Articles (Blog)
Posted on November 24, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I saw this picture on a Vegetable Gardening website, and just loved it!!!  Cabbages and Marigolds planted together.  
They said that the marigolds deter the cabbage white butterflies from the cabbages.  I've grown marigolds all over my garden for years, and the cabbage whites still come and lay their eggs on all things Brassica:  kale, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower.  Maybe I need to crowd the marigolds in closer to the cabbages.  Next spring...
Anyway, isn't this a great picture?  Wonder where they walk?  This looks like a commercial operation; they probably harvest by machine.  
Posted on November 23, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I know we still have another month of fall, but....
When we looked up at the sky on our walk the other day, this is what we saw.  It sure looks like winter to me.  At least it's not that cold yet.
Posted on November 22, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: Know your pets
How cute is this?  This is our new family member, Gizmo.  He came from the Valley River Humane Society in Murphy.  
He was found on Crisp Road on November 10, and spent 8 days at the shelter.  He was given the name Gizmo when he arrived, and it just fits him.  But we do call him other things like Squeeky, and Rascal, and Houdini.  He's about 2 years old they said, and weighs about 6 pounds.  Of course, while he was at the shelter, they neutered him, and gave him all those shots.  
We spent about 3 hours there.  We saw lots of kittens, maybe 30, and lots of adult cats, ages one year and up.  This little one came out of a box in the corner, as we were trying to decide which one to adopt.  He stole the show, not with any performance, but with his gentle, sweet personality.  We were sold.
We have been in animal shelters before, and sometimes it is heartbreaking.  I remember tears the last time I visited a shelter.  This time was different.  It was a kind and gentle place.  The people there were attentive and we could tell they were happy to be there.  The hardest part was seeing all those gray DSH (Domestic Short Hair) tabbies reminding us of Ranger and Blazer.  But all in all, it was a very pleasant experience.  
And we came home with our new fur baby, Gizmo.  
Posted on November 21, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
We have been seeing this in the park for the past couple months.  It just keeps getting bigger.  GROSS!!!
I put the Seek app on it and learned that it is Black Sooty Mold, Scoria spongiosa.  Now here's the interesting part, from Wikipedia:   Scorias spongiosa is a sooty mould fungus that grows on aphid honeydew.  It is found only on American beech trees, Fagus grandifolia.
Yep.  This is definitely American Beech.  And when we first noticed it there was a branch above this one, full of tiny white egg looking things.  Seek called them Beech Blight Aphids.  That was September 6th.  I didn't save the aphids picture, sorry, but the Wikipedia picture looked exactly like my Seek picture. 
Here's what Wikipedia said about Beech Blight Aphids:   Deposits of sooty mold caused by the fungus Scorias spongiosa build up below the colonies growing on the copious amounts of honeydew the insects exude.  The aphids do not usually cause much damage to overall tree health, but dieback is occasionally seen on very heavily infested branches. If infestations are heavy, twigs may die, but damage to the tree is usually minor. 
That's good news.  And fascinating information, if you ask me.  I love learning about this stuff.  Now when I see the aphids and the mold, I'll know that they are doing exactly what they were designed to do:  work together.  More good news.  ;D  
I guess it's not so gross after all.
Posted on November 20, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
You heard right:  FREE!!!  Two big, healthy Wisteria vines:  FREE!!!  All you have to do is go get them.  I'm not sure if the barrels are part of the deal or not.  They'd probably be too heavy to pick up anyway.  Check with Pete on that.  But the vines are healthy, and ready to grow someplace else.  
Nancy and Pete planted these Wisteria vines in barrels about six years ago.  They grew up over this pergola, and bloomed every spring, but they never got to see them in bloom.  Wisteria blooms in April, before they return from their home in Florida.  
Wisteria is an aggressively growing vine.  It needs plenty of space to grow.  More space than Nancy realized.  This pergola was swamped by the vines.  Our Wisteria vines have grown up about 30 feet into a copse of trees near the driveway.  They are so beautiful when they bloom.  
If you have room for them, I'm sure you'll love having Wisteria grow up into your trees.  And Pete will be glad to be rid of them.  
Posted on November 19, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Isn't it funny, it seems like the Bradford Pears were late changing color this year.  But it was this time last year that I wrote about the Pear Trees changing color.  In fact, last year I wrote about them on November 27th.  I think this is the same tree, on the curve above Al's house.
They just got started, then BOOM!!!  Cheryl said they seemed to change overnight!!  
When EVER they do it, they are gorgeous, and our neighborhood looks so pretty!!!
Posted on November 18, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
My friend gave me these beautiful dandelion greens from her CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm box.  Of course, I took them, cause you know how much I love green food, and wild stuff.  Not sure if these are wild or cultivated.  
I haven't ever seen dandelion greens this big, and I wasn't sure how to prepare them.  So I went looking through all my cookbooks:  Not much there, except, it did say to use the young leaves, because they are the most tender.  What do you think?  How can I tell if they are young?  Fresh, I can see.
I'll start by adding the little ones to today's salad, then cook what's left.  Keep checking back, I'll let you know if you should try them.......or not.  ;D
Posted on November 17, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
This is Chris's dog, Isabella.  She had fun planting with us.  She ran, she played, she chased us.  She wore herself out!!!  But you can see that she is satisfied with the work we did.  Isabella approved!
Did I tell you that we planted 100 daffodil bulbs?  WE DID!!!  In this garden alongside day lilies, at the top of the driveway, and all over his hillside.  Looking forward to spring!!!  It's going to be SO pretty!!!
Posted on November 16, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
What a gorgeous day to be in the garden.  We spent Friday morning with Al and Chris planting daffodils in Al's garden.  This is the best time to plant spring flowering bulbs, because it's still nice enough weather to work in the garden, and the ground isn't frozen yet.  
It doesn't look like much right now, but just wait til March when all those daffodils bloom!!!  I also planted 10 cloves of garlic along the back edge.  They'll come up in the spring too, and be harvested in late June.  
If you haven't planted your spring flowering bulbs yet, do it soon.  The cold is coming, and it's really NOT fun planting when you're cold.  
Posted on November 15, 2020 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: A story to share
We were on our west facing deck a couple days ago, thinking how beautiful this fall has been.  It's well into November and the colors are still bright.  
As we were sitting there, the clouds parted just in time to light up the hills, and let us see the sunset.  Wish you were here.
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