Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 180
Latest Activity: 3 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

Comment Wall


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Comment by Michael R Mills on May 10, 2012 at 9:20pm

I knew I didn't find an exact match - but I was hoping that the ruellia I posted would get you on the right track. And yep - the humilis looks like it.

Comment by Michael R Mills on May 10, 2012 at 6:36pm
Comment by Michael R Mills on May 10, 2012 at 6:19pm

I've started looking for it in Flora - this may take awhile.

It's neither vinca or 4 o'clock

Comment by Annie Thomas on May 10, 2012 at 5:21pm

Dallas Gaytheist- are they a type of four o'clock flowers?  I know there are several varieties.

Comment by Daniel W on May 10, 2012 at 10:33am

Dallas - LOL, my partner might have something to say about that!  Plus, his sister, brother in law, and her grandson (who is named after me) will be staying here from China this summer.  It might be crowded!


From what I have learned about chicken breeds, the commercial egg laying breeds and meat breeds are separate.  The usual meat chicken is a hybrid specially created for meat.  Some breeds are used for both - that would make sense for the hobby person or homesteader but not me since I'm vegetarian.   People do eat Rhode Island Reds, but they are also good egg layers, and have brown eggs which a lot of people prefer even though the nutrition and flavor of brown eggs is the same as white.  There are also chickens descended from Chilean native chickens that lay blue eggs.   There are dozens of chicken breeds, each with its own appearance, performance, and behavior.  


In my town, we are zoned for having up to 3 or 4 hens per yard.  I did have an illegal 5th hen once.  They don't have chicken police here.  Even with a fenced yard and enclosed coop, once in a while a possum or raccoon will get in and kill the best chicken.  It's always the best one, I don't know how they know that.  I have to admit, I enjoy having the ladies here.  They remind me of what I imagine Tyranosaurus rex to look like, only much smaller and with feathers and beaks.  I can't let them have the run of the whole yard, because they like eating garden plants.  Also they dig up the mulch, resulting in more weeds.  But they have a large area under nice shady bamboo, and a big house with lots of roosting room and nest space.


I've used eggshells in compost for years.  I can't imagine why not.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 10, 2012 at 10:13am

Sentinet, your fig tree story reminds me of my experience with a Pomegranate tree.  When I purchased my first house in the California Bay Area,  there was one in the back yard.  After a while, the bark of one branch started sloughing-off, so I cut that branch off before it spread to the rest of the tree.

I stripped it and used it in another part of the garden as a fence stake.  It quickly sprouted new leaves and grew so much fruit that I thought they would rip the new branches off.

Comment by Daniel W on May 9, 2012 at 9:35pm

Unintended diversity-

Young fig tree with violas.  I've never planted violas in the yard, but they, and violets, come up all over.  Where they grow, weeds don't.  The fig was only partially intended - it was a cutting that was mailed to me and I thought died, so I used it as a garden marker.  It grew, so here we are. 


More unplanned diversity. Here, in about 3 square feet, are irises (planted), multiplier onion (how did that get there?), wild geranium (no idea where that came from), blue fescue (planted a few years ago) scilla (hated weed, but uneradicable), miniature bamboo (planted and continue pulling out).

Planned diversity - The purpose of the barrel is tomatoes.  The mesclun was planted a month ago and will be pulled and eaten in a few days.  The cuttings are mulberries - I don't know yet if they will grow.  The radishes will be pulled and eaten in a few days.  Then it will be the tomatoes and mulberries.  I'll add some alyssum seeds to encourage beneficial insects then.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 9, 2012 at 9:08pm

Fascinating! "Pathological rooster behavior" and breeding practices ... I have not been really tempted to be vegetarian until this read. Sentient, your hens look contented and it sounds as though you are too. Dallas, I don't suppose you would give away the ending. 

Comment by Daniel W on May 9, 2012 at 6:48pm

Dallas, my hens are egg laying breeds.  Except those rhode island reds are mixed purpose.  I've learned my lesson.  The Leghorns are quite happy now, walking around clucking and cooing.  They share their dandelion treats and take turns in the egg nest.  They are part of the cycle of life of my yard - they get fed lots and lots of organic greens (also known as weeds) and in return supply us with richly flavored eggs with dark orange yolks, and lots of chicken poop for compost.  The shells get dried and crushed and either go into the compost, or get used for plants that require extra calcium, like the tomatoes and figs.  Roosters are not allowed in my city, so it's just the ladies. 

Comment by Daniel W on May 8, 2012 at 11:14pm

A hen.  She was a good egg layer but she murdered at least 3 other chickens.  Maybe 4.  It first I thought there was a racoon, but then I caught her in the act of killing an Australorp.


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