Friday, January 21, 2022

Make money with ivy!

 Flower basket with ivy

5 ways to make a little extra cash

Life is a drag when you’re stuck indoors. Maybe it’s freezing outside and you’d rather not be in it. Or, perhaps you’re avoiding exposure to viruses. If you love working with plants, you can do it while sequestered or hibernating. With a little imagination, you can make some money on the side, too.

Potted ivy, for example, presents lots of possibilities. Here are 5 things you can do for fun and profit.

  1. Make topiaries for sale or rent. Most ivy varieties are ideal topiary subjects. Topiary frames are readily available. The simplest are heart-shaped or circular wreaths. Buy them online or make them yourself. Ivy vines can be trained against them and grown until they’ve filled out and ready to sell. Thankfully, ivy doesn’t take too long to grow. Sell them at local farmer’s markets, craft shows, to florists or online. 
  2. Create planters for indoors or out. Ivy is gorgeous when cascading over the sides of hanging baskets and window planters. Ready-made gardens like these can be very popular with people who want people who have limited time or energy to create their own. Instant gratification satisfies.
  3. Dress ivies in 3-1/2 inch pots with colorful fabrics. Sell them to wedding planners for table decorations or wedding favors.
  4. Stuff little pots of ivy in vintage wall pockets. These will enhance any decor. The ivy adds value to these simple decorative objects. Market them to craft shops and antique stores.
  5. Take cuttings, root and sell them. If you have several ivy plants, you’ll eventually need to prune them. The cuttings can be sold rooted or unrooted on internet marketplace platforms. Because they’re small, the cuttings are easily shipped to buyers just about anywhere.

With a little ingenuity, you can turn your interest in plants to a profitable side gig for a little extra cash.

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Thursday, January 13, 2022

When To Prune Deciduous Shrubs


Pruning clippers

One very important part of gardening is knowing when to prune your plants.  Pruning at the right time will result in healthy ones. Pruning at the wrong time may result in their being unhealthy, unattractive and unproductive.

Since there are so many types of plants to consider, we’ll focus in this article on deciduous shrubs. 

The best time to prune depends upon their growth habit, bloom season, and condition. 

Spring-flowering species such as forsythia, Japanese quince and lilac bloom on buds produced the previous season. Early pruning will remove many of those buds and reduce the flowery display that we anticipate so anxiously. 

Since overgrown shrubs might need a lot of pruning, the best time to work on them is late winter or early spring before growth begins. The precise months will vary depending on your climate zone. Extensive pruning will certainly reduce the number of blooms produced for the next couple of years, but the shrubs will be better off in the long run.

You should wait to prune healthy spring-flowering shrubs until just after flowering. This will allow you to enjoy the spring flowers while allowing plenty of time for growth and new buds to set for next year’s display.

Summer-flowering species such as dwarf crape myrtle, spirea, and butterfly bush bloom on new growth.  Prune them in late winter or early spring.  They should bloom that year. 

If you’re growing certain shrubs for their attractive bark, colorful foliage or fruit, prune them in late winter or early spring before growth commences. 

Avoid pruning deciduous shrubs in late summer.  August or September pruning might encourage a late growth spurt.  The tender, new growth likely won’t harden enough before cold weather arrives and will be vulnerable to frost damage. 

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Plant Flowers

I thought I'd share this. Received it in an email from Tom Woods. It's a wonderful idea!


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Monday, January 3, 2022

Why is this called "Ice Plant"?


Ice Plant
Delosperma cooperi aka Ice Plant

Q. Why is this called "Ice Plant"?

A. Delosperma cooperi is commonly known as Hardy Ice Plant. It's cold hardy into USDA Climate Zone 5. But its cold-hardiness is not the reason for the reference to ice. If you look closely at the slender foliage in the photograph above, you'll notice the glistening white surfaces. Upon examining with a magnifying lens, you'd see structures called epidermal bladder cells. These are what give Delosperma that ice-like glaze. 

Incidentally, Hardy Ice Plant is also known as Mesembryanthemum cooperi. Mesembryanthemum is a genus that grows well in dry, salty, sandy environments. It thrives in South Africa, the Mediterranean region, parts of North and South America. Travelers along the Pacific Coast Highway 1 will see it often.

Ice Plant doesn't have to grow in sandy soil, but gardeners who have it, or who live in dry coastal areas will appreciate its abilities. It's an amazing little plant. To deal with heat, Ice Plant closes little pores (stomata) under its leaves to retain moisture. If it isn't getting enough salt, it takes up airborne saline through its foliage to retain moisture. 

Mesembryanthemum leaves, flowers and seeds are edible. On top of that, the plant has medicinal qualities. It has been used to treat various ailments including liver, kidney and pneumonia. It is also used externally for skin treatment.

Hardy Ice Plant serves well as a ground cover in rock gardens, coastal and container gardens, succulent and cactus gardens, medicinal gardens, and xeriscapes. You should find a place for it in your garden.

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