Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Variegated Liriope or monkey grass

More commonly known as monkey grass, liriope is a grass-like, flowering plant commonly used to landscape temperate latitudes. Descending from East Asia, its evergreen foliage can spruce up any garden in a matter of weeks. Growing aggressively, some forms can spread quite quickly while preventing erosion, making it a choice groundcover as well.

Liriope is resilient and can grow in conditions that would be unsuitable for many other plants. It can grow in wet or dry areas, it can flourish in the sun or in the shade, and it can hold its own against shallow soil, drought and deer. The plant's thick, mat-like qualities block the growth of weeds while producing its own flowers, making it a beautiful addition to any piece of land.

Varities of Liriope
Liriope Spicata
- Of the two varieties of liriope, spicata spreads the fastest. As its growth rates ensure that it could quickly overtake any garden, the plant is often found in contained areas. It's not uncommon to see this variety growing in the space between a street and a sidewalk or in the median of a road. Others grow it on steep, shady embankments to keep it from damaging other plants. Spicata can grow on minimal amounts of direct sunlight and should be placed in areas with well-drained soil as too much water can cause damage. The plants blades can reach up to one inch in height and often produce a spiky flower that ranges in color from white to lavender.

Liriope Muscari
- While spicata can fill any land it's given, liriope muscari doesn't spread. Known as the "clumping" variety, it tends to stay where it's placed, regardless of the amount of sunlight it receives. While its blades are not any longer than the spicata variety, its flowers tend to bloom purple rather than white. Like spicata, it is both durable and dependable, holding up against many environmental pressures.
Caring for Liriope
*To keep your plants growing strong, water them with a foliar spray twice a year.

*Since they grow so quickly, liriope needs to be sheered back each winter. Not only does this keep the plant healthy, it keeps your garden looking its best.

*To propagate liriopes, lift the plants in late autumn or early spring and tease apart sections to ensure that each portion contains at least some rootstock. Once separated, place the liriopes back into the ground or pot from which they were taken. This process works best when done bi-yearly, as some plants may need an extra season to separate correctly

*Make sure to find a suitable place with plenty of space before planting. Liriope can grow anywhere, but it's not uncommon for the plant to overtake an entire garden in a matter of months if not monitored.
Splitting Liriope
Since liriope can spread so aggressively, many people decide to split their plants when expanding their garden. This is an easy process and often has satisfactory results.

To split liriope:

*You don't have to wait until the fall, as is the case with most other plants. Liriope spreads just as quickly in the spring.

*Dig up each clump individually, being careful to get all the roots.

*Using a sharp shovel, spear each clump in half. If a shovel does not work, try turning the clump upside down and using it as a small saw to cut the halves apart.

*Put each plant in an individual container until you are ready to place them in the ground.

*New plants should be given lots of water and shade if they are expected to reach their full growing potential.
Buying Liriope
Both liriope spicata and liriope muscari can be bought anywhere groundcovers are sold. These can include any local greenhouse or home gardening center, including but not limited to Lowes and Home Depot. The plants can also be bought online, and usually cost the buyer about ten to fifteen dollars a piece. This can be a good deal, depending on the size of your lawn and the number of plants needed.

Uses for Lirope

*An excellent landscaping agent, liriope is often used to line the edges of roads, pathways and sidewalks.

*When used in abundance, certain varieties can provide an excellent and efficient ground cover.

*Liriope spicata can be used as a substitute for Ophiopogon japonicus, an herb used to prevent yin deficiency in Chinese medicine.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Family: Ruscaceae
Genus: Liriope

Sunday, June 27, 2010



For the European and west Asian herb in the same family, see Meadowsweet.Spiraea

Spiraea thunbergii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Spiraeoideae
Genus: Spiraea

About 80-100

Spiraea × arguta

Spiraea or meadowsweet, is a genus of about 80-100 species of shrubs in the family Rosaceae, subfamily Spiraeoideae. They are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the greatest diversity in eastern Asia.

Spiraea species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Brown-tail, Emperor Moth, Grey Dagger, Hypercompe indecisa and Setaceous Hebrew Character.

The genus was formerly treated as also containing the herbaceous species now segregated into the genera Filipendula and Aruncus; recent genetic evidence has shown that Filipendula is only distantly related to Spiraea, belonging in the subfamily Rosoideae.Contents

Uses and toxicity

Spiraea (also known as Meadowsweet) is too woody to be used as an edible plant, but has a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans as an herbal tea. The entire plant contains methyl salicylate and other salicylates, compounds with similar medicinal properties of aspirin. Unlike other salicylate-bearing plants such as willow or poplar, meadowsweet's content of these analgesic compounds remain consistent from plant to plant. Unlike aspirin, meadowsweet is effective in treating stomach disorders in minute amounts. The salicylates in this plant are a highly effective analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and fever reducer, without the side effects attributed to aspirin. Compounds in this plant also contain bacteriostatic properties, and the tea of this plant was used by the Blackfeet Indians as an enema and vagina douche to treat infections of the bowels and vaginal area.


Spireas are among the easiest flowering shrubs to grow. Spirea have over 80 species, some of which have dozens of varieties. They are a member of the rose family and are tough plants. All spirea have small leaves and fine, twiggy branches.

There are two distinct kinds of spireas: the bridal wreath type, with clusters of white flowers on arching branches in spring; and the smaller, shrubby, much lower-growing type, which has pink, red or white flowers clustered at the end of upright branches from late spring through to fall.

Spireas are easy to transplant with spring and/or fall being the best planting times. These shrub prefers partial to full sun. Full sun and in open areas provide the best flowering.

Spireas are tolerant of many soils except extremely wet. The plant also likes mulch and summer watering.

After flowering has finished, prune the mostly spring-blooming, bridal wreath spireas. On the larger bridal wreath spriea types, thin out old, woody and weak individual canes to the ground annually. Periodical severe pruning may be necessary otherwise. With severe pruning, you will lose the bloom for that season.

Prune the smaller, summer-blooming, shrubby spireas in winter or early spring. They generally need less severe pruning than bridal wreath spireas. After flowers fade, a light pruning will produce a second flush of growth and additional flowers.

Japanese and bumald spireas should be pruned in early spring to promote the best flowering. Remove dead, diseased, and broken branches anytime.

Spireas can be severely pruned and will grow and flower again.


Spireas are not heavy feeders. Fertilize once a year in the fall, or early spring. Use an all-purpose slow-acting granular fertilizer on the soil around the base. This will provide consistent, steady nutrition for several months over the growing season.

As already mentioned, spireas are pretty tolerant shrubs. A thin layer of mulch will help keep down weeds, moderate soil temperature and retain moisture during hot spells.
FYI: Aspirin

Aspirin is the generic medical name for the chemical acetylsalicylic acid, a derivative of salicylic acid. Compounds of salicylic acid are found in some plants, notably white willow and meadowsweet (Spirea ulmaria). Acetyl- and spirea which inspired the name aspirin.

Mourning Doves

A mourning dove suns itself on a large boulder in my rock garden.

Like other columbids, the Mourning Dove drinks by suction, without lifting or tilting its head. It often gathers at drinking spots around dawn and dusk.

Mourning doves sunbathe or rainbathe by lying on the ground or on a flat tree limb, leaning over, stretching one wing, and keeping this posture for up to twenty minutes. These birds can also waterbathe in shallow pools or bird baths. Dustbathing is common as well. We have mourning doves all year 'round. They come in winter for seed from our feeders. I love hearing them in the morning. I have loved the sound they make since I was a small child.


Outside the breeding season, Mourning Doves roost communally in dense deciduous trees or in conifers. During sleep, the head rests between the shoulders, close to the body; it is not tucked under the shoulder feathers as in many other species. During the winter in Canada, roosting flights to the roosts in the evening, and out of the roosts in the morning, are delayed on colder day

Mourning Doves get their name from their mournful song. They are a medium-sized wild bird ranging from 9 to 13 inches with a wingspan of 15-18 inches. They weigh between 3.04 and 6 ounces.

Their colors are a grayish brown back with a buff underneath, black spots on the wings, and a black spot shaped like a comma below and behind the eye.

They have a graduated gray tail with longer feathers in the middle and white tips bored with black on the outer feathers. They have a small, thin black bill, dullish red legs and feet and dark brown eyes.

Males are larger than females and show more color with a bluish cap, pink chest and neck feathers and three white outer tail feathers. The female is graced with an olive gray cap and a tan breast. Neck feathers can be greenish or pinkish with one or two white outer feathers. Their wings make a musical whir or whishing noise.

The Mourning Dove eats seeds and feeds on relatively bare ground but can be attracted to gardens and backyard bird feeders.

They can be found across North America breeding from Cuba north to Southern Canada and New England, and wintering from Southern Illinois and New York to the Greater Antilles and Panama.

They feed in pairs or flocks. In the wild they will eat pine nuts, wheat, corn, sesame, canary grass, sweet gum, amaranth and pokeberry seeds. At feeders, they prefer sunflower, safflower and millet seeds.

Nesting Habits:
Mourning Doves breed in all kinds of open areas. They like to build flimsy platforms made of twigs, pine needles and grass stems. They prefer building these platforms in trees, shrubs and other vines growing as high as 50 feet. They will make nests in man-made structures.

They have only two white eggs in each clutch and may have five to six broods a year. They never leave their eggs unattended and both female and male take turns sitting on the nest. They are monogamous and keep the same partner for life, but if a Mourning Dove looses its mate will find a new one.

More Information:
This is a beautiful wild bird that makes its home throughout most of North America. They are at ease in all types of terrain--the deserts of Arizona, northern and eastern forests, the farmland of the Great Plains, and even in populated urban areas.

The Mourning Dove is among the top ten most abundant birds in the United States.Their song sounds like Òcoo-OOH, Ooo-Ooo-OooO. An interesting fact about the Mourning Dove is that when they are building a nest the female stays at the nest site and the male bird collects the sticks. He then stands on her back to give her the sticks and she then weaves them into their nest.

Boxwood shrubs

Buxus sempervirens ( Variegated English Boxwood )

Boxwood - Varieties

Boxwood Notes from Oklahoma Gardening TV

In the nursery trade there are basically two species of Boxwood available, English Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla). English Boxwood is native to southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia and sometimes is referred to as Common Boxwood. The plants grow larger than Japanese Boxwood and hold good green color in shade or sun. The leaves are tapered or slightly pointed with the widest part of the leaf being the base.

Japanese Boxwood is native to Japan and is often called Little-Leaf Boxwood. The plants grow in sun or shade but can become slightly brown over winter in full sun. The leaves are more rounded and are widest in the center. The brown or tan colored foliage can easily be cleaned up with a light spring pruning.

Comparison of leaves

Boxwoods are versatile in their being able to survive in sun or shade. They have shallow root systems and aren't particularly drought tolerant, although established plants favor pretty well in Stillwater. Boxwoods in the southern United States can have root problems if a thick mulch is applied. For this reason gardeners should only mulch lightly.

When pruning boxwood into a hedge, make sure the bottom is left wider than the top. This allows more light to reach the lower branches and the hedge is less likely to thin at the bottom.

Here are a few boxwood cultivars.
English Boxwood:
'Newport Blue' – bluish-green foliage, dense foliage, wider than tall

'Suffruticosa' – dwarf variety grown for centuries and considered the true "edging boxwood"
'Argenteo-Variegata' – variegated variety that lights up shade
'Graham Blandy' – upright columnar variety, great vertical accent
'Pyramidalis' – upright variety with more of a pyramidal shape

Japanese Boxwood:
'Emerald Jewel' – variety koreana, only two feet at maturity, very hardy
Hybrid Boxwood:

'Green Mountain' – offspring of English and Japanese, excellent cold hardiness, good winter color and hardiness

Ubi caritas

Latin Text

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

English Translation

Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease,
And may Christ our God be in our midst.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good,
Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Midsummer Solstice

I lie beneath the dome of noon,
The lapis lazuli of June
And fulcrum of eternal spring.
There's time, there's time, for everything.

The poplars lean against the air
To comb the wind's unruly hair
And all the world is blossoming.
There's time, there's time, for everything.

The hawk moth in the trumpet vine,
And I am yours, and you are mine,
The measured sweep of heron's wing.
There's time, there's time, for everything.

In humming fields, the longest day,
Before the grasses turn to hay,
With darning needles hovering,
There's time, there's time, for everything.


From my Friend Dan Hermann written by his mother Rachel E. Hermann
copyright 1965, all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hen and Chicks plants

Hen and chicks (also known as Hen-and-chickens) is a common name for a group of small succulents belonging to the flowering plant family Crassulaceae, native to Europe and northern Africa. They grow close to the ground with leaves formed around each other in a rosette, and propagating by offsets. The 'hen' is the main plant, and the 'chicks' are the offspring, which start as tiny buds on the main plant and soon sprout their own roots, taking up residence close to the mother plant.

Plants commonly referred to as "Hens and chicks" include ground hugging species of Sempervivum (Houseleeks) such as Sempervivum Pekinese, Sempervivum arachnoideum (Cobweb Houseleek), and Sempervivum tectorum (Common Houseleek); the related genus Jovibarba. The name is also used for some species of Echeveria, Sedum and Bergenia although these plants differ significantly from, and should not be confused with, Sempervivum and Jovibarba. The description below provides characteristics of Sempervivum and Jovibarba only.

Aside from the common morphology, the many species of hen and chicks differ widely in appearance. Colours range from lime green to burgundy to purple, and size varies from as small as 1 cm to as large as 20 cm across. The leaves can be thin and spiky or thick and rounded with a pointed tip. Some, such as Cobweb Houseleek, have fine spiderweb-like filaments that grow naturally from leaf edge to leaf edge, forming a white cover on the top of the plant, while others have fine hairs that cover the entire plant structure.

Upon maturity (usually around 3 to 4 years old) the plant will send up a single stalk that can reach 5-25 cm tall. The head of the stalk is a cluster of star-shaped flower buds 1-2 cm in diameter, which range in color from dark pink to yellow and that flower for several weeks. After blooming, the plant will die. Usually by this time it has produced many offsets ('chicks').

Hen and chicks are popular in gardens for their varied and interesting appearance and hardiness. They are grown as container planting or rock gardens. They do best in well-drained, rocky soil; if they stay wet, the outer leaves will rot. Although they do best in sun, they will grow in light shade.

Hen and chicks is also the popular name of a strain of opium poppy, papaver somniferum, in which the seed head is surrounded by clusters of smaller heads.

I am trying out some new Digitalis purpurea 'Camelot' Foxglove

Camelot seed bred by Goldsmith Seeds is available as individual colors (cream, lavender, rose and white) or as a mixture from various seed distributors.


Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot’ is the first Foxglove F1 hybrid which will yield more first and second year blooms and it has added superiority in crop uniformity and strength. Although most Foxglove is planted in shady areas, ‘Camelot’ can be grown in sunny areas with adequate moisture and lower temperatures. In late spring or early summer 'Camelot' will send up flower stalks 3 to 4 feet high and will be laden with beautiful tubular flowers that have speckled throats. The flowers are a mix of colors in shades of Rose, White, Lavender, and Cream. This is a gorgeous addition to any perennial border. Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot’ will reach 42-48" tall with a 24-30" spread at maturity.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-8
Plant Use: Flowering Perennial
Exposure: Full Sun to Part Sun
Water Requirements: Medium

Searching for Lambs

As I went out one May morning,
One May morning betime,
I met a maid, from home had stray'd
Just as the sun did shine.

What makes you rise so soon, my dear,
Your journey to pursue?
Your pretty little feet they tread so sweet,
Strike off the morning dew.

I'm going to feed my father's flock,
His young and tender lambs
That over hill and over dales
Lie waiting for their dams.

O stay! O stay! you handsome maid,
And rest a moment here,
For there is none but you alone,
That I do love so dear.

How gloriously the sun doth shine,
How pleasant is the air,
I'd rather rest on my true love's breast
Than any other where.

For I am thine and thou art mine;
No man shall uncomfort thee;
We'll join our hands in wedded bands
And married we will be.

The Watersons, Country Life!

I like to rise when the sun she rises
Early in the morning
I like to hear them small birds singing
Merrily upon the laylum
And hurrah for the life of a country boy
And to ramble in the new-mown hay

In spring we sow at the harvest mow
And that is how the seasons round they go
But if all the times if choose I may
't would be rambling through the new-mown hay

In winter when the sky is grey
We hedge and ditch our times away
But in the summer when the sun shines gay
We go rambling through the new-mown hay

Monday, June 21, 2010

Preventing Pasture Bloat in Sheep

This article first appeared in The Working Border Collie, Inc. Jan/Feb in 1997

by Mike Neary
Extension Sheep Specialist
Purdue UniversityBloat can be a sudden and lethal occurrence for sheep. Often, unless the livestock is being monitored closely, the first symptom one notices is dead or distressed animals.

Pasture bloat (or green legume bloat) is caused by increased pressure by the ruminal contents. Pasture bloat is usually a build-up of trapped gas caused by the failure of the animal to undergo normal eructation. Gas production in the rumen normally consists of primarily CO2 and CH4 produced through feedstuff fermentation. Under normal conditions, ruminants have a predictable sequence of eructation cycles, whereby, gas that is produced is released to the environment. When an animal is experiencing pasture bloat, ruminal conditions are such that a stable froth is produced in the rumen. This froth then "layers" on top of the ruminal contents (mostly liquid) and prevents the gas bubbles from rising to the top and dispersing their contents. This could be analogous to taking a drinking straw and blowing air into a glass of liquids and seeing the air bubbles rise to the top and bursting. Under pasture bloat conditions, the bubbles cannot burst, thus, a build-up of gas and pressure. Furthermore, the froth produced in a bloat situation can block the cardia and prevent normal eructation and release of gas through the esophagus.

Pasture bloat is often brought on by a rapid intake of immature, highly nutritious green legumes (alfalfa or clovers). These plants, when in a vegetative state, contribute high levels of ruminally degradable protein, high levels of carbohydrates and are digested quite rapidly. This causes a drop in the pH of the rumen, an increase in gas production and a binding of protein molecules into a surface film over the ruminal contents. These events contribute to the production of froth, and subsequently, trapped gas.

There are some legumes that are considered to be less of a bloat problem than others. Birdsfoot trefoil is less likely to cause bloat than alfalfa and many types of clovers, not because it does not have a high protein content, but because the rate of digestion is considerably slower. Also, grasses do not usually cause bloat, because the protein content is lower than legumes.

Prevention and Treatment

As with most sheep health problems, prevention is the key in controlling bloat. There are a number of management techniques one can use to reduce the likelihood of pasture bloat in sheep.

When turning sheep onto lush, vegetative pasture with a high legume content, try to time the placement when the dew is gone from the grass and try to fill them up on long-stem hay with a high grass content. This will result in them consuming less of the green forage at first because of physical fill and the time of day.

Try to avoid a feast and famine routine of grazing management. Once sheep become adapted to a diet and are not experiencing bloat problems, try to stick to a predictable grazing management system to encourage even, regular consumption of forage and not a grazing pattern of engorgement.

Early in the grazing season or whenever sheep are turned to a new pasture with significant legume content, check them closely a couple hours after turnout as this is when bloat symptoms occur.

If bloat is an ongoing problem in a flock, reducing the amount of legume in the pasture is an option. However, this is often at the expense of pasture productivity, stocking capacity and animal performance. Another option would be to incorporate a legume known to be a non-bloating specie.

Poloxalene is a nonionic surfactant that helps prevent foam production in the rumen. It is the main constituent in the bloat preventive mineral blocks made for cattle. Poloxalene feeding to sheep at a rate of two to three grams/head/day can be effective in preventing bloat. If cattle bloat block blocks are used, take care they do not contain high enough levels of copper to cause copper toxicity in sheep.

Treat bloated sheep with care. The build-up of pressure in the rumen can actually cause a partial collapse of the lungs. Furthermore, blood from the body is forced out of the body cavity to the extremities and can cause a form of acidosis. Thus, stressing these animals complicates the situation.

If animals can be caught, use a stomach tube to help release free ruminal gas. Also, mild agitation of ruminal contents can aid in the release of the trapped gas bubbles. Mineral or vegetable oils can be used as antifoaming agents and help release gas. Treatment with commercially available anti-bloating agents can also be done at this time.

Some people will actually use a rumenotomy (puncturing the rumen - located high on the left side of the lumbar region in severe bloat cases) in severe, life-threatening situations. This procedure is not for the weak stomached, as the pressure will result in the expulsion of a significant amount of the rumen contents. Also, the area will need to be cleaned and sutured after the rumenotomy is performed.

There does seem to be somewhat of a genetic propensity to bloat susceptibility. Some breeds or lines within breeds do appear to be more susceptible to bloat. Thus, it may be practical to cull individuals that have a history of bloat problems.

Legumes are a wonderful grazing and hay forage. When harvested at a correct maturity level they supply high levels of protein, energy, minerals and vitamins to ruminants. However, the bloat potential of these forages is a downside to them. Planned management can reduce the potential bloat problem and enable producers to realize increased animal and pasture productivity with legum

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Foxglove

The Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea is a large, showy plant — a striking addition to any shade garden. They look best grouped toward the back of a bed, where their blossoms will brighten an otherwise gloomy spot. Flowers in shades of white, yellow, pink, rose, lavender and purple grow on spikes that vary in height depending on the variety.

The Foxglove is a wonderful, statuesque plant; much appreciated in cottage garden situations, where their elegant stance towering above the range of annuals, biennials and perennials adds beauty and height to the rich pattern of the garden. These tall erect plants, bearing long tubular flowers are certainly well worth growing.

On the inside of each flower, conspicuous spots of crimson, burgundy or chocolate, are scattered in the throat. In all cases the individual flowers are about the size and shape of a thimble. The origin of the botanical name, Digitalis, is based upon the Latin word digitatus for finger. Perhaps this is because the thimble-like blooms fit a human finger in the way a thimble does.

Digitalis purpurea is a biennial, seeding freely when happy. Since it does not produce flowers (nor, therefore, seeds) until its second year, you must plant them two years running to have Foxgloves every summer.

Seeds can lie dormant for years if conditions are unfavourable — if there is inadequate light or moisture.

Most Foxgloves thrive in light shade. D. purpurea loves to be cool, but Mediterranean species need sun. Although foxgloves prefer lighter soils, they can survive on heavy clay with the addition of good compost to the top 10cm of soil. The fibrous roots spread out making vast mats to support the flower spikes, so mulch well to retain moisture.

If you are collecting your own seed, sow immediately when fresh — and thinly, as overcrowded seedlings are prone to fungal diseases. It thrives best in dappled shade and is perfectly adapted to cope in sites where light varies throughout the day.

It is an invaluable asset where gardens are separated from each other by hedges, fences or walls — perimeters are the most awkward areas of the garden but exactly the sort of site this plant would choose for itself.

For readers in the USA: Foxgloves thrive in Zones 4-10, except in Florida and along the Gulf Coast.


Digitalis purpurea

This is the only true British native and is also the biggest and most impressive foxglove, sometimes reaching 1.8m high. It has soft, downy leaves and a strong stem that can carry hundreds of tubular flowers. The buds are white, whilst the flowers are a pinky-purple with dramatic speckles and clusters of short hairs in the throat. A biennial or at best a short-lived perennial, it is best to grow annually. Foxgloves self-seed readily, so an annual show of these impressive flowers is easy to achieve.

Digitalis purpurea excelsior

Within the excelsior group, there is a wide range of pastel-coloured flowers. The flowers grow all around the stem and come in a variety of colours. The compact group of the Foxy Group rarely exceeds 75cm high. There is a wild sub-species of Digitalis purpurea, heywoodii which has silvery leaves and pale ivory flowers. Digitalis purpurea Giant Spotted Group is incredibly eye-catching because of the large patches of dark purple in the flowers’ throats. All are best grown annually.

Digitalis grandiflora

This plant closely resembles Digitalis purpurea. It has deep cream-coloured flowers whose throats are streaked with distinctive rusty markings. It can also have bright yellow flowers and appears in the early summer. Again this is a biennial or short-lived perennial.

Digitalis laevigata

This plant is great in midsummer as it produces spires of brownish-yellow flowers with a white lower lip and speckled interior. It is more of a perennial than other species, but again it is worth collecting seed and cultivating.

Digitalis lutea

This is a beautiful foxglove with slender stems of pale yellow flowers, which start in early summer though are sadly relatively short lived. Perennial.

Digitalis x mertonensis

Quite understandably a very popular foxglove with its large dusky pink flowers, though the stems are slightly shorter than those of Digitalis purpurea. Despite it being a hybrid, it still produces parent replicating seed. It is widely appreciated as a colourful perennial.

Digitalis parviflora

A great foxglove for the early summer, with dark orange-brown densely packed flowers along the whole length of the flower spike. Perennial.


Foxgloves like to grow in a soil that is both moist and rich, ideally with a pH of 6 to 7.5. If you prefer to start growing foxglove seedlings indoors first then they should be prepared about ten weeks before they are due to be transplanted into the garden in late autumn, a few weeks before the first frost of winter. Members of Digitalis usually take about two or three weeks to germinate at 15 to 18oC.

If sowing directly into the garden, plant foxglove seeds toward the rear of your flower bed, since the plants grow quite tall. They do best in partial shade as long as they get regular water during dry periods in summer. Clear the area that you will be planting of leaves and debris and rough up the soil with the hand rake to a depth of about 3cm.

Space out the seeds so that they aren’t planted too closely. The seeds are tiny, and you should try to plant no more than one or two seeds in a 7,5cm area. This will give you a dense growth of seedlings. When they have grown about 5cm tall you should thin them out to one plant per 20cm to 30cm. Transplant the seedlings that you take out to other locations if desired.

Cover the seeds with soil and press down the soil so that the seeds have good contact. Water the area. Keep the soil damp for proper germination but don’t over water because it could make the seeds rot.

Saving seeds is an easy process of waiting until the bloom has gone and the seed pod turns brown. Save these seeds and plant elsewhere or let the plant regenerate itself. To have plants in the same area year after year, let the seeds fall where they may.

Foxglove a distinctive plant to use as a backdrop for other flowers, among flowering shrubs, or as elegant specimen plants in the summer garden.

In flower borders, plant Foxgloves in the back of the bed with Shasta Daisies or Peonies in the foreground. Perennials that have round flower heads provide good contrast to Foxglove’s vertical lines.

In naturalistic settings, Foxglove is right at home, able to thrive at the base of old stumps and rotting logs. Planted with Ferns along a woodland walk, Foxglove will reseed and bloom in colourful colonies for years.

The best companions for Foxglove are flowers and plants that complement its tall, narrow form and dramatic blooms.

Combine classic cut flowers, such as Sweet William, Snapdragons and Roses, with the strawberry-pink Merton Foxglove.

Summer-blooming annuals, such as Petunias, Geraniums and Alyssum, thrive in the same soil and share the same bloom time as Foxgloves. Combine bright annuals to vibrate against the white blooms of the Foxglove Alba.

Adding a general purpose fertiliser once a month will result in bigger, fuller blooms. Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 5cm layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.

Stake tall varieties to keep them upright. Remove the central flower spike after flowering to encourage other side shoots to form and produce more flowers.


There are few insect and disease problems. If problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.


The leaves are toxic. If you have young children or pets, you might want to steer clear of this flower. The poisonous substance in the leaves is called Digitalis. You may recognize this as a chemical sometimes used in the treatment of heart disease.

Very hardy thanks to:

Gardening Made Easy

Bishop's Weed

Do not plant this ground cover unless its some place you really don't mind if it takes over. It can make you crazy as it spreads like wildfire. I got this huge patch from one plant that came stuck to the root of a fern my Mother gave me. The Fern did not take hold but the Bishop's weed did! The varigated version is very pretty and called "Snow on the Mountain". It has its uses but it really is a pest in many gardens. Be careful if you put it in for sure. Never mix it in your flower beds or herb beds.

Bishops Weed was introduced in to gardens in England during the Middle Ages by the Romans and used as a pot herb, then because of it’s vigor, escaped to the wild where it made itself at home on the edge of woodlands and in waste places. It was known by many names which included the following: Herb Gerard, (After St. Gerard who cured gout with it.) Bishop’s Wort, Bishop’s Elder, Dog Elder, Dwarf Elder, Ground Elder, Goat’s Foot, Goatweed, Farmer’s Plague, Garden Plague, Ground Ash, Pot-Ash, White Ash, Jack Jumpabout, English Masterwort, Wild Masterwort, Pigweed, Eltroot, Cummin Seed, Cummin Royal, Herb William. Bull-Wort.

It belongs to the Umbelliferae family, a large hardy herbaceous clan that shares the common characteristic of having an umbrella shaped flower. Relatives include: Queen Anne’s Lace, Angelica, Dill, Caraway, Fennel, Parsley, Chervil, Hemlock and Parsnip to name a few. Its scientific name Aegopodium is from Greek: aix: goat & podin: little foot. Podagraria is from Greek for gout. Historically it has also been used medicinally for bee stings, burns, wounds, etc., as well as treatment of gout.

In The Herbal by John Gerard who made this comment in 1633:

Herbe Gerard groweth of it selfe in gardens without setting or sowing, and is so fruitful in his increase, that where it once hath taken root, it will be hardly got out againe, spoiling and getting every year more ground, to the annoying of better herbs.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Long vVew of the New Rock Garden

Ready for small plants and ground cover plantings

I put my last holly bush in today and am now ready for the small flowers and ground cover. Jim helped me move a large amount of clean topsoil from the sheep paddock too beef up the soil quality a bit yeaterday. We have heavy clay soil in this area of NY. I am excited now about planting some ground cover plants and some perennials.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tuberous Begonias

My Mother always grew Tuberous Begonias when I was growing up so when I was needing something that would grow in partial shade in hanging pots I went back to my Mother's old standby flowers and I have been delighted with the color and constant blooms. This year I picked bright red but in the past I have enjoyed yellow, white and pink Tuberous Begonias as well.

If you are looking for a colorful, attractive flower to grace your garden, try the tuberous begonia. It is easy to grow, does well in the shade, needs moderate care, and will reward you with a lovely display of blooms all summer long.

My Tuberous Begonias

Tuberous begonias come in shades of white, pink, red, yellow, orange, and salmon, as well as bi-colors. If they have a darker edge to the petals, they are called "picotee." Double flowers are male, and single flowers female. The large flowers are usually double and may be six inches or more in diameter. Plants generally grow 12 to 18 inches tall

Botanically, begonias are from the Plantae kingdom; Tracheobionta (vascular plant) subkingdom; Spermatophyta (seed plant) superdivision; Magnoliophyta (flowering plant) division; Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons) class; Dilleniidae subclass; Violales order; Begoniaceae family; and Begonia L. genus.

Begonias grow from fibrous roots, tuberous roots or rhizomes. Some are grown for foliage, others for their ostentatious blossoms.

Since 1777, when the first begonia was introduced in England, cultivators have established thousands of variations. Begonias are native to South Africa, Asia, Mexico and Central and South America.

Tuberous Begonia
The tuberous begonia is a native hybrid from South America. It is grown for its large flowers and works as a greenhouse plant or bedding plant. This begonia does well in semishaded environments. Tuberous begonias are not winter hardy.

Looking West to the road

There has been so much rain I can't work the soil until it dries back out somewhat.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Too Hot and Sticky to Garden

Variegated Boxwood I put in last night

It is very humid here today. No thunderstorms as yet but it feels so close outside I would not be surprised if we did not get some pop up thunderstorms late this afternoon or this evening. We did get some showers last night so the garden is muddy. I guess I have to hold off until it dries out some but maybe after it cools off a bit after dinner I will move some more rocks around.

Growing Hollies

Hollies have been used in decoration and for landscape applications for over 2000 years. There are 20 species of American Holly. There are about 128 species of Asian Holly and 200 species of English Holly. With such variety, it's easy to find a holly which fits your taste and your environment.

Hollies make a distinct statement in the household outdoor plant environment. They look great trimmed low and spreading as a foundation plant. In the winter landscape, the evergreen varieties show up against the bleak surroundings. The curly, colorful, sometimes variegated foliage is intriguing.

Some holly varieties grow into tall trees while others grow not much taller than a dwarf fruit tree. Since holly foliage is bunched and tightly knit, the holly can be trained into a hedge. The holly serves as a formidable barrier as a hedge. Unlike a solid fence, the holly hedge does not present the imposing and lifeless impression of a wood or masonry wall.

Hollies flower but the flowers are small and hardly sensational. Small, greenish-white flowers bloom in warm weather but only upon the female plant. Instead of bright and sensational flowers, the holly produces berries: red ones, yellow ones, or orange ones.

In order to get those bright red berries which look so great in a Christmas wreath, the gardener needs both male and female plants. Cross-pollination is necessary for berry production. The gender of the American holly is difficult to determine until it blooms and produces berries. Indeed, some years may pass before the plant shows gender characteristics.

There is good reason hollies are associated with Christmas decoration in cold and snowy climates. In many parts of the world where winters are cold and snowy, the soils are inhospitable. The deciduous varieties are hardy to 30 degrees below zero; the evergreen varieties can tolerate temperatures to 15 degrees below zero. Though hollies prefer an acid soil, they will easily adapt to less than ideal conditions.

Gardeners and landscapers are often unaware of the deciduous varieties of holly. The reason for this might be that the deciduous varieties are often referred to by other names. Deciduous hollies are common in the northeast of the U.S. where it is called "winterberry". Woodsmen and farmers may be more familiar with these varieties than gardeners are. Winterberry is found mostly in the woods, rarely in the backyard garden. The berries are typically orange in color, rather than red. But winterberry is in the Ilex family, along with its evergreen counterparts.

Smaller hollies are not unusually expensive in garden shops but the cost can get high if the gardener wishes to purchase a large lot of them to train into a hedge. Propagating them from seed is an option but it's not a very good one. Growing holly from seed takes a great deal of time. The holly seed is protected by a coating which temporarily prevents propagation. This coating of enzyme and pulp allows the seed to survive the cold winter and begin its growth in spring when the weather warms. For those with a great deal of patience, however, the pulp can be stripped from the seed, washed in cold water, and grown indoors.

A more practical method of propagating holly is through cuttings. One year old cuttings from healthy holly bushes will be the best option for propagation. New growth is green and not yet established. Older holly wood has lost some of the enzymes needed for the plant to thrive.

To propagate from cuttings, dip the cuttings in a rooting enzyme. Place the cuttings in a plant bed of sterilized potting soil mixed with sand and vermiculite. Keep the soil moist while the plants are establishing roots. In an orange crate, one can easily propagate ten to thirty new plants for a planned hedge.

I bought two Blue Princess Holly Bushes on Friday

Plant taxonomy classifies Blue Princess holly as Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess.' Ilex is the genus name for holly. The x meserveae indicates that the shrub is one of the Meserve hybrid plants. 'Blue Princess' is the cultivar name. A popular male pollinator is the aptly named "Blue Prince holly" (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Prince'). You'll sometimes hear these shrubs referred to as being part of the "blue holly" group.

Plant Type for Blue Princess Holly:
Blue Prince and Blue Princess hollies are evergreen shrubs of the broadleaf variety.
Characteristics of Blue Princess Holly:

While it's possible for Blue Princess and Blue Prince holly to top 12' in height at maturity, these shrubs, even with just minimal pruning, are easily kept at a fraction of that height. Prune to the desired shape and dimensions. Unless you're using them in a hedge, these plants look best when the pruning isn't too obvious. To accomplish this, stagger the depth of your pruning cuts. For more on pruning holly, see below.

The shrubs' leaves are a glossy, dark green color and moderately spiny. Their inconspicuous flowers bloom in spring (and sometimes again in fall). Blue Princess holly berries are bright red.
Planting Zones for Blue Princess Holly:
Blue Princess holly can be grown in zones 5-8.
Sun and Soil Requirements for Blue Princess Holly:

Grow Blue Princess holly in full sun to partial shade. These shrubs like a well-drained soil with a pH that is acidic. Mix in compost as an amendment.

To keep the soil sufficiently acidic around Blue Princess, use "Holly-tone" or a similar product as a fertilizer.
Best time to Prune Blue Princess Holly?:

When is the best time to prune hollies? Well, you may have to juggle some priorities and make a compromise. Some folks prune in early winter because they want to bring the cut stems with their holly berries into the house and enjoy them inside. Others prune later in winter, because they prefer their display of holly berries outside.

Of course, any floral buds (whether on a male or female shrub) located on the branches you prune off are buds that won't open next year, resulting in reduced pollination and fewer holly berries (hollies bloom on old wood).
Uses for Blue Princess Holly:

Blue Princess hollies, with their evergreen leaves and trademark holly berries, are fine winter-interest shrubs and certainly attractive enough to serve as specimens in the winter landscape. To ensure optimal enjoyment of these qualities during the long winter, plant Blue Princess hollies near your main entrance, perhaps in a foundation planting. Their evergreen leaves also make them an option for those seeking hedge plants that will provide color year-round.
In Quest of Holly Berries -- Telling Blue Princess Apart From Blue Prince Holly:

These bushes are dioecious. Only Blue Princess can develop the trademark holly berries, and it needs a male pollinator to do that. But the question is, if you're looking at a blue holly that has no holly berries, how can you determine whether it's a Blue Prince holly or an unfertilized Blue Princess? The answer lies in their respective flowers.

I know from experience that Blue Prince holly's tastes as a pollinator aren't restricted to the Blue Princess type of holly. The first shrub I planted in my yard in hopes of enjoying holly berries was another type of Meserve blue holly, named 'Blue Maid,' a female. I needed to find a male pollinator for her, and I selected a Blue Prince holly. This male-female pair didn't hit it off right away; but pollination did occur in their second year together. The holly berries began forming that year after a second, fall flowering.

Holly Berries

While it is necessary to plant a male pollinator such as Blue Prince in order for a female to produce holly berries, it is not necessary to maintain a 1:1 male-female ratio. That is, one male such as Blue Prince will suffice as a pollinator for several females.

If you don't particularly like the look of evergreen hollies such as Blue Princess but still desire holly berries, plant winterberry, instead. Winterberry is a deciduous bush and its display of holly berries, under the right conditions, is superior to that on the evergreens.

Branches festooned with red holly berries may be pruned before the holidays, so that the clippings can be brought inside and used for decorations (but see above).

Blue Holly

The "blue" in "blue holly" derives from the degree of darkness in the leaves: some term this color "blue-green." Three of the most popular blue holly male-female pairs are as follows:

Blue Boy (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Boy') and Blue Girl (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Girl')
Blue Stallion (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Stallion') and Blue Maid (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Maid')

by By David Beaulieu
And the shrubs discussed in the present article, Blue Prince and Blue Princess

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thunderstorms moving in tonight

We are going to have storms off and on all weekend unfortunately, that is what the weatherman has forecasted anyway. I bought a couple holly bushes to put in my garden and I also want to transplant some hostas I have that have grown very large and are now ready to be separated and moved. I began my new rock garden only two weeks ago. A neighbor brought down a huge tractor and we moved some big granite boulders out of my back pasture and arranged them by the house to make a setting for my new rock garden. I put in a variegated boxwood this evening and moved some dark fertile soil from near the sheep pens to put down in the holes of the new shrubs and for the hostas.

I am putting in a new rock garden

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hostas in the Garden, a little History

Golden Tiara Hosta

Hostas are natives of the East and of Japan in particular, and when they were first discovered by Westerners their correct placing in the plant kingdom was not at all clear. Englebert Kaempfer (1651-1715), a doctor and botanist with the Dutch East India Company, was the first Westerner ever to see a hosta and certainly the first to draw and describe one. He gave them names in the discursive, pre-Linnaean style. One he called Joksan, vulgo gibbooshi Gladiolus Plantagenis folio (meaning 'the common hosta with the plantain-like leaves'); the other he named simply Gibbooshi altera (meaning 'the other hosta'). The next doctor and botanist to work at the Dutch East India Company's trading post in Japan, Carl Thunberg (1743-1828), renamed them in the then new Linnaean binomial style, calling one of them Aletris japonica, transferring it to the genus Hemerocallis in 1784.

The generic name Hosta was first proposed by the Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinick (1761-1848) in 1812. It honors an Austrian, Nicholas Thomas Host (1761-1834), who was not only a botanist, the author of Flora Austriaca and a work on grasses, but also physician to the Emperor Frances II. A further generic name, Funkia, was then proposed by Kurt Sprengel in 1817, but this name was eventually to be rejected as illegitimate. However, it passed into many European languages as the common name for hostas.

Meanwhile, the hostas themselves had started reaching the West. The first species to arrive was H. plantaginea, seed of which was sent by the French consul in Macao to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris somewhere between 1784 and 1789. Originally called Hemerocallis plantaginea, this hosta was soon grown by the thousand in public gardens in France. Another Chinese species, H. ventricosa, followed soon after.

The main influx of hostas to the West was started about 40 years later by Philipp von Siebold (1791-1866), another of the several doctor and botanists who worked in Japan, his first shipment of Japanese hostas reaching Europe in 1829. He was subsequently followed by other famous plant collectors such as Robert Fortune (1813 -1880) and the American Thomas Hogg Jr (1819 -1892).

The practice of introducing hostas from their native countries to the West still continues to this day. In 1985 an expedition mounted by the US National Arboretum brought back two new species of hosta from Korea, H. yingeri and H. jonesii.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Are there dangers in being 'spiritual but not religious'?

By John Blake, CNN

"I'm spiritual but not religious."

It's a trendy phrase people often use to describe their belief that they don't need organized religion to live a life of faith.

But for Jesuit priest James Martin, the phrase also hints at something else: egotism.

"Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness," says Martin, an editor at America, a national Catholic magazine based in New York City. "If it's just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor?"

Religious debates erupt over everything from doctrine to fashion. Martin has jumped into a running debate over the "I'm spiritual but not religious" phrase.

The "I'm spiritual but not religious" community is growing so much that one pastor compared it to a movement. In a 2009 survey by the research firm LifeWay Christian Resources, 72 percent of millennials (18- to 29-year-olds) said they're "more spiritual than religious." The phrase is now so commonplace that it's spawned its own acronym ("I'm SBNR") and Facebook page:

But what exactly does being "spiritual but not religious" mean, and could there be hidden dangers in living such a life?

Did you choose "Burger King Spirituality"?

Heather Cariou, a New York City-based author who calls herself spiritual instead of religious, doesn't think so. She's adopted a spirituality that blends Buddhism, Judaism and other beliefs.

"I don't need to define myself to any community by putting myself in a box labeled Baptist, or Catholic, or Muslim," she says. "When I die, I believe all my accounting will be done to God, and that when I enter the eternal realm, I will not walk though a door with a label on it."

People seem not to have the time nor the energy or interest to delve deeply into any one faith or religious tradition.

--June-Ann Greeley, theology professor

BJ Gallagher, a Huffington Post blogger who writes about spirituality, says she's SBNR because organized religion inevitably degenerates into tussles over power, ego and money.

Gallagher tells a parable to illustrate her point:

"God and the devil were walking down a path one day when God spotted something sparkling by the side of the path. He picked it up and held it in the palm of his hand.

"Ah, Truth," he said.

"Here, give it to me," the devil said. "I'll organize it."

Gallagher says there's nothing wrong with people blending insights from different faith traditions to create what she calls a "Burger King Spirituality -- have it your way."

She disputes the notion that spiritual people shun being accountable to a community.

"Twelve-step people have a brilliant spiritual community that avoids all the pitfalls of organized religion," says Gallagher, author of "The Best Way Out is Always Through."

"Each recovering addict has a 'god of our own understanding,' and there are no priests or intermediaries between you and your god. It's a spiritual community that works.''

Nazli Ekim, who works in public relations in New York City, says calling herself spiritual instead of religious is her way of taking responsibility for herself.

Ekim was born in a Muslim family and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She prayed to Allah every night, until she was 13 and had to take religion classes in high school.Then one day, she says she had to take charge of her own beliefs.

"I had this revelation that I bow to no one, and I've been spiritually a much happier person," says Ekim, who describers herself now as a Taoist, a religious practice from ancient China that emphasizes the unity of humanity and the universe.

"I make my own mistakes and take responsibility for them. I've lied, cheated, hurt people -- sometimes on purpose. Did I ever think I will burn in hell for all eternity? I didn't. Did I feel bad and made up for my mistakes? I certainly did, but not out of fear of God."

Going on a spiritual walkabout

The debate over being spiritual rather than religious is not just about semantics. It's about survival.

Numerous surveys show the number of Americans who do not identify themselves as religious has been increasing and likely will continue to grow.

A 2008 survey conducted by Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, dubbed these Americans who don't identify with any religion as "Nones."

"I don't need to define myself in a box labeled Baptist, or Catholic, or Muslim."

--Heather Cariou, a spiritual but not religious seeker

Seminaries, churches, mosques and other institutions will struggle for survival if they don't somehow convince future generations that being religious isn't so bad after all, religion scholars warn.

Jennifer Walters, dean of religious life at Smith College in Massachusetts, says there's a lot of good in old-time religion.

Religious communities excel at caring for members in difficult times, encouraging members to serve others and teaching religious practices that have been tested and wrestled with for centuries, Walters says.

"Hymn-singing, forms of prayer and worship, teachings about social justice and forgiveness -- all these things are valuable elements of religious wisdom," Walters says. "Piecing it together by yourself can be done, but with great difficulty."

Being a spiritual Lone Ranger fits the tenor of our times, says June-Ann Greeley, a theology and philosophy professor.

"Religion demands that we accord to human existence some absolutes and eternal truths, and in a post-modern culture, that becomes all but impossible," says Greeley, who teaches at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut.

It's much easier for "spiritual" people to go on "spiritual walkabouts," Greeley says.

"People seem not to have the time nor the energy or interest to delve deeply into any one faith or religious tradition," Greeley says. "So they move through, collecting ideas and practices and tenets that most appeal to the self, but making no connections to groups or communities."

Being spiritual instead of religious may sound sophisticated, but the choice may ultimately come down to pettiness, says Martin, the Jesuit priest, who writes about the phrase in his book, "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost Everything)."

"Religion is hard," he says. "Sometimes it's just too much work. People don't feel like it. I have better things to do with my time. It's plain old laziness."

Friday, June 4, 2010

DuMOR® Sheep Mineral from Tractor Supply

It's rebuilding time for ewes and rams and a time of rapid growth for lambs. Don't forget to feed salt and mineral mix it helps your sheep make better use of summer pastures and grain rations. Be sure not to feed any minerals that are designed for cattle, goats, horses or pigs. They all contain way too much copper for sheep. I use DuMOR® Sheep Mineral. It is designed to provide the needed minerals and vitamins, including salt, to sheep grazing pasture, rangeland, or drylot forages, but may also be used in a variety of feeding programs. Provides properly balanced amounts of critical vitamins and minerals needed to support optimal health, reproduction and growth, providing what is often lacking or unbalanced in native pastures, forages, or unfortified concentrates.
Contains no added copper and is appropriate for all classes and ages of sheep
May be fed free-choice, as a top dress or mixed into the ration

Guaranteed Analysis:
Calcium (Ca) (min.) 10.00%, Calcium (Ca) (max.) 12.00%, Phosphorus (P) (min.) 6.00%, Salt (NaCl) (min.) 16.00%, Salt (NaCl) (max.) 19.00%, Sodium (Na) (min.) 7.10%, Sodium (Na) (max.) 8.50%, Magnesium (Mg) (min.) .75%, Potassium (K) (min.) 1.00%, Iodine (I) (min.) 100.00ppm, Selenium (Se) (min.) 20.00ppm, Selenium (Se) (max.) 21.00ppm, Zinc (Zn) (min.) 1200.00ppm, Vitamin A (min.) 40,000IU/lb, Vitamin D3 (min.) 15,000IU/lb, Vitamin E (min.) 100IU/lb, Ruminant meat and bone meal free.

Feeding instructions:
Feed free-choice from a sheltered feeder at the rate of up to 1.15 oz. per head per day to sheep. Alternatively, mix in or top dress an appropriate amount for the ration based on the number of animals consuming a given amount of feed. Always supply fresh, clean water.

Caution: Follow label directions. Feeding added selenium at levels in excess of 0.3 ppm in the total diet is prohibited.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In Fountain Court

The fountain murmuring of sleep,
A drowsy tune;
The flickering green of leaves that keep
The light of June;
Peace, through a slumbering afternoon,
The peace of June.

A waiting ghost, in the blue sky,
The white curved moon;
June, hushed and breathless, waits, and I
Wait too, with June;
Come, through the lingering afternoon,
Soon, love, come soon.

Arthur Symons

One of my favorite Steeleye Span Songs!

Rosebud in June

It's a rosebud in June and the violets in full bloom,
And the small birds are singing love songs on each spray.

We'll pipe and we'll sing love,
We'll dance in a ring love,
When each lad takes his lass
All on the green grass,
And it's oh to plough where the fat oxen graze low,
And the lads and the lasses do sheep shearing go.


When we have all sheared our jolly, jolly sheep,
What joy can be greater than to talk of their increase.


Their flesh it is good, it's the best of all food,
And their wool it will cloth us and keep our backs from the cold.


Here's the ewes and the lambs, here's the hogs and the rams,
And the fat wethers too they will make a fine show.


The Rams Horn

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