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Unknown Canna Drawing

This Canna started blooming in the yard during the past couple of days. I'm really fond of the orange spotting on the yellow petals of the flower. I got this Canna from a garden center when they went on clearance towards the end of spring. I love the foliage and spectacular flowers of Cannas. I don't know if I will grow this one next year but there definitely be others.


unkown flower drawing

This flower popped up in my yard and I think it may have escaped from my neighbor's yard. She buys those pack of wild flowers from Walgreens and tosses the seeds around. The day I noticed this flower I was going to toss it but out of nowhere a large humming bird moth appeared in the yard and started feeding from it. I'd never seen one of them before and I was surprised by how fearless the insect was as it landed and probed all the blooms on the stalk.


NPR : Mustard Plants to Boldly Grow Where…

NPR : Mustard Plants to Boldly Grow Where…, July 24, 2006

On board the space shuttle that lifted off July 4 was a black plastic briefcase marked "critical Space Item." Inside were 600 seeds.

(Full story at link)

When I save my seeds I put them in those little 2x3 baggies the briefcase sounds a little like overkill to me. And trading seeds with people in Canada seems hard enough I can't imagine trading with someone in space. :-)

A Porch and Flowering Meadow, 6 Floors Up - New York Times

A Porch and Flowering Meadow, 6 Floors Up - New York Times

Wow, If you have a second check out this story at the link above. David Puchkoff and his family have put a porch and miniature meadow on top of their west village apartment building. Considering how much my Mayor is pushing roof top gardening as a green conservation method it's great to see people doing this. Truly inspiring.



Feline felon suspected in glove thefts - Yahoo! News

BY Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press Writer

PELHAM, N.Y. -A pink-and-white gardening glove was missing Thursday morning from Jeannine Goche's front porch. But there was absolutely no mystery about who had taken it. Willy, the cat who loves gloves, had struck again.

"It has to be him," said Goche, an attorney. "I've heard about him."

As if gardeners of Pelham don't have enough to worry about, with the rocky soil and the slugs and the big trees casting too much shade, a feline felon has been sneaking into their back yards and carrying off gardening gloves.

(full story at link above)

I got this story e-mailed on Friday and laughed at because it was a cute animal story but it was gardening related. I guess if you live in Pelham and you're missing a gardening glove it was probably stolen by Willy.

When I was younger I had a cat who liked to steal things too but he would bring back kittens. I know, weird my (male) cat was a kidnapper. He'd show up from time to time with a litter of kittens that he'd be hiding in the basement.


I want mutants in my garden

La. garden yields yard-long ... cuculoupe? - Yahoo! News

Mon Jul 10, 4:43 PM ET

HOUMA, La. They're a yard long and a good few inches across. The skin is waxy, sort of like a cucumber, but yellow and ridges like a canteloupe. A half dozen of them grew between the cucumbers and cantaloupe in a Houma home garden.

"We call it a cuculoupe," Karen Dusenbery said.

As good a name as any.

"Science is strange sometimes," LSU AgCenter agent Barton Joffrion said after examining the whatsits.

"You see crosses like that. What happens is they planted them close in proximity, and they are in the same family," said Joffrion. "But it's not that common.

Both are members of the Cucurbit family, which includes pumpkins and gourds as well as melons and cucumbers.

Cucumbers and cantaloupes are closely related enough to swap genes, Joffrion said. He'd never seen anything like the Dusenbery's whatever.

"In the first generation, they'll cross and you'll get an unusual fruit," Joffrion said.

The firm flesh inside is yellow and somewhat sweet but has a flavor more like a cucumber than cantaloupe, Tim Dusenbery said.

The Dusenberys said they are saving seeds and hope to get more next year.

However, Joffrion said a crossbred plant usually reverts back to one of its original forms in subsequent generations.

"It'll be interesting to see what it does revert to," Joffrion said.

(read/rate story at link above)

I think this is so cool. I wish there would be lots of crossbreeding in my garden but I don't think I have many things that are closely related.


ABC News: Arizonans Fight to Save Native Cactus

ABC News: Arizonans Fight to Save Native Cactus

The Fast Rate of Development is Encroaching on the Cacti Territory


July 8, 2006-Cacti have been called the original inhabitants of Arizona: Saguaro, barrel, hedge hog, ocotillo, prickly pear and cholla are all native flora of the state.

But now, the newer residents are competing for space.

More than 170 new homes are being built in Phoenix and Tucson every day, and they are crowding out the flora.

Enter the Cactus Rescue Crew-an all volunteer force whose mission is to save what's growing before homebuilders bulldoze the desert.

"We're hurrying as fast as we can to get as much off as we can. Said group member Patsy Frannea.

"I Can't stand the thought of these guys going to a landfill and being wasted," said another group member, Jerry Estruth.

The destruction of the cacti poses a serious problem for the fate of the species because it takes some of these plants decades to grow.

"That's about 7-feet tall," Cactus Crew member, Joe Frannea said of one specimen, "so that saguaro has probably been groing for 60 years or so."

(full story at the link above)

I lived in Northern Az for a short while and the memory of driving south and seeing the Saguaros lord over the mountains as you get lower in elevation is one of those memories that will always be with me. This group is doing good work I remember wondering what would become of the large Cacti that lived along the highway that were in the path of construction. It's good to hear that the future of some will be very bright.


The Bulb Hunter - New York Times

The Bulb Hunter - New York Times

By Ginia Bellafante
Published:July 6, 2006

A few weeks ago Chris Wiesinger traveled to the most forlorn area of Lufkin, Tex., an old railroad town not too far from the border of Louisiana, and from the window of his Ford-F-150 pickup almost immediately noticed Zephyranthes grandiflora. At 25, he is rarely prone to effusion, but the sight of the flower caused him to smile in such a way that his whole face rippled, like a pool of water into which a pebble has been thrown.

The plant, more typically known as a rain lily, was blooming on a vacant lot surrounded by four bungalows, all of them boarded up. "There's nothing else here," Mr. Wiesinger said as he walked towards the flowers. "It never gets touched or cared for, and just look at it. Well, my goodness."

Mr. Wiesinger makes a living finding pretty things in ravaged places. In 2004 he started the Southern Bulb Company with the aim of reintroducing flowers long out of vogue, committing himself exclusively to those that have ably asserted themselves against the particular cruelties of exceedingly hot weather for decades, even centuries.

While the pursuit of heirloom botanicals may have an air of elitism about it, Mr. Wiesinger goes after what one might think of as the Barbara Stanwycks of floriculture: resilient flowers without patrician connotation that thrive in areas largely lost to the economic revival of the New South. His is the world of cotton towns, condemned properties, abandoned buildings and houses where torn sofas crest on bowed porch fronts." Most of the time you're not finding this stuff in the fancy neighborhoods around Dallas," he said,"but in places where people couldn't afford to plant new things."

(Full article at the link above.)

In a time when plant hunters no longer create front page news I think this story is incredible and important so the big box garden centers that is mostly available to many of us create McGardens.


Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening

I was cleaning out my bookmarks and came across this link I had been saving for a while. If you garden you may get a kick out of what these crazy green loving Europeans are up to.

I haven't done anything on this scale but I have thrown handfulls of extra seeds I had in neighbor's yards who have nothing growing and in an empty parking lot near my house. Mostly the Asclepia Syriaca that I find near the rail road tracks, but it's better than nothing.

Check out Guerilla Gardening by clicking the link above. They have lots of neat info and cool pics of the work they do. Maybe they will inspire you too.