October 26, 2021

Arisaema flavum

Arisaema flavumSomething new for my garden this year!  I ordered Arisaema flavum today and I’m planting three of these along the path on the side of the house.  I’m really hoping this will grow well for me.  I’ve not grown them before and to be honest, they were a little more money than I usually like to spend on something new.
According to what I’ve read, Arisaema flavum is the only truly yellow Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  It is a rotund and bright colorful variety that blooms in late spring to early summer.
The flowers are yellow on the outside edges with maroon interiors.  In the fall, red-orange berries replace the flowers, which return every year.
Below are the details of this beauty:
#1 field-grown plants. Arisaema flavum.

Category:

Bulbs, Perennials

Zones: 5-9

Light: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Deer tend to avoid.
Height:Arisaema plant

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:
3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towelArisaema stages
Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Wish me luck.
Happy Gardening!


If You Can't Stand the Heat…Get Out of the Garden!

Simple Strategies to Keep your Cool While Gardening

Heat Index Chart

Heat Index Chart

I had an unpleasant experience while gardening yesterday and I believe it’s one that many gardeners have experienced.  Heat Cramps.

Heat cramps are just one of several heat induced conditions that may be experienced by gardeners who subject themselves to working in hot and humid conditions.  Here, I have listed the most common and given you information as to how to avoid these conditions as well as identify and treat them.

I have experienced Heat Cramps a few times since I moved to the Southeast.  It gets so hot and humid here and although my intent is to work outdoors in the morning while it’s still cool, I often end up working in the heat of the day in order to get everything I want to do done.  Sound familiar?  The first time it happened I was scared enough to pay a visit to the emergency room where they diagnosed the problem and also gave me a scolding about using sun screen.

First, let me address that I am not a doctor or a medical professional.  All of the information I am about to post is from my own experience or was gathered from resources on the internet.  Should you experience any of these conditions and are not sure what they are, see a doctor!

However, after doing some research, I found several other heat induced problems worth posting in hope that if you are savvy about strategies for handling the heat, there’s no reason to put your garden projects to the back burner in the summer.  However, when temperature soar, watch for the following heat induced problems.

Heat Cramps are brought on by profuse sweating and the loss of body salt, heat cramps are painful spasms of the abdominal, leg, and arm muscles.  Cramping usually goes away when you firmly press on the area with your hand, apply warm wet compresses, and sip slightly salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to a pint of water), at 15 minute intervals.  It’s best not to resume gardening until the cramping has totally subsided.

Heat Rash – This condition, commonly called “prickly heat,” results from a temporary blockage of the sweat pores when skin gets waterlogged with perspiration.  The sweat damages cells on the surface of the skin, forming a barrier and trapping perspiration beneath the skin, where it builds up and causes the characteristic bumps.  As these bumps burst and sweat escapes, you may experience the “prickly” or stinging sensation that gives this condition its familiar name.

The rash generally appears on the torso and thighs, or in folds of the skin, especially if there is friction from clothing.  Because moisture aggravates the condition, it’s best not to garden in wet or damp clothing.  Symptoms of prickly heat may include itching, irritation (prickling), small blisters, or large red patches.

If you have heat rash, don’t apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your skin because they may further aggravate the rash.  Also, don’t use thick creams or ointments, which further block your sweat ducts.  Instead, make your own cooling lotion from equal amounts of witch hazel and rubbing alcohol.  For a soothing bath, add 1/2 cup each of cornstarch and oatmeal to cool water.  After bathing, blot, don’t rub, your skin dry.  If you keep the affected area cool and dry, most cases of heat rash will clear up in two or three days.

Heat Exhaustion – Caused by exposure to heat and excessive perspiration, this condition results in the loss of vital body fluids and minerals.  Unlike heat stoke, a far more serious condition caused by prolonged exposure to excessive heat, heat exhaustion isn’t usually associated with high fever or cessation of sweating.  One way to tell the difference is by the feel of the skin, which is hot and dry in heat stroke and cool and moist in heat exhaustion.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, paleness, nausea, headache, and muscle cramping.  If you experience any of these telltale signs, immediately stop gardening, get out of the heat, and drink plenty of fluids to combat dehydration.  Apply cool compresses to your skin and rest in a cool area.  With fluids and rest, symptoms generally subside within several hours.  It’s wise, however, to take it easy (translation, STAY OUT OF THE GARDEN!) for the remainder of the day, even if you do recover quickly.

Dehydration – To avoid the effects of dehydration, drink lots of fluids.  Especially cool water.  Drink a tall glass, 10-18 ounces, thirty minutes before gardening.  Then continue sipping (not gulping) 4-8 ounces every fifteen minutes while you work.  As a reminder, keep a pitcher, thermos, or bottle of water nearby for easy access.  Add freshly squeezed lemon, orange, or other citrus to the water, or try crushed mint leaves to enhance the taste.

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty or weak.  At that point, you’ve already become dehydrated.  When gardening for long hours in high temperatures, you may want to increase your salt intake. (Ask you doctor if this makes sense for you).  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a quart of cold water or lemonade, or drink a commercial sports beverage which already has the salt added.  You can also replenish lost fluids and electrolytes by drinking diluted fruit juices.  your body absorbs beverages better when they’re cold, not iced.

Remember too, that humidity, like we have here in the Charleston, SC area, challenges your body’s cooling mechanism even more than high temperatures alone.  That’s because it’s more difficult for your body to get rid of extra heat.  So be as aware of decreased sweating as well, which can be a sign of serious dehydration.

Stay Cool Strategies

  • Garden in a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Tie a damp handkerchief around your forehead and moisten it periodically.
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing in fabrics that “breathe” and wick perspiration like cotton.
  • Be prudent regarding when and where you garden.  Try to work in the morning hours or late in the afternoon.  If that’s not an otion, plant yourself in the garden’s shadier areas when the sun is most intense.
  • Try a “Minted Cooler” recipe below
  • Remember, many plants require full sun, but YOU do not!

Recipe for Minted Cooler

2 cups diced cantaloupe

1 cup diced honeydew melon

1 cup diced seedless watermelon

1 cup white grape juice

6 large Mint leaves

4-8 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and enjoy!

Stay Cool!

3 Excellent Bloomers for Fragrant Summer Nights

Balmy summer nights are the perfect time to linger near the garden and enjoy the intoxicating fragrance of flowers that release their scent after the sun goes down.  Here are three favorite annuals that release their fragrance at night:

Moonflower

Moonflower

Moonflower (lpomoea alba)  A relative of the morning glory, moonflower is grown as an annual in most climates.  For those who love the large blooms the Moonflower produces fragrant, white, 4-6 inch flowers that open after dark.  Grown as an annual in colder climates, this beauty grows year-round in warmer climates (Zones 8-11).  This night blooming vine is perfect for an arbor close to the entrance to your home.

Evening Scented Stock

Evening Scented Stock

Evening Scented Stock (Matthiola hybrids)  With pink, mauve, or purple 1 inch blooms, stock releases a strong, spicy scent at night.   This plants flowers have a very powerful fragrance!   A rather plain looking plant, what the Scented stock does not have in looks it makes up in fragrance that only happens at night. The perfect flower for a night blooming garden, you truly will be shocked at its strong fragrance.  I have this planted near entrances to my home and under bedroom windows.  Easy to grow from seed.  Grows 12-18 inches tall. Best in full/partial sun.

Flowering Tobacco

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.)  This fragrant plant’s scent is more intense at night.  Trumpet-shapped, tubular flowers open in the evening in shades of pink, red, green, or white.  This plant blooms repeatedly and grows 36 to 48 inches tall.  Perfect for much needed height to beds and borders, group it in cluster for more impact.  Sun to Partial Shade.  Warning: All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.

 

 


5 Amazing & Easy-to-Grow Vines

You can add color, texture, and height to your garden with fast-growing annual vines.  Use them as a natural privacy screen, a welcoming habitat for butterflies and bees, or protection against sun, wind, and unattractive views.  Here are five of my favorite varieties.

black Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata).  This is a fast growing vine!  Black-eyed Susan grows easily from seed.  You can expect this tropical twining vine to grow 5 -8 feet tall and have vibrant orange, yellow, or white flowers although other varieties are available.  This plant is good for a trailer in a hanging pot or a window box or as a climber on a trellis.  Plant in full sun.

Corkscrew Vine

Corkscrew Vine

Corkscrew Vine (Vigna caracalla)  Another tropical, this sweetly scented twining vine (also called a snail vine) produces silvery blooms with lavender-pink, coiled centers and curved outer petals that look like seashells.  Clusters of blooms grow 12 inches long; the vine grows 25 feet tall.

Cypress Vine

Cypress Vine

Cypress Vine (lpomoea quamoclit).  Another member of the Morning Glory family and a favorite of Hummingbirds and Butterflies alike  is the Cypress Vine.  This twining vine has lacy, fern-like foliage and grows to 20 feet tall.  It produces star shaped red, pink and white flowers.  Easy to grow from seed.  Full sun.

Cardinal Climber (lpomoea x multifida). Another easy to grow from seed vine, this vigorous twining vine grows 15-20 feet tall and some varieties will grow to 30 ft. tall making it an excellent choice for covering fences or walls. Cardinal Climber produces trumpet shaped, deep red flowers (hence it’s name) with white or yellow throats from summer to fall. Great for attracting Hummingbirds! A member of the morning glory family, this vine does well in full Sun.

Cardinal Climber

Cardinal Climber

Hyacinth Bean

Hyacinth Bean

Hyacinth Bean (Lablab purpureus). My personal favorite. I love this plant! This striking vine is actually a perennial but is grown in colder climates as an annual. Widely grown in Southern Asia and Africa where the ripe seeds and the green pods are used for food, Hyacinth bean produces fragrant purple flowers, 4-6″ long, followed by velvety purple bean pods containing eatable peas (I’ve never eaten any). The stems are purple too as are the veins in the leaves. Grows to 20 feet tall and is beautiful on a trellis.

Happy Growing!

Spices, Herbs, and Food Pairings for Salad Greens

saladgreens

Varieties can be identified at link below

      It will be easy to choose the right spices, herbs, and food pairings with this handy list of what goes with what. I keep a printed copy taped to the inside of my spice cupboard for easy reference.
  • Bitter Greens:  Chicory, dandelion, radicchio, escarole, and endive.  Season with garlic, olive oil, and bold vinegars.  Pair with citrus fruit, hard boiled eggs, aged hard cheeses, and sweet, salty, or smoky meats, fish, and cheeses.
  • Sweet Lettuces and Greens:  Pea shoots, sunflower shoots, red and green butterhead, red and green romaine, red and green looseleaf lettuce, oak leaf, and mache.  Season with fresh herbs, light oils, and sweet and light vinegars.  Pair with mild cheeses, shallots, and fruit.
  • Spicy Greens:  Mustard, cress, sorrel, turnip greens.  Season with bold oils, garlic, curry powder, minty herbs and bold spices such as cumin, rosemary, basil, and chile.  Pair with cooked onions and smoky meats, fish, and cheeses.
  • Sturdy Greens:  Arugula, spinach, beet greens chard, kale, baby bok choy.  Season with garlic, chile, herbs, and bold oils.  Pair with butter, cream sauces, cheese, citrus fruits, and smoky meats and fish.

Pairing information taken from an older edition of Cooking Pleasures Magazine.

Salad green varieties from above image can be found on the Epicurious website .

Garden Calendars

Today, while browsing my Twitter feed http://twitter.com/alison_dale , I found these very pretty and printable calendars from The Week-end Gardener’s site.  Each month gives you lots of gardening tips including what to plan, plant, prune, maintain, plus weed and pest control and fun projects for each each month of the year.

http://www.weekendgardener.net/do-list.htm

Enjoy!

Alison

Protecting Hummingbird Feeders

Hummer hat baffleProtect your hummingbirds with this transparent hummer hat that fits over your feeder providing shelter from sun and rain for the hummingbirds while offering you the ability to watch these wonderful little birds.  Keeps the squirrels at bay as well!

The “Hummer Hat” is the best baffle made for protecting your hummingbird feeder from squirrels and the weather.  Not only will it stop squirrels but it will also stop pigeons from roosting.

The 17″ clear red dome will never block your view and it is made from 100% recycled Plexiglas.

You’ll also love that it will increase the hummingbird activity around your feeder due to the bright red color which hummerbirds are so attracted to.

Easy to hang and the hardware is included.

Lifetime warranty.

Dimensions: 13.00 x 17.00 x 8.00

$35.00




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