December 31, 2016

Saturday Gardening Thread: Going Low [KT]
— Open Blogger

colonel hovey.jpg

Camellia 'C.M. Hovey', AKA Colonel Fiery

Happy New Years Eve Day, Horde! Remember:

A garden is never so good as it will be next year.
Thomas Cooper

I'm currently in that dreamy winter stage when I imagine great things in next year's garden. How about You? It's kind of a quiet day here. I'm skipping New Years Eve at Times Square this year. Actually, I have skipped it every year of my life. Nine hours without the possibility of a bathroom break makes it an improbability for me in the future, too. Too many people in one place.

nytts.jpg

But if you are heading to The City, remember that away from Times Square, there are actually some live plants if you know where to look. Have you ever been to The Highline? I was fascinated by the history of the railroad that preceded it. Trains on elevated tracks ran under buildings like Nabisco and Bell Laboratories. Rail cars could be loaded from indoors. The current park, still being expanded, features many plants tha colonized the old rail line when it was abandoned. Weeds, in other words. Some of them quite attractive weeds.
Below is a nice photo taken by a nice Canadian visitor during a November visit. There are more photos at the link. I'm not sure that right now is the best time of year to visit The Highline.

new-york-HL.jpg

But if all goes as planned, there will someday be a Lowline, too. The proposal for NYC's first underground park was made in 2011. Projected completion is 2021.

Plans are still not approved. Quite a contrast from the Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno. They were built and planted by a guy who learned to dig underground when the subway system in NYC was first under construction. In Fresno, he worked alone most of the time. No corporate sponsors. No government regulations. Not much technology.

You can currently visit the second of two test runs for the Lowline.

The Lowline Lab is a long-term open laboratory and technical exhibit designed to test and showcase how the Lowline will grow and sustain plants underground. Built inside an abandoned market on the Lower East Side, just two blocks from the site of the proposed future Lowline, the Lowline Lab includes a series of controlled experiments in an environment mimicking the actual Lowline site.


The lab is closed this weekend, but will be open on weekend afternoons through the end of February. "Special closing events TBA". Kid-friendly features are described here, with a suggested itinerary for other activities on the Lower East Side. Anybody helping a kid with a science fair project?

unpineapple.jpg

Most expensive pineapple in NYC

If you are elsewhere in The City, you might want to check out some other indoor atriums this winter. Trump Towers is mentioned. But the piece was written in February. Heh.

indoor NYC.jpg

Or, head over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden where they have story time for kids on the 7th, and a variety of walks for kids an adults, including one led by a psychotherapist, outdoors, intended to help participants get over the winter doldrums (January . Just before your walk with a psychotherapist, learn the science behind making "funky" sauerkraut. Is there a connection? Some commenters here at the Garden Thread already know how to make sauerkraut.

Something Sweet for Winter

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden lists Wintersweet as one of the plants you may find blooming in the Children's Garden in January.

Wintersweet flowers are an unexpected delight. The Chimonanthus spends most of the year unnoticed and minding its own business, but when January rolls around, it lets loose a barrage of flowers that are delicate in appearance but which arguably carry the best scent of any flower, anywhere. You have not lived, until you have cozied up to Wintersweet and taken a big whiff.

Over at Dave's Garden, a commenter said,

They smell amazing! Sweet but not cloying, and very strong. I'd recommend growing one near a back or front door where you'll pass in winter. The flowers look rather like jellyfish, and they are fleshy, with thick petals and a firm texture; they are about the size of a thumbnail.

Most people seem to think that the shrubs are nothing special to look at in summer. They do have yellow fall foliage. Sunset says they need afternoon shade in my climate (Central California). Where summers are cooler, plant Wintersweet against a south wall or in a sunny entryway. There are two named varieties, on yellow and one with bigger flowers, but the original is said to be the most fragrant. Cut some branches early and force them indoors if you want to. You can buy seeds through the AoSHQ Amazon Store.

chimonanthus500.jpg

Do you think the flowers look like jellyfish? Wintersweet is hardy to parts of Zone 6. It needs some winter chill, so if you are in the warmer parts of Zone 9 (or in zone 10 or 11) you could substitute the attractive, evergreen Sweet Olive.

Seasonal Reminders

Many botanical gardens are continuing their holiday displays for another week or so. Is there one near you?

If you're in Southern California, you might want to stop by Descanso Gardens, which is featuring an "enchanted forest of light" in the evenings. The camellia forest there is pretty impressive in the daytime, too, about this time of year. You don't often see camellias that tall.

You should also visit the Huntington Gardens, Library and Museum while the camellias are blooming, and while the Osmanthus fragrans scents the Japanese Garden. It's not to far from the Rose Parade route. Or from the floats displayed after the parade.

Osmanthus fragrans may also still be blooming in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, in the Warm Temperate Pavilion. It is listed as a December bloomer there.

Remember dormant spraying of fruit trees and also shrubs prone to insect or fungus attack from over-wintering pests in the spring. In warmer climes, remember that old fashioned Christmas lights can help protect some evergreen trees, including citrus, from frost.

Gardens of The Horde

Was your garden affected by one of the Top ten weather stories of 2016?

We had rain yesterday (Yay!) so fog is here today. Haven't done much in the garden this week. How about you?

Have a great New Years Eve and a great week!

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:40 AM | Comments (79)
Post contains 1063 words, total size 9 kb.

1 Winter sweet looks like Sweet Shrub or AKA Carolina Allspice.

off to Google...

Posted by: Golfman at December 31, 2016 07:38 AM (k0S3A)

2 Nope.

Chimonanthus vs. Calycanthus.

Posted by: Golfman at December 31, 2016 07:40 AM (k0S3A)

3 Perceptive, Golfman.  It's related. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 07:41 AM (qahv/)

4 And Happy New Year, KT!

Posted by: Golfman at December 31, 2016 07:41 AM (k0S3A)

5 Same family, different genus?

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 07:41 AM (qahv/)

6 Happy New Year to you, too, Golfman. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 07:42 AM (qahv/)

7 I see. Same family.

Carolina Allspice has one of the best fragrances, if you find one that has any smell at all.

(borrowed from Fine Gardening) > ...  flowers combine the scent of strawberries, banana, and pineapple

Posted by: Golfman at December 31, 2016 07:44 AM (k0S3A)

8 I've been to the High Line many times, and as a model train buff with a particular interest in the city's freight and transit lines, the right-of-way is particularly appealing. While I'm glad it was saved and it is a nice venue to experience, the city and the area, which includes hip/trendy neighborhoods like the Meatpacking District and the far western part of Chelsea, would have been much better served by making it a part of the transit system. Light rail/trolley or perhaps connecting with the subway at the Hudson Yards. It's only a block east of the Hudson River, which has parks and bike paths along the water. Oh well, tomorrow the long, long overdue first leg of the Second Avenue Subway officially opens. Have a happy, safe and blessed New Year, all!

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at December 31, 2016 07:47 AM (mbhDw)

9 Just us looks like us. Everyone must be resting up for tonight's festivities, I suppose. I need to get to work.

Happy New Year Horde.

Posted by: Golfman at December 31, 2016 07:47 AM (k0S3A)

10 Do Dandelions like the cold weather? I have been out weedwacking them and their little flowering tops all morning.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at December 31, 2016 07:49 AM (5VlCp)

11 Many in NYC will relieve themselves and worse anyway. After decades in San Francisco and St. Louis, there is nothing like life in a flyover state. Speaking of left wing pukes: Sunset Magazine. Mom insists on giving me a subscription every Christmas. I use it to line the recycling bin.

Posted by: Anna Mac at December 31, 2016 07:52 AM (xujfC)

12 Do Dandelions like the cold weather?

I have been out weedwacking them and their little flowering tops all morning.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at December 31, 2016 12:49 PM (5VlCp)

====================



Where the heck do you live?  We won't have dandelions till May.

Posted by: grammie winger at December 31, 2016 07:55 AM (dFi94)

13 J.J. Sefton at December 31, 2016 12:47 PM

Thanks for the perspective.  I guess people didn't always envision the Meatpacking District as "trendy".  Sounds like a lot of that rail system was demolished before anyone came up with the idea for a park.  Modeled after one in Paris. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 07:58 AM (qahv/)

14 Speaking of left wing pukes: Sunset Magazine. Mom insists on giving me a subscription every Christmas. I use it to line the recycling bin.
Posted by: Anna Mac at December 31, 2016 12:52 PM (xujfC)


Sunset used to be the classy gardening magazine, up there with Vogue for those not living in the trendy East coast.
Mom had gobs of those.  They were real big in the 70s on the exposed dark beams and open framing rooms paneled with flush-set boards.

I remember the gardens with patio islands and meaningless raised beds.  Everything was so green and mossy

Posted by: Kindltot at December 31, 2016 07:59 AM (9MInk)

15 Golfman at December 31, 2016 12:44 PM

Isn't Carolina Allspice a host for the Spicebush Swallowtail? 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 07:59 AM (qahv/)

16 Thank you KT for the wonderful content and Happy New Year. It's raining right now and it rained a little yesterday, maybe we'll get 0.1 of an inch. It's really green here. I'm happy to report both GHO (owls) were in the nest we built for them yesterday morning. Hopefully they will use it.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 08:00 AM (Q5Ymk)

17 Agree on Sunset Magazine.  I used to read it.  No more. 

Still love the Sunset Garden Book.  Have several editions.  Not the most recent. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:02 AM (qahv/)

18 Fun news about the owls, CaliGirl!

Hope you get more than a little rain. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:03 AM (qahv/)

19 Where the heck do you live? We won't have dandelions till May. Posted by: grammie winger at December 31, 2016 12:55 PM (dFi94) Haha! Yup. South of the Mason-Dixie line GW. Cool but not below 40s here lately. Virgil quick come see, there goes Bobby Lee.... "Look away, look away, look away Dixieland!"

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at December 31, 2016 08:04 AM (5VlCp)

20 I envy you, Hairyback Guy.  Each winter up here gets harder and harder.  Wisconsin is beautiful, but the winters here are killing me.

Posted by: grammie winger at December 31, 2016 08:05 AM (dFi94)

21 I love camellias. One of mine died from gophers. The other ones look healthy. I've never seen a wintersweet that I'm aware of.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 08:05 AM (Q5Ymk)

22 Oh, a couple of years ago a (now ex-) girlfriend took issue with me that I keep old mesh onion bags.  They are red mesh bags that hold about 5lbs of yellow onions that you buy from the store.
"What in the world are you planning to do with these" she asked . . . several times in exasperated tones.

Last weekend, before it started raining, I took mesh bags, put a quarter brick in each, and tied them to the suckers sprouting like suckers from the topped main trunk of my young apple tree to make the branches go OUT instead of UP for another twenty feet.
As they get bigger and get permanently warped to that arc, I will move the bags out to make sure the ends also go out and not up.

From there it is a matter of trimming back the suckers each year to keep the "intermediate" tree from going 30 feet tall.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 31, 2016 08:07 AM (9MInk)

23 I envy you, Hairyback Guy. Each winter up here gets harder and harder. Wisconsin is beautiful, but the winters here are killing me. Posted by: grammie winger at December 31, 2016 01:05 PM (dFi94) Yup...winters do seem colder each year that I get older. Beats the alternative though. Wisconsin is beautiful so stay warm GW and I will be rooting for your Packers in the playoffs.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at December 31, 2016 08:10 AM (5VlCp)

24 I'm currently in that dreamy winter stage when I imagine great things in next year's garden. How about You? Son and DiL bought me a winter weight set of coveralls for working outside, but they are one size too small. I needed the receipt to exchange them, but he didn't provide it to me until today, when he also brought over the grandson. I really want to get into them and get outdoors to do some work because it is sunny, thiugh cold. Arrrrrrgh!

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) [/b][/i][/s][/u] at December 31, 2016 08:11 AM (BK3ZS)

25 And I have to add about the mesh bags hanging from the tree:  I just went out and realized the chickadees are thinking they are suet bags and are pecking at them hopefully.


Posted by: Kindltot at December 31, 2016 08:12 AM (9MInk)

26 We also have had some frost damage. Some of the boxwoods, the citronella plants, my meyer lemon and lime trees in pots that I forgot to move in the garage. Some succulents. Nothing too bad, but next week it may get as low as the 20's. I have frost blankets ready.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 08:13 AM (Q5Ymk)

27 I will be rooting for your Packers in the playoffs.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at December 31, 2016 01:10 PM (5VlCp)

==============================



I just hope they don't embarrass themselves and lose it in the first quarter of play.  Not our best year.  Maybe Jordy can keep us afloat.


Posted by: grammie winger at December 31, 2016 08:13 AM (dFi94)

28 Posted by: Kindltot at December 31, 2016 01:07 PM (9MInk) My mind doesn't work like that, what a good idea.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 08:15 AM (Q5Ymk)

29 We had camellias at the furst house I owned in SC. Too cold for them here on the Delmarva peninsula, though.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) [/b][/i][/s][/u] at December 31, 2016 08:16 AM (BK3ZS)

30 Happy New Year KT and thanks for the garden threads. Have gotten 2 batches of leaves into the compost bin this week, should do perimeter but they aren't going anywhere so will get to them sometime.

Posted by: Skip at December 31, 2016 08:17 AM (5sOEp)

31 CaliGirl, my mom did that with her dwarf pears to get them into shape when I was a kid.  She used old nylons, but I don't wear 'em . . .

Posted by: Kindltot at December 31, 2016 08:20 AM (9MInk)

32 CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 01:05 PM

Don't know if you get enough winter chill for wintersweet. 

Sorry about your camellia and the gopher. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:21 AM (qahv/)

33 Kindltot at December 31, 2016 01:07 PM

Thanks for the great idea! 

If you still want to send the wildflower photos, you can send them to:

ktinthegarden

at that "g" mail place.


Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:24 AM (qahv/)

34 Skip at December 31, 2016 01:17 PM

Happy New Year to you, too, Skip!

Still making compost!  Impressive. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:26 AM (qahv/)

35 Sorry, KT I got your email, just being disorganized as usual

Posted by: Kindltot at December 31, 2016 08:30 AM (9MInk)

36 13 J.J. Sefton at December 31, 2016 12:47 PM Thanks for the perspective. I guess people didn't always envision the Meatpacking District as "trendy". Sounds like a lot of that rail system was demolished before anyone came up with the idea for a park. Modeled after one in Paris. Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 12:58 PM (qahv/) The High Line was built by the New York Central. Prior to that, trains shared 10th Avenue with horses, cars and pedestrians and the resulting carnage over the years was appalling. Actually, there used to be a guy on horseback who rode in front of the locomotive in order to warn people of the approaching train. IIRC, they were called 10th Avenue Cowboys or something like that.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at December 31, 2016 08:39 AM (mbhDw)

37 My yard has leaves out the kazoo, had to learn what to do with them

Posted by: Skip at December 31, 2016 08:40 AM (5sOEp)

38 17 Agree on Sunset Magazine. I used to read it. No more. Still love the Sunset Garden Book. Have several editions. Not the most recent. Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 01:02 PM (qahv/) I copied a number of furniture plans from old issues dating to the 50s and 60s. One day when I get my shop . . .

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at December 31, 2016 08:40 AM (mbhDw)

39 KT. Don't know about the swallow. Carolina Allspice is just a large shrub. May be big enough for a bird to nest in. Krebs. Check out Pink Icicle Camellia. Landscaper buddy says they're more cold hardy.

Posted by: Golfman at December 31, 2016 08:41 AM (S3l0K)

40 Anyone here with orchid knowledge? The blooms have fallen off my orchid (first time ever I got one to bloom), but now there's a leaf & a tendril growing out of one of the stems. Is that normal? Should I cut it off? Can I try to grow a new orchid from that trimming?

Posted by: josephistan at December 31, 2016 08:42 AM (7qAYi)

41 Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at December 31, 2016 01:11 PM

Coveralls can be remarkably warm.  Even the non-winter kind.  Ski attire from some folks. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:52 AM (qahv/)

42 Golfman at December 31, 2016 01:41 PM

The Spicebush Swallowtail is a butterfly. 

The Pink Icicle Camellia sounds great for marginal camellia areas. 

But around here, heat tolerance is more important than cold tolerance.  I used to have a list . . .

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:56 AM (qahv/)

43 No problem, Kindltot.  It's not exactly wildflower season anyway. 


Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:57 AM (qahv/)

44 josephistan at December 31, 2016 01:42 PM

I don't know much about orchids, but I would leave the new growth. 

Do you know what species or type the orchid is? 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 08:59 AM (qahv/)

45 *doffs dunce hat at KT

Posted by: Golfman at December 31, 2016 09:00 AM (S3l0K)

46 Happy New Year to my gardening Horde folks. This has been a good week: all the usual suspects of seed catalogs arrived Thursday. Since we got rid of TV, we won't be watching the Rose Parade or other stuff tomorrow, so we'll begin the serious perusal of the catalogs. I think that is a great way to start the year. No crowds tonight, no hangover tomorrow, and lots of dreaming about what might be.

Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 09:04 AM (V+03K)

47 Thanks, Golfman

And have a great New Year, JTB. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 09:06 AM (qahv/)

48 Just yesterday the mailbox was full of seed catalogs. I find myself wondering if planning the garden for next spring is the best part of the whole project. Like Calvin designing his snow fort.

Posted by: Trimegistus at December 31, 2016 09:07 AM (wokl9)

49 We still have some rosemary growing in one of the planters outside. If we cut it back hard, should it come back in the spring?

Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 09:07 AM (V+03K)

50 I love a camelia. Mine out front is fill of buds, but no blooms yet. No idea what variety it is, as I got it for free from a friend that used to work for a landscaper p/t. Brought me that and two gardenias - all mostly dead, but I got them established. That camelia was a couple sticks in a dry one gallon plastic tub when I got it. Don't even know what it was. Now it's a good 4 ft diameter shrub that has taken over the flowerbed.

Posted by: Chi at December 31, 2016 09:08 AM (JYDLV)

51 For those who use Earth Boxes, they recommend draining them before the hard freezes occur. We had some warmish weather this week so we tilted them to drain off the water. I was surprised how much water they held. We lost one last year when the rain water froze, expanded and cracked the box. Before the next rain or snow, I'll wrap a tarp around them, anchored by their weight. That should do it. I hope.

Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 09:13 AM (V+03K)

52 We had 3 camellias in our postage-stamp garden, including one transplanted from our cousin's house in Presidio Heights. They had to be torn out a few months ago, 5 years of drought did them in.

Posted by: San Franpsycho at December 31, 2016 09:14 AM (EZebt)

53 We have a couple of camellia in the yard which do well dispite my neglect.

Posted by: Weasel at December 31, 2016 09:17 AM (Sfs6o)

54 My Christmas Amaryllis is finally blooming a week late.

Posted by: Infidel at December 31, 2016 09:21 AM (VtLx6)

55 We expanded our bird feeding stations to include a mostly covered suet cake holder and a hanging cage that holds suet and nut or fruit balls. By covering most of the suet cake holder, the birds are forced to cling to the underside to get at it. This has eliminated the squirrels and those damn house sparrows that eat up everything. The suet balls are attracting some wrens, finches, chickadees (my favorites), titmice and juncos. To our delight it is also attracting some small woodpeckers. These are all types we like to observe. Going to try smearing chunky peanut butter on some pine cones this week and see what, if anything, comes to them.

Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 09:23 AM (V+03K)

56 . Going to try smearing chunky peanut butter on some pine cones this week and see what, if anything, comes to them. Posted by: JTB ---------------- More than likely more of those hairy/downy woodpeckers. You can roll the pb coated pinecone in nursing or seess, too. I had to stop feeding the birds because of the squrrels, raccoons etc. And it was getting crazy expensive.

Posted by: Chi at December 31, 2016 09:30 AM (JYDLV)

57 Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 02:23 PM (V+03K) We have a lot of woodpeckers here. There was a pair of orioles here a couple of weeks ago but one of them flew into the window on the barn and died. The sparrow hawk probably ate the other one. I'd never seen an bird like that before around here. At least I think it was an oriole.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 09:40 AM (Q5Ymk)

58 Chi, Thanks for the tip about rolling the peanut butter pine cones in seed. Hadn't thought of that. Haven't seen any raccoons and the squirrels are more of a nuisance than a real problem. Even so, if we weren't in the suburbs I would be out there with a 22LR or a 32 muzzleloader to get the makings for a stew or fricasee. :-)

Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 09:41 AM (V+03K)

59 Rain is expected (Yay!!) most of the week in the Central Valley and right on cue; the seed catalogs roll in feeding fantasies and whetting one's appetite. Last year I fell for too many low yield heirloom tomatoes. We won't have enough canned whole tomatoes to see us through the winter and the freezer is already bare of marinara sauce. This year two long rows of plucky, meaty Central CA varieties shall be planted first! Then raised beds of exotics/heirlooms to enjoy in all their glory. We've almost et our raised bed winter garden bare and the cover crops are knee high in the melon patch. I can't wait to prune roses and fruit trees and begin the cycle anew. I always have such high hopes, all gardeners do, maybe this year the reality will match winter days dreams.

Posted by: Shanks for the memory at December 31, 2016 09:47 AM (TdCQk)

60 CaliGirl, California has a couple of orioles. The Bullock's Oriole looks very similar to the east's Baltimore type. I had to look this up since I've never been west of the Mississippi River.

Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 09:49 AM (V+03K)

61 @JTB - add a terrier, preferably a Jack Russell to your dog family. Everyone on our road has both ground and tree squirrels, we do not thanks to a Collie-JRT cross who has taught our young Springer Spaniel how to catch squirrels. A red shoulder hawk family lives in our tall oaks and between them, a cagey barn cat and the dogs we're pretty much vermin free.

Posted by: Shanks for the memory at December 31, 2016 09:55 AM (TdCQk)

62 Posted by: JTB at December 31, 2016 02:49 PM (V+03K) Then that's probably what they were. I had never noticed them before. I noticed it because it was dead on the ground. The guy that works here told me the name in Spanish and I used google translate to figure out it was an oriole. He told me the pair had been here for a week. The other one is not here anymore. They were in the grove of oaks and redwoods.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 09:57 AM (Q5Ymk)

63 Happy NY Eve. Camillas are beautiful, but like Gardenias, Jasmine and Christmas cactus, they don't like to be fussed over, especially handling them a lot or constant watering. Rule of green thumb is, let the soil dry out really good before watering again. Also, too much water while they are blooming usually causes their blooms to fall off prematurely.

Posted by: Bebe Dahl at December 31, 2016 09:59 AM (yNyJy)

64 @ josephistan Is the orchid a Phalaenopsis? aka a moth orchid? If so the old stem should be cut off. It's hard to do when there's a promise of a new bloom on the old stem, but it will be weak and as Phalaenopsis tend to bloom themselves out if not forced to rest. You want all new growth/stems. Here's a good how to site: http://www.justaddiceorchids.com/orchid-care-blog/trimming-orchid-spikes-a-how-to-guide

Posted by: Shanks for the memory at December 31, 2016 10:05 AM (TdCQk)

65 No garden catalogs here-- I haven't mail ordered very much since getting married.  A blessing, in a way, because all those lovely things are *so tempting*!  Lol, I imagine the folks at my former addy are getting swamped by now.

Last week's snow has shrunk down to just the drifts and uncovered a dead (frozen solid) squirrel.  Don't know if the dog got, or owl dropped, or what. 

There are at least 2 GHOwls and 2 Barn Owls in the neighborhood -- not sure where they are nesting, but see some or all of them frequently.

Sunny out right now, but is supposed to snow even more: "4 to 8 inches" tonight and tomorrow!  And then get to single-digit lows next week.  Will move some outdoor potted plants to the shop for protection, after the stove out there cools.

Have already gotten more snow in the last 3 weeks than we usually see in a whole season.  Just start to see blacktop on our street and *bam* more snow... Got to get tire chains out because missing work is no longer an option.

Not really whining, just exasperated because this isn't our normal winter experience! 

The white Christmas was lovely, though, as our typical is muddy, dreary and brown.
------------

Garden Question:  The shop is rather dark, with only 2 small windows.  Will the plants be okay in there for, say, a week with such low light?  Or would that simply kill them as efficiently as the low temps?



Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 31, 2016 10:16 AM (044Fx)

66 JTB at December 31, 2016 02:07 PM

I would wait.  See if your rosemary blooms.  Ours should start blooming any time now. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 10:20 AM (qahv/)

67 San Franpsycho at December 31, 2016 02:14 PM

Losing camellias to drought is terrible.  We've lost some plants, too.  Not camellias, though. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 10:23 AM (qahv/)

68 Infidel at December 31, 2016 02:21 PM

Those amaryllis are timed to bloom at a certain time by nurseries.  An inexact scienc.  Happy New Year!

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 10:30 AM (qahv/)

69 Happy New Year all! CaliGirl saw the pic of your ranch, looks beautiful.

Posted by: Farmer at December 31, 2016 10:37 AM (o/90i)

70 Shanks for the memory at December 31, 2016 02:47 PM

If you are making marinara, some determinate Roma types should work.  There are some that are fairly heat-tolerant. 

Among oxhearts, New Zealand Pear is said to bear well here.  I think it is indeterminate. 

A few heirlooms are nice for eating fresh.  I recommend Stump of the World if you want to start your own or persuade a supplier to grow it for you.  Much more productive than the typical Brandywine. 

Jetsetter and Sweet Tangerine are good hybrids for flavor and production.  On the sweet side.  Are you planting Ace? 

Time to plant seeds here. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 10:39 AM (qahv/)

71 Shanks for the memory at December 31, 2016 03:05 PM

Thanks for the link.


Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 11:03 AM (qahv/)

72 JQ Flyover at December 31, 2016 03:16 PM

If the room is not too warm, I think a week in low light should be OK.  Don't water them too much.  Bring them back into the light slowly.  I'm assuming they are evergreens. 

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 11:10 AM (qahv/)

73 I searched all over for this link of CaliGirl's picture but haven't found it.

Posted by: Skip at December 31, 2016 11:47 AM (5sOEp)

74 I am experiencing the worst winter I've ever experienced in Idaho. (Of course, the data point set is only 2.5 so far...) The predicted temperatures for next week are single digits F for highs, with lows into negative single digits. The past 2 years, we only had about 1 week of this kind of weather - this year, we're having lots of it. Plus, the snow. We had one ten-inch snowfall - that was the heaviest I remember in the previous 2 winters. But now we've got a foot on the ground, it's too cold for even salt to melt it, and with such low temperatures, it's going to stay right where it is for quite a while. There will be no "running out back to build the last 2 planned raised beds" during breaks in the weather - we'll just be waiting for spring; and no digging up new spots in the paddock until the ground thaws, either! Catalogs are fun fantasies. But we've already figured out *what* to grow next year - just have to decide where to buy the plants/seeds, and where to plant them. We do have a few new things to try - we haven't grown spinach before. I've started seriously feeding the birds this winter - and given these bitter temperatures, I cannot in good conscience stop until at least spring. I did try putting 2 pine cones with chunky peanut butter, atop a thorny barberry, outside my husband's workroom window - birds congregate there before and after hitting the seed feeder. He says he never saw the birds go to them; but the squirrels climbed the bush to get at them. I'm not interested in specifically feeding squirrels - it's OK if they clean up what falls from the seed feeder, but that's my limit. So, no more pine cones. We used to get Sunset magazine, especially when we first moved West. Always ignored the architecture and furniture-type stuff - my house will never look like that. Only paid attention to the travel sections once in a while - most issues involved somewhere too expensive, or of no interest to me. Checked out recipes to see if there was anything that interested me. Enjoyed the garden sections, though my gardens will never look like that either. The most useful page was "what you should be doing in your garden this month". But it's not worth getting a whole magazine for that. (I still hang on to my hardcover copy of the "Sunset Western Garden Book" for reference.) We brewed up a beer wort this week - we did smoked Scottish ale earlier this year, but we're doing a rerun, this time with some aromatic hops added for the last 5 minutes of boiling. We may have to let the wort sit longer since the rooms are colder, but after it's bottled and we can taste it, we still have a few bottles of the previous batch to compare it to. In other fun, we attended a board gaming party on Christmas Day, and had a fine time playing things like Ticket to Ride, Costa Rica, Camel Up, Marrying Mr. Darcy, and Identity Crisis. My husband and I hadn't planned to do anything for New Years Eve, but a neighbor invited us over for card games, so we'll eat dinner early and walk 2 doors north - exceedingly carefully, as the county doesn't plow the streets in this neighborhood! (I'm tucking my "Cosmic Wimpout" dice in my pocket, just in case we get tired of cards.) Wishing everyone a happy, prosperous New Year, with bountiful produce/beauty/enjoyment in your gardens!

Posted by: Pat* at December 31, 2016 12:15 PM (qC1ju)

75 Posted by: Skip at December 31, 2016 04:47 PM (5sOEp) I posted it in the California dreaming thread. http://tinypic.com/r/21lpmph/9

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 31, 2016 12:58 PM (qPr1r)

76 Thanks

Posted by: Skip at December 31, 2016 03:19 PM (5sOEp)

77 Stay cozy, Pat*

Posted by: KT at December 31, 2016 03:34 PM (qahv/)

78 @KT I usually grow Ace and Early Girl, Bushmaster and Heinz Roma as the tomato foundation, as it were. Last year I went with San Marzano instead of the Heinz and they were a huge disappointment, they can't take the valley heat. I had to increase the drip and fought blossom end rot all season. The garden gets light afternoon shade but, as you know, when it's 112 in the shade all bets are off. I went off the deep end with Heiloom Krim, Black Prince, Mr. Stripey, Cherokee Purple, pink Brandywine and the Black Pearl cherry. The indeterminate cherry tomatoes went bonkers and climbed 10' trellises; Sun Gold, Juliet, Yellow Pear, Chocolate Sprinkles and Sweet 100 were still fruiting in mid Oct. when I pulled them out and planted Egyptian clover and winter wheat. I have a large garden with 8- 4'x10' raised beds and two in-ground 40'x 60' plots with a 8x12 greenhouse in the middle...I waited a long time for this garden and it's just beginning to come together nicely with herbaceous borders, grapes, berries and roses on the fences. I dried some store bought Kumato seeds and am anxious to try them. I swap seeds with a couple of neighbors. It's fun to see what happens. I usually start my own seedlings, but pick up 1 qt starts from a local commercial nursery for pickling cukes, zukes, melons, and basic tomatoes. My favorite seed catalog is Johnny's; the stuff of which dreams are made: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

Posted by: Shanks for the memory at December 31, 2016 03:42 PM (TdCQk)

79 Shanks for the memory at December 31, 2016 08:42 PM

Sounds like a great garden! 

I buy from a variety of catalogs.  Johnny's is dreamy, as you say.  They still does some of their own breeding, but their core customers are NE market gardeners. 

I love Cherokee Purple, but Indian Stripe is more adaptable here if you want to try something similar.  Or JD's Special C Tex, which started with a cross of Early Girl and Black Krim.  It is sometimes classified as a black tomato. 

Nyagous is the most productive "regular" black I have found so far, and every tomato is perfect.  I've heard that "Black from Tula" does well for some people. 

I generally don't plant muskmelons - only specialty melons.  There are some great ones out there. 

You might want to try Summer Dance cucumber.  I still have to put it on a trellis, but it out-performs most others for me.  Maybe next week we can review pickling cukes. 

I am not familiar with Bushmaster tomato, either.  Have a great week. 

Posted by: KT at January 01, 2017 12:36 PM (qahv/)

Hide Comments | Add Comment




What colour is a green orange?




122kb generated in CPU 0.1, elapsed 1.1854 seconds.
64 queries taking 1.1116 seconds, 317 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.