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mmh

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332 posts in 2216 days

Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland
Hardiness Zone: 7a
Website: http://www.bigstickcanes.com

I love projects especially if it means getting dirty. I have gardened organically for 20 years and have an array of edibles & ornamentals in my first grown-up garden I have a 1/4 acre suburban lot surrounding a 1500 gallon koi pond. The yard of this home is certified by the Nature & Wildlife Habitat Foundation and my 5'x10' compost pile has reduced our wet garbage donations to almost "Null".

My new home is now on a wooded acreage of over 2 acres but the house is surrounded by a modest lawn and natural landscape created 30 years ago which has matured with a feel of "tame meets wild" and the towering rhododendrons can give an impressive display. The wildlife range from deer, fox, rabbit, geese with a array of other wild birds, snakes, chipmunks, etc. and the plan for the new vegetable garden, fruit bearing trees, bushes & brambles and an enclosed koi pond are in process. There's a lot to do or undo before we get this to work for us but the woods are quite serene and beautiful and our bird watching opportunities are limitless.

We have too many houseplants but they keep the indoors livable during the cold winter months. Between garden, ponding, caring for cats, husband and fish and household chores I get to play in the basement wood workshop and create canes out of unusual and fancy woods. http://www.bigstickcanes.com.

I also have done some beaded and metal jewelry designing and enjoyed renovating our first home and did all of the tile work as seen here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/10620. My husband frequently accuses me of "Having way too much fun!"

-- A weed is a plant that is growing where it was not purposefully placed by human hands.

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15 comments so far

View jroot's profile

jroot

5081 posts in 2318 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-27-2008 03:52 AM

Welcome to Gt. You will find that we are a friendly lot here, willing to share our experiences so that we all can learn. We all love to see photos of the gardens. Do you have any to share?

mmh, you mention that you have brugmansia plants. So do I. Where are you located? I am in southern Ontario, and I have had to bring mine in a couple of weeks ago. What kind of brugs do you have? Any photos of them? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had smell-a-vision capablilities, so we could all share the fragrance of these beauties.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 10-27-2008 04:06 AM

Hello and WELCOME to GT!!! :-)

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2688 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-27-2008 12:31 PM

hi there! Welcome to GT

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2468 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-27-2008 03:34 PM

Hi Mmh welcome to GT

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View mmh's profile

mmh

332 posts in 2216 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 10-28-2008 12:30 AM

Hello All. Thank you for the warm welcome. I followed MsDebbieP here from www.lumberjocks.com. You get around!

I have been gardening organically in Rockville, Maryland for 15 yrs. now. I have learned a lot and wore out many gloves and body parts. I just winterized my koi pond and greenhouse and hope we don’t have too many windy cold & freezing days ahead of us.

The Brugmansia plants that I have have peach colored blossoms. I will have to search for a photo of them as my plant is in bud, not in bloom right now. I bought them online 2 yrs. ago and I had actually left one outdoors to perish, but the root survived so I replanted it next to my pond’s underground pipe and I chopped the top off and covered w/ plastic (that is inside rooting – oh dear!) and a smaller one is potted, that is the only one that has bloomed.

It is among my managerie of tropicals (pitcher plant, pineapples, orchids, hot peppers, amaryllis, gingers, Mexican pond cactus, kumquat tree, ferns, and a 30 gallon guppy tank. This is all situated in the basement in the wood workshop. Don’t ask how all this fits, as it doesn’t. The other room has a 150 gallon tank with 2 koi in it next to my collection of woods. Not a good layout but it’s covered to keep the humidity down, so I have to keep a flood lamp on to dry things out. Otherwise the lights are all florescent.

It’s a cozy little house with the sides bulging out!

-- A weed is a plant that is growing where it was not purposefully placed by human hands.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5081 posts in 2318 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-28-2008 01:02 AM

You sound like a really interesting person. Glad to have you “aboard”. When you get a chance show us some shots of your garden. I love the tropical look myself, but am not allowed to have a greenhouse here in this subdivision ( restrictive covenants ), so I have to make do with what I can. Pitcher plants are neat. I was going to put them into my bog garden, but alas, that garden became my new water feature. ... long story.

I’ve never seen a kumquat tree. What does it look like?

I had a water cactus in my pond. My neighbour, several doors down, has a Jack Russell terrrier who is always on the loose, (although he claims it is always under control). One day, Daisy ( the Jack Russell) was on the tear chasing some of the rabbits in the bush. She was particularly thirsty after a half hour of chasing, heard my pond and came up for a drink. Daisy jumped right into my shallow pond and started drinking, but got the water cactus stuck on her tongue. It was funny to see, but not funny for the dog. I got rid of the cactus shortly after that, ... and Daisy never came back to my property to leave her “presents”.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View mmh's profile

mmh

332 posts in 2216 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 10-28-2008 01:46 AM

Poor Daisy! (I am trying not to snicker too hard!). The Mexican Pond Cactus is actually thornless. It is a flat succulent leaf that is scalloped and roots readily along the stem. It grows rampant if allowed and I have to chop it down every so often, as it will sprout up to the ceiling and crawl along it. It is a night bloomer and the buds sprout from the scalloped edges, first looking like small artichokes, then the stem elongates until the bud is about 10” long and goosnecked. The cactus type flower opens around 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM and looks like a bouquet of white goose feathers creating a beautiful feathered flower. A huge mistake is to put your nose up to it and inhale. It is full of pollen and quite pungent up close, but bearable from afar. I assume it is pollinated by a moth, as it closes up by 7:00 AM.

-- A weed is a plant that is growing where it was not purposefully placed by human hands.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5081 posts in 2318 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-28-2008 01:50 AM

Mmh, your water cactus is certainly different from mine. Mine was actually quite prickly, hence Daisy’s consternation. Yours sounds really interesting. Where can it be obtained? Does it prefer deep or shallow water? Can it be wintered over inside?

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View mmh's profile

mmh

332 posts in 2216 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 10-28-2008 02:12 AM

The original plant was purchased from a lady by my mother about 35 years ago. I inheirited that plant and choped it and grew some of the cuttings and gave the original one away. The plant I now have is recouperating from a major “chop job” last winter. When ever I trim it I am always looking for someone to give cuttings to as it’s just hard to kill something like this. I usually end up throwing it into the compost pile and I’ve found it survive snow & ice under the pile. When the weather gets warm again, I will gladly send you a piece. Depending on costs, I may ask for postage, just drop me a line when it’s no longer snowing!

-- A weed is a plant that is growing where it was not purposefully placed by human hands.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5081 posts in 2318 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-28-2008 02:57 AM

Cool ! :)

I am in Canada. Since you are in the US, there may be some border issues. Alas, that is always a problem for me.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View dini's profile

dini

1591 posts in 2405 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 10-28-2008 09:18 PM

Welcome to GT.

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 10-28-2008 10:55 PM

I sent seeds to Canada and did not have a problem jroot (I’m in Michigan) ... just have to fill out a custom’s form. :-)

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View mmh's profile

mmh

332 posts in 2216 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 10-28-2008 11:52 PM

I would imagine that since Canada is has a hard freeze, it does not have to worry about the same problems of insects as tropical regions do. Hawaii has to be VERY strict and so does California, as anything could propogate or multiply without control. Several years back they both had a severe white fly problem.

-- A weed is a plant that is growing where it was not purposefully placed by human hands.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5081 posts in 2318 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-29-2008 01:00 AM

Sending seeds across the border is different than sending living plants. Live plants need to be quarantined… and that reduces the likelihood that they would arrive safely.

You are quite right about the differing problems that we have compared to the tropics. We do have white fly problems here from time to time, and definitely spider mite problems ( with the brugmansia, although I was lucky this year).

I think I should pass on your kind offer, mmh, although it does seem like an interesting plant, and I love unique and interesting plants. Border restrictions are too problematic though.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4305 posts in 1950 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-13-2009 07:04 PM

Mmh, I will provide a loving home for your wildly-growing kiwi plant! Of course it is about an eight hour drive between us and the animals keep us pretty close to home, so let me know if you are planning any vacations up in New England and you can come visit our chaotic little farm. Maybe I have a plant you might want in trade. : ) By the way, I just read your pumpkin/rubber snake project from last year. What fun!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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