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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Susan H. Simko
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

Anyone else sitting with catalogs and stuff surrounding them in the
evenings plotting out what they're going to do this spring? *grin*

I just placed my order for seeds over the weekend with Seeds of Change.
Now I have to figure out what I'm digging up in order to put
more/different plants/roses in. (My excuse - the previous owner of our
house put them in so they're "fair game".) The s.o. just looks at the
catalogues with their post it note markers and notations and walks away
shaking his head. I keep reminding him, more plants = less grass to mow.

In addition, I just put in 10 blueberry bushes last week and am debating
about whether I want a dwarf fig and if I do, do I want it to be a
container plant or should I dig up the bradford pear and replace it with
the dwarf fig? Anyone have any experience with dwarf figs in the the
Triangle? *grin*

Susan
s h simko at duke dot edu


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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Patskywriter
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

.... i'm poring through seed catalogs, too, and just ordered stuff from park
seed and burpee; i'll send my mellinger order in soon.

i'm starting with a blank slate -- (new house w/scrub grass). my challenge is
to set up lush, full gardens in the front and back at minimal cost! out with
the "lawn"! who needs grass when you can have flowers!

pat
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
mgeost
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

"Susan H. Simko" wrote in message ...
Anyone else sitting with catalogs and stuff surrounding them in the
evenings plotting out what they're going to do this spring? *grin*

I just placed my order for seeds over the weekend with Seeds of Change.
Now I have to figure out what I'm digging up in order to put
more/different plants/roses in. (My excuse - the previous owner of our
house put them in so they're "fair game".) The s.o. just looks at the
catalogues with their post it note markers and notations and walks away
shaking his head. I keep reminding him, more plants = less grass to mow.

In addition, I just put in 10 blueberry bushes last week and am debating
about whether I want a dwarf fig and if I do, do I want it to be a
container plant or should I dig up the bradford pear and replace it with
the dwarf fig? Anyone have any experience with dwarf figs in the the
Triangle? *grin*

Susan
s h simko at duke dot edu


Hello, Susan-

Please use a kind eye when considering that 'the previous owner of our
house put them in so they're "fair game"'. Sometimes, previous
owners did the right thing and wonderful garden suprizes might appear.
Regardless, the odd tree or bush was probably carefully planted and
lovingly tended by the previous owners.

Unless, of course, it was a Bradford Pear and then you can hire
someone to come pull it up by the roots.

Cheers
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Emily
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

Oh yes indeed - garden catalogs are such fun! Just placed orders from Park
Seed and Johnny's. Can't wait for spring! We're starting with a new
construction yard (aka red clay heaven) so have a long ways to go, but at
least there's nothing to rip up. :-) We have no grass at all and don't
want it. House is in the woods, so mulch is our "grass".

We're also trying to do deer-resistant plantings, which limits the selection
but makes it challenging and fun to find good things to plant. So far have
had success with hellebores, ferns, foxglove, garden verbena, alchemilla,
iris, and lamium. The deer have munched morning glories and Japanese
maples. I keep the impatiens (which I know they love) safely on the front
portico, which is up a flight of stairs.

I'm buying seeds for mixed yarrow, tall white ageratum, and chives to add to
the mix this year, and I am sure I'll be taken in by some additional plants
when I go to my favorite nursery, Reba and Roses (in Hillsborough) this
spring.

Have fun!

Emily

"Susan H. Simko" wrote in message
...
Anyone else sitting with catalogs and stuff surrounding them in the
evenings plotting out what they're going to do this spring? *grin*

I just placed my order for seeds over the weekend with Seeds of Change.
Now I have to figure out what I'm digging up in order to put
more/different plants/roses in. (My excuse - the previous owner of our
house put them in so they're "fair game".) The s.o. just looks at the
catalogues with their post it note markers and notations and walks away
shaking his head. I keep reminding him, more plants = less grass to mow.

In addition, I just put in 10 blueberry bushes last week and am debating
about whether I want a dwarf fig and if I do, do I want it to be a
container plant or should I dig up the bradford pear and replace it with
the dwarf fig? Anyone have any experience with dwarf figs in the the
Triangle? *grin*

Susan
s h simko at duke dot edu




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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Patskywriter
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

The deer have munched morning glories and Japanese maples.

omigod! don't they realize how expensive japanese maples are?!

pat





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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Emily
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*


"Patskywriter" wrote in message
...
The deer have munched morning glories and Japanese maples.

omigod! don't they realize how expensive japanese maples are?!

pat


Heheh...fortunately mine were free ("volunteers" from a large tree of a
friend's), and they are not decimated, but the deer do take off all the new
little sprouting branches and keep them very well pruned. Funny thing is,
my "Deer Proofing Your Yard and Garden" book (by Rhonda M. Hart and very
good), calls Japanese maples and Morning Glories deer-resistant. Tell that
to my local neighborhood deer! ;-)

Emily


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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Patskywriter
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

omigod! don't they realize how expensive japanese maples are?!


come to think of it, i remember reading somewhere that if you hang bars of soap
among the branches the deer will go elsewhere ... ? does that work or is that
just a "wives' tale" ?

pat
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Susan H. Simko
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

mgeost wrote:

Please use a kind eye when considering that 'the previous owner of our
house put them in so they're "fair game"'. Sometimes, previous
owners did the right thing and wonderful garden suprizes might appear.
Regardless, the odd tree or bush was probably carefully planted and
lovingly tended by the previous owners.


I've lived with the plants I'm taking out for a year and a half now,
carefully observing the beds at all different times to see what's what.

I'm of a different mind when it comes to landscaping - if I don't like
it, I really don't have to live with it as tastes do vary. Just like we
painted the inside of our house to suit our tastes, I'm now crafting the
outside to better suit them also. OTOH, I will also admit that I've
left most of what was done by the previous owners alone and simply
expanded upon it.

For the most part, I tend to relocate things when I dig them up as I
don't believe in wantonly killing plants. Well, maybe except for the
mums I have my eye on now. (I really don't like mums that much.)
Besides, the spots are simply perfect for roses (one spot is right
outside one of our living room windows - imagine the fragance with the
window open!) and I *love* roses. The other upside is that the beds
will get more care as I tend to not give them the attention that I give
the other beds that are more to my taste.

Unless, of course, it was a Bradford Pear and then you can hire
someone to come pull it up by the roots.


Actually, the bradford pear may last another year. It does have one
advantage - the birds love the little fruits on it during the winter.
Anything that encourages birds into the yard can't be all bad. (We have
seven feeders in the yard with five different kinds of food.) *grin*
Besides, it's been pruned to reduce the deep Vs and is well away from
the house so any limb that does go will not hit the house. *grin*

Susan
s h simko at duke dot edu

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Old 01-05-2003, 05:44 PM
J. Fleming
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

"Susan H. Simko" wrote:

Anyone else sitting with catalogs and stuff surrounding them in the
evenings plotting out what they're going to do this spring? *grin*


Aaaaah, my favorite time of year--the dreaming season. For ten years now
I've been working on my five acres. I started with four acres of trees, a
few siberian irises and azaleas and now have eleven flower beds and a 50 x
60' vegetable garden and about three and a half acres of trees (much thinned
after the ice storm, of course).

Even though I don't particularly like them, I admit that I plant mums
because they are excellent cut flowers for the office and my daddy always
taught me to share the garden bounty. I only pull up the poison ivy (I'm
finally winning!), baby sweetgums and the ever present honeysuckle. Each
year I faithfully divide and transplant and now have more than just "garden
bones" with the last of the hardscape going in (paths through the woods and
a new bridge crossing the stream).

Each year our office has a massive plant exchange on Earth Day and so I get
new things for only a trade-in of what I have an abundance of myself. Thus
gardening is fairly inexpensive when I can resist the seed catalogs and
nurseries. I've also found out that this group is very giving and people
here love to share what they have.

I share my hostas with the deer that frequent our neighborhood and they have
left my two new Japanese maples alone. Though my pet ducks did a number on
my newly started ivy cuttings and a some pansies, while the goats decided
that my three rosebushes were quite delicious when I let them out while I
fixed their gate last weekend. My ponies continue to contribute an
excellent amount of free compost material and there is plenty to share if
people would like some.

My four birdfeeders need filling nearly every day now with so many winter
visitors. I spied a couple of brown-headed nuthatches shyly picking up
seeds. I've always had bluebirds that stay year-round, but this year they
discovered the woodpecker mix in my squirrel-proof feeder and make quite a
show of eating in the mid-morning sun (available at Family Home and Garden
and worth every penny!). I originally bought the mix for the woodpeckers,
and now have flickers, downy, piliated, red-headed and yellow-bellied ones
that feast each day. Of course the huge flock of bluebirds are spoiled with
the meal worms I put in four places when I feed my domestic critters every
morning. For those of you that don't know about it, Fitch's Lumber in
Carborro sells bluebird boxes for $5 at this time of year and I encourage
all of you to get some if you haven't. I have bluebirds that take turns
with my six houses with the chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and Carolina
wren's--which help with garden insect cleanup each year.

I noticed that my daffodils are sprouting, so it is time to rake off the
leaves and put down fresh mulch and find some spare time to plant those last
couple of bags of bulbs I couldn't resists buying on sale. sigh A
gardener's work is never done!

Bye for now,

Judi

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Old 01-05-2003, 05:45 PM
Kira Dirlik
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

On Wed, 15 Jan 2003 12:36:30 -0500, "J. Fleming"
wrote:

For those of you that don't know about it, Fitch's Lumber in
Carborro sells bluebird boxes for $5 at this time of year and I encourage
all of you to get some if you haven't. I have bluebirds that take turns
with my six houses with the chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and Carolina
wren's--which help with garden insect cleanup each year.

Thanks for the tip. I have been meaning to get some. I saw a pair of
bluebirds last week checking out the one bluebird house I have, but
the flying squirrels seem to be permanent residents. (I would like to
clean it out, and secure it better to the tree, but those little
shiney eyes peer at me every time I open it up to check if it is
empty.)
Kira


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Old 01-05-2003, 05:45 PM
Susan H. Simko
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

Kira Dirlik wrote:

Thanks for the tip. I have been meaning to get some. I saw a pair of
bluebirds last week checking out the one bluebird house I have, but
the flying squirrels seem to be permanent residents. (I would like to
clean it out, and secure it better to the tree, but those little
shiney eyes peer at me every time I open it up to check if it is
empty.)


I don't think I would evict the flying squirrels. I think they're more
uncommon than bluebirds in the area. I know I've only ever seen one in
the fifteen years I have lived here and it was dead. I had to get out
my mammal field guide to identify it!

FYI, everything I have read recommends that you don't put bluebird
houses up too close to one another. I've got two currently in the
backyard, about thirty feet apart. Both of them are housing multiple
bluebirds right now as they tend to get together (or so I understand)
for warmth. I'm planning on asking my neighbors in the next few weeks
if I can put up houses on the trees in their backyard so we can have a
true bluebird "string".

Amongst our feeder in the backyard, we have a bluebird feeder station
with bluebird treats in it, suet baskets and black sunflower seed feeder
that I see the bluebirds hitting heavily. They also seem to like home
made bread scarps and home made pancakes. *grin* There's usually four
or five in the backyard at any time and I love watching them. I'm
really kind of surprised as we live in a development (though on the edge
across the street from some major woods that house a pair of owls) and
only have a small lot.

Susan
s h simko at duke dot edu

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Old 01-05-2003, 05:45 PM
J. Fleming
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*



"Susan H. Simko" wrote:

I don't think I would evict the flying squirrels. I think they're more
uncommon than bluebirds in the area. I know I've only ever seen one in
the fifteen years I have lived here and it was dead. I had to get out
my mammal field guide to identify it!


How sad! I too would leave the box for the squirrels. When I first moved
to my current house some ten years ago, I heard strange noises at the bird
feeders at night. So night after night I patiently waited at my bay window
with flashlight ready. Raccons and possums and an occasional fox, but many
nights without the noise. After much patience, I was rewarded with the
sight of a family of flying squirrels leaping from tree to birdfeeders and
back again.

With a mated pair of barred owls and a resident pair of red-tailed hawks on
my property, I was afraid they were gone for good (like the one and only
fox squirrel that took to sunning on the slates). Then no sightings of them
for years. But the last couple of evenings there have been some very
squirrel-like rompings across the roof after dark and before dawn. I'm
hoping they are back again!

FYI, everything I have read recommends that you don't put bluebird
houses up too close to one another. I've got two currently in the
backyard, about thirty feet apart. Both of them are housing multiple
bluebirds right now as they tend to get together (or so I understand)
for warmth. I'm planning on asking my neighbors in the next few weeks
if I can put up houses on the trees in their backyard so we can have a
true bluebird "string".


Yes, yes! They do huddle together for warmth in the boxes. And the the
bluebird trail is a wonderful idea! My neighbors sometimes think I'm
strange when I show up with a bluebird box for free and encourage them to
put it up. I'm only half-way up the 1/2 mile cul-de-sac, but progress is
being made.

An important point on placing the boxes: 30 - 50' apart is right if they
are all out in the open and placed 4-6' above the ground level. If they
are at wood's edge or in the woods, please only expect nuthatches,
chickadees, Carolina wrens and titmice. Although last year I did have a
pair of bluebirds nest in the box that I put up for the Carolina wren that
insists on nesting inside of my garden shed (until I screened her out).
This particular box is placed under the eaves--where I have the hay for my
ponies and next to the dog run under trees. I can't figure why it was so
appealing to them, especially when I walk past and get things there a
minimum of twice a day. The wren was sure glad when they fledged their
group and could move in for their traditional two broods.

And back to more gardening conversation... Does anyone else have daffodils
poking up four or five inches like I do? This weather sure is going to
confuse some of my plants!

Oh, and one more thing that is just a charming description. A friend of
mine said that when she was little, her younger sister picked up a feather
from the ground as they were walking in a park and explaimed "Oh! What a
pretty bird leaf!" Their whole family still call feathers "bird leaves."
Only kids come up with something like that.

Judi

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Old 01-05-2003, 05:45 PM
Kira Dirlik
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

On Tue, 21 Jan 2003 10:55:42 -0500, "Susan H. Simko"
wrote:

Kira Dirlik wrote:

Thanks for the tip. I have been meaning to get some. I saw a pair of
bluebirds last week checking out the one bluebird house I have, but
the flying squirrels seem to be permanent residents. (I would like to
clean it out, and secure it better to the tree, but those little
shiney eyes peer at me every time I open it up to check if it is
empty.)


I don't think I would evict the flying squirrels. I think they're more
uncommon than bluebirds in the area.


Oh, I have no intention of evicting the squirrel. It has used the
house for 3 years now, but I'm afraid the box will fall down if I
can't secure it better. Anyway, that is why I was saying I need to
get more boxes... so the bluebirds can also have some to use.
I did see one more flying squirrel other than my resident... while
walking my dog in the woods at night... he was scuffling around all
frantic. I shined my flashlight and this tiny little beastie scurried
up a vine and away to safety. They are nocturnal, so a lot may be
around but you never see them.
Kira
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:46 PM
ncstockguy
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

Crazy weather and daffodils !!! We've got daffodils popping up all
over. I think this is the third year they've come up too early and get
their little heads nipped off by the cold. Any suggestions on how to
keep them from doing this? Are the bulbs planted to shallow maybe?
On the subject of flying squirrels and bluebird boxes...make sure your
blue bird boxes are on poles that are protected from critters... the
flying squirrel is mighty cute but they love to make a tasty meal out
of bluebird eggs and little bluebirds too. It's a cruel world out
there. Not to mention the black snakes and racoons that lust for baby
blue birds in the springtime...
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:46 PM
mhill
 
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Default What to do.... *grin*

i put about an inch of mulchsoil on top of the daffodils and haven't seen
them since. I'll let you know how they do this year. every year they have
come up in February and this year i thought i would bury them a little
deeper so i put an inch or two of soil cause i didn't want to dig op
hundreds of daffy's
"ncstockguy" wrote in message
m...
Crazy weather and daffodils !!! We've got daffodils popping up all
over. I think this is the third year they've come up too early and get
their little heads nipped off by the cold. Any suggestions on how to
keep them from doing this? Are the bulbs planted to shallow maybe?
On the subject of flying squirrels and bluebird boxes...make sure your
blue bird boxes are on poles that are protected from critters... the
flying squirrel is mighty cute but they love to make a tasty meal out
of bluebird eggs and little bluebirds too. It's a cruel world out
there. Not to mention the black snakes and racoons that lust for baby
blue birds in the springtime...





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