Archives For August 2015

Candelabra Primrose

August 11, 2015

 

Candeabra Primula or Candelabra Primrose refers to species of primula, which hail primarily from the northern hemisphere with the greatest diversity, found in the Himalayan region, especially Yunnan, Sichuan and Burma.

The Candelabra Primose is worth growing for its sheer size and attractive flowers that clothe the stems in whorls. They are suitable for herbaceous borders or as marginal plants beside ponds and will thrive if given a place where the roots will not dry out during the spring or summer.

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Image Source:  http://threedogsinagarden.blogspot.com/2015/05/duff-doon-evers-part-3-woodland-gate-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/VAqDz+%28Three+Dogs+in+a+Garden%29

 

The candelabra primroses belong to the section Proliferae. As a group, they are easy to recognize. All produce rosettes of upright leaves from which rises stiffly upright flower stems 30-60 cm tall. The flowers are produced in whorls along the length of the upper flower stem. Each whorl opens sequentially with 6-18 flowers per whorl and up to 8 sequential whorls. This flowering habit means the plants are in bloom over a period of 4-6 weeks. This section is native to wet meadows, marshes and mountain streamsides of SW China (Yunnan, Burma, Sichuan, Bhutan) with one species found in Japan. They are hardy to at least USDA zone 5, but some are even hardier.

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They are great for planting along streams and garden ponds or in bog gardens. They will grow in both sun or part shade but require more water if grown in the former situation. Some are evergreen but most are deciduous and overwinter as a tight, acorn-like knob. They are easily grown from seed especially if the seed are fresh. They need 4-6 weeks stratification for maximum germination. Mature plants may be divided after they bloom.

The main pest is root weevil larvae which burrow into their thick, thong-like roots, causing the plants to collapse mid-summer. Biological control is available via predatory nematodes.

The term candelabra primula encompasses several species and hybrids that bloom in sunrise/sunset shades of yellow, orange, apricot and rose. The range of colors comes from the fact that the plants cross-pollinate so easily, so you can start with a pot of yellow and a pot of red, and after a few years you’ll have your own varied collection. It includes P. pervulenta and P. japonica  which are stunning sights when they bloom in early June. They are ideal to grow streamside in a lighted shaded area. Some, such as P. allionii are small plants for stone sinks and the troughs used for watering the livestock — items difficult to come by, as most of them have been snapped up for specialty rockery gardens.

If you are a fan of primroses and want to extend the blooming season of this lovely group of perennials, then why not develop a spot to grow the elegant candelabra primroses!

Sources: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/505#b#ixzz3iJNw9Lq8

http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/homegarden/article/The-Grounded-Gardener-Primroses-really-can-be-a-1265653.php

http://www.seedaholic.com/primula-candelabra-hybrids.html

 

 

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Make a Mosaic Walkway

August 11, 2015

How to make pebble Mosaic walkway

Pebble mosaic is an art highly popular in Spain and Portugal. The Plaza de Espana in Sevilla is carpeted in acres of river pebbles set in waves and the sidewalks of Lison swirl with exquisite black and white patterns. Creating a pebble mosaic pathway is an outdoor project that is off the beaten path. It will give your yard, your garden or your walkway a unique, distinctive and unexpected focal point. The amount of materials needed would depend on the size of the area. It is suggested that you practice with a smaller area before working on the huge one. Also create a project timeline to guide you through something like:

Friday: Sort out the stones, Saturday: Lay the base, set the stones, and let the concrete begin to cure and Sunday: Grout the stones into place. The materials are pretty basic flat pebbles or cobbles from a stone yard (or ordered online); concrete mix, gravel, and stone dust for the base. Below are the steps for making your pebble mosaic walkway.

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Image Source:  http://botb123.blogspot.com/2015/05/outdoor-space.html

  1. Spread out the stones near your project area. Rinse off dirt and grit, then sort stones of similar color and size into piles or buckets.
  2. Layout the mosaic – spread the sand to a depth of 3 inches in a sandbox made from scrap plywood or on a plastic tarp or sheeting. Do not vary the direction of the stones so they won’t shift. Lay them upright in a shape and design you like, they will be held together by the sand.
  3. Next step is prepping the site, the mosaic should sit higher than the surrounding ground so it won’t collect water. Dig out an area at least 1 foot larger than your mosaic on all sides to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Tamp 6 inches of paver base and a 1-inch layer of stone dust into the excavated area. Pour dry concrete mix into the center of the installation spot, and use a 2×4 to screed the mix to an even 2-inch layer that extends 2 inches beyond the mosaic’s footprint on all sides.

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Image Source:  http://indulgy.com/post/BnvoeLz4A1/pebble-mosaic-walkway

  1. Dampen the concrete mix using garden sprayer or a hose with a fine-mist.

 

  1. Mark the mosaic’s shape, you can use a large nail to make the ends.

 

  1. Place the Center Stone – bury the bottom third of the stones in the concrete mix to make the mosaic sturdy. Starting in the center, use a garden spade to dig a shallow hole in the damp concrete mix. Place the first stone on edge in the hole and pack concrete around it, holding it upright with your fingers.

 

  1. Lay stones alongside the center stone.

 

  1. Fill in the pattern.

 

  1. When the mosaic is complete, lay edging or a field of pavers, bricks, or bluestones around it to hold the pattern together. Fill any large gaps in the mosaic with a bit of extra concrete mix, then mist the mosaic to fully saturate the concrete beneath the stones, and cover it with a plastic tarp. Let cure overnight.

 

  1. Spread the topping mix – the more topping mix you add, the harder the mosaic will set. In high-traffic areas, fill the joints until the mix sits close to or flush with the tops of the stones.

 

  1. Lightly mist the topping mix until it’s fully saturated. Allow the mix to absorb the water, then let it cure for 30 to 60 minutes. Use a stiff-bristled brush to dress and shape the joints to your liking.
  2. Cover the mosaic with the plastic tarp to hold in moisture while it cures.

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Image Source:  http://indulgy.com/post/BnvoeLz4A1/pebble-mosaic-walkway

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How to video:  http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20367521,00.html

 

Broken China Jewelry Royal Cauldon Oriole Bird Sterling Large Oval Pendant

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Lady Bird Johnson is a hybrid tea rose bred by Eldon Curtis in 1971 in the US. It got its name when it was personally chosen by the former First lady, Lady Bird Johnson for its unusual, vibrant orange-red color and graceful form. This elegant hybrid tea rose has large, generously petaled flowers that open slowly and fully on tall, strong stems presenting a long-lasting display of energetic color and vibrant fragrance. It blooms in flushes throughout the season and makes a fabulous cut rose. It is heat tolerant and will grow in areas USDA zone 7b and warmer.

For spring pruning, remove old, diseased or dead canes and cut back canes that cross. In warmer climates cut back the remaining canes by about one-third and in colder area you’ll probably need to prune a little more than that. This rose requires spring freeze protection.

Image Source: http://www.twofloralavenue.com/category/cause-roses/

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Beautiful Lighthouses

August 7, 2015

There are over a thousand lights as well as light towers, ranger lights and pier lights in the United States. Majority of them were built and maintained by the Coast Guard since 1939 and its predecessors the United States Lighthouse Services. With the rising public interest in lighthouses, the Coast Guard has been handing over ownership and responsibility over running them to other parties such as the National Park Service under the National Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. Lets have a look at 10 of the most popular lighthouses in the United States.

  1. The Portland Head Light originally constructed over 200 years ago, is one of the oldest landmark of its kind in the US. It is located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine sitting on a land at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor, which is within Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. The lighthouse’s first beacon was created by a lamp that burned whale oil. Over the years the structure has been altered but much of the original lighthouse remains. The light was raised 20 feet during the Civil War and parts of the exterior were repaired after storm damage in the 1970s. The light station is automated, and the towr, beacon and foghorn are maintained by the United States Coast Guard, while the former lighthouse keepers’ house is a maritime museum within the Fort Williams Park.

Image Source: http://img.wikinut.com/img/1n0lw5xyfjr7vsdf/jpeg/0/Portland-Head-Light-in-Cape-Elizabeth,-Maine.jpeg

  1. Heceta Head Lighthouse in Yachats, Oregon is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for engineering and architectural excellence. The lighthouse sits on a cliff 1,000 feet above sea level. Visitors cannot enter the lighthouse itself but they are free to explore the grounds, appreciate the breath-taking views and hike along the 7-plis miles of trails that cross the area. The lighthouse is backed by a flourishing forest and was named for Spaniard Bruno de Heceta who was sent by the viceroy of New Spain to explore the area in the late 18th century. For those planning to stay overnight, there is a quaint bed and breakfast on site can accommodate 14 guests.

Image Source: https://emergencytoothdoctor.com/beautiful-oregon/beautiful-heceta-head-lighthouse-view/

 

  1. Pigeon Point Lighthouse Station, California is one of the most well-known beacons in the West Coast, situated 50 miles from San Francisco near California’s gorgeous Half Moon Bay. Originally named Punta de las Balenas meaning whale point, it was renamed in 1853 after the ship “Carrier Pigeon” crashed just off of Half Moon Bay. The structure of the building itself is unsafe so visitors aren’t allowed to climb inside but the Lighthouse keepers’ quarters have been fully restored and utilized as a hostel so guests can stay near the lighthouse. Whales, seals and other marine creatures can be seen from the lighthouse’s grounds.

Image Source: http://galleryhip.com/pigeon-point-lighthouse-sunset.html

 

  1. Cape Lookout Lighthouse is a 163-foot high lighthouse located on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was first list in 1859, it flashes every 15 seconds and is visible at least 12 miles out to sea and up to 19 miles. The lighthouse is situated on a coast where two opposing current collide and make for many hurricanes so it is surprising to The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is the only such structure in the United States to bear the checkered daymark, intended not only for differentiation between similar light towers, but also to show direction. The center of the black diamonds points in a north-south direction, while the center of the white diamonds points east-west. the lighthouse withstood the forces of nature.

Image Source: http://www.ncbeaches.com/Features/Attractions/Lighthouses/CapeLookoutLighthouse/

  1. The Boston Light sits on a small island in the outer section of the famous Boston Harbour. It was first illuminated in 1716 and was the first operational lighthouse in America. The Boston Light Tower is 89 feet tall and constructed from stone with brick lining. It remainds an active US Coast Guard aid to navigation and still has an official keeper though in recent years it has become overshadowed by the addition of more prominent Graves Light nearby.

Image Source: http://a013.uscgaux.info/Boston_light/boston_light.html

 

  1. Bodie Island Lighthouse is the third that has stood in the vicinity of Bodie Island on the Outer Banks in North Carolina and was built in 1872. It stands 156-feet and is often overshadowed by the nearby Cape Hattersa Lighthouse. Its renovation last year has opened the tower for climbing making it a must visit, must see in the region.

Image Source: http://www.outerbanks.org/listing/?lid=504

  1. Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota is a lighthouse situated southwest of Silver Bay Minnesota, USA. Designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham, it was completed in 1910 at a cost of $75,000. Every November 10, the lens in this lighthouse is illuminated in memory of the Great Lakes freighter Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in 1975 claiming the lives of 29 people.

Image Source: http://astrobob.areavoices.com/2010/07/24/whats-under-split-rock-lighthouse-might-surprise-you/

  1. Ponce de Leon Inlet Light is a lighthouse and museum located at Ponce de Leon Inlet in Central Florida. It stands at 175 feet and is the tallest lighthouse in the state and one of the tallest in the United States. The lighthouse became a National Historic Landmark in 1998 after its restoration by the POnce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ponce_Inlet_Lighthouse_01.jpg

  1. The Saugerties Light is a lighthouse on Hudson River north of Saugerties, new York built in 1869 replacing an earlier 1863 lighthouse. Its service to the Coast Guard ended in 1954 and it is currently managed by the non-profit Saugerties Ligthouse Conservancy which bought the lighthouse and restored it. This lighthouse provides one of the most unique visitor experiences of any light in the country. It has an inn that offers overnight accomodations for those wishing to experience early morning scenery. Visitors can wander up to the lighthouse and enjoy the views of the Hudson with the Catskill Mountains in the background.

Image Source: http://www.meetup.com/hvhikers/events/222769498/

  1. Block Island Southeast Light is a lighthouse located on Mohegan Bluffs at the southeastern corner of Block Island, Rhose Island. It was designated a US National Historic Landmark in 1997 as one of the most architecturally sophisticated lighthouses built in the US in the 19th century. The lighthouse has a small msueum and gift shop in the base of the tower and is open during the summer season offering guided tours to the top for a small fee that helpds towards the restoration.

Image Source: http://innharborhill.com/blog/tag/block-island/

Image Source: http://www.asergeev.com/pictures/archives/compress/2004/388/10.htm

 

 

Armeria maritima is a species of flowering plant. It is known by several names such as thrift, sea thrift and sea pink. Thrift or sea pink is a compact, low-growing perennial plant which forms a dense, mounded tuft of stiff, linear, grass-like, dark green leaves (to 4″ tall). Tufts will spread slowly to 8-12″ wide. Tiny, pink to white flowers bloom in mid spring in globular clusters (3/4-1″ wide) atop slender, naked stalks rising well above the foliage to 6-10″ tall. Sporadic additional flowering may occur throughout the summer. Flower clusters are subtended by purplish, papery bracts. The plant can be found in the wild in coastal areas across the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe, but also occurs in parts of South America. It is also a common sight in the British marshes. In the wild, thrift or sea pink commonly grows in saline environments along coastal areas where few other plants can grow well, hence the common name.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Armeria_maritima_2b.jpg

 

It is best grown in infertile, dry, well-drained soils and in full sun. The foliage mounds tend to rot in the center if it is grown in moist fertile soils. Keep in mind that a good drainage system is essentials. To encourage additional bloom, remove dead flower heads from the plant. Sea Thrift is great for edging, border fronts, rock gardens and wall pocket, it could also be massed as a ground cover for smaller areas. Sea Thrift has rarely been used for medicinal purpose especially for external use antibiotic poultice because it can cause dermatitis or local irritation but the dried flowering plant is antibiotic and has been used as treatment for obesity.

Image Source: http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/2149

 

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Smoke Bush – Smoke Tree

August 4, 2015

Smoke Bush or Smoke Tree is a genus of two species of flowing plants in the family Anacardiaceae. Smoke Tree is most widely known for its large billowing summer blooms that have a puffy cloud like appearance. It is native to the warm temperate northern hemisphere. The leaves are deciduous, alternate, simple, oval-shape and the flowers are clustered in a large open terminal panicles with a fluffy-greyish appearance resembling a cloud of smoke over the plant. It is widely used as a specimen tree with its attractive “smoke-like” appearance appearing in early to late summer. The tiny blooms slowly fade away in the late spring which is replaced by hairy-like filaments producing “smoky” billowing plume.

Image Source: http://www.daylilyparadise.com/purplesmoketree.jpg 

The American Smoke Tree is native to southeastern United States from Tennessee south to Alabama and west to eastern Texas. It is a larger plant often becoming a small tree between 10 to 15 feet tall, the leaves are also larger, longer and has a brighter fall colour, usually brighter than its Eurasian species.  Other selection of smoke tree include varieties with green or purple foliage changing shades of orange, red, or purple in autumn.

Growing smoke tree is quite easy and it is quite popular as a garden shrub. It prefers well drained or dry soil conditions and full sun. Cultivation is best in dry, infertile soils, which keeps the growth habit more compact and also improves the autumn colour; when planted in fertile soil, they become large, coarse and also tend to be short-lived, succumbing to verticillium wilt disease.

Image Source: http://www.wattersgardencenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Smoke-Bush-Royal-Purple-in-bloom.jpg

 

In planting the smoke tree make sure to dig a hole that is at least twice as wide as the container size of the plant and mix in a shovelful of compost. Be sure that the top of the root ball is slightly higher than the grade surrounding the perimeter of the dug hole. Fill the remainder of the hole with well drained soil and water.

 

rings

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