Selecting Zoom? Please Do not Ask Me To Cost Much less.

zoom setup

I don’t cost additional for carrying pants.

That’s what I’m tempted to say when somebody suggests I ought to cost much less for a Zoom presentation than I do for a reside talking engagement. However as a result of my mom taught me to be well mannered, I resist temptation and don’t point out the pants.

After a category on wild spices and herbs, Creator/Speaker Ellen Zachos mingles with college students and offers a chance to style a couple of samples.

Ah however that is Backyard RANT, the place controversial opinions usually are not solely appreciated, however required! It appears the proper place to announce that I’m contemplating altering my charge schedule to cost extra for Zoom shows than I do for reside gigs. Right here’s what I’m considering:

Zoom shows are already cheaper than reside shows as a result of there are not any journey bills.

A top quality group is aware of this, and won’t nickel and dime a high quality speaker. Por ejemplo: I’m travelling to Alaska in 2023 to keynote a Grasp Gardener convention. Along with my talking charge, I’ll be reimbursed for airfare, airport parking, resort, and so forth. If issues change on the Covid entrance and the convention is required to go digital, all of these journey bills disappear. Poof! My talking charge stays the identical, and the Alaska MGs are sensible sufficient to know that my work will likely be of the identical top quality whether or not I current reside or just about.

Zoom shows are harder for the speaker than reside shows.

Basically, what I’m doing up there’s a one-woman present. Possibly there are not any props or costumes (or perhaps there are!), however make no mistake, a high quality speaker is as centered and energetic as any Broadway performer. How do I do know this? As a result of I was a Broadway performer! When a speaker engages with a reside viewers, the alternate of power is thrilling for everybody. They’re related to me, I’m related to them, and collectively we’re having a synergistic good time, similar to on the theater.

Ellen Zachos

A reside Q&A is a superb probability to satisfy folks with frequent pursuits.

There is no such thing as a distinction in content material between a reside presentation and a Zoom presentation.

If my content material is price X {dollars} reside, why wouldn’t it be price much less when delivered just about? My slides are the identical, my phrases are the identical, and I’m the identical. And whereas attendees could not be capable to see what I’m carrying, I guarantee you, I’ve pants on. Viewers at dwelling could select to put on pants or not…I gained’t choose.

Zoom Rooms aren’t free.

Skilled audio system use skilled tools, {and professional} tools prices cash. Subsequent time you’re in a Zoom Room, go searching and see every little thing the speaker has carried out to create a handsome, good-sounding setup. This requires dependable, high-speed web, a paid Zoom account, particular lighting, a high quality microphone, and infrequently a practical backdrop on a body, so attendees gained’t be distracted by piles of unfiled papers or books ready to be reshelved.

zoom setup

Backstage on the Yard Forager: This can be a video demo arrange with a vinyl backdrop on a stand, digicam lighting, and two cameras, one for broadcasting a head/shoulders shot of the presenter, and one other for B-roll, i.e. the work being demonstrated on the desk.

I perceive there are occasions when travelling for attendees, isn’t interesting. Winter climate makes each air and street journey dangerous, and night conferences will be troublesome for individuals who don’t wish to drive at evening. However neither of this stuff impact the standard or worth of the presentation itself, so why ought to they impact the presenter’s charge?

I’m already making much less cash after I current just about as a result of I can’t signal and promote books.

Even when my charge stays the identical on Zoom, how do I promote books to a digital viewers? Enthusiasm is contagious and the perfect time for an creator to promote books is when the viewers is all revved up instantly after a incredible presentation. Positive, they might order on Amazon after the very fact, however the ebook gained’t be signed or personalised, and we gained’t get to satisfy and speak.

the foragers pantry

Ellen’s newest ebook. You should buy a signed, personalised copy if you happen to see her converse in particular person!

Intangibles are price one thing!

I really like my work, and one of many issues I really like most about it’s the probability to satisfy folks face-to-face who share my pursuits, or who wish to be taught one thing I’m captivated with. Having the ability to have interaction with an viewers, earlier than, throughout, and after a reside presentation is an intangible bonus that I worth extremely, and that I lose after I’m talking through Zoom – which makes my job a little bit tougher.

And you realize what? A reside presentation is best for the viewers, too. If I’m talking in particular person, I can see if attendees are tuned in or zoned out. Do they get my jokes? In the event that they’re not laughing, I’ll regulate my humorousness. Do they perceive a principal I simply defined? If they appear puzzled, I’ll return and clarify that principal one other approach. In a Zoom webinar, I can’t see my viewers, and by the point I end and we’re within the Q&A, folks could have forgotten their questions. In a Zoom assembly, the faces of attendees are so small I can’t learn their expressions.

Everybody enjoys an up-close-and-personal presentation. It’s higher for the speaker and for the scholars.

The pandemic modified a variety of issues, and Zoom allowed us to go about our enterprise (for essentially the most half) with out risking our well being or the well being of our households. However I miss folks! I’m able to mingle, chat, converse, schmooze, shoot the breeze…and I wish to do this head to head. So sue me. I’m a folks particular person.

Sure, I do know not all audio system share my P.O.V. And the above could make me sound cranky, maybe even petulant, however that is Backyard RANT, in spite of everything. I care deeply in regards to the high quality of my work, and if you happen to rent me to talk at your occasion, I need you to have the absolute best presentation for all of your attendees. The one approach for that to occur is that if I offer you 100% of my coronary heart and soul, and I’m completely happy, nay keen, to try this. However in return I’ve to know that you just really worth my work. Pants or no pants.


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Curb Enchantment for Wildlife | Central Texas Gardener

Curb Appeal for Wildlife | Central Texas Gardener

Curb Enchantment for Wildlife

On a Saturday errand run, I detoured my agenda after I noticed this eye-popping crowd at an intersection. Underneath an anchoring Lacey oak, bees speeded to native rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) and fiery Satisfaction of Barbados. Cooling silvery native cenizo (Texas sage) guarantees blooms in humidity.
pink flowering shrub and spiky plant behind
Strappy native sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri) contrasts shrubby rock rose. There are not any deer on this neighborhood, however every thing is deer resistant to some extent.
pink flowering shrub
Solar-loving rock rose can bloom from spring to frost. Prune to form in late winter. Calmly clip again when flowers are spent to encourage bushier progress and extra flowers. It gladly reseeds for you, too, even in essentially the most inhospitable spots. I’ve some that landed removed from the water hose, however slightly further irrigation actually improves their vigor.

Regardless that street-reflected warmth accelerates summer season’s beating, native Texas frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) covers the bottom to draw tiny butterflies and native bees to flowers the dimensions of pencil erasers. As I do know in my backyard, it withstands drought and flooding. Pink skullcap and a yucca (probably ‘Coloration Guard’) companion this part.

Firebush (Hamelia patens), a local shrub certain to carry hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees your method, goes dormant in winter after flowering for months, even when the pavement melts shoe soles. Peeking in, bat-faced cuphea (Cuphea llavea), a perennial sub-shrub native to Mexico, nourishes the identical crowd.
orange tubular flowers on leafy shrub
Hummingbirds and butterflies all the time welcome native esperanza (Tecoma stans), together with this orange hybrid. It freezes down in winter, however typically returns, particularly when established.
edible pretty patio peppers
On the house entrance, I obtained a enjoyable shock Sunday morning! From the kitchen window, I may see a flutter of exercise within the planter of Numax ‘Twilight’ peppers. An adolescent mockingbird was plucking these sizzling peppers as quick as he may. There’s extra coming every single day, so I hope he’ll be again.
green background white text: Pocket Prairies with John Hart Asher
Want an power/inspiration increase? Try Leah Churner and Colleen Dieter’s participating podcast, The Horticulturati, for design concepts and philosophies as they take us alongside on their paths of horticultural discovery. Just lately, they visited with John Hart Asher, CTG’s host, about the way to create a pocket prairie. They go far past that, although, with enjoyable, insightful and downright stunning revelations. Listen here.
two women in studio with seeds on table
From the CTG archives, watch Leah and Colleen’s tips for saving seeds.

Thanks for stopping by! See you subsequent week, Linda

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The Final Information to Plumeria Care

The Ultimate Guide to Plumeria Care

I used to be fortunate sufficient to go on two household journeys to Hawaii after I was youthful. There are occasions I nonetheless bear in mind getting off the airplane to be greeted by a Hawaiian girl who put a fantastic lei of plumeria flowers round my neck, in addition to all these plastic plumeria flower souvenirs in lots of the memento outlets all around the islands. I now take pleasure in my very own plumerias in my yard and would like to share my plumeria care ideas with you.

In case you’re in search of a fantastic and aromatic plant so as to add to your backyard, look no additional than the plumeria! This tropical plant is straightforward to take care of and could be grown each indoors and outside. On this information, I’ll focus on every thing you should learn about rising plumeria, from planting cuttings to caring for a mature tree.

Earlier than I speak about plumeria care, I wish to briefly focus on the origin and historical past of plumeria vegetation. It’s fairly attention-grabbing.

Not a Hawaiian Native

I don’t learn about you, however after I see a plumeria flower, a motif, or brand of 1, I instantly consider Hawaii. Do you know these aromatic timber should not initially from the Aloha State? Neither did I!

So, the place are these lovely vegetation from anyhow?

Origin of Plumeria

The plumeria tree is initially from the Caribbean. This is sensible for the reason that Caribbean is one other tropical space, though I don’t consider plumerias after I see or hear in regards to the Caribbean. Possibly pirates however positively not plumerias!

Plumerias additionally originated in Mexico and Central America. From these locations, plumeria timber unfold to different tropical areas as nicely.

Nifty Title

The plumeria plant was named after Charles Plumier. He was a French botanist who studied many vegetation within the Americas.

One other title for plumeria timber is frangipani (plumeria rubra). A Sixteenth-century monk named Marquis Frangipani was identified for a fragrance he made. The plumeria flower’s scent and that of Frangipani’s fragrance are related to one another, therefore the opposite title for plumeria vegetation.

Good day from Hawaii

The plumeria tree was first introduced to the nice state of Hawaii in 1860. There’s now such an abundance of plumeria vegetation in Hawaii that many individuals assume its a local plant.


The place Can Plumeria Bushes Develop?

Plumeria vegetation can positively develop in tropical areas, however the place else can they develop? Plumerias could be grown in a wide range of locations, so long as the tree is introduced in throughout the winter. USDA zone 10 is the place plumeria timber develop finest although.

I bear in mind driving round Orange County, CA final yr, seeing all the attractive plumeria blooms pondering, I will need to have one! I’m now the proud proprietor of two small plumeria timber.

Plumeria Care Fundamentals

Caring for plumeria timber is sort of simple. They are often grown within the floor or in containers. I’ve my two small plumeria timber in pots and so they match completely in my little balcony backyard.

Plumerias develop based mostly on the area that’s obtainable to them. These vegetation can unfold out and develop as tall as over 20 ft. As container plants, plumerias will develop as a lot because the pot they’re in will permit.

Plumerias are generally offered as cuttings. The tree I purchased was offered with some soil in its small pot. These vegetation have skinny root methods, so it was simply transferred right into a barely bigger pot.

The opposite plumeria I acquired as a present from my finest good friend’s in-laws. They advised me to let the slicing dry out within the shade for a number of weeks, then plant it. This tree is presently rising in some lovely leaves.

Plumeria Tree Care

As we talked about, plumeria timber are comparatively simple to take care of. They’re drought-tolerant and might survive in a variety of soil varieties, so long as the soil is well-draining. When watering your plumeria tree, make sure to give it a deep watering about as soon as per week. Through the hotter months, you could must water extra usually.

To fertilize your plumeria tree, use a balanced fertilizer that’s particularly designed for flowering plants. Apply the fertilizer in accordance with the directions on the package deal, usually each six weeks or so. You can even add some compost to the soil round your plumeria tree each few months to assist it keep wholesome and powerful.


In case you stay in an space that will get chilly winters, you’ll must carry your plumeria tree indoors or retailer it in a protected space over the winter months. Plumeria timber should not frost-tolerant and won’t survive if the temperature drops under 50 levels Fahrenheit.

Now that you recognize somewhat bit extra about plumeria care, let’s check out easy methods to develop plumeria from cuttings.

Methods to Develop Plumeria from Cuttings

The most effective time to take plumeria cuttings is in late spring or early summer. Search for a wholesome department on the plant that’s about six inches lengthy. Utilizing a pointy knife or pruning shears, make a clear reduce just under a leaf node (the purpose the place leaves are connected to the stem).

Take away any leaves from the underside half of the slicing, then dip the reduce finish in rooting hormone. This step is non-obligatory, however it might probably assist velocity up the rooting course of.

Fill a planting pot with well-draining potting combine, then insert the slicing about midway into the soil. Water totally and place in a vibrant spot out of direct daylight.

Your slicing ought to root inside 4 to 6 weeks. As soon as it has rooted, you may transplant it into a bigger pot or into your backyard.

Planting Plumerias

In case you plan to plant your tree within the floor, use half native soil and half well-draining soil. A cactus, palm and or desert soil will work nice.

If potting the plant, you could wish to add gravel or Perlite to the underside. I added a number of inches of mulch to each my potted plumerias and they’re rising tremendous. Guarantee that the containers have a gap for water drainage.


Rising Plumeria in Pots

One of many nice issues about plumeria is that they are often grown in pots! This makes them excellent for indoor or patio gardens. In case you’re rising your plumeria in a pot, be certain that to decide on one that’s no less than 18 inches extensive and has drainage holes.

Fill the pot with a well-draining potting combine, reminiscent of cactus combine or perlite. Water your plumeria often, ensuring to permit the soil to dry out between watering. In relation to feeding, use a balanced fertilizer each different week throughout the rising season.

Aromatic Flowers

After I purchased my first plumeria plant on the finish of final summer season, I anticipated it to start out producing flowers immediately. I’ve had it for nearly a yr and it simply began blooming attractive yellow and white flowers. I’ve needed to study endurance with this plant however its been nicely definitely worth the wait.

The flowers are refreshingly aromatic. Every flowering tree has its personal distinctive perfume to take pleasure in.

How A lot Water?

Plumeria trees are hardy vegetation that don’t require a lot water. Plumerias must be watered often whereas the leaves and flowers are blooming. As soon as the plant’s leaves fall off throughout the winter, it doesn’t must be watered.

I’ve been tempted to water my vegetation after they don’t want any, however attempt to maintain again since I heard that overwatering is a standard motive vegetation die, particularly right here in Southern California the place many vegetation thrive with little water.


Plumeria Care Winter

One thing else I realized about plumeria timber is that they turn into dormant within the winter. When the leaves fell off on the finish of the yr, I believed I had killed my vegetation. I wished to throw them out when this occurred, however took my husband’s recommendation and stored the vegetation.

I’m glad I did since now I’ve two lovely timber! One is producing flowers whereas the opposite is producing leaves. I’m unsure why one just isn’t producing flowers, however I’ve solely had it a number of months so I could have to attend one other yr earlier than I get to take pleasure in its blooms.

Widespread Varieties of Plumeria

There are a lot of various kinds of plumeria timber in a wide range of colours. One of many extra frequent timber is plumeria rubra aztec gold. The flowers on this tree are white with a golden yellow heart.

There are different variations with kind of gold, in addition to kind of white on the flowers. They’re all lovely. Mine are a variation of gold and white flowers.

Different sorts of timber have pink and white flowers with totally different coloured facilities. I’ve seen blue and purple ones on-line, however I heard these have been faux blooms. I’ve seen many white, yellow and pink plumerias whereas driving round my neighborhood.

I hope to personal different colors of plumerias, however will take pleasure in my yellow and white flowered ones for now.

There are a lot of various kinds of plumeria obtainable, so that you’re positive to search out one that you simply love! Listed here are a few of well-liked varieties:

  • Frangipani (Plumeria rubra): That is the commonest sort of plumeria and is thought for its aromatic flowers. The flowers are often white, pink, pink, or yellow.
  • Plumeria pudica: This selection is also called the “crying frangipani” as a result of its flowers appear like they’re weeping. The flowers are white with yellow within the center.
  • Plumeria obtusa: The sort of plumeria has rounder leaves than different varieties and might attain as much as 20 ft tall. The flowers are white with a yellow or pink heart.

Plumeria Care Questions

Under are some questions you’ll have about easy methods to finest care on your plumeria timber.

How do I get my plumeria to bloom?

To encourage blooming, be certain that your plumeria tree is getting sufficient daylight. It must be in a spot that will get six to eight hours of solar per day. As well as, plumeria timber must be well-fed and watered. You’ll want to use a fertilizer particularly designed for flowering vegetation and water deeply about as soon as per week.

What are the white bumps on my plumeria leaves?

In case you see small white bumps on the leaves of your plumeria tree, it’s probably scale bugs. These pests drink sap from the leaves, which causes them to show yellow or brown. To do away with scale bugs, you may deal with your plumeria tree with an insecticidal cleaning soap or horticultural oil.

Does plumeria want full solar?

Sure, plumeria timber want full solar to bloom. They need to be in a spot that will get six to eight hours of daylight per day.

How usually ought to I water my plumeria tree?

Plumeria timber must be watered about as soon as per week, giving the soil time to dry out between waterings. The frequency could must be elevated throughout sizzling, dry climate.

What’s the finest fertilizer for plumeria?

To fertilize your plumeria tree, use a balanced fertilizer that’s particularly designed for flowering vegetation. Apply the fertilizer in accordance with the directions on the package deal, usually each six weeks or so. You can even add some compost to the soil round your plumeria tree each few months to assist it keep wholesome and pleased!

Plumeria Care

I knew the fundamentals of plumeria care earlier than I started researching for this weblog publish. I’ve realized a lot extra since and I hope you may have realized a factor or two about plumeria care as nicely. Be at liberty so as to add your individual recommendations on caring for plumeria timber under!

Nonetheless have extra questions on plumeria care? Let me know within the feedback part under!

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Report from Madison: inexperienced so far as the attention can see

Report from Madison: green as far as the eye can see

It took some time for me to comprehend that the majority the gardens we have been visiting in and round Madison, Wisconsin, had one function in frequent. It lastly sunk in as we have been admiring the serene – but putting –  Asian-inspired prospects on the Brazill/Golbach backyard Saturday afternoon (above and under). It was then that I remarked to myself: “Self, you’ve been 95% foliage nearly in every single place you’ve gone.”

Brazill/Goldbach (this was a pond)

“All over the place” was lots, BTW. Although the backyard excursions had simply began Friday a.m,, our group of bloggers had visited 11 spots by EOD Saturday.

Grosz meadow (grown yearly from seed)

You’ll be able to omit the meadows – by then we’d seen 4 or 5 of them – however even they have been principally inexperienced stalks topped by smallish blooms and, at this season, many nonetheless ready to bloom. 

The crops of the journey, nonetheless, featured lush, often-variegated foliage. Flowers weren’t required. Flowers weren’t missed, both. 

That mentioned, in fact all the pieces flowers, however I primarily keep in mind the leaves I noticed final weekend. Such leaves. There was a Chinese language mayapple (above) on the Rita Thomas backyard, which had a variety of woodland crops, a lot of which I’ve grown or tried to develop. And, certain, I’ve tried mayapples, despite warnings about their “aggressiveness.” Ha. I want. However this Podophyllum pleianthum was a lot bigger, with thicker, textured, subtly marked leaves, and, it should be mentioned, beautiful darkish crimson flowers (principally hidden).

Then there have been the Solomon’s seal on the Kuster house, with far more fascinating variegations than those I’ve.

And nearly in every single place, large stands of hakonechloa grass. Not everybody has this type of success with it. My suspicion is that it will like just a little extra extra solar that the label claims it wants, and certain extra moisture. It won’t be the savior for dry shade it’s cracked as much as be.

Essentially the most distinctive flowers I keep in mind seeing have been Martagon lilies, that are extremely popular right here – and no indicators of the vicious beetle. Everybody had the hybrids; I noticed not one of the pink species. In my backyard, I’ve additionally discovered that the hybrids are extra persistent. 

This journey to Madison was an affirmation for all of us who backyard in shade and who’ve realized to worth foliage and texture over bloom – which is one thing many gardeners come to do, whatever the publicity they’ve. 

It’s a yearly excursion taken by garden bloggers and the primary such journey we’ve had since 2019. Subsequent yr, Longwood is internet hosting. That needs to be a great one.

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June 28, 2022

Pollinator week has handed however we are going to proceed to rejoice pollinators all month lengthy with photos, tales, and backyard recommendation. Plant with objective, now is a superb time to create a pollinator-friendly yard or backyard.

Bees are Important!

What is definitely concerned in being a pollinator pleasant gardener?  First open your eyes to the complicated world that’s your backyard.  Pay shut consideration to the vegetation and creatures and the interplay between them. That is how the backyard will turn into much more helpful to pollinators—and to the gardener as properly.

Contemplate that pollinator might be one in all an amazing many creatures.  What a chance for studying!  These creatures have been important to life for a really very long time however they want all the assistance that gardeners can provide.  Solitary bees make up 90% of native bees and bumble bees make up the remainder. They’re social however dwell in small teams numbering within the a whole lot, not the various 1000’s of bees that make up honeybee hives. Now honeybees do great issues however your backyard just isn’t an almond orchard.  Native bees will do an amazing job pollinating the flowers together with the flowers of herbs and greens.

The gardener doesn’t have to know a whole lot of bee names to watch the variations between them and to start to see how they work together with the vegetation within the backyard. Settle for that wasps, flies and beetles are additionally concerned in pollination.  Watch out and observe them as they go about their lives. They’ve a spot on the planet so share the message.

Didn’t pollinator gardens was known as butterfly gardens?  Effectively, it’s an up to date designation however butterflies are an important a part of gardening.  Butterflies are pleasant and that is necessary. They’re an exquisite strategy to interact potential gardeners—that’s all people!

Vesta Crescent Butterfly on Hardy Ageratum

Bees are important however butterflies win “hottest insect” each time.  In fact, the pollinator backyard ought to appeal to and take care of them.  Flowers are what is required, plenty of flowers. Plant as many sizes and shapes as might be grown and never simply in spring however summer time and fall, too. That requires planning and naturally ongoing care however that’s what gardeners do.

 Everybody desires monarchs, after all they do, and that’s positive however don’t cease there.  There are such a lot of butterflies to study. On this space the backyard could possibly be visited by japanese black swallowtails, pipevine swallowtails, painted girls’, widespread buckeyes, plenty of skippers (some folks say they aren’t actually butterflies) however they’re pretty little creatures.  Snouts—really easy to acknowledge—sure they do have a snout.

Delicate hairstreaks love tiny flowers, there are dusky wings of assorted types. Funeral is a favourite with its darkish wings bordered with white.  So many and all are attention-grabbing and exquisite. Take the time to look rigorously. Truthfully, they’re simply as enchanting as monarchs.

Gardeners need butterflies—so take the following step.  Discover out about their host vegetation and attempt to develop at the very least three totally different varieties if potential.  Butterflies have an incredible means to seek out their host vegetation so eggs might be laid. Then the larvae hatch. Do they eat the vegetation? Sure. Do the vegetation then look ragged? Sure”, however with out this…no butterflies.  Don’t assume that is widespread data.  It isn’t and desires a superb clarification. By no means use pesticides, then clarify once more.  Butterflies and bees are bugs.  Diplomatic talent have to be used! A lot to study, however that’s the good factor. There isn’t a want for boredom!

There are a lot of sources of knowledge on bees, butterflies, wasps and butterfly gardening.

A terrific butterfly reference is “Butterflies of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas”

(By John M Pole, Walter B Gerard and John M Nelson from the College of Oklahoma Press) 

Lookup the Xerces society for info on native bees together with gardening and conservation info additionally. 

Susan Thornbury, Dallas County Grasp Gardener Class of 2008

Footage by Starla Willis, Dallas County Grasp Gardener Class of 2011

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Ought to We Have Moved to Seattle? This Gardener’s Coronary heart Says Possibly.

red panda podophyllum

Recent from chatting with the Northwest Perennial Alliance’s Hardy Plant Study Weekend in Seattle, Washington final weekend, and seeing the best focus of dwelling gardens (and enthusiastic dwelling gardeners) I’ve in all probability ever seen on this nation, solely to return again to the gnats, humidity, deer ticks and extremes of Virginia, it’s arduous to not imagine that the grass will not be solely figuratively greener for a gardener in Washington state — it’s actually greener.

The beautiful backyard of Joanne White in Redmond, WA.

I spent a lot of the three days I used to be there spewing a continuing mantra of both “What’s that, and may I develop it?!?” or the extra acquainted, “Rattling I want I might develop that.” Moss in all places. Ferns in all places. Lush, in all places. Even the nostril will get concerned within the rapture – pathway mulch is floor from native Douglas fir and cedar which releases a heat odor of Christmas tree lot whenever you stroll by means of a backyard. That’s not taking part in honest.

Oh and the opposite factor – Smug. Gardeners. In all places.  They know what they’ve obtained they usually’ve obtained it good.

Like nurseries. Dancing Oaks, Fancy Fronds, Far Reaches Farm, Windcliff Plants, ….ringing any bells people? Yep. Inside driving distance. After I requested the viewers how many individuals have been dwelling of their superb backyard, half of them raised their arms.  That’s spectacular.

At the back of my thoughts I’ve a greater than a niggling remorse that we didn’t transfer to this space 20 years in the past and simply order a few Seasonal Affective Disorder visors when winters began to put on.

NPA Symposium

Dr. Ross Bayton and Debby Purser from Heronswood on the brink of communicate on the NPA Symposium on the Meydenbauer Heart.

A couple of of my take-aways (not actually):


These bergenia leaves have been 7-8 inches throughout and belong (I feel) to a cultivar out of Nice Dixter – probably ‘Eden’s Magic Large’ ?



Pulsillata alpina. Whereas I used to be admiring this plant within the rock backyard of the Bellevue Botanical Backyard, a Scottish lady advised me that it does very properly from seed, and with no thought for ethics, grabbed a seed head and handed it to me with directions to sow instantly. About 100 gardeners stood simply behind me having fun with a drink and doubtless watching with curiosity. A kind of moments the place you’re concurrently horrified and delighted on the similar time.



Woodwardia unigemmata – a beautiful pink species of this architectural fern that really roots itself on the tip of the frond. Gorgeous. (Bellevue Botanical Backyard)


Cornus venus

The silky, sultry petals of Cornus florida ‘Venus’ up towards an ‘Ogon’ Metasequoia.


Aesculus hippocastanum 'Wisselink'

Aesculus hippocastanum ‘Wisselink’ rising, coppiced and beautiful as a shrub on the Bellevue Botanical Backyard. Fellow speaker, Vincent Simeone, (who KNOWS his bushes) shrugged and mentioned, “properly, you can strive it in your warmth for a pair years…”


red panda podophyllum

The podophyllum have been uncontrolled. Which is sensible since we EastCoasters spend hundreds of thousands of {dollars} yearly on delivery prices bringing these beauties to our gardens. Pictured: ‘Pink Panda’ (Backyard of Daniel Sparler & Jeff Schouten)



Pretty certain that is Podophyllum pleianthum (although I’m unsure I might know as mine certain as hell doesn’t seem like that). (Backyard of Daniel Sparler & Jeff Schouten)



Is that this ‘Spotty Dotty’ gone mad, or another great wishlist cultivar? RantReaders, I would like an ID. (Bellevue Botanical Backyard)

Big Dreams, Small Garden

Envy will not be a great factor. And then you definately go to Seattle.

I’m the primary to say that we can’t exist constructively or productively in a thoughts area of backyard envy – nor ought to we (which, sarcastically, was the whole theme of my presentation on the Symposium on my first e-book, Big Dreams, Small Garden).


The gardening was so rattling good, and the gardeners so rattling pleased, that upon touchdown again at Dulles and respiration deeply of the muggy swamp occasions, it was vital to my psychological well being to determine and give attention to the Pacific Northwest’s  weaknesses challenges. Right here’s the perfect I might do:

  • Though I used to be repeatedly advised that there was, apparently, a visual mountain vary on the horizon, it remained invisible throughout my four-day go to – even when the blue sky peaked out on my means again to the airport. Mt. Rainer is there. That’s some spectacular cloud cowl.

The co-president of the NPA, Alison Johnson, took this picture two days in the past and despatched it simply to mess with me. Appears suspiciously Photoshopped.

  • It drizzles there. And sprinkles, and spits, and mists. Seattle area truly will get much less rain per 12 months than my area of Virginia (common of 34 versus 41 inches a 12 months), and suffers a dry summer season local weather. Our wettest month is August.
  • Document breaking spring and summer season warmth over the past ten years has taxed the endurance of the perfect of gardeners, who can’t escape the warmth as soon as they’ve sweltered within the backyard as a result of most individuals don’t have air conditioners. We share solely the primary a part of that drawback, as we equip our lemonade stands with A/C, a lot much less our properties.
  • Median price of a single household home (in keeping with RedFin) is now $890K. Thanks Invoice Gates. And also you too Elon. (A reader jogs my memory that Mr. Bezos’ fingerprints are throughout that worth hike too. – MW)
  • Epic slugs.
  • There’s solely a lot seafood you’ll be able to eat earlier than you get iodine poisoning.

Makes me really feel so significantly better.


You recognize it’s unhealthy after they’re on the amsonia. (Within the pursuits of generosity, I cannot disclose this backyard’s location.)

At one level in our lives, a Seattle relocation was very a lot on the desk.

We have been planning a transfer again to the US from an extended interval within the UK, and have been making an attempt to determine (based mostly on high quality of life) the place within the US to maneuver our then little household of three.  

Having grown up and lived most of our lives close to one shoreline or one other, we didn’t wish to quit being comparatively near the ocean (lower than 4 hours); however our large scholar loans made it inconceivable to contemplate our expensive dwelling state of California, as our precedence was getting them paid off as shortly as doable.  Although we needed to stay rurally, we knew that it might take a great quantity of paying dues in city and suburban environments earlier than a rustic life might be our actuality. 

under deck garden

This beautiful and newly created grotto lives below a deck within the backyard of Tanya Bednarksi. I received’t present you an image of what lives below my deck.

At the moment, Seattle and environs had loads of job alternatives. Frazier was in re-runs on UK tv units, and it felt like an incredible vacation spot. From all accounts it was flipping beautiful, and the price of dwelling was higher than that on provide within the Golden State.  Mountains AND oceans. And lakes for that matter.

We began to suppose severely about it, the idealism of two 20-somethings trumping all else, together with rumors of drizzle and lengthy durations of gray skies.

Then one wet, gray Sunday, we discovered ourselves within the East London kitchen of pals Guisi and Oliver, making lunch after a failed BBQ, and speaking about plans. Our pals each knew that London’s lengthy gray winters and the [often] lack of a real summer season within the UK didn’t have an incredible impact upon the moods of a pair born and raised in ample sunshine (particularly a pair poor within the funds to vacation overseas often). They checked out us sideways as we gushed a couple of new journey in a brand new place.

Solely in Seattle. Trachycarpus and self sown candelabra primulas share area within the backyard of Joanne White at Novelty Creek.

Oliver, who traveled an incredible deal for work, and who was cleverly within the midst of relocating his household to sun-drenched Italy, pulled out a big atlas that supplied a schematic of the world’s regional climate patterns to sober us up a bit.  Over the UK was the sunshine blue overlay of “Maritime Local weather.” And there, on the opposite aspect of the world, this overlay solid its temperate however wet shadow over the Pacific Northwest.  He pointed exterior to the positioning of our ruined June BBQ for emphasis.

We sobered. Love was lifeless. Lunch continued in silence.

Later we went on to mindfully select a regional climate sample of “Summer time in Jumanji.” An thrilling seasonal collaboration between Singapore and Finland.

So significantly better.

gabion walls

Inspiring gabion partitions within the backyard of Alison and Andrew Johnson. Inspiring as a result of she and her son put them collectively over the course of a summer season and solved the issue of a tough slope. Andrew then constructed the steps.

Subsequent time I go to Seattle, will probably be for longer. I stay up for exploring the realm – its climbing, its gardens, its nurseries, and possibly even its long-term care properties.  And I’ll undoubtedly convey an even bigger suitcase – the nurseries are fabulous. – MW

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Feels Like Summer time

Feels Like Summer

Summer time has arrived and proper on time. Actually the day of the solstice, June twenty first the solar shone and has been right here ever since. The backyard makes me glad on heat summer time days and it feels as if it has been a yr for the reason that pleasure was felt at such tangible ranges. Right here then is an easy tour of Chickadee Gardens in the direction of the tip of June.

Textures and foliage colour are on the high of my record for plant selections together with hardiness, water necessities (low) and worth for wildlife. 

Magnificence and flowers are a bonus.

Night mild within the dry backyard.

A silver/purple/white border with Cistus ‘Paper Moon’, Nepeta ‘Dropmoore’, white California poppies and Stipa barbata.

On the base of the deck.

Additionally the bottom of the deck pulled again a bit of.

Grasses are starting to take off including texture and capturing mild.

That is the silver/purple/white mattress from the opposite angle.

Some brilliant colours from a distance on the fringe of the dry labyrinth border.

Textures and colours within the dry gravel backyard.

Foliage colours dominate on this a part of the dry backyard.

Wanting west on a heat summer time night.

Buddha is pleased with the sunshine.

Nassella tenuissima and Geranium himalayense ‘Irish Blue’ 

Shifting round to the entrance of the home the berm backyard in night mild.

The berm backyard from the opposite angle.

Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’, one in all my favourite deciduous shrubs is simply starting to bloom.

Our native Philadelphus lewisii in full aromatic bloom. The leaves look horrible this yr from the moist spring and doubtless fungus, however the flowers are superb.

Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Martin’s Mulberry’ planted final yr is a delight.

Textures and groundcovers battle it out on the high of the driveway.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’ with Acaena ‘Blue Haze’ and Sedum ‘Angelina’

The entire scene from a distance.

Deutzia scabra ‘Variegata’ within the rooster yard. Sometime I ought to do a put up simply concerning the survivors there.

One other rooster yard plant, Sambucus nigra ‘Pulverulenta’, – variegated elderberry.

The shade backyard on the left and high of the berm backyard on the appropriate.

Wanting west on the finish of the shade backyard. Maybe I shall do a put up concerning the shade lovers subsequent time.

A easy put up this week, primarily as a result of I’ve been so busy now that the climate is on monitor. We’re on the market caring for the backyard, chores, chickens, cats and each other. I hope you are able to do the identical. If it weren’t for the backwards route this nation appears to be headed I’d say it has been about as excellent per week because it may get.

That is a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. I hope this pause in your day has introduced a bit of sunshine into your world. Completely satisfied gardening.

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I am apparently thrilled by fundamental clean-up

I'm apparently thrilled by basic clean-up


This isn’t your typical “after” photograph, recognized on HGTV because the “Reveal!” What you see is essentially the most outstanding nook of my housing co-op’s HQ constructing the place I’ve been the volunteer landscaper/gardener for about 4 years.  (Photos here, with plant IDs.)

This spot won’t ever be a magnificence, with its outstanding utility panels and bright-yellow bollards defending them. And the vegetation are uninspiring, to say the least – new Liriope, with wood-chip mulch.

On the left are outdated Junipers with some English ivy on the higher trunks, slowly dying.

On the left finish, simply earlier than the gate into the workyard, are present Liriope, new wooden chips, and the stays of the now-dying English ivy.

I do know these scenes look completely boring to you all – they certain did to the chums I subjected them to. And nobody on earth however me finds them thrilling.

However hear me out and check out some “earlier than” views.

Earlier than

Over the winter some very spectacular, progressive and money-saving photo voltaic panels had been put in on the constructing’s roof. Yay!

The development crew left behind this outstanding nook lined in development particles, which shortly gathered weeds. It appeared uncared for and ugly.

Right here you see a number of weeds infesting the Liriope and English ivy climbing the partitions and bushes. Juniper branches hanging over the driveway had been being damaged off by vans. 

This finish was principally weeds, plus trash!

Extra indicators of neglect.


So I requested our Upkeep Division for some assist, and assist got here within the type of these two gents, seen right here pruning per my directions. Additionally they eliminated all the development particles across the utility panels and dumped some topsoil there so I may plant the realm with groundcover. A 3rd employee was required for that half, one with a front-loader to take away the particles after which return with a load of topsoil. All that took about an hour.

The Thrill of Clear-up

I’m embarrassed to confess how thrilled I used to be to have assist in cleansing up this space after which to complete the job myself, which took about one other hour.  You’ll perceive in the event you’ve ever been achingly bothered by trash and weeds in a outstanding spot – or any spot it’s important to take a look at your self – and had a sudden craving to scrub the rattling factor up your self.  This modest make-over has been super-satisfying to me! And with the ivy gone and the groundcover shortly filling in, this public-facing border will look tidy with virtually no effort, indefinitely. 

I’m betting that actually nobody feedback to me on this a part of my adopted backyard.

On the Sustainability of this Business Panorama

Certain, we don’t love Liriope spicata, which might be harmful the place it spreads into woods or perennial borders, however all by itself on this spot it’ll trigger no hurt.  And it was free and already lined 90 p.c of the realm. So it’ll shortly cowl all of the naked spots, stopping new weeds from taking maintain. It requires precisely no inputs, even water in an extended drought.

The tree-choking ivy is gone and the Junipers, the higher branches of that are frequent stops for birds, are freed of it.

I do know a few of you’ll nonetheless assume oh, why not plant a pollinator backyard there?  To which I say that is an enchancment, it’s self-sustaining with out a rise in funds or volunteer effort, and the pollinator-attracting flowering vegetation are simply across the nook alongside the entrance of the constructing. This utilitarian aspect of the constructing isn’t the place for a colourful present, anyway.

Am I the Solely One?

An trustworthy query for you of us. Do ugly, unkempt, weed-filled public spots make you loopy, too? Oh, I hope so. As a result of I’m feeling like the one one; in any other case somebody would have complained in regards to the uncared for state of this very public constructing way back and gotten it cleaned up. Proper?

Once I moved right here 10 years in the past I discovered the panorama a humiliation to the co-op.

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Guests – GardenRant

Visitors - GardenRant

We just lately visited some associates for an incredible supper. And have been touched to be advised, once we admired their sitting room, that that they had eliminated their tv in order that it might look higher.

It’s the type of factor I’d really do myself for guests, however I don’t often have the bottle to say so. I’m undecided why. I believe I hope to provide the impression that our home at all times appears so clear, tidy and, hopefully, enticing. Which, after all, is a good huge lie. We really solely have guests with the intention to encourage ourselves to get the vacuum cleaner out. I suppose too, we like to seem informal and spontaneous. As if….

The identical type of pretence applies once we open the backyard, after all. We don’t go away a hose mendacity round – they’re not notably fairly.

We clear the water within the swimming pools – within the first pool by raking off the algae, which handily brings out a number of the  duckweed together with it.

Duckweed on Pond

After! (typically)

Waterlily leaves at Veddw. Copyright Anne Wareham

How did we get it this clear??!

With the opposite pool – the Reflecting Pool – the duty is to take away the lifeless flies, pollen and leaves which litter the in any other case lovely floor.

Debris on Pool surface copyright Anne Wareham

Reflecting Pool at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

The water ought to look extra like this.  The hedges must also be lower, and we dedicate main sources to that job. The face of the yew hedge right here is one other story, which if you happen to’re into schadenfreude you’ll be able to examine here.

The identical job applies to the birdbath, which should even be topped up. And all of them may have blacking up. Which means mixing up some black food dye and including it to the water. You get black fingers however the course of is pleasant, watching the darker color unfold throughout the water, including nice attract for these of us who hate greeny gray pond water. A standard sight in gardens, sadly. 

Blackbird in Bird Bath at Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

The blackbird clearly likes it being black.

And we might perform a little even handed weeding …(cleavers)

We might even mow.

Lawn at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

We might clear up any instruments or wheelbarrows that are cluttering the place. Although I do appear to recollect a sure well-known backyard author saying she would go away some things like they communicated one thing concerning the backyard work. That it’s not performed by fairies at nighttime of evening, I suppose.

After all, as we all know, to our disgrace, the extent of the tidying and creating a great show relies upon slightly on the standing of the anticipated customer. Outdated associates, steadily encountered, might get a perfunctory mud indoors and out of doors maybe nothing a lot further in any respect. Until, – and right here is an added complication, they’re coming for a special day. Their birthday maybe. Or for a particular sweated over supper by means of return for comparable at their arms.

Don’t know what we’d do if the queen was coming. However we don’t appear to want to fret about that.

Paying visitors

Charles simply seen to the eager eyed, (in blue, gesticulating) giving an introductory discuss to a gaggle of holiday makers

Paying guests get all many of the backyard tweaks. And we desperately hope it gained’t rain, however that appears to be nonetheless out of our management.

Having paying guests has a bonus impact, which is that when they’re not coming the backyard is immediately ours once more, and that could be a pleasure. There are even some elements of the backyard the place we develop issues predominantly for ourselves – we don’t open in early spring, for instance, so now we have particular occasions visiting spring vegetation that are only for us. (and associates)

Erythroniums at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

Erythroniums only for us.

Then there’s a sudden query once we shut the backyard in October about what motivates us then to weed or tidy. It’s definitely not the Telegraph’s month-to-month injunction: ‘Plant and TIDY‘ !

I do know that these of us who don’t open their gardens to the general public should regard all of it as a horrible demand of effort and time. However when the backyard is de facto shining it does appear proper that we should always share it. Even when it does imply doing slightly sprucing up at occasions.

And do bear in mind, you could at all times go and have a pee once you go to individuals – they’ll have cleaned the toilet specifically.

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Conquering a Worry with Mates  – within the Backyard!

Conquering a Fear with Friends  – in the Garden!

June 22, 2022

A view of the backyard by way of the cantaloupe vines

The bottom within the melon patch is roofed with cantaloupe vines. Twice I’ve seen a rat scurrying for canopy underneath the leaves.  Regardless of many childhood summers on my grandparents’ farm, I discover the prospect of being in an enclosed area with rodents a bit off-putting to say the least. 

I informed my fellow rodent averse gardening buddies about it on a current volunteer workday. Unsurprisingly, nobody else was wanting to go on cantaloupe obligation. We determined that if all six of us went to reap the cantaloupe on the similar time, any creatures would flee.

A few us went contained in the fenced enclosure to reap.  Others served as melon spotters as a result of the fruit is tough to see amidst the dense leaves.  As quickly as we picked the cantaloupes we handed them off to somebody outdoors the fence –  – an enormous assist as a result of melons are unwieldy and there was no place to set a basket with out crushing the vines.

Working collectively we rapidly harvested 44 kilos of completely ripened cantaloupe that we donated to North Dallas Shared Ministries. We additionally harvested one other 12 kilos or so of imperfect fruit that we tasted and shared amongst ourselves.

Braveness has by no means been so scrumptious!

Success! Each the Ambrosia and smaller Sugar Dice varieties did nicely.

Beverly Allen, Dallas County Grasp Gardener Class of 2018

Images courtesy of Don Heaberlin, Dallas County Grasp Gardener Class of 2021

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