Your Garden Will Never Be The Same

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Soiled Tend'n-Sees

I have washed the last dregs of red Carolina soil from my shoes and my truck too. I do get to recall it's gooey consistency and resistance to Spray-N-Wash. I will say one thing for that soil ... even Mean Green shrinks from that dirt. Every time I pull out my yarden shoes and remember they were once white and not light salmon. At least when my toe pokes out the side this summer I'll be able to trade them in for a crisp white pair again. Of course this set will get stained brown instead of orange.

Ah, there is just nothing quite like rich Great Lakes soil. Now that it has warmed up enough to actually stay outside I am tempted to lay down and kiss the ground. I will be able to dig a hole anywhere I feel the need to and not need to rent an concrete buster.

Deep brown and perfectly balanced, beautiful dirt the likes of which the Sunny South is not blessed with. It really is too bad. If you could move this soil to that mild winter region anyone could build The Garden of Eden. Which reminds me. I hope to never see another Nellie Stevens Holly again as long as I live! Don't feel as if I will have nothing to abhor way up here in the Great White North.

Every region has its monocroping tendencies. In Michigan there are so many Yews and Junipers it is absurd. Seven billion different kinds of shrubs to choose from and everyone plants the same dam thing! I never did design a single landscape that used a Juniper. In my opinion, it would be a blessing if an incurable disease swooped in and wiped them from the face of the Earth.

Adios Carolinians, it was nice to never wear more than a fall jacket in the winter. I did get a hoot out of the snow being so well trained as to rarely stick to the road. There will be none of that here where it howls and drifts like a thing gone berserk. That's okay though. It only lasts for four months. Then the sun comes back and the soil unthaws and I get to remain filthy for a good many months.

So if you're wondering if I am missing in action because I was abducted by writing for a living ... I might be concocting words for money. Or I might be cooking up a new article for my new gardening magazine. If I'm not at my computer, you'll find me out back very happy with my soiled tend'n-sees.

A blank canvas! There is far too much grass out there ...

Oh yes, If you aren't reading Beautiful News at LostInTheFlowers you're missing out on a lot of great information. New to the market plants and garden tips too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Abducted Again

Unlike some of my friends -
Esther Montgomery to be exact (just in case you were curious),
I was not transported to such exotic nether regions.

I wasn't allowed to leave the city, let alone the planet.
My transportation was more of being sucked into the abyss.
As opposed to being swept up and away as was Esther.
The good news is that I was allowed to keep my own skin.
There is no way that anyone would walk right past,
and not be aware that I was there.

Esther had free roam of her destination.
Myself was chained in place.
Lashed to the keyboard and ordered to type,
about all manner of things but plants or soil.

This has gone on for months.
Well maybe I don't have to tell you that,
it was pretty apparent that I had suddenly gone missing.
That is until the other day when I revolted.
Since then I have been doing whatever I pleased.
Which included returning to my own persona -
and deliberately writing about plants until I turned green.

The result is rather dashing, just ask Lucy -
she knows my new plot is thickening.
It is rather lovely that freshly turned cybersoil.
Some really fab new things have sprouted.
Enough that my plant cave can be unveiled.

Perhaps YOU could use a little BEAUTIFUL NEWS today.
Well any day for that matter. When the site fills in,
there will be so many wonderful things to view.
Go ahead and brighten your life too with a trip to Beautiful News.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Deerly Unloved ...

Image Courtesy of Ricale - Creative Commons Share Alike 2.0

It’s not that surprising you are plagued with deer eating your bushes.

Consider which you would choose to dine on; filet mignon or an overcooked hunk of stew meat? In the wild, no one is fertilizing and watering the plant life on a daily basis. Lush, juicy growth is widely available in springtime in most naturalized areas. Come summer or fall, all that remains have survived the heat without much water. It has to be rather stringy and tasteless. Like stew meat fried at high temperatures without any moisture.

Put your self in the deer’s shoes … er, hooves.

Just beyond a deer’s wooded home your yard shimmers greenly like an oasis basking in the sun. The grass is juicy and sweet. The shrubs are lush and succulent in that rain forest type eco-system controlled by your irrigation system. You have lovingly fed everything the ultimate fertilizer to the push out a bounty of new growth. To the deer you have created smorgasbord of delicacies. Why eat tough old tasteless plants when this heavenly smelling island of feasting lies a few yards away?

The last thing you intended was to fatten up the venison.

With 1-acre of maintained landscape and garden strewn property, you can support between 18-24 deer for a year. The big juicy leaves of hostas and hydrangeas are letting off a scent that just cannot be ignored. Filet mignon is green and it is growing all over your yard. Perhaps the temptation would not exist if we watered and fertilized natural areas too. No one would ever go to the expense.

Without a fence over 8-feet tall, you cannot deer proof your yard.

In rural areas, a 12-foot fence is required to never ever suffer any deer damage whatsoever. A fence half this height is usually priced over almost everyone’s budget. Besides, who want to feel like they live inside a cage? A lot of subdivisions won’t let you erect a fence that would actually keep deer out. The only choices left to the majority are applying deer repellents or only installing deer resistant plants.

You can stop a lot of deer browse damage to your landscaping.

It requires applying a long lasting liquid deer repellent on a regular basis. A lot of people have the idea that you only need protect certain plants. Yes, deer are more prone to eat certain plants over others. Those will be the ones they will chomp to the ground first. The truth is that deer when hungry will eat anything that isn’t poisonous to them. Effective deer repellent programs are those that are used on every plant in your yard, regardless if they deer have chewed on them or not.

It just isn’t possible to enjoy deer and plants in your yard together.

You wouldn’t let goats, cows or horses roam freely about the lawns. Common sense tells you that any ruminant (plant eater) is going to mess up your veggie patch, shrub plantings and perennial garden. Just because deer are beautiful is no reason to toss that common sense out the window. They are best admired at the zoo and wild, open spaces. You want the deer to find no reason to pass through your yard. If possible, you are best off if they never catch a tantalizing whiff on the evening breeze.

There’s a lot to learn about deer repellents.

Not all brands of deer deterrent are effective. Some are not as long lasting as stated. The more pests a repellent claims to send packing, the less likely it is to work. Deer repellents are not cheap and must be applied repeatedly over the growing season. You will be able to stop most deer browse damage with the most effective products when applied appropriately. There's a new deer deterrent directory online that can save you a lot of time searching the web for information. is the most comprehensive information to hit the Internet. One spot for on every brand of commercial deer repellents currently available.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trail of Tears

This USA Today article brought tears to my eyes.

People, I know times are getting tough in our ever sickening US economy. Please ...

Creative Commons Image by GabZilla

DO NOT TURN YOUR HORSES FREE because you can't afford to feed them.

Use your heart and your head.

Wild horses do fine in the wild, because they have never had a caretaker. Tame horses turned loose will starve to death and could suffer severe dehydration. Growing numbers of uncontrolled horses will also become a huge threat to the safety of motorists. NO ONE who collides with a horse while driving lives. Have you ever read "The Horse Whisperer"?

Do not abuse domesticated horses by allowing them to run free. They will starve to death just as fast running loose as they will in your paddock.

If you have horses that you can no longer afford to feed, you do have options available. Before you do something as cruel and drastic and turning it out to run wild. STOP!
  1. Give the horse away to someone who can feed and care for the poor animal.
  2. Contact the equine rescue organization nearest to you. They will have a safe haven your animal can be taken too. Most likely the horse protection group will even come and pick up your horse to put it into safe keeping. There are links to some below.

I do hope my readers will pass this message on. The web should be littered with a notice such as this. Perhaps spreading word about this issue will make people stop and think before getting this desperate and acting without rational thought.

Creative Commons Image by Big Grey Mare

Horses are the most beautiful of tame beasts. Many of them will gladly follow their trusted human around like a dog. While it has been a few years since I last owned a horse, they still hold a huge place in my heart.

Animal cruelty is the same no matter what domesticated four-legged creature the ignorance is aimed at. Any horse that causes a motor vehicle accident because it is running wild can cause the legal owner to be held liable for damages to life and property in most states.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Perfectly Timeless Posies

New Perennial Plant Scoop (2009)

Imagine flower heads that do not age. Impossible? No!

Introducing Echinacea 'Milkshake'

Image courtesy of Plants Nouveau

Push aside the thought that this is "just" another white coneflower. If you don't you will miss out on the most amazing news. In fact, you will think the following statement is a typographical error. Trust me, it is not. Nor it is just hype to push a plant into your unsuspecting hands.

The blooms on Milkshake Echinacea do not fade.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

There's Always One

This week's professional writing project has led me to scour the web for information concerning certain wildlife repellents. I found that in order to find some actual user feedback on these products I had to dig ridiculously deep.

[Lots of heavy sighing and days on end scanning through search engine results.]

In the midst of all this monotony I came across a forum post that boggled my mind.

It is quite obvious that this person cannot possibly be an avid gardener. If I am mistaken, then may I suggest they live in a glass bubble somewhere? Perhaps, another planet.

While I was diligently searching out real repellent comments, I came across this little gem:

"Don't use anything with Capsaicin as, if the bunnies are hungry or thirsty enough, they will still eat you plants and you will burn their mucous membranes and could cause blindness. You could also put out some whirligigs and windsocks as noise
and movement makes bunnies nervous and they might move on to a more peaceful
'diner' :)
... "

A whirlygig will scare Thumper off? What possesses a person to fall for such a conception? A whirlygig wouldn't even scare off a chicken. The only thing that scares off a rabbit is a threat of it's well being. Not some wimpy flag swirling in the wind. Even 220 slobbering pounds of dog flesh with 8 legs and 2 hungry incisor lined mouths and a hunting instinct is not enough to scare off rabbits. Nervous my eye!

When the threat disappears, that four legged munching machine will swiftly return to the scene and rapidly ingest your leafy kingdom. Desired plants are rabbit candy! Perhaps she lives in the depths of New York City where rabbits are seen in the zoo and photographs.

Results of peaceful bunnie dinner.

Bunnies should come in chocolate. Available at Easter time and only allowed to cozily nestle on plastic grass as a companion to jelly beans, marshmallow chicks, malt ball and cream filled eggs. Oh yes, lets not forget the dyed chicken eggs so artfully decorated with stickers and wax crayons before becoming a portion of the season's first potato salad.

It doesn't matter what group of people one studies. There's always one. That one silly soul that everyone will shake their heads and wonder what goes on upstairs.

Doesn't she realize that when they see your only defense is a silly piece of polyester spinning in the wind is an invitation? That rabbit ain't nervous. Its like a front page headline ... Come Get Yer Victuals Here. Silly rabbit #1 is off to tell the rest of the clan that there is no stopping this feast. Its like you put a sign up in the center of Rabbitville that says "Follow me to good eating. No regulatory mishaps. Plenty for everyone. Hop on in."

If you ask me a blind rabbit in the garden is a far better option than a plant destruction machine that can see and flee! It can't go tell it's kin about your plants either, so the messenger is stopped before inviting the next 12 generations to your garden.

Live rabbits in the garden are an excellent source of stew and cozy slippers.

Whirlygigs? Bring on the hot peppers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hi Mom

Living so far from what used to be home means you don't talk to your parents that often. I don't know exactly why it causes constantly meddling to dwindle to an acceptable level but it does. Half a state away is less preferable than half a country. Maybe its the measurement of space and time. Instead of being easily accessed after a 3 hour drive the emphatic meaning sinks in when they have to drive for 2 days to see your face. After a few of those trips they seem to find better things to do.

Now its a pleasant surprise to hear from them. So it was the other day when Mom called.

She: "Hi honey, how is everything."

Me: " Fine. I've been meaning to call you but I've just been so busy trying to finish these huge projects."

She: "That's okay. I know you're busy. I just thought I'd call and see how everything was going."

From here the conversation covered her great granddaughters latest progress at learning new words and developing comical behavior. Aaah, but then it came to light the impetus behind her button pushing to connect with me. The world at my fingertips is beyond the perimeter of Mom's. Not that I mind, many is the goose chase she has had my computer and I go on for her. This time, things went far differently than before. In fact here was something that was totally opposite from frustrating if not irritating.

Her staunch refusal to get connected to the world of cyberspace begins with the notion that if she did that people can get into her computer. (Like they can invade her home or something.) She thinks it is a typewriter. The last one of those she had made her cry. Don't even ask me to regale you with the tale of the computer. Let's just say she has one and knows how to type and print an invoice on it.

She: "Say, could you look something up on the Internet for me."

Me: "Sure, what do you want to find."

She: "I want you to see what stores in Michigan actually carry Meier's Sparkling Grape Juice in stock. Is that possible? I can't find it anywhere I used to buy it. Its made in Ohio."

Me: "Is the Mej or Mey?"

She: "M-e-i-e-r. Not Meyer like Meyer's. I don't know where they are in Ohio. Somewhere. I want some for Thanksgiving. Dad has already been everywhere. I don't want to put you out or anything. Just if you find some time it would be nice to know WHERE to send him and well..."

Me: "Cincinatti, Mom. They are in Cincinatti. Did you want Cabernet Red, Spumante ... what flavor of fizzy juice is it that you desire to perfectly compliment the bird?"

She: "I DON'T want to know what flavors there are. I want Cabernet White. I just want to know where I can buy it because I can't find it anywhere around here."

Let me clue you in. Mom goes through at least 8 bottles of this stuff if not 16 over the course of holiday entertaining. I am on the company website where she can buy a whole case as simple as 1-2-3. She is still trying to find out what store in the several thousand square mile state of The Land of Many Waters to direct Dad's Cadillac toward to be the victor instead of the cause of irritation. Whatever you do, do not waste time. He can be as crusty as crust if you do.

Me: "Get your credit card. You can get a whole case and save time. You'll have enough for the whole season and then some."

She: "I think 3 bottles will be plenty there is just going to be 6 of us for dinner."

Me: "How long have you been looking for this stuff?"

She: "I haven't been able to find it anywhere for over a year."

Me: "Do you WANT Meier's Fuzzy Juice for dinner or don't you? You can order a case of it right now and it will be there in plenty of time for Thanksgiving dinner. The shipping has got to be far cheaper than sending Dad tooling all over the state to pick up some fuzzy juice."

She: "But how will I buy it if I don't go to the store?"

See what I mean, she is just not connected. I explain that if she would just get her Visa her beloved juice will be enroute to her the next day. It isn't the cost of the shipping or even the price of the case that is the issue. Its the fact that she doesn't understand shopping online. I got her over all those hurdles with the credit card number and a completed order once she grasped the concept. Now we get to the point of a confirmation number so she can verify how long the delivery will take. Time will stand still if it is not there and chilled for dinner.

Me: "Okay, here's your order confirmation number. Got your pen ready?"

She "Go ahead."

Me: "436652"

She: "Got it. Thanks hon..."

Me: "No there's more to your number. Dash 11 dash 14 Edward Charlie Dog ..."

She: "Edward? Do you mean E? Can't you just read me the number instead of all this fancy code stuff?"

Me: "E like Edward, C like Charlie, D like dog 25 44 period 321 dot ..."

She: "Slow down! I think I got confused. ECD2544 - did you say period? Then you said dot. Are they different?"

Me: "No, they are the same. I said dot because its easier than period and theres a lot more number to go."

She: "There's more! I'm running out of paper. ECD2544 dot ... what comes after the dot again?"

I won't tortue you through the next 5 minutes of this back and forth banter. I'll just type out the entire confirmation number. I'm sure you will understand why at the end of the complete recitation of the number I was out of breath and had tears streaming down my face. It was like something from a sitcom. Totally histerical.


If she had email this could have been over in seconds. But if she did, I would have missed out on a really good and beneficial moment of hilarity.