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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #014
August 03, 2022
|Are you enjoying your garden?
"The first week of August
hangs at the very top of summer
... like the highest seat
of a Ferris wheel
when it pauses
in its turning."
Hot - Hot - Hot
How do we stay cool??
Did you know??
One 11-ounce (300-gram) unpeeled, raw cucumber contains the following (1):
Calories: 45 Total fat: 0 grams Carbs: 11 grams Protein: 2 grams Fiber: 2 grams Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI Vitamin K: 62% of the RDI Magnesium: 10% of the RDI Potassium: 13% of the RDI Manganese: 12% of the RDI
Cucumbers contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and may reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Cucumbers are composed of about 96% water, which may increase hydration and help you meet your daily fluid needs.
Cucumbers are low in calories, high in water and can be used as a low-calorie topping for many dishes.
Might be why we say, 'cool as a cucumber"....
Water, Water, Water
Your plants are hot too…
and may not be as keen on cucumbers as you,
so they need you to water them….
unless you have a scree garden like Mary's.
She does not need to water this little bed full of
sedum and succulents
HOW TO WATER…
ROSES; deeply once a week rather than every day a bit
and hold your hose at soil level, aiming at the root not overhead
PERENNIALS; (new this year)
Water daily till they are established, or if still in pots,
keep in the shade and plant when cooler
ANNUALS: in pots, daily
in the ground… every other day…deeply at the roots
Clean Bird Baths
the bee dish needs clean water...
it seems the squirrel has been
washing his nuts in this one...
IF.. you use them on your perennials
stop the middle of August
and let your plants go to seed
as they get ready for dormancy.
The end of August is a great time to
add compost to your gardens
my sketch from a photo by Aaron Landsworth
The SUNFLOWER has many meanings in different countries and cultures: positivity and strength admiration and loyalty good luck and lasting happiness vitality and longevity
Sunflowers are drought tolerant with an extensive root system and are hyper-accumulators.
They have been planted in the fields surrounding Chernobyl pulling toxic materials and radiation from the affected soil into their tissues. (Phytoremediation)
Used also on floating rafts, roots dangling in the water, they clean up radioactive Chernobyl water pulling out both cesium 137 and strontium 90; then disposed of as radioactive waste.
In DETROIT, sunflowers planted in a lead-laced plot of land, reduced its concentration of lead by 43%,
- well below federal safety standards.
Costing $900,000 it was over $1 million dollars less than the cost of taking 5700 cu. yards of soil to a hazardous waste landfill.
(from an article by Molly Beauchemin | May 12, 2016)
"August is ripening grain in the fields...
(as) Vivid dahlias fling huge tousled blossoms
Joe-pye-weed dusts the meadow purple."
...and other flowers are strutting their stuff
- like Coneflowers
The garden changes every month and now
it is showing its glorious colour
Not Just a weed...
a gorgeous blue, mineral-rich
with a long taproot,
that penetrates tough dry soil
leaving it aerated, aiding drainage
and other crop root development.
Doesn’t like to be in a bouquet though
…would rather be in the ground.
I Love Roses...but you knew that
"John Davis" is one of my favourites:
a hardy climber
in the Canadian "Explorer" Series
But, this year,
the Japanese Beetles
also loved my roses...
Except John Davis,
or the KnockOut roses...
but the rest....
So you won't see man photos of them this time.
THESE BEETLES are not fun !
JAPANESE BEETLES (Popillia japonica)
at the Schulenberg Prairie restoration
at the Morton Arboretum,
Lisle, Illinois, USA.
These beetles (Popillia japonica) are in the family of the scarab beetle and is a bit iridescent.
In Japan it is controlled by natural predators, but in North America is a dreaded pest to almost 300 species of plants, including rose bushes, grapes, hops, canna, crape myrtles, birch trees, linden trees and even my apple trees.
My gorgeous ROSES have been decimated by these nasty nellies…
... and now that the roses are “done” the are attacking my apple trees and making lace of the foliage
- the little rascals only eat the flesh between a leaf's veins and sometimes, even the fruit.
They love hot sunny weather so this year they are very happy.
I take a bit more delight in doing this than I should but it works….
And I get to see my roses close-up as the larvae hide under petals…
I just flick the beetles off into a jar of soapy water.
(flush them down the toilet often because the jar begins to smell)
THE RED MILKWEED BEETLE
The adults eat milkweed leaves, buds, and flowers and sever
the leaf veins above where they feed to minimize their
exposure to the milkweed’s sticky latex because it can
decrease their consumption of latex by up to 92%.
Thing is, when this beetle gets latex on its mouth-parts,
it has to clean them immediately
by rubbing its face against the leaf;
otherwise, the latex will harden,
gluing its mouth shut.
AND DID YOU KNOW THIS???
In his 1957 paper, called
“Sound Production and Associated Behavior in Insects,”
Richard D. Alexander tells us they will purr
when standing motionless;
but when they are quietly going about the business of
crawling and feeding on milkweeds,
they may purr or squeak.
"Remember to be gentle with yourself and others.
We are all children of chance,
and none can say why some fields will blossom
while others lay brown beneath the August sun.”
My ROSES will bloom once more before the season ends,
but I help them along by deadheading...
If you leave them with dead blossoms,
they will begin to form rose hips
- a sign it is time for them to store sugars
for their dormancy..
so, deadhead for more blooms.
PLANT THORNS CAN BE DANGEROUS...
Here is a photo of my daughter’s large Agave plant.
As I watered it a couple of weeks ago,
the tip of the “leaf” has a sharp thorn
and pricked my finger…
or so I thought…
but it went into my fingernail.
...and a few weeks later
it looks like this.
The black dot is where
the thorn entered
and the white around
is most likely an infection.
It is sore.
I have soaked it often in hot salt water
to no avail
so will seek my doctor’s advice
The agave sap can also cause some issues
as agave dermatitis is a medical issue.
It’s called CICD or Chemical Irritant Contact Dermatitis”
… and happens when Oxalic Acid crystals become embedded in the skin….
A bit like the sap from Milkweed…
contact with the skin,
perspiration and sunlight
can cause a frightful rash….
wash your skin well with soap
as soon as possible….
"One thorn of experience
a whole wilderness
James Russell Lowell
Speaking of roses,
these are not actually roses,
but an easily forgotten little gem
that will give you much joy
all the hot summer days
that it loves so much…
It’s a flower, a weed or even a veggie
(not so much for me)
It loves the heat and even very dry conditions
and bless its little heart,
will bloom very energetically all summer…
how great is that?
Most plants open their leaf pores
so moisture escapes to cool the plant
and take in CO2 with sunlight (nutrients)
but if the soil is too dry,
those pores can let off more ‘steam’ faster
than their roots can take it in…
..and makes for a drooping plant
… or worse, dying plant.
However, Portulaca has this figured out
and closes its pores during the day
and opens them at night,
thereby losing only a little water
while taking in CO2
storing this till the next day….
The day dawns and the pores close up,
water is saved and CO2 released.
Pretty - and - magical.
Lee Reich has more information in the link below.
This past week brought some annoying and upsetting "crises"
… not world or earth shattering
except to a heart that feels a bit small right now
... but I don't want those annoyances to define me,
so I made a list of some things
that are heart-enlarging.
- the sound of Cicadas (reminds me of Provence and learning when they sing, the grapes are ready
- the smell of freshly cut grass
- the sound of a gas lawn mower reminds me of my Dad
- the sound of the breeze in the tree’s leaves above the lawn mower
- the city, as it quiets in early evening
- the sound of neighbourhood children laughing
- floating clouds and knowing I can move them
- the stillness in the garden
- the sound of Poplar leaves “clicking” in the breeze - reminding me of cottage days
- human sounds; sweeping, chatting, and the clinking of dishes from a patio
- and my garden gives me joy
These are some things that take me
from the distressing
to the beautiful
...and there is so much.
We say 'so long' for now...
but remember this...
”Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass
under trees on a summer's day,
listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is by no means a waste of time."
Lucy likes to rest in the shade
when its hot,
her next snack.
Fans of Elvis Presley
mourn each Aug. 16th, the day he died in 1977.
Perhaps, instead of mourning,
play an oldie
remember some good times
… dancing on the dock,
- rocking into the night,
and singing at the top of your lungs….
it’s the joy we need to remember….
Just a reminder...
My book (and on-line course)
on roses is progressing
and there are a lot
of chapters on pruning.
.. if any of you have any questions,
issues or problems with your roses.
.. trouble understanding
something you have read,
tried or want to try.
.. if I don't know,
I will find out
... because likely others have the same questions,
issues or problems...
send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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