Garden blog postings

Garden Postings

Earliest: August 3, 2010Latest: November 16, 2015Total: 3

November 16, 2015

Hibiscus Syriacus

We have a couple of trees in our yard, and every year we get asked the same questions; What kind of trees are they? What do you do to keep them in good shape? Both of these trees were planted by the previous owner. I don't know exactly where they got them, but I have seen them at the Weston Nurseries, Inc. in Hopkinson, Mass.

Here are some notes about these trees in case you have them in your yard and wondering about them:

Hibiscus Syriacus Plant

Hibiscus Syriacus

This is the tree we have in the front yard, it's called a Hibiscus Syriacus Plant (Purple)

  • The flowers on the tree starts blooming just before Memorial Day weekend, and will continue to bloom until just before the first frost.
  • The tree gets a "flat top" trim every year, otherwise it will get out of control.
  • After trimming the tree, I usually have to find all the cut branches as they tend to get stuck between other branches.
  • The flowers are purple and leaves quiet a mess on the lawn in the middle of the summer.
  • We never had any birds try to nest in this tree.
  • We have successfully put Christmas lights in the tree, but had to shut them off because we had too many outside lights.
  • In the Fall, I usually trim off all the dead dry flowers off the tree. If I don't do this, they will still appear on the tree in the summer. The tree will just look strange with both live and dry dead flowers.

Kousa Dogwood

Kousa Dogwood

This is the tree we have in the back yard, it's call a Kousa Dogwood

  • Some people confuse this tree with the "Rose of Sharon"
  • This tree blooms very nice flowers in the spring and then has little red berry like fruit.
  • In some countries the fruit is used to made for wine. (This might be fun to try someday!)
  • The tree branches have grown a lot over the years, this year I plan on cutting more back to help it grow better.
  • Some birds have tried to make a nest but they never can find a stable spot.

August 26, 2013

Poison Ivy

One thing to watch out when your weeding your garden is Poison Ivy. I encountered this issue last week when I working on doing a massive yard cleaning.

As Rush Limbaugh would say "For those of you in Rio Linda..."

Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as poison ivy, is a highly poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching, irritation and sometimes painful rash in most people who touch it. (I have heard that some people are known to get irritation when the wind blows through poison ivy.)

I wore some heavy leather gloves when I was pulling out weeds, as many of the weeds were thorn bushes. I believe that I got contact with the Poison Ivy when I was putting the weeds into the paper bags. I didn't notice any redness on my arms till about 24 hours later. I don't know exactly where I got in contact with the Poison Ivy.

My reaction to Poison Ivy peak about 3 days later. I did take Benadryl ( Diphenhydramine ) and used some anti-inching lotion to help calm the inching. Some of it worked as I wasn't inching all that much. About 5 days later the palm of my hands started to have big bubbles and at some point they popped. It was at this point that I noticed that my reaction to Poison Ivy was going away or very much diminished.

I was told that the best way to get rid of Poison Ivy is to use Roundup. As pulling up the root of the plants isn't always 100% effective. However, in order to do this, you need to know where the plants are. Anything with three shining leaves is a good clue, but unfortunately that isn't always a Poison Ivy plant.

My two lessons from this:

  • When treated poison ivy will last about a week. Probably less if using prescription medicine.
  • Wearing heavy gloves is not enough to protect from poison ivy, make sure to also wear long sleeve and wash all clothes immediately after any exposure.

August 3, 2010

Chili Peppers

This year we are growing various vegetables in our garden and one of the really cool plants that are doing will is the Chili Pepper plants. They are just about ready to be picked.

I got the plants in the spring at the Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Mass. I have been watering them everyday that it didn't rain and made sure that there are no weeds around the plant.