We have a bunch of I believe swamp mallow along the road in wet area near my house. Do butterflies like them? They are blooming now and look as big as a desert plate. Don't think I'll dig them up cause they are on a really blind curve in the road but I admire them every time we drive by. Your plant is beautiful. Your butterflies are lucky.
Hi Wren & Bonnie - I purchased a giant milkweed about a month ago too. It had been on my list and I was surprised when I stumbled upon it. It has really grown with our weather and has had the bloom on it almost constantly.
I've tried the giant milkweed, but haven't been able to get it to survive the winters in my garden, but I know that margaran in Jax/Mandarin area has grown it. She is nearer the river so her garden climate would be somewhat warmer in winters.
Oh, I live only ten minutes away from Lukas gardens, I must go get some of that milkweed. Hope they still have some. I sometimes find unusual finds there. It has been so hot I haven't stopped in lately, and I need another plant like I need a hole in my head. ☺
I am trying to start working on two projects, 1. Drip Irrigation & 2.Start a Garden Journal to get organized
1. Has anyone tried drip irrigation in their yards ? How were the results ? I need all the pointers I could get.
I have read about them from various websites including the irrigation supply websites. I am trying to see one to feel comfortable before I start building one myself.
2. How to stay organized, to remember all the days and ways to fertilize etc...etc..., it is easy to get overwhelmed.
What works for you a Notebook and a pencil, or did you buy one which is already built for you.
Or did you go to a website to work or did you buy a software ?
Any and all ideas, suggestions or help towards easing into the above two tasks which have got me stumped for the moment will be very much appreciated.
check with your local county extention office regarding drip irrigation. Here in manatee, they provide an excellent free class, they even offer free items, they will even come out and check your existing system to see if you have the right heads to do the right jobs at the right areas of your yard. They also offer us a free rain eyes that if you use them helps with water bills. The eyes will keep your irrigation system from running should it have already or is currently raining at the time your system would come on. They will also help with laying out plans for a new systems. I've been to a number of the classes and the speakers are excellent. So check in your county for this free service. FL is all about conserving water.
As far as garden journal, I use Excel to track everything I do and when something will be due.
disneydoc, My husband put in a drip irrigation system about a 2 years ago. I was a bit leery of it at first but now I really do like it. There is less disease on my plants now, and the flowers pots get much better watering without a big waste of water. And everything isn't turning orange from our well water, since no overhead watering. The greatest thing I like about it is the drought tolerant plants don't have to have irrigation but the water hogs can have their own water supply and be next to each other. So after a good season and half of using this kind of irrigation system my garden has never looked better.
The only problem we've encountered with it is wildlife. In drought conditions the squirrels have chewed the ends off. But easily can be fixed. They only seem to bother with it when no rain for awhile. Sometimes garden debris will plug up the little sprinklers, or a head pop off and too much water in one place and reducing water in other areas. So I do a good bi-monthly check of the system to make sure everything works, the fixes take only a few moments of your time.
My husband bought most of the stuff at Home Depot or Lowe's, but also found some good things at a local irrigation supply. He did most his research on-line and said the local University has quite a bit of info. and offered classes, although he didn't take classes.
As far as the journal I love using Dave's Garden now. I use to use excel, but I find this website much more user friendly. You really just have to play around with it for a bit to figure it out, but once you get the knack, you can set it up just about anyway you want. This thread will help you out and you can ask questions. Good luck and have fun. It was good winter project for me.
Was at Lowe's today while nursery truck was unloading. Boy did I get a bargain. 3 - 8 foot weeping willows for $12.98 ea. And of course some sick ones from discocunt racks. With my TLC they will come alive. Have 3 hanging baskets that need replacements.
Now I will have weeping willow at ea. end of my pond. I am so happy. I paid $40. ea. for the ones I bought from Just Fruits & Exoxtics up in N. Fl. for my dgt. She has very wet low ground so they are doing well for her.
Also, tried out my irrigation system in front yard and yippy our canal now has enough water to run it again. What a blessing. We have been getting little rains in the afternoons but we are going on vacation Aug. 1 so I wanted to make sure it would work. The rain sensor will shut it off so it won't come on during a rain. Disneydoc. this is not the drip irrigation system I discussed with you in back yard in other thread.
I spotted this flower a few days ago near the Winn-Dixie grocery store where we shop (only store within walking distance now that Food Lion went out of business, and we rely on the city bus service since we still lack a working vehicle). I thought the flower might be Cardinal Guard (Pachystachys coccinea) http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/67588/ but it doesn't seem to match up with the photos I see in Plant Files and elsewhere. It definitely looks like a Justicia or Pachystachys, but I'm open to suggestions as to its I.D.
How would you REMOVE JUNIPERS ? Need help with any and all experiences/ ideas for removing these 10yr old Junipers.
I learnt via Google that they have a deep root system, some people have used come along or chain tied to the back of a vehicle to yank them out and some just old fashioned labor intensive dug them out.
I've never removed deeply rooted junipers, but have tried to dig out Japanese Yew (Podocarpus) which also have a long tap root. My suggestion would be to dig down far enough to reveal the central root stem (probably about 2 ft), then use a saws-all tool to cut the root below the soil surface. The remaining root will probably rot in the ground within a few years.
Don't use a chain saw to cut the root. Nothing dulls a chain saw blade faster than being exposed to sand/dirt. The saws-all (demolition type reciprocating saw) can be used to remove any thick roots in soil. The blade is easily replaced. You can find the saws-all tool for about $10 - $15 at most pawn shops.
Couldn't get to sleep last night for some weird reason. Was up til about 4 AM, kept eating because I thought I was hungry, finally took a pill to knock me out. I didn't wake up until about 1 PM, so the day has mostly been shot. I did get to the grocery store (walking in this heat, not a fun jaunt), and got the battery out of the wrecked Mustang to see if the engine will still start. It was running o.k. before the battery died. I may try to do the body work to get it back on the road again.
I feel cheated to the core today. It's not a good feeling.
While I was in the hospital, the caterpillars defoliated 97% of my passionflower vines. Last time I tended them, they were growing 2 feet thick on each side of the trellis, 6 feet wide and 8 feet high: 192 cubic feet of luxuriant passionflower vines, with blooms everywhere. They stopped traffic on our street. That was 6 weeks ago.
Now, there's nothing left but basically bare stems, save for a few occasional half-munched leaves and the trellis itself. OK... you got the picture. So, you ask yourself: "Why does he feel cheated?" I tell myself that those cursed caterpillars ate to their heart's content. Logic would dictate that with a full belly, they probably metamorphosed into butterflies. So, we should be knee-deep in butterflies by now. Well, think again, my friends: not a butterfly to be seen. I have been swindled! Vengence will be mine, eventually!
Considering all the grief those passionvines put me through, I should rip all that out, thereby shutting down the catterpillar's free candy store. My friend Nancy has a glorious rangoon creeper that the caterpillars seem to leave alone. I should plant that on the trellis, or a blue sky vine, a queen's wreath, or a dutchman's pipe, or something else altogether. Back to the ol' drawing board.
Sylvain do you have any plants for the adult butterflies to feed on? Just plant more passion vines and the adults will return to lay their eggs. Besides it takes time for the cats to turn into butterflies. LOL
The Dutchman's pipe vines have 2 butterflies that feed on them but they grow so fast it is not a problem.
I have a few butterfly plants and my neighbor, 30 away from me has lots in that category. The butterflies should be fluttering by. Great info re dutchman's pipe. Note to self: Scratch that dutchman's pipe idea off the drawing board.
Will if you get the Giant one you would only have to worry about one kind of butterfly and the fact that the darn vine will try to take over your yard!!!!
Thankfully mine is killed back each winter. And the butterflies do very little damage to it.
Sylvain -- sorry for the loss of your passionvines to the eternally hungry caterpillars. Especially sorry that you don't have halos of thousands of butterflies to swaddle you on each excursion out the door. Having devoured your passionvines to the nub, the adult butterflies probably recognized the scarcity of food for the next generation and moved on to the passionvine larder of some other gardener. Providing lots of nectar plants for the butterflies will at least give you the satisfaction of seeing the metamorphoses of plant into butterfly and the whimsical delight in their flight.
Did the red passionvine (P. vitifolia) that I sent you survive? The caterpillars will usually leave it (and the other red-flowering species of passionvine) alone unless there is no other passionvine available.
The photo I posted above (July 25) of the unknown plant was identified by a botanically erudite friend as Orange Shrimp Plant, Justicia fulvicoma http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/114847/ Odd that I had never seen it in any of our obsessive plant collections (or have you all just been hiding it from me???!!!) LOL
Jeremy that is a oldie, I have seen it growing around here but I do not have any, but want some
I have a pale blue that the GF will not lay eggs on. I have watched them fly around it but they do not land
Hi Sylvain - I have a Queen's Wreath and a pipe vine that grew together. I think this kind of provides a little shelter as well as a food source. the butterflies munch on the pipe vine, but not down to stubs. I planted a Rangoon Creeper this year and the cats for the IO Month chewed on it a little.
Wren - I googled frog fruit as I had never heard of it before, I think it's kind of neat - and surely a plus that it invites butterflies.
Down one side of the back yard is a Dutchman's Pipe and a Red Passion Flower. The red HAS kept all of its leaves but the the blue ones across the back have been quite the buffet! The Dutchman's Pipe shows no damage at all from the caterpillars and I just hack away at it occasionally. As I have been away from home for 11 weeks I cannot wait to see how all of the rain has affected everything. My husband says that everything looks great-- we shall see. He has hacked away at the bleeding hearts-- hasn't mentioned the others!
Jeremy, P. Vitifolia was planted, but doesn't seem to have made it; so sorry.
Completely off-topic here: Did you watch the opening ceremonies of the London Olymics last night? We did, and were sorely disappointed with the whole show. We kept expecting they would do something that would make us say: "Wow!". That moment never came. It was like a glorified high school play. You could scale it down a bit and produce that show in a Vegas venue, or even a cruise ship's showroom. I fell asleep. Did you fall asleep, too? I've been in the house too long.
I couldn't very well turn it off because Gail, a saint walking among us, kept hoping that they would do something REALLY BIG "any moment now". Well, guess what: that REALLY BIG moment never came. But Gail was definitely rooting for the show.
I watched until Paul McCartney came on singing so off tune... should have lip-synced. Agree that I kept waiting for the wow factor. Obviously enough money was spent to feed two or three small countries for at least 10 years. The Olympics have become just another commercial vehicle and that is too sad.
Sylvain - no regrets on the loss of P. vitifolia. There are plenty of replacements available (though it is one passionvine that doesn't tend to stray much at all). I'm sure we will be in the same place/time in the future and I will bring along some P. vitifolia.
I didn't watch the Olympics opening (nor have I tuned in for any of the competitions). I did see John Stewart's "Daily Show" report on the differences between the Bejing opening ceremony and what seemed to be a more than mediocre presentation by the English. But as Mr. Stewart so aptly noted, it makes it easier when you have tens of thousands of "willing" participants at your command, as did the Chinese.
Does anyone recognize this weedy grass? Is it the dreaded, invasive Cogon Grass (Imperata cylindrica)?? I encountered in my garden for the first time this afternoon. Whatever it is, it is really a royal pain. It sends up shoots all along the root that runs for yards and splits and splits and runs some more. It is only in one area by the curb -- a spot that I weeded very completely a few months ago and left the soil bare (which, as we know, any square inch of bare soil in our climate won't be bare for long). It must have found the freshly disturbed sandy soil the ideal spot to germinate. Fortunately, it is thus far only in about a 10 ft x 10 ft area and I think (with a great deal of effort and repeated checks to ensure eradication), I can pull up all the roots. It has just started creeping under the fence to enter my actual garden plantings (the curb area is a no man's land that I am slowly landscaping, but like to keep in an unkempt weedy state to annoy the city nuisance abatement inspectors).
Wren - I have seen the butterflies hanging on the purple springs of my QueensWreath. I was luckyy enough to catch this guy below resting on my pipe vine Sunday. Of course I had to chase him around the yard with my phone to get the picture - lol.
Sylvan - you are not the first person I've heard say that the opening ceremonies were a bore. I've heard a lot of people say that this week.
Jeremy - I feel your pain about the weeds. My neighbor has a bad case of dollar weed and it has found it's way under the fence and into my flower bed. She is gone for a couple of months so I guess my husband will have to weed and feed their yard to keep it at bay. . . I don't understand why they can't make grass this determined! You can hardly kill some of these weeds, but have to baby the grass to get it to grow!
Jeremy, that grass looks just like what we call Bermuda Grass. In a flower garden or St. Augustine grass it is a pure nuisance. The seed is actually sold at all the garden centers and recommended for the lawn. Even the Texas Dept. of Agriculture lists it as an invasive.
I was disappointed with the Olympics Opening as well. Read on the internet that ABC elected to usurp almost all the music portions and put in commercials. The almighty dollar rules all. When Paul McCartney started singing in one key while the back up musicians were in another...I turned it off. Some people should quit while they are ahead. He's 70 years old for gosh sakes! (so am I)
Has some matured to form seedheads? If the seedheads form a plume-like panicle you may well have Cogon Grass.
What is called Bermuda Grass here is used as a turf grass but typically only for sports fields and golf courses- not residential lawn use- because it is so invasive you can't keep it out of the ornamental beds.
What's in the photo differs from what's called Bermuda Grass here in that Bermuda stems don't come from the rhizome quite so stiff and erect, the mid-rib is consistent and the base of the blade is not folded. What's shown in the photo is consistent with Imperata cylindrica.
Have a photo of a stand of it still in the ground?
Yesterday I had barely gotten the mower going before the thunder started. Mowed for a bit before the lightning started.
Today I was out mowing at 1PM. A bit "warm" but at least I finished before the thunder started at 3PM.
I am so ready to get home to Florida thunder! After 12 weeks on the road I head home on Monday for at least a week, possibly three. Can't wait to see the yard-- Richard has been whacking away and hopefully all is well.
Hi everyone, I seem to have multiple issues right now and am not sure how to attack them. My orange milkweed plants have lost almost all of there leaves after turning yellowish and speckledy. This is my first year with milkweeds and have read about the yellow aphids and also the red/black bugs that are attracted to them. I understood that this should not have caused the damage. Is this normal for milkweeds this time of year? The seed pods are gone now and they have only a few leaves at the very top of each plant. Help!
Also, my lime tree has alot of leaves curling even new growth - it did not look like the leaf miner pictures I've seen and the curled leaves are almost stuck together with a white cottony substande. I just found a little worm today but have not been able to find any more. Is there anything I can spray it with? Thank you for all your help!
It has been raining alot here (Milton, FL-western panhandle) but I wouldn't have thought they would be this sensitive. It rains so much here anyway. I will keep looking. Thanks and I will check out the other website. Kristal
So very sorry to hear that Sylvain is in the hospital again. I do hope he recovers quickly.
A few of you are also friends on Facebook where I posted info a few days ago, but for those that aren't: My beloved wife, Christina, attempted suicide last week with an overdose of her prescription antidepressant, Seroquel. It was iffy for about 36 hours, to me, to wonder if she would recover from the near coma, but she has made a full recovery and started a new job today. I think having a job to keep her busy for 8 hours a day will help a lot for her depression and alcohol abuse. Your healing thoughts and other ministrations according to your own faith practices will be very much appreciated.
Oh, Jeremy. I hope Christina is doing better. These are indeed troubled times.
Friday morning, I had just stepped out of the shower when I remembered I had to mix myself a protein shake. I headed to the kitchen. While measuring the whey powder, I noticed that my hands were shaking uncontrollably as if I had Parkinson's disease. I had a seizure and Gail found me naked on the kitchen floor with my skull cracked, blood everywhere and me unconscious. I awoke with 4 or 5 EMT guys surrounding me and getting me onto a stretcher. I am still in the hospital, although doing better. I could be getting out tomorrow. I'm OK.
Sylvain, there are some advantages to being hard-headed! LOL I should know, having been struck over the head with a tire iron (or something) while walking the dog a few months ago. I do wish you a speedy and complete recovery!
Jeremy - so sorry to hear about your wife, I hope she feels better soon. I can't believe you were struck in the head with a tire iron! Are you OK? I am surprised daily at how cruel people can be.
Sylvain - I am glad you are recouperating and will be home soon. I have had Epilepsy since high school and have hit my head a few times too on the way down. I don't know which is worse, having the seizure or waking up knots on your noggin' and cuts and bruises.
Wren - I can relate, I have three maniacs! Three Jack Russell's! We don't know what we would do without them though. Even when one digs up my passion vine. . . I was ready to set him out front with a sign, but decided to forgive him anyway LOL.
I am here but busy, just finished receiving all my packages of seeds and getting ready to start some tomorrow(LOTS ANS LOTS of seeds-I will have lots to trade next spring!!!!!!)
Released 48 Common Buckeye Butterflies,
Taking care of mom
Wren - those butterflies are awesome! You purchased them and let them go in your yard? I have seen advertisements where you can purchase butterflies. I purchased some lady bugs a couple of years ago and found quite a few this year, so I'm hoping that they stuck around.
I found some small cats on my pipevine the other day as well. I believe they are the gold rimmed swallowtail as I saw her fluttering around a couple of weeks ago.
I am hoping to someday fulfill my dream of becoming a "butterfly rancher" -- supplying butterflies for release at weddings and other events. I will probably only raise Gulf Fritillary and Zebra Longwings. I have an overabundance and never-ending supply of Passiflora 'Incense' (one of the MOST invasive plants I've ever put in the ground). The caterpillars could munch the passionvines to the point of total gluttony and there would still be more vines to eat. I've been collecting window screens to build a butterfly house to raise the butterflies in captivity. Getting the required permit from the Fla. Dept. of Agriculture for raising butterflies for profit would be the final step in the process.
I'm back from Texas on Aug. 7. Went for a week. Been having BP problems and was feeling pretty bad all while I was there. We were in the hill country which I didn't know had such high mountains and loads of rocks. Friends took us all over to see many propertys they owned and riding on those haprpin turn roads and then many gravel roads. Was so glad to get back to Fl. and some flat land. When we drove back to San Antone airport land got flatter and more agricultural. Never saw so many axis deer in my life. Had to eat it to keep my hosts happy. Just once. I'll stick to steak from a beef. They had one piece 800 acres where they feed the deer a lot just to hunt on. Because they are an exotic they can be killed any time. Some white tailed and some barbado sheep running around. They were in peoples yards and unles they put up an 8 ft. deer fence (many had them) they ate shrubs and everything else they planted. We were in Leaky-1 1/2 hrs. from San Antone. Really boonies. Again I say I was glad to get home to Fl.
Oh, Bonnie. You have been to God's Country. while we live in a suburb of Dallas the Texas Hill Country is where we have always wanted to live. Too old to move now. Some 30 years ago we tubed with our children down the Rio Frio which runs through Leakey. White tail deer can be a real pain. "Deer season" begins Nov.1 through Dec.31. Must buy a permit to kill one...or however many. They breed like rabbits and the killing season is a necessity. However, to shoot one you must be on a designated "deer lease"...not in the backyard.
We went to Marble Falls on the Colorado River in mid-May strictly to drive through the countryside to see acre upon acre of Bluebonnets and multiple other Texas native Wildflowers. Your friends must be very comfortable financially because the land has become out of reach for most people. Main reason we are still here.
Sorry you didn't like Texas. Our topography is more varied than all of the rest of the USA.
Yes, very little of Texas has that terrain.
Lubbock, where I was born, is so flat you can see the lights of towns on the horizon 50 miles away.
And we could see the lights of Lubbock 60 miles away from Happy Union where my DGM's farm was.
My mother was born on that farm.
Sorry you had the motion/switch back sickness and hope that BP goes down.
I'm doing great and Jeremy is back online!
Dear Sandy, if you come down to Orlando again, next time give me a call 407 884-0015.
The Texas Star Hibiscus are blooming, but blooms seem only to last for one day.
Still waiting for the white one to bloom.
Please don't be offended regarding Texas. You know how it is. Everyone prefers a certain area.
I was expecting HILLS like we had in Conn. To me they were mountains. My friends own so
Many different pieces of property there it was 3 days of touring them all. They started out years ago in Houston where I visited them and just kept buying properties and fixing and selling. Her hubby has deer leases on their ranch and there are quite a few little pull campers set up permanently there. Also, dressing station and many deep freezers. He said it is the only control over those axis deer. They are all over the place and I think they are beautiful. When they told me the land sold for $25,000. an acre I was really shocked. Also showed me how they put roads thru with bulldozer and most of the time road graders couldn't make it up the sharp grades. I was fascinated with the homes up on top of the mountains. Really picturesk (sp). Never got carsick in my life but I did there. Had a barf bag with me from the plane. LOL
I hope you get to visit there often. They used to visit but fell in love with the area so I think they will remain there now for good as they are my age 75. That Frio river is beautiful and clear as a bell. Many familys swimming and pickniking all along the road. Water was very low due to lack of rain.
Didn't mean to hijack this thread. Sylvain I am hoping by now you are doing much better and your up and going.
I am doing fine. My wound is healing nicely. It's taking its sweet time, but it is progressing. I am mobile, driving my car, working around the house, but I tire easily and quickly. A bit of rest and I'm good to go again soon enough.
The Brat did not get enough play time to day, he was sick(probable some thing he stole and ate) was eating grass like crazy, then we had a bad storm come through and he was scared and I had to sit on the floor with him-was a lot of fun trying to get up off said floor and now he wants to play. I gave him something to chew on so hope he will settle down. More bad storm are coming, OH JOY!!!!
I must have overdone a bit when I did the rain dance a few months ago!!! Now I have to figure out a "stop rain" dance. We flooded yesterday again with 5" of rain in 1 hour and it raining this morning. My yard is overgrown with weeds and the Passie Incense is taking over. I am waiting for a dry morning to get yard work done and it is not happening.
John~my White Star Hibiscus bloomed also and only lasted a day. Waiting for the red to bloom now
We had a great storm this AM --loads of brilliant lightening and tremendous boomers!! We'll take the rain!
We just installed a new Rainbird irrigation "Brain". It has a weather station attached-- you program in your zip code, soil, shade/sun and it does all the rest of the work. SAw it on This OLd House and decided to try-- hope it cuts the water bills--much easier than turning on and off and it was not expensive!
Am going to attach bromeliads to the palm trees today-- saw some in the 'hood and a neighbor tried it. It's a great look and the plants are free!
Oddly the extreme heat we have had has put my Texas Star into dormancy. Guess it is because they are actually bog plants. We have a lot of rain this week so we shall see. The red is at least 7 feet x 3 feet. Bought seed for white from OnaLee a couple of years ago. They almost all germinated and now about 2 feet tall. No sign of a bloom yet. Mistress, yours is beautiful. Have several varieties of tropical hibiscus and sadly they all bloom only 1 day as does the passeflora.
Mistress - I love your bloom! I have the hardy and a tropical. I will have to look for one of these.
Wren - If this tropical storm/hurricane hits us you may be on the floor a lot longer than you want to be with your furbaby. Two of my dogs are deaf, so that is one thing I don't have to worry about. We watched our neighbor's dog a couple of times and she was deathly afraid of thunder, we were worried she was going to have a heart attack! I went out to take pictures of my cats on Sunday. I saw them and then by the time I came back to take the pics they were gone.
Debi - where did you get your rainbird brain? I think this would be something that would be nice for us to have on our system.
Good morning everyone
Floridabunnie I grow the ones Linda and John have from seeds, they are fairly easy to grown. I will be starting some come spring but they would not bloom for a year or so.
I drugged the brat yesterday. This morning we went on a 3 mile bike/run and he is tired out so I will have some peace and quite.
Might start deciding which seeds to start first. Should have a lot of plants by time for a RU
After hearing about it for so long, DH and I finally took a drive up to Just Fruits and Exotics the other day. Of course, I found a couple of other places to visit while we were up there. Purple Martin Nursery was really nice and happened to have almost everything on sale 40 - 50% off. Got a very nice "mystery" fig tree at Just Fruits for $10. It was a nice drive and the weather cooperated.
No need to pay, just Dmail my your address and as soon as I find the little envelopes I will mail you some.
You will need to soak them for a few hours and keep the soil very wet. Once they are growing they will be happy in any kind of soil and everything from sitting in a pond to dry. I have pots sitting in my pools, some in pots with out holes and some in the ground.
The flattest land I've ever seen was when I visited my brother in Kansas -- wheat fields to infinity in all directions. No wonder that Dorothy wanted to get away from that place! LOL
Sylvain -- glad you are mending and hope you are soon back to as "normal" as your eccentricities and proclivities will allow. LOL
We are, indeed, once more subscribed to home Internet service. I negotiated with our DirecTV account, for which we were overpaying with $125 per month for just satellite TV, and got both satellite TV and AT&T high speed wireless Internet for $25 less than the TV bill alone. Plus, I got them to knock half off of our balance due on the TV bill due to my belief we were overpaying. After using the super high speed connections of the public library computers, I'm not so greatly impressed with AT&T "high speed." But it seems to work O.K. for this site. On Facebook, it takes forever for the words I type to show up on the screen, and that is annoying. After years of using a computer keyboard, I can now type just about as fast as I can think (which is not to say I type rapidly, but perhaps I think slowly?? LOL). But it may help explain why my posts are generally so loooonngg -- I can type all the drivel that pours out of my brain without any hesitation.
The nearly daily downpours of rain have caused some of the weeds (like Dog Fennel - Eupatorium capillifolium) to now be classified as small trees. Truly - they are about 8 - 10 ft tall in a back corner of my yard. But the steady rain has also helped most other things to grow rapidly, so the garden is looking very lush. It is certainly a treat to not have to drag the hose around the yard for a few hours to water everything, as was the case in our previous summers with drought conditions.
Wish us luck-only a minor blow we think down here-however Mom is in the hospital but is doing much better, I have to go to NY tomorrow and we start moving everything to safety today. Mom had a "routine" procedure yesterday that did not go well and ended up in ICU, My comfort is that she is well taken care of and will have the home health people all over her when she goes home. I can't do a thing right now to help her but I sure can when I get home.The best part is that after this next clump of work I'm home except for several weekends judging til the middle of January.
Everyone stay safe and THINK! Water is very dangerous!
I started a new front bed right before Debbie hit. It has remained unfinished. Always too hot & humid or raining to finish it. So this AM I got to work. Went to HD and got 20 bags of mulch; landscape fabric is down & mulch is spread. Now to go out for 10 more bags. This should prevent a moat from forming with the next heavy rain. And front yard no longer looks like a construction area.
I judge Jumpers-- the kind you saw in the Olympics! In fact we have a lot of those same people at our shows.
Mom is not at all good-- The lack of oxygen has affected her kidneys, brain and lungs. Old age is truly hell.Spent some time with her, but she has on an oxygen mask and won't lay back and not talk. Back in the morning after church.
Yes, I spent the afternoon moving pots by the door on the front foyer and evacuating the lanai. I hope we don't have to do this too many more times! My husband cut his business trip short and arrived home late tonight (just in time as they were cancelling flights and closed the airport in preparation). We do have to trim a limb that is hanging over the lanai tomorrow am before it comes down. We had several large limbs in the yard from a freak storm on Tuesday night.
Nice to see so many familiar faces. I haven't been on DG in ages. Partly due to health issues for the last couple of years, partly because of business picking up and keeping me overly busy, and partly due to ignoring my garden in general. What was already a little jungle got terribly overgrown necessitating hiring a tree service to remove all the rogue plants and to trim everything away from the roof. I really hate the Florida Hollies that pop up everywhere and the Virginia Creeper that covers everything. Now that it's looking a little more under control, I'm looking forward to some cooler weather and some time in the yard. I lost a few of my favorite plants last winter to the cold. I miss the Jade Vine the most. Guess I need to start shopping!
Great to see you back on here, Ginger! I know the feeling of being overwhelmed by the garden. From my experience, it seems I spend about 1/3 of my gardening time trying to get things to grow; and about 2/3 of my gardening time trying to stop other things from growing and overwhelming what I've planted. LOL That's just life in the sub-tropical swamp climate, I guess. As much as possible, I cooperate with nature's desire for my garden to be an untamed jungle (as those that have seen it can certainly attest). It's a whole lot easier and more eco-friendly than trying to maintain perfect neatness and order.
May all stay safe in the upcoming winds and storm!
Anyones limes doing well this season ?
Ugh mine is ! To many so frozen lime juice.
This tree has done so well . Over the decades here in FL I've always had a Lime and watched them grow then split and self destroy so it's fun to have the biggest Lime tree EVER !
Johnny - didn't start raining here till just an hour or so ago. Just a lt drizzle till then.
If you need a "home" for your lime overflow, just let me know. I was noticing all the tangerines when I was mowing the other day.
gardenglory - I leave my Meyer's Lemons on the tree until just before the first hard freeze (usually late December). Depending on what part of Gainesville your winters are (Zone 8a out to the west of town, or 8b/9a more toward the east), your lemons may get ripe sooner.
Here, along the coast of SC, I grow meyer lemons, ponkan tangelos, red flame grapefruits and assorted other citrus in the ground and they have been planted for many years. Unless you have a freak freeze during the time they are blooming you should not have any problems.
This past spring I took out several citrus i did not particularly like the flavor of and planted more ponkans, their flavor is extraordinary and they are known to be cold hardy.
[quote="Qwilter"]Johnny - didn't start raining here till just an hour or so ago. Just a lt drizzle till then.
If you need a "home" for your lime overflow, just let me know. I was noticing all the tangerines when I was mowing the other day.[/quote]
NP ! you help pick ! Ugh we are so soggy here Qwilter I'm sure our Island will sink at anytime.
I still remember when I first arrived here 6 years ago. We went to Everglades National Park. By the side of the road stood a sign that proclaimed we were 3 feet 2 inches above sea level. We drove 5 or 10 miles and a similar sign informed us we were 3 feet 4 inches above sea level. I declared: We went up 2 inches. No wonder my ears popped. I still wonder at how flat this part of the world is.
Stick to higher ground during those tropical rains: we have cases of flooding around here: Wellington comes to mind.
there is some "higher ground in Florida. I live on top of one, we are about 3+feet above the street.
And West Florida is very hilly once you get away from the flood plan. Plus there is some small hills(bumps) around the Ocala area.
[quote="ardesia"]Here, along the coast of SC, I grow meyer lemons, ponkan tangelos, red flame grapefruits and assorted other citrus in the ground and they have been planted for many years. Unless you have a freak freeze during the time they are blooming you should not have any problems.
This past spring I took out several citrus i did not particularly like the flavor of and planted more ponkans, their flavor is extraordinary and they are known to be cold hardy. [/quote]
I'm on the opposite corner of the USA up in NW Washington. I am sure my grass is 2' tall and seeding all my beds again.
Having a great time with a high school friend that I hadn't seen in 47 years.
It's nice to chat with someone whose family I knew and who knew mine.
As for high places in Florida I believe Bok Tower at Lake Wales close to Orlando has the natural high ground record in Florida. An absolutely great tour.
I expect the record high ground (not natural) is the land-fill mountain in the Fort Pierce area off I-95.
Gardenglory - my Meyer's Lemon has been in the ground about 5 - 6 years. It came through the winters (even the 20s F sustained freezes for days/weeks in 2009/2010) with little or no damage. Most citrus trees are actually fairly cold hardy. It is the fruit that is damaged by hard freezes (and the reason why the orange grove growers back in the dark ages of my youth would haul out the "smudge pots" to place around the citrus trees on cold nights to try to keep the fruit from freezing). The most cold-sensitive citrus I have is Buddha's Hand Citrus (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus ) which I grow just for the novelty of the weird fruit (which has no juice, but the pulp and outer peel is used in gourmet cooking). I've never gotten fruit from it because it has died back to the ground in some winters. I think it is more cold sensitive because it is a species citrus and not a grafted hybrid. Most citrus trees you purchase will be grafted onto cold hardy root stock which imparts the cold hardiness to the entire tree. I also grow grapefruit. All my citrus has actually been in a somewhat shaded area of my yard, and that doesn't seem to have stunted them for growth, but may reduce the fruit production somewhat. The overhang of trees that hold their leaves through the winter (like Live Oak trees) can provide quite a lot of frost and freeze protection to plants that are under the tree canopy. So, you can plant citrus at the edge of the tree canopy of large trees that hold their leaves in winter. The citrus will get sufficient sun and there is less chance of the citrus tree being damaged by exceptionally cold weather.
Here's some UF IFAS publications about cold hardiness of citrus:
I once upon a time came upon a chart online that showed the minimum temperature tolerance of various citrus trees, but I've never been able to locate it again. From what I recall, nearly all citrus (except most lemons and limes) will not be damaged by temperatures in the 20s F. The Meyer's Lemon seems to be more cold hardy. I think it may be a hybrid of grapefruit and lemon?? (Will need to check further into that.)
Sidney - enjoy the northwest! From what I've seen from Zone charts and heard from gardeners in the area, the coastal parts of Washington state have a climate very much like our own. That really surprises me since it seems like next door to the North Pole to me.
Thanks Jeremy. Right now it is short on leaves becuase I let the giant swallowtails stay on it. It needs some attention BAD after they move on. Something has got it so out of sorts its growing stems that are triangle shaped and look like a sucker but are not coming from the bottom.
Thanks so much, very nice of you girls. Dont really count the years any more, just find it amazing to have made it another year. Of course, if I eat like I did today, to often, Im guessing Im not going to be amazed for to many more years . ;-O
My giant swallowtail cat was gone this morning from were I have been letting it eat my lemon tree, Im taking that as a good sign for the year to come. Not sure why...but why not??? Yes, a bird could have got it, I choose to think of it going off to become a butterfly.
GGlory: Happy Birthday! Yes, most likely the caterpillar, if fat enough, went off to hide and morph. If you are getting contorted leaves on your Meyer's Lemon, you may want to check it carefully for white flies, or less likely, aphids. If you see the black sooty mold on leaves, that is sometimes an indicator that a pest is present because the mold thrives on the pest poop.
Fbunnnie - in your part of the state, Buddha Hand Citrus would probably do well. You might need to toss some twinkle lights and a blanket over it on any nights where the temperature goes below 32 F. Mine dies back to the ground when we have sustained 20s F, but returns each spring. It had a head start this year due to the relatively warm winter last season, but I still never expect to get fruit from it (unless it gets more cold hardy with age and a better developed root system, which some plants do).
Disgusted with doctors and medical insurance this morning! I was scheduled to go in tomorrow for diagnostic colonoscopy and biopsy of suspected cancerous mass, but I found out this morning that I can't afford the $700 upfront copayment (which wouldn't even include the surgeon's charges, it's just the outpatient surgery office charge). So, what does my $600 per month health insurance premium provide me??! The opportunity to go "bargain shopping" at the local hospitals and clinics to see if I can get a reduced rate for low income. GGGRRRRR! And what really tipped my bucket was when the surgery center left a message this morning with a used car salesman pitch that if I "act now," I could get a $200 "courtesy discount." Truly insane.
I actually thought about this most of the night, on and off. That is just what I was going to ask, and suggest. This whole medical mess just about did me in last year. You have to fight for your life, when you least feel like it. The short of it is, if you can endure their 'system', you can get free or almost free care. I believe anything under 38K a year is all free, it goes up a little from there.
I finally got insurance, all happy I could pay my way now. NOT. By the time you pay the premium, the deductible and the co-pay, there is no possible way for me to go the dr. What really jerks my chain, is if I go in with insurance, its 134.00 for a visit, even if you havent met your deductible, you still pay that. If you go in and say you are cash pay...its 36 bucks. What a mess...what a big mess this all is.
My birds feeders are full and the sun is shinning. On to more pleasant things.
Good luck Jeremy and let us know if we can help
A bit of ranting here from someone who doesn't suffer fools gladly and gets vocal when irritated or running on low blood sugar. The low blood sugar thing turns me into a raving lunatic with glassy eyes and a rivulet of spittle dripping from the corner of my mouth. The pleasant, relaxed and fun Sylvain is replaced by a rabid polar bear in the blink of an eye. Hey... on a good day, I scare myself.
I recently went to visit my doctor. Her gum-chewing, perpetually bored receptionnist announced for everyone to hear:
- "Mr. Forest, you are a self-pay patient. Aren't you?. I'll need a valid debit or credit card, or cash, and your driver's license.".
I was running a bit low on sugar at that moment. Oy vey... enter the rabid polar bear, stage right. I announced for everyone to hear:
- "I am an uninsured human being who pays for his visits 100% out of pocket. I will NOT let you hold on to my driver's license while I see the doctor. That is not what driver's licenses are for! Wave if I said something that escapes your allegedly keen mind.".
- "It's standard policy to hold on to self-pay patients' driver's license while they are in the office.".
To which I answered: "
- This office's internal management foibles are of no concern to me. I'll now return to my chair. Talk to my tush as I walk away and see if it gives a hoot. And stop watering those pitiful orchids. You're killing them. If you want a water garden, get some water lilies. Then again, what do I care? How can they take care of me when they can't care for phalaenopsis; a beginner's orchid FCOL!"
One elderly gentleman laughed so hard, I sincerely believe he wet himself. The rest of the waiting patients decided to lie low while I calmed down: smart patients.
I got to see the doctor,who was none too pleased with me. Ask me if I care! I paid for my visit with my debit card and I got to leave my driver's license in my wallet, where it belongs. Only the good people at the DMV and law officers get to see my driver's license. I have other ID, but I am stingey when it comes to flashing it out or entrusting it to receptionists with black-enameled fingernails. Pretty soon, you'll need ID to purchase bubble gum.
Thank you for cheering up my day, Sylvain! I, too, have been known to go berzerk upon a few seemingly helpless, clueless and indifferent, receptionists (of any gender or ilk). And even when I keep my cool, speak in measured tones in a conversational voice, and try to act as if I am a rational human being, I often still run into insanity on the other end. Most recent case was showing up at Shands Hospital to pick up Christina after her suicide attempt, finding she had been transferred out of the hospital without anyone informing me, and then being confronted by a head nurse who could only tell me that Christina had been sent to one of several treatment facilities around town, but she didn't know which one and wasn't going to bother to check the medical records to see if there were any notes as to my wife's whereabouts. Even though I remained within the boundaries of "assertive," and didn't follow my usual instinct to get aggressive, the head nurse still abruptly summoned security and had me escorted out of the hospital, leaving me with nothing more than a vague idea that Christina was somewhere in the city and it was my job to play, "Where's Waldo?," to locate her. That incident is still awaiting one of my vitriolic letters to the state nursing licensing board.
Yesterday on the phone with Aetna, the unfortunate customer service rep that took my call had to hear me repeat and repeat ad infinitum at every excuse she gave as to why I had to pay so much for a procedure, "So, I'm paying $600 a month for health insurance and I still have to locate and rely upon charity medical services?" I finally ended the call by telling her that I would soon give up my insurance, switch to Medicare/Medicaid, and that the money she donates in tax dollars would be used to provide me medical care that the company she works for won't provide. "Have a VERY nice day!"
Thanks Gglory, and all for your concern and efforts you are placing in trying to help me through this medical maze. I will call around to the hospitals and clinics today to see where I might fit in for the least money. And you are very correct -- it is especially stressful to have an indefinite diagnosis of a possible life-threatening cancer while having to bargain shop for medical services.
****A bright flower photo to provide us all, hopefully, a bit of cheer: This is an Orange Shrimp Plant I recently spotted (and got help identifying as Justicia fulvicoma -- a species I didn't know existed). It is growing through a chain link fence at a residence near the Winn-Dixie where we walk (or take the bus) to do our grocery shopping. Since the plant's branches extend through the fence over the public easement, it is fair game for pilfered propagation in my system of garden ethics (or total lack thereof). My first attempt resulted in only 2 out of 8 stems rooting, but I will continue to provide judicious pruning and propagation of the plant until I have enough to share with all that may want some.
Our medcal care is really screwed up and I don't forsee it getting any better. Nuff said.
Just wanted to let all know Clermont is supposed to be the highest point in Fl. Don't ask me how high I've only lived here 46 years.
We also have the distinction of being the most commonly hit by lightening strikes. We have lost several pool pumps, tv's, tel. lines, and also an underground electric line, also 2 cows. Geez I'd better stop thinking. I do have surge protection on my PC but it got hit once and I had to replace all the surge stuff. Next time I'll just unplug everything I can.
We are supposed to get rain again tomorrow which is great. Keeps all the plants happy.
Back to the insurance. Jeremy-- if you are eligible for Medicare why are you paying $600 monthly as well? My mother just passed away after a brief hospital stay in ICU . Based on a week long stay that she had this past February when she was having hallucinations and had to stay for a week, I know we will have NO money due to the hospital. We also were self pay until I FINALLY talked my husband into using his VA benefits. We have always negotiated a better price for cash. If you don't have the cash there are also ways around the system. If you want to email I'm sure my husband can give you some very good hints.
Well over 10% of our income goes to insurance of other sorts--the homes, the cars etc. It's always a shock to me when I look at those figures! The homeowners insurance is the most aggravating to me!
The official highest point is Britton Hill at 345 " in the panhandle and Sugarloaf Hill in peninsular Fl. at 312', Lake county...that is if you believe Wiki. During hurricane warnings in the Keys we fight for 8' - 10' elevation to park our cars in an effort to avoid flooded vehicles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Florida's_highest_points
Debij -- I only recently became eligible for Social Security (turned 62 in May and decided to apply for "early retirement"). My disability application is still pending, so I'm not currently eligible for Medicare/Medicaid (as far as I know). I'm hoping to have it all set up by late-November/December so I can drop the health insurance. I will actually have more access to lower cost health care without health insurance. Something is wrong with this picture??!
Check out your local Lowe's for bargains on fruit trees (apple, pear, peach, pomegranate, etc.) and spring flowering trees (ornamental pear, dogwood, etc.). The 6 - 8 ft trees in 5 gal pots are 75% off (final price = about $6) at the Lowe's where I do most of my garden shopping. Wal-Mart had citrus trees for $3 - $5 (I got a 1 gal Persian Lime for $3!). Also, all the big box stores currently have sales on patio furniture, charcoal grills, etc. It is the time of year when they must get rid of all the spring/summer merchandise to make room for the sudden onslaught of Christmas items, which will be arriving by mid-October.
For patio cushions and other yard stuff , check out Home Goods. I have found some great deals there and am embarassed to say that usually I just hit the clearance sections.
They have great cushions and SMith and Hawken yard stuff as well.
Be pround you are a smart shopper. Being in bus. for 30 years I am familiar with markup. Furniture & jewelry are usually marked up 3 times from wholesale pricing. Anything you buy is at least twice the price of wholesale. I never doubled price of any fabrics I sold and still made some profit. This country is going to price themselves out of existence if they aren't careful.
I like Home Goods also but it is rather far from me so don't get there often which is a good thing.
My youngest dgt. says she only shops with Clarence which means clearence to her. She is very frugal and has the bank accounts to prove it. Often wish I was more like her. She got it from her father not me.
I feel like I should a Home Goods card that shows all the different places I've been to! The stores in New york have more "Florida" stuff than the florida stores! I'm famous for deals-- Don't do malls much at all, but have fun on line and in places like Home Goods!
Qwilter - I just purchased one of those large planters to use for my bubbler. I'm working towards adding elements to my yard to have it certified as a wildlife habitat. Adding a water feature was on the list, so I opted for a bubbler.
Here is the pic of my work in progress. I still have to get more rock. . . It took a few more bags than expected.
OK, that is what I was thinking of doing with 1 of mine. Did you just plug the hole in the bottom?
I'd like to find an inexpensive solar way to power mine.
I even have that plant you show behind your pot.
Qwilter - Lowes has a kit where you can turn any flower pot into a bubbler. I purchased this on sale for around $45. You run a tube up through the drainage hole and attach to a small pump. There are parts to plug the hole. I'm sure there are probably pumps out there that are solar. I looked at several fountains online that were solar. The pagoda plant behind my pot is a volunteer one. I have several around the corner from this. I purchased one about 3 years ago and now I have several around the flower bed. I really like them so I just let them naturalize where they grow.
I got 3 - 4 of those large Mexican pots at HD several years ago. Be cautious about planting a tree or palm that may grow an extensive root system within the pot. Due to the narrowing of the pot neck, I had to smash a pot to get a root-bound plant out of it. I do love the pots though and have never found anything similar for $20. The ones I got at that price were not glazed, so you really got a deal if the glazed ones are $20! It looks like it may be a salt glaze or some other glaze that is inexpensive to apply (but looks great!).
After a few weeks of trying to navigate the murky, shark-infested waters of health care, I am finally set up to get a biopsy done on the perineal mass next Friday, 9/18. After I explained to the doctor's surgery scheduler that I was running into roadblocks for the amount of upfront cash required by clinics and hospitals, the doctor's office called me and said the doc would be willing and able to do the biopsy in his office. The results of the biopsy will let him know whether to proceed with the colonoscopy or what treatment options may be available. I am certainly grateful that the doctor heard my plea! It was not really what I expected after such a struggle to find affordable treatment.
Here's a photo of an Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia) from this afternoon. We finally got a dry day here -- and cool outside to boot --- but I haven't felt well enough with the consistent pain to do much. I think this may be a step-child of one of Mistressgardner's Brugs that she gave me when she was moving out of her house in SE Jax. I just this week tossed some fertilizer in the direction of the Brugs, which is generally enough to give them the stimulus to bloom.
Been thinking about Jeremy. The 18th was yesterday but , of course, friday isnt until day after tommorrow. Not sure which one was his appointment. I hope thats a test you dont have to wait long to find out what it showed.
wish it would dry off over here. Ive got to get out and roundup...the weeds the weeds the weeds. Hate the chemicals, could never ever keep them controlled just by me alone. Just planted some collards, I hope some heavy mulching will keep things clear around them.
Shrimp plants have taken over in and amongst my pine cone ginger. No contest there.
Brugs blooming here too. Like Jeremy, I just threw some milorganite over there when doing my daylilies and they loved it.
Hydrangea reblooming too. Hope it goes until the camellias bloom.