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Gardens and Non-Touch Ivy

 
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DaveFerro
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Location: Auburn, New York

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:36 am    Post subject: Gardens and Non-Touch Ivy Reply with quote

No garden this past summer, since my mother was ill, leaving little time to tend to it. And last year was not very successful either, with few tomatoes per plant, only one pepper on each of six plants, and one of those was eaten by something, perhaps a deer or one of the neighbor woodchucks.

The garlic were small, because the cloves started to grow after planting at the end of October. A warm up in October and December caused each new clove in the bulb to sprout, so instead of a nice new clove we had multiple cloves, just as it would happen in the wild.

Since visiting at Amici, and trying to read more of the Italian, I notice that even in speech, the indefinite article has been attached when describing items - only Italian ones - like the garlic, the pasta, the bread, etc.

This year just the small garlic, a few larger, from cloves that my cousin gave me, courtesy of his cousin, who grows monster vegetables.

So the Ivy part. Trees on the South and West side of the garden have grown since my parents moved to this house. My Dad grew some great corn, tomatoes, peppers, beans when there was plenty of sun all day. Now the afternoon sun is blocked by those trees and bushes. So I decided to get on a ladder to trim some branches, noting the shadows on the garden. Some trees have been falling apart, others are far too tall to get at the offending limbs.

One broken tree has a vine growing up the trunk, many small root-like at the base combining into larger farther up, large three lobed leaves along them. No berries, but I wasn't sure if this was the wrong kind of ivy. A tree company was called to check on another large tree that had been leaning over for years at about a 30 degree angle. He said it seemed sturdy, but the one with the vine was ready to go. I warned him about the vine, but he said he didn't think so and felt one of the leaves. A few months later, a big section fell off, just as he predicted. I was amused when he noticed the samara seeds floating down from the Norway maple in front and said "Gee, the helicopters are falling already." That is what we called them as kids, and here was a professional.

So...up the ladder and trim away with the pole saw, etc. Later, I noticed some blisters on my fingers, but nothing too bad. Later, I washed my pants and shirt by hand, not wanting to get anything in the washer that might affect my mother. Well, that was a bad idea, because then I dissolved the sap and got it all over my arms. There was some panic when I found my mother rewashing them and hanging them on the line in the basement, but she had no problems.

Eventually, my arms were a mess, only getting relief with anti-itch cream, ice packs and even dunking my arms in the ice chest at a graduation party at my cousin's. One cousin asked if I was going to outlive my mother - wasn't sure at that point. Finally got some anti-hisitime through the local clinic, as the dermatologist was on vacation. Also, some Poison Ivy Wash from the dollar store helped. It is supposed to dissolve the sap, and feels pretty good when you are dying to scratch.

Finally I saw the dermatologist, but the medicine she prescribed cost $71.99 for one tube. The pamphlet the doctor gave me said the first thing you should do is to wash your skin immediately to get the sap off before it binds to your skin. And to machine wash the clothes in hot water, which will get the sap off.

I would like to find out what happened to the tree guy. The 30 degree tree is finally at zero degrees, but should be at negative 30 degrees, because it is caught on one of our neighbor's tall pine trees. Have to call the tree guy eventually.

Dave
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Gil
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the vine you tangled with was poison ivy! Hope you had a speedy recovery...

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you have been in part of the film 'The Day of the Triffids'
Glad I dont have any of that in my garden. Only thing that scratches me is when some wild bramble bushes start growing through other bushes that need to be trimmed and the thorns on them are sharp. Have had many scratches too from some wild rose bushes-- well named but I would rename them as being viscious rose bushes Very Happy
At the moment though I think they would be too cold to scratch anyone.
Emmy

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ironically, for the years I worked as an assistant for a surveyor, from 2nd year of high school into college, I never got any poison ivy, but the surveyor was frustrated by it. In California there was one encounter with Poison Oak.

After that incident last summer, I put up a short folding fence to warn others, and maybe the cats. They are immune to it, according to the articles on the Net. But they could pass it on to anyone who petted them.

So, just as I was finishing the little fence, Snip came by, just glancing at me as she jumped over the fence ..."Snip, I'm glad you're here. Now don't go over this fence because - Oh never mind" as she walked on by down the hill. She comes to me unlike Slug who rubs against me right away or Xeno who rolls around. She is more careful, approaching just out of reach until she can verify that I am me. She comes running if I am refilling the bird bath and must get right in the water and paw away.

So, now I have a bigger fence around the tree, and I keep looking at the little roots. If I could cut those, the vine would die. But whatever tool would have to be abandoned there. The fencing now blocks the area around the tree, where the plant is trying to spread onto the lawn into the sun. I have sprayed it with weed killer to stop it.

Oh well, it is 21 degrees F, and I have to go out to the garage to tuck in Slug and Xeno, give them the hand warmers, water and dry food. Snip's bed was taken over by Slug, so she is in a bed and box under plastic on the porch, with lots of insulation. It can get nice and warm in there in the sunlight. Next purchase: heated water bowl to put under the glider - this might warm up the area as well.

All have my old thermal underwear and have sacrificed three of my older sweaters to cover them. That Snip actually runs back to the garage to dig into the broken brick floor. That's her bathroom and she will not used the litter pan just a foot away. So I put a plastic cake top with dirt under the glider, so she won't have to go very far. We'll see if she actually uses it.

Guess it is poison ivy, but where are the berries? And we have pesky rose vines as well, grabbing my hat off me and snagging my hands. They run up the house by the back porch over the entrance to the basement. Unfortunately that is where the trash can and recycling bin are in the summer. A struggle every day.

Dave

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave I've got a great idea for you. Recently I was shown a book that was written in the form as though it was the animals that were telling each other their thoughts about events past and present and what they felt about their 'Master' in other words -each was telling the story of their life.

You have so much information about your cats and their behaviour if you could do that I'd like to bet it would be a best seller.
In the past I have had a good laugh when a friend posted an email to my dogs from his dog and of course yes! my two did reply to the other dog. (photographs included) It was just hilarious!

Take care with those plants
Emmy

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DaveFerro
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Location: Auburn, New York

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emmy,

The local paper prints interviews with the animals at the shelter, asking them how they got there, who they have met and like, whether they have siblings and so on. Kind of humanizing them - but we already know that.

How did your dogs respond? I used to send paw prints in letters. The cats did not seem to mind and I washed them off.

Slug is here in the living room while I type and try to watch Jon and Steven and Conan at the same time. He was meowing at me through the door - my mother went to bed at 10, so she doesn't know he is here. She tolerates him in the kitchen, where he just grooms himself. Snip is already tucked in and I have to go out to the garage again for Xeno and Slug.

The dirt under the glider did not work, by the way. Snip still went out to the garage when I put the trash out. I had a hard time finding 'it' with a flashlight, but my sense of smell told me it was there.

Took the snowblower out again, had to go get gas first and then our neighbor Karen already shoveled most of it. Too tired yesterday and my knee hurt again.

Time to go, take care

Dave

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