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Author Topic: Gardening 2023  (Read 17132 times)
cineater
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« Reply #100 on: June 01, 2023, 05:34:50 PM »

I hear thunder!  Only a chance for spot showers.  Heat and 15 days without rain with none in sight.

I'm out there before staff arrives for work.  Ran a couple of wheelbarrows and watered and it whipped me out.  Of course I did it to myself, a church group wants to schedule a private tour on my birthday.  I'll see if somebody else can cover it.  I'm suppose to be at a birthday breakfast.  Love doing the tours, they are fun but we are a full sun garden!  No tours in July or August.  Fortunately, we have great water pressure and I can play in the hose.
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cineater
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« Reply #101 on: June 01, 2023, 11:48:54 PM »

Yeah nothing but the garden might have got a quick shower.

Marsha called and it was after 10.  That's kind of our normal time to wrap things up.  She's on a toot about the damn kiosk.  I couldn't give a flying fuck about it but they've dragged me in on it.  The University now wants to come down and talk about where it goes.  Don't care but here's an opportunity to show off the gardens.  Suggest they give me an intern.  Good training ground for one.   hihi  Yeah don't talk to me, I will put you to work.

First tour happens tomorrow.  Private one for the Troy Garden Club.  They maintain a native planting along the highway.  Okay, so they know about chiggers.  Stay in the middle of the path when we go through the native area.  Did I mention we may have a bunch of pissed off people after these tours?   hihi
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« Reply #102 on: June 02, 2023, 11:21:05 PM »

Only 4 people from the club showed up so I let Mary take them out.  They seemed to enjoy it.  It was hot out there at 10 already.  I got there about 8 and did some watering.  I have those cooling towels.  One wrapped around my head and the other around my neck.  hihi  I could see we got a spot shower yesterday but it wasn't much.  The gardens look great but we need rain.  I have to remind myself we are built for this but it's pretty early in the season and there's no humidity.

My eggplant is blooming.  My ex gave me more plants for Mother's Day.  Beautiful but I do not need any more plants.  And I'm out of potting soil.
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cineater
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« Reply #103 on: June 03, 2023, 06:31:33 PM »

We did a restored prairie tour about an hour from here.  The 900 acres was donated by Edward Jones.  Yeah the investment guy or rather his son.  Along with a pretty hefty endowment fund to maintain it.  One of my co gardeners made the comment some rich by yachts and other toys and some buy this.  Got me to thinking, most of the places like this, gardening places were donated by the rich.

Anyway, they are a work in progress.  Learned more about the mistakes they've made than the progress.  It's a big research area for the University, visits by appointment and guide only.  This land had been put to the plow.  They had ground cord samples from here and a prairie that had never seen a plow.  They went down 60 feet.  Big difference in the soil.  Basically the plowed field had more rocks, still suffering from the glacier pushing all the good soil off.  The other had made it's own fertile soil.  I did not know there was cray fish that lived in the prairie.  Our guide wasn't into the plants as much as explaining the history of the place and what they are doing with it.  Said part of the dust bowl was caused by the US thinking they could feed the world around WWI and they put too much land to the plow making it easy when the drought hit for a breeze to blow away the top soil.
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« Reply #104 on: June 04, 2023, 03:17:54 PM »

I had to send out one of those nit picking emails to the leads team.  Get the hoses off the grass and turn the watering cans upside down so they don't breed mosquitoes.  They aren't doing it but their teams members are.  And it's probably the new people just needing to know better.  But it gave me a chance to tell them, wow, those gardens are so well maintained.  Not just that, they are interesting.  The botanical gardens here added artwork to make them interesting.  I walk around there and I see green and structures.  I walk around our place and I see color, bugs, butterflies and informational signage.  I see creativity that is beating out those large displays that are best taken in from a distance.  We're more like Disneyland, each small space is packed with interest.  I'm impressed with our little garden.  The only thing we need is more shade.  hihi

Tours jumped up to 96 people but I added 5 more slots for the native tour.  Just over half filled.

And now state has asked us to be the host county for the 2026 convention.  It's kind of a have to situation.  I'm supportive but I'm not stepping up to lead it.  My focus is the demo gardens.  Got the gardening down but I'm still working on the education part of it.
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« Reply #105 on: June 05, 2023, 12:08:30 AM »

So I had to talk over that comparison to the botanical gardens and us with Marsha.  I don't have a big head about it, I just prefer us.  Funny, she agreed with me, we're more like Disneyland than the botanical gardens.  I would really like to see the botanical gardens use our place for teaching classes.  And then maybe buy the property next door and turn us into one of their satellite sights.  I worry who is going to take over the lead when I go.  Marsha has her hands full with the plant sale and she's not going to last forever either.  But maybe we don't want a partnership with them.
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« Reply #106 on: June 06, 2023, 12:24:50 AM »

Oh yeah, that wasn't good.  hihi  Four of our trainees went to work in the native beds wearing shorts.  Poison Ivy and chigger bites, they quit that garden.  They admit they should have known better but the lead should have stopped them.  You get in those tall grasses and you're in for it.

We have a thing or two going on over there in the native beds.  The lead wants to be all natural although she does spray for chiggers.  She doesn't want to kill the Poison Ivy, the birds like it and she doesn't want to use chemicals.  Her Poison Ivy keeps creeping over into the Perennial bed so when she's not around the Perennial lead slips over and nukes it.  I put a cage around and a sign on the Poison Ivy so people know what it looks like which of course identifies a patch that can be killed.  I'm waiting for the Native lead to catch on to what's happening because she has to keep moving the cage for me as it "disappears".  Did I mention both of these leads first names are Leslie?
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« Reply #107 on: June 06, 2023, 02:30:39 PM »

I'm an idiot.  Had to back out of a project for the garden group.  There's so much in this group that gets my attention that I end up trying to do everything.  Have to keep telling myself, stop that, your focus is the actual gardens.  Just they hit my passion for so many things.

Marsha is back up to speed.  She's waiting for yesterday's chemo treatment to hit and put her back in bed.  I don't know much about this but her cancer number was at 1800 and after two treatments she's down to 200.  That's a very good response.  We were talking about working the gardens.  She'll drag her chemo sick body up there.  I'll drag my kicked ass body back there.  It's our passion and where we feel our mental best no matter how bad we physically feel getting there.

Anyway, Thornless Blackberry, great plant.  No thorns to begin with.  Grows mostly upright.  Grows like a weed.  Cheesy  Fruit is tasty.  Downside, mostly upright but it does bush out and needs room.  Reproduces like a bunny.  hihi
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« Reply #108 on: June 08, 2023, 02:31:59 AM »

I heard that pour down coming.  It had been raining off and on but didn't last long so I just jumped under a tree.  Well it did, last a good long time, and I ended up with a water bra.  hihi

I'm turning into a cranky bitch.  People are failing to follow instructions and I'm getting tripped up.  Not going off as planned and that always pisses me off.  I need to chill, it's happening.  I move at a lot faster pace and juggle more when it's just me. Need to move at the pace of my team.  And god damn it, Brian showed up today.  He's the eagle photograph.  Made a point of looking for me and I was kind of involved in managing something.  Should have stopped and spent a little more time with him.  He drives an old beater truck.  And he shaved off most of that ZZ Top beard.  He always flies into my radar.  Didn't seem to care I was going to the Dead concert tonight.  Not even a light in his eye.  Shit.
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« Reply #109 on: June 09, 2023, 07:40:49 PM »

Pull up at the gardens and there is a beater truck with a camouflage hunting tent in the back and Brain sitting in his camp chair.  He's there photographing a blue crane gnatcatcher nest.  Generally annoys the hell out of me when people treat our wildlife like it's a zoo.  He was going to great care not to freak the mama bird out.  There's babies in there.  He was getting some great shots but losing the light.  Staying around a few more days, will be gone a few weeks and then will be back.  I guess I need to know that being the garden lead and all but he's not one of my staff.  Have to stop that, make poor choices in men here.  hihi  My last date people wanted to make a sitcom out of it.

101 slots out of 185 filled.  Not getting a real good turn out on the actual tours but that's to be expected.  Still it's good.  We had a family from New Jersey stop in for a tour.  Kept commenting how clean our air was.  Not really we have orange warnings.

People keep telling me the pantry gardens are dry as a bone and my moisture meter says wet.  So the one guy is digging in it, points and says dry.  I put my hand in it and the soil is moist to the touch.  Made him feel it too.  The leaf mulch on top is really dark and fertil looking, the soil is light brown making it look dry.  The problem, besides over watering, is if you keep feeding the top roots, there is no reason for the plant to send roots deeper.  When we do get to the point where we can't keep the top from drying out the plant has no deep roots to get the moisture down there.  And naturally, roots grow down so you aren't encouraging to the plant to grow more roots to overall support itself with lots of food and water uptake sources.
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« Reply #110 on: June 10, 2023, 12:19:08 AM »

I have eggplant.   Cheesy  Patio Baby, they are a miniature eggplant.  Never really sure when these get harvested because they are so small.  According to phebe they get harvested before the purple loses it shine.  No idea how to cook these.  Hope mom likes eggplant.  It's pretty good at Olive Garden.
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« Reply #111 on: June 10, 2023, 02:27:12 PM »

Still in "you're annoying the living fuck out of me".   hihi  No, I'm justified, believe me.  I've stepped in front of cranky bitch but she's beating on my backside.  hihi

The new tree signs are great.  They have more information than just the name of the tree on it.  They will be in the fall tour, Meet Our Trees.  Teach people how to plant a tree and then introduce them to the 15 native trees we have on property.  I'm wondering why the Paw Paw trees have no name plate or not dedicated to anyone.  We're out of the signs that we use for the trees so maybe that's it.  Totally missed Bill's tree when I was mulching.  He's down in the weeds by the creek.  Need to get him out of there, pretty him up and feature him.  He's become the forgotten tree.  I have a thing for the trees.  They don't need that much attention but I look out for them.
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« Reply #112 on: June 11, 2023, 11:54:11 AM »

Darn, we had to cancel a tour due to rain.  We need it bad.  The plants are loving it.  It was my turn too to get to take out a group.  Love showing the place off, even when the grass needs cut.   hihi  Guess I'll be on weed wacker next week.

Hate to cut back stuff when it's blooming but petunias get long and lanky.  I cut back one of my pots just to see.  It worked, it bounced back, is fuller, blooming again.  Did the same thing with common milkweed and it did branch off.  They get so tall and the flower is big so they fall over.  Tricky business knowing which natives can be cut back.  I figure they all can.  Should be use to animals eating on them but when?  I still want flowers.  Usually the cut back ones bloom a little bit later than the non cut ones.
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« Reply #113 on: June 11, 2023, 09:26:56 PM »

Beka has the best ideas!  I have a bed I need renovated.  It never had a plan just plants thrown in there and now the wild strawberries have taken over.  Great little plant if you want to choke out other stuff and the turtles like it.

Beka came up with Bee Bar, plants that bees like.  My bed along the side of the shed and the backside would be perfect for that.  Looks like a bar and it's off the main path.  She also came up with a Moon Garden, plants that bloom at night, moths like them.  And the other bed I have in mind is pretty close to a street light which attracts moths.  It would be kind of dark but still viewable by the public who is up there for meets at night or I can do a few night tours for the general public.

Both of these are great class projects for our trainees.  Renovate the beds and very educational.  Beka will draw up the plans, I'll grow the plants we need.  Out of the trainees I will get somebody who wants to maintain the beds.  Okay, I'm done with cranky bitch and people annoying me, inspiration has hit.  I'm so happy.  Cheesy

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« Reply #114 on: June 12, 2023, 02:38:52 PM »

We found a turtle nest in the Iris garden.  A big turtle.  Several spots she tried out but then settled on the one spot.  You can see where her foot prints are and where her head was in the mud.  In the back there is a deep hole where we assume the eggs are.  There was one egg on the open ground.

Marsha is coming tonight, only a week after chemo.  We have a leads meeting.  Not much to discuss.  A couple of approvals of things to install and some updates to inform people of.  We do leads stroll around the gardens.  We're all so busy working our garden spot, we don't get to see what the other gardens are doing.  I treat everybody to ice cream.
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« Reply #115 on: June 14, 2023, 12:13:10 AM »

So it takes about 80 days for the turtles to hatch.  We have a protective cage around it so the racoons can't dig it up.  Not a very good one and racoons are smart so, we'll see.  Emailed Brian so he can come and take some pictures of it.  No I had to google him to find his email.  Okay so I did a court records check on him.   hihi  DWI in 85, 60 days in the hole.  Turns out he's my age.  But it finally dawns on me who he reminds me of.  Bobbie Weir from the Grateful Dead.  Bobbie can be a bit of a bastard.  Nothing wrong with the guy, I just don't care for his presence on stage.  The Dead is about the music, not really about the band.  Hunter/Garcia were the writing team I most favored, not to say I didn't love some of the other stuff.

Leads meeting went okay.  Marsha showed up and was in decent health.  We had to decide where to put a kiosk.  Sore spot for me from a few years back, washed my hands of it and now somehow I have to write a 5 page report on where it should go and nobody even really wants it!  Nothing much to go over, staff is happy campers.  Between the walking around to look at the gardens and the business part, we were done in two hours, right on time.  Tours are working out.  I'm already planning some for the fall.  Air quality and allergies are kicking my ass.  My eyes burn and I just want to close them and sleep.  Problem is I have very visual dreams about the gardens.  Wake up and I don't know where I am, what time it is or what day it is and what I'm suppose to be doing.  Very hard to keep stuff in my head.  And when don't I have a slight headache?
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« Reply #116 on: June 15, 2023, 01:32:43 PM »

That was fun.  Nobody showed up from my other gardening club, yeah I'm in 3, to judge the gardening and landscaping contest.  All my picks.  Cheesy  No way you're winning for lots of flowers you bought at the big hardware stores especially if they are still in the white plastic containers you got them in.  I went for landscaping on my first two picks.  Third got it for tastefully done and you took those bought flowers and put them in the ground or fancy containers.

It was at a trailer park so I'm looking at small spaces.  Love my first place winner.  They installed a bench along the road for neighbors to sit on, how nice.  Their patio area was very inviting.  I wanted to come spend time there.  Plus they actually installed hardscape and plants in the ground.  A few pots of flowers but they did really well with the ornamental plants with texture and different shades of green or variegated.  The second place winner had blue russian sage.  That plant is always a stand out.

The trailer park does it so people keep up their yards.  Works because the whole place is park like.  We get paid $200 for judging.  The winners get: $250, $150 and $75.  Good prizes from your landlord if you ask me.  The owner spends a lot of money on landscaping.  No white, trash trailer park here.  My winners were all new people we hadn't selected before.  Not swayed by those store bought flowers or those fake ones.   hihi  The landscape judge did this one.
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« Reply #117 on: June 16, 2023, 03:06:35 PM »

Was over in the drain basin.  It's loaded with blooming Fleabane, small white daisy, and Black Eyed Susans, yellow daisy with dark center.  The Black Locust tree has stayed on the top of the ridge.  It has grown so tall you only see the rooftops of the neighboring subdivision.  There's some kind of water plant growing along the creek.  It looks really nice for a weed patch.
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« Reply #118 on: June 16, 2023, 10:31:30 PM »


I'm going to give these a try.  I want to keep the sun off my arms and I'm always pushing my long sleeves up.

The report on the Kiosk came out to 6 pages!  We decided the best place for it is the middle of the yard.  The problem is what to construct the path out of for wheelchair accessibility but not cost too much.  We're looking at Grass Matts.  Basically a plastic weave matt that the grass can grow through and can be mowed over.  The complete plastic matt is more expensive.  Thing is, it doesn't belong to my group.  We're just giving opinions on where to place it on the property.  The other group keeps sucking us into research on the path material for them.  And I can tell you they will want us to install it.  We're gardeners not construction people.  I can tell you we'll be looking at youtube videos.   hihi  And we've already got a bunch of projects on our to do list.
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« Reply #119 on: June 18, 2023, 03:32:57 PM »

Really like those sleeves.  They are barely wet and my arms are nice and cool.  Doesn't say to wet them but it was raining.  Pruning some bushes and no skin tears.  Probably just pruned all the blooms on the crepe myrtle but they were looking like shit.  Best part, I didn't feel like I needed to push my sleeves up.

Cut off the Columbine seed heads.  Sounds like it's raining when you do that.  Get seeds in between my toes and in my hair.   hihi  I'm collecting them to throw out in the drain basin.
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