likethebeer: (Codex from Avatar)
Good description (& no mention of tomatoes):
According to botanists (those who study plants) a fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower. It's also the section of the plant that contains the seeds. The other parts of plants are considered vegetables. These include the stems, leaves and roots — and even the flower bud.

The following are technically fruits: avocado, beans, peapods, corn kernels, cucumbers, grains, nuts, olives peppers, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds and tomatoes. Vegetables include celery (stem), lettuce (leaves), cauliflower and broccoli (buds), and beets, carrots and potatoes (roots).

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/fruit-vegetable-difference/bgp-20056141
likethebeer: (pissed)
Based on last year's information, I pulled some sneaky garlic mustard in our backyard just now. It's tricky - I went looking for it last Sat. and it wasn't where I expected it. It was up in that area today. Garlic mustard apparently will get a start as cold weather comes on. So if you're in a state that's susceptible to it, and have seen a new, unexpected patch of green, check it out. It does smell like garlic when you crush it between your fingers.

Pictures are here.
likethebeer: (Default)
Last year, [livejournal.com profile] ravenfeather (via [livejournal.com profile] cynnerth) sent me these irises called Jacaranda, which I planted in the ground with hope. The other day, my partner, mda, in a lawnmowing fervor, ran over the 2 irises she sent me. Big :( .

They're not dead, and I think I'll put something near them so they don't get hit again, but I wanted them to happily grow this year (maybe even bloom?) and be a nice addition to the garden.

Look at this, man--it's fantastic:It's on the right )
I'm trying not to grumble too much.

It's not really working. arrrggghhhhhh!!!
likethebeer: (Default)
Cypress spurge. It's too bad, b/c this is actually kind of attractive.



Well, good thing that, according to Dave's Garden, "All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction."

yuck.
likethebeer: (Default)
May I introduce you to our latest weed?


Actually, it's not new to our place, but when you address the brambles, garlic mustard, poison ivy, white snakeroot, canadian thistle, dame's rocket (to an extent), what else can possibly crop up?

Also known as catchweed (it is really sticky and grows along the ground). It has some positive attributes, I hear. htop wrote:
Although this plant is a fast grower and rambles over everything in its path, as an herb it is used as a dried extract (capsules and powders), in herbal teas and even eaten raw. When researching this plant, I was amazed at how many ailments it is supposed to relieve including the following: allergies, kidney disfunction, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) because it is a diuritic, PMS, lymphatic system dysfunction, strep throat, tonsillitis, adenoid ailments, ulcers and tumors. It is even sited as an herbal remedy for horse "sweet itch" ("summer itch") caused by a horse's allergic reaction to sandfly bites because it is supposed to help strengthen the coat and to assist in cleansing the blood by clearing the lymphatic system of toxins. Rather than listing them all because they are so numerous, just type in its scientific name in a search engine and see what you find.
I haven't seen the benefits of said catchweed. I've seen it growing everywhere (here and at my ma's place in PA), it sticks to you, and if you pull too much of it, you get a slight rash. sigh. The joys of home ownership.

but that name caught your attention, didn't it?
likethebeer: (sassy)
Proving my sage wisdom: if it grows on our land, it's a weed.

In the time that we've lived in our house, we've seen poison ivy, out-of-control brambles, white snakeroot, a kind of plant that creeps along the ground and is a little sticky, Dame's Rocket, and now....

garlic mustard.

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Fortunately, so far it was a rather small patch of it (maybe 30 sq. ft), so I managed to pull it out in about 45 minutes and stuff it into 2 trash bags. Gotta love gardening!. it's ok, and I'm happy I found it.
likethebeer: (Default)
Well, this doesn't mean anything to anyone I suppose, but I've had this mysterious weed that appeared after I began making inroads to eradicate our brambles. It has roots that look like cooked spaghetti squash to me. Well, I now know what it's called: white snakeroot (among other things).

I just told mda. I'm so happy to have this answered. I was looking under non-native plants to find it, but hadn't looked under native species until now. They describe it as a "possibly invasive" plant. "Possibly"?! Come take a look at our land. Where there aren't cedar trees, black walnuts, or oaks; or poison ivy and brambles, there are these things. I also told mda that, if I keep looking for information on it, I will probably come up with something along these lines: that it grows in a thin layer of oak leaves, near brambles, and begins proliferating once the brambles are removed; and that the best way to remove it is by pulling it. Speaking of, I've got a "few" (like, bundles and bundles) to work on today.

I did find out that it is poisonous, but only when it is eaten by an animal and the milk of that animal is then drunk by humans. So, if we ever get a goat, we better not milk it.
likethebeer: (Default)
Check out the information about the flowers that you are transplanting into the ground before you start digging the holes and actually move them...
Read more... )
likethebeer: (Default)
I spent part of my day pulling up the crazy weeds in backyard. I am no biologist, so I have my own classification (well, aside from the note that anything that grows profusely on our property must be a weed).

The stuff that, when you pull it out, has these roots that look like spaghetti squash. That is my professional opinion. These weeds are nutty, man. They grow in, like, 1 layer of oak leaves. It's just bad. These enemies appeared after I had begun to banish the brambles. The brambles still exist, and I know I have much work to do in that area, but g-damn, I'm so damned proud of myself that I've created a path, through the sand and oak leaves, where there was no path 3 years ago. "It's a Roman road!" mda always says.

On top of pulling those are some crazy weeds that climb along the ground (yes, I know that's totally inappropriate as a description). These weeds make little burr-balls that, while not being painful, cling to anything that come near them.

And lastly are these nutty trees that have thorns as sharp as rose bushes. I chomped down a bunch of them today.

So here are the days triumphs:
*The "spaghetti squash" weeds
*The "burr"... thingys
*The "rose bush" trees.

I'm so clueless when it comes to the local flora.

Oh, and in the meantime, I've been reading for the website. Sent of 14 rejections, and I'm feeling good about that. 'Cept I was given 55 stories to look at. d. oh.
likethebeer: (cute girl)
Ah, yes: spring. Once more I have delved into the backyard to try, valiently again, to rid our lives of brambles. So far, they're not as bad as previous years. But that just may be b/c it's still early in the season. I envision walking to this same area next month and seeing waves of brambles consuming the area. In addition, we have our new weed species, which popped up where the brambles had been, that like to grow in a thin layer of oak leaves.

I did spot 3-4 tufts of actual grass growing out there. I would rather we had native species of grass, but when I eliminate the brambles, the viney things that grow along the ground, the crazy oak-leaf-lovin' weeds, all we have left in that area so far is sand and dead oak leaves. I'll take a few tufts of grass for starters.

I did look up where the local dept of natural resources center is, and maybe I should go there to describe my problem, and my desire for a list of plants that I can try growing. I would love to do a prairie burn, but there are tons of trees in this area and I would have to make a concerted effort to prepare it, even w/out the trees all around.
likethebeer: (Default)
Further work on the book. I've attempted to stay away from self-criticism too much. I feel it is important to try to get down what I think, or in the end it will be 50,000+ more words that will go nowhere. Errr--too much of the verb "to be." Wilke suggests I figure out the end of the book first, but I don't really know the end, as the book deals with many of the issues that come up on tour. Perhaps the book resembles the way I give tours: a beginning with a lot of improvisation throughout. I have to find a way to organize the chapters, which means I should print it out at some point. I do know that there is more to address. My problem continues to be the description of the house itself. Perhaps I should go off the computer and simply write with pen and paper what comes to my mind.

Yesterday I finally planted the basil in the square foot garden out front. Additionally threw in 9 seed onions in another square foot patch. My friend, MD, already has huge garlic plants growing. We have volunteer garlic chives that I've persuaded mda from mowing down (not that even doing that will keep them down). mda put up thread against the house yesterday to train the morning glories. We also have volunteer morning glories that are growing along the ground in the other garden plot. No tomatoes yet for the tomato area. We'll have to buy plants and try to put them up.

Mmmm--then I'll have to chop out the dying part of the peony. I'd like to move the remaining healthy part of the plant in the fall. It is really a pathetic thing, but if we plant it in new soil, it may begin to flourish. From my research, we have a disease called phytophthora blight, which is due to the lack of good drainage. Edit: Now I've chopped out the diseased parts of the plant, which may be the entire plant. I've left 1 stalk and we'll have to see whether it gets the same disease. If it does, we'll look at a gardening center in the fall. We're not missing much--we only had about 5 blooms for a plant with 7 stalks about 3 feet in diameter.
likethebeer: (Default)
It's deliriously warm here and I don't know what to do with myself. Must work outside, that's all I think, because I can't just be outside and relax. I broke down about 25 cardboard boxes yesterday and tied them up. I raked today after walking through the backyard and picking up sticks and parts of tree limbs, broke them up, and put them into paper bags to save for future kindling. Before that, I'd gotten a bit of test paint to try out in our stairway upstairs. Mda & I had a really productive talk about paint colors and a stained glass design for the light in the stairs. I checked my collection of glass--none is opaque enough to use.

Then I went out and cleared, I would say, a 6 ft square section from brambles. Perhaps I should suck it up and get back out there. I have had this fantasy each year that I've lived here that I will dispose of all the brambles, but I only do it for about 1 1/2 hours at a time before giving up. Pulling brambles is pretty easy (they're in sand and aren't prickly when you pull them out fresh), and that seems to do the trick, keeps them from growing back. But it's overwhelming to work and look up to this sea of cloudy burgundy waves in all directions.

Ok, cigarette first, soda, a little "Fresh Air", then maybe mroe brambles.

On flowers

May. 30th, 2003 10:23 am
likethebeer: (Default)
Walked outside this morning and there were these cool prairie plants in bloom in the backyard. The stalks look like spiderwort, which we found last year, but they have yellow flowers like daisies which are dark towards the middle (the spiderwort we found last year has dark blue flowers). I've tried to look them up, but of course I'm terrible at that sort of thing. I can never tell what kind of leaves the books are asking me to identify. "Um, yeah, they kind of have pointy leaves? But also rounded? And, sure they're veiny, aren't all leaves? What is an umbrell again?" Anyway, the flowers were still a nice surprise.

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