Monthly Archives: November 2011

Woody Plants

Woody plants that produce a single stem or trunk and many branches are called trees. Woody plants that produce many stems from the soil, with new ones being produced each year, are called shrubs. Plants that produce no woody stems are known as herbaceous. Any plant that lives for many years is a perennial. Those plants that remain in gardens year after year but are not woody are herbaceous perennials. Peonies, iris, and phlox are examples.

Some herbaceous perennials, called bulbous plants, produce bulbs. These include not only the true bulbs, such as tulips and onions, but also the solid bulbs, or conns, such as those the gladiolus and crocus produce. Tubers are produced by dahlias, caladiums, and other tuberous plants. Rhizomes are developed by iris, lily-of-the-valley, and other rhizomatous plants. All of these perennials produce and store food below ground so that a new plant may grow each year.A few plants such as foxglove, Canterbury bells, and wild mullein last only two years. The first year they make a rosette of leaves close to the ground, live over winter, bloom the next year, and then they die. Such plants are called biennials. If seeds are sown each year, there is a constant supply of plants.

Some plants grow from seed each year, bloom, produce seed, and die at the end of the year. These are called annuals. Examples are petunias, marigolds, snapdragons, and zinnias.Everything that grows needs light, air, moisture, and food. From the carbon dioxide of the air the plant, in the presence of sunlight, manufactures sugar. This is soon changed to other substances that make up the main bulk of the plant. Additional plant food comes from the natural minerals in the soil. When the soil lacks minerals, they must be supplied as fertilizer. The food must dissolve in water, so there must be enough moisture.

There are relatively few places on Earth where plants do not grow. If the soil of the garden is not good, it can be improved by digging good soil, manure, or commercial plant food into it. If a plot of ground grows weeds, it is good soil; it will grow desirable plants equally well. Soil without weeds needs to be dug, aired, fed, and enriched with micro-organisms, supplied when manure, garden trash, peat moss, grass clippings, or good compost (peat, leaf mold, and lime mixed) are used.


Looking After Your Garden

Lots of people get carried away and buy dozens of garden seeds each time they visit their local garden centre. They then enthusiastically plant half the seeds and leave the rest in the shed not realising that garden seeds need to be looked after. A seed like a plant is a living thing which is simply dormant or in a deep sleep.Luckily, looking after your garden seeds is not difficult it just takes a few minutes and a little bit of organisation.
If possible get yourself a box to store your garden seeds in. Make sure that the box is watertight, but not airtight you need air to circulate through the box to keep your garden seeds in good condition.
Make sure that you put your seed box somewhere that you can easily reach, so that they do not all tip out when you take the box down off a top shelf. Where you keep them needs to be relatively dark and should not be somewhere that gets too hot or too cold. Outside is too cold, in a greenhouse is too hot, but a garden shed is perfect.Just throwing your garden seeds into a big box and leaving them there is often not a good idea. Seeds tend to spill out of the packets, you can never find the seeds you want and you will lose a lot of seeds because they go out of date.
To ensure that your garden seeds never go out of date or lie there until it is too late to plant them filing them by month is a good idea. What that means is that in March when you open up your seed box you will be able to see immediately the packets of garden seeds that need planting that month.

there are levels of plant

The responsibilities of an operator of the plant include inspection of all plant equipment, taking readings from meters and gauges, the introduction of crucial information in logbooks, and constantly checking for strange sights, smells and sounds that could indicate a problem in the plant. A graduate from high school can get an entry level job at a hydroelectric plant. However, there is recommended to take classes to learn to be an operator of the plant. These classes teach students both the fundamentals and advanced aspects of plant operation. There are also diplomas and certificates that can be achieved while the work that will give you more knowledge and put it in a better position to be an operator of the plant.

Others prefer to education includes the chemistry, trigonometry, blueprint reading and mechanical drawing. All these issues can provide an ideal starting point for this work. Solar panel installers have the task of placement and installation of solar panels on roofs, poles and other structures and the sun’s energy into usable electricity, while thermal panels convert the heat of the sun’s rays into useful heat. In some cases, may have to deal with the problems that arise at work, such as malfunction of the machinery. The need for cleaner forms of energy than oil means that more power plants for alternative energy, including nuclear plants and wind farms.

Ensure training materials are easy to understand. Make it concise. Use language that all employees understand and make training sessions interesting. The online training will give you another variation security and can help employees boring. A good candidate for a job is a guy who knows how to solve problems creatively and solve problems. This means that a good operator should be self-motivated and work well by themselves.

There are levels of plant operator jobs, the lowest level of being third, and the highest first being. Resource analysts are responsible for determining if sufficient resources are available to capture energy in a given area. Before installing a power plant, it is necessary to determine whether the area in the power plant will be installed. Require overtime during peak energy use, or if there is damage to the plant. But if you feel that this race is done to green. Need more forms of alternative energy to chemical engineers should enjoy good job prospects over the next decade. The training is learning. Is a continuous process. You need to ensure that the safety training of employees is carried out continuously.

About The Narcissus Actea lights

Those of you who drop into my blog on a fairly regular basis will know that I have been dabbling in botanical illustration and attending classes.  I started my second year in September and have just completed picture no 7.

I am beginning to feel less intimidated by the watercolour paint.  Although I have used pastels and acrylics in the past I was completely panic-stricken when I came to start using watercolour.  I had got it in to my head that you couldn’t build up layers or it went muddy, that it was difficult to blend and that it was difficult to remove mistakes.  I have learnt, very slowly, over the last year from my first picture that none of this is true and that watercolours are just as user-friendly once you understand them and if you have an excellent tutor as I do.

It is a joke in my class when the tutor tells me that I have to do something finely.  I’m the new girl and some of them have been going for years and produce stunning work.  Stuart, the tutor, says you need to do the roots finely – I laugh “but I’m too heavy-handed”. Much merriment ensue, but not as much as when someone sets out all their painting stuff and then realises their subject matter is still at home. Anyway I’m getting there and think the roots on the narcissus bulbs are better than the ones I did on the beetroot a while back, I have more control over the brush.  I was shocked when I started the classes that we use one brush for everything, it’s all  about control and fine points – so not me!!









Having stared  intently at the bulbs for the last three lessons I can tell you that they are truly beautiful with very complex ranges of tones and colours.  I am really pleased with my latest effort.  Next I am going to do some autumn leaves just like my first picture but hopefully as I have learnt a lot this last year I will be able to take it to a new level.

A sparkly treat lurking in the border

One of the joys of tidying up the garden last weekend was rediscovering various gems that I hadn’t actually forgotten about but which had slipped my memory.  A real gem at the moment is my Helleborus Argustifolius ‘Janet Starnes’. The pretty variegated leaves really stand out at the moment amongst all the leaf litter and general brownness, to me they look like they have been splatterd with glitter.

I bought the Hellebore from Ashwood Nurseries, whose owner John Massey is well known for his Hellebore breeding programme.  I was sold on the varigated foilage despite not really being a fan of this type of thing.  I think it was a combination of the jagged edge to the leaves and the flecks of a creamy white that caught my eye – such an unusual combination.

Sadly the flowers do not live up to the leaves by a long way.  In fact I have been trying to remember them!  My memory tells me that they are a disappointing faded green, nothing special at all which is such a pity.  However, the new growth in the Spring is very attractive, a dark peony like shoot.

I am hopeful that this Hellebore may cross with some of my others and I may end up with something interesting. I already have one or two varigated leaved seedlings which I am keeping a very close eye on!

A Curiosity of The Frozen Leaves

Like the rest of the UK we have been experiencing extremely cold weather the last couple of days.  I don’t know what the temperature went down to last night as I don’t have an outside thermometer (but its going on the Christmas list) but the temperature hasn’t risen above -5 all day.  We have been lucky so far here in Worcestershire with only a dusting of snow yesterday, I am hoping it stays that way.

What has interested me is the way plants have responded to the extreme cold.  The top photo is of a Japanese Holly Fern.  The plant has been in situ for a couple of years and I noticed the other day how lush and healthy it was looking and how it had put on a real spurt of growth. However, this morning I was surprised at the appearance of the leaves.  They were much darker, almost black, and had lost their shine and rigidity, (the shine in the photo is from the camera flash).

Just by the Japanese Holly Fern is a young Sarcococca confusa, or Christmas Box, and this has reacted in exactly the same way.  Both the plants are in a fairly sheltered bed with a 4ft wall behind them and a large Rosemary bush on top of the wall providing some shelter.

Conversely, a Pelargonium that I had completely forgotten about seems to be a lot more resilient to the cold with just a frosting.  I would have expected the leaves to be limp at the least.

This has bemused me all day, the fern and box are perking up a little but not much and the Pelargonium is now safely in the greenhouse.  I am assuming that the reason the fern and box reacted as they have is due to the water in the leaves being frozen and I suppose that as there aren’t that many evergreens around in the garden there is little to compare them with.  But why the Pelargonium didn’t react in the same way I don’t know.  It was perched on top of a wall so maybe the  more open site helped it in some way that is beyond me.

Anyway, it has been interesting to observe and I think some of the studying I have recently been doing about leaf structure etc has probably raised my curiosity and made me more observant of how plants are behaving.  I am hopeful that once the weather warms up the plants will perk up as well.

Woottens – the perfect baby’s room

I have a weakness for parcels and so I have fully embraced the whole on-line shopping revolution. I am now beginning to find more and more nurseries that you can buy from on-line.  At first I was a little dubious as I worried about the quality of the plant, but I have now progressed from bulbs and seeds to plants and so far so good.  I think the key is to buy from a reputable nursery.  My experience to date is that you get a better service than from the big on-line chains which offer bargains but no doubt someone will disagree so as I say this is strictly my experience.

The other week someone I follow on Twitter mentioned Woottens and their wonderful catalogue.  I had to investigate and was entranced by the selection of plants which were available at very reasonable prices.  However, I’m not one for impulse buys and tend to think about purchases for a few days.  In the meantime, I subscribed to Woottens email newsletter service.  Bad idea!! I now receive weekly emails with offers all very tempting.  It wasn’t long before I succumbed to the Pulmonaria Sissinghurst offer – 4 plants in 2 litre pots for £15.52, an excellent deal I thought!! I have plans for a shady/woodland border and I think the white flowers of the Pulmonaria will really work well there.  So I purchased them along with the catalogue.  You have to buy the catalogue but I have been told by a number of garden designers that it is wonderful and they treat it like a bible.

I received an email yesterday telling me my parcel would arrive this afternoon and it did as you can see in the top photo.  These are the best wrapped plants I have received to date. Under the poly chips were the four pots of plants and my catalogue.  However, there is a note in the box which tells me that they aren’t poly chips but made out of potato/corn starch and so can go in the compost bin or be dissolved in water – I’m very impressed. The plants appear to have healthy root systems as roots are beginning to appear out of the bottom of the pots and there is fresh young foliage as you can just make out.   The plants will go in my bay for new plants waiting for the new border to be prepared.  In the meantime I shall be perusing the catalogue which is a beautifully produced book.  The photos are fantastic and there are so many varieties I fear that bankruptcy may be imminent.  There are 5 pages of Hemerocallis each with 9  photos – I have never been a fan of this plant but some of the flowers shown are completely stunning so I may succumb.  As for the Bearded  Iris – 10 pages of sumptuous photos there is no hope of me resisting.

So I’m off to read my catalogue as Stephen Anderton in The Times says “This is that rare thing, a readable catalogue”