Monthly Archives June 2014

The Health Risks of Gardening

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By Administrator

Hogweed is a native to Asia and was introduced (by some idiot I’m sure) to New York in 1917, from there it has spread around the NE, into Canada, and also now Michigan:

If you see it, don’t touch it, but make sure you kill it or get someone else to kill it. Dump roundup on it from afar, pour vinegar or boiling water over it, burn it out with a weeding torch (wonderful tool).

But do not touch it.

Ears & Eyes

If you use power tools, you should always protect your ears and eyes. Hearing degrades all throughout our life and you’ll make yours last longer if you remember to protect it from loud noises. That your eyes need protection goes without saying, you don’t want a shard of something in your eye. Always wear appropriate protective gear when using power tools.

This is dou...

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By (Matt Mattus)

A large golden yellow Rebutia sp. thrives on neglect, and winter cold ( if kept dry) in a bonsai pot.
I must have been around ten years old, when I started growing cacti. As most young boys, cacti fascinated me, at least enough so that I collected a windowsill full in my bedroom. I remember when one finally formed a large flower bud and bloomed one spring – – I felt as if I had raised the rarest plant of all, as even my mother had never been able to bring a cactus into bloom ( aside from her Christmas Cactus!). Today, I have to admit that I phase in and out of cactus collecting – which is OK, I suppose, as the cacti remain healthy and fine ( most of them, anyway) with about as much abuse as I can give them...
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By (Simon Eade)

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Native to tropical and subtropical areas worldwide Crinums are not known for their hardiness, however if you live in a northern European climate and fancy growing these gorgeous plants in your garden you are in luck as there is one cultivar than you can leave to over-winter outside – Crinum x powellii.

Germinating crinum seed –

Crinum x powellii is a hybrid of Crinum bulbispermum and Crinum moorei both species native to the cooler regions of South Africa.

Seeds should be sown singularly as soon as they ripen...

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By (Simon Eade)

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Ornamental plants from the clematis genus are amongst the most popular of all flowering climbers. They thrive best in full sun, with their roots in cool, moist, well-drained soil. As well as flowers they produce attractive, silky seeds heads in the autumn. The large flowering hybrids are some of the most colourful of all garden plants, and when positioned with thought will have a charming if not spectacular effect within the garden environment.

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Perhaps the most popular of all the large flowering hybrids is the free-flowering Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’, a cultivar ...

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THE HEAVEN LOTUS TREE – Gustavia superba

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By (Simon Eade)

The Heaven Lotus – Gustavia superba, is a small tropical tree or medium sized shrub, native to tropical South America. It was first discovered in Panama in 1873 by Osbert Salvin, an English naturalist best known for co-authoring a 52 volume encyclopaedia on the natural history of Central America known as the ‘Biologia Centrali-Americana’.

Gustavia superba is just one of 41 species within this genus, many of which are are listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Be that as it may, Gustavia superba is actually abundant in re-growing secondary forests.

The natural habitat of this evergreen species stretches from the north of South America, from ...

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A Flowering Tree Wish List

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By Rochelle Greayer

halesia tree by rochelle greayer

This time of year is such a treat. It is so full of beautiful flowering trees and shrubs that it is hard to take it all in and really feel like you have enjoyed it before it fades into the green of summer.

My own garden boasts a Cercis canadensis (Eastern Red bud) that is just about to burst open with flowers, a Heptacodium miconioides (Seven Sons Tree), a gorgeous burgundy blooming crabapple of unknown variety, a hand full of voluptuous Pierus (andromeda) and a few “flowering weepers” (so-called by the previous owner who insisted that this was their proper name when I tried to get the bottom of their actual variety)...

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Spring fling

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By Stephen Westcott-Gratton

Spring is bustin’ out all over” …to mangle the Rodgers and Hammerstein song title ever so slightly. And after about a week of “normal” temperatures, everything seems to be popping out of the ground at the same time.

As if to prove it, a clump of our gorgeous native pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens, Zone 3)—native from Ontario to Yukon—is blooming at the same time as some neighbouring (squirrel-planted) broad-leaved grape hyacinths (Muscari latifolium, Zone 4) which are usually busy producing seed by the time the pasque flowers bloom.

And the warmer temperatures also woke up hungry over-wintering insects. I love bumblebees, mostly because they’re so docile, and I adore stroking their furry backs, often to the amazement of folks who don’t realize ...

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By (Simon Eade)

The Iris genus contains approximately 260–300 species of flowering plants, but the absolute kings of this beautiful group of plants are the bearded Iris. Bearded Iris are not a single species but currently include 35 species and numerous cultivars. As exotic as they appear they are both surprisingly tough and easy to grow.

Bearded irises are are so called because of the hairy tufts displayed at the base of each of the three downward turned sepals.

Hundreds of hybrids exist representing every colour from jet black to sparkling whites. However there is still one colour missing, a truly red, red!

There is no such thing as a typical bearded iris but to try and make se...

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