For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Jan 25

Your Questions About Gardening

David asks…

How much/what kind of pine needles have been used successfully in home brewed beer?

I’m looking to experiment with pine needles in a dark, stronger-ish ale I’m brewing in the next few days –there are pine trees all around where I live. I’d just like some basic parameters –what is minimal for an effect, and what is maximal, or what isn’t going to make it dominant, overpowering, or otherwise unpleasant. The basic idea is just to add them @ the end of the boil instead of finishing hops. Any feedback would be appreciated.

GardenersCardiff answers:

This is a very Oikos type of question.

1 pound of the outer twigs of spruce fir

1 oz. Spruce essence or 1 cup freshly picked spruce tips

Some Common Species
Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) may grow naturally in America’s Rocky Mountains, but its stunning blue-green needles have also helped make it the most commonly planted Western conifer in the eastern United States. A landscape standout, blue spruce makes a fine specimen tree or focal point of a well planned grouping. In a lawn or garden setting, the tree grows from 50 to 70 feet tall with a 20 to 30-foot spread, its branches covered in blue-green needles that bristle in all directions. In its native woods, the tree assumes a majestic grandeur, growing from 90 to 135 feet tall and cloaking mountains in a somber green beauty. (Grows in hardiness zones 2 to 8.)

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) is known for a grandeur all its own. This largest of the spruce — reaching more than 300 feet tall in its native Pacific Coastal range — towers in awesome beauty from Alaska to northern California. It attains its grandest proportions in the Pacific Northwest rain forests, where it can live for many centuries. But it is not for its mammoth grace alone that Sitka spruce is so revered. With the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all trees in the world, this unique spruce is important to the lumber industry. As well as producing valuable paper pulp, its wood is ideal in the construction of doors, interior trim and paneling, and furniture. It is also highly prized for making the sounding boards of musical instruments. The Sitka spruce is both a symbolic and commercially important American tree. (Grows in hardiness zones 7 to 8.)

Daniel asks…

is it possible for abused, neglected kids to grow up normal?

Is it possible for a child who is treated violently, disciplined harshly, and generally neglected, to educate themselves through school and uni and basically grow up into productive and enthusiastic members of society?

Even if neither parent was available, and grandparents didn’t care? And no-one else got involved?

GardenersCardiff answers:

Stories from Famous People who Grew Up with Abuse
Many well-known actors, singers, musicians, entertainers and sportspeople have spoken out about their own experiences of abuse or family violence. They have often used these difficult experiences to inspire them.

Some of the people who have spoken publicly include:

Darren Hayes
Missy Elliot
Rebecca Gibney
Christina Aguilera
For more personal stories, you can also read Stories from Young People; and Stories from Adults who grew up with abuse.

See also Songs About Abuse

Darren Hayes
Darren Hayes is an Australian singer and was in the pop band Savage Garden.

His song ‘Two Beds and A Coffee Machine’ is about domestic violence.

In an article from Daily Telegraph, August 26th 2004, titled ‘Hayes Savaging Demons’, he spoke about his childhood and how it influenced him. He says his experiences were one of the driving forces behind why he became a performer. The start of the article reads:

DARREN Hayes has revealed that the dark side of his new album, The Tension and the Spark, is the result of finally dealing with a troubled childhood affected by alcoholism and domestic violence…

Read more from this article published on this site:

For more about Darren Hayes see his official website. The site has song lyrics, including the song ‘Unlovable’ and ‘Two beds and a Coffee Machine’

Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is an American hip-hop artist.

From the Biography section of Missy Elliott’s website, it reads:

What makes her accomplishments truly amazing is that Missy Elliott the superstar is, at the heart of it all, still just the shy little girl from Portsmouth, VA – a survivor of a childhood of domestic violence. Particularly, her father was abusive towards her mother. Missy has not shied away from talking about those painful memories. In fact, she was named spokesperson for Break The Cycle in 2003, an organization dedicated to helping young people break the chain of domestic abuse.
For Missy, music was the escape hatch, her path to achieving the kind of dreams not even she imagined. …read more here

Rebecca Gibney
Rebecca Gibney is an Australian actress.

She spoke to Andrew Denton on the ABC-TV show ‘Enough Rope’ (12 May 2003) about her childhood. She said that her father was violent towards her mother, and was also an alcoholic. She also described how she, her mother, and her family coped with this when she was growing up. She also spoke about how her relationship with her father changed.
Read the transcript ofwhat she said on the show:

Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera is a pop singer from the USA who has spoken about abuse during her childhood.

In this article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette titled ‘Aguilera’s Visit, Story Lift Spirits at Women’s Shelter’ (Monday, December 22, 2003, written by Mackenzie Carpenter), it describes how Christina Aguilera and her mother visited a domestic violence centre. In the article she says she and her mother experienced abuse from her father, and that the song ‘I’m Okay’ on her album ‘Stripped’ is about her experience of domestic violence. She also said that she and her mother stayed in domestic violence shelters when she was growing up.

Read the article
Read more about Christina Aguilera on her official website

Songs About Surviving Abuse
For more songs about abuse, see this website ‘Songs Related to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault…and Survival’

The site lists songs about abuse or domestic violence by a range of musicians and singers, including Pink, Faith Hill, Ani Difranco, Sarah McLachlan, Suzanne Vega, Stevie Wonder, Eminem, Aaliya, Madonna, Creed, and more. The website was created by Gerri Gribi.

Sandy asks…

Why do people act different when they grow up in a certain environment, no matter their color?

For example……

You take a white and black kid. Put them in the ghetto. More than likely they will listen to hip hop and dress with baggy pants and think its cool to be a “Gangster”

Then you take a black and white kid. Raise them in an affluent suburb. Put them through expensive schools. They will end up dressing preppy and not think its cool to be a gangster, but more than likely a doctor or lawyer.

Why is this?

GardenersCardiff answers:

Well this is not always the case, but yes most of the time people do end up like this.
There are a lot of people in the ghetto who end up to be very respected and successful, and Viceversa there are alot of kids in “preppy” schools that will end up in rehab. I personally know people from both cases.

I grew up in the ghetto. West Tampa which is the worse ghetto in florida besides for opalaka in miami, and i also grew up on the east side in Harlem New York. But since i showed potential and promise, a rich lady took me under her wing and put me in a nice school for college and she helps me. So i get to see people from both lifestyles. Now i can say mot everyone is as lucky as me, but at the same time everyone does make there own choices, because this lady doesn’t help my little brother and he goes to a better university than i do. She only helped me because our parents left us and i had to work to support him as a teen.

If you grow up in the ghetto people end up like that because of whats around them. Me grow in up in the ghetto meant as a kid it was cool to fight other kids. No one had money so it was cool to steal from other kids. No one had parents so we hung out all night and made our own family ext.

Now kids i in my college, there parents gave them money for school, and was there for them. So all they had to worry about was getting good grades and what new shoes should they buy.

Hip hop was made for the ghetto by the ghetto so we relate to this. Pop music was made by suburb kids for kids the suburbs. This is why our lyrics are different.

It doesn’t make it ok to be gangsta no matter where you grow up and i know because i seen first hand by some of my friends how you end up, and trust me i only have one good friend now because the other 7 are in jail and one is dead.

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