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new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
Tue, May 29, 12 at 18:55

Hi Everybody, and welcome to the Friends of the Earth-Simple Swaps for June!
First of all, to participate in these swaps, you must be a member of FOTESS. If you would like to join, we'd love to have you! Contact Jeanne or myself to learn how to join!

In the past eight months, since we started FOTESS back in October, we've done quite alot of seed swapping. My thoughts for June were, maybe, by now, everyone would be ready to take a break from swapping seeds, from signing up on time, from mailing packages and meeting deadlines.

I thought it might be nice instead, to talk about all those seeds we received and what we did with them.

And just in case you've forgotten:
Last month we sent cuttings, something new to some of us, tell us what you learned! Any successes yet?
In April, we wrote poems about our seed compulsions and sent our excess seeds on to someone else!
In March, Jeanne hosted a swap for miniature seed types, any minis growing out there?
In February we tried to chase the winter blues away by sharing blue seeds. Any True Blues?
In January, Jeanne introduced us to Upcycling, which has made me look twice at anything I'm about to pitch!
December saw us sending Feathered Feast out to the birds; how many kinds of birds did you have at your feeders this year?
November was our Soltice Swap. We shared 4 packs of seeds, to be wintersowed, one pack each for Remembrance, Leap of Faith, Life and Mother Nature.
And October was our inaugral swap, in which we started "Sowing the Seeds of Recycling, Seeding and Reading".

How about it? Are you ready for a break? We would love to see all of our members post at least once and let us know how their gardens, seeds, recycling/upcycling efforts are going, also any good books, fiction or otherwise you've read lately.

If you can't remember who you got those seeds from, or even what they were, you can check back through the FOTESS threads. It's all in there!

I'm taking a break for the month of June and I hope you'll join me! I'll be back later with updates on ALL those seeds I received!
Shirley!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Shirley, a break is a nice idea especially for me. As some of you know, I hosted my daughters bridal shower in May, my son graduated last Friday night and his party was Saturday. Now, I am preparing for my daughters wedding to be held June 9th. I hate missing out on swaps but obviously, joining in on one right now would be overwhelming so just stopping by to post and read about others and their garden posts will be nice.

As for my seeds, I have not had much chance to plant any but some vegies. I did not keep my swap goodies separate so have no idea where what came from. I went out to weed today after we had a much needed rain. I have a few successes so far but I feel it is a little early to claim failures. I think a lot of my vegies came from the Christmas card swap that was done back in December on another group swap. I do have some tomatoes, peppers, pepper cress, lettuce, cukes, and squash coming up. I came in for a break and will go finish planting when I am done.

As for birds, I have finally received response to my feeder that is placed outside my kitchen window. I did up three hummingbird feeders the other day and the wind emptied two almost immediately and the other was empty within two days and I think that is due to a leak. Does anyone have any suggestions as to keep these feeders still? It is frustrating as I really want to bring in the hummers. I know my plants can do that but would like the feeders so I can keep an eye on visitors easier.

I did do an inventory of my seeds and sorted and recorded them only to find I had a little less than 400 packages. I ask you why? Why do we do this? Most of us know there is no way we can plant all those. I have actually convinced myself to deadhead as much as I can so there are no seeds that I will feel forced to harvest this year. To harvest would mean more seeds to swap for. I am sure you will see me at some time joining in on a seed swap anyway. It is an addiction I just can't get over.

On a different note, I registered for a 5K run in Columbus, Ohio this August. I am not a runner so my son and I started yesterday to get me ready. He's an avid runner and most days takes a four mile run. I have started on running a 1/2 mile right now and I am almost ready to move on from there. I want to be able to comfortably run that 1/2 mile before I do move on. I am pretty psyched about it and if I can complete that run in a reasonable time at the age of 55, I am going to be extremely pleased. 4 of our 5 kids will be running as well.

I am looking forward to checking in each day to see how gardens are treating everyone. Great idea Shirley.

Margo


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Great idea Shirley!

I am also one of the avid seed collectors, lol! I have over 100 packs of seeds still unsown (I know I have more, but stopped counting when I hit 100) :). I am also trying NOT to harvest so many seeds this year. I saw all my columbines flowering and had to force myself to deadhead some.

I did sow the poppies and the bunny tails that I received from a FOTESS swap and they are looking terrific! The bunny tails are in large urn's next to the pond. And the poppies are under a flowering pear tree by the kids playground. I can't wait till they flower.

I received so many different kinds of tomatoes as well. Much to my surprise, they ALL came up. What was I thinking? I have over 40 different types of tomatoes, lol! At least 3 of each kind. I am finding them homes this week. My mothers senior group of ladies is going to take some and I'm dropping some off to the food pantry in town to hand out. :) The generosity of one person really does go very far! :)

Margo, CONGRATULATIONS! on your daughters wedding and your upcoming run. Both sound very exciting!

Have a super month! and great idea again Shirley! :D
vina


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, May 30, 12 at 17:41

Hi Everyone!
Just wanted to let you know we have a new member! Yea!
Her name is Katie, gardenweb name-kchd. She'll be joining us for the June swap.
Welcome, Katie, nice to have you!
Shirley!
PS-doing some major stressing about this plant sale; I'll be back later to chat about seeds.


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Welcome, Katie!!! We are so happy to have you join us and look forward to getting to know more about you.

I had oral surgery this morning and had a tooth extracted so excuse any ramblings - I'm on pain meds. So far it's all going better than it usually does, so here's hoping I feel back to normal in a day or two.

I took a quick walk around the yard a little while ago because it is a beautiful day and we got some rain yesterday so everything is looking very pretty.

I knew Shirley would have a good "swap" idea this month and this one is great!

I will talk about some things relating to my garden (and send some congratulations on the news others are posting) and other of my garden "events" in another post. I have my winter sowing journal here at my desk so I'll mention some of the winter sowing seeds that did really well and a few have been blooming (asterisk shows blooming), too:

Nasturtium 'Tip Top' from jaynine*
Penstamon 'Pinacolata' from hibiscusfan
Cornflower 'Emperor William' from jaynine* - The only plant I have with my husband's name in the name of the plant
Baby's Breath*
Borage*
Several varieties of Nicotiana* (which I hadn't grown before)
Several varieties of Morning Glory*, Rose of Sharon (hibiscus), Basil, Coleus, Cosmos, Cleome, Celosia, Zinnia,and Yarrow
Strawberry Foxglove
Viola 'Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow'* - Had wanted to try this one for a long time
Verbascum 'White Milkshake' from hibiscusfan
Intersting tomatoes: Golden Bison, Humph, Victorian Dwarf, Tumbling Tom, and Plum Lemon
Asarina wiglizensis from jaynine
Sweet Dumpling Squash
Persecaria Lance Corporal - Love this plant!
Queen Anne's Pocket Melon
Melting Sugar Snow Peas
Kale de Toscan from jaynine

I plant in a very limited space so I can't plant many veggies and most of my herbs are in containers. However, we have harvested our peas and kale. I never grew kale before. I made kale chips and a kale and garlic recipe that you serve on toast. Pretty good! The peas went into stir fry recipes.

There may be more of my winter sowing seeds from FOTESS members, but I don't always write who they are from in my journal and this year I was trying to use up some of my older seeds. I was hostess for the Theme Garden Seed Swap so some of the seeds listed come from that.

My journal: I try to list date planted, type of seed, year harvested (if known), who it is from (person or seed company), and when I first notice sprouts.

I planted a few more seeds this week so we'll see how they do. Due to the heat and usual dryness, I don't plant a lot from now until towards fall. I did order some bulbs the other day and they should arrive soon. I must say that much of my garden is the result of GardenWeb swaps! I doubt many of these seeds could even be found any other way. I love it! I have many gorgeous daylilies that come from the Round Robin Exchange and am really enjoying them right now. I bought seed potatoes and planted those quite a few weeks ago: Adirondack Blue Potatoes and Yukon Gold Potatoes. I love freshly dug potatoes. We have to harvest them pretty early, but not yet. I guess I have about a dozen potato plants total.

I'll try to report on my cuttings later this week. I know some have rooted - just being cautious and trying not to disturb them too much which I've said is the hard part for me. I dug out a few of the woodier ones the other day and if they showed no signs of doing anything, I scraped the bark a bit and applied a bit more rooting hormone, and repotted them so we will see...

I usually only grow my tomatoes from seed but they are very slow to set fruit once it gets hot - about now - so I bought a few plants to get a little ahead of the game this year. I have Oxheart, Mountain (___) drawing a blank here will have to look at the marker, and Better Boy plants that I bought.
Well, I thought this would be short and I went on and on. It's easier to type than to talk right now. LOL Time to put ice on my face again for awhile, rinse with salt water, and all that good stuff.

Can't wait to hear more about everyone's gardens!

Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

I love swapping, checking this thread, getting to know people. It's so much fun!
I seem to be doing a lot of confessing with this group...so... I wintersowed for the first time. Every time I looked at the plastic bottles I heard my mother and my grandmother's voices saying, "Redneck! What's wrong with you, girl?" When the seeds sprouted I was ecstatic. I watched over them. Then it got warm. I scooped them out and planted them, but nearly everything died. THEN I read to LEAVE them in the container, cut it open and let them grow until they are strong. Well, there were a few containers left...but alas, the markers had failed me so I didn't know what anythign was. I still don't...but maybe someday I will.
I'm seriously considering canning after the bookcover swap and reading the book I received. Also, the Forget-me-Nots are up that came with that swap.
I have another crazy Post Office story to add to my coffee table book (if I ever write it).
I got to play with root hormone and start new plants!
You're all a lot of fun!
Heidi


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by kchd 7b Mississippi (My Page) on
    Wed, May 30, 12 at 21:36

Hi everyone,
I'm new to the FOTESS group, but after reading threads about some of the past swaps, thought this would be fun to join in on.

So to introduce myself, I live in Mississippi, zone 7b. I am lucky in that I enjoy my job, which is working with wildlife; specifically, conducting research with fish-eating birds. That includes cormorants, pelicans, herons, egrets, and sometimes gulls, osprey, and wood storks. Oftentimes, though, this means spending lots of time away from home when the birds migrate north. That can make the gardening growing season a bit of a challenge.
I love nature, wildlife, plants, and their ecosystems. Love my pets, too, and my dear husband. We both enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, traveling, gardening and reading.
I've been gardening for years, since I was a kid actually, with my mom. The past several years has mainly found us focusing on vegetable gardening, but I have been putting in more flowerbeds this past January. I love native plants, especially those that benefit wildlife, birds, and pollinators. Aside from the 1,000 sq ft veg garden, 90% of my plants are native. I also try my very best to keep it all organic.
I joined GW less than 6 months ago, and have really enjoyed the few seed swaps I have participated in. There are some amazingly generous people here.
My reading list includes books about history, science, nature, but also good works of fiction. Although I don't subscribe to many magazines, I do enjoy gardening & cooking magazines, among others. We do get the New Yorker, so if anyone I am paired with in future swaps is ever interested, I will pass those along for your reading pleasure!
As for recycling, living in small-town MS makes that a challenge. For years we have saved recyclable items in bins and hauled them to a nearby facility ourselves. Just a few months ago, we got the option of curbside recycling pickup in rural MS. I am still doing the "happy dance" over that. Alas, tho, we still have no glass recycling.
Well, I could ramble on and on, but that's enough for now. I'm looking forward to the next swap!
ttfn, Katie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Hello Katie and welcome to the Fostess group. Glad you could join us.

Your job sounds fabulous. I am a birder although just a bit more than a novice. Always time to learn more. I was totally thrilled last week to have an eagle fly overhead when I was out watering. We don't live too close to a river or lake but have had the occasional sightings near us.

I was out in the garden today and found that my pink poodle, marmalade, and paradoxa echinaceas are blooming. Other varieties are about to make their entrance so will know exactly what they are when they fully open up. I have one garden 8x8 devoted to echinacea and not all of the hybrids I have purchased have returned.

I think that I will begin journaling my swaps and trades. I bought a gardening journal last year from my store but have not had the opportunity to get it started. As soon as the wedding is over, I think it will be my new project.

Looking forward to reading posts from Fostess members. Margo


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, May 31, 12 at 21:13

Hi Everyone! It was a COLD, VERY COLD day here today; I had to close all the windows last night and put the blanket back on the bed! Crazy weather!

Margo, congrats on entering the Run and remember, walking is also a good way to get in shape for it, sounds weird but it's true. And I have to tell ya, I am already thinking about harvesting Columbine seeds, which I do not need, also Jacobs Ladder and the Prairie Dusk Penstemon, yes, the Penstemon, despite the fact, I WSed two more kinds this year, and they were quite successful. And I have no room left in the gardens! AGGGGHHH!

Katie, I think I would love your job! And I haven't read the New Yorker in years! Do they still have the cartoons?

Heidi, my markers faded out on me the first year I WSed. But I didn't have that many jugs, so it wasn't too big of a deal. I started using paint pens the next year, still using the same pens as a matter of fact, and they are great. Just remember to write on the LOWER half of your container - yeah - I have two kinds of Rudbeckia out there that I'm not sure which is which, because I took the tops off at the same time to plant them. DUH!

Jeanne, hope you are feeling a little better now. And what is Persecaria?

Vina, I know the feeling, I had to plant almost every type of seed I got this year from swaps. No need to ask why I'm having a plant sale! And back in April, I went thro all my seeds and sorted out lots of them for this plant sale-had a nice big baggie full. Well, I keep going back thro them and now I've only got 4-5 packs in there. Hey, I might NEED to plant that type of seed-you can't be too careful!

In any event, I wanted to give an update on my cuttings from the May swap. I have lost, for sure, the honeysuckle shrub, the St. John's Wort, the agastache, the flowering quince and the lavender. All of the rest are doing fine, I think they are rooting, I have new growth on both sedums, and I'll get them potted up next week. I'm really excited about the Lilac Kim, I've already got a large pot ready to plant it in!

Well, it just started raining and it's still very cold. Better go shut the windows again! Have a great night!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 1, 12 at 21:05

Well, it finally quit raining, but is supposed to rain on and off all day tomorrow. Drat! Hopefully folks will feel like dodging the raindrops for the plant sale.
Hope to hear about more of those seeds from more of our members!
Wish me luck tomorrow!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Good luck tomorrow. Do you have someone helping you. If you do this again next year, I would be happy to come up and help you out.

I think this weather should be helpful to you, (unless it rains). When it is really hot out, people hesitate to buy plants because they have to water them more. I know the heat hurt plant sales at our store last week.

Let us know how it goes. Margo


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Good luck with the plant sale and let us know how it goes!
We got some rain here today also.
Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Good morning everyone,

I so much wanted to get out and transplant this morning but its raining out AGAIN. Still have not been able to get most of the vegetable garden in. We had frost last weekend. It's getting so late that I now probably won't plant any melons since our frost date is only about 95 days away.

Journaling trades/swaps is a good idea. I also bought a journal a couple of years ago and not one page has been written on. Guess it is something a person has to just take the time to do.

The columbine has started to bloom and this year I wanted to take pictures and put into a notebook but the wind doesn't stop blowing long enough to hold the plants still....they are blurred. These are my favorite flowers and have well over 100 plants now but I keep planting more seeds. Not sure why this year most are now in the purple tones. When the plants are done blooming I am going to dig out alot of the plants that are the same. You would think the original plants would stay the same color. Last year I didn't save any of the columbine seeds but going to this year. I really need to really sow seeds of different varities of flowers so that I have flowers blooming all summer and fall.

Still haven't planted all the winter sown seeds and of course probably about 75 containers have nothing coming up yet. I did move them into a more shaded area under the blackberry vines. Because of all the rain and cooler weather we have had this spring, going to have a huge crop of raspberries and blackberries this year. The chest freezer is still full from last year though.

Today is my great grandson's 3rd birthday and my grandson was able to take 10 days leave to be home then he leaves for afghanistan for 9 months. So its going to be a celebration on one hand and saying goodbye's for awhile on the other hand.

Guess I better get the day started. Have a nice day everyone

Ellie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 3, 12 at 8:35

Good Morning!
Ellie, nice to hear from you! Saying some prayers for your grandson.
You know, I've read that columbines will cross pollinate, if that's the right term, if planted too close together. I'll find out if that's true, next year, because I have a yellow one and a pink one about 5 feet apart out there!

Well, the plant sale went VERY well, so well in fact that I'm doing it again today!
The most amazing thing happened: Last year I WSed Pearly Everlasting, which is a host plant for the American Lady butterfly. This year, I potted up some of the volunteers for the sale. Week before last, I saw two American Ladies flitting around those pots. And yesterday at the sale, a customer discovered American Lady catepillars on most of the plants! Everyone was so excited and yes, the customer bought 4 of the plants! I got one of my butterfly books out to check and make sure, and they definitely were American Lady cats! Talk about a good selling point!

Have a great day, All!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by kchd 7b Mississippi (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 3, 12 at 15:25

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome. I have been enjoying reading about everyone's gardens, and even went back and read thru some threads from previous swaps.�All of the descriptions and stories about the monardas, salvias, echinaceas, penstemons, etc. has visions dancing in my head!�

Today I am traveling (Go, go gadget iPhone!) to northern Wisconsin to work with more birds, having just returned from Illinois last Wednesday night. It was a mad dash on Friday and Saturday to get all the yard work, re-potting, mowing, mulching, and gardening done before we left again. We already had drip irrigation set up on the veggie garden, but we installed soaker drips along the various flower beds, and I also built a couple potted plant tables out of pallets and we set up a watering system for 2 pallets worth of various tree and perennial seedlings. Ahhh, the challenges of summer travel!

So far, I have WS'ed 3 sp. of coreopsis and 3 sp. of liatris directly into beds. Most of the rest of my native plants were started by cold stratifying in the fridge. Our past winter was incredibly mild, and by March it was too warm to WS. I have common, poke, and swamp milkweed planted, and lucked upon some green milkweed which I successfully transplanted in early May. My salvia (lady in red and coral nymph) are growing well but no blooms yet. Same with the wild bergamot and lemon beebalm. I've also got some native grasses like northern wood oats, Virginia wild rye, eastern gamagrass, indiangrass, and little bluestem. Volunteer zinnias and some very hearty mums in the mix, too. I happened to stumble upon a white pow wow echinacea and some false asters at Lowes, and now they are happy additions to the flowerbeds.�

We ate our first summer squash and it won't be long before the tomatoes are ripe. The rest of the veggies should be producing before too long. Our black cherry trees are ripe with cherries a month early this year, and are really attracting a ton of different birds. I sampled a few myself, and saved a bowl full of seeds.�

I am hopeful that in July my field season will slow down and I can play around with getting some cuttings rooted. Right now I have a couple oak leaf hydrangea cuttings I took in early May that I am trying to get rooted. We will see if they survive.�

Shirley, please do tell about your plant sale! Did you set that up at your house like a garage sale? Or perhaps at a farmers market? Curious minds want to know!

For my fellow birders, you may be interested to check out eBird online. You can submit your birding observation lists, and it will keep track of all your sightings. Think of it as an e-version of your life lists. Plus, the data is used by researchers and ornithologists. Good all the way around.�

ttfn, Katie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

I had not tried Photobucket for awhile because my internet server and it were having "issues", but I tried today and everyone seems to be happy and getting along. Hooray! Pictures!

This first one is a plant Shirley asked me about. I love to grow it in my garden and it always does well. I haven't saved my own seeds from it yet though so maybe I will figure out how to do that this year. The flowers are tiny red globes so I have no idea how you tell when it is no longer a flower and has become a seed. The name is Persicaria (Torvara virginianum) Painter's Pallette. It does well in our hot dry weather and I grow it in partial shade. I love the markings on the leaves. You may not like it - the common name for this is "Knotweed" - LOL

Photobucket

Also, as I said, the daylilies have been wonderful here this year. They started blooming in May because of our very warm spring. Here are two that I photographed. I love all the unusual daylilies people have created. My writing always seems to fade off my tags, so I am not sure of the names of these.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Well, I'll be heading outside to set up sprinklers and drag my hoses around! Have a great day.

Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Exciting morning for me here today. I happened to glance outside the house at our pond about 7:30 and there sitting on top of our flipped up ladder to the dock was an eagle. It was awesome. Grabbed my camera for several perching shots and then a take off picture. Can't wait to get them developed. I would post them here but my skills lack for doing that. Our largest river is quite a ways from here and Lake Erie even farther so it was a treat to see it there. On Wednesday, I was watering and had one fly by overhead. I hope it is the same one and he becomes a regular visitor.

Katie, sounds like you have a great garden going there and to think you are already eating the fruits of your labor is amazing. Can't wait for harvest time here but I only just got the seeds in two weeks ago. We did get strawberries in this year and raspberries in last year but you know how that goes. It is a few years before you get any substantial harvest.

Shirley, neat on the American Ladies caters. I bought a fennel last year from my store because it was covered in swallowtail caterpillars. Just these tiny little things. I have them in my garden now on several of my reseeded fennel. I love to watch the progress and even had one cacoon on the side of the house last year. Fun. Glad to hear your sale went well. Hope you did good again today. Not sure about your weather but it was beautiful here but the wind was a bit strong.

Jeanne, beautiful daylilies and I do like the Painter's Pallate. Very pretty.

I am sitting outside right now watching the sunset. Our deck faces the west and every sunset is different. The one advantage to having no trees anywhere near our property is that view. Love it. The birds are singing, the ornamental pond waterfall is making it's trickling noise and one of the cats and I are just sitting here taking it all in. I would like a cup of tea but don't want to disturb any of it by getting up and going in the house.

Hope everyone else had a chance to experience a special moment this weekend.

Now I just need to get through this week in one piece and enjoy my daughters wedding on Saturday. We are so excited to make her fiance a member of the family. He is a great guy.

Good evening everyone, Margo


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 3, 12 at 21:37

Jeanne, beautiful pictures! Love the knotweed!

Katie, aren't the coral nymph salvias beautiful?! I grew my first plants last year, and will plant them every year from here on out. I am going to check the ebird site out.

I hold my sale in the backyard, which is mostly a cement patio. I use all my old shelving units to set the plants on, plus two old utility carts and a folding table. I placed a classified ad in our newspaaper, and tacked flyers up ALL over town. I put the prices on the pots which seems to work out better than making a list. I'm thinking about holding it again next weekend, I still have lots of plants left. I seem to get better at this with each successive year, but I'm not sure I want to do it again next year, it's a lot of work!

Margo, how great to get pics of the eagle! We got some out at the lake this year, but it was a misty, cloudy day and my pics didn't turn out well. I hope you have days like today every day this week, if you can understand that! And yes, it was beautiful here today and the wind was horrendous!

I'm trying to go back thro all of our swaps and give an update on the seeds I got from each one. In April, I received over 30 packs of seeds from Margo with a really good poem! And Margo, of the seeds that you sent me, the nicotania, zinnias, basils, naturciums, agastaches, cosmos, salvia, morning glory chocolate, rocket larkspur, tithonia, dill and the pink malva are all up and sprouting! Some, like the nicotania, went in pots, most went in the ground. I had really great success with the pink malva, in fact, I've already sold 4 pots of it! I direct sowed the snapdragon cherry sprite in a pot, and the squirrels nailed it. Drat. But I worked them back into the soil, hopefully they will sprout.
Oh, almost forgot, my swallowtails love the dill, I've got some great pics of the cats! They totally ignore the fennel. WSed some Bronze fennel this year, we'll see how that goes!
Have a great day tomorrow, everyone!
Shirley


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Congratulations on the successful Plant Sale Shirley! :)

I'm in chair of the County Fairs Plant Swap. This will be our 4th year. I always want to make sure there is a nice variety to choose from...hence the crazy amount of seeds I sow, lol. Last year I brought 100 potted plants and 60 iris...I must be crazy.

We had about 20 people register and swap, and had a great time. But, the prior planning takes so much time! Fliers, fair meetings...and even setting up. I have raffles every hour during registration and 1 big raffle at the end of the swap (4 raffles total). I get donated items. Last year, we had 2 trees (flowering cherry and flowering pear), a birdbath, shepards hooks, hanging pots, and my favorite a garden angel statue. The swap is in July and I'm still working on raffles getting raffle items even as I type, lol.

We always have leftover plants after the swap...mostly because of me...and I do not want to bring home 100 plants. So this year, after the swap we'll be having a plant sale with all the money going to the county fair, for the children's program they have.

AND, I also managed to unload, err... donate :)... a whole lot of tomato plants to the food pantry. They were so happy! And the nice lady I talked to said that if I have more I can drop them off on Tuesday, because the ones I donated are already gone.

I try to think of ALL the generous gardeners on the GW who make all this possible. Lord knows without them I would not be able to do any of it. I know I can't afford to BUY 20 different kinds of columbine, or 40 different kinds of tomatoes. But swapping...

well...we all know we're addicted to it :D and I think I found some good outlets for my sowing.

Have a great day!
vina


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by corrine1 7b Pacific Northwest (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 4, 12 at 12:16

I've enjoyed swapping seeds for the 1st time on GW this year. The collection is amazing. I've sowed only a fraction of them, but will store for future years. Plus it was entertainment to participate in the swaps during the cold, gray days of winter & early spring. Now that we have longer days and mostly above 55 temps I am busy outside as much as possible getting gardening projects done. I don't have as much time for sitting near the space heater at the computer. I have a chronic pain & fatigue illness called fibromyalgia, so limit myself to small shovels & no heavy lifting or digging. Especially since I have some previous back & neck injuries as well as arthritis like we all get as we age. Sometimes I have buckets of materials & piles of things waiting for my hubby or son to move, but as long as I don't get too bossy they will assist me. I most love to poke & plant with a trowel or even a putty knife, so try to keep the soil covered with mulch to be able to do that type of planting and not have weeds. Since I do better with warmer weather as long as I'm careful I almost get back to my pre-illness days during the summer at least with being about to be out of bed & not laying flat so much. I've been pushing the max a bit too much lately, so am trying to budget my time carefully before I have a big flare and can't do much at all.

I also work 2 part time jobs (substitute teaching & running a small elementary afterschool program for our camp at a nearby school) and homeschool our son who graduates this year, so planning a big party for him on the weekend. Our homeschool co-op ended in early May, so don't have those classes to teach now which gave me more time for gardening on Fridays. We lead a small poultry 4-H club and have some birds at our place along with a few very tame Holland Lop rabbits we bring to work with me about 1x a week for the kids to handle & spend all summer at camp.

I found a quote that fits me well in the warmer days of late spring & summer: I sleep in the house, but live in the garden.

This summer I plan to sit a lot more in the gardens than I'm doing now. I actually have some nice chairs & pillows, so I can nap if I choose to though usually don't. I carry out a hot pink bag packed with my small Bible, journal, & devotional readings as well as hand lotion, bug spray, chewing gum, notepads, and anything else I think I'll need. That way if I also make a 2nd trip to carry out a drink I can park for awhile & watch the birds between readings. I hope to catch a photo of a hummingbird this year because they're so predictable when the bee balm is blooming in a few gardens here. I also have a black Pomeranian as my constant companion, so he is the snoozer at my feet if I sit still. Otherwise he's patrolling or doing whatever little dogs like to do when the garden plants are larger than he is. Sniffs & snoops around, but mostly finds a warm spot to sleep nearby me or sits to watch me work. Fortunately, he doesn't dig and minds well when I scold him to get out of the garden, so is a good garden buddy.

Some of my best garden ideas have been made when sitting out there, so my family teases me to not come up with new gardens just put in new plants. Really I get great help from them and we don't have any more lawn to take away and still be able to play games outside.

This year we've redone the children's garden at our camp to make it lower maintenance & more fun for the kids. We made the garden about 20 years ago and delegated it to another family for 5 years after I became chronically ill. Last year I jumped back in a bit & then a well meaning Down Syndrome volunteer adult pulled all the plants thinking they were all weeds. So this year I am going to give specific instructions to his parents about where he can "help".

We'll have a pizza garden (tomatoes, herbs, garlic + onions), squash garden, tea & strawberries garden (mints & bee balms in sunken pots) as well as a butterfly & hummingbird garden off the patio for the wheelchair kids who want to stay in the shade and the tall teepee on wood chips to go sit inside.

We divided the width of the raised beds by putting a deeply mulched path down the middle lengthwise. Then covered with soaker hoses & landscape cloth over the top. The weeds were out of control & despite my shallow hand tilling over the last month there are still thousands there.

I participate in local plant swaps & was so thrilled on Saturday when I got winter squash, tomatoes, herbs, garlic, strawberries, etc. to add to my other plants for that garden. Now, I'm off the hook for planting pumpkins & squashes which will give me more time for my home gardens. We planted the squash & tomatoes over the weekend in 6" x shaped cuts in the cloth near the soaker hose.

My guys helped build a 5' diameter bamboo pole teepee on the deep layer of wood chips we put over cardboard covered grass & move the soil set aside for a ring around the poles. Once it settles a bit I'll plant sunflowers 1st, then the beans. If I have time a few zinnia & morning glory seeds, too.

I have yet to plant the strawberries, herbs, and other vegetables that fit in the remaining places. I thought it would be fun to have a bit of broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi (alien plants), and rainbow swiss chard, but not sure I'll have room now with the landscape cloth. I only want to cut a few holes in it to reduce the chance of weeds.

At home our tomatoes are finally out in the garden & starting to flower with a few fruits set. It's still early for our climate to have them, so I'm happy we got that done. I still would like to plant more peas & beans. Of course, a few more annual flowers here & there. Calendula self sows nicely & I move the little sprouts here & there.

Schools out for one job on June 13 and the other June 19, so after that I won't have to work 4-5 days a week and can focus on my volunteer job at the Nature Center at camp since we also set up a petting farm with borrowed animals. This year we'll have some of my brother's miniature calves, so will be taming, bottle feeding & training how to drink the milk replacer out of buckets. I'm prepared for a big mess since they've been on pasture with their moms and not used to buckets at all. At least the calves are small.

Yes, I'm tired at night, but it's a good tired. My weight is back down & my muscles are much stronger this time of year than in late fall & winter when I have a flare of illness in the cool damp weather. If I stay away from air conditioning drafts & bundle up in the cool mornings I can keep this level of activity up through August except for a few relapses from over doing it.

I'll pop in now & then over summer because this group is a lot of fun plus the MNF group, but won't be inside as much or on the computer.

Enjoy the last of spring before summer comes,
Corrine


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 4, 12 at 21:58

Cool, sunny, kind of quiet day here today!
Vina, you did indeed find good outlets for your sowing! And I totally understand the work that needs done before hand. Where do you get your donated items for the raffles? Area businesses?

Corrine, good grief! All that you do! I've heard of fibromyalgia, but never really understood what it was-I'm glad you are able to enjoy gardening, just don't overdo!

I didn't participate in Jeanne's March swap, where you all sent seeds of miniature plants. However, I DID start a mini hosta bed last year, and they are all growing well. Panicked a little this spring, but they all showed up! AND!! I got a Blue Mouse Ears from Vina this year, in the May MNF swap! Vina, that little guy suffered no stress whatsoever, he perked right up after I planted him and is going strong! Also got one of those last year from Alana and it is doing very well also!

Grocery shopping tomorrow. Oh. Joy.
Talk to ya all tomorrow!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Hi everyone! It's been fun reading about what you are all doing in your gardens. I am slogging away, behind as usual.
I had my first homegrown tomatoes last weekend-the highlight for me.
I am afraid I don't have Shirley's excellent recall of who sent what. I wish I was more organized.
Several cuttings from last month's swap are rooted now and will be moved into the garden in a few weeks. The houseplants will go to my mother who has a renewed interest in indoor plants as her ability to garden outdoors declines.
I have filled in two of my small ponds and that just leaves "the fish pond" and the bathtub, but I am pondering a new water feature already.
And I have started collecting seeds for this winter's swaps.
Keep posting, lol, I'll keep reading.
Alana


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 5, 12 at 11:21

Good Morning!
Alana, I'm cheating! I'm going back through the threads and checking what I got from everyone! Of the two perennial salvias you sent me last year, one is just stunning, it quadrupled itself in one year!My labels faded but I will be able to tell what it is when it blooms. They were both really unique! I had to move them to another bed; think I lost one of them. On the other hand, that could be it coming up in the middle of the bed I thought I dug it out of.

What kind of water feature? I wish I had more room for one. I love my solar fountain, so do the robins!

I've started to keep an eye on the Jacob's Ladder, the Columbines and that orange Geum (Mrs. Bradshaw?) for seed collecting. Oh, also the Penstemon Prairie Dusk, which was just beautiful this year, taller than I expected but pretty anyway!

My butterfly weed and borage are starting to bloom! Yay!! My lemon yellow Columbine has been blooming for at least a month! This is my first year for Columbines; does anyone know if that is normal? I look at it and think "geez, I grew that?!" Just beautiful!

We did a Blues swap in February and Corrine, I have to tell you I had mixed success with the seeds you sent me. Still enjoying the book tho! I got great germination on the balloon flowers, not so great on the Anise Hyssop, I think I WSed them too early. The snaps, zinnias, and cosmos all sprouted and growing well, mostly in the ground. I had no luck with the Joe Pye Weed-Drat! BUT!! The Rocket Larkspurs are up and running! YAY!! I received two other packs of it and combined them all in a large container. I really love this plant! The basil mix you sent is doing well and really pretty-I grow basil for the scent and for the flowers-this mix is green and dark purple!

Okay, enough procrastinating - groceries.
Talk to ya all later!
Shirley!



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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Alana, I am jealous, fresh tomatoes. I will have to wait awhile before having those here.

Shirley, my columbines don't bloom quite that long although one variety goes a bit longer than the others. Yellow must be very pretty. Can't say as I have seen a yellow. I have two shades of purple, a double burgundy, and a burgundy and yellow one. I am going to deadhead this year and not harvest seeds. At least that is the plan but I do have a hard time not harvesting. We shall see. I don't need much in seeds so want to lessen temptation by not having much on hand to trade with. I will be saving some varieties of things to include is swaps and then I will probably join in the Christmas card swap again. (Love that one).

My red hot pokers are in full bloom and have several more blooms this year. Right in front are bright orange lilies which make for a spectacular display of color.

I fell to temptation yesterday and bought a St. John's Wort at work. It bloomed and the flower is so pretty I had to buy it. Threw a lemon verbena in as well. The leaves smell so good. Now I have to find a time to pop them in the ground.

Three more days til my daughters wedding and so far so good as to getting ready.

Margo


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Margo - wow, only a few days until the wedding. I rememeber when you first started talking about it and now it's just about here. I'll bet you are excited... and maybe nervous, too. I hope everything is just beautiful!

Alana, a little envy here that you had a ripe tomato already. I have some that are getting quite large, so maybe soon... and Katie, you have summer squash - a favorite of mine. I must confess I didn't plant any this year, but I'll be buying it as fresh as I can from the local businesses.

Corrine, I also have fibromyalgia so I know what you are talking about. I function much better now than I used to so it does help to pace yourself and it sounds like you have a good idea of how to do that. Your gardens sound wonderful - especially the pizza garden!

We got a good bit of rain over the past 2 days which was a nice surprise. I had to go out and rescue my cuttings yesterday though so they wouldn't get too wet, so they spent the night in the garage. I will move them back outside today. The mint is growing like crazy and I think the variegated hydrangea and climbing hydrangea are all fine and the salvia. I will recheck the others. Some may be "iffy" but no problem - it looks like I will have some plants I love as a result of the swap.

I started wondering about your intersts and hobbies other than gardening. Does anyone else in the group quilt/sew? Quilting and gardening are what I spend most of my free time doing. I also love to travel and research my family tree (need to get back to that soon), I read sporadically - read a lot if the book is really good (LOL) - and I have been an off-and-on writer, too. I write a column for our local Master Gardener newsletter and finally started working on a novel this year. I keep saying I should have started a long time ago because it seems to take forever to move from chapter to chapter. Is anyone else in FOTESS into any of that?

Talk with everyone soon.
Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 7, 12 at 19:21

Hi Everyone! Been really busy here!
Jeanne, other interests for me include photography and reading. I have two quilts started for my granddaughters. I'm making them out of the scraps from material I used to make their receiving blankets and sheets when they were babies. I've never taken quilting lessons, taught myself. I could use a lesson or two on applique. Would like to have them done for Christmas gifts this year.
I used to do a lot of sewing and crocheting, lots of different crafts, also drawing, and I too have tried my hand at writing.
I collect dragons and ceramic coffee mugs. Mostly, nowadays, it's the flower gardens and running off to almost anywhere to get pictures!
Hey, talk to ya all tomorrow!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Becky-the cantelope and watermelon seeds you sent me are planted. The cantelope is "up", but what I thought was the watermelon is actually a squash of some kind. I have worked this week in the Community Garden with middle school kids and they planted many of my cantelope and watermelon seeds, but not these little gems. (I kept these for me!)
Annie-I loved planting your seeds. The green tags in the seeds reminded me of you and the swap every time I planted some. I love the dibbler and every time I see it/use it I think of the bohemian leprechaun that sent it (and whisper thank you).
Melissa-I have planted the pink hollyhock seeds along the west side of the house. I keep driving by all the hollyhocks in bloom around town and am a bit jealous, but also live in the anticipation of my own hollyhocks! My mother talks about fond memories of being with her grandmother and the hollyhocks at the farm. The morning glory picotee is planted by the back fence. As of yet I can't tell which morning glories are which until they bloom. I have volunteers from last year, too. Believe it or not the pink milkweed came up! I have it in 3 places in my yard and some in the public park. I plan to make caterpillars and butterflies happy so they come back. The Tithonia Torch didn't come up, bummer, or the oyster flower.
Bingo Prize-Hummingbird Haven Mix. I just can't plant it. I love it so much I just want to hang onto it. It doesn't make sense, I know.
Michelle-Purple Clematis sadly, bit the dust last week along with the Forsythia. I let them get too dry even though they had plastic around them.
Wigelia French lace didn't last long.
Butterfly Bush both Miss Ruby and Dubonnet. These two are holding on. I am watching over them carefully. I am tempted to do the 'yank' test, but I hold myself back. Spearmint and English Lavender rooted nicely. The are fun to watch and it's one of those areas I can put a checkmark behind and say, "Did it! Success!"
Blues Swap-the Forget Me Nots are blooming! I know I also got convolvus, but can't remember where I planted those seeds. Another surprise!
Heidi


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

I came by to say hello. The temperatures were actually pretty pleasant this week and we got some rain. Hooray! I was back outside watering again today though.

I thought I would mention that it might be getting to the time where you can check to see if your plants have seeded. I harvested dianthus and snapdragon seeds today. I will have to keep a close watch on things - everything is earlier than usual this year.

Some of my cutting from the May swap have new growth and that definitely means roots at this point. I will have to take some pictures and post them.

Is there anyone in the group who liked (likes) to watch the TV series about Monk? I sure miss that! I thought I would mention that there are books being written about Monk and I watch for them as they come out. The one I am reading right now is the most recent one and I'm really enjoying it. If you like light mysteries you also might like one of my favorite authors - Susan Wittig Albert - her main character, China Bayles, runs an herb shop in a small Texas town.

Okay, it's time for lunch so have a good day and I'll check in again soon.

Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by corrine1 7b Pacific Northwest (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 8, 12 at 12:34

I'm like Alana, I put the seeds away and didn't mark the giver's name on them. I do remember the spirit of generosity from my special gardening friends. You're the best.

Shirley - about the Anise Hyssop: I haven't had any self sown plants either, so did some research and Blue Fortune is sterile, so those might be... Sorry. The Joe Pye was given to me this year and I haven't sowed it either. I'm so glad the others started off well for you.

Look what we had in a planter hanging on our front porch next to the door this spring -- photo of the nest on hatching day a Saturday we were all home to watch.

They've left the nest now, but sure was fun being able to peek in on them easily. They are dark-eyed Juncos who live year round in our yard. We miss the parents' scolding chirps from the porch rain when we went in & out the door. I've seen the adult looking birds, but no juvenile feathered birds at the bird bath and fountains like usual. We have pet doves outside, so they eat the seeds that fall out underneath their pens.

Just now through the window I watched the hummingbirds delight in the sunshine, our 1st sunny morning in a week. First, there was a female enjoying hardy geranium and columbine. Then I saw 2 young ones hang out together. They flew in & sat on a trellis before zooming about to the same clumps throughout the garden, and resting on another trellis before they flew off together. If only I had a camera ready.

It's still under 50 degrees here at night & lately again cooler days barely touching 60 if the clouds part a bit. It helps seedlings and cool weather plants grow well, but bean seeds will rot if you plant too early. We have lots of lettuces and can grow it all summer if interplanted.

We had soaking rains of at least 1/2 inch two days this week plus other days of rain, so my garden buckets are 1/3 full as are my carts. I have several buckets I let fill just for watering and it's handy to put the buckets in sun for warm water or shade for cool water for the greens.

I need a 2nd frig for all those unsown seeds to reside this summer. Lettuce seeds germinate better in summer if refrigerated. My large soft side cooler is stuffed full of index card boxes & other totes of seeds. Fortunately, we have other another cooler for an end of the year picnic today with our homeschool co-op. I need to get our lunch made and packed up.

Enjoy the weekend everyone,
Corrine


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Hi, Everyone -
I remembered to take some pictures of my cuttings from the May Swap when I was outside today. Here are a few.

Mint - I think Ginger Mint - Can you believe how much it has grown?
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Butterfly bush (I think) - I do have a label on it. Really good new growth on this.
Photobucket

Hydrangea - Can you see the new growth beginning?
Photobucket

I hope everyone had a good day. I'll try to post more pictures another day.

Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 8, 12 at 22:05

Ladies, thanks for sharing your photos! Corrine, that is an awesome picture! And Jeanne, my cuttings look nothing like that - getting some new growth but not much. Great Pics!

Heidi, good to hear from ya! I too am having trouble remembering what and where everything is. The Hummingbird Haven mix is really pretty - I planted a lot more of it this year.

Looking back again, Jeanne introduced us to "upcycling" in January and it was a fun swap! I'm using the canister Annie made me for my teabags. And the seeds she sent are all up and growing! I have 8 pots of basil growing and Annie gave me seeds for 4 of them! The nasties she sent are doing well too, combined them with others that I got in swaps-should be interesting to see what that pot looks like! Annie, the Agastache Aurantiaca-Fragrant Delight really germinated well, and I've sold several pots of it! Well, I think you sent me those seeds, maybe it was Gmom. In any event, I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom.

Off to bed!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Taking a few minutes before I leave for the Flaig Day celebrations. Our 50 year class reunion is the grand marshall of the parade this year so it will be a busy day. Only if it would stop from raining and the wind blowing. Been doing this all week. Night before last my beans froze so its still not over. Even though I do have the garden planted, its not doing anything and most seeds have not come up. I am sure by now the seeds just rotted in the ground since we have had record rain falls.

Having fresh tomatoes...wow! We will be lucky to get any by September now. Looks like we will get a couple days reprieve from the rain this coming week and then it will be coming back for a few days. BUT THE WEEDS LOL! Its too bad the weeds don't freeze when everything else does.

Speaking of columbines, my yellow ones are in bloom much longer than the others. Mine are all about 1 1/2 feet taller this year than last but am sure because of all the rain and cooler temps. And I see the wind broke off many of the stems yesterday and of course its the ones I wanted to save seeds from.

Well Margo, the wedding is finally here. It will be a beautiful day and everything will go smooth. Keep us updated after its over.

Shirley the plants you sent are still sitting in pots. The other day I tried to plant, but I sunk down about 2" in the soil and I don't want to compact the soil anymore than I can help it. It gets hard enough on its own.

Looking at clock, I got to get ready. Have a wonderful day everyone.

Ellie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

I had 3 more pictures set up to post here, so here we go...

This is my summer potting area - things that didn't get into the ground yet, are rooting, or things that did poorly in the ground so I dug them up. The plants from the cuttings swap are currently in the wagon.
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This is commonly called a pineapple lily. I would have to look up the other name for it. Anyway, I love the little "pineapples." We store this in the garage for the winter and it comes back to life every spring.
Photobucket

I do like a few gnomes in my garden! Time to repaint most of them though. In the container you see two white cannas that I winter sowed this year. Not all of the seeds grew (I think I had 6 seeds), but these are doing great. They will probably go in the ground later in the year.
Photobucket

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I spent time watering everything this morning and then it rained, but a nice gentle rain and the temperatures are cooler, so I am enjoying it!

Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 19:35

Hi Everyone!
Well, the plant sale is over and done with! I did much better than I thought I would, and I'm really glad it's over with! I spent last evening and all day today figuring out where to plant what's left. Some of them are going to get sent back to my SIL in Pennsylvania and I might use some for swaps, if I can't find room for them.

Jeanne, I've never seen a pineapple lily, what a great looking plant! It's been really hot here, so I've been busy watering too!

Hope everyone has a great week!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Thanks for thinking of me yesterday. It's all over and it was beautiful. No real problems other than someone numbering the tables wrong but I quickly remedied it.

The day was hot but there was a nice breeze and the ceremony was not very long so it wasn't too bad. Windy so the runners would not stay down and started to fly around. My daughter went into an emotional breakdown just before walking the aisle and my dil pulled out a flask to calm her down which was so out of character that it made a funny story.

The reception was fantastic. Everything looked great. The caterer was thorough and took care of so much that I would have had to do. We didn't have to worry about anything during the reception. The food was awesome, DJ was good, the cupcakes were good, and of course the beer and wine flowed. I guess I can say it couldn't have gone any better. We even were able to bring home all the leftovers. Meals for many nights. :)

I will say that I am exhausted today. I did what I had to and have taken three short naps. I am pleased to have my life back now so I can start making gardening my priority. I have so many things I want to do. I just hope the weather cools down.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Margo


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Congratulations Margo! It sounds like the wedding went wonderfully!
Jeanne, your cuttings look great.
It is getting too hot here for much planting, but I am starting to take cuttings of some shrubs for planting out next year.

I am still mulling a new water feature. I had a waterfall and dismantled it on a whim, but kept the pond it emptied into. I might make a new one....A few years ago I would think that thought and have it built in 2-3 days. The older I get the longer the period between concept and execution. Oh my; I guess that means I need to think more about whether I want it to be a permanent feature before I start.
I am at home all afternoon and I have to get a handle on the weeds while enjoying the daylilies, which are truly excellent this year.

Take care everyone,
Alana


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 11, 12 at 20:31

Margo, glad the wedding went well!
Did you get rain today? It was really cold, rainy, damp and miserly here today. But at least I didn't have to water the plants. Stayed in and vegged!
We did a "Feathered Feast" in December, I really enjoyed it! G-Mom/Sharon sent me notecards, teabags, birdseed and suet made with bacon grease. We didn't have to send seeds, but Sharon sent me Double Rose Columbine, Lavender Agastache (Annie, yours was the Fragrant Delight!) and Purple Rose of Sharon. The Rose of Sharon didn't germinate, neither did the pink ROS I collected, I don't think they are good WSing candidates. On the other hand, the columbine is planted in my mini-hosta bed, and the agastache is planted EVERYWHERE! It really germinated well.
I am going to make the 2 liter pop bottle bird feeders someone told us about in that swap. They sounded like they would really be squirrel proof!
Did I mention that I have a groundhog, again? Yeah.
In any event, have a good nite!
Shirley!


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Shirley, it did in fact rain most of today and it was wonderful. We needed it bad. Now I can get out in the softened soil and weed. Although I don't have many weeds, I do need to plant all the seeds I received in trades, finally!!!!

I am a little worried because I found my potted petunias had been eaten up this morning. I am afraid the lettuce will be next. This is the first chewing/eating damage I am experienced since we started our new gardens when we built 6 years ago. The cats are usually good about keeping things away. I don't want to start that battle again. If they start chewing, I just won't grow any vegies other than tomatoes. It isn't worth the battle.


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Good morning everyone. Sounds like everyone is really busy. This week it is going to be in the 70"s....been raining constantly for the past 2 weeks so haven't been outside much. Not that I will melt but don't like the cold anymore...guess thats age.

Last week my beans froze and what's left of the beans something is eating little holes in the leaves. The weather has been so awful this spring. About the only thing that is really doing well are the columbine's and then the wind too care of lots of those by bending the flower stocks down so not sure if the seed will even ripen. I tried to prop up but just didn't work. I have a couple of trees that really need to be tied up since they are bending over also.

Since the weather is going to be a lot nicer this week I am going to start my day outside weeding. Why don't weeds freeze they just grow and grow. I also need to take another look at the winter sowen plants in the jugs yet to see if anything is ready to put into the ground. I am afraid when the weather warms up more its going to turn hot and transplanting at that time won't produce good results. Oop's I see it is after 7:00 so got to start. Have a good day!

Ellie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

So glad the wedding went well! I know many of us were thinking about you that day.
This has been an unusual June with quite a few days of rain. However, considering I have to water with the hose every day if it doesn't rain, the rain is much appreciated!
I have had the July swap planned out for quite awhile and will post it towards the very end of June. It's a fairly simple one so hapefully many will be ready to swap again by then.
Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 12, 12 at 21:19

Hi Everyone!
Just checking in!
If we don't get rain tomorrow, I'm going to finish planting left over plants, where, I don't know yet, but hopefully I can get them stuffed in somewhere! And I've got a perennial sweetpea vine that needs to be brought under control. The 4' trellis isn't working. Like I just said over on MNF, who knew these plants could get this big!
Have a great day tomorrow!
Shirley!


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I've got some left over plants too, Shirley. They look awful and I need to dump them in the compost heap, but I keep walking by trying not to notice them, lol.


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 13, 12 at 22:40

YAY!! Progress!
I got out 5 of my 30" planters and transplanted most of my leftover plants today! Not sure if they will stay in the planters but at least they are in soil, not styrofoam cups or plastic glasses. Time enough later to decide where they'll go. I still have two shelves loaded with plants for the new bed, now all I have to do is finish it!

I did have to dump some, felt bad but I knew they weren't going to make it and I don't have any ground left for them. And the 5' foxglove went. nuff said. The passiflora is going to go too; it's going everywhere and when shoots from a plant turn up 20' away, it's time to re-evaluate.

And the sweetpea vine? Well, I got the new 6' trellis in behind the plant without breaking anything and got some of the vines tied up. I couldn't pull any of the plants out because they were all entwined-that will have to wait for fall. It still looks pretty bad but at least it isn't shading all the other plants. It's blooming, really pretty, wish I would have had the bigger trellis last fall.

Willie the cat has taken up residence in my supply cupboard; hisses and spats when you go near her. She has been acting strange since her operation. Can't be the meds because she wouldn't take them. I just wish she wouldn't lay on the printer inks.

Okay, I'm done babbling for the night, see ya all tomorrow!
Shirley!


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So I went to visit a friend today. She had told me a local greenhouse was getting ready to close for the season and would I want anything. I told her to pick up about 5 or so. Well, I get to her house and there was a flat of 15 plants waiting for me. They were all perennials that were marked to a buck. We went back and I pick up 10 more. How can you pass up a deal like that? I bought some wonderful new things and might just go back on Friday for more. :) I haven't picked up any annuals so might get them as well.
Now I need to get out and plant them.

My husband and I are going camping with my daughter and new son in law this weekend. After being so busy for so long, we all want a nice getaway. They were not able to take a honeymoon so won't go on one til December. It will be nice to go and relax. The other kids have agreed to man the fort while we are away. Gotta love em.

Margo


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Shirley, great idea "Let's Take A Break"!!!

Overall, I have had great success. So many seeds that I have received from fellow FOTESSER'S have been sown and are happily growing. I can not recall what everyone sent as I do not keep records but I do know that....

Jaynine sent me Moonflower seeds in the November Solstice swap. They are growing up the Pigmy Palms by the Pergola...doing wonderfully.

Heidi sent me a favorite of hers, Gaillardia Punchella. No flowers yet, but that is OK. As the heat kicks in in July and August, blooms will come! Fortunatley, in Southern California, Gaillardia bloom all year.

Margo's stamped spoon signs from the Upcycling swap in January....I just love these. I need to do this. Margo, I am determined to get Echinacea seeds to grow. I am failing in a big way...LOL! I need some pointers on how to get these babies to grow.

Between dog friendly snail bait and cloche protection (lots of water bottles with holes, left over screen etc), I have not lost to many plants to the snails and bunnies.

I have so much enjoyed FOTESSING with all of you. Great concept, great ideas.....thanks for your generosity.

Something I have meant to do for years and finally did in February....we all eventually run out of space (maybe), so I planted potatoes in large 33 gallon heavy duty bags (with drainage holes of course). And it was a happy success. Lots of taters. I need to pick up some sweet potatoes and do the same thing. Funny growing potatoes in bags...but...you do what you must...LOL!

Happy Thursday to all!

Annie


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 14, 12 at 21:42

Hey Annie, good to hear from ya! Have you ever tried WSing echinacea? I have had amazing luck with them, at least 80% germination. And I've seen those grow bags for veggies, how much better to use garbage bags. Lots less expensive!

Margo, you CAN'T pass up a deal like that, why would you want to? Good going! Hope your camping trip is fun and relaxing!

Well, need to go watch OKC defeat Miami again. Talk to ya all tomorrow!
Shirley!


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I've been busy with Middle School kids in the new Children's Garden (community garden). There are 2 dozen raised beds and some have signs "Pizza Garden" "Salsa Garden" "Peter Rabbit Garden". A little girl asked me, "Can you grow a pizza?" We had a nice talk. I really didn't believe kids were that disconnected from nature as we're a rural place surrounded by agriculture. Just proves we need to put the computers away and get in the dirt. The kids have said over and over, "It's so relazing here."
Bergamot had 1 bloom on it. I'm getting tired of yellow-coreopsis tickseed, yellow buttons, a yellow rudbeckia that came up like gangbusters, stella d'oro. The liatris is getting ready to bloom so those purple stalks in front of the yellow blooms will be a pretty contrast. Sorry, no whining...just be glad they are growing!
Perennials for a buck! Margo...touch me...you must be Lucky, Lucky, Lucky! I'm sure you're smiling!
Heidi


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  • Posted by corrine1 7b Pacific Northwest (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 16, 12 at 10:29

Hope your weekend away is terrific, Margo! You deserve a break.

Shirley, I like cutting perennial sweetpea flowers and watching the colors change as the flowers age. Plus it encourages more blooms.

Annie, aren't homegrown potatoes tasty? We are growing so many potatoes this year we're also using cardboard boxes in the back part of the garden. Whether bags or boxes it will be easier to harvest! The 1st ones are flowering now and we staggered the planting, so that we'd have later potatoes for winter storage.

Heidi, great names for kids' gardens! I hope you have helpers for 2 dozen beds.

Have a great weekend, Corrine


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Happy Father's Day tomorrow to all the dads!

Thanks for the ideas about growing potatoes in trash bags or cardboard boxes. I may try that next year. Last year I tried old hay bales and that did not work well for me. This year they are in the ground, but for some reason don't look too happy. However, I did get to pick my first tomato two days ago. It was soooo good!

I also wanted to mention that I have a blog about writing and reccently interviewed Shirley and just posted that on my blog today. I sent each member an e-mail in case you want to read it. The April swap is discussed a little leading into the interview.

Is anyone else in the group a writer? We had some great poetry going on here for National Poetry Month.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jeanne


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 16, 12 at 20:58

Hi Everyone!
Corrine, I like the flowers, they are colorful and huge, what I can see of them. The vines are so entwined it's hard to see what's what.
What a great idea for potatoes. Good system for those with no garden space.
Heidi, how great that you get to share gardening with the kids. I agree, get outside!
Jeanne, good edit!
I've been seeing more dragonflies this year, in the gardens. Got some pics today, but the little blue ones won't hold still long enough!
Well, moving on over to the NBA!
See ya all tomorrow,
Shirley!


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 17, 12 at 10:54

Moved over to the NBA a day too soon; the third game is tonight - DUH! GO OKC!

Happy, Happy Birthday to FOTESS member lindaruzicka-Linda! Hope your day is a great one, Linda!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads!

Looks like it's going to be a muggy, overcast day here; good day to work at organizing the small bedroom - again!

Have a good day!
Shirley!


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 18, 12 at 8:31

Good Morning!
Just wanted to wish FOTESS member Robert-rqeversole a very Happy Birthday! Hope your day is great, Robert!
Talk to ya all later!
Shirley!


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 13:45

Hi Everyone! Has anyone else noticed the photo feature that is directly above this box? Is this something new, or have I just missed it for the last two years? It is so easy! All my latest pics are on my desktop in folders, but I think you can access pics from anywhere on your computer.
I thought you all might like to see the infamous sweetpea vine-can anyone spot the problem?


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 13:49

And here are some of my WSed pansies!


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 13:56

Drat, that was the wrong pic. Try this one!


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I can't find the new photo feature. Where is it? I've noticed GardenWebbers talking about it. Maybe it didn't come to my computer? Hmmmm....
Pretty pansies. They are one of my favorites, they but grow as a winter flower here - just too hot for them in our summers! By the end of May we usually don't see them any more.
Happy Birthday to our members with the recent birthdays. I hope you had a wonderful day!
There are things blooming here in my garden, but it's not as exciting as when so many of the daylily flowers were opening all at once.
Talk with you soon.
Jeanne


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 14:45

Jeanne, the photo feature is right underneath where it says "post a follow-up"


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Ok, here goes. This is my test. I am trying to post a picture of the eagle that landed on the dock in our pond. If it works, I will be excited to be able to share pics of my flowers now. I am no genius when it comes to computers so an easy button works for me. :)

Have a wonderful relaxing weekend camping. It didn't start out to great. My hubby went to hitch up the camper to our van and it wouldn't go down far enough to hitch up. It was a stumper and after two hours, I said, "lets just use a tent". I wasn't going to cancel my getaway. LOL We threw everything we would need for a tent trip into our car and my daughter and son in laws car and headed out. It worked out great and I didn't forget anything. We had rain most of Saturday morning but I even remembered the screen tent so went fine.

Hope my pic works out. Margo


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 18:17

Margo, great pic! Did you use the feature here on the forums?
Nice to have you back. Is that a truck out on 75 in the background?
Gotta go play bunco, I will post a pic of some of the seeds you sent me, that are already blooming, when I get home!
Shirley!


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Shirley, I did use the feature you explained here and it was so easy. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I am not sure what that is in the background, maybe a building at a farm that is on that corner. I75 is out front of our house about 1/4 mile. It isn't too bad to be looking out at it. We do most of our things out back anyway. If the wind is going in the wrong direction, we can hear the traffic. Tonight it is going in the right direction and it is very nice and quiet outside.

Very hot today but the evening was cooler so I got some of the 37 plants I have to get in planted. More will get done tomorrow night. I had to set up sprinklers and water all the gardens. I didn't get it all done so will do more tomorrow. I think I will have to do it each night until we get another decent rain. At least for a while. It is so dry, most stores are out of sprinklers.

Hope someone is getting some rain. Margo


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 23:16

Well, didn't win anything at bunco, lots of laughs and great desserts so it wasn't a total loss!
It is very hot and muggy here, will need to get out there early tomorrow and water!
Margo, these are the Pink Baby's Breath and Candytuft seeds you sent me in one swap or another - I think I need to pinch everything back a little to make it fuller. That's Nigella in the middle.


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  • Posted by kchd 7b Mississippi (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 20, 12 at 21:07

Hi all,
I have been stopping by every few days via my iphone to catch up on all the latest posts. Reading about everyone's gardening adventures, and looking at all the photos has become somewhat addicting. Love the bird photos, too!

Margo, it sounds like the wedding went off spectacularly. And I love camping, too - - sounds like a great getaway.
Shirley, sounds like your plant sale was a complete success. If I were nearby, I would certainly come by to scoop up some plants. You have listed several species that I am interested in growing.
Corrine, loved that photo of the little chickies! We have juncos here in winter, but by breeding season, they are gone.
Jeanne, I received your email and went and read your blog. Very cool. I am a writer, but it is not fiction - - more along the lines of science/biology/ecology. I am looking forward to reading more, and also seeing what you have in store for us for the FOTESS July swap. The month of July will bring more travel for me, as husband and I will be traveling back to Wisconsin to band 1,000 cormorant chicks all in one night :)
Annie, your creative container potatoes fascinate me! I have no lack of space, but I could foresee having a lack of good soil. I hope the composting will aid in that regard.

So now that I have some time at an actual computer, without distraction, I thought I'd post an update. Work kept me out of town until June 9, as I was in Wisconsin working with cormorants. I returned home to MS briefly, and then drove down to my hometown Baton Rouge to spend a week with family. My 90+ yr old grandmother is in poor health, so I spent several days working in the yard alongside my aunt. Also spent a few days working in my sister's yard (and building her a "chicken tractor"). This also included 2 trips to the garden nursery [insert big cheesy grin]. Came home with plants for grandmother, sister, and a few I couldn't resist for myself, too.

My lanceleaf coreopsis, which I grew from seed after direct sowing in January, has finally produced a first bloom. It's lovelier than I expected. These plants (tons of them!) came up sturdy and strong, and have had no trouble with our hot & humid climate.

While out of town, our bluebirds chicks finally fledged. I have been snapping photos every few days by sneaking a camera into the nest box opening. This photo was taken shortly after the clutch was complete. Good thing they don't really care about my monitoring. They come back every year. This year the same nest box also hatched out a family of tufted titmouse earlier in spring. It's the favorite nest box, and the different pairs of birds fight over who gets to nest in it every year, despite 6 boxes around the property.
I think that bluebird was threatening to peck my eyes out...

Reading about the upcycling swap was very exciting, and an idea I love. So in that spirit, I thought I would post a photo of our upcycling project from this spring. We made 2 compost bins from old wood pallets, and lined them with plastic mesh. We placed 2 of them side-by-side to allow for easy mixing/aerating/transferring from bin to bin to achieve active composting. The front door swings down, drawbridge style, for easy access.

Happy gardening to you all,
Katie


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Katie, enjoy your posts. I am taken by your job that takes you all over banding birds. I am jealous. Where do you find 1,000 cormorant chicks? I love the picture of the bluebird too. I hope to get a box up one of these years here. We have 2 1/2 acres out back in the soil and water conservation. Although I have never seen a bluebird back there, I am sure I can get some.

Great idea on the compost bin too. Isn't it neat to see a bloom on a plant you started from seed. Good for you.

Shirley, the plants are very pretty. I just can't believe the success you have with winter sowing. Are those in a pot? I will warn you to deadhead the Nigella before they go to seed because I can't keep up with mine. Their reseeding is ridiculous.

Hot here and we are waiting for the cool down coming this weekend. Margo


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Great picture of the bluebird and I like how you made your compost bins, Katie.

I plan to post the July Swap early next week and will continue taking sign ups until after July 4th. With this time of the year and some people traveling, I want to give everyone a chance to read about the swap and sign up if they want to be in it. It will be a simple one - and I hope lots of fun, too!

Jeanne


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 21, 12 at 10:38

Good Morning!
Nice cool morning here, got my watering done already. For as hot as it has been, the ground isn't drying up very quickly.

Hi Katie, nice to hear from you. I, like Margo, would love your job! 1000 Cormorant chicks? Good Grief! We are just starting to get a population of them out at our state park.

Thanks for sharing the pictures. I didn't know that different birds would "take turns" sharing a nesting box or bird house. Did I read that right?

Margo, that is a huge wooden box my son built me for Christmas one year. The only place I had to put it was right in front of the dryer vent, as you can see in the pic. He built me two for the front yard too, and as soon as the BES start blooming in them, I'll post a pic!

Looking back at all the swaps we've had and the seeds we've shared: Jeanne hosted the November swap, a Solstice swap. We sent 4 packs of seeds, one each for Remembrance, Leap of Faith, Trees and Life (?). These were for Wintersowing. Jeanne was my partner and she sent Goldenrod, Balsam Impatiens, Formosa Lily and Chaste Tree. Sadly the squirrels nailed the impatiens, twice. The Chaste Tree was stored in the wrong envie and so it will be WSed this year! The goldenrod germinated and is planted with the others that I have. I planted out some of the Formosa Lilies and sold the rest!

Jeanne, looking forward to the July swap!
Have a great day, All!
Shirley!


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  • Posted by kchd 7b Mississippi (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 21, 12 at 19:21

Exiting news for me this afternoon. After cold stratification for months, followed by >90 days of warm temps after planting, my 40+ pawpaw seeds are starting to germinate! *Finally* I was beginning to wonder...

This winter/spring was very warm here in MS, and I got a late start planting. So, most of my seeds that needed cold stratification were stuck in the fridge. I had cardinal flower seeds that need 60 d of cold. Started those in March, planted in May. Germination happened, then I accidentally killed them by leaving them out in too much sun. OOPS! Had to start all over and throw another batch of seeds in the fridge to cold stratify for another 60 days. :/ But, I had read in Prairie Moon Nursery's cultural guide that sometimes you can get away with 30 days for seeds that require 60 days. Started that little experiment last week with some of the seeds. Looks like it worked, because upon returning home, I now have tiny little seedlings. Score 1 pt for the traveling gardener!

As for banding of the cormorant chicks, there are some breeding colonies we work on in Door Co., Wisconsin. Two of those colonies host between 2,000 - 5,000 nesting pairs of double-crested cormorants. There's no lack of chicks to be banded. Two crews go out to each island at night and band 500 chicks on each. It's an all night affair of chicks, poop, puke, and banding banding banding! A labor of love, to be sure. I usually wash my clothes twice after that night.

The titmouse and bluebirds actually fight over who gets to nest in the favorite nest box. This year, the titmice won in April. Once their chicks fledged and they left, I guess the bluebirds decided to move in. The bluebirds could very well have been working on their 2nd clutch of the season. Last year they raised 2 clutches.

Margo, I think you can get some bluebirds, too. The key is to have the correct size bird house, with the correct size hole. Having bluebirds around helps, too, but they will prob find it.

Have I mentioned that I'm looking forward to the July swap?

Katie


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Katie, that sounds like so much fun although a lot of work. Can I ask what the purpose of banding so many birds is. I know banding keeps track of birds and where they go but what will you be studying with these birds?

I love to experiment and try to beat the odds when it comes to plants. I like to try things that should not grow in our zone etc to see what I can accomplish.

We finally received rain tonight. We had a nice rainfall for a bit over an hour. I am so excited to see this as everything was beginning to look so weak. I was worried I was about to lose things. Self watering just isn't the same and I have a lot to water. Now I can get out and weed and finish planting my plants. I found out that the $1 quarts I bought did not have just one plant. I put a white balloon flower in and found there were three plants. I noticed this with the columbines as well. I got such a deal with 3 plants for a dollar. I have to check the pink balloon flower to see if there is more than one plant. I didn't notice it but when I look at it now, it is a pretty full plant so think it is more than one. I will plant them and then use them in swaps next spring. I bought two quarts so that means 6 plants. Too many.

I will be watching for that July swap Jeanne. Margo


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Great compost bins! I've been mulling some options and you have given me inspiration, Katie.
It is so dry here that I have been reduced to watering the main vegetable garden, something I just don't do ordinarily, but I have a nice crop of tomatoes, peppers and green beans going and I am not willing to lose them now. Rain seems to happen all around us, but we keep getting missed.
As usual, we are just entering what I think of as "high summer" but I have already planned next years plantings and have new seed wishes on a list I will post on my trade lists soon before I forget I want them.
I don't remember what swap it was in (FOTESS or MNF) most likely, but rosemctier sent me seeds for Emilia "Irish Poet". I have always had the red Emilia javanica and have tried to find the yellow species (sonchifolia lutea), but this one is just blooming from a direct sowing in May and it is orange. I love it! I have been working on an orange butterfly garden and it is perfect. I can't wait until it really gets going.
Take care everyone.
Alana


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  • Posted by kchd 7b Mississippi (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 22, 12 at 9:21

For those of you who are interested in the compost bins we made out of pallets, here are a few more details.

We incorporated ideas on design based on suggestions from the Composting 101 website. There is a wealth of info there.

We wanted plenty of airflow, so we lined the pallets with plastic mesh. We found 3 ft wide x 15 ft long rolls of black plastic mesh at Lowes for $13/roll. We wanted the size to be at least 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft of volume capacity, and easy access for loading, unloading, and mixing. A couple of sturdy hinges at the bottom, and a screen door latch at the top makes up the hardware for the drawbridge door. The only other hardware was a box of screws to attach the sides to the floor pallet, and staples to attach the plastic mesh.

Mixing seems to be easiest if you simply shovel material from one bin to another. Use a pitchfork; it will be your best friend in this endeavor. Moisture is another critcal component, so we have a garden hose nearby. We save and stockpile "browns" & "greens" to have a big enough pile to start up the active composting all at once. They say you want a 50:50 mix of browns to greens (by weight). We have plenty of greens from yard clippings right now, but a shortage of browns. But, shredded office paper and cardboard work great as browns. We just got some wheat straw bales that will help supply browns, too. Come fall, there will be plenty of leaves in the yard again.

Next composting adventure: vermicomposting. I've scoped out plans to build a wooden worm bin. Anybody else vermicompost? Lovely, rich compost + free fishing bait? Can't go wrong with that :)

Happy composting,

Katie


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 22, 12 at 21:10

Good Evening Everyone!
We had a nice, much cooler day here today. Sunny but not quite so stinking hot!
Katy, congrats on the pawpaws! I bought and am trying to raise just two, they are a host plant for Zebra Swallowtails. I know I am just slightly north of their usual range but it could work! I would love to see one out there!

Margo, you always come up with the best deals on plants!

Alana, what other "orange" flowers do you have in your orange butterfly garden?

A friend and I are going up to Howell, MI tomorrow to a hot air balloon festival. Neither one of us have ever tried to get pics of these, so it should be an interesting day.

I think we'll shut this swap down as soon as Jeanne posts July. It's been nice chatting with ya all!
Have a great weekend!
Shirley!


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Bummer that we have to close this up soon. Thanks Shirley, it was a lot of fun getting to know members better. I like this idea and I think it would be nice to do it again in the future.

Have a good weekend everyone. Margo


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  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 22, 12 at 22:30

Well, Jeanne hasn't posted July's swap yet, so we can go on chatting! I haven't finished my "reviews" of all the other swaps we did. Need to go back thro the threads to see what went on in October!

I saw a small, blue butterfly flit thro this evening! Usually, you can't see the "blue", they bask with their wings up. I have all kinds of stuff for them to eat out there, hope more of them show up!

And I have a chyrsallis (sp) on my black willow! I think it is a Red Spotted Purple, keeping an eye on it and taking pics, can hardly wait to see what it is!

Hey, bedtime!
Shirley!


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Shirley, my coral nymph is blooming and they are so cute. I just love them.

Anyone else having trouble with the small grasshoppers which I am assuming will turn into larger ones in no time? They are all over the place in my gardens and even in the lawn. They made my cut and come again lettuce look like lace. I swear, every year it is something that causes me problems as far as vegie gardens go. I am going to just give up and stick with flowers.

Ironically, I found a small blue butterfly this morning in my garden that I have never seen before. It was so small and pretty. I hope to see more.

Margo


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Shirley, my orange garden has orange Asclepias tuberosa, Asclepias currassavica, Lantana, Bronze Fennel (I know, but it associates well), orange Gem Marigolds, and Orange Zinnias along with the Emilia. Shades of orange range from golden orange to red orange so it does not look as boring as it sounds, lol.
I would go take a picture, but it is too dang hot. Maybe next week I will get a chance to do that.


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My first spider lily! (Not just this year...ever!) I planted them last year and then read in my area I needed to lift the bulbs in the fall and I chalked it up to another learning experience, but here it is and 4 more to bloom!
white spider lily, Just blooming!

I had a few of those beautiful blue tiny butterflies. I tried to take a photo, but the blue didn't show up.
tiny blue butterfly, The beautiful color didn't show up in the photo, but it was an iridescent blue/green!

Anybody know what this is? (Flower? Weed? Alien eggs on stalks?)I'm talking about the white flowers.
Photobucket


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Jeanne and Shirley, so enjoyed reading the blog. Thanks Jeanne for sending it out.

Katie, nice compost bins. And very interesting cormorant chick reading!!!!

I have lots of Zinnias from the Fotessers ready to go in to the ground. I have been putting it off....the bunnies most likely would enjoy them more than I. I better get to it.

Stay cool. I would just love some of your rain!

Annie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Hi everyone,

Been absent to even reading what everyone is doing since I have been so busy. Decided to go to summer school and take computers. Maybe I will learn a few things "actually how to use it".

Loved the bluebird picture. I have been trying to get bluebirds for years with no luck. Had my son make 10 bluebird houses this spring with the proper hole size but to luck only got other types of birds. Guess thats better than anything. On the farm just south of here we had lots of bluebirds but then we were in amongst the pine trees. It will be years before I have a tree that is big enough for a bird to even land on.

Nice compost bins. The county I live in supplies us with free plastic type bins. When not is use the screws can be removed and rolled up. Love them because they take up less space (no space when not in use).

Margo, no grasshoppers but ANTS and they are in the house and they are eating wood. Tiny ants, but this week I need to call someone from the pest control. Don't want to wait until one day and have no house.

Looks like its going to rain "again" today. Had another storm last night. At least it helps on the water. Need to get out before it starts again.

Ellie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 24, 12 at 11:16

Hi Everyone!
Thought you all might like to see a pic from the Balloon Fest/Challenge yesterday.
It was much easier to get the pics than I thought it would be. Altho it was a little hectic during the launch! For about 10-15 minutes I felt like I was spinning!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 24, 12 at 11:21

And here is the GLOW!
I'll be back later to catch up with everyone!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Wow, I love the balloon pictures! They are great.
I'm glad everyone is still chatting. I will get the July swap posted later today. I know what it is - just to type it out and get it posted.
Wonderful flower and butterfly pictures, too.
I don't know if anyone follows college baseball, but our University of South Carolina Gamecocks are trying for their third national championship in a row so I have spent lots of time watching baseball on TV this past week. The games tend to end around midnight and then it takes me awhile to wind down and get to sleep. Arg!
Anyway, once I post the July Swap, feel free to keep coming to this one until the end of June. I'm with you, the chatting has been great!
Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

I got the July swap posted, so take a look at it and I hope you want to join in!

Jeanne


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Happy Birthday, Annie!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 24, 12 at 14:46

Happy Birthday, Annie! hope your day has been great so far!
A seed update for your b-day - most of the seeds you sent me in one swap or another are up and blooming; the Calendula are getting ready to bloom! Usually, I have a hard time with even the common variety; the "fancies" you sent are doing well!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Happy Birthday from me, too, Annie. This day is also my younger daughter and her husband's wedding anniversary - so it's special all the way around!
Have a great day.
Jeanne


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 25, 12 at 21:56

Hi, hope everyone had a great day, it was much cooler here, good sleeping weather!

Alana, the orange garden sounds beautiful, you've got lots of textures and shapes going on too! I WSed bronze fennel this year, it is a great looking plant and I'm hoping it doesn't get as tall as the common fennel, which is about 6' high right now.

Margo, my coral nymphs are blooming too, and I've already collected some seed! Kind of early. My Red Texas Hummingbird sage has disappeared, but there is so much in that bed, it's hard to tell.
You know, we live in a good area for the little blue butterflys - namely the Karners. The Kitty Todd Preserve, just outside of Toledo, is one of very few places they can be found in the States.

Heidi, thanks for sharing the pics! Very pretty!

Ellie, always good to hear from you, wish we had some of your rain!

Jeanne, how are the Gamecocks doing? Still playing?

Katy, why do you band the cormorant chicks at night?
And, have you ever been to Baraboo, Wisconsin? I noticed on some of your emails that you had Aldo Leopold quotes; he lived in Baraboo, and, you probably know this, is considered the father of wildlife managment as we know it today. And have you ever visited the International Crane Foundation, in Baraboo? Great place, the birds were incredible! They breed and raise all 15 species of Cranes. Totally interesting and worthwhile!

Jeanne's July swap is really going to be a great one, hope to see lots of our members join in!
Have a great day tomorrow!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by kchd 7b Mississippi (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 26, 12 at 17:42

Hi everyone,

Very nice, Ellie, that your county provides compost bins to its residents. Wish ours did that instead of spend money to collect yard debris.

Alana, I love the sound of your orange-flowered garden. Orange colored flowers are some of my favorites.

Shirley, great GLOW photo of the hot air balloons. What a shot that captures the moment!

Jeanne, I watched the College World Series, too. I yelled enough to make myself somewhat hoarse. OK, so I admit to being a very "animated" college sports fan when I get into games... Although I am a die-hard SEC fan, I confess I was pulling for my husband's alma mater, U of AZ. Only fair, since he dares not pull against LSU.

As for the cormorant chicks - When we band, we place a band on each leg. One is a small metal band issued by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bird Banding Lab. The other is a plastic, colored band that can be read from a distance using binoculars or a spotting scope. Throughout the breeding season, we spend several days sitting in blinds, observing for banded birds that return to that colony. That enables us to get much more info other than through someone finding a dead banded bird and reporting it to the Bird Banding Lab. We can determine breeding site fidelity, survivorship, age structure, and other population demographics. Last year we re-spotted more than 400 unique bands at the 2 islands we conduct our observations on. Here is a "digiscoped" photo I took of one of the birds.

As to why we do it at night - that is a matter of reducing disturbance as much as possible. All the birds are calmer at night, so we try to only go on the island when it is dark. That means banding all night long. It also means on observation days, we leave the boat dock at 3:00 am and don't leave the island until 9:00 pm. Makes for a long day, and you have to stay in your 5' x 7' blind for the duration (and that is why we bring a "honey bucket" with us). Hahaha.

Happy gardening,
Katie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by kchd 7b Mississippi (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 26, 12 at 18:34

Gee, am I the only person who gets overly excited about posting, and then forgets to write half of what I intend to?

Shirley, yes I have been to Baraboo, WI to visit the Aldo Leopold shack and the Center. We were working in the area last year, and went by one Sunday. What an awesome place to visit. Have you read A Sand County Almanac, or seen the Green Fire movie? We did not make it to the International Crane Foundation, but would very much like to. Sounds amazing.

It has been unbelievably hot for us in MS, considering it is still only June. No rain in sight for us, either. Was hoping that Tropical Storm Debby would send us some relief, but no. No rain since June 12th. Hoping we get some next week.

Katie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 26, 12 at 19:35

Katie, haven't read the book, but would like to. His life story is very interesting. We didn't make it to his Shack or the center; only in town for day and a half. We DID go to Circus World, which was just excellent; very laid back, just a little old fashioned. We loved it. Saw some great Wisconsin farm scenery on the way back to Minney, didn't get a chance to stop tho. I would love to spend another 3-4 days in that area.

Another pretty, kind of cool day here. Altho we need some rain too. My monardas, black adder hyssop, hyssop and cherry brandy rudbeckia are all blooming and the ligularia is coming on!

Margo, when is your race? How is the training going?

Have a great day tomorrow!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 27, 12 at 16:26

Happy Birthday to FOTESS member Lisa-lisam627!
Hope your day was great!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Lisa, Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Annie


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

  • Posted by sjc48 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 28, 12 at 11:08

Well, Folks, I think we can close this swap! Thanks to all who came in and shared with us!

As you know, Jeanne has the July swap well under way and I know she won't mind if we all go over there and continue to chat! And share recipes and pray for rain!

It's been great chatting with ya all!
Shirley!


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RE: new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

Lisa,
Happy Birthday. I think I am late with my wishes, but I thought I should post belated wishes here with June rather than in July.
Okay, everyone see you on the thread for July.
Jeanne


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