Viewing Meredith79's Garden Diary: Cool Web Info.
This is where I keep links to websites I find interesting.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Raspberry Root Problems
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Handling Picky Eatershttp://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/health-nutritio...
Monday, May 19, 2014
Bulb and Perennial CombinationsCornell University’s Flower Bulb Research Program team studied combinations of bulbs and other perennials across four seasons of trials on Cornell’s Ithaca campus, which is located in Zone 5.The complete results of the scientific findings of which combinations worked best can be found on the University website.
This site is dedicated to bulb and perennial combinations. We have examples of combinations that have shown to be successful in our trials at Cornell University, and aim to motivate and entice gardeners and industry professionals to try, experiment with, and promote the use of flower bulbs with perennials in order to enhance the landscape.
The ones I want to try are
Tulip 'Ballade' with Geranium 'Mayflower' ( I think it would work well with Daffs too)
Siberian Iris with Tulips (I think it would work well with Daffs)
Tulip ‘Flaming Parrot’ with Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
Narcissus Salome and Phlox
Narcissus Suzy with Centaurea monatana http://www.hort.cornell.edu/combos/FeaturedCombos/OtherSugge...
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Aeschynanthus pulcher (Lipstick Plant) Houseplant InfoIncludes Care Info about Aeschynanthus pulcher (Lipstick Plant) and lots of other houseplants.
Cool info about houseplants. I especially like the part about how to figure out the lighting in a room by using a camera. http://www.caes.uga.edu/publications/pubDetail.cfm?pk_id=763...
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Peterson Sugar HouseMaple Weekend March 22 and 23.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
NH Employment LawsFrequency of Wage Payments
An employer must pay employees weekly and within eight days of the end of the pay period, unless the New Hampshire Department of Labor has authorized the employer to pay less frequently not to exceed payment of wages once per month.
PART Lab 803 RESPONSIBILITIES OF EMPLOYERS AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES
Lab 803.01 Payment of Wages.
(a) Pursuant to RSA 275:43, I and II, every employer shall pay all wages due to his/her employees within 8 days, including Sundays, after the expiration of the workweek on regular paydays designated in advance.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
NH Youth Labor Lawshttp://millyardcommunications.com/index.php?src=news&refno=1...
Also, those under 18 have specific time allotments. No one under age 16 can work earlier than 7 a.m. or later than 9 p.m., more than three hours per day on school days, and more than 23 hours during school weeks. (On nonschool days, those workers can work eight-hour days and, during vacations, work 48 hours per week.) Children under 12 cannot work except for parents, grandparents, or guardian; and only at work defined as casual; or delivering newspapers door-to-door.
Youth who are 16 or 17 years old and enrolled in school cannot work more than six consecutive days or more than 30 hours during a school week, and cannot work more six consecutive days or 48 hours per week during vacations, including summer.
Even 16- or 17-year-olds who have already earned a high school diploma cannot work unless the employer obtains and maintains on file a signed written document from the parent or legal guardian permitting their employment.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Household Waste Collection Eventhttp://www.nashuarpc.org/hhw/index.htm
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Cool Ideas For Toddlers Fine Motor Skillshttp://www.sugaraunts.com/2013/09/improving-pencil-grasp-wit...
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Cobra Custom TatooPlymouth MA http://www.cobracustomtattoo.com/faq.html
Monday, December 9, 2013
Mom's Tatoo StudioKeene NH http://cesargiovannyperez.com/
Friday, December 6, 2013
Next eclipse visible in Concord â€“ Apr 15, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipsehttp://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/concord
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Nashua NH Art Classeshttp://www.artsexpressnh.com/files/Winter_2014.pdf
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Homemade DW Detergenthttp://www.herbs-info.com/blog/how-to-make-homemade-dishwash...
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
50 Date Ideashttp://www.redbookmag.com/love-sex/advice/100-date-ideas?cli...
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Buying a Real Christmas Tree, Not Bad for the Environment, WSU Researcher Sayshttp://researchnews.wsu.edu/environment/223.html
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Skin Care Toxicity Search Databasehttp://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Monday, November 11, 2013
Off Grid Heathttp://solarhomestead.com/best-off-grid-heating-system/
Friday, November 1, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
EPA Prohibit Construction of the Nashua Circumferential Highway in Nashua and Hu
BOSTON, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- John DeVillars, New England Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, today initiated action to . In a letter to the N.H. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DeVillars, New England's top environmental official, concluded that the highway project as proposed would cause severe adverse impact to wetlands and wildlife and urged Federal and state highway officials to either abandon the project or seek less environmentally damaging alternatives.
"In the 1990's we must find the right balance between protecting natural resources and growing our economy. This project does not strike that balance. We cannot keep paving over our wetlands and natural areas to build stopgap highways that simply invite more uncontrolled and mismanaged growth. It's time to do less paving and more planning -- to look for real, long-term solutions that will contribute to sustainable growth and with it a stronger economy and a healthier environment. It is that philosophy which guides today's decision," said DeVillars.
Though in place since 1972 and viewed as the Federal government's toughest wetlands protection tool, EPA has vetoed only 11 projects in its history, only two in New England. The Agency has never before vetoed a highway project. "For 12 years we've had a national administration that talked a good game on wetlands, but rarely if ever suited up for battle. Today's action sends the strong signal that those days are over," DeVillars said.
DeVillars' letter cited numerous adverse impacts of the proposed highway, including the destruction of over 40 acres of wetlands; the filling of 12 acres of floodplain; disruption of 18 streams and stream corridors; significant impacts on a 3,000 acre tract of habitat that is one of the last remaining refuges for wildlife in the area; alteration of numerous tributaries to the Merrimack River, an important watershed area targeted for protection by the EPA and the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts; and destruction of wetlands that help purify the Merrimack and Pennichuck ponds, the two largest drinking water supplies in the area.
Under the Clean Water Act, the Corps issues permits for the discharge of fill material into U.S. waters, including wetlands. However, under Section 404(c) of the act, EPA can prohibit or restrict the filling of wetlands whenever it determines there would be an unacceptable, adverse impact. Today's letter from EPA to the Corps is the first step in EPA's 404(c) procedure and provides 15 days for the Corps and NH DOT to comment on EPA's action and consider whether to proceed to a public comment and appeal period.
DeVillars noted that the Corps and NH DOT had tried to mitigate the impacts of the proposed project through bridging and other construction techniques, creating new wetlands areas and preserving wetlands elsewhere, including at the site of the former Benson's Wild Animal Farm. "We are fortunate to have in New England the most environmentally progressive office of the Army Corps of Engineers in the country, and I want to recognize the efforts of the Corps' Col. Dwight Durham and Bill Lawless, and of Commissioner Chuck O'Leary of NH DOT, all of whom worked hard to minimize the impacts of this project and to identify new and creative ways to protect and restore wetland resources," DeVillars said. "Despite their best efforts, though the wetlands impacts are so significant and adverse as to require today's action. We nevertheless are fully prepared and eager to work with NH DOT, the Corps, Congressman Swett -- who has worked incredibly hard to help insure that this project goes forward in an environmentally sound way -- and others to identify alternative transportation approaches and additional mitigation to alleviate the currently unacceptable environmental impacts of this project," DeVillars said.
/CONTACT: Frank McIntyre, Office of External Programs of United States Environmental Protection Agency, 617-565-9028/
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Peek a Boo
Friday, October 11, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Free 10 GB Storage on Googlehttp://googledrive.blogspot.com/2013/09/freeing-quickoffice-...
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Dealing With Teenshttp://www.drmarlo.com/?page_id=668
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
iTunes update invalid signature[HYPERLINK@discussions.apple.com]
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Fixing DVD Showing Blank Problem in Vistahttp://forums.cnet.com/7723-12546_102-324693/dvd-drive-think...
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Revovering Data From Damaged SD Cardhttp://digital-photography-school.com/recover-images-from-a-...
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Certainty HerbicideControls my worst weed, Quackgrass http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/certainty-herbicide-125-oz...
Selective chemical removal
If your lawn is primarily Kentucky bluegrass, there is a selective herbicide that will remove the quackgrass without killing the rest of your lawn. This product is only available to professional lawn care operators, and they need to make two applications on a 14-day interval. The name of the product is Certainty.
KILLS TALL FESCUE, http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/product_questions.php?prod...
Needs Surfactant for best results http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/dyneamic-surfactant-gallon...
Monday, July 1, 2013
Favorite Pictures of Sweet Williamshttp://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/165446/
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Garden Planner Softwarehttp://www.dripworks.com/
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Garden By the Moonhttp://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/gardening/
Moon Phase Calendar
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Compost Bins from Palletshttp://oldworldgardenfarms.com/2013/01/01/use-pallets-to-bui...
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Podiatrist Recommended Shoeshttp://www.apma.org/learn/CompanyProductsList.cfm?navItemNum...
Sunday, May 12, 2013
June - Strawberries
End of June - Cherries
July - Blueberries & Raspberries
August - Yellow & Red Raspberries
September - Apples
October - Pumpkins
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Pond How Tohttp://www.hugheswatergardens.com/howto/commonquestions.pdf
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Tree Frog Pondhttp://warnell.forestry.uga.edu/service/library/wg-24/index....
Monday, May 6, 2013
How to Build a Cold Framehttp://knowlera.vo.llnwd.net/o18/data/clip24879-How-To-Build...
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
Pruning Japanese Mapleshttp://www.finegardening.com/CMS/uploadedimages/Images/Garde...
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Wedding Band Causes Painful Burning Itchy Rashhttp://www.finishing.com/337/77-3.shtml
Friday, December 21, 2012
Time Card Calculatorhttp://www.timecardcalculator.net/index.php
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Webkinz on Netbookshttp://www.mydellmini.com/forum/dell-mini-9-discussion/5822-...
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Not Cool Web Infohttp://www.marylandcriminalattorneyblog.com/2012/05/another_...
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Friday, December 2, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Three Sisters Gardenhttp://www.uwlax.edu/mvac/research/threesisters.htm#Beans
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Shelf Life Guidehttp://www.eatbydate.com/beans-shelf-life-expiration-date/
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Shasta Daisy BreedingInfo on how Shasta Daisies were hybridized.
Another good article describing the hybridization of them in more detail http://www.hardygardening.com/LEUCANTHEMUM__Shasta_daisy_.ht...
Basically what it comes down to is You Can Not Grow true Shasta Daisies from seed! If anyone offers you seeds of Shasta Daisies they are most likely the Common Field Daisies ~ Leucanthemum vulgare which some people find too weedy for their garden. So Beware I've already tried growing seeds labeled as Shasta Daisies and made this mistake once. That is why I was researching whether you could actually grow them from seed. I have never had my Shasta Daisy Becky set a single seed so I was curious. If you want some go out and buy a cultiver, they are easy to find at nurseries and spread in width from the roots very quickly. So you can divide and increase plants very quickly.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Season Extending DayliliesHuben Article http://huben.us/daylily/ExtendingPart1.pdf
Heat Zone Index http://www.ahs.org/pdfs/05_heat_map.pdf
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Daylily and Daf PhotosAwesome collection of photos, including lots of daylilies and daffodils. http://www.hootowlhollow.com/photos/a_index.html
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Wildflower Seedling ImagesGilia capitata
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
USDA Children's Nutrition Calculatorhttp://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/healthyeatingcalculator/eatingCal.ht...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Virus Using Storagehttp://www.stevepavlina.com/forums/technology-technical-skil...
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Make a website using Notepadhttp://writeawebsite.com/localwebsite.html
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
John and Liza's Gardenhttp://www.jwlwgardens.com/?p=1506
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Instead of spending the winter gazing through glass panes at frozen flower beds, transform a window into a mini-greenhouse where herbs, houseplants, and even little pots of grass will thrive. For best results, choose a large inset window that receives lots of light.
1. To determine the dimensions of the shelves, measure the depth and width of the window frame, and subtract 1/2 inch from the width.
2. Have a glazier cut a 1/2-inch-thick piece of glass to size for each shelf; for a more finished look, have the edges sanded. Using a level and a ruler for precision, make pencil marks where each shelf support should go, starting from the top of the window frame.
3. Make supports out of molding, available at hardware stores: Using a hand saw, cut two lengths of molding for each shelf (the molding length should equal the depth of the frame). Sand the ends smooth.
4. Drill three evenly spaced holes (just bigger than the head of a wood screw) in each support. Hold a support against the appropriate mark on the window frame, insert the bit of an electric drill through one of the holes, and drill a starter spot into the frame. Repeat for the other holes, then countersink screws so the heads don't show. Repeat for remaining supports. Fill holes with wood putty, sand smooth, and paint supports. Once paint dries, attach a felt dot or plastic glide to each support end, and set glass shelves in place.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Border of ColorThe planting of the border is designed to show a distinct scheme of colour arrangement. At the two ends there is a groundwork of gray and glaucous foliage……With this, at the near or western end, there are flowers of pure blue, gray-blue, white, palest yellow and palest pink; each colour partly in distinct masses and partly inter-grouped. The colouring then passes through stronger yellows to orange to red. By the time the middle space of the border is reached the colour is strong and gorgeous…Then the colour-strength recedes in an inverse sequence through orange and deep yellow to pale yellow, white and palest pink; with the blue-gray foliage. But at this eastern end, instead of pure blues we have purples and lilacs….Looked at from a little way forward…the whole border can be seen as one picture, the cool colouring at the ends enhancing the brilliant warmth of the middle.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
How to quote on DGleft bracket, the word quote, right bracket, words you want to quote, left bracket, backward slash, the word quote, right bracket
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Why does a red flower appear red?Something I found interesting http://www.wonderquest.com/red-flower.htm
A red flower appears red because the red petals absorb all light that we can see except for the red colors (the longest wavelengths) and a bit of blue or violet. So, the petals reflect mostly red light to our eyes. The light receptors (called cones) in our eyes receive the red light and our brains interpret the color as red.
A "red" flower appears differently to other animals. Bees and many insects see red light so poorly they can barely discriminate between red petals and green leaves. To these insects, the two colors seem nearly the same, says Innes Cuthill, professor of behavioral ecology at the University of Bristol, UK. Interestingly enough, bees can distinguish red from other reddish (long wavelength) colors like orange and yellow, says Nick Waser at the University of California at Riverside.
Bees have three types of color receptors in their eyes, just as we do, but one of them receives ultraviolet (UV) light, which has shorter wavelengths than we can see.
Q3: Why did plants evolve red petals?
A3: Plants and insects evolved together. At first, plants reproduced with wind-carried spore as grasses do now. Winds, however, are capricious. The enterprise was risky.
Then, about 100 to 150 million years ago, plants evolved flowers. Beetles back then already liked eating spore and quickly became pollen eaters too. Plants benefitted as the beetles tracked pollen around the flower and fertilized the plants’ eggs — a much less chancy way to reproduce. Plants evolved nectar to reward insect pollinators. Next came colored flowers to advertise the nectar.
But why red flowers? Red petals shouldn’t attract insects (like bees) that can’t tell them from the surrounding green leaves. Red flowers, however, do attract some bees. How? Either because the "red" petals also reflect colors bees can see — blue, violet, or ultraviolet light — or the insects see the red petals against a non-green background (an orange-yellow one, for example), says Waser. (Lars Chittka at the University of London recently deduced that bees can distinguish red-colored objects even if the objects do not reflect blue, violet or UV light.)
Furthermore, red petals also attract butterflies and other insects. Many butterflies are very sensitive to red. In fact, some species navigate toward white, red, or orange petals.
Hummingbirds also see red and pollinate red flowers, especially the long tubular ones that harbor nectar within reach of the bird’s long skinny beak.
Immobile plants use mobile animals to reproduce. So, a flower may be red to advertise its nectar to important pollinators — butterflies, bees, or hummingbirds.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
4. Why and how is pinching carried out?
The main growing point on a vegetative chrysanthemum shoot produces a hormone
which passes down the plant and inhibits the outgrowth of the auxillary buds
(potential side shoots). If the growing point is removed by 'pinching' the flow of the
hormone is interrupted and the auxillary buds are free to grow out and form new
The main reason for pinching is to increase the number of flowers per plant so it is
important that the pinch is made where it will result in the maximum number of
breaks (since each break bears flowers). This occurs with a 'soft pinch' ie. pinching
out 1-2 cms of new growth rather than pinching in hard wood lower down the stem.
The plants must be at the correct stage of maturity to get the best result from the
pinch. They need to have made sufficient development to allow 7-9 cms of plant to be
left after the pinch (5-6 cms on 10cm pots) with 7-9 leaves remaining on the plant (5-
6 leaves on 10cm pots).
A pinch made lower on the stem than suggested will result in fewer breaks because
the pinch is made into harder tissue. Fewer auxillary buds are left behind on the stem
after a 'low pinch' and this also reduces the potential number of breaks.
Pinching at, or close to, the short day date will give longer, leafier breaks, which, if
well controlled, can enhance quality. If pinching is left too late after the short day
date, i.e. much over 14 days, then shorter breaks with less leaf development can occur
as the flower bud development is more advanced. If pinching is carried out too early
this can also cause problems as it will also result in fewer breaks and, since it is
difficult to determine the optimum number of leaves to be left, can create more
Friday, September 19, 2008
http://plantwatch.sunsite.ualberta.ca/plants/com_lil.phpThe Calgary Horticultural Society's Liesbeth Leatherbarrow recommends using common purple lilac as a natural calendar for your vegetable garden. "The leafing out of the lilac is a signal to sow cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, peas and spinach. When the lilacs bloom, it's time to fertilize the lawn and plant warm-season crops such as bush or runner beans and corn. Conventional wisdom has it that lilacs do not bloom until the risk of frost has passed, therefore it should also be safe at this time to plant out tomatoes, peppers and tender annuals. When the lilac flowers fade it should be warm enough to plant out squash and cucumbers, which are best started indoors in the short Calgary growing season."
Others feel the best time to plant corn is even earlier, when the common purple lilac leaves are 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) long.
The common purple lilac does not seem to respond to the amount of daylight; that is, photoperiod does not affect the timing of its growth. Temperature in spring is the main driver for bud development and flowering. The triggering factors for dormancy and reaction to spring temperature are located in the branch tips (buds). To see the effect of temperature, watch a lilac branch growing close to a warm, south-facing wall – spring flowering on this branch will be much earlier than on branches of the same plant farther away from the wall. This is why it is very important to find a lilac to observe whose branches are at least 3 m (10 ft.) away from a building.
Common purple lilac buds are formed in summer for the next spring, but "chilling" is needed before normal growth occurs in spring. In areas where winters are warm (e.g., southwest Arizona, southern California), the buds do not receive the chilling needed and thus their spring growth and flowering are delayed. In these areas, the common purple lilac is not a useful indicator plant for phenology studies.
It is important to observe only the early-blooming common purple lilac, not a later-blooming lilac species, so choose your specimen carefully! Flower colour should normally be pale to medium purple. The young winter twigs of common purple lilac are relatively unspotted, a good clue to finding the correct variety. The twig tips of some later-flowering lilacs have obvious, raised, white spots called lenticels; avoid these plants. The common purple lilac has leaves that are smooth and heart-shaped.
If you are unsure whether you have selected the correct type of lilac, just ask us! Clip a stem with some leaves and a small cluster of flowers, and dry it by pressing it flat between newspaper sheets underneath heavy books. When it is dry, tape the stem to some cardboard and mail it to our office in a padded envelope with a copy of the flowering dates reported.
How to Observe
Select a healthy, well-established common purple lilac that will likely remain in its position for many years. It should be in an open, unshaded area away from buildings, trees or other obstructions. (The reason why its location is so important is explained in the previous section.) Mark the plant with a number for future identification.
When flower buds become visible in spring, start checking the shrub every two to three days.
Record the dates: when the shrub first blooms and when it reaches full bloom. These dates can be defined as follows:
First bloom: when at least half (50%) of the flower clusters have at least one open flower.
Full bloom: when about 95% of the flower clusters no longer have any unopened flowers but before many of the flowers have withered or dried up.
Note! The maturity of the plant may slightly affect the timing of bloom. Smaller, younger plants flower earlier than older, taller plants. If you suspect your lilac is more than 20 years old, use a flexible measuring tape to check the circumference of the largest live stem or trunk at a height of about 25 cm (10 in.) above the soil. Note the stem circumference under "Comments" on your data form.
Common purple lilacs flower mid-May through June on the previous year's growth. The buds require some weeks of winter frost to set them well for blooming. After the leaves appear, the flower buds grow larger. If springtime temperatures are very warm, the flowers will appear earlier than usual but will remain in bloom for a shorter period of time. On average, it takes one week for common purple lilacs to go from first bloom to full bloom, but the timing will vary with the location and the weather.
This lilac is a long-lived shrub, often living up to 50 years. Shrub stems can grow from 5 cm - 30 cm (2 - 12 in.) in length, per year.
Common purple lilac was one of the plants most commonly brought from the "Old Country" by homesick settlers and planted around their homes in the New World. Apart from the beauty and fragrance of the flowers in spring, this plant also had a practical use – its dense shrubbery helped shelter a prairie home from wind. Common purple lilac bushes can still be seen thriving near abandoned pioneer homesteads. In the city or the country, the lilac hedge is a favourite place for birds because the dense foliage provides good nesting and hiding habitat. A strong lilac branch is a good place for your bird feeder!
The Latin name for lilac, Syringa, originates from the Greek "syrinx", meaning "hollow stem" or "pipe." One of the first common names for Syringa vulgaris in English was "pipe tree," because the straight stems made excellent pipes. The stem was used by ancient Greek doctors to inject medications into their patients. Syrinx also appears in Greek legend as a nymph pursued by the god Pan and eventually turned into a hollow reed from which he made his first flute or pan-pipe. At one time, Syringa was the name used for what we now call Mock Orange (Philadelphus); this name is still common in parts of the United States.
Horticulture (Use in the Garden)
If you like lilacs, visit gardens! Some botanic gardens have extensive lilac collections. Here you can see the amazing diversity of colour and flower shapes in different cultivars. In southern Ontario, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington around May 18-25, the average time of peak bloom. In central Alberta, go to the Devonian Botanic Garden in late May or early June.
If you wish to plant lilacs to observe in your own garden, you may be able to transplant a sucker from a friend's common purple lilac - it will not be mature enough to bloom for a few years, however. Otherwise, a recommended cultivar for Plantwatch observers is Syringa vulgaris 'Charles Joly', developed in 1896 in France. The flowers of this species are slightly redder in colour than most common purple lilacs but are suitable for Plantwatch because they are early blooming. This cultivar is usually very easy to find at nurseries. Lilacs are easy to grow.
This plant is native to the rocky slopes of the central Balkans in southeastern Europe in mountainous parts of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia. Even today the subspecies Syringa vulgaris var. purpurea can be found growing wild in these areas. Lilac found its way from peasant gardens in Romania to the royal courts in Europe and Asia. It was introduced to North America by early settlers and now can be found in gardens all across the continent. Although there are hundreds of cultivars of lilac, the common purple lilac is probably the most widely distributed form. Because this lilac is so widespread as a garden shrub, we have not included a distribution map.
In its native habitat, the common purple lilac usually grows on dry, rocky (often limestone) slopes in colder climates. In North American gardens, it is a very hardy shrub. This lilac can withstand severely cold winters (even -35°C [-31°F]) and actually does not grow well in areas without significant frost in the wintertime. However, it can not tolerate poorly drained (wet) soils and doesn't grow well if it is shaded or crowded by other shrubs and trees.
Importance as a Key Indicator Plant
The common purple lilac is the only garden plant in Plantwatch. It was selected because it is well known to act as a biological weather instrument. It has been used for over a century in Europe to study plant phenology. Studies similar to Plantwatch began in the United States in the 1950s, in which the public reported bloom times for lilac and honeysuckle to the Agriculture department. From these studies, information is available on how much accumulated heat (growing degree summation) is needed for flowering.
The bloom time of common purple lilac can be used to predict the best time for certain farming activities. In Montana, alfalfa is usually ready for its first cut one month after common purple lilac start to flower. To get rid of alfalfa weevil, some Montana farmers do an early cut of alfalfa hay within 10 days of the first common purple lilac bloom, eliminating weevil eggs before they hatch. In Southern Alberta, the saying is, "Be ready to cut hay 40 days after the lilacs flower." When common purple lilacs are in full bloom, it is the best time to treat birch leaf miner, gypsy moth larvae and lilac borer.
Caprio, J.M. 1957. Phenology of lilac bloom in Montana. Science 126 (3287):1344-1345.
________. 1966. Pattern of plant development in the western United States. Montana Agricultural Experimental Station Bulletin 607:1-42.
________. 1993. Flowering dates, potential evapotranspiration and water use efficiency of Syringa vulgaris L. at different elevations in the western United States of America. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 63(1-2):55-71.
Dubé, P.A., L.P. Perry and M.T.Vittum.1984. Instructions for phenological observations: lilac and honeysuckle. Vermont Agricultural Experimental Station Bulletin 692. University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont.
Fiala, J.L. 1988. Lilacs - the genus Syringa. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
Hopp, R.J. 1974. Plant phenology observation networks. In Phenology and seasonality modeling. Ecological studies: analysis and synthesis, Vol. 8. pp. 25-43. Ed. H. Lieth. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Huxley, A. 1984. Green Inheritance. The World Wildlife Fund book of plants. Gaia Books Ltd., London, England.
Orton, D.A. 1989. Coincide, the Orton system of pest management. Plantsmen's Publications. Flossmoor, Illinois, U.S.A.
Thanks for editing and contributions to Michael Hickman and Roger Vick, Devonian Botanic Garden, and Freek Vrugtman of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Make Japanese LanternsMaking Japanese Lanterns from concrete. http://www.geocities.com/chris_haan/lantern/index.html
I always want to buy these when I see them but they never have price tags less than $100 so maybe I can make my own.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Germinating Cleome Seedshttp://homepage.mac.com/mebcdb/AAMG_Mastgar/Personal237.html
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Screen House and Deck Ideahttp://www.vadeck.com/images/deck10.jpg
Monday, August 11, 2008
Design Using Garden Roomshttp://media.gardengatemagazine.com/issue/083/divide-disguis...
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Starting a Wildflower MeadowHow to Plant and Maintain a Wildflower Meadow
By Kathy LaLiberte
It's possible to replace all or part of a lawn with wildflowers.
Wildflower meadows offer a very attractive alternative to traditional lawns and gardens. They only need mowing once or twice a year, and they don't require watering or fertilizing. Beneficial insects such as mason bees, butterflies and lady beetles thrive on the protection and food they provide. And many people find their casual charm is a welcome change from closely shaved grass and heavily mulched borders.
If you'd like to try your hand at growing a wildflower meadow, you need to start with good seeds. For best success, use a seed mix that's been created for your geographical location. It should contain a wide variety of species so you'll have the opportunity to see which wildflowers are happy on your site (the ones that come back and reproduce), and which ones are not (the ones that disappear entirely). You may find that lupines and daisies thrive; then again, it may be coreopsis and flax. Within a couple years after planting, it will be clear which plants are thriving.
The following varieties are widely adapted, reliable performers that are not terribly fussy about soil type. All require at least a half day of sun:
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Lance Leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Catchfly (Silene armeria)
Annual Baby's Breath (Gypsophilia elegans)
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)
Gloriosa Daisy (Rudbeckia hirta 'Gloriosa')
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Toadflax (Linaria maroccana)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium ajacis)
Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum 'Maximum')
You'll find an excellent selection of wildflower seed mixes and individual varieties at: http://www.americanmeadows.com
The mix should include seed for both annuals and perennials. The annuals will grow quickly the first year and produce a colorful show while the perennial plants are getting established. In the second and succeeding years, you will find that your meadow has converted to perennial species, and there will be few if any annuals. If you have your heart set on cornflowers, cosmos, Shirley poppies and other annuals in your meadow, you'll need to choose a site where you can prepare the soil anew each year and plant fresh seed (or seeds that you've collected). Just spreading annual seeds over the top of an established meadow won't work, because once perennial wildflowers get established, tiny annual seedlings are unable to compete for light, moisture and nutrients. A narrow strip along a driveway or fence works well for an "annual meadow" that gets replanted each year.
Here are some additional tips about soil preparation, planting and care to help ensure your success:
When to sow. Wildflower seed can be planted in either spring or fall. In colder climates, fall-seeded wildflowers will usually remain dormant until the following spring; in warmer areas, plants will germinate and start getting established before winter.
Selecting the planting site. When thinking about where to locate your wildflower meadow, consider starting with a section of your lawn that has been difficult to mow or that seems poorly suited to grass. Another option is to convert an overgrown flower bed. A sunny site is usually best. Most wildflower meadow seed mixes contain sun-loving varieties that require five to eight hours of direct light each day. Well drained soil is preferred, but if you have a problem site with overly wet or extremely dry soil, you just need to select seed varieties that are particularly suited to those conditions.
Preparing the ground. This is probably the most important step in the process. Wildflower seeds need to be sown on well-prepared soil that—as much as possible—is free of weeds. Mow existing vegetation as close to the ground as possible. Remove any woody plants. Strip off any sod, or rototill the area and then rake out the clods of grass. You can also consider applying an herbicide, such as Roundup. Once the grass and weeds are gone, till the area to a shallow depth of 1-2 inches.
Eliminating annual weeds. Do not plant wildflower seeds immediately after preparing the soil. Tilling the soil usually brings weed seeds to the surface, where they will germinate. Wait two weeks or so after tilling, then go over the ground again with the tiller or a hoe, to expose the roots of newly sprouted weeds. A second application of Roundup or a similar herbicide is also an option at this point.
Sowing the seed. Before seeding, mix the seed in a pail with fine-grade builder's sand, which will help ensure even coverage. Use four parts sand to one part seed. Broadcast one-half of the seed/sand mix using a handheld broadcast seeder, or by hand, using an even, sweeping motion. Then walk across the seedbed at right angles to the path you took before, sowing the other half of the seed. Sow seed rather thickly; this will help the wildflowers out-compete weeds and grasses.
Firm in the seed. Seed that is buried too deeply will not germinate. Instead, simply walk across the seedbed, tamping it down with your foot. You can also use the head of a garden rake to ensure good contact between the seeds and the ground. Another option is to rent a lawn roller, a large cylinder that you fill with water and then push over the seedbed to firm it down.
Water and, if needed, fertilize. Seeds require moisture to germinate. You should water for an hour or so every few days until the plants are about 1 to 2 inches tall. After that point, water only if plants look wilted or stressed. Wildflowers normally grow well in average soil and don't require fertilizer. If your soil is nutrient-poor, however, spread an all-purpose, organic fertilizer at the same time you plant seeds.
Control weeds. If your wildflowers germinate well and grow thickly, they should choke out most weeds. When weeds do spring up in the midst of the wildflowers, pull them by hand before they have a chance to flower and disperse their seeds.
Mow annually. A few weeks after the flowers have faded in your meadow planting, you can do a high mowing of the field (set the mower to 4 to 6 inches above the ground). This helps control unwanted weeds and grasses, and also helps disperse the mature seeds of your wildflowers.
Kathy LaLiberte has worked for Gardener's Supply since it began more than 25 years ago. She lives and gardens in Richmond, Vt.
Monday, May 19, 2008CREATE YOUR OWN HANGING BASKET GARDENS
1. Soak the Moss Overnight
2. Construct the Top Rim Caps
This rim serves as a lip to hold in soil and water around the top edge of the basket. Using a small fist full of moss, squeeze out most of the water to form a tight ball. Push it through the top two wires of the wire basket against the closet vertical support wire.
Add another ball of moss, pushing it tightly against the first ball and continue in this manner around the entire rim. The idea is to allow the top and second wires to hold the moss in place. When the moss starts to spring back to fullness, it will naturally cover the wires.
3. Form the Moss Lining
Push the pre-soaked moss through the basket wires from the inside to form a one-inch thick layer starting at the base and lining the entire basket. Make sure there are no holes in the mass - especially under the rim.
4. Begin with the Bottom Tier
Poke planting holes in the moss with fingers or shears. We recommend using pony or color pack plant sizes so that the root ball will be smaller and easier to work with.
Using a small amount, wrap the root ball in moss then insert the plant from the outside, gently pulling from the inside. Once the plant is in place, using a pencil, pull the moss back in place around the neck or base of the plant.
5. Add Potting Soil
Once the tier is planted, add enough Roger's Potting Soil to cover roots. Push down lightly on the soil.
6. Plant Remaining Tiers
Continue as in steps 4 and 5, working your way up towards the rim, adding soil as you finish each tier.
7. Plant Top of Basket
This is where you can easily use 4", 6", 8" or 1 gallon size plants. Add potting soil after placing top plants making sure soil level is about 2 inches below the top rim.
8. Water the Basket
Water thoroughly and then hang your basket for a day or two in an area where there is bright, filtered light. Then hang basket in a permanent location suitable for the types of plants you have used (sun or shade). The frequency of watering will depend on the weather, the location and the type of plants.
DO NOT ALLOW PLANTS TO DRY OUT (wilt) BETWEEN WATERINGS. When you do water, use low water pressure and a water wand. Make sure the basket is thoroughly saturated, applying water 3-5 times, pausing between each application to allow water to drain through the basket. Full Sun Plants: 3 times a week in warm to hot months. 2 times a week in cool weather. Shade Plants : Once, possibly twice a week... according to the weather.
Choose a suitable location in terms of full sun, shade and wind. If in doubt, ask a Roger's Gardens plant expert.
A general rule is once plants are established (after 2 weeks) you can begin to feed the plants every two weeks with Roger's Flower Food during the warm growing months of April through September. Application: 1 tablespoon of Roger's Flower Food in 1 gallon of water. Substitute every 4th feeding with Roger's Soil Activator (sprinkle 2 tablespoons on top of the soil and water in) Never fertilize a dry plant.
Spraying: IMPORTANT - First identify the pest or disease and use a product that is formulated specifically for that particular disease of pest. Pick up a Roger's "What's Bugging You?" care sheet at the register. Then FOLLOW UP! A general rule is to spray once a week for three weeks - to eliminate the problem.
Always remove spent flowers and dead leaves to promote more flowering. Pinch leaf tips to create fullness. Keep soil clean of flower and leaf debris to discourage disease.
Monday, April 28, 2008
How to Make Leaf Moldhttp://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/soil/2000043150021580.htm...
If you don't have a leaf shredder, run the lawn mower over your leaves to shred them.
The leaves of one large shade tree can be worth as much as $50 of plant food and humus. Pound for pound, the leaves of most trees contain twice as many minerals as manure. For example, the mineral content of a sugar maple leaf is over five percent, while even common pine needles have 2.5 percent of their weight in calcium, magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus, plus other trace elements.
Since most trees are deep-rooted, they absorb minerals from deep in the soil and a good portion of these minerals go into the leaves. See the accompanying chart for an analysis of the nutrient elements in fallen leaves.
Actually, these multi-colored gifts from above are most valuable for the large amounts of fibrous organic matter they supply. Their humus-building qualities mean improved structure for all soil types. They aerate heavy clay soils, prevent sandy soils from drying out too fast, soak up rain and check evaporation.
A lawn sweeper is a good machine to use for collecting leaves. Using a sweeper is much faster than hand raking, and a better picking-up job is done. Neighbors will be happy to have you sweep up their leaves—and you will add to your supply of leaves.
Some people complain to us that they have no luck composting leaves. “We make a pile of our leaves,” these people say, “but they never break down.” That is indeed a common complaint.
There are two things you can do that will guarantee success in composing leaves:
1. Add extra nitrogen to your leaf compost. Manure is the best nitrogen supplement, and a mixture of five parts leaves to one part manure will certainly break down quickly. If you don’t have manure—and many gardeners don’t—nitrogen supplements like dried blood, cottonseed meal, bone meal and Agrinite will work almost as well. Nitrogen is the one factor that starts compost heap heating up, and leaves certainly don’t contain enough nitrogen to provide sufficient food for bacteria. Here is a rough guide for nitrogen supplementing add two cups of dried blood or other natural nitrogen supplement to each wheelbarrow load of leaves.
2. The second thing to do to guarantee leaf-composting success is to grind or shred your leaves. We will deal with this in detail later on, but let me tell you right now that it will make things simpler for you in the long run. A compost pile made of shredded material is really fun to work with, because it is so easily controlled and so easy to handle.
A compost pile can be made in almost any size, but most people like to make rectangular-shaped piles, because they are easier to handle. It is a good idea to put the material in the heap of layers. Start with a six-inch layer of leaves, either shredded or not shredded. Then add a two-inch layer of other organic material that is higher in nitrogen than leaves. Try to pick something from this list: manure, garbage, green weeds, grass clippings or old vines from your garden. You can add low-nitrogen things like sawdust, straw, ground corn cobs or dry weeds if you put in a nitrogen supplement such as described above. It is important to mix leaves from packing down in a dry mat. Keep the heap moist, but not soggy.
Turn the heap every three weeks or sooner if you feel up to it. If you can turn it three or four times, before late spring comes, you will have fine compost ready for spring planting use.
You can make compost out of leaves in as short of time as fourteen days by doing these things:
1. Shred or grind the leaves.
2. Mix four parts ground leaves with one part manure or other material liberally supplemented with nitrogen.
3. Turn the heap every three days. Turning a heap made of shredded leaves is not difficult because the compost is light and fluffy.
One more tip: Why not experiment with covering your heap with a plastic sheet? It will keep the warmth in, and prevent the heap from getting too wet or too dry.
How to Grind Leaves
Leaves can be uses much more conveniently in the garden if they are ground or shredded. Leaves in their natural state tend to blow away or mat down into a tight mass. If shredded they turn into compost or leaf mold much faster, and make mulch better mulch.
If you don’t have a shredder, there are various other devices you can adapt to leaf shredding, or make yourself. Many people use a rotary mower for shredding leaves and even for weeds. A mower that is not self propelled is best, as it is easiest to control. Two people can work together very nicely. One person piles up leaves in front of the mower and the other operates the mower back and forth over the pile. A leaf-mulching attachment placed on the mower will cut the leaves up finer, but sometimes it is not necessary. You will be surprised how much leaves you can shred this way in a half-hour or so, even with only one person working by himself.
Of course, some people us a mower with a mulching attachment to cut leaves up right on the lawn. That is fine, if you don’t want to us the leaves for compost or mulch somewhere else. Most gardeners need leaf mold more on their gardens and beds than on their lawn.
How to Make Leafmold
If you have so many leaves on your place that you can’t compost all of them—or if you just don’t have the time to make compost—you can make leaf mold. Leaf mold is not as rich a fertilizer as composted leaves, but it’s easier to make and is especially useful as mulch.
A length of snow fencing makes the best kind of enclosure for making leaf mold. Make a circular bin, as shown in the photograph. A bin made of wood or stones can be used if you don’t have a fence.
Gather your leaves in the fine fall days and tamp them down in the enclosure—after wetting them thoroughly. Leaves have a slight acid reaction. If you plants don’t need an acid mulch, add some ground limestone to the leaves before tamping them down.
Over the winter, these leaves will not break down in the black powder that is the leaf mold you find on the forest floor. But they will be in a safe place, secure from the winter winds, where you can pull them out next spring and summer for use as mulch. By then they will be matted down and broken up enough to serve as a fine mulch. Some people keep leaves “in cold storage” like that for several years. Nurserymen who require fine potting soil sometimes do that. Then, when they come for their leaves, they find really black, crumbly humus.
You can shred your leaves with a compost shredder or a rotary mower before putting them in you bin. Then they will break down a lot more over the winter.
Leaf mold is ordinarily found in the forest in a layer just above the mineral soil. It has the merit of decomposing slowly, furnishing plant nutrients gradually and improving the structure of the soil as it does so.
The ability of leaf mold to retain moisture is almost miraculous. Subsoil can hold a mere 20 percent of its weight; good, rich topsoil will hold 60 percent, but leaf mold can retain 300 to 500 percent of its weight in water.
Freshly fallen leaves pass through several stages from surface litter to well-decomposed humus partly mixed with mineral soil. Leaf mold from deciduous trees is somewhat richer in such mineral foods as potash and phosphorus than that from conifers. The nitrogen content varies from .2 to 5 percent.
If you keep poultry or livestock, use your supply of leaves for litter or bedding along with straw or hay. Leaf mold thus enriched with extra nitrogen may later be mixed directly with soil or added to the compost pile.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Monarda and MildewFound a great site about trials on Monarda mildew resistance. http://www.chicagobotanic.org/downloads/planteval_notes/no12...
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I like how this shows the proper plants for different conditionshttp://www.conservation-niagara.on.ca/water_management/pdf/r...