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The Gardening Shed

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moira finnie
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Postby moira finnie » June 26th, 2008, 10:04 am

Moira's Gardening Adventures, Part 2

Hi y'all. I've been pottering around the garden, utilizing some of your ideas. Thanks very much for all your suggestions. Hollis, while I'd heard that marigolds keep certain insects away, I'd never been told before that they might chase away some pesky digging critters too, so I've planted several around the yard. They make nice hardy transitional plants that last well into the Fall around here anyway.

Other non-toxic repellents that I'm trying:

Burying a bulb of garlic in a flower bed. (Doesn't smell to me in the ground but rabbits, cats and squirrels don't like it).

Sprinkling Chili Powder around beds and in pots. Worth a shot.

Moth flakes (these stink and lose their effectiveness after rain, but it does work).

Lemon and Orange Peel strewn through the garden. Okay, but when a lemon is a dollar apiece as they are around here, it better work!

As a deer deterrent, many people hang Irish Spring soap from a string on a fence in their garden. This sure repels me too.

Otherwise, things are going well. I have Lupines coming up from seeds, and, though I like the shape of the leaves, have yet to see any flowers. My potato vines are luxuriant in pots, along with something called Blue Hawaiian Flower that is a lovely little hanging flower and Bocopa, a coral colored hanging flower. I also spied an old wicker chair at the curb one day, turned around and snagged it before anyone could see me, (it's illegal to ragpick in my town, though I look upon it as recycling when I do it... :wink:). I spraypainted it dark green, cut out the seat to fit a large pot in the center, and put it at the back of the garden with pink and red impatiens, dark blue and rose wave petunias and english ivy in the pot. Voilà, the view from my kitchen sink window now includes a captivating little woodland vignette instead of the back of a chainlink fence from my neighbor's yard. By next year, I hope to get that ivy to spread all over the g.d. ugly fence.

As the nursery's wind down from the Spring planting season, lots of stuff is going on sale. I think I'm going to have to break down and plant a few more Hostas and ferns in the yard...as an investment in the future, don'tcha know!

Hope that you'll let me know how your own gardens are growing.
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Postby Mr. O'Brady » June 27th, 2008, 2:04 pm

Hope that you'll let me know how your own gardens are growing.


Oof! The drought's in high gear now, so nearly everything is suffering. I still have daylily blooms by the thousands, lots of caladiums, and my bog lilies are starting to bloom, but everything else is giving out quickly. Watering with our overly-chlorinated water really doesn't help, rain is needed to wash away the chemicals it leaves behind. With the Fourth of July coming up, I'm worried some stupid neighbor will launch fireworks into our tinderbox and set the whole neighborhood on fire.

The pond plants look great, and the water is clear as a bell, but hairy algae seems to be taking over. Still not balanced after the rebuilding, I guess.

And on the bright side, the single hosta I planted in the spring is still going strong.

So overall, I don't like to face the backyard each morning! :?

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Postby MichiganJ » June 27th, 2008, 2:19 pm

My wife is an avid gardener but as she’s away for two weeks on a business trip, it’s up to me to do her daylily crosses and photograph any of the new daylilies as they flower, so she can last year’s crosses. Since I used to fertilize with Round-Up, I’m pretty much punting here.

I did notice that many of her hostas were being munched on by either rabbits or deer and I just got some of the CD-R or DVD-R’s that failed for whatever reason, and tied them to a branch, having them hang loosely above the hosta. Our Indiana winds never stop blowing and the movement and reflection seems to be keeping the critters at bay.

Hope it helps.
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby inglis » July 25th, 2008, 7:42 pm

moirafinnie wrote:Does anyone like to garden?

I love it, and, believe it or not, this is the first time that I've had a chance to put anything in the ground this year without worrying about a frost! Today, I'm putting in a longed for beginning of a fern garden at the back of my fence. Ostrich, leatherwood, and royal ferns are going to form the backbone of what I hope will be a perennial woodland area. I'll be spreading some shady garden "meadow in a can" type flowers in the same area in the hopes of some color against the delicate green.

Are you planting anything new this year in the ground or in a pot or window box? I'd love to hear about it!
Moira hello its been awhile .I have been very busy with my house doing all kinds of projects and the gardening is a big part of it .We finally put in a fence so our yard is closed up tight .We have 2 small children so its security.I have been into old windows .Theyare very cracked and old .The paint has that natural crackle look and what I have been doing with them is putting them behind flowers so it looks like a picture window I wish I knew how to put a photo on here as its really quite beautiful and these windows have a unique rustic look .I have another one in our firepit area which is in the corner and I have an old stone by it and a big old weathered railway tie .We had all these weeds between our garage and fence on neighbors side and I pulled them all out put landscape fabric down and did this beautiful little walkway path with graval and limestone .Its a tiny space but it looks so nice and my kids love running through it when they play hide and seek .Thats what I have been doing and its nice to see a gardening thread here . Carol

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Postby Mr. O'Brady » July 25th, 2008, 10:33 pm

I think I'd like your yard, Carol. I have some ancient tractor wheels and an old pump in mine, a gift from an aunt's farm. When I'm driving through the country, my eyes are always glued to the side of the road looking for old machinery and wheelbarrows. I have yet to stop and ask if I can have any of it, though.

Nearly all of my plants are withering to the ground now, so low that the baby rabbits don't have any hiding places. To top it off, my 17-year-old goldfish died two weeks ago. :cry: She was the sole survivor of a 1997 disaster in which I lost 27 koi and goldfish. She got deathly ill the last two years after mating, but recovered. This year, not so fortunate.

I rarely say this, but I'm ready for autumn.

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Postby inglis » July 26th, 2008, 10:28 am

Mr. O'Brady wrote:I think I'd like your yard, Carol. I have some ancient tractor wheels and an old pump in mine, a gift from an aunt's farm. When I'm driving through the country, my eyes are always glued to the side of the road looking for old machinery and wheelbarrows. I have yet to stop and ask if I can have any of it, though.

Nearly all of my plants are withering to the ground now, so low that the baby rabbits don't have any hiding places. To top it off, my 17-year-old goldfish died two weeks ago. :cry: She was the sole survivor of a 1997 disaster in which I lost 27 koi and goldfish. She got deathly ill the last two years after mating, but recovered. This year, not so fortunate.

I rarely say this, but I'm ready for autumn.
Hi There! I love all that old farm stuff .When I was a kid growing up we always visited this old farming town that my parents lived when they first came to Canada .They still have the original blacksmith shop there.I just went back a couple of yeras ago to show my children our roots and they have it as a heritage site now.There is lots of old tractors and combines. I just got an old creamer and I use the bottom of it for a planter .It sits on my deck .I think I would like your yard too . You need to stop on that road and get some of those things you like.Happy hunting ,Carol

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Postby knitwit45 » July 26th, 2008, 3:13 pm

Hi Carol, it's great to see you're back!
I love old things for "yard art". I have an old galvanized wash tub planted with pansies in the spring, then petunias or impatiens thru the summer. An old chair without it's woven seat has landscape material stapled around the inside edge, and has geraniums and ivy spilling over the sides. Strawberry pots laying on their sides hold "hens and chicks". Yellow daylilies, yellow tickseed, rabbitsear, and different grasses all jostle each other. When I lived in a duplex that had a privacy fence, I had lots more "stuff", but since my house has a chain link fence, I have tried to keep a rein on my collecting. My treasures might appear to others as junk :lol: :lol:

Nancy
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The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
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Postby inglis » July 27th, 2008, 10:33 am

knitwit45 wrote:Hi Carol, it's great to see you're back!
I love old things for "yard art". I have an old galvanized wash tub planted with pansies in the spring, then petunias or impatiens thru the summer. An old chair without it's woven seat has landscape material stapled around the inside edge, and has geraniums and ivy spilling over the sides. Strawberry pots laying on their sides hold "hens and chicks". Yellow daylilies, yellow tickseed, rabbitsear, and different grasses all jostle each other. When I lived in a duplex that had a privacy fence, I had lots more "stuff", but since my house has a chain link fence, I have tried to keep a rein on my collecting. My treasures might appear to others as junk :lol: :lol:

Nancy
Hi Nancy! Great to hear from you again too.I love your layout .I love hens and chicks .I have this old turtle planter and I have my hens and chicks in there. I love your old chair idea and the washtub . You said you have a chain fence are you able to put greenery on it?Don't worry about people thinking your stuff is junk its great and you might be giving them some ideas to follow.Your yard sounds beautiful,Carol

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Postby Mr. O'Brady » July 27th, 2008, 11:08 am

I'm reminded of my all-time favorite yard art. Back in the 1970's, an old woman in an enormous house on a main thoroughfare had all kinds of unusual planters in her front yard, but what I remember most was an assortment of old toilets with flowering vines hanging over the edges. Everyone else was appalled, but I really liked them. They were still there through the 1980's, but a business bought the house, and the toilets are no more. :cry:

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Postby knitwit45 » July 27th, 2008, 3:44 pm

I'm sure most of the gardeners here have seen it, but its still one of my all time favorite pieces of yard art, and if I had the room (and the privacy) I would have one too: An old iron bed frame, planted with roses where the mattress would be. :lol:
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

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babycarriage

Postby inglis » August 3rd, 2008, 9:21 pm

We were driving down the highway today coming home from our longweekend and I happened to notice an old babycarriage filled with flowers it was quite beautiful.It was one of those pram jobbies from the50's or 60's but I knew I had to share it here.Another great idea I would say! Carol

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Postby moira finnie » October 18th, 2008, 11:02 am

Hey Fellow Gardeners,
Do any of you guys have any thoughts on constructing a small compost heap? I've read lots of highly ambitious and expensive advice from places like Lowe's and from my local cooperative extension services, but I was wondering if any "ground-level" advice might be out there too?

If so, I have about 10 30 gallon bags of leaves to begin, and would like anyone who's built one of these things to let me know how and what you did to make a successful one, please. I have an area at the back of the yard where I was thinking of putting a large (unobtrusive) garbage can, or would I be better building up a big pile, which I could turn with a fork? I thought that I'd start by filling any compost with leaves and whatever organic matter is around to accelerate the composting till Spring.

Do you add all your kitchen vegetable scraps to it?
How often do you turn the pile?
Do you add 10-10-10 fertilizer, manure or anything else to it?
Would it be okay to add dead or dying plants from the garden to it as well as the leaves I've accumulated?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Postby ChiO » October 18th, 2008, 11:58 am

I'm no expert and haven't done a legitimate compost heap in years, but...

(1) Don't use a can. Needs air circulation. So, you want a pile you can turn with a pitchfork, but preferably confined to (a) keep the pile together, and (b) keep unwanted critters out. A chicken wire pen (and maybe a chicken wire "hinged" top) works.

(2) Veggie scraps -- depends on how close the heap will be to your house, the homes of others, and your love of the critters the veggie scraps will attract. Unless it's by the barn on the back-40, I'd suggest forgetting the veggie scraps.

(3) Manure, fertilizer, etc. -- depends on how "organic" you want to be.

(4) Dead or dying garden plants -- Okay IF they are disease & pest free, and if you enjoy the occasional surprise growth because the seeds may survive & take root wherever you spread the compost. Our house is surrounded by hosta that I pulled out of a neighbor's compost heap one Spring -- she'd thrown them in her compost heap in the previous Fall.
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby knitwit45 » June 10th, 2011, 9:56 pm

After a long search, I found this thread, and wanted to post a funny email I just got (and it is SO true!!!)

God On Lawn Care

GOD:
Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colours by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

ST. FRANCIS:
It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to
great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD:
Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod
worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS:
Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD:
The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS:
Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD:
They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS:
Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD:
They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS:
No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD:
Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD:
These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS:
You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD:
What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS:
You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD:
No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS:
After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD:
And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS:
They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD:
Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE:
'Dumb and Dumber', Lord. It's a story about....

GOD:
Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » June 24th, 2011, 3:50 pm

"The Drought" (It hasn't been this hot and dry since the summer of 1910!) has sapped the strength from the tomatoes and stunted the okra. But I must admit, this year's Celebrity tomatoes planted back in March have the most divine, juicy, drippy quality for sandwiches, salads, and homemade spaghetti sauce.
Like liquid rubies..

The Purple Mexican Petunias are only about half the size they were last year (3 feet or so.)

We actually had two days of rain, so that did indeed help. My jalapenos are not doing so well, but the bell peppers astonished me. My first batch of fried green tomatoes back in May were met with cheers and yummy sounds....I like to make homemade sauces to go with them, and the most popular seems to be Ranch Dressing and a honey ginger sauce...
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