A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 84 – Kale

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

“Herleqiun Shake – Curly Kale” – Summer 2013 – Hamnett Place Community Garden – Wilkinsburg, PA – Harlequin Bug shaking its ass on a stunning Kale leaf… Shake that Brassica… Oleracea…

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…

6 Days to Go

I was first introduced to Kale in the form of a gifted plant… I had no idea what it was… And I had never eaten it before… So I grew it… In fact… I ended up growing lots of it… But I never really tried to eat it… Enough people around me liked it so I basically just gave it all away… That lasted up till two years ago… Simply out of curiosity I steamed some up… Sautéed it with roasted red peppers and onions… And fell in love… This year I plan on growing more than last year…

Kale has a tendency to get buggy… We are not the only creatures that find its leaves delectable… But given the fact that it is the leaves we eat… Spraying with any kind of pesticide… Organic or chemical… Is kind of a gamble… There is no silver bullet to the insect problem… I would recommend diversity as the most organic solution… Flowering plants attract predators… The type of predators they attract are not just based on the type of flowers you plant… But are based on the flowers coupled with the food source available… In this case… Kale and its associated pests…

Although diversity does not mean pest attacks will stop… It does mean your garden will be more biologically prepared to defend itself than if you had only planted Kale… A garden is a system… A system that requires many different parts… When one of those parts gets broken or eliminated the other parts wear faster and fail… It is our jobs as permaculturists to figure out what those parts are and maintain the hell out of them… When we find a missing part… We replace it… In the case of our kale… When a pest is identified we should immediately hit the books… Every pest has a predator… Every predator is attracted to something… Figure out what that something is and plant the hell out of it…

Windcrest Farms Companion Plant List – One of the better lists available…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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

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 83 – Sweet Woodruff

"Sweet Woodruff" - © chriscondello 2013 - Wilkinsburg, PA - Private Garden - Although plants will grow... Don't expect them to be the most prolific bloomers in your garden...

“Sweet Woodruff” – Summer 2013 – Private Garden – Wilkinsburg, PA – One of the few plants that will grow in the shady conditions under a Conifer…

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…

7 Days to Go

Galium odoratum… Common name “Sweet Woodruff”… Is a perennial plant that is built for the shade… It is deer resistant… Drought tolerant… And as the photograph above illustrates… Will flourish in the dense shade and rain shield underneath of a Conifer tree

Sweet Woodruff is a ground-covering plant that grows to about 6″ tall… It produces clusters of tiny white flowers that have a sweet scent… After the flowers comes a profusion of tiny “burr-like” seeds… The seeds are like Velcro… They stick to the fur of animals and therefore tend to get around…

As far as the garden is concerned… Sweet Woodruff is one of those plants that will grow just about anywhere you put it… Though it is happiest… And will bloom the fullest on the edge of full-shade to part-sun… I have also noticed plants exposed to a little bit of sun have a stronger scent than those grown in full shade…

birdy

“Stately – First Photo” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – So I got a new camera… Canon EOS Rebel T3… This is the first shot I took that wasn’t me just trying to figure the thing out… I absolutely love my new camera…

Purchasing this plant is really not necessary… If you know someone who grows it they will typically be more than happy to share it with you… As far as division and propagation are concerned… I don’t know how to candy-coat it… Grab and handful and yank… Take it home and bury a few inches of the root end… And BOOM!.. Your done…

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Yesterday was 65 degrees… Sunny and beautiful… Today it is going to snow… And tonight it is going down to 8 degrees… But Spring is close… You can smell it in the air… And you can feel it in the ground… You just need faith… Faith that there is always a rainbow at the end of winter…

And if there isn’t… Grow one…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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

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 82 – Lavender

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

“Lavendula” – Summer 2013 – Hamnett Place Community Garden – Wilkinsburg, PA – Lavender is one of those colors that my cheap camera had trouble with… In fact… Blue, Pink, and Purple were all difficult… The only way I could properly capture them was in perfect light… When the sun is high in the sky the light is a shade of blue… This tends to wash that color out of the photos… Sunrise and sunset are when the light is orange… That orange light is what allowed me to take this photograph…

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…

8 Days to Go

Lavendula… Commonly known as “Lavender”… Is pretty high up on my list of favorite short-lived herbaceous perennials… Something about the blue color of the flowers coupled with the silvery foliage makes it almost “alien” in the garden… This silvery-color of the leaves is a dead giveaway that it is of Mediterranean origin… Plants from extremely sunny parts of the world tend to have light-colored leaves to reflect more sunlight than they absorb…

Lavender is very easy to grow in the home garden… It is an essential plant for those looking for perennials to grow in a full-sun no-maintenance part of the garden… I recommend watering any new-plant for at least the first month or until the plant is established (for the sake of this post by “established” I mean the plant has resumed normal growth)… After establishment… Lavender will only need watered under extreme drought conditions…

Lavender does require a small amount of annual maintenance… It should be pruned in the Spring by remove some of the dead growth… Lavender grows from a single stem… As the plant ages it tends to form a clump at the end its stem… Over time the leafy clump grows away from the roots and the plant tends to flop over… Although the plant still has some life in it… I recommend harvesting and replacing… Once Lavender gets to a certain point there is nothing you can really do to save it…

Sometimes its just best to harvest and use Lavendula…

Lavendula – Plants for a Future Database

Lavender – From the Witchipedia

Now off to work and play… 60 degrees and sunny today… Muddy… But sunny… Then more snow tomorrow… So… Until next time…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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

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 81 – Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

“Lonicera maackii – Amur Honeysuckle” – Summer 2013 – Hamnett Way – 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…

9 Days to Go

Lonicera maackii… A shrub variety of Honeysuckle… Known by the common names “Amur Honeysuckle” and “Bush Honeysuckle”… Is an endangered species in its native habitat of Asia.. But it is a noxious exotic-invasive here in the eastern United States… So invasive that it has been banned in 5 states…

Lonicera japonica… Better known as “Japanese Honeysuckle”… Is another highly invasive plant native to Asia…  The big difference between “maackii” and “japonica” is the latter is a scrambling vine that can grow 30′ into the canopy of a tree… Japanese Honeysuckle forms a dense mat of tangled vine that regularly reaches 2′ deep… Any plants but the fastest growing species are choked out…

I have yet to get into a fight with Honeysuckle that I would consider myself to have won… Although I can eliminate it… It takes a great deal of effort… The bush variety (Lonicera maackii) must be dug out… This can be nearly impossible given the dense fibrous root system… Honestly… I typically call a friend with a truck… 100′ of chord and a choke-chain… Once they are popped out of the ground the issue of disposal will pop up… The last group of these I pulled probably weighed around 300 – 400 pounds a piece… In the end they required a front loader to load onto the dump truck…

I must admit… Being surrounded in Honeysuckle is not all bad… In the early Summer months when the air is warm and still… The sweet scent of Honeysuckle permeates the humid air… I swear… There is nothing like it… When the breeze blows the scent seems to travel with the morning fog… I tend to write about the scent a lot… To me… Nothing inspires like the sweet scent of Honeysuckle… After drinking my morning coffee for the past ten years among the smell of Honeysuckle… I look forward to it every year…

Another fun quality of Honeysuckle is the nectar contained within the flower is edible and sweet tasting… After picking the flower the base is torn off… The flower is now like a small straw… The taste of the nectar is sweet and minimal… Children love this… I have had the neighborhood children pick this plant clean… And not only were they helping me eliminate the chance of seeds forming… They were staying out of trouble… Even if just for a few moments…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science I recommend the following links

Honeysuckle – A general Wikipedia article

Lonicera maackii – The bush variety

Lonicera japonica – the Vining variety

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 80 – Clover

© chriscondello 2013

“Clover Sunset” – Summer 2013 – Hamnett Place Community Garden – 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…

10 Days to Go – Daylight Savings Begins

Trifolium pratense… Better known as “Red Clover”… Is a plant I regularly find growing among the fescue of America… Some people… Including myself… Are aware of the Nitrogen accumulating properties of this plant and therefore welcome the white pom-pom’s… Others… Like my neighbor Miss Lorna… And many other lawn aficionados the world over… Hate seeing clover interrupting their clean expanse of green…

I am not exactly sure of the numbers… But most of the chemicals applied to greenery in the world are applied to our lawns… More than all of the factory farms in the world… Golf courses alone consume a massive… And I mean a MASSIVE amount of chemicals in the form of fertilizers and full-spectrum broad-leaf herbicides… I grew up within walking distance of a public golf course… I remember a pond on the course that was always lifeless and an odd shade of greenish-blue… Never a good sign…

Clover is really a special plant… In fact… It deserves more than I can possibly give it… I am including a few links I have found useful in the past…

Trifolium pratense – The general Wikipedia article

Trifolium pratense – USDA

Trifolium pratense – PFAF – Plants for a Future Database for the uninitiated

Trifolium pratense – Kew.org

So I am off to Frick Park to collect seeds… Wish me luck… If all goes to plan I will have my own urban-meadow in a few short months…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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

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 79 – Japanese Knotweed

BleedingKnotweed

“Bleeding Knotweed” – Early Summer 2013 – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Knotweed and food coloring after a summer thunderstorm… Part of a series I shot last year…

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…

Fallopia japonica… Better known as “Japanese Knotweed”… Is one of my mortal enemies… I have spent more time than I would like to admit painstakingly removing this plant from both occupied and abandoned land… I have spent an equally embarrassing amount of time experimenting with everything from salt injections to M80s… Unsuccessfully…

Other English names for Japanese knotweed include fleeceflower, Himalayan fleece vine, monkeyweed, monkey fungus, Hancock’s curse, elephant ears, pea shooters, donkey rhubarb (although it is not a rhubarb), sally rhubarb, Japanese bamboo, American bamboo, and Mexican bamboo (though it is not a bamboo). – Copy and Paste from Wikipedia…

Knotweed is a seriously scary plant… It grows fast… It spreads by seed… And I mean it spreads… Here in Pittsburgh I see it everywhere… One of the most alarming places I find it is next to waterways… Specifically the three rivers here in Pittsburgh… The issue is the seeds float and are carried all over the place… There are now places along the rivers that although they were accessible a few years ago… Have now become so overgrown with Knotweed that they are completely inaccessible…

I should mention Knotweed is edible… The young shoots are relatively tender and resemble Asparagus… It can be eaten raw or cooked…

KnotweedPrimary

“Knotweed in Primary” – Early Summer 2013 – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – I have spent so much time removing Knotweed that it felt abnormal to work with it in a positive way… I think that is what struck me as interesting from this series… Instead of destroying the Knotweed… I was decorating it… I was starting to like it…

As far as removal is concerned I have yet to find what I would consider a trick or secret… It has to be dug up… Likewise… The roots send out runners that will grow new plants… These also have to be removed… The above ground part of the plant is waxy and because of this it does not absorb herbicides…

The only way around this is to damage the plant in some way… I often recommend cutting Knotweed down to 12″ stalks and applying an organic herbicide… Or chemical herbicide… I have to admit that while I am largely against the use of chemicals in the garden… I understand the use of them in a few select scenarios… Knotweed happens to be one of those scenarios… I swear it could be on the list of organisms that can survive nuclear fallout… You know… Right up there with Cockroaches, Rats, and Twinkies…

KnotweedTieDye

“Reptile” – Early Summer 2013 – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – This year I intend to film this process… The waxy leaves don’t allow the dye to absorb… Instead it flows along the veins like little rivers… I was just as entranced by the process as I was with the results…

These photographs were part of a series I did last Summer – Art After A Storm – I am particularly proud of that series… A rare stroke of genius from yours truly… I can’t wait to play with the idea some more this year…

My #plantaday posts have brought me a surprising amount of joy… I can hardly believe I am coming up on the final ten… It went surprisingly fast… Anyway… I think I am going to try to make this a thing next winter… I may even try to get other people to get involved… The database of plants we could create… I just think it could be incredible…

As a side note… I went looking for Skunk Cabbage blooms yesterday without any success… I also went looking for Snowdrops… Also without any success… If we can get a few warm days I will be able to finish out this series as intended… Fingers crossed…

Now off to play with my new camera… As always…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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

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 78 – Mock Orange

Mock

“Philadelphus” – Summer 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…

Philadelphus… Better known as “Mock Orange”… Named so because the blossoms somewhat resemble those of citrus trees… I can tell you a few things about this plant simply from neighborhood observation… At some time in history… My guess is around the turn of the 20th century… Mock Orange was a very popular shrub… I regularly find it in the yards of hundred year old homes… It is not uncommon for the base to be 3′ or even 4′ around… The wood is very hard… I have broken several sets of cheap pruners working with Mock Orange…

OK… Got that out of the way…

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Big news everyone… If you follow my blog you know photography is a big part of what I do… I think many people would be surprised to know that all of the photographs on my blog so far have been shot on a $90 point-and-shoot camera… To be more specific… I used a Samsung ST150F… And I have to admit it is a great camera… In fact… I will continue to use it… It has become a tool that I don’t see myself giving up anytime soon…

So… I have to admit that I am not the most financially stable person… While my friends were building lives and credit… I was using heroin… As a result… I am pretty much starting at square one… In order for me to be able to buy “big-ticket” items… The stars must perfectly align… Hell has to freeze over and pigs must fly… If all of these things happen during a total eclipse… I can buy something cool…

Well guess what… Thanks to my girlfriend… And a very special blogger – Alexandria Sage – Who I can’t possibly thank enough… I was able to get my hands on a brand new camera… I got a Canon EOS Rebel T3… Brand new… With two lenses… And thanks to my girlfriends incredible ability to save money… I was able to get it $200 cheaper than retail…

I am not sure if I would call it a miracle… But it is interesting how my entire life to this point is somewhat of an anomaly… I think most people would be insane… In jail… Or in a psychiatric hospital… Although I have been all three of these at one time or another… I am not now… I am stronger now than I have been in my entire life…

So there it is… I got a new camera… A camera that I honestly thought was way up above me… A camera that I thought I would never get…

Now the sun is up… And I have to go… I will do a much more formal introduction in the next few days… But for now… Now I have to go familiarize myself with my new friend…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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

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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