gardenerscardiff.co.uk

For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Jan 31

Your Questions About Gardening

David asks…

Why does my dog eat my flowers in the garden?

We made sure we checked before we planted not to get anything toxic but I never thought he’d be chomping all the flowers off right from the stem. Is this just a typical thing for dogs to do? I don’t remember any of my other dogs eating flowers. Next year, we’ll plant where he can’t get to them.. This year, we’re a little stuck unless it’s just not a good idea for him to be doing this.

GardenersCardiff answers:

The solution is actually easy.
Get some plastic fencing and make a cylinder to surround each plant, or, if they’re in a bed, a straight line fence in front of them will keep the dog out. I had one dog who did this. I think she just liked the flavors. I had to fence my mint, asparagus, even shrubs and small trees.

As she matured, she got over most of this, but I still have to watch her around my blueberries. -!-

Paul asks…

What are the best foods to use for a buffet dinner reception?

My fiance and I like to keep things nice and simple. We’re very laid back people. Our wedding/reception is a very casual and fun family and friend affair. We’re basically setting it up like a summer picnic out in a garden under a nice tent.

What are some good food items to use for a buffet/picnic dinner. Preferably nothing really messy like bbq wings.

GardenersCardiff answers:

I’m guessing you’re doing the food yourselves?

We’re doing the same thing…laid back, casual meal outdoors. So relaxing! And we’re doing it all ourselves also.

Our main dish is Prime Rib roast. My dad’s friend owns the local meat market and is cooking it for us on his rotisserie.

Other than that, we’ll be making up some fresh salads a day in advance. A great garden salad, with tons of side items our guests can add if they like. Veggies, croutons, boiled eggs, bacon bits, blueberries, dressings, cheeses…etc.

Baked potatoes work really well, because they’re not messy, and easy as pie to cook. We’re doing ours on the BBQ in tin foil, and setting out all the fixings as well. Bacon bits, green onions, salt, pepper, cheese.

My favorite is this broccoli salad. There’s broccoli, bacon bits, raisins, and a few other things, with a sweet mayo dressing. It’s fabulous, and tastes even better the day after it’s made.

Simple dishes and salads are always best for a buffet type dinner. Potato salad, any kind of pasta salad, caeser salad, veggie platter, fruit tray, cracker and cheese tray, different types of pepperoni and sausages. You could even add some homemade soup into the buffet.

Have fun!

Susan asks…

How do you tell the difference between Euonymus atropurpurea and Euonymus alatus?

I bought a few acres of woodland and have noticed the beautiful red leaves on a few shrubs on a walk through the woods. I am sure the shrubs are Euonymus as they have the classic leaf color, winged stems, and red berries. What I don’t know is if they are the native species or the invasive species escaped from someones landscape as seed. Is there an easy way to tell the difference?

GardenersCardiff answers:

The difference between the native eastern Wahoo Euonymus atropurpurea vs. The invasive exotic winged burning bush E. Alata, climbing euonymus E. Fortunei and spindle tree E. Europaea is that,
unfortunately, around here, it’s probably the exotic — I haven’t stumbled by the real thing yet — still to be sure (and you have to be because there are a few out there + some native plant nurseries sell them = some one’s planting them some where) the best native vs invasive euonymus ID advice I’ve found is on page 123 of “Growing Trees from Seed – A Practical Guide to Growing Native Trees, Vines and Shrubs” by Henry Kock with Paul Aird, John Ambrose and Gerald Waldron:

European spindle tree E. Europaea [exotic]: the identification of this close relative of E. Atropurpurea can only be made with certainty at flowering time. The European species has greenish white flowers in late May as compared to the maroon flowers (in June) of the native wahoo. The European spindle tree holds its leaves much longer into the fall, and the twigs tend to be thicker and more rigid than wahoo. However, due to variability in both species, the two are occasionally so similar vegetatively (including the root sprouting) that without knowledge of the flowers, the nearly identical fruit should be left alone – or the flower colour should be verified in late May.

Winged burning bush E. Alata [exotic]: A dense, outward-arching bush originating in Japan. It has small orange fruits on short stems that persist into the winter. Twigs on this species are prominently four winged, a characteristic that is more diminutive on a more compact-growing horticultural cultivar but still gives this species a distinctly square-stemmed appearance.

…[Besides these] two ‘ornamental’ deciduous shrubs that …have become naturalized (extensively in many places) in close proximity to older settlements and parks …garden escapees of the evergreen-leaved Euonymus fortunei [exotic climbing euonymus aka wintercreeper] are also beginning to find their way into the wild.”

Euonymus atropurpureus (Eastern Wahoo or Burning Bush) is a species of Euonymus native to primarily to the Midwestern United States, but its range extends from southern Ontario south to northern Florida and Texas.

Euonymus alatus, known variously as Winged Spindle, Winged Euonymus or Burning Bush, is a deciduous shrub native to eastern Asia, in central and northern China, Japan, and Korea. It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and parks due to its bright pink or orange fruit and attractive fall color. This plant is an invasive species of woodlands in eastern North America, and its importation and sale is prohibited in the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Look this video:http://www.howtodothings.com/video/invasive-plants-winged-euonymus

or http://www.5min.com/Video/Invasive-Plants-Winged-Euonymus-30794956

They show the invasive euonymus.

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