Thursday, January 26, 2012

Freeze it in the Summer

From the Birds and Bloom Magazine this little bit of wisdom is sure to please you. 

Shelly Jeanne's arrangement
 Birds and Blooms Gardening online edition

Frugal Backyard Tip

A Taste of Summer

In the summertime, I collect rainwater in containers, transfer the water into zipperlock freezer bags and store them in my extra freezer. In winter, when I need to water my houseplants, I set out a few bags to thaw and give my indoor plants a taste of summer in the winter. –Patti Cichy, Round Lake, Illinois

My Mom used to scoop snow and put it in her houseplants all during the winter and let it melt to water them. They loved it - even though it seemed they shouldn't like the chill of it.

Can't beat rain water for giving your plants a boost. Try it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Some Pants Are Hazrdous To Pets and Children,Do You Know Which Ones?

Just getting done with Christmas Holidays when Poinsetta plants (in more colors every year are making sure there is one to fit every decore) I'm reminded as are all pet owners they can be hazardous to our furry friends. But there are more plants that are dangerous to pets, children and even toxic to adults if ingested.

Some I was aware of others not - here is a short list from The DailyDirt Blog
1. Periwinkle

You may know it as myrtle or Vinca minor. It’s a popular groundcover in some parts of the country. It is pretty and requires little care--a perfect choice as long as your pets don't nibble on it.

2. Yew

Those pretty red berries (botanically referred to as arils) on English and Japanese yew shrubs are extremely poisonous to pets and people. Keep pets away from bark and leaves as well. Sounds like the whole plant should be banned (except they are great landscape plants).

The Flowering Quince is banned in some areas not because it's poisonous but because of its long, dangerous thorns. The hummingbirds love them, your neighbors won't if they have to mow near them. Trade offs I guess. I wanted a hedge of them to keep children and dogs out of my flower beds - but, they are considered hazardous vegetation, LOL.

3. Castor Bean

The seeds of castor bean plant are highly toxic. Just one or two seeds is close to a lethal dose for an adult. Wow, I've never tried to grow this one. I do have to wonder if its safe to work around or prune then?

4. Ivy

Another reason to rid our landscapes of this pesky invasive vine is that the leaves are considered moderately toxic causing gastrointestinal symptoms, difficulty breathing, and possibly inducing a coma if enough of them are ingested. This happens to be my sisters favorite plant in the whole world - so much so she even used her handle for the internet incorporating it...I'll have to send her this bit of toxicity information. I doubt she'll quite growing or decorating her living space with painted renditions though.

5. Sago Palm

All parts of the sago palm are poisonous, particularly the seeds. I have tried repeatedly to grow this one as a house plant, so far all my efforts have failed. Perhaps, because while I'm in my writing mode I pretty much ignore my plants and only the strong survive. {shame on me}

That is why I love plants that warn you they are thirsty - like the coleus - or the Swedish Ivy. Then I water everyone, whether they need it or not.

So be careful what you grow, or becareful how you handle what you grow. My kitten totally devoured my bamboo - no matter how I tried to protect it and how I reprimanded her...It must have been too delicious to reisit. Thank heavens she doesn't like the other plants that well.