More from commentor NewDealFarmGrrl:
I joined Bumblebeewatch.org this year. My native plant rain garden (17 species) was a big hit with the bees, I tentatively identified six of thirteen species of bumblebees native to Minnesota. For bumblebee watch, a bee must be photographed, tentatively identified, then emailed to bumblebeewatch.org for verification by experts. I was at my wit’s end trying to get pics of bumblebees, it was heading toward massive FAIL. My grandson thought it was hilarious, seeing me chasing around the yard and talking to the bees. “Hold still sweetie, that’s it, NOOOOOO COME BACK HERE”. I finally wised up and took videos with my phone, then used an app called stillShot to extract a good frame or two. That was how I ended up with one of my favorite pics, “hoveringBee.” Total beginner’s luck!
As i tell people in regard to critters and my native species, “If you plant it, they will come!”
As for pets – I have three cats, all siblings from a litter of my niece’s cat. One male and two females, Meeko, Lynxie, and Queenie (left to right).
The dog is my beloved grandoggie GigiBears who loves to visit and play with Teh Kittehs.
Quite possibly the last Garden Chat of the season, unless somebody sends me more harvest pics (or you Left Coasters step up)…
What’s going on in your gardens this week?
Great shots! The princess made another foray to the Growers Outlet for a load of flowers yesterday. She keeps color nearly year-round.
Yes, very nice indeed. You are absolutely right FarmGrrl, plant it and they will come… in hordes. I trapped 8 coons in 10 or 11 days at one point this summer. Right now I have a groundhog taking up residence in the old fox den just beyond the garden. I have got to get him/her and soon.
38 degrees with clear starry skies and a thin crescent moon in the east right now. Beautiful. Fired up the wood stove for the wife to knock off the chill in the house. Gonna hit mid sixties today so I’ll let it burn off after it hits 1200.
Gonna plant the garlic I didn’t plant last wkend: Chinese Pink, Duganski, Premium Northern White, and Spanish Roja, from last year, Vietnamese Red and Susanville are some new ones this year. Also got some multiplier onions to try. Gotta do some more clean up in the garden too.
@OzarkHillbilly: We have a Half marathon starting in 20 minutes and my coffee shop is right on the route so I’ve got my camera ready.
@Raven: Get some! (nice shots, that is)
Third or 4th frost we’ve had this year, all light so far so no plants killed by it yet. Massive cleanup today, supposed to hit about 55 and some sun after 3 days of rain (again) so I need to try and get as much cleared out as I can. Tomorrow’s forecast: rain. Wish I could send it to Cali, we’ve had more than enough this year.
NewDealFarmGrrl, I love your pictures! Thanks for the info on stillshot, I need to try that!
There is a cycling event in town today, the Gran Fondo Italia, It’s a good day to stay home, mow and watch some football. This morning I need to finish painting the shutters, I purchased for the outside of the house.
New deal farm girl, Your pictures are wonderful!
The garden is all sleepy time for now. Still have a few wild flowers available for the late bees (asters and some goldenrod). I use huge sunflowers to attract bumbles bees as well as a pussy willow for early bee photography. I use a digital SLR with a zoom lens and just stand there waiting for the bees to come to the sunflowers or the pussy willow.
The pollen from the pussy willow catkins is super delicious and helps the bees in early spring when not much else is available for food. I know they aren’t native but I keep it contained and as it is only one plant, no spreading occurs. Before that bush is done shedding pollen, the early spring flowers are out and the bees gravitate slowly to them. Since only the new growth gives the catkins for pollination, I dare not trim the darned thing.
We let our old horse pasture go fallow and we have millions of bees all during the spring summer and fall. We used to get tons of birds at the feeders but since we let that field go, they eat the wild seeds and save me cash. Even during winter they will be out in the wild seeds rather than the fattening sunflower seeds I buy. I do Feeder Watch for Cornell and always note that just because the birds are not at the feeders it doesn’t mean there are less of them on my land.
Great garden, and obviously great grandma!
“We’re not a scientific institution, we’re a bunch of lunatics with an idea that we can change things and we are interested in getting partnerships together with normal farmers, not people who want to write doctorates.”
A Good News story on growing food in conjunction with sea water.
My own favorite bee picture resulted from a good bit of luck.
No garden here – I have a hard enough time keeping up with the yard. I’ve got to figure out when to cut back our boxwoods, azaleas, and hollies – it’s been about 15 years since it was last done… Yesterday I spent 2.5 hours spraying dollarweed in our lawn (the last few times I spread “Weed and Feed” fertilizer it just caused them to thrive). It’s probably too late in the season, but it was the last day to try.
OT – Sam Wang of the PEC is going to be on Up on MSNBC in about an hour.
Sam on Up.
I really miss being able to have a garden, but my visits to Lincoln Park sort of take up the slack. One thing I’ve noticed at South Pond (a project of Lincoln Park Zoo, refurbished with native species to resemble the lakeshore BC — before Chicago — it goes from shoreline to verge to prairie plantings) is that not only bumblebees but honeybees have been flocking to the goldenrod and asters. I counted over a dozen on one clump alone.
We haven’t had a frost yet, but the blooming season is nearly over, except for the asters, which don’t seem to want to quit. And trees are turning — the locusts and ashes first (within two days after it officially became Fall), and now the oaks, crabapples, hawthorns are turning, while elms and most of the maples seem to be holding on to green for dear life. So we have every stage of fall color right now, from green to bronze and red to yellow. And a lot of them seem to turn in sections — I’ve seen a fair number of trees that are green on one side and bronze or red on the other.
@jeffreyw: very nice too.
Never heard of bumblebee watch, I might have to look them up next summer. We see many different ones in our russian sage every year & spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they all are.
Drove down along the Mississippi going to Madison on Friday and saw several Bald Eagles, I assume they are starting their migration although we see them in the winter in small numbers as long as the river is open.
@NewDealFarmGrrl: LOVE the pics of flora and fauna. With bees.
Sam Wang is about only reason I’d turn on Sunday morning TV. In DC area, they’ve got Gary Trudeau on now re Doonesbury (not too shabby).
Another hour of UP now. Please, please put Sam on early!
Per his blog, Sam Wang on MSNBC Up at 9:45 a this morning. Setting my iPhone alarm.
Although Howard Dean re Ebola up. Sounds worth watching …
A recent Wang blogpost (and scroll up or down for more Wangness):
The Problem with Polls or … Are Democrats Really Doomed?
Obama is the greatest threat to press freedom in modern American history? Give me a break, James Risen.
The actual biggest threat is constant infotainment and misinformation. For commercial purposes. And to keep the public mollified and entertained, while being fleeced and the country’s purported democracy for sale.
Risen did make a good point about the rise of the constant mercenary/antiterror state (and security economy) within the State. We don’t want that. It’s the Cheneyization of American policy.
I see Obama’s secret plan to give reporters ebola has been revealed.
@Schlemazel: Come the ice, they all end up down at the Alton dam. I try to make the trip there every year, sometimes I actually succeed. Well worth the trouble to see hundreds of eagles doing eagley things. They come down here to the Meramec River too, in lesser #s tho.
He’s a scary one, that black feller. Brewing coffee, watching Howard Dean say sensible stuff about ebola, waiting on the beloved Sam Wang.
It’s cold here today in DC.
Winter is coming.
NewDealFarmGrr–love the pics and the stillSHOT tip! A rain garden question for you: what’s the location (sun/shade, north/east/west/south)? I’ve started one for runoff on the one side of the house I can’t use for rainbarrels. It’s partly-sunny and part shady, but I’ve got 3 part-sun blueberries in there now, and joe-pye weed (chocolate) and plumbago on deck for the spring, but otherwise, not so much in terms of sun/shade plants. Another questino for you (or anyone): What plants work for you in shade, and/or do you have a go-to website?
Makes me melancholy. The change of the light. Although fireplaces and warm sweaters and hearty stews are nice.
The pictures are beautiful.
I thought I would have to work today, but I don’t, so I am just resting for a bit.
Gorgeous pictures. I am anxious to plant some flowers in my new yard, but for now I am still unpacking boxes. I think now is a good time to start a new Goodwill box and give away half of my stuff.
@Josie: It is generally thought to be better to give it away before you move it. ;-)
Quite possibly the last Garden Chat of the season, unless somebody sends me more harvest pics (or you Left Coasters step up)…
Huh? What? I’m still pulling tomatoes and peppers. Actually most everything is till going pretty good except the basil, which has had a terrible. Late spring, too much rain, then not enough rain. The recent cold rain has revived it some though.
If we can hold off on a freeze for a few more weeks, I’ve got lots of stuff to haul in.
[‘Before the snow comes.’]
Red Lobster has arrived in Malaysia. The prices aren’t
all thatcheap, he food doesn’t look very appealing and and this review is not encouraging. Is RL this bad in the US?
Dear Mr. Risen,
If you and your journo buds dont like being threatened with jail time, you might familiarize yourselves with 18 U.S.C. 793(c) and stop violating it.
@Elizabelle: It’s my favorite time of year. Looking out the window here across the Patuxent to the now-golden marsh and the yellow & orange trees beyond. I love this light. Soon enough it’ll be shades of gray and white.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Wait until Spring. Cutting back stimulates new growth, and you don’t want tender shoots emerging just in time for winter.
@Amir Khalid: Yes. Yes it is.
NY Times: 21 days of fear and loathing:
We have to be careful not to feed the Crazy. It has real consequences.
Gin & Tonic
@Amir Khalid: Yes.
Yo Amir, enough excitement for ya?
For those who missed it, the last six minutes of QPR -Liverpool saw the home side get a brilliant equalizer, give up what looked like a certain 90th-minute winner, equalize again in the second minute of stoppage time, and finally give up an own goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time. QPR 2-3 Liverpool.
Big one today in MLS: LA -Seattle has become the league’s most important rivalry, and they meet in LA today, the first leg of a home-and-home to end the regular season. They are tied atop the Western Conference with LA holding a big advantage in goal difference. If Sounders can get a result today, they have the inside track for the Supporters’ Shield, a trophy that goes to the team with the most points in the regular season and carries with it home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a guaranteed place in the group stage of next year’s CONCACAF Champions League. Game is at 5:30 p.m. Pacific on ESPN2.
Lovely plants and pets!
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: The comments are filled with fear, at least they were last night when I read them. My local news is saying stores are selling out of clorox.
JR in WV
We have heavy shade once the trees come out, and Spiderwort does well and blooms well. Hostas are also good if you can keep the deer off them, with shoots of blooms erupting in the fall. Hellboros do well in heavy shade, but spread and are thick enough to choke off low growing competitors.
Azaleas grow well in shade, but need a little sun to bloom, doing best on edges of small clearings.
ETA: Coral Bell does well in our shade garden…
Did Sam Wang say anything worthwhile?
Picked the last three tomatoes yesterday afternoon, the last eggplant, and two dozen chile peppers. About half were long, green Sandias, the rest were small, yellow, and very hot, a variety called Santa Fe Grande. We’re still picking and drying basil, a great year for it. We’ll put it in spice jars and add them to Christmas presents this year.
At Liverpool FC, tradition requires we walk through a storm every week. With our heads held high, and resolutely unafraid of the dark. Today, at any rate, we got to see a golden sky and hear the sweet silver song of the lark. Now, If only Mario could learn to shoot …
Mr. Mann should have burned down his own house, to avoid inciting panic amongst the townspeople. IT’S JUST COMMON SENSE.
@OzarkHillbilly: I did, really! I gave away a ton of stuff. Unpacking in a slightly smaller house is motivating me to give away even more. There is something to be said for simplicity.
Gin & Tonic
@Amir Khalid: I read that review. Yes, you got an authentic American Red lobster, and dollars to donuts the customers are eating American seafood there. The calamari the reviewer likens to “pre-battered” – almost certainly caught off the northeast US coast, processed in New York, then frozen and air-freighted to KL.
@JPL: Nothing new struck me, but I’ve read his blog a few times. Basically:
* – Your vote for Iowa Senator is worth 100x that of his vote in NJ. Ds in MN should go south to help after they vote. Franken is going to win.
* – If the lead in a poll average is 3%, there’s still a 1/3 chance the guy/gal will lose.
* – Everyone is looking at the same polls now. Off-year polls have bigger errors and biases than presidential polls. He and Silver are likely to miss the same way (if they miss) because they’re looking at the same raw data.
It was a good segment, but like just about everything I’ve seen on MSNBC, it was too short and too rushed.
His blog is well worth checking out if you haven’t seen it already. http://election.princeton.edu
A commenter on the BBC liveblog:
James, Surrey: Liverpool winning games with Mario Balotelli as their main striker is testament to the rest of the team.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: If the GOOPER fear mongers have anything to say about it we will die of fright not Ebola.I realize that like love and war all is fair in politics but you would think the party of ‘family values/resposibilty/patriotism’ would be a tad more circumspect when discussinmg Ebola. Stoking unjustified fear does have consequences, all of them bad.
@Gin & Tonic:
I guess the cost of air-freighting seafood from the far side of the planet explains the prices in KL.
For shade plants I really like Astilbe, hostas, ferns, bleeding hearts, helleborus, pulmonaria, and heuchera. Painted ferns are incredible.
There are some amazing varieties of ferns so you can play with color and height.
I had a border that had some deep purple heucheras with some hostas that were light yellow/green, almost chartreuse. The contrast was gorgeous and made an almost sunshine like light in that shady spot. I also used a lot of white astilbe, white gallium, and white helleborus to soften the contrast.
Shade gardens are some of my favorites because you can have so much fun with contrasting colors, and textures (foliage).
Shrubs for shady borders can provide nice structure. Japanese pieris is one of my favorites. You can also use oakleaf hydrangea and rhododendrons. There are a lot of rhododendrons from which to choose. Also, too hollies are wonderful if you don’t have to worry about young children eating the berries. Holly leaves are stunning even without the bright red berries.
@d58826: Yet when you find that Fox TV is producing a series about ebola, you remember that it’s always about money, no matter what the (non-monetary) cost.
Foxglove also does well and reseeds itself very prettily, popping up in new places every year.
Bleeding Hearts are lovely but disappear once it warms up — at least in my NJ garden — but there are a number of dicentras that stay out all season and bloom continuously. Well worth looking for.
And then the day lilies — the wild orange forms do well in the shade and are lovely lighting up a dark spot. Tiger Lilies will also tolerate a fair amount of shade. Different types of Aruncus (goats beard) work well, too.
Shade gardeners have to work a little harder and appreciate subtlety a bit more, but there are lots of plants out there and the rewards are great!
Watch what they do, not what they say. They’re not the party of ‘family values/resposibilty/patriotism’, they’re the party of fear and punishment. Fear makes people more conservative, more willing to submit to authority.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I’m more concerned about the midterms than I am ebola. Is that wrong of me?
Only insofar as a rational calculation like that is not the norm in American politics any more.
@Gin & Tonic:
A very large amount of seafood sold in the US is imported. And some of what we catch is exported:
A lot of our seafood is from Asia. Shrimp from Vietnam. Scallops from China.
Then there’s the problem of fish mislabeling:
Highlights of report on fish mislabeling:
There is no telling where the seafood at Red Lobster in KL is from originally. No way to know. Even if you read the labels on the box.
Thanks for the compliments, folks!
I’m too lazy to dig/search last week’s garden chat to find who recommended placing pine cones in the pots of plants over-wintering inside … THANK YOU!
I don’t have any accessible pines in the neighborhood, but as luck would have it I had volunteered to drive my mom, who still lives in my hometown, to a bone-density scan. She promptly suggested we drive to the local cemetery which has a magnificent grouping of white pines on the bluff above the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers. Lucky me! Two big bags of pine cones and lots of gorgeous autumn eye candy.
I brought in my two rosemarys and a succulent – by the time I got the last pot inside rascally Meeko had started enthusiastically unearthing the biggest rosemary. Brat. Cleaned up the mess, placed the pinecones, and three days later the plats and potting soil are still intact. YAY! So, again, thank you!
Missed the link for the first blockquote. It’s from the NYT.
@Newdealfarmgrrrlll: Oh, that was me! I’m so glad it worked for you! My friend used pine cones in all her pots and her kitties finally left them alone. I’d even helped her rig one up with chicken wire–looked terrible!–before she tried the pine cones.
@Gindy51: i do feeder watch too, love participating! You are correct, the birds love native species seed. I have my little downspout rain garden under my kitchen window, with my feeder array just past it. While the seeds last, finches, warblers, and native sparrows are more likely to be clinging to seedheads for noshing (or foraging in the leaf litter) than at the feeders. I am envious of your fallow pasture!
I am considering buying a camera, because phone videos with extracted frames are just not good enough quality for identifying trickier bumblebee species.
we need a pumpkinriot thread.
Now I’m wondering if any of the seafood at the KL Red Lobster was caught in Malaysian waters, flown to America, processed, and flown back to Malaysia. It certainly doesn’t seem impossible.
@Hunter: it’s been years since I’ve been to Lincoln Park, the restoration sounds wonderful! I see a lot of honeybees in my yard too, always glad to see them. I’ve been meaning to check on how far they forage – I know there are beekeepers in the more rural fringes of my county and I’m curious whether the honeybees are from them, or if there are wild colonies around.
I love foxgloves and lilies of all kinds. We have had some problems with beetles but that is to be expected.
@Svensker: Is “squirrel corn” a dicentra? That’s a pretty plant.
@Amir Khalid: It can also be caught in Malaysian waters–or grown there in a farm situation–flown to Hong Kong or elsewhere in China for initial processing–then flown to the US for packaging and then flown wherever, including KL for consumption.
The fish business in insane. Here’s a breakdown of where seafood in the US comes from:
@Amir Khalid: I am sure Malaysian sea food preparations are more delicious than anything Red Lobster can dream up.
@Schlemazel: here’s the link for bumblebee watch – http://www.bumblebeewatch.org
When my folks first moved to town after selling the farm, they had a townhouse on the bluff above the Mississippi/St. Croix confluence. They LOVED watching the bald eagles fishing in the open water all winter long.
@JPL: “Don’t worry about E-boo-la – Vote!”
@Newdealfarmgrrrlll: Got so caught up in the seafood discussion I forgot to compliment you on your garden. It is absolutely gorgeous. Really enjoying the photos.
Here’s one of the pages I keep up on my phone when gardening, helps me quickly zero in on possible bumblebee species
@d58826: Didn’t some dead British poet say that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Describes most GOP office holders and media flacks, perfectly.
Your garden is beautiful.
I know that for a fact. and it costs a damn sight less too.
Here’s the resource I use for zeroing in on possible bumblebee species
@Amir Khalid: Sounds like I need to make a trip to Malaysia, just for the seafood.
ETA: Over here, drenching seafood in butter or frying are two of the favorite ways of preparing seafood.
@Violet: I didn’t know any of that. Having lived in DC and Baton Rouge I was used to literally buying seafood off the boat. Now I am landlocked I hate to think where my seafood comes from.
Gin & Tonic
@Violet: I picked squid because I know it’s huge in the Northeast US, and a lot of it is exported.
@Newdealfarmgrrrlll: Your middle kitteh has a pattern like my boss cat. Love your garden and your animals. Thanks for sharing.
Gin & Tonic
@Violet: Rhode Island, in fact, is king of squid.
Those kittehs are just lovely.
Mr. Suzanne is planting winter lawns in front and back. That means I am making much snot. I am finally to the point in my life that I can afford a housekeeper once a month, and she is coming next week for the first time, so I am going to work today on making sure that everything is put away in preparation for her arrival. I am so ridiculously excited about this, you have no idea. Between working more than full time, taking care of the kiddos, and still more studying, not to mention trying to have, you know, hobbies and free time and fun, cleaning just doesn’t happen. I am also FINALLY having some new lighting put into my kitchen. The kitchen has one builder’s grade track light mounted to the ceiling, which is very high. So the light doesn’t reach the surfaces, and it is difficult to cook. So we are getting four separate recessed lights put in, plus some pendants at the bar. I AM SO EXCITED I COULD SQUEE.
@Tommy: I love Cajun food, would love to go to New Orleans, someday.
@Tommy: I buy most of my seafood from places that I consider trustworthy. Whole Foods has a strong sustainable seafood program and they work with some fisheries and color code their seafood. There are also some local places I buy from. You have to seek it out but you can buy from trustworthy sources.
@Gin & Tonic: Our seafood situation really is crazy. I mean, squid from NE US goes to Red Lobster in KL? Why? They’ve got a ton of coastline. Get seafood from there. But that’s not pre–packaged and pre-prepared so the “cooks” can just open the plastic bags and deep fry it. They’d have to do something. Na ga ha pen.
@schrodinger’s cat: Living there was one of the best experiences of my life. I was such a picky eater until going to college there. I found a love for food in Louisiana.
@currants: my rain garden is on the east side of my house, bordered on the south by my neighbor’s lilac hedge, which casts some shade, plus she has several large silver maples which also cast shade except at midsummer. So I’d guess about 50/50 for sun & shade?
The species I have in that spot, if I can remember without going outside to look are:
1) helenium autumnale (sneezeweed)
3) nodding onion
4) a short blue aster (sorry, I forget which one)
5) New England aster
6) monarda Fistulosa – common beebalm. Beebalm is a good name, these plants are always mobbed by bees and butterflies.
7) wild quinine
8) culver’s root
9) swamp milkweed
10) queen of the prairie
11) native violets
14) Joe Pye weed
15) big bluestem grass
17) blue lobelia
My two go-to’s for shade garden natives are Prairie Nursery in central Wisconsin, and Prairie Moon Nursery in Minnesota.
@Suzanne: Upgrading the kitchen! So exciting.
As for the housecleaning service, it’s wonderful but you also feel like you have to clean everything before the cleaners arrive. Mixed bag.
@schrodinger’s cat: There are so many tourist deals for New Orleans. If you really want to go, keep an eye out for some of them on Groupon or whatever and something good will pop up. Or just snag a cheap fare from Southwest Airlines and book your own place. It’s a fun city to visit but go hungry!
Edit: Should add, if you want Cajun food, the home of that is not New Orleans. It’s southwest Louisiana. Different.
@MomSense: sounds beautiful! I have a shady corner far back in my yard, contrasting colors & sizes of hostas look so lovely from the house, along with heucheras, alchemilla and others.
With those three expansive cats on the bed, who needs to bring out the winter blankets?
@Violet: You can easily do New Orleans on the cheap. Heck go for Jazz Fest. I find everybody is all about the French Quarter. And of course you should go. But it sucks the money out of you. You can stay in other parts of the city for a fraction of the cost of the French Quarter.
@Violet: thank you! It has really worked well so far. Aluminum foil didn’t work at all, but I had some success with plastic forks stuck handle-down thickly around in the visible soil areas of the pots. That worked until Teh Kittehs figured out that they could pull up the forks, chase them around, then dig up the plant. Brats.
@schrodinger’s cat: It’s been 30 years prolly since I stepped foot in a Red Lobster, but I drive past one often when I go to my favorite thrift stores :-)
Best lobster I ever had was cooked by me on a backyard fire pit in Maine, boiled in Penobscot River water with a handful of kelp thrown in…just missed the soft shells that week!
@Newdealfarmgrrrlll: You might need to replace the pine cones from time to time. They work because they’re prickly and as they sit around and become brittle the pointy bits might come off. My friend didn’t have to replace hers but others have had to do that.
@Violet: What’s the best season to visit?
@Mike E: I don’t think I have ever been in a Red Lobster. There is something about the place, and maybe this sounds elitist on my part, but I don’t expect good seafood to be “cheap.” I expect a fresh, live lobster to be expensive.
@Suzanne: so excited for you! When I had kids at home plus five cats, a rabbit, gerbils, and a German Shepherd, the dust and fur level was Too Much for my allergies/asthma. I had a cleaner come twice a month, it was a godsend! I would rush around de-cluttering before she came, because I wanted her to CLEAN, not straighten and organize. There’s a big difference. People would give me shit for cleaning before the cleaning lady came. Nope, I was straightening/decluttering which usually took enough time that I never had time to get to the actual getting-dust-&-grime-off-surfaces part of the deal.
@schrodinger’s cat: Fall or spring if you can’t handle the heat. Well really the humidity. I live in a state where it can be 100 during the summer. But I was not ready for the humidity of southern LA.
@Tommy: Expensive does not always signal quality, either. I have had the best seafood, at humble joints that were close to the source (near the ocean).
@Violet: the cones I scrounged from the white pine grove aren’t prickly, so i thought they wouldn’t work, but they have lots of sticky sap on them, which is apparently what is deterring Kittehs. My daughter suggested occasionally sprinkling the cones with some pine essential oil – she has a vested interest because she will be bringing her rosemary to my house as she doesn’t have any windows with enough sun.
@Newdealfarmgrrrlll: That’s exactly what happens here. I spend so much time just putting crap away that I never get to actually CLEAN. No wiping down baseboards, no scrubbing toilets, no sweeping the floors. Drives me crazy.
I am stressed out about it, though. My mom moved in with us earlier this summer, and she is a pack rat. I need less stuff. Sigh.
@schrodinger’s cat: Not summer. Other than that it’s nice. “Summer” would be from mid-May (early May if it’s a hot year) to late September. You want to avoid August and September anyway because of hurricanes. March is nice but you’ll have spring breakers.
@schrodinger’s cat: Agreed. The best seafood I’d ever had was near an ocean and a hole in the wall. My grandparents were world travelers and they taught me a lesson. Tip the guy/gal at the hotel when you check in and ask where they love to eat. Those places are never in the travel guide but some of the best meals I’ve ever had.
Yup. I’d never seen that one. I had a red flowered dicentra, small, with ferny leaves that bloomed in the shade most of the summer. I’d been coveting the yellow flowered ones but so far haven’t got one.
ETA: I used to call Foxgloves “slug condos” — each beautiful dangly flower would have a little snug slug inside in our NJ garden.
Howard Beale IV
@Newdealfarmgrrrlll: Pine oil is toxic to cats.
@Violet: What a great tip! I’ll be using it on the blog.
It’s not elitist. It’s uninformed. Lobster used to be poor man’s food. But you’d have to live near the ocean. Living where you do lobster would have been unavailable.
@Suzanne: I have always found it incredible that 99% of all kitchens have one big light source in the center of the ceiling which is fiendishly designed so that one’s body completely blocks the light from whatever you could possibly be doing.
As an architect, can you explain this?
@WereBear: Oh, wow! I’m going to be famous! LOL. Glad I could help. It definitely can work–worked for my friend’s cats that would not quit digging up her houseplants. I suspect all cats are different though. Some cats probably don’t mind the pine cones. The nice thing about them is they’re environmentally friends, often free, and decorative. Much better option than most things.
I never thought Red Lobster was cheap. To me, it was adequate seafood prepared in a meh manner and priced high. I never had terrible food at RL, just not very good food, either. And certainly not worth the price. In the 80s, in the backwoods of Georgia, the RL was the only decent place to eat — otherwise, there was Denny’s. Well, there was the local place that served hot dogs chopped up — with the bun chopped up, too — with mustard and sweet pickle relish, in a bowl of chili. Looked like barf in a dish.
A friend once let us use her camp in Blue Hill, ME. You could dig for clams and the mussels were abundant. My now ex went into town to buy some lobster and a lobster man said come with me, I’ll get you some. He went on a boat with him and the person pulled up his trap. Talk about a kid in a candy store.
@JPL: One of my husband’s students was a lobster fisherman in Maine. Those lobsters right from trap, were some of the best I have eaten.
@currants: In addition to the other favorites already mentioned, Helleborus are fantastic for winter and spring color, and I adore Spiderwort which comes in many blue, red, pink, and white varieties, good in late spring/early summer, and for fall don’t forget toad lily and Colchicum.
Shade gardens are often wonderful for texture; they tend to have much more interesting foliage than full sun plants do, but color can be a challenge. Just a bit here and there really makes things pop, though!
@Violet: Boss cat has slaughtered many plants, when he was a sprightly kitten. He used to love napping in my window planter.
@WereBear: The answer is: because it’s cheap. Much less expensive and laborious to put in one J-box than to put in multiple J-boxes in dispersed locations. If you’re like most of us, you live in production housing of some era. If you look around, you’ll see all sorts of cost-saving measures: windows all the same size, cheap finishes, centralized HVAC, poorly insulated walls and roof.
The lighting thing in the kitchen makes me crazy. It is so damn dark in there. This will be a major quality-of-life improvement.
There’s rumors that “artificial calamari” is actually something that shouldn’t be served in a Muslim country, and is a part of the pig no one would ever order willingly unless they were in a Fear Factor challenge.
Because of my gluten issues, I can’t eat breaded things anymore, so I figure I’m safe from this potential issue.
I have a mix of native and non-native flowers in my yards. Given the choice, the bees and butterflies really to favor the native plants.
I have a 1/2 dozen or so clumps of aster in my front yard. On one of our last really warm days there were over dozen monarch butterflies and more bumblebees than I could count.
I have a neglected spot in mind in my backyard that I want to fill with native plants.
OT: Rogers to Nelson for a TD!
@Howard Beale IV:
Google search shows pine cones probably fine for cat plant protection. Lots of people certainly doing it. Pine oil, on the other hand, is – as you note – toxic to cats. Poison.
So maybe don’t get sappy cones? Or sap is different than oil? Somehow they make those pine litters with no poison. And somehow people are doing this pine cone thing without cats being harmed.
But those little hemlock pine cones probably not a good idea. Hemlock is toxic to cats. Could not find any definitive answer about hemlock cones, but lots of No Hemlock warnings, including from the ASPCA.
@schrodinger’s cat: I used to vacation in Ocean City (that sounds strange to say). Crabs right out of the water. Boiled by myself or a friend. It was the way things should be done. Not had lobster in this fashion.
@mazareth: The Ravens just scored. I have to rake leaves and plan to go outside when my Falcons are behind by fourteen.
@Suzanne: I figured it was something like that, though my brain also conjured up how the kitchen would look from the doorway… potential users are not actually cooking in it at the time…
@Howard Beale IV: that’s good to know! It seems that my cats instinctively know it is Bad Stuff because they each sniffed the pinecones, shook their heads, and have had no further interest in plants surrounded by pine cones.
What’s going on in your gardens this week?
Here in Silicon Valley, after three years of exceptional drought, watering a garden or lawn is becoming an antisocial act.
And with no rain at all May-Sept even in normal year, no watering means no vegetables or annuals, dead grass, dead azaleas, stressed camellias. Many of the landscaped trees are drought-burned, and may not survive. Only the pyracantha and oleanders are thriving.
We usually get the first significant rain around Hallowe’en.
If I knew how to do an effective rain dance …
@mazareth: watch out – that’s how my whole obsession started! LOL. I put in some natives in the far back corner of my lot which is dry, sandy, and mostly sunny. I was so pleased with the results that I’ve been planting more and more natives.
I still have non-natives close to the house that I love, such as lilies, iris, daylilies, and hollyhock. The hollyhocks, by the way, are the best Japanese beetle traps I have ever discovered!
Hey, isn’t that Cole’s Dancin’ Partner Racoon?
My meager tomato garden was a huge disappointment this year. Even though they love heat, of which we had ample, they evidently don’t relish our drought. Anyway, this visitor has been in the lantana for a week. I call her the Terror of Tinytown, since she’s mowing through the butterfly and bee population, and probably startling the hummers to boot. One of the biggest mantises I’ve ever seen.
@trollhattan: What a specimen.
@WereBear: The vast majority of weirdnesses that you find in architecture are due to cost-saving measures. Part of why custom homes are so cool. But only 2% of people can afford the services of an architect, which I consider a great tragedy.
It’s exactly that, a triangular patch of fallow ( = neglected) flower bed.
I have several patches milkweed that have established themselves over the last 3-4 years. To date I’ve yet to have any monarchs lay eggs. Not sure why that is.
Last time I heard, here in New England, there was a glut of lobsters on the market; going, wholesale, as cheap as $3.95/lb. Pig out, dude, the wholesale price is bargain basement and anyone claiming retail will cost a mortgage payment is gouging.
@mazareth: I’ve not had much luck with monarchs laying eggs on the common milkweed in my yard; at my first house I had monarch caterpillars all the time on common milkweed. Not sure why – in this yard I’ve had quite a few monarch caterpillars but they’ve all been on swamp milkweed. The main difference I can see is that the swamp milkweed clumps are located near other natives that provide a tangle of shelter for chrysalises and nectaring blossoms for butterflies; the same situation applied where the common milkweed grew in my first yard.
@JR in WV: Late getting back to this (working outside on a non-rainy day!!) but thank you!
@Newdealfarmgrrrlll: WOOOT! Thank you–for the list, info AND sources!!
@Amir Khalid: Even thirty years ago (when I lived in the Midwest), Red Lobster was famed as the cheap-o chain for people from the immense land-locked center of our country, who didn’t know what seafood was supposed to taste like. Can’t imagine that’s an issue for many people in Malaysia!
Thanks for the tip on swamp milkweed. I know several places where I can gather some pods if they’re not finished already. Maybe tomorrow if the weather co-operates.