Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
About.com says this:
Even experts in plant taxonomy have a difficult time with "May Night" salvia plants. You'll encounter all of the following scientific names:
* Salvia x superba 'May Night'
* Salvia x superba 'Mainacht' (its name in Germany, where the plant began)
* Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night'
* Salvia nemorosa 'May Night'
As if all that weren't confusing enough, nemorosa is frequently misspelled as nemerosa. Nemorosa is a Latin adjective deriving from nemus, meaning "forest."
Other gardeners often ask me what this is and I can never remember. Its a reliable perennial that stays pretty and interesting until very late in the fall. It's also mostly deer-proof. This year the deer did sample a few early stalks but obviously didn't like the taste. This explains why there are so few blooms. Speaking of Them. The deer. The diners at my suburban salad bowl. They continue to lay low. I've seen the twins sleeping behind the house once or twice in the last week but mama is not around. But I know what's going on....she's got an infant or two to take care of. Last year I saw the first fawn on June 14 or 15.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Pretty flowers, interesting seed pods, but obviously not right for my climate. I doubt that I'll grow bok choy again, at least not for food. I wonder how long the plants stay in bloom? I want to hank them from the garden and plant something else but it seems all wrong. They're pretty and seem happy. (Sedum in background.)
Monday, May 25, 2009
Here's something that's bothering me. I've been all up in arms for years about high-fructose corn syrup, very self-assured about my position that it is evil. Then I read this in the Wash Post recently. It's from Slate.com and it's shaken my faith in ever really having any true knowledge of anything. I know what I grow in my yard. I know what my worms do. That's all I know for sure.
6/7/09 PS: This is not a giant lamb's ear. It's mullein. Thanks to this blogger and her mother for the information.
Just after I took this picture, on Rt. 29 near Mrs. K's Toll House, Mr. Harley-Davidson turned and gave a big thumbs up and a huge Memorial Day smile, which we returned. He's way too young for any war but maybe the Persian Gulf war--remember that?? ...seems so puny in retrospect--and the never-ending War in Iraq.
My father and father-in-law, all my uncles, and both my grandfathers were veterans. I'm proud of them but also kind of sad. That's a lot of war hours. Do you think we'll always have war veterans? Hope not.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Speaking of deer, I haven't seen one in days. The ladies are off having those cute little fawns. Last year on June 15th or so one mom and her twins spent a lot of time just outside my backyard.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
David Kesseler, former head of FDA, has published a book called "Frankenfood" (probably very much like "Fast Food Nation") which I'll be reading soon. Here's how one reviewer summarized Kesseler's main message:
About foods such as TGIFridays Parmesan-Crusted Sicilian Quesadilla, pictured above: such foods are " 'hyperpalatable' concoctions [that]...artfully layer fat on sugar on salt on fat to trigger a release of the brain chemical dopamine, leading to a kind of 'conditioned hypereating.' "
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
She: This shovel seems OK. What else do we need?
He: I don't know. What does Eddie use?
She [gesturing to me while I'm studying the manure fork]: Do we need one of those for mulch?
He: Nah, I've heard that you should never use mulch. Instead you should use compost.
She: Well Eddie uses mulch.
He: Aw, Eddie doesn't know everything.
I wanted to grab him with both hands by the shirt, pull him up sharply, and say "you need both you idiot! And compost isn't the same thing as mulch." But I didn't. I'm drifting effortlessly into crazy old lady status.
The pitchfork died. It was very old. I was very sad. I reluctantly admit that the manure fork is MUCH more handy for compost than the beloved old pitchfork.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I've always loved this penguin icebucket. It was my mother-in-law's and it's probably 60 years old, if not older.* She gave it to me about 15 years ago because I complimented it so often. I guess she thought I was hinting. I don't know; maybe I was. [It's hard to take a picture of this without getting the photographer in the shot. Those handy handles helped however.]
update: some info on the Penguin ice bucket is here.
*Further update. It's not 60 yrs old. Could be 50 or could be 40 but not 60.
Our friend from Nyack has posted a most interesting entry for the Letter I.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Maybe this is a group of boy deer who've been tossed out of the moms' nests. A teenage gang of young boys.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
She and her year-old twins have been napping behind the house a lot these days. If either of the twins is a boy the mom will now be kicking him out of the "nest" to make room for the new baby/babies coming soon. The girl fawns get to stay with mom and become part of her group. But the boys go off to be...boys alone. At least that's what I read somewhere.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I'll mix it in with salads. It's a touch bitter but not a bad bitter.
...while plants do not “run away” physically, their growth may run away rapidly, and this is basically what this phrase [bolting] means in the gardening world. Plants, mostly vegetable or herbs, are said to bolt when there [sic] growth goes rapidly from being mostly leaf based to being mostly flower and seed based.
Why do plants bolt?
Most plants bolt due to hot weather. When the ground temperature goes above a certain temperature, this flips a switch in the plant to produce flowers and seeds very rapidly and to abandon leaf growth almost completely.
Bolting is a survival mechanism in a plant. If the weather get to be above where the plant will survive, it will try to produce the next generation (seeds) as quickly as possible.
Some plants that are known for bolting are broccoli, cilantro, basil, cabbage and lettuce.
Can you eat a plant after it bolts?
Once a plant has fully bolted, the plant is normally inedible. The plant’s entire energy reserve is focused on producing the seeds, so the rest of the plant tends to become tough and woody as well as tasteless or even bitter.
Occasionally, if you catch a plant in the very early stages of bolting, you can temporarily reverse the process of bolting by snipping off the flowers and flower buds. In some plants, like basil, the plant will resume producing leaves and will stop bolting. In many plants though, such as broccoli and lettuce, this step only allows you some extra time to harvest the crop before it becomes inedible.
Bolting can be prevented by either planting the plant early in the spring so that it grows during the late spring or late in the summer so that it grows during early fall. You can also add mulch and ground cover to the ground, as well as watering regularly in order to keep the soil temperature down.