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Saturday, August 14, 2004

Gathering Seed

As we start to wind down the summer months, the Telegraph in the UK has a nice article on gathering seed for next year's garden. Propagating cuttings and gathering seed is one of the cheapest ways to build up your garden and requires mainly just your own time and energy. Frugal gardeners would be well-advised to cut and gather as much as possible before Fall arrives.

The sound of snap, crackle and pop - from gardening.telegraph.co.uk

In a previous AGN entry, I talked about propagating and pointed to some of my previous AGN columns for further information.

Additionally, here is a great book to teach you everything you ever wanted to know about plant propagation.

Making More Plants: The Science, Art and Joy of Propagation by Ken Druse

Friday, August 13, 2004

Old Farmer's Almanac has RSS Feeds

For those of you who want to get your old-fashioned, country-syle information in a new-fangled, high-tech format, Vapid.com points out that the Old Farmer's Almanac now has daily RSS feeds for its pithy information.

Check out the links below for more information.

The Old Farmers Syndication Page
The Old Farmer's Almanac - RSS Feeds I love these feeds. They're in my "must reads" folder in my news reader. The gardening feed isn't up my alley but the rest of them are fun while sipping your coffee getting... [Feedster gardening]

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Tree trimming

We had the arborists in today to make some, somewhat overdue, alterations to several trees in the front yard.

Are huge elm tree was looking quite shaggy, with its drooping branches reaching down into the driveway and up and over the fireplace chimney. Of course, I only got to see the end result, as I was off solving people's computer problems today, and arrived home long after all the work was done. That was a bit odd, for me, as I usually like to be around for this type of work. My computer consulting business has been quite busy the last few months as I have worked diligently to smooth out the typical ups and downs of business. This means I am spending much more time out of the garden instead of in.

Work in the garden never fails to yield more work, though. Although the owner of the tree company was very careful to remove sprinkler heads and landscape lights that might be in danger of damage, one sprinkler head decided to cracks its base fitting somehow. This will mean digging up the section of pipe and praying that the galvanized fittings have not become hopelessly fused into one corroded mass. Previous experience has shown this to often be the case. As soon as the area dries out a bit, I will dig it up and figure out the state of affairs. Then, yet another trip to Home Depot.

The landscape lights fared better, but several of them didn’t work at sundown tonight. This is actually fairly typical with these cheap lights I bought at CostCo. Maybe tomorrow evening I will try and get all them working as well.

The biggest benefit of the tree trimming is much more light in the living room. While it is still high-summer here, the extra light is appreciated, even if the extra heat, is not.

Life rolls on this summer, though and both my son and wife are heading back to school in a few short weeks. Why did summers seem so long when we were young and so short now. Yet one more thing to cause you to regret getting older.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Tree: Juniperus scopulorum "Skyrocket"

I came across a mention and photo of this tree in the August 2004 issue of Country Living.

I really like the look and habit of this tree. It seems much more attuned to the smaller yards here in Los Angeles than the larger Italian Cypress which we usually see. A collection of 3 in a screen along a property line would look very nice, I think.

Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket' Info - from the University of Connecticut

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Book: Zen and the Art of Gardening

I came across this book at the library and hae been working my way alowly through it. There are many good hints wrapped inside a developing understanding of Zen concepts. While there are many books about Zen Gardens, this is one of the few about the Zen OF Gardening.


Mexican Bird-of-Paradise - Red Variety

On our recent visit to Phoenix, Sedona and Jerome, Arizona, I took very few pictures, but these are certainly the most striking. Theses lovely examples of Mexican Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) are located in the back yard of our friend, the Webb's.

I was quite taken with these plants, even though I have seen them before in the simliar climate of Palm Springs, California, where my sister lives. The combination of the bright colors, green leaves and palm tree background kept me out in the sun much longer than was wise. It took several glasses of ice water to cool down again, after my excurision into the 105-107 degree heat.

(Click the photo for a small gallery of 3 pictures)

Back here in Los Angeles, we were also facing some higher temperatures, but still managed to get soem small garden taks done. I am approaching the garden one, small section at a time these days. With my busy work schedule, I feel lucky to simply pull the weeds between "rose #1 and rose #2 along the driveway." I usually do more than I originally plan, but my step-by-step method means that wach part of the garden gets, at least, a few minutes of attention every so often.

There are some larger projects on the drawing board, but I am unsure when I will be able to get to them. Having them in my gardening journal, though, keeps them in a place where I can refer when time allows.