|February 5, 2007 20:25 - Instant Gratification, Moles and St Valentine
If your perfect lawn is being ruined by moles and you live in North Carolina, you've got a problem. The use of poisons to control the pests is prohibited in the state. According to Chris McGrath, a wildlife diversity coordinator with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the state ban is largely due to concerns about endangering other animals. So what can you do if your lawn receives a visit from one of these creatures? Traps and vibration devices are allowed but these are of limited effect. Read more..
There were a couple of items in the news this week to make a real gardener grit his teeth. "Silver surfers choose web over gardening." According to a survey carried out by insurance company AXA "Retired people are starting to prefer browsing the internet to more traditional pastimes such as gardening, travel and DIY". Mind you the answers might well have been different if the questions had been asked during the summer months.
The second piece reported that "The trends of 2007 for gardening and outdoor living continue to reinforce our need for instant gratification. As revenues for traditional consumer lawn and garden products remain flat, homeowners are pouring money into expanding their living space outdoors". The trend is for a fully functional outdoor room with its own refrigerator, cooktop, microwave and even television. Beautiful plants yes, but they have to look great all the time while thriving on neglect. Read more..
Dutch Gardens are featuring their shade loving plants this month. Golden Wave Begonia is top of their list. With huge 5-6in flowers in shades of orange and yellow, this is a real stunner. Close behind come their most popular shade plants for 2007, Fire & Ice Hosta, Japanese
Jack in the Pulpit and Raspberry Splash Pulmonaria. And, as the banner reminds you, there is $25 off on orders of $50 or more.
Finally a brief note of apology for readers of Garden Ramblings. I'm afraid that it will be late this month. I am flying off to Hong Kong tomorrow and had hoped to have the newsletter ready before I left, but due to unexpected problems this was not possible. Since I will be away for February 14 let me leave you with a reminder of this important date.
February 22, 2007 12:42 - Is It Time To Start Planting?
It's that time of year again when we're looking forward to Spring and wondering whether we dare start planting for the new season. Here's Willie Chance: "Gardeners await spring like children await Christmas! You may find your gardening nose pushed to the window while you wonder, "Is it time yet?" Though you can plant early, you run the risk of facing late freezes. Here are some dates to help you plan your 2007 gardening and landscaping chores". Read more..
"Bill Howe doesn't abide by the rule to plant vegetable seeds after the last frost. That only applies when you're sowing seeds outdoors" says Lisa Britton. "Right now, in the latter part of February, Howe already has tiny lettuce plants sprouting leaves. And in the coming weeks, Howe, 75, will be starting all sorts of seeds — tomatoes, peppers and cauliflower, to just name a few". Read more..
For Duane Campbell "Spring Starts When Onion Seeds Planted". "It has started. The gardening season has officially begun, even if the thermometer screams otherwise. I have my onion seeds planted". There are two ways to plant oinions he tells us, and to find why he does not use oinion sets, read more..
This month's Garden Ramblings is now online, rather later than usual because I was away for the last two weeks. Do take a look, even if you only watch the weird video in the Tailpiece.