Hort Shorts

Botany in a Box

This past weekend my wife Laura came inside with a Botany in a Box she had collected and arranged from our backyard, a delightful mixture of flowers and miniature eggplants and melons, kousa dogwood fruits, crabapples, Korean maple fruits and more treasures. It is for her new 2nd grade class that started Monday.

 

  It reminded me of the simple joys of collecting and sharing these miniaturizations of horticultural and woodland nature. So, along with her welcome for her students, here are a few thoughts from an Akron Beacon Journal article I wrote eight years ago, with a box...

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Jim Chatfield

Lake County Field Day

Last week the Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio (NGLCO) put on their 50th Summer Field Day at the lovely Chalet Debonne Winery. This event is always a great time to network, rediscover old friends and make new friends. And to see plants – and even owls.  Here are a few visual highlights.

 

  In addition to the hibiscus above there is the always colorful Garden Guru Charles Behnke, former and ever OSU Extension Agent.  Charles was chatting with Bob Froelich, Ornamental Specialist, newly with BayerCrop Science. Bob noted that Bayer and the aspirin-ish logo is the second...

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Jim Chatfield

Trumbull Trail Test For You

  Yesterday, I visited Lee Beers, the OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource educator in Trumbull County, and as plant lovers (Lee is finishing his PhD on lowbush blueberry physiology and genetics), we had to take a walk. Adjacent to the OSU, Trumbull County office is county land and the Mosquito Lake State Park. So, in this 48-hour flash quiz, a prize awaits for the person with the most correct answers in that time to the plant and pest photo questions from our walk. If ties; the very first top score shall prevail.  

 

  Let us begin with pictures of fruits,...

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Jim Chatfield
Tree of The Week: Hackberries Excel in Amherst chatfield.1 Sun, 08/13/2017 - 13:41

I admit that in the old days I thought of hackberry (Celtis) mostly as a common mid-sized native woodland tree, adaptable to variable soil types, but not so much as a landscape plant. Counter to this, Davis Sydnor always extolled hackberries, especially Celtis laevigata (sugarberry), but also common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). I am now becoming educated, Davis.  

 

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Jim Chatfield
Weed of the Week: Dayflowers Not So Common chatfield.1 Sat, 08/12/2017 - 08:19

In the ChatScape there is a lovely little flower, the Asiatic dayflower, Commelina communis, which has taken advantage of our travels this summer, invading any number of garden sites. It is well-known to move into “disturbed” sites, which may say something of this laissez-faire gardener, if not my wife. This herbaceous wanderer has quite a storied profile, from its two sky-blue petals subtended by one small white petal to the use of its blue pigments in Japanese dyes for woodcuts.

 

  Dayflower is studied for possible bioremediation for removing toxic levels of...

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Jim Chatfield
Did You Give or Receive on Tuesday? stone.91 Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:22

Did you know that Tuesday, August 8th was "Sneak A Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Front Porch Day"? Did you sneak, or did you get snuck upon? Didn't participate this year?  Be sure it is on the calendar for 2018! 

 

While this is a fun thing to do, it is important to remember if you have excess fruits and vegetables this time of the year, it is a great opportunity to share your bountiful harvest with others.  A simple sharing can occur neighbor-to-neighbor, among friends and family members, or excess produce can be donated food banks, kitchens or pantries.  Different...

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Amy Stone
Time to Tidy Up the Perennial Garden bennett.27 Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:09
Most of the perennials in my garden have bloomed a little earlier than normal.  Here it is almost the second week in August and I am seeing the late August perennials such as Sedum and goldenrod start to bloom.  It's also time for me to do a little cleaning up in the gardens, especially with those plants that have finished blooming such as Echinacea (coneflowers), Nepeta (catmint) and others.
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Pam Bennett

Linden ID

It’s Sunday night, I check my e-mail, and Frank Sinibaldi asks: “Mr. Chatfield, can you tell me what tree this comes from?”  I check out the attached image, and there it is: a linden bract with attached peduncle, pedicels and fruits.

 

  So, linden (Tilia spp.) is the tree. Common lindens are the American linden or basswood (Tilia americana), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) native to Europe and into Asia, and the hybrid Crimean linden Tilia x euchlora).  Lindens are much bee-beloved.

 

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Jim Chatfield

A Plant Walk in Wooster

The great thing for all of us as plant lovers is the simplicity of enjoyment of a walk in the woods or through city streets, checking out the plants we know. Here are some snapshots of just a few plant sightings on an afternoon walk in Wooster, Ohio a few days ago.

 

  First, as our lead photo, at the edge of a parking lot was Calycanthus, which a Clemson fact sheet notes has common names of Carolina allspice, strawberry-bush, sweet bubby {my favorite}, sweet Betsy, and spicebush {my least favorite since we think of Lindera benzoin as spicebush up North...

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Jim Chatfield

Name That Pine

True pines, as opposed to say, Norfolk Island-pine (Araucaria heterophylla) or Japanese umbrella-pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) are in the genus Pinus, which differs from other genera in the Pinaceae family. Other genera in the family include, for example, spruces (Picea), firs (Abies), and hemlocks (Tsuga).
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Jim Chatfield