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I've seen some posts about heated greenhouses. I wonder if the problems could be solved by a solar greenhouse. The greenhouse would have an insulated roof and walls with vertical glazing on the south side only. Thermal mass in the floor could store and release heat at night, roof overhang(s) would prevent overheating in summer. We had one like this at school, and the temp never dropped below 55, no matter what. I know that's not optimum tomato weather, but they won't freeze. Heat mats can be used to germinate seed, and other measures could be taken to increase soil temps. Here is a little sketch, please give feedback. If anyone ever needs a landscape or anything else drafted, please let me know.
I know a lady in Harrison who has the most awesome greenhouse I have ever seen. Probably would cost $20,000 to build, but her husband is a contractor.
They dug it into ground 3 or 4 feet, ran vent pipes below the freeze line I forget how far, 20 or 30 feet away where they come up outdoors, lets all incoming air cool or warm to 55 degrees year round. Lots of glass on the south side. The glass is all double pane. The walls are straw bale construction so they insulate beautifully.
Back half is seperated from front half of building by a wall with open screening up on top part. Back half has rabbits and chickens, chosen because of their high body heat. She calculated how many she needed for the space involved. In the day the sun heats it, in the night, the critters heat it.
In this godforsaken climate with no other heat source, no electricity, she grows plants in there year round. It has been awhile since I have seen it, and have forgotten the details. But I will be over there this weekend, if you want any more info.
Water is great because it has a high specific heat. Do the tanks absorb energy directly, or is there thermal collectors? The water would have to be in a black painted container; metal would work best because of it's high conductivity. If the depth of the tanks is substancial, not much of the water would be heated directly. The greenhouse at school had clear vertical acrylic tubes with blue-colored water, blue water absorbs more than clear water. The blue coloring may have also been a treatment; maybe it was a bunch of toilet things. I personally wouldn't use water because you would have to treat the water with something to eliminate funk, and you'd probably have to change out the water periodically. I would use concrete with pre-plumbed drains. Concrete can be stained a variety of colors, and you can do it yourself. I also want a greenhouse to be aesthetically pleasing. There is a liner they poor concrete over that has a value of R-10. Perimeter insulation of the slab is even more important. I would use insulated foam forms (R-40) with concrete and rebar for the walls (this is best, not the cheapest by any means). You could also add a thermal colllector or two, a storage tank, and run heat into the concrete floor. That would keep it about any temp you want, unless there are long periods of cloudy weather. That's the best even heat you can get! I would never use hay bales as insulation. Any living matter will decompose, and it welcomes pests, molds, bacteria, etc. It also takes up a great deal of room. I suppose if you used it on the outside only and periodically changed out the bales, it would be ok. I would also use some sort of night insulation on glazed surface to keep in maximum heat. Low iron glass (double pane, never triple) should be used because of it's high emissivity. The best glass is glass which diffuses the light, evening out the light distribution. The glass looks similar to kinds used for bathrooms; it allows light, but you can't see through it clearly. That's my dream greenhouse, now I just need to hit lotto. I've heard about the chicken/bunny thing. It's a great idea, just not my style and I'm not zoned for that sort of thing.
I definitely do not want a bunch of chickens and bunnies either, I just admire how she made the whole thing work. Her straw bales are inside the wall, it is all covered in stucco or whatever so it is not just a wall of decomposing straw 3 little pigs style.
I am not sure how my brother-in-law is doing his water reservoir as the project is partially completed and it was too rainy for me to go look while I was briefly there this December. But he is going to be heating it with solar panels, if I understood him correctly. It will be beautiful when he is done as he is an architect, so I am sure of that much! We will see how it grows things when he gets it done.
I like your ideas on the concrete floor for the heating. I would have to get used to not gardening right in the ground like I do in the hoop house.
I looked at how many 55 gallon drums I would need and it was appalling. I would definitely like a solar powered louver system but the wind would rip them right off unless I buy the really expensive ones. I still wonder if they would make it...
Cool ideas. And although I do NOT want bunnies (even domestic ones for eating), I DO want chickens. The brain has way too much time to think when the weather is frozen outside... floral fantasies, grandios greenhouse dreams... nice drawing GMan13.
I agree it would be wierd, but I want to go organic hydroponic (we haven't spent enough money yet) for tomato/veggie production where they would be in containers with pea gravel as a medium. Other plants could be in flats or containers. Why get rid of the hoop house? No reason not to keep using it if you have room. 2 greenhouses is always better than one, double your pleasure. My design calls for no drums; it will do fine without. Also, notice my vents are mounted on the side instead of the roof. I was thinking about an attic fan setup with a differential thermostat or a solar chimney(s). I like the solar chimney because there are no moving parts. The overhang will also eliminate most of the overheating. Remember, there's only glazing on the south wall it's heavily insulated.
If I had land, I would want chickens, too. I just don't want them in my greenhouse, kinda ruins the zen, smelling and hearing chickens. Now, I've seen some great chicken coop designs ...
That straw will break down eventually with or without oxygen, and that is one thick wall (space concerns). Then, what will hold up the plaster and how long will it last? How long until possible cracks and voids in the plaster allow oxygen and pests to penetrate? I'm asking because I don't know. These concerns are the reason I've never subscribed to bale construction. The fact I assume the bales have no structural responsibilities, and it has a framework.
A possibility I haven't presented for wall construction - Rammed Earth
Very cheap, but VERY labor intensive. I would NOT use straw in the mixture for the same reasons stated above. I would use the correct mixture of sand, clay, and aggregate mixed with concrete at a 7:1 ratio, supplemented with fly ash as a strengthening agent. You're right, too much time to think and dream when it's cold.
Organic hydroponic is not wierd. Either that or I have been around much wierder people than you have, ha!
Planet Natural over in Bozeman has all sorts of supplies for the organic hydroponic people. I have not been drawn to it myself because one of my concerns with growing food is so many of the micronutrients have been lost out of commercially farmed soil over the years. Now, that doesn't mean you can't introduce them in hydroponic growing in various ways, but I am more interested in soil building. Although the soil around here could inspire hydroponic gardening!
I have no desire whatsoever to get rid of the hoop house. I do quietly dream of also adding a large insulated greenhouse where I might grow things like hibiscus... My husband had adjusted nicely to the hoop house, but I think he would flip if did another big greenhouse right now. In fact I know he would, our priorities have been growing our business. I would even have to agree with him. Darn it anyway!
Actually I don't know much about straw bale construction either. It is not structural, that I do know. I will ask Jenny when I see her this weekend. She has a lot of acreage so wall thickness is not an issue for her. I will take my camera and if she gives permission I will post some photos of it.
Beatiful drawing- I know some folks who remodeled their 100 year old house wth sunlight angles in the windows in mind.
Can these louvres be inside of the greenhouse? The atrium in the school's library has (tin? Aluminum? Steel?) louvres on the inside of the glass top.
I just talked to a lady (living in a yurt now) who is building a stawbale house. Apparently, the right contruction can hold up for a good many years, (longer than the average homes built now do before they need help) but there is some maintenence in things like you noted-cracks, and all.
I wanted to post a little Welcome for Gman13. Sorry if you wanted to sneak in quietly. I hope you find company in the misery of our odd climate, and perhaps you will join us in the next get-together?
Strawbale houses are all over the place in New Mexico. People love them. In fact, the feed store where I buy almost everything sells straw as fast it comes in and it is hard to get a few bales for the garden. That is because there are so many straw bale houses going up.
The bales are usually plastered over, and I am told they last a long time. I think straw bales would work very well in a greenhouse and whether the bales ae platered over or not, the owner would do well using bales.
I checked out a site with some cool straw houses in Australia built with straw panel. The panels are made by a company called Solomit. I wonder if a US company makes straw panels. The houses are 60 years old. I think it would work better in dry climates. I still like the insulated forms because most of my designs are earth bermed. The forms with concrete and rebar provide the strength needed to deal with lateral soil loads as they are often used for basement walls. This type of construction would last centuries. I forgot to mention that I would insulate a rammed earth wall on the outside. Rammed earth has been around a while (Great Wall of China) I would also employ reflective heat films in key locations, no matter what design I used. A company here in Golden makes a great one. Can you tell my first real job was at a wholesale greenhouse?
kmom246 - You can be my Silver Spring! Sorry, I couldn't resist the Fleetwood Mac reference.
JamesCO - Thanks for the welcome! I guess I've never been known for my stealth. I would love to participate in the next get together, but the Junction is quite a drive. I embrace and love this climate! I would probably be lost trying to design a landscape in other climates because I've become so western focussed. I still try new plants that don't fit the mold. This brings success as well as casualties. As to your questions, I suppose the louvers could be on the inside with maybe a low profile structure outside. I try to limit roof penetrations. If there was a fan and vent on either side like in my picture, a wicked cross ventilation would be generated. The window configuration creates a convective loop, further aiding cooling. Roof vent(s) may be required in the middle depending on the length of the greenhouse, which I would use a solar chimney, and yes the louvers would be inside and operated by pressure.
mulchmania - Hibiscus syriacus might make it outside with a little TLC. Pop some 'Disco Belles' in the middle of your hoop house, add a hammock or two, and crank up some Don Ho. If you've never seen one, you must check it out. Some say zone 5, some say zone 4, but I think it would be safe in the hoop house.
Hibiscus syriacus is a big bush or even a small tree. They wouldn't need a bit of TLC once established- I've seen many here take a real beating and come up blooming.
Gman- I don't know specifics (no one does, unless GreenJay is delighted in watching us squirm) but I think we'll meet in Denver in the spring. It sounds like we might trek up to Vail, I'm sure carpooling could be arranged.
As someone with experience in Greenhouses, have you ever heard of the practice of opening vents with the purpose of letting out oxygen? It sounds preposterous, which is what I think, since I was under the impression that as much as plants do capture CO2 and expell O2, it was a small percentage in the way of actual gaseous mass. But I don't really know! Does anyone know some hard facts?
No, I'm not watching you squirm. I am still planning on hosting some kind of lunch here w/tours of the project gardens I'm working on after the DBG spring sale. And I would definitely like to get to the Betty Ford gardens in Vail, depending on the timing of certain frittilaceous flowers. Carpooling certainly can be arranged.
I don't know about the greenhouses and opening vents, but I do know that I have to open the sealed up bags I keep my rose cuttings in about once a week, or the rooting process slows down. Rooting roses need oxygen near the root zone. Don't know how that would translate in terms of the CO2 exchange for greenhouse plants.
My hoophouse is so utterly not airtight I have no idea. And the insulated area inside there gets its 8 mil plastic front wall rolled up in the daytimes so often I cannot tell with it either.
It would be fun to come down and join the tour, but I have serious doubts my schedule will cooperate. We will have to see when it comes together. Assuming you would be able to cope with a crazed Montanan in the bunch!
I've heard of enriching the air in the greenhouse with CO2, but I've never bought into it. All plants need some oxygen to their roots. I think air movement in general can be beneficial, but not because of O2 or CO2. I'm up for the spring fling, sounds fun.
JamesCO - I was talking about Rose of Sharon in Montana. That's a lot different than CO. A neighbor has a huge one here and it does great, and I've also seen 'Disco Belle' thriving. I've used both in several designs. I was trying to make suggestions for Hibiscus in Montana. Rose of Sharon doesn't like massive snow, this I've witnessed. I've never gardened or designed in Montana, so I can't say without a doubt what will work. I
Thanks for clarifying that to a mindless fellow in Grand Junction, Gman.
I wonder if the miniature H. syriacus would take the snow better.
GreenJ; not being a real word doesn't stop me from loving "frittilaceous." With any luck, it will be a word that can be used to describe my garden next year.
MM, being crazed is a prerequisute for this group, you know. Montanans? We may be willing to make an exception to allow one or two... ( I was just tinking about your comment on painting and hibiscus colours-have you seen the tropical hybrids with brown, greys, neons, and blue-ish? They are hard enough to beleive in the flesh.)
I guess I'll continue to assume that the O2 dumping thing is bumf- it sounds like some far-flug quasi-scientific thing I would come up with.
I'm not sure I *did* get it wrong. Our two healthiest ROS are at the edge of the parking lot where the snow crew usually push all the snow off the pavement. Currently they are under a mtn. of 7' of ice & snow. This is a pretty regular thing, and they do fine every year. The ones on the other side of the property are on a slope that also catches a LOT of snow.
Bottom line, ROS is a really, really tough shrub to kill.
Oh, I sorta missed your comment about tropical hybrids of hibiscus. THOSE are the ones that have me fizzing popping to grow and paint. I think I could possibly manage Rose of Sharon here, but the tropicals are the ones...
I never said Rose of Sharon was wimpy, that it was easy to kill, or that it doesn't like CO. I merely suggested it as a possible fit in MT. I've never gardened in MT, so I was steering on the side of caution. I saw some completely destroyed by the big blizzard a couple years back, but then again, many Pines and Spruce were also leveled. Many came out fine, as did some other trees, luck of the draw. It's susceptible, in my opinion, because it has such thick branching, so more branches to break. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. My opinion is based wholely on what I've personally witnessed, not something out of a book. It seems others have witnessed something contrary which has shaped their reality. It's OK that they aren't the same; that doesn't make anyone right or wrong, just different. If you do need someone to be wrong, then let me volunteer. It just not that important to me. I started out talking about Hibiscus to offer a solution to someone in MT with a Hibiscus Jones. I was trying to help. If you really read the posts, I stated that Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus 'Disco Belle' like it in CO, and I've used both in several designs. Given what I wrote, I don't understand some of the interpretations that were formed. I'm not in the habit of painting broad generalizations based on what should work, so I offered them as suggestions for MT. They should be fine, but I've never grown either in MT. Have a great life!
G-man; the dangers of all of us reading posts too fast or only the ends of threads (missing the contexts), which we all do, is mild miscomnunication, dont' sweat it, with a person as daft as I in the midst it is bound to happen again.
Gman, here are a couple of pics of that unusual greenhouse I told you about earlier. Jenny said she used Anna Edey's book Solviva as a major reference, but adapted the information to create this greenhouse for our difficult climate.
The front wall and the short end walls where the doors are do not have straw bale construction. You can see where the wall is wide on the end going towards the back of the building, that is where the staw bales begin and go around the back wall. The high upper windows are for ventilation. The two underground vent pipes extend below the frost line underground 60 feet each and come up. All air entering the greenhouse through those pipes is cooled in summer or heated in winter by the reasonably constant temperature of the earth the pipe goes through.
No heaters of any kind are used, unless you count the 80 chickens that live in the back of the greenhouse as individual heaters. Which is indeed how they function, warming the building at night. You can see the black tube coming out the end wall towards the back of the building. That is how the chickens enter or exit, eliminating windy drafts.
Her plants live year round, with this being the slowest growing time of the year in there. She has various flowers, chard, and kale in particular growing right now. This is in a climate where we can go to minus thirty degrees each winter. It is a remarkable accomplishment.
She has one nasturtium plant that is now three years old that has been living in the greenhouse the whole time, once again, without any added heat other than chickens and sun. It is the rounder looking one on the left growing in the pvc tube hanging planter.
I, too, am totally impressed. When I told my husband about the 80 chickens he assumed that it was the chicken poo that heated the greenhouse, but I am guessing not that it is just the earth and their bodies.
Paj, you are correct. It is a chicken house and has some poo in it, but the chickens are outside foraging most of the day. She actually used a formula based on how much body heat a chicken gives off to determine how many she needs to heat the space at night.
Originally she had a combination of rabbits and chickens as both are high metabolic and generate a lot of heat. But she gave up the rabbits because they had to kill so many of them to get so little meat. She sighed and said, "You only have to kill your nice gentle beef steer once and then you have lots of meat." She does love her animals.
I don't plan to eat any of the chickens I get. I will get only hens, if I can trust the chicken sexers. We will eat the eggs, use the poo on the garden and enjoy the chicken as pets. I hear they can be quite pleasant as pets. I am looking into chicken coop plans these days.
I prefer to eat animals I didn't meet when they were alive. I know that is hypocracy, but, oh well.
Oh, I know what you mean about that. When I lived on Whidbey Island one of my neighbors had sheep and he spray painted numbers on them. I asked why. He looked at me and said, "People don't eat sheep that have names."
I eat meat but I choose not to hunt although this is a big hunting area up here. If I got hungry enough I would definitely go shoot something, but that doesn't mean I want to if I don't have to.
Yes, I have heard that chickens aren't the brightest critters in the world, but maybe I care more about cuddly and friendly than intelligence. I live in a town full of geniuses. If I am looking for someone to have a discussion with, I can find geniuses easily. Soft and cuddly is hard to come by.
Chickens have a lot more intelligence than folks give them credit for. They're just cautious about letting their humans know about it. ;)
Betty, if your PBS station shows the BBC series "Pie in the Sky" with Richard Griffiths (on mystery night), you'll usually get some great scenes with him cuddling his hens. His character, Henry Crabbe, plays Mozart for the hens so that they will lay better eggs.
When I had my chickens "the pointer sisters" they laid me the best and freshest brown eggs in the world. Every night I would go out and sit on my stool in the coop and talk to them and they would just glance and nod like any polite listener would. They always followed me in the garden scratching where ever I walked. I loved the peace they gave me. Quit those awful jokes about headless chickens. LOL
Ah another missing Montanan emerges from the cold depths of early January!
I do love fresh eggs from free range chickens. I am now getting them the same place I am getting our milk. The fun of it is she has various kinds of chickens, so the eggs are lovely, ranging from white to sage in color, lots of beige ones with delightful wee speckles. We may end up painting groupings of eggs!
I never enjoyed painting the eggs just eating them. LOL Free range chickens are the happiest ones there are. Too bad it is so much easier to have them scrunched into cages. So sad. My wife won't let me have chickens cause she is worried that the mountain lion, bears, coyotes and wolves might get them. Oh well.
ON the farm where I grew up in ohio we had innumerable chickens -- regular red and white, plus aracuana. After a few years they had interbred until they all looked pretty much like wild jungle fowl. We didn't have much in the way of toys, or friends, so the chickens served for both.
I do love free range chickens. Especially with a bit of lemon, pepper and olive oil.
I have a good friend in California who has had chickens for the last 15 years. She says they are delightful and she loves the eggs. And yes, MM, I do look forward to chicken poo for the garden. For a while we were getting eggs from a friends's mother's mailman, but he either got caught or discouraged because he quit delivering eggs. So I thought, why not get my own? I am sure the neighbors would feed and care for them when I am away and I will share the eggs. Maybe I will lend them some of my husbands CD's or Mozart. Wonder what Chopin would do for them?
You know MM, I mentioned the way your flower paintings remind me of the paintings of a friend's mother, now desceased. Well, she also painted chickens pecking in a yard and did several paintings of eggs, all the different colors sitting in a nest or a basket. I really like those paintings. I will have to see if I can find some of her stuff on line so you can see if you see a resemblance.
Yes, I am looking for critters to follow me around the back yard, along with my dogs.
Do dogs & chickens "get along" or have I just watched way too many cartoons?
My Rhodesian ridgeback was always trying to break through the fence to get to the hens that my neighbour had. I'm sure she wanted to do more than have chicken buddies to stroll with...
Steve - the "Pointer Sisters" were listening AND taking notes.
I agree with GM: Chickens have us all fooled - they are known to use stealth maneuvers, and learned this from, who else? - the cats.
Here is a print of a painting by Bernique Longley called Conversation. It is a picture of chickens "talking". I couldn't find any of her pictures of flowers or eggs on the internet. But the chicken one is nice.
Happy bright colors in that painting, paj. Thanks for the link.
I am more and more inclined to paint just about anything that is not a flower when I finish the work for this book. It has been intense, to say the least. I still love painting flowers, just need a breather I think.
see I thought the chickens I had were good conversationalists. Their eye contact and perpetual discussion with each other is why I enjoyed them. They were my only friends on a cold winter night in Michigan in the early 80's. I was recently divorced and the only women I could stand were chickens. LOL
I have threatened my wife with a chicken tractor every year we have had the garden. I am going to build me one and surprise her. You have me motivated to get out in the -10F tomorrow and build a chicken tractor. Yahhhhooooo! Thanks.
Sofer, way cool, I have always coveted Jenny's chicken tractor, but I don't want to have chickens and the town would probably object even if I did. Makes it unlikely to have a chicken tractor myself, ha!
You might check your town ordinances on chickens. I was very surprised to learn that my extremely picky county has no problem with chickens, no limit to number of chickens. They just say they can't become a nuisance or health hazard. I at first thought of doing a chicken tractor, but my friend says she loves having them run free in her back yard ( fenced, of course). I have an
I first became interested in city chickens from an article in Sunset Magazine of a beautiful garden in Los Angeles in the La Brea area, I think, that was graced by two beautiful hens. I thought, that if they could do it in LA, I could do it in the other LA ( Los Alamos -- we refer to it as the other LA because they are so laughably different).
I don't have chickens because my DW does not want them. She grew up on a dairy farm and they looked down on people with chickens cause that meant poverty. It has carried with her and as loving as she is she still doesn't want chickens. But now to build the tractor. LOL
I have made a micro climate of planting it next to a large rock that has an outlet with a heat tape buried in the soil surrounding it. I also have made the soil primarily peat and compost with ever so little soil. I over lay it in October with straw and that seems to keep it going. Now it has not yet bloomed and that is why I put the heat tape in the soil this year. I feel that would get a jump start on the roots and maybe get that long lusted after bloom. This is it last year (Year 3)
I am on serious pain meds right now so I am trying hard to believe that a 'chicken tractor' has something to do with fuel from chicken poop, but my muddled brain keeps coming up with a flock of bantams pulling some dude on a John Deere. Please explain the chicken tractor. Thanks, Patti
LOL, bbrookerd! Those pain meds are spicing up your imagination.
A chicken tractor is a chicken coop on wheels that has no bottom, so it can be moved every so often and different parts of the garden will get the benefit of their droppings. Here is an article followed by a photos of a lot of different chicken tractor designs:
Sofer, I may have a go at one that way. I tried in a sheltered (for this property) place near the faucet in back of the house and mulched heavily for winter. A couple wanly survived winter and promptly croaked. Phooey.
Bbrookrd, I do like your imagination.
Paj, I have never seen so many different kinds of chicken tractors. Holy Moly.
The chicken tractor has really caught on. I especially liked the John Deere one! I am studying for when I get my chickens. I can't decide whether to do it my self or get someone to build me one that looks decent. Hmmm.
I have been reading two websites on chicken raising and they are very helpful. Also my friend encourages me a lot. For cold climates it is necessary to have an insulated chicken coop with a light in it or some other form of gentle heat. You can read all about it at:
What I like about this article with pictures is that it is step by step on how to do a minimal chicken house. Other sights will show you incredibly artistic chicken coops, but that is not going to happen right away for me.
That is just awesome . I can't wait to show this site to my DH. He will assume I have taken the whole bottle. We would fail as chicken keepers as we travel a lot, but I love the idea. I would love to have some in the summer, but I would need to hire a chicken sitter for the winter. Could be hard to find one. Patti
I proposed a Chicken Tractor to the Treasurer of the homeowner's assn. as an alternative to intensive mowing and fertilizing for the lawn. I almost had him, but then he realized I was talking about ACTUAL chickens. City kid... LOL
My friend who has had chickens in her very white bread neighborhood in California tells me she has never had a problem getting chicken sitters since she shares the eggs with the neighbors. As a result they are all ready to come in and do chicken sitting as needed. Maybe it wouldn't be so hard for you.
We travel with our two boarder collies as much as we can so as to not have to leave them at home with a dog sitter. Our house isn't in town, thought some chickens are, so there would be no problem with having them at our house because of neighbors or regulations. We got eggs for years from a grower who was a block from Main Street. It would just mean having to have someone always on call to feed and water them. My brother has a farm north of Toronto and has always kept layers. But it means no spur of the moment trips for him (he has beef cows and horses as well as turkeys) Many years ago we had a flock of guinea hens, which I think the neighbors we have now would find a bit too loud. Though because of ticks and lyme disease I am contemplating bringing some back, though it would take some work to get the BC's not to dine on them. I loved having them. They moved after a few years to another property near by and we let them stay as they obviously liked their new digs, with a bigger flock, better than ours. Patti
I am planning on leaving them at a neighbors coop when I am gone for more than a few day. They would love the break away from all the tractor time. The one I am building is made out of 1 1/2" Pvc pipe so that the entire frame is to store water and food so that I can leave them alone for a long weekend. It will hold enough water for a month and enough food for a week. You could also leave them out of the tractor and let them roost in a dog pen away from the bad things of the forest and neighborhood. Or you could take shake and bake along on your trip and have nothing to worry about. LOL
That "I hope" is a Payaver 'Meconapsis Betonicifolia'. Himalayan Blue poppy I bought it in Seattle as a 4" pot and it is still not blooming in its 3rd year.
Steve - my meconopsis bloomed for years, I never did anything for it. Luck of the Irish, i suppose.
However, it finally met its demise through repeated applications of cat urine. Guess the kitties didn't like the selection...
Katye, your climate should be good for Meconopsis, but here where I live and where Steve lives is a colder dryer zone. I tried the blue poppies a couple of times. Now Steve has a good place fixed for them, but I would have thought it would have bloomed by now, looks very healthy.
I still have my 3 large type bantys, they are 6 years old now and reluctant to lay eggs. Of course they have been shut in the chicken house for more than 6 weeks now. Have a heat bulb over head to keep them warm . But do have a problem keeping the water from freezing, as have to keep it low so chickens can drink. With our very cold weather I have to take water out every day. When it isn't so cold the self water container will last them more than a week and also the feeder. I really liked the fresh eggs. The eggs are the blue green color, and the size of small eggs you would buy at grocery.
When i first got them , I had 5, but neighbors dog killed two. And took me about 2 years to teach my little dog Blue not to chase them. Except in winter they have free run of the yard. If I can find the right picture I will post it of the chicken house and yard.
Donna - Yes, my climate is quite different from Kalispell, MT or Tonasket, but a friend grew them in Eastern Oregon - (high desert area, zone 4), & outside Reno, NV. Both of these climates are considerably dryer than my area.
If they are given morning sun, loamy soil & kept moist during the hotter & dryer months, they should be just fine. However, some are monocarpic, and do not bloom until about 2 - 3 years old.
I have no idea why the cats were drawn to them. I will grow more this year & keep some sort of barrier around them - the meconopsis, not the cats...
Knowing Steve, it shall be handbuilt, done on the cheap, and four-wheel drive. The special feature that is absolutely necessary, due to the size of his garden, is built-in GPS with beartracker technology.
No GPS just simple and comfortable for my Girls. I have put it together 2 times before I glue it. It is hard to keep the food side from the water side. I think I will make it all water and hang a feeder inside. That is how it seems to work the best. Right now I am selling all my older camping tent, sleeping bag, stove, and other misc camping gear that I have had so much fun in. With my DW not being able to hike I have no need for a lot of it. I am keeping the canoe stuff cause I will be using it this summer. Kind of sad. Lots of memories.
I have a couple walls that could use it, but I am ignoring them right now. If I start I know I will decide to texture them, and if I do that, I might as well take that ridiculous popcorn texture off the ceiling and whoa, then it's June already, what happened? Not getting into that scenario.
Why do you need to texture the walls, Lexi? Maybe you can just paint some vertical then horizontal thick gesso strokes to replicate the texture of canvas?
Whoever invented that popcorn texture ought to be composted.
I like the southwestern textured walls because I can move paintings around easily and patch holes without it showing. I also just like the look of the texture. Not trying to duplicate canvas or make a mural. We like moving our artwork around too much to have them built in place.
Built in artwork can narrow your potential buyers if it appeals to only a certain taste, which it pretty much will do.
But if I just wanted a mural I would paint one anyway.
Be careful of removing popcorn texture from her ceiling.. There was a case in Santa Fe who decided to do that and it turned out to be asbestos, which cost her a fortune to remove (like 30k dollars). She had no idea until she and a worker were well along in the project. Be sure to get the texture tested before you move it. However, it is okay to cover it with gesso or some other such substance and it actually protects the asbestos from escaping. I like stuff painted on walls, but understand why you would want them sort of bland so your paintings would show up.
Were you painting a painting on the wall Kenton or were you just laying on a coat of house paint.
This winter must be really bad. I joined the American Iris Society and put its annual convention on my calendar. I think I will go, God willin' and the creek don't rise. it's in Oklahoma city, a place I could drive to without too much trouble.
This house should not have any asbestos in it anywhere. My dh's brother is an architect and advised us what places to avoid here in town when we looking to buy. Asbestos is not something to mess with, that's for sure.
When is the American Iris Society convention? I still have not decided if I am going to Houston for the Blossom show opening or not, or how I will travel if I go. I am half tempted to drive and do a few other things while I am at it.
Apparently everyone brings their new introductions and seedlings and one tours Iris gardens. I think it sounds wonderful. What is the Houston Blossom Festival and when? Maybe I have to go to that as well.
Glad you had the place checked for asbestos. You don't need that misery.
The dates for the Iris show don't match up with Houston, too bad, that sounds great fun. The Houston show is Blossom: the Art of the Flower opening at the Science Museum in mid March. I was fortunate to have a painting accepted into the competition (they had over 1700 entries from 11 countries and took 50 for the show) and am supposed to attend the preview party. They will announce the awards then, and they told me I have a 30% chance of winning one, so I think it might be a good idea to attend.
I am definitely in the mood to go look at irises blooming. The temps here have gotten up into the twenties but that means the wind is blowing like crazy again.
I am trying to get this book project wrapped up but it is like running in molasses as my energy is not fully back up to speed yet. I seem to have misplaced my Superwoman button, anyone seen it?
So when is your the Blossom show. It sounds like a real honor to be included. I am not planning a trip to Houston, but sometimes things come up. I would love to see the show.
If at all possible you should try to come to our next Bulb Sale at the Denver Botanic gardens. It was a lot of fun and the flowers were really beautiful. Of course, I am not even sure when it will be. Hopefully Greenjay or Vadap will alert us.
Denver is much closer, I would love to do that! My life can be a bit hard to predict when I can get away though, with the gallery and all.
The Blossom show runs from March 15 through May in Houston as I recall, then it is touring various museums in the country until 2009, but the last I heard the itinerary was not finalized. I think it will at some point be at the Desert Sonora Museum in Tucson, but I don't know about the rest of it.
Sounds like a lovely show. I know the Sonoran Desert Museum. That would be a great place to catch it. Of you win, does that mean they will purchase your painting or will you just get a cash award. Which blossom did you send them?
Well, there are various cash awards ranging up to $25,000. They do not purchase the painting but would receive the complete copyright for reproduction purposes.
I painted a Phalaenopsis orchid in acrylic on heavy watercolor paper. Due to the copyright issue, I will not be posting it anywhere.
I am happy to say I have completed all the paintings for the main body of the book today. Whew. That is a massive relief. I still have quite a bit of other work to do for it, but the biggest amount of it is now completed!
Oh wow! A phalaenopsis orchid! Those are what I grew thinking an orchid was. A 25,000 prize -- I will be crossing all my fingers and toes for you. Your book nearly complete! If you win the prize think how your book will sell. I will watch for the exhibit and would appreciate your letting us know the schedule when they figure it out. And you get the painting back! Someone would be thrilled to purchase a painting that has been printed by a museum. At least I would. Maybe I can't speak for others. Anyhow if you win and get your book published, you could afford to spend quite a lot of time gardening.
The DBG fall sale was the first ever -- I imagine they will have another next year at about the same time. The spring plant sale is always 2nd weekend in May. They don't have it 1st weekend in May because the Washington Park /Dumb Friends league run/walk is the first weekend. So many things are going on in May, it is hard to get to everything!
Greenjay, thanks for the info, I will see if I can make it. That would involve leaving my greenhouse with about 1000 plants by then in the sincere but non-gardening hands of my husband. That poses some challenges.
Paj, the book is not on a royalty basis, but a flat fee, so the sales are not going to affect me directly, unless I want to do another book with them. The flat fee is not commensurate with the work I have put into it, but gives me a track record with a major publisher. It has been a huge learning curve project for me. That is likely to be helpful as there are other things I would like to do later, perhaps with other publishers. The book is working out financially because I retained the originals, they have more monetary value than the flat fee.
When they finalize the tour schedule I will let you know. I may not get the orchid painting back as the works on display in the show are for sale. The buyers will have to wait until the museum tour is over in 2009 to receive the paintings. Would be fine with me if the orchid finds a home, the more my paintings find homes, the more I paint and garden! But I am just happy to have it in the show, that is the main thing.
Turning my garden flowers into paintings also means my dh does not mind when I go buy a bunch of plants. Oh, I suppose he might flip if I spent $300 on a plant that hates this zone, or something, but within reason is fine. He sees the garden turning into paintings which then increase sales at the gallery. Greatly reduces the hassle factor when I wander into a nursery... ;-)
If your orchid didn't sell after being shown all over the US I would be surprised. I know what you mean about being just as happy not to get it back. My friend whose chicken painting I showed you has an entire storage shed of her mother's paintings. Her house is full of them. I have 1 on loan and two that I bought. She has lent a few to another friend as well. She also lent me a collage and a stitchery piece of her mother's. They are wonderful paintings but selling them all would be a full time job.
Or maybe you don't have any extras lying around, but Bernique sure did and she sold well during her life time and for a while after her death.
Cool deal with DH, plants as an investment in your painting career.
Any artist who is productive has extras. Having just finished 45 paintings for the book since August I definitely have some extras but I am sending them out to other galleries etc. Just got one in the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture Museum "Works of the Heart" exhibit also. And some have already found homes.
But I think I will paint some eggs, something without any petals to give myself a breather, even though I am still passionate about flowers and painting them. It is a bit like after Thanksgiving dinner, I think I have had enough for now even if it is wonderful food.
Sometimes it is sad to see what happens to the remaining body of work when an artist dies, I have two friends who were excellent artists whose heirs have done ridiculous things with their work, but what can you do?
Kell, we weren't talking about artists giving their work away, but their heirs, which is a bit different. I do know what you mean, although my husband is more inclined to measure a painting as being the same as a new driftboat rather than a pickup, ha!
In the case of one of my friends, his wife's son by a previous marriage inherited all the paintings. He knew they had monetary value, so he locked them up. In a shed, with no heat in the Pacific Northwest where the damp and mold eats everything like that. Stupid and ruinous behavior. The man was utterly repugnant in his personal habits and attitudes, so it was distressing to see that happen on all counts.
The other friend wanted her work to go into a museum, and I think it might have happened with the right efforts, but her kids just occasionally sell a painting when they want some extra money. Not as bad as the other case, but still not what the artist had wanted.
In the case of my friend, daughter of the artist, she has quite a few paintings left by her mother. She puts them in galleries from time to time and storing them in a shed isn't so bad in New Mexico where the air is almost always dry -- and it is a good shed.
Bernique made a good living from her art during her life time, but her daughter, my friend, is an artist herself and is trying to sell or at least find good homes for her mother's work which is lovely. Since the daughter is in her 60's, I think she is wondering what to do with all her mother's stuff. Her house is covered with her mother's paintings but she would like to have room for some of her own paintings.
I have purchased two of her paintings and am the caretaker of 3 more. I have another friend who has done the same.
The daughter would sell anything she could find a buyer for. Museums own many of her mother's works and her mother's papers, but how many can a museum take?
That is a different situation. Sounds like the daughter is doing her best with the work, which is commendable. Similar to a lady here in the valley who inherited a large number of paintings her father, a well respected artist, had painted. She too is selling them after selecting the ones she wanted to keep permanently. There just are so many it is a long term project as he was extremely prolific.
Sofer, I wonder if your blue poppy died, because I managed to germinate 28 Meconopsis betonicifolia last year, and they looked nothing like the plant in your picture! Now unfortunately, I can't post a picture. Mine all succumbed to a fungal infection when they got about 4-5" tall. But I'm going to try again with seeds from the same company (Swallowtail) because they do seem to be viable.
Oh man, Sofer, you'd better pray that my Meconopsis grow (sowed yesterday, with advice from Weezingreens, see http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/694085/). Because if they do, I'll bring you some when I go up to K'spell. Usually I'm there sometime in June for an international folk dance party.
Hey you guys are picking on me. I also think that this is not a mecompsis but it is the same plant each year that was in the 4" pot I bought in Seattle 4yrs ago and it said it was. If it were a thistle it would thrive here and flower all summer. This never grows above the 6" that the plant has in the picture. So I know it isnt that despite the leaf pattern. Those leaves are soft and pliable not at all like thistle. But I agree that it is not a flowering anything yet. Now I continue to wait the rare beauty of poppy that will arise this year. LOL
picante which festival do you come to? You are welcome to stay at our house. We are just a few miles south of town near Somers. We will be gone after about the 9th of June but you could still stay.
Its a globe thistle. I just found out. I am a failure boo hoo. I have killed my beautiful meconopsis. LOL Well sometimes we just don't learn until we make mistakes. Next year I get to see a meconopsis bloom! No more waiting.
Gee I hope you are not a failure -- what does that make the rest of us in comparison?
Here's my dummy move for the month (ok, maybe for the week): I was wintersowing some peony-flowered poppies last Saturday. I always let them soak up water overnight before putting the trays out on the patio.
Well, I got dreadful sick. As in fever 101.6, babbling drooling moron with sinus and a bad attitude. Today after work I realized the trays of poppies were stil sitting on my prep table, in near darkness most of the week. Guess what? the poppies that were supposed to take 20 days @ 60* outdoors in full light took 7 days @65* indoors in darkness to germinate! no leaves showing, but blast it I didn't want the things germinating quite this soon! So now I will have to grow them on in my coolest coldframe, hoping they don't all croak.
This is too funny. A long time ago my family used to have the Blitherer of the Month Award for whoever did the goofiest thing. Given our natural aptitudes for such behavior, we sometimes had to issue awards weekly. Looks like the competition is getting going here...
I am sorry to say I don't have a good one at the moment for this, just been working my tail off. But I will get back in the running as soon as possible I am sure.
My best one was a plant I smuggled from somewhere I won't discuss. Well after planting it and admiring its rapid and I might say beautiful growth I found it to be a # 1 invasive bush. Mile a minute was planted in my garden. I got it out ( I hope) but just think I put it where it could have taken out my garden.
It was supposedly 9 here last night and 10 the night before. I, too had been clearing away mulch from certain plants, luckily not all of them. We had previously been up to 50 degrees during the day. Today our high was 34.
Thanks for the info about the Willow Bend folk. They have a terrific web site that tells you how many plants they have of a certain type. When you buy it, it deducts one from the inventory. That is really important when they have only one plant in inventory, as they did on one item I ordered. When I questioned them about the fact that I had the last one, they assured me it was mine and that they would let me know if anything happened to it between now and July when iris are typically dug and shipped. I liked the quick email response.
They aren't the cheapest nursery around, but I am told iris from a similar climate to your own bloom sooner than the ones that come from totally different climates. I aim to test this theory. I am sick and tired of waiting 3 years to get a bloom out of a new iris -- which is typical. Perhaps it is because most of the iris I order come from Oregon which has very little in common with New Mexico except that it is on the same planet!
Best of luck with hybridizing for Willow Bend. Sounds like it would be fun even if you don't like iris. I gather you like day lilies better? Son of Star isn't hard to locate, but they may not have wanted to move it at the wrong time of the year.
The Indians around here have rain dances which work reasonably well. I need to ask them if they have any spring dances.
I think we may have missed the most important thing in Sofer's post about his blue Himalayan thistle. He's got a heat tape plugged into a rock that has an outlet! I've never heard of that. The heat tape sounds brilliant, really. Not sure about the rock with the outlet. That's gotta be an ingenious wiring job.
Sof, you are one heck of a sweetie to offer us a place to stay. I want to visit just to see how you wired up your rock. 'Cause I'm obviously in zone denial. Climate denial, too. These Himalayan poppies are clearly more suited to your side of the Continental Divide. Helena only gets 12 inches of precip a year!
The International Folk Dance party (known as "Stamp & Camp") is usually in late June. It's traditional for us to camp out at the farmhouse of one of the dancers. But I'd sure like to see your garden. I'm rather new to gardening. I started gardening because my feet went south, and I can't hike and ski all day anymore.
I have run outdoor wireing through 3/4 inch plastic water pipe to the 3 locations of power I have to my garden. It is actually quite easy to do. I have unplugged my heat tape and am waiting to purchase a Meconopsis this spring and move it to a sunnier location.