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August & September, 2011 Vol. 1, Issue 2 Alta Florist & Greenhouse AA Names for the September Full Moon Harvest Moon Nut Moon Barley Moon Chrysanthemum Moon Singing Moon Mulberry Moon Fruit Moon Full Corn Moon The Harvest Moon is the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox, which can occur in September or October and is bright enough to allow finishing all the harvest chores. Weather Lore For every fog in August, There will be a snowfall in Winter. If a cold August follows a hot July, It foretells a Winter hard and dry. A Mid-Summer Perennial Sale! 20% Off All Perennial Stop in and see our great collection of perennials! Everything in the perennial lot is on sale now, from A-Z. So if you‟ve been putting off getting those Butterfly Bushes or „Zagreb‟ Coreopsis, stop in while there is a good supply. Hundreds of perennials are on sale! For the Love of Plants People that truly love plants are always looking for plant related items. Be it the best botanical garden to visit, the most fragrant rose, or the tallest sunflower. Perhaps you‟ve planted something new or unusual in your garden or flower beds this year. The world was explored in the search for plants. Spices could make an empire or destroy a kingdom. Tulip-mania in 1637 nearly toppled the government of Holland. People where bought and sold to harvest plants like cotton and tobacco. In Ireland starting in 1845 approximately one million of the population died and a million more emigrated from Ireland's shores, for the want of a potato. During the Civil War thousand of men survived malaria thanks in most part, to the bark of a South American cinchona tree used to make quinine. I am sure that we could all quote history after history, time after time, when one plant or another, changed the course of human history. Plants have us in their power. No matter what we do to them or subjugate them to they still have the power. They mostly go about their leafy lives ignored and overlooked. But when the time comes they make their selves known. Sometimes in little, quiet ways. Sometimes in big, loud, messy ways. So the question I pose is …Who is growing Whom? I think I‟ll have a glass of ice tea and a chocolate chip cookie and ponder this one for a while. In The House Ficus elastic decora ~ Rubber tree plant Native to India and Malaya, this easy to grow house plant likes shade to full sun. In its native home it can grow to the staggering height of 98 to 130 foot! Also called by the common names India Rubber Plant, Indian Rubber Fig, Indian Rubber tree, Ornamental Rubber Tree, Rubber Tree, and Rubber plant. This is a slow growing plant enjoys having its leaves wiped off with a damp cloth or spritzed with water. A tray of pebbles underneath the pot or a jar of water set on the surface of the soil can fill most of the humidity needs of the rubber tree. This is one plant that you don‟t want to over water because the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. So let the surface soil dry out before you water again and be sure you have good drainage. A rubber tree house plant needs bright light, but it prefers indirect light that isn‟t too hot. Some people recommend putting it near a window that has sheer curtains. This allows plenty of light, but not direct sun. Ficus elastic also likes fairly even temperatures and does not do well in air-conditioning. It could spend the summer outside on the deck in a shaded area but that might be a problem with the hot summer we‟ve had this year. Interestingly enough, this plant does flower and produces a yellow-red fig shaped fruit with a seed pod. However, the flowers require a particular species of fig wasp to pollinate it. Book Review By Stephanie If you‟re looking for an unusual gift for your plant crazed friend or something a little different in reading material, here is a little book that may have escaped your notice. „Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln‟s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities‟, is written by Amy Stewart. This is 223 pages of murder and mayhem. Set in short, one plant chapters and sub-titled as „dangerous, deadly, and painful‟ and so on, this reads like a true crime of plants. “When a baby comes home we rush to add safety caps to electric outlets but,” said Ms. Stewart, “ignore the houseplant in the kitchen and the shrub by the front door – this, in spite of the fact that 3,900 people are injured annually by electric outlets while 68,847 are poisoned by plants.” This little, green book is a fascinating read and I enjoyed every morbidly, rich page. Amy Stewart Cut Above The timber is good for woodturning, and is extensively used by Hawaiian craftspeople. Limonium ~ Limonium spp. Sea-lavender, Marsh-rosemary, Statice Limonium is one of the 120 species of Plumbaginaceae or leadwort family. Despite their common names, they are not related to either lavender of rosemary. This tiny flowered, multi-branched plant is native to Europe, the Mediterranean and eastern Asia including as far away as the Canary Islands. North America has 3 native species. The name Limonium comes from the Greek word “leimon” meaning “meadow”. The common name “statice” is used because the appearance of this plant changes little throughout its flowering. Limonium species and cultivars are available in white, lavender, pink, blue-violet, red-violet and yellow. Coolest Summer AVG. TEMP. YEAR 70. 7 1888 71. 9 1884 72. 1 1914 72. 3 2000/1871 72. 4 1891 72. 6 1895 72. 8 1902/1869 72. 9 1956 73. 1 1890 73. 2 2001 Some species have offensive odors, especially the caspia series. It has been suggested that a capful of bleach be added to the floral water. I must admit that I‟m not overly pleased with the smell but I love the caspia varieties. They are light and airy and lift heavier flowers like roses better than baby‟s breath. Most types can be dried for everlastings; however, you must be gentle with them. Vase life can range from seven to 10 days if you check the water levels daily and re-cut the stem very three to four days. GRILLED SUMMER SQUASH 3 or 4 sm. summer squash or zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices 1 med. onion, sliced and separated 1 med. clove garlic, minced 2 tbsp. butter Italian salad dressing Layer all ingredients on center of 18 inches of foil (I recommend non-stick foil.) and spritz lightly with Italian dressing. Seal securely. Grill over medium coals or in 350 degree oven 15-20 minutes or until crisp tender. You can add a tomato to this if you like. Serves 4. Is It In His Chirp… Only male crickets can chirp and will chirp faster in warm weather than cool. In fact, you can determine the temperature by counting the number of chirps in fifteen seconds and adding it to 37. And… EEEK! What‟s That? Horned Tomato Worm = Hawk Moth Crickets and katydids have ears on their legs. What Stinging Nettle is Made Of… Those little hairs on the common North American nettle (Urtica dioica) are actually a sharp-pointed cells called a trichome. The slender shaft of the trichome is composed of silica, and breaks off with the slightest touch creating a sharp, beveled tip similar to a hypodermic needle. A little bulb at the bottom of the trichome injects toxins into your skin. The stinging toxin from this species of nettle is a combination of chemicals, including histamine, acetylcholine and 5hydroxytryptamine. There is a variety of stinging nettle in Australia that has been knows to kill horses. Sphinx Caterpillar Luna Moth Caterpillar = = Hummingbird Moth Luna Moth Clear indications that you have too much Zucchini: Your neighbor finds them every morning in his mailbox. You are eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, snacks too. You have a flute made out of a Zucchini. Your Mother keeps her blinds closed and never seems to be at home. Even the field mice stop eating it. You till under the Zucchini plants, but still have more today than you had yesterday. Nightmares about a giant Zucchini wakes you in the night. Your kids are using it for building blocks. You spray your zucchini plants with sugar water to attract insects. But, they won't bite.