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Oooh! I can't wait to see how they look in real life. I just bought some boring, normal seeds today - daisies, broccoli and lettuce. Hoping to get some seeds started next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Oooh! I can't wait to see how they look in real life. I just bought some boring, normal seeds today - daisies, broccoli and lettuce. Hoping to get some seeds started next weekend.
I love that you love starting seeds. I guess it's kinda geeky but it's so much fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
No Show - Day 2 of bathroom glass installers

When he didn't respond to texts after 12:00. I took the opportunity to go to the Virginia Cooperative Extension office Arlington County
to pick up free 2019 seeds for my Little Free Seed Library. Now, without sounding ungrateful. I really resent the way the employees treat the public.
(Let me explain)
1st. You have to know about it. The free seeds are not advertised even tho we pay for it with our taxes
2nd. They are only open 9 to 5 weekdays. There is no way for someone working regular office hours to get free seeds.
3rd. If I was someone who never grew tomatoes or corn or anything - they would be the last people to ask for advice. They are so cruel!! The first time I went I actually greeted the women in the office & they just stared at me. Anyway, when I walked in today I acted as if they didn't exist. I didn't offer a "Hello" & didn't expect anything in return.
BUT I filled up my bag & waltzed out!
I'll stock the Library tomorrow & let everyone who wants free seeds have them. The kids down the street take alot of the seeds but I don't care! I'll find another excuse to get to the extension office again next month.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
These photos are from last summer of the fig tree. There are 2 different types of honey bees gorging on the fig fruit. I'm pretty sure (not positive) that the lighter bee is the traditional "Italian Honey or western bee" the one with the darker abdomin is a "Russian or Caucasian bee"
 

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Discussion Starter #50

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Artichokes are simply devine! They are delicious & stunningly beautiful.
People say they are hard to grow but with a few tips: sunny location, good seeds & extra water you'll be able to grow them too.
Okay, I said I would just read and enjoy, but as blogs go, this one is very free-form, and you brought up one of our favorite garden flowers. Not only do bees love our blooming artichokes, but for a short while they look like Cleopatra from the Addams Family TV series. What's not to love?

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One thing we've found works well with artichoke seeds, which have a reputation for being frustrating, is to put them between damp paper towels, put that into a plastic zip-lock bag, and put them in a northern exposure window and wait. Usually within days we can see the little seeds sprouting. As soon as the roots grow a bit and the first bit of green pops out, we transplant them into containers. For us, it's worked every time. They really are bee heaven, so if your readers have the space, they should add artichokes to their garden.
 

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@chubstuff
Wow!!! Your artichokes are beautiful. Have you ever had problems with ant & aphids? Last year ants nearly killed mine. It was a full scale war between me & them!
Btw - if you like growing artichokes you should also grow Cardoons! They are so cool & they are beautiful dried. I save the dried stalks for Halloween.

Idk if you like vintage stuff but I found this big bowl at a flea market for $1 & had to have it.

Thanks for visiting down here. I'll probably be posting more often because the kids are now out of school for a month due to the virus. This little blog is keeping my mind off of the situation so please feel free to post
 

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@chubstuff
Wow!!! Your artichokes are beautiful. Have you ever had problems with ant & aphids? Last year ants nearly killed mine.
We don't actually eat a lot of our artichokes. I have one globe artichoke and one Italian purple artichoke. They both do very well in our neck of the woods and I leave the artichoke flowers on through the entire winter. In early spring, if the weather gods are kind, the seeds begin to sprout right on the stalk. I take them carefully and transplant them to pots and the next generation of artichokes begins.

We had problems with ants and aphids last year. They came after I clipped and ate a few of the artichokes. Since the plants are pretty hearty, I just hosed them down with a direct spray and that did a number on the aphids. This year, I will be more aggressive about the ants. I'm sure you know that the ants are actually farming the aphids, protecting them from bugs that would eat them. So, I will treat the ants as what they are in our garden, an obnoxious neighbor who lets their animals run amok in our garden. I have found that making a gel like solution of borax and sugar works on our indoor ants, so this year, I'm going to see if it transfers to outdoors.

Often I'll use Terro, which is basically those same ingredients premixed. They make little outdoor stakes filled with the borax and sugar mix, and I tried those. I really don't know if they did any good because within three days the squirrels had broken open the bait traps and eaten all the insides. It probably gave them a terrible tummy ache, but I don't think it killed any of them. It's sort of like eating soap after all. I might try stakes out back though, as the squirrels spend most of their time out in front of our house where the bird feeders are.

I also will be trying some more natural remedies for the bugs this year. I have mint and garlic that seem to be very popular mixed with a bit of soap for spraying on plants. I also bought my first bottle of Neem oil. I will use that more as a last resort kind of thing as while it is a natural pesticide, it is still a pesticide. In general, I have just squashed the bugs I don't like when I find them, and found that was good enough. But some years are worse than others, and with a really mild winter, I am expecting nearly every pest we have to have overwintered.

Btw - if you like growing artichokes you should also grow Cardoons! They are so cool & they are beautiful dried. I save the dried stalks for Halloween.
Those are so neat looking. Sort of like corpulent baby artichokes. We always have a need for freaky looking flowers for our arrangements come Halloween. I will have to go out in search of the seeds. :)

Idk if you like vintage stuff but I found this big bowl at a flea market for $1 & had to have it.
It's beautiful. Most of the things that come home from our visits to garage sales and flea markets look like things that can be made into Halloween props. But we do have a few pieces of blue glass and other knick-knaks that are in our display cases. The two of us come from a long separate history of collecting things, so whittling down what we might collect together is always a challenge.

Thanks for visiting down here. I'll probably be posting more often because the kids are now out of school for a month due to the virus. This little blog is keeping my mind off of the situation so please feel free to post
I still enjoy reading far more than posting, but if I see something of interest that I think I can contribute to, I will certainly do that. I love dropping by here. Between plants and mausoleums, you have so many of our favorites covered. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Last year I bought a chemical to spray on the plants. Cant recall name but I'll post a picture when I find it in shed. It really killed those jerks. I don't usually use chems but they were destroying my entire crop.

Here's a few more cardoon pictures. They make a fantastic Halloween display
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Tucked safely away from small children & pets is my own little "poison garden" or "witch garden" if you prefer. Aconitum napellus (Wolf's Bane) & Hellebore are allowed to grow freely. Every single part of these plants will kill you. Always wear gloves when working with Aconite

One day when all the craziness of the Covid virus is over I hope to visit the Alnwick Poison Garden. For now tho check out this link. Poison Garden - The Alnwick Garden
 

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Took all the books out've Library & tossed into recycling. I'm not worried about the seeds or Library because it receives ample sunlight & that's the best defense against germs. But the books could potentially hide microbes between the pages. We also disinfect the library twice a day.
 

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Hey you @Ladyfrog

What are you planning to grow?
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I'm planting lots of flowers, pumpkins, squash, carrots, radishes, potatoes, cucumbers and green beans. Oh and I have two blueberry bushes that are producing well so I might add to that. I haven't decided if I want to do strawberries again. The deer really like to eat them so I haven't been able to cultivate a nice berry patch in the 3 years we've lived here. I always grow them in pots that I put up high and cover with netting!

What are you growing this year?
 
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