 02.09.2009 at 11:30 am    last updated on: 02.09.2009 at 11:31 am

RE: Today I sowed (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 02.05.2009 at 10:16 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Feb 3rd I sowed:
agastache licorice mint
agastache blue/purple
hops
penstemon rocky mountain blue
aster-blue from my garden
dianthus mix

feb 5th I sowed:
lemon balm
wallflowers
-from my garden
-mix
ladybells
garden heliotrope
hawksweed
sweetwilliam sooty
snapdragon black prince
scabiosa black knight
soapwort
echinacea paradoxa
agastche apricot
agastache sunset
dianthus-fancy
-B

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clipped on: 02.05.2009 at 10:17 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2009 at 10:17 pm

RE: Today I sowed... (Follow-Up #90)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 01.18.2009 at 10:46 am in Winter Sowing Forum

on Jan 15 I sowed:
milkweed-orange and hello yellow combo
milkweed-viridis
milkweed-orange(was a drker orange than most-snatched from a business!)
poppy-heirloom
-drk purple
foxglove-yellow
roses-misc kinds
grasses-blue fescue
-big bluestem
-unknown kind
rudbeckia-double
achillea-cloth of gold
I also started a little tray of night blooming jasmine inside
-B

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clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 10:47 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 10:47 am

RE: Today I sowed... (Follow-Up #72)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 01.10.2009 at 10:27 am in Winter Sowing Forum

yesterday I wintersowed:
echinacea-don't know what it will look like 'cause I have several colors
shasta daisy
blazing star
soapwort
coreopsis-early sunrise
german catchfly
malva-mystic merlin
oriental lily mix
AND THEN I RAN OUT OF DIRT!!
-B

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clipped on: 01.10.2009 at 10:30 am    last updated on: 01.10.2009 at 10:30 am

RE: Today I sowed... (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 01.03.2009 at 05:56 am in Winter Sowing Forum

On Jan 2nd I sowed:
echinacea sunrise(at least the mama was sunrise!!)
balloon flower
grape hyacinths
blackberries
hellebore
dames rocket
little blue stem(thanks Vera!)
globe thistle
german catchfly
sweet william
sweetshrub
Mark, I'm going to run out of containers too!Good thing we're not diving at the same recycling center, eh?

And for those of you "bragging" about no snow-HUSH!!
I still haven't moved my jugs off the front porch because the snow is too deep were they're supposed to go!!
(green with zone envy!)-B
good goo

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clipped on: 01.10.2009 at 10:29 am    last updated on: 01.10.2009 at 10:29 am

RE: Q's on lavender pruning. Cameron? Anyone? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: sweetannie4u on 10.08.2008 at 07:53 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

gonnativegal,

I harvest lavender wands all summer long to dry and use, but I also give mine "haircuts" so they don't get all shaggy with the unharvested spent bloom stems.

Sue, I have learned to take cuttings every two years in spring of my Lavenders and Rosemary (April-May in my location depending on how warm the spring is each year). That way IF my older ones kick it for whatever reason, I have their babies that will live on. Both root well in the spring. I stick them in the dirt in full sun and water them well every day. In about 3-4 weeks there is new growth and I know they are rooting. I leave them where they are until the following year and then move them where I want them to be permanently. However, Rosemary does not like to be moved once it gets older, so I transplant them in late summer or early autumn allowing three to four weeks for them to settle in before the first freeze. I move the Lavenders the following spring.

~Annie

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clipped on: 01.05.2009 at 07:31 am    last updated on: 01.05.2009 at 07:31 am

RE: Anyone have Michigan sprouts? (or not) (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: brandymulvaine on 04.06.2008 at 04:16 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

This is what I have so far:
Achillea-summer berries 3/19 4/5
3/04 4/6
Alyssum-royal carpet 3/19 4/5
Dianthus-plumarius 2/08 4/6
Stock 3/04 4/6
Poppy mixed 3/19 4/5
Bach.But. black ball 2/08 4/6
-B

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clipped on: 11.05.2008 at 09:15 am    last updated on: 11.05.2008 at 09:16 am

RE: Animals in the News (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: semper_fi on 06.04.2006 at 09:44 pm in Ponds & Aquatic Plants Forum

I got a good chuckle from this email. It sounded too dang funny not to be fabricated but according to Snopes it is a true story.

"The following is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality...

STATE OF MICHIGAN
Reply to: GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT OFFICE STATE OFFICE BUILDING 6TH FLOOR
350 OTTAWA NW GRAND RAPIDS MI 49503-2341
JOHN ENGLER, Governor
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
HOLLISTER BUILDING, PO BOX 30473, LANSING MI 48909-7973
INTERNET: http://www.deq.state.mi
RUSSELL J. HARDING, Director

December 17, 1997

CERTIFIED

Mr. Ryan DeVries 2088 Dagget Pierson, MI 49339

Dear Mr. DeVries:

SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023-1 T11N, R10W, Sec. 20, Montcalm County

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files show that no permits have been issued.

Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws annotated. The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris dams and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all unauthorized activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the strewn channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 1998. Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request, or any further unauthorized activity on the site, may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.

Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

David L. Price
District Representative Land and Water Management Division

_______________________________________________________________________

Dear Mr. Price:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N, R10W, Sec 20; Montcalm County

Your certified letter dated 12/17/97 has been handed to me to respond to. You sent out a great deal of carbon copies to a lot of people, but you neglected to include their addresses. You will, therefore, have to send them a copy of my response.

First of all, Mr. Ryan DeVries is not the legal landowner and/or contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan - I am the legal owner and a couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, nor authorize, their dam project, I think they would be highly offended you call their skillful use of natural building materials "debris." I would like to challenge you to attempt to emulate their dam project any dam time and/or any dam place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no dam way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

As to your dam request the beavers first must fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity, my first dam question to you is: are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or do you require all dam beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, please send me completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws annotated.

My first concern is - aren't the dam beavers entitled to dam legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said dam representation - so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing dam flooding is proof we should leave the dam Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names. If you want the dam stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition - contact the dam beavers - but if you are going to arrest them (they obviously did not pay any dam attention to your dam letter-being unable to read English) - be sure you read them their dam Miranda rights first.

As for me, I am not going to cause more dam flooding or dam debris jams by interfering with these dam builders. If you want to hurt these dam beavers - be aware I am sending a copy of your dam letter and this response to PETA. If your dam Department seriously finds all dams of this nature inherently hazardous and truly will not permit their existence in this dam State - I seriously hope you are not selectively enforcing this dam policy, or once again both I and the Spring Pond Beavers will scream prejudice!

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their dam unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green, and water flows downstream. They have more dam right than I to live and enjoy Spring Pond. So, as far as I and the beavers are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more dam elevated enforcement action now. Why wait until 1/31/98? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then, and there will be no dam way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then. In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental quality (health) problem: bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the dam beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they dump!) Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

Sincerely,
Stephen L. Tvedten

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clipped on: 09.03.2008 at 08:54 am    last updated on: 09.03.2008 at 08:55 am

RE: sharing experiences with rugosas (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: annececilia on 08.16.2008 at 05:36 pm in Antique Roses Forum

I have these established rugosas listed by my most favorite for hips, rebloom and hardiness at the top and on down:

Magnifica (my best rugosa for rebloom and hips)

Fru Dagmar Hastrup (second best, but a close second!)

Belle Poitevine (right in there with the top two)

Marie Bugnet (love this little rose - unfortunately the stem girdlers do too and rarely leave poor Marie with more than one or two canes.)

Martin Frobisher (gotta love a rose that sets such pretty blooms over the whole season yet asks for nothing at all)

Mrs. Doreen Pike (if only she'd let go of her spent petals, she'd be a perfect little rose. Love the pink blooms against the apple green foliage.)

Carmen (when she's in her spring flush she is awesome! Very little re-bloom the rest of the year.)

R.rugosa rubra (I like this rose, but it won't stay home. Suckers badly in every direction!)

Therese Bugnet (Not much rebloom from Therese and just like her sister, a regular victim of stem girdlers.)

Sweet Cecilia (a bit too tender for my zone; it's hanging on but just barely. Pretty white blooms.)

Fimbriata (not too impressive in bloom, ho-hum out of bloom which is usually. Canes only half hardy up here.)

Dr. Eckner (definitely longs for a warmer zone, has severe die back and awkward growth thereafter with few blooms that blow in a heartbeat. Needs to be shovel pruned except that it takes up so little space it's easy to ignore!)
**
Agnes (I just bought her this year so I haven't ranked her yet - but being a once bloomer doesn't bother me as long as I get *lots* of yellow blooms when she *does* bloom!)

The less "rugose" they are by hybridization, the less hardy they are for me plus all of my rugosas are prone to stem girdler which can be most frustrating. As far as blackspot or powdery mildew, I don't think any of them with the exception of Dr. Eckner (which hardly even looks related to rugosas at all) are affected. If it weren't for the stem girdler problem, they'd be pretty care free. They rarely even get fertilized or watered or deadheaded.

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clipped on: 08.17.2008 at 09:56 am    last updated on: 08.17.2008 at 09:56 am

RE: Did something really awful (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: lemecdutex on 06.15.2008 at 01:45 pm in Antique Roses Forum

Perhaps leeching it out of the soil would be somewhat effective in getting rid of it (using a lot of water), I'm not sure.

There's a wonderful book out there called "Teaming with Microbes" (cute double entendre in the name, I thought), and it opened my eyes to all that happens in the soil. There really is far more life going on in the soil than anything we see above it. It certainly cut down on any temptation on my part to use chemicals.

Also, if you can find it, there's a new company called "Nature's Solutions" that sells pre-made Aerated Compost Tea, and it actually works! If you can get that, it can go a ways toward rebalancing your soil after the attack with the Bayer stuff. We used it here and have had great results.

--Ron

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clipped on: 06.15.2008 at 07:01 pm    last updated on: 06.15.2008 at 07:01 pm

RE: Is this Norah Church? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: Rob_Peace on 08.26.2005 at 07:19 am in Violet Forum

good point, stefan.
most of the seed which will germinate comes from the cleistogamous 'flowers'. these are self fertilised before the bud opens. as a result, mostly violets come true from seed. this is true of sweet peas, too. they normally come true as they fertilise themselves well before the flower opens. to intercept this is quite a challenge of floral dissection. millet mentions he raised batches of a variety to try to improve or strengthen it. he reports some to be very resistant to change....so varieties can often be raised true from seed. i think the problem arises with the exploding capsule. seeds of unexpected neighbours can contaminate a batch...and i suspect this is what has happened. the lianne flowers resemble those on clive groves web site....clive was the donor of the seed in this case.

rob...

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clipped on: 04.09.2008 at 04:19 pm    last updated on: 04.09.2008 at 04:20 pm

RE: Where can I purchase viola odorata? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: trianglejohn on 04.05.2008 at 10:22 pm in Violet Forum

I don't mind but those that run this website consider any naming of any business as advertising, which is forbidden. But, since they seem to be allowing all sorts of bad posts on other forums I doubt they will notice this one.

My personal favorites are www.secretseeds.com and www.plantworldseeds.com both of them are not what I would call violet specialists. I looked them up while searching for other seeds - so don't go there expecting a wide array of viola seeds.

It just seems to me that all the large plant companies sell seeds that all come from the same seed source - a defect in one crop I grew showed up in all the other seed sources as well. I trade a lot of seed with local gardeners (please don't ask me for seeds, I'm all out) which is great fun activity but germination rates are low. Another problem with the larger catalogs is that their prices per seed have really gone up - so unless it is something I really want, it just isn't worth it. The packets from the small British seed shops are small and obviously hand packed - but they contain more seed, so they come out to a better deal.

For those of you living in Europe. Here in America we don't have these sorts of businesses. There may be seeds for sale at lots of stores, but all the packets are the same. There are no small shops that specialize in unusual plant seeds.

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clipped on: 04.06.2008 at 12:01 am    last updated on: 04.06.2008 at 12:02 am

Container soils and water in containers (long post)

posted by: tapla on 03.19.2005 at 03:57 pm in Container Gardening Forum

The following is very long & will be too boring for some to wade through. Two years ago, some of my posts got people curious & they started to e-mail me about soil problems. The "Water Movement" article is an answer I gave in an e-mail. I saved it and adapted it for my bonsai club newsletter & it was subsequently picked up & used by a number of other clubs. I now give talks on container soils and the physics of water movement in containers to area clubs.

I think, as container gardeners, our first priority is to insure aeration for the life of the soil. Since aeration and drainage are inversely linked to soil particle size, it makes good sense to try to find a soil component with particles larger than peat and that will retain its structure for extended periods. Pine bark fits the bill nicely.

The following hits pretty hard against the futility of using a drainage layer in an attempt to improve drainage. It just doesn't work. All it does is reduce the soil available for root colonization. A wick will remove the saturated layer of soil. It works in reverse of the self-watering pots widely being discussed on this forum now. I have no experience with these growing containers, but understand the principle well.

There are potential problems with wick watering that can be alleviated with certain steps. Watch for yellowing leaves with these pots. If they begin to occur, you need to flush the soil well. It is the first sign of chloride damage.

One of the reasons I posted this is because of the number of soil questions I'm getting in my mail. It will be a convenient source for me to link to. I will soon be in the middle of repotting season & my time here will be reduced, unfortunately, for me. I really enjoy all the friends I've made on these forums. ;o)

Since there are many questions about soils appropriate for containers, I'll post by basic mix in case any would like to try it. It will follow the Water Movement info.

Water Movement in Soils

Consider this if you will:

Soil need fill only a few needs in plant culture. Anchorage - A place for roots to extend, securing the plant and preventing it from toppling. Nutrient Sink - It must retain sufficient nutrients to sustain plant systems. Gas Exchange - It must be sufficiently porous to allow air to the root system. And finally, Water - It must retain water enough in liquid and/or vapor form to sustain plants between waterings. Most plants could be grown without soil as long as we can provide air, nutrients, and water, (witness hydroponics). Here, I will concentrate primarily on the movement of water in soil(s).

There are two forces that cause water movement through soil - one is gravity, the other capillary action. Gravity needs little explanation, but for this writing I would like to note: Gravitational flow potential (GFP) is greater for water at the top of the pot than it is for water at the bottom of the pot. I'll return to that later. Capillarity is a function of the natural forces of adhesion and cohesion. Adhesion is water's tendency to stick to solid objects like soil particles and the sides of the pot. Cohesion is the tendency for water to stick to itself. Cohesion is why we often find water in droplet form - because cohesion is at times stronger than adhesion, waters bond to itself can be stronger than the bond to the object it might be in contact with; in this condition it forms a drop. Capillary action is in evidence when we dip a paper towel in water. The water will soak into the towel and rise several inches above the surface of the water. It will not drain back into the source. It will stop rising when the GFP equals the capillary attraction of the fibers in the paper.

There is, in every pot, what is called a "perched water table" (PWT). This is water that occupies a layer of soil that is always saturated & will not drain at the bottom of the pot. It can evaporate or be used by the plant, but physical forces will not allow it to drain. It is there because the capillary pull of the soil at some point will equal the GFP; therefore, the water does not drain, it is "perched". If we fill five cylinders of varying heights and diameters with the same soil mix and provide each cylinder with a drainage hole, the PWT will be exactly the same height in each container. This is the area of the pot where roots seldom penetrate & where root problems begin due to a lack of aeration. From this we can draw the conclusion that: Tall growing containers are a superior choice over squat containers when using the same soil mix. The reason: The level of the PWT will be the same in each container, with the taller container providing more usable, air holding soil above the PWT. Physiology dictates that plants must be able to take in air at the roots in order to complete transpiration and photosynthesis.

A given volume of large soil particles have less overall surface area in comparison to the same volume of small particles and therefore less overall adhesive attraction to water. So, in soils with large particles, GFP more readily overcomes capillary attraction. They drain better. We all know this, but the reason, often unclear, is that the PWT is lower in coarse soils than in fine soils. The key to good drainage is size and uniformity of soil particles. Large particles mixed with small particles will not improve drainage because the smaller particles fit between the large, increasing surface area which increases the capillary attraction and thus the water holding potential. Water and air cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Contrary to what some hold to be true, sand does not improve drainage. Pumice (aka lava rock), or one of the hi-fired clay products like Turface are good additives which help promote drainage and porosity because of their irregular shape.

Now to the main point: When we use a coarse drainage layer under our soil, it does not improve drainage. It does conserve on the volume of soil required to fill a pot and it makes the pot lighter. When we employ this exercise in an attempt to improve drainage, what we are actually doing is moving the level of the PWT higher in the pot. This reduces available soil for roots to colonize, reduces total usable pot space, and limits potential for beneficial gas exchange. Containers with uniform soil particle size from top of container to bottom will yield better drainage and have a lower PWT than containers with drainage layers. The coarser the drainage layer, the more detrimental to drainage it is because water is more (for lack of a better scientific word) reluctant to make the downward transition because the capillary pull of the soil above the drainage layer is stronger than the GFP. The reason for this is there is far more surface area in the soil for water to be attracted to than there is in the drainage layer.

I know this goes against what most have thought to be true, but the principle is scientifically sound, and experiments have shown it as so. Many nurserymen are now employing the pot-in-pot or the pot-in-trench method of growing to capitalize on the science.

If you discover you need to increase drainage, insert a wick into the pot & allow it to extend from the PWT to several inches below the bottom of the pot. This will successfully eliminate the PWT & give your plants much more soil to grow in as well as allow more, much needed air to the roots.

Uniform size particles of fir, hemlock or pine bark are excellent as the primary component of your soils. The lignin contained in bark keeps it rigid and the rigidity provides air-holding pockets in the root zone far longer than peat or compost mixes that rapidly break down to a soup-like consistency. Bark also contains suberin, a lipid sometimes referred to as natures preservative. Suberin is what slows the decomposition of bark-based soils. It contains highly varied hydrocarbon chains and the microorganisms that turn peat to soup have great difficulty cleaving these chains.

In simple terms: Plants that expire because of drainage problems either die of thirst because the roots have rotted and can no longer take up water, or they starve to death because they cannot obtain sufficient air at the root zone for the respiratory or photosynthetic processes.

To confirm the existence of the PWT and the effectiveness of using a wick to remove it, try this experiment: Fill a soft drink cup nearly full of garden soil. Add enough water to fill to the top, being sure all soil is saturated. Punch a drain hole in the bottom of the cup & allow to drain. When the drainage stops, insert a wick several inches up into the drain hole . Take note of how much additional water drains. This is water that occupied the PWT before being drained by the wick. A greatly simplified explanation of what occurs is: The wick "fools" the water into thinking the pot is deeper, so water begins to move downward seeking the "new" bottom of the pot, pulling the rest of the PWT along with it.

Having applied these principles in the culture of my containerized plants, both indoors and out, for many years, the methodology I have adopted has shown to be effective and of great benefit to them. I use many amendments when building my soils, but the basic building process starts with screened bark and perlite. Peat usually plays a very minor role in my container soils because it breaks down rapidly and when it does, it impedes drainage.

My Soil

I'll give two recipes. I usually make big batches.

3 parts pine bark fines
1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat)
1-2 parts perlite
garden lime
controlled release fertilizer
micro-nutrient powder (substitute: small amount of good, composted manure

Big batch:

3 cu ft pine bark fines (1 big bag)
5 gallons peat
5 gallons perlite
1 cup lime (you can add more to small portion if needed)
2 cups CRF
1/2 cup micro-nutrient powder or 1 gal composted manure

Small batch:

3 gallons pine bark
1/2 gallon peat
1/2 gallon perlite
handful lime (careful)
1/4 cup CRF
1 tsp micro-nutrient powder or a dash of manure ;o)

I have seen advice that some highly organic soils are productive for up to 5 years. I disagree. Even if you were to substitute fir bark for pine bark in this recipe (and this recipe will far outlast any peat based soil) you should only expect a maximum of three years life before a repot is in order. Usually perennials, including trees (they're perennials too, you know ;o)) should be repotted more frequently to insure vigor closer to genetic potential. If a soil is desired that will retain structure for long periods, we need to look to inorganic amendments. Some examples are crushed granite, pea stone, coarse sand (no smaller than BB size in containers, please), Haydite, lava rock, Turface or Schultz soil conditioner.

I hope this starts a good exchange of ideas & opinions so we all can learn.

Al

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clipped on: 03.04.2008 at 11:37 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2008 at 11:37 pm

RE: Some Greenhouse Photos (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: wyndyacre on 11.01.2007 at 06:29 pm in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Thank you all for the kind comments.
I think my photos on the other threads disappeared because I did some arranging into albums in Photobucket, after I had posted them. I'll know not to do that again.

Well, the generating money from the GH just evolved as I needed some extra income (I only work seasonally)and I needed to keep my acre garden under control. I hope to land a fulltime, year round job eventually and not have to do the sale. It's fortunate that I enjoy propagating but it is an enormous amount of work and I hope to get my life back one day!

John-I don't think I'm using Mike McGroarty's system. I don't know what it is. :) Enlighten me?

Greenhouser-I don't fit all those flats in there at once. I start digging plants from my garden in March or as soon as the ground thaws and make small divisions into 3" pots. I grow them on for a week or two in the GH and as they are quite hardy, then move them out to the coldframe.
When the next batch is ready, I move the coldframe plants outdoors and GH plants to the CF and start all over again.
Since different perennials come up earlier than others, I start digging those first and somehow it all works out in the end.
Of course plants started from seed get a little more TLC and get hardened off more gradually.

It does tend to get a little crowded in there when I'm in full swing.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Then they get moved to the coldframe...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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clipped on: 03.02.2008 at 11:47 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2008 at 11:47 pm

Some Greenhouse Photos

posted by: wyndyacre on 10.31.2007 at 10:42 pm in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

We built my 10x16 greenhouse 5 years ago. After taking a propagation course at the local college and being able to use their GH for several months, I decided I couldn't live without one. :)

We used salvaged windows for the glass, salvaged doors, an old deck for 1/2 the floor and the other half is discounted paving stone. The walls that aren't glass are insulated and the north side of the roof is insulated and asphalt shingles. Several back and side windows open, I tie the doors open and there is an automatic venting window in the roof near the ridgeline.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I have electricity, a telephone and fill a 50 g. barrel from a hose for water. I recently added a 3 tiered light stand, I found used and will use my heat mats on it this winter. We built benches from folding table legs and 1x1 deck ballisters spaced out on a wood frame. My potting table is a recycled kitchen counter with new paint and hardware. We built a sliding bin under the sink to store ProMix.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A pool cover goes over it for winter and it's heated to 45-50* at night and attains 80-85* during a sunny day. It's heated with a oil filled electric space heater. In the summer, I lower bamboo shades on the south front windows.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I built it so I could grow perennials from seeds and divisions and start shrubs from cuttings to increase my acre garden (which I do) but it has become a source of income in that I started having a huge plant sale yearly. Starting in Feb. for seeds and March for divisions, I start churning out perennials thru the GH, then coldframe and onto a outdoor holding area until the plant sale. I sold 2,000+ plants in about 6 hours this year!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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clipped on: 03.02.2008 at 11:46 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2008 at 11:46 pm

RE: building a greenhouse out of old windows (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: javan on 06.12.2006 at 06:15 pm in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Here are some pics of the hothouse/greenhouse we built two years ago. We used windows our neighbors gave us, and built to fit the windows. We didn't use plans, but my wife did a great job of designing and building. We have plans to paint the structure but haven't gotten to it. We grow tomatoes, climbing cucumbers, and peppers in this hothouse. It has 3 sliding windows for ventilation, and while we would do a few things differently with the roof, I think your plan of using polycarbonate sheets is a good one. Just remember to angle them so the rain runs off. All the best, Jim

West facing (with slider)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

South facing (with door) and slider on lower right
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

West facing (with slider)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Yesterday, we had our first tomato of the year (a Stupice) from the hothouse.

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RE: Has anyone built a greenhouse out of old windows (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: taho6bvickie on 05.19.2005 at 10:43 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Tracy we have done a couple of Greenhouses using old windows, here is the one we have just done for our new place. we replaced all the windows in our home and used the old ones for this. I'm very happy with the finished product. My husband framed it out according to the sizes of the windows we had on hand.

Vickie

Here is a link that might be useful: New GH

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clipped on: 03.02.2008 at 09:11 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2008 at 09:11 pm

RE: Has anyone built a greenhouse out of old windows (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: taho6bvickie on 05.19.2005 at 11:00 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Here is another picture of the first one we did, not the fanciest in the world but I just enjoyed the heck out of it. This one was framed out in lumber, the old windows were put in and it was then finished off with corrigated plastic. Were in the lake tahoe area and get quite a snow pack up here in the winter. it held up great!

Vickie

Here is a link that might be useful: picture

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RE: Meadow making (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: tansy_moon on 02.26.2008 at 09:31 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Brandy, thanks for that link.
Carol I will try an email to you again, when I get to that mailbox. Thank you so much again for letting me know about the new Victoria Magazine. That really made my day!
This is a sample garden of Fleur de Lawn which only needs to be mown once or twice a season. If you plant this lasagna style, it should get rid of honeysuckle and other meadow invaders--though it isn't a native mix.

Buffalo grass is native to the Kansas area and is supposed to be low growing.

I think it's a great idea making your own mix after checking with a nature reserve in your area!

But this no-mow mix has something like:
a short fescue (Eureka)
English Daisy
Roman Chamomile
Yarrow Millefolium
Sweet Alyssum
Strawberry Clover

People who have used it rate it very high and have not found it invasive. It does not stand up to heavy wear.

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clipped on: 02.28.2008 at 12:57 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2008 at 12:57 pm

RE: Does soil really matter? Please explain. (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: tiffy_z5_6_can on 02.19.2008 at 02:35 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

I've been winter sowing since the dark wintry days of the winter of 2001/2002. I will scrounge on containers, labels, plastics to cover containers, equipment to cut containers and make holes in such, tables to sit my containers on outside (made out of pallets), and seeds (I acquire 95% through trades).

But I will NEVER go cheap on soil! It is the only expense at which I don't even think about the price and hand out the VISA! :O) My preferred brand is Pro Mix.

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clipped on: 02.27.2008 at 10:26 pm    last updated on: 02.27.2008 at 10:26 pm

RE: Does soil really matter? Please explain. (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: digdirt on 02.19.2008 at 05:42 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

On hand I have peat moss, vermiculite, blood meal, sand, mushroom compost (although this gets hard as a rock too), compost and I could always dig up some of my garden soil. Can I make a good mix?

Sure, for seed starting just mix 1/3 peat. 1/3 compost, and 1/3 vermiculite or perlite. That is what most soil-less seed starting mixes are made of. You can even mix in some of the cheap stuff you have without doing much damage. ;)

For growing on you may need to later add some of the blood meal - or better yet a bit of time release fertilizer.

The crucial difference between many of the mixes on the market is the use of actual "dirt" (soil and minerals) vs. not adding them. Garden soil and potting soil mixes such as Hyponex are not good for containers except as a cheap amendment that allows you to stretch out the good stuff somewhat. It compacts in containers, doesn't drain well, and suffocate roots. Plus it is much more prone to bacterial and fungal diseases.

Soil-less potting mixes such as that made by MG, Metro Mix, Scotts, ProMix, Expert Gardener (Walmart's brand), etc. contain no soil, no dirt, no minerals so it doesn't have the problems associated with soil mixes. Most brands also have some organic compost added in various forms and most now have added time-released fertilizers (not really needed for germinating seeds but needed for growing-on) and many have moisture control agents added too. So they do not compact, are sterile, allow better air circulation for the roots, and drain better. Perfect for containers.

Depending on how much you need, the frugal gardener can easily buy a bag of peat, a bag of vermiculite or perlite, a bag of compost, and a small container of time-release fertilizer and using the 1/3rd ratios make a ton of their own great mix for 1/2 the cost of buying the better pre-made stuff and avoid all the problems associated with the cheapo potting soils.

Good gardening! ;)

Dave

PS: Keep in mind that with the exception of ProMix and Metro Mix, all the commonly available soil-less mixes sold in the stores are made by the same company (Scotts). This includes Walmart's Expert Gardener breand, formerly called Sam's, so if one works, they all work. ;)

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clipped on: 02.27.2008 at 10:19 pm    last updated on: 02.27.2008 at 10:20 pm

RE: My Waystation helped save our neighborhood (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: todancewithwolves on 02.20.2008 at 07:58 pm in Butterfly Garden Forum

You choked me up, Cal Sherry. I totally forgot how fearful I was in the beginning. It has been an incredible experience and has totally expanded my life. I have the greatest respect for bugs and find them so fascinating.

Jmcat, mostly bee's. I have a mason bee condo but it seems the leaf cutters use it mostly. I have carpenter bee's and other species of bee's but no clue as to the names. Below are a few pictures.

Iddy bitty bee.
Photobucket

Unknown
Photobucket


Honey bee?
Photobucket


One species of Carpenter
Photobucket

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clipped on: 02.25.2008 at 10:38 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2008 at 10:38 pm

My Waystation helped save our neighborhood

posted by: todancewithwolves on 02.13.2008 at 08:02 pm in Butterfly Garden Forum

My Waystation helped save our neighborhood.

On a little corner of our street a developer wanted to build 3 story 12 unit townhouses. Our neighborhood been fighting this for over two years.

Last Thursday I went to the city counsel meeting and stood up to voice my concerns. My last statement was this and I quote -

Mr. Commissioner, please take into consideration that my property is certified as wildlife habitat. I am one of very few places in Contra Costa County that is officially certified as a Monarch Waystation. I raise and release Monarch butterflies in my garden along with several other species of native Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera. Additional congestion of our neighborhood is of vital concern to the welfare of our declining native species".

The final decision was the developer had to down size his project to a two story duplex.

After the meeting one of the commissioners wanted to know more about my habitat. The local park is working on creating a habitat and asked if I'd be interested in helping.

Thank you Monarch Watch!!!

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clipped on: 02.25.2008 at 11:45 am    last updated on: 02.25.2008 at 12:18 pm

RE: The Austin Love/Hate/Indifference Indicator (Follow-Up #45)

posted by: ronke on 01.22.2008 at 03:01 pm in Antique Roses Forum

And no one lists my poor abandoned beloved Wise Portia. I now have about eight of them. And yes, they took far longer than my antiques to establish and pump out flowers but they have also endured the crazy Southern California weather far better than all the English and French-bred hussies. My own roots (planted a year ago) have exploded from the ground almost as much as my Sharifas and without as much of the pesky rust. WP may not have as powerful a fragrance as SA but it is still lovely. Her flowers may not last very long in the vase but they are ever present on the bush. One of my neighbors (the one who enabled me into two Abe Darbys) calls WP boring but I wouldn't be without her. One thing I have learned with Austins is patience. Portia took years to be a really good plant. My WS 2000, after a year, is just a runty stick that bore maybe four flowers (deeper and slightly sweetier than WP I admit but an errant dog is going to put this one of its misery fast) I will give it another year before giving up on it or my Heritage which is almost as sullen. So much depends on climate and exposure I guess.

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:43 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:43 pm

RE: The Austin Love/Hate/Indifference Indicator (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: homenovice on 01.08.2008 at 07:47 pm in Antique Roses Forum

All my roses were planted late summer '05 and show their true character this season. But thus far, here are the categories:

Loves me
Pat Austin
Molineux
Prospero
Ambridge Rose
Graham Thomas
Charlotte

Indifferent to me
Comptes de Champagne
WS2000 (indifferent, but may be warming up)
Abraham Darby
Lilian Austin
Tamora
Jude the Obscure (may be warming up)

Hates me
Fair Bianca (I think she may commit suicide rather than stay with me)
Redoute/Mary Rose (sport) covers itself in PM

Anne in So Cal

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:35 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:35 pm

RE: The Austin Love/Hate/Indifference Indicator (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: luanne on 01.06.2008 at 04:14 pm in Antique Roses Forum

Thank you Riku, I just wanted to hear you say more nice things--poetesse purrs with wide Cheshire Cat grin or cream on the whiskers yet to be licked. I love the way some of us cannot bear the idea that a rose may not like us and just will list them as roses I don't like, roses I am iindifferent to and roses I adore, absolutely sure that roses have no feelings and have no opinion about one gardener or another. Well I for one am dead sure they have feelings, quirks, dislikes, grudges and affinities. but what do I know...
la

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:19 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:19 pm

RE: The Austin Love/Hate/Indifference Indicator (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: riku on 01.02.2008 at 09:17 pm in Antique Roses Forum

The intangibles are the picture in my mind of our poetess-in-residence having a bad reading in her garden trying to soothe a hostile heathen crowd of intransigent Austins who only "make raspberries and other rude noises at me" ... it is just a hilarious description to me of rose malcontents and at work could be used to describe with class a very bad meeting result when delivering difficult news. "Temporary morphing" meant a perceived change in style to me - all compliments I assure you.

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:16 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:16 pm

RE: The Austin Love/Hate/Indifference Indicator (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: luanne on 01.02.2008 at 06:00 pm in Antique Roses Forum

Riku, please explain the morphing thing. It seems to me just the way I talk which may well be Mid-western although I took a jargon indicator test that located you according to your idioms and pronounciations--straight out of the deep south and Granny came from Georgia, a long time ago. I thought raspberries originated in the Bronx...
sign me linguistically confused...
la

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:14 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:14 pm

RE: The Austin Love/Hate/Indifference Indicator (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: riku on 12.31.2007 at 06:43 pm in Antique Roses Forum

Ahhh LA your written language has taken a temporary morphing ... "make raspberries and other rude noises at me" - love it, going to borrow it for use at work as it is so prairie.

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:13 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:13 pm

RE: The Austin Love/Hate/Indifference Indicator (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: luanne on 12.31.2007 at 10:58 am in Antique Roses Forum

It is so personal isn't it. I could list them in three columns, Austins that kiss my lotus feet, Austins that make raspberries and other rude noises at me and Austins that could care less or yawn as I walk by.

Austins that kiss my lotus feet--


Belle Storey
Jude the Obscure
The Dark Lady,Redoute
Gertrude Jeykyll
Golden Celebration


Austins that make raspberries and other rude noises at me--

LD Braithewite
Prospero,
Abe Darby

Austins that yawn as I walk by--

Sharifa Asma
Glamis Castle
Evelyn

Some of the Romanticas do or did well for me, others not so much. This could apply to all roses, jeez, I'm beginning to take this personally but take heart the word picky and pernetiana aren't alliterative for nothing. You haven't lived...
la

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:12 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:13 pm

RE: Gardenia in crisis (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: kaihui on 01.14.2008 at 01:22 pm in Fragrant Plants Forum

SNASSXS,
"Nope, your guess is wrong. "
What is my guess? You are getting annoying. I have no interest talking to.

Tell you what, I think root rot is a common problem for Gardenia. I stated that pots do not provide adequate drainage.

This is my last post to you. Go enjoy your Gardenia.

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clipped on: 02.05.2008 at 02:31 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2008 at 02:31 pm

RE: Gardenia in crisis (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: snasxs on 01.14.2008 at 10:41 am in Fragrant Plants Forum

Kai,

Nope, your guess is wrong. Like all other plants, Gardenia prefers aerial soil. Her roots suffocate in persistent wetness - especially when the temperature is below 75 F.

Therefore, the best way is to water when it is almost dry throughout. However, when the temperature is like in the 90s F, Gardenia is much more "wet-tolerant". I guess this is why some book says watering when the top 2-inch soil is dry. The expert is almost certain from tropical Florida or Puerto Rico.

BTW, your Jasmines are absolutely the same way. Why dont you water it everyday, and watch what happens?

C

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clipped on: 02.05.2008 at 02:30 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2008 at 02:31 pm

RE: Gardenia in crisis (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: kaihui on 01.13.2008 at 11:05 pm in Fragrant Plants Forum

Hi, mersiepoo,
Thanks. The problem is that I don't know how to read their mind, not because I am lazy, I just don't know when to water, and usually I kill plants by overwatering. I think gardenias are very picky on the moisture of the soil.

However, i have no problem with Jasmine at all. I can put much water, less water, full sun, full shade, no problem.

I like your idea of using jean material to suck water to feed the plants. I will try it.

Thanks,

Kai

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clipped on: 02.05.2008 at 02:29 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2008 at 02:29 pm

RE: Gardenia in crisis (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: mersiepoo on 01.13.2008 at 09:31 pm in Fragrant Plants Forum

Hi Kai! I think Snasxs is right..you have to read their minds when they want water, ha ha! I also keep mine alive by assuming it will die soon and I act nonchalant around it, so it doesn't suspect I want it to live. ;)

I also think it is the terra cotta pot that helps it live. I almost killed my 2nd jasmine plant a few weeks ago by underwatering it. It's in a plastic pot, and I will do the gardenia-jeans thing with the jasmine as well this spring. It seems to work pretty good, and you can use up an old pair of jeans too. :)

BTW, I did notice some lower leaves yellowing on my gardenia, but this is because they aren't getting a lot of light (they are shaded).

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clipped on: 02.05.2008 at 02:28 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2008 at 02:28 pm

RE: Gardenia in crisis (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: snasxs on 01.13.2008 at 07:38 am in Fragrant Plants Forum

Kai, I am not linked to any nursery, but I can keep my gardenia, large or small, happy in pots. There is no trick. You must know how to water by reading the mind of the plant. Sometimes, I have to water it one day early. This will cause some yellowing. If you have no clue, just one mis-watering can lead to death (if you do not pull the rootball out soon enough). The rule applies to most woody plants. In this sense, gardenia is not particularly picky.

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clipped on: 02.05.2008 at 02:26 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2008 at 02:26 pm