Author Topic: So...who enjoys gardening?  (Read 129930 times)

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Offline Daff

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #280 on: February 28, 2008, 05:00:47 PM »
Gardening is my relaxation, I love it, can`t get enough.

Offline ManWhoSews

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Some indoor gardening
« Reply #281 on: March 10, 2008, 11:45:43 PM »
Here's an amyrillus that i've been blooming and reblooming for about 7 years or so.  Not that fond of pink (it was mismarked at the store) but this is pretty, any way you look at it.  A little touch of spring for you that are longing for it!   :)


Offline LauraTS

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #282 on: March 11, 2008, 04:21:52 AM »
How lovely...

Well, here in the Bay Area, spring seems to have exploded onto the scene (sorry all you midwesterners covered in snow!). We'll probably get a few more rainy spells before summer, but it's definitely warmed up here. Just like my sewing, I tend to plan more gardens than I actually plant  ::) but I did get some stuff out this weekend. We rent and have a tiny duplex back yard, so there's not much scope for change. I planted spinach and lettuce in containers for a spring crop, and started some leeks and tomatoes to transplant either into bigger containers or into the ground. I also repotted a pile o' houseplants while I was at it, and weeded some of the planting areas at the front of the house. My new big experiment is trying to grow some California poppies in a window box at the back of the house (SW facing) which drains very fast, and so far has been too hot and dry to grow *anything*.

I went to a composting workshop tonight sponsored by our local recycling center, and am pondering a new compost bin system, which is subsidized by the county, but still a little pricey. I'm thinking that something with a lid will be easier to keep moist in the summer than our current plastic mesh thing.

I'm also pondering some new containers for vegetable growing - has anyone used the grow box or earthbox? They have a water reservoir at the bottom, so you're not supposed to have to water as often (which is an issue with container gardens in the summer, especially). Might be an idea for those of you in drought areas, too, as you could collect your gray water and water all at once more conveniently.
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Offline Liana

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #283 on: March 12, 2008, 02:33:38 AM »
Beautiful amaryllis! 

It was over 70 here today, and we were doing the happy dance!  Just 5 days ago we had an inch of snow and didn't get above freezing for a couple days.  I really hope we're at least done with the snow now.  ::)  But today was perfect, and I had to get out and do a little clean up in the garden, and top up the fish ponds once again.  They evaporate pretty quickly in really cold weather, and I've wondered what the water dept. thinks of me.  They base your wastewater usage on your winter water usage since they figure you're not watering the lawn, etc.  Well, maybe so, and I'm sure I'm not using as much as when I water the lawn, but what I lose isn't going down the drain either.  ;D  I can see it rising into the air somedays.  ::)

I'm hoping my Lenten Rose will bloom before Easter, and the flower stalks are up a couple inches, so I'm hoping, not that I guess it really makes much difference.... Whatever.  I do have tulips and surprise lilies and daffodils peeking up above the ground, so I'm very encouraged.  :)

Offline vtmartha

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #284 on: March 12, 2008, 11:26:30 AM »
My amaryllis are blooming now too.  Unfortunately, the flower stalks are on the long side and I'm having trouble supporting them.  We've been short on sun in Vermont this season which is most likely responsible.  Mine have been reblooming for a number of years as well.  The one I have blooming looks very similar to yours, Keith, and I think it is called Apple Blossom.

Laura, my DS is a 'grower' in the Bay Area and sells amaryllis and seedlings at various farmers' markets.  I think she has a popular item which is various lettuce greens in a pot.  I use earthworms in a bin for a small compost operation.  Their product is very rich.  The bulk of my compost goes in an outdoor pile which doesn't receive as much attention as my annual pile of winter horse barn shovelings.   My flower beds reap the rewards of this.

I also use Earthboxes.  They are quite productive.  Although I have plenty of garden space, I like the ease of caring for these plants. Unfortunately, I brought it an Earthbox of hot peppers this fall and all of my houseplants have been infested with aphids!  What a chore to knock those down!

Liana, the closest we have gotten to spring is a bit of mud as we pass 32 degrees.  Most things are still covered with ice.


Offline M.Lynn

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #285 on: March 12, 2008, 02:38:59 PM »
Man Who Sews:

It is so cool that you have had 7 years with that plant!! One of life's special smiles...... and sometimes after reading the newspaper, we really need that.
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Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #286 on: March 12, 2008, 03:09:36 PM »
M.Lynn, believe it or not,  I have owned some trees in pots for over 30 years, most from seed... A hibiscus "bonzai" style tree that I've been growing from a clipping that is about 28 years old and blooms profusely with double peach blossoms.  And a 5 foot tall orange tree that I started when I was in my early 20's that will probably never bloom (because it needs 180 leaf nodes to set a bloom and I don't have the space for that size of a tree). 

One thing I've learned with tropical midsize, non-bonzai trees in pots:  You HAVE to take them out, trim the roots and prune the tops back severely, about every 2 years or they just start to die due to root compaction and the resulting root rot.  If you can, find the tap root and cut it completely off, it's usually the main large root coming from the middle. This way, you get a thicker and thicker trunk as time goes by, but you can still enjoy the smallish tree form in your house.  I've never had one yet that didn't respond to this treatment.  They end up looking really interesting with time.

Offline M.Lynn

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #287 on: March 18, 2008, 01:34:56 PM »
I have two plant treasures. (I really do wish I had something I had started in my 20's like Man Who Sews - but I have killed enough stuff to send me to plant jail !!!!)

Treasure One: Bulbs from my Great-Great Grandmother's Kentucky farm - now transplanted in Georgia

Treasure Two: Grandmother's metal African Violet watering can. She was born in the 1880's and lived to be well into her 100's. I have had to spray paint it a few times due to rust. I use it almost daily in my indoor "Light Garden".  The size of the spout and the balance of the vessel are perfect -  I have never found a new one that can begin to compete. She had hundreds of violets and it is soothing to use something that was in her hands during those spare moments of quiet pleasure.
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Offline kath

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #288 on: April 26, 2008, 11:44:36 PM »
I  have too many peonies.  My red tree peony had many rooted offshoots.  It is still too cold to start harding off my starts.  I planted a bunch of poppy seeds in the ground.  the package said after all risk of frost is over.  So that is mid march here in
Seattle, then it snowed in April I hope they survive

Offline BetsyV

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #289 on: April 27, 2008, 12:43:24 AM »
Too many peonies? Wow - what a "problem" to have!

I don't have any - but our yard isn't a good place for them. I don't think I've seen anyone with tree peonies here either (Boston).

We have prepared the vegetable garden and planted the peas, scallions, and a cippolini-type onion. Also, sweet peas and morning glories. Yes, in the vegetable garden. Have started butternut and hubbard squash seeds, pumpkin, and 2 kinds of melon. Some seeds we're not too sure of the viability, so we started a bit early in case we need to re-start. We also planted the chard back out into the garden. We had overwintered several plants in big pots in the garage, where they sat, uninspired but healthy all winter.

We are giving the garden a break from the tomato/pepper/eggplant group this year. Fortunately, we have more than enough tomato puree to get us through to August 2009.

Offline kath

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #290 on: April 27, 2008, 05:12:22 AM »
but our yard isn't a good place for them. What kind of yard isn't good for tree peopnies .  they live in the forsets of japan at all elevations.  Mine are in sun but this is seattle

Offline BetsyV

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #291 on: April 27, 2008, 06:33:20 PM »
I don't get any sun because the town in its infinite "wisdom" planted Norway maples (an invasive alien maple species) all over the place and it's just dark. The only spot that gets any sun is over the old trash pit and is filled with very ashy, poor soil.

Offline kath

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #292 on: April 28, 2008, 09:28:17 PM »
With poor ashy soil, work in all those maple leaves and make a big pile,  If you can beg some grass clippings from a neighbor, pile some with the leaves, do that for a couple of years and you will have a nice bed for hostas ferns hardy fushia, and cyclamen coum.  if those do okay a peony, one of the species type or wild type.  Hybrids have the big flowers and they need sun.  My tree peonies have full shade on the north side  of my house, but they do like very humusy soil
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 09:31:26 PM by kath »

Offline BetsyV

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #293 on: April 29, 2008, 01:48:09 AM »
Thanks, Kath, I'll think about it. I will have time this summer, as I am retiring at the end of May. The Norway maple leaves are a poor choice - they are actually poisonous, I am going to screw this up, allelopathic or something, the roots, leaves, etc exude a substance which grass and other plants nearby can't deal with. It doesn't exactly kill the other plants - it prevents them from thriving. We do get plenty of grass from the rest of the yard though.

I love peonies ...

Offline karent

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening? Specific ? for MWS
« Reply #294 on: May 06, 2008, 03:05:53 AM »
A question for MWS/Keith:  didn't you speak earilier about re-blooming amaryllis bulbs?  I had two that were spectacular this year, and I've never attempted to keep them as I've always bought into the theory that if they really bloom themselves silly they have no reserve.  I decided to treat these like they were tulips and let the tops die back before I cut them off and stored for the winter.  Well, I cut off the blooms when they were done, and have left the leaves to "die back."  Problem is they are NOT!  They keep sending out new green shoots, and I'm thinking these buggars are going to just keep growing.  Is there a point where you decide to just whack off the foiliage and store the bulbs, or do you let them keep going until the green is done?  Am I making sense?  K

Offline vtmartha

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #295 on: May 06, 2008, 10:54:16 AM »
Fall, Karen.  Mine have been re-blooming without fail.  They go out into the garden in their pots during the summer (somewhere I'm sure to remember them for food and water) and come back in before the first frost.  Then I let the foliage die back and put them in the cellar to dry out and rest.  Late winter I bring them out again to bloom.  The problem I had this year was that their stems grew so long they couldn't support their monstrous blooms.  Perhaps they needed more overhead lighting?

Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #296 on: May 06, 2008, 12:11:02 PM »
Sorry for not looking here sooner, Karen.   Yes, like Martha says, just let them keep growing.  I put mine in a shady spot outside and just let the leaves grow all summer.  This is how they'll store their energy for the next bloom.  I put mine next to the house behind a tree trunk.  The leaves grow bigger, but hardly ever add any new leaves.  They seem to just stay the same, die back a little bit when it gets colder.  I just cut off the leaves to the base and then put my bulb in a dark storage cabinet in the garage until January.  Works every year.

Yep, Martha, more light.  They're stretching to get as much as possible.  If you have a good sunny window, that's the best place. My studio window is pretty good, faces south and there's always a ton of light in there, either man-made or the sun.  I've noticed that seedlings get more stout and healthier with strong light and always get leggy and weak with bad light.

Offline karent

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #297 on: May 07, 2008, 11:47:55 AM »
Thanks guys, I knew I'd get the answer here.  I'll find them a nice spot outside on my deck where I'll remember to keep watered, and plan to bring in when I bring in everything else in the fall.  These had such spectacular blooms that I'll be thrilled if I can get them to do it again!  K

Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #298 on: May 09, 2008, 04:21:01 PM »
I have a question for "the group":

How many of you that are gung ho gardeners bring in tender bulbs in the fall and plant them again in spring?   I have for years, but wonder if I'm a dying breed of gardener...  ?  Do most people just leave them in the ground and let them rot and start over in spring now? 

I have a very short list tho, it really can be a hassle some years, when you are completely OVER gardening by Oct. 1st or already over it by May 30th, the recommended day here for planting Cannas and Glads...:

tuberose
dahlias
gladiolas
cannas


On an unrelated note, I put in spinach and arugula in the veggie garden and all are coming up nicely.  Also started about 10 apple and redwood trees from cuttings, hoping they take with a little help from some rooting hormone.  Who has time to sew with spring gardening taking up every minute of spare time?? ???


Offline sewsy

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #299 on: May 09, 2008, 04:30:10 PM »
Hey ManWhoSews!

I don't plant many bulbs, just tulips, my favorite, but I've been thinking of taking some cuttings and trying to root them. Would you please post and let us know how your cuttings are getting along? Thanks! Sewsy  :laugh:

Offline Babe-B

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #300 on: May 09, 2008, 07:25:23 PM »
Keith, hi.

Of the bulbs/tubers you mentioned, I planted two or three dozen cannas last Spring and fully intended to dig them up in the Fall but didn't (won't rationalize here).  The result was that I felt very guilty and almost like I had committed a crime.  My father was an avid gardener and ALWAYS dug up his cannas and planted by the calendar here in MD.

Much to my delight, about two weeks ago I noticed that all the cannas that were planted near (almost against) the house were peaking through the mulch!!!  I assume that the southern exposure, good mulch depth, and the warmth of the brick was just enough to keep the buggers viable.  However, I'm not going to press my luck again this coming Fall and will dig them up.  Cannas planted in a less protected bed did not survive.

The newbies are now about a foot tall and very healthy.  All the cannas are "pink," but I would describe them as a fluorescent azalea color.  Off one wall of the enclosed porch, I inherited (this home has only been ours for about a year and a half) a small bed of angel wing begonias that I don't dig (up), and are just beginning to peak out for the season. On Monday, approximately 20 dozen annuals were planted from 4.5-inch pots into two flower beds.  Of those, about three dozen are apricot and coral Solenia (tuberous) begonias.  I need to read up on those, so I can decide how to handle them in the Fall.

Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #301 on: May 10, 2008, 07:51:35 PM »
Sewsy, I've been doing trees from cuttings for a few years now.  Usually something hardy (like an apple or lilac  ) does it very easily.  I was surprised that my Dawn Redwoods (metasequoia) did it as they seem tender to me but they work well and I now have two 2-yr olds going strong from branch cuttings.  I used to do this with no rooting hormone but now I use it every time because without you get about 10% that take, and with you get about 80%.  Rooting hormone can be found in almost every gardening shop.  I've tried it with roses, but I have such lousy luck with roses overall that I figure it's just my fault.  I've heard you get better luck if you use a good cloche (upside down bell-shaped glass container).  My cuttings are doing well so far, we had a nice two-day slow rain and cooler temps that really helped.

Babe-b, don't feel bad at all.  I finally let all my dark red cannas rot last fall.  Partly because of laziness, but mostly because I just don't like them that much and they were a gift that had multiplied like crazy. Also, by the time they start to bloom nicely the Jap beetles are going strong and they just eat them down to nothing.  What's the point?  I don't mind digging up 20 or so tuberose (because they do give back with scent) but 80 cannas?  Sorry, too much. I have some nice tigers and water cannas that are worth digging up, (and I do) but the common reds are easy enough to replace.  Glad some of yours are coming back anyway.  Some of my glads do that as well, if they face south and are next to the house.  Sometimes you just can't dig up every single bulb!  When I don't, I say I'm giving them tough love.   ;)


Offline sewsy

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #302 on: May 10, 2008, 09:31:28 PM »
Sewsy, I've been doing trees from cuttings for a few years now.  Usually something hardy (like an apple or lilac  ) does it very easily.  I was surprised that my Dawn Redwoods (metasequoia) did it as they seem tender to me but they work well and I now have two 2-yr olds going strong from branch cuttings.  I used to do this with no rooting hormone but now I use it every time because without you get about 10% that take, and with you get about 80%.  Rooting hormone can be found in almost every gardening shop.  I've tried it with roses, but I have such lousy luck with roses overall that I figure it's just my fault.  I've heard you get better luck if you use a good cloche (upside down bell-shaped glass container).  My cuttings are doing well so far, we had a nice two-day slow rain and cooler temps that really helped.



Hey Keith! Thanks for the information on the lilacs. I'd love to try. I've tried the same with the roses, for several years now, with a makeshift cloche, but, no luck. I got the idea from The Martha Stewart Show years ago, she commented about her grandmother? I think it was, having taken cuttings from a rosebush and that it was a fifty-fifty thing. She showed the cloche, but said that at the time her grandmother planted, there wasn't growth hormone to use. Well, I figured it was worth a try.... :)

Offline kurlylox

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yard pictures and a surprize
« Reply #303 on: May 16, 2008, 07:07:20 PM »
A big snowball bush (snowballs out of control LOL)




Some purple flowers, don't know what they are







Some blue flowers, don't know what these are either.




And last , the big surprise we found... some wild "pussy willows"





Anybody want one?




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Offline Liana

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Re: yard pictures and a surprize
« Reply #304 on: May 16, 2008, 07:23:12 PM »
Wow!  Your spring yard is looking great!  I think the purple flowers are Allium.  The blue ones are some kind of bluebell maybe?  English something I'm thinking.  I used to have some like that in blue, pink and white, but I don't recall the name.  But, your pussy willows are just darling!  ;D 

I'm moving this to the gardening thread.  You'll get some answers from those with actual knowledge there.  :)

Offline redhead

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #305 on: May 16, 2008, 09:11:06 PM »
Isn't there a blue flower like that called campanula?  They look like that.  The purple ones are definitely allium.  Great pictures, thanks for sharing them.

ETA, I just checked wikipedia, and Canterbury Bells is what I was trying to think of.  Campanula is a whole species of that type of flower, apparently.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 09:13:45 PM by redhead »

Offline kath

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #306 on: May 16, 2008, 11:18:20 PM »
the blue ones are a kind of scilla, The purple are allium or flowering onion

Offline M.Lynn

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #307 on: May 27, 2008, 03:08:29 PM »
Certainly there are a few of you who have had this problem.

When we bought our home 10 years ago, I had a large raised bed for veges put in a sunny spot. The maturing trees on neighboring properties are now shading it. Yesterday I amended the soil with really good compost and a bit of manure. I know that good soil won't make up for lack of sun, but I just had to plant summer veges.

I think the practical thing to do is to use this as a winter garden. It does get some sun before the trees leaf out. I have never done a winter garden. I guess it is time to learn. We are zone 7B, so gardening is almost a year round thing.
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Offline redhead

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #308 on: May 27, 2008, 05:14:45 PM »
I'm wondering this year if my vegetable garden is more shaded than in previous years.  I've been experimenting with the polyculture concepts in Gaia's Garden, and one side of the bed is growing noticeably faster than the other side.  I'll be interested to hear about your winter garden.  I'm zone 6 myself.

Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #309 on: May 28, 2008, 07:34:37 PM »
M.Lynn, I just put my tomatoes on the far side of the garden for the same reason.  My shade trees keep edging over further each year.  I'm probably going to have to move the whole garden next year (which is a good thing to do, but a pain in the butt.)   I keep planting trees in the yard tho, and eventually will have to figure out where to NOT plant them for a veggie garden!  Someone needs to develop a shade-loving tomato!  ;)

Has anyone tried out the upside down tomato growers yet?  Wondering if those are a good thing?

Offline redhead

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #310 on: May 28, 2008, 08:01:39 PM »
My husband has a co-worker who grows them hanging up in five-gallon buckets, and the plants just hang down the sides.  He really likes it.  I think I saw the upside down planters at a price less than the "as seen on TV" rate at Harbor Freight, if you have one of those nearby.

Offline vtmartha

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #311 on: May 28, 2008, 08:33:18 PM »
If you are having trouble keeping ahead of the shade, try Earthboxes or something similar.  I've been using them for several years with great results.  My daughter has tried the upside down tomato growers but her Earthboxes (no affiliation, I assure you  ;)) were much more successful.

Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #312 on: May 30, 2008, 01:10:05 PM »
Thanks for the tips...  Earthboxes look pretty swell...  I like the wheels on them!

Offline Lisa

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #313 on: May 30, 2008, 05:30:14 PM »
Several posts were starting a nice discussion of how to use various herbs from the garden in cooking.  I've moved those posts to their own thread, titled "Cooking from the Garden" since someone interested in cooking wouldn't necessarily find them under gardening...

Please continue that discussion there. :)

Lisa
« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 05:36:04 PM by Lisa »
Found: a favorite silver bracelet that I hadn't seen for a while.  On its four quarters it says "Welcome Introspection; Accept Wisdom; Seek Illumination; Embrace Innocence."   It's like a "magic 8-ball" on the wrist...

Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: So...who enjoys gardening?
« Reply #314 on: May 31, 2008, 04:26:54 PM »
Well, a pretty sad day here if you love gardens.   :(

Last night big storms moved through Indiana and literally destroyed my back yard and many of my gardens.  The privacy fence was blown down, crushing an oriental bench and toppling some of my waterfall that was over the pond.  It also smashed many shrubs and perennials and tipped over my arbor, which was starting to FINALLY get climbing roses and climatis covering it.  It toppled the large orange tree that the robin had a nest with four eggs and broke the pot into pieces. My entire yard was flooded with half a foot of water most of the night, flooding out the pond, losing some fish (still can't find my 3 frogs anywhere, they probably swam on to new homes) and making the yard a mulch/mud/dead grass mess.  The pond is a nice light brown color now. My crawlspace filled up with water from the flood (a first) and the sump pump is working without shutting off, still.

The flood has almost receded, but it's basically a gardener's worst nightmare. I've raked up most of the mulch mixture stuff and I have to wait for the insurance guy to take pics before I can pick up the fence (with some help, can't do that alone).  Everything is either flooded, ripped to shreds from the wind or crushed under the fence.

HOWEVER, on the brighter side...
I'm not hurt, the house is intact and I'm doing a lot better than MANY people who lost their homes or lives or were hurt last night  So, glass still half full, right?  After all, everything can be replaced and regrown.  It will take some time, but plants are easier to lose than many other things.   ;)

 

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