Monday, June 25, 2007
What do you get when a pitbull picks a fight with a porcupine?
A BALD PORCUPINE!
Comments: Apart from the fact that the poor pooch pictured above is mislabeled as a pit bull (she's actually a bull terrier), these pictures are authentic. They were originally posted on a community bulletin board by the dog's owner on May 25, 2005. The terrier's name is Inca.
"Thousands of quills were embedded even in her tongue," her owner explained. "The vets worked for quite some time to get quills out and even still could not get them all. The one's that are left will work themselves out over time. Inca is home and on antibiotics and pain killers."
In a follow-up post dated July 13, Inca's owner reported that "she is just fine and has just the odd broken bit come out once in awhile. Other than that she is back to her old self."
Moral of the story: Dogs and porcupines don't mix.
from About.com Urban Legends and Folklore
Now for some solid information about removing porcupine quills, see article at The Pet Center.com
Having watched our own dog and my mother's dog suffer with their first encounter with porcupines, I'm in favor of taking the dog to the vet and letting them anesthisize the dog, remove the quills rather than try to pull them out myself. We had a neighbor who's dog encountered a porcupine and the neighbor used a treatment that I wouldn't recommend or so we heard when we inquired if the dog was okay. Had to do with dousing the dog with gasoline and yanking out the quills. Not sure the point of using gasoline, but hey - it's still a shade of the wild west where we live, so who knows where this remedy came from over the generations.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Those first tulip bulbs I planted last Fall came up this spring! I'm excited. I know lots of people grow tulips, but these are my very first, where I planted the bulbs and watched expectantly in the spring for them to pop their shoots up out of the cold ground. Woo hoo - I have tulips.
Now I'm inspired to want to make a 'tulip garden', but it will be more like a bed of tulips. Just not enough space on our home plot to create my vision of lavender fields, tulip fields and daffodil fields. We lived in Mount Vernon, and Samish Island in Skagit county, Washington (state), so I got spoiled seeing the daffodil and tulip fields every year. I loved our time living in Skagit county.
Then a few years ago, we paid a visit to Port Angeles, Sequim, Hurricane Ridge (Washington state)and got my first glimpse of lavender fields a bloom. Oh, how I would love to have my own lavender field. I have planted lavender in my beds, and I have only just begun, but our home plot is just not anywhere large enough to permit me to create an illusion of any kind of blooming 'field'.
This year though, we had a speaking engagement in Eastern Washington, so we took a trip via the White Pass route. It was perfect timing, and I had no idea that Mossy Rock (Washington state)has a nursery growing fields and fields of tulips. So now I've found a mini version of Mount Vernon closer to my backyard and will make an annual trip in April to Mossy Rock to see the daffodil and tulip fields in bloom.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Got an early enough start this year on the vegetable garden. Sweetie turned the soil for me early - about March this year. And the weather seemed to warm up by April, so I went ahead and planted my seeds from last year. I had bought multiple packages at bargain price last year in a sell out at a nursery in Grayland. The weather didn't stay so warm, and while it didn't freeze either, nothing but the radishes and beets came up. So by June, I'm already disheartened about my vegetable garden this year. 2006 vegetable garden was a bust as the slugs won out eating all the cukes, zukes, and most other of the meager vegetables I planted last year. I'm determined not to grow vegetable plants for the slugs this year!
My neighbor had given me 2 elephant garlic plants two years ago. They came up nicely last summer and are doing well again this year, even though I've transplanted them to another part of the garden. My neighbor knows of a house that has been abandoned out in the woods, and he says garlic growing there is plentiful, so he brought me a bucket with several garlic plants (regular size).
Sweetie this year has really taken to some serious reshaping of our front rocked bed. He literally removed boulder size rock wall, dug out the hill of mounded dirt, flattened out the area, hauled dirt away, and carried the rocks back shaping a new wall. He spread some of the dirt at the back of the house, in area I hope to make another small vegetable garden area = full sun - south sun and will be good sun for growing vegetables. However, the dirt is clay through and through, and I didn't really think the seeds had much of a chance of growing in clay soil.
He screeted off the area, we covered in plastic. He moved bricks alongside the outside walls of the house to help keep the never will go away morning glory vines from springing anew. Then we spread the dirt. I placed the seeds and nothing - nothing has come up. But I really didn't expect those seeds had much of a chance in clay. Perhaps next year we will be able to get the right kind of enriched soil, compost, and realize my hopes of making that area a place to grow corn, beans and squash. This year it's a bust - at least in that area.
In line with Sweetie refacing the front rock wall, we closed off the entire section to disinvite guests from using to come to the front door. Previous owners had apparantely mounded up the soil - likely from digging out the soil to create a basement for this house which was post and pier with no basement when it was originally built in 1892. Previous owners must have created a boulder size rock wall to keep the dirt in place. Previous owners bought up the bricks from local high school in South Bend that was demolished to build a new school. With these many bricks, a bricked up basement was added to this house, a brick wall fence built, and with excess bricks, a pathway was laid to create a walkway to the front door. Unfortunately, it was laid on the hill incline with no hand rails and any human trying to walk that brick pathway was destined to take a fall. More so in the wet, slick rain and we get RAIN around here - known for it in the Pacific Northwest.
We have been fortunate that most people know to come to the back door, but there has been an ocassionaly visitor or two who didn't know better and actually used that treacherous brick walkway to the front door. I waned to make sure that doesn't happen again. Sweetie removed the bricks, and actually re-used the bricks to create a brick wall which walled off access. I planted one of the new Japanese Weeping Flowering Cherry trees I bought this Spring right in the center of what used to be the brick walkway. And now that Sweetie has resahped the entire front rock wall, it is looking more like a deliberate designed garden bed.
We decided to cut down the rhodedendron that Sweetie had shaped into a tree last year. Even though we had attacked the ivy that had overtaken the rhodie which had grown quite tall over the many years, ivy is unrelenting in reproducing itself! When it has had this long a number of years to grow, the older growth leaves turn round and produce berries, and becomes a whole other living plant, obliterating the original plant. So we cut the rhodie in front down to bare root, giving it one more shot at growing as a rhodie, and we will need to keep it clear of the ivy. Another neighbor thinks it is a lost cause and we should just remove it. But - we'll see....
Sweetie moved the beautiful orange flowering azalea. I think it is an azalea, tall growing and not close to the ground variety. If I'm wrong, and it is something else, that is fine, but nonetheless it has beautiful orange blossoms and is a real showpiece. I was worried it would not survive the transplant and cautioned Sweetie that he would need a very deep root ball if he was going to dig it out. It did blossom even after the transplant, so perhaps all is well.
I planted the second Japanese Weeping Flower Cherry tree in the front yard. That makes four new trees in the small front yard. Three are the bare root trees we ordered from a membership with National Arbor the first year we moved here. Those bare root trees are doing nicely now in their fourth year growing. They are the heighth of shrubs and it will be a few more years before they actually become trees, and like all those other folks who make the mistake of planting too closely together, I think I have done likewise despite my plans to ensure they were planted with their mature size in mind.
Since the vegetable garden isn't going anywhere this year, I picked up some starter vegetable plants at the garden center of our one and only department store in the area in Raymond. Oh, I am too hard on myself. Ooops, the corn and bush beans that I planted are coming up, along with the beets and the radish did quite nicely. But then radish usually does for just about everyone. I planted some starter zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, one pumpkin. I put in more seeds for pumpkins, acorn squash and if those come up or even some of those seeds come up, then good for us.
This year, the strawberry plants have multiplied themselves plentifully, so my four original plants have become many now. I realized when I planted them that the place I was planting them would become too confined it they did multiply and that I would have to transplant and move them when that time came. This was the year of that time, so I moved them into a larger bed with more hours of sunlight. Some won't survive the move, but others are showing that they will be okay. The berries are turning red now that they are getting more sunlight. I moved them to where the iris bed has been, and the iris have done right nicely with so many blooms this year. I needed to thin the iris anyway, and needed the bed they were in, so I am still trying to decide where to move the iris, which I already pulled up and are laying out under the tree in the shade waiting for me to find them a home. It's been too many days since I dug them up, so I will likely lose many once I do get them planted again.
In front flower bed under the bank of windows, I planted three heathers and two azaleas this year. The three rose bushes from previous years are not doing so well, and one has seemed to die again - same spot as the one before it. Bad spot for rose bush. I have decided I have approached this bed all wrong. What I need is some low growing but bushy type specimens that will grow about halfway up and provide covering for the concreted part of the basement that shows there. Either in the fall or early next year, I will move all those plants, rose bushes too, and plant something else in that bed. I have some dahlia bulbs to plant this year.
Speaking of rose bushes, the three in the back yard aren't doing so well this year either. I had planted a package of seeds - money tree plants - there and those didn't grow up last year when I planted them but did this year - big time! So I will have some money tree plants that I can dry and use for flower arrangements - that will be fun. But the roses they have grown up around are struggling this year and I don't know if there is a correlation.
That about wraps it up for so far in 2007 season, but is only June, and the season is far from over. One of my intended projects for this year is to place a red lava rock walkway from the front door to the road as the new inviting walkway for guests to come to the front door. I will need to buy the lava rock. I need also much more enriched soil, and I want actually compost this year to amend the soil in the vegetable garden. I want hay this year to cover the garden through the winter months and keep down the weeds. I want an electric roto-tiller so that even I can turn the soil and till the garden come next spring.
I'm still thinking that I want to extend or have more vegetable garden beds, but I think we might do the raised beds approach, in which case that can be added along the way anytime in the years ahead.
And lastly, while I'm feeling like I have not been attentive to my yard and garden, all of May (Mother's Day month) was about being gone - trip to Spokane forBloomsday Marathon where my oldest daughter ran/walked; trip to Hawaii to visit my younger daughter who had a surprise 'graduation' that I knew nothing about so they surprised me royally with keeping that a secret and a surprise and being with my six grandchildren (three per daughter) was a delight. Visit to Portland and lunch and zoo with my son and most of May 2007 was spent in the most delightful mothers day month!
Return home and attending to our dog, Jake, who popped his acl (anterior cruciate ligament) so was reduced to three legs. The vet performed surgery to repair and I have to say I was startled by how invasive a surgery it was - poor dog's entire leg was cut open. Jake was biting out the stitches before he even left the vet, so vet put in stainless steel stitches and even then Jake was still trying to bite out the stitches. So we've been watching him 24/7 for almost two weeks now, not letting him out of our sight. He's healing up right nicely. Started using the leg on the second day home - still hopping mostly, but found he could use the leg. Now almost two weeks later, he is using the leg quite regularly and even running on it. We've bonded even more this past two weeks and become even greater companions, but he is happy to be back outside, running about, watching over his territory. He prefers outside to inside, so this has been difficult on him to be inside next to me (us when Sweetie is home).
Weather has not been very conducive either, more the one day a week of sun, with the rest of the week overcast, some mild winds, some rain and nothing like last spring. Well summer is in a few days, so perhaps we'll get some 'summer' type weather then.
Zones, Planting Seasons,
Calendar In the Sunset Western Garden Book (1996, 2001, Sunset Pub. Corp., Menlo Park, Calif.), the western U.S. is divided into 24 Climate Zones. These Climate Zones do NOT correspond to the USDA Hardiness Zones.
Marine Influence Along the Northwest Coast Mild ocean air bring relatively warm winters in this Zone. Minimum temperatures range from 28o to 1o F, although in some year a "big freeze" can cause considerable damage to plants. Zone 5 extends from the Puget Sound area in Washington, including Seattle and Tacoma, south along the Pacific Coast to north of Brookings, Oregon, including Astoria, Newport, Coos Bay.
* Delphinium - twice over the years and both eaten by slugs
* Asiatic Lillies -transplanted and they died
* Calla Lilly - grrr, of 5 planted, only one has come back
* Daisies - tall variety, transplanted, doing well
* Carnation - doing well
* Snapdragon - does well
* pansies - does well
* dusty miller - does well
* iris - does quite well
* gladiolas - doing well
* calendula orange flowers - not perennials, but have blooms into winter
* primroses - does well
* ranunculous flowers, red, yellow, white - slugs ate them
* heliotrope - not perennial, an annual, and nice choice
* tulips - after 3 yrs, looks like tulips bloomed this year
* daffodils - does well
* Columbine - volunteered in 2005 and doing well in 2006.
* Foxglove - didn't come back, trying again this year with new plant.
* Creeping Buttercups - arghh, like weeds, bane of my garden beds.
* Lavender - many varieties
* Rosemary - evergreen actually, and grows to bush size
* sedum varieties
* Hibiscus - 2 plants 2006, planted front rose bed
* Bleeding Heart - white; planted 2006, shaded back side of yard.
* Dahlia - 2 plants 2005; died.
* pansies - does well
* petunias - does well
* cosmos - does well
* sunflowers - slugs eat, russian mammoth spectacle if can keep slugs from it
* marigolds - does well
* strawflowers - does well
* geraniums - does well
* allysum - does well
* baby's breath .. white flowers
* begonias - does well
Bulbs and Rhizones
* iris - doing great
* calla lillies - finicky
* asian lillies - died
* easter lillies - died
* gladiolas - doing well
* hosta - 4 plants disappeared,slugs or died
* hosta type in planters
* tulips..lost them, didn't produce again. oops reappeared in 3rd yr
* Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree
* Monkey Puzzle Tree
* Weeping Norway Spruce
* Evergreen trees in back yard
* 10 dry root seedlings Natl Arbor membership - which in 4th yr are showing progress. Next spring if they flower, I can perhaps identify which is which. We lost the coloring chart. 3 in front yard, 2 in back yard so 5 of 10 of the tree roots made it.
* Mugho pines - planted 2 small starters this yr = 2006
* Japanese white flowering Mt Fuji - planted 2006
* Apple hybrid tree with 3 apple varieties on one tree - planted 2006. (will list varieties here)
* Eucalyptus - 2 trees. planted one in front yard 2006 and one in whiskey barrel planter end of 2005 season.
Shrubs and Bushes
* Rhodedendrons = Eight mature.
* barberry, a small tree or shrub w vivid yellow blossoms and red berries. Oh, why - husband pulled up when we were ignorant of what it was - total loss in trying to re-plant or propagage. Good news though, in the other bed, a shoot is coming up, so may still have a new barberry with it's internal yellow trunk - medicinal properties.
* Hydrangea = 3, and only 1 lived, 2004. It is doing well in it's third year
* Lilac = mature, but it is struggling. Lost 2 trunks in Fall 2005, new baby is coming up between remaining 2 trunks.
* Fuschia Tree - does very well, cautiosuly pruned in spring 2005, no need as it comes back in fullness. hard pruned spring 2006 and it still comes back in fullness.
* juniper - mature, tried to propagate 2006; not taking
* Weeping Norway Spruce - doing well
* Lacey Leaf Japanese Red Maple, not dwarf - 2004. slow growing and doing well
* Forsythia - 2005, and doing well in 2006.
* Eastern snowball - 2006, newly planted, we'll see how it does
* Mallow tree - 2006. perennial, delicate pink flowers on elongated stems.
* Lavendar = 11
* Rosemary = 3
* Oregano = 3
* Sage = 2
* Basil - annual
* Marjoram - didn't make it
* new herb, need name, haven't used before
* Parsley - annual
* Chives - doing well
* Mint - planted in ground 2006
* Catnip - excellent for perennial w/ purple flowers
* Salt and Spice herb - annual
* Tarragon - 2006 not doing well
* Thyme - have planted from nursery twice, died both times 2005, 2006.
Planted rock garden in 2004. In it's third year in 2006, it is looking very nice.
* Sedums, will try to list names of varieties.
- candy tuft = white flowers
- autumn joy = rust color tops in Autumn
- usual array, names not known.
* Lavender - three varieties. Cotton lavender is magnificent as it sprawls and crawls all over the rocks.
* Dracenia - from a small plant to a spectacular centerpiece - sharp and pointed up growing stems.
* Forthsythia - bush, I know, and probably not best at rock garden, but I love to see that first yellow of spring from kitchen window. Planted 2005.
2006, extended the beds in rock garden area as adding additional plants.
* poker plant
* coral bells or lily of the valley
* elephant ears plant (bulb)
* ground cover (purple flower - need name)
* another lavender plant
* rock garden evergreen - yellow flowers (need name)
* rock rose - pink flowers
* iris bulbs (transplants, likely won't leave in this bed)
* perennial white flowers (need name)
* autumn joy sedum
* upright blue flowering perennial (know name, can't recall - need)
* delphinium - slugs ate
* Radishes (Good)
* Lettuce (Good)
* Spinach (Good, but won't grow it again)
* Onions (Good)
* Tomatoes (Great)
* Corn (Good)
* Zucchini Squash (Great)
* Summer Squash (Great)
* Acorn and Winter Squash (Great)
* Pumpkins (Great)
* Cucumbers (Great)
* Cauliflower (way too big a plant, won't grow it again)
* Wax beans (Great)
* Eggplant (didn't grow, season too short?)
* Watermelon (didn't grow, season too short or not hot enough?)
* Green Peppers (Great)
Same as above with new additions;
* Snap Peas
* Green Beans
* Elephant Garlic
* Lima Beans
* Elephant Garlic
Same as previous years but miserable failure of entire garden this year.
- Elephant garlic did well in it's 2nd yr.
- beets growing large and well.
- radishes growing well as usual.
- tomato plant from nursery producing
- all else failed this year, slugs ate the tender plants. twice planted zucchini, squash, cucumbers and slugs got every one. Also neighbor gave me well rooted zucchini and cucumbers and slugs got those also..
- new challenge and problem; combatting slugs! I have been reluctant to kill slugs in previous years, but with the end of last season and this season (2006), I can't afford to be so merciful.
- new challenge; the borage/comfrey I planted from seed in 2004 came back again in 2005, but in 2006 it was popping up all over the actual vegetable garden space and in rock garden bed. Researching it, seems it has that characteristic, has some underground growing mechanism, and is next to impossible to entirely get rid of once it starts that system. Groan -- been trying to rid of the perpetual creeping buttercup and creeping morning glory and wound up planting another permanent creeper. Had I known, never would have planted. What have I wrought with one package of seeds?!
* Strawberries = 6 in 2004; 3 lived, bought 3 more 2005; doing well in 2006 although so far few to no strawberries. Time to transplant to more permanent space.
Compost and Fertilizer
* kitchen compost, scraps
* purchased bags compost
* Used Sam's last year 2004. Miracle Gro this year 2005. None 2006.
* Using purchased top soil both years, split bag one year; garden space this year.
Seeds and Preserving Seeds
* Green Pepper
(great, but I've misplaced and can't locate the preserved seed packets in 2006)
* 1 miniature in 2004 w/ red, pink, coral roses on one bush
* 3 packaged root climbing roses 2004, 1 yellow Peace Rose, 1 traditional climber with small pink roses and 1 hasn't bloomed yet so don't remember it's rose color yet. It bloomed, and is a deep burgundy.
* Bought 3 more packaged root rose bushes 2005; planted in front bed, 2 lived = pink buds and yellow buds but coral buds died.
* Bought another root rose 2006 for front bed; it's struggling.
* Bought climber, yellow, to plant in raised railroad tie bed as permanent anchor. Now have permanent hydrangea, permanent climbing rose, permanent catmint, permanent yarrow. And permanent lavender in the brick post column.
* Spider plants
* Jade plant
* Rattail cactus (died)
* Flowering cactus
* Scheffelaria (bush size now, 5 yrs old)
* Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree = 3, already 2 died, premature cutting away from mother
* Spider plants
* Yarrow, volunteers from seed blowing
* 2006, tried again, most all failed. Cotton lavender may have taken; pussy willow tree (my Mother's yard) may taken, cedar shrub may have taken.
Garden journal at Dave's Garden and also at Wee Garden website.
Decorating Yard n Garden
* old shoes, planter
* storebought stakes w/ ornaments
* decorative trellis = 2
* stepping stones
* yard sales/flea market items as bowls, urns, baskets, old garden gloves
Weeds and Pests
Arghh on the Slugs! Also the creeping buttercups.
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We bought this house in Nov 2002. In Spring 2003, began work in the yard, very modest beginning, mostly adding a few annuals, some containers, cutting back rhodies and some other overgrown mature specimens. For vegetable garden, I used split-bag topsoil, planting seeds directly into the split bags.
In Spring 2004, work in earnest began to shape up the yard, retaining the flavor of the original owners vision. Also did not want to take out, prune, remove plants until we knew what they were - using that axiom to wait a year and see what's what.
In Spring 2005, more work in earnest, serious pruning, removing, and began actually rearranging, creating and starting to claim yard more to our vision, rather than preserving integrity of original owners vision. Learned original owners stopped living in the house, using on occasional weekends, so yard upkeep had lost it's shaping over the years.
In Spring 2006, we are now engaged in claiming the yard as our own. We have been one-income family since May 2003 when I left my career employment. It has put a serious damper on spending so working the yard has been on extremely frugal budget.
Patience and bit by bit, plant by plant, back-breaking labor, we are very gradually getting somewhere towards our yet unrealized vision for the yard and house.
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"Most of the tribes in the eastern area of what is now the United
States practiced agriculture. It is well known that maize, potatoes,
pumpkins, squashes, beans, sweet potatoes, cotton, tobacco, and other
familiar plants were cultivated by Indians centuries before Columbus. Early
white settlers learned the value of the new food plants, but have left us
meager accounts of the native methods of tillage; and the Indians, driven
from the fields of their fathers, became roving hunters; or adopting iron
tools, forgot their primitive implements and methods."
The University of Minnesota
Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden
As Recounted by Maxi'diwiac (Buffalo Bird Woman) (ca.1839-1932) of the
Hidatsa Indian Tribe
Originally published as
Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation
by Gilbert Livingstone Wilson, Ph.D.
See the very detailed and clickable contents at
(hat tip to yahoo group; Old Ways Living)
I absolutely did Not know this - but I do now. I have often heard of The Three Sisters, without full recognition of the relationship. I will be planting my corn, beans and squash in a quite different pattern this year. In fact, I think I will plant it in that sunny space behind the house and actually name it My Three Sisters Garden. I came across this in my morning reads - attributed to a post at one of my listserv groups by Sweet Spring Farm.
*The Three Sisters*
The "three sisters" of New Mexican agriculture, corn, beans, and squash,
were hundreds of years ahead of their time. This system serves as the basis
for inter-cropping systems currently being used around the world as tools to
increase agricultural productivity in areas facing food shortages. Why is
this such a successful system?
Simply stated, each of the three sisters serves an important role. To
understand the system, one should first consider the three plants
seperately. Growing corn in rows is a good idea but wastes valuable planting
space. Beans require some sort of support system and must be staked up to
grow. Finally, both squash and corn require additional nitrogen in the soil
to produce adequately in New Mexico's typically sandy soils, which are also
prone to losing valuable moisture due to evaporation.
As corn reaches for the sun, beans may grow up the strong stalks and the
necessity of building a support system or frame is reduced. One must plant
corn some distance apart, leaving the ground bare; however, planting squash
between the rows of corn reduces soil moisture loss as the squash foliage
acts as a natural mulch, reducing soil temperatures and helping to "hold"
moisture in the soil where it may be used by the plants and not lost to the
atmosphere. Finally, beans have the unique capability of being able to "fix"
atmospheric nitrogen, pulling it from the air and improving soil nitrogen
status; essentially, "fertilizing" the other two sisters.
Contributed by Dr. Dann Brown, Professor of Botany, Eastern New Mexico
2005 - Our Harry Lauder Walking Stick tree - mature specimen - 15-20 yrs old
Harry Lauder Walking Stick
Corylus avellana L. 'Contorta'
This unusual European hazelnut was found around 1850 growing in a hedgerow in England. It has been propagated by cuttings and grafting ever since. The plant has become commonly known as "Harry Lauder's Walking Stick" or "Contorted Hazelnut."
The stems and leaves naturally twist and turn as they grow. The plant would normally grow as a sprawling bush, but if it is grafted onto a 4 ft. tall upright stock (Corylus colurna L. is a good non-suckering rootstock) it forms a very ornamental specimen tree.
Walking Stick : This shrub reaches a height of 8'-10', with a similar spread. The flowers of Harry Lauder's walking stick are yellowish-brown "catkins," as on pussy willows. The blooms appear in early to middle spring. However, this shrub is not grown primarily for its blooms but for its unusual branching pattern, which is indicated by its other common names: corkscrew filbert and contorted hazelnut. For as you can see from the picture, its branches contort themselves in every which way, resembing corkscrews.
Sun and Soil Requirements for Harry Lauder's Walking Stick : Grow Harry Lauder's walking stick in well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade.
Care of Harry Lauder's Walking Stick: Being a grafted shrub, Harry Lauder's walking stick does require some special care. The rootstock is Corylus colurna. As often happens with grafted plants, there is a tendency for suckers to shoot up from the rootstock. You must prune off these suckers so that the plant does not revert to the characteristics of its rootstock.
How Harry Lauder's Walking Stick Got Its Name: According to Adele Kleine of "Flower and Garden Magazine," the shrub's "appealing common name derives from the old Scottish comedian Harry Lauder who performed using a crooked branch as a cane."
Uses for Harry Lauder's Walking Stick in Landscape Design: Harry Lauder's walking stick is a specimen plant. The corkscrew shape of its branches lends much-needed visual interest to the winter landscape.
More on Harry Lauder's Walking Stick: Harry Lauder's walking stick is a case in which one may rightly claim that a deciduous shrub truly comes into its own only after its leaves have fallen. Not that the shrub isn't attractive when fully leafed out. But the eye is especially drawn to this curious specimen in winter, when many other deciduous trees and shrubs are little better than sad reminders of a defunct fall and summer.
our dog, Jake (an Australian shepherd - collie mix),
lays under our Harry Lauder Walking Stick tree - 2005
What is Harry Lauder's walking stick?
By Chelsie Vandaveer
March 11, 2005
At one time, shrubs and trees were planted to separate fields or fields from roads. These hedgerows divided land in a gracious, idyllic way. They were a mix of useful plants neighbors could share—willows for basketry, berries and nuts. A modicum of maintenance kept the hedgerow, a hedgerow. Wildflowers grew there; birds and small animals had refuge in the midst of cultivated lands. The hedgerow stayed the same and yet it changed with the seasons and the passing of the years.
Sometime in the early 1860s, a curious shrub was noticed growing in a hedgerow in Gloucestershire. It was hazel like the hazels (Corylus avellana Linnaeus) that people had cultivated for hundreds of years. But it was different, its branches twisted and corkscrewed and wept. Not many years after the discovery of the contorted hazel, a boy was born at the north
His father died when Harry Lauder was twelve. He helped his mother support his seven siblings by working in a flax mill while he went to school. Later he worked in a coal mine and it must have been difficult to see the stars when one is in 'the pit'. But he clung to his dream—someday he would be a music hall entertainer.
Harry mixed comedy with music and made laughable, yet touchingly lovable characters for his songs—the stodgy Dame, the red-nosed slovenly Calligan, the kilted tight-fisted Roderick McSwankay.
By 1912, Harry was at the top. He was elected to the Rotary Club of Glasgow and his fame spread beyond England. In 1913, he entertained in America; in 1914, he was in Australia. While in Melbourne, the British Empire entered World War I. Harry's son, John left his father's tour and went to war.
Harry, too old to be a soldier, mobilized to do what he could do best, entertain. And entertain he did. Realizing that those soldiers and sailors maimed by the war would be left in poverty, Harry raised huge sums of money for their pensions. Then Harry did something crazy and the war office fought him on the very idea of it all. He took entertainment to the trenches and battlefields of France.
Harry and Ann never saw their son John alive again. In 1919, Harry was knighted for his charitable works. When World War II broke out, he launched himself into another round of entertaining the troops and raising funds. Harry Lauder died in 1950. Few alive today have even heard his name, but entertainers have kept alive the tradition he started—laughter and songs for soldiers and sailors far from home.
It was Harry's wild character, Roderick McSwankay that made the hazel famous. The decked-out Scotsman leaned on an equally crazy hazelwood cane. The shrub became known as Harry Lauder's walking stick.
our Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree
Using this space to list plants purchased this year -2006;
- Eastern Snowball (bush/shrub) front yard
- Mugho Pine (2) Pumilio mugo pine front raised bed
- Hosta (Honeybells) side flower bed
- Achilbe (2) lower shaded rock garden and new wheelbarrow garden under maple tree
- Poker Plant lower shaded rock garden
- Coral Bells - Lilly of the Valley lower shaded rock garden
- Elephant ear lower shaded rock garden
- Primrose Beauty - Potentilla Futicosa (evergreen shrub/bush - creamy yellow flowers) upper sunny rock garden
- Rock Rose (evergreen shrub/bush) upper sunny rock garden
- Dwarf Periwinkle (evergreen perennial ground cover) upper sunny rock garden meant to trail down by fenceline
- Little Princess Spirea (shrub/bush)
- Hebe (check variety - tag said 'la favourite'
- Rubus - Emerald Carpet (ground cover - part shade)
- Sedum Gracile (evergreen w/ white flowers, red in summer)
- Nordic Holly (sun - sedum?)
- Southernwood Artemisia Abrotanum (sun, bitter lemon leaves, use in vinegar and salads)
- Sedum Aizoon (yellow flowers 10" long)
- Wormwood Artemisia - Oriental Limelight (sun 3-4' tall)
- Ice Plant (succulent purple/pink flowers ground cover) upper rock garden
- Cardinal Flower (perennial, part shade, poisonous)
- Verbena - Homestead Purple (spreading perennial, sun) upper rock garden
- curly grass (name not known, twisty, curly grass like plant)
- Guardian Delphinium (slugs ate it)
- Coleus - three varieties
- Hibiscus - Luna Red (2) (perennial) front window bed
- Sedum - Autumn Joy (2, one in 2005, one in 2006) upper rock garden
- Tree Mallow (evergreen perennial shade, delicate everblooming pink flowers) new shade garden in wheelbarrow under maple tree
- Bleeding Heart (bush) new shade garden in wheelbarrow under maple tree
- Close out nursery sale - Grayland - scented geraniums, peppermint, orange thyme, asters and ? = planted in white stemmed flower pots
- Geraniums (3) in rose pink shades, (4) in gold and rust shades
- Heather (3) upper rock garden, and two in camellia flower bed border
- Spring/Autumn Heather (4) whiskey barrel, indoors, and 2 in camellia flower bed border
- new whiskey barrel = Eucalyptus tree; foxglove; heather; beach transplants; yellow oriental poppy, spring heather
- new whisky barrel - upright = sedums, and surrounded on sides - need central core plant specimens and then extend this part of the growing out of barrell garden into grass yard.
- Eucalyptus tree - front yard
- Rose of Sharon - 5 dry root plants from Mom - not seeing anything
- Pussywillow tree propagation from Mom seems to have taken. She calls it pussywillow tree = ?
- Propagate experiments this year didn't work out using the root cutting formula. 2 Cotton lavender propagates seems to have taken.
- Lilac tree; lost two trunks over winter and new sturdy trunk is growing up from center
- Fuschia bush cut back severely and did not suffer - can be cut back severely annually
- vegetable garden was a bust this year - slugs!!! Ate 3 plantings of seeds = zuchinni, cucumbers, squash. Beets grew well and big this year. Tomato plants did well enough. Peas and carrots did well enough. Problem = old seeds and driest summer on record with no rain.
- Comfrey/borage planted 3 yrs ago continues to return annually. This year popped up everywhere inside vegetable garden bed and rock garden. Research = these are invasive and impossible to totally rid - underground root spreading system
- Japanese flowering cherry (upright) white blooms
- hybrid - 3 varieties Apple tree
Giving the Harry Lauder Walking Stick tree a much-needed trim and setting out some of those early spring primroses and pansies launched us into our spring clean-up. After the winds and rains of winter, our yard looks strewn with debris and left-over projects undone from the end of last fall.
So, getting the planting station in the carport ready for a new spring workout, we got the area cleaned out. Since we tore out the carpet in the main floor of the house, it had been taken outside to the temporary place under the carport. Sweetie got it all hauled out and loaded into his little pick-up to go to the local landfill. Swept out the winter leaves, and tidied up the area. Found grandchildren's toys from last August when the family stayed with us....ahhhh, miss them all so much.
Pruned up the wild fushia bush and took down it's height. That and a hefty pruning of the Harry Lauder Walking Stick tree and we have some serious burn-barrel fires in store. Maybe our neighbor will be as accomodating as last year and haul it to his burn pile for disposal. First spring lawn mowing done. General clean up in the yard and it is already looking much better - ready for spring and new projects.
The kitchen vegetable garden needs tilling and new plantings and I'd like to expand the vegetable garden this year. My vision of it requires more back-breaking labor than either of us really want to expend, so looking for some easy short cuts to make more raised beds for growing more vegetables. I'd like to try the upside down tomatoes this year. I also thought of getting several half whiskey barrels and planting in them.
I've taken on gardening as a leisurely hobby, outdoor exercise and that great feeling of being connected to nature. But I've wanted to get serious about my kitchen vegetable garden as a means of producing some of our food. I'll NEVER want to learn how to do canning thought, but I'm receptive to the art of 'freezing' what I can of the harvest.
We had a small windfall of a bit of extra $$, so I went out to the garden store where I spent 4 hours just looking at every item; envisioning my entire spring and summer and what I could do; then did a reality check and made a list of what I most wanted right now that would fit the small bonus $$ amount. In my mind I spent several hundred $$ but my reality was quite different than my mental shopping spree. In my mind I had lined up to buy 3 trees, 4 bushes, a new wrought iron with canopy outside room, redwood patio set, water fountain gardens for several places in the yard, trellises, wheelbarrow, electric roto-tiller, red lava rock, mulching, mini-greenhouses in several sizes, several more whiskey barrel planters and hundreds of packets of seeds, bulbs and tubers. WoW - had a great time imagining all I could buy....but the few 20 dollar bills in my wallet just wouldn't stretch that far.
With carefully pruning away my mental shopping, I made a list of what I could buy with my real available dollars. I bought pruning shears (boring), potting soil (boring), seed packets (fun - but I had to put about 50 packets back - over my budget), a new tree = Mt Fuji white cherry, the usual assortment of primroses, pansies, and a few other 2' starter flowers, and I found 3 summer tops at price I couldn't resist so I treated myself.
It was time to refer back to my Wee Garden website and update it some, and I learned something about the climate zone where I live in Pacific coastal area. It's not zone 8 like the gardening books and USDA climate zone tell me; it's zone 5 because of the Pacific winds and climate zone. Well, the good news is that with zone 5, the last frost is later than zone 8, so the planting season is later. Might explain why all the seeds I've started for the last 3 years don't seem to germinate. I need to start them later and actually create a greenhouse environment for them of heat, light and moisture. Forget tomatoes, no way in the climate zone I'm in with short, short hot season can I grow them from seed. Sounds like my instincts to buy starter vegetable plants from the nursery is well-founded.
Now where's those grand-darlings to help me with my yard. They really were very helpful and willing workers with the taskings of the yard. Emily hauling off sod to the back, Drew using the big person shovel to dig a hole, their fascination with the worms when we turned the soil.....ahhhhh, I need my families to live closer. All this training them towards their own independence and they are all making their own lives their own way in different parts of the country. I miss them all. I always wanted to own acerage that would allow for building several homes in one place and having family close by but I'm also wanting mostly that they flourish in their own lives.
Iris is blooming and gorgeous. My mother gave me these from her garden after she thinned hers last season and I got them planted in my yard last year. It was not the season for them to bloom, and they were fairly straggly. I cut them in fan shape as my mother recommended and sort of just crossed my fingers and hoped they might take to their new home.