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Lonoke, errands and gardening

March 26, 2016
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It was an early morning drive to Lonoke, but on a Saturday morning, there was not much traffic getting through downtown Little Rock. The same can’t be said between the stretch between NLR and Lonoke on Interstate 40. There were trucks galore and often blocking both sides, allowing us to stay at 55 mph instead of 70. I walked in the door at the county office at 8:05 a.m. and I was speaking at 8:10. lonoke co mg training.mar16 (2)They were ahead of schedule, but I hit the ground running. I spoke until noon on speed-talk–covering annuals & perennials, pruning, native plants and houseplants. I am sure the new trainees brains were on overload so were happy to break for lunch. They had a nice crew of new recruits between Lonoke and Prairie counties. Their members also provided a hot lunch for the participants. Lots of good questions. lonoke co mg training.mar16 (1)

lonoke co mg training.mar16 (5) Their afternoon was to be filled by Tamara Walkingstick on trees and Minnie from Garvan Gardens on shrubs.

I made it back to LR and switched cars and ran out and did some Easter errands. The traffic and the crowds at Sam’s were crazy! I was happy to get my groceries and get home. I made it home and walked the gardens. They were pretty dry already. We did not get as much rain this week as was predicted, so I watered, fertilized and watered some more. I also got some things planted. I saw so many red wasps again this spring–all over the side of the yard and around the garage and vegetables. They may be pollinating things, but I don’t like them. To keep them away from the garage I tried something that I recently heard about. I made a fake hornets nest with a paper bag stuffed with Kroger sacks stuffed with newspaper. hornet nest fake.mar16 (1)

hornet nest fake.mar16 (2) I am not sure how much like a hornets nest it looks, but if it works, I will be adorning the whole house. Supposedly wasps are afraid of hornets and will move on to their own territory–hopefully in the next county! I was stung last year, and I have already killed 6 red wasps inside the house and 3 in the garage. They seem to be everywhere on warm days. Have you tried this ruse, and has anyone had success? There are several I have seen in catalogs to purchasefake nest, but I will try my homemade one first.

In spite of the wasps, the garden looks good. The bloodroot is up and blooming. bloodroot mar26 (1) Like many early wildflowers, it is a spring ephemeral–here today and dormant tomorrow, so enjoy it while it is here. My snapdragons and dianthus dianthus mar26.16

snapdragon mar16have rebounded and are all in bloom, with many more buds coming on. I plan to enjoy the winter annuals for another few weeks. I have seen summer annuals pouring out of garden centers, but I think it is still a bit cool–it was 38 this morning. Here is what happened to a friends early cucumbers: veg damaged by frost mar16. Be patient, or you may have to replant. Even if they don’t get permanently damaged by cold, they won’t kick in with any real growth until the temperatures stay warm.

I often get pass-along plants from other gardeners and sometimes put them in a holding pattern under my raised herb garden until I can get them planted. This iris decided not to wait on me and has rooted in and is already blooming, with no help from me. iris.mar16 I have also seen some late-blooming daffodils daffodil late. mar16.in the gardens and some pass along kerria kerria establishing.mar16from my garden blooming in a friends yard. If you are dividing or pruning plants in your yard and have extras consider sharing them with a friend. It is always fun to share your garden with someone else.

After my post yesterday on a comparison of good versus bad pruning of crape myrtles, here is a comparison of good versus evil redbud pruning shared by a MG from Mt. View. redbud butchered.

redbud good I don’t think I have to point out which is which!

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