Building a Rock Wall
First the type of rock is chosen, in this case Judy wanted
heavy, natural looking and something that echoed the stone
in the house. She chose Alabama Fixed Stone. The foundation
must be laid. The area must be cleaned, then the edges defined.
A trench is dug about 6-8 inches deep, to get beneath the
organic matter and to allow for 2-4 inches of gravel. Tamp
the gravel so it is solid. On the bottom she used ugly rocks
because they won't be seen and made sure they were level.
It is important that they be level side to side but angled
slightly towards the back. For every foot of height you
will need a tilt of 1-2 inches. The second row of rocks
is set back a little and touching at least 2 rocks on the
first row. This adds strength to the wall and looks better.
In some instances it is necessary to use a chink. This will
level rocks if necessary. It would be possible to plant
perennials or evergreens in the wall. In this case it would
be necessary to pull dirt forward into the hole around the
rocks. At the back of the wall, between the rocks and earth
behind the wall, Judy has filled the area with 57 gravel.
It is a coarse, drainage rock and typically will fill an
area with a width of 8-12 inches. It will allow water to
run off the hill behind and
percolate through the soil, down through the gravel and
out through thefront of the rocks. When putting the backfill
gravel in it is important
to tamp it in with a bar or rod. This will fill all cracks,
gravel tightly and adds to the structural integrity of the
wall. On the
top layer place the capstone and make sure it is level.
Use an S-type or
waterproof mortar for this. The mortar should be the same
color as the
rocks or it could be died. It is a good idea to have the
rocks delivered to the area where you'll be working and
to categorize the rocks by size.
Butterfly Bush or Buddleia Davidii, is a mainstay in the
garden. It's flowers bloom all summer long and some varieties
grow to 12 feet tall. Other varieties like Manho Purple
only reach 4 feet tall. It
is a versatile, adaptable plant. Purple is common but it
is available in
white, lilac, even yellow. Add it to a border because it
gives depth and
weight to any setting. The combination of scent and flowers
is attractive to butterflies. They like full sun, for profuse
but will tolerate a little shade. Once established, which
may take a
year or so, they like average soil, they're drought tolerant
vigorous growers. This means they need drastic pruning every
you have a healthy plant take it down to the ground every
5 or 6 main stalks or stems that go directly to the base
of the plant,
prune those to the center of the plant. Leave branches with
because they will offer double the number of flowers and
next year. Prune late fall, after 2 or 3 hard freezes. Other
plants like Parsley, Bronze Fennel, Yarrow will attract
butterflies because they are a source of food. Plants like
Purple Cone flower, Lantana, Garden Zinnia produce nectar
and that will attract butterflies. Water is essential. Put
out a bird bath or shallow pool so butterflies can drink,
they don't like deep water, they like it shallow. Put stones
halfway immersed in the water so butterflies can land.
Celia Whitman is the Butterfly Center manager Callaway Gardens,
and an entomologist. She talks to us today about integrated
pest management. Since we all deal with bugs in our garden
it is best to know a little about them. There are good bugs
and bad bugs, she will talk about the difference. Bad bugs
are those that eat your plants, some eat the roots, some
eat the leaves, still others have piercing, sucking mouth
parts that pierce the stems of plants and suck out the juice.
Bugs like the Praying Mantis, the Ladybug or Green Lacewing
will kill bugs that are predatory, sometimes that is not
enough. Integrated Pest Management combines a number of
different ways to control these pests in your garden. One
of the ways is biological control, this is when you bring
in one insect to control another. Ladybugs are an example.
If you have Aphids on your Roses or other plants you can
control them with Ladybugs. Ladybugs are predators to aphids
in the adult and the larval form. Ladybugs can be purchased
in bags of a hundred or more at your local nursery or biological
control companies. Cultural control is another area of pest
management. By planting plants in the proper place you can
control pest attacks. Pests attract weaker plants, an example
would be a sun loving plant in a shady area. This is a problem
because the plant gets more water than it needs and less
sun thus is weaker. Pests will attack this plant. Mechanical
control is one of the cheapest, easiest way to control pests.
This is simply smashing the pests between your fingers.
If you see them squash them. You could also wash the leaves
if there is a lot of waxy secretions or webs from insects.
This will keep them from growing.Pest Identification. How
do you tell the difference between a good bug and a bad
bug? The best tool is a field guide. The National Audubon
Society Field Guide For Insects is good, there are others.
All you do is find the bug in the book, start with the pictures
in the front and match it with the one in your garden, underneath
the picture will be a page number, flip to that page and
learn about that bug. What is its' habitat, what does it
eat, what is its' life cycle, does it feed on your plants
or other bugs, is it a good bug or a bad bug? Then you know
whether to kill it or not.
Some people won't garden because of their pets. If we understand
needs of our pet and our garden it is likely they can coexist.
your yard into different areas, one for your pet, one for
the concept of a "fence in fence." For example
use the upper area for a
garden, the lower for your dog. The dogs space allows him
to run, it has
shade and a place for water. Most dogs like to hang out
perimeter of the property, they can look and see what's
going on both on and off the property. Therefore it is a
good idea for the fence to have at least some holes so he
can see out. Have something soft on the ground, something
like Ivy or mulch, something tough and durable.
Consider putting your dog in a space where he can see you,
even a doggie door so he can go in and out. If your dog
likes to chew plants consider Hollies or Junipers, plants
that can be pruned 365 days a year.
Invisible fences work well after some training and are less
than a regular fence.
1 out of 200 people is allergic to bee stings or insect
between 50 to 100 people die every year in the U.S. from
bee stings. A
Florida Extension bulletin said that most of the time when
we get stung
we get redness, some swelling and itching but generally
happens. As long as nothing happens to our throat or mouth
in terms of
swelling it is nothing to be alarmed about. In fact remove
put on a cold compress and you're ready to go. However this
report went on to say that those folks that have no reaction
are as susceptible or more so to Anaphylactic Shock. Because
these people ignore a bee sting over time the effects build
up and could cause problems. The message here is take all
bee stings seriously. If you feel dizzy or are nauseous
or if your throat swells be sure to consult a doctor.
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