Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mrs. Greenhands - Wisteria

Edit - not one of my articles

This dramatic and climbing vine is multi-talented as it has long been associated with spooky mansions, as well as, used in Japanese gardens.  The Chinese and Japanese wisterias are many times grown as bonsai. Wisteria vine is one of the most popular flowering vines for the landscape and garden because of its ornate flowers; yet, in South Carolina, Wisteria sinensis grows like a weed.  This fabulous textured vine plays many leading roles in the landscape.

Photography by Joanne Taylor - American Wisteria located in the Philadelphia Suburbs
The Wisteria vine holds long, drooping clusters ofblooms that climb wallsand drape over trellises, pergolas, gazebos, and arbors. Wisteria can also be grown in mounds if trained and supported like this second photograph illustrates. There are 10 species of the woody climbing wisteria vines in the Eastern U.S.  The four common varieties of wisteria grown in our area are the Japanese wisteria, American wisteria, Chinese wisteria, and Kentucky wisteria.  
Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) - Blooms in white, violet, or blue and could take 20 years to bloom.  Chinese Wisteria is said to smell like grapes.(2)
Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) - Blooms in white, violet or blue and are the most spectacular because of its long flowers. The flowers also smell like grapes.(3)
American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), is very similar to Kentucky wisteria, except the American wisteria only grows two-thirds as tall as its Asian cousins; and it’s the shortest of the wisteria family. It produces lavender and mauve-colored blooms that are not scented. It’s much less invasive than the Chinese and Japanese wisteria. The American wisteria can also bloom again in September.(4) The American wisteria vine is your best bet; it’s hardier in Philadelphia’s Zone 6, it’s less invasive, and it blooms faster than the others.
Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya) grows much like the American wisteria, but it has a fragrance thats close to the lilac or hyacinth fragrance, and produces bluish-purple flowers. It can produce flowers within 2-3 years, it’s the fastest blooming of any of the other Wisteria, and it can live for one hundred years.(5)

Photography by Joanne Taylor - Chinese Wisteria located 3 miles outside of Philadelphia
Wisteria, sometimes  spelled (Wistaria),  belongs to the pea family ofFabaceae; and the blooms look very much like pea blooms.  Wisteria will only bloom after it passes from juvenile to adulthood, which could take many years. Wisteria has a hard time blooming because it hasn’t reached maturity.  While it only takes a few years for Kentucky wisteria to bloom; it takes almost twenty years for Chinese wisteria to bloom.  Any seedlings growing from the mother plant could take decades to bloom, which is why most gardeners usually grow plants that were started from root cuttings or grafted cultivars that flower easily. Wisteria can live for over 100 years. In Japan, there is a Wisteria named Ashikaga Tochigi that is 140 years old.
Wisteria grows well in moist, well-drained soil, although it will grow in almost any soil. The vine naturally produces nitrogen, so adding potassium and phosphatewill help the plant to blossom. Most Wisteria are considered shade tolerant and will thrive in partial shade, but will only flower when exposed to partial or full sun; remember, the more sun, the more blooms.
Beware; the heavy and strong vines twine their stems around anything that can support them and can wreck havoc on fences, lattice, trees, roofs, chimneys, gutters and downspouts.  Wisteria is extremely invasive, re-seeding themselves all over the landscape if left unchecked.  Also, wisteria is poisonous if ingested.  A mailman recently pleded not to plant wisteria near the mailbox, it’s his worse nightmare because of the bees it attracts. Speaking of the mailman, let’s take a walk down Wisteria Lane.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Dark Shadows


Just a shadow of my former self,
the ticking clock moves on,
leaving behind a carefree girl
and replacing with a lonely shell.
There are echos of happiness
in the recesses of my mind,
but they are harder to find,
trapped in an ever turning loop
behind the dark shadows of time.
No more ponytails or Indian sandals,
no Chinese jumprope or Red Rover, Red Rover,
no long afternoon walks
or wild motorcycle rides,
the simple life is gone.
When your head-over-heels first time love
throws a hand grenade at your life,
the dark shadows come flowing in.
After the first time, the next are easier,
and long before you know it,
your locked away inside yourself
and each bad turn buries you deeper away
and dark shadows swallow your soul.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Shroud of Darkness


Darkness hangs like a shroud,
sooner or later we'll be together again.
Our love is all we need.

All is silent, ominously silent,
violence will continue,
an event setting off a chain of events.

A blaze of flame at the top of the cliff,
begging, pleading - then burst into flames;
he is gone, never to return.

A great storm rages over the heaven,
a rainless storm
for vengeance has become an obsession;
and he takes advantage of the opportunity for revenge,
by killing the girl his enemy loves;
turning her into a grotesque skeleton of his lost love.

Darkness hangs like a shroud,
as the stormy night draws closer to dawn.
A young man broods over a decision;
an era gone by,
the threshold between past and future.
Torn between the woman he once loved and the one he now loves.

Morning, a morning that should be a happy one,
love that lasted through time,
haunting adventure,
mysterious and terrifying
stands in majestic isolation.

Under the brightness of a full moon,
but no one knows that under this full moon
means something it has never meant before.
It is the sign of a new and evil power
that prowls the woods in search of a victim.

First night with strange and weird discoveries -
faint voices from the past
over an ancient phone with on wire connections.
There is a storm raging, a storm that can't block out
the wails of the past, the wails legends say
come when there is someone to die, the wails of the dead.

Darkness envelopes the world tonight for an incantation has been performed to rid the house of strange spirits roaming the halls -
there is danger in this night -
a mysterious voice from beyond the grave and a new terror
will take over the feelings of the frightened family.

The great halls echo, with the rumble of thunder illuminated
by light flashes of the angry storm, as two angry
spirits battle in conflict - spirits long since dead,
as the rain finally starts to fall.
Posted by Bobbi Rightmyer at 9/09/2010 06:05:00 PM No commen



A summer storm has subsided 
and all is quiet, 
but there are continued hints of clandestine gloom.
Everything is now in ruins 
and an ever growing mystery 
is leading to a new event, 
drawing us closer to catastrophe.

(Photo by Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixels Narratives)



Terrifying experiences
signal a disaster is coming.
Although the surface seems calm and serene,
unbeknownst to them,
strange things have begun to happen
A long dead woman,
spell-bound by her beauty,
has been lured from her grave,
to make them pay,
to seek her revenge.

Emotional Labyrinth


The mouse who decided to build a labyrinth
was amazed at all the entanglement.
The jungle of knots and frayed little mess
lead to emotional upset and stress.

Lightning bugs

Lightning Bugs

Sun is drifting down to the
horizon – brightening the
western sky.
Shadows are lengthening, spreading
across the lawn
children still run and play
for dark to beckon the
lightning bugs.

Rainy days

Copyright The Savage World

I love rainy days! I don't know what it is about them, but they make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Maybe it's because I like to curl up under a fuzzy blanket and read a book. Or many times, it will inspire my creativity nature and I can't put my notebooks or laptop down. Many times I will just sit and knit while watching and listening to the rain; it makes a beautiful combination.

I know most people are hating the fact that spring is almost gone, but I am so looking forward to autumn. The cool crisp air, dewy mornings and overcast days - these motivate me more than the sunshiny days of summer.

So, if you're like me and love rainy days - hurray for us because today will be perfect. If you don't like them, I'm sorry, but we have had a pretty hot summer, so I'm ready for the cool down.


(Photo copyright Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixel Narratives)


 Rusted metal, forged with care,
now oxidized and worn;
cobweb covered from disuse,
sure to squeal when opening
the latch is so old,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mrs. Greenhands - BlackBerry winter

(Please remember - this author is not suggesting any type of herbal or alternative medicines.  Consult a doctor or healthcare provider before using any type of herbal or alternative medicine.)
Blackberries in bloom
Ever wonder why the Bluegrass was so cold this past weekend?  If you are an older gardener, or remember your grandparents gardening, then you know we are having a "Blackberry Winter." Old gardening lore tells us that when the Blackberries start blooming in May, we will usually have a snap of cold weather, and this is certainly true of this past weekend.  Blackberries, or Rubus species, are blooming all over Kentucky, blanketing the countryside with a sea of white blossoms.
Blackberries fall into two distinct categories:  wild and thornless.  WildBlackberries are tall with thorny, arching canes and compound leaves. The marble size berries start out red and slowly turn a deep purple-black color when fully ripe. The Blackberry canes are biennials - living only two years - while the roots are perennial - living indefinitely.Blackberries of both types multiply by spreading roots
Thornless Blackberries, or tame Blackberries are just as their name suggests. These canes contain no thorns and make harvesting very easy. Typically theBlackberries of thornless varieties are much larger, but they also contain larger seeds. Many people prefer the taste of tame berries to wild berries, but personally, I think the wild ones taste much better.
Edible Blackberries: Every portion of the Blackberry -  leaves, berries and roots - are edible or medicinal.  Naturally, the berries are the prized element ofBlackberries and they can be eaten raw right off the vine or cooked into delicious desserts.  Blackberries also make yummy jams and jellies.  Young edible shoots can be harvested in the spring, peeled and used in salads.  TheBlackberry leaves also make a great tea, rich in Vitamin A and several minerals.
Medicinal Blackberries: The leaf is more commonly used as a medicinal herb, but the root also has medicinal value.
  •  The root-bark and the leaves are astringent and diuretic. They make an excellent alternative medicine for dysentery, **diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and cystitis.
  •  Orally, the roots can be used to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers and gum inflammations.
  •  A decoction of the leaves is useful as a gargle in treating thrush and also makes a good general mouthwash.
  •  The presence of large amounts of tannins that give Blackberryroots and leaves an astringent effect useful for treating diarrhea are also helpful for soothing sore throats.
  •  Medicinal syrup is also made from Blackberry, using the fruit and root bark in honey for a cough remedy.
  •  Blackberry vinegar can be used to sooth the throat by making compresses. Dip a cloth into the vinegar and wrap around the throat, then wrap with a couple of layers of dry cloth - reapply several times daily until throat feels better.
**As a personal note - I have used a tonic to Blackberry leaves and roots to help treat diarrhea naturally and it works great.
Blackberries contain bioflavonoids, which have weak estrogenic activity (1/50,000 the strength of estrogen).  Even though the estrogen properties are low, Blackberries are very effective in controlling such common menopausal symptoms as hot flashes, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. I have just started experimenting with this to see if it will help my hot flashes and anxiety, so I'll keep you updated.
Trivia:  Centuries ago,  Blackberries were  supposed to give protection against all 'evil runes,' if gathered at the right time of the moon. Ancient Greek physicians prescribed the herb for gout, but the most common uses were for treating diarrhea, sore throats, and wounds. Native Americans made fiber, obtained from the stem, and used it to make a strong twine.  Blackberry brambles were also used as a barricade around villages to protect them from 4 and 2 legged predators.
For more information on Blackberries in Kentucky, check out this article from the UK Cooperative Extension Office and Kentucky Proud.