The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 29, 1998 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, May 29, 1998
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Page 4
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HOME & GARDEN THE SALINA JOURNAL T BLOOMS T WATERING Follow tips to save water in gardening Photos by Scripps Howard News Service LEFT: Lois Chambers shows how flowers can be arranged into a simple bouquet. TOP: Flowers also may be used to make herbal vinegars, which may be decoratively displayed. Flowers as CROPS Use flower blooms before the oppportunity withers away By LAURA CHRISTMAN Scripps Howard News Service .First there was dirt. Then there wjjre spindly seedlings and stubby shrubs. 'Finally, there are flowers. .Explosions of them. Perky daisies. Velvety roses. Cheery rtidb'eckia. Sturdy snapdragons. ;After months of fretting about dirt, drip systems and digging dogs, now is the time to sit back arid enjoy the abundance of color arid fragrance in the flower garden. aJust don't sit too long. ' f Get out those snippers and start using your blooms. And do it now, before the opportunity withers ;Frilly flowers can be high-performance foliage. And the way to ge"t the most mileage from your flowers is to put them to work — repeatedly, if necessary. Don't let a flower get away with only providing beauty in the yard. Before it fades, snip it and put in a bouquet. When the bouquet sags, gather up the petals and turn them into potpourri. 'Flowers also can be used in vinegars, pressed for bookmarks or cards and dried for decorating wreaths and hats. "And, says Karen Powell, gift and garden shop owner, flowers in the yard can be turned into personal gifts. "Other people get to share your garden if you use your flowers." Powell plants flowers with function in mind — choosing varieties that will be good for everything from bouquets to sachets. Her flowers are crops. That's not to say she advocates clear- cutting flower beds. It's important toi'enjoy the flowers outdoors, too, sl^e says. But selectively picking fldwers should give you enough foir! projects and encourage the plants to put out more blooms. JThe easiest way to use flowers is-_in a bouquet. Powell likes simple arrangements — fresh flowers in a Mason jar with a ribbon around it. To get a natural-looking bouquet requires a bit of manipulation, however. Lois Chambers, who teaches a class in floral design at Shasta College, Redding, Calif., suggests picking a mix of flowers. Stick greenery — cedar or stems from evergreen shrubs — in the vase first. If you have a nice tall flower, put it in the center and work around the vase adding other flowers, says Chambers. The flowers should be about on the home front rowing up: One way to create height in your garden is to train vines to grow up structures — a branch, a tomato cage or an elegant iron form. There are vines for every type of garden, like a potato vine or even the moon vine, which opens its fragrant flowers in early evening. HOME & GARDEN TELEVISION Tips and tricks gleaned from Home and Garden TV. Recipes for using blossoms from the garden Here are a few recipes to get you started using the herbs and flowers from your garden. ' BASIC ROSE JAR POTPOURRI 6 cups rosebuds and petals (red) . 4 cups rosebuds and petals (pink) 3 cups uva ursi (pinguica) leaves 1 % cups allspice (whole) 1 % clips cloves (whole) 1 cup fixative (see note) Rose.oil Mix dry ingredients gently in large glass bowl or paper bag using hands or a non-metallic utensil. Add a few drops of oil (available at hobby and scent stores) gradually to enhance, not to overpower natural scents (about % to % ounce of fragrance oil per gallon of potpourri). Drop'oil on fixative to minimize discoloration of flowers and leaves. Let scents mingle and mellow for two to six weeks. Store in glass jar. Note: Fixatives include oak moss, orris root, calamus root and citrus peels. They absorb, preserve and gradually release fragrance of the potpourri. ROSE-PETAL VINEGAR 4 cups warm white vinegar 2 cups red rose petals Add rose petals to warm vinegar. Allow to steep for a week. Strain. This vinegar, with its beautiful rosy color, can be used as an after-shampoo rinse; in your bath (1 cup) to neutralize the skin; as a soothing headache remedy (soak a cloth in the vinegar, wring it out and place on forehead); or to dress . a fruit salad. one-and-a-half times the height of the vase, says Chambers. Most flowers mix well together, she says. Don't overlook contrasting colors, such as yellow and violet, which can make a striking bouquet. Flowers should be cut early in the morning. "Take a bucket of water with you and stick them in there," Chambers advises. Recut BASIL VINEGAR .6 cups white wine vinegar Vi of a fresh red pepper 1 cup fresh basil leaves, left whole 2 garlic cloves Vz teaspoon whole mustard seed % teaspoon whole white pepper 1 teaspoon celery seed Heat vinegar, but do not boil. Put all other ingredients into a large glass jar with a tight- fitting lid. Pour warm vinegar into the jar, cover tightly and set in a dark, cool place for at least two weeks. After two or more weeks, strain vinegar into a large container. Pour vinegar into pretty bottles, using a funnel. Add a new garlic clove and a fresh sprig of basil. Put on a tight cork or screwtop cap. This vinegar is ideal for pasta salad. ' ICED LAVENDER-MINT TEA PUNCH 6 teaspoons dried mint 6 cups water, boiling 1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms 1-liter bottle ginger ale 1 cup purple grape juice ice cubes with a fresh mint leaf frozen in each Brew the mint in the water in a teapot for 10 minutes. Add the lavender blossoms to the pot. Allow tea to cool. Strain the tea and add the ginger ale, grape juice and ice cubes. If serving in a punch bowl, float lavender buds and mint sprigs on top. at an angle before placing in the vase. Chambers recommends putting a floral preservative in the vase's water. If you'd like to go beyond bouquets, try drying flowers. Spread them out on a screen and in a few days they should be dry, says Powell. Air-drying is fine for flowers used in potpourri, but if you want Dance Elite Dance Studios present their 1998 Spring Recital Sunday, May 31st 7:00 pm Central High School Auditorium We Deliver News You Can Use a the Salina Journal _ . KKKBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBKBKBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBKBBBKBBBBBBBBKB flowers with more color and shape, use a silica gel, suggests Darla Matteson, floral designer. Microwave gels dry flowers in a matter of minutes. Gel-dried flowers can be glued to wreath bases. Matteson suggests using tacky glue, a thick glue that dries clear and doesn't have the spidery strands created with a glue gun. And a photo frame can be personalized with dried flowers and a bit of moss glued on opposite corners. Another option is pressing flowers. You can purchase a press or try Powell's system: an old telephone book. She arranges the flowers on a page and then marks the spot with a sticky-note so it's easy to find once the flowers dry (give them a couple of weeks). Leave about 1/4-inch of pages between each set of flowers being pressed, she advises. The pressed arrangements can then be sandwiched between clear contact paper to create bookmarks or decoupaged onto boxes. Another option is gluing pressed flowers onto candles and then painting over them with melted wax, a simple project that creates a beautiful gift suitable for year- round giving. Similarly, pressed flowers can be glued onto decorative paper, then covered with clear contact paper to create personalized and distinctive greeting cards. Flower garden foliage can be turned into herbal and floral vinegars that make great salad dressings and marinades. Of course, anything headed for the mouth must be pesticide-free. Do not use any plant material you have sprayed. Lavender is an ideal flower for cooking or crafts. Powell bundles up bunches with rubber bands (they shrink along with the drying flowers) and hangs them upside down to dry. Once dry, she strips off the flowerheads and-puts them in tiny muslin bags to be used as sachets. "Lavender is a natural, calming scent," says Powell. Whether it's for sachets or decorative gifts, now is the time to harvest blooms — even if summer schedules don't allow time for creating potpourri or crafts. The projects can wait until a rainy day in November, but the flowers won't. CHIP MILLER KSU-Saline County Extension Horticulture Agent Saving water is a hot topic, and I suspect that money is the key issue with most people. Outdoor water use makes up more than half of all the water used in the average household. Because little water is used outdoors during the winter months, summer water use brings a significant increase in water bills. If you would like to save water in the vegetable garden, .whether for economic or selfless reasons, there are a number of things you can do. General guidelines Follow these general guidelines for conserving water. • Water deeply, slowly and infrequently. • Loosen and ~^ mulch the soil surface. • Operate and maintain irrigation systems properly. • Plant in wide rows. • Water early in the day. • Avoid watering during windy weather. • Garden in areas away from tree roots because they will compete with vegetables for soil moisture. Soil amendments Adding organic matter to soil is an invisible yet highly effective way of saving water in the garden. Organic matter improves any soil found in Kansas. It increases the water holding capacity of light, sandy soils. It increases the water availability of heavy, clay soils. In either case, it makes water more readily available to plant roots. • Compost — An excellent soil builder, a "best buy." All of the following can be improved as soil amendments by first composting them. • Animal manures — Can contain weed seeds. Chicken manure is highly concentrated, so use less. As the straw content of the manure increases, more material can be applied. • Wood by-products — sawdust, wood chips, tree trimmings. Add extra nitrogen when using sawdust. Avoid treated wood or wood from trees containing thorns. • Leaves, leaf mold — Best to compost or shred leaves first. Good soil amendment. May increase soil acidity somewhat. • Lawn clippings — Avoid clippings from Bermuda grass lawns or lawns treated with herbicides. • Straw/hay — Weed seeds often present. Till under in fall to allow time to decompose. Additional nitrogen may be needed. • Green manure/cover crops — Can tie up growing space unless grown in late fall or over winter. Till under at least two weeks before planting the garden. DEBBIE NIGRO 10am-11 am Weekdays Watering methods Efficient watering methods can help save money. There are three common methods of delivering • water to garden crops: flood, sprinkle, or drip. Flooding is the oldest method. It has been in use for thousands of years and is still a major means of crop production in all parts of the world. Most commonly, it is the flooding of furrows trenched beside rows of cultivated crops. There are two significant restrictions to the use of flood irrigation. First, this method works best in medium textured soils, and second, the area must be fairly level. The water must flow from one end of the garden to the other, filling the furrow, and soak into the soil at all points in a reasonably consistent volume. The sprinkler is the most common watering method in home gardens. It is inexpensive. The major disadvantage of sprinklers is evaporation. Much of the water is lost to the heat and wind that is reliable in our climate. To reduce this loss, use coarse droplets and lower water pressure, and water in the cooler, calmer conditions of early morning. Check your sprinklers for distribution of water. More water usually is delivered near the center of the sprinkled area, so some overlap between sprinklers will help even out the distribution. To get an idea of the watering pattern of the sprinkler, place cans throughout the area. Drip or trickle irrigation is the latest innovation to gain public acceptance, and for good reason. The idea is to keep a portion of the root zone of a vegetable crop constantly moist by watering daily or every other day. This is done via emitters placed near large plants or "ooze hoses" laid to the sides of rows or between two rows of small plants. These systems are operated at low pressures and usually operate one to three hours per day during hot, windy weather. Filters are needed to keep sediment from clogging the system. Most garden centers offer kits and replacement parts. Reducing evaporation Mulches are another means of making water last longer by reducing evaporation. They most appropriately are used on summer crops and on soil that has warmed slightly. Organic mulches should be old, composted, or dried before use. Fresh materials may form molds or slime and actually repel water. Coarse materials (old hay, straw, shredded newspapers, leaves, peat moss) are applied in 3- to 4-inch layers while fine materials (compost, grass clippings) are applied in 1- to 2-inch layers. NEWS TALK 91O Your Total News Source "" Salina Journal 1998 National Cancer Survivors Day The llth Annual Celebration for Life for cancer survivors and their families will be held Sunday, June 7, 1998 • Lakewood Park 1 to 2 p.m. - Chicken Picnic (Catered) 2 to 3 p.m. - "Celebration of Life" service, tree dedication, visiting and fellowship We hope you will join this celebration to reinforce the fact that people survive cancer, and that the American Cancer Society and others are working hard to help increase the chances of cure and long-term survival. By participating in this celebration you will be sending a message of hope to persons with cancer in the community. Yes! I would like to attend the "Celebration of Life" Picnic Name. Number of Dinners ($4 Adults-$2 Children) Address Please complete this coupon and return it to the address below by Friday, June 5, 1998. Be sure to enclose $4.00 for each adult and $2.00 for each child, for the dinner. Mail to: Marge Decker SalinafegtonallfeJth&nter

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