Sunday, October 12, 2014

Are you Growing Marijuana in Your Garden?

More and more states are legalizing the sale of marijuana and this makes it a lucrative endeavor to say the least. But the growing of marijuana is a strictly controlled enterprise, with stiff penalties for the illegal entrepreneur. In Las Vegas where I live and garden, it is a daily news worthy event when marijuana grow farms either inside or outside are found, and confiscated.  Yet the high price of marijuana still makes it worthwhile risk for many people.  Now, back to the topic of this blog. I noticed several weeks ago an odd looking green plant growing out of my hanging planter. As it started to grow larger than the planter, I decided to transplant it into its own pot. Once I did it really took off and started to get big. It was still a mystery to me what the plant was.  This week a gardening friend dropped by and I eagerly showed her my “new” plant and ask her if she knew what it was.  After her shock, then laughter she informed me I was growing marijuana.  We laughed and laughed over this ridiculous “found plant” me for my naivet├ęs!  I will show some pictures of this plant, as perhaps it will help someone else identify this “illegal” plant.  Alas, it will go into the compost bin tomorrow.

DSC02889 DSC02890 DSC02891

My hardy marijuana plant. It is a shame to have to throw it away, as it is so hard to find good sturdy and hardy plants that will survive this intolerable heat.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Me and My Tea Roses

DSC02852 Joseph Swartz tea rose
I love roses of all types and classifications, but I do admit the antique Tea roses are my favorite. Maybe it is because it is the flower of my childhood. I grew up in Alabama and 1 in 3 homes had a variety of carefree teas growing in the yard. Teas love warm weather and they excelled in the southern climate. When I moved to Las Vegas I was apprehensive to plant my cherished teas but my wants overrode my common sense.  In the two years I have lived in Vegas with my cherished tea roses, they have thrived and outperformed beyond my expectations.  Roses seem to want to grow even in the worst of soil, climate and other perverse conditions. Antique Tea roses are not your average hybrid Tea, they grow bushy and spread and bloom freely and smell divine. They can grow to 6 f or 8 ft. depending on your variety. I have taken some pictures of a few of the teas blooming right now, the temperatures are finally in the manageable 90’s with cooler weather on the way.
Lady Hillingdon Tea rose
Lady Hillingdon Climbing Tea Rose
DSC02856
Safrano Tea Rose 
 
General Schblinski
General Schablikine tea rose
 
Lady Caroline Testout
Lady Caroline Testout Climbing Rose 
 
DSC02866 DSC02867 DSC02851











Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Garden Shed That Craigslist Built

Many people use Craigslist to find and buy remarkable items for low prices. I used Craigslist for “free” stuff and actually was able to build my garden shed with very little monetary outlay.  For those who are not familiar with Craigslist, it is a website where people can post items for sale or free items for individuals to pick up off the curb, locally. They are listed in all major cities in the US. It is a great place to find bargains. For me the “free” stuff and cheap stuff helped me tremendously in building my garden shed.   I also used the tutorials on YouTube to learn how to build a window and to make a door.  If I can do this, you certainly can too.

DSC01941  

When I first laid out the post it was for a an eight by ten building. I figured I needed the extra room.  In hindsight it would have been easier and cheaper if I had used an eight by eight plan. But since the plan was in my head, that explains a lot!


     DSC02167 
Initially we had to buy the 4x4x8 post to get started. I found the paver stones in the “free” section of Craigslist and we had enough to do the whole backyard, that was a great find! Plywood was also in the “free” section.  We did not pour a foundation but instead used the post as our anchor.
 DSC02630        DSC02826         
When we found enough plywood (osb board) we put the sides on.  I used scrap wood and a pane of glass bought at Home Depot for $6 and watched a YouTube video and made the windows. We used scrap from a trellis to make the porch.  The side window I found a really good quality window 3x5 slider for only $20 on Craigslist.

DSC02833

      
DSC02828

Home Depot has a section in the lumber area where you can buy some 1x6x14 scraps or inferior planks, for only $5.43 but if you  carefully examine the pieces you can get some really good ones and this is what we used for the doors and the trim and any other areas we needed them. Also.  Home Depot will cut the wood for free.   We used scrap leftover wood to make a porch roof.  We used a lot of furring strips these also were bought cheap for under a dollar.

DSC02836
DSC02832-001DSC02834 

This is the finished product for the front, minus a few shingles short on the roof. I will add some trim around the door later.


DSC02829 
For the porch roof,  we laid shade cloth across and then added furring strips, as I have a climbing rose on the side to eventually cover the roof.  We did have to buy the shingles,  Lowes has an excellent price on them, less than $30 a bundle. The whole roof took 4 bundles.  Watch Craigslist for shingles as they will have them from time to time.


DSC02841DSC02837

The purple chair I found along with a desk, couch, mattress and dining table all "free" on Craigslist.
I found tables and desk on Crigslist for "free" The desk is supporting the wood for the desk and the ladder to climb into the attic storage area.  The local thrift store provided the curtains and glass bottles, very cheap when you shop on the discount days. The Tin Watering cans at a local garage sale.
The flowering pots were free, for thoses I found them in the gardening section on Craigslist, and some in the "free" section.   The local goodwill had the larger planting containers and for these I paid $5 for one and #3 for the others.  The mesquite tree was another freebie on Craigslist.  I was in need of a tree but could not afford to get one so I ran an ad on Craigslist that said "Wanted small Shade tree 2-3 ft. tall willing to dig"   A lady called and had a thornless mesquite she grew herself and it was in a pot, ha no digging!

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Blooming Plants of Dog Days of August


As the summer draws near to the end of the Dog Days of August, most eastern and Midwestern gardeners are gearing up for the fall with a wonderful variety of plants to herald in the cooler weather and showy displays of color. Western gardeners, alas, have another month to go in the 3 digit temperatures as The Dogs Days of summer drag on to their delirious end. On the other hand, as we see the temps dropping ever so slightly the plants recognize this change and are waiting with their heads held high for their most glorious blooming period, enter the Fall. I have taken pictures of the sturdy plants still blooming and living despite the summer long intense heat. God Bless those hardy roses.
image
There is not another plant I know of that will bloom in the hot August sun like a zinnia.  They hold there little faces toward the sun and cheerfully bask in it’s glorious heat.  Notice the little varmint on this one?
The red roses I have (7) seem to not mind the heat, they bloom regardless, that goodness for the roses, when everything else stops blooming they take up the sword and march on.
clip_image002
This particular zinnia likes to look at itself in the small fish pond. The flowers just seem drawn to the water.
clip_image004
I grow my “love lies bleeding” plant into tree forms.  Growing love lies bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) can provide an unusual, eye catching specimen in garden beds or borders. Drooping panicles of deep red to crimson purple appear as the love lies bleeding flower blooms in summer. The love lies bleeding flower, also called tassel flower, and is an interesting way to utilize open space without a perennial commitment. The panicle on this plant looks like an elephant truck, very unusual.
DSC02801
Sheer Bliss (HT) and  Great Century (HT)
      DSC02802 DSC02803
Double Delight (HT) and Brandy (HT) and gillardia mix 
DSC02807       
Lady Jane Gray and Frederick Mistral (Romantica Series)
DSC02809        DSC02810

DSC02811        DSC02805     DSC02813
Purple and Yellow Zinnia are my favorite combinations
DSC02815      DSC02816
The ever faithful and ever producing Nicotania and coneflower, 2 self-sowers
      DSC02818 DSC02820
What would a summer garden be without a melon patch, even here in Las Vegas we can grow a bumper crop, these are self-sowers, I never know where they are going to pop up.
DSC02819        DSC02822
Lantanas, the staple of most western gardens because of it’s heat loving endurance and abundant flowers
DSC02823        DSC02824

Park Seeds

300x250