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SHADES OF MAPLE: THE TURNING OF THE COLORS

The Monday GardenEco-gardening at its best

SHADES OF MAPLE: THE TURNING OF THE COLORS

 

When it comes to maples, nothing is that certain due to significant cross breeding and what appears to be personal choice influenced by clan and individual genetic make-up, physical location, current and past health, the neighbors, the weather, nourishment, and the like – a lot like us when you think about it.


PICTURE: first to turn are the magnificent sugar maples. First Presbyterian Church Stamford CT Oct. 2005

There are some benchmarks, though. First to greet each autumn are the wonderful, wonderful sugar maples (Acer saccharum). They’ll soon be followed by the reds (a/k/a swamp maple) (Acer rubrum), and then the rest of the maples found in Southern New England – the Norways ( Acer plantanoides), Japanese (Acer palmatum, etc. ), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), amur (Acer ginnala), silvers (Acer saccharinum), and box elders (Acer negundo). Some trees will turn earlier or later than the norm for their group. Stressed trees turn earlier and those with a bit more warmth or light, etc. turn later. The Norways will hold their leaves the longest, often being the only tree still in color at the tail-end of the season.

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Posted by ssweeney44 at 01:47 PM | Comments (1)

POISON IVY: THE FALL VIEW

Eco-gardening is at its best in The Monday Garden 
October 30, 2005, Issue 183 

POISON IVY: THE FALL VIEW

 

By now, I hope that all readers of The Monday Garden can recognize the summer form of poison ivy but can you also recognize the equally dangerous fall version, especially after the poison ivy leaves have fallen and mingled with the harmless oaks and maples? Never jump in a leaf pile or burn leaves (not a good idea anyway) without first checking for poison ivy. The pictures tell the story.


Picture: poison (poison oak –looking variety) on a wall, 5th Street, Stamford ct Oct 2005.

Picture: fallen poison ivy leaves on the pavement in the rain Hoyt Street Alley, Stamford CT Oct 2005. Note that the leaflets have fallen apart so you can no longer go by the “leaves for three, let it be”. 

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Posted by ssweeney44 at 11:37 AM | Comments (2)

FUNGI IN THE MULCH

Eco-gardening is at its best in The Monday Garden 
October 23, 2005, Issue 183A

FUNGI IN THE MULCH

 


As noted in several articles in The Monday Garden, mulching is one of the nicest things you can do for your garden. A side of effect of piling on the mulch, though, is that fungi will come to help rot it. This, too, is a good thing.

The fungi “flowers” appear most often after rainy periods. Most of these fungi are at least curiously interesting, and some are very attractive. However, locally, we also have a form of slime mold, often found cedar mulch, which is known descriptively as “dog threw up fungi”. Fortunately, this most primitive of fungi does its growing, fruiting, spore-dispensing, and dying business within days, and then disappears on its own. Unfortunately, the lovely, more evolutionarily-advanced toadstools, shelf fungi, and puffballs are short-lived as well, so enjoy them while they last.

Picture: toadstools in the mulch, Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford, CT summer 2005

I often hear yard owners, who are not experienced gardeners, express concern about fungi in the yard and fears that their grandchildren, puppies, etc., will eat a poisonous one and/or some other horrible thing will happen.

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Posted by ssweeney44 at 10:02 AM | Comments (1)

INDOOR PLANTS: WINTER HUMIDITY

The Monday GardenEco-gardening at its best

INDOOR PLANTS: WINTER HUMIDITY

 


The winter humidity level in the average North American home is much too low for the humans, let alone the plants, woven baskets, and wood furniture. In case you are into numbers: tropical plants and orchids like humidity in the 40 to 70% range; humans like at least 30% and tend to object to amounts over 50%; a home with central heating is about 15-20% — drier than many deserts. Where humans are concerns, low humidity has been blamed for poor skin, dry nose and throat, low productivity, and all kinds of other problems. Thus, central heating may keep you warm enough, but even the cacti feel that the air is a bit dry.

The office is even worse than the home for humidity. At home, we have more cooking, dishwashing, clothes laundering, and bathing activates that regularly contribute at least some moisture to the air.

Indoor plants are a great way to raise humidity naturally at work and at home. Unlike humidifying machines, plants don’t have filters to change, tend to be very quiet, and usually work well without electricity. Plants are also generally much more attractive on the window sill than the average humidifying machine.

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