When we moved to Heber City last fall there were two things
I was happy to see at the house we found to rent: a fenced back yard and a
little vegetable garden spot. Now that we’ve been here for seven months and
we’re getting into garden planting time, I’ve found some other things I like
about it. And some other things that maybe I don’t like so much. The following
is a list of the assets and liabilities, according to my gardening views and
preferences, of this property.
I love when I know the exact word to describe something, whether that “something” is an emotion, a color, taste, or plant part. To help you feel more confident in the words of the botanical world, I’m starting this Botanical Alphabet series. It may or may not be published in exact alphabetical order.
gall: abnormal growth or mass of plant tissue; develops in response to wounds from insects, mites, bacterium, fungus, etc.
Goodness, gracious, great galls of fire. Or of pupating
insects. Or bacterium. Whatever.
I think galls are so fascinating. They can be on stems,
leaves, twigs, trunks, even on roots. Insect galls form as a defense response
to an insect laying eggs inside the leaf or stem tissue. Generally, these galls
themselves are harmless to the plants unless they occur in very large numbers on
young plants. Galls caused by bacteria, fungus, or nematodes, however, are
symptomatic of diseases that can severely reduce plant growth or even cause
I think that one of the more interesting galls I’ve come across is the pinecone willow gall (or willow pinecone gall) in the picture above. Like you might guess from the name, it’s a gall that occurs on willows and looks like a pinecone. These galls are caused by a midge named Rhabdophaga strobiloides. The female midge lays an egg in a terminal (tip) bud and the plant reacts to the chemicals secreted by the midge, and from the egg itself, by elongating, broadening and hardening the leaf bud tissue into the pinecone-like gall.
Have you seen any interesting galls lately?
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Hi gardening friends,
It’s been a while. Six months ago, thanks to a new job opportunity for my husband, we said goodbye to our home and garden (not to mention friends and family) in Cache Valley, Utah to Heber Valley, Utah. I felt a bit like my whole fall had been hijacked; instead of planting bulbs and winterizing my garden, I was packing and unpacking and trying to get used to a new town. It was a rough few months.
By the time I felt like we were getting used to life in Heber and I had ideas I wanted to write about here, along came baby Cooper, followed by the flu; twice for Grace and once for me. And I felt like my post-partum period had been hijacked.
Two months later and it feels like the whole world has been turned on its head. While I’m actually feeling remarkably calm (most days) amidst everything, I know that’s not the case for everyone. Plans have been changed. Schedules have been shifted. A general sense of uncertainty permeates everything.
Yet, the world keeps turning. The days are getting longer. Winter is making way for spring. Bulbs planted last fall are making their appearance. New seeds can be planted (soon). And the world will keep turning.
Right now, in my hemisphere, the world is turning toward the gardening season. With everything else that’s going on perhaps you haven’t yet thought about gardening plans. Or, perhaps, you have decided to start a garden for the first time. I hope whatever your gardening situation, you can find some help on my blog. I can’t promise that I’ll be more faithful at writing this year, but I can promise that growing something – anything – is good for the soul.
If you need some motivation to get out and garden, take a look at these past posts:
If you need some tips for what to do while you wait for better gardening weather, take a look at these:
If you’d like to bring your gardening inside, here are my top three favorite houseplants that will grow well practically anywhere:
I’d love to hear what your gardening plans are. Tell me about them in the comments below.
Each month on the 15th garden bloggers around the world post what’s blooming in their gardens. Here’s what’s blooming in mine. Thanks to the May Dreams Garden Blog for the idea.