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Mlle. Zabzie

A Gardening Thread

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34 minutes ago, lady narcissa said:

I like to look at pictures of flowers and gardens but I tend to avoid having flowers myself.  Their short lived nature always just makes me sad and I hate having to throw them out at the end.  But instagram has been great for following people with larger plots of land and seeing all their hard labor pay off with gorgeous results.  Is anyone on instagram and have any gardening accounts they like to follow?

@Elder Sister @Mlle. Zabzie Regarding dahlias...there is this...I guess I'll call him "gentleman gardener" (since he seems to do it for leisure) in England on instagram and he grows amazing dahlias.

Regarding tomatoes I am already torn between starting from seed or cheating and getting a plant already started.  And they what variety to get?!?!  There are too many choices!

What’s the handle?  I would love to follow him!  Totally on brand for me.  I follow Seaview Gunwallow, Archigardenist, Birds and Blooms magazine, gardenersofig....(and more).

I am pressing flowers this year.  I have grand plans to arrange seasonal pressings in small frames by season.  To that, anyone done that and have good tips for mounting and framing?

But for me part of why I love flowers is their very temporality.  They a little miracles - there is this little black seed that I put in the ground and hope, and then months later, somehow, I end up with a beautiful flower, that, then, turns into black seeds which either produce more plants or feed birds or feed me!  

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Ok garden people. While I probably won’t have time to get a garden going this year with all my other projects and a baby I do have one problem I’d like to address this year. 

I live in town and therefore have a sidewalk in front of my house. In the little grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street there is a mature redbud tree. For some reason the previous owner put landscaping paper down and then put gravel all around it and then a ring of approximately grapefruit sized rocks forming a border around the gravel. I have hated this feature since day one. Not the tree, the rocks.

First of all, while I can park around back I usually park in the street in front of the house and I have stumbled over those damn rocks before. Secondly, they look like shit. 

I want to get rid of them completely but I’ll be left with a brown muddy streak instead. Any ideas how I can make the base of the tree look nice, even if only temporarily?

funny side note - the person who owned my house before me moved into the house next door. Any time I rip something out I’m always kind of looking over my shoulder hoping I don’t ever have to explain myself. :lol:

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2 hours ago, S John said:

Ok garden people. While I probably won’t have time to get a garden going this year with all my other projects and a baby I do have one problem I’d like to address this year. 

I live in town and therefore have a sidewalk in front of my house. In the little grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street there is a mature redbud tree. For some reason the previous owner put landscaping paper down and then put gravel all around it and then a ring of approximately grapefruit sized rocks forming a border around the gravel. I have hated this feature since day one. Not the tree, the rocks.

First of all, while I can park around back I usually park in the street in front of the house and I have stumbled over those damn rocks before. Secondly, they look like shit. 

I want to get rid of them completely but I’ll be left with a brown muddy streak instead. Any ideas how I can make the base of the tree look nice, even if only temporarily?

funny side note - the person who owned my house before me moved into the house next door. Any time I rip something out I’m always kind of looking over my shoulder hoping I don’t ever have to explain myself. :lol:

You can use wood chip type mulch around the tree.  That's very commonly done.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mudguard said:

You can use wood chip type mulch around the tree.  That's very commonly done.

I was going to suggest exactly that.  You might want to edge it first so that it looks its best.  If you want a groundcover of some kind, I would suggest a stonecrop if it is sunny and dry there, or maybe moss phlox, creeping phlox, or juniper.  Please avoid vinca, English ivy, lantana and pachysandra, which are invasive*.

*In the US.

Edited by Mlle. Zabzie

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So I've started building a hedge out of dead branches and the wood cuttings from this winter. I had to trim our oaks, since three very dry years have left a lot of dead branches and while I was on a roll, I also cut our old apple trees back and felled a pine that has fallen victim to the bark beetle. So from the pine, I cut some stakes and planted those in two parallel rows along the border of our meadow with a distance of about 60 to 80 cm between them. And then I piled all the wood between. It works remarkably well as a hedge, I don't have to get a shredder for the wood and I can just leave it there. 

I'm pretty confident, that the apple trees will produce new healthy shoots this spring, but the oaks are my problem child. They have big crowns and need a lot of water from all the foilage. Normally, this is not an issue, because they have very deep roots, but because of the drought, the groundwater levels have fallen such that it seems that they don't get enough water anymore. So I'm hoping for a cold and rainy spring this year.

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On 3/24/2021 at 12:21 PM, Mlle. Zabzie said:

What’s the handle?  I would love to follow him!  Totally on brand for me.  I follow Seaview Gunwallow, Archigardenist, Birds and Blooms magazine, gardenersofig....(and more). 

mccormickcharlie is his handle.  I actually am more into following his husband who is an architect/interior designer and posts lots of building pictures.  But I like to look at the pretty flowers in their garden too.

Also oldhouseintheshires seems to be a good one to follow if you like to garden.

Personally if I had outdoor space I would be all into topiary. I'd have an avenue of topiary pyramids.

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On 3/24/2021 at 7:23 PM, Mudguard said:

You can use wood chip type mulch around the tree.  That's very commonly done.

Yep, edge it in with something as cheap as that plastic edging, or you could do something more complex like a small retaining wall.  To get rid of the rocks, pile them up and put them on facebook marketplace or craigslist for free and they'll be gone w/in a week.  Another tip is to ditch any kind of weed fabric and instead lay down some flattened cardboard boxes.  This will keep the weeds out for 2-3 years and then turn into compost, at which point you'll want to put new mulch down anyway.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2021 at 7:29 PM, BigFatCoward said:

I've just had my whole lawn ripped out and replaced with fake grass and a massive patio. The lawn was on top of shit soil and looked awful. Everyone in my estate pretty much has to do the same. I've got some raised beds around the perimeter and have paid an expert to do the planting plan. My request was for minimum upkeep. 

I would love to do something wonderful with the space, but I dont have the skills or the time currently. The only thing I do manage is the herb beds, they are worth the effort. 

I'm in a similar situation - in that the soil on the estate here is a combination of builder's rubble and clay.

I ripped up the lawn and binned about 2 tonnes of shitty soil, bringing in twice as much good stuff about 10 years ago.

We've completely re-done it this year, as the "conservatory" had to come down; we now have a large patio where that once stood; and extended to reach both sides of the garden - good raised beds against the North wall, to get the best of the sun; and have reshaped (and improved drainage) the lawn section; removed all the grass; and have wildflower "turf" arriving in a few days.

That's as far as our budget goes for now; but future includes a home-made bench / wood store / bughouse, some acers and a water feature.

 

 

Your use of plastic lawn though... You are dead to me.

:(

Edited by Which Tyler

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Posted (edited)

NY state is legalizing marijuana, very excited to add some new plants to my garden plan for this year.

Starting a bunch of normal seeds this week, doing kitchen herbs, a few tomatoes and peppers, sunflowers, some greens and fennel.  Skipping squashes this year, I love them, but they are so probe to powdery mildew in my yard and they take up more room that could be better used for other things that do well here (napa cabbage). 

I'm challenging my mom to a tallest sunflower contest.  I feel like the competition will force me to spend more time in the garden even when   I'm not feeling it - a rising sunflower lifts all plants.

eta: I also collected 4 praying mantis cocoons over the winter that I've got placed around the garden in sheltered spots so hopefully theyll help with the pest control.

 

Edited by larrytheimp

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On 3/23/2021 at 12:32 PM, Elder Sister said:

I have Lamb's Ear everywhere, and love it.  And I'm constantly giving it away.  

And for the bloom time and the 'showiness', dahlias are worth the effort for me.  They are high maintenance, for sure.  There's no way they would over-winter in the ground here just because of the cold/damp.  They rot so easily!  But I do the same thing with my caladium bulbs and elephant ears, so it's not that big of a deal.  And they're remarkably easy when it comes to pest/disease resistance.  

ETA:  Mr. ES and I keep trying for a wildflower patch here, but it's impossible with the weeds.  They get choked out.  If anyone has any tips, I would gladly take them.

When we lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, I had a strip of soil between the house and the sidewalk that was about 30' or so long, and every year I planted my dahlia bulbs there.  They were GORGEOUS and I miss them!   Digging them up was a small price to pay to have beautiful cut flowers all season long.  They last wonderfully long and come in such spectacular colors.  The only enemy was the beetles that would come to feast on them.  Grrrr.... 

P.S.  There's a "Mr. ES"???  Great news!  I've been out of the news cycle lately.  

This is great planting time here in the Midwest for lettuce, spinach, cilantro - all the things that basically get blown  out by the summer heat.

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4 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

NY state is legalizing marijuana, very excited to add some new plants to my garden plan for this year.

You prefer outdoor to indoor if it's going to be what I assume is a small amount?

Anyways, it's about time to start setting up my garden as well, and we seem to grow the same things. I want to do more peppers, specifically hot peppers, than last year, so maybe five pots with 3-4 plants in them, and tomatoes of course. I don't think I've ever grown cilantro before @Tears of Lys, but I also live in the Midwest and it can't be hard. It's required in my salsa anyways so I'll give it a shot. It would also be smart for me to learn how to grow lettuce and spinach given I eat both regularly. Just not sure I have the space at the moment. 

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I just came in the house after spending an hour being savage to my rose bushes. I wonder if I committed roseicide on one of them. I was equally vicious to it a couple of years ago and it survived. However, here it is the end of March and the roses are so far along you’d think it was mid April or later.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

You prefer outdoor to indoor if it's going to be what I assume is a small amount?

 

I'd grow a couple of plants outdoors if the law allowed. Having said that, growing indoors, especially in a tent, gives you 100% control of the environment. And while a lot of people say weed is a weed, it will grow anywhere, growing top shelf weed requires optimum conditions, and you can only guarantee those indoors.

Edited by Spockydog

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41 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

You prefer outdoor to indoor if it's going to be what I assume is a small amount?

Anyways, it's about time to start setting up my garden as well, and we seem to grow the same things. I want to do more peppers, specifically hot peppers, than last year, so maybe five pots with 3-4 plants in them, and tomatoes of course. I don't think I've ever grown cilantro before @Tears of Lys, but I also live in the Midwest and it can't be hard. It's required in my salsa anyways so I'll give it a shot. It would also be smart for me to learn how to grow lettuce and spinach given I eat both regularly. Just not sure I have the space at the moment. 

I prefer outdoor (see my tomato issues earlier in thread)  I've done both but sun-loving plants grow in the sun for a reason. Indoors you need to pay for light.  And some pests, like spider mites can become a really problem.  Nutrient lockout, salt build up, and pH issues can appear and I felt like there was always some problem that needed fixing.  If you have a lot of time you can definitely dial it all in, but I definitely prefer growing stuff outside.  The only indoor plants I have anymore are a bunch of rare sanseverrias that thrive on neglect, darkness, and dust.

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6 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

NY state is legalizing marijuana, very excited to add some new plants to my garden plan for this year.

Starting a bunch of normal seeds this week, doing kitchen herbs, a few tomatoes and peppers, sunflowers, some greens and fennel.  Skipping squashes this year, I love them, but they are so probe to powdery mildew in my yard and they take up more room that could be better used for other things that do well here (napa cabbage). 

I'm challenging my mom to a tallest sunflower contest.  I feel like the competition will force me to spend more time in the garden even when   I'm not feeling it - a rising sunflower lifts all plants.

eta: I also collected 4 praying mantis cocoons over the winter that I've got placed around the garden in sheltered spots so hopefully theyll help with the pest control.

 

I’m not that far from you geographically/plant wise.  For powdery mildew you have to make sure you are spacing your plants appropriately.  Also, you can spray them prophylactically with a soap and baking soda mixture; if that doesn’t work copper sometimes does the trick but I don’t love doing that.  My issues with squash are squash beetle larvae.  I have wrapped stems, sprayed with neem oil, slit stems and pulled out larvae, etc.  I have like a 50/50 success rate.  I saved my cucumbers this year until after that big storm in august they got mosaic.  My squash...did so-so.

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1 minute ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I’m not that far from you geographically/plant wise.  For powdery mildew you have to make sure you are spacing your plants appropriately.  Also, you can spray them prophylactically with a soap and baking soda mixture; if that doesn’t work copper sometimes does the trick but I don’t love doing that.  My issues with squash are squash beetle larvae.  I have wrapped stems, sprayed with neem oil, slit stems and pulled out larvae, etc.  I have like a 50/50 success rate.  I saved my cucumbers this year until after that big storm in august they got mosaic.  My squash...did so-so.

Thanks for the info on powdery mildew, I've tried soap before but have not tried baking soda with it-- maybe I will try a couple delicatas this year.  I've avoided copper because of all the birds in the yard the other local critters.  

I did salvage a bunch of zucchini blossoms last year when the mildew hit, which made some nice quesadillas.

Am super bummed about my artichokes, I did them in 15 gallon pots last year and tried to winter them over inside in a south facing window over a radiator.  They did ok until all of a sudden in Feb they got the worst case of aphids I've ever seen- where tf did they come from?!?!  I tried soap washes and removing then all by hand (very fun on spiky plants) but I don't think they're going to make it.  I've had them outside when the weather's been good but have kind of given up.  

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1 hour ago, Spockydog said:

I'd grow a couple of plants outdoors if the law allowed. Having said that, growing indoors, especially in a tent, gives you 100% control of the environment. And while a lot of people say weed is a weed, it will grow anywhere, growing top shelf weed requires optimum conditions, and you can only guarantee those indoors.

That's just the thing for me, a couple of plants. I just wouldn't want to deal with that outdoors. I'd rather just do an indoor setup. It's not all that different from having a medium size iguana as a pet. Never tried myself, but I know it's not that hard once you go through a few cycles. It can be a lot of work though even if you only have a few growing stations.

55 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

I prefer outdoor (see my tomato issues earlier in thread)  I've done both but sun-loving plants grow in the sun for a reason. Indoors you need to pay for light.  And some pests, like spider mites can become a really problem.  Nutrient lockout, salt build up, and pH issues can appear and I felt like there was always some problem that needed fixing.  If you have a lot of time you can definitely dial it all in, but I definitely prefer growing stuff outside.  The only indoor plants I have anymore are a bunch of rare sanseverrias that thrive on neglect, darkness, and dust.

I guess it just depends on the space you have. I'm not sure if you've seen the movie  The Beach, but one time I did get to walk through a huge field like you see in parts of the film. It was wild. If I had the space to try and grow three square feet legally outdoors, maybe I'd give it a shot for fun. I don't smoke that much anymore, but it would be interesting. Otherwise though it just makes more sense to do what I said above. 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

That's just the thing for me, a couple of plants. I just wouldn't want to deal with that outdoors. I'd rather just do an indoor setup. It's not all that different from having a medium size iguana as a pet. Never tried myself, but I know it's not that hard once you go through a few cycles. It can be a lot of work though even if you only have a few growing stations.

I'm growing hydroponically, indoors, in a 3ft x 3ft tent. Initial setup takes a little bit of time and money, but now my time spent in the tent is five minutes in the morning and five in the evening, when I drop some ice packs in the reservoir to bring the temperatures down.  PH and PPM are monitored 24/7 on a digital monitor I got from China for £50. Once I get a water chiller, it will mean the grow is basically automated.

I just harvested three plants, grown in a single DWC bubbler (so the same level of effort as one plant). Looking at around 16oz from seeds planted on the 15th of December.

:hat:

Edited by Spockydog

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On 3/31/2021 at 11:33 AM, Spockydog said:

I'm growing hydroponically, indoors, in a 3ft x 3ft tent. Initial setup takes a little bit of time and money, but now my time spent in the tent is five minutes in the morning and five in the evening, when I drop some ice packs in the reservoir to bring the temperatures down.  PH and PPM are monitored 24/7 on a digital monitor I got from China for £50. Once I get a water chiller, it will mean the grow is basically automated.

I just harvested three plants, grown in a single DWC bubbler (so the same level of effort as one plant). Looking at around 16oz from seeds planted on the 15th of December.

:hat:

I have a lot of friends that work North Area BCU. I could easily find you and your seedy operation. 

 

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