Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, February 20, 2009

String Theory and Gardening

Will strung string signal strong signs~~

to men/women with large shoes and heavy equipment which parts of the garden are off limits?


Will small and helpless plants survive?


Will large footed men/women notice
 

small shoots emerging from the ground?


String Theory and Gardening Hypothesis will be tested at Clay and Limestone during the last week of February, weather permitting.

Also, being tested is the gardener!


I hope that your weekend is filled with anticipation and adventure~~I am so glad you stopped by to visit.
Gail 

(ed. note:  Cosmic harmony is reached with the addition of neon tape... you can see the Strings vibrate  beautifully as the wind blows... ;-)  g)

When you design a garden, it raises basic questions. What is nature, how do we fit into it, and how should we shape it where we can, both physically and visually? Some of these questions are practical, others are philosophical, and the latter may not occur to us while laying out a garden, but they are implied. (The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Charles Jencks)

69 comments:

  1. The question around here would be, "Will they notice the string?"

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  2. Darla,

    Exactly that! Let's see if they do...I will be here to point it out...in the meantime it looks so silly!

    gail

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  3. I always cringe when the electricians come over to work on the air conditioning or outside lights. I watch them stomp all around little shoots coming up. I point them out and they still don't watch were there foot goes down. I have to just walk away...:-)--Randy

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  4. If yours are anything like most construction/repair men, they will make a point of stomping that area first. (Don't mind me, I just get so annoyed with them sometimes.) Good Luck!
    Marnie

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  5. It might be a good warning for all but the youngest. The girls would indeed go for that area first followed by questions "What's that string for?" and several "Why"s. ;)

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  6. Ooooh, Gail, I am not feeling good about the string theory. It is not noticeable enough, it needs to be more colorful. Maybe tie some brightly colored ribbons, orange for instance, to get their attention. Big footed workmen seldom look down, has been my experience. Milk jugs or soda bottles or whatever you have for protection should be readied. Stakes that will impale them are good too. Have a great weekend yourself, my friend. I anticipate the renewal of the back garden eagerly, as do you.
    Frances

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  7. Oh my, yes, your poor little spring greeters! I do hope the workers will be careful of them.
    Last summer we had the roofs of our house, barn and outbuildings painted, and oh, what a day that was! So I do empathize with you, Gail. Many of my plants ended up with silver paint spots even though the men tried to be careful. Well, a couple of them did. It's hard not to be a mother hen when your precious plants are threatened ;)
    I hope the same for your weekend. Thanks :)
    Still cold and snowy here for the third day in a row. Spring will be a while yet.

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  8. Frances, it is a flimsy string and I couldn't find my neon marker tape! I will add more to the line! Plus I will be there like a gadfly the whole time! Have a fun weekend....maybe the Lowe's trucks will arrive with their goods!

    gail

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  9. Randy,

    I know what you mean...I am pretty sure thye don't even hear what we say...I imagine they have listened to complaining gardeners for so long they tune us out. Have a great weekend!

    Gail

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  10. marnie,

    I know they are not careful and seem to not care! I like this landscaper and her guys put the sidewalk/path in the front...but there was an awful lot of collateral damage! have a good weekend...I hope it warms up for you. it is cold here...20 degrees!

    gail

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  11. Oh, I just have to say that Frances' comment about the stakes made me laugh out loud. Perhaps strategically placed bear traps might make a lasting impression :)
    Or at least they may point out to you just who is stepping on your plants!

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  12. Kerri,

    Thank you for your empathy! It really does help! I want to have the windows cleaned but hate to have them clomping all over the beds! So this fall it will be!

    It's cold here, 20 degrees and my faulty memory says this is unusual, but the weatherman says not. it is typical for our roller coaster ride to spring. Do keep warm and safe.

    Gail

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  13. Kerrie,

    Isn't she the best! I told her I was going to be a gadfly and chase them around while they are here!

    gail

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  14. Dave,

    Children, workmen and pets all head for the things we want them to avoid. They have some homing beacon.
    I am going to reinforce the string right away!

    gail

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  15. I hope it does. But just in case, I'd be close by.

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  16. I had to smile... I'd probably be doing the very same thing... Hang in there! :-)

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  17. Good morning Gail! I loved the pun, especially since I'm in a humorous mood today.

    My mom is a student of quantum physics and attends weekly seminars with her Gardening Buddy at the U of W in Madison on the subject. She's gotten me interested too, and I was intrigued by your post title this morning.

    Good luck protecting the small and vulnerable in the garden - sounds like a watchful eye is prudent.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  18. Best of luck, Gail. As my DH would say, you need a hot wire! (he's a farm boy - that's his answer for everything) (and we don't have any!) I would go brighter and maybe even drape beach towels over your bulbs -- I had "the guys" over and two of them took 6 hours to prune for me on Wednesday, but I was right out there showing them everything I wanted done and where NOT to step on bulbs and tender new plants. With a real landscape project, you can't do that...I'll be sending you good karma.

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  19. I find wire works better than string (doesn't make as good a post title though) I favor the electrified type or the type with razor sharp points to get large footed peoples attention. It isn't as easy to work with as string, but usually more effective.

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  20. I hate to say it, but I think your string theory is a bust. Even with the bright little flags on it, workers tend to view such things as advisory only. I like the wire fence idea. Do you or any neighbors have old Barberry branches? Those make wicked barriers when placed strategically. I feel for you (and your nerves). I hate when anybody does anything in the garden. Even relatives.

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  21. I like that quote very much. One could also say: :...and the latter may not occur to us while laying out a garden... BUT while laying IN it. :-) I look forward to seeing the finished product!

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  22. Gulp, as someone with large (flat) feet, I must say a word in our defense! We may not be light on our feet, but at least we have no problem with balance! I'd say the real issue is being observant. If I were you, I'd stock up on yellow crime-scene tape and "No Trespassing" signs. And of course, like everyone else, I love your post title. Brilliant!!!

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  23. At this time of the year to keep the dogs & boys from stepping on my emerging bulbs and perennial foliage I put skinny bamboo stakes around them (maybe 3 or 4 depending on the size of the plant). Good luck with the string, non-gardeners don't look where they are stepping unfortunately. :)

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  24. Electric fencing (with lots of brightly colored tape) may have been a safer bet. :)

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  25. hee hee on the stakes Frances. I hope your string works Gail but I'm afraid I'm going to join the pessimistic choir too. I had to have my house re-stuccoed the other year and I could not believe the things that got trampled. I think if you don't have an interest in plants or nature, you don't care and just see them as objects in the way. I'll hope for the least amount of damage and wait for the report! Have a great weekend too!

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  26. Gail, I'd find a roll of that yellow crime tape. You know the one that says 'crime scene, do not enter'! Barring that, I like Frances' and MMD's idea of impaling stakes ans thorns. Wishing you luck!

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  27. If crime-scene tape doesn't protect them while the workers are there, you can always use it after they leave! ;) I hope there are no crime scenes when the work is finished!

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  28. Men and gardens....that is a joke....notice the string, you are joking Gail. Mr. P rarely notices a tree let alone bulbs breaking through the soil.....

    I hope it works but in my experience I doubt it will....

    Have a good weekend.....

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  29. Gail, I feel your pain! My husband doesn't have overly large feet, but they are big enough that he doesn't consider the space they take up when he's walking near the gardens or worse yet, IN the gardens. He means well and he tries not to stomp anything, but it still happens. I just take a deep breath and look the other way.
    I do remember when we had the French doors put in, how I explained to the builders that I would be very unhappy if they stomped on my pink Lily-of-the-Valley. One of them was Romie's cousin and a good friend and classmate of mine, so that probably helped. The plant survived.

    I hope yours will, too! Those crocuses are just gorgeous and I can't wait to see mine!

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  30. Great post; string would have little effect on my plants as I'm ashamed to say it's normally my feet that crush the poor things, as I try to weed around the emerging bulbs :(

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  31. I hope it works! I try to be mindful of the babies but if I get all involved with another plant in the area then it might get stepped on. I hate when that happens.

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  32. Gail, if my non-gardening folk are like your non-gardening folk then the answer's no!

    But at least you've tried and raised a smile with us to go into the weekend with :)

    Hope yours is a good one!

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  33. I think I would have to put some ties on that string to make sure it is noticed. It is frustrating enough when they have to get in a planted area, but when they stomp on things that are out of the way. Ohhh!

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  34. Jan, I've added neon tape in a beautiful color to see if that makes enough noise to notice!

    VP, That was my hope...I knew it was silly string at best and when I looked String Theory just came to me...glad for the smiles!

    Anna, I step on them all the time...but I really don't want these guys to mess with a few new plantings!

    Happy, I know...it is nearly impossible not to step on a few...I notced the other day that when I was trying top get a close up I smashed a little columbine to bits.

    Kylee, I have been thinking about your post and wanting to comment...Wind power really is viable and needs our voices raised in support!

    Thanks folks for your empathy...apparently, we have all had our plants smashed by us, our family members, pets and contractors! Glad you enjoyed it and got the joke!

    gail

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  35. Cheryl, I have my fingers crossed that they will notice the flapping tape...but I showed my husband a photo and he didn't see the string! Your point is made!
    Have a lovely weekend, too.

    Gail

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  36. kathleen, Maybe with the addition of the neon green tape they might notice something...right! have a great weekend..I hope it warms up for you, but since it is very cold here, I imagine it is even colder in CO!

    gail

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  37. Linda,

    I wish I had some crime scene tape...and may try to locate it! I am so hoping it isn't a crime scene after But who has ever had work done without a huge mess? I loved ypour post this morning and am still chuckling over the giant googly eyes!

    gail

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  38. Tina, I will be here and watch them closely...but really will be here to help decide on the actual design...but I am not convinced they are even going to show up! I saw snow was in the forecast! It snowed last year on 13 February...

    I hope you have a good weekend.
    Gail

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  39. Shady,

    You know I will be there the whole time recording the progress...I am that excited to get the work done....Hoping you are having a good start to your weekend!

    gail

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  40. I didn't study string theory in school--not sure if it had been hypothesized yet:) But I do understand this string theory! A great idea, Gail, especially the addition of the neon tape. (I like the green--otherwise it might look like a crime scene, LOL.)

    We need to have our roof replaced this summer, and I'm already dreading that. The last time we had one put on--on our previous house--the workers killed all the mums near one side of the foundation. I do hope your string theory works!

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  42. Hope the string works for you. I'm not sure the lime green tape is an visual improvement, but it sure does attract attention. :-)

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  43. Someone ought to make and sell a 'crime scene' type tape for gardens with a warning "Young plants and sprouts growing, keep out!" or "Keep out or face the gardener's wrath"!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  44. Connie, isn't the green ugly! I hope this doesn't go on for weeks and weeks! It could if it keeps raining~~It is so green I am sure it's peaking the interest of birds!

    Gail

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  45. Rose,

    It's a fascinating idea...and my little brain can't really grasp it! But this string theory could be hypothesized!
    I had also thought of using that big ugly erosion control fencing but that seemed so over kill...We had our roof replaced a few years ago and since there is access at only one spot they had to haul all the old roofing to that spot...It cost a bit more but...they didn't destroy anything.

    I hope your weekend is warm and cozy....with a nice break from extreme weather~~

    gail

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  46. Carol, That's a good idea...I wonder if someone has or if you should;-)

    Gail

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  47. Your string theory should beat their chaos theory. "Now, were we supposed to stay inside or outside of the string?"
    Your little green bulb shoots make me want to go brush aside some of the snow from my backyard, and peak under the leaves to see if there are any green promises beneath there.

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  48. What wonderful sprouts you've got shooting up in your garden. I was debating measuring up a plot for a new blueberry and grape patch in my future garden.

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  49. I know what you mean Gail. Big feet & someone Else's pets. Cable guy almost killed one of my dwarf azaleas that I brought back from N.C. I use the bright orange plastic tape when I want to mark something off. That can be seen a mile away.

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  50. The heck with string and flashy tape. I want double pointed sticks. Our garden guys, notice I don't even call them gardeners, step on my garlic chives every year. And all they have to do it move their foot another 2 inches to miss it.

    Jen

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  51. lola,

    The orange plastic tape is a good idea...It would be very upsetting to lose a few price plants, especially ones like your azaleas...special ones from home. Glad you stopped by Lola!

    Gail

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  52. Food for thoughts, Gail, about the philosophical questions.
    I see what you mean by big footed men. I've seen quite often small seedlings being stepped over in my aunt's garden and she wouldn't even realize that!

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  53. Ho ho - string theory fascinates me, but i'd never applied it to the garden befor :)

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  54. It sounds like big happenings in your garden! I look forward to seeing the results.

    Cameron

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  55. It's a great idea but I don't think it would work here...I bet my husband would stumble on it and say something....not appropriate in this forum. Although I will have a go with you excellent idea perhaps add small flags :-)

    Tyra

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  56. Speaking from YEARS of experience: Rebar posts and steel T fence posts, varying heights driven into the ground beside the plants, not necessarily surrounding, so that stepping on a plant or driving over it is not an attractive option.

    If there is a structure big enough and tough enough to do harm to themselves and/or equipment, they will avoid it, or pay the price.

    About the same amount of effort could go into digging your plants and heeling them out in a safe place, or putting them in pots.

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  57. Gail - The neon string has a better chance than the plain. I hope it works. And don't worry, it will be down soon. In the meantime you have much to look forward to. Have a great weekend :)

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  58. Let's hope it works for you, Gail. Now me, I might be mean enough to string strong invisible fish line that intruders couldn't see but once tripped over, might then tred more carefully :)

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  59. Wow, that much string around here and i"d be upsidedown in the peonies. No, wait. The FIFTEEN feet of blasted snow around here would cushion my fall...and it'll probably take til fall for the snow to melt here....;-)
    One of the highlights of my weekend is definitely stopping by to visit, Gail. Your posts are always a hoot.

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  60. Jodi,

    I am so glad you stopped by and got a good laugh...I hoped you all would! You should see the neon tape flapping now...I am pretty sure it is alarming the birds. Fifteen feet of snow! Yikes...it would be a good cushion if you fell;-) Snow is forecast for here but that means a little bit on the grass for half a day!

    gail

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  61. Joey,

    These are pretty nice guys and they are also thoughtful...I was hoping to give a little guidance and the whoe strung string post emerged!

    Gail

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  62. I have to watch closely lest I step on new blooms these days!
    Brenda

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  63. I have high hopes for you! Follow up post will be read with interest! Best of luck....I don't think men see string. You need that police tape that says' Do not cross'!

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  64. layanee,

    You are so right! Now is there a crime scene nearby that won't need it's tape anymore!

    gail

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  65. Hi Gail,
    I do think the neon tape addition was a good idea. It was my first thought when viewing those first photos. Even so, I fear for your small blooms and delicate shoots. I hesitate to say but my experience with workmen (in general) has not been favorable. They so tend not to notice even though forewarned. I DO hope you have better fortune with these that you seem to be familiar with...

    Let's hope for the best and with you there to police surely more will be spared than not. :-)

    Oh such happy days at Clay and Limestone... so much going on and so many wonderful plans. I am delighted for you, dear friend.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

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  66. i say take a deep breath and then go away while the workers are working. i find as long as i don't have to watch them annihilate things then i do better. here's hoping low stress levels, repeat after me, low stress and breathe in slowly through the nose and out slowly through the mouth.

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  67. Hi Gail, I'm just getting around to reading this NOW! So many blogs, so little time! The string, and tape, is a good idea, and I do hope it will keep them away from fragile blooms and such;)

    Good luck w/the project, too!

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  68. I'm trying rock theory. ;-) A few bright white limestone rocks sprinkled around tiny new plants. Hopefully it'll keep kids' feet off of them.

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  69. Unfortunately camels pay no heed to string!

    Nor do little kids

    or llamas

    I'm gonna need razor wire, lol!

    Great post, Kim

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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