Tag: humor

Epic Fail in My Landscape

dead shrubsIn 2017, I designed and installed a whole new front foundation bed. It took almost a year for me to even design it, as I wanted to find the most obscure plants for my garden. No ordinary plants for me!!

I noticed a new plant being offered at a few nurseries of mine called First Editions® Amber Jubilee® Ninebark or it’s original name, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Jefam’. Basically, Monrovia bought the rights to ‘Jefam’ and changed it’s name to patent it.

Common Ninebark’s are native here, so I didn’t question the hardiness of this shrub. I thought it’s orange leaves in this variety would be a wonderful addition to my landscape.

Sadly, this spring they barely leafed out. All five shrubs are toast. At $45 a pop at wholesale, that was a hit to my pocketbook. Hubby will be doing me the pleasure of removing them. I’ve decided large perennials would be a better choice for this location. We will be painting the house next spring and they will be safe underground opposed to these shrubs next to the house. The replacement cost is five times lower, also.

So, what happened here!?!

Well. Here are a few thoughts that ran through my mind:

  • They were planted at the correct depth, mulched and watered correctly.
  • They were planted in the correct exposure, 6 hours of sun.
  • There wasn’t an herbicide accident or outside force that took them out.
  • No animal damage.
  • Yes, sometimes things just die.

As a horticulturist, I do take this personally. I don’t understand how something can just die on my watch! I do know there are forces in nature that we as humans can’t understand yet. I get it.

The thing I did find interesting is that these plants started being advertised by Monrovia in 2014. I’m not sure how long the original ‘Jefam’ had been around. In 2017, nurseries were full of them. This year, they aren’t listed in any of the inventories. This tells me that the plant wasn’t popular or didn’t over-winter well at the nurseries. If a nursery can’t keep a plant alive, who could?

In the end, I figured my story would make non-professional gardeners feel better. Things do die in the landscape, even under the watchful eye of an educated horticulturist.

PS – I wrote this post before I ripped them out of the landscape and didn’t want to do a whole rewrite…

There is another possibility/reason they croaked. Their root systems were very week and undeveloped, a nursery management issue. Nurseries sell by pot size and actual size. Most likely the nursery had many orders for these and sold them sooner than they should have from a recent upsize in pot. Immature plants with under-developed root systems survive just fine under drip irrigation and climate control. Once out in the real world (like kids after college), they don’t realize how tough the real world is. These ripped out of the ground with little effort, as the rootball was only he size of a softball. It should have been the size of a basketball, at least.

© The Naturarian

Courtship Dance & Serenade – House Finch Style

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) breed between March and August. Courtship practices can entail some crazy serenading like in the video below. After the female chooses the perfect, bright red suitor, she builds a nest, which is made of any soft material available. A pair can lay as many as three clutches of eggs in one summer, however they usually can only successfully raise two. The female lays 3 to 6 bluish or greenish-white eggs, with each egg weighing approximately 2.4 g that take about 14 or 15 days to hatch. The female incubates the brood and feeds the naked chicks for five days, then both parents take over feeding.

The nestlings leave the nest when they are 13 to 20 days old. The male continues to feed the fledglings for about two more weeks. (It’s actually quite comical to see the ragged-feathered dad with three youngsters in tow, all screaming FEED ME!!!) The female avoids this nonsense and begins to build a new nest so the cycle can continue…


© The Naturarian

Redheads Beware – Dutch Elm Disease is In the Air!

Last week, a BBC Radio broadcast featured an interview with an elderly academic, Dr. Clothier, who talked about the government’s efforts to stop the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, which had been infecting many of England’s trees. Dr. Clothier described some startling discoveries about the tree disease. For instance, he referred to the research of Dr. Emily Lang of the London School of Pathological and Environmental Medicine who had found that exposure to Dutch Elm Disease immunized people to the common cold.

Unfortunately, there was a side effect. Exposure to the disease also caused red hair to turn blonde. It is thought that the similarity between the blood count of redheads and the soil conditions is what caused the change. Therefore, redheads are advised to stay away from forests for the foreseeable future, until there are no longer any Elm trees in existence.

Red-blonde-Ombre-Hairstyle

APRIL FOOLS!!!

Dr. Clothier was actually the comedian Spike Milligan. This was originally pranked in 1950.

© The Naturarian

Why Mosquitoes Like You

1 Down – 632,764,231,897,752 to go!

Goodness! It is March 25th, 2019 and I just killed a mosquito that was going to snack on me. This is what was left of the bitch after I got through with her. Makes you want to think twice about messing with me 😉

She is a pretty powerful beast and I’m not tooting my own horn here, however she is considered one of the most deadly animals in the world! (Most likely just under human). She can transmit infections such as malaria, yellow feverwest Nile virus, Chikungunya, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses.

All it takes is a few days over 50F degree temps to wake her up from her hibernation. Yes, these bitches hibernate.

Another amazing fun fact – She can smell her dinner from a distance of up to 100 yards via carbon dioxide. So in lieu of listing off the many, many things folks use to repel these little sweethearts, I’m going to let you know how to avoid what’s attracting them in the first place!

Things that tend to attract these little darlings include:

  • People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin attract mosquitoes. That doesn’t mean that these dive-bombers prey on people with higher, internal levels of cholesterol, but those people who have more of the byproducts of processing cholesterol, which remain on the skin’s surface.
  • People who produce a higher amount of certain acids, such as uric acid (gout), can trigger a skeeters olfactory glands, luring them in.
  • Uncle Bob and his application of a half a bottle of Old Spice.
  • People wearing darker clothing.
  • People with type O Blood tend to get snacked on more, followed by B, with A coming in last.
  • People moving around and sweating, compared to the folks lounging on chaises.
  • The Drunks will get attacked more over the Sobers as alcohol raises temperatures and causes more flailing of the arms 😉
  • That being said about the sweating above, more specifically, these whores like old sweat. Bacteria on your skin will change odor after it has been snacking on chemicals in your sweat. So, if you had a rough day of activities, then slow down for a seat at the campfire that evening without showering, you’re essentially screaming ‘Bite Me!’.
  • Another fav smell of the incarnates of evil are smelly feet! It’s the double-latte-three-shot-espresso version of old sweat. You may not attract any human females with that stench, but the mozzie females will go nuts. Don’t eat Limburger cheese either. Did you know it was the same bacteria that makes your feet smell. Eauuuu!
  • Stop eating bananas, the added potassium makes you more attractive to bite. Eat more garlic and vitamin B1 instead.

I wish you the best in the upcoming season of itch.

© The Naturarian

This is Why MY Flowers Grow So Well

Aren’t these two just adorable?!? I love them! My neighbor gave them to me after I helped her set-up her raised garden bed veggie garden. I placed them right near our driveway for all to see. If you also find them a hoot, they are sold by many, just search for ‘pooping gnomes’ 🙂

Behind them: Penstemon pinifolius ‘Mersea Yellow’ (Beard-tongue) which bloom in June. A yellow penstemon? I had to have them! Their dominant color ranges normally are white to pink to reds. I’ve not seen these in anyone’s garden I’ve visited. My wholesale nursery only sold them one year and discontinued them due to lack of interest and unreliability. I’ve had these for 6 years now and although they haven’t spread much (sometimes a good thing) they plug along where they are at. They are located in a 10″ raised bed of composted, good draining soil – Southern sunny exposure – No irrigation.

Poop makes flowers happy!

pooping gnome     pooping gnome

Share your gnome photos below!


© The Naturarian