Category Archives: Gardening

Lazy Sunday morning bonsai

That lazy Sunday morning, just me and the trees chillin. Especially good is that lazy Sunday morning with the bright sunshine, dappled breeze, no rain when your feeling kinda of wrecked from the busy Saturday weeding the driveway or what ever other vigorous activity you enjoy doing. I kinda like it, as the Monday blues are taking a break, thoughts of that long commute are sunk deep in my head.

So on that lazy Sunday morning, chillin with the bonsai, what do you like to do? Me I like to potter, picking out that young ambitious weed that got missed, you know the type with great aspirations of fulfilling the pot! Then spending some time checking to see that ER is not needed and no panics.

A number of years ago when I lived in the city, I went away for a number of weeks only to find when I got back an invasion of cannibal bugs, scale insects sucking the sap out of my elms. These required isolation and treatment with menthylated spirits, and then a soft wash to make them feel slightly better, unfortunately some didn’t make it. So this cannibal bug was my number one Sunday morning chillin with the trees target. I say was my target, as I am no longer live in the city, a townie (living in the city) you’ll find this expression from the natives in the country, much the same way as we Dublin people have tags for our country cousins.

Living in the country with has its advantages when it comes to insects, yeah more variety, but not many invasive ones that I have seen yet. Where I am located is windy, a constant breeze, it makes growing trees more challenging for different reasons and the cannibal bugs that haunted my city garden many years ago, I guess these guys may visit but only for a rest bite (excuse the pun) before travelling on to a more sheltered haven.

So on that lazy Sunday morning when you are chillin with your trees, what is it, that you like to do? Send us your short story and the most liked one on social networks will get a copy of that perfect lazy Sunday morning book. ‘The Complete Book of Bonsai’ by Harry Tomlinson. 

Send your short story copy to [email protected]

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The Crape Myrtle

crape-myrtleCrape Myrtles are a popular choice for gardeners because of their low maintenance, beautiful colors and extremely long bloom season, lasting nearly three and a half months.

Crape Myrtles are most popular in the south, gaining the nickname the lilac of the south, but are enjoyed by gardeners across the country. Their scientific term, Lagerstroemia, was coined in 1759 in order to honor Magnus von Lagerstroem, an avid naturalist. The common name in America, Crape Myrtle, is derived from the crape-like appearance of the flower and the resemblance of the foliage to the real myrtle, Myrtus Communis. This week we are featuring a hardy Crape Myrtle tree with incredible huge ruby red blooms without even a hint of pink- ‘Dynamite’ – – the truest red of any Crape Myrtle tree.

Developed by Oaklahoma’s Dr. Carl Whitcomb in 1998, ‘Dynamite’ produces abundant clusters of absolutely spectacular deep red flowers from crimson buds they will enliven your garden from mid summer until autumn. The blooms can reach 15 inches long and of course have the crape paper look that we love.

The foliage starts as a deep burgundy in the spring and changes into a dark green by the end of summer. The leaves are very large, semi-glossy very thick and mildew resistant. In the fall the foliage turns from orange to red. ‘Dynamite’ exfoliates it’s old gray bark to reveal the new light brown smooth bark underneath. Plant as a specimen tree; prune into a large multi-stemmed shrub, or plant several in a row to create a unique privacy hedge.

Planting and Care

‘Dynamite’ has a very expansive and upright growth habit and matures to a height of 20 feet. It prefers to be placed in full sun with well-drained soil and good air circulation. Dynamite requires little maintenance and does best when it is not pruned. It is also drought, disease and insect resistant once it is established.

  • Plant 15 feet apart in well-drained soil.
  • Prefers full sun in an area with good air circulation and good soil drainage.
  • Water regularly until established.
  • Hardy in Zones 6-9 (protect the first winter in Zone 6).
  • Fertilize with Plant-Tone and Kelp Meal in early spring.
  • When necessary, prune in spring just as the new leaves emerge