But first, let's catch up on a few recent events.
It's about a property in the Netherlands that backs up to a nature preserve and the images are inspiring.
What I love about this post is that the owners have made the forest in their garden. There are floating runners that allow visitors to walk above the forest floor, and the long lines make the tall Larch trees seem even grander. There is a feeling of "being a guest in the landscape."
"From the living room and the kitchen, you have a poetic view through the big windows into the forest.
The play of vertical gestures is the basis for this design. The viewer’s perspective is steered towards a group of long vertical trunks of Larches.
A composition of horizontal lines and floating boardwalks create a frame which steers the view."
"[There's] no need to limit your Fall into Phenology observations to leaf color and drop. Watch for fall flowers, such as asters, and record first flower, or full flower. Seeds and fruiting abound in the fall months.
All observation reports - whether life-cycle or one-time events - help understand how plants respond to changes in climate and atmosphere.
The goal of this campaign is to collect at least 500 observations from around the country (that's only 10 per state!)."
"I would find it hard to remain in Germany, or even in Europe, now. I would have returned to the scene of my wanderings, to the clear, sunny skies of Australia."
"... tears were in my eyes when I saw ...[the] results of my expedition vanish ... my collection had the great advantage of being almost complete in blossoms, fruit, and seed."
"My dear friend,
You have, no doubt, noticed and regretted my long silence...But you must bear this in mind, my good friend, ... it was not my lot to travel all at my ease... Gladly would I have made drawings of my plants, and noted fully all particulars of the different species which I saw; and how valuable would such memoranda have been... [as] four of my pack-horses having been drowned. Botanical and geological specimens thus abandoned—how disappointing! From four to five thousand plants were thus sacrificed..."
#OTD Today is the birthday of the lichenologist Annie Lorrain Smith who was born on this day in 1854.
“It is so full of matter that one marvels at the […] author in collecting and arranging the work on the various aspects of [lichens] into critical articles and then weaving these articles together … to form a connected whole, which may be read with pleasure and profit, not only by a lichenologist, but also by a general botanical reader.”
Smith helped found the British Mycological Society and she was also the first female president of that organization.
#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of François-André Michaux, who died on this day in 1855.
#OTD Today is the birthday of the botanist Bonnie Templeton who was born on this day in 1906.
In 2002, Templeton died at the age of 95. She was a trailblazing female in the field of botany.
"[The] botanist Bonnie Templeton... has published a list of over 20 common weeds which she says are good substitutes for the common, leafy vegetables ordinarily sold in markets.There are wild mustard and wild radish and wild lettuce and wild rhubarb and curly dock, and cheese plant and pigweed.The ice plant is delicious eaten raw, she says, and the bristle leaved nettle is a good substitute for asparagus.Now all of this is pretty blamed important for Newhall folks, because... wild victory gardens are about the only kind of victory garden possible here when the dry season sets in.Maybe we can induce Bonnie to come up here and [give] a class on wild victory gardeners... and point out all of the edible kinds of wild green sass. Or better still, figure out a way of making a salad bowl out of foxtail."
She also wrote a book called The American Flower Garden and also one called Wild Flowers Worth Knowing.
Neltje 's works gave us many beautiful nature quotes.
Here's one about Spring:
"Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring - that delicious commingling of the perfume of arbutus, the odor of pines, and the snow - soaked soil just warming into life. "
Then she gave us this lovely quote about the Bluebird in Autumn:
"Long after their associates have gone southward, they linger like the last leaves on the tree.
It is indeed "good-bye to summer" when the bluebirds withdraw their touch of brightness from the dreary November landscape at the north to whirl through the southern woods and feed on the waxy berries of the mistletoe."
Today's Grow That Garden Library Book Recommendation: New Vegetable Garden Techniques by Joyce Russell
In NVGT, Joyce highlights 23 projects for gardeners to try on their own. I especially loved the plan of using a carrot clamp for preservation. Joyce shares that a carrot clamp preserves carrots outside for months. It also works for other root vegetables like potatoes, beetroot, and parsnips.
Now, creating a clamp is pretty straight forward. You can follow along with the beautiful images in Joyce's book (thanks to Ben, no doubt). To create a clamp, you simply cut the tops of your carrots, leaving about 2.5 cm of the green stem.
Lay the carrots in a circle with the tips of the carrot lying pointed to the middle of the ring. Insulate the pile of carrots with straw or rushes. Then cover with soil.
Then, when you want a carrot, you make a door by pushing your hand through the layers of soil and insulation. Take out as many carrots as you need. The pile will slump down as you extract your produce.
It's a simple, secure outdoor storage that works like a charm.
Joyce also offers excellent step-by-step instructions for creating an onion string and garlic plait, how to trial different mulches, how to create simple and effective flappers to scare birds away, how to build a simple frame to protect fruit crops and she offers an excellent basic basil pesto recipe on page 172 - in addition to all of the wonder growing techniques that she shares throughout the book.
Today's Garden Chore
Celebrate the fall season by harvesting black walnuts.
Although the English walnut - with it's more refined look and taste - is still preferred, the black walnut with worth harvesting.
Don't forget that harvesting the black walnut is the best part of owning a Black Walnut tree.
Just remember to wear gloves when you collect the black walnuts. They have that inky, sooty substance that you can get on your hands when you touch them, and it is hard to get off.
Right now, September through October is the time to collect black walnuts. Just gather them as they fall off the tree. When the tree is done dropping black walnuts, then it is time to remove the husks for storing and curing.
And, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
Cracking open the shell is not easy. You should know that black walnuts come out in pieces - so if you're expecting a beautiful, intact, brainy-looking walnut after cracking the husk on a black walnut, you'd better adjust your expectations.
And, one last caution pertains to the husk of the walnut. Be care disposing of it. It is toxic to many plants. Remember, black walnut tea was a common pioneer herbicide. And, don't mix black walnut castings with your compost.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
In 1924, Seton starred in a newspaper article called "Face to Face with Ernest Thompson Seton." The reporter met with him in a wooded setting and wrote this about Seton:
"Lithe as a cat, he jumped from limb to limb in the tree. Picking up a beetle by the roadside, he began commenting: 'A man who does not love Nature and cannot see in a bird, tree, flower, or insect some kinship, does not seem to me altogether human.
[The naturalist] John Burroughs was [there collecting] some wildflowers.. and the woods rang with laughter like children as these two Nature lovers talked of plants, trees and animals as if it were all to them an open book."
And, it was Ernest Thompson Seton who said,
"The white spruce forest along the banks is most inspiring [and] magnificent here. Down the terraced slopes and right to the water's edge on the alluvial soil, it stands in ranks."
Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
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