Shifting Sands

By on Mar 25, 2020 in Great Lakes |

The dictionary definition for the phrase “shifting sands” is to describe something that changes frequently making it difficult to deal with or to make plans. Sounds like life in the year 2020. The Bible definition would sound something like (Jeremiah 5:22) the Lord says, “I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.” In a year of erosion and virus I take heart in that verse. And I’m amazed by the temporary detail of the shifting sands collected by my camera lens. Here today gone tomorrow. This too shall pass. A day in the life of shifting sands as captured by my camera.             

“V” Gardens

By on Mar 20, 2020 in Health |

It was a man named Charles Lathrop Pack, head of the National War Garden Commission who coined the phrase “Victory Garden” during World War I.  Credit him because it was much more positive than “War Garden” and was used again during World War II residential plantings. These food gardens for defense were cultivated by civilians growing food to help the war effort, the troops, our allies and themselves. These gardens were located at homes, in public parks, vacant lots, baseball diamonds and work places. Lawns and flower beds were converted into vegetable gardens just like the automobile plants were converted over to building tanks and B24 Liberator bombers. A patriotic spirit brought agriculture to the cities. And metal which was used for war effort munitions was in short supply so neighbors shared garden tools like shovels and hoes. The idea of Victory Gardens contributed to...

Nature’s Toilet Paper

By on Mar 13, 2020 in Nature |

A lot of people are asking why toilet paper? With the recent Covid-19 virus warnings there has been a run on toilet paper in the stores. Hoarding of toilet paper. Well it’s a good reminder that people used the woods long before toilet paper was invented. And for comfort and absorbance some of nature’s foliage works best in the woodland’s wild. It’s obvious to steer clear of tree bark, poison ivy, or anything with thorns. You would think common sense would prevail. The bottom line is in a pinch, here are the 4 best natural options when the store shelves are empty.       Giant Mullein. Cowboy toilet paper. This has to be the obvious choice with thick large fluffy leaves. Cowboys would use this biennial plant out on the range. The range which of course was home. Difficult to miss, the plant grows 4 to 6 feet tall. Like major toilet paper brands it...

I have no I-Deer what to do

By on Feb 21, 2020 in Deer resistant plants |

Deer pressure in the landscape can be very frustrating. Some people reach the point they have “tried everything” and have no “I-Deer” what to do anymore. Last week sharpshooters from the USDA were in my neighborhood and shot 30 total deer permitted under our city’s agreement with the federal agency. (An authorized deer cull) A couple days later there were around 15 deer in my backyard as though nothing had happened. They ate my Hydrangeas to the nub. Don’t cull us…we’ll cull you. They walk right into the yard and begin feasting as though it is a buffet. One of these days I expect them to ring the “deer bell” and make a request. Oh my deer friends. We’ll talk about it Saturday on the Flowerland Show February 22 Podcast Deer Edition: Here are 4 pictures from my backyard to help get...

I Just Wet My Houseplants

By on Feb 6, 2020 in Houseplants |

In my book ‘I Just Wet My Plants’ I note that water is the number one killer of houseplants. Usually too much. We kill them with kindness. I took the following pictures to illustrate a couple of easy tips to improve your watering practices that maybe you haven’t considered.   It is a popular practice to put a houseplant in a coffee mug for desk, office or kitchen counter. Avoid planting directly into the coffee mug.  Coffee is hot.The coffee mug for obvious reasons has no drainage holes. Good for coffee but no so much for your plant.   A cache pot is a decorative container that holds a potted houseplant. Think of it as a pot inside a pot. The cache pot does not have drainage. The “grower pot” inside the decorative pot has drainage holes. By using a cache pot combined with a grower pot with drainage holes the plant will be healthier and it will make...