Thursday, February 26, 2009

Some Stats

I usually don't take as long to update my blog and when I wait this long, I feel obligated to provide some sort of excuse. The excuse: Laziness. There, I'm glad I got it out, I feel much better. In defense of myself though, some of the delay can be attributed to The Doghouse 3's recent increase in popularity; we've been playin local pubs and other venues most every weekend.

Yesterday afternoon I listened in on a Web seminar hosted by The Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF) and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The topic: "The Impact of Home and Community Gardening in America." Here's a few interesting stats:
  • 19% increase in food gardening
  • 34% increase in spending on fruits and vegetables
  • 32% increase in purchase of vegetable plants
It sounds to me like what we've all been hearing about an increased interest in growing your own food is definitely a happening. Y'all will probably be hearing more about this in the coming months as a new growing season gets underway.

How 'bout the 2009 perennial plant of the year? At the time I posted about ornamental grasses I had no clue the Perennial Plant Association had selected an ornamental grass, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (Golden hakone grass) as their Perennial of the Year. I have almost made up my mind to start using more ornamental grasses in my landscape. I have the luxury (only if I don't mow all of it) of having a huge yard so I'm not limited by space concerns when deciding on larger varieties of ornamental grasses.

I'd like to use golden hakone grass as an edging because of its size; a foot or so tall, and a couple of feet wide make it nice for what I have in mind. If you visit PPA's Web site you can download a PDF of 'Aureola' and if you look at the picture at the bottom of page 2 you'll see what I mean. For me, the appeal is its draping effect more so than the coloring on the blades. It doesn't need to do anything but flop and droop in order to look stunning.

I'm still workin on the new blog template and hope to have it implemented sometime this weekend. I expect lots of input. Another kind and gracious blogger, Ms. Kylee, has also offered her expert advice on the transition. Thanks again, Ms. Kylee, Dave, and Ms. Jennifer for all your help. Please keep Jennifer's daughter in your thoughts as she recovers from surgery. Although considered minor surgery, the procedure required putting the youngster under general anesthesia, and to a Mom and Dad, and little girl, that can be mighty scary.

I snapped this during a recent snowfall. Thanks to my son for alerting me to its presence, I was able to get a few nice pictures from about 25 yards, with my Sony DSC-H1, 12x optical zoom. This has been a really good camera, but it's beginning to show some wear and tear.


9 comments:

Roses and Lilacs said...

I agree it's a great plant. Very graceful, lots of texture, wonderful color for a semi shady spot. I've procrastinated for a long time about adding it but its need for moist soil makes me reconsider.
Marnie

Susie said...

It doesn't surprise me at all to see those stats on home gardening. I think that's great! I just planted some sweet peas and my strawberry roots. I'll have to keep my fingers crossed on both.

I love that ornamental grass. I have a few grasses growing in my yard. Sorry, no names except I do have 3 large Miscanthus in the front that never cause any trouble except cutting them down every winter.

The red of the cardinal stands out nicely against the dusting of snow. Nice picture TC.

Dave said...

'Aureola' is one of the plants that I am intending to add to our yard. It's a beauty. I have a perfect spot for it right between my front porch and a Japanese maple. Best wishes to Jennifer's daughter, I'm sure that must be nerve racking.

Great cardinal shot!

Jennifer Suarez said...

Love the photo. A splash of red in a grayscale world.

Thank you for the well wishes. They are kindly appreciated. ((hugs))

Kylee said...

TC, I'm glad to be of help. I kind of muddled through and through a lot of trial and error and Googling, found my way. LOL.

Love the photo of the cardinal. They're so vibrant in the winter landscape. I love them!

walk2write said...

So I wonder if middle-age flopping and drooping will one day be considered stunning? Not fair that plants get to spread and still be admired! I hope those stats about gardening are true. It would be nice to see more gardens around here and people outside working in them.

TC said...

Ms. Marnie: Its need for damp soil is also a concern I have, however, there are a couple of places here that I think would work. It's really gorgeous and I think I'm going for it.

Ms. Susie: Here's a stat I didn't post: 68% of food gardeners are over the age of 45. Us cotton toppers love our gardens! ;~)

Dave: Is that spot's soil moist? I suppose if you keep it well watered it'll be okay. But you know, sometimes a plant will adapt to more or less of what's required.

Ms. Jennifer: Thanks for the compliment. And ((hugs)) back! ;~)

Ms. Kylee: It was very thoughtful of you to provide me with the links to your helpful information.

W2W: I doubt anyone will ever find my "flopping and drooping" midriff bulge stunning. Your's perhaps, but mine? Never!!

Frances said...

Hi TC, congrats on the increase in gigs! But wait, it is taken away from your blogging time? Horrors! :-) I am a great follower of the PPA's choices, but this year's pick is no good for our dry and hot summers. I have tried the requisite three times to grow this plant and it just dries up and blows away, even in the shadiest wettest spot I have. Sob.
Frances

Terri said...

Lovely plant. We're not at that stage of landscaping yet, but when we are I'll definitey give it a try. Oh, and the cardinal is great - he is so bright, in the midst of all the gray!

By the way, the word verification word is fraphorn. As in, "Please don't take the fraphorn today, because I'll be using it."