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all things gardening
Spidra Webster
It may end tomorrow, but right now the Kindle editions of "Teaming with Nutrients" and "Teaming with Microbes" are on deep sale at Amazon.
A new heavy cropping variety with large, very juicy fruits with an attractive red flush which are delicious straight from the tree in early September. A beautiful apple with the appearance of handpainted red stripes over a yellow background. Inside is a crisp creamy flesh with a mixture of flavours, a honey-like sweetness with a hint of aniseed. Excellent variety for juice making. Pollination group 2. - Halil from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
App brings wildflower identification to your fingertips -
App brings wildflower identification to your fingertips
App brings wildflower identification to your fingertips
"Information about the Pacific Northwest's wide array of wildflowers is just a swipe away with a new mobile app designed in part by botanists at Oregon State University. Available for iOS and Android devices, the Oregon Wildflowers app provides multimedia and information on nearly 1,000 wildflowers, shrubs and vines common in Oregon and adjacent areas in Idaho, Washington and California. For each plant, the app offers photographs, natural history, range maps and more. It works without an Internet connection once downloaded. "You can use the app no matter how remote your wanderings may take you," said Linda Hardison, the director of the Oregon Flora Project, an OSU effort to develop resources, like the new app, to help people learn about plants in Oregon. "It's designed for both budding wildflower enthusiasts and experienced botanists to learn about plant communities and ecology throughout the Pacific Northwest," added Hardison, a botanist in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. The... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
second plant is lungwort! - Halil from fftogo
first plant is called Honesty (Lunaria annua). - Halil
Spidra Webster
"Plant-lore Archive has grown from the Folklore Society’s ‘Survey of Unlucky Flowers’ which was conducted in the early 1980s. It now holds over 6,700 items of information from approximately 1,650 contributors, and a large number of press-cuttings, off-prints, photographs and other material. The Archive covers all aspects of the folklore and traditional uses of plants, and although previously published material is of interest, the emphasis is on contemporary (i.e. current and remembered) beliefs and practices. Therefore information is sought concerning: Traditional beliefs concerning plants (for example, the belief that certain flowers cause bad luck if taken indoors) Local names of plants Plants and plant materials used in traditional customs and religious festivals Herbal remedies Sayings, riddles, tales and legends concerning plants Traditional times for sowing and harvesting crops, and practices associated with the cultivation of plants Plants used for foretelling the future... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Gardens: If you know what you’re looking for there’s free food everywhere – even for the urban forager - The Scotsman -
"WHAT do mahonias, fuchsias and violets have in common? They all have edible parts. So while you may have chosen garden plants because of their form, scent or colour, with a little knowhow some of them could start contributing towards your dinner plate. The tasty secrets of garden and wild plants are revealed in a new book by gardener and author Alys Fowler. In The Thrifty Forager, Fowler points out that foraging can be practised in the city as well as the countryside – as long as you’re prepared to invest time in getting to know your local plants. “Urban areas are just as good as rural, sometimes better as a lot of ornamental plants like Japanese flowering quince are planted in urban areas and you’d be hard pressed to find one growing wild,” she says. “Parks, around the back of allotments (not the allotments themselves as that’d be stealing) and those weird bits of no-man’s land are all great places to forage. Even street trees can offer up a bounty. I know a street in London lined... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Fuchsias 101 – How to Eat Fuchsia Berries | PowellsWood Garden -
Fuchsias 101 – How to Eat Fuchsia Berries | PowellsWood Garden
"What?! Did that say eat fuchsia berries?! Yes! It did! It does not seem to be commonly known to folks who are growing fuchsias in their gardens that they are growing berries. Usually people think of those dark squishy things as a menace and a mess in their yards. But they are actually very tasty berries that can be used in many ways, including salads, muffins, tarts, garnishes, jams, jellies, even pies (although you really have to collect a lot to make pie!), and the berries are also just great to pick and eat all by themselves. And the flowers are edible too. All fuchsias produce berries, although some varieties have much better tasting fruit than others. The berries are produced as the flowers on the plants mature and fall off. What is left behind is either a round or elliptical-shaped berry. The berries can grow to almost an inch long on some hybrids and species fuchsias, or to just 1/2-inch on the miniature Encliandra-type fuchsias. Single-bloom fuchsias produce more fruit than... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
See how my garden grows!
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1) Lizard (one of 3) I found in my artichoke. 2) Cilantro 3) Sunflower 4) Artichoke bud (finally!) - Anika
The sunflower is amusing me. It's a volunteer and was growing inside my onion/dill box. I left it alone, but then realized that 1) it was much bigger than I thought and 2) it was growing sideways. A couple of days ago, I fixed it by tying it to the fence. It's nearly 5' tall, which meant I let it go longer than I probably should've. When I tied it up, there was no indication that flower buds would start. Am I blind? - Anika
Spidra Webster
"Is there any other democracy so adept at editing its history? Even Spain, for years notoriously reluctant to get to grips with the legacy of Franco, has begun to acknowledge the past, as the success of Guillermo del Torro’s masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth shows. The French are aware of every sordid detail of the excesses of both monarchs and revolutionaries. The Germans are pricked by their past every day. In the United States everyone knows about slavery, the civil war and segregation. But in Britain our collective memory has been wiped clean. Despite the efforts of authors such as Mike Davis, John Newsinger, Mark Curtis, Caroline Elkins and David Anderson(1,2,3,4,5,6), our colonial atrocities still leave the national conscience untroubled. We appear to be even less aware of what happened at home. Last week the National Trust, which is Britain’s biggest private landowner and biggest NGO, announced that it is creating 1000 allotments – small patches which local people can rent for... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Harrogate Flower Show judge Jim Buttress prepares for the Big Allotment Challenge - Food & drink - Yorkshire -
Harrogate Flower Show judge Jim Buttress prepares for the Big Allotment Challenge - Food & drink - Yorkshire
Harrogate Flower Show judge Jim Buttress prepares for the Big Allotment Challenge - Food & drink - Yorkshire
"Jim Buttress has been dubbed the ‘Judge Dread’ of horticulture, sending a tingle of fear down the spine of competitors hoping to bag a rosette, trophy, medal or cup for their home-grown goodies. As a senior judge at Harrogate Spring Flower Show – where this year he’s giving a talk on the 175th anniversary of Perennial (the gardener’s charity of which he’s chairman designate) – as well as top judge for the RHS’s Britain in Bloom, his decisions can mean the difference between a coveted gold and a disappointing ‘commended’. ‘I got the Judge Dread title a few years ago at Harrogate when there was a bit of tension because I’d awarded a silver gilt and not a gold in the Britain in Bloom competition – and they still remember it,’ says Jim. ‘For me, Harrogate has always been one of the most stunning examples of how communities can transform open spaces.’ The dreaded judge looks set to soon become a familiar face in living rooms up and down the country as one of the judges on new BBC... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
I'm watching it now... not sure it 'works' as a format. But I'm intrigued nonetheless ;-) - Marina's Godmother :-)
I think the vegetable judging stuff would drive me nuts as it all seems to be based on looks rather than taste and nutritional content. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Home | The Blue Finger AllianceThe Blue Finger Alliance -
Home | The Blue Finger AllianceThe Blue Finger Alliance
"Imagine a city fed from surrounding countryside, so nearly all its food was fresh, local and delicious… A city in which everyone could learn how to grow their own food, on land that they could walk or cycle to… A ‘green capital’ that led by example, showing the world what a green city could look like! That city could be Bristol. We have some amazing agricultural land on the fringes of our city, producing some of the best fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products in the world. And we have The Blue Finger – a strip of the highest quality food-growing land so rare that JUST 3% of ALL UK soil falls into that category. And yet, the council are planning to tarmac it! The Blue Finger Alliance formed to protect this precious resource by letting people know just how important this land is, how it affects you and why we all need to work together to persuade the council to urgently rethink their plans." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Katy S
I just heard about my dad's garden plans. Four 4x4 raised beds completely enclosed in a very tall chicken wire fence structure to keep out deer and raccoons. Wow!
I'm a little surprised this venture passed the internal zoning board otherwise known as my mother. - Katy S
Let me know if this works. Husband will be retired in two weeks and gardening is a joke with all the wildlife. - Janet
I'm jealous! My uncle just put a cyclone fence around his garden. I'd love to be able to keep everything out, especially all the feral cats around here. - Trish R from iPhone
He got the idea from this book which shows how to make metal mesh tops for raised beds to keep critters out. He just decided to up the ante. - Katy S
Oooh, thanks for the link! - Janet
Spidra Webster
"Along with bridge and lawn bowls, gardening is an activity often portrayed as being a gentle and undemanding pursuit that is predominantly the preserve of those of advancing years. But Alan Titchmarsh has become so angered by this depiction that he has spoken out, criticising “apparently bright” celebrities such as Jeremy Clarkson and Mary Beard who he blames for propagating it. In a staunch defence of gardening he attacked the view of horticulture as a simply “sedentary” activity, and said it was “vital”, “energising” and every bit as “thrilling” as the roar of a Ferrari sports car. The 64-year-old makes the outspoken comments in his column in the Sunday Telegraph’s Life section this weekend, having been stung into action by recent remarks on the subject by leading personalities. He cites an article written on “grey power” by Michael Buerk in last week’s Radio Times, in which Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, raises the suggestion that viewers might become particularly... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Climate Change Cuisine? | Ensia -
Climate Change Cuisine? | Ensia
Climate Change Cuisine? | Ensia
"Living in Ames, Iowa, Steven Cannon is no stranger to the Midwestern potluck. Instead of a potato-chip-capped casserole, however, Cannon serves up “potato beans” fried in duck fat or simmered in south Indian spices. Either way, he says the smooth-textured starch, hinting of boiled peanut flavor, is always a hit. The potato bean, also called groundnut, is one of 20,000 wild legumes that go uncultivated. That doesn’t stop Cannon, a research geneticist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Ames, and colleagues from trying to secure these high-protein tubers a spot on dinner tables. Cannon has grown almost 60 wild varieties of the plant in the experimental fields near his office, identifying a handful that yield as well as sweet potatoes — even during last summer’s notorious heat wave. Most people would consider them weeds. But the cold, harsh reality is that in a hotter, drier climate, today’s weeds may be tomorrow’s dinner. From potato beans to lupine,... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
This sounds great. I totally want to try growing it now. Plus that flower pic looks great. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Groundnut – Apios americana – Added to USWildflowers’ Database | Journal -
Groundnut – Apios americana – Added to USWildflowers’ Database | Journal
"Groundnut, a native species, has been added to the USWildflowers database (08/22/2013.) Scientific name is Apios americana. Photo below was taken in Walker County, GA on Aug 13, 2013. Go to the Groundnut detail page for more photos and information." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
BBC News - Trees: A personal and national legacy of Evelyn's Sylva -
BBC News - Trees: A personal and national legacy of Evelyn's Sylva
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"If you take a stroll through one of the nation's long-established woodlands, there is a good chance its management was inspired, influenced or even instructed by John Evelyn's Sylva. Widely recognised as the first comprehensive study of UK trees, Sylva, or - to give its full title - A Discourse of Forest Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in his Majesty's Dominions, made its first public appearance in 1662 as a paper submitted to the newly formed Royal Society. Two years later, it was published as the Royal Society's first book and went on to not only shape people's knowledge but the landscape itself. And it was an instant success, proving popular beyond its intended audience of wealthy aristocratic landowners, who were urged by Evelyn to plant trees in order to replenish the nation's depleted timber stock. Four editions were produced during Evelyn's lifetime, and the book is still widely quoted and remains in print and freely available online 350 years after its first publication.... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Original book available in digital format on Project Gutenberg - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Book Discussion Founding Gardeners | Video | -
"Andrea Wulf explores the Founding Father’s interests in botany and agriculture. Ms. Wulf focuses on the first four presidents and their fondness for gardening from Washington’s vigilant oversight of his Mount Vernon estate to Jefferson and Adams' study of agricultural design and Madison’s understandings of conservation. Andrea Wulf spoke at the home of 18th century botanist, John Bartram, whose garden was visited by many delegates of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. She showed slides throughout her presentation and afterward responded to questions from members of the audience." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Twitter / PurbeckPlants: Hungry? Did you know #hostas ... -
Twitter / PurbeckPlants: Hungry? Did you know #hostas ...
"Hungry? Did you know #hostas are edible? Eaten, usually, in Asia. Excellent in stir fries. #SecretSundays @The_RHS" - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Petition | Urgently reverse existing, proposed, and further cuts to RBG Kew’s annual operating grant in aid | -
Petition | Urgently reverse existing, proposed, and further cuts to RBG Kew’s annual operating grant in aid |
"Globally important conservation and science under threat at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew due to government cuts - £5M deficit will lead to loss of over 120 posts The UK Government need to urgently reverse the existing cuts to Kew’s annual operating grant in aid funding, and to cancel the proposed and any further future cuts. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with sites at Kew Gardens, London and Wakehurst Place, Sussex is a world-leader in conservation and botanical science, with over 250 years of historical excellence in these fields. Never before has Kew faced such a significant threat to its future. It now needs your help to ensure its globally-important plant and fungal collections can continue to be used to support plant and fungal science and conservation around the world. In 1983, 90 per cent of Kew’s funding came from the UK Government as grant in aid. The current amount has dropped to below 40 per cent as of this year. Funding was reduced by £0.9M in 2009-10, £1M in 2010-11, and... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Twitter / BBCGQT: Allotment owners - are you ... -
Twitter / BBCGQT: Allotment owners - are you ...
"Allotment owners - are you #For or #Against using carpet on your site? Has it been banned altogether? #GQTdebates" - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
If it's for weed suppression, I don't see the problem. - Halil
Problem is possibly toxic chemicals in the carpet. - Spidra Webster
Hmm, that's a very good point, hadn't thought of that. Most carpets are likely to be infused with flame retardant compounds for example. - Halil
A better form of weed repression is using sheet mulching. You use cardboard boxes and put a thick layer of mulch over that. It all biodegrades eventually, but there's probably only small amounts of anything like ink in that. - Spidra Webster
Carol Klein - is an English gardening expert, who also works as a television presenter and newspaper columnist. -
Carol Klein - is an English gardening expert, who also works as a television presenter and newspaper columnist.
Born in Walkden, Lancashire, Carol attended Bolton School and then trained as an art teacher and taught in schools in the London area before moving to Devon. There she taught at North Devon College before setting up her own plant nursery, Glebe Cottage Plants. - Halil from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
The Great Georgian Fruit Hunt | Travel | Smithsonian -
The Great Georgian Fruit Hunt | Travel | Smithsonian
"In the basins of the Mediterranean, the Black and the Caspian seas, they line the roadsides and populate the villages with the roguish persistence of weeds. They grow from Spanish castle walls, the bellies of Roman bridges, and the cobblestones of Muslim mosques. They grow in neatly arranged orchards, while volunteer seedlings sprout from cracks in the walls and splits in the sidewalks. Few people look twice at a fig tree in western Asia, where the trees are as common as people themselves. Late each summer, the branches sag with the weight of the crop, and on the sidewalks below, fallen figs accumulate in carpets of jammy, sticky paste. Locals eat what they can, both fresh and dried. Other figs are canned, some reduced into syrup, and a few infused into liquors. In markets at the height of the season, vendors let their apples sit but madly push their fresh figs at passersby, wishing to sell them even for a trifle before the delicate fruits spoil. From This Story Photo Gallery Related... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
"As we drive out of Tbilisi in Maghradze’s four-wheel-drive Honda CRV, en route to see the old former capital city of Mtskheta, a bushy plume of foliage spilling over a fence catches Aradhya’s attention. “There’s a big green fig,” he tells Maghradze, who immediately pulls over on the busy boulevard. The tree, growing at the edge of a yard, is laden with large, pear-shaped fruits—and... more... - Spidra Webster
"The three also look beyond civilization during the 17-day hunt, seeking wild fruit varieties not yet cultivated, and while touring the parched hills of eastern Georgia, Aradhya bags dozens of samples of almond seeds. One is a fantastic coconut-flavored almond from along a highway just outside the capital, a variety that could someday produce favored cultivars in California’s industry.... more... - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
"PlantVillage is built on the premise that the all knowledge that helps people grow food should be openly accessible to anyone on the planet. PlantVillage is a user moderated Q & A forum dedicated to the goal of helping people grow their own food. It is an open freely available resource that helps you solve all your plant related questions. " - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Limes In Short Supply As World's 'Worst Agricultural Disease' Attacks Citrus Crops -
Limes In Short Supply As World's 'Worst Agricultural Disease' Attacks Citrus Crops
"They chased the spice over the vast deserts of Frank Herbert’s fictional Dune, and the oil on Earth. But for the denizens of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville,” there is only one pressing concern — the acquisition of limes to flavor the guacamole and icy frothed drinks served with a rimmer of salt. That self-delusional pursuit of happiness has been harshed this year by regional violence, drought, and plant disease in Mexico, where most of our limes are grown in Colina. Lime prices nearly doubled to $100 per case this year following the supply shock, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In fact, the average individual lime price rose from 21 cents to 53 cents. Ronnie Cohen, vice president of sales for Vision Import Group, told USA Today the price had never been so high, with afficionados of the fruit now referring to “ore verde,” or green gold. "We're at an unprecedented price point," Cohen said. The steep lime appreciation has even drawn the interest of some drug cartels,... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Seeds: Heirloom fruit has bonus beyond taste - Debbie Arrington - The Sacramento Bee -
Seeds: Heirloom fruit has bonus beyond taste - Debbie Arrington - The Sacramento Bee
"There’s a reason heirloom crops have lasted a hundred years or more. Sure, they taste great – and that keeps farmers and gardeners growing this produce – but there might be something more to their inherent longevity. It may go down to their genes. Some of the oldest fruit varieties appear to have natural tolerance to drought and many pests or diseases. That built-in drought- and pest-tolerance is key to their long-term survival. Organic farming pioneer Amigo Bob Cantisano can’t point to anything definitive, but he sees the proof in abandoned orchards and wild seedlings scattered throughout the Sierra foothills where he’s lived and farmed for 40 years. Some fruit trees were born to last – even when water is extremely limited. “These plants seem to do really well in the drought,” he observed. “They’re more adapted. They were brought to California before the era of irrigation, so they had to be hardy and able to take some stress. About 80 percent of the plants we’re dealing with don’t... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
10 Cottage Gardens That Are Just Too Charming For Words (PHOTOS) -
10 Cottage Gardens That Are Just Too Charming For Words (PHOTOS)
10 Cottage Gardens That Are Just Too Charming For Words (PHOTOS)
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Unlike other gardens, ones in this style usually have a casual layout and mix flowers, herbs and veggies freely. - Halil from Bookmarklet
The first places look like places near me. I like driving by their yards. - Anika
Are you allowed to take photos of flowers/plants in peoples front gardens in US? I always ask the home owner, I knock on there door and ask. - Halil
I do. If they see me, they'll usually invite me into the gardens for more pictures and discussions. Some give cuttings and plants, too. Ironically, for my job, I get yelled at by people whose homes I'm NOT photographing. - Anika
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus' | Flickr - Photo Sharing! -
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus' | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
This is an excellent, evergreen variety which produces lovely, pale blue flowers which have been a familiar sight in British gardens for hundreds of years. It is an outstanding, trailing variety for hanging baskets and patio pots, the runners becoming loaded with flowers between late spring and mid-summer. - Eventual Height 50cm to 1m Eventual Spread 50cm to 1m - Halil from Bookmarklet
want! - Halil
There are a couple prostrate form rosemaries. They're nice. You should join some gardening boards like Folia and others. I'm sure you could find someone local who'd give you a cutting. - Spidra Webster
We had a kind of these in the front yard of our old place. I loved how they made a great carpet. At my kid's school the planters in the parking lot have a taller version. I bet they'd be even more lovely with some water and pruning. - Anika
Here's a huge curtain of the stuff overhanging a divided hill road. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
'CSI' of the plant world | The Salinas Californian | -
'CSI' of the plant world | The Salinas Californian |
"Simplifying the explanation of what she does, Carolee Bull, Ph.D., said when people visit her lab at the USDA Agricultural Research Service facility in Salinas, she tells them they have just walked into a forensics lab. “We’re trying to figure out who killed the broccoli” is Bull’s usual, tongue-in-cheek response to what her team is involved in. In other words, this is a “CSI” lab for the vegetable world. But although the work done here is important and fascinating, don’t expect a television series to focus on this scientist’s efforts anytime soon. Biological control of plant pathogens and phytobacteriology were the subjects Bull pursued as a graduate student as a National Science Foundation fellow and USDA/ARS postdoctoral researcher. She laughed and said that in the sciences “people pay you to go to graduate school”; thus, Bull explained, she was paid to get her master’s degree and doctorate. After she received her Ph.D. in plant pathology (with a microbial ecology emphasis) from... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
"Once the correct identification and classification of the pathogen was completed, an environmental and affordable way of dealing with it could be developed. Projects like this one allow the scientist, as Bull put it, to “keep one foot in the furrow solving real problems for grower and one foot in the laboratory asking fundamental questions about pathogens and antagonists.” Bull’s... more... - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Chelsea Green: The Politics and Practice of Sustainable Living - Bookstore -
Books 25% off right now. Not sure how that compares with what they're going for elsewhere, though. - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
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