Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rural Delivery: Boundary Art


by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2002. All rights reserved.

Some people make a personal statement through their clothes or in the choice of car or truck they drive; some wear a particular style of hat or cut their hair in some unique fashion.

Other folks, particularly in rural America, express themselves by decorating their mailboxes.

Travel almost any rural two-lane still frequented by farm machinery and you're likely to come across mailboxes painted with flowers and flags and animals and astrological symbols. Some mailboxes simply have the owner's name scrawled across one side, while others are ornately decorated with bright colors or sculpted in the shape of houses, barns and old railroad engines.

Continued at... Boundary Art

Rural Delivery
Out of the Past
Collectibles
Artwork: Tractor Mailbox

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rural Delivery: Equinox


by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1994. All rights reserved.

We lie on the brink of change. Great storms are brewing. This is the week of equinox, when the Earth stands up straight to the sun before it begins to tilt again, northern hemisphere tipping outward.
   
At this moment everything hangs in balance. The hours of day and night are nearly even. There's some powerful physics at play.

Equinoxes are times of special powers. Calendars are created around them; crops are planted by them.

Continued at... Equinox

Rural Delivery
Out of the Past
Holidays and Notable Events
Artwork: Precession of the Equinoxes

Home Grown: Preserving Flowers


Wish the beauty of summer flowers would last forever? Try extending their beauty for months indoors by preserving them when they are at their peak.

Some flowers are easy to preserve: baby's breath, celosia, yarrow, statice, globe amaranth, strawflower and artemesia.  But every flower responds differently to drying and preserving. Experiment to get the results you want with the flowers you have.

Start with the best quality blooms.  Make sure the blooms chosen for preserving are at the beginning or the peak of their bloom and have not started to age or decline.

Continued in... Preserving Flowers


Home Grown
Flowers
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Dried Baby's Breath


Monday, September 18, 2017

Home Grown: Tips on Watering Trees in Fall


There's a lot of confusion as to when to water and when not to water trees and shrubs. Watering at the wrong time could increase winter damage and weaken your plants. So timing is a little tricky, but it's not complicated.

August was the time to slack off watering your trees and shrubs. Excess water at that time of year can keep the plants lush.  Plants that are fat and happy in August are too soft for winter.

But when the leaves have fallen, the tops of the plants are dormant. This is the time to water your woody plants deeply to help them survive the winter.

Continued in... Tips on Watering Trees in Fall

Home Grown
Trees
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Boy Watering Tree


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Home Grown: Don’t Dress Tree Wounds


Many gardeners have experienced that awful moment when the lawn mower or weed whacker accidentally comes in contact with the bark of a valued tree in the landscape and a wound is created.

No matter how careful you are, accidents happen, and then you’re left wondering what you can do to help the tree repair this wound. In most cases, the answer is to let the tree repair the wound on its own.

Upon being wounded, trees begin a natural process of callusing over the wounded area with new bark and wood. In the spring, when trees are growing vigorously, this process will naturally occur quickly. During other times of the year when growth is not as vigorous, try to keep wounded trees growing as vigorously as possible by fertilizing and watering.

Continued in... Don’t Dress Tree Wounds

Home Grown
Trees
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Tree wounds and diseases


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Home Grown: Taking Care of Raspberry Plants in Fall


Taking good care of raspberries in the fall is important for future productivity of the patch, according to University of Illinois Extension local foods/small farms educator Maurice Ogutu.

"Avoid overfertilizing and supplemental watering of summer-bearing red and black raspberries in the fall so that the canes can start hardening off. Fall-bearing raspberries can benefit from supplemental water in dry weather in order to maintain quality and size of the fruit.

"Do not prune any raspberry cane at this time unless it is seriously damaged or diseased."

You should only apply fertilizer and lime based on a soil test and plant tissue analysis. Some sulfur- and magnesium-containing fertilizers such as Sul-Po-Mag or Epsom salts can be applied at this time so they can be leached to the root zones of the plants.

Continued in... Taking Care of Raspberry Plants in Fall

Home Grown
Berry Plants
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Raspberry Plant Seeds

Monday, September 11, 2017

Home Grown: Adding Color to Autumn Landscapes


As the summer wanes, so do most of the plants in the garden. Whether you're looking at a foot-wide container or 100 square feet of landscape bed, your thoughts turn to the yellows, oranges and reds of a typical autumn garden.

Mums are plentiful at the garden center at this time, and they're terrific old standbys. They've certainly brightened many a fall garden.

But mums aren't the only word in fall gardens and landscapes. There are some other wonderful plants that can add splashes of color to your fall...

Continued in... Adding Color to Autumn Landscapes

Home Grown
Plants and Seeds
Flowers
Artwork: Asters