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Ground Cover Plants and New Book

8 years ago

Anyone reading PLANTING IN A POST WILD WORLD? If so, I would love to have comments. I am quite interested in these ideas although I am not into design but mainly use natives.

I do like the concept of layering, especially using the ground cover layers. There are few plant lists in this book, so now the question is, what native ground covers exist for each type of sun exposure and moisture?

Would love to start a conversation re Carex, Luzulas, and other possible ground covers.


Comments (70)

  • 8 years ago

    Yes, GA can be very hot. I am in the foothills, so we do get hot summers, but no where near further south.

    Thanks for the grass tip.

  • 8 years ago

    ps, I can't believe they are that strict in North Carolina or that land developers would care if someone took plants prior to clearing. I suppose when its an official group asking officially its different than a person just sort of casually walking around the perimeter among the piles of sand and stuff. I doubt anyone notices me gathering seeds in the abandoned places in the city and I've never heard of liability papers etc. Here in Oklahoma, most would just roll their eyes at the very idea of wanting anything growing out there, if someone is around and I ask permission & thats pretty much what happens or else they just laugh and say something like "take anything you want". Trespassing privately owned land is a different matter & off limits but I'd fear getting shot by some crazy redneck more than being accused of stealing 'rare' native plants or seeds. None of it is rare.

    Lynda Waldrep thanked User
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    A 100% slope is actually 1:1 or a 45deg slope, but I have donned my rappelling gear and planted on vertical faces. Yes, the mulch will have to be replenished from time to time. I wish I could tell you how often but there are some variables. I also can't tell you costs because I don't know about either your plant or labor market. You can also get mulch for cheap or free from tree trimmers and some municipalities offer free composted mulch from green bins. You will also have to weed regardless, but the mulch makes it easier. Aggressive groundcover can itself become a weed, especially if it self sows. Plus, weeds are by their nature aggressive and can compete with a lot of aggressive groundcovers, at least for a little while. When I say shrubs, they can be groundcovers as well. They are just low growing shrubs. You can also mulch heavily (8-12") and sow perennial shrub seed. That is a proven restoration technique, although weeds will still come up. Since you are new to gardening, I will recommend this site, The Informed Gardener, especialy the bits about mulch.
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  • 8 years ago

    TR, that surprises me about the SO grama! You would think it more adapted to trimming than that, having been feasted on by large herbivores for eons. You are right though, its a rather short, stiff grass here, and not nearly as common as BG.

    I have found Blue grama to be virtually unkillable... At least via trimming. During the summer at the State Park I would weed whacker big areas of it just about every week, and it just kept coming back. I don't trim mine at the house since I grow it as an ornamental (which, Ncrescue, I doubt you want a small patch of trimmed lawn in your flower bed, so instead of cutting them, I would just plant them in masses for the same effect). Its also one of the favorite foods of Peter cottontail in my gardens. Funny, they leave the big 'blonde ambition' BG alone, but feast voraciously on the smaller "wild" variety.

    You could be right that A.u. won't like the heat. It is a montane/foothill plant here. Not to mention, even I start to wilt once the humidity gets any higher than about 10%. Us Western folks, and our plants, are adapted to a much more arid climate lol.

    Lynda Waldrep thanked ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado
  • 8 years ago

    Yes, our state does have many rules and regulations regarding plants. There are 419 on the rare/endangered list, and people are not to share any of those without the proper permits. Of course, most gardeners don't know these rules exist, so it is a curse for me that I DO know. Again, with old age, I am beginning to be a rule breaker.

    And, TRanger and Zack, I have had construction bosses tell me I could go on properties, so I have done that, as an individual, but if I were leading a group, I always got written permission, which most companies declined to give.

    No wonder they used to call your area the wild west. Ha, ha!


  • 8 years ago

    I know that with our rare/T&E plants, there are regulations, but for all the others no one is going to care if you collect them. Most often these are just the "weeds" that grow up between sidewalk cracks or alongside the road. People look at me funny when they see me hunched over digging through plants looking for ripe seed heads, like "what the heck is he doing?" but that's about as far as it goes.

    "No wonder they used to call your area the wild west. Ha, ha!"

    I have had people from out of state tell me that they grow up thinking Colorado is still just like the old, wild west. Apparently we still carry that reputation in certain circles, which, doesn't bother me in the least.

    Lynda Waldrep thanked ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado
  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Zach, the information about trimming is something I read but not anything I have experienced. I assume when so much land was made barren (especially in Texas) due to overgrazing, that is the principle involved. When I was checking out agricultural seed companies for Little Bluestem, Indian Grass etc, they gave recommendations about tillering and how often if should be grazed and when to let the grass grow. Little Bluestem is killed if cut too often.

    Some people think there's 'Indians' living in T-pees here. There are several reservations but its not quite the image they seem to be thinking. Some Native American tribes get involved politically on environmental and water issues, they are responsible conservationists and we see several commercials on local TV.

  • 8 years ago

    .......most of those tribes having been relocated from further east, no?

    +oM

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Some were but the answer would be no. I'm not really up on it in a well studied way but there were cultural areas across the country. Think in terms of buffalo and the Great Plains. This map shows the major tribes, there are many smaller ones with different names. Ponca City where I grew up was named after the Ponca tribe and there are several Ponca Native Americans living there.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    OK, I got curious and googled it. I don't know where wantanamara is, she could probably weigh in on this but here are where the original tribes were before European settlement. You have to push the enlarge button to see it.

  • 8 years ago

    Awesome discussion. I haven't gotten the book yet but it is on my wish list. I read an interview with the author and it really resonated with me.

    I just purchased seeds for Achillea Tomentosa, Antennaria dioica, violas, Ruellia humilis and Alchemilla alpina for some ground level cover. I also purchased seeds for Corydalis lutea but afterwards read that the seed is not viable for long so I'll be thrilled if any germinates. Actually, I'll be thrilled if any of the seeds I ordered germinate!

    I bought a flat of Vernoica 'Waterperry Blue' 2 years ago and it has a weaver-type habit so far and co-mingles nicely with other plants.


  • 8 years ago

    Green, I got that Corydalis from a rescue and wondered later why I lost most of it. My friends who don't have as many leaves drop in their woodlands gave me some. It should reseed if it is happy, and you will have it forever...new plants.

    Just heard recently that now the plant gurus have decided that most Achilleas are native. I always thought they were introduced.

    Always interesting to read and learn new things about plants. As for the native tribes, we do have several here in NC, Cherokee being the one with the casinos. There are many smaller groups, and the Lumbees are seeking whatever designation they need to have their casinos, too. I don't gamble, unless planting plants and seeds count.


  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think of the act of planting seeds an act of hope and faith. I guess that is close to gambling if the perspective is skewed a tad.

    Great thread. I had to skim and read fast. I am working on my job and my husbands job , so I am up to my neck in sticks (building finishing 40 chairs). It is hard to come in and say anything ringing of concise thought when one is exhausted , sick of sticks and braindead.

    I just got back from a 2 weeks of seed collecting. I was with people and the car was a crowded mess so I was not good at all the documenting that I needed to do. I have no qualms about stopping the car for a flash of color or interesting seed puff or inflorecens. It does make getting to where you are trying to go to hard. Because if you stop for one, and then another and then you are stopping for ALL of them.I like doing it alone, unless I can steel TX away from her house one time and hit the wichita mountains or the grasslands in west Oklahoma.

    The book sounds really interesting. I might have to buy it but I need to finish what I am reading first. I do notice in my field that the layering happens in a spring to fall scenario also.the grass is leveled in winter usually if the winter rains are hard enough to weight it down and then the windflowers and crow poison and fringed cocoons bloom then we get the fireweed and winter grass and the it evolves upwards as Camp said. I get the antelope milkweeds followed by the Mexican hats and then all the summer grasses take over. Mostly invasive KR blues out front with taller little bluestem punctuating the masses. If you part the grass , you will find all sorts of plants underneath from that diminutive maroon milkweed vine, fireweed, and wood sorrel.

    I am not up on TX indians. They killed them all or pushed them up into Oklahoma. I know that it was Comanche territory around in Central Texas.They are not the huge influence that they are in Oklahoma and New Mexico or even Louisiana.

    I have also heard that little Bluestem is particularly vulnerable if it is grazed during early spring. The nodes are forming and they can be damaged during that time. My cows killed most of all our bluestem. It is coming back.

    Lynda Waldrep thanked wantonamara Z8 CenTex
  • 8 years ago

    Won, Your description of the layers is exactly what the authors are talking about. No bare ground; no mulch; just plants of various heights densely planted together, aka Mother Nature's way not to leave anything bare. And they mention that cutting Carex too low damages the crowns and makes the plants vulnerable to freeze in the winter. Although a design book, it has great tips for the average person.

    If you ever have any extra Antelope milkweed seeds to spare, I would love to try some. Have seen photos. Big push on all milkweeds around here for the Monarchs.

  • 8 years ago

    Well, I learned something today; Wantonamara just clued me in to the fact that texasranger2 is a she! I did not know that. And of course, it makes no difference to anything.

    +oM

  • 8 years ago

    OH God, I am sorry Tx, I spilled the beans. I didn't mean to, I swear it. but then you have spilled them yourself on other forms..

    .

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    This layering is mother natures way only where there is ample water. Where I was in untrodden desert , I was amazed at the highly developed biotic soil crusts that were communities of soil microorganisms that took over 100 years to develop that seemed to act like a mulch. The top was not washed gravel like it was in the washes and how we xeric gardeners use in our gardens. Cryptobiotic bacterium that expanded and contracted 17 times in accordance to how wet it was. fascinating stuff. seeds had to hydro drill through it.

    I find that Texas frogfruit is a good underneath ground cover that is also a pollinator. Maybe it might take over in friendlier digs.... I don't know. It has a range of Arizona to Georgia, and yes, NC too. Why di they call it TX frogfuit when it is everywhere?

    Phyla nodiflora

    Lynda Waldrep thanked wantonamara Z8 CenTex
  • 8 years ago

    Wan, cute plant. Never heard of it. Bet it is a coastal one here in NC. Will keep my eyes open for it. Yes, these designers are trying to follow Mother Nature's patterns, which I thought I was doing, too, but I realized that I don't pay enough attention to that ground layer. Plenty of spring plants that go dormant in our summer heat. Their roots/bulbs/rhizomes are still down there, but nothing showing above ground. Well, I do have some things. Still, want to think of more possibilities.

  • 8 years ago

    I too never heard of the frogfruit. Can't pass up a name like that! And while it looks a right handsome species, I'm sure it's nowhere near hardy enough for my area.

    +oM

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Texasranger is a common name for Leucophyllum frutescens, one of my favorite native shrubs. It's also the dudes packin' colt sidearms, wearin' hats and boots but a couple of these forums turned out to be pretty vicious so I thought it never hurts to sound like a tough guy(even though I'm not) when I had to change my name from GreatPlains1 for reasons I won't go into.

    wantanaMARA, a field trip to tramp & snoop around on the ground is right down my alley and I should quit living like a brown recluse spider and venture out more often past my little playground. Below is a picture caught in the act. It was a major disappointment when this turned out to be Weeping Lovegrass but across the road is where I got some seeds of Silver Beardgrass and its really cool looking growing now on my little patch of land. It grows fast and blooms heavily the first year from seed on fairly large plants, much faster than Little Blue. I'm so easily satisfied, all it takes is a bit of interesting grass & it will temp me every time.

    Unbelievably, the soil was deep sandy loam on this side where I'm pilfering below, cross a two lane country road and it was sticky clay on the other side. Amazing. A guy told me there's a river that deposited the sand.

    When we made that drive up to Arkansas through NE Oklahoma the ground was a sea of red as far as you could look in both directions. I've never seen so much Indian Paintbrush growing wild and I just stared and stared out the car window. Seems it would be another great choice for that lower layer. I'd imagine Texas bluebonnets would be good too.

  • 8 years ago

    Here I am graising in the grass with my turkish friend in New Mexico a couple of weeks ago. Why did I come back?


  • 8 years ago

    OK guys, show us your Pilfer Pics.

  • 8 years ago

    LOL.....It took a sister stealing my camera to memorialize it. NC rescue. If you want to try some , I can send you some. It grows from runners.

    Lynda Waldrep thanked wantonamara Z8 CenTex
  • 8 years ago

    OK, that looks like my kind of fun. But if I went seed collecting with either of you, nothing would grow in my garden. Hey, +oM, we should go on a similar field trip around the Midwest. I would need someone along who is better than me at identifying which plant is what. Look at your calendar for next October! LOL. I'm half serious, and I'm about to sign a contract for a job that gives me five weeks of vacation. I need to think of some inexpensive, but recreational ways to spend those weeks. We could meet up somewhere in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Our chances of finding natives and no one who cares if we take a few seeds should be pretty good. Ah, dreaming.

    Martha

  • 8 years ago

    Well heck, don't just leave me hanging here, what's that red grass? And more importantly, did you get any? I'm calling that picture 'The New Mexico Gleaners'. And.....Whats that tall stiff plant person #2 further back is getting seeds from? Describe please.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Docmom, you're not that far off, lol. As an old geezer (when did that happen?) on the job here, I'm both maxed-out on vacation and pre-Act 10-the wonderful packet of legislation enacted by our governor/legislature solely as a mean-spirited jab-quite a jab at that-at public employees. What all that rigamarole means is, I have an amount of vacation that nobody will ever be able to obtain going forward. They made sure of that, along with such other goodies as instant, over-night loses of 8% of our income, and much, much diminished prospects for ever achieving any financial success. In short, I got boned along with everyone else, but managed to retain my legacy vacation package, which of course, I earned by doing what's right, coming to work and staying for years and years.

    The U.P. is an area where indeed one could "get away" with something, there essentially being nobody up there. But heck, I've caught folks harvesting seed right here in this city's stormwater prairie plantings. In my imagination, that seed is then being sold as "Wisconsin genotype", which is really a crock, it having simply been sourced from "somewhere" within a couple hundred miles, supposedly. Our prairie plantings are most definitely not restorations, there originally having been little to none of that particular plant commun ity present here in this formerly forested zone.

    +oM

  • 8 years ago

    +oM, Congratulations on hanging on to your vacation, at least. I wonder a bit about the "purity" of the local seed collections, since so much seed has been sold via Internet and traded between gardeners through the mail. I guess we just do the best we can. Certainly the UP must be one of the least corrupted places in the US, since so few people travel there, and even fewer try to garden there.

    Martha

  • 8 years ago

    Actually, there are certain idiosyncracies up there that would make for some interesting stories. People do most def. take advantage of their relative isolation to do things that wouldn't fly in "civilization". The flip side, of course, is that most likely, nobody ever knows!

    Both of the guys I rented from-two different houses during two consecutive summers-were actually big into veg. gardening. The one guy-the person we rented from that first year-was on a "miner's pension", having supposedly hurt his back at work. Let's see, that first summer, he: Built a new garage, out of white pine lumber from trees he felled and milled, re-roofed his house, put up about twenty or thirty cords of split firewood, took care of that big garden, and still had some energy left over to get ready for deer season! Funny stuff, but a good guy overall. Just kind of a scammer.

    +oM

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    TX. I did get some seed but I do not know what it is. IT was not bluestem. It could have been a dropseed or a panniculum. I am not good at grass ID out of my element. I do not know a switch grass from a witch grass. We were traveling fast that day trying to get to the Zuni rez from Quemado, and then back to Jimez Springs. I was not able to get much seed. Most of it had already dropped. I did not get any close up fotos of it. my focus gets thrown when I travel with my sister. It was mowed frequently and I think that made it throw stolens. the photo was north of Quemado ,. That is far west NM. I think that the stick like plant is a small mullion.

  • 8 years ago

    +oM,

    I was going to message you privately, but you aren't set up for that. That story about the miner and his "retirement" burns me to my very core. As a physician from a divorced mom of four who raised us as a social worker, I put myself through college and medical school using scholarships that I competed for and loans that I paid back every penny of before I had my first child. Now I'm divorced and the retirement we'd invested in had to go to my ex, because it required full time employment in our medical group for ownership, but I had agreed to quit work to be home with the kids, at the request of the same husband, so only he could own it. Now, at 50, I'm trying to rebuild my professional life, but can't find a group that isn't relying on Medicare fraud or poor patient care to turn a profit. I don't have enough money saved to get me through the holidays, let alone retirement. Medicare won't even look at an application for a job that costs as much as a physician, even though I could help them weed out more fraud in their system than they could need to fix their financial woes, and I already left my family behind once, to move to Wisconsin for a job that also turned out to be crooked. So, I moved back home, while still paying rent in Wisconsin, so the rental company sublets the apartment to someone who didn't want to move in for another three months, while I continue to pay the rent, without even contacting me. I've gotten and quit two other physician jobs since then, because of fraud and abuse. Oh, did I mention that my daughter is a freshman in college, but isn't eligible for any financial aid because that is based on my income taxes from last year? Then I hear your story of some lazy, no-good bum who thinks it's fair to let you and me and the rest of the legitimate tax payers take care of him for the rest of his life. Uuuurrrrgggghhhh!

    I could shoot myself. All I ever did was follow the rules, work hard, and do what I was told was right, make those around me happy, stand up for the weak guy, and point out problems to those in charge. But, those in charge don't want to fix what they are profiting from. I refuse to relinquish my belief that people are supposed to treat one another fairly. And it is still true for me that by giving to others you are blessed in ways that are immeasurable. But, those immeasurable so don't pay rent or buy groceries. So, I'm destined to work until the day I die, while others get away with barely working at all. I've decided that the moral of the story is, there are no morals. Happy Holidays.

    Martha

  • 8 years ago

    no justice either.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    docmom, if it makes you feel any better I work 7 days a week, self employed. I don't take holidays or weekends off, in fact I worked yesterday (Thanksgiving). I don't get paid until a job is done and feel pressured as if I am loosing precious time if I take a day off because it delays the job completion. For all that, I have no retirement, no insurance and no real money in the bank. The work I do is extremely labor intensive, a difficult concept which is hard to get across to clients living in a world geared toward the attitude that "the entitled customer deserves to quickly get what he wants exactly how he wants it done" along with speedy results, mass production and ease in returning an item if its not just what they had in mind. The art work I do is tedious, hands on from the bottom up and very detailed so to keep the price reasonable, I work extra long hours to get a check finally on each job completion ASAP.

    We have a friend who got money from his family, he has never really worked at all to speak of since in his eyes, his father's family were "somebody" as he likes to brag and that makes him above doing common 'menial' labor like average people, those who aren't from families who are somebodies. Unskilled labor is all he would be able to do (if he ever did work that is and if it weren't beneath his status to do so) but he is 'special'. Decades ago, he was in the army and got a discharge right after completing basic training. He receives all the health benefits of military because it was an honorable discharge. Can you believe that? He brings this up as if it he earned something which makes him both responsible and a smart cookie having gotten his health care situation taken care of "unlike some less responsible people". He spends his time traveling and combing through thrift stores and loves to show off his many finds. His inherited house is stuffed so full of stuff that he had to build a second structure on his property to increase his storage space for more stuff to buy. He has a tendency to strut about as if all this financial security is a result of his own doing and because he is "a Taylor of the Taylor family". I have to leave the room when he gets going on this.

    A couple months ago he was on my case saying he was worried about me because "all you do is work at your desk all the time or work in the garden and you never travel or have fun".

    Actually working in the garden is my fun and I love the other work I do. I hate traveling by the way. The criticism, and it was definitely a judgmental criticism laying under a thin disguise of worry, gave me a sense of outrage and I let him know, loose cannon that I am.

    But, would I trade places with this guy? Not in a million years. In spite of everything I do love the work I do, being self employed and gardening.

  • 8 years ago

    Tex,

    Thanks. It really does help to know that there are people out there with similar values who believe in hard work and responsibility. I'm not glad you are in a tough situation, but glad you understand. I do worry about what will happen to us if we get sick and are unable to work, though.

    We have gotten way off topic, but Wisconsitom's comment just hit me in a tender spot and my dam broke.

    Martha

  • 8 years ago

    docmom, seems like I am always ready and willing to go off on some tangent, nearly every topic reminds me of some other topic and I can wind off the spool at the drop of a hat. I've gone off topic so many times on GW at this point I should have named myself 'OffTopic2'. Your story immediately brought my story into center focus in my easily distracted head, it doesn't help that I'm still steaming just a tad over getting called on the carpet for not having fun and working too much by that person of all people.

  • 8 years ago

    Hello, all, and happy belated Thanksgiving. No apologies for going off topic. On this forum, we are all interested in Mother Nature, more specifically native plants but not exclusively, as some have noted. Rather nice to have a place to vent. (Saves other relationships.) Been married to the same one for almost 56 years, sometimes a blessing, sometimes not. We all make decisions we have to live with, and life is WORTH living. I think the miracle of watching seeds turn into plants, and having a part in it, gives me joy, now that my children are full grown and don't need care, nor advice, even if I want to give it. Ha, ha! I am thankful for my discovery, late in life, of the miracles of plants.

  • 8 years ago

    Certainly plants contribute hugely to my mental stability, such as it is.

    Martha

  • 8 years ago

    Well, I should point out in my little tale of the U.P, scammer-he was ripping off the mining company, not you and I. And the mining company....well, what do you know about such enterprises? I'll offer a hint: Rape a section of God's green earth, go bankrupt and then, using every trick in the book, reformulate under some new guise and do it all over again somewhere else.

    No, I don't cotton to anyone ripping anyone else off, but this was not a story about "welfare cheats" or any other such overused axiom. This was just a guy who had gamed the system, that system itself being a monumental scam of epic proportions.

    Now, since we seem to have a high tolerance for OT stuff, I'd like to offer that our nation's current and apparently endless fixation with militarization is producing an incredible new generation of folks who feel supremely entitled. Yes, I'm talking about all the "heroes" coming back from service. Now don't get me wrong. Of course there's good people sprinkled in amongst this giant cohort, of course there are those who fully have earned our admiration. But each and every one a hero? Does that not make the term meaningless? And since I've run across a good many of these folks, I know whereof I speak. These people feel the world owes them everything from here on out. Way to go (again), America!

    +oM

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Here in the UK, our govt. is waging a vicious and hateful war against disabled people - from the horrid propaganda that they are wasters (moochers, is I think, the US equivalent) to a total removal of safety nets, implying these welfare payments are a gift and not something which we have, all of us, paid for. People are dying here - literally, starving to death Terminally ill patients are declared -fit to work - by unqualified, outsourced corporations.And the shame, the stigmatisation and even worse, if you do not have a recognisable disability such as a wheelchair...and where there was once sympathy and compassion, ordinary decent people are eyeing up what their neighbour has (or not - there will still be judging). There is no justice and no fairness but inequality doesn't reside in the actions of individual people but in systems of power...which, ironically, remain entrenched by embracing the collective, the corporation...the very co-operative sense which we, the people, are being pushed further away from, breaking down into ever smaller isolated, suspicious categories when, more than ever, we need to make common cause with each other.

    But you know all this, Docmom. Courage.

    Any further OT and we will be falling off the edge...but a thought - I totally believe that gardening is the most egalitarian hobby in the world - everyone can do it. I can think of no limiting factors which rule out the utter magic of sowing a seed.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    "...the utter magic of sowing a seed." Well put, Campanula. Wednesday night a group here is getting together for our holiday meeting, and the focus is seed sharing. We are trying to get everyone interested in growing from seed, even if all they have is a patio or deck off their apartments. So many thing are now tissue cultured. Seed growing increases diversity and usually strength in the species. And it is just plain fun and joyful. I will start my winter sowing projects soon.

  • 8 years ago


    Have a great meeting.There is another great thing about seed saving and swapping - apart from all the obvious stuff like being with friends, sharing, costing nothing and so on. Until I started saving and swapping seeds, I had experienced so-so germination and like most gardeners, blamed myself. Using fresh seeds was revelatory for me - quite an amazing difference...I don't wish to see seed merchants going out of business but I truly cannot say enough good things about sharing seeds we have collected ourselves.

    I also bought one of those little jewellers loupe type magnifiers - with a built in light, it magnifies seeds by 40 -60x - my god, it was astonishing - so different, intricate, brilliant - rehmannia actually sparkle like faceted gems. This, more than anything, emphasised the potential of the living seed - not just specks of hopeful DNA, these little packages were architectural, quite magnificent. perfectly formed - all the unique beauty of the mature plant reflected in exquisite miniature. Forgive my getting carried away - my little $10 'gizmo' revolutionarised seed sowing for me.

    Lynda Waldrep thanked User
  • 8 years ago

    I also use a gizmo to separate "wheat from chaff, so to speak. Wish they had that for people. Ha, ha!

    I even bought a microscope camera to use in a presentation for the group...shows up on a large screen so that ALL can see. Fun! Spending my kids inheritance.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Working in the garden is one of the only things that takes my mind off irritating stuff like this because I get lost in the sheer activity of the doing. Crud has a tendency to roll around in my head like a marble (as in mental torture), sometimes it takes an hour or so for the repeating of the thing to shut down but 99% of the time it finally does when I'm gardening, what a relief when that finally happens. Its like when an aspirin gets rid of a bad headache and you didn't notice when it happened, it just doesn't hurt anymore so you forgot about it.

    The word 'hero' has become trivialized but so has the word 'angel' and many more I could come up with, like 'gentleman' for example. We are masters at destroying our language and what once needed only one word now needs paragraphs to clarify meanings.

    The emotionalism intended with overusing these words that goes on these days is what I refer to as "The wrinkled forehead syndrome". That look my mother used to use when she was working on us to make us feel bad for something as kids. Sometimes I refer to it as "Nice but not nice", people who want to look caring or good but who really have ulterior motives. I've been 'put in my place' by them more than once.

    Much of this sort of stuff comes across like emotional manipulation but when the water works are turned up with people crying on TV while being interviewed is when I have to push the mute button, there is only so much sap a body (me) can listen to without gagging and feeling like a mean spirited person lacking in sympathy. Public sympathy seems to be the big thing to grab and I have run plum out in many areas.

    On the other hand, real is real and it easy enough to tell the difference between someone deserving real honor as opposed to blanketing whole groups or taking on too many koodoo's for any little effort put out.

    So much of whats is called being a hero is just common decency or doing whats necessary in a situation. It is presented in a way that seems intended to pull the heart-strings or is whining or shining the spotlight on someone to give them airs. So no, I don't think all soldiers are heros, the word is over-used. True heros make up a small minority in real life.

    Angels. This overused word gets on my nerves just as much. People are not angels. Angel means messenger and are heavenly bodies, not earthly men or women [either dead or alive]. Another word for something very specific rendered trivial and silly.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Could not agree more, TR. And while I don't want to be that guy-the one that does, as Camp intimates-takes this whole thing off the edge of the table, I do want to agree with her and lament the fact that the same dynamics are at work in this nation as well. And the demonization and scape-goating of whole groups of people for political gain.....well, I'll leave it to you, dear readers, to interpret who and what I'm referring to there.

    Take your loupes sometime and have a gander at lichens and such. A whole world in miniature waiting for exploration!

    +om

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Scapegoating the entire police because of a few bad ones is the example that popped in my head reading your post but you might be referring to something else.

    This story on the local news was refreshing to hear this week, sounded like a bit of sanity to me.

    I'm finally going to go out and clean up after the ice storm this week and loose myself in the activity. Keeps me sane.

    http://www.okwu.edu/blog/2015/11/this-is-not-a-day-care-its-a-university/

  • 8 years ago

    Yes, I'm afraid I had something very different in mind. As to bad police work, while everyone seems to be putting the blame on the victims, I think the key factor that has changed is the proliferation of cameras, ie. cell phones everywhere. Our chief of police wrote a ridiculous feature article in the local paper wherein he managed to spread the blame in all directions but one....the cops on all this film doing utterly horrible things. Looks like we'll have to agree to disagree on that one, Tex. What's more, I've had exceedingly unpleasant and uncalled for situations develop in relation to these same uh, public servants a number of years back, when one of my sons was having difficulty in his life. No, he was not a perfect kid, but that pales beside the idiocy and over the top aggression displayed by LEO. Of course there's good ones too, but all these clips, of an unarmed kid getting shot 16 times, etc, ad nauseum aren't lying.

    +om

  • 8 years ago

    oooh lichen! And moss. I signed up for a course in botanical drawing (never been so bored in all my life - lasted no time at all)...and although I totally failed to see the point in spending 3 hours faithfully rendering a leaf, I definitely got the looking hard part - worth the cost of the course, in fact.. My eyes have been crap for years but I sort of enjoyed viewing the world through a vague comforting haze (don't drive and ride a bike at about 3 miles an hour) - it was a complete asset for ignoring weeds and such...and I have never been one of those gardeners who swoops on a single bloom...but using a magnifying glass, looking at minutiae was very satisfying...quite literally eye-opening. I almost considered getting spectacles...but too much reality...perhaps not.

    Yep - better a camera than a gun - a bottom-up non-violent response to counter profoundly dehumanising propaganda...the more inequality in a system, the more instability.

  • 8 years ago

    It doesn't help when many police chiefs are having a training session given by Israeli police trainers. They are learning to see civilians as the enemy. The fact that many police are vets and come from a stance of civilians are the enemy only reinforces this . Then stick the strength of the Policemen's Union in the mix and it is a perfect storm. City governments are scared to hold them accountable when things go askance.. I have friends who are police . they are getting to retire soon, and they are GLAD to be out of there. Three separate police officers have said to me that they are sometimes frightened of the young guys and to expect it to get worse. This is being said by old policemen in "enlightened" Austin, a city that tazes grandmothers.


    I have a son like your's Tom. He has just been suspended from a good paying job because of loss of drivers license. This is 6 years after the incident. We thought things were being taken care of.. The number of hoops and fines and classes that is never ending is amazing. This is just the drama for this week. Getting employed in his situation has been a hard nut and then to loose it is heartbreaking. I am trying to get him to write an article on it and back his story up with a hoard of other examples at arms reach. It is awful when Boys are targeted as a class to marginalize from society. My friends child is still paying at 36yrs old for the 1/2 joint he had in his pocket at 17. This world is cruel. I think the miner might have a "back" story to tell that might show his company as jerks. Vindictive entitlement like that often comes because of a reason. I fight to keep my son in a positive mind set. It is hard, often a loosing hope.



  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I absolutely agree with the part played by relentless new coverage, cameras and cell phones everywhere. It serves as a double sword to encourage a lot of sympathy but it also reveals real corruption making it seem as if a whole group is corrupt (or that a whole group is victimized for that matter). Sometimes it seems like certain people want their 15 minutes of fame nowadays since everyone is capable of becoming a star in the movie of life. I can't help but believe that many of these homegrown mass shooters are drawn by the idea of fame and the fact that the whole world will notice and hear them.

    I've seem some videos that look as if people are trying to bait the police into getting worked up and loosing it. Maybe I am seeing it wrong but I don't think so in all cases. Its like a kid will taunt a cop, act completely uncooperative and he's got that cell phone held up in the air, as if attempting to make a U-tube hit to play the poor victim in. We used to respect police when I was a kid and no one would have acted so rude or uncooperative like I see on these videos.

    I liked what that guy Dr. Piper wrote. I agree with the idea of self absorbed and narcissistic people who get their feelings hurt over any perceived challenge, whoever or whatever makes them feel bad is tagged with a name like 'bigot' or 'hater' with they themselves being the innocent victim. Many people seem to think freedom is equal to complete lack of restraint and that they live in a country where no one should not have any right to hold them to account for anything no matter what. This type of thing is completely out of hand.

    The laws are becoming more and more oppressive due to groups like M.A.D.D. (not to single them out, it just comes to mind) and 'The War on Drugs' that push the idea that more laws and penalties will solve these problems. Current events are always connected to the events preceding them. Problems like this need to be looked at as a progression of events from a historical perspective to make any sense. You can go back to the 1950's, 60's and 70's to mark the progression of events along with popularizing and accepting certain philosophical ideas. People now seem oblivious or uninterested in how these things connect and focus mainly on the results we have to live with because most people seem oblivious to history. Seems many only live in the present moment concerning any given crisis or personal experience as if history is irrelevant. The tendency is just get outraged or to come up with overly simplistic solutions like fixing 'the gun problem' or adding stiffer laws. Not that we need more guns mind you, I'm no NRA fan.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The one bad apple analogy really doesn't work for me when the entire edifice, from top to bottom, does absolutely nothing except deny, protect and cover up for these supposedly anomalous 'bad apples'.- I have one of those sons too

  • 8 years ago

    I have no disagreement with anything you folks have written here since my last screed. I thank you kind people for uh...being kind people. After watching the news last night, kindness is in short supply. And devalued in modern society.

    +oM

  • 8 years ago

    Hear, hear! Kindness is definitely in short supply. I'm a huge fan (and performer) of random acts of kindness. I think it could have an immeasurable effect on the world if we all decided to actively pursue an attitude of selfless, generousity and kindness. I cry when I think of the thousands of refugees across Europe and the Middle East, and then look around at my warm couches, spare bedroom, safe basement. I'm basically penniless, but I have space and wish desperately that I could open my home to some of them.

    I've approached homeless people and offered to put them up for a night and do their laundry, but none has taken me up on it. So many of that population are suffering from mental illness, so getting them help is quite complicated.

    Part of how I got where I am now is that I took care of a "friend" and her children as they struggled to get away from an abusive, alcoholic husband/father. I helped her pay lawyer fees and provided housing for them for far longer than I should have. But, those kids were far better off out of the original situation. I still consider it money well spent, and I would have been fine if I hadn't lost my job. And who expects a hospice physician to run short of work with our population aging as it is.

    Gardening is definitely my haven. When I'm out in the yard, my soul is calm, my mind is clear and I can focus on the timelessness and miracle that is nature. And it is amazing what you can see when you are on your knees and examine the smaller parts of the world. I'm going to go there now, instead of opening the envelopes I just received from the IRS.

    Martha

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