Help! Help! a Lily Tree Question…

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First of all, I’d never even heard of a lily tree or tree lily depending on which web site I look at, until an hour ago. My friend posted these photos of her lily tree with these really interesting growths protruding out of the base of the trunk.

So our question is

what is this?

Are they roots or a pest or an alien life form?

I haven’t seen anything quite like this before.

What say you gardening gurus, master gardeners, people who google better than we do…

Help!!

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Here’s another photo that Denise took.

She lives just a quarter mile away so I want to be ready if I need to watch out for this thing..

and I’d like to help her too!

Share your thoughts, any at all,  in the comments section!

I know we can figure this out!

Thanks!!!

Michele and Denise

It’s My Blog and I Can Ask You to Vote for Holly’s Cake if I Want to…

Cakes for Occasions's photo.

so I will!

I know I’m way far away from gardening at the moment, but I’m not far away from creativity, passion and spirit!

My oldest daughter Holly decorated this cake to represent Salem High School in the Cakes for Occasions Cake Wars event on Sunday morning. Cakes for Occasions is a bakery in Danvers, Massachusetts that specializes in absolutely delicious nut and peanut free cakes and pastries.

Holly really put her all in to the design and decoration of this cake because that’s the way she does things like this, and she wants to win cupcakes for her classes’ prom.

Now it’s time to vote and we need your help!

To vote, click on this link 

https://www.facebook.com/cakesforoccasions 

on facebook, like her cake and share with your friends so they can like and share too!

I just know she can do it!

Please share my post widely, re-blog, like, share on facebook, tweet… whatever social media your into!

Thank you all so, so much for your help!
Michele
Cakes for Occasions's photo.

 

A Tale of Two Bulb Beds

So here’s what happened…

I planted bulbs from the same three packages in two different beds in my yard within an hour of each other.

I even blogged about it here. This was just a few months ago, right before we experienced the most difficult winter ever recorded in eastern Massachusetts.

There was a lot of snow.

IMG_8601Here’s the backyard herb garden today.  Remember how I carefully planted bulbs along the path, in the nooks and crannies? It was going to be amazing! The herbs are slowly coming to life but there’s not a bulb in sight.

IMG_8599And then there’s the sunny front yard…same packages of bulbs, same planting time and their blooming to beat the band.

I’ve been reading about microclimates and I think that this situation is a good example of two very different climates within about twenty yards of each other. The front bed gets morning sun that’s reflected off of the house and the big windows just above it which makes warm soil, almost like a greenhouse. The herb bed in the back gets afternoon sun and it’s kind of tucked in behind the hemlock tree and shielded by the house until later in the day. As the sun rises higher in the sky this spring it will hit this spot earlier in the day. Right now, it’s still pretty cold out there.

Or maybe squirrels dug everything up when I wasn’t looking!

I don’t think so, I would have noticed.

It could also be related to the soil. That front yard soil isn’t anything special. I kind of neglect it, but it does have years of good mulch composted in. The herb bed was just dug last spring and fertilized with compost from our piles and a few bags of organic compost that I bought.

So, I’m on bulb watch! I’ll let you know if anything pops up.

How’s your garden growing? Did your bulbs come up?

Enjoy it all!

Michele

Bass River is Green for Earth Day and Every Day!

thesalemgarden:

Yesterday we took photos of some of that ways that my employer, Bass River, Inc, works to be environmentally friendly. I haven’t read the mission statement recently but I’m quite sure that green initiatives must be mentioned because taking care of the earth and treading lightly seems to be a focus. It really is a unique place to work . Enjoy these photos and words shared by the men and women whom I’m privileged to work with. Happy Earth Day! Michele

Originally posted on Bass River Gardens:

We do lots of things in a “green” way here at Bass River, Inc.

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One of Bass River’s cars is clean and running on electricity. We use plug in power and its fast!

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We pack  this lawn seed and send it to customers for the company. It uses less water and no chemicals.

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We plant seeds.

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We recycle yogurt cups!

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We use Energy Star appliances.

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We recycle coffee cans and water bottles.

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Recycling cans!

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We recycle paper.

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We put apple peels and banana skins in our compost bin and turn it.

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We also make compost using worms.

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We collect the sun to make electricity for our building.

Earth Day is a day to keep the world a better place!

Happy Earth Day!

Photos by Tanya, John P and John M.

Text by Nathan, Ellie, Danielle, Tanya, Jason, Laurie, Bill and Barbara

View original

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day- April 2015

Yes! It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and we have a few blooms.

I can’t forget that April 15th is also the two year anniversary of the Marathon bombings. The city of Boston has declared April 15th One Boston Day.

This day will be a celebration of the resiliency, generosity, and strength of the people that make Boston the great city it is according to the Mayor of Boston’s office.

The city and region are stronger for what happened. I’m personally working toward that too. Sometimes strength comes when I least expect it, but so does weakness.

We will never forget or be quite the same, but we will  move forward and it does get a little better gradually. You can read about our marathon experience by clicking here if you want to. I have a little ptsd, but not as much as others who suffer(ed) much more.

It was quite a day, week, year, two years…

And Back to Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day…

The snow is gone… totally gone…

That’s hard to believe considering that just two weeks ago the garden still looked like this:

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IMG_8552 But it’s gone and our crocus are blooming. They’re almost on their way out already.IMG_8548 A few of the anemone bulbs that I planted last fall are about to bloom.IMG_8547As I looked back at my photos from two years ago I realized that the scilla has filled in quite nicely. One of the best things about garden blogging is seeing your plant’s progress in just a few clicks.

IMG_8545These two little daffodils are the first that I’ve seen here in our garden this year.
IMG_8540 The pansies arrived (from up the street) late last night and we got them planted this morning. I haven’t planted pansies this late in the season in many years, but it happens when spring is three weeks late.IMG_8533Case in point, the snowdrops… they’ve made it, but by a thread! The snow was at the top of the six foot fence thats behind them not long ago.

Be sure to read the other GBBD posts on May Dreams Gardens, and send prayers and positive energy to the thousands of victims of the bombings here in the Boston area.

We are strong!

Love, Michele

Lettuce Plant Lettuce

LOL, I can’t stop myself sometimes…

Creating blog post titles truly amuses me.

But, the title is true, we really can start lettuce from seed now.

IMG_8530Last Saturday was cold and windy but I had lots of fun planting four varieties:

-Merveille de Quatre Saisons

-Winter Density

-New Red Fire

and Pinetree Mix

I chose each type for different, specific reasons.

I’m hoping for an early harvest from the Winter Density. It went in on the late side because the ground was still frozen but it’s an early variety that grows quickly.

The New Red Fire is said to be slow to bolt, and it’s so pretty.

Merveille de Quatre Saisons is described in the Pinetree catalog as  “truly marvelous. It was the only lettuce in our trials that remained good tasting during an exceptionally dry and hot summer years ago, and continues to impress us each year. ” I couldn’t resist that kind of high praise.

And I chose the Pinetree Mix with the hope of having a nice little bed of baby lettuces that we could pick easily and often.

We love fresh lettuce!

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I also love taking pictures of lettuce markers early in the morning in my pajamas and Michael’s mud boots. ;)

Lettuce is easy…

–You can scratch up an existing bed then add compost and seeds at about 1/4 inch depth,

–or plant it in a pot

–or open up a bag of organic soil and just add seeds to it like this (click on the link to see!)

So lettuce plant lettuce! It’s finally time!

How’s your garden growing?

Love, Michele

 

Here Comes the Garden Plan!

I published this post two years ago and thought I’d pull it out and share it again for new readers who might have missed it. As the post reads, for $25 a year Mother Earth News gives you the ability to graph out and print, share and post your garden plan. You can change it as much as you’d like and they send you regular garden chore reminders.  I’m finding that this year we are way behind many of the recommendations that Mother Earth News and gardenplantingcalendar.com have sent me because of our cold and snow. Maybe our weather will catch up with the calendar soon!  As a side note, this Mother Earth News planner also works wonderfully with a group of people who are planning together using a smart board or computer. The men and women at Bass River, Inc enjoy identifying all of the things they would like to plant and using their hands to place the plants on our virtual garden site. It’s definitely worth the investment. Let’s get planning!

One of my very favorite things about winter is thinking about the garden plan.  Yesterday I spent some time poking around the internet looking at planning websites and found this great service at Motherearthnews.com. For a thirty day free trial ($25/year after the thirty days),  you can design your garden space using lots of cool features.  The site uploads plant lists for your climate. Then you can determine your square footage and add all of the beds, structures and plants that you’d like. You can share it on social media, publish it, view it on your phone and print it.  I used the video tutorials that are provided to get started and before I knew it I had created this complete map of my kitchen garden.

Here is the link directly to the vegetable garden planner which I happened upon when I googled “garden plan.”   Just a side note about the Mother Earth News web site,  that’s a wonderful resource too! There’s lots of great information about gardening, sustainable living and health. I could spend days just reading and gathering ideas and information there.  Here’s the link  to the online version of the plan just above. You’ll see the plant list that comes with it just below the plan.

As I finish typing I can hear the ducks down in the pond for the first time this year.  Spring really is right around the corner!

If you create a garden plan, let me know, and I’ll share here on The Salem Garden!

Enjoy everything!

Michele

*This is not a paid endorsement, I have no connection to Mother Earth News, I just liked it  ;)*

What’s Happening in the Garden- April 1, 2015

Yes, I am very brazenly beginning my “what’s happening” posts today, April 1, because I know that things are happening in the garden already, in spite of the foot of snow that still covers it.

IMG_8468 Here’s the garden today.

Do you see the progress? I believe that that’s oregano that I never deadheaded last fall. Last week it was still buried! And right below the surface everything is just waiting for that last bit of snow to melt!

IMG_8469The pond is thawing, ever so slowly, no ducks yet but they’ll be here soon…

Has anyone noticed that I’ve been changing my header pics as the pond changes? I love to mark time and changes with photos.

IMG_8470 And, the black pussy willow is blooming!IMG_8476 I’m attached to  this plant for so many reasons.

It was a Mother’s Day gift the first year that we lived here and it’s one of the very first signs of spring that I see each year. And it’s just so lush and pretty..

IMG_8481It looks like the forsythia still needs some time. This plant is behind a pine tree and next to a fence. It might be further along if it got more sun. My friend Blaire sent me a photo of forsythia blooming downtown a few days ago. Maybe it’s a few degrees warmer down there in the city.IMG_8486 Heading inside, the onions are up! I got an almost 100% germination rate with these seeds from Pinetree. I’ve read that I should trim back the taller seedlings to let the energy go to bulb formation. I’m hoping to get to that today.IMG_8491We have peppers too.
IMG_8493 Heading out to the front yard, a few of the bulbs that I planted last year are fighting their way through despite the fact that most of the ground is still frozen. I remember thinking that we’d have these blooming for Easter this year. Maybe not…IMG_8495And here’s two of the three crocus flowers that we’re enjoying so far.

The first morning that these appeared the whole family was out on the front sidewalk jumping for joy.

The little things are the best!

How’s your garden growing? I’ll bet that most of you have more going on than we do in Salem Massachusetts. That’s okay, we’ll catch up!

Love, Michele

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