GRAPEVINE: Dead Kansas, Hort Fraud, Hot Lettuce, Heavy Metal Flowers, Rough Hydrangea, Mahonia Melange, Grape Hyacinth, Chanticleer Volunteer, Front Bed, Summer Bulbs, Summer Foliage, Bourton Topiary, Frank’s Place, Staddle Stones

The streets and sidewalks in some older areas of Lawrence, Kansas are still paved with brick. At the turn of the 20th century brick-making was an important industry in Lawrence. Brick sidewalks, warped and buckled by tree roots, are treacherous in winter.

The streets and sidewalks in some older areas of Lawrence, Kansas are still paved with brick. At the turn of the 20th century brick-making was an important industry in Lawrence. Brick sidewalks, warped and buckled by tree roots, are treacherous in winter.

Staddle stones have been used since medieval times to keep hay ricks and granaries off wet ground and to thwart rodents. Now prized as historical garden ornaments, staddle stones are rare and costly--see last article from Juniper Hill Farm below. Photo English Garden Antiques; click image to link.

Staddle stones have been used since medieval times to keep hay ricks and granaries off wet ground and to thwart rodents. Now prized as historical garden ornaments, staddle stones are rare and costly–see article from Juniper Hill Farm below. Photo English Garden Antiques; click image to link.

“The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.” – Carl Sagan

Kansas 1861-2013
The Great State of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013, after a long and difficult battle with extremism that became markedly more aggressive in 2010. The struggle left the state so weakened it could no longer fight against the relentless attacks by the fatal disease.
Hutchison News

Warning for the UnWary
ProfessorRoush, your renowned gardening investigator, has caught a big box store in the act of practicing horticultural fraud!
Garden Musings

Gene Discovery May Yield Lettuce That Will Sprout in Hot Weather
A team of researchers, led by a University of California, Davis, plant scientist, has identified a lettuce gene and related enzyme that put the brakes on germination during hot weather — a discovery that could lead to lettuces that can sprout year-round, even at high temperatures.
Science Daily

Total buzz kill: Metals in flowers may play role in bumblebee decline
Published in the journal Environmental Pollution, the Pitt study finds that bumblebees are at risk of ingesting toxic amounts of metals like aluminum and nickel found in flowers growing in soil that has been contaminated by exhaust from vehicles, industrial machinery, and farming equipment.
PhysOrg

Rough-leaved Hydrangea
If a basset hound had hundreds of ears—oddly, but in a pleasant Alice in Wonderland way—and had been—also oddly, but in a pleasant Alice in Wonderland way—turned into a flowering shrub, the hound would be this hydrangea.
Louis the Plant Geek

Mahonia Melange
The berries of several Mahonias are edible in various ways including Mahonia aquifolium, Mahonia haematocarpa, Mahonea nervosa, Mahonia repens, Mahonia swaseyi, Mahonia trifoliolata and our local non-native Mahonia bealei, aka the Leatherleaf Mahonia.
Eat the Weeds

Grape expectations…
Few plants are more conspicuous by their absence in most people’s gardens this time of year than grape hyacinths: Where you do see them, it’s usually tousled mops of damaged foliage on the various passsalong sorts like M.armeniacum or M. neglectum, that produce long masses of foliage in the fall that suffers all winter and looks pretty sorry by the time they bloom in April.
Prairiebreak

Volunteering at Chanticleer
It has been a fast and furious week volunteering at Chanticleer. Days and evenings were packed with work, garden tours, lectures, and meeting other gardeners. I have jumped into the gardening season full throttle, brimming over with new ideas, new plant knowledge, excitement and inspiration.
Anemone Times

A bed in the front yard
Like this spring the pace of progress in this front bed has been cautious and slow. The straggly rose bush to the right is ‘Blush Noisette’, recently moved from the east side of the house. I’ve added a few things for spring interest, like Marsh phlox, spiderwort ‘Zwanenburg Blue’, rugosas, and foxglove.
Sweetbay

Summer Bulbs for Southern Gardens: Lycoris, ‘Surprise Lilies’
Suddenly in late summer, the red spider lilies pop up in yards all over this historic Southern town. …Red spider lilies have been called ‘silent ninjas’  for their habit of hiding any sign of leaf or stem for months and then bursting into extravagant bloom without warning in late summer or early fall.
Dave’s Garden

Sumptuous Summer
The foliage garden always garners big kudos in fall and winter; it is difficult to imagine a flower garden in most temperate zones able to compete with foliage during those seasons. It is even relatively easy to make the case for foliage over flowers in spring, as much new foliage provides eye candy that rivals spring blooms. But who can imagine a summer foliage garden that can compete with an herbaceous border?
Form and Foliage

Bourton House Topiary, Before and After
We raised several hundred  box cuttings in cold frames. Plans were drawn and work began. The topiary garden was developed in front of the house. We dug up the large expanse of gravel covering the space where originally carriages would have  drawn up  to the main entrance.
Is this the way to Amaryllis?

Frank’s Place
We have a volunteer called Frank who comes to Dixter most Thursdays, who almost always brings us treats and often help make our mess room a much nicer place. He lives in Seaford and has a garden on chalk. As the soil at Dixter is clay, Fergus thought it might be a good idea that we gardened on something different. So a team of us went there and it was like Ground Force – the garden makeover show.
A Year at Great Dixter

Staddle Stones
Originally, staddles that were used to support buildings were made of wood. Over time, stone became the preferred material, both for its durability and its ability to support greater weight.  Stone staddles are known to have been used as early as medieval times. …The price here in the States for an antique staddle stone as of this writing, usually approaches $1K.
Juniper Hill Farm

“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” – Carl Sagan

Stone bench in front of the Chiesa di San Giacomo in Giardino Iblei in Ragusa, Sicily. Click images to visit Jeffrey Bale's World of Gardens.

Stone bench in front of the Chiesa di San Giacomo in Giardino Iblei in Ragusa, Sicily. Click images to visit Jeffrey Bale’s World of Gardens.

A row of very old cordon apples at Waterperry Gardens in Wheatley, near Oxford in England. Photo Paul Williams. Williams is an estate gardener--click image to link to his blog, "Is this the way to Amaryllis?"

A row of very old cordon apples at Waterperry Gardens in Wheatley, near Oxford in England. Photo Paul Williams. Williams is an estate gardener–click image to link to his blog, “Is this the way to Amaryllis?”

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