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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
6:29 pm - Courseware for Basics in Gardening

Hi, I am  Computer Science student and and total noob in gardening. In one of subjects, our group decided to make a courseware with gardening as the topic. Basically, we want to create a flash software for beginners in gardening or something like a how-to's in gardening. I just want to ask what sort of things or topics should we put in our project. 
Can someone suggest what things should we include in our courseware? Any suggestion would be really helpful.

I hope I didn't break any rules :D

current mood: confused

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009
9:16 am - Thank You!

I want to thank those of you who responded to my post yesterday about the strange plant growing in front of my house. After researching all of your suggestions, I've discovered that it's a Cow Parsnip which is related to Hogweed.
Not sure that I'll be keeping it around for too much longer, as interesting as it is!
Again, thank you for all your input! :)

current mood: good

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Thursday, May 21st, 2009
3:33 pm - Curious Plant

Hello, all. :)
I've come to see if anyone here might be able to help me identify a strange plant in the front of my house.
I had no clue it was there when I started planting bulbs, and when it started to grow I had no clue it would get as huge as it is, and I don't know if I should get rid of it or not.
Any ideas?

ETA: Just took another look at it, and it almost looks like Queen Anne's Lace coming in at the top, only a pale-yellowy color.

Please excuse the mess...Collapse )

current mood: curious

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Friday, January 2nd, 2009
12:12 pm - Too early Spring Blooms! xposted

We have been vacillating for several months between much colder than normal and much warmer than normal for this time period that most call "winter". I noticed several weeks ago that the spring bulbs have broken the ground some three months early. This morning January 2nd, I found the first blooms.. again, three months early in the rose garden.

Pictures behind cut:

Read more...Collapse )

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
11:51 pm - Desert Gardening Thorne's Way

*NOTE: This article was originally written for Thorne's World, so it  is pretty much an overview, but may contain a lot of info you livejardin-ers already know.  I hope you enjoy it, nonetheless!

Let's start at the beginning. It's all about poop. Manure. Dookey. long with lotsa pics behind cutCollapse ) That's right, I said "poop"! Composted fertilizer. Here in our lovely desert we have super sandy soil, slightly alkaline. We have great drainage, but the soil really needs a lot of organic material to grow food or non indigenous plants. The amounts of manure/fertilizer we need is really cost prohibitive for us. We're pretty much organic. I only say pretty much because I can't be positive that the horses are shitting organic, since their food might not be. Other than that, we add no chemical fertilizers or other treatments and absolutely no pesticides. Anyway, the point is that organic fertilizer/compost that you buy is really pricey (and considering that alot of it is gathered from the floors of old growth forests, I'm not to thrilled at the idea of supporting that kind of destruction of an ecosystem, so....). We have a friend about 10 miles out of town who has and boards horses. The GirlyBoi is my poop loader, filling up the truck or trailer 3 or 4 times a season. (We use ALOT of poop!!)
We like the horse poop better than the cow poop for 2 reasons. There's lot's more of it available and it isn't as "hot" nor near as full of weed seed as the cow poop is. Sometimes we get rabbit Poop from our local feed store, which is also great manure. We stay away from chicken and duck poop because it is waaaay too hot until it has aged for 6 months to a year, and it smells bad. (Thorne'sNose is a sensitive organ)

These are our version of plant warmers. Bottles, bottles and more bottles. Water bottles, bleach bottles, laundry detergent bottles; well, you get the idea.  Filled with water and circled around the plants, they'll absorb heat from the sun in the daylight hours, and radiate heat to keep the plants warm as the nights begin to cool in the fall. We'll use them again in the spring to get a jump on the garden. You can also see the corrugated tin we use to surround the garden. It's absolutely necessary to keep the cottontails, jackrabbits, ground-squirrels, pack rats and mice out. We still have trouble with mice, but I have learned many devious ways to trap and kill them. Too bad they're not edible. And those tiny furs... Hmmm.....

This is what our garden looked like after using manure that wasn't composted sufficiently.  Fresh poop = bad poop! Bermuda Grass; aka: Crabgrass. This totally sux. The roots loved our double dug, fertile beds. The roots go down about 2 feet deep in a web that is mighty!

This is our 3 year old asparagus bed (planted with 2 year old crowns), gone to fern. The ferns feed the roots so that next year we'll have lots more yummy asparagus. Home grown asparagus is freaking amazing!!! You know how when you buy it at the grocers, you look for the tiny, pencil thin spears if you want them tender? Our asparagus is tender all the way down even when the spears are 12" tall and as thick as a broomstick.

This is the 1 year old asparagus bed that was taken over by the baaaaad Bermuda Grass. (And that is my Girlyboi and amazing bed digger and poop shoveler wearing the red cap)
 We dug the top 8 inches up, tossed as much grass and roots as we could get out, and are now covering it with plastic and hoping that the rest of the root will die by spring so we can plant more asparagus here. We have 6 more beds that have to be dug up and smothered. *whew* (note: It only partially worked.  We still have to dig the bed up and try to transplant the asparagus crowns.)

These are the winter lettuce/greens beds. In the left pic with the black pots we planted for heads, and a couple rows of spinach. The pots have the bottoms cut off to make collars to protect the baby plants from critters and insects. The bed pictured on the right is scattered with a mixture of greens that we'll be harvesting daily, (before heads have formed when the leaves are young and tender), in a couple of weeks. (In the background there you can see Solon, our 9 year old chow/shepherd mix. He's a honey bear!  (These raised beds, we have discovered, don't really work well for us here in the desert except for winter crops.  They tend to dry out too quickly despite the buried soaker hose and throw off our watering schedule.)

Pictured below are the cans that we use for collars to protect young seedlings

from creepy crawlies.  We also use gallon nursery pots that we've cut the bottoms out of.

This is the carrot bed. It's been sifted through diamond hardware cloth to a depth of 18" to remove all but the tiniest pebbles. Even a small rock will split and deform the carrots. It's not just for cosmetic reasons that we don't want the carrots to split. They develop a thicker core and are a bit bitter when they get deformed. The carrots are also scatter seeded. We'll thin them as they grow, feeding the thinnings to the parrots or putting them in soups and stews where it's not as imperative that they are sweet and full flavored. The carrots will stay in the ground until they have enjoyed a few good frosts. Frost makes carrots sweet!

These last couple of pics are good examples of intensive gardening.
The "V" shaped fence section in the first image will act as a trellis for the snow and pod peas that are planted on the inside and outside edges of it, and along the fence. Inside the collars are alternating rows of broccoli and cabbage. This arrangement allows us to pack the greatest number of plants in the small bed, and takes advantage of the different root depths for feeding and watering.

This bed has alternating, staggered rows of broccoli and cabbage, with turnips planted between and all around. The PVC arches will be the frame for a sort of cold frame that we'll add using heavy plastic as the weather gets colder to extend our growing season.
Ummm... let's see; what else? Oh! Watering. We only top water (by hand) during germination in spring, for the winter garden, and occasionally in the evening during the hottest part of the summer. Otherwise we use soaker hose that's buried. We have our own well and with such great drainage I feel pretty good about the low environmental impact our garden makes. We don't lose too much water to evaporation this way, and what's not making it into the plants is returning through the ground to the water table.

Well. That was prolly more than ya'll wanted to know about gardening in the desert, but alot of the techniques I use are adaptable to other climates, too. I hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as I enjoyed writing about it. This kind of blogging is happy for my heart and healing to my spirit.
Peace, out!

current mood: pleased

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Thursday, December 4th, 2008
7:27 am

Emerging lavender spear reminds me of
the Art Deco Chrysler skyscraper in NY.

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Monday, December 1st, 2008
7:26 pm - Help determine the future of LiveJardin

Greetings from your new administrator!

Let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Chris, and I’ve been a gardener for most of my nearly 28 years, mostly in the realm of herb and vegetable gardening. I live in northeast Ohio, and am currently working on getting better educated in horticulture in order to someday run an east-of-the-Mississippi vineyard.

That said, the next order of business is to figure out where you, the members, want us to go from here. We are a community of over three hundred watching, but posting has been reduced down to only a dozen or two posts per year. Part of this is the enormous popularity of the Gardening community, of which over half of you are members. I have no desire to turn this community into Gardening lite, but a fair part of our issue, I think, is that we don’t quite know what our focus is. Sometimes we’re a plant ID place, sometimes we’re an advice place, sometimes we’re a picture-intensive place, and occasionally we have a southwest focus. There’s really no way to effectively advertise for a community (let alone grow) when you don’t know what you do better than the other guys.

So I have a few questions for you, the LiveJardin community.

1. What do you believe this community’s strengths have been in the past?
2. Should we focus on being a broad-based garden community, or should we specialize in doing a few things well? If the former, how should we distinguish ourselves from the Gardening community? If the latter, what things should we specialize in?
3. What would you like to see from LiveJardin that you don’t see from your current garden community options on Livejournal?
4. What would it take to get you more active in this community?

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

current mood: hopeful

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Thursday, November 27th, 2008
12:58 am - LiveJardin needs a new Administrator

Hello everyone.  I am the member that created LiveJardin many years ago and had to leave in 2003. If you would be interested in becoming the ADMINISTRATOR for the LiveJardin community please leave a note here and I can turn all administration over to you.

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Sunday, August 31st, 2008
3:19 pm

some pics of my back yard from a few years back...the grass has since died, but i hope it'll come back this winter, if it rains...

i'll post some updated backyard pics at a later time...

picsCollapse )

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12:58 am

just wanted to share some pics I took early this morning, while my night blooming cactus was still in full flower...it's a spectacular sight, the blooms don't smell like much, but they are sort of flourescent white, even in the dark of night, and supposedly attracts bats.....as soon as the sun comes out, the flowers wilt and close. This is the first year I've had this many blooms on the cactus....

picsCollapse )

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Friday, August 15th, 2008
5:22 pm - Mystery (sort of) solved!

A little while ago I posted about this mystery vine that most of you really helpful community members suggested was a cucumber or a melon. Turns out it's some kind of Asian melon. I don't know the exact name, but I think it has yellow flesh and has fibrous seeds.

It"s a.. melon?Collapse )

Thanks for all your help! I can't wait to open up the melon and see exactly what it is..

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
6:25 pm

Hi! I'm new to this community and think it's great.
I have a plant identification question. This popped up in one of my compost containers and I kept it out of curiosity. Within a few months, it flowered and began to produce fruit.

It looks like some kind of melon, squash, or cucumber vine, but the fruit is still so small that I have no idea what it is. Hopefully one of you more experienced gardeners can tell me!

Pictures under the cut.Collapse )

Thank you for your time!

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Friday, July 25th, 2008
10:22 pm - mutant iris

When I was digging up my irises this afternoon, due to an iris borer attack, I noticed this at the base of one of the plants.

For a moment I thought a flower had dropped off of something, and stuck between the leaves. But there are no plants blooming above it. So then, for a moment, I thought its own blossom had fallen and stuck there, but it's been a month and a half. By then, I was looking carefully. I took the first picture. If you look closely, you can see the purple part is kinda coming out of the middle of the leaf. Then I pulled the leaf off, and then it was clear that it was a partly-formed blossom.

A strange year for irises. First, I had these stunted jacarandas, and then I had the two-petaled dotted Swisses.

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Monday, July 21st, 2008
9:26 pm - DIY garden projects

Hi plant lovers. :)

Greetings from Portland, Oregon.

I'm a self-taught/noob backyard gardener.

A little background, and a few photos (6) of projects...Collapse )

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Saturday, July 19th, 2008
1:07 pm - What is this flower?

Hello everyone! I'm hoping someone can identify this flower for me. It was in a bouquet my friend had, and I fell in love with it, and thought that maybe someday, if I knew what it was, I could try my hand at growing it. The picture quality isn't great, but it is mostly lavender colored, with a sky blue sort of color peaking out from underneath and white in the center. Any ideas?


current mood: hopeful

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1:30 am - garden wildlife

My wife and I were sitting on the bench in the garden tonight, because the weather was so perfect. I heard a buzzing, and then sort of a whumpf as it stopped. When I got a glimpse of it, I thought it was a dragonfly for a moment, but it was a hummingbird. It darted around for a bit, checking things out. We didn't move, so eventually it came in to the bee balm, which was right next to Cyn. It seemed to remain wary, but went for a couple of blossoms. I felt like I had a mosquito on my forehead, so when it went behind the flower, I moved to brush the bug. The hummingbird saw me move, and fled.

It was pretty cool to be that close to one. I had never even seen one in person until a couple of years ago, and never in our yard until this spring.

Later, I looked down and saw a really big beetle near Cyn's feet - like nearly under them. I didn't want it to get squished, let alone Cyn to freak out, so I flicked it back under the bench. "What?" "Nothing. Don't look." "Why? What is it?" "Nothing." "Oh ick! A June bug." "No, June bugs are nowhere hear that big."

It wasn't moving, so I figured it was dead or dying. A few minutes later, I saw it climbing on the hosta, so I guess it was just playing possum.

see itCollapse )

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Monday, June 16th, 2008
10:19 pm - two-petaled iris

The last dotted Swiss iris blossom of the season was a the runt of the litter. So small, in fact, that it only had two sets of standards and falls.

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Sunday, May 18th, 2008
9:32 pm - digging up the garden

I heard some coworkers talking about getting rototillers for their vegetable gardens. I can't imagine doing it that way. I dig mine with a shovel. It certainly takes longer (my garden in 12' by 12'), but the main reason I do it that way is to get the weeds out. First of all, I don't think a tiller goes as deep as my shovel, and there are a lot of deep weed roots in there. Second, I think many of those weeds will sprout from the little chopped-up sections of roots. I turn a shovelful, break it up and pull the weeds and grass out by hand. It's also nice to move the dirt around. I can raise or lower certain areas, or even out the fertileness.

One guy said he was going to try one of those things you kinda screw in to the ground. Sounded like it would work, but not be too much easier than my shovel. Anyone try one of those?

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Monday, February 25th, 2008
10:22 am - Identify that pretty!

Does anyone know what this is? I'm interested in turning it into a quilt design, but I'd rather see some more photos of the same plant first, the shapes aren't quite right in this one.

cross-posted to gardening, horticulture, plants and livejardin, so apologies if you see this more than once.

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
8:58 am - A little ID help please? Xposted

I purchased a new plant over the weekend at a charity event, and got it home with no tag. It is one I don't have in my landscape, but I feel it is a "native" to my area of zone 8b/9 southern coastal Georgia. Does anyone know what this lovely woody shrub is?

Read more...Collapse )

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