04 Garden Cloches | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Since so many people order their gifts online and ahead of time, I’ve decided to start my annual Gift Guide fairly early this year. This should allow you to find your favorite gifts — and perhaps recommend a few of your own wish list items to your friends and family — with enough lead time to assure they arrive in time for your holiday celebration, whichever holiday it might be!

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


Garden Cloches

Protect your tender garden plants from both cold temperature and pests (like my raccoons and squirrels who want to dig in any freshly planted patch) Choose wire cloches like this for pest protection, plastic cloches for transplant protection or elegant glass cloches for a touch of beauty along with the protection they provide.— Douglas

04 Garden Cloches | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

In the garden, this chicken wire cloche protects prized seedlings, lettuce plants and ripening strawberries from nibbling wildlife and curious cats. Indoors, place it over an arrangement of houseplants, candles or curios to transform them from ordinary to delightful. May also be used as a trellis for small ivies and other vining houseplants. — Amazon


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Growing Pride & Produce via Yakima Herald-Republic

Could your area use a community garden? The answer might surprise you. Here is one excellent example of both the why and how of one small community’s garden. — Douglas
 
 
A few years ago, when Gini asked some residents, “What do you think we need in Buena?” A young woman said she wished they had a garden. Surrounded by orchards and vineyards, it’s ironic that Buena meets the USDA’s definition of a food desert. Residents looking for fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods have to drive somewhere else to shop, since this small community lacks a supermarket. With that wish, a new seed was planted.
Read Growing Pride & Produce via Yakima Herald-Republic

Want to learn more about community gardens and allotments?

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† These books are available at the LA Public Library


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Tower Garden spotted in Stephens College Cafeteria

It was cool to spot this Tower Garden (2 of them, in fact) in the cafeteria of Stephens College on a recent visit to Columbia, Missouri for the Citizen Jane Film Festival.

Tower Garden spotted in Stephens College Cafeteria

I have seen a variety of these systems, but this is my first experience with Tower Garden specifically. I did a little research on the device and the company and included it in the links below.

Tower Garden Web Site

This unit is a bit expensive for most individuals, but there are a host of others available and a wide variety of DIY systems available on the internet. Take a look!


Artificial intelligence identifies plant species by looking at them via Boing Boing

There have been several apps that perform similar AI matching and each of them gets better with every iteration. Often they are good enough to get you into the right botanical ballpark so you can do more traditional research from there. That can significantly reduce the amount of time required to figure out exactly what plant you have in hand — Douglas

Machine learning algorithms have successfully identified plant species in massive herbaria just by looking at the dried specimens. According to researchers, similar AI approaches could also be used identify the likes of fly larvae and plant fossils.

From Nature:

There are roughly 3,000 herbaria in the world, hosting an estimated 350 million specimens — only a fraction of which has been digitized. But the swelling data sets, along with advances in computing techniques, enticed computer scientist Erick Mata-Montero of the Costa Rica Institute of Technology in Cartago and botanist, Pierre Bonnet of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development in Montpellier, to see what they could make of the data.

Read Artificial intelligence identifies plant species by looking at them via Boing Boing


Learn more about plant identification with these books

!

! Available at LA Public Library

An interesting link found among my daily reading

Inexpensive DIY Wall Decor Ideas and Crafts via DIY Home Decor Guide

Some great ideas for dressing up your home and garden both inside and outside. — Douglas
 
Refresh your home with something new and cute this summer. I am going to share some very creative and inexpensive DIY wall decor ideas. I will tell you today that how you could dress up your walls with inexpensive handmade crafts and decorations. All the wall decorations and crafts are made with inexpensive things and the steps for making these wall decor crafts are also very simple. I have added different ideas for decorating walls of different parts of home. 

In The Garden…New strawberry pots

A week or so ago we picked up 2 new strawberry pots form the nursery. While the strawberries in our containers have been doing well, those in the ground were languishing. We figured it was best to get the remaining plants into containers and retrofit the bed to make it a little better for whatever might be planted there later.

Strawberry pot 1

I would have liked to place a watering pipe down the center of these pots but didn’t have anything on hand. This helps to distribute the water better throughout the pot, but as sometimes happens, you don’t always have the proper supplies on hand when you need them..

Strawberry pot 2

For this pot, I transplanted all the existing in-ground strawberry plants first and then filled in the remainder of the growing ports with runners from our existing container garden. These runners only had a few roots, so I am not sure if they will take or not, but it was a way of making the best use of both the runners and the pot space.

Strawberry pot 3

Keeping all of our containers watered is a bit fo challenge here in Southern California. Even today we are experiencing an Autumn Santa Ana Wind which has raised the temperature to almost 100 degrees. These temperatures and the strong winds can quickly dry out any container, so we have had to water every day or risk losing both these new plantings and older ones.

Strawberry pot 4

As of today, there are a few healthy looking strawberry plants in the pots along with a few that probably won’t make it. These are most likely the poorly rooted runners mentioned above. I’ll cultivate any new runners from the existing containers, root them in separate pots and then move them here to fill in any holes.

20% Off Everything Today Including these Sunflower Days Totes, Mugs, Smartphone Cases and More!

20% Off Everything Today Including these Sunflower Days Totes, Mugs, Smartphone Cases and More!

20% Off Everything Today Including these Sunflower Days Totes, Mugs, Smartphone Cases and More!

20% Off Everything Today

Including these Sunflower Days Totes, Mugs, Smartphone Cases and More!

 

Directly from my Instagram Photos

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Befriend Bees via Sunset: Garden

Before a flower can set seed or form fruit, it needs to be pollinated. Though some plants are pollinated by bats, birds, butterflies, moths, and wasps, most of the work is done by bees.

Bees are in serious trouble, though. Their numbers are in sharp decline, mainly because of shrinking habitat. Fortunately, bees have some dedicated advocates like the Xerces Society. And home gardeners can help too. Here’s what you can do to promote a bee-friendly environment in your garden.

Read Befriend Bees via Sunset: Garden




An interesting link found among my daily reading

Rudbeckia in Fall Colors via Instagram

Rudbeckia in Fall Colors

Rudbeckia in Fall Colors

An amazing rudbeckia flower shines out in the Autumn sun. 

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Join the conversation on A Gardener’s Notebook on Facebook 



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Books on rudbeckia may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Garden Decor: Today’s Coffee Break Reading at Farm Table via Instagram

Today’s Coffee Break Reading at Farm Table

Today’s Coffee Break Reading at Farm Table

I walked to the library to pick up this book and grab a coffee this afternoon. Farm Table provides a nice place to grab an Americano and snack on the way back (They have some nice full meals, too)

Instagram 

Join the conversation on A Gardener’s Notebook on Facebook 


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** 4 books | 0 ebooks available at LA Public Library