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What is happening in your garden right now?

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6 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

There's another variety of milkweed nearby, as well as the passion fruit vine. (I found another vine. That makes one planted and 4 new ones. I might have a problem next year if all the vines are that prolific!) The caterpillar looks like a monarch caterpillar and they're supposed to like the other 2 plants, too. I did consider moving it to another plant of the same variety of milkweed on the other side of my yard, but decided against it. I'm hoping it makes it through the night!

When we found a monarch caterpillar we brought it inside and kept collecting fresh milkweed pot it until it formed its chrysalis (we have it a stick to climb); the butterfly emerged inside and then we released it outside.

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25 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Forgive the PSA, but be extremely careful not to get milkweed sap in your eyes.

Use extreme caution around milkweed plants!!!

Bill

That’s interesting! Must read up on that!

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16 minutes ago, aggie96 said:

That’s interesting! Must read up on that!

I had an acquaintance who was the head of the local butterfly club here in SoCal. He and his wife had a wonderful butterfly garden and they raised Monarchs.

He was fully aware of how dangerous it is to get milkweed sap in one's eyes, Still, one day while gardening he trimmed some plants and then wiped his eyes.

He was rushed to the hospital (the leading eye institute in the city) and there was talk he might lose his vision. Thankfully he did not.

Growing milkweed is a great kindness for Monarchs. But it is irresponsible IMO for groups and seed providers not to give adequate warnings about the sap (the "milk") in milkweed. The dangers to one's eyes from the sap are almost never mentioned. 

Bill

 

 

Edited by Spy Car

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5 minutes ago, aggie96 said:

WOW!!! Yikes! I’m shocked!

I hate to be an "alarmist" but it is important to exercise caution with milkweed. Wear latex gloves. Wash up. Keep kids away. Never rub your eyes.

Bill 

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1 minute ago, Spy Car said:

I hate to be an "alarmist" but it is important to exercise caution with milkweed. Wear latex gloves. Wash up. Keep kids away. Never rub your eyes.

Bill 

 

That’s an excellent psa.  Are there other plants to similarly be cautious of in that regard?  

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Warm warm days here. Everything is green green green. The redbuds are gorgeous. And I put out basil, dill and lettuces. My strawberry plants have flowers. Yes it’s too early. But it’s been downright hot this week and I can’t help it. So I’ll have to watch for late frosts.

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My garden now has a new bee hive in it. My daughter saved her egg money for three years to buy it and had it delivered last night!

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11 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

That’s an excellent psa.  Are there other plants to similarly be cautious of in that regard?  

None that spring to mind. I hate to discourage milkweed growing as it is critical to keeping Monarchs alive. People just need to take precautions.

Bill

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54 minutes ago, maize said:

When we found a monarch caterpillar we brought it inside and kept collecting fresh milkweed pot it until it formed its chrysalis (we have it a stick to climb); the butterfly emerged inside and then we released it outside.

This is what I want to do eventually, but the other plants are too small. I don't think I would have enough of that variety of milkweed for it yet. I had caterpillars last year in the passion fruit vine and a couple of them formed chrysalis'. None of them survived, though. 

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4 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

My garden now has a new bee hive in it. My daughter saved her egg money for three years to buy it and had it delivered last night!

Oh, exciting!

Does it have bees yet?

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4 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

My garden now has a new bee hive in it. My daughter saved her egg money for three years to buy it and had it delivered last night!

That is so cool!! 

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1 minute ago, maize said:

Oh, exciting!

Does it have bees yet?

 

Oh yes. A friend split his hive last year and kept it for her until she was ready to purchase. 🙂

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1 minute ago, wilrunner said:

This is what I want to do eventually, but the other plants are too small. I don't think I would have enough of that variety of milkweed for it yet. I had caterpillars last year in the passion fruit vine and a couple of them formed chrysalis'. None of them survived, though. 

I only had one small milkweed plant in my yard (where we found the caterpillar) but I had spotted a patch a few blocks away and got permission from the property owner to gather there. It is the local wild milkweed so just a weed to him. I transplanted some to my yard 🙂

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1 hour ago, Spy Car said:

Forgive the PSA, but be extremely careful not to get milkweed sap in your eyes.

Use extreme caution around milkweed plants!!!

Bill

I knew this, but had forgotten. Thanks for the reminder. I rubbed my eyes after cutting a jalapeno. You only do that once!

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1 minute ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Oh yes. A friend split his hive last year and kept it for her until she was ready to purchase. 🙂

What a fun new venture!

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1 minute ago, maize said:

What a fun new venture!

 

Two businesses are better than one, she said. 🙂

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7 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Two businesses are better than one, she said. 🙂

White the entrepreneur you are raising 🙂

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1 hour ago, Rosie_0801 said:

My garden now has a new bee hive in it. My daughter saved her egg money for three years to buy it and had it delivered last night!

 

Wow!  Good for her!    Do they have time to make honey to get through winter, or are you mild enough that they get flowers year round?

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I hate to be an "alarmist" but it is important to exercise caution with milkweed. Wear latex gloves. Wash up. Keep kids away. Never rub your eyes.

 

1 hour ago, Pen said:

That’s an excellent psa.  Are there other plants to similarly be cautious of in that regard?  


Here's a list of common plants/parts that are toxic to deadly if ingested (dogs and kids sometimes try out plant parts).

Hogweed, Giant Hogweed, and to a lesser amount, Queen Anne's Lace, can cause severe blistering of skin and blindness if it gets in the eye.

Edited by Lori D.
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49 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Wow!  Good for her!    Do they have time to make honey to get through winter, or are you mild enough that they get flowers year round?

 

We have a huge amount of ivy that will flower for quite a while yet, but they'll have honey enough to make it through the winter anyway. The hive is a year old and hasn't been harvested.

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8 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

We have a huge amount of ivy that will flower for quite a while yet, but they'll have honey enough to make it through the winter anyway. The hive is a year old and hasn't been harvested.

 

That’s good.  Funny thing, I don’t think of ivy as something that flowers.  We have some that I try to fight back from trying to rip apart our house and strangle trees.  I can’t recall ever seeing flowers.  

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11 hours ago, Spy Car said:

I hate to be an "alarmist" but it is important to exercise caution with milkweed. Wear latex gloves. Wash up. Keep kids away. Never rub your eyes.

Bill 

I didn't know about this, so thanks. After reading up I'm not too concerned--problems are rare and usually self limiting. A reminder to wash hands and avoid touching eyes after handling should be sufficient caution.

I spent hours digging milkweed out of the family garden as a kid 🙂

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17 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

That’s good.  Funny thing, I don’t think of ivy as something that flowers.  We have some that I try to fight back from trying to rip apart our house and strangle trees.  I can’t recall ever seeing flowers.  

Apparently only mature ivy (with oval leaves) produces flowers: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/lasi/resources/education/ivyvisitors

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39 minutes ago, maize said:

Apparently only mature ivy (with oval leaves) produces flowers: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/lasi/resources/education/ivyvisitors

 

I guess our ivy is immature.  I didn’t know till now that ivy would change leaf shape in maturity either.  I have a generally negative view of ivy as destructive and kudzu like.  I’ll try to develop more appreciation for it as potentially beneficial to insects.  

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20 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

My garden now has a new bee hive in it. My daughter saved her egg money for three years to buy it and had it delivered last night!

 

That is so cool and exciting!!! Wish we could do that here, but these burbs freak out at the mention of bees and cats. Grrrr.

Thankfully my Bottle Brush and Mexican Heather are full of bees again after a 2 year hiatus. Neighbors know if they can’t deal with bees in the bushes (from real or perceived threats), don’t visit my yard. We don’t kill bees here. Only critters that get killed around here are fire ants (my nemesis), veggie pests, and wasps if they get aggressive (and they do get aggressive when it starts to heat up but I try to let them go as long as possible). 

ETA: A new one for me-Yellow jacket was attacking the monarch caterpillars!  I’ve got to find that nest because this poor butterfly seemed to be doing its best fluttering around with the wasps. Wasp had a caterpillar on the ground attacking it!  I had to swat it away and run! 😳

Edited by aggie96
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I also wanted to highly recommend these nifty gardening gloves I bought this season. They’ve been great for weeding and raking up leaves in the beds. I usually wear leather gloves because I hate the feel of mulch, which makes it hard to dig and scrape. These are perfect!

I also added a pic of my jasmine and bamboo. Have I told y’all about my love affair with bamboo?

 

 

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Whoa! Nice Cat Woman gloves! Do you moonlight in spandex across rooftops? (:D

Edited by Lori D.
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Lol! Some of the Amazon reviews and questions were about their suitability as costume gloves. They would definitely work for that!

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Today, in the shady wooded part of our yard, we planted pink and lavender rhododendrons, hostas, and purple flowered shrubs, the name of which I can't remember at the moment.  On the edges of the woods we put in 2 pink dogwood trees.  It rained while we planted, but we didn't mind. I moved my light pink camellia to the side of the shed. I'm still trying to decide where to move my lilac plant because the new fence is coming in a couple of weeks if the rain stops.

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I love hostas. I found a tiny, and I mean tiny, spot for one slightly heat/part shade variety. It lasted 3 seasons, which was more than I expected. Alas, winter was mild, and they are gone. 😞 I had one more in a pot on the front porch hidden from the sun for last 2 years, but it didn’t come back either. I’m bummed. My hostas in Dallas were stunning. My Houston yard—not so much. 

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14 hours ago, Pen said:

 

That’s good.  Funny thing, I don’t think of ivy as something that flowers.  We have some that I try to fight back from trying to rip apart our house and strangle trees.  I can’t recall ever seeing flowers.  

 

They're very small. I notice the eagerness of the bees before I ever see the flowers.

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On April 12, 2019 at 8:23 PM, wilrunner said:

I also have passion fruit vines growing. Last year, I planted one plant and wasn't sure it would make it through the winter. This year 4 vines came up. I dug one up and gave it to a friend. They also attract butterflies.

I would love to have fruit this year! I've never eaten a passion fruit.

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That's lovely -- what a fabulous *shape* to the blossom. What zone are you in?  What are you having it climb? I'd love to try that.

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On 4/13/2019 at 12:24 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

My garden now has a new bee hive in it. My daughter saved her egg money for three years to buy it and had it delivered last night!

Native bees, I assume? I love it when native bees come to our garden. You get all the buzz and none of the sting.

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22 minutes ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

Native bees, I assume? I love it when native bees come to our garden. You get all the buzz and none of the sting.

 

No, honey bees so she can harvest and sell the honey.

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8 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

That's lovely -- what a fabulous *shape* to the blossom. What zone are you in?  What are you having it climb? I'd love to try that.

I'm in zone 8b. Our back fence is wrought iron. 3 of the plants will climb that fence and one will climb the decorative fence that borders the flowerbed to keep the dogs out. 

It seems to climb whatever is near it. I've read it can make a nice ground cover, but I'm afraid if I do that, to will cover all my other plants.

Edited by wilrunner
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Last year DH ripped out all the invasive plants/trees that were growing on the irrigated lot of the house we were renovating. We laser leveled the yard and then I planted 30 fruit trees. The trees are still small but we got a few blossoms this year. Unfortunately my 3 year can't help but pick off the the unripe fruit right at his eye level. So while I had hoped for some apples, peaches apricots, etc, we may not get much that actually ripens. We are getting lots of mulberries though that are out of his reach!  And my citrus is blossoming so I am hopeful for lemons, limes, and a variety of oranges this fall. We've got some grapes and pomegranates as well. This year we planted blackberries, jujube, guava and passion fruit vines but we probably need a few years to get any fruit from those.

DH built me a raised garden bed and I put some tomato plants in it, but I think the compost we added was too hot because the plants aren't doing well. A fall garden may do better.

In a few years when all these trees are mature, my yard will be so exciting! Meanwhile I am just trying to overcome my brown thumb and keep things alive. I lost a couple Barbados cherries to the cold this winter and one of my newly planted pecan trees didn't survive.... And an eager 10 year old ran over my Mandarin with a riding lawnmower.  I replaced the pecan and the Mandarin and am trying to decide if I should replace the cherries or stick to hardier plants. 😆

Edited by DesertBlossom
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1 hour ago, wilrunner said:

I'm in zone 8b. Our back fence is wrought iron. 3 of the plants will climb that fence and one will climb the decorative fence that borders the flowerbed to keep the dogs out. 

It seems to climb whatever is near it. I've read it can make a nice ground cover, but I'm afraid if I do that, to will cover all my other plants.

I planted 2 passion fruit vines this year.... Inside of our newly built chicken run. We protected the base of the plants from the chickens but I want the vines to climb the fencing of the coop and give it shade. I've never even eaten a passion fruit but I want to plant all the things!!

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On 4/5/2019 at 6:52 AM, maize said:

Popcorn popping on my apricot tree.

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I was an adult before that song made any sense to me. This desert rat had never seen an apricot tree before, let alone in spring. 😂

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Slowly, square by square, snatching my garden back from the weeds and detrius from last year’s plantings. I have cleaned out four rectangles (8’ x 4’ ea.); dh cleaned out two, but he plans to re-build the box of one because it is disintegrated. Five more to clean out. I planted some radishes, beets, lettuce and nasturtiums. 

I have a bunch of tomatoes, some peppers and some herbs growing indoors on my Germination Station. To wit: 

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2 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

I was an adult before that song made any sense to me. This desert rat had never seen an apricot tree before, let alone in spring. 😂

Apricots always bloom first out of all the fruit trees in my yard. Good harbingers of Spring 🙂

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3 hours ago, maize said:

Apricots always bloom first out of all the fruit trees in my yard. Good harbingers of Spring 🙂

At our last home we planted an apricot. When we moved it was just finally giving us huge crops of apricots each year. We sold our home to a friend a couple years ago. I visited a while later and she sheepishly admitted they had cut it down to plant some shade trees.  I assured her that I did not care what they did with the house or the trees now as it belonged to them.... But I died a little inside. They hadn't even lived there long enough to get fruit from the tree to know how amazing it is! 

I may get 2 apricots from my baby trees this year assuming the 3 year old doesn't see them first. Apricots are my favorite!

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On 4/12/2019 at 10:11 PM, Pen said:

That’s an excellent psa.  Are there other plants to similarly be cautious of in that regard?  

I didn't know about milkweed--I used to pick the stuff all the time, albeit in the fall when it was dried up. It was fun to open the pods.

You can get some kind of photo dermatitis with carrots and parsley (and probably relatives). I think it largely applies to handling broken greens and having the sap on your skin when you are in the sun. https://commonsensehome.com/phytophotodermatitis/  

 

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My jasmine is blooming and smells divine!  We got a Leyland Cypress and loropetulem planted today.  I have to get the elephant ears out tomorrow. 

 

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3 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

My jasmine is blooming and smells divine!  We got a Leyland Cypress and loropetulem planted today.  I have to get the elephant ears out tomorrow. 

 

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Beautiful! I would love to have some fragrant Jasmine in my garden!

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14 hours ago, wilrunner said:

Beautiful! I would love to have some fragrant Jasmine in my garden!

This surrounds our deck.   There’s an opening towalk out of the deck, but the whole this is walled in by jasmine.  It smells divine and is beautiful... but the chiggers!  Omg, they love hiding in all that shade it creates! 

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Gardening is the reason I've been away from this site for a month. (And homeschooling, and planning a stage show.) Last year I cleared some trees and now I'm trying to turn forest floor into a garden.  I've been pulling out English Ivy, Vinca, and poison ivy by hand.  Inexplicably, my neighbor to the side and back are watching their English Ivy DIE right now.  I'm poised to alert the media and hope mine catches their cooties.  

I'm in 7a, so we're finally enjoying spring.  My perennial herbs are bouncing back to life.  I've got sage, lemon balm, onions, and oregano out there now.  I think thyme is next.  I have a bunch of herbs ready to plant today.  I put two gardens in on Sunday.  I didn't realize we'd have a tornado warning that night.  My brassica bed is in and bird netted to deter cabbage moths.  My peas, beans, squash, and leafy greens bed is in.   I even successfully germinated carrots for the first time in my life thanks to non-transplant winter sowing.   I was ridiculously excited that I produced enough compost from household waste for

446694348_IMG_5482(1).jpg.45c1898706e80388a772967a21acb912.jpgIMG_5481.jpg.2f53990a5d3c4cb8807f7503f42d133f.jpg1726938524_IMG_5479(1).jpg.cfffe85893fd0b5ab09c4e14ac641036.jpg  two beds.  I need to build two more 4x8 beds and I plan to buy that lumber today along with more Mel's mix ingredients. I haven't harvested my indoor worms yet, but I think I'm only going to be buying soil ingredients and compost for one bed this year!

Winter sowing was a GREAT success!  Out of 70 milk jugs only 8 or 9 of them show no signs of life.  A few of those are peppers, so I'll wait a bit longer for them.  Everything else sprouted and is beautifully sturdy and hardened off.  Now I'm scrambling to get things planted and prepare now beds.  I have red and black currents, red and gold raspberries, and gooseberries arriving Thursday.  They'll go in a part-sun side boarder.  I copied that plan from a gardening book.  I already have a quince and a fragrant tea olive in that bed.  I'm not sure the tea olive survived the winter.  It looks unhappy.  

The jugs in the photo are all bound for the herb garden.  I've branched into some non-typical ones like lovage and salad burnet.  I don't even know how to use them all, I've just inexplicably become an herb collector. I want to plant comfrey to speed my compost because we get a TON of leaves here in the fall.

 

 

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Edited by KungFuPanda
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18 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

My jasmine is blooming and smells divine!  We got a Leyland Cypress and loropetulem planted today.  I have to get the elephant ears out tomorrow. 

 

 

Jasmine is my favorite scent.  I feel about it like most people feel about lavender.  I don't even understand all of the lavender love when jasmine exists.  I have to keep mine in a pot and bring it in for winter.  It bloomed in the house this year and I was in heaven.  I'd LOVE to have a wall of it outside like you do.

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2 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

This surrounds our deck.   There’s an opening towalk out of the deck, but the whole this is walled in by jasmine.  It smells divine and is beautiful... but the chiggers!  Omg, they love hiding in all that shade it creates! 

I remembered your post when I was at the nursery this morning, so when I found some fragrant jasmine, I grabbed it! I have no idea yet where I'm going to put it, but I needed it! I might put it in a pot out front with a trellis. 

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