Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees!  

 

Welcome  backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, beekeepers & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 165
Latest Activity: 13 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, plant & prune, grow food & flowers, or sit and watch as someone else does your landscaping, you'll find something here to discuss!

Selected topics, in no particular order:
Moon Phase Widget here. Moon phase topic here.
What's your gardening style?
Frugal gardening.
Backyard Chickens here. here. here. here.
Growing Fruits
Wild Parsnip - It can burn skin.
Why buy locally-grown plants?
Squirrels.
bees.
Cheap gardening.
Buy locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.
Grow lots of fruits in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.

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Sentient Biped's Garden Blog. Happy to add a different feed if there are suggestions.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on April 26, 2013 at 6:26pm

Women goat herders, dressed from head to foot, even in over 100∘ F. This is not my photo and not of Turkish women. But it is as close as I could get to the scene I experienced. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 26, 2013 at 6:13pm

I was surprised when I saw your photo, how it conformed to the shape of your box. I got on line and read about all kinds of bee keeping processes and I am just amazed. I saw only one that is shaped as yours, and he built it himself as well. Learning that they build from that top rod (whatever) and down is new to me. Please do keep us informed. 

Do you have the energy you need to take care of the hive? I am wrung out and only yesterday cut off last year's dead roses and trimmed them. Usually I have this task done much earlier. I am enjoying my lethargy; so many of my years were too full with raising children, supporting them and creating our home. Now, I just enjoy it all. Weeds and all. 

Of course, gardeners snip and pinch off little beginnings everywhere. If you have read my Turkey story before, you can stop reading here. 

I was in Turkey doing some research on women and their lives and stopped at a CARAVANSERAIS for lunch. These ancient fortresses stretch along the trade routes where traders with loaded camels stopped for the night, had their meals and tended their animals. They were located one day's camel ride apart. The fortifications were to protect traders from thieves. Many of them have been changed into a facility, much like our service stations, with fuel and food for man and beast. 

It was a dreadfully hot day, women herders were dressed from head to foot in heavy gabardine type material, much like we would wear to protect from wind and cold. They all wore headscarves as they tended their herds, built fires and hand made bread.

Hollyhock grew along the outside of a caravanserais; the seeds were not quite ripe, but I thought I might be able to get a plant from one. My left hand was full of seed heads, my right hand picking. A  large dark skinned man came running out of the building, grabbed my left hand, harshly turned it over, forced my fingers open and hit the back of my hand to shake free any loose seeds. He turned abruptly and ran back into the building. Stunned, I wondered what protocol I had violated. He came running back toward me with a big plastic sack full of ripe seeds and proceeded to tell me how to plant them by drawing a line in the dirt with the heel of his boot, and explaining, in Turkish, how to plant them. 
I have the prettiest garden of hollyhock, all from those seeds. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on April 26, 2013 at 4:52pm

Dominic,

thanks for describing your philosophy!  

I admit to have liberated a few cuttings.  Not many.  I wish I wasn't so introverted.  I doubt that anyone would say "no" to a request. I wouldn't - I would even help take select and cut the best cuttings

Most of my little fig orchard originates from cuttings exchanged via web fig forum.  

I have several plants that originated from my late parents' yard.  One type, garlic chives, grew in their yard nearly 50 years ago...  I planted them when I was a boy.  Ten years ago on a visit I saw them there and dug up a few starts for my yard.  They are an excellent addition for an insect and bee friendly yard.

The ginkgo trees in my yard all originate from collected seeds.  One is about 30 feet tall, handsome and strong.  

Rose collectors who traipse around old cemeteries to obtain starts of heritage roses, call themselves "rose rustlers".  Some irisarians do the same thing.

I've also raked a neighbors' yard, while they were away, supposedly to clean it up but I really wanted the leaves for compost.  I also did that while a neighborhood house was for sale.  People thought I was being nice.

Comment by Sentient Biped on April 26, 2013 at 4:40pm

Joan,

Thanks for the questions -  Here are my responses - 

As for having a swarm of bees cover a person, I don't know how that comes about.  The biggest risks I can think of would be stings in the nose, ears, or mouth.  If someone had a bee sting allergy, stings could be fatal.  If no allergy, I imagine there isn't a lot of risk, but I don't know.

The most important precautions of the beekeeper, I think, are to pay attention to the bees.  Watch them closely.  Be gentle.  Try to avoid squashing them when manipulating the beehive and combs.  

The main issue for me is I am still very much a novice.  I don't mind a few stings, but I want to be at peace with my bee colony.  If one stings, that results in death of that bee - the stinger pulls out along with some viscera - and production of a alarm phermone that tells the other bees the colony is under attack.  Then a bunch more stings, escalating the situation.   So I'll take my time.

There is also the smoker - by blowing cool smoke over and into the hive, the alarm phermones are masked, and inadvertant phermones produces by the beekeeper are masked, and they stay more calm.

That photo is of my beehive.  They are actively building comb, which really impresses me.  These creatures all know their roles, what they are supposed to do and when, they know how to find their way back to a hive that has just been moved, they know how to build perfect honeycomb, how to care for young, just amazing.

Comment by Idaho Spud on April 26, 2013 at 4:16pm

Sentient, sounds like your bees are busy.  I like your bee stories also.

Comment by Plinius on April 26, 2013 at 9:25am

;-) Yes, we want to spread beauty. And it spreads in more ways. I found that the happy smile I received with a plant long ago stayed with the plant - I still answer that smile at times, even if the giver died years ago.

Either you understand me or you think I'm crazy - take your pick.  

Comment by Dominic Florio on April 26, 2013 at 9:06am

Twenty yrs ago, I was have lunch with a friend, and hanging there, was a basket of variegated Nephthytis, which still to this day is difficult to find.  My friend stood up and took off a small piece and put it in her purse.  It has traveled to three properties by cutting and grows up one of my oak trees.

I had to laugh when Chris mentioned "taking a small piece home" of plant material.  We gardeners seem to have a number of plants which were given to us as cuttings or which we decided that we had the knowledge to take on our own, without anyone being the wiser.

So many of our plants have stories behind them.  We remember who gave them to us or where they came from.  I'm always amazed when I have a huge specimen of something and think back to when I got that plant.

My sister is always warning me not to take cuttings when we are out together, but somehow something ends up in my pocket.  I always argue that the plant needed trimming anyway.

Plants, even common ones, seem to come in and out of favor with growers.  Yes, I know it sounds like one more excuse, but I wouldn't have some plants if it weren't for cuttings or taking a baby that was growing next to mom.

Everyone jokes that I can't come out of a Lowes or even a Wal-Mart without buying a plant.  But these days, I'm less likely to do so, because they insist on carrying the same species for yrs.

Although I have some cool stuff from big box stores (always hunting), most of my coolest plants have come from either special plant sales or the best, from old established gardens, showcasing plants that you just can't find anymore.

So, we are sometimes borrowers and if we are being honest, sometimes thieves, but lovable.  After all, we just want to preserve beauty and spread it across the land.  That's the ticket!

 

 

Comment by Plinius on April 26, 2013 at 2:18am

I love your bee-stories, Sentient! Tell us more!

Comment by Plinius on April 26, 2013 at 2:15am

You're right, Joan, it is a Frittilaria or Snake's head or Kievitsbloem.

The other one is a cymbalaria muralis or Kenilworth Ivy or muurleeuwenbek, it grows here on old brickwork along the water and on the 12th century ruin. I took a small piece home and it grows on happily.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 25, 2013 at 11:09pm

Gee, I don't remember the names of shapes. OK, the search is on. 

parabola = obtained as the intersection of a cone with a plane parallel to a straight line on its surface.

Honeycomb structure = structures that have the geometry of a honeycomb to allow the minimization of the amount of used material to reach minimal weight and minimal material cost. The geometry of honeycomb structures can vary widely, but the common feature of all such structures is an array of hollow cells formed between thin vertical walls. The cells are often columnar and hexagonal in shape. A honeycomb shaped structure provides a material with minimal density and relative high out-of-plane compression properties and out-of-plane shear properties.[1]

Another remembering of my ancient school days. 

 

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