More from commentor Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson):
Top photo: Pasture or Carolina Rose (Rosa Carolina) We don’t have too many species of native wild rose and they all look similar and lucky for us they all have a similar wonderful fragrance to their flowers. I have to stop and smell they every single time I walk by this bush!
Royal Campion (Silene regia) are the names I prefer for this lovely Midwesterner. You’ll also see the unlovely common name Royal Catchfly for this beautiful flower from wet meadows in Illinois and surrounding states where hummingbirds are their main pollinating species.
We have a similar flowered, but smaller flowered species in the woods of the east called Fire Pink (Silene virginica) that grew in the woods on the steep slope behind my childhood home near Pittsburgh above the Allegheny river. I always wanted so see it up close, but the slope was too steep to get to it safely. I was in high school and in a flatter, less hazardous location before I got a chance to admire that species and its flowers close up!
Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is one of my favorite native vines, mainly because it is the favorite of hummingbirds, but also because it is relatively well behaved and doesn’t tend to attack trellises or houses like the similarly named Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans) does!
This lovely native honeysuckle has a big flush of bloom when the hummingbirds return and start to nest in June and then has a nice smattering of flowers until late fall. In fact, our biggest and oldest plant on our back-porch’s trellis still has a flower cluster today on December 7th as I write this even though we’ve had several nights with temperatures below freezing!
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) is another native I wouldn’t be without. It is appreciated by many bees and butterflies in late August and September, including monarch butterflies who need to refuel on their long trip to central Mexico in the autumn. I like the purple 4 to 5 foot tall, wild variety rather than the smaller cultivars and It seems that the butterflies prefer the wild types too. There are wild pink flowered ones, but I’m a big fan of the color purple so you know which one I have!
We have a good number of other native asters in the east, none of which are any longer classified in the genus Aster, where the Old-World species are placed, because their appearance is due to convergent evolution as a butterfly and bee pollination platform., not the sharing of a most recent common ancestor. I like almost all of them in the garden although a few to try to take over. The late season pollinating insects love them all.
I need more photos, if this Sunday-morning feature is going to continue through the winter!
What’s going on in your garden (tropical / indoor / planning / retrospectives), this week?
Charley Pride – RIP
Nice stuff! I’m on year 2 with 3 modest white butterfly bushes for pollinators. I’d say the visitors split 2/3 bees 1/3 butterflies. If the ratio were reversed life would be easier; the plants need deadheading pretty much every other day.
My weeds are gloriously dead for another season.
Why is there no coronavirus for weeds?
So pretty, thank you.
Next spring when the flowers start to reappear, we’ll have a different President. ?
Flower music, anyone?
Because I seem to get all my gardening advice here. Any dahlia growers around? I gave a first run at them this past summer and am ready to up my game. So where do folks source their bulbs?
Good Morning, Everyone ???
@Charluckles: I got some nice ones from these folks, and the sales are pretty good.
Other dailies I got from a mass supplier who’s name rhymes with Pecks, and they were fine, but not the “dinner plate” Dallas I ordered. So I’m not using them again.
I’m imagining 5-foot tall asters! ?
If you like purple asters, try Symphyotrichum georgiana or Georgia aster. It is native to a few counties in Georgia and a few in Florida and is a really intense purple. I picked it up at a native plant sale and got a few seedlings the next year. It is really great and my mother fell in love with mine. I have been collecting seeds the last month and will try growing more so mother can have some. It is perennial. All asters well Symphyotrichum‘s have low rates of seed germination so you have to plant a lot to get a few more plants. When I like something I usually think it looks better if there are several.
Thank you. There are so many great small seed and plant places I have had recommended to me here I have avoided the big high volume joints entirely.
Mai Naem mobile
@OzarkHillbilly: on teevee they said Charley Pride did a show a month ago – I think it was at the Opry. One of those no audience shows but the musician standing not that far from him was not masking. I am not sure its a good idea for an 86 year old to be performing in a situation like that.
Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!)
I’m happy you all like the pics.
@Charluckles: Brent and Becky’s Bulbs has a big selection of Dahlias. I have bought a lot of spring bulbs from them over the last 20 years and I assume the quality of their summer bulbs is just as good.
@satby: As a former Michigander, I thought you might like to know about this place in Oakland county. Summer dreams farm only does dahlias and they are glorious. I bought some last year and they really are a cut above. I was going to tell you that I had to wait until February to buy from them, but I checked and they are open now. Many varieties are already sold out, but maybe you could find a few.
Oh, New England aster! One of my favorites, and one of the very last to bloom–outlasted only by pink turtle head (and chrysanthemum, of course. But that’s not native.)
@Spartan green: Thanks, I’ll check them out!
@Spartan green: Sorry, can’t manage the link. I did find another 7 I couldn’t live without. ;)
@OzarkHillbilly: Bill Clinton Over the course of his legendary career, Charley Pride moved millions and changed country music forever. I’ll always be grateful for his songs and his personal kindness, and especially for performing at my first White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony 27 years ago this week.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Thank you, Mike S! You are really making me want to go native. I have perfect spots for the 6 foot aster and the native crimson honeysuckle….
I am in a constant battle with slugs and snails in East of Eden. I have tried many conventional and unconventional remedies – most for naught. Don’t ask about the Dos Equis incident.
Here is a new one, gluing copper pennies to the top edges of my raised planter beds. Anyone tried it?
@oldgold: You probably know this, but no penny after mid-70s has any amount of copper worth speaking about. So, you have to find old coins…. But you know from old base metals.
Asters need cold stratification* to improve germination. This most likely includes Georgia aster, which is native only in the coolest part of the state, according to fws.
* Lots of tutorials on line.
Oh, it is the copper. I thought thought the slugs and snails were afraid of Honest Abe!
@Charluckles: If you can afford it, White Flower Farms. I keep checking back to see if this one is in stock.
@oldgold: oh — you have a problem with supremacist slugs! You shoulda said.
@Spartan green: I just looked at Summer Dreams Farm. Wow!
I picked 9 that I really liked, opened each one in a new tab to get a better look. 8 of the 9 are already sold out.
@oldgold: I think pennies are only a small % copper these days and pennies seem labor intensive. I’d look for a copper wire to glue.
@Pete Mack: Georgia aster is also native to Florida so chill isn’t a major issue.
no all American asters have a low germination rate. They compensate by lots of seeds I guess. Some wildflower websites actually give germination rates. Echinaceas also.
@oldgold: copper transmits electricity or something and gives them a shock. Their bodies transmit easily, or so I read.
copper was also used to protect against termites in traditional southern house. They built houses setting on piers or short bases off the ground and on top of the bases they put copper plates that were slightly bigger than the piers. Then they put large cross beams on top to make the floor base and built the house upward with the weight of the house keeping it down in winds. It was important to not pierce the copper by nails or bolts or anything since termites are so small and can squeeze through tiny cracks.
copper is also toxic to insect (and amphibians and aquatic invertebrates) which is why it’s an ingredient in many pesticides especially older ones.
Serious answer: disease is most threatening to monocultures, and weeds, by their very nature, tend to be diverse. Even in areas where you have a single dominant weed (e.g. kudzu) that weed is randomly bred and genetically diverse, so there are often resistant strains of even devastating diseases. This is one reason it’s so important to preserve the wild relatives of important crop plants: it provides a reservoir of genetic diversity that breeders can go to for important properties like disease resistance.
@rikyrah: Good morning.
Copper is mildly toxic to humans, too. This is why copper pots need a lining of some other metal, traditionally tin, but stainless steel in some modern variations.
Humans should interbreed more.
@WaterGirl: You don’t always get the ones you want, but you want the ones you get
@Spartan green: Or, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Their note says they will be done
spitting tuberssplitting tubers in March and will update availability then. So I will come back in Feb and on March 1, and hope for the best. :-)
edit: thanks jeffreyW
@WaterGirl: I’ve heard of spitting watermelon seeds but I didn’t think it was a method of propagation.
You could look for adhesive copper tape, which is sold for precisely this surpose.
@Amir Khalid: I had never heard of that, but there it is, right there on Amazon! Who knew?
In the English Premier League, Liverpool can take the top spot if they beat hosts Fulham, but they trail 1-0 in the first half. Pout.
Electric-guitar players also use it, to shield their instruments from picking up noise caused by AC power lines.
@Baud: Well then, you’re first in line for the incels.
@oldgold: I’ve seen small quantities of copper roofing nails sold in hardware stores. Copper wire is more easily found. Electrical supply houses sell thick copper wire used for grounding. Thin copper wire can be found at craft stores.
J R in WV
Back in the 1950s, the Dept of AG sold lots of farmers and landowners on “living fences” of mullti-flora rose bushes, which I guess must have been successful somewhere as natural fencing between fields, somewhere.
But here in West Virginia they went wild.
Huge piles of vicious rose vines, with hooked thorns that had a bonus of irritating chemicals to leave both cuts and punctures with blistering misery. Hedges 14 feet high, impenetrable by man nor beast, that spread by birds dropping seeds from the rose hips they bore in the fall, springing up in pastures, cropland, you name it.
There were special poisons developed for the roses, TordonK was one, you sprinkled pellets under the bushes, and by god they killed it dead. A neighbor used it to kill roses, and then planted great grasses on those hillsides where he pastured his work horses.
Floyd used tractors to plough and plant, and horses to till the weeds between the rows of tobacco. But there was a catch… where his horses dropped big piles of horse shit as they pulled the tiller, the tobacco died around the manure and down hill from the piles — the TordonK went through the horse, was excreted by the horse, and still killed his cash crop.
This was 40 years ago… I hope the Tordon has degenerated on Floyd’s farm by now. More recently a virus has entered the country that attacks roses. I guess people growing ornamental roses can get cultivars that resist the disease, or spray for the virus, or the aphids that spread it from plant to plant.
But we’re just glad that multi-flora rose now spreads slowly, and dwindles in in green horror, due to the virus naturally spreading as virii will.
Now we have Autumn Olive spreading faster than the dammed roses, planted on “reclaimed” strip mines by approved reclamation companies, approved by the Department of Environmental Protection for doG’s sake!!!
And spray poisons don’t really touch it unless you hit them every year for I don’t know how long yet!!! Crossbow is the recommended poison, and that’s why I have industrial respirators on hand for Covid. I wear them when poisoning the olive shrubs, which grows big thorns when you attack it….
But there is a virus for an invasive and damaging horrible plant, worse than weeds, so there.
ETA: for Ozark… Roundup is good for trivial weeds, but is barely an irritant for autumn olive, which is really, REALLY hardy strong. It will lose some leaves, for a while, and then puts out more growth as tho the Roundup was part fertilizer.
Crossbow is for those really hardy invasive monster plants, and you still need to cut the bushes down and spray the staubs, twice or three times to put this stuff down. Crossbow is bad stuff, which is why I use a respirator when spraying, and stay upwind. This shrub maybe from the Russian steppes? Horrible plants.
ETA: From eastern Asia, so south of the steppes.
@scav: There is no female version of incels, is there?
@Immanentize: ask me almost any question about copper pennies. I have polished and handled 30,000 pennies to get 2 different shades of tarnish and 1 highly polished section. Almost done with this bathroom floor. I now have mad mesh mounting skills that are finely honed. 1 square foot of off set pennies takes me 20 mins to mesh mount. Basically I am making penny fabric to cut in my design and lay. I can almost identify the year within 5 years by touch, weight … Blindfolded. I blame Reagan for taking the copper out of pennies. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the beer industry and fear of Covid for keeping me focused on getting this done. ?
@J R in WV: Oh yes, I recall my father cursing multi flora rose. He did not plant any, and it was still everywhere on the farm. He never used the word f-n in my presence but Im sure he was thinking it. This in Illinois Fox River Valley in the “60’s.
@Quinerly: Good lord, what a project! We’d love to see some pictures when it’s done.
@J R in WV:
I think this is generally true. Roundup works well for annuals and similar plants that don’t have a lot of reserves, but it would need repeated application for a good long time to be effective against a perennial with a strong root system.
@J R in WV: I’ll take your Autumn Olive and raise you Himalayan Blackberry. The invasive scourge we have here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been battling it every year and it is continually encroaching on every scrap of green space in my subdivision and town. Birds eat the berries and spread the seeds everywhere they fly with their poop. It creates huge tubers underground that continue to sprout even if you spray the foliage and kill it. It is the PNW version of Kudzu except with thorns.
The problem is that pennies aren’t valuable enough. The amount of copper in a penny is worth more than $0.01, so we were losing money on every one we minted, and it was profitable to melt them down for their copper. We should probably just give up on having a $0.01 coin, but there’s always a ton of political resistance every time the issue comes up, the same as there’s resistance to eliminating the $1 bill.
@WaterGirl: I’m guessing if there is, they do things like raise cats instead of blowing things up.
@WaterGirl: Copper tape is easily damaged even by bird feet. It’s usually good for a year or two. Copper wire attached with Romex* staples is very durable.
*heavy staples used to attach electrical cable (romex) to studs and rafters
@CaseyL: I guess a labor of love. This basement apt build out in my home started 3 years ago with a retired contractor friend who lives out in Ozark’s neck of the woods. So we haven’t worked on it 3 years straight. His wife has health problems and he has been thru 2 minor floods since we started. I’ve done several trips to New Mexico during the time. Probably 6 months if on a regular work schedule.
And during the 3 years it somehow turned into an art project. The bathroom penny floor is the last thing. The kitchen has been finished over 2 years. Thanks for piping in!
Any serious backyard bird feeder folks here?
I have black oil sunflower and suet feeders on my deck that attract a pretty wide assortment of birds. But lately I’ve getting visited by a Cooper’s Hawk who lands right on the desk rail. Which causes all the other birds to instantly vanish. When this happens do you just ignore it and enjoy the visit by a raptor? Or do you chase them away? I’m inclined to just let nature work its course. But I’m also aware that by feeding birds in the first place I’m disrupting the natural order and perhaps also creating a feeding zone for raptors.
IDK if it’s still available but on my lemon tree I have sheet copper skirts around the main branches that has lasted a couple decades. Seems to keep slugs and snails at bay.
Is the hawk a year-round resident or passing through on its migration? How to deal with the feeder might be informed by how persistent it is.
Only currently have a hummingbird feeder because cats. Otherwise I’d have a seed feeder or two, but no point in just getting them killed.
@Roger Moore: see great West Wing Episode.
My pennies are mostly 1960’s-1988. When I was little, my dad saved pennies in Florsheim shoe boxes. We would then borrow a table top penny counter/roller from the small town bank to count every 2-3 years. Learning experience for me. The rolled pennies were deposited in a little savings acct for me. I guess we stopped doing that when I went to college in 1978. These are boxes of pennies from his home office that I found after his death. They were in a closet. Shoe boxes. So he kept doing the same routine for years. Just never counted. The boxes of wheat pennies we had always separated were still there. Strong memories. I come from odd people. ?
@J R in WV: Just FYI, Roundup* has been linked to some cancers. It appears likely that it kills gut flora (basically important gut plants, microscopic plants) opening the way for pathogens or inflammatory bacteria. Avoid exposure to your skin. And don’t spray at high pressure since this will produce fine mist that can be inhaled.
*I’ve applied a lot of Roundup, carefully. We purchased 5 gallon containers of the commercial grade concentrate yearly. It will kill almost everything if the concentrate is applied to fresh cut stubs and covered to keep it moist. Doesn’t work on nitrogen fixing plants like Russian Olive and other legumes.
@trollhattan: Sheet copper is much thicker guage than the self adhesive copper tape marketed for slugs and snails. If only they sold it in strips!
@trollhattan: No idea if it is migratory or residential. Their range says they are here year-round. I’ve only seen it on occasion this past month. I only keep the seed and suet feeders out during the winter months. I keep the hummingbird feeders out year-round.
We also have a cat but I don’t let him outside because we have coyotes in the greenbelt behind the house.
@Kent: I got a german shepherd silhouette decoy last week. I move it to a new spot near the feeder every day. The squirrels are fine with it, and after a few days the so are the regular songbirds.
My old boss used to use one to keep away Canada geese from his commercial office building next door to an HOA with ponds. It worked pretty well there.
The decoy is all black, like a shadow, with a bright orange dog tag at its neck. Mounted on a big black spring that is stuck onto a dowel, so the dog moves and pivots in the wind. It scared the border collie next door the first day we had it. We have two dowels, and move dog from one to the other every day.
@Kent: Part of the incel deal is the hating and the blaming. Cat ladies aren’t doing things like that. I think there’s no equivalent.
@Baud: oh but there are! for example:
@J R in WV: A high school friend’s father had a farm north of Dayton, OH. Various creeks and an old canal crossed the land. One fall we were out walking around and I saw a bunch of honey locust trees along a bank for the first time. Zooks those are scary looking trees!
“Take that, you browsing megafauna!!”
Pretty sad to have both male and female incels within the straight community.
You’d think someone would invent an app for that.
I sent this to Water Girl but you may want to tune in to Georgia Voices for a Blue Senate.
“We are elder women working to address the climate crisis. We also have auxiliary members who are friends and relations, young and old. We are particularly focused on climate justice. And we act in support of the rights of Native Americans and other frontline communities. Our Principles celebrate collective nonviolent action, community building and kindness.”
Featuring Georgian musicians and special guests:
Emily Saliers (from the Indigo Girls)
Alice Gerrard & Kay Justice
Los Latinos de Atlanta
Hawkproof Rooster with Art Rosenbaum
Revival Resistance Chorus
Mick & Evan Kinney
Hog-Eyed Man (Jason Cade & Rob McMaken)
Andy Offutt Irwin
This will be a wonderful event.
Give deep to save our next four years
See you there!!!
This product is perhaps 4″ wide and was sold in strips a couple feet long. It’s slit in intervals along the length so that once wrapped around the branch or trunk, the slit edge is folded out to form a skirt. It’s tacked into place, so no adhesive is used.
Place that carried it went out of business so I don’t have a brand.
Before we moved away from CO 6 weeks ago I made it a point to collect seeds from my favourite natives and xeric plants; I really hope my Red Birds in a Tree (native to TX) seeds will be viable because I’ve never had a plant that hummingbirds liked more or that bloomed so consistently once it started in about mid July. I’m make sure that any seeds I brought with me are not in the local Do Not Plant list
I use High Country Gardens in NM as my main source of low water use plants but they’ve had to expand into the more water hungry to keep going. Their website is extremely informative for anyone interested and they’ve developed some nice lower water use lawn grasses too. I note that they can’t sell any of the broom family to OR and WA, but here on the dry side of the Cascades I’m seeing really nice specimens of genista, a low growing broom that I really liked in CO.
Our new home has a nice sunny yard that was neglected for years, so the desire to create a new extensive xeriscaping project front and back is running high!
@Baud: I hope the VONOVO movement (voluntary not voting) in Georgia is even stronger than the INCEL movement.
Because nothing will teach us dirty liberals a lesson like having the conservatives not bother to show up and vote (since the elections are rigged and all).
@J R in WV: Multiflora rose thorns are awful!
@Baud: Baud is speechless? Oh, no!
Or at least invite them all to a mixer.
@Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!):
Where is your garden located?
@TomatoQueen: Ugh! The bane of my yard. Long since resigned to control; no hope of extermination.
You guys are all making me feel better about my creeping charlie, which I HATE.
@oldgold: Copper tape does actually work against slugs … get it online or anywhere from Home Depot to feed supply stores.