blue skies ahead

Friday, April 16, 1999

it actually looks like Spring is finally and irrevocably here, despite the midwest and plains states getting pounded weekly with snow and ice storms. shit, last week I was worried about the same storms moving eastward and slamming into us. Fortunately, all the storms have arrived here in Pennsylvania in the form of much-welcomed rain. So far. With all the tender nursery stock in place and more arriving daily, ice storms are not a welcome event.

9th Open House.
They came in waves, beginning at 10am and lasting until 3pm. Final count: 600+.
The Bob Clay Orchestra played big band oldies okay, okay, so I'm getting older and enjoyed it, but still cherish CSN&Y, Santanna, JT, Chicago et al in 45 minute sets, with 15 minute breaks. Seven Valleys Winery served a range of their best wines, and Messina's Pizza supplied double-cheese pizza. All excellent choices.
We also set new records for sales over previous years.

April 25th Is Arbor Day.
Trees provide shade, a natural setting for a home, and walls and a ceiling for outdoor living areas. Trees enhance a garden, soften the lines of a building, give a neighborhood character, and add color to the skyline. They're an investment in your property's equity and a valuable addition to any residence, if properly chosen and correctly installed.
Several steps are involved in planting a tree properly:
Preparing the Roots: Before planting, cleanly cut back any injured, diseased, twisted, or dead roots to healthy tissue. For container-grown trees, cut away some of any roots that are matted at the bottom or circling around the outside of the rootball. In freeing the roots at the edge of the rootball, also break away some of the soil to provide better contact between the roots and the fill soil. Comb all roots out away from the ball before planting.
Pruning the Top: Even if no roots are lost during planting, the top of the tree may still have such a large leaf area that frequent watering is needed to prevent wilting. Prune both to remove leaf area and to establish tree structure and appearance. Reduce the leaf area by thinning out branches that are close together, cross one another, or are broken. Avoid heading back (cutting back to a stub or a small lateral branch) or over-pruning the tree. Bare-root trees will probably need more pruning than container-grown or balled-and-burlapped trees because they are dug up with few roots. Some pruning may have been done at the nursery. If so, little more is necessary. Check for pruning scars, or ask the nursery you purchased the plant from.
Placing the Rootball: With balled-and-burlapped trees, fold back the burlap at least 2 inches below the soil level. Do not leave the burlap exposed, as it may draw moisture from the soil, drying it out faster than normal. Carefully slice the burlap on the sides and bottom of the rootball to allow for easy root penetration. Burlap generally rots away within a year, however, some burlap is treated with a preservative for nursery keeping. Treated burlap, plastic, or other nonbiodegradable wraps must be removed before planting. Ask at the nursery whether the burlap has been treated. If it has, gently rock the rootball to one side, pushing the burlap as far under it as possible. Then rock it back, and the burlap should come free. With smaller rootballs, it may be easier just to lift the plant away from the burlap carefully.
Place the rootball on a firm base in the prepared hole. The soil line of the tree should be slight higher than the surrounding soil. Remove any ties around the rootball. Spread the roots to provide good anchorage and to prevent circling. Unless the soil you've removed to create the planting hole is undesirable, backfill the hole with the original soil. For heavy, extremely light, or compacted soil, add organic matter. Don't put fertilizer in the planting hole or mix it with the backfill soil. This can injure the plant's root system. Work the soil in around the roots so that they are spreading and supported by soil underneath. After filling in 3 to 4 inches of soil, water the roots and allow the soil to settle in by gently rocking the tree back and forth. The original soil level of the plant should be 1 to 2 inches above the soil level of the newly planted tree. If the trunk shows a dark-to-light color change at its base, this indicates the original soil level in the nursery. Fertilize trees when new growth begins.
There's a wealth of horticultural information in my ads. Read 'em and enjoy.
Even Washington and Jefferson had green thumbs.

InterNet Plant Advice.
Routinely during the gardening season, I get up to 200 emails a day from people all over the world, asking questions about every type and form of plant imaginable. I can usually answer 95% of them from my current base of knowledge; the rest require some research and study in order to formulate a plausible and correct answer.
Last Friday, I had just placed a huge lunch order for Chinese food to feed my administrative staff who were putting the finishing touches on the complex for The 9th Open House when the phone rang one more time.
It was David Siegel calling from San Francisco, and he had some houseplant pest problems.
For those unfamiliar with the name, David Siegel was the leading proponent of early, quality design on the Web in '96-'98. (He's since abandoned the Web in favor of business.) His personal website set standards for all to emulate. I emulated his Journal, as have many thousands since. He asked me to write a piece on evergreen Christmas Trees for his Journal in '96. He then went on to found his web design company, write a bestseller on design, follow it up with another bestseller, and started a consulting business.
I analyzed and solved David's pest problems quickly I see those and thousands more on a weekly basis and recommended a course of chemical action. I know he'll follow it fastidiously and that everything will work out.
BTW, Dave suggested visiting ClueTrain for content.
If you have any gardening, landscaping, pest or disease-related questions, just ask.

A Day Off.
Lynetta, my friend from the Portland area, flew in last Wednesday for a week's visit and to lend a hand at the Open House, last Saturday.
We went to some very good Italian restaurants in the area, as well as to Baltimore to a world-renowned steak house specializing in filet mignon, my favorite.
But I needed a break from it all after 13x7 days.
On Monday, I took a day off and we drove to the Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. I've been trying to get there for nine years now, but with an unrelenting workaholic schedule, I just haven't made the time. I now have the right people in the right places which allow me some latitude.
I was awed by what I saw.
Though the ambient air temperature is just in the 50s and 60s, and ground temps are not quite breaking 50F (52F+ is optimum for germination), plant material was starting to show in the gardens. In another 3-4 weeks, it'll be a riot of color and I'll want to go back and re-visit. But I'll wait until Fall when Lynetta returns.

Liar In Chief.
That Clinton lied his filthy, stinking ass off to the American public is old news; the fact that he's now been found guilty of contempt for lying is the real news. That one judge had the courage to convict the lying rapist is the real news. Maybe the system does work, after all. Sometimes.
Why would Clinton appeal the truth? He's an impeached, lying, son-of-a-bitch, rapist who is despised by anyone with morals and ethics. His law license should be revoked; he's not qualified to even discuss law.
After all is said and done, Clinton is a liar.
Heck, we all knew that. Where are the idiots, morons and cretins now who voted for the Clintonite filth twice, not once? They know they've been had by the most deceiptful, lying, rapist scumbag in the history of the US. They're hiding and feeling kinda silly for being duped.

Illegal Legal System.
To say that a gross miscarriage of Justice occurred when Dr Death was convicted and sentenced, is a mild understatement.
Allowing the shit-for-brains government a say in our personal lives decisions is a huge mistake. The more we give, the more they take.
The government is comprised of idiots, morons and cretins who can't even balance a budget without smoke and mirrors. Hell, we private citizens are expected to balance our personal checkbooks, aren't we? To take responsibility for our own lives and actions? Sure we are. Government abrogates that responsibility en masse.
The US Government is incapable of monitoring and running its own actions. How can we allow them to intrude in our daily lives and bank accounts without a legal fight?
Government should provide basic services but leave governing to the States, as prescribed in The US Constitution. We just don't need or want their constant interference. I know I don't.
One pile of subhuman liberal shit filth perhaps worse than the government is ACLU, fascists, communists and socialist scum, everyone of the sons-and-daughters-of-bitches. They have nothing better to do than pick on the Boy Scouts of America.

Love That Death Penalty.
The hypodermics and electric chairs have been somewhat quiet nationwide, lately. I can't figure out why: there are 3,700+ pieces of subhuman filth on Death Row, just sitting around waiting to be executed, per a court order.
At least Virginia is doing its part to rid the world of such filth.
There's no cogent or coherent reason not to delay executions. All the lowlifes are duly tried, convicted and sentenced to death for a myriad of heinous crimes and should be terminated without delay.
Their victims are still dead. Why aren't the criminals getting their due? Is America's Legal System so f*cked up internally that it can't mete out justice to such garbage? Why are murderers allowed endless appeals, clogging up the US Court System? Their victims can't appeal their own murder; why should criminals be allowed endless rights?
Murderers, rapists, child molesters and traitors should be executed upon conviction; no delays.
One appeal should be allowed, within 72 hours of conviction. Upon denial of appeal, execution should take place within 24 hours. No exceptions.
Why the f*ck isn't this piece of shit dead? He murdered two police officers and wounded others on Capitol Hill last year, and now people are afraid of trying, convicting and executing him because some two-bit shrink says he's mentally incompetent. Execution is what should be done with mentally ill criminals. I'd put a bullet through all of their empty heads in a heartbeat.
As far as I'm concerned, murderers need to die promptly upon conviction. Remember all the grade-high school kids who whacked classmates and teachers? Waste 'em. If we let them out, they'll do it again. Keeping them alive and incarcerated for life costs $45-60K per year per criminal. It's a huge waste of money. Cheaper to execute the 3,700+ subhuman filth on Death Row.
And why wasn't this child molesting pervert filth tried, jailed and executed? Because he bought his way out of the crime for $15 million. Some stinking Justice system we have here.

Chi Comm Filth.
It's not enough that the lying, rapist, bastard Clinton has allowed the stinking ChiComm scum to steal our national nuclear secrets wholesale, taken dirty ChiComm cash contributions for his '96 campaign in exchange for political favors and lied repeatedly to the American People; now he hosts a dinner for the yellow lowlifes in The White House.
Well hell, why not? He's sold most of The White House in general the Lincoln Bedroom in particular as a lib-dem whore would to sleazy, scummy, liberal, filth from Hollywood for cash for his illegal campaign coffers.

The Balkanization Of The Balkans.
There's always two (or more) sides to any story or event. Take Kosovo.
There's the official spin, and then there's the other side.
I guess I could swallow it more easily, instead of gagging on the official spin, if there were moral and ethic values attached, or if the war involved American interests. There are obviously are none on any side.
Who is to say there's not both truth and lies to both sides of the story? From ten witnesses to any significant event, an interviewer will get 11 different stories. Human nature; go figure.
But now that we're there, support of the troops is unquestioned. As it should have been in 'Nam, but wasn't. Wave the flag, baby.

Refreshing Walk.
When I need to get away from all the virtual shit, I take an extended walk through The Forest. Works for me.

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