Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Summer Visit to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG): Pictures from the Perennial Border, Part I

Every time I visit the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx, I am sure to visit the Perennial Border. It is my favorite part of NYBG and it is always inspiring.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Ticks, More Misery: A mother's experience in avoiding deer ticks and Lyme disease

As a mother of five that spends a lot of time with her children outside in a region with a large deer population, deer ticks and Lyme disease are a significant concern. Several people we know have been infected with Lyme disease with negative health consequences. For some unknown reason, it seems that many doctors do not test sick children (and adults) with symptoms of Lyme disease unless they are specifically asked. As a result, people often go undiagnosed and untreated for an extended period of time, making the condition worse. On our property, we do get the yard commercially sprayed against deer ticks, even the parts that are fully fenced off from the deer. In addition, we also consciously look out for them on our children and have over the years found and removed a few, usually near the hair line. They are tiny and difficult to spot if you are not looking for them.

From the "Room for Debate" column in The New York Times:

"Is the tick problem getting worse, or does it just seem that way at this time every year? Fighting back involves a lot of individual strategies: tucking pant legs in socks, using bug spray (while hating it), obsessively doing full-body checks at the end of a summer day and building deer fences. Yet the public as a whole has been ineffective in dealing with the plague of black-legged (deer) ticks, which spread Lyme disease, a problem linked to, among other things, the overpopulation of deer, which the ticks feed on. What is important to know about ticks and their environment, and what steps might be taken to control them?"

For the full story, click here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lightning, Thunder, Hail and Rainbows

Yesterday around 5PM, it started to thunder. A few minutes later, the lightning started to flash. Torrential rain and hail the size of ice cubes followed. The rain was so forceful it was coming through the screens in the open windows. Next, lightning struck one of our neighbor's trees and we saw a large branch fall into our yard, right into the Long Border and the Walled Garden. After several minutes, it all stopped and the sun began to shine. Then, in our front yard, very low to the ground, there it was--a bright rainbow. We walked out to survey the damage to the garden. Many of the tall plants throughout the garden were laying on the ground, but most of the real damage, as you can see below, was limited to the Long Border.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rabid Raccoons confirmed in the New York Area

"MYFOXNY.COM - Several rabid raccoons have been found in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx in recent weeks. That is prompting the New York City Health Department to issue a warning. Pet owners should make sure their animals are vaccinated agaisnt rabies. The health department says people should avoid contact will any raccoons, skunks, bats, stray dogs and cats and other wild animals that can carry rabies."

For the full story, click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

He was buried on his farm in a grove off a walking path he traversed each day

There's something wonderful and natural about the idea of home burial. From Katie Zezima in The New York Times:

"PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — When Nathaniel Roe, 92, died at his 18th-century farmhouse here the morning of June 6, his family did not call a funeral home to handle the arrangements.
Instead, Mr. Roe’s children, like a growing number of people nationwide, decided to care for their father in death as they had in the last months of his life. They washed Mr. Roe’s body, dressed him in his favorite Harrods tweed jacket and red Brooks Brothers tie and laid him on a bed so family members could privately say their last goodbyes.
The next day, Mr. Roe was placed in a pine coffin made by his son, along with a tuft of wool from the sheep he once kept. He was buried on his farm in a grove off a walking path he traversed each day."

For the full article, click here.

Clematis 'Venosa Violacea' in the Rose Garden

Monday, July 20, 2009

Clematis x triternata 'Rubromarginata' on the fence in the Children's Garden

This clematis, Rubromarginata, may win the contest for the greatest growth in a single season, covering more than an eight foot section of the fence.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thank you Queenmother Mamaw!

Queenmother Mamaw, a kind mother/grandmother, retired RN, gardener and blogger from Kentucky, sent me a lovely red velvet cake via her blog and the following quote of St. Teresa of Avila from Interior Castle:

"This secret union takes place in the deepest center of the soul, which must be where God dwells. God appears in the center of the soul, not through an imaginary, but through a subtler intellectual vision, just as He appeared to the Apostles, without entering through the door. This instantaneous communication of God to the soul is so great a secret and so sublime a favor and such delight is felt by the soul in such a way that they have become like two who cannot be separated from one another. The Soul remains all the time in that center with its God.

We might say that this union is as if the lighted ends of two wax candles were joined so that the light they give is one. Or, it is like rain falling from the skies into a river or spring: there is nothing but water there, and it is impossible to divide or separate the water belonging to the river from that which fell from the skies. Or, as if in a room there are two large windows through which the light streams in: it enters in different places but it all becomes one. Perhaps this is what Paul meant by saying , the one who is joined to Christ becomes one Spirit with Him."

Gravetye Beauty Clematis on Goldberry Hill

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outbreak of Fungus Threatens Tomato Crop

From Julia Moskin in The New York Times:

"A highly contagious fungus that destroys tomato plants has quickly spread to nearly every state in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic, and the weather over the next week may determine whether the outbreak abates or whether tomato crops are ruined, according to federal and state agriculture officials...

...Authorities recommend that home gardeners inspect their tomato plants for late blight signs, which include white, powdery spores; large olive green or brown spots on leaves; and brown or open lesions on the stems. Gardeners who find an affected plant should pull it, seal it in a plastic bag and throw it away, not compost it."

For the full article click, here.

Duchess of Albany Clematis in the Front Border

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for July 2009: Hydrangeas, Phlox, Lilies, Rudbeckia and More

Many of my recent posts have been about roses and clematis which are of still blooming throughout my garden, so this bloom day post will focus on everything else. Check out all of the bloom day posts from around the world over at May Dreams Garden.

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