There is much to be said and much in our hearts but for now some deep reflection on the way forward and light to be restored and rekindled and returned to kindness and goodness and peace in the face of our fears and the loss of untold and untellable volumes of innocence..
My neighborly neighbors, let's keep in touch and chatting.
Judy, that's beautiful!! Both the words and sentiments, and the picture. Is that in front of your house? Just gorgeous!!
Today is my last day of work for the season, YIPPEEEE!!!! Hopefully (prayerfully!), the guys will (finally!!) come finish up those last few windows and the front door tomorrow (too many "oops, this thing happend, gotta reschedule" stories to tell, just want it done already before Spring!), then on to enjoy a long extended Christmas weekend at home with DH, and hopefully son as well. (working retail is the pits for getting to see family when they're not real close).
Here's to a HAPPY FRIDAY to all of you!!! I hope it is Peace-full and Joy-full!! < =)
Yes, that's such a beautiful and unusual lighted display piece!! Tell us more about it. Today is such a windy and horrible rainy day that I might leave my last minute food shopping trip until tomorrow, even though I like to avoid the weekend crowds.
Hope everyone's Christmas Spirit is soaring now so that the universe gets loaded with Love, Kindness and Generosity which will be appreciated in these hard times.
That is really beautiful. I saw something similar at Ikea it was made from paper. A heavy laminated type, I would have brought it home but I didn't like that it was made from paper. Thanks for the links, I see that the wood one is out of stock but I will keep the link maybe later I can get one. I love different types of stars.
I wanted to share with you some pictures to show you how proud i am of the cleanliness and
the well taken of Houseplants we have in my HD.
All the credit goes to Pam and some of the other "Bell Nursery" people that take care of out plants.
Granted--we are a low-volume store--so we do not get tons ofplants to start with.
Granted, also, that we are one of the four HD's in our area that are fortunate to have a Green House.
Only the first four HD's had them built. All the ones after that have their plants inside the store. NOT as good!
SO! Today I too my Camera and took some pictures to show you. Enjoy--
And, if your store does not look like this--complain...complain..complain! Take your business elsewhere...
Here are some pictures of grouped, larger plants inside our GH, and some-just outside of it--in the inside Garden area.
They sure do look great Gita.
We had a small party here last night with family and some long time friends. Had such a great time. Heading out this morning to pick up just a few last minute things. Hopefully I will get in and out of the stores before they become a mad house.
Gosh Gita, those plants look wonderful! Some of the trees look so good they look fake... real ones can't possibly look that good. ;) Kudos to your Bell Ladies!
It's finally looking and feeling wintery around my neck o' the woods. Ran out to get the grocery shopping done a bit ago, and it was dry when I walked into the store, however it was pouring down rain/sleet/snow mix when I left the store, Yikes! Interestingly enough, it was as though someone flipped the switch "off" when I turned into my neighborhood. I guess we live right on that line...
The new front door is in!!!! (Needless to say, I forgot to take pics of the old one, DUH!). I'll get pics of the new one when it's not all wet and icky out... the rainy mixy stuff caught up with me after we got the truck unloaded. =) Merry Christmas to us, our front door and window fiasco is done!! < =D
But, most importantly, a VERY Merry Christmas to YOU ALL!! =)
Well--I am back from a horrendous drive home from NJ. Going up was a "breeze"!!!
What should have been 3 hours max--turned out to be 6 1/2 hours of creeping behind red break lights--
snow and then hard rain. Can't see the lane markers--cars shifting lanes--trucks all over the place---
it was ridiculous!
After a while--going 10MPH on the Turnpike for 2 hours was very stressful. Later--30MPH seemed great!
It must have taken an hour or more total from when I came off the NJ Turnpike--then that stretch between that and the Bridge--
and then at least 1/2 hr. to get to the toll booths--and then the stupid "jockeying" to be in the right 2 lanes
so one can continue on I-95 South. I know about that--so I stay in the far lane--but many do not.
Luckily--I make it a point NOT to stress out--just take my time, listen to all kinds of CD's or Tapes
(yes! i can do that in my Subaru) eat all kinds of snacks, etc...Sing along--in different languages--whatever...
But staring at nothing but red break lights for 6+ hours was getting to me--like it was "hypnotic"...
One looses the sense of how fast/slow you are going...Then--I had to break so very often--as did everyone else.
Creep...break---creep...break---change lanes--cause that one is moving a bit better...
Creep---change lanes again...Hmmm--maybe the "fast" lane will be better--NO trucks!
Creep--b/c everyone had the same idea...etc...etc...etc...
OK! Glad I AM back safe--and let me get on to better things here...
Re the plants, above, looking GREAT!
Yes, they do! But after a while home--all the predictable things will appen.
--Eventually--they will drop a slew of lower leaves. It is hard to maintain the humidity they grew in in FL.
--The upper leaves, especially in the Fiddle Leaf Ficus with get brown, crusty edges. same reason.
--Someone will, absolutely, HAVE TO re-pot something, even if it does not need it--and do it wrong.
Especially the big Yucca and Corn Plants. You mess with them--and they will never stand up straight again.
I always suggest that, if they don't like the ugly, black pots, they can put the whole pot in a bigger, prettier pot
instead of transplanting. Some things just are better left alone.
--That gorgeous, Shefflera Amate (my fave. plant) will drop most of its leaves in a year or two and end up with bare stems.
I speaketh of experience. Yes--even mine is close to total demise.
These plants must have just come in for the Holidays. They DO look fresh and healthy.
A warning, though. Hiding in many of these large, beautiful plants, out of sight,
are Mealy Bugs or Scale. My Sheff. has had scale on it for a year+ now. Or--maybe I just noticed it?
I have done all i can--soap and water--alcohol---Systemic in the soil--etc.
but now i am contemplating cutting the whole plant back to, maybe, 12" stubs. It has 3 stems.
Do you think this plant will re-grow from such a hard cut-back???? Anyone?
What do i have to lose??? Last hopeless effort.
Heya! Hope everybody had a Merry Christmas, Blessed Solstice, Happy Hanuka, and Joyful Holiday! :-)
Gita, we hit that same sort of creeping traffic on our way home from Pittsburgh on Thursday... conditions were OK; I think it was just jammed with all the people who had delayed their travels during the snow the day before.
Does anybody want something from Hazzard Seeds? I got an email from them, and since I'm sure I'll meet their minimum the deal will be 10% off list price and free shipping... mostly pretty big packets, but you can split them up at the swap! Joyanna is choosing a special flower seed again this year and wants something in "rainbow" colors. Maybe I'll let her do her own swapping this year instead of putting seeds from her in the goodie bags.
I can provide Joyanna with plenty of "Broken Colors 4 O'Clocks" seeds. Talk about rainbow colors!
How many plants are there that bloom in such an assortment of colors--on the SAME plant????
I will be coming to the seed swap--for sure. I have started getting the "itch" to start organizing and
bagging up all the seeds I have--plus all the ones i collected this summer.
Now that the Holidays are over--this is my next "must do" chore...
Was thinking of doing it today--but then got the itch to go shopping for X-mas 50% off deals--
went to Boscovs---got some wrapping paper. Wanted to get some cards--but their original prices
were so bizarrely outrageous ($15 and $20 a box) that even at 75% off it seemed ridiculous.
So I went to Tuesday Morning and got a bunch of boxed cards--their reg. price is about $4-$6. a box.
So--59% off--can't beat it! Got all kinds of other things as well...
Blew $100 there! So many things 50% off THEIR LOW prices. Plus--All their yellow tagged, clearance items
were an additional 50% off.
I have to stop doing this! Everything is going up this coming year. Self discipline needed here...
Ask Joyanna if she likes these flowers. (the 4's).
Thanks! We've got some winter sowing containers ready to go for her... she'll like planting the 4 o'clocks, because they're big enough to be easy to handle and easy to spot when they sprout! I'm sure they'll get plenty of freeze-thaw in Feb/March.
It's pretty easy to notice those gorgeous sunrises and sunsets with the view from my living room. Not to mention that in the fall and winter I don't even have to get up really early to see them. LOL
Yes, we still have snow, got about 4-5 inches just a few days ago. Not looking quite a pristine as it did but most of it is still on the ground. We had some heavy winds yesterday so a lot of it blew away.
I went to Meadows Farm in Chantilly yesterday (the only local one still open for the winter) to buy some pine bark mulch -- ssgardener told me that their Kambark mulch is really pine bark fines, and at $3.99 for 2 cu. ft it is a terrific price. I need a lot of soil amendment for my awful front hill.
My awful hill has really been quite an education. I am fearful that we didn't add enough soil amendment to the part of the hill we planted first (that is, the bulk of it). We probably added 2" of compost throughout. The soil is predominantly clay. It was quite dry when we were working it, so I think I was deceived into thinking it wasn't so bad. The soil was more workable than I had expected -- I had expected it to be more like hardpan than it was, and I didn't "respect" the clay sufficiently. But the last few "columns" I worked on (I've been working on it as if it were an Excel spreadsheet, with columns and rows, starting on the far right of the hill and gradually working my way over) -- I worked on those last columns about two days after the last heavy rain, just before Christmas. The clay was still very sticky, heavy and awful. It would grab my shoes as if it were quicksand. So I realize now, with the benefit of hindsight, that I need to increase the amount of soil amendments for the columns I haven't yet planted (hence the Meadows Farm trip -- I finally ran out of compost). I tried to only plant plants that are ok in clay, but I strayed from core principles, of course. I'm really worried now that I didn't do enough to improve the soil, and so I'm determined to add a lot more amendments to the final columns.
The photos are a few weeks old. I started on the far right side of the hill back in October (you can see the edge in the second photo -- the big grasses are on my neighbor's property). The outline of the columns and rows are still very visible. We used tracking tape to mark them (each square is about a yard long on each side). Then I wrote the names of the plants on a paper spreadsheet (I'll transfer it to Excel down-the-road). I tried to design it so the plants would appear in "drifts." Pippi pointed me towards a really helpful article in Fine Gardening that suggested "drifts." The plants barely show in the photos - most are so tiny! There are about 30 columns in all (only a few show in the photos -- I'm sparing you!). I'm now working on column 23 -- but the columns get very short so there isn't much left to do. (The first columns had about 10 rows; the final one has maybe 2). I may just let it go until the spring, unless there is a warm stretch (it is supposed to hit 50 degrees on Wednesday, so I have a fighting chance). The photo on the left shows the area I'm working on now -- I hadn't planted that area when I took the photo. I've now planted a few of those "columns" (again, working from right to left). You can see the front door way to the right on the first photo, and that same front door is way to the left on the second photo. The hill is very very steep - the photos are deceptive.
Every time I work on it, I think of you all. Pippi's Magnus is in there, and Gita's Pacificum, Ruby's Aster, Jill's Biokovo, just to name a very few of your contributions for which I am very grateful. I'll probably add some of Holly's Aquilegia.
But back to Meadows Farms. They have put all their remaining perennials under large pieces of fairly heavy clear plastic tarps with a few slashes in them. I asked why - they said it helps avoid damage to the roots due to wet winter soil I wonder if I should do that to the container plants I overwinter. I always lose some due to wet winter soil -- plants like Gaura that don't like wet winter feet. But I'm surprised the plants wouldn't burn under the clear plastic. Alternately, in the past I have turned potted hostas on their side for the winter, especially if a winter storm is due. I wonder if I should do that to all the container plants? Maybe I should do whichever seems easier? Maybe just for the plants that are fully dormant? What do you do?
Last comment: I have completely fallen in love with Sarcococcas. I was able to get 4 Sarcococca hookeriana var. 'Humilis' plants half price at Meadows Farms at the end of the season (so, less than $7 a pot). They had been sitting in their large pots all season, clearly, so I was able to divide them each into 3 or 4 plants. They are very very slow growing, but I am patient (or more accurately, cheap). Lazy S's website says they "are without peer for growing, blooming and fruiting in deep shade." And, Chantell, they are fragrant! Now I want to hunt down Sarcococca confusa. It grows to 6' (the Humilis is more of a ground cover). Lazy S says: "S. confusa has a lot of things going for it: It blooms in winter and when you walk by, the fragrance is wonderful in a season when you expect to smell nothing in the garden. It's much more fragrant than the more common, S. hookeriana. The white bloom is small and is on the bush at the same time as the glossy black berries which is just maturing from red from the previous year's blooms! How cool! It was introduced in 1916 so it's stood the test of time. It will take deep shade! Spreads by underground shoots." Look at this photo -- is this gorgeous or what? http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/179567/.
Hope you accomplish everything you plan to do in the new year!
This may be an impossible job--but have you ever considered terracing the hill?
That hill must be H--- to work on! I would be so afraid of slipping and falling...but that is only because
I cannot trust my knees (they are both replaced) on a hillside. Very, very scary!
I am sure you know how great day lilies are for hillsides. They tend to form strong roots that hold the soil in place.
I think this refers to the average "Ditch Lilies"...maybe not--maybe they all do it?
Someone, a while ago, was offering a lot of these-like, come and get them...Who was it????
WOW, Happy, this must be exhausting! Did you really use up all that compost you had in your back yard? There must have been 3-4 cubic yards there, at least. How did you end up diverting the pipes from the top of the hill?
That sarcococcas sweetbox looks fantastic. I have the perfect spot for that dwarf variety in my back yard...
Happy, maybe you can continue to improve the rest of the soil by throwing leaf-gro around as a mulching layer. Greenthumb says he's been putting down leaf gro (compost amendment) instead of mulch, and it works its way into the soil relatively quickly. I "mulched" with compost last year, and I think I'm going to keep doing so where feasible. You can get it in bulk like mulch (extra shoveling compared to getting it in bags, but cheaper).
Your hill looks amazing! Just think of those roots growing all through the winter, plants waiting to take off in spring!
WOW Happy, that is a lot of work. Looks really good can't wait till spring to see it start growing. Could take a couple of years before it looks like you want it too. I remember how bare my front gardens looked that first year I planted them. Filling in with a lot of annuals, now I can barely fit a few in. Love the Sarcococca hookeriana such a pretty plant.
Wow happy. Kudos for your organizational skills . I think it'll look really good. Nice score on the Sarcococca.
Mulch will help augment the additions you've done, Some drifts of annual (wave petunias?) might fill out some areas just for the year or two, if needed.
Gita: Terracing is out of the question. Just too expensive. And it is soooo steep that there would be more wall than plants. Plus, I don't like our front -- I don't want to spend much time on it. In the summer it gets very hot and unpleasant. I wanted plants that would live forever and not require much tending, while keeping the hill from eroding.
But you are right, balancing on that hill while digging was no mean feet. If I put a potted plant down temporarily before digging it in, I had to be really careful how I placed it or it would roll down the hill to the street. It was definitely hard on the knees. My worst nightmare is that the new plants will be dwarfed by weeds and I'll have to spend every summer weekend weeding the hill -- or worse, that the new plants won't make it through the winter and I'll have to start all over again.
I love daylilies -- at one time I was a fairly serious collector of them, but finally realized we just don't have a sunny-enough back yard to do them justice. We still have loads in the back, but they don't multiply fast and really don't look as good as they would in a better location. I'd love to cover the front hill with daylilies - they look wonderful on a slope. The problem is that we have lots of deer in our neighborhood. The bottom of the hill is anchored with ditch lilies (it was me who was giving them away), and the deer eat the flowers before they bloom each year. So when I picked out plants for the hill, in addition to requiring the plants to be able to survive drought and to be able to live on a rocky, clay hillside, I looked for plants that deer don't like... So daylilies were out of the question.
SS: We did indeed use up all that compost - many many wheelbarrow-loads full. And the front hill swallowed it up as if it never got anything! It was, frankly, shocking to me.
The Fine Gardening article I mentioned was not the one you linked to (though that one looks very helpful). It was from the October 2012 issue -- here is a link to the on-line version, which is not quite the same as the printed version: http://www.finegardening.com/pages/tetiva-impress-from-a-distance1.asp . The challenge for me was to be able to know where to plant what. That's when I decided to use the Excel approach. I tried to plant in several adjoining "cells" to get the look of drifts, and I tried to stagger the plantings, but I am still worried that the final impression will be of a checkerboard which would be frustrating. Time will tell.
Critter: I'm not a fan of Leafgro -- we used to use it on the lawn in the backyard when we reseeded but it seemed to disintegrate pretty quickly. I really really like the pine bark fines. They are labeled at American Plant Food as "soil conditioner" (at almost $10 a bag), but what appears to be the same product is just called "mulch" at Meadows Farm. (We also looked at Home Depot and Lowes, but their pine bark chunks were way too large to use as soil conditioner). We have started a new compost pile (we get a lot of leaves), so I'll have a new stock next year. But what I haven't been able to figure out is how to get it onto the hill. If I just toss shovelfuls down, I won't be able to reach every spot and I'm likely to smother that which I do reach. I don't want to walk down the hill again if I can avoid it -- especially not carrying mulch or compost. (To plant the hill, I always worked on the "column' to the right of me, so once I finished a column I never stepped on it again.) I also can't figure out how to fertilize it, though the compost may be sufficient.
Have you had a problem with weeds in the bulk compost you bought? (Same question to ssgardener, with respect to her mulch from Takoma Park.) I'm worried that it might be full of noxious weeds.
I hope I haven't been too late planting my little plants, and that all those roots don't just get overwhelmed by the cold and die. I'm sure many will die -- I'm steeled for that -- and we'll just replant with whatever neighboring plants survive (survival of the fittest at the core). But if most die, I'll be sick. (You should have seen us when the hurricane came through this past fall. I was so worried that the whole hill would wash away, since it was so newly dug and planted, that we covered it with blue tarps!)
Holly: I know in my heart that the little plants will be little for the first few years, but I'm putting my head in the sand on that one because I know what it also means is there will be vast expanses for weeds to grow. Especially with the big ornamental grasses -- for those, I put only one tiny plant in a 36"x36" "cell." I really can't afford enough annuals to fill in the empty spaces. I can't just broadcast seeds because I don't want annuals to overwhelm my perennial babies. I'm hoping I can mulch sufficiently to ward off the weeds, though as I said above, I'm not sure how to get the mulch to where it is needed. Ugh.
Most of the time I'm really just sticking my fingers in my ears and not listening to the voices in my head telling me all the reasons this project isn't going to work! My neighbor's yard looks gorgeous though, and she started with about the same conditions that I have, though her front yard is much smaller and more accessible. (Unfortunately, she used some reseeding grasses so one of my challenges will be to pull out her babies that sprout on my side!)
While my neighbors think I'm nuts to be out there working on the hill in 40 degree weather (or worse), it has been really quite pleasant. Not pleasant is to be out there in the summer with the heat beating down on me, so if this doesn't work, the front hill may regress to ivy!
Caution on the Sarcococca hookeriana: It is really really really slow to take off. I have a plant in the back yard I put in maybe 3 years ago, and it doesn't look much bigger than when I planted it, but if I squint at it I can see that it is filling out a bit. But I understand that once it finally settles in, it can grow to 8' across. I have two concrete urn-shaped planters on either side of the front door and I potted a Sarcococca hookeriana var. 'Humilis' in each -- they look a tad silly now, but I am hoping eventually they'll spill down the sides and spice the air when they bloom. No one uses our front door anyway -- everyone comes to the kitchen door -- so only the letter carrier enjoys how ridiculous they look. But at least I know I have a plant there I don't need to remember to water!!!
SallyG: Your post came while I was writing my last post. Don't know about any organizational skills! At many levels, this has been the blind leading the blind, with me playing both parts! But thanks -- I'll take all compliments now, before we can all see whether it works or not!
I am determined not to water much, so I don't think petunias will make it. Plus the soil is really pretty awful. But I'll try to mulch as best I can, though as noted above it may be tough to do. I can mulch the top of the hill, and the bottom, fairly easily, but I don't know about the middle!
I do not have much to contribute here--but your concern about fertilizing made me think of a product HD carries.
It is in the lawn fertilizer aisle--and is called "Milorganite".
Milorganite is the by product of the Sanitary Water treatment plant and is a clean, non-odorous product.
The consistency is that of very small, black granules--non clumping.
Its numbers are--5-2-0. It comes in a 40lb. bag and costs only $12. 50 + or -.
It has no odor to us to speak of--maybe, initially, a touch of mustiness which disappears.
It is a much unappreciated product--as people do not know about it.
Compared to Scotts and Vigoro--it is a real bargain.
AND--since it is made from all the waste waters of the municipality--it may just have a lingering odor to the deer
that might repel them.
You could just throw handfuls down the hill--like sowing seed.
Thanks, Gita; I'm not a fan of Milorganite. I've used it before, but in my opinion it isn't odorless and I worry about the heavy metals in it. I know many people are fans of it though, and I don't mean to knock it. I did buy some fairly recently because I heard it can deter chipmunks, of which we have a huge population... I love the notion of turning waste into something wonderful.
That picture is absolutely gorgeous, but it looks like they get plenty of sun on that hill.
About the College Park mulch: I haven't had any issues with any winter weeds so far, and I had a *ton* of creeping charlie last winter when my garden wasn't mulched properly. So the CP mulch is suppressing the weed seeds that are already in my garden.
The mulch was literally steaming hot when it came off the truck, so I think a lot of weed seeds were killed while the pile sat around in their facility all summer. Also, it has that rough woodsy consistency that seeds don't like.
About fertilizing/weed control: Have you considered corn meal gluten? It suppresses seed germination (good for suppressing your neighbor's grass seeds as well as weed seeds that were brought up to the surface with all the digging) while providing nitrogen to the established plants. It's a pre-emergent that's supposed to be applied in early spring. I've never tried it but will be making a trip to the feed store pretty soon to pick up a 50 lb bag. The only thing is I don't know how practical it would be to apply that to your hill.
As to deer, our population is SOOOO large that there is nothing we could do to deter them in the front of the house from a practical perspective. Better for us, at least, to just use plants they don't like than to fight an uphill battle. We did put deer netting all the way around the back yard, so we don't get deer in the back.
Corn gluten is a great idea, ssgardener. I don't know what the application rate is, though; it may be too pricey for me (as I recall it isn't cheap). I've considered it for years for my lawn, but I never figured out how to time the application so I could still reseed the lawn, but avoid the noxious weeds. But on the front hill it could be perfect.
Thanks, SallyG, I'll check out Ace Hardware's mulch. It might be the same thing Meadows Farm sells, but that's a long drive for me so I'd be thrilled to find a closer source. Do you recall the brand name of what you buy from Ace?
It's no big name and looks sort of generic, might even be ace brand. I have a bag I can check later. My Ace ha s little sample s to looks at. But I know this one is called mulch and is smaller than nuggets.
Sally -- I'd be interested in the labeling, if you get a moment. The Ace hardware nearest me that I thought might carry it seems to have closed. There are a number of hardware stores affiliated with Ace near me, but they don't necessarily carry the Ace brands (Strosniders just switched over, for example). There are some Ace hardware stores in DC, but I bet they don't have a large mulch selection because of space limitations, though I could be wrong.
Random question. I've been cleaning out closets. We have 2 bottles of mineral oil that I don't think have been carefully kept (so I don't want to use them "internally") (I think my FIL may have drunk it directly from the bottle). Are there any good uses for the stuff, or should I pitch it?
Thanks, Roses; that was helpful. I can see one use right away: "Metal tools and weapons such as knives and wrenches are often coated in the oil to keep them from rusting through oxidation; it also keeps water off of the surfaces due to its hydrophobic properties." Now I don't have any weapons lying around, but I do have some metal tools, and I bet it would work on gardening tools as well ...
I know you can mix sand and mineral oil and put that into a pail and plunge dirty shovels, etc., in it to clean them and deter rust (not that I've ever done this -- you should see the shape of our garden tools!); maybe I could substitute the mineral oil?
I have used Milorganite on my lawn now for at least 2 years. I have the best lawn I have ever had.
I had lawn Service for 15 years--ans this, to me, beats them all. There!
I only apply it in the early spring. Could do a late summer app., but by then I don't feel like it.
I try to "push" it when I work in the Garden Section in the early summer--usually from mid Aptil until end of June.
The brand name fertilizers are SOOO expensive.
I am a bit leery though, as Vigoro is a HD brand, and I don't want to suggest other things. Must stay faithful to
MY company...but I do mention it any time I can. We ALL are watching out money--so the cheaper the better--
as long as it does the job.
Mowing high, at least 3", and a lush lawn can keep many weeds from coming up.
They need sun to germinate--hard to do under a 3" carpet of grass.
Hmmm...I thought there were weed-killers around that are not chemical.
Corn Gluten???? Not sure--but I think it has been mentioned...
I always mow at 3". I also ALWAYS let the clippings fall back to the lawn. I never bag!
And--contrary to what many people think--NO! it does not contribute to thatch formation.
Two inches first mowing in early spring--and 2" as my last, before frost,
mowing in the very late fall. Nnever got to it this year--as we had so much rain--everything was always too wet.
At least the lawn grass was not too tall to be left for the winter.
Good healthy soil will have good fungus that eats the thatch before it builds up.
Happy- mineral oil for the tools sounds super- and yes I have read that, and no we do not keep our tools any cleaner than you seem to!
Gita: We do mow at 3" and we don't bag the clippings. I need to check the mower to confirm, but that is where it is supposed to be set. Some over-zealous person might have shifted it when I wasn't looking so as to be able to mow less frequently. Part of the problem with the weeds is that my lawn is pretty shady, so the grass isn't growing as vigorously as it might be otherwise... And I'm not good about fertilizing.
BTW, I do like these winter days, because with the leaves down I can fool myself into thinking I have a sunny yard!
Here's the mulch. I'm sure it was 3.99 the bag or 3 49 possible. A few big chunks you can pick out but for your purpose wouldn't need to.
About the same volume as the 10$ bag of potting mix at Lowes. So I mix them.
KamBark -- that's exactly what MeadowsFarms has, for exactly the same price. Now I just need to find an Ace Hardware near me that carries it! (Even when it is open, Meadows Farms is a drive for me, but all but their Richmond and Chantilly stores close from Christmas until maybe March.)
Sally, you have to submit that to the next DG photo contest!
Thanks to Joyanna, I've probably worn more nail polish in the past year or so than in my previous adult life! Gaudy polish, too. Right now, my nails are very dark purple with a layer of iridescent glittery red on top. Hers are bright pink topped with rose glitter.
Found out last night as we talked with our oldest son in Oregon that we will have grandy #11 join our family soon. God seems to be opening doors for them to adopt a little 6yr old half-Somali boy by the end of the month. Looking forward to meeting Markus in person this summer. Very excited for them as they become the Jackson 5.
[quote="ROSES_R_RED"]Just Googled Wintersweet. Not good for zone 6a.[/quote]
I think you would be surprised. You aren't that much further from me or Gita. I forget who said it but I never believe any of the hardiness until I have personally given it three attempts. You could always try a few seeds, although be warned it is not a fast growing plant. It does smell delicious but I believe other than that it isqquite useless. I yield to Gita as she has a mature WS.
For once--you are right on as well...
It smells amazing when in bloom--and each bloom makes a seed pod the size of a small peanut-in-the-shell which
holds 2-5 seeds---which are chesnut brown and the size of small beans. Collecting them on a shrub the size of mine
is downright dangerous--as I have to teeter on a 5' ladder to get to them.
Planting it from seed--you will have to wait about 6-7 years before you will ever see it bloom. A long time...
Roses---I am not raving about the WS--as I have had it now for about 13 years.
Other than it blooming in late winter on totally bare stems--(it is starting now) and having an amazing fragrance when it does--
there is nothing else beautiful or exciting about this shrub to me. Also--I think it will do Ok in your zone 6a. I am in zone 7a.
Maybe I just have had it for too long...the "glow" is gone.
Like the Olympic torch--I am happy to pass it on to those who still are looking forward to this "glow"...
Terp you have a blooming size wintersweet?
Mahonia bealii, oregon grape holly, will bloom very soon and has a nice lemony sweet smell. I guess it is not as strong as wintersweet but i have yet to get blooms on my wintersweet so i don't know. M. bealeii is borderline invasive here. The nicer Mahonia might bloom in winter, not sure. But yeah the list is very short.
Check into witch hazel. are they fragrant? Good couple things to investigate at an arboretum in january.
Witch hazel is supposed to be wonderfully fragrant, but apparently that can vary... maybe with the cultivar? I planted one right by the deck, hoping to enjoy sweet fragrance in late winter... I have never been able to smell one tiny bit of fragrance from its blooms.
I'm hoping for blooms from my new hellebore plants, but they may need another year to get established. I do have one clump of daffodils ('Rjinveld's Early Sensation') that has put up a dozen or more fat buds already, on 3 to 8 inch tall stems... that's the one that bloomed Jan 31 last year. I could probably cut a few and bring them inside to force the bloom.
Gita, I put your clivia into the cool basement to let it go dormant... and just after Thanksgiving, I saw it putting out a beautiful bloom... so it got a good drink and came upstairs for a couple of weeks, and now it's back in the basement. I think I should probably give you the yellow one, if you want it, because it's just not blooming or even growing much for me.
Sally! Paul's WS would not be blooming--it is just a tiny new plant.
He knows how it smells bc he swung by my place on his way to NJ before the Holidays--
and my WS already had a couple blooms open. I pulled one off and he put it in his pocket to sniff.
Sally--how old is your WS now? Is it 5 years yet? I am using yours as a gauge of how long it would take to bloom.
I always heard it would be 7 years...I think when yours blooms--we should all get together to sniff and celebrate...
Jill, why is your yellow Clivia not growing? How old is it? got a picture?
The yellow ones are 3x as expensive as the orange ones. You should keep it.
I think you would be surprised. You aren't that much further from me or Gita. I forget who said it but I never believe any of the hardiness until I have personally given it three attempts. [/quote]
You are so right Paul, that's the magic of the microclimate. What may be too cold, too shady, too sunny, too wind-whipped... in one place, may be perfect a mere 10 feet away. (or, a house away). It doesn't work well on the hill? Move it down into the little valley. It isn't thriving close to the house? Move it farther out into the yard. It's not working in full sunlight? Move it nearer a tree line for some dappled shade. All those little variations make up numerous microclimates, and can make the difference between "I can't grow this 'hardy to zone 9' plant!" and "I CAN grow it here in my zone 7b!!".
I have heard that the flowers of the Winter Sweet can be used in teas, but I've not tried it. Maybe Gita has? She probably knows more about that than I do, I've only heard about it being done. YoooHooooo, Gitaaaaa!!! You drrrrrrrink zeee chimonanthus teeaaaa?
I think that I'll try the Winter Sweet when I figure out where to put it. I'd like the fragrance near the house, but I'm not sure that it would be attractive enough right up front. Lots of other places where I can place it. Gita, I have your Brazilian Plume Flower in an upstairs bedroom that is not heated above 55 unless we get guests up there. It is in a window with a little north east exposure and is doing fine so far!!
Thanks, Gita , mystery solved about terp-pauls WS.
Gita my WS is more like three or four years old.
Yes Teri I doubt it is a front house bush. It would fit in with a natural area where you don't expect so much prettiness. I plan to trim one long stem and will stick it in a pot in case it roots. Get you one year closer than seed.
Gita- my first encounter with a winter sweet was at the national arboretum on a full moon tour. Which led me to look for it on DG and ultimately getting another smell of yours mid December. I can't wait for the plant you gave me to get to be the size of yours.
IF you could arrange for someone with a back hoe to come here and dig the whole thing up'
ball it up burlap for the trip back to your neck of the woods--I would gladly get rid of it.
I have seen it through the years and it really does not do much for me any more.
I know one thing--it will be loaded with seed pods this year--as it has so many blooms coming on it.
Then I could plant something prettier there--or just grow my Dr. Seuss in this small bed--
that would free up the bed it usually "colonizes" and I could plant some nicer flowers there.
The shrub I have is about 16 or 17 yrs old--or so. I got it from a customer when i was working
in the garden dept, which would have been from 1998-2003.
Don't know exactly how old it was when I first got it. It was in a 2 or 3 gal. pot
and seemed to have been pruned back--not too tall at all. kind of stubby...
Give it some thought????????????? Your dreams would come true...
The man that gave me this shrub--Bernie--a customer here---told me that this shrub can only be
propagated by seed. There are other varieties of the WS that can be grown from cuttings.
However, Sally, what do you have to lose??? Go for it!
Bernie and I actually traded tit for tat--I gave him a start of a Tamarac tree (Larch)
which has NO business growing in this zone--it usually grows way up North--
but my friend had one and it always dropped the cones and they rooted.
She had one dug up and in a 2 gal pot--and she gave it to me.
Bernie was quite the horticulturist and wanted my Tamarac--and I got the WS in the trade.
Bernie was diagnosed with cancer 2 years later and died within 6 months.
I have always called my WS--"Bernie's Tree"...in his memory.
I am sure Bernie would not mind at all if it was moved to grow somewhere else...
From what i can tell you--the roots, at least the surface roots, are fine, brownish, and spread out.
I cannot dig in that small bed without tangling up with the roots. They have a wonderful scent
when crunched--kind of anise-like.
What kind of a root system lays below--I have NO idea.
Perhaps you can inquire in Lg, Nurseries or Arboretums...or Google it... .
Just for fun--I did some Googling for you.
This is from Garden Web. Lots of discussion on the different WS's by members.
I think mine is the Chimonanthus Praecox "luteus". Not sure...
from the below link--these blooms look the most like mine:
Quoted: Dog paw Lamei (Var.intermedius): also called dog teeth or red wintersweet plum,Gou Yingmei, Gou Yingmei. Leaf wolf, flowers small, perianth narrowly pointed yellow, outer, inner wheel purpura, light incense. Strong resistance. The original place of Qinling Mountains in Central China, Daba region and other regions, with Shaanxi and Hubei as the center of distribution.
Link to this very extensive information--Chinese Wikipedia:
Paul! You think you can dig up and lift a 17 yrat old shrub by yourself?????????????????
Just think of all the dirt that will be clinging to it! At least bring a burly buddy!
Even just all by itself--(No soil) the shrub would weigh about 70-80lbs.
Add over 100lbs to that...
I think it would not be so hard to ask someone HERE to mousy over and dig up a shrub with a backhoe.
I can ask around...May cost a few bucks--BUT...please! Do not injure yourself!!!
You have to lift.drag it into a truck as well to get it home...Don't be a fool!
One option is to seriously cut back the Shrub by about 1/2. It will help anyway to compensate for the root loss.
Then it may be more manageable. All you will lose is bloom on the new sprouts for the next year.
For this--you may want to wait until it is done blooming and ready to go into its growth spurt and growing leaves.
Catch it in between the two--maybe around mid March--and then dig it up.
Give it some thought. I know you are excited at the thought of this and anxious to get it.
Patience is a virtue...G.
2--Seeds ripening on shrub-2006-June
3--All the pods shelled that year. 2006-June. This may have been the first year it produced seeds.
4--here are the surface roots that are barely under the soil in this bed--2006-March.
5--Earliest shot I have--March--2005. early winter--as it is starting to bud.
This might be, approx. 3 or 4 years after I got this shrub from Bernie. SO! Assuming it was about 3 yrs. old at the time-
and then 3 more years to grow--this would make it about 7 or 8 years old. This is in 2005.
I do think that once it starts growing--it grows pretty fast.
Pruning it back pretty hard is probably a good idea regardless. Sometimes you don't know about a rootball until you start digging.. Pat & I dug up 3 azaleas she gave me, and they had way less than I'd have expected in the way of roots. Worst case, Paul starts digging and has to give up and come back with a pal or with power equipment. :-)
BTW, Pat -- I thought the summer heat had done in all 3 despite lots of watering, but one of them has leafed out well again, and another has possibilities. I kept watering, even once I thought they were gone, so maybe that helped. They're such pretty, well branched bushes... my fingers are crossed!
I agree - you never can tell how hard it will be to dig out a plant until you start digging. We once had a little tree we wanted to take out -- it must have once been a giant tree that was toppled and then came back, because the roots were unbelievable -- we never did get them out. On the other hand, sometimes shrubs that looks imposing turned out to be a snap to remove. You can't know for sure until you try. So I think it might not make sense to bother friends and rent backhoes until you see what you are up against.
Several years ago I had six well established shrubs I needed to relocate by the following Spring. That Fall I took a sharp bladed spade and 'root pruned' each of them in about a 2 - 3 foot diameter circle from the base down about 6 - 10 inches, thus forming the beginnings of a root ball. In several cases I also pried up/leveraged/ loosened the root ball so that for the most part, the shrub was overwintering sitting in a 'container' of soil it was growing in. Didn't do a lot of cutting back as plants were not in active growth . Did save most of the trimmings to try propagating them, using larger branches, etc than rec. but several took any way!
Not sure when the best time is for WS but methinks not when it is in flower.
PS, root pruning around the WS now will also give those perennials surrounding it less disturbance than as spring approaches as they will be busy all winter (such as it is these days) filling in what was lost.
Gita, if your bush is still blooming by Seed Swap time either you or Paul could bring some 'branches' to share! And maybe like forsythia or pussy willow they will root for us!
Judy and Sally--
You can be my experiments on rooting this WS from cuttings. Also Ben (whom you do not know)
in NJ--that I took two small WS plants and a bunch of cuttings in water. I said he could try to see if they will root???
We had it arranged that he would come to my sister's place when I got there and called him.
We have been D-mailing for more than a year--but I had never met him.
What a nice man! Totally different than I had imagined. Even brought me a Chinese coffee cake.
I am open to anyone disproving the advice I was given--that my WS is the kind that can ONLY
be propagated from seed. I was also told that there are other var. that can be rooted from cuttings.
Reading on the Ch. Wiki--and going by the pictures of different WS blooms--I am now fairly sure
that mine is called Chimonanthus Praecox "Gou Yin". Not "luteus" as I had thought.
This is the PF link to the one called "luteus". My pictures are in this link.
If you look at the very last one--a close-up of the bloom--my bloom has the purplish throat
which was in the picture called "Gou Ying". http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/299438/
I have to go back and read some of those links I Googled and posted above to see,
especially the one labeled "Chinese Wikipedia". Man! That had pages and pages of info. om the WS.
I can already see the tiniest tips of my Tahiti Daffs. showing around the WS shrub.
This week--it is supposed to be quite warm--so I am sure they will sprout up a bit more.
Getting the shovel out and digging them up and will try to plant them in a BIG pot, temporarily,
so as not to interrupt their spring emergence and blooms to be.
In doing this--I will, in essence, be also root-pruning the shrub in a circle around it. The bulbs are in a circle around the shrub.
My bush is already blooming--just partially. There are a lot more buds yet to open.
Good time to eye what stems or branched need to be cut back.
1 & 2--These close-ups are, probably, from 2007. See how much smaller the shrub is 6 years ago?
3--in mid December--Before all the leaves blew off
4--All bare now after the high winds we had recently
5--Taken Jan 5th--you can see many blooms starting to open.
Yes--beginning of the growing season--BUT before the leaves start growing--will be the best time.
Well--at least you are getting to see a lot of pictures of YOUR shrub-to-be!
I just looked at it. There are two fresh, new sprouts that have come up from the very base.
They look so clean and smooth--compared to the older stems.
Shoud I allow these to continue and maybe cut odd one of the older stems???
On many shrubs (eg Lilacs) they recommend that a couple older stems be cut out and newer stems be
allowed to take their place.
Now I am not sure how to prune it. let me go out and take some pictures...
If you go back and look at he picture of the bloom on the Chinese Wiki link--and compare it to mine--
they are one and the same. Besides being called "Gou Ying"--it also had the name as "dog-eared...something..."
OK! Here are pictures--just 10 minutes old...may give you a better perspective of the job ahead...
1--One side of the base of this Shrub.
2--the opposite side of the base. here you can see 2 of the newer shoots that have come up from the base.
center and left. The one on the left is the biggest one. There is a 3rd one, a smaller one, to the right--not showing here.
3--Here is the bigger shoot--half way up the shrub
4--Here you can see the same shoot--a bit higher up.
5--The base of the shrub looking down to the center--sort of...
BTW--Do you have any Nandinas you want to dig up? Not for me--but my back yard neighbor.
His wife really, really wants one or two. He says you cannot buy them anywhere????
I think that is not true--In season--I think HD has them...
I dug away a small one from mine and put it in a pot. They are NOT easy to dig up.
I'm not sure Nandinas move readily... might have just been lack of skill on my part, but I dug 4 little ones from my MIL's yard before one "took" out back. And I don't think it has given me any seedlings, although it's possible thy just get pulled with the wild cherry weedlings. I've definitely seen them for sale at both nurseries & "big box" stores like HD, Lowe's, even Costco.
Nandina roots can get pretty extensive and tangled. Takes two plants to get fertile seeds. They are easy enough to grow from cuttings.
Most Nandina available is the small or dwarf forms. Nandina is often marketed in the Fall rather than Spring when the little bushes are 'showing color' . Otherwise they are less interesting to those buyers who haven't already seen more Nandinas in more places than they want to repeat in their own yards.
Ugh, I'm so terrible at plant ID that I just pulled out some crocus shoots while I was weeding!
I guess the good news is that the crocus from last year survived and will be blooming again in just a couple of months. :) I can't remember what variety was planted, but the leaves are variegated and very pretty.
Nandina (Heavenly Baboo) IS a for of Bamboo and multiplies from underground runner roots.
That is why these plants form clumps and have roots that can go down 2'-3'.
Digging up an off-shoot is no small task, as you do need to get some of that root for it to thrive.
It is kind of like Wire Grass---you pull and pull on the runner until you find some roots attached to it.
Then you can just chop it off and plant it.
I potted up the one I dug up--with a runner root attached about 18" long.
I simply wound it in a circle and buried it in the pot. It is looking good and is rooted, i am sure.
I have had my Nandina, by my shed, for years now. It has not grown tall--but then it sits right next to my Maple.
I don't think they grow much taller than about 4'-5".
It does have nice red berries on it at this time and the foliage turns a nice bronze.
The blooms are whitish in the spring.
Can't say I have ever seen "seedlings"...but the ground is so "hostile" under it, I don't think any seeds would "take"...
It is mostly covered with Spearmint...
Went out and took some pics...
1-The whole Nandina by my shed. maybe 4' tall?
2--Berries and bronze leaves
3--more berries on a lower branch
4--My LR window and surrounding area--the "Jungle"...
5--The DR end with plants--Curly Spider in the middle--doing AWESOME!!!
Did you notice this 10-day weather forecast? After being in this 50's this week, the temps are supposed to keep climbing, reaching 66 on Sunday. Not much of a chance of rain until Monday. I'm really sad about global warming -- except when it makes weekend gardening possible in January!
Fine day to lose a camera. My very nice neighbors across the street are having a new driveway put in. The huge construction bin is on my side of the street, parallel to my awful front hill. We don't have a sidewalk so it is literally flush with the curb -- and the area I have been planting. Ok, fine. It actually was kind of nice because we had some junk concrete I had been planning to take to the dump, and they let us put it in the bin (I had been planning to rent a truck to get rid of it). Anyway, I'm working in the basement and I hear what sounds like an explosion. I go outside, and they are dumping huge loads of broken-up driveway into the bin. Each load sounds like a bomb. And of course debris is flying everywhere over my awful but precious front hill. And worse, they've got a 3' stack of construction debris piled on my hill, right where I was last planting.
I run out screaming like a banshee and told them they had to move it. And I called my neighbor to ask him to call the construction company to complain. My neighbor of course offers to repay me for anything damaged. But it's the blood, sweat and tears that went into digging up that hill -- and the horror of seeing the soil we slaved to fluff up totally squashed (not to mention the squashed $2 plants). Ugh. Now I'm worried that the weight of the bin -- it is really huge -- is going to crack the street which was just rebuilt last year. Grrrr. My camera is MIA (my daughter must have borrowed it), and I left my cell in my husband's car. So I can't even take photos to remind myself how mad I am. Maybe that is as well.
Holy Moley, Happy!! That's too much to bear. Do they still sell disposable cameras? Do you work from a laptop computer that can snap pictures? Do you have any other neighbors who can lend you a camera.
Funny thing is that today I was thinking of your hill when I was ordering ground cover seeds from Outside Pride.com.
I know it's no consolation now, but for the future, take a look at the great prices for bulk groundcover seed that they have.
Thanks, Roses. In a way, it is probably best that I don't have a camera because I'd just as soon forget this event -- no point in staying mad over it. I do wish I knew where the camera had wandered off to, though. I'm back in the basement, pretending this isn't happening!
Oh, Happy, that's horrible! I agree that you should get photos... IMO, the construction company is entirely liable for damages, and that doesn't just mean replacing the plants, it means replanting damaged areas of the hill... assess the scope and see what a landscaper would charge for the job, and *that* is the amount of monetary damage involved. You've got "before" photos, so it's clear that the area was cleaned up and freshly planted...
I know you don't want to get into a ruckus with your neighbor, but if the company they're using is bonded and insured, then your ruckus is with the construction company's insurance corp.
The damage was minor -- it was mostly the shock of the whole thing! And I hate to think what they might have done if I hadn't come screaming. My neighbors have a front yard that is very carefully landscaped and maintained; I'm sure the contractors knew not to put anything on their front yard! Mine was just a yawning open space.
Eeeeek!! I'm so sorry you had that happen Happy, that's so frustrating and nerve-wracking! It really is a good thing you went out there like a banshee; just because your yard doesn't YET look like your neighbor's, doesn't mean there's less blood, sweat, and tears in it. It's just not there YET. I hope that job is done and the dumpster/bin is gone now... yes? =)
Back to the Nandina talk... there different varieties of Nandina, some are more receptive to moving and replanting than others. one (that I know of) even has a 'combination' growth habit, so that you can prune them to be tree-like (like a Crape Myrtle), or trim them low to keep them shrub-like. (or let them go, and have a tall shrubby-footed tree-looking thing!) :) Some self-sow readily, but not all; like Judy said, some need a counter-part for fertile seeds. I guess it all depends on the need one is trying to fill.
As for the lack of 'real' winter weather affecting Winter Sowing; I will answer with a resounding YES. Many seeds require the freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw cycles in order to ... darn, now that word is not coming to me! Not striate... STRATIFY, that's it! Without nature .. uuhhh, naturally stratifying the seeds, you're left with 2 choices: stratify them yourself, or be faced with a load of lack of germination. :(
Not all seeds are like this mind you, but many of the ones that do best with Winter Sowing **will** be affected by this climate change in this way. =(
I am looking for a hat pattern to make, knit or crochet, for my DD. I can just barely knit but I think I have to buy this knitting book--see this comment on a hat pattern--
"Pattern description from Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair: “Great for covering wrinkles on your forehead.”
I have knitted a zillion hats and have never used a pattern. Just plain old knit tube--and then,
as you get close to about 2/3 done, you start decreasing stitches every row to round it off.
Does the hat you are trying to knot have a fancy "pattern" in it or is it just straight knitting?
In knitting, there are just 2 stitches. Knit and Purl. How you use these creates all kinds of patterns and designs.
Depending on the yarn, you would need to figure out how many stitches to cast on to start.
These, knitted out, should go around the head. You could find a sweater or another hat about the same thickness
and count how many stitches it takes to go, comfy, around her head.
Casting On is done differently--I do not like the way I have seen it done by people.
In my opinion--casting on has to be done over 2 needles. I wish I could show you...
I also knit differently than is common in this country. To me--it is easier and faster. Less wasted movements.
Do you have a time frame? Maybe I could show you sometimes...maybe after the swap?
Then again--I am sure you know someone who knits... Too much to get into writing a Post...
Happy, I'm glad there wasn't more damage. Good thing you were home to hear the ruckus.
I didn't have a lot of germination with winter sowing last year and figured it might be because we didn't have much of a winter. I tucked the containers under the deck for the summer, figured I'd give them another chance this year before re-using the potting mix (or adding it to the garden). The hot temps this summer may well have killed the seeds, but it doesn't really cost me anything to keep them over another winter just in case.
I may try stratifying a few seeds in the freezer this year... I'm thinking along the lines of put a pinch of seed into a baggie with a little barely-damp perlite or vermiculite and cycle them in & out of the freezer & fridge a couple of times before winter-sowing as usual. I don't usually do any winter sowing until after Groundhog's Day, because we often seem to get these January warm spells followed by much colder temps in Feb -- so anything that germinates in Jan. probably won't make it to spring.
I *love* the name of that website and the wine selections etc. I've made up my own patterns for receiving blankets, scarves, etc... trick for me was that I tended to get to complicated and then couldn't remember quite what I'd done when I tried to reverse the pattern for the other half. (Heaven forbid that I take notes; that was just for classes LOL.) I'm not anything like a skilled knitter, but I do like to play with the possibilities, even if it's just knit and purl and drop-a-stitch-on-purpose (to create a lacy effect, and yes I'm sure that stitch has a real name).
Gita those are some good thoughts. My sister got the knitting gene in this family but she's in FL. I crochet more but have made a couple sweaters, way back. She knows the 'right' cast on also. I'll have to check a book - or google it. Yes, there are two style of holding the needles too . And of holding a crochet hook.
I just need some time.
Funny descriptions about knitting she had. My Nana tried to teach me to knit. I did better with crocheting. I see people hold their hook one way and I've tried that way, but it feels awkward to me, so I do it the way I learned. Sometimes I look at how people hold pencils and think to myself that looks awkward, but I guess it just depends on what feels comfortable.
Paul--Do you have more info on this? Location? Day? Time?
I do not work on Saturdays--and it is supposed to be near 60* this weekend.
It would be a great outing. Anyone interested???? Of course--i do not have any facts.
Jill--Yes! I use 3 needles when I make anything circular. Four would be OK too--but then you end up
with a 'pointed" finish at the top...Kind of like smaller version of a jester's hat.
Depending how you decrease the stitches. If you do it evenly on all the needles--it will be rounded.
Most often--I use the "knit 2 stitches together" at the beg. and end of each needle and then knit a row
without decreasing and than do it again--until I only have 4-5 stitches left on each needle.
Then I thread the yarn through all those and pull it all together. I like Pom-Poms on top--
but it may be "childish" for an older girl.
I have a box-full of very small baby hats I have knitted. I want to contribute them to Franklin Square Hospital NICU .
Have never gotten around to it yet. Shame on me!!! It is only 5 miles from my house.
Sally--all you have to do is go see a Senior center. They knit up a storm.
Here in Baltimore , there is actually a "Senior Craft gallery" where you can shop for amazing things made by Sr.'s.
Nor just knitted and crocheted goods. Hand made cards...Wood cuttings, Baby sets...everything.
It is in an old Elementary School now owned by Baltimore County.
Paul, looks like an interesting trade show, wonder if my Boss Lady knows about this or plans to attend. The only sponsor I recognize there is Proven Winners, wonder if there are any others that are not listed.
Gita, what wonderful little hats!! I'd LOVE a pink one... but I think my head is too fat. ;)
Completely OT: I need to replace the cabinet pulls in our kitchen -- I need 55. I'd like ceramic pulls (or at least not metal). I don't like the ones at Home Depot or Ikea -- too dull. I loved some of them at World Market -- they were really fun and inexpensive but none was quite right for our kitchen (we bought a bunch to sample them and they just didn't work). I looked on-line at Amazon and Restoration Hardware, but didn't like what I saw. I don't want to spend much -- many are in the $10 range, but my kitchen isn't worth a $550 knob upgrade! If you see a nice assortment anywhere, please let me know.
I'm sure that is right; I just can't justify spending a lot because our kitchen is old and needs a remodeling. I actually really like the way the World Market ones feel (we used them in a powder room), but the colors aren't right for the kitchen.
Happy, I've been halfheartedly looking for kitchen cabinet knobs for a while now also and have just about concluded that I may end up making my own from polymer clay (probably will go for a fancy "stone" look with a thin layer of clay over an unfinished wood pull with a good feel to it). If you can get ceramic ones you like the feel of and the only thing wrong is the color... think about getting them in a light color (white if possible) and refinishing them with porcelaine paint (fires in the oven, not a kiln).
Now you have me looking at World Market... I'll check out myknobs.com, too. Thanks!
Oh, and there's someone in Vienna VA who is getting rid of about 10 Japanese hollies, about 6 feet tall and just as wide. Please DM me if you'd like more info. He's chopping them down this weekend if no one else comes to dig them up.
I couldn't find anywhere in the trade show info ,if there is a admission fee, or anything specific...
happy, you can come feel my knobs, they feel nice. Holly has some knobs like mine.
I got them online, it might have been Myknobs, or someplace else. Yes, I think so http://www.myknobs.com/haf13745352.html
Egg knobs and cup pulls. I wish I had ordered a couple spare, in case one breaks, then I can be sure I can replace, and not take a chance on being mismatched couple years down the road.
YEs there are some crazy gorgeous $$ hardware things out there.
Wow Terry. I'll keep an eye on my C. tomassinianus, they are early but never THIS early.
Sally -- I really like your knobs (sounds kinky when I write it, doesn't it?), but we wanted to get a near-white color, or maybe blue, rather than metal. So I was hoping to find ceramic... We might go with these, which I think are pretty but they don't have such a good "feel". http://www.worldmarket.com/product/bubble-glass-knobs-clear-set-of-4.do?&from=Search (We bought one of the tinted version and didn't like the tint, so I need to track down a sample of the white one.) The knobs we have now are fake white marble, and they look ok; but we added some new cabinet doors and they don't have knobs, so I need to replace all the knobs to have the kitchen look uniform. Or not.
"white cabinet knobs" http://hardware.myknobs.com/?name=white
Eh, lots of these do look 'cheap' after looking at the glass knobs.
Give us a new thread with a pic of your cabinet, we can go to town suggesting...
Jill I did consider making knobs by glueing some stones to some sort of screw/ post, they'd have all been just slightly different from each other..but decided knowing me I'd never get around to it in time...
My kitchen cabinets are an old white. Dark metal stuck out too much -- spouse didn't like the way it looked (his role is to veto, not to suggest, sigh). I want something cheerful. I don't think I'll start a new thread -- I'm too fussy and I'd spend all my time saying "no", so you'd all get tired of me! But I'm happy for any and all suggestions.
Some of the marble/granite places offer matching knobs, which I thought was a very nifty idea (even non-matching ones would look cool... I like rocks & stone). You can get some good imitations of various types of stone, including semi-precious ones like adventurine or malachite, using polymer clay... I was thinking I could twist up a batch and roll it out with the clay/pasta machine, making it pretty easy to use to cover some knobs... fire in the oven, spray with PYM II. But like Sally's river rock idea, it has to be done... and I have a few other projects with higher priority at present, LOL.
LOL, we had a hypertufa party and then I did a polymer clay party for the iris people, so why not knobs? Or maybe something like a Porcelaine Paint workshop -- bring what you want to paint (plate, mug, knobs). We need another Girls' Night In soon. :-)
Fun!! I had a daffodil blooming Jan. 31 last year, and that same clump of 'Rjinveld's Early Sensation' has a bunch of fat buds on it now... bet there will be blooms by the end of the weekend, as Gita said.
Speedie, the hellebores were end-of-season sale purchases from Meadows Farms nursery, which is now my favorite nursery. Their prices are great, although Behnkes still has a better selection. I have no idea what variety they are :( I'm so terrible at record keeping, but I'll try to find their tags!
Oh man, I love Hellebores so much, and I keep eyeing up the ones at work, telling myself "I really NEED one or two of these"... and have yet to get them... tsk tsk tsk. OK, that's it, THIS year, I am GOING to get a couple!!!
The Alyssum.. goodness, they are so darned easy! I just sprinkled the seeds haphazardly around on top of the soil, watered, and that's it. Some in sun, some in shade, very random, but all came out thick and lush. Get a couple packets this year and have some effortless fragrant fun!
Oh .. errrr... ummmm... uuhhhh... Oh Yeah! Lobularia Maritima, "Carpet of Snow". Or, at least that's what I was talking about. ;)
Ss, I would guess "yes", if your mulch is organic material, the seeds would probably germinate if just thrown on there when it's warm, as long as you water them in, and if it's pretty fine stuff, not "nuggets". That is exactly what I did with mine, just sprinkled the seeds around on top of the mulch, where there were plantless spots in the bed. ("plantless" is completely unacceptable!) =P
I wonder if I can broadcast it on my awful front hill to fill in this summer, while the perennials are growing, assuming I can find a cheap source of seed. What do you think? Any other suggestions for annuals that could co-exist with baby perennials and ornamental grasses?
By the way, on our kitchen knob front, we are currently leaning towards these: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/ceramic-geometric-multicolor-knob-set-of-4.do?&from=Search. In person, they look better than the photos (the colors are not as chirpy as they appear in the photo). We have them in our powder room (the entrance is off the kitchen) and love them - they miraculously matched some very hard-to-match colors. We tried one of these knobs in the kitchen and it looked too dark initially, but I think we are going to try putting in 10 or see to see how they do. They are only $2 each, and World Market has a fairly steady run of sales so I'll wait for one...
My spouse likes the knobs, and these are the first (of many many knobs) he has ok'd, so I'm more amenable than I might otherwise be! But I like them. So I'll just hang on until another World Market sale.
Any idea on a good source of a large packet of seeds?
Just FYI--HD has loads of seeds by different companies.
Seems all packets of Burpee seeds are ONLY $1. Nice selection too.
I can suggest several "fill-ins" that are the biennial sort of an annual. Self seed like crazy.
I have seeds for all these.
-Forget-Me-Nots--I could bring you a W-Box full of starter plants--dug them up last fall. Ready to bloom in the spring.
-Dwarf (16" or so) Red Coreopsis
-Tall Blue Ageratum--taller than the small clumping annuals sold in market packs.
--Cleomies--you will have piles of these every year. --Same goes for Rose Campion--it will be all over. So pretty!
--Candytuft--nice, spreading perennial.
Have you thought of the perennial Euphorbia? The one with those neat little blooms?
It multiplies from underground root runners. It is evergreen, drought tolerant, and disease free.
I think it is this one. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/100918/
I have it growing around a decaying stump. I have dug up some of the new plantlets.
So pretty in the summer with those pale green "blooms" at the ends of long spikes.
That's all I can think of right now. Gita
2--Cleome (Spider Flower)
3--Dwarf red Coreopsis
It's usually called "Direct Sow" when they're just scattered on the ground. The best time and method for seeds is usually explained right on the page where you're purchasing. For instance, if it's an annual seed that self sows, it can be sown directly in winter, just the way the plant would self sow itself. If it's an annual that doesn't self sow, it needs to be directly sown after the last frost, etc. etc.
I ditto nominate ROse campion for a temporary filler. Bold enough to look like something yet easy to remove if too much. I don't think it would be aggressive enough to retard the growth of the permament plants.
..and the beauty of the Rose Campion is that, from a distance, you do not really see the silvery stems and leaves
but those magenta blooms really pop out. I have a zillion seeds from the Rose Campion.
Paul--if you like--i can look and dig some up for you. Have to look and see if there are any coming up...somewhere...
How the seeds end up all over the place--I do not know. They are not the type that "fly around'...never seen birds eat them either.
If you are referring to my list as far as direct sowing--most of the ones I listed in the above post
need to be sown, probably, in late summer/early fall as they are the kind of seeds that naturally drop and
then come up the next year. Care-free plants!
Of course--the Candy Tuft is usually planted as a perennial. I have grown it from seed and it did fairly well.
Just had to wait a couple years before it was a "bunch" and bloomed.
Went to the Farm Show the other day, and I don't know if it's the mild weather or what, but the crowds were unbelievable. Everyone I talked to said the same. It is cheap entertainment, maybe everyone had a touch of cabin fever and needed to get out. The food is a tad costly but so yummy and varied, I'm tempted to stop back just for another smoked brisket sandwich before they close today. Ric
Thank you for all your suggestions. I don't want to get too deep into annuals -- plants that are "easy to pull" still present a challenge on my awful front hill because it is so hard to get to the plants due to the steepness of the slope. And for that reason I have to be careful of anything invasive like perennial Euphorbia or Ageratum (both of which I have in the back yard, where I can control them). I do love forget-me-nots -- Gita, what is a W-box? I have some in the back I could transplant to the front. Might be too hot for them in the summer sun, though???? In the backyard they are partly shaded. I do love candy tuft but it hasn't done well for me -- maybe not enough sun. I don't think I got any for the front. Do they do well in a drought? Critter-- thanks for the suggestions and offers! Do they need water? I am determined to limit what I plant to plants that can stand drought.
The funny thing about gardening on a hill is that self-sowers don't last forever -- they "walk" down the hill steadily, and in a few years are gone unless I remember to take seeds and start them off at the top again!
Coleup -- those handmade knobs are lovely! I don't have the time for them, but that would be a really fun project! The notion of drawing a design on each of 55 knobs is a little daunting!
I'm off to take advantage of this sunny weekend to plant a few more "columns" of my awful front hill -- I just tested the clay and it isn't too sticky, even with yesterday's rain. Plus I have to do office work (ugh), empty a coat closet that is to be painted next week, clean up the basement (might not happen), and cook a farewell dinner for my daughter who is going back to college tomorrow. She wanted lamb kebabs so I spent a while looking up really good recipes, then she changed her mind to teriyaki steak which I refuse to cook from bottled teriyaki sauce so it was back to the drawing board -- I think we are going to try this: http://traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/04/grilled-beef-teriyaki.html. I have some baby bok choy in the fridge, if I can figure out how to cook it. And some mushrooms from Costco. Oops, OT again.
re handmade knobs there used to be several people on etsy,com who would custom make knobs from your design. The dlawless site has plain porcelain knobs for cheap as well. I did read somewhere about decals for knobs and then several protective coats, too. 55 is a lot! If I could draw worth a darn. you could "commission" me to make them for you. Maybe someone at your daughter's school would like a side job? Anyway it is nice to dream! The knobs in your vanity could be lightened up by "whiting out" the orange border in some way.
Wish I had some smoked brisket about now..Definitely go back Ric and have one for me!
Sally, see you over on your kitchen ideas thread.
And, this is our chat thread so nothing is off topic here.
Gita: I don't want to be greedy (as I always am) but I'd love your W-box-full -- I have some, but not enough to make a dent in the front hill and that could be lovely. If anyone else wants any, though, I don't want to hog them. I can bring something to move them into so you don't have to bequeath me the w-box!
Coleup: Thanks for the support! I'm going now to buy a handful of the World Market ones to see if they will do. I'm hopeful!
trying to look up tips on washing bed pillows in n HE machine. Get a load of Wikipedia-- this picture of an old washing machine set up. It's labeled Woman's Friend. THat's putting a cheerful face on what must have been one of the really hard jobs way back when.
Our stuff is pretty much packed, all I have to do is crawl into the attic and rotate all the containers. Ya'know, move Easter to the front and Santa to the back.
The sun has been peeking through here off and on all pm. It's like 50*F out there. Kinda makes me want to dig out some shorts. Ric
The W-Box is yours! Will put a tag in it today.
You can keep it for now--rill you transplant the bunches. It would not be a good idea to move them now.
One move (planting) will be enough...Then--if you come to the Plant swap--you can bring it back.
IF you don't--you can keep it. I have another one and seldom use these.
Don't worry about hogging them--They multiply in my beds so thick--it is like a ground cover.
I can easily dig up a few more if anyone wants any.
Gita -- Thanks! I'll be delighted to return the W-box to you! Maybe I can find something you'd like to refill it with!
Do you think the forget-me-nots will be ok in a drought?
All my great plans for the day were for naught -- I did errands, but ran out of time before I could work in the yard (and it's too dark now) or get my office work done (I'm trying to come up with a reason not to do that right now!).
I have two places for them that you have inspired me to try -- a big area with bulbs and nothing else but pachysandra over them -- none too thick. I've been trying to get the pachysandra to spread. I learned the hard way that it likes a bit of water every so often. And also on my awful front hill.
Oh man, Happy, I can sooooooooooooooo imagine that hill covered in forget-me-nots, rose campion and alyssum, all drifted and mixed together, those 3 would work, and LOOK, great!! That link that Sally shared, outsidepride, looks to be a great place to get a large amount, too. So good, in fact, that I have saved it. :)
The Alpine forget-me-nots (Myosotis Alpestris) are the ones that like drier soil, so see if you can get your hands on seeds for those ones. Here, let me help you: http://www.outsidepride.com/seed/flower-seed/forget-me-not/myosotis-alpestris-blue.html =)
I really like those knobs that you showed, they look.. well... Happy. =)
Got my Christmas carp put away this morning, too then spent the afternoon planting bulbs. (hiding head in shame). I had dug up the area in front of the house awhile ago. Too long ago that I forget when. Anyway there were several clumps of daffies that had multiplied, so I pulled them apart with help from a grandy and they have been sitting in the wheelbarrow down in the crawlspace. Well, with today's mild temp and the ground very diggable I figured I could still get them in the ground. Have a few more to do tomorrow. Better late than never.
I am so proud of completing this quilt (in under a year) that I just have to show off. Made it for my oldest son for his antique bed (made by his G-G-Grandfather on the exs' side). He actually got sheets to match it.
WOW Robin, that is a spectacular looking quilt!!!!!!! Living in Amish country, I see lots of Amish hand-made stuffs, including their quilts, and I've never seen one of theirs look NEARLY as good as yours!! Did you make the pillow sham to match too? Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!
I stopped wearing flip flops to garden a couple of years ago when I tore the ligaments in my ankle. I was climbing the rock wall carrying a bag of soil when one of the rocks wiggled and I tried to keep my balance even though my foot was slipping all over the flip flop. Needed to wear a boot for 4 months after that. The ortho doctor says he makes all his money on people who ski here in the Poconos or the locals who wear flip flops.
OUCH Roses!! Flip-flops sound like a really bad idea to me on any non-flat, non-even surface... but then again, I've got a horrible right ankle and the thought of anything like your experience makes me cringe!! I wear either my hiking sandals or my ratty old sneakers for all my yard work. Sometimes I wear my boots, but not nearly as often as I should. < =/
Happy, what are the neighbors shrieking at you for? To stop working on that hillside in flip-flops!? "Put some shoes on Young Lady!!! Aaaaahhhh!!!" Hahahahaaa!! =)
oh boy , our poor "Teri/Terry" crew who got those painful lessons!
I'll admit to loving my flip flops but will try to move to my 'river ' sandals that are more securely strapped on. I have even had a couple scares with the flip flops getting slick on the deck. Now how stupid must I be if I can't take that as a warning?
Now I will though claim that our working on the ground in general is good for us to keep all kinds of balancing muscles in good shape.
PS Terry- Haha! No fair . All my rotten tomatoes went in the compost long ago...
The more your feet have to work, the more muscles and nerves are engaged. But when working, maybe the effort and distraction are not such a good combo. My MIL who has always live di apartments and never dug in the dirt or walked on grass, seemed to view grass surfaces as minefields. The irregularities...I even read somethign once about actual ground and the stimulation of more nerves...
We'll need a new thread sometime. Days are getting longer , even if it's hard to tell and only a minute a day or so.
Go to main forum, bluepoppy asking for wintersowing help.
I almost exclusively wear Crocs. Until a year ago I had a large boney/arthritic joint on my right big toe which made shoes painful. Since it was removed shoes are an option but I'm so comfortable without them. The doc said if you have to wear flip-flops the contoured ones are the best and one consideration is you don't feel your holding them on by scrunching your toes. Sally's river sandals sound right, I know our Josh wears Chocos', then you have Crocs, Birkenstocks, and other "Earth shoe" styles. I don't think my Crocs are slippy unless they're nearly worn out.Ric