Saturday, December 31, 2005

Eat Bread & Get a Free OG Sub

Time to start making some "sammitches", as my friend's little boy likes to say.

Roman Meal will give you a free 1-year subscription to either Organic Gardening, Organic Style, or Prevention magazine with six proofs of purchase from any of their bread products. The promotion runs through all of 2006. Click here for more details.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

At Least the Aliens Were Organic...

By far, my favorite blockbuster movie from last summer was "War of the Worlds".

I've always loved sci-fi, and the cheezy 1953 version was one of my faves. This year's Steven Spielberg interpretation was absolutely terrifying, especially the tripod machines with their slow, giraffe-like gait and cold, whirring noises.

Unlike the old 50s film, the infamous Red Weed was revived from the original H.G. Wells story for the new movie. As the admittedly gorey story goes, the aliens use human blood to fertilize their native weed, which grows voraciously across the land and chokes out everything in its path. The aliens do this in an apparent effort to make Earth mimic their own planet that has since been stripped its resources. However, the triumphant ending comes when the weed and the aliens both eventually succumb to our planet's bacteria and viruses, as neither has adequate internal defense mechanisms to fight them.

My theory? They just over-fertilized. Heck, you know how too much nitrogen can burn things...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fantastic Plants

Let's hope they're fantastic, anyway. I got a hankering to buy a couple of dwarf-ish conifers and came upon their site. (They have an outstanding rating with Garden Watchdog too.)

The two worn-out mophead hydrangeas by the back patio look awful and have very few signs of new growth on them, so I'm replacing them with two lacecap types. The poor mopheads are probably as old as the house; after 25 years, they deserve to be buried in the dignity of the compost pile, I think.

I also broke down and got another Japanese Maple. The ones I have are usually fried by August even in the shade, and this one is supposed to be more sun-tolerant. We'll see.

Here's what I ordered with links to each item. Everything is scheduled to arrive Friday, just in time for a long weekend of planting in what is supposed to be mild (upper 60s to upper 70s) and sunny weather(!)

Sherwood Frost Arborvitae
Thuja occidentalis 'Yellow Ribbon'
Acer palmatum 'Matsugae'
Hydrangea macrophylia 'Lanarth White'
Hydrangea macrophylia 'Tricolor'

Thursday, December 15, 2005

2006 Seed Spreadsheet

Good intentions abound. :)

2006 seed spreadsheet (so far)

All Dead, All Dead*

* "All Dead, All Dead" is the title of a strange little Brian May-penned Queen song from way back, for those who care...

Well, hopefully the garden isn't all dead. It certainly looks terrible, though, and I'm curious about what will rebound, come springtime, from our recent overnight freeze that apparently reached around 6°.

My biggest concern is for the two Red Sensation (or maybe Purple Tower) Cordylines. The one at the front of the house is now flat. The one in back, which gets the benefit of being next to the fence, is still upright, but looks burnt. I'm not sure why I was convinced these semi-tropicals would survive single-digit temps...

Most of the perennials look terrible. Why am I saddened and surprised at this? After all, it's their job to die every year. The freeze we had was just so...abrupt. I guess I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to my little friends for the season.

Everybody, altogether: "Awwwwwww...."

So, what still looks decent? Well, the columbines are absolutely pristine. So are the prickly pear cactus and the agaves. My lavender looks more beautiful than ever (the Goodwin Creek is actually blooming), and even the Spanish variety is perfect, though I thought they were fairly tender.

The irises looked bad for a day, but quickly rebounded. All of the stuff I protected with row covers -- the lettuce, and heucheras, lady's mantle and ferns in containers -- are just fine.

I am a little worried about the plants that I had just put out in Front Yard Garden Project. Obviously, they were probably in a bit of transplant shock to begin with, and then got smacked down with a freeze. Here's hoping they come back in the spring.

We are supposed to hit 22° early next week, so I guess I'll be dragging the frost cloth out again. Sheesh, what happened to our supposedly milder-than-usual winter?!? The days just before Christmas are supposed to be pretty decent, though, so I should just quit whining and appreciate the fact that I can get outside and work at all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Twelve. It's going to be 12° tomorrow night. We're getting freezing rain now.

*sigh*...what Hardiness Zone am I in again?

I've done what I can protection-wise, bringing some stuff inside, grouping other outdoor container plants together and covering with sheets, etc. and pulling mulch and leaves around stuff in the ground, but honestly, I don't think a lot will happen. We were at 80° on Saturday; the soil must still be pretty warm.

I do expect to lose my small lettuce crop by the driveway, but eh. That's ok. If the rabbits didn't want it (they chewed all the cauliflower and broccoli sprouts to the ground but left the lettuce) then it probably ain't too good.

The Front Yard Garden Project got 95% done on Saturday too, so everything out there is nicely nestled in a 3" layer of cedar mulch. I'm trying not to fret.