Saturday Gardening Thread: Useful plants [KT]

foxglov.jpg

Here's hoping I never find this plant
useful outside the garden again.

Happy Saturday! It's good to be back. I was really unable to write a thread last week. The second time I visited the doctor's office with the flu, they called an ambulance and sent me to the hospital because of an irregular heartbeat. One of the drugs used to bring my heart back to normal was derived from the plant above. The history of its use is quite interesting. Not a plant to self-medicate with, though.

Meanwhile, Hank Curmudgeon sent in an interesting blog post on useful trees to know for survival situations. For those who dare venture out into all the global warming in the East lately, plus other weather challenges.

And we received a lovely indoor garden photo.

Useful Trees

Can you I.D. the following six trees in winter by the bark alone? How about this one?

birchh.jpg

Because of their usefulness, learning to identify these trees in all four seasons is recommended: White Birch, American Basswood, White Pine, White Oak, Sugar Maple and Willow. There are so many uses for these particular trees. Be sure to read the comments.

Did you know that the seeds inside the little maple helicopters are edible, just like edamame?

Sap from the birch and maple can be drunk straight from the tree in late winter like an energy drink.

Foxgloves, AKA Digitalis

Foxgloves and medicine

Except in the garden, foxgloves are NOT do-it-yourself useful plants. But cardiac glycosides from the common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, hs been called the beginning of modern therapeutics. That's because a Scottish physician, William Withering, made a good attempt to standardize the dosage of the active agent(s) in the plant. Not much over 200 years ago. Foxgloves became flowers for the heart and a few other maladies, too.

The therapeutic window of digitalis is narrow, and it has side-effects. It is believed that experimental digitalis treatment may have give us Van Gogh's "Yellow Period", and Starry Night.

2016ff.jpg

Poison Control has a couple of lovely foxglove photos. Excelsior strain on the left, I believe. A case in which a couple was poisoned is profiled. Guy mistook foxglove leaves for borage leaves while preparing an herbal sauce. Don't do that. They also note, particularly with regard to this plant, not to prepare your own herbal medicines.

Foxgloves and folklore

There is a rich history of human interactions with foxgloves. Including fairy tales (foxgloves are great in fairy gardens) and myths. Here's an unusual one.

Foxglove mythology associates the flower with Juno (Hera) who learned midwife lore from the Goddess Flora, including a supernatural method of using foxgloves to induce parthenogenetic (single-sex) pregnancy. Flora placed a foxglove blossom on her thumb, touched Juno on the tips of her breasts & on her belly, so that she became impregnated with Mars who had no father.

8jne10-pembs-rams.jpg

Foxgloves in the Garden

Foxgloves are fun in the garden, growing from 2 to 8 feet tall, depending on type. They are hardy enough to grow in Alaska. Most are suited to rich, shady borders, though some are more sun-tolerant. The traditional common foxgloves were once generally biennials, blooming the second year, with rebloom later in the season in cool climates if cut back. Newer strains bloom the first year. There are also other species, including some that are more sun-tolerant.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds has an especially nice selection of foxgloves.

Excelsior is an old biennial strain (below). Cemelot is a newer version, blooming the first and second years.

foxglove-excelsior-hybrids.jpeg

Strawberry foxglove is a true perennial hybrid that comes true from seed. It is more sun-tolerant than common foxglove.

foxglove-strawberry.jpeg

Gardens of The Horde

Lirio100 sent in the following:

I hate to see everything go down in fall so there's always a few pots I try to save. We have new LED grow lights this year so might be more successful--maybe! The plants include a flowering maple, gardenia, lantana, geranium, oregano, and a coffee plant. The orchids are always indoor but they seem to like the light, they're Miltonia.

IMG_0104.JPG

I love that collection. Note the red Solo cup, a sign of a real gardener. Love the orchids, too.

It rained here in the San Joaquin Valley! Without the mudslides the rain produced elsewhere, pretty much.

Anything going on where you garden?

If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden
at g mail dot com

Include your nic unless you want to be a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:52 PM




Comments

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1 Foxglove is the only plant the deer won't eat in my yard

Posted by: NCKate at January 13, 2018 12:50 PM (RFbEt)

2 Quiet, maybe too quiet.

Posted by: Bozo Conservative....menace to society at January 13, 2018 12:52 PM (S6Pax)

3 I don't blame the deer for not eating your foxgloves, NCKate.

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 12:54 PM (BVQ+1)

4 Gotta go for a bit. I'll be back.

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 12:55 PM (BVQ+1)

5 My first crocus popped up today!

Posted by: Diogenes at January 13, 2018 12:56 PM (0tfLf)

6 That first tree is clearly raycist.

Posted by: General Burkhalter at January 13, 2018 12:57 PM (EyPfd)

7 There goes me and those stupid socks...again.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at January 13, 2018 12:58 PM (EyPfd)

8 Good afternoon Snow Bunnies and Greenthumbs
Deer seem not to bother much in my yard and we do have a herd running around here

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 12:58 PM (aC6Sd)

9 Wow, KT - sorry to hear of your illness. Hope you are feeling better now. That must have been scary.

Foxgloves are beautiful.

I got myself one of those rosemary plants shaped to look like a Christmas tree, and I am really trying my darnedest not to kill it before springtime. I've tried keep rosemary alive indoors over the winter before, and had zero luck. I don't know the definition of insanity, obviously.

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:01 PM (kNasr)

10 Red solo cup holds a couple of cuttings off my fig tree--works fine!

Posted by: Lirio100 at January 13, 2018 01:01 PM (JK7Jw)

11 Paper bark birch. Such a pretty tree.

Posted by: Tuna at January 13, 2018 01:01 PM (jm1YL)

12 learning to identify these trees in all four seasons is recommended:"

Well, let's see: Not in Texas, not in Texas, not in Texas...

Snort.

Posted by: Anon a mouse at January 13, 2018 01:03 PM (7LY+6)

13 I use lots of basswood, and while they must be in my area couldn't tell what one looked like if I tripped over it.

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 01:04 PM (aC6Sd)

14 My first crocus popped up today!

Posted by: Diogenes at January 13, 2018 12:56 PM (0tfLf)

I looked for crocus yesterday with the temps in the 60's. They are pretty smart. They must of heard the forecast for next week. And we had snow over night.

Posted by: Colin at January 13, 2018 01:04 PM (J0kVp)

15 One of the drugs used to bring my heart back to normal was derived from the plant above. The history of its use is quite interesting. Not a plant to self-medicate with, though.

Digoxin, n'est ce pas?

Posted by: Insomniac - mostly stable at January 13, 2018 01:08 PM (NWiLs)

16
Well, I'm going to have to sit this one out. Management has banned me from the gardening thread, what with my ficus fouling problem. Restraining order.

Posted by: publius, the Persistent Poperin Pear at January 13, 2018 01:08 PM (8O3HH)

17 We have white pines, and lots of pinecones from them, but I didn't realize that it was from this particular type of pine that pine nuts come from. Darn, when I think of all the pine cones we've raked up! Anyone know how to get the pine nuts out?

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:09 PM (kNasr)

18 Basswood , much more useful than I knew
https://youtu.be/GNGC7OOfBRc

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 01:09 PM (aC6Sd)

19 Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

Posted by: Insomniac - mostly stable at January 13, 2018 01:09 PM (NWiLs)

20 Well, let's see: Not in Texas, not in Texas, not in Texas...



Snort.

Posted by: Anon a mouse at January 13, 2018 01:03 PM (7LY+6)

Or in Haiti. In that beautiful Caribbean Island, they chopped down all the trees so the tourists could see the beautiful beaches better. Dominican Republic, they don't do that. I guess they don't care if the tourists see their beautiful beaches...I went to college with a guy from DR, he told me to stay away from Haiti for some reason.

Posted by: Colin at January 13, 2018 01:10 PM (J0kVp)

21 Foxgloves are nice but remember they are poisonous if you eat them.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 01:10 PM (mpXpK)

22 publius, the Persistent Poperin Pear at January 13, 2018 01:08 PM

Well I really don't mind if you sit this one out
My words but a wisper, your deafness a shout
I may make you feel, but I can't make you think

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 01:11 PM (aC6Sd)

23 Is anyone else having difficulty connecting to this website via their mobile phone? It keeps directing me to the Apple store. Safari may be worse than IE!

Posted by: Concerned People's Front Splitter Chapter at January 13, 2018 01:13 PM (rdl6o)

24 KT, So glad you are feeling better and thank you for another fascinating thread.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 01:14 PM (V+03K)

25 The problem with the rosemary trees is they are root bound. I have a big one that is trying to die. Need to move it to a bigger pot.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at January 13, 2018 01:18 PM (Lqy/e)

26 23 Is anyone else having difficulty connecting to this website via their mobile phone? It keeps directing me to the Apple store. Safari may be worse than IE!
Posted by: Concerned People's Front Splitter Chapter at January 13, 2018 01:13 PM (rdl6o)

No redirects but the HQ has been crashing the browser on my iPhone a lot over the last several days.

Posted by: Insomniac - mostly stable at January 13, 2018 01:18 PM (NWiLs)

27 Most modern plants are social constructs and are therefore likely to embody the dominant racist assumptions that shape contemporary society.

I'm ready for my Sociology PhD defense, come at me Xers.

Posted by: bonhomme at January 13, 2018 01:22 PM (zGsgt)

28 The problem with the rosemary trees is they are root bound. I have a big one that is trying to die. Need to move it to a bigger pot.
Posted by: Notsothoreau at January 13, 2018 01:18 PM (Lqy/e)
---------

Ah, thank you. I'll try that. Mine is big; I got it from Costco. I had gotten a smaller one from Trader Joe's but then I found this one and gave the other one to a friend. Maybe I should have hedged my bets and kept both.

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:23 PM (kNasr)

29 Love that link to the trees and their benefits. I knew some of it but hardly all.

If interested in birch, look up "Celebrating Birch: The Lore, Art and Craft of an Ancient Tree". The book has beautiful photos and descriptions and goes into detail on the many ways to use birch trees. I treasure my copy. It covers everything from making birch tar, uses for the bark and leaves, the many benefits for carving and utilizing the wood, even folklore about the trees. It is especially useful for making eating utensils and containers. I wish good white birch grew arund here but the best versions do better in the north.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 01:24 PM (V+03K)

30 herbal remedies are interesting, but I don't mess with them much. My Mom took Reminyl for years for "dementia" and I guess it helped. It is derived from the daffodil bulb, which I thought was rather poetic in a sense, since we always had some daffodils. (Galantamine, wiki has some other sources, like the Galanthus family).

Biotech, another of those hard sciences where it would be better if people know real statistics.

Posted by: illiniwek at January 13, 2018 01:24 PM (otAqJ)

31 21 Foxgloves are nice but remember they are poisonous if you eat them.
Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 01:10 PM (mpXpK)

Bigot. Foxglove toxicity is just a construct of the oppressive white patriarchy.

Posted by: Insomniac - mostly stable at January 13, 2018 01:24 PM (NWiLs)

32 If it rolls and flakes with horizontal striations, it is a Birch.

That looks like a Silver Birch.

I'm just guessing, but the "bark" makes for good fire-starter.

Posted by: Slapweasel, (Cold1), (T) at January 13, 2018 01:26 PM (Ckg4U)

33 I've tried rosemary trees a few times. As far as I can tell during the winter indoors it's too hot, too dry, and not enough light. There have been times indoor humidity has dropped to about twenty per cent--is why I don't grow ferns! Very often the plants are root bound, which makes watering tricky. I'm going to try starting with a small plant and keeping it indoors, so I don't need to worry about acclimating one that's been gown outdoors over summer.

Posted by: Lirio100 at January 13, 2018 01:26 PM (JK7Jw)

34 Foxgloves grow in the wild all over my little patch of the globe.

Posted by: bonhomme at January 13, 2018 01:27 PM (zGsgt)

35 I'm not guessing about Birch being a good fire-starter.

I was only guessing at the "Silver Birch" picture.

Posted by: Slapweasel, (Cold1), (T) at January 13, 2018 01:28 PM (Ckg4U)

36 As pretty as foxglove is, I won't have it in the yard. We always have pets and I don't want it around them. We've only seen deer in the yard twice in almost 35 years so they aren't a bother to the garden.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 01:29 PM (V+03K)

37 Stupid/awesome beer.

Posted by: Slapweasel, (Cold1), (T) at January 13, 2018 01:29 PM (Ckg4U)

38 It would be an odd week if I didn't see deer in my yard. They're always around.

Posted by: Slapweasel, (Cold1), (T) at January 13, 2018 01:30 PM (Ckg4U)

39
. Flora placed a foxglove blossom on her thumb, touched Juno on the tips of her breasts on her belly, so that she became impregnated with Mars who had no father.



Geez Louise, I jackoff on a Ficus and I'm the bad guy

Posted by: Harvey Weinstein at January 13, 2018 01:31 PM (lKyWE)

40 I've killed more plants than Cecil B. DeMille.

Posted by: Burger Chef at January 13, 2018 01:32 PM (RuIsu)

41 Lirio100, I wondered about the humidity too. Do you think if I misted it with water it would help?

You probably can't tell, but I know next to nothing about gardening, whether it's indoors or outdoors. And the only reason I qualify that with "next to" is that I know a rosemary plant when I see (and smell) one.

Okay, just kidding. I know you can tell.

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:33 PM (kNasr)

42 Is it Fox Glove, it contains digitalis. The plant can be quite poisonous to animals so I plant mine out front, it's bi-annual and the first year you get the plant and it blooms in the second year and then dies. If you crush the seeds in the surrounding area you'll have flowering plants every year. Asperen comes from the birch bark tree or is that weeping willow?

Posted by: Rose at January 13, 2018 01:33 PM (30UCB)

43 herbal remedies are interesting, but I don't mess with them much.

In college I took St John's Wort for mild depression. The strength from batch to batch was so variable, I was having wild emotional swings. I quit taking it.

This was professional off the shelf stuff. I can't imagine trying to roll my own.

Posted by: bonhomme at January 13, 2018 01:34 PM (zGsgt)

44 I'm going to print out that page about the six trees. There's just so much good info on it.

BTW, if people ever start to lose their faith, they should remember that God gave us maple and birch sap. Proof that He loves us. (Or at least loves me!) I'm only half kidding.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 01:36 PM (V+03K)

45 Thanks for that first link, I scrolled through and was able to finally identify what I had been calling "giant honeysuckle". I've got one in my yard, turns out it's "Angel's Trumpet".

Posted by: Country Singer at January 13, 2018 01:38 PM (yzxic)

46 I have the sad because my very nice and small stand of lily of the valley (muguet des bois?) died off. Supposedly, they are toxic for pets, but I really miss that nice little whiff when I opened the service door in the garage. Actually can't have any plants in the house because my cat eats everything -- I'm down to two cacti that he hasn't killed yet (3 years now!).

Posted by: mustbequantum at January 13, 2018 01:39 PM (MIKMs)

47 bluebell, I have humidity trays for my indoor plants; it's a grid on top of tray filled with pebbles that I keep filled with water. I have new LED grow lights (the one in the picture) that might solve the light problem. I've found misting can leave the leaves wet which leads to problems of its own, and the benefit doesn't last long enough to help.

Posted by: Lirio100 at January 13, 2018 01:40 PM (JK7Jw)

48 mbq, how did you lose your lily of the valley plants? I ask this because I, who can kill nearly every green thing with a look, have managed to plant and keep lily of the valley growing for about 10 years now.

I'll tell you my secret, but you can't tell anyone: benign neglect.

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:40 PM (kNasr)

49 For white bark I have sycamores which are a nice look. I have two large ones right in the yard. In the woods I have some nice shagbark hickory which are really cool also.

Hope they fixed you up good with the timely digitalis KT, and administered whatever else is needed to keep you growing the old family flowers to your heart's content. Ambulance rides sound exciting, but "let's not make a habit of it", OK?

Posted by: illiniwek at January 13, 2018 01:41 PM (otAqJ)

50 I've found misting can leave the leaves wet which leads to problems of its own, and the benefit doesn't last long enough to help.
Posted by: Lirio100 at January 13, 2018 01:40 PM (JK7Jw)
---------

Hmm, okay, thanks for that. Maybe I'll move it to my master bathroom. It's not very big, but it has one big window and skylights, and then humidity from daily showers. Couldn't hurt, right?

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:44 PM (kNasr)

51 Hemp.

Posted by: Day that ends in Y at January 13, 2018 01:44 PM (5ng19)

52 Whoopsie! Seems there was a missile exercise in Hawaii that accidentally went public.

Posted by: Country Singer at January 13, 2018 01:44 PM (yzxic)

53 As to gardening, I let the houseplants struggle while recovering from some kidney stones. With much colder than usual temperatures starting, there's nothing to be done outside. So the next couple of days will be to clean them up, add fresh potting soil as needed, and start the next batch of spider plant babies in water. It's not tomatoes but still fun.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 01:44 PM (V+03K)

54 I'll tell you my secret, but you can't tell anyone: benign neglect.

=====

Yeah, that's what I thought. I think when my dad died, most of my plants did too. He'd go around and literally stomp on stuff and it would grow. Hrrumph, hrrumph, thin this out (takes out the biggest long-handled shovel); makes big holes; voila -- everything works. I try the same and kill everything.

Posted by: mustbequantum at January 13, 2018 01:45 PM (MIKMs)

55 Here's a link to the Hawaii incident: https://tinyurl.com/yb35javo

Posted by: Country Singer at January 13, 2018 01:46 PM (yzxic)

56 I have liked white birch since I was a boy and always looked for one in it's natural state.. Must be rare in NJ and FL because I may have saw just one or two.

Posted by: Voter Dude at January 13, 2018 01:46 PM (U5Xeq)

57 An Archbishop from Miami calls DJT "Archie Bunker w/o the charm" heh good one.

Posted by: Voter Dude at January 13, 2018 01:48 PM (U5Xeq)

58 Hrrumph, hrrumph, thin this out (takes out the biggest long-handled shovel); makes big holes; voila -- everything works. I try the same and kill everything.

Posted by: mustbequantum at January 13, 2018 01:45 PM (MIKMs)
---------

The only problem with mine is that I think I need to move them, because I have them growing in a bed with azaleas and the azaleas keep getting bigger and you really can't see the lilies anymore. They've spread a lot though so I'm terrified I'll just kill them because I don't know they're there. So I just leave them. Someday I'll either get up the nerve to try to move them, or else they'll die.

Part of the problem is I don't really have anywhere to move them to.

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:48 PM (kNasr)

59 I have a large sycamore right out my back door, evil tree, it shades the house in the summer but the seed ball bombs in a storm sound like hail on the roof, and its at the age the bark is falling off and assume in the life style of them that might stop as I know of others much larger ( sycamore is the largest tree in the eastern US) get smooth covering.

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 01:50 PM (aC6Sd)

60 Birch leaves don't compost. Even my broad-leaf maple leaves compost. Not those suckers. At least I wasn't the only one who noticed that little problem in the neighborhood -- laugh all you want at my composting leaves, but at least they do biodegrade.

Posted by: mustbequantum at January 13, 2018 01:50 PM (MIKMs)

61
I'll tell you my secret, but you can't tell anyone: benign neglect.

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:40 PM (kNasr)

That can work for a number of situations.

For the kid of a farmer, I am terrible at it. But I make up for lack of skill and a green thumb with seed catalogues and high hopes. Also, there is a buy one get one free seed pack sale at Burpees going on right now, if anyone is interested.

Posted by: moki at January 13, 2018 01:52 PM (V+V48)

62 And have lots of maples but not sugar maples, ( Norway and Red I think)

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 01:53 PM (aC6Sd)

63 How are you doing, Miss moki? Up and about, I hope?

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:54 PM (kNasr)

64 Wonderful post, KT! Foxgloves are a particular favorite of mine. My sister sent me a box of daffodil and mixed iris bulbs for Christmas, but I will definitely plant some foxgloves, too. I didn't realize I could get perennials. Great info.

Posted by: Peaches at January 13, 2018 01:54 PM (14URa)

65 Have you tried chopping up the leaves of Birch trees? Cutting them up gives it a hesd start in decomposition

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 01:55 PM (aC6Sd)

66 I didn't know the many uses for basswood besides wood carving. I have found for carving that northern grown basswood is better than the southern trees. It is more consistent in texture and carves cleanly with sharp patterns. Basswood and birch are especially good for chip carving.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 02:01 PM (V+03K)

67 Have you tried chopping up the leaves of Birch trees? Cutting them up gives it a hesd start in decomposition
=====

Hah! My neighbors are very careful about stuff and totally deplore my lackadasical attitude to mowing, clipping, raking, etc. One has young people (who I let use my extra diveway), so if it gets beyond what they can tolerate, they help. I think there was a meeting of the minds because I haven't had the birch leaves for over a year.

Posted by: mustbequantum at January 13, 2018 02:01 PM (MIKMs)

68 Birch trees are so pretty, especially near the water. We have (had - just sold last week) clumps of birches on our property in the U.P., sprinkled among the Aspens. The Aspens are similar but their bark is gray.


My kids used to love to peel the birch bark and use it for paper. Or kindling. The problem with birches is they don't live that long, they rot from the middle and fall on your cabin. Their wood is pretty much useless as firewood. Spongy, like a fat Swede.

Posted by: grammie winger - for such a time as this at January 13, 2018 02:02 PM (lwiT4)

69 Here in W Washington (I know, some of us are still sane) Foxglove is a weed. I can't even begin to count how many I have pulled up and burned. I see it and some other of what I consider to be noxious weeds (honeysuckle vine) for sale in the gardening centers around here. I even saw scotch broom for sale once, a truly noxious weed if there ever was one.

Regarding rosemary plants, I had one that I planted outside. I figured it would die since they are supposed to be arid, hot weather plants and we have some much rain here. The thing took off and is about 3 feet high and 4 feet wide now. It gets pretty blue flowers that the bees love. I wonder if rosemary honey is good?

Anyways, love the AoS HQ. I lurk every day and don't get to comment much because of my work schedule. But you may see me more on the weekends.

Posted by: Nunya Bizness at January 13, 2018 02:05 PM (d8IDa)

70 Hawthorn (more a shrub than a tree), has a long hitory of cardiac benefits. Teas or tinctures from both berries and leaves.

Posted by: pogomip at January 13, 2018 02:11 PM (OMeme)

71 Birch is good for fires! I used to sell a blend of birch and red oak. Customers loved it. Some guys sell little bundles to people who don't actually light fires because it looks pretty. $40 for not much.

Welcome back KC. I am running two indoor gardens now and three by Sunday night. I will send photos.

I know how to make a rope out of basswood bark. It doesn't happen quickly.

Posted by: Gordon at January 13, 2018 02:12 PM (A3mDT)

72 The Cadfael novels were fun because he was an expert in herbology.

Posted by: JAS at January 13, 2018 02:13 PM (7JbXq)

73 I have a pile of pine that I cannot give away.

Posted by: JAS at January 13, 2018 02:13 PM (7JbXq)

74 72 ... "The Cadfael novels were fun because he was an expert in herbology."

JAS, I always liked that portion of the stories. There is a book "Brother Cadfael's Herb Garden" that looks it would be fun. I think it's out of print but used copies are sure to be available.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 02:20 PM (V+03K)

75 Anyways, love the AoS HQ. I lurk every day and don't get to comment much because of my work schedule. But you may see me more on the weekends.
Posted by: Nunya Bizness at January 13, 2018 02:05 PM (d8IDa)
---------

Hi Nunya! Hope you comment more! My brother lives in a Seattle suburb and my SIL is a gardener. She says everything grows there, and she has a wonderful garden.

My parents live in the next town from me and they have rosemary planted in the ground, near the house, that overwinters well. But I don't have a sunny place that I can do that here. I grow rosemary on the deck in the summer, and have reconciled myself to getting new ones every year.

But maybe I'll have fresh rosemary here for a few weeks this winter, anyway!

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 02:25 PM (kNasr)

76 73
I have a pile of pine that I cannot give away.





Posted by: JAS at January 13, 2018 02:13 PM (7JbXq)

Most people will not burn pine in their fireplace because it builds up a sap residue in your chimney. And that sap residue is subject to catch on fire. It is OK to burn a log of pine along with hardwoods but not pine alone.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 02:32 PM (mpXpK)

77 Pine though is OK to take camping.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 02:33 PM (mpXpK)

78 Did you know that the seeds inside the little maple helicopters are edible, just like edamame?

Did not know that. That's an idea for a thread - combining prepping and gardening. What you could survive on which is already growing on your own property. What could kill you.

The only things I'm aware of on my property are the walnuts and possibly some pine needles.

Posted by: Acme Trucking Enterprises, White Truck Division at January 13, 2018 02:44 PM (2FqvZ)

79 Anyone know how to get the pine nuts out?

Posted by: bluebell

Generally, collect mature, brown but unopened cones and store in a warm place. A paper bag in the attic works.

More details here:
homeguides.sfgate.com/
extract-pine-tree-seeds-40618.html

Posted by: pogomip at January 13, 2018 02:48 PM (b2F+f)

80 The squirrels eat my maple seeds

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 02:54 PM (aC6Sd)

81 Thank you, pogomip. Looking at that article, I doubt I have the right kind of white pines for eating the seeds. It says that most of those are western trees, and I'm on the east coast. Darn it! It was a nice thought while it lasted, though. Pignoli are really expensive.

Posted by: bluebell at January 13, 2018 02:55 PM (kNasr)

82 Wish they could eat them all.
The basswood video I linked at top says there are parts you can eat

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 02:56 PM (aC6Sd)

83 I have seen many chimney fires in houses from sap and residue that catch high up in chimneys.
Wispers so no one hears
( I burn my pine branches in a barrel, have torched up whole trees that came down, part of my offerings to Gaia)

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 02:59 PM (aC6Sd)

84 Thank goodness you are OK KC.

Lots of good info here. Time to make Foxglove the signature flower here at our burden of debt.

Normally we are a bed & breakfast for 4-6 deer. And rabbits. Yesterday I saw a feral Maine coon hybrid walk up our hill and down the driveway to stalk the fat robins in the dogwoods behind the house. The snow kept all of his prints. And those of the birds - robins, the occasional cardinal, and dark-eyed juncos.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 13, 2018 02:59 PM (hyuyC)

85 I once planted all sorts of poisonous plants to deter (read: poison) woodchucks, bunnies, and deer. They never fell for it.

Posted by: plum at January 13, 2018 02:59 PM (917nu)

86 KT - my bad. KT!

KC is a metro area to the east.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 13, 2018 03:00 PM (hyuyC)

87 19 Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
Posted by: Insomniac - mostly stable at January 13, 2018 01:09 PM (NWiLs)

lol
I just love ya for being so consistent Insomniac.

It's feels like a call & response moment...

Even though the fig tree does not blossom, and there are no grapes on the vines; even if the olive harvest fails, and the fields produce nothing edible; even if the flock is snatched from the sheepfold, and there is no herd in the stalls— I will rejoice in the LORD. I will find my joy in the God who delivers me.
Habakkuk 3:17-18

Posted by: prof chaos gg at January 13, 2018 03:04 PM (o8Bqg)

88 83
I have seen many chimney fires in houses from sap and residue that catch high up in chimneys.

Wispers so no one hears

( I burn my pine branches in a barrel, have torched up whole trees that came down, part of my offerings to Gaia)

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 02:59 PM (aC6Sd)


My little brother bought a house years ago that the previous owner had been burning pine in the fire place. He said when he built his first fire the chimney caught on fire and shot flames out the top 20 feet in the air. He said the whole house shook and it looked like an inverted rocket. Scared the shit out of him.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 03:06 PM (mpXpK)

89 prof chaos gg

I'll add "Can I get an Amen, bros?"

Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 13, 2018 03:07 PM (hyuyC)

90
I take my pine branches and split them down into small, thin sections. They're good for starting a fire but I avoid burning them otherwise.

I bought a $300 electric/hydraulic splitter about 20 years ago. It's been well worth the bucks.

As to chimney fires, the active ingredient in those 'sweeper' logs is trisodium phosphate (TSP), which you can buy at any store which sells paint. Throw a scoop onto the red hot coals once every couple fires and your chimney will stay safe. Much cheaper to buy it this way.

Posted by: Acme Trucking Enterprises, White Truck Division at January 13, 2018 03:08 PM (2FqvZ)

91 Vic We Have No Party

A belated thanks for the news. And how did your brother put out the fire?

I don't have a fireplace, but a wood-burning stove. Which may get a workout Tuesday when it is -9℉. The wind chill that day should be brutal.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 13, 2018 03:10 PM (hyuyC)

92 prof chaos gg

I'll add "Can I get an Amen, bros?"
Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 13, 2018 03:07 PM (hyuyC)

lol

Insomniac just tickles my funny bone more than he knows...even when he is definitely not trying to. The first few times he posted that verse I found it so depressing. Now it makes me laugh.

Posted by: prof chaos gg at January 13, 2018 03:11 PM (o8Bqg)

93 doubt I have the right kind of white pines for eating the seeds. It says that most of those are western trees, and I'm on the east coast. Darn it! It was a nice thought while it lasted, though. Pignoli are really expensive.

Posted by: bluebell

Now you got me curious.
www.pinenut.com/pine-nuts/
pinon-pinyon-nuts.shtml

Not mentioned are Whitebark pine nuts, which are what Yellowstone grizzly bears fatten on.

You could collect some local cones and try to start some seedlings, though.

Posted by: pogomip at January 13, 2018 03:11 PM (b2F+f)

94 nood, pets

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 03:12 PM (mpXpK)

95 Even though we will have a limited garden this year, raised containers only, I'm still enjoying looking through the seed catalogs. Damn! They are fun reading.

Posted by: JTB at January 13, 2018 03:14 PM (V+03K)

96 Hey bluebell! (If you are still around)

I am in the boot and hobbling better. Can't go nowhere without the device though, and can't start physical therapy until February. But I'm not stuck in bed 24-7, so that is good news. The Newf, who can't go downstairs, is happy that I am up in the living room, and able to rub his ears for hours. The cat is unhappy because I'm not in the bed so he can have an excuse to stay there all day. Someone is always going to be unhappy with what you do. Live for you.

Posted by: moki at January 13, 2018 03:17 PM (V+V48)

97 91 A belated thanks for the news. And how did your brother put out the fire?



I don't have a fireplace, but a wood-burning stove. Which may get a
workout Tuesday when it is -9. The wind chill that day should be
brutal.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 13, 2018 03:10 PM (hyuyC)

It burned itself out as soon as all the sap burned off.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 03:21 PM (mpXpK)

98 Vic

Thanks, Vic. Glad there was a good outcome.

A fire in my house, that I can not put out myself, will burn the whole house down before the Fire Department shows up.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 13, 2018 03:25 PM (hyuyC)

99 It burned itself out as soon as all the sap burned off.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at January 13, 2018 03:21 PM (mpXpK)


Presto. Clean, creosote free chimney. Don't try this at home.

I would imagine a hot fire at the bottom, with hot coals, if water got dumped on it, a column of steam would rise up the chimney and extinguish the fire. The way the fire company years back would put them out was to take a saturated string type mop and lower it down the chimney.

But prevention is better than cure.

Posted by: Acme Trucking Enterprises, White Truck Division at January 13, 2018 03:25 PM (2FqvZ)

100 bluebell at January 13, 2018 01:01 PM

Yes, I am feeling much better. Thanks.

Rosemary really is hard to keep alive indoors. My guess is that it really needs a lot of sun.

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 03:34 PM (BVQ+1)

101 Diogenes at January 13, 2018 12:56 PM

Crocus? Did someone clue that plant in that this is January?

Always fun to see that first one.

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 03:35 PM (BVQ+1)

102 Lirio100 at January 13, 2018 01:01 PM

Solo cups seem to be a favorite with The Horde.

Have you got a good variety of fig?

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 03:37 PM (BVQ+1)

103 Insomniac - mostly stable at January 13, 2018 01:08 PM

Yep, digoxin.

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 03:39 PM (BVQ+1)

104 illiniwek at January 13, 2018 01:41 PM

Ambulance ride was kinda bumpy. I'll try not to make a habit of it.

Heh.

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 04:06 PM (BVQ+1)

105 I have three in pots, they're just Ficus carica. Two are nearly four feet, one two feet. They go outside until temps are below fifty F. All three have produced fruit (two footer only two) but while okay their fruit was a bit bland. Planted a fig called Chicago fig outside two years ago, it produced this summer and those were the best, very sweet. The cutting is from the carica, it's intended for my grandson this summer. He seems interested, gave him a Herbie Aerogarden this Christmas. We'll see!

Posted by: Lirio100 at January 13, 2018 04:14 PM (JK7Jw)

106 The chimney fires I saw were when I was a kid, yes flames would shoot out of the tops like Roman candles. In town in the late 60's early 70's when people still had fireplaces for heat.

Posted by: Skip at January 13, 2018 04:21 PM (aC6Sd)

107 Nunya Bizness at January 13, 2018 02:05 PM

Since Foxglove is a weed in Western Washington, maybe the theory is that it's better to have weeds with interesting plant forms.

I think the weirdest cultivar is the one where the top blossom on each spike is big and open kind of like a gloxinia.

Posted by: KT at January 13, 2018 04:32 PM (BVQ+1)

108 Since we're doing Bible verses:

"For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; "

Posted by: kallisto at January 13, 2018 04:35 PM (kD8Fh)

109 KT, if you think the ambulance ride was bumpy, wait until you see the bill. I'm still fighting with one company that wants to charge me double the going rate for a ride I took 18 months ago.

Posted by: Gordon at January 13, 2018 06:44 PM (TYh1g)

110 Late to the thread, but, here goes: Good freeze here a couple weeks go so, my wife's daffodils are coming up and looking pretty good. Hopefully, we'll get some nice flowers.

On another note, we have a Liquid Amber in the front yard that took a hit from the drought a couple years ago along with the heat this last summer, needs some tlc. Called in a tree guy and was quite impressed with his demeanor and knowledge.

So, we're going to fork over a good sum to get the Liquid Amber fixed up, along with getting our redwoods cleaned up and the marginal redwoods healthy again.

According to tree guy, I called him the right time of year. Evidently, feeding and doing whatever to try and get trees healthy puts stress on trees and that stress, coupled with heat stress can be bad news for trees.

I thought for sure we were going to lose a couple of our redwoods but, tree guy seems pretty confident they're salvageable.

Posted by: Blake at January 13, 2018 06:47 PM (WEBkv)

111 Glad you're better. Stay well.

Posted by: Cumberland Astro at January 13, 2018 08:42 PM (cEKqm)

112 Just absolutely glorious, love

Posted by: Island Girl at January 13, 2018 08:45 PM (FJrl0)

113 Heavens, the garden thread isn't there for just one week, and I COMPLETELY FORGOT to post on the next Saturday! I ought to burn my garden gloves and hand in my Moronette card..... KT, I'm grateful you're back, and I hope your health will allow you to post this thread for many years to come.

Husband and I did take down, box up, and put away all the Christmas decorations. We also sat down to draw up garden plans for the coming season - which crops go in which beds. Pumpkins got axed from the plans; I wasn't impressed with last year's performance. Shelling peas will be added. Soybeans may turn up some other year but didn't make the cut this year. Husband's thinking about pickling cucumbers and a space is marked for them - any recommendations for a nice small picking variety, which I could also eat fresh?

The weather here (in Idaho's Treasure Valley) is very out of character! All the snow has melted, and Friday it hit 52 degrees F. (This time last year, the lows were negative, the highs hovered around freezing, and we'd had 3 feet of snow total.) We've only had 5 inches of snow, and not much rain, so far - I'm wondering if, after last year's severe flooding, we're going to have a drought...

I got outside today to keep working on cutting down the old Siberian Iris leaves - got one small plant and 2 large ones trimmed. I know there are still 2 large ones on the south side, and 2 large ones by the garage (they're in the shadiest spot and are still pretty frozen).

There is one good thing to report - the hyacinths behind my kitchen window popped up their little green tips! I just hope they're not coming up too early. I won't mind if we have a lot of rain in the next few weeks, but if we have a really cold snap, I don't want them to get frosted off.

Posted by: Pat* at January 14, 2018 03:47 PM (FtfVi)

114 "anyone know how to get the pine nuts out?"..zipper OR buttons? stroke the stamens ..slow then hard.....

Posted by: saf at January 14, 2018 03:58 PM (cS/ge)

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