What is this berry?

I noticed these orange berries on a shrub along my border. They seem have the same markings as gooseberries but the color is wrong. I have plenty of Autumn Olives but they usually have a grayish green color and are much smaller.

I checked my field guide but came up empty. Anyone have a clue?


Plan a Victory Garden for 2009

I’m a great believer in the phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally”. We are facing all types of challenges as a nation.   I’ve been growing a garden for 0ver 35 years, mostly as a means of getting fresh vegetables and learning about plants.

Many of my friends and family grow a garden. In World War II these were called “Victory Gardens” and the impetus came from no less than the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who established a garden at the white house. In 1943 Americans planted over 20 million Victory Gardens and the harvest accounted ofr nearly a third of the vergetables consumed in that year.
I dedicated a bit of the front lawn to tomatoes these last 2 years and realized after a disappointing crop that I need to initiate some crop rotation. I will be ADDING more garden space and REMOVING more useless lawn.
I was heartened to read a great open letter by Michael Pollard describing what the next president can and should do to remake the way we grow and eat our food. The link is “Farmer in Chief”.
Michael Pollan was interviewed on “Fresh Air” and I listened to the podcast. It may be heard a this link “Food As A National Security Issue”

Better than a lawn

I wish I had kept better records. Over the years I would order fall bulbs from FEDCO and get a nice flower display in the Spring. Some of these have died out over the years but one variety has actually spread outside it’s planting bed. I suspect it may be a Scillia Siberica (Alba). It does have a wild hyacinth appearance. After experiencing the winter that wouldn’t leave,  these flowers were a most welcome sight.

Picture 1 (original plants)


Picture 2 (The “volunteers” spreading into the lawn)


Picture 3 (Detail of this delightful flower)


Valentine’s Greeting from Nature

Tabblo: Happy Valentine's Day

I believe that this is an epiphyllum. I don't know because this plant has no history. A friend was closing a greenhouse and realizing that I have an affinity for plants, she offered the ones that had been left for on their own for some time. I was happy to take the older desert cactus which were in wonderful shape but I noticed several sunburnt and neglected “orchid cactus”. I believe these are plants native to central america and although they are cactus, they do not thrive under full sunshine and little water. They are large ungainly plants and although I really don't have the room I didn't want to see them discarded. I put them in our cold and uninviting basement under fluorescent lights and much to my surprise I was greeted with a flower display in time for Valentine's day. … See my Tabblo>