The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:37 pm 
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Location: UK
I think we used to have something on the old site and I know we've had a few discussions about various 'bee-friendly' plants etc...Anyhoo, we didn't seem to have a gardening thread so I thought I'd start one.

We've got a big 'half-moon' bit of lawn on one side of the drive about 50 metres diameter and Mr LaT and I have been threatening for ages to plant a wildflower meadow in a strip of it, with a view to filling it all over the next few years if the strip 'takes'. We got around to prepping the ground and sowing it today (ideal day for it, it started raining just as we were finishing off the sowing).

There's a mixture of stuff, but it's supposed to be native British plants, so there's about 7 different grasses and 25 different wildflowers including:
corn poppy, cornflowers, cowslip, lady bedstraw, meadow vetchling, musk mallow, ox eye daisy, red campion, ragged robin, white campion, yellow rattle, common sorrel, yarrow, slender creeping red fescue, salad burnet, self heal, rough hawkbit, wild carrot, lesser knapweed, field scabious, common catsear, birdsfoot trefoil, sheeps fescue, chewings fescue, yellow oat grass, sweet vernal grass, crested dogstail, small scabious.

It's a mixture of annuals and perennials, with the annual poppies and daisies being dominant in year 1.

Fingers crossed it works out. I really hope it does, the pictures I've seen of others meadows are spectacular. The other great thing about these is they seem to thrive under crappy conditions and need no maintenance other than strimming back in the autumn....My kind of gardening! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:14 am 
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My husband and I are gardeners. We used to have some non-natives in the yard, mostly spring bulbs, but we agreed to remove those to planters only going forward. Now we've put native perennials in all the flower beds, so we have Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed), Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed), Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower), Monarda didyma (scarlet bee balm), Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant), and heaps of Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod) that comes up on its own. We've also got Impatiens capensis (jewelweed) that found its way into the yard somehow. The kid across the street is going to SUNY ESF for forestry/environmental science and he's gotten into native plant gardening as well, so we get some plants from him. We got some Rudbeckia laciniata (cut-leaf coneflower) from him last summer, and it did very well. I want to get some woodland phlox, some blueberry bushes, and more common milkweed for next summer. I am probably the only person who hopes the birds have spread the seeds of my Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) and my Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) over this year. They love the berries on both, and it's a real treat if/when the cedar waxwings find the berry-laden plants. I somehow wound up with some evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) in the yard as well. I didn't plant it, so the seeds got to my yard somehow. I try to plant for wildlife - host plants and seed plants - because I love watching the birds and the butterflies. I also hate tending grass, so having a yard full of plants reduces lawn to be mowed.

The squirrels helped me grow some black oil sunflower this year, but the rabbits (and maybe the squirrels too) didn't leave the flowers alone, so I doubt we'll/they'll get any seeds. If any start to come up next year, I'll cage them off until the seeds get more developed.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:59 am 
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I'm very keen on keeping with indigenous and wildlife friendly plants. I was hoping to buy the half acre plot at the back of my house (the one that's now a building site and was the cause of much swearing on another thread) and do something with that; a pond, some fruit trees, an oak, more meadow.......but that didn't come about, so I'll have to rethink the space I have...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:04 am 
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Location: Maipo Valley
Being unemployed has given me time to work on our yard here. We're doing grass for the small front yard. Yesterday I laid down 25 kg of compost plus grass seed in the part that doesn't have grass growing yet. I wore myself out! We have a bunch of flowers in planters/pots in the front yard too. I always ask the names when I buy them and then forget, but they are all varieties that need a lot of sun. The sun is really strong here. Even so, I have them under the bay window because in full sun they were drying out.

The side yard has a garden of ferns that I am slowly adding to and shelves with herbs (oregano, mint, thyme, rosemary and basil) as well as some more flowers and a plant we call ruda here. Ruda is supposed to keep out bad vibes.

We still need to figure out the back yard. We want to do a patio, probably with paving stones for part, behind the sliding glass doors. Hopefully, when I am gainfully employed again we will have money to do that. We also need to put in some trees.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:53 am 
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My husband has gotten into winter sowing - putting out seeds for plants during the wintertime. It works well with natives because of course their seeds will have overwintered outside here in upstate NY. He's got some New England asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), golden ragwort (Packera aurea), and some New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) going in milk jugs on the patio. He also ripped up a ton of grass, and is planning on planting more common milkweed (also being winter sown) in that area for his monarch butterfly caterpillars.

He's gotten really into host plants for pollinators, as well as seed and berry producers for the birds and other wildlife. If you're in the US, this link is really good - https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/Plants - it gives you a list of plants native to your area (I used White Plains' zip code), and tells you how many species a particular plant supports. He and the young man across the street have some plans to get more shrubs and plant some trees this summer using recommendations from the website. It should be interesting to see what they come up with.

It's sort of funny - my husband knows where most of his chipmunks live. He's watched them, and he knows where their burrows are. He's got a diagram of the yard that he's using to map out the new plantings, and he's got the chipmunks' burrow entrances marked, and estimated underground burrow perimeters marked. It's to avoid digging up their burrows, as he doesn't want to disturb them. He's like Snow White with all his little backyard friends.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:50 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I started my veggies this past weekend. I planted 3 different types of tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, sunflowers, Swiss chard, and cucumbers. Hopefully I get good germination rates - Seedy Saturday (where I usually buy my seeds) was cancelled this year so all my seeds are older.

I plan to start my squashes in a couple weeks, then everything will be planted out on the May long weekend once the danger of frost has passed.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:44 am 
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All the gardening centres in the UK are closed, but you can still order online, I ordered a bunch of container and basket plants a while ago....I'm not sure exactly when they'll show up, it depends on the maturity of the plants so there seems to be a delivery window over 3-4 weeks starting mid April.

This is with a view to prettying the house up to make it look attractive if I still think it's worth putting it on the market.

We've had great weather over the past few weeks, warm and sunny, but it was like this last year and then pissed down continuously from May onwards. Fingers crossed!

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 10:38 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
My tomatoes have germinated, I transplanted them into individual pots the other day. Only 2 out of 3 cultivars sprouted, but it’s still not too bad. Jalapeños finally started to come up this week, and I’ve also got Swiss chard, cucumbers, and one lonely sunflower that need transplanting into individual pots from their current egg carton tray. I’m actually very pleased that the sunflower germinated, the seed was about a a billion years old.

I did plant squash a couple weekends ago, but so far no signs of life, which has me a bit worried. Hope they germinate soon!

I am behind schedule, but hopefully I can spend some time this weekend prepping the garden beds and plant everything out in early June. It snowed here a few days ago and we’ve had continuous frost warnings for the last week, so I’m not in a huge rush to get everything planted out.


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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 4:32 pm 
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The chipmunks are all accounted for since winter. Everyone seems to have made it through. Today, my husband was out putting out some new plants, when he noticed a new addition - one of the chipmunks that is rather friendly has at least one baby. She and the baby were out in a garden area where leaves are piled. Mom was stuffing leaves in her mouth, whilst baby stayed close by. Then both ran back to the burrow.

As for the plants - the golden ragwort has gone everywhere. There must be hundreds of new little ragworts all over. I am going to ask the guy across the street if he wants some, as I have plenty.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 9:13 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
^^I have one very friendly chippy; not sure if someone’s been feeding him or if he’s just decided that humans aren’t scary.

Today I was sitting on the deck. He came bounding across the yard chirp-chirp-chirping away, and then raced over to my chair, ran under it, and sprinted over to the window to see If he could tease my cats!

Cheeky little bugger!


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