A plant pundit comments on plants, gardening, academic life, and life in general.
The Phytophactor's Latest Posts
These are very interesting illusions. Most of them work on me especially the one shown here, as long as my eyes keep scanning. You can stop them by concentrating on one point. Some of them don't work or don't work as well on me. Pretty hard to trust your eyes when they fool you like this. Anyone out there red-green color blind? Do these illusions work on you? What ones did you like or dislike? Could you paint your car with one of these […]
Yeah! That just makes my morning! What do us lazy professors do with our 3 month long summer vacation? Well, let TPP offer a couple of answers. First, we don't get paid. Maybe you think we aren't working, but not to worry because we're not getting paid either. That's an equation you can perhaps understand. Certainly TV right now doesn't have much to offer. Let's see both hockey and basketball are still playing and dominating the TV, and it's June, […]
The biggest problem with shade gardens are the tree seedlings, woody weeds. Red bud are the worst because their roots go so deep so soon. A six inch seedling can be impossible to pull by hand with roots somewhere down in the Carboniferous. Sugar maple seeds like only a truly mammoth tree can produce are a somewhat different type of problem; they're easy enough to pull but at a density of a couple of dozen per square foot it's a major chore. Same goes for have a […]
The Phactors are busy assessing the condition of their garden prior to opening our garden grounds to a few hundred visitors. The drought of 2012, which continued right through the winter, did a lot of damage to a lot of plants. On the grand scale, on the sit back and just take in your surroundings scale, our garden looks just fine. It's big, spacious, park-like, lovely. It's in the fine detail where you notice the severe damage to the lawn, yes, even our diverse lawn […]
Ragwort - not a very impressive name, and not at all certain why it's called ragwort; maybe the sort of torn/worn margins of the upper leaves. Senecio has 1000-1500 species ranging from herbs like this to vines, shrubs, and even trees. The ragwort shown is Senecio plattensis and the reason the Phactors have this species in their gardens is that it grew in a sand prairie-oak savanna that surrounded our Mississippi River cabin. When we sold the place a piece of the […]
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