Saturday Gardening Thread: Not much time before Christmas [KT]

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Hello, gardeners and friends of gardeners! Are your yard and garden ready for Christmas?

The squirrel above, busy getting ready for winter, was photographed by one of my Swiss friends in a park in the USA. Not sure where. He wasn't writing in English.

If only those little critters were not so destructive.

Hurricane season is over in South Carolina. Thank goodness. My niece and her husband returned to Brookgreen for their Nights of a Thousand Candles.

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See Brookgreen Gardens come to life amid the soft glow of more than 4,500 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights. From 3 - 10 pm walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, hear the sounds of holiday music, carolers singing, and celebrate the season with family and friends!

Some trees really are adorned by a lot of lights. Can't tell if there is a little elf or something near the base of the trunk.

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Palms:

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Two views of trees already festooned with Spanish Moss:

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You can go indoors for some exhibits, including a Harry Potter-themed miniature train set-up with a flying car on one side and dementors flying above on the other.

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Three reminders that Brookgreen was conceived as a sculpture garden:

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And here's a community Christmas tree. Do you have one in your town?

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Tree Science

Via Maggie's Farm, The Science of Growing a Perfect Christmas Tree:

Many people are practiced at picking the perfect tree. They'll judge on things like color, size, shape, needle quality, and bushiness. But behind the annual selection of a coniferous house guest--some 30 million of them a year, in the US--is a ton of science.

To Bert Cregg, identifying exactly what makes a tree perfect is more than a holiday tradition, it's a major part of his job. He's a forest researcher at Michigan State University and a renowned expert on Christmas tree production. His work covers two main areas: genetics and culture techniques. "Basically, how can we identify species and seed sources that are going to lead to better Christmas trees, and how can growers manage their farms to produce better trees," he says.

Thirty million. Ever thought about growing your own? Ever grown your own? How did it turn out?

Some of the science is described at the link. Pre-science ritual depicted below:

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Here's something a little different. Think this tree is cat-proof? I wouldn't count on it, personally. Maybe there's something I don't know about it.

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Edible Gardening, Gifts, etc.

Not much to eat in most gardens this time of year, but the oranges are on here. And here's a banana from somewhere in Central California. Perhaps near the coast. They would fit in most Christmas stockings. Heh.

I have been getting email notifications and gift certificate offers from various seed catalogs. I kind of like the one from Nichols, a smallish nursery in the Northwest. You can order a mail gift certificate or get a PDF certificate until the weekend before Christmas. If you want to place a veggie seed order (0or herbs, spices or teas), use the promo code CHILLY for 20% off on the "view cart" page.

There's a recipe for Triple Ginger Cookies on their Gardener's Pantry Blog. Ever grown Mache? Here's a winter salad with beets and walnuts.

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They also carry beer and winemaking supplies and some other stuff. Get some Variegated Barley Cat Grass for your pets. Just a dollar.

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I am ordering seeds for a friend from Pinetree.

Gardens of The Horde

Lurker anonymous had another species of aloe from her collection bloom this week:

Just love these succulents. Here is one of my Aloe bainesii in bloom.

Got lucky, great nursery in the area had some agaves on sale and a Charley Brown aloe. (He looks like he fell over and many of his arms are mangled. But he was 1/2 price and he will weather the incident). Think I need to go back and buy three more. I'm addicted, what can I say?

AOS and your garden thread really make my day.

aloe bainesii.jpg

I like the color of the flowers. And they look kind of whimsical to me.

Aloe bainesii is also called Tree Aloe. It grows to 15 meters in its native habitat and up to 30 feet in favored locations in the USA. It gets pretty wide, too. Its current scientic name is Aloe barberae, but it will probably still go by its older scientific name in nurseries for a while.

The plant above will likely be even more impressive in the future.

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 just want to be a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:50 PM




Comments

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1 First?

Posted by: Grimaldi at December 15, 2018 12:50 PM (3MG/9)

2 Does it make me a scrooge to day I hate putting up Xmas lights?

Posted by: Diogenes at December 15, 2018 12:52 PM (0tfLf)

3 If my parents and their neighbors stopped putting birdseed out in the winter the squirrels would think that Jehovah had cursed them. Since Dad invested in squirrel-resistant feeders they are reduced to gleaning the back porch and spend more of their time elsewhere.

Posted by: exdem13 at December 15, 2018 12:56 PM (Nk3Dy)

4 I don't normally post in the gardening thread, but today I have some comments AND get a first. Seems like a time to celebrate and get hammered!

Here in Kosovo, most homes with any kind of yard seem to have a small orchard of all kinds of various fruit trees. Plenty of the usual stuff like apples and pears, but also a bunch of fruit I'd never heard of, let alone seen. Quince? Medlar? It was even more humorous, as they'd show me the fruit, and we'd have to use Google translate from Albanian to English just to get the fruit's name, and I still wouldn't know what it was.

Let me tell you, though...if you get a chance to try quince, jump on it. Most interesting, it has a wonderful, strong scent that reminds me of Earl Grey tea. It can be a little tough to prepare, as it starts off ROCK hard, but it has a great sour apple kind of flavor. They make a local liquor our of it called raki/rakia, and it's great.

Posted by: Grimaldi at December 15, 2018 12:56 PM (3MG/9)

5 Good afternoon Greenthumbs and Sowmen

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 12:57 PM (/rm4P)

6 My sister's community in Upper Sandusky has a town Xmas Lights display in a park which they show every year, supported by charitable donations and sponsors. Impressive and creative, and they try a few different things every year.

Posted by: exdem13 at December 15, 2018 12:57 PM (Nk3Dy)

7 Hope enough time for NYC grandkids. Prolly last Brooklyn

Posted by: Gooner at December 15, 2018 12:58 PM (ANeY1)

8 I put out a lot of Millet, squirrels deign to eat very little of it. Until it is about 10F. Then it tastes better.

Posted by: Burger Chef at December 15, 2018 12:58 PM (RuIsu)

9 2 Does it make me a scrooge to day I hate putting up Xmas lights?
===
Depends on the weather and you placement on the Griswald Effect chart.

Posted by: exdem13 at December 15, 2018 12:59 PM (Nk3Dy)

10 I put lights up, not too many for first time in quite a few years. Remade my front fence and decided then to do it up in lights.
Think next year will do more.

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 01:02 PM (/rm4P)

11 Let me tell you, though...if you get a chance to try quince, jump on it.

My grandmother (not Grandma Basura, the other one) had a quince tree in her backyard in San Bruno, CA. She would make quince jelly and quince butter from the fruit. Any time that stuff came to our house that's what got eaten first.

Posted by: Blanco Basura - It's OK, I'm with the banned at December 15, 2018 01:06 PM (0bu2O)

12 I was going to be lazy and not do any lights this year, but it seems a lot of folks in the CO front range area also felt lazy or perhaps being full of gaia followers many folks traded in reliable light strings for LEDs a few years ago and then the junky modern shit quit working after a year or 2. So I will at least get out the projection lights we got last year and probably also string a few lights cuz I enjoy the cheery colored lights during this season of very short days.

Posted by: PaleRider is simply irredeemable at December 15, 2018 01:07 PM (jUcoH)

13
Sorry not buying the clean whitewalls on the pickup after driving through snow and mud to get a Christmas tree

Posted by: Flawless Male Logic at December 15, 2018 01:07 PM (TAmPV)

14 When we had cats, I tied some clear fishing line to the tree and attached the ends to the wall behind the tree. This kept the tree from being pulled over.

Posted by: Emmie at December 15, 2018 01:07 PM (4HMW8)

15 It's supposed to be mid 50s here today, so we're expanding our garden fence to encompass some fruit trees and serviceberries. Had it open just long enough for some young bucks to tear up the peach trees. The animals!

I like the sound of mache. Probably would be an early season green here? (midwest)

Posted by: MarkY at December 15, 2018 01:14 PM (FYH4D)

16 I grew my own Christmas tree once. Not on purpose, it just sorta happened. Spruce tree came up from seed in a place it couldn't stay, so when it was the right size it was cut for a Christmas tree.

Posted by: Ronster at December 15, 2018 01:15 PM (JfehE)

17 We had a 6 mo or so kitten one year that carefully climbed up the center of the artificial tree and then just a bit out on the branches. I was giggling so much I could barely work the camera to get some "find Waldo" pictures. I miss having cats that enjoyed the giant seasonal cat toy.

Posted by: PaleRider is simply irredeemable at December 15, 2018 01:16 PM (jUcoH)

18 The Christmas displays by single homes can be very elaborate around here. And in a nice development a block away the whole street has their street line trees in white lights.

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 01:16 PM (/rm4P)

19 Let me tell you, though...if you get a chance to try quince, jump on it. Most interesting, it has a wonderful, strong scent that reminds me of Earl Grey tea. It can be a little tough to prepare, as it starts off ROCK hard, but it has a great sour apple kind of flavor. They make a local liquor our of it called raki/rakia, and it's great.
Posted by: Grimaldi at December 15, 2018 12:56 PM (3MG/9)

Quince makes good jelly, too, with lots of sweetener. The bushes make fearsomely impenetrable hedges.

Posted by: Coriandrum Sativum at December 15, 2018 01:16 PM (CZWTf)

20 Grimaldi at December 15, 2018 12:56 PM

Yes, quinces are big in Eastern Europe. Interesting details. Thanks. There are a couple of varieties you can eat raw if you shave the fruit real thin.

Some people also eat Flowering Quince fruits, which tend to be lemony.

Did you learn how to blet a medlar?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 01:18 PM (BVQ+1)

21 Grimaldi, quince needs to be cooked, but you used to always find it in old farm orchards because it was a sure source of pectin for firming up your jellies. They smell lovely and I think the flowers are prettier than lemon flowers. If you can them too hard and too hot and long, the fruit turns a garnet color.

Medlar has a fruit that looks inside out when it is mature, and has to be allowed to sit off the tree and look almost rotten before it is edible. It is called "bletting"


I am going to try to root some quince for my yard this year, as well as some apple cuttings.
I also get to dig up a volunteer elderberry and plant it where I plan to take out the holly tree.
And my niece has some wild blackcap wild raspberries growing in her fenceline so I plan to dig some starts and put them in where my domestic raspberries are dying out. I already planted some thimbleberries there, but they aren't thriving. They may need a moister or more shady spot.


My other early Spring tasks are to try to do a bud graft onto the asian pear my GF bought since she doesn't like the cultivar she had me plant, and move some volunteer plums sprouts into buried buckets so I can do some grafting of my yellow plum onto them. I have a volunteer plum tree that has wonderful fruit that a number of people want trees for themselves.

It sounds like I have so much energy, it makes me tired just thinking about it.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 15, 2018 01:20 PM (mUa7G)

22 Christmas displays make me happy. Look up the Regents Street, London for an astonishing display of angels. Absolutely beautiful.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:21 PM (MIKMs)

23 MarkY at December 15, 2018 01:14 PM

There are two kinds of Mache, big-seeded and small-seeded. One is hardier than the other. The hardy one takes considerable cold. Both are candidates for a cold frame in winter even in the Midwest.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 01:23 PM (BVQ+1)

24 You have lights?!

Posted by: North Korea at December 15, 2018 01:24 PM (98WNR)

25 My cat laughs at your cat-proof tree. Then knocks it over for good measure.

Posted by: Rusty Nail at December 15, 2018 01:26 PM (ju9gW)

26 Once again, I have repurposed an old gilded card display as my tree. I think there are 500 multicolored lights on the little thing that sits on a table. I crack the curtains and that is my decor. I stopped adding more lights when I could easily read by the light of the tree-shaped thing.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:27 PM (MIKMs)

27 I love that room with the cat proof tree and the cute idea of hanging balls on the mantle! My cat drinks the water from the tree.

Posted by: keena at December 15, 2018 01:29 PM (RiTnx)

28 Hey 'rons and 'ettes of the World Famous, KT hosted, Gardening Thread! It's been a rough year here at "chez plum" but onward and upward. I'm wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year or whatever conveys my sincere best wishes to all of you and your families. And I especially raise a glass to KT. (This is where you all echo "KT" and "hear, hear" and other such mumblings of moron appreciation.)

Posted by: plum at December 15, 2018 01:30 PM (UGWNZ)

29 20 Grimaldi at December 15, 2018 12:56 PM

Did you learn how to blet a medlar?
Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018

After watching videos on YouTube, but not from the locals. Actually, I usually walk in mixed groups of international officers, and it's funny to see a bunch of older men in the LTC-COL rank jumping up to grab fruit off of trees. Some Turkish guys pulled medlars that were still on the tree off, squeezed them so the goo came out, and told me to bite a small hole in the side and suck the insides out. The taste and texture reminded me of a Fig Newton's filling.

As for quince, a lot of YouTube videos and such say you can't eat them raw, but the family I visited had several crates of apples and quince in their basement, and I ate a quince the gave me raw, and it was fine. Again, like a sour apple, but the flesh was more like a pear, and the nice aroma made it great. Could be a different strain, or it had been allowed to ripen for a while.

Posted by: Grimaldi at December 15, 2018 01:30 PM (3MG/9)

30 @16 ronster. We did the same thing this year! It's a little crooked because it was on a hill but I love the Charlie Brown look of it!

Posted by: keena at December 15, 2018 01:30 PM (RiTnx)

31 I'd noticed the past few years that some Christmas trees don't have the strong evergreen scent that filled our homes when we were kids. Someone told me there is a reason for why the cultivated trees are scent-free, but I can't recall the reason. The trees in the wild still have that awesome scent.

Posted by: kallisto at December 15, 2018 01:31 PM (kD8Fh)

32 Since the backyard skunk doesn't seem to be going anywhere, I've decided he should be named. Pepe is obvious and overdone. I'm thinking Zebulon. Suggestions?

Posted by: Rusty Nail at December 15, 2018 01:31 PM (ju9gW)

33 Probably very sad that our last Christmas tree was 17 years ago and our cats were only 7 months old. It was funny watching 2 kittens climbing in it but was our last one. Still have just one cat Cinnamon and doubt she would climb any tree now.

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 01:33 PM (/rm4P)

34 Pepe is obvious and overdone. I'm thinking Zebulon. Suggestions?
Posted by: Rusty Nail at December 15, 2018 01:31 PM (ju9gW)

Weed.
Ganja.
Chronic.
Ditch.
Cheech.

Posted by: Pug Mahon at December 15, 2018 01:34 PM (fmOMA)

35 . Look up the Regents Street, London for an astonishing display of angels.

I am astonished that godless London supports this beautiful display. How long before the "refugee" population deems it offensive? Enjoy it while you can mates!

Posted by: kallisto at December 15, 2018 01:34 PM (kD8Fh)

36 Since the backyard skunk doesn't seem to be going anywhere, I've decided
he should be named. Pepe is obvious and overdone. I'm thinking
Zebulon. Suggestions?

"D" for durian.

Posted by: Blanco Basura - It's OK, I'm with the banned at December 15, 2018 01:35 PM (0bu2O)

37 What the heck is 'tea tree oil' or essence? I'll ask if I'm around the pet thread today, but what the heck is the plant itself? My kids bought it as a facial thing a few years ago, but youngest just bought some as a breath freshener for one of the dogs. Still don't know what a tea tree is.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:36 PM (MIKMs)

38 Had a pet skunk when I was a wee lad. Named him Bucky, cause of the way he patted his paws to warn other critters he was not to be trifled with.
Mom hated him. He disappeared.

Posted by: MarkY at December 15, 2018 01:38 PM (FYH4D)

39 Rusty Nail at December 15, 2018 01:31 PM (ju9gW)
"Flower?" Of course that's Disney (who're on the naughty list .)

Posted by: plum at December 15, 2018 01:39 PM (UGWNZ)

40 I've only smelled durian once, and I found the aroma oddly pleasant.

Posted by: Rusty Nail at December 15, 2018 01:39 PM (ju9gW)

41 We have a few days of temps in the mid-40s to 50s so the leaf lettuce and dill are getting time without the covers. (I still can't believe they've survived the below freezing nights.)

Posted by: JTB at December 15, 2018 01:41 PM (bmdz3)

42 Skunk = 'Stripes'. Badgers aren't as common, so skunks have inherited the title.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:41 PM (MIKMs)

43 Still don't know what a tea tree is.


Posted by: mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:36 PM (MIKMs)


it's from Australia, Melaleuca alternifolia. I've used it topically on my skin but it seems pretty strong to give orally to a pet, unless it is diluted.

Posted by: kallisto at December 15, 2018 01:43 PM (kD8Fh)

44 plum at December 15, 2018 01:30 PM

Thanks, plum! Have a wonderful Christmas.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 01:45 PM (BVQ+1)

45 Wife finds uses for tree tea oil, its stinky stuff.

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 01:45 PM (/rm4P)

46 Apparently, when French explorers first encountered the skunk in North America, they initially named it the "stink badger". Seems appropriate.

Posted by: Rusty Nail at December 15, 2018 01:46 PM (ju9gW)

47 Wife finds uses for tree tea oil, its stinky stuff.
=====

If it helps with one of the dogs' carrion breath, I'm okay with it, as long as it won't hurt long term.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:47 PM (MIKMs)

48 Love the photos but my favorite is the candle-lit landscape. The light-wrapped trees are impressive but the candle light is delightful. Also, the top one may show the most content squirrel ever captured on film or whatever is used these days.

Posted by: JTB at December 15, 2018 01:47 PM (bmdz3)

49 it's from Australia, Melaleuca alternifolia. I've used it topically on
my skin but it seems pretty strong to give orally to a pet, unless it is
diluted.
=====

Thank you, kallisto. Yes, very diluted and further diluted in the water bowl, but I am worried about long term. Although after a week, the carrion breath (not regular stinky dog/cat breath, but real nasty) is not as awful.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:56 PM (MIKMs)

50 kallisto at December 15, 2018 01:43 PM

Absolutely right. It is also toxic orally in humans, even though the name comes from its use on Captain Cook's ships as a tea to prevent scurvy.

One human use for the oil is against toenail fungus. But it is absorbed through the skin, so don't overdo it.

The bushes are pretty in a filmly sort of way, with little pink or white flowers. Small leaves.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 02:00 PM (BVQ+1)

51 JTB at December 15, 2018 01:47 PM

I thought the squirrel looked happy, too.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 02:03 PM (BVQ+1)

52 I always have a ton of reading waiting for me but I will interrupt it whenever a seed catalog appears. Now if the damn things would just show up. Not that I'm eager or anything.

Posted by: JTB at December 15, 2018 02:04 PM (bmdz3)

53 Think next year will do more.

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 01:02 PM (/rm4P)


I feel like a Grinch, all my across the street neighbors and the ones in the back have lovely displays. I'm sandwiched between two non-celebrators, though: Jewish and Chinese, so I'll just roll with them this year.

Posted by: kallisto at December 15, 2018 02:05 PM (kD8Fh)

54 mustbequantum at December 15, 2018 01:56 PM

You might consider switching off between different products to reduce awful dog breath. If you are concerned about long-term toxicity.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 02:07 PM (BVQ+1)

55 Another El Krapo weekend weather-wise keeping me home and away from my roots on the land at WeaselAcres.

Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:07 PM (MVjcR)

56 And to make matters worse, I'm in imminent danger of being assigned something to do around here by WeaselWoman.

Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:10 PM (MVjcR)

57 As always, the thread with the most beautiful pictures, week after week. Thanks, KT!

Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:11 PM (U5tDi)

58 On the gardening front only have enough leaves chopped up to put compost scraps in, doubt 1/4 of them picked up. Did it early spring this year, didn't seem to bad to do it that way. One way or another my leaves are not going anywhere, their trapped in my yard only.

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 02:13 PM (/rm4P)

59 Weasel, isn't this weather the pits? My husband and boys were supposed to get the rest of the leaves done (which is a lot) this weekend, and there's no way.

Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:13 PM (U5tDi)

60 I think I need new off-road lights for the Gator. Yep. That's what I need.

Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:14 PM (MVjcR)

61 Weasel, you are just looking for an excuse to avoid Weasel Woman chores.

Posted by: Ronster at December 15, 2018 02:18 PM (JfehE)

62 59 Weasel, isn't this weather the pits? My husband and boys were supposed to get the rest of the leaves done (which is a lot) this weekend, and there's no way.
Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:13 PM (U5tDi)
-------
Yep, and same here. I mostly cleaned up the yard but there are still a bunch in the planting beds that need to be wrangled to the curb. Not a fan of cold wet weather.

Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:18 PM (MVjcR)

63 So much content!

The only 'gardening' going on here, is trying to keep the clematis cuttings and one store-bought Poinsettia alive.

Heh, the tree rats are still trying to bury their damned walnuts in my pots of daffodils, tulips and garlic... and the chicken wire remains firmly pinned down!!

Posted by: JQ at December 15, 2018 02:19 PM (zMzA6)

64 Weasel, Don't worry about WA. A non-freezing rain will do it good and give you a break from farm chores. As far as the to-do list, you are on your own. I'm big, well armed and can even be charming (sorta). But I'm not dumb enough to get between WeaselWoman's list and anyone. :-)

Posted by: JTB at December 15, 2018 02:19 PM (bmdz3)

65 61 Weasel, you are just looking for an excuse to avoid Weasel Woman chores.
Posted by: Ronster at December 15, 2018 02:18 PM (JfehE)
--------
Absolutely. I spent most of the morning working on the gun thread and made it look like I was doing work stuff.

Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:20 PM (MVjcR)

66 64 Weasel, Don't worry about WA. A non-freezing rain will do it good and give you a break from farm chores. As far as the to-do list, you are on your own. I'm big, well armed and can even be charming (sorta). But I'm not dumb enough to get between WeaselWoman's list and anyone. :-)
Posted by: JTB at December 15, 2018 02:19 PM (bmdz3)
------
What I should have done was to go down this weekend and get the truck stuck in the mud again and practice extricating myself with the winch.

Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:23 PM (MVjcR)

67 Re: Tea tree oil: If you're congested (chest or sinuses) boil a pot of water on the stove. You're going to want to make a towel tent over a basin for the next bit, so prepare. Be quick. Put the boiling water in a bowl where the heat won't damage whatever's beneath it. Put in a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. Cover your noggin with the towel and add a wee splash of Hydrogen peroxide. Sinuses cleared.

Posted by: plum at December 15, 2018 02:25 PM (UGWNZ)

68 The only active gardening I'm doing for now is to watch the three dollar hyacinth bulb in a vase we got last week. Hope it works, it usually does, because the blossoms have such a wonderful scent.

Posted by: JTB at December 15, 2018 02:27 PM (bmdz3)

69
What I should have done was to go down this weekend and get the truck stuck in the mud again and practice extricating myself with the winch.
--------

Mrs. Weasel must have a heck of a honey-do list for you if that's the better alternative.

Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:27 PM (U5tDi)

70 Mrs. Weasel must have a heck of a honey-do list for you if that's the better alternative.
Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:27 PM (U5tDi)
--------
Yeah, and she's pretty rude about mentioning it every year, too!

Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:29 PM (MVjcR)

71 The images of Bookgreen are just amazing.

Posted by: shibumi at December 15, 2018 02:31 PM (fUnZ7)

72 Skip at December 15, 2018 02:13 PM

A new composting strategy!

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 02:31 PM (BVQ+1)

73 That picture with the pickup takes me back to my childhood, when we would get our tree from my Dad's younger brother Greg (who took over the family farm). We would drive his old Ford sedan into the woods on one of the access roads to find a balsam fir that Dad would cut down tie to the roof. One year the snow was so deep we got stuck in a low spot. Luckily my Dad was able to get the chains on rock the car free. It was much easier to get the tree once snowmobiles became a Thing Uncle Greg got an Arctic Cat with a box sled.
One year my Dad decided the balsams in our side yard were getting too close the the power line that ran to our house, so he had my teenage brother shinny up the tallest tree cut off the top 6 ft for our tree that year. There is no christmas tree smell like a freshly cut balsam fir. I wonder if the tree farms cut their trees so early that they lose their smell.

And I want to testify that LED mini-lights aren't for outdoor use. I don't care what it says on the dammed box. Now I only put them on my porch on the wall of my house where they don't get wet. I bought one of those LED ribbons for the porch railing this year, so I'll see if embedding the LEDs in solid plastic makes them more weather proof. That is all.

Posted by: badgerwx, weekend lurker at December 15, 2018 02:31 PM (3HZVl)

74 What I should have done was to go down this weekend and get the truck stuck in the mud again and practice extricating myself with the winch.
Posted by: Weasel at December 15, 2018 02:23 PM (MVjcR)

Well, there ya go! Announce to She Who Must Be Obeyed that you need to go comparison shopping for tow straps, come-alongs, tire chains, etc. Then take off to the hardware stores and auto parts stores to do your research.

Posted by: Coriandrum Sativum at December 15, 2018 02:32 PM (CZWTf)

75 shibumi at December 15, 2018 02:31 PM

My niece and her husband both take some fine photos.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 02:32 PM (BVQ+1)

76 shibumi, how are you feeling? Are you recovering well from your surgery?

Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:35 PM (U5tDi)

77 plum at December 15, 2018 02:25 PM

Good to know. I've seen bad stories about tea tree essential oil in the air in homes with pets, though.

A caution to be careful with the vapors.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 02:36 PM (BVQ+1)

78 If you click on the tree aloe link, you can see a BIG aloe. Wonder how many hummingbirds it could feed at one time?

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at December 15, 2018 02:44 PM (BVQ+1)

79 My town puts up a rather large Christmas tree in a little square near the train station, so all of the commuters get to see it.


It's a pleasure, especially on cold evenings with a hint of snow in the air...the lights seem to twinkle especially energetically.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at December 15, 2018 02:46 PM (wYseH)

80 Found the Christmas candy stash!!

Posted by: Weasel - bluebell sez sign up for the &*#/@ NoVaMoMe at December 15, 2018 02:51 PM (MVjcR)

81 Oh boy. Weasel is going to get in trouble before the day is over.

Posted by: Ronster at December 15, 2018 02:54 PM (JfehE)

82 Hahaha, Weasel! Love your new nic.

And, I'm telling Mrs. Weasel.

Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:55 PM (U5tDi)

83 I'd give anything to have a hint of snow in the air, rather than the flood warnings I've been getting for the past two days.

At least it keeps me inside baking cookies.

Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:56 PM (U5tDi)

84 81 Oh boy. Weasel is going to get in trouble before the day is over.
Posted by: Ronster at December 15, 2018 02:54 PM (JfehE)
-------
I make bad choices daily!

Posted by: Weasel - bluebell sez sign up for the &*#/@ NoVaMoMe at December 15, 2018 02:57 PM (MVjcR)

85 Am a avowed H8er of snow, but a nice coating Christmas eve would be the only exception of the year.

Posted by: Skip at December 15, 2018 02:59 PM (/rm4P)

86 I make bad choices daily!
Posted by: Weasel - bluebell sez sign up for the &*#/@ NoVaMoMe at December 15, 2018 02:57 PM (MVjcR)


Bernie Sanders would be happy to fix that for you.

Posted by: Emmie at December 15, 2018 03:00 PM (4HMW8)

87 83 I'd give anything to have a hint of snow in the air, rather than the flood warnings I've been getting for the past two days.

At least it keeps me inside baking cookies.

Posted by: bluebell ~ sign up now for the NoVaMoMe! at December 15, 2018 02:56 PM (U5tDi)
---------
Just sitting here thinking fondly of the 98 degree, 70 percent humidity summer days at the farm.

Posted by: Weasel - bluebell sez sign up for the &*#/@ NoVaMoMe at December 15, 2018 03:00 PM (MVjcR)

88 Pet thread is up.

Posted by: kallisto at December 15, 2018 03:00 PM (kD8Fh)

89 Hmm, the squirrels in my corner of Idaho's Treasure Valley are more than happy to snarf up any millet I put on my porch for the ground-feeding birds. (I chase them if I see them at it. I don't plan to feed squirrels! It's OK if they bat cleanup for what the birds at the feeder manage to drop.)

A warm week - high 46, low 27. The snow is nearly all melted; we only had 2 inches anyhow. I spent a few minutes this morning raking up wet leaves out front to stuff the trash, which I think I'll be doing all winter...

We hung our lights previously - 2 strands around the door, one on each pillar, and a short strand on each of the 2 wreaths. This week, we bought our Christmas tree - "discounted due to sunburn". I say it looks fine.

I took a garden stroll this morning after finishing my raking. The Johnny Jump-Ups *still* have flowers. And it looks like I could still get fresh oregano or English thyme if I wanted it; everything else is dead. (I wonder if the fall spinach's roots will survive until spring?)

Have I ever grown my own Christmas tree? Well, not specifically, but I've cut a tree in my yard and *used* it as such. I had 3 evergreens out front in my California yard, the outer 2 grew faster and the middle one was getting squeezed. Rather than just cut it out and toss it, we cut it for Christmas.

Also, in my current home, we planted the baby blue spruces for the windbreak at double their eventual desired spacing, so half of them are destined to be cut someday. (If we don't stay here that long, we'll have to tell the future owner about that.)

Since this is short, I might as well throw in a plug for blood donation. (I'm a regular donor.) The blood banks are always short this time of year. And they told me at my recent donation, if a blood bank, or a whole region, has to cancel appointments due to bad weather, it creates critical shortages. So if you're eligible, please consider donating. It takes less than an hour and you can be a life-saving hero for somebody. What better way to bid the old year farewell, or greet the new? (If you're not eligible, you could drive a friend back and forth to their appointment; or just help me spread the word.)

Posted by: Pat* at December 15, 2018 03:06 PM (2pX/F)

90 The only thing I'm growing are some snickerdoodles in the oven...

Posted by: lin-duh at December 15, 2018 03:19 PM (kufk0)

91 Want to see how those Christmas trees get their perfect shape?

https://youtu.be/7fF_JWDyBZQ

I'd end up in the hospital.

Posted by: Golfman at December 15, 2018 03:20 PM (GL/05)

92 That guy looks like he has done that before...

Posted by: lin-duh at December 15, 2018 03:24 PM (kufk0)

93 Pat*
Those are some HARDY johnny-jump-ups. Interesting Christmas tree/windbreak idea.

Posted by: KT at December 15, 2018 03:54 PM (BVQ+1)

94 My far better half and I honeymooned in Savanah in a November, 18 years ago. The memories came flowing back with those pics. Our SE is so underrated as a place to be. The parks and moss so cool.

Ps do not try to take Spanish moss home with you. Boy, that was a mistake..

Posted by: The Invisible Hand at December 15, 2018 04:00 PM (YpRda)

95 The Invisible Hand at December 15, 2018 04:00 PM
Check. No Spanish moss in the luggage.

Posted by: KT at December 15, 2018 10:24 PM (BVQ+1)

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