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(@unk-p)
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05/25/2020 6:32 pm  

  In this time of quarantines and social distancing, many folks are spending more time in the garden.  Tell us about your garden, no matter if it is a great big farm, or just a small potted plant on a windowsill- or anything in between.

  I will start with some music to set the mood.  This is a Mamas and Papas song that they will never play on classic rock stations, but that suddenly feels so relevant- here is "Safe in My Garden" https://youtu.be/HZS7PIqTw5g

Safe in my garden, An ancient flower grows.

And the scent from its nature

Slowly squares my room

and its perfume Being such that it's causing me to swoon.

Could it be we were hot-wired Late one night while very tired

They stole our minds and thought we'd never know it.

With a bottle in each hand, too late to try to understand.

We don't care where it lands - we just throw it.

Somebody takes us away...

Somebody takes us away...

Safe in my garden,

An ancient flower grows

And the scent from its nature

Slowly squares my room

and it's perfume

Being such that it's causing me to swoon.

When you go out in the street,

So many hassles with the heat;

No one there can fill your desire.

Cops out with the megaphones,

Tellin' people stay inside their homes.

Man, can't they see the world's on fire?

Somebody take us away..

.take us away...

Safe in our garden,

An ancient flower grows.

And the scent from its nature...

Slowly squares my room.

Take us away..

.take us away...

 

Has there ever been a flower lovelier than Mama Cass Elliot?

My own garden is more of a jungle.  If anyone has ever wondered what the bloom of a banana tree looks like, well, here ya go:

1590445974-B1.jpg

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(@jeanne-mayell)
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05/25/2020 6:47 pm  

@unk-p. I love your photo, what is it? Looks exotic. 

Can't wait to get into this topic. Love gardening - flowers and vegetables. Have gardened for years. After planting a backyard garden for contemplation over a decade,  Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal Vegetable Miracle really got me going into vegetable gardening. So now I also have a plot at a local community garden and grow everything that is fun to eat. 


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(@unk-p)
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05/25/2020 6:59 pm  

@jeanne-mayell thanks Jeanne!   The pic is of a banana flower- you can see the fruits that have already formed at the top left corner.

I love Barbara Kingsolver, but i haven't read that one yet.  The Bean Trees, and Animal Dreams were amazing, though.


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 CC21
(@cc21)
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05/25/2020 10:10 pm  

I love this topic! I am a novice gardener, but do a lot of botanical and nature artwork, so I love learning about plants. We are finally working on our yard more this year and going to do some planting and vegetable beds where we had ivy removed. I do love native wildflowers and hope to plant some of those as well as good plants to keep the bees and other pollinators happy.


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(@stargazer)
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05/26/2020 12:26 am  

@unk-p

You the man, unk ...! LOVE this 💚


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(@moonbeam)
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05/26/2020 3:29 am  

What a wonderful topic! I moved into a new house last year so working on the garden is something I've been doing as well. 

 

I've been making a mix between flowers for the bees, butterflies etc. and vegetables/fruit. That and grass instead of concrete. So many ppl seem to do that these days; stones instead of plant life in the garden.

 

There is a great TV show by Monty on gardens on Netflix. He helps ppl with their gardens. Great to get ideas from!


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(@stargazer)
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05/26/2020 4:24 am  

@moonbeam

It feels so good to get your hands in the earth and sow seeds, reaping that abundance of beauty 🌺 and delicious harvest of vegs!

More people in the US are turning their front lawns into garden-scapes now and doing away with the old ' just for show ' landscaping concept.... I saw one guy on YouTube (in Florida) who did this and even inspired his neighbors to follow him into much of the same beautiful gardening techniques. He found it lucrative also, as he sold much of his surplus produce at the local farmer's market and to local organic food shops and restaurants... creative!

That's so cool that you are planting for our friends the bees and butterflies... where would we 🐝 without them? Love to you Moonbeam 💛 (Keep on howlin' with me)))

 


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(@michele-b)
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05/26/2020 10:42 am  

@unk-p

You rascal you! You found a Mama and Papa song that I didn't know, recognize, or remember! Great words, love it when you find the lyrics and include them!

We have big gardens in the summer and do again just with some of the ground getting a small break this summer so more room to walk between the rows.

With rototilling and finally putting in hardware cloth and torching holes for just the transplanted seedlings my DH is worn out! And only the asparagus was harvested and eaten so far!

If the weeds are as overwhelming next spring as this one he says that'll be it. Too much work..hahahaha. I laugh because we both said that last year!  That darn garden and her siren call!

Between her (the garden), the fruit trees and berries fresh eaten, cobblers and jam, our big apple cider making in the fall...and using our 30 year old homemade food dryer for preserving fruit chewies, its all too much at times! 

But boy oh boy do our little grandkids love fresh veggies, fruit,  and berries! As soon as we can have them over again by blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, logan and marionberry seasons then rhubarb and apples and peaches and.. oh oh.

We're in trouble already!  I better learn the words to that song so Grandma Michele can sing along with Mama Cass and the Papas!

🎶🤣🤣🤣🎶


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(@claire)
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05/26/2020 12:58 pm  

@unk-p, I have never seen the bloom on a banana tree.  It is so exotic and tropical.  How appropriate for a jungle landscape!

My garden is my happy place, especially this time of year.  About 20+years ago, I decided to design something that would fulfill a lot of dreams and take care of some maintenance issues at the same time.  Every garden needs care, but I chose to focus on the kind of care I don’t mind, and do away with care I do, like lawn mowing.  There is about half an acre here in the middle of suburbia, and we managed to make it as wild and natural, yet carefree as possible.  DIY must haves were a hummingbird garden, a large pond with a low waterfall and as many native plants that would bloom on their own.  Last year a mason bee house went up, which helped blooms exponentially.  It is nice to see bees again.  Years ago, I started a small patch of Gooseneck Loosestrife in the clay soil of my backyard, and it has taken over like a meadow in a field.  It feels like a festival when the meadow blooms.  There is still a path around it, and no grass to mow; only a large water garden, with a deck running alongside.  The loosestrife blooms, then the buckeyes, then the waterlilies and honeysuckle all summer long.  I put out dryer lint near feeders for the hummingbirds, which they use for their nests.  There are dragonflies, and a bat house out by the street lights.  Tomatoes and peppers are grown in the front yard in front of our garage, and a small herb garden right outside my kitchen door.  We live on a corner, and the front garden has a double staggered border of 5 different blooming shrubs, and a grove of Japanese maples around the yard.  There is a large stand of Northern Sea Oats out by the street, which has three seasons of interest, but only needs cut back once a year.  It is very nontraditional, a natural landscape which some like, and others don’t.  The neighborhood wildlife approves, and they are the ones whose opinions are important.


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(@laynara)
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05/26/2020 2:17 pm  

I am definitely a novice at garden I have a little potted petunia that sits on my front porch that I have managed to keep alive. Anyways this morning as the run was peaking through my bedroom window, I woke with this feeling of warmth and love, I sat up and saw the tree behind the house has bloomed its first white flower. Its beauty brought a smile to my face. I have been appreciating the nature around me allot more and watching the changes has been spectacular.


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(@stargazer)
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05/26/2020 2:48 pm  

@michele-b

Ok we can't forget Mama Cass, but what about Sweet Joni from Saskatoon? 

🎶"We are stardust ... we are golden...🎶

🎶And we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden🎶

🌞 💚🌛


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(@laynara)
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05/26/2020 3:22 pm  

Here is a picture of my flower the carpenter bees thought they needed some wood shaving😂 (oops the picture is too big)


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(@deetoo)
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05/26/2020 3:47 pm  

My husband and I just spent some significant time (at a safe distance!) with our town arborist, Gary.  We have a number of large trees in our backyard -- oak, birch, ginkgo, hickory, dogwood -- and wanted Gary to check them out.  We knew that the oak tree was dead but wondered why it happened so quickly.  Gary went into great detail talking about a tree's cardiovascular and immune system, explaining that it's not unlike the human body, with the perfect balance of arteries, capillaries and veins that allow the blood to reach every cell in the body.  The trees can withstand some diseases, but others can compromise their immune systems, which he thought had occurred with the oak.  As I stood outside among those trees, I could feel them watching, listening, breathing.  The trees clearly loved our arborist, and especially loved the care and time Gary was taking to teach us.  Then Gary began hitting the trees with a hard rubber mallet, so he could hear inside the body of the tree.  As Gary was pounding on the birch tree, my husband turned to me and exclaimed "that tree really likes it!"  I felt that too -- like a good massage when they pound on your muscles.  It made me smile and touched me deeply.


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(@lovendures)
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05/26/2020 7:04 pm  
Posted by: @deetoo

My husband and I just spent some significant time (at a safe distance!) with our town arborist, Gary.  We have a number of large trees in our backyard -- oak, birch, ginkgo, hickory, dogwood -- and wanted Gary to check them out.  We knew that the oak tree was dead but wondered why it happened so quickly.  Gary went into great detail talking about a tree's cardiovascular and immune system, explaining that it's not unlike the human body, with the perfect balance of arteries, capillaries and veins that allow the blood to reach every cell in the body.  The trees can withstand some diseases, but others can compromise their immune systems, which he thought had occurred with the oak.  As I stood outside among those trees, I could feel them watching, listening, breathing.  The trees clearly loved our arborist, and especially loved the care and time Gary was taking to teach us.  Then Gary began hitting the trees with a hard rubber mallet, so he could hear inside the body of the tree.  As Gary was pounding on the birch tree, my husband turned to me and exclaimed "that tree really likes it!"  I felt that too -- like a good massage when they pound on your muscles.  It made me smile and touched me deeply.

Wow Deetoo!

What a wonderful experience you have shared.  I think we are all going to be speaking to trees thanks to you, Jeanne and all the others who have discussed their communication with our majestic, sentient, connected beings.


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(@deetoo)
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05/26/2020 8:25 pm  

@lovendures, you know, I never thought too much about the life force of trees until later in life.  I grew up a city kid, and although we had a large park that I would frequent, I always felt most comfortable with the hustle and bustle of city life.  The woods always scared me, although I've always had a strong connection with the sea.  When my husband and I moved to this area about 20 years ago, I took all of those lovely trees for granted.  Over the years we lost a few locust trees in some bad storms, and all I could think of at the time was the cost of having those fallen trees removed.  

Then we adopted our first dog, Gracie.  Well, you know dogs and trees -- LOL!  Plus Gracie's favorite tree in our yard was a majestic birch, where she would spend hours patrolling for squirrels.  The squirrels would be perched close to the very top of that tree, running down about 1/2 way, just to taunt Gracie.  Gracie would circle, jump (as if she could catch that squirrel!), circle, and bark like hell.  And over time, I began sensing that the birch tree was both a participant and an observer, laughing with delight at their playful performance.  After Gracie passed on three years ago, we buried her ashes at the base of that birch tree.

The experience today with the arborist was a special one.  He was so in tune with those trees -- a "tree whisperer" -- that I could feel their spiritual connection.  My husband and I received the gift of being participants in their sacred ceremony.

 


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 CC21
(@cc21)
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05/26/2020 9:38 pm  

@claire Your garden sounds dreamy 🙂 I am hoping to make a rain garden where we cleared the ivy (in addition to vegetable beds.) So great to not have to mow much, if any!

@deetoo @lovendures What a wonderful connection with the trees! We have been going on daily (sometimes twice a day) walks during lockdown and we live in an older neighborhood with wonderful, large trees. Recently, I have started wanting to just touch them briefly as we walk by...so I do that (and say hi to them as we go along.) I especially love the sycamores and their patchy bark and big knots. It feels so nice to greet them each day.


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(@laynara)
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05/26/2020 10:18 pm  

Petunias 💜

1590545923-20200526_1424521.jpg

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(@claire)
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05/26/2020 10:40 pm  

@laynara, pretty petunias.  I don’t love carpenter bees however, as they’ve done too much damage to my structure.  Finally figured out that leaving the ceiling fan on kept them from coming in under the covered porch.

@deetoo, your experience with the arborist sounds like a gift.  We just had our oak tree pruned and they did a very good job, but I didn’t hear any whispering goin’ on.  They are coming back to take care of our neighbor’s tree.  I will have to listen harder!

@stargazer, Joni has always been a personal favorite.  I still listen to her, especially in my car.


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(@claire)
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05/26/2020 10:54 pm  

@cc21, have fun making your rain garden.  It is always exciting seeing a new garden spot come to life.  I love the idea of that!


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(@deetoo)
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05/26/2020 11:08 pm  

@laynara, beautiful petunias!  My favorite color.

@cc21, yes, touch those trees -- if you linger a bit, their energy can feel quite powerful.

 


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(@laynara)
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05/26/2020 11:12 pm  

@deetoo me too! I love them so much! 


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(@deetoo)
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05/26/2020 11:43 pm  

@claire, I'd love to get rid of our lawn and replace it with something wild and natural.  I bet what you've created is really pretty.

@unk-p, I love a jungle garden!  And the bloom of a banana tree?  I would have never guessed.  Really gorgeous.


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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05/26/2020 11:44 pm  

@unk-p  If you love Kingsolver, besides Animal, Vegetable Mineral, is Flight Behavior, a novel about climate change. I loved it so much, I read it twice.


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(@unk-p)
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05/27/2020 12:47 am  

@jeanne-mayell Yes.  Kingsolver is so funny and cool, even as she writes about really important things.  I wish i knew her in real life, and we could just hang out and talk.  I guess i will just have to read all of her books instead!

@claire and @deetoo   i once lived in a rent house with a patchy, mostly dead lawn.  So i planted wildflowers, and native plants, and young trees, which took over.  Then, a neighbor starting complaining that i needed to cut my lawn.  I invited him over, and told him that it was not a "lawn", it was a meadow.  I pulled a pair of scissors out of my pocket, and told him to show me where there was any lawngrass, and i would cut it right now.  He gave up.   Later, i heard him telling his wife that he could tell that i was never gonna cut my yard, because "just look at his ha-yer!"      ha!

 


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(@claire)
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05/27/2020 1:30 am  

@unk-p, I like your attitude!  Who cares about lawn grass when you have a meadow? You can only feel sorry for the guy who has no vision other than what is locked so tightly in his own mind.  The world would be a boring place in that case.  My neighbor loves his lawnmower.  In fact, he mows twice a week.  I don’t know what he is mowing exactly, but it never lasts long and I guess makes him look like he’s doing something.  I don’t think his garden is very interesting, but it IS heavily manicured.  He also has Mosquito Joe come a couple times a month to poison his yard.  I guess he doesn’t realize mosquito larvae is food for the fish in my pond, and I am not adding to his “problem”.  I don’t know why he has mosquitoes, because I don’t.  He obviously doesn’t know that running a fan outside is a non-toxic way of keeping them out of your sphere.  To each his own I guess!  

 

 

 


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(@polarberry)
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05/27/2020 2:13 pm  

What a great forum topic!!

I grow everything from radishes to rhubarb. There is something immensely satisfying about harvesting your own stuff. Sometimes it gets tiring battling the wildlife for it, but I put out peace offerings in the form of corn cobs and seed and lettuce, which they mostly ignore because they prefer harvesting it themselves as well.

I like neither completely manicured gardens nor full-blown English gardens. The first is too Edward Scissorhands subdivision and the latter is too wild for my touch of OCD, so I have a mix. Foxglove, delphiniums and snapdragons (#1 favorite!) are beautiful, along with the neater marigolds, geraniums, daisies. Not a huge fan of pansies unless they are really unusual, like the deep purple kind with white dots. Don't like bulbs of any kind. Gorgeous while freshly blooming but scraggly after.

I have an obsession with cucumber plants. They are challenging to grow while keeping them bug and fungus-free, and getting them to produce fruit that isn't bitter. It would be way easier to buy them but I don't back down from a fight. LOL


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(@deetoo)
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05/27/2020 2:40 pm  

posted by @unk-p:

I heard him telling his wife that he could tell that i was never gonna cut my yard, because "just look at his ha-yer!"

@unk-p, You made me laugh this morning, and I really needed it.  Thank you.

Growing up in the city I didn't have to deal with lawns, which might be partly why I find a lot of suburbia too confining and "Edward Scissorhands subdivision" (thank you, @Polarberry!) for me.  I sort of equate the hustle and bustle of city life -- and specifically, the funkiness of Baltimore, which is where I grew up -- with the rich, wild, and beautiful natural works of art that you and @claire have created.

Our front lawn is not that big and is predominantly weeds, which gets a weekly mow.  It's very humid out today and I just came in from pulling up a ton of toadstools.  If I could, I’d remove ¾ of the lawn and just add different vegetation and trees.  I’m not sure what our town’s restrictions might be, or if there are any.  Fortunately, there is no homeowners association to deal with.


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(@polarberry)
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05/27/2020 2:58 pm  

Ever notice that men wait until the hottest part of the day to mow? I asked my husband about this and he says, "it's gotta get done!" Yes, OK, but why does it "gotta get done" at high noon? 

I'd ask Unk, but, he just says no to the mow. 


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(@unk-p)
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05/27/2020 3:05 pm  

@deetoo i hear you about suburbs.  My little jungle is in the inner-city, so the best (for me) of both worlds!  Even when i lived in the middle of San Francisco, i was lucky enough to have a back yard, which i filled w giant tree-ferns, bromeliads, and all kinds of stuff.

  The meadow yard was in Texas, and the neighbor guy had probably never seen anyone w Nyabinghi style dreadlocks down to his knees before.  Nowadays i just rock male-pattern baldness lol


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(@unk-p)
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05/27/2020 3:09 pm  

@polarberry   ...no to the mow.

HA!   i love that!  gotta put that on a t shirt!


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