Gardening: More fun with guns

This has to be the ultimate expression of redneck gardening.

…there’s a new way to sow your seeds: blasting them into the soil with a 12-gauge.

Flower Shell is a shotgun shell filled with flower seeds that will produce anything from daisies to sunflowers to poppies to meadow flowers.

Yes, you too can plant a garden without shifting your backside off the rocking chair on your veranda. The developer claims the shotgun shells really work and says of his planting efforts – with pride:

This flourishing field was my creation, it was all done with 142 shotgun shells.

LINK: For extreme gardeners, shotgun shells full of seed

I prefer my bushes natural, thanks

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 5.12.18 PMA botanical graffiti artist continues to shock the grey-haired set at the riverfront park in Windsor, Ontario. Honestly, when I saw what he did to that shrub my first thought was “bravo”. Up with the revolution! Go natural! Shaving Trimming Shearing shrub balls is the real vandalism here.

The City of Windsor’s executive director of parks and facilities, John Miceli, said:

Well, it’s unfortunate that they don’t use their talents with our Adopt a Park program. We could really use their skills, because they’re very, very good, whoever’s doing it, at being able to, uh, shape things.

Read on: Windsor’s phallus-obsessed bushwacker strikes again: Guerrilla gardener writes ‘penis’ with shrubs

Bugs happen when you garden

I love this man's (Mr. Brown Thumb) attitude toward gardening. In this article he talks about letting parasitic wasps have their evil way with tomato hornworms. He says, "Bugs happen when you garden":

My absolute favorite method of controlling hornworms on my tomato plants is to save a few of these caterpillars and let nature take its course. Pull the hornworm from your plants and place it inside a jar or plastic bottle without a lid to allow for ventilation. Every couple of days add a few tomato cuttings to the container to allow the caterpillar to continue to eat. And then sit back and watch as the hornworm is eaten from the inside by the pupating parasitic wasps. It's so disgusting, but it's so much fun to watch.

Read on: Tomato Hornworms and Parasitic Wasps

Alberta ‘pot’ turns out to be late-blooming daisies

This article brought me out of my blog slumber.

Alberta ‘pot’ seized by police was late-blooming daisies

Please don’t smoke the daisies.

It turns out that more than 1,600 suspected marijuana plants that a special police squad ripped out of a yard in Lethbridge, Alberta this summer are a species of daisy.

The bust, which was announced with fanfare in July, has homeowner Ryan Thomas Rockman scratching his head over the confusion. Just the same he’s happy the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) has dropped the charge of producing a controlled substance.

My first thought: 1600 plants!! Man, that must have been a beautiful display. I’d go ballistic if that were my garden. My second thought: Daisies? For cripes sakes, how do daisies get confused with marijuana plants? Those cops really need to spend more time in gardens looking at plants – not pulling them out.

Another reason why I love the British

It must be some kind of big year for the Queen’s anniversary, because there are lots of nostalgic articles in British newspapers about her wedding.

Either that, or it’s a very slow news week.

My favourite so far is “The Mystery of the Queen’s Missing Bouquet“. The bouquet was made of orchids – cattleya, odontoglossum and cypripedium – a nice choice, I might say. The jist of the story is that the bouquet went missing and the royal couple had to have their picture taken without it. Ok, it’s not exactly enthralling stuff, but here’s the part I love:

The bouquet was a gift to the Princess from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.

The Worshipful Company of Gardeners.

Oh man. Where do I sign up?

The quest for horse manure

Orchids in horse poop… I’ve read about it, and I’ve always wondered if it worked. An entire website is devoted to the glories of growing orchids in horse manure, and I’m sure that I’m not the only fool who has read it and actually been inspired to try.

And so yesterday I was invited to go out on a cart ride with my friend Sylvia and her beautiful Halflinger horse, Albert, after work. Sylvia is a tolerant soul, and when I floated the idea by her she gamely brought along two plastic shopping bags with the full knowledge that she’d be transporting fresh horse poo home in the trunk of her car for me. Such a good sport. Her parents are gardeners so I guess that bizarre botanical enthusiasms don’t alarm her any more; she’s had experience.
The cart ride through through the tranquil Bavarian countryside was unforgettable. We spent over an hour exploring quiet car-free trails through farmer’s fields and coniferous forests. We passed cyclists and joggers in our Roman-style chariot, and watched a deep red sunset and a big fat moonrise over the meadows. Wow. So beautiful. Albert is a gorgeous creature, with a ridiculously long and curling flowing mane and tail, and he seemed to enjoy the trip as much as we did. Halflingers are the equine equivalent of Golden Retrievers; loveable and friendly, and extremely intelligent. Not just a horse, but one of three friends out on an adventure.

After the ride, Sylvia led me to an enormous mound of manure and up along a long wooden board leading to the top of it. We balanced precariously on the narrow plank and giggled while we bent over and filled the plastic bag. No accidents, thankfully. Sylvia dropped me off back at the office where my bike was locked, and I rode home with a steaming warm bag of horse poo in the front basket. A memorable evening.

This morning, the experiment began. I repotted a small cymbidium, one from a bulb that I bought three years ago in Madeira. This has to be the slowest growing plant I’ve ever grown, and I’m so frustrated with its progress I don’t mind if it becomes the victim of a bad idea. If this works, bonus.