Dig It – August Garden news
by Sage & Snow Garden Club
August 21, 2011
Flora has been busy in her garden & has also taken time to hike in the sage & mountains to enjoy the wildflowers. These activities have generated the following queries.
Dear Flora: Are all native plants good?
Signed: Go Native
Dear GN: Most native plants are good for wildlife and livestock forage or neutral in the environment. Some native plants are poisonous, troublesome with burs or unsightly around our homes and some can have weedy characteristics that make them undesirable. There are also plants that are officially noted as pests because they are very aggressive and out-compete other native plants. It is important to be able to identify all types of plants, so take a plant guide and camera along on your walks. Remember also that "one person's weed is another person's wildflower".
Dear Flora: If I am interested in pressing plants what should I know?
Signed: Pressed 4 Time
Dear P4T: Plants can be pressed in many different ways. There are companies that sell great presses through the internet or you can make your own. The components of a plant press include good air circulation, a few newspapers and something heavy like a big book. Place the specimen in the middle of a sheet of paper, being careful to lay all the leaves and petals flat, so that no parts are overlapping. Next, carefully place a book or something heavy on top. If you want to press multiple specimens, ensure adequate air circulation (so the plants will not mold) by placing a sheet of cardboard between the plants. Leave the press in place for at least 2 weeks. It is important to note plant characteristics, such as height, flower color, number of petals, leaf arrangement, habitat and location when collecting plants to help you identify the plant when you get home.
Dear Flora: I am making myself a homemade flower press. I find that sometimes the flowers that I press stick to the paper I use and do not dry completely. What type of paper would you recommend to press the flowers in so they dry correctly and do not stick?
Dear S2G: Construction or tracing paper works well.
Dear Flora: Once my pressed flowers are dry and I want to use place them in a scrapbook or create greeting cards, how do I get them to stick to the paper and not easily fall apart?
Dear Sticky: Archival glue is best for mounting, but craft glue also can be used sparingly. For papery flowers, dab glue lightly where petals overlap and on the backs of stems and leaves. For thicker plants, dot glue and position the plant on the paper.
Dear Flora: There are so many beautiful flowers in my garden right now. I would like to try to capture some of their beauty to take me through the winter. Can you advise which flowers are easiest to press?
Dear F2P: Choose flowers that are less fleshy – if you have grown a wildflower patch, you could pick almost anything from there. Other flowers that press well are columbines, pansy, viola, poppy and gaillardia.
Dear Flora: Who can help me identify this weird plant that I found in my field?
Signed: What is It?
Dear WII: There are many resources locally in Pinedale to help with plant identification. You can bring the plant (or good photos of it) to any of the following offices: Sublette County Weed & Pest; University of Wyoming Extension Service; Sublette County Conservation District; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Bureau of Land Management; or Forest Service. You can also send an email with a picture to the Garden Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Flora: The flowers in the forest are beautiful right now. Can I pick them?
Dear P: You can pick flowers from the forest for your personal enjoyment, but leave enough flowers for others to enjoy and for seeds to form. Additionally, check with the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management if you intend to dig any plants.
Dear Flora: How can I get Flora to answer my gardening questions?
Signed: In the Dark
Dear ID: Send any gardening questions to the Sage & Snow Garden Club, Box 2280, Pinedale, WY, 82941; to email@example.com; or call 307-367-4380 to speak to a Master Gardener.
Dear Flora: How can I meet other gardeners in the Pinedale area?
Signed: New in Town
Dear NIT: The Garden Club will resume its regular meeting time of the third Tuesday in the month on September 20. We get together at the Sublette County Weed & Pest Office at 12 South Bench Road, Pinedale (307-367-4728). Social time starts at 4:30 P.M., followed by a short business session at 5:00 P.M. To find out more about the Garden Club, go to our website at https://sites.google.com/site/sageandsnowgardenclub/.