GRAPEVINE: Barred Owls, Trembling Giant, Fragrant Sumac, Jewel Weed, Comfrey Tea, Winter Sowing, Meadow Rue, Beatrix Farrand, Hairy Wild Petunia, Rose Roots, Hallowed Yew, Hardy Annuals, Collective Nouns, Beautiful Nature, Mars Colonists

hand-feeding barred owls curious naturalist

Hand-feeding Barred Owls on the Caloosahatchee River. Click image for more pictures at the Curious Naturalist.

Pando (Latin for “I spread”), also known as The Trembling Giant, is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) determined to be a single living organism by identical genetic markers and one massive underground root system. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000,000 kg (6,600 short tons), making it the heaviest known organism.     Wikipedia

Alike But Different
The leaves of Rhus aromatica can be mistaken for poison ivy. They are trifoliate, shiny, and grow on woody stems. They turn scarlet in autumn.     My Weeds Are Very Sorry

Impatiens capensis
An annual that often occurs in dense stands, it is especially adapted to hummingbird visitation; but bees and butterflies are also important pollinators. …The stem juice is said to relieve itching from poison ivy and has also been used to treat athletes foot. Scientific data confirm the fungicidal qualities.      Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

How to Make Comfrey Manure Tea
Comfrey tea is rich in nitrogen and potassium; it is a nutritious side-dressing for fruiting vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and berries use nitrogen to support leaf growth and potassium to promote flowers and fruit.     Harvest to Table

Winter-Sowing in the Middle Zones: 5, 6 and 7
Big list of native plant seeds requiring stratification.     GardenWeb

A Penchant for Meadow Rues
Just about all gardeners have a hobby plant type or two – a genus or family they particularly like, for which they seek out as many varieties as they can get their hands on. In serious cases, this turns into plant collectorship and the obsessive compulsive tendencies that go along with that. I’m not sure I qualify for the worst category, but as hobby genuses go, Thalictrum is certainly one of mine.    Rob’s Plants

Biography of Beatrix Farrand
She was influenced in particular by André Le Nôtre, whose grand parterres inspired many of her designs; William Robinson, who popularized naturalistic gardening; Gertrude Jekyll, who revolutionized the art of planting; and Charles Sprague Sargent, who first opened her eyes to horticulture and design.     Judith Tankard, The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Hairy Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis
A flower typically opens during the morning and falls off the plant by evening. The overall appearance of Hairy Wild Petunia resembles cultivated petunias, but they are members of different plant families. The blooming period occurs from early summer to late summer, and lasts about 2 months.    Illinois Wildflowers

Putting Down Roots
Rooting roses isn’t rocket science. Years ago, I attended a propagation workshop given by a rose friend, and the method she teaches changed my life! She showed how the top of a two-liter soda bottle will fit into the bottom half-gallon milk jug, making a little self-contained greenhouse. Genius!!     Hartwood Roses

The Hallowed Yew
A famously long-lived tree of ancient significance, the yew (Taxus baccata) has borne both positive and negative connotations.     The Medieval Garden Enclosed

Discovering Self-Sowing Annuals
Like perennials, self-sowing annuals come back every year, but from seeds instead of roots. But they’re not as predictable as perennials. …If a perennial is like a faithful dog, then a self-sowing annual is like a finicky, independent cat.     Diane’s Seeds

Pheasants = Bouquet
A group of crows is called a murder. A bunch of eagles? A convocation. Cats is a clowder,
iguanas a mess, bluejays a scold, mosquitoes a scourge and when owls get together, its a parliament. Here is a fascinating list of the names we give to groups of living creatures.      Wikipedia

Into the Wild
In 1751 the Reverend Joseph Spence, who is not nearly so well-known to garden history as his friend Alexander Pope, penned a list of sixteen “general rules” for the design of landscapes. The first repeats Pope’s all too famous “consult the genius of the place” aphorism, but the other rules are actually more interesting, and I particularly like his recommendation for imitating “Beautiful Nature”, because that’s really what all gardeners, and all gardens, seek to do in their own way.     Garden History Girl

Wanted: Mars Colonists to Explore Red Planet
If you think you have the right stuff to help colonize Mars, you’ll soon get your chance to prove it. …Mars One plans to launch a series of robotic cargo missions between 2016 and 2021, which will build a habitable Red Planet outpost ahead of the arrival of the first four colonists in 2023. More settlers will arrive every two years after that. There are no plans to return the pioneers to Earth.    Yahoo News

A book to get based on title alone: “Is That Cat Dead?: And Other Questions About Poison Plants,” by John Robertson.

blossfeldt 1 selection magazine

Karl Blossfeldt. Click image to see more photos at Selection magazine.

Karl Blossfeldt. Click image to see Blossfeldt's entire 1928 masterwork, "Urformen der Kunst" (Art Forms in Nature), at Soulcatcher Studio.

Karl Blossfeldt. Click image to see Blossfeldt’s entire 1928 masterwork, “Urformen der Kunst” (Art Forms in Nature), at Soulcatcher Studio.

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