I haven't said anything about it but I've finally have gotten too curious to keep it to myself. Have you noticed a website with a strange name referring people to you blog?
With the help from agricultural experts at Rutgers
"..The Plan is to create a blueprint that would develop a market along the East Coast--including Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida and Georgia--to link growers with ethnic markets. Farmers would produce potentially more profitable vegetables like bok choy, tomatillos and bitter gourd that be successfully grown in their own local markets. Gourmet consumers and specialty stores are also interested in ethnic produce."
I'm all for it. Just today I was doing some grocery shopping and was wishing I had an Asian grocery store closer to me so I could pick up some edamame beans. If you find yourself near an Asian grocery store stop in and pick up some Taro (Colocasia esculenta) to plant in your garden. It's a lot cheaper than purchasing plain green Colocasia corms at a garden center plus you can eat it. It's one of many plants from the grocer that can help you garden frugally.
You can read the article at the link below.
heraldsun.com: Farmers See Growing Ethnic Veggie Market
Today someone was looking for a place to buy Senecio rowleyanus in Chicago and since most people are too shy to post in the comments and ask a question if they didn't find the answer I'll take a few moments here and divulge my cactus buying locations in Chicago.
A few days before Christmas I was walking through the greenhouse of a Home Depot and I came across this new way of growing an Amaryllis. At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing it looked like the brain child of a sadistic Amaryllis grower. It reminded me of this one time when I was working in a bonsai nursery and these two older ladies walked in and walked out in a huff but not before I got an earful of how "mean" we were for growing trees in such little pots. When I saw this Amaryllis I had almost the same reaction as those two ladies some years back except I didn't yell at anyone and threaten to call the Arbor Day Foundation.
30 uprooted saguaros found on West Ft. Lowell RoadDavid L. Teibel
Before I had any interest in Cacti & Succulents I lived for a short while in Northern Arizona and when I would make trips South towards Phoenix I always found the drive to be nice and scenic and sometimes the bends in the roads were enough to make you feel like bringing a change of shorts. But the best part of living there and making that trip South was seeing the first Saguaro in the distance and smiling as the memory of a cartoon, where the Saguaro is made the butt of a joke by an anthropomorphized animal, floods your brain and makes you think of a simpler time.
To me the Saguaro is an American icon up there with the Statue of Liberty and the Hollywood sign and it's removal like this by unscrupulous individuals is just beyond comprehension. I don't think there is a punishment I would think to be too severe for them.
Best time for photos
Believe it or not there is a best time to take photos. Early morning and early evening are the best; avoid taking photos outdoors in the midday sun. Not only is it bad for your skin but it's at it's strongest and washes away color and blows out your photo's highlights. Early morning or early evening Sun gives you the most accurate reproduction of color and the shadows created by the Sun's position in the sky add depth and interest to your photos.
How to hold your camera
I've been noticing a lot of searches leading people to my blog looking for information on how to care for their Amaryllis bulbs. Based on the nature of the queries that lead to my blog I'll try to answer them from my experience growing these since last year.
I purchased a few Amaryllis bulbs last year from Target after the Holidays. Because of the discounts they were less than two dollars a piece. The bulbs didn't look so great and it was to be expected after sitting in those boxes on a shelf for weeks and who knows how long they were in them sitting in a warehouse. When you bring your Amaryllis home take it out of the box and discard the soil disc it comes in. If the pot it came with doesn't have drainage holes make some or find a suitable pot. Good drainage is key to healthy houseplants. The next step is to plant it in good soil, I added charcoal and Perlite to the regular potting soil I use.
"Why won't my Amaryllis grow?"
I was really disappointed by ABC and the show. Here they had the chance to showcase a lot of the things that have been implemented in Chicago. But all I saw bamboo flooring, recycled carpeting and coffee tables made from the old lumber that was in the house before they tore it out. That's it? None of those things even offset the carbon footprint made by Ty Pennington's hair. Considering how much hype the episode got here in the English and Spanish language news I was hoping that they would go all out and show us some ways that we can lower our heating and air condition bill with things like the Roof Top Garden at city hall that has received national attention.
Yes they built a nice roof top deck with some plants that will be a nice selling point in a few years when the Noyola family has to sell their home because they can't afford the property taxes because of the influx of yuppies to Pilsen. Instead of buying them all violins they should have put a garden on that roof and shown them how to grow their own vegetables and change the eating habits of those kids that are at risk for diabetes.
They could have cut out a couple of the self-indulgent scenes of Ty Pennington acting like a fool at the Sears on State and mentioned that residents of Chicago can apply for Energy Grants and Loans to offset the cost of going Green.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ABC could have done a lot of things that would have changed the lives of the Noyola family and the lives of a lot of residents here. Instead they payed lip service to (and ignored) the advances made here in Chicago in energy conservation and urban beautification.
Check out this site.
But Carol Lopez (of Allentown, PA) is different-she called the police and they told her to move them out back and the city would pick them up free of charge. But at least she had a sense of humor about it all.
Thanks to the bloggers that e-mailed me suggestions of sites to add. If you have a suggestion feel free to let me know and I'll see about adding it. I'll add any gardening forum/group as long as you don't have to sign up/pay to be able to read the threads. If you have a gardening blog/website let me know and I'll see about add it. I'm especially looking for sites about Organic Gardening, Plant Propagation and sites specifically about one Genus. Feel free to use it, bookmark it, link it etc. While I started Google For Gardeners it belongs to everyone who has their hands in some dirt and is looking for information. There's a search box for it on the right hand side of this blog and all the way at the bottom. You can search from there or from the home page. Either way your results will be displayed on the Google. Don't confuse the GFG's search box with the box that only searches my blogs, they're two independent things. One searches three blogs the other searches 169 sites as of today.
Here's what got added this round:
I came to that realization today when I was looking at my stats on the FeedBurner dashboard. I noticed several hits to my blog from GirlGoneGardening. Curiosity got the better of me so I checked and I saw that she was blogging about part of my Death Of The Garden Journal post.
So I'm going to share and old tip that saves me time and energy. If you have the Google Toolbar in your browser and you're blogging with Blogger if you press the button I highlighted in the picture attached to this entry a new window will open where a new post entry will automatically be started about the page/website/blog that you are currently on complete with links to whatever it is you're looking at and you can blog about whatever it is you're blogging about.
Keep in mind that if you're not signed into Blogger it will prompt you to do so. But if you're already signed it will be pretty much automatic and you just enter what you want to post.
(note: this does not take screen captures like the one above.)
Her post also prompted me to show my feedflares. If you look directly bellow this post you will see a series of words that may be alien to you. I only had them available on my blog's feed but because of GGG I decided to allow them to show here. Most of them are for social bookmarking sites that are all the rage now and if you are part of one (I'm on Netscape) you can use them. I also turned on the "blog this" feedflare that works just like the button above if you don't have it installed in your browser.
Feedflares are a good way to add interactivity to your blog posts. Go add them now.
Blogs are a wonderful tool. Not only can you jot down your thoughts and upload pictures or link to videos but you get to communicate with people all over the world about your passion. People in remote corners of the world can see what is blooming in your garden and you can see what's going on in theirs'. Since Feedburner started giving out site statistics for free I've spent countless hours refreshing the dashboard and reading names from countries I couldn't even pronounce. It prompted me to add a new widget yesterday that records hits to this blog on a map.
Science reporter, BBC News
The 200-year-old mystery of where one of the world's largest flowers sit in the botanical family tree has finally been solved by scientists.
To their surprise, the plants, which have a one-metre-wide, blood-red, rotten-flesh stinking flower, belong to a family of plants bearing tiny blooms.
The Rafflesiaceae were tricky to place because of their unusual features, the team reports in the journal Science.
Such traits include the fact that they are rootless, leafless and stemless.
Their giant blooms, which weigh up to 7kg (15lb) and in appearance and fragrance mimic rotting meat, attract carrion flies that pollinate them.
And the strange plants, which can be found growing on the jungle floor in southeast Asia, are also parasitic. Eschewing the process of photosynthesis, the Rafflesiaceae bed down in the tissue of the tropical grape vine, feasting upon the nutrients it provides.(continue reading)
January 10, 2007 Plants might not get colds, but they do get viruses — and viral diseases in crops cause enormous economic damage each year. New research, however, suggests that plant “vaccines,” developed at Rockefeller University, may be a new way of helping fend off viral attackers.
“Plants possess several innate mechanisms to resist viruses,” says Nam-Hai Chua, Andrew W. Mellon Professor and head of the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, “but many viruses are able to overcome these barriers. Transgenic technology offers the possibility to genetically modify plants with genes encoding virus tolerance and/or resistance.” Chua’s research, published in November in Nature Biotechnology, shows that the new method can confer resistance against two turnip viruses.
One of the world's rarest plants is to be unveiled at the Royal Botanic Garden (RBG) in Edinburgh.
Visitors to the glasshouses will be able to see a Malaysian rhodedendron, thought to be the only remaining example of the species in the world. The plant is one of several threatened species held in the RBG living plants collection, which curators hope will help inspire Scottish gardeners. The collection will also feature at the Gardening Scotland show in Ingliston. David Mitchell, the RBG's indoor curator, said the RBG's mission was to "explore and explain" the world of plants.
By Sonja Barisic
Updated: 2:47 p.m. CT Jan 9, 2007
NORFOLK, Virginia - Seeds and plant remains preserved in a well at America's first permanent English settlement suggest the Jamestown colonists were not just gentlemen with few wilderness survival skills, as they are often portrayed, but tried to live off the land by gathering berries and nuts.
This new evidence changes how we view the people of Jamestown a little. It shows that they were able to adapt to the environment here after learning from the Native Americans which plants yielded nutritional value. It's interesting to learn that the colonists were seed savers and probably seed snatchers- like a lot of us. Maybe I won't feel so bad the next time I see a ripe seed pod in the planting of the local Target and pluck it and bring it home. Hey afterall if it's good enough for the first settlers it's good enough for me, right?
I just realized that they'd probably have an interesting answer to Carol's "Seedy Habits" meme going around the gardening blogs. I haven't posted my "Seedy Habits" because I'm pretty much a boring seed collector. I'll trade with people and I'll buy seeds from any rack I come across in a store.
Learn more about Jamestown.
The cover was done by Jack Pittman and beautifully illustrates the "Hot Topics" of the past year. To see the cover in all it's glory check out the website and click on the image for a larger view if you can't get your hands on a copy.
There is also an archive on the website of past issues that are sure to give you a chuckle or two like this one featuring "Hairy Potter." LOL.
and that's why the internet and blogs are such a great thing. One person sees something of interest and then other people notice it and pass it around until everyone has seen it. Now if I could only find a video of a Barak Obama trying to snort a Christmas Cactus during his college years and maybe I could be internet famous. Thanks for the link to my post in your entry Stuart.
Adenium Obesum: 8
Euphorbia Obesa: 6
Ceropegia Woodii: 2
Orchid Cactus: 2
Amaryllis bulbs: 9
African Violet: 3
Allium: 2 (Schubertii, Cernum)
Tulips: 3 (Queen of Night, Flaming Parrot and various X)
Echinacea: 4 (White Swan, Magnus, Tom Thumb, Double Decker)
Heuchera: 2 (Crimson Curls, Heuchera X 'Crown Jewels')
Hemerocallis: 3 ('Fairy Tale Pink' 'Siloam Fairy Tale' and various X)
Gloriosa Superba: 4
Vood Lily: 6
I'm sure there are more but I can't think of many now. Are there some plants that you really like and have more than one or one variety growing?
In the fall of 2006 I purchased a perennial sedum for the garden and it was trampled. Instead of picking up the pieces and throwing them I just turned some soil over on them and forgot about the broken pieces of the plant. In April 2007 while doing some spring cleaning in the garden, I happened to unearth one of the stems as I laid on the ground watching some bugs go back and forth through the garden.
I also joined the Google Co-op and started up the customized search engine Google for Gardeners. I hope to make it into a great resource for finding information by people who have sites/blogs/podcasts about gardening. I'm tired of looking for information and having most of my results being retail related. So I'm weeding out retail sites and keeping it mostly restricted to sites by the little guys. If you know of a site that fits that description feel free to contact me or leave me a message letting me know about them so I can add it. You can also feel free to link Google for Gardeners from your site/blog and encourage other people to use it.
But I think the best update I made was signing up with FeedBurner. If you're a blogger or podcaster or admin-you have to sign up. It's a free service that helps with the distribution of your content and collects info on your subscribers. I learned about it by seeing the chicklet on other blogs and got curious so I signed up. Seeing as how I'm not very tech-savvy I'm surprised with how painlessly I have been able to take advantage of the tools they provide. Today I was looking at the statistics on the FeedBurner dashboard and was noticing that I had visits to my humble gardening blog from Canada, the UK and Trinidad-Tobago. The other day I noticed that someone from Australia and India had been to my gardening blog and I was curious about how they got here. I was about to sign up with Bravenet to get some site statistics when I saw the update on a blog from a FeedBurner employee informing us that they were now going to offer stats for free.
This is probably starting to sound like a bad infomercial but it's not. If you're a blogger you need to get Feedburner. It's free and the info is easy to understand and the staff that I've seen answering questions on their help forum is always pleasant, plus I've noticed that some of them are from Chicago-so they can't be bad guys.
Parts of U.S. experience warm winterBy TARA BURGHART, Associated Press Writer Thu Jan 4, 6:24 PM ET
(click the post title to read the whole story)
Gardeners in the suburbs and Indiana had been reporting the same thing on the Gardenweb forums and I just saw a post on the CL garden forum from a person in Long Island who has Hyacinth bulbs breaking.
It got me curious so I called the U of I Extension number and spoke to Nancy Pollard. She seemed a little surprise to hear that I had bulbs sprouting in Chicago already.
I asked what course of action she would recommend and she said that mulching would be an option to help protect them when winter finally arrives for good. But with mulching there is the possibility that you could do damage . You see the growth we have now is being fueled by the bulb's reserves that it collected during the last growing season. If you mulch or cover the bulbs to protect any green growth now, you're prohibiting the bulb for collecting energy for the next growing season.
If these bulbs continue to grow and start to flower and then winter finally arrives they will suffer damage that we'll notice in the '08 growing season. If your bulbs are sprouting now it's better to just let them be because they're strong enough to survive cold temperatures when they finally get there. Chances are that they'll flower in Spring but if there are any negative effects it will most likely be little to no blooms in a year.
Nancy Pollard recommends to just let nature take it course and hope for better luck next year.
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is located right next to Lincoln Park Zoo and is an oasis in the middle of the city. It was constructed in stages between 1890 and 1895 to showcase exotic plants and to grow plants that were needed for the park. Jospeh L. Silsbee
in collaboration with architect M.E Bell built the Conservatory at a time when
people were fascinated with plants, insects and their classification.
Take a walk in either of the four houses; The Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House and be transported to another time when
these plants were not easily available to the public in retail. To really appreciate the setting and plants put yourself in the shoes of someone from the era as you walk through and wonder about the exotic locales the plants originate from.
The Lincoln Park Conservatory's lush interior is one of my favorite places in the city to take a break from our winters. Admission to the Conservatory is free and it's open from 9am-5pm. In the summer it may be busy because of it's
proximity to the Lincoln Park Zoo but it's never so busy that your enjoyment
of it will be an issue. My favorite times as early in the morning or early afternoon when most of the people you'll encounter will be the occasional nanny pushing a stroller.
It's easily accessible by CTA if you ride the #151 or #156 bus. If you take the #22 or #36 it's a short walk east of Clark and it's near North Michigan Avenue's popular spots like the Water Tower Mall.
Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Dr
Chicago, IL 60614