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Author Topic: The Groovy Gardening Thread  (Read 5241 times)

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Offline Basquo

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The Groovy Gardening Thread
« on: May 03, 2009, 07:28:59 PM »
We havenít had a thread like this in a while, I donít think, so here goes! Please post interesting stories and pictures, if you have them, of your gardening victories.

The first picture is a gadget I bought yesterday at a street fair. Itís called Petal Paddles.  Itís just pieces of wood cut so that pots hang off it by their rims. Why didnít I think of that??

The second picture is a vine called purple hyacinth bean.  Itís growing by  the pool and I collected some of the seeds and itís really starting to take off. The idea is that I will create a barrier of plants so I can walk out on the terrace and not have to worry about clothes.  Of course, when it gets dark and weíve had a few martinis, Santi and I pretty much do our own thing out there anyway!

The third picture is a split-leaf philodendron that has a unique history. My neighbors in my hometown had one for 20 years in their atrium. It grew out in 2 directions for a total width of 20 feet, sending roots down into the foundation, all out of the original 12-inch plastic pot it was given to them in. When they replaced the ceiling, it had to be moved, so my mom helped them cut off the ends, then saw the trunks into foot-long lengths and root them.  They gave me one of those cuttings, and 9 years later itís doing pretty good, but itís getting too big to handle on a terrace. I donít have room to bring it in if it freezes, and luckily we had a mild winter.

Iím going to visit my old neighbor in June, and she said she would love to have it, considering it had become a family member (they named it Irving) and all the parts they kept have died.  It should be very happy there, but it sure is happy where it is now.  If you look closely in the fourth picture, you can see that itís putting out blooms.  BLOOMS!  Iíve only seen a plant like this do that one time, many years ago.

What have you got to show me?

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Offline northernguy

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 09:07:00 PM »
I've spent a lot of time clearing out things the winter killed.  We had much more snow and cold temps than usual for our coastal area and I lost several plants  :(

I did buy two new roses which I'm looking forward to.  One is called Hot Cocoa and is supposed to have a chocolatey orange flower.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline fearless

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 12:04:37 AM »
Should we already declare that Jan has the finest garden of all  ;).

My challenge is to turn the backyard in my new house into a garden.
As you can see from the pic, I have a clean slate (or slab of concrete to work with).
The plan, so far, is to create a little oasis of native and endemic plants. I've already got a rough idea of what plants I want and where they will go, but i'm sure my thinking will evolve over time.
I get the keys on the weekend, so let the fun begin.



[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 12:20:38 AM by fearless »
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline Robert

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 02:07:42 AM »

Ok, 3rd time's the charm.  Let's try this again.

Here are some pictures I just took this afternoon.  It rained most of the day yesterday so today everything looks bright and fresh.


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..........

Offline fearless

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 02:19:41 AM »
looking great Robert. Very lush and green.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline leatherman

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 03:04:12 AM »
Since I moved (because my partner passed away) to a new place in September, I have a whole new yard to work in this year.

The backyard is quite odd as it's tiered in three levels. I have the top two levels fenced in for my three cocker spaniels boyz. I'm not certain just what kind of a flower bed used to be on the hillside between the two upper levels (see pix); but I was pricing out pumps and pond liners for the waterfall/pool feature that I plan to build somewhere here this summer. ;) At my previous home which is just two blocks away around the corner (where I had lived after my first partner passed away (13 yrs) until moving in finally with the second partner just 2 years ago), at that house I had turned a hole left by a dead dogwood tree into a fountain surrounded by irises. Eventually with some cement and sweat I had a real-life fountain pool in my front yard (see pix). I wasn't able to bring along any of the irises from my old house; but I did bring along, and already planted, hollyhocks, morning glories, and cosmos.

The bottom level of this new property is actually where the shared-driveway splits and ends up in what used to be a garage. Now all that is left is a large brick patio. Starting last Fall and now into Spring, I have been slowly digging out the drive and gargage base (see pix) that have been buried under about two inches of top soil that washed down the driveway over many years. Since I wasn't able to keep the house or the car after losing Jim, I don't need a garage or parking area (there's room on the street when I have visitors), so after I build a set of steps down from the main part of the backyard, this area is going to be the patio where I'll be grilling out this summer. ;D

I'm not all that good with plants, although I can do okay with hardy things like cosmos and sunflowers. LOL But I'm especially deadly on indoor plants. Nothing has survived my "black thumb" except for one palm-tree type plant. It is the sole survivor of 6 plants from an arrangement my work gave me on the passing of my first partner, Randy. Wow! that means I've kept this houseplant alive and thriving for 16 years! and that was after my second partner Jim crushed it in the car door, on the move over to his house, and clipped off half it's fronds. but it's grown back a second batch of fronds and hangs in here just like I've been doing all these years (I mean as I've been hanging in there, not growing fronds, you know. ROFL)

Good luck with your gardening projects this season ;)

ps
thinking about your other thread about the baby birdies, I have a story. At my old house, Jim and I built a special birdhouse to house the webcam that I used to watch my backyard. I also got some incredible footage of the birds flying in and out. Eventually we watched the baby birds hatch and learn to fly away, on the webcam.

[attachment deleted by admin]
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline minismom

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2009, 06:58:16 AM »
My poor tulips and irises aren't quite sure what they are supposed to be doing.  Our weather has gone hay-wire.  We had 2 days of temps in the high 80's (August weather for us), then a week of 50's with rain.  High today is 57 - 15 straight days of rain total.  We have our gardens planned, but scared to plant anything until temps are a bit more consistant. 

 In addition to our veggie garden, we're hoping to add a gord / pumpkin garden, 2 more bing cherry trees, strawberry and blueberry bushes, 2 pear trees, and another apple tree.  We're also planning a butterfly garden (any suggestions, Basquo?) and a wildflower patch around our rock garden.  We're also *hoping* to build a tree house for the kids.

Mum (who is in desperate need of sun)
www.watoto.com
www.MotherBearProject.org
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Offline aztecan

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 10:46:00 AM »
I was hoping for tulips and grape hyacinths this year. But, the deer ate them again.

The daffodils were pretty, but have pretty much finished blooming.

I will post something when I get something growing.

Liike Steve, I am using a lot of xeric and native plants in my yard because we don't have that much water and that which I do have is going for the veggie garden and fruit trees.

I do have a small patch of grass beneath the solar clothes dryer. It prevents mud cakes on the clothes.

HUGS,

Mark

"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline mecch

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 11:28:07 AM »
My challenge is to turn the backyard in my new house into a garden.
As you can see from the pic, I have a clean slate (or slab of concrete to work with).

Well I hope you merit your knickname because that slab of concrete is inspiring but a bit intimidating, baking in the sun there.  Have fun!

Going to do a tropical or desert thing? I see a palm tree in the background. 

If you are going to do container gardens, I have a lot of experience.

I wouldn't attempt a container garden in a hot sunny (arid?) climate without serious consideration of automatic watering system, if you are going to do anything but desert plants. 

This is negotiable if you are a homebody but if you travel sometimes it is very difficult to explain and then get correct watering of containers from plant sitters.  And, plants in containers die if they are not cared for.

Also discuss with the garden center about moisture management. There are different substances you can put in the potting soil that will retain moisture.

Also, think about the color of your containers.  A lot of plants do not appreciate hot roots, but some won't mind at all.
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline fearless

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2009, 07:40:31 PM »
Thanks for the tips Mecch,

As a renter, I currently have a container garden that I lug with me from house to house - it generally consists of succulents for the very reasons you have noted.

Now that I have my own land, the garden will be in-ground - up comes that concrete - Fearless or just damn crazy!!! i'm not sure yet.

Sydney is quite humid and wet and sunny - we get about 1300 mm's of rain a year (about 50 inches). the yard slopes away toward the back so drainage should not be too much of a problem, but it may be too wet for the grass tree I'd like to have. The soil is also likely to have a reasonable amount of clay in it so I will have to add some gypsum to improve the soil and its drainage. Most Australian plants require a well drained sandy in relatively infertile soil - they tend to dislike having damp roots and fertile soils.

There is a community nursery not far from me though that specialises in plants endemic to where I will be living. It's reasonably priced and has a great selection of plants.

Good luck with your project, Leatherman. Makes my task seem small.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline leatherman

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2009, 08:37:47 PM »
Good luck with your project, Leatherman.
Thanks! I probably won't start that project until later on in this month.

Silly me today though ::) I went and helped my OhioMom finally get a handle on what she expects to become a vegetable garden. ::) (She's nearly 70 for heaven's sake; just how much ground did she think that she was going to get dug up?!? LOL) I'm sure one day, I'll just keel over dead of a heart attack while doing yard work -  just like my father did. ROFL I jest though with black humor because that really did happen. At 62, smoking 3 pcks a day, he mowed the front yard and then died in the driveway taking the mower to the backyard. It was Aug. in Charlotte NC and the neighbor found him 4 hours later. Not a pretty death; but IMHO it beats dying in a hospital. ;)

But today wasn't the day I was dropping over dead; instead today was the day that I did too much shoveling with the spade and screwed my back all up. Thankfully it's supposed to be rainy tomorrow because I have a feeling I won't be able to do much more than crawl around the house tomorrow LOL and Ouch!

So you're tearing up all that 'crete? Dang! That's probably a pretty decent chore in itself. My late partner and I laid a cement floor in the screened-in patio (between his house and pool) about 5 yrs ago, so I only know about putting down the concrete, not tearing it up and carting it away. However, I'll take the option that you're just "damn crazy",  ::) ;D cause I think your back will probably be screaming like mine the day you do remove all that stuff. LOL

Are you going to rip up all the concrete? It's hard to tell from the pix just how large a space that is. (Just like pix I've taken from upstairs in my house don't adequately show the terrain - the 3 tier levels). If the area is large enough, I'd be tempted to only pull up some of the concrete, leaving a path or two, along with a "patio" area for the table. Have you considered, instead, building large planter boxes to make green spaces rather than removing the concrete? Just my thoughts of how I might tackle that blank "canvas" that you have to work with. I'm sure no matter what you decide to do, it'll be great to see how different it looks at the end of the season.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2009, 09:54:13 PM »
I planted some Jasmine a couple of years ago to hide an ugly fence and this is the first year it has bloomed and in a couiple more years, the fence will be covered.

In the other photo we have the California Poppy (the state flower), it grows wild and behind is the Lavender.  It has been 4 years since I moved here and started the yard.  It was a small hillside lot with nothing planted.   ;D  Have the best day
Michael

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Offline Basquo

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2009, 10:30:05 PM »
I didn't realize that the California Poppy was your state flower, despite the obvious clues :P

They are blooming in Texas now, too, but they are a little finicky, meaning if they are not happy they put out a lot of foliage and few blooms. They will definitely put on a show, though, blooms or not, for us container gardeners!

Thanks Michael! (and everyone else too for the great pics and stories!)

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2009, 01:42:48 PM »
The yard of this house is simply not big enough so, I plant at the pioneer cemetery across the road.  Some of these neighbors have been dead since before statehood and get plastic flowers on Memorial Day.  This year, I gave them Iris.     ;D  Have the best day
Michael

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Offline Basquo

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2009, 07:28:06 PM »
VERY nice!  I don't think I've ever seen irises with so many blooms on one stalk. I planted my grandfather's irises at four different homes, one of which no longer has them. I wonder how the others are doing. I guess I could check on a couple of them by doing a drive-by.

Offline Ann

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2009, 08:00:35 PM »
. I guess I could check on a couple of them by doing a drive-by.


~imagines Creighton doing drive-by iris-spottings~


:D
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Offline Basquo

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2009, 10:31:31 PM »
Ann, honey, I've already done more than one drive-by rosemary spotting, and luckily was able to stop a drive-by rosemary uprooting (since the then-current partner was on parole, I think that counts as community service!) I gave it up to prevent that.  Specifically, I said, "Oh, baby, that's in my past.  Let me show you the here and now!"  Seriously, in the middle of the day, I was regretting the "gardens of the past" tour I was attempting to give (note to self.)

Offline MarcoPoz

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2009, 09:03:35 AM »
I'm right in the middle of a total kitchen remodel-but with the change in seasons pulling at me I had to get out and play in the dirt.  This is what I have so far in my 'city garden':

Anise Hyssop, Lemon balm, taragon, chamomile, chives, rue, rosemary, sage, lemon grass, oregano, garlic (looking very good for this early), Bay, lemon mint, marjoram, mullein, mugwort, lemon verbena  all starting off well. 

I've got my seeds in for my greens and some nice shoots are up too.. Now--just have to wait a bit for my tomatoes ;-)

Offline weasel

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2009, 10:53:47 AM »
I've been busy planting Crape mertil trees ,dogwoods , Rododendums , some azzelia bushes around the driveway .
 I have two climbing roses ( blaze ) that need a home ,Bob says he will find a spot on the garden fence .
  Bob's garden is 30 x 30 feet and there is 29 tomatoes ,9 egg plant ( for me ) cucumbers ,sqaush
some green peppers . also some white sqaush ,i refer to as "flying saucers "

  My flower beds are doing well , the iris's  i saved from the houses that have been torn down for the
new highway , did very well !  I transplanted  hundreds of lillies and daffodills ,i thought i would never get  them all planted !

   Yesterday i bought a "fire bush "  ,the humming birds love ! ,not sure how it will do ,never had one !

  We are using " Bush"s Grilling Beans "  to attract  the honey bee ,or feed them ?
 The bee LOVE  the sweat sticky awful tasting, to me ,beans              LOL

 Well today I gota work on my counter tops , black granite 12x12 tiles . The kitchen is almost done
  The house is now  3 years old and nothing is really all finished . It looks nice but nothing is truley done

                                                 happy gardening ,

                                            I got to try and post a picture .

                                                                       Carl
" Live and let Live "

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: The Groovy Gardening Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2009, 05:39:42 PM »
No garden is complete without a Goddess.  Today, we have a headless representation of, I think Aphrodite and also Venus... The green leafy plants next to them are also something the grows wild after it is established.  In a month or two, the leaves will die down and later thgis Summer a shaft with a couple of pink flowers will grow in its place.  I think they are called Naked Ladys.  I moved here with a big box of them and put about 50 in the cemetery next door.  They never bloomed there and never after the first year of a transplant.  ;D  Have the best day
Michael
(who pictures Creighton on a drive by Iris spotting)

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