What's Coming Up 76: Sharpen tools, scrabbling, order seeds

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In this issue:

Quick clips toward sharper tools

Sharing design ideas worth the cost

Forlorn hope: Overwintering water hyacinth

Words to grow on: Warf, tang, haw

Enjoying simplicity: Ordering seeds, poking about, re-living a harvest

Clear the air with strewing herbs

The best gardens? Real gardens

This issue here in image-overvew

Introducing Garden images for your wall

Introducing Screen savers for you

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What do this dancer in Mexico City, a strolling egret and the autumnal forest have in common? See below or page 15 of the pdf!

Sharpening Basics

Tools for cleaning tools blades before sharpening, in addition you'll probably need a rag and turpentine to remove sap from pruning blades. Scotch-brite pads work well  and can repalce the steel wool.

Tools for cleaning tools blades before sharpening, in addition you'll probably need a rag and turpentine to remove sap from pruning blades. Scotch-brite pads work well and can repalce the steel wool.

Look close at the right side of this photo and you'll see burrs on this blade. Smooth out those tiny nicks so they won't reduce the blade's cutting ability and make you work harder to squeeze them closed.

Look close at the right side of this photo and you'll see burrs on this blade. Smooth out those tiny nicks so they won't reduce the blade's cutting ability and make you work harder to squeeze them closed.

At the top of the group, a three-square or triangular fine file and a flat bastard file. Centered below them is red handle with two tiny, fine files at its business end. The blue pistol grip sharpener holds a honing stone notched to accept a double-edged pruning blade. The honing stone (in the Norton package) is small enough that I can use it to stroke a blade rather than the other way 'round.

At the top of the group, a three-square or triangular fine file and a flat bastard file. Centered below them is red handle with two tiny, fine files at its business end. The blue pistol grip sharpener holds a honing stone notched to accept a double-edged pruning blade. The honing stone (in the Norton package) is small enough that I can use it to stroke a blade rather than the other way 'round.

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Janet's sharpening kit with a pouch that came from... somewhere!

The file at right is featured because it's a perfectly acceptable stand-in that takes a better "how to" photo for than my honing stone can (left). Given the grip I use and my stone's size in relation to pruning blades, either the stone, the blade I'm working on, or both tend to be hidden by my hand. Notice the wear on my stone. I use it a great deal.  The Fiskars, right, need cleaning - that's sap on the opposing blade!

The file at right is featured because it's a perfectly acceptable stand-in that takes a better "how to" photo for than my honing stone can (left). Given the grip I use and my stone's size in relation to pruning blades, either the stone, the blade I'm working on, or both tend to be hidden by my hand. Notice the wear on my stone. I use it a great deal. The Fiskars, right, need cleaning - that's sap on the opposing blade!

 

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Overwintering water hyacinth?

Water hyacinth are at the right on bottom edge of the kiddie wading pool in this on-hold collection of water garden plants. The plant's most distinctive feature is its styrofoam-like floatation pod, which often remains intact long after the plant has died. Their most endearing feature is a blue flower -- unless you live in a region with mild winters, in which case you may not even care about bloom once you know it's that terribly invasive plant clogging local waterways and displacing natives.

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Scrabbling in the garden: To appreciate a fine brume, comfortable snath, and haws

Brume hangs lightly above this pretty scene.

Brume hangs lightly above this pretty scene.

A brume rake's built to be gentle enough to remove the mist or dew that clings to grass blades as to this spider web, without damaging the grass.

A brume rake's built to be gentle enough to remove the mist or dew that clings to grass blades as to this spider web, without damaging the grass.

Scythe with well worn wooden snath

Scythe with well worn wooden snath

As this hawthorn's haws mellow in late winter, they will draw crowds of birds.

As this hawthorn's haws mellow in late winter, they will draw crowds of birds.

A viburnum's fruit is also called a haw. And look! These haws have been touched by brume.

A viburnum's fruit is also called a haw. And look! These haws have been touched by brume.

Order plants and seeds. I love this time of year when everything is perfect in the gardens I plan!

Times are tough but is there a bright side? Are we being given the chance to rise above adversity and earn a reputation more worthy of the children of "The Greatest Generation"? As I looked through seed catalogs I recalled a similar theme in a vintage catalog. This page from 1941 reads, "The Strength of the Nation, the Vegetable Gardens of America.... It is patriotic -- it is wise -- to make a vegetable garden this year."

 

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 Green thumbs up:

 

to going outdoors every chance you can, even in the Snow Belt. When Steven needed roots to use in working with the Cedarcrest Academy fifth grade science class, out we went. We not only didn't need the pickaxe, we learned that the snow has been keeping our gardens in fine shape. Look, it was perfectly diggable on January 15, with just the barest touch of ice at the surface.


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Time to garden your walls...

... and your computer screens

... and your computer screens