Saturday, July 30, 2016

Twelve Lessons from the Garden
Time Makes Ancient Truths Uncouth.
Almost Eden Gardens and Nursery

I was thinking about a direct walk to Almost Eden Gardens and Nursery, but Sassy wanted to take the long route, down Joye, past the fire station, and through Almost Eden. Her plan gave her a rich and varied path to follow, which led ultimately to Opie and his staffmember, Almost Eden himself.

Today we talked about hawks, rabbits, and the cat Sassy decided to track. Her sense of smell is so compelling that she will follow a rabbit's track across a street, her nose almost on the pavement, and miss the rabbit four feet from her, laughing at my dog's skills.

One the way home, about 1/2 block, I thought about the supposed truths of agriculture made uncouth in recent years. Although I never joined the fads of chemical gardening, I have learned a lot, not only in the past, but also in the last three years.

If one rose bush pays for itself,
a few more mean a wealth to give away.
Become a rose millionaire, a benefactor.

Twelve Lessons Learned

  1. The US government has some of the worst ideas in agriculture. They promoted two of the worst plant pests ever introduced to America - the Kudzu Vine and the Chinese Multiflora Rose. Now the feds will fine farmers for planting what they once promoted as good.
  2. Chemical fertilizers, which I hardly ever bought, because of the cost, have no long-term value for the gardener and only harms the creatures that really built fertility over time.
  3. Though I learned at home that most insects were beneficial, lately I learned how to encourage their work and enjoy the benefits. See #4.
  4. Plant it and they will come - every plant has its own helpers, and quite a few creatures help themselves to the plant. Squirrels and slugs come to mind right away. But there are many counter-measures that show up to pare down the pest numbers.
  5. Roses delight everyone. There is no better investment than a few rose bushes - or a few dozen - for sharing. Hybrid tea roses are the best for vases, but floribunda roses can be impressive too.
  6. KnockOut roses grow like weeds but they are not "self-pruning" as the greedy, unscrupulous marketing people claim. Are they also self-watering? Given good care and constant pruning of spent blooms, red and pink KnockOuts are a great supplement for bouquets. Chopping my KO shrubs down by 30-50%, I have a new set of growth and beautiful blooms in the heat of summer. And I water.
  7.  Every plant has its day. All plants have a time-table for when they flourish, flower, and set seed. Weather variables will doom some and make others flourish. 
  8. Every pest has its day, too. The little brown, round beetles are gone. Now we have the tiny flying insects in our house. Outside, the pests are food for something, so let them feed the ones that enjoy digesting them. Spiders, beetles, wasps, and beneficial flies (Hover, Tachinid) are under-rated and ignored. Lady Beetles are good but not the superstars. Jessica Walliser is the beneficial insect guru.
  9. The power of seeds and bulbs to hold life and power through the soil should be enough to convince people of Creation. But the multiple chemical micro-factories in each cell, and their specialization as they mature - that is beyond comprehension.
  10. Fungi, baceria, protozoa and other microbes are the foundation of all soil life and fertility, as Jeff Lowenfels has shown. Queen Elizabeth's gardeners agree. 
  11. Studying and observation is one of the delights of gardening, as Sharon Lovejoy has shown in A Blessing of Toads.
  12. Sow abundantly, reap abundantly. The Creator had good reason for using living seed as the metaphor for the active, energetic Word of God. The more one plants and fails, yet plants again for spectacular and rewarding growth, the more one trusts Matthew 13's Parable of the Sower and the Seed.

Double Delight - no photo
compares to the rose itself.

New Plantations Teach New Duties: Time Makes Ancient Good Uncouth.
They Must Upward Still and Onward, Who Would Keep Abreast of Truth

Bee on buckwheat - pollinators will be our theme today.

New plantations teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Apologies to James Russell Lowell

Lowell's poem was written to protest the Mexican-American War and the expansion of slavery to the West, but only part of it became a hymn, often questioned as a hymnal selection - because of ambiguous messages.

So I changed one word to "plantations," because I was thinking about how new plant interests get us studying that particular group of plants.

Plantation is often used today for a place where people are slaves, but it is also used for large swaths of agricultural land where one crop is grown. Plantation makes my yard seem rather grand, no?

The goal is to have roses growing faster than the weeds.

Various Gardens - Front and Back
Now that I have worked the front and back gardens for several years, specific areas are well defined.

The front yard is almost all roses, but I am breaking up some of the rose growth to include a variety of plants that invite pollinators. More on that will be posted in a minute.

The north side of the house, once crawling with weeds, is now 100% Blackberry, with some of it making the 90 degree turn to be in front and behind the house. 

The entire Western half of the backyard is Wild Garden (shade) and will be more completely covered in cardboard and autumn leaves this year.

The former Three Sisters Garden (corn, beans, pumpkins) with too much shade is the Hosta Garden, covered with cardboard already and boasting a few Hostas, which fill in the empty spaces. The sunniest row is for Blueberries. Yes, I am still feeding birds and squirrels with my plants

The other garden area behind the house has Butterfly Bushes and some new favorites - Chaste Tree, 
Bee Balm, Clethra, Gooseberry, and Helianthus. 

The fence roses will be the farm team to fill in the front rose garden when spots open up. Reason? It is difficult to have roses in two places at once.

Pollinators - Butterflies, Bees, and Other Wee Creatures - Plus Hummingbirds
The sunniest place on the property is appropriated called the Sunny Garden, where tomatoes are currently roasting in the heat and sun they love so much.

One neighbor asked, "Tomatoes like sun?" Sigh. 

Tomatoes will still get a row, but that area will be the Butterfly Garden, now being taken over by Raspberries I planted. Raspberries soon multiply like Blackberries. I will dig up the Raspberries and put them in the back where they can compete with the others in the Wild Garden.

I agree with those who oppose the monoculture of grass, which supports a limited number of creatures but is easy to keep going. Mowing is enough, because grass likes mowing and weeds shrink to almost nothing with regular cutting. Regular care drops mulched grass into the soil, where the nitrogen compounds built up the sod and squeeze out the weeds. Infrequent cutting favors the weeds, especially the broad field weeds that occupy a lot of turf.

Plantations for butterflies will also attract the other pollinating creatures, so I am studying how to build up this area, keep it under control, and gather butterflies, bees, and beneficial insects.

Yesterday I passed some time in the bookstore reading about gardening for pollinators. The idea is that a class of plants will attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and beneficial insects for several reasons. One is the pollen, and the other is the nectar. Magnets to insects will also attract hummingbirds.

Catmint is easier to grow than Lavender.
Let us hope it is not too easy!

Mints - My Three Kinds
Some plants come up often in this category. One example is - mints. But I also remember them as winner-take-all plants that are impossible to control. Catnip was a plant that I moved away from...gladly. Our helper has a mint that is so aggressive that he threatens to give me some. I reply, "I warned you, that will spread."

My three well-behaved mints are:

  1. Mountain Mint - attracting swarms of insects.
  2. Horse Mint - aka Bee Balm, attractive hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
  3. Catmint - a $2 pollinator plant, on order.
Once I got involved in Bee Balm, I learned to distinguish various types. I like the purple one, Monarda, but will ban the red one from the main gardens - too mintily aggressive.

I am getting to know Mountain Mint, which produces the tiny flowers loved by pollinators. I now have three Mountain Mints and one Bee Balm (purple) in the main rose garden. Diversity in planting helps deter insect pests by attracting and feeding the adult stage of beneficial insects.

Catmints looks promising in adding variety, color, and pollination power in the front.

I will write more about butterfly specific plants later, as I learn more.

Norma Boeckler's butterfly greeting card.

Friday, July 29, 2016

New Photos from the Creation Garden

Chaste Tree is loved by bees.

Blackberries spread like weeds and produce. No thorns - Triple Crown.

Butterfly Weed supports Monarch butterflies.
The pot with a hole on top is a convenient spider hole, attractive to insects.
Cethra has colorful flowers loved by beneficial bugs.

Cardboard is the bottom layer for the Hosta garden.
Blueberries mulched with pine needles are on the left.
Robins will eat elderberries, foreground, before they are ripe.
 Coneflowers make spikey seeds that birds love.
Before that, beneficial insects enjoy the flowers.

Everyone Should See the Movie "Hillary's America." by Dinesh D'Souza

The movie "Hillary's America" was written, produced, and narrated by Dinesh D'Souza, who was born in India and established himself here as a conservative writer.

The movie is well done and obviously polemical. The historian side of me wanted to add what the RINOs have done to create the same problems. The so-called Thomas Dewey wing of the GOP has been eager to go along with the worst Democrat socialistic solutions. The entire country is moving in that direction.

I blame both parties since we have not had a conservative president since Reagan left office in 1988. Neither Bush was even close. But the point of the movie is to prevent adding to the mistake of electing Obama by anointing Hillary Clinton.

A large part of the movie is devoted to the history of the Democrats, a party devoted to slavery. The Republicans loathed slavery and most Lutherans avoided the South because of the slavery issue. One exception was the Missouri Synod, since Bishop Martin Stephan was a Bohemian, and they owned slaves for the sugar trade.

CFW Walther saw naked slaves in the markets of St. Louis and defended slavery.

The Ku Klux Klan, a renegade Masonic Lodge, was designed to suppress Black influence in the South and to scare or kill the white Republicans. The Democrats were able to win the Civil War in a sense by driving Blacks out of office and also denying them Second Amendment rights. Condi Rice said her neighborhood's ownership of unregistered guns enabled them to defend themselves against white bigots who wanted to attack with their guns - but not with return fire.

D'Souza makes a good case for the welfare system and the urban Democrat political machines being a new version of the plantation system in the South. Blacks and foreigners are given a certain amount of help in return for their 100% (or higher) votes.

The welfare system is a racket, no different from the crime rackets that exist beside it. Organized crime and the political parties work together in brotherly harmony.

Planned Parenthood - Another Racket
Margaret Sanger developed Planned Parenthood to kill as many Black babies as possible. Her work was hailed by other advocates of "eugenics." She was invited to speak to the KKK, who approved of her message.

This has become an enormous and evil scheme where vast amounts of tax money are grabbed - ObamaCare dollars too - so Planned Parenthood can support the politicians who fund them.

Thrivent also supports Planned Parenthood, but the "pro-life" leaders of LCMS-WELS-ELS will not say anything to endanger the flow of loot to their headquarters, over $50 million to LCMS alone - each year.

Dinesh draws a clear parallel between the rackets of street criminals
and the rackets of politicians.

Hillary's Crimes
Some of Hillary's crimes are pointed out briefly. Each one would really require a separate movie.

When Bill Clinton was elected, I predicted the Bill and Hillary would inspire a bookstore full of books about their corruption. I predicted that to a lawyer-MBA-CPA at the time. In the middle of Bill Clinton's years, the lawyer kept saying, "Greg. How did you know?"

My answer was this, "I read about their work in Arkansas, such as White Water and the looting of the bank. Too many things were NOT said." The same was repeated many times over with Obama, whose past was erased, altered, and Photoshopped. Obama's collegiate Marxist was overlooked, just as his Indonesian citizenship was ignored. His mother took him to Seattle right after he was born. Why there? No answers. In fact, no one knew until well into his presidency.

Some Hillary crimes are:

  • Whitewater land schemes
  • Madison Bank
  • Tainted Arkansas prisoner blood sold to Canada
  • Rose Law Firm billing
  • Cattle futures
  • Mysterious deaths
  • Vince Foster's death not investigated properly, and 
  • Many more listed here.

The so-called Clinton Foundation is an even larger and more obvious racket, also supported and promoted by the Bush family.

There are many more insights in this film, such as the Founders claiming that government comes from the consent of the governed, not rights from the consent of the federal government.

The ending is a moving version of the Star Spangled Banner.

Everyone Should See This Film

People may take issue with some of the claims of the movie and spread the blame around more, as I certainly do.

We need to do more and not imagine a few politicians will change America by themselves, without the active support of a majority of the voters. We were better off when we had so many WWII and Koreans in the voting population, people who would show up for school meetings and city council meetings.

The Boomers are used to managing and being managed. Very little leadership is apparent. The clergy led the way into doctrinal apostasy and covering up crimes. Everything the Clintons did was thought up by WELS in Columbus, Ohio - and no one went to prison.

Just the Facts, Pastor Bruce Foster

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Seminex ELCA Pastor Bruce Foster and Mrs. Claus

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Mark and Avoid Jeske gets all the religions
together to spend their Thrivent loot.
WELS supported the United Nations years ago.