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Category: Gardening (Page 2 of 135)

In the Ground

Yesterday while I was at school, I finally planted the two trees that have been behind my desk.

I put the wiliwili tree in a spot that will be visible from the driveway and from the preschool play yard. It will have beautiful flowers eventually. I’m not sure when they start flowering. Sometimes plants have to be a few years old before they flower… I should look that up.

I put the crown flower tree farther down the property. I wanted to have it be closer to the kindergarten room, because crown flower trees are the main host plant for monarch butterflies here, and Andrea always catches a few monarch caterpillars and keeps them in her room until they transform into butterflies. If the tree is closer to her room, her kids can see it better.

I’ll have to water both of these for a little while. Winter is the rainy season here, so hopefully after a while the rain will be enough for them. Both trees are really drought-tolerant, so they should do well.

Chipping In

Yesterday I met Russell at school, and we spread some wood chips on the native plant bed. He had gotten the chips from his friend who trims trees. I was so glad to get this free mulch. The planter bed is pretty big, and it would have taken a lot of money to get it covered otherwise. I was also really glad for his help.

Diane took our picture for the church newsletter:

We only did a thin layer. I will still be digging nutgrass out of the bed for many weeks to come. Perhaps many months. I can’t believe how it just keeps growing and growing. But it has to be exhausted eventually, right? Right? ………..right…… ?

Two Trees

The local botanic garden has been having an Arbor Day event all week. You can sign up for it, and come get a tree of your choice. They have a bunch of natives listed. I decided to get a wiliwili tree, because I have been fascinated by them since I read about them.

They are endemic, meaning they only occur naturally in Hawaii, and they are endangered in the wild. They love it hot and dry, which is just perfect. The spot I want to plant it at school is both of those things.

The tree they gave me was way bigger than I expected. So exciting!

Check out the wicked thorns on the trunk. They will go away as the tree matures.

Now I have TWO trees to plant at school. I got a crownflower tree last Saturday. For now, they’re behind my desk in my room. It makes me feel like I’m sitting in a forest! Nice!

Bee Friends

There are some palm trees blooming next to the table where I sit for recess. Yesterday, I couldn’t stop watching the honeybees there. It was amazing.

I seem to be getting less and less afraid of honey bees. That’s the opposite of what’s happening with heights, flying, sharks, and driving past people who are walking along the side of the road. Just the other day, there was a honeybee in the boys bathroom at school, and I picked it up on a piece of paper and took it outside. And I got up close and personal for these pictures. The bees were flying all over, and I wasn’t scared. Bees are good! Yay!

Honeydew

The taro plants at school have been having some aphid problems. I tried spraying them with soap water, but it burned the leaves. Then I noticed there were lady bugs on the leaves. They eat aphids, and I didn’t want to hurt them so no more soap…

The plants haven’t seemed to be suffering to badly from the aphids, but they do get covered with the sweet sticky substance that aphids secrete. It’s called honeydew. Ants sometimes tend aphids so they can eat this honeydew.

I was curious. Did it taste sweet? I had to try it. I licked the leaf. It was sweet! Cool! A simple internet search confirms that honeydew is indeed edible. Interesting…

After the licking, I rinsed off the leaves. The honeydew shouldn’t stay on the leaves all the time. It isn’t good for them. The water washes some of the aphids away too.

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