15 November 2007

Bugs, Slugs and Other Thugs, Dicliptera Cuttings and a Possom in the Shed

Today's column was about beneficial and destructive bugs in the garden. If you missed it here is the link to "There are good bugs and bad bugs for gardeners" that ran today.

Storey published the book, "Bugs, Slugs and Other Thugs" in 1991. It has tons of good ideas.

I've written most of next week's column on cleaning indoor air with houseplants - what an interesting topic it turned out to be.

With that done, I started snipping plants to see if I could propagate them with cuttings.

That Internet research led me to the discovery of all things Dicliptera. The one I want to propagate is a perennial that attracts hummingbirds. The parent plant is from
Bustani Plant Farm and needed to be trimmed to store it for the winter. What do gardeners do with clippings? We stick them in soil to see if they will root. It's a good sickness. Really.

Then there is a mystery herb in the little herb bed. It's leaves smells like root beer and the plant has bright yellow flowers even through the freezes we have had.

Last year I took a few of the flowers into the house in the fall and they remained pretty until the following spring.

So, pieces of it had to be clipped and stuck in moist soil, too.

I've been searching for its name: No, it isn't Piper sanctum, Agastache rupestris, nor Sassfrass all of which smell like root beer. I'll find it some day.

Otherwise the move into the new garden shed is making progress. More plants come in every day and more shelves are being built.

A possum discovered the goodies in the old shed: 50-pound bags of corn gluten and corn meal that I use for fertilizer were re-appropriated to be used as his/her food and bedding. That discovery prompted the emptying of the soon to be torn down shed.

Who says gardeners don't get enough exercise?

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