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A Kids Tree
During my youth kids were required to pass through a tree climbing phase as part of the transition from being a kid to becoming a teenager. Not just any old tree would do of course. The majestic oak was always a tower of strength but the limbs were too high up for it to be a good climbing tree. Likewise, the tall pecan trees that grew in our yard would have required a chain of ladders just to make it to the first limb.
Back toward the center of our property grew a very beautiful Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia Virginiana) tree. The leaves were bright green with an almost wax appearance in the sunshine. Inside the green foliage it was very easy to climb right to the center trunk where numerous low hanging limbs were perfect for any size kid. It was so much fun to make the criss-cross climb across the various tree branches winding my way up as close as possible to the top. Inside the foliage, cool air rustling the leaves was the only sound heard on a summer's midday. The beautiful, fragrant magnolia flower blooms were always a special treat in March and April. Only a kid knew that the best views of the flowers were from an inside tree limb looking out towards the sun.
Of course for total climbing pleasure this kid of leisure would usually choose the fig tree. With its very low entry point from the ground, right away you're sitting half-way up in the middle of the tree. Our fig tree limbs formed a natural cradle allowing me to lay back with arms outstretched and relax just as well as any hammock. When the figs were in season it was a real treat just to reach out and grab a handful to snack on. Fairly often it became necessary to share the fig tree with passing birds because in choosing between fear of humans and the taste of ripe figs they always managed to be courageous.
Parents if you have the space to grow trees make sure your kids get to enjoy the wonderful pleasures of tree climbing. It will bless them with lifelong memories.
For additional tree information visit: http://www.vanursery.com where over 160 trees are described along with photographs.
© Peach ePublishing, LLC
In addition to being a passionate gardener Jason Canon has authored numerous technical research papers including: photonic switching, gigabit networking, VoIP/E9-1-1, and others.
CO2 for Free
We've all heard that there is no such thing as a 'free lunch'; well the process described in this article may be as close to one as you get. Most of us already know the benefits of CO2 enrichment for photosynthesis. To maximize indoor growing and greenhouse potential, CO2 is supplemented to maintain an approximate level of 1500 ppm, this can require frequent trips to an industrial gas supplier and/or a lot of propane or natural gas use, and related costs. It is ironic that many indoor farmers are exhausting CO2 to the outdoors from home heaters and hot water heaters while simultaneously releasing or generating CO2 for an indoor grow room or a greenhouse.
Early Spring Garden Guide: What To Do In The Yard And Garden Now
Can't wait to get back to the garden? Use this handy spring garden guide to get started. Believe it or not, the key is avoid getting too impatient and doing certain jobs too soon. Early spring jobs: in the yard Start winter cleanup of the lawn when the grass is no longer sopping wet and planting beds stop being a sea of mud. Rake your lawn to get rid of dead growth, stray leaves, twigs and winter debris and let light and air to the soil level, encouraging the grass to grow. Re-seed bare or damaged patches of lawn. Scratch up the soil with a rake first. Mix a shovel of soil with a couple of scoops of grass seed and spread in the patch you're fixing. Rake level and keep well-watered until seeds germinate and the new grass establishes. Remove tree guards or burlap winter protection from any young trees or shrubs. Try not to leave tree guards in place over the summer. They keep rabbits and mice from nibbling on tender bark over the winter, but trees don't need them in summer. They don't allow enough air movement around the base of the trunk and that can promote rot of the bark. Transplant any existing shrubs you want to move before they begin to leaf out. Weeds start growing vigorously early, so when you spot them, go to it. Getting on top of the weeding now means a lot less work later. Weeds are easier to pull out while their roots are still shallow in early spring. Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees, magnolias, crabapples and shrubs such as euonymous to control scale insects and other overwintering pests. Use this organic pest control method when the buds are swelling but the leaves haven't opened yet. Apply when temperatures are between 40 and 70 degrees F (4-21 degrees C). Get your lawn mower checked and its blades sharpened if you didn't get the job done in late winter. Sharp blades cut better and leave your lawn grass healthier. Early spring garden jobs: In the flower garden Don't be in a rush to remove winter mulch or to cut back evergreen plants such as lavender until temperatures are reliably warm. Freeze and thaw cycles over the winter may given some of your plants the heave-ho. Replant any perennials that the frost has heaved out of the ground as soon as you can. Cut back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season (trimmings can go into the compost). Cut back ornamental grasses to about 10 inches from the ground. Remove winter protection of mounded earth from roses. Prune rose bushes before they start to leaf out. Resist the urge to start digging in your flower beds too early. You can damage the soil's structure. If you pick up a handful of soil, it should fall apart, not stick together like glue. When it's dry enough, you can start to dig beds and add compost or manure in preparation for planting. Grass growth is vigorous in the early spring garden, so edge your flower beds with a sharp trench between them and the grass to keep it in bounds. Repeat this job a couple of times through the season, or installing permanent edging goes a long way towards having a lower maintenance flower garden.
Gift Ideas for Bird Lovers
Some of the best gifts you can give to a bird lover are those that have to do with birds! :)
Taming Your Outdoors
Slapping yourself silly trying to keep mosquitoes from biting you? Besides causing irritating itching bites, mosquitoes can also carry and transmit several diseases including the West Nile Virus. Although you cannot get rid of every mosquito, there are many ways to protect yourself and those around you.
The Benefits of Using Landscape Software
If you enjoy making your yard as beautiful as it can be or if you own a landscaping service, you may want to consider investing in landscape software.
Cannibals on the Porch
No, ghosts of the Donner Party have not started haunting my porch, nor have others of the human type I may have reference to. I am speaking of cannibals in the insect world of which there are many, but two in particuIar that make me stop and wonder. The first is waxy black with a small red hourglass on her abdomen. She dangles on a thin thread late on warm summer nights in doorways or dark corners waiting for the what ever comes her way. I am sure you guessed, it is the female black widow spider, (Latrodectus Mactans) that I am referring to, and she is no stranger to many porches and gardens around the world . Her potent neurotoxic venom is more deadly than a rattle snake, although the actual bite is less noticeable. But she is only one of the many cannibals waiting outside.
Garden for Birds #4
I would like to know.....................
Italian Vegetable Seeds
Some might ask, "Why grow Italian vegetable seeds?" Why bother with going international when there are already plenty of seed companies in the U.S.?
Growing Vegetables in Containers - The Compact Solution
Container vegetable gardens are a great alternative for those that don't have access to backyards. There can be a range of reasons to grow your vegetables in containers...easy access to the kitchen, safer environments for children and the handicapped or just lack of a yard to use for gardening.
Secrets of Growing Killer Tomatoes
Tomatoes have always been my favorite garden vegetable to grow and to eat. I have had success with the other standard garden vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower etc. but tomatoes became my specialty over the years.
Black Walnut Trees Produce A Natural Insecticide
The black walnut tree manufactures a substance that is a natural insecticide according to experts at the Texas State University in Austin.
Lazy Fish Worries
If your fish hang out at the bottom of the pond, or act restless and lazy, then it's likely that your pond is suffering from poor aeration.
External vs. Submersible Pumps. Which One Should You Use?
For many people, it's never been a question of whether to use a submersible pump vs. an external pump because most people have smaller ponds and are used to just using a submersible pump. They're easy to install, and are pretty reliable - so why even consider an external pump?
The Basics of Growing Roses
So you want to grow roses? They are a beautiful choice for your garden and not nearly as difficult to grow as you might think.
Build a Rain Garden
There's a new garden in town. It is (mostly) easy to install, looks good year-round, requires almost no maintenance and has a terrifically upbeat impact on the environment. No wonder rain gardens are such a great new gardening trend!
Make Your Fresh Cut Roses Last Longer!
Women adore getting flowers, most especially roses, as it is a symbol of love and affection. Price of roses vary from state to state and flower shop to flower shop. Regardless, it is an investment that you want to have last as long as possible. So here are some steps you can take to ensure they last
How to Grow Asparagus
Asparagus is a perennial plant with erect, edible stems and tiny branches that bear even tinier flowers that become red berries that contain the black Asparagus seed. Formerly in the Liliaceae family, botanists have realized that Asparagus is in a class by itself and have repositioned its 120 species in the Asparagaceae genus. Asparagus is a high-end gourmet food item, but if you know how to grow asparagus, it becomes an inexpensive way to add a delicate flavor to your meals.
How to Grow Apples
The first thing you need to grow apples is a long-term commitment. Growing apples takes considerable time and quite a bit of work. Still, if one of your fondest childhood memories is the apple tree in your backyard, producing your own apples is a satisfying part of gardening.
Orchids Plus More Newsletter - December, 2004
Newsletter Name Change?
Gardening on a Budget
When we moved into our south Anchorage log home I had glorious plans for the 1/3 acre lot. Some previous owner had chopped down every tree counting on the neighboring woodlands for green and shade. The house was near the street with a lumpy hilly and narrow backyard that ended in the neighbor's goat pen. I was young, enthusiastic and confident that my green thumb could transform our piece of Alaska into a glorious landscaped garden. Now, 20 years later the neighborhood has evolved from birch/spruce woods to suburban sprawl and I'm still working on the transformation and enjoying every season.
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