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  WINDY CITY TIMES

The fairy gardener
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jim Edminster
2014-11-18

This article shared 2877 times since Tue Nov 18, 2014
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I have many rose of Sharon shrubs in my yard and, of course, many seedlings that I eventually give away or pull. One such bloomed, and is this glorious mixture of red and purple/pink. I hope its seeds come true ( tho' it's a very promiscuous tribe ). A sensible friend marked this seedling with a necktie that was around one of my blue horses sitting around my garden. He ( the friend, not the horse ) remarked, "Otherwise, you'll forget where this baby was."

I've saved seeds for tiger lilies, morning glories, jewelweed and rose of Sharon for friends, and I have milkweed pods ( for monarch butterfly food ) as well.

The New York Times has two timely tidbits. It is believed that, for whatever reason, the hive-death phenomenon of bees has mostly left and they appear to be safe. The second item is that a northern version of a kudzu-like plant Persicaria perfoliata ( Mile-a-minute ) has been reported in Connecticut. It is a vine with small hooks and blueberries that smothers and kills every other plant around it. An insect that eats it has been imported, but it doesn't kill the plant. Watch out for the weed—it'll show up here sooner or later.

Here's what I have to plant in the way of bulbs in my yard: species tulip, blue crocus, anemones, Sicilian bells, purple crocus, blue iris, altruist daffs ( their name, not description ), pink daffs, purple/red and pink snow crocus, muscari, double white daffs, purple allium, chionodoxa, mountain lilies, windflowers and blue/purple/pink/white tulips. It comes to about 400 bulbs and I hope to get it done before the snow BUT I have planted bulbs with snow on the ground. ( Bulbs are absolutely unsaveable from one year to another; they have to be planted the year you get them. )

Here's a magazine to check out: Modern Farmer, a "stylish, agrarian quarterly" that always has an animal portrait on the cover. It is NOT for farmers but for people who "have a foot in each world, rural and urban." ( Quotes are from the New Yorker. ) It's fun to read for garden dreamers like, ahem, us.

Here's are November recipes for the person who is ( not anything like ) a chef. 1 ) Quick Egg Drop Soup and 2 ) Almost Instant Faux Japanese Peas. These make a quick meal for one or two people. For the soup, the ingredients any instant ramen soup packet as well as one or two eggs. For peas, they are frozen peas, soy and butter. To do:

To make the soup: When the water's boiling pour in the egg( s ) you have lightly whipped in a separate bowl. That's all. To make the peas: put a helping or two of the frozen peas in a microwaveable bowl, add a couple of teaspoons of soy and a large pat of butter. Microwave three or four minutes until butter is melted.

According to Sukiya Living: The Journal of Japanese Gardening, these are 10 hints for stepping stone paths: 1 ) Simple logical paths, no mazes; 2 ) High quality materials such as worn granite, flat and slightly rough; 3 ) Safe rocks—no cracks or sharp angles; 4 ) No concave stones ( they collect mud and water ); 5 ) 100-percent wobble-free; 6 ) Functionality—start with a larger rock and use a larger rock at path's end or when ( if ) path splits; 7 ) Use about four stones for every two meters of path length; 8 ) No large gaps; 9 ) Precise elevation: three to six cm off the ground ( to avoid mud but not be a mini-cliff ); and last 10 ) Level, level, level: Each single stone has to be level and adjacent stones need to be level with each other.

Thanks to a good friend, Edwin, who helped me bring in my 100+ houseplants from the yard, the patio and the three decks. They are now enscounced on trays, under grow lights ( if needed ) and with all open dirt covered with Mexican river rock ( to foil four kitties that assume, since they are now panthers prowling thru this indoor jungle, they needn't use litter boxes since panthers don't use them and we won't either, by God! I mean, look at this virgin dirt! ).

Enjoy your winter—it's rapidly blowing in on us!


This article shared 2877 times since Tue Nov 18, 2014
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