Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Growing Cotton

I have written about growing cotton before.  Now I want to post some photos from a good friend who grows it too (she got me started!  And here initials are JT, too!). This year, she grew black cotton. No, the actual cotton is not black, but the leaves and unopened boll are deep red-purple, a color often referred to in the horticultural world as "black." The blooms are a pretty shade or pink, unlike the cream-tinged-with-green-and-pink of the blooms of the standard cotton plant.  Handsome plant.
Eye candy time!
Top left, clockwise: a black cotton plant next to a regular cotton plant; bright white cotton coming out of a newly opened boll; a beautiful cotton flower (cotton is a member of the hibiscus family) and: the unopened boll.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NEVER prune in the fall!

A great explanation of why you should never prune trees and shrub in the fall.  Put those pruners away until winter!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gardening with Nature

Even though I feel I have been gardening thoughtfully, with the environment in mind, I have been re-thinking aspects of my yard and garden.  Here are a few examples.  I had wanted to remove what I thought was a "scrubby" tree from my backyard, until I learned it was a native wild cherry that was a host for many native insects (they can't eat or nest in most imported, exotic plants). I learned about the severe decline of the monarch butterfly, so I started its native host plant, the common milkweed, to plant in a new flower bed I am constructing.  I had already gotten rid of most of a half acre of grass, which requires too many inputs of chemical and water to justify growing. and, of course, I use no artificial fertilizers, pesticides, etc.

Would you like to go to a more natural style of gardening?  Here are 15 ideas for an "Ecobenefical Landscape:"

[this is an endorsement of these  ideas, not necessarily this consulting company].