Friday, June 02, 2006

Out and About

I'm off to Minnesota to visit my brother and his family.  Graduation et al.
Looking forward to it.  I'll have "tales to tell" on Monday.
I'm tangled up right now in a project for tomorrow morning.  Ministry would be so much easier without having to consider others.
But He does, so I do, so we will.
Till Monday then.
TV Tip:
Watch Dr. Who on Sci Fi Friday or Sun nite.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Staying off the Bandwagon

The media's gaudy bandwagon over Al Gore's movie of doom and gloom is not one I'm hopping on any time soon.
I have not ever believed in Anthropogenic Global Warming and I still don't.  Gore is wrong.  Oh, the earth is warming.  If it was only populated by turtles it would still warm.  The idea that we have any influence beyond fractional makes Gore's Gory Horror Film bogus.
You want to know what this really is all about?  Money and Control.
This is pure and simply repackaged communism.  Doubt me?  Read quotes from leading environmentalists.  It's all about controlling you.
Don't let them.  They are full of bull puckey in spades.
I'm gonna start the Redlin Hearings --
Are you now or have you ever been an environmentalist?
Lenin would be so proud of his new disciples.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Traffic, Testosterone and a Green Thumb

I was as far north and east in Illinois as you can go.  Russell IL.  I was picking up some trees for the Church Project.  New building, landscaping etc.
I have never been to Russell.  I have never been to the absolute NE corner of IL.  It is very beautiful and still largely unspoiled.  For my friend Karma there are some prairies there.  I was dazzled.  The other thing is the makeup of the flora since this area bumping up against Lake Michigan is actually a zone 6 climate.  Oh, it gets cold but it stays temperate.  Kind of like Grand Haven Michigan across the lake. 
You see the difference in the flora if you know what to look for.  The weather is never too hot, never too cold and lots of lake effect snow cover and showers. 
To get there was a 2 hour drive pulling a trailer.  Nearly 3 coming back in rush hour traffic.  There was a time when in fits of road rage, impatience, anger, and fierceness of desire to drive over the top of every other car I would have been exhausted from the rush of testosterone thru my veins.  When I worked in "Town" and drove I experienced this a great deal.  I could leave the office in pretty good spirits and 40 minutes in stop and go traffic and I was angry and exhausted.  I made this trip without killing anyone.  And, I was happy when I got home.
I don't tend to be a terribly patient person except horticulturually.  I am quite content to plant a whip tree and know that long after I have stepped from time into eternity someone will enjoy the shade of it.  I like seeing the progress of trees I planted 8 years ago.  I note the growth.  So, my need to see change for the better is satisfied. 
Peggy does not share horticultural patience.  She is famous for planting seeds and then digging them up in 3 weeks to see if they sprouted or not.  Not a patient act.
I have determined that a green thumb can best be described as understanding a plant's needs better than our desire to have the plant do what we want it to do.
Light, not too much water (most people kill plants by too much water) only occasional light fertilization, keep from freezing in winter, keep from frying in summer.  And patience.  Lots of patience.
Most of what we do to plants isn't what they need.  The plant know what it wants to do.  When we force it to be something else it's abuse.  I'm not a big topiary fan.  Some plants are better behaved than others.  Some need a hard haircut from time to time.  Some need judicious pruning.  Some need to be rouged out all together. 
I ramble because the patience I lack or lacked in the past on the freeway is not the patience I need or use in horticulture.  As I get older and my testosterone drops the anger drops with it.  Oh, I'm still capable of fits of rage but less intense.  On the other hand, I can walk by a plant and hear it talking to me.  ""I'm thirsty.  I have a broken branch.  Look at the caterpillars or aphids attacking me.  I need more light.  I hate so much light.  Let me rest a while.  I'm happy.  I'm under stress."" 
They just speak silently and I don't know how I know.  It's a look, its a gloss, it's a curl of a leaf, and I don't spend much time analyzing.  I just know.
If you have a green thumb, and lots who read this do, you know exactly what I mean.  If you don't and thumbwise it's brown you think this is all gobbledygook, sorry to bore you.
I loved NE IL and will go back. 
I could live there.

Monday, May 29, 2006

This Explains more than I thought it would

I always thought I had a tender feelings side.

I guess not.

Oh Well. I'yam who I'yam and I'm not gonna takes it no more.

Take this quiz at the bottom and figure out if you are who you thought you might be.

Your Brain is 13% Female, 87% Male

You've got the brain of a manly man

Feelings, schmeelings... tears aren't for you.

You could break both legs and not get misty eyed.

A great problem solver, nothing ever phases you.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

My Backyard Spring 2006

Spring at Casa del Redlin is always beautiful. This spring it's particularly so. So for those of you who don't live in temperate zones, take a peek at what displayed itself this spring. I am commenting on each picture as they occur below the picture. Spring. I love it.

This white flower is from a beautiful Midwest Crab. M. Bacatta in my front yard. It never flowered like this before. No disease either. And it is well behaved.
I planted this yew several years ago from a small plant. It's nearly 3' now. Only one. Violates all rules of design. But I like it. Taxus hicksii
This Hansen's Hedge Rose is a naturally occuring cross discovered in Brookings South Dakota by Dr Hansen. Gets these sliver dollar sized pink fragrant blooms. Disease free and beautiful fall floilage. 6' tall.

This is Clove Currant. Little yellow flowers that are very fragrant. Wonderful plant first thing in spring. Alternate host to a white pine gall. But I like it anyhow. I have two in my yard. Native to Western US.

Golden Barberry in my front garden. Can get ragged in summer, but first thing in spring, puts on quite a show.
This one is about 8 years old. Not very big is is.

This is a rock garden by the front of the drive where a huge mugo pine used to be. I have been putting various perennials in it. It get's really sunbeat and dry so my pallet is small.
Our front garden. You see Redbud (the reason I stayed in Illinois when I was tempted to move), Pink Flowering Dogwood C. Florida, and two types of Japanese Maple. I love lots of color.
More closeups of flowers of Midwest Crab. There is a bee in one, lower right. But it didn't show up well. I need to take some plant photography tips from my friend Ken.
I know for purists, this is horrid. But I planted climbing Euonymus fortuneani around my locust tree. I think it's really pretty. But a bit invasive. Makes the trunk dissappear.

Closeup of Dappled Willow
Set back view of same plant, This is all the rage and it's easy to grow. The downside is, what do you do with it after you grow it. I'm still trying to figure this plant out.
Dakota Sunrise Oak. I named this 10 years ago and it is now in the literature. Fast growing bur oak from seed collected in the turtle mountains of ND. Isolated stands of semi dwarfed formal shaped oak trees. Pure genetically. Not even considered to be true Bur oak by George Ware of the Morton Arboretum.

This is how my chokecherry TREE bloomed this year. I grow this as a tree. The trunk is 4" in diameter. The first branch is 6' high. Makes for a nice tree if you keep the suckers out. And look at those blooms.
Carolina Rose. R. carolinus. Stays small. Mor redish than pink flower. Very native. I like it. Can sucker like mad. So, keep it under control and you'll do fine.
This is my sweetshrub. Calycanthus floridus. Note the walnut sized purple flowers to the right. That and smell good are all it does. Just barely hardy here. Arguable as to if it's native or not.
Maybe one of my favorite trees. Blackhaw Viburnum. V. prunifolium. Glossy leaves, gets big, can be tree or shrub, is beautiful in fall. Decent flower display. Little disease problem. I have 300 growing in pots for sale. That's how much I like this plant.
My backyard. When we moved in here 10 years ago very few of what you see was here. 3 large silver maples and one magnolia. Since then I planted 40 various evergreens to serperate me from the road behind. I wanted to create a living space. I did. One note, there are 11 types of evergreens seen in my back yard. No two alike (same genus) are touching. I did that for disease problems. It worked.
I liked this American Plum P. americana bloom set. A week after this pic was taken it broke off in a large wind.
Oh well, it suckers back. Theory is it needs a pollenator. Maybe that's why it never set fruit.
One of my two Jap maples. Acer palmatum atropurpurea. I like this, it fruited (set seed) this year. Of course I will collect and germinate it. I don't know how much will come true. I'll let you know.

And this last pix is Acer palmatum dicentra. Cut leaf Weeping Jap Maple. This is over 9 years old and is still just 3' tall. But pretty and always gets a comment.

I will have additional notes as time goes on. I have other pictures.

So happy spring and happy Memorial day.