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Well bless my bark, it's time to talk about this good earth
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Starling
Half-elven


Jan 12 2013, 10:27pm

Post #1 of 64 (374 views)
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Well bless my bark, it's time to talk about this good earth Can't Post

Hi everyone,

Thanks to everyone for your responses to the idea of heaving a regular gardening/nature-observation thread. I think it was about a week ago that we were talking about it *scratches head*. I do find the time differences tricky sometimes. It's Sunday here, which seems like a nice sort of a day to get started. If anyone wants to formally sign up for a particular week, please feel free. Otherwise, I thought I'd begin, and see how it *grows* (groan). Yes, I'm still on holiday, and can't be bothered with organisation!

It's been super hot here. Day after day of temperatures in the high twenties, and 31 yesterday. Too hot for me!
Some of you will know that we have a huge fire risk here in Canterbury at the moment. It is on a far smaller scale than what people in Australia are having to deal with.
There was a major fire a few days ago, resulting in the loss of several homes, and the horrible demise of all the poultry in a shed.
Here are some lucky escapees.

I've had my own little garden for two years now. Last year I did very little gardening, as we had severe water restrictions. This summer we don't, so I have felt able to get into a bit of planting.
My Grandpa was very keen on roses. I used to joke with him about 'lawn shrinkage', as every time we went to visit, he seemed to have dug up a little bit more lawn to plant another rose. Now the bug has got me. I can't seem to come back from the garden centre without one. Crazy
This one is 'Loving Memory'. I planted it for my Mum. Heart Just behind it you can see a glimpse of the leaves of a crab-apple tree I planted to remember my lovely Granny. She made the most wonderful crab-apple jelly.


On a less grand scale, I get so much pleasure from the little pansies and dianthus which flower constantly all summer. I just can't help smiling when I look at them. Midgey likes eating the dianthus flowers, and usually grazes on them once a day. They must be tasty.


On a birdy note, I am pleased that a thrush has taken up residence nearby, and sings its little heart out morning and evening.
Such a beautiful sound.

So, what's happening in your neck of the woods?


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Jan 13 2013, 12:32am

Post #2 of 64 (195 views)
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I'd like to sign up, but [In reply to] Can't Post

my beans are almost gone. I do still have a lot of the potatoes I grew, though, so if I come up with a great new potato recipe, I'll post it. Does anyone have any unusual ways to fix potatoes?

Everything outside is pretty much dead as a doornail till spring, although that doesn't preclude nature from "happening": but with a cold rain melting our nice snow, nothing looks that great out there either.Crazy

I did have an adventure with my dog. She ate something she shouldn't again, and I had to give her hydrogen peroxide again, and run around and down the street at 11:00 at night with her to cause her to, er, "get rid" of it. When that didn't work, I had to repeat it, and run around my snowy backyard with my shoes coming off in it (we still had at least 8 inches on the ground) so my knees didn't get hurt running on hard pavement. Luckily that did it, and she delivered up what I'd hoped--luckily outside this time instead of in 2 puddles in front of the Christmas tree like last time!

So I guess that's a "nature" story, if a dog and the snow count somehow.

Those roses are gorgeous! I can almost smell them from here.

I know what you mean about catching the gardening bug. I didn't use to care about gardening at all, and now it's my summer mania.

I'm glad the Dianthus agres with Midgie! He must look incredibly cute nibbling at them.Smile


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 12:57am

Post #3 of 64 (172 views)
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Oh no! [In reply to] Can't Post

What did your dog eat? Is she okay now?
Midgey has a long history of eating inappropriate items. I had an embarrassing experience one time when he was at the vet because he had strained his back from jumping. When the vet put up the x-ray to look at his spine, there was two-thirds of a pencil (including the pointiest part) clearly visible in his digestive tract. I didn't even know he had eaten it.
He has his usual summer craze for eating dead bumble bees going on at the moment.

I can't see anything in the terms and conditions of TORn that precludes a person from starting a gardening and nature thread if their beans are gone. Laugh
When I first read your comment about ways to fix potatoes, I thought you meant there was something wrong with them. Then I clicked! Do you like making things like fish pie? That's always a great way to use up lots of potatoes.

Could you please send some snow my way. It's currently 29 here.


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 1:02am

Post #4 of 64 (165 views)
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Oh wow, I'm in Valinor! *blinks* // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 13 2013, 1:22am

Post #5 of 64 (196 views)
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Chatterer. ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats on making it to the Undying Lands!

As for my bit of dirt, my tomato plants have started to fruit! Including one out the back which looked a bit sick, and I think caught a bit of accidental drift from a Roundup spray. Oops.

I planted two watermelon vines and both are coming away beautifully. I'm crossing fingers and toes that I actually get some watermelons this year.

I've noticed that one of my blueberry plants is sending out offshoots. I intend to cut them and plant them in a place where I believe they'll do better - the postition they're in now, they fruit but there isn't enough water for them plump out. Hopefully the new location will do wonders for them.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Nienna
Rohan


Jan 13 2013, 1:45am

Post #6 of 64 (179 views)
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Love your idea of a gardening thread [In reply to] Can't Post

Your Loving Memory rose looks better than mine as mine seems to be strugglign with the sun this year. I planted it over the ashes of a loved cat, Sebastian.

I loved your photo of the pansies and dianthus. As in life, I think we are often fascinated by the showy ones, but the shy, retiring ones can also bring joy. This year I'm particularly enjoying the little blooms of Potentilla (Potentilla Miss Willmott) and the white sprays of Tiarella Dark Eyes and Thalictrum alba - they show up amongst the other more showy plants and are lovely to look at - but you have to have a quiet stroll around the garden to see and appreciate them.

I have one regret in my garden - it was planted by the former owner. I don't think NZ cabbage trees should be planted in small town gardens. The noise of the leaves is irritating and every time there's a decent wind I have to pick up the leaves which aren't allowed to go in the recyling bin.

Any regrets in your garden?


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 2:01am

Post #7 of 64 (165 views)
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My roses are variable [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not fond of spraying, so I have to take the good with the bad. Loving Memory and Blue Moon are really flourishing at the moment, but Dublin Bay looks like a total sad-sack, and I wonder if it is just too hot for it in the location I chose.

I had to look up the flowers you mentioned. I'm not too good on botannical names! I totally agree with you about the little beauties in the garden - they really have a charm all of their own.

I am lucky here because I moved to a place which had the very basic outline of a garden, but not much, so I have been able to gradually put my own stamp on it.

As for cabbage trees, I totally agree with you. At my previous house there were three. They looked beautiful, and one was very old and had a lovely shape. But the leaves! They drove me crazy. On many a rubbish collection, my whole red bin would be almost full of them. After a night of strong winds, I counted how many I picked up one morning: 119 Crazy


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 13 2013, 6:18am

Post #8 of 64 (160 views)
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We picnicked under the olive trees today. [In reply to] Can't Post

They look out on some flax that's currently flowering, and a tui visited to drink the nectar. Magic. :)

We picked the last of the apricots today. The first of the apples are ready, and the earliest pears aren't far off.

Our tomatoes are still green, but the plants are the lushest they've ever been! We're probably due for a storm to ruin them. :)

"Roadside" rose is sending out branches several metres long. I must cut it back (again). I call it roadside because I grew it from a cutting taken from a stray roadside rose, and I've no idea of its real name.

Love your pictures!


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 6:27am

Post #9 of 64 (166 views)
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It's cold and snowy here, but [In reply to] Can't Post

indoors, my Dancing Lady orchid is blooming. I got it for my mom's memorial service in 2009, and it blooms now and then. It always feels like she's saying "hi" when it does. I didn't know until after the service that the common name for this orchid was "Dancing Lady". That fits my mom perfectly :-) Right now the blooms in the photo have lasted since Thanksgiving, and there's another stalk getting ready to bud.

In the photo, right above and to the right of the top center bloom, is a photo of my mom hanging on the Christmas tree. And above her and to the right is one of my mother-in-law. Our minister's wife started the tradition of decorating paper stars with photos of loved ones to put on the tree, and we have several on ours.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



(This post was edited by Aunt Dora Baggins on Jan 13 2013, 6:29am)


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 6:36am

Post #10 of 64 (146 views)
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Watermelon [In reply to] Can't Post

Yummy! I didn't know people grew it in their home gardens. Is it tricksy to grow?


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 6:40am

Post #11 of 64 (145 views)
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Names for roses [In reply to] Can't Post

 I have a lovely white rose in a pot (variety unknown), which was given to me by my sister, via her friend Elaine. We just call it 'The rose of Elaine', which seems to suit it somehow. Smile

I wish we had tui here. I am such a geek when I go to Auckland and play spot the tui!


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 6:44am

Post #12 of 64 (172 views)
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Oh, it's beautiful! [In reply to] Can't Post

The blooms really do look like dancing ladies. Isn't it lovely how particular flowers or plants can bring us memories and thoughts of special people.
Photos on the Christmas tree is a lovely idea.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 7:29am

Post #13 of 64 (166 views)
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Side note: there's an excellent 1994 Iranian flim called "Through the Olive Trees". // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 13 2013, 8:19am

Post #14 of 64 (199 views)
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That's a lovely name! [In reply to] Can't Post

Rather nicer than Roadside. :)


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


sherlock
Gondor


Jan 13 2013, 12:43pm

Post #15 of 64 (149 views)
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I recently made [In reply to] Can't Post

Dutch potato soup & I have a recipe I make a lot with potatoes, sour cream, & cottage cheese which is really easy but yummy & you can put it together ahead of time & bake it when you're ready. Let me know if you want the recipes.


Annael
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 5:18pm

Post #16 of 64 (162 views)
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here's my nature observation for the week [In reply to] Can't Post

This fine fellow paid me a visit yesterday. Sat nicely at the edge of my patio so I could take pictures of him.

Made me glad my cat Mandu now lives with my brother in the 'burbs.

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jan 13 2013, 7:33pm

Post #17 of 64 (137 views)
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Nice flowers! [In reply to] Can't Post

It is winter here, so I can't garden outside. Though, in the last two days we went from 12 inches of snow on the ground to none. It is in the mid 60s F today. Tomorrow it is supposed to be a bit above freezing in the mid 30s F.

That said, this is the time of the year that I plan my next summers garden. Yesterday I sat down with my seed catalogs and wrote up my orders. I love doing this and deciding what new veggies I am going to grow this year. This year I am adding yellow zucchini and a winter squash called Delicata. It is light green with dark green stripes and orange flesh. It is supposed to be a good one for storage. I am growing my old standards of tomatoes and more tomatoes (both slicing and cherry) and peppers for OhioHobbit, plus wax snap beans and purple snap beans and carrots, lettuce, and spinich.

Of course, I have to have my nasturstiums and viola johnny-jump-up.

I have my inside garden. I am too cheap to buy new geraniums and pineapple sage every year, so I just pinch off growing tips in the fall and root them and pot them up. I also have a pot each of rosemary and garlic chives.

In the basement in front of the large window, I have a lemon tree and a mulberry bush, in addition to the plants I keep over the winter -- spider plants and ivy and oxalis. I have 5 lemons and I think I will make two lemon meringue pies this year! My mulberry is covered with new fruits. I don't know yet how long it will take them to get ripe since it is a fairly new tree.

Hope your summer gets more temperate. We usually don't get really HOT weather here and don't like it a bit when we do.




Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 7:37pm

Post #18 of 64 (119 views)
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Good gracious [In reply to] Can't Post

Does that happen often? What a beauty.


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 7:46pm

Post #19 of 64 (116 views)
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Those beans sound interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

Wax snap and purple snap sound yummy to me.
And I love pineapple sage, it smells so delicious.
I don't really know anything about mulberries, apart from 'Here we go round the mulberry bush'! It was some sort of mythical plant to me as a child. I just quickly looked it up and was amazed to find out how many varieties there are. What do you do with your mulberries?

It's a bit cooler here today, thankfully. It was still around 30 very late last night, and it was dry with hardly a breath of wind, which makes it very hard to sleep. It's only meant to be about 22 today, which suits me fine.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 13 2013, 8:16pm

Post #20 of 64 (116 views)
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I had never given thought [In reply to] Can't Post

to the noise of the cabbage tree leaves. I'm sure that would irritate me as well.

I would like to plant some lancewood but I don't have space for them. But I wonder if their leaves are also tough and fibrous like those on the cabbage tree?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 13 2013, 8:17pm

Post #21 of 64 (135 views)
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Well, they're tricksy in *my* garden! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've planted vines for the last five years and only in the first year did I get a fruit - but oh my gosh, it was the most delicious watermelon I've ever had. Hence me trying every single year since.

Fingers-crossed I get lucky this season.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 8:26pm

Post #22 of 64 (115 views)
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Lancewood, being tall and skinny, [In reply to] Can't Post

don't take up too much space, do they?
I don't think they drop leaves like cabbage trees, but someone may know for sure.


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 8:28pm

Post #23 of 64 (104 views)
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Keep trying [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure you will be rewarded one of these days. You have the memory of that first delicious watermelon to keep you going!


Nienna
Rohan


Jan 13 2013, 9:19pm

Post #24 of 64 (104 views)
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Dreadful things! [In reply to] Can't Post

The lancewood annoys me intensely I'm afraid. They don't make a noise like the cabbage tree, but the leaves fall all the time.

My neighbour has one on our boundary and the leaves always fall into my garden. They're tough and VERY fibrous and just as annoying as the leaves of cabbage trees. They don't break down easily so you wouldn't be able to put them in with your compost.


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 13 2013, 9:25pm

Post #25 of 64 (102 views)
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Oh dear [In reply to] Can't Post

I love lancewoods, but they are clearly in the same category as cabbage trees when it comes to their suitability for the urban garden. Crazy

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