Tag Archives: Tansy

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Parasitic Wasps (and other beneficial insects)

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Parasitic Wasps (and other beneficial insects)

I’ve barely been in the garden this week, but today is cool and gorgeous; so this may be a short post.

A reader wrote me to ask what a parasitic wasp was and how, as I had suggested, they could make them their friends? What a great question to answer on Botany day!

These little guys are very small, sometimes 1/100th to 3/4’s of an inch long. That’s small. So small, in fact that they often go unnoticed, to humans.

Trichogramma Wasp, Not a Mosquito

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Winnie-the-Pooh Garden

Winnie-the-Pooh Garden

One of my favorite memories from when my kids were little, is reading aloud to them Winnie-the-Pooh. I tried to time it just right so that on their sixth birthday we would begin, Now We Are Six. So, usually around four we would start with When We Were Very Young. We would read a little Pooh and then whatever else they had chosen, Amelia Bedelia or Incredible Ned or whatever the flavor of the day happened to be. But we would start and end with a chapter of Milne.

There is wisdom to be found in these little books. Only scratch the surface to find a treasure trove of ideologically solid principles on which to hang your hat.

Why not start a new tradition this year. Read the books and grow a garden! You could make a Hundred Acre Wood sign and off you could go. Here’s the ideas I had after just a little thought.

I’m thinking a garden in seven sections or rows.: Pooh (of course), Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, and Tigger, Christopher Robin and Roo.

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What Mother Never Told You About Weeds

What Mother Never Told You About Weeds

East Texas is bursting in to bloom. The Parsnip has a job preaching at a very small church in a little town south of us called New Summerfield. It’s a tiny town, boasting one stoplight, one gas station but no fewer than 40 greenhouses. I asked one of the locals about this, they said New Summerfield is the growing capital of Texas. I’m not sure if this is true, but I’ve seen evidence myself that it may be. They have a Color Spot house, a Bonnies Plant store, and family owned greenhouses a plenty. (Haha I went to the Chamber of Commerce page for New Summerfield—it is, indeed The Plant Capital of the South according to their web page┬ápopulation 998)

New Summerfield, TX Greenhouse

Greenhouse in New Summerfield

It’s a lovely drive and we really have enjoyed our times spent listening to podcasts and visiting with each other for the 35 to 40 minutes it takes to get there. So, get to the point, right? Okay. This past Sunday on our way to New Summerfield we saw field after field of the most beautiful yellow wildflowers.

Fields of Yellow on the way to New Summerfield

Saffron Fields on the way to New Summerfield

The Gunz family are no slouches when it comes to wildflower looking. We take the requisite “Bluebonnet” tour each year at Brenham and College Station. We do the Azalea Tour (okay that’s not a wildflower, but you get the point) in Tyler. We have driven far off the beaten path, yea, verily I say, off the path completely, to see some flower, plant, or tree. This is the first time we have seen this saffron sea as far as the eyes can see.

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