Friday, October 29, 2010

Landscaping Numbskulls Strike Again!

Last year I posted about the gas station down the street from me that I have seen some bad pruning. Remember this??

(I am happy to report someone removed this poor cedar soul this year)

Well, these chainsaw wielding jackasses were at it again and decided to attack the street trees in front of the station. Usually I write about "professionals" and their jackassery in a tongue and cheek manner to keep it light but to get my point across to the readers that they need to stay away from that sort of company. This work at this gas station pissed me off and I'm not going to sugar coat this.

They completely topped this tree by cutting the main trunk and removed 3/4th of the canopy. There is absolutely no reason to do that other than shear ignorance and stupidity.

Look at that cut they made. I am that angry that I am seriously considering going into the station, ask who does the work there, and figure out some way to throw them "under the bus". Stuff like this infuriates me...because it makes all of the green professionals and particularly licensed arborists look horrible.

This is the stuff what happens when the "cheap company" get hired. I'm 99.9% sure whoever did this wasn't a licensed arborist. Whoever did this probably figures it's too much work, or money, or unnecessary to become licensed. You get what you pay for...and this is just another sad instance of that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October bounties from the fading garden.

This time of year things are starting to wind down for the garden as you all know. Outside my kitchen window is a Mr. Lincoln hybrid tea rose bush that Eric rescued from a job site about 4 years ago. I'm not particularly a big fan of hybrid teas because their lack of disease resistance. But I tolerate Mr. Lincoln because it's the classic cut red rose complete with a nice spicy fragrance. I had this one big bud forming on the bush and I wanted to bring it inside before the cold weather nailed it. That idea grew into my little late season arrangement down there.

I grabbed a bunch of my Knock Out Roses to compliment the big Mr. Lincon bloom and opening bud...some Maiden Grass Tassels, some Switch Grass Switches and some of the Papyrus "flowers" from the water garden. It's kind of neat and for some reason I rarely make arrangements from my flowers. Maybe next year, I'll get over that.

The veggie garden is limping along and still producing some things. I'm surprised the eggplant are still looking good and flowering away. I would have figured they would have faded away like the tomatoes. I have some tomatoes hanging on...primarily the grapes. The rest of them have started to turn that miserable brown. I'm going to pull them soon. My white icicle radishes are starting to get ready to pick...and I have a couple down in the photo. Peas were "Meh" as was the lettuce I planted this fall. The seeds were old and my attention has been more on showing Lars in agility. So, I'll take the blame on the lame fall veggie garden. But what I picked Saturday night wasn't too shabby for late October.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flower Power Friday

October Flower Power in full force!

We'll have to see if the flower gods will be willing to smile upon my Knock Out Roses and Jackmanii Clematis into November. We shall see!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New additions and why you don't deadhead hydrangea

Finally, I was able to pick up a specimen of a plant I use a lot in my designs - Variegated Solomon Seal. It's a wonderful little plant for shady spots and it is about as low maintenance as it gets. I love the soft variegation of creamy white rimming those green leaves. It's a medium sized plant, reaching about 24" tall and it does spread slowly. I cannot wait for it to spread so I can start dividing it and using it in other shady nooks in the yard.

It has these little bell shaped, white flowers that show up in the spring. I consider them to be inconspicuous because they get lost with the white variegation. The one thing I particularly like about Variegated Solomon's Seal is the texture and growth habit it brings to the shade garden. The upright arching shape and oval shaped leaves are welcome against the bold, coarse foliage of the hostas and the finely cut leaves of the astilbe and the ferns. I am so thrilled I finally grabbed this for myself!

My 'Alpengluhen' Hydrangea a couple of days ago...they are just as pretty now as they were when they were bright blue and purple. I'll be very eager to use them in dried bouquets in the house and for my winter windowboxes in a couple of months.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Color Friday!

Here's the wild sassafrass that towers over Lake Larson.

I know I post of this every year but because it's the first tree in my yard to really start to show color. It's so striking because everyone else is green. It really pops!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

URI's conversatory greenhouses...packed with neat things!

A couple of weeks ago, I ended up down at URI's botanical garden for a RINLA Twilight Meeting. As current chairperson for the RINLA Publicity Committee, I was there for photo ops of the meeting and took a couple of minutes to wander around their greenhouses. I had never had an opportunity to visit them and doing so brought back fond memories of all of the time I spent in Cornell's greenhouses.

I have to open up this photo montage with a curious plant I found in the conservatory...upon first glance, it looks like something from the tomato family. The fruit looks very much like an inverted yellow pear tomato. So, curiosity got the best of me and I had to look at the tag....

Well, wasn't expecting that name! Hmmmm.....indeed (I guess if I look at it long enough, through squinted eyes.) And, I am not above mentioning...I giggled like a 12 year old at the common name.

They have a really neat succulent and cactus section in the front of the first greenhouse. It was pretty cool seeing these plants all planted in the ground instead of in individual pots. I could really appreciate the interest they all have.

A big Agave in full, funky flower:

An awesome specimen of pink Brugmansia:

Allamanda cathartica: Golden trumpet (I can't seem to get the italics to shut off...sorry.)

This is a plant I would like to try to grow myself but don't know much about it's culture. This beauty is called Plumeria.

A view from the middle of the first greenhouse looking out to the road.

Wicked cool! Their carnivorous plant collection!! WANT!

Here's their monstrous fig tree that puts mine to shame! Granted my little tree is a dwarf and really shouldn't get bigger than 4' tall. But, to have something like this would be wild.

This pic was for more my nerd can air layer figs for propagation. Note taken...

If you're looking for a little nook on campus where you can get your tropical plant fix met, check out URI's green houses. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's amazing what you can do with a q-tip

I can't believe how little time a pollinated flower can form a fruit. My last post I had made the mention that Eric had tried his hand at plant propagation with a q-tip and our passion vine. Within a day the flower shriveled up and a couple of days later I could see a little fruit start to show up. I left for the Wine Country Dog Show Cluster on the 28th of September...that was when the little fruit started to develop. When I came back on the 3rd, this is what was growing.

OMG, tomatoes don't even develop that fast!!! We have no idea how to tell if the fruit is ripe or not. I'm hoping that it turns some cool color to let us know. I'm very curious to see how it tastes.
Another fruit we had I wasn't sure how to tell if it was ripe was the figs...but since I have been gone, they are starting to let me know it's time to pick. I'll let it go another day or two and see if it's easily removable from the tree. Way cool...I'm hoping this tastes good too.

I know I have been making comments about how dry this summer has been. I have been able to post a couple of pics on little things I've seen around here showing drought stress. I was stunned at what I saw on the way back from NY this weekend in the Bershire Mountains in MA.

That's not fall color. That's fried, burnt foliage...a whole hillside of it. I was blown away. So, if you have lost plants this summer to drought....yes, it was that dry.