Field of Science

Day-light savings time - Gardeners like it.

A Lincolnland politician has introduced a bill that would keep the state on daylight savings time, and as a gardener TPP is all for it.  A lot of good gardening gets done in the evening when the state is on daylight savings time.  Of course the switch to standard time just happened accompanied by the usual whining about what a waste this all is.  Frankly it matters not to TPP if it's dark in the early AM during the winter months. And this from a guy whose watch and car clock are almost impossible to reset, as is the alarm cat. Indiana the state next door stays on standard time (god's time?).  And you can just shift whatever you are doing to best optimize the available daylight.  Too complicated for some employers, but when you retire such strict time schedules can be ignored (yea!).  

Friday Fabulous Fruit


Ripe fruit is of course a flower at the stage of seed dispersal.  And one of the nicest "flowering" shrubs in our gardens are the winterberries, which is a holly, (Ilex verticillata).  Now hollies do not have large attractive flowers, but the fruit display can be very vivid especially when contrasted against the green leaves.  Except winterberry is a deciduous native holly, so it drops its leaves leaving the brilliant red berries on display, where they will remain until discovered by migrating cedar waxwings or robins.  Like all hollies winterberry is also dioecious (2- houses), so you need "males" to pollinate the females.  TPP likes to plant a pollinator plant for every 3-4 fruiting plants.  Obviously the winterberries have not dropped their leaves yet, but you can see how bright the red berry display is anyways.  Unfortunately the berries are not edible for the basic human GI tract.  But they look great in a boarder planting.  The shrubs can grow to 3-4 meters tall in wet areas, but seldom get more than a meter or two in drier places.  They are not a finicky about soils as some hollies either.