Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners #8

Midland City, AL

Welcome to Practical Matters #8. Here, we discuss the day-to-day challenges of gardening and outdoor living when you are dealing with some sort of physical limitation. It is a place to share problems and seek out potential solutions. A place to vent frustrations and share the joys of the garden and our successes. We even manage to stay on topic sometimes. lol. .
Today, I got an excellent photo when I went to look at the luffa sponge flowers. I don't know enough about butterflies to identify the type, but I thought she was a beauty. .

Thumbnail by seacanepain
(Debra) Garland, TX

Thanks, Jim. Good to see you back on. :-)

Midland City, AL

Debra, I accidently came across something interesting about yours and Kay’s names while I was trying to come up with ideas for an anniversary gift.
Kay is actually named Melissa Kay. (There was another Melissa at Amargia years ago who didn’t like her middle name so DW started going by Kay to avoid confusion.
Anyway, Melissa and Debra have the same meaning. One is just of Greek origin and the other Hebrew. They both mean “honeybee.” LOL. That could explain a lot.
I knew there was some plant with “Melissa” as part of its botanical name. I thought that would make an interesting gift, but it turned out to be lemon balm. We already have that.
I was going to get us that lemon-scented daylily. Unfortunately, I discovered the one with the strong fragrance doesn’t like the south much. The nursery I found that carried it said Zone 7 and we are in the lower portion of 8. Oh well, maybe I’ll have better luck coming up with something tomorrow. (Jim)

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

LOL!! I couldnt help it. The thought crossd my mind .......beautiful animal but watch out for the stinger!..... Just kidding.



Wanted to add, I read this first and went to the old thread.
DD told me yesterday I could'nt get along with my neighbors. So i called a couple of them and was told we get along fine. Moral of story. Check with someone else before you go off into the deep end.
Oh and i copied jims pic of the butterfly. I'm preparing a booklet of summer pics and happy sayings for the winter blues. I might ought to simply paper my walls with them. LOL

This message was edited Oct 15, 2010 11:39 PM

(Debra) Garland, TX

Jim, Thank you! Kay and I do resemble our names, being busy bees, eh? (bad, I know LOL).

Vickie, hope this one helps. :-) It's the guy's underside (he fell over), but looks pretty against the zinnias. Managed to quick-snap the photo outside the office last week.

Debra

(Debra) Garland, TX

oops. again, too quick to click

Thumbnail by lovemyhouse
Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Debra, that is inspirational. It looks like a stained glass window of a cathedral.
Thanks
Vickie

(Debra) Garland, TX

All of my roses are blooming...happy sigh...I love my yard...Sunday, I planted a red Cyclamen, two red Geraniums, two Tequila Sunset Calibrachoa, three Gauras, 12 Daylilies, three Baptisias, two hardy Asters, moved a wild-looking shrub rose and replaced it with a tangerine Canna and five of those Coreopsis. Year before last, I put in all blue stuff. Last year, it was all purple stuff. This year, obviously, it's reds and oranges. Still have a dozen or so plants to put in, including three Clematis. The ones planted the last couple of years are leafing out again after the horrid summer. Very exciting. Also just got 10 red Rain Lily bulbs. Maybe I'll get most finished this weekend. Have the whole real entire weekend OFFFFF. Supposed to rain Saturday (ooh, sleep laaaate), so Sunday should be perfect for digging and moving things around. Thinking about digging up ALL of the Iris in the side yard and move them. Whole area taken over by weedy grass and it is strangling the Iris. Then I can--shudder--herbicide that whole area until next year, then replant or paver.

Thumbnail by lovemyhouse
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

I love rain lilies! There was an article several years ago in Horticulture on all the different rain lily types. I was intrigued. I never imagined there were so many varieties and you could get such a long season of bloom from rain lilies. Here is the basic article:
http://www.hortmag.com/archive/a_passion_for_rain_lilies
I can send you the full article with the cultivar list and when they bloom, if you are interested. I bet most would do well in your climate. They were scattered all over our front yard when I was young. (Either they were the native type or were planted by the people who originally homesteaded the property. The way they popped up from nowhere after a storm was magical to my child’s mind. They still have the same effect on my adult mind, for that matter. lol.
Do you know the rose varieties that are blooming? I’ve seen roses blooming here at Thanksgiving, but I evidently don’t have the right types for that. I would sacrifice some scent for a late bloomer.
Vickie, I thought of you when I saw the Christmas decorations in the store. Are you planning to decorate this year?

I need to get some new daffodil bulbs in the ground. Jim found some ‘Professor Einstein’ and I have some large doubles, I think I’ve found a site that is sheltered enough for the latter. Their size is impressive, but they are blown over easily because they are top-heavy. I dislike having to stake. If I keep them in a corner out of the wind and intentionally add some clay to the soil to secure the roots, maybe I can avoid it.
I’m on a med now for hypothyroidism. I have more energy and don’t feel like such a zombie. Hopefully, I can get things moving forward again.
Nadine has gotten serious about job hunting. She went to a local job fair and put in more than a dozen applications, but said she wanted to get serious about an independent business too. I think the sheer number of people at the fair brought home to her how bad the unemployment problem is. She is having fun working on the plans for her “hobbit house.” She actually wants to build her house into the hillside. I guess that makes sense in an area prone to hurricanes and tornadoes. The only thing that concerns me is water and how close we are to sea level.
Jim is engrossed in this year’s BlizzCon, the annual convention of World of Warcraft/Starcraft and Diablo fans. It is in California and he is watching it via LiveCam this year. From what I’m hearing, I think I’m glad we weren’t able to make it. My DH now appears sane and reasonable when I compare him to other WOW fans. :-) Kay*
Photo: I try to add a new chrysanthemum color every year. Most are perennial here. This is the newest addition.

Thumbnail by Amargia
(Debra) Garland, TX

Hi, Kay!

Love to have the full article, thanks.

All of these roses are blooming:
Gizmo (that's the one in the photograph)
Just Joey
Julia Child
Graham Thomas
Heritage
Tamora
Fourth of July
Mardi Gras
A miniature yellow and a minature red rose

Opening Night and the wild pink shrub rose are the only two not yet budding or blooming. Last year, I had Heritage, Julia Child, and Tamora blooming up to Christmas. This time of year is why I love living in Texas and put up with the sometimes horrible summers. :-)

Debra

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Debra, you will have to keep us entertained all through the long cold dreary gray boring did I mention cold winter.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, where, oh, where is #9?

(Debra) Garland, TX

Carrie, will do my best. :-) Usually have something blooming and/or green throughout the winter. Long term forecast is for warmer and drier than usual. LaNina, "they" say. Which, I am hoping, means that I'll have more blooming than usual, too.

Debra

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Debra, my sweet, just do what you can!

(Debra) Garland, TX

Nadine, how goes the hunt?

Debra

Midland City, AL

I guess I do need to get some Division 9 Poeticus daffodils into the spring bulb mix. Is that what you mean, Carrie? I do have a tendency to go for the big, showy flowers that are more, troublesome to grow. I think it's one of those "guy things." Kay loves her little jonquils and calls the daffodils I'm drawn to "those big honkers". lol (Jim)

(Debra) Garland, TX

Spent a couple of hours outside today. Mid 80s and tomorrow is supposed to be 90. There's nothing like living in Texas. :-) Experimenting with plants on the Northwest corner of the house. Planted a Frans Hals Daylily and a Baptisia in front, put a Magnus Echinacea and an Iris on the west side. See how they fare. Not done much with that side yet. Think I will dig up the yellow Iris on the back border of the front bed, put them on the West side. Then dig up the Siberian Iris, Immortality, Orange Harvest, and that chocolate Iris. Put them in front so I can carry on the destructo program on the East side yard. Hmm...think I will recruit staff to help...

Thumbnail by lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

Annnddd, after six years in this house, I finally realized---I can plant a lacecap Hydrangea behind the AC unit!!!!. It is shaded almost all day, even though it is on the West side. I've love the pictures of Blue Billow ever since I saw one in White Flower Farms catalog. Too much hot sun in the other accessible areas. Killed a couple before I gave up. But I think I gonna try it back there. Might even remember to water it! Have plans to put a two-foot high picket fence from the AC unit to the corner. Between the two, the AC unit should be masked pretty well. I am very excited. Why I didn't think of this before...

Thumbnail by lovemyhouse
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

The AC doesn't DRIP, by any chance, does it? Around here all the ACs drip like mad. Maybe where you are they don't drip enough, or the drip evaporates right away.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, I meant THREAD #9; I actually have little patience for flowers that have been bred to be weak-stemmed and top-heavy. I DON'T stake, or I can't and I wouldn't ask anyone else to do it for me.

(Debra) Garland, TX

Never noticed if the drain pipe drops enough to help plants, or if it even drains on this side. Guess I should find out, huh. :-D If it is that little spigot-looking thing up high, very little of the water would have time to hit the ground before the heat got to it. But I will check. If I could reroute it to the base of the Hydrangea...

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Whoops, Jim, you made thread #8!!!! A lovely thread it is indeed, sir, too. I offer this forth as proof of my muddle-headedness.

Hmmm .... last night I didn't take the lovely pills that allow my legs to sleep through the night, and today I woke up alert and feisty, didn't even get sleepy in the middle of the day as I have been so often recently, and I can tell that #8 is the new one and am no longer looking for mythical threads. Grrrrrr. I guess I have to call my neurologist's nurse again.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1581/

I think this is the canna you Armagians sent me. If mine had flowered, it cold have perennialized! I think I need to start it sooner or put it in more direct sun or both.

Midland City, AL

-Ah-ha, another iris mover. I should have known. :-) Do you two think that just because they wear bright colors they are gypsy plants? We are going to rescue Amargia’s poor iris collection, Vickie, and give them a stable home. I will dig them all up and put them in containers in the Cando Container Garden where they will be under your protection.
I’ve been offered my old, OLD job back as soon as there is an opening. The one I had as a teenager. My savings have dwindled to the point I’m not too proud to flip burgers. I would rather not be a restaurant manager. The money isn’t good enough to make the long hours and stress worth dealing with. I feel strong and stable again and I want to keep it that way. I talked to the manager of a nursing home at the job fair I went to. That is a good possibility, as well. I want to put in some applications on the local army aviation base before I make a decision.
Yes, Carrie, I think so too. The photos on PlantFiles didn't look quite the same, but I found an image on Flicker that was dead on target. After a visit to Canna News, it made sense. They appear to me to be saying there are two different types of Canna musaefolia 'Rubra'. Is that how it reads to you?
Excerpt from "Canna News"
Canna 'Musaefolia Rubra'
Stems dark red, 6½ ft. high. Leaves dark purple-red, oval, very large. Flowers small, salmon-red. Rootstocks very tender, with fibrous roots. Introduced by Théodore Année, Passy, France, EU in 1862. Chaté E. (1867).
A tall Foliage Group cultivar; dark green foliage, very large, broadly oblong shaped, maroon margin, spreading habit; oval stems, colored green; flowers are upright, self-coloured salmon-red, staminodes are small, edges regular, style is red, petals purple with farina, fully self-cleaning; fertile both ways, not true to type, self-pollinating, capsules round; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured purple; tillering is prolific
-------------
If you ever talk to Larry Retting,, tell him we say thanks.


~Nadine~

(Debra) Garland, TX

Hey, Nadine. Done my share of that, too. First job at 16 was Jack in the Box. While I wouldn't mind cooking again if needed, HUGELY agree that the management gig is not worth even double the pay. ACKKK! Did you ever find yourself flipping burgers in your sleep after a particularly long, busy day? I did more times than I care to count, or so my sister who shared a bed with me at the time said. At least I didn't accidentally black her eye from the "flipping" around. She should be grateful to me, don't you think? LOL What would you be doing at the aviation base? That sounds very intriguing. Love aviation and space. My dad worked in aerospace until I was 11. Very cool stuff.

Ms. Carrie, maybe no sleep for the legs, but I am glad you are back. You have been missed.

Okay, gotta say it at least once in one of the forums: GO RANGERS! (Sorry, been supporting them since 1972. This feels good. :-)

Debra

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Debra, I'll say go rangers (BASEBALL) too! Afraid i'm an off and on fan tho since we moved from Texas. Am pulling for the ALA Crimson Tide (FOOTBALL) this year too. They're good.Sorry Kay just can't get enthused over them Simanols. SP
Sorry I've not been online. I've been racking my brain on bringing in more money for the falling economy. It's supposed to be worse next year. Am thinking on renting out the Condo. Will have to get some stuff added to it tho. Am also going to get someone from home health Care to come up and help me with stuff. I will now show my true stupidity. I have to clean my house good before i'll let anyone in to clean.(Well she can keep it up.) I can work 15 minutes than rest an hour or so.Am proud to say,Am finished with living room and kitchen,halfway thru the pantry.Have been doing a little outside. Pulling weeds 5 minutes at a time.Picking up branches for my campfires.A campfire sings to my soul.Have done a little halloween-Thanksgiving decorating.
I was supposed to meet a woman yesterday to go to an Indian fall dance. She did'nt show so i went on to Russellville to Lowes and Wally World. Lowes has a small electric fireplace that looks so real. I am going to get it.I'll probably have to live on pinto beans and potatoes for the winter. But it will be worth it. I've always wanted a fireplace and i can work this out. It'll be my Christmas present to my self.
Yes i always decorate big for Christmas. I've alot of decorations stored. (I always buy decos after christmas when they go onsale.) I decorate every room in the house. Not outside tho, It's kinda hard to drive by a dead end road. I have an artificial spruce (6ft.)tree.I limit my tree decos to Nativity scenes,Angels,blue and silver and white balls.multicolored lights and snowflakes and icecicles. Than i have angels and real greenry in all the rooms. Anyone wanna come have Christmas with me? Everyone is welcome. I'll be ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. You all save your change for the SA Every little bit helps. The money will stay in your community.
I've written a book and i've a lot more to say but later.
love ya
Vickie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Vickie, that is so sweet. Tell me more about the S.A., I don't know anything about it, except for Guys and Dolls! How do you mean, the money stays in the community?

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, I can talk to Larry whenever ... we're both in the writers group. He's out of those canna seeds and rhizomes - you should D-mail him! (LarryR) He has tons of requests and he's in Iowa so I don't think he gets as much ummmm crop as you do. That's not the right expression.

Midland City, AL

It has been an insanely busy week. Stretched us all to our physical limits. After being very dry for the month, we had torrential rains. Some bags of Portland cement got damp meaning Kay had no choice but to turn it into concrete immediately.. O-o-ops, we need a new concrete mixer. She had to hand mix much of it. (A bag of Portland makes a LOT of concrete.) While Kay’s been striving to keep everything from washing away outside, Nadine and I took on the chaos of her art room and my workshop together. I’ll be teaching Nadine to sew and do small woodworking next week. She took Home Ec. And Shop courses in high school so it is more a matter of teaching her to use an advanced sewing machine and my woodworking tools. Helping J. and Kay’s eldest took a big bite out of our savings this year. We need to focus a while on recouping our financial losses. We’ve ironed out a plan for the coming year.

We celebrate Halloween in much the same way most people celebrate New Year’s Eve. . Living close to the land in this region, November 1st makes more sense. That is when it really starts to cool down here. This year’s harvest is in and we start preparing the ground for next season. It is the HORTICULTURAL New Year for us. January 1st seems more an artificial, arbitrary CALENDAR new year. (We don’t snub Jan. 1, of course. During that depressing time of year, we’ll take any excuse for a party we can find.)
Carrie, I guess it is a good thing we never tried to eat those canna roots. Lol. With the newest info, my guess would be that the original stand is Canna musafolia ‘Rubra’. Nadine delved deep into the confusing world of canna after she read Larry Retting’s article. The Flicker image labeled Canna musafolia ‘Rubra’ looks like those in the original stand of dark leaf canna.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/riz_reyes/4859057587
I’ll make sure the plants you get in spring come from the original stand. Those have leaves of a more solid burgundy. (Violet hued, when grown in deep shade.)
We could probably fill all the request Larry Retting gets. I’ll plant a few of the seeds I collected to be sure they aren’t sterile and are true to form. There are green leaf canna here they could conceivably cross with, but I've never noticed them blooming at the same time. It is a fairly safe bet they will have dark leaves, but I want to be certain. We have plenty of those to share even without seed. They spread by root so well Kay uses them for erosion control. The burgundy margins on our unstable, reverted type seem much wider than what I see in most photos, but that may be because they keep crossing back into the ‘Rubra’. I think I will move the original further away from its mongrel offspring. This variety is so variable. It might be possible to stabilize different variations. I’m somewhat confused by the images I see in Plant Files. It SAYS the leaves are burgundy, but shows green leaf canna in most of the images. Once we have a certain ID, maybe we should add some images to that entry. You think?
I built a mini-greenhouse this week from stuff I found beside the road on large pick-up garbage day and clear corrugated panels we had around. It should stay warm enough to keep us in salad greens all winter even without being heated.
What has everyone else been up to this week? (Jim)


This message was edited Oct 30, 2010 7:04 PM

Thumbnail by seacanepain
Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Gee Jim you guys do sound busy. I so envy you your gardening work.I was busy too. Bringing in my pot plants, deciding where to put them. Actually i was busy deciding where to put them and just scooting them around after boyfriend in law carried them in for me. He and i are starting to bond a little. Their TV is on the blink and he comes down to watch football and baseball with me. GO RANGERS!!! I've had a campfire in my dogpen several times. Been cleaning house! I am in general a total slob but when the housecleaning bug hits me, it's gonna be done right.15 minutes at a tme and a two hour rest. Oh for the good ole days of a full days work.Will be so glad when the house is clean enough to get a housekeeper.
I took off today and went to town. Had so much fun looking at Christmas stuff. If anyone has a Dollartree store around. They have some elegant tall(abt 12") clear glass candleholders for a dollar a piece. Figure they'll sell out quick. Had to do some walking and am already paying for it.
Those violet hued canna leaves sound breathtaking.
Is'nt Halloween actually Hallowed Eve making Nov.1st Hallowed day?
Am going of have some kind of a garden next year, but have to burn all the weeds off soon to prepare. It's so dry we should have burn bans tho i don't think we do. We need rain badly and none in sight. Glad you got some tho.
Jim shame on you. Plants do not have mongral offspring.LOL
They're simply unusual hybrids.
Better be careful showing Nadine how to sew. You might create a sewing monster and never see Nadine nor your sewing machine again. One can really do some good creating with a machine.

Carrie have i asked you if you have housplants in the winter? I don't remember you having any.

(Debra) Garland, TX

October 31st represents All Hallows Eve or Even, then November 1st is All Hallows Day, also called All Saints Day

Originated partly from the Christian All Saints Day and partly from the Celtic festival Samuin (Samhain), which was considered the Celtic New Year (there ya go, Jim), recognizing Summer's End or end of the harvest. PLUSSSS...
"The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm."

A fun holiday, even for old grumps like me. :-)

Thumbnail by lovemyhouse
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Debra, where is that quote from?

(Debra) Garland, TX

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween
Looks like that specific quote or information came from
^ Campbell, John Gregorson (1900, 1902, 2005). The Gaelic Otherworld. Black, Ronald (Ed.), pp.559–62. Edinburgh: Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-207-7.

Midland City, AL

I love Sunday afternoons. No work! The only thing better is 5th Sunday afternoons. They have a fellowship lunch after church every 5th Sunday. I’m stuffed full of wonderful food and there is no work to do. Life is good! lol
I made chocolate/cherry cake for the lunch, but my dishes still don’t hold a candle to some of the older ladies dishes. Miss Pearl’s coconut cake makes me think I’ve already died and made it to heaven. I want to be able to cook like that!
Yes, Debra, your sister should be grateful she wasn’t flipped out of bed. Once, after an entire bus load of hungry customers showed up in addition to the normal lunch hour crowd, I had nightmares for weeks about trying to keep up with orders)
There are lots of different civilian jobs on post. It turns out this area still has the same army recruiter it did when I was in high school. (I was considering going into the army then.) He was at the job fair and still remembered me. . I will start out applying at the restaurants and PX/BX and commissary. (I think the Army uses PX (Post Exchange) and the Airforce uses BX (base exchange.) I probably need to study up on stuff like that so I at least sound like I know what I’m doing. It would be good to keep in mind that despite all the aircraft, it is an Army base and there is some USUALLY good natured rivalry between the different branches of the service.
I’d better get my mask on. Wouldn’t want my ancestors to find me. I’m descended from highland Scotts. Those folks who allegedly painted themselves blue before going into battle and celebrated their victories by drinking mead from vessels made from their enemies skulls. Not sure I would want to encounter some of my more distant ancestors.
Carrie, I will pay attention to what temp it is here when the cannas sprout in spring. We will mail them up when it gets to that temperature in your area. That should work out so that they have time to flower for you. The dark leaf types flower fairly early in the year. July/August. PJ says I have to help him with his thinking because of the Tramadol. Man, are we in trouble! Maybe, half a brain between us.
Vickie, I think we are going to simplify our Christmas decorating this year. MK suggests I take the storage bins full of lights to the Mission Store. (I might keep a strand or two of the LED type for the archway into the children’s garden.) PJ says his days of stringing Christmas lights are over. (He has an appointment coming up with VA services to find the right w/c for his needs.) Mama Kay prefers the flicker and scent of candles and she has plenty of those. The original Christmas lights, I guess. It is a good move from an artistic perspective since Amargia’s overall look is rustic. Besides, the money they save on the electric bill can go toward my Christmas present. ;-) ~Nadine~

Photo: Look into my eyes. Give me all of your candy corn.

Thumbnail by Sansai87
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

lol. What a good idea. I'll be sure to make lots and lots of Banana Cream Pies over the holidays. I have a BIG family.
Kay*

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I've been craving PUMPKIN pie like you wouldn't believe. I don't even need the crust! Maybe I'll make pumpkin pudding or something like that.

Halloween was a non-event up here - no more little kids live on our street, but lots live a few streets over, so there were (apparently) tons'o'kids up there and NONE down by us.

My 5'8" 16 yo DD#2 insisted on going out (I told her she was too old) but by the time she and her friends had finished the pizza ,only big scary kids were out , She says houses would turn their lights out as they approached. We did get one kid, a mid-teenish un-costumed lad who just silently held out his bag for candy, no "trick-or-treat" or any of that childish nonsense.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Jim would probably like that pumpkin pie too. I am making pumpkin chili and he isn't too keen on the idea. It is a hard sale for first timers, but it taste better than it sounds. Kay*

(Debra) Garland, TX

Kay, what goes in the chili?

Debra

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

It is basically just turkey chili with a couple cups of pumpkin puree in it. It has a lot of variations, but here is a good recipe to work from.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Turkey-Chili/Detail.aspx
The pumpkin mostly just gives the chili a rich texture. It is a good way to slip veggies into the diet of unsuspecting carnivores. Kay*

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Oh, of course, I won't tell. Like putting a can of tomato soup in a cake, except w/out the sugar, salt and MSG!

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP