Four Photographs of June – Beautiful Invaders

This gallery contains 4 photos.

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 72 – Jewelweed

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“Jewelweed” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Impatiens capensis…  But much more commonly called “Orange Jewelweed”… Also less commonly known as “Common Jewelweed”, “Spotted Jewelweed”, “Spotted Touch-me-not”,or “Orange Balsam”… Is an annual native to North America… The common name “Touch-Me-Not” is a result of the seed pods which explode when touched…

Jewelweed was one of the first plants I attempted to use medicinally… I grew up in a small community called South Park, PA… For those wondering… It is directly South of North Park… The community is largely wooded and as a result I spent a large amount of time among the trees… We were a motley crew that lived a high impact lifestyle of building forts and tree-houses… As a result we got hurt a lot… A friend had learned of this plants use as a rash treatment in Boy Scouts… Because of this we applied Jewelweed to every wound and burn we got…

So imagine my disappointment a few years ago when I returned to this plant… As is typical I can spend a large amount of time digging for info… Sadly… One thing is pretty clear to me… The medicinal qualities of this plant can not be confirmed… In fact… Most professionals agree that the effects are most likely placebo… But as far as I am concerned… If a plant works for you… Then who cares what modern medicine says…

Last summer I noticed massive patches of Jewelweed dying in Frick Park… This makes me question whether or not this plant is affected by the “Impatiens Downy Mildew” that is currently ravaging my region… Making growing Impatiens all but impossible the last two years…

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So… I have a huge announcement coming next week… Literally… It is coming in the mail and should be here early next week… Made possible by a donation from a fellow blogger who will be thanked properly in the near future… Either way… I have a game changer on the way… Stay tuned…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_capensis

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 71 – Feverfew

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“Feverfew” – Summer 2013 – The Garden Table – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Tanacetum parthenium… But I am pretty sure we all know it as “Feverfew”… I was first introduced to this plant a few years ago in the form of a trade… I was told it was “Gods Tylenol”… It cost me a small chunk of my creeping Oregano…

Feverfew can be a little invasive if neglected… It is a profuse bloomer and has a tendency to reseed itself if the flowers are not dead-headed… This can actually become a bit of an issue mid-season because Feverfew does not bloom all at one time… It blooms progressively throughout the season…

Although Feverfew is a perennial… I would consider it a short-lived one… It just takes on the appearance of having a long life due to the fact that it reseeds readily… In my own experiences each plant lives for 2-3 years before “crapping-out”… Given the size of the plant at maturity the seedlings below stay relatively small… But once the primary plant dies the seedlings quickly come to life in an attempt to take over dominance… This can be helped along with a bit of selective thinning…

Tanacetum has a history of being used as a headache reliever and fever reducer… I am not a doctor and after a few hours of research I have found nothing but conflicting information… For that reason I am simply going to say this… Use any herb you grow with extreme caution… It is not typically the herb/chemical itself that will harm you… It is the reaction of that herb/chemical with something else you are taking that will harm you… Always research the medicine you take… Both holistic and “conventional”-(not sure what word to use here)… Remembering to go beyond the effects and specifically look at the reactions…

Again… I am the farthest thing from a doctor… But something I am sure of is…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feverfew

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 70 – Asiatic Dayflower

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“Asiatic Dayflower” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Commelina communis… AKA “Asiatic Dayflower” due to its blooms lasting only one day each… It is an annual that is extremely sensitive to cold… Even a slight frost will kill it…

I know what you are thinking… This plant is in fact a weed and it is borderline invasive… But pulling it is oh so satisfying… Asiatic Dayflower is a lightning-fast grower… It initially resembles a lily in shape and form… As the plant matures it starts to stretch… When in full vegetative growth the stem stretches up to a foot between leaves… Where the intervals occur the plant likes to branch… These branches tend to grow through each other leading to a massive tangle…

I have found that pulling Dayflower is more of an art form than an attack… I gently grasp a few branched and slowly pull… This plant has very shallow roots so it will slowly free itself… I can regularly pull the entire plant in one try… It is not uncommon to fill an entire lawn and leaf bag with one plant…

Also interesting is the fact that if left in the sun this plant will quickly dehydrate… A few hot days will shrink even a large pile down to practically nothing… What would take me 10 garbage bags to clean up can be done in less than one if you are willing to be patient and let nature do some of the work… When composting massive quantities of garden waste it is always helpful to spread it out on the ground and let it dry in the sun for a few days… Drying also shrinks the amount of plant material to be added to the pile…

The Wikipedia article for this plant is great and I can’t compete with it… I highly recommend reading it…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiatic_dayflower

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 49 – Hosta

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“Teeny-Weeny-Bikini” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – A mini/micro variety that grows no bigger than a fist…

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Sorry this post is running a little late… I was up late writing… As a result… I kinda slept in… If you consider 5:30 sleeping in… I again want to mention my online Q&A about Plant Guilds on February 14th at 2PM EST… #groundchat on Twitter… This will be my first time doing an online garden chat… Apparently… The audience ranges from 70,000 to a million people… Needless to say I am a little nervous…

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So… You might not know this… But my girlfriend and I are Hosta fanatics… Collectors if you will… Right off the top of my head I can think of 20 varieties we grow… A small number though when you consider the fact that there are around 40,000 named varieties…

A few years ago my girlfriend and I joined the Western Pennsylvania Daffodil and Hosta Society… You may be asking yourself why Daffodils and Hosta… The reason is that the dafs come up early in the spring… The Hosta come up around the exact same time the Daffodils are dying back for the year… The large leaves of the Hosta in effect cover and hide the withering leaves…

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“Earth Angel” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – A larger variet with light green variegated leaves… But the magic does not come from the leaves on this particular Hosta… The massive blossoms are heavily scented… Often reaching the farthest corners of my backyard… Especially after a rain…
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I wrote a poem about this Hosta last Summer – https://chriscondello.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/earth-angel/

Most people don’t know this but Hostas are edible… The tender leaves can be eaten raw… But I suggest you cook them up… The texture is reminiscent of spinach… The taste is really bland… It isn’t exactly something to write home about…

Hostas prefer shade… The large leaves of the plant make it ideal for absorbing little bits of sunlight… This is also the reason this plant does not do well in full sun… The large leaves absorb to much of the light… This results in what I call “sun sick”… Which is when a plant intended for shade is planted in full sun… The plant will actually overdose on sunlight… The result is a thin plant with small leaves… A result of the plant trying to cut down on the available leaf area that is absorbing the sunlight… Plants are smarter than you think…

Hosta propagates readily by seed… Simply leaving the flower stalks on the plants through the winter will accomplish this… This plant will also hybridize freely… The result… The 40,000 (and climbing) named varieties of Hosta we have now…

This year is the year I get my hands on an “Empress Wu” Hosta… The empress grows to 4′ tall and 6′ around… It is the largest hosta… When you see it… It looks like something that grew when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth… Truly a magnificent plant… One that I will buy this Summer… The hard part is finding a place to put it…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosta

For my Hosta related Practical Permaculture Post – Daffodil and Hosta

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 48 – Comfrey

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“Comfrey at the Peace House” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

We had freezing rain last night and the entire neighborhood is glazed over… I am going to try to take some photos when the sun comes up… I also wanted to mention that on February 14th at 2PM EST… I will be guest hosting a Q&A on #groundchat… The subject will be “plant guilds”… I will put the details together and update tomorrow… I am also doing a hands on fruit tree maintenance/pruning demonstration (with a short grafting demo if time allows) March 15th at a Community Garden in Bellevue… This is through growpgh… Registration at growpgh.org… Nevermind – Fruit Tree Demo is now SOLD OUT… I was not expecting that…

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Comfrey… You either love it… Or you hate it… I fall somewhere in the middle… Long considered a silver bullet in the permaculture and organic gardening world… And I will admit it is a very useful plant… But in my own personal experiences… I have noticed it is the go-to suggestion for the inexperienced gardener… If you have ever had to remove Comfrey you will know what I am talking about…

At one time Comfrey had a very bad reputation as being extremely invasive… Over time the sexual prowess of the plant has been bred out… The resulting plant “Bocking 14” is sterile… 99% of the Comfrey I come into contact with is in fact this sterile variety… This solved the plants rapid spread by seed… Sure… But it is still damn near impossible to remove… This is the reason I say only the inexperienced suggest Comfrey without a disclaimer…

I consider Comfrey a “borderline” plant… Meaning… It should be planted with care… You really have to take a good look at the gardener’s skill level… Comfrey is not for beginners… Comfrey is not for small spaces… Comfrey is not for the people who are uninitiated with a garden spade… There are other “nitrogen-fixing” options out there…

Bocking14

“Bocking 14” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue/Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA

Comfrey… As far as “nutrient accumulation” is concerned… Is really one of the kings or Queens of the plant world… There are very few plants that can compare to the amount of work this plant can accomplish passively… Although I warn of growing it… I do grow it… Just not in my own garden… I personally grow it in the yards of abandoned houses… Two or three times a year I walk around with my garden spade… I take my spade and place it at roughly a 45 degree angle where the base of the plant meets the soil… One good push down will sever the top of the plant… After I have harvested a decent amount… I take it home and mulch my gardens with it… After a few days in the sun black ooze starts seeping out of the plant… That’s the good stuff…

You can also take your comfrey and ball it up in an old t-shirt… When the shirt starts turning black… Throw it in a five gallon bucket of water for a few days… You now have nitrogen tea ready for immediate application…

Removal is a pain in the ass… But it is not impossible… Start digging 20″ out from the crown… Dig to a minimum depth of 12″… I go to 20″… Remove the soil and put it in a wheelbarrow… Go through it with your hands and remove the roots… Comfrey has a very deep taproot… Any roots left in the soil will potentially sprout so I put a layer of cardboard in the bottom of the hole… Backfill and carefully monitor… Persistence will pay off…

Every time the subject of Comfrey comes up… I learn something… Please feel free to add your own experiences to the mix in the comments below…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfrey

If you want my permaculture post on comfrey – Practical Permaculture – Comfrey Cautions

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 19 – Wisteria

Wisteria

“Wisteria Close-up” – Spring 2013 – North Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Wisteria, is very hardy and fast-growing… It can grow in fairly poor-quality soils, but prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soil… They thrive in full sun… Wisteria can be propagated via hardwood cutting, softwood cuttings, or seed… However, specimens grown from seed can take decades to bloom… For this reason, gardeners usually grow plants that have been started from rooted cuttings or grafted cultivars known to flower well… Another reason for failure to bloom can be excessive fertilizer (particularly nitrogen)…

Wisteria has nitrogen-fixing capability (provided by Rhizobia bacteria in root nodules)… So mature plants may benefit from added potassium… But not nitrogen… Never give fast growing bines Nitrogen… Wisteria can be reluctant to bloom because it has not reached maturity… Maturation may require only a few years as in Kentucky Wisteria… Or twenty… As in Chinese Wisteria… Maturation can be forced by physically abusing the main trunk, root pruning, or drought stress…

VictorianWisteria

“Wisteria-Climbing Rose-Honeysuckle” – Spring 2013 – North Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – Growing on a one-hundred year old Victorian-era home…

Wisteria is at its best when allowed to climb something… The support must be very sturdy… Because mature Wisteria can become immensely strong with heavy wrist-thick trunks and stems… Wisteria allowed to grow on houses can cause damage to gutters, downspouts, and similar structures…

Wisteria flowers develop on buds near the base of the previous year’s growth… Pruning back side shoots to the basal few buds in early spring can enhance the visibility of the flowers… Once the plant is a few years old… A relatively compact, free-flowering form can be achieved by pruning off the new tendrils three times during the growing season… In June, July and August, for the northern hemisphere…

The flowers of some varieties are edible… And can even be used to make wine… Others are said to be toxic… Careful identification by an expert is strongly recommended before consuming this or any wild plant…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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