Archive for the 'Going Green' Category

Nov 17 2008

Indian Blanket Flower

Indian Blanket Flower

‘Gaillardia pulchella’

The Indian Blanket Flower also known as the Firewheel or the Sundance flower, is the official state wild flower of the State of Oklahoma. It blooms practically year-round in some warm areas, but more typically in summer to early fall. Legend states; the blanket flower was once all yellow and was a favorite of the Aztec Indians, years ago, young Aztec women would decorate their hair with crowns of the golden flowers. When Cortez came to their land and killed those who were living there peacefully, the much loved flower “caught the blood of the innocents as they fell”…..and to this day the red stains remain on the flower.

indian blanket flower in bloom

indian blanket flower in bloom

© 2007 photo courtesy L Watts

Blanket flowers are easy to grow from seed. The seeds can be sewed in early Spring and will bloom that same Summer. These hearty flowers thrive in much of central United States, all the way from northern Mexico to southern Canada. From the daisy family, the blanket flower petals are exquisite, each petal in itself is a flower, the colors are vivid and there are several color varieties available. The beauty of each individual flower is timeless, but a large patch of Indian Blanket flowers is a sight to behold.

© 2008 oodles of infOrmation

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Oct 30 2008

Storing Flower Bulbs Over Winter

Storing Flower Bulbs Over Winter


Depending on your location in the USDA plant growing zone, most tender bulbs such as Elephant Ears, Cannas, Dahlias, Gladioli, Lilys and others will need to be dug up and stored for the winter. Many who live in cold border zones, also refuse to take a chance with their heirloom Iris.

First be sure and dig the bulbs up very carefully and shake off most of the excess soil. Do NOT rinse them, or let them get near water. If they get wet at this stage, they will rot over Winter. Remember, your bulbs need to be stored in a cool, Not cold, dry location.
When deciding where to store your bulbs, there are 2 things that must be considered; do not let your bulbs freeze and don’t let the storage boxes / containers get wet. If you have a dry, cool secluded corner in the garage or basement, you may have the perfect storage spot.



blue iris in bloom

blue iris in bloom

© 2007 photo courtesy L Watts




Many gardeners wrap their bulbs in newspaper and layer them in boxes. Others save cardboard egg cartons for storing smaller bulbs. Many Master Gardeners suggest dusting the bulbs with a fungicide before storing. Instead of using cardboard others claim the best way to store bulbs is by placing in dry peat moss or wood shavings, place in a brown paper bag. My Aunt used plastic milk crates (available at your local retailer), recycled netted onion bags or even a pair of old tights. No matter which method you use, be sure and label your bulbs before putting them to bed so you will know which bulbs are which in the Spring.

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One last storage tip;
Make sure you store your bulbs where wild critters can’t get to them. After taking all of the time and effort to dig up each and every bulb, there is no sense in letting your sleeping babies become a Winter feast for the squirrels !

© 2007 oOdles of infOrmation

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Oct 27 2008

Going Green

Going Green




What does ‘Green’ mean to you ?

It seems as though everyone in the media is urging us to ‘go green’. Brand new hybrid vehicles are advertised with new marketing strategies, selling points for a new vehicle are now promises for reducing gasoline and oil consumption. Those who can afford Hybrids are indeed doing their part to help save our Environment.

There used to be Ecology clubs, newspaper drives, aluminum can drives and commercials on television about not throwing trash on the ground. Remember the commercial where the American Indian had one tear trailing down his face after seeing so much pollution ? It made an impact on me when I was a youngster. I know I cringe when I see anyone throw anything out of a car window when going down the highway. If you or your kids toss things out of the car window without thinking, you can Stop that habit today. Think before you toss out that coffee cup or your lunch trash or the plastic wrapping from a snack cake. With Todays financial uncertainty, you should thank your lucky stars you can afford to buy that ding dong in the first place !


Going green is changing your lifestyle by conserving, recycling and doing what you can to save the Earth’s resources and, by the way, saving yourself some money in the process.


In order to save money, we have been doing things out of habit for years that are now considered environmentally friendly. I am sure you and your family do things on a daily basis that you don’t even think about.

Tucan Azalea in bloom

Tucan Azalea in bloom

© 2007 photo courtesy L Watts

Here are a few easy tips to help get you started.

Conserving

Gasoline –

Grab a friend and share gasoline expenses –
One easy way to help save gas is by grouping errands together by location.
All you need to do is get organized.
Make a list of where you need to go and try to get most of your running done while you are out and about. For example if you need to drop off mail, get a gallon of milk and go to the dollar store for cookies :) stop and take care of the errand as you drive by. Instead of backtracking, write down what you need to get, where you need to go and the stopping
order will become evident.

Water –

The easiest way to conserve water is to keep it turned off while brushing your teeth. Many people let the tap run while brushing. That is an easy habit to break. Another way to conserve water is to use a dishwasher. Dishwashers SAVE water when compared to hand washing.

Electricity –


Turn the lights out when you are not in the room. Unplug anything NOT in use. Just not your clocks or cordless answering machines.

Recycling

Recycling is not new, it was a big part of the effort that everyone made during the World War II era. There was a widespread ‘Save the Earth’ campaign back in the early 70’s. Recycling is a big part of the newest media frenzy, this time around it is called ‘going green’. Same thing, same ideas, and it still works ! Consignment shops, barter boards, flea markets, yard sales, all seem to be flourishing. Here is a small example of something you can do to save money and recycle: If you can not afford to purchase the cloth re-usable bags when shopping, either return the small plastic t-bags to the store for re-cycling or use them in your home for small trash can receptacle liners. That will save you money by not having to buy the often expensive x-small bags sold at your local retailer. They are just the right size for that trash can under your desk or beside the bedroom nightstand. Is it snack-time for the kids ? Instead of using a paper towel or napkin for holding their trail mix, grab an inexpensive coffee filter. It is a little easier for them to hold onto their treat, and saves money for you in the process.

The old timers say – you don’t take what you don’t need and don’t use all you take. In this writers opinion, Becoming Aware of your personal impact – in your little corner of the world,
THAT, is what is meant by going green.





© 2008 oOdles of infOrmation


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