Monday, September 28, 2009

Bees in Paris

Here's a fascinating story about Parisians and their bees. There is probably a similar tale to be told about beekeepers in the Denver/Metro area. Perhaps gardeners will save the bees!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Traditions by Gardener Janet

The air turns cooler; the apples on the backyard trees are ready for harvest. In our family, that means it is time to be baking apple pies. A few years back, my husband discovered a tool I had found at a garage sale. This simple tool had a profound impact on our family. The apple peeler-parer-slicer spoke to my husband who became obsessed with harvesting, and using every single apple produced on our two apple trees.
Needless to say, the rest of us needed to become competent at doing something with the buckets of peeled and sliced apples he was producing. Thus, the apple pie assembly line was born. My daughter became the “spice girl”; she would mix sugar, flour and spices to create the perfect pie filling. My job was the crust; I would make dough for a double crust over and over. On a good day we would make seven or eight pies. Neighbors, friends, and family were the recipient of these pies.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Chronological Conundrum by Gardener Dave

A task remains for me to do

It happens every fall

For with the weathers changing scene

comes Standard Time’s recall

My quandary is, my earnest friends,

(this gives my brain a trial)

that I don’t have “no” outside clocks,

just a big, round, bronze SUNDIAL

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Let the Lowly Radish Till Your Soil

I know what you are thinking, dear gardener.  You are thinking, "I am sick of tilling the soil".  Well help is on the way:  try this.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicken With Sage and Proscuitto by Gardener Janet

There are many varieties of garden sage available. All prefer full sun and pests seem to leave the plants alone. These perennial plants grow quickly; they have beautiful foliage, blue/purple blossoms and the leaves taste and smell great.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Harvest Chronicles by Late Bloomer

It's been a slow growing season, and now the work begins. The hail storm, while severely damaging the eggplant and chile peppers, seems to have caused them to grow to heights never before seen. Suddenly (it seems) they are heavy with fruit. The tomatoes are just late; some of them were badly damaged and never grew much taller, but are likewise loaded. I have dubbed a yellow summer squash my 'golden zuccini' because of its gargantuan size. Good thing it can be seen! Lots of winter-type acorn squash will be OK if protected from the early frosts. Now the work begins.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Miscellaneous Mid-September Musings by Gardener Dave

Is it unrealistic to hope for an extended fall? Probably so, but we could have nice weather for another month and a half or so. After our cool, wet May-June and our turbulent July-August, I sure hope so!

I have two subjects today: One is about whether or not we can be totally objective about our own gardens, and the second des with some observations I’ve made while driving around the area..

Can we be objective with our own gardens?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tech Helps Dandelions Ooze : Discovery News

The dandelion, that most reviled of "weeds" may have come into its own.  We may be driving our hybrid cars in a few years on dandelion tires!  How's that for green.

Read this:

Tech Helps Dandelions Ooze : Discovery News

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Building a Straw Bale Greenhouse: Phase 1 by Gardener Cumax

The foundation corners were laid out last Sunday. The stakes were set at 18' x 12' but they weren't square. I had a friend come over and help me square the foundation lines. This is the single most important step. Over a 18' x 12' area we were able to get the diagonal measureme
 nts within 1/4 inch. Pretty impressive adjustment because one could go all day in tweaking the stakes 1/8 of an inch and never quite get it right.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Catalpas Crashing by Mary Small

The Jeffco Clinic, Arapahoe County Extension and a number of tree care companies have been fielding questions about failing catalpa. Leaves turn chlorotic, then wilt, turn brown, shrivel up and drop. In some cases, internal streaking is found in small twigs. Often, only one portion of the tree is damaged, while the rest looks normal (a healthy Catalpa is shown in the photo).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Plant Alert: Giant Hogweed by Mary Small

Recently I was directed to an on-line article in which a popular local author recommended the use of Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) as an exotic ornamental. While an unusual and attractive plant, it is on the Federal noxious weed list - for very good reasons. If moist skin (say from perspiration) contacts plant sap and the affected area is exposed to sunlight, painful, burning blisters result. Some people develop painless red blotches that turn into purplish or brown scars that can persist for several years. If sap should get in eyes, temporary or permanent blindness can result.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

35 Days After by Gardener Cumax

I've never been one to interfere with Nature, but that has never stopped Nature from periodically cold-cocking me to let me know who is really in charge. When the weak tornado that roared through at 10:35pm Monday, July 21st, Nature packed quite the punch for these parts. I hope I never hear the word "microburst" again because they are what they are: micro. No, this was a sustained macroburst if you will. How else are ping pong ball sized hail be sustained horizontally for 10 minutes? Yeah, right.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Making [Soil] While the Sun Shines by Late Bloomer

Oh, the composting! Because of Peter's comment about hail's only advantage being that of making compost-able materials, I checked the drainage area / cum 'open space' behind our yard. Where flood waters have piled debris against trees and bushes, I found yards and yards of shredded tree leaves and twigs mixed with eroded dirt and the good tan stuff from clippings left behind when the area was mowed. WOW, already warm and cooking, with lovely large worms.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We 'Sedum' and We Loved 'em! by MJ Lechner

In a quiet corner lot in northwest Denver, a garden gem has been created. Stepping into Megan's yard is like stepping into an artist's studio - it is awash with stuff and color! Megan likes to collect things for her middle school art classes and for her own art work. She also likes to collect sedum.

Sedum turn up in her eclectic garden in the most unusual containers: upturned Tiffany lampshades, old chairs painted Santa Fe blue, a purple antique washing machine, a rusty watering can; you name it and she has sedum planted in it. And it looks fabulous!!!

Megan has the artist's eye for both color and imagination. If I ever tried to make my yard look like hers, the neighbors would call Code Enforcement and Jeffco Mental Health, but in her yard, it is perfect! There is a definite echo of New Mexico in each of her garden vignettes. With the rich colors and use of unique statuary, you can almost smell the chiles roasting and the pinon in the air...

My little Power Shot does not do her brilliant colors justice, but they give you just a sample of the many treasures nestled in this jewel box garden.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009