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Would a chat thread and a Hawaii Chapter Garden thread be helpful?
These are two threads that I see a lot on other chapter forums.
The chat thread being a general jump in and post about whatever makes you happy or annoys you...
They are generally named something like:
"FEBRUARY Chat and General BS Thread", and form a greet and yack at eachother area.
GARDEN areas are another story. It's a thing I began doing (much like the truck contests)
I hatched a 2010 Tennessee Chapter garden thread down my way - and love to look at what people are growing all around the country.
Someone might want to pop open a Hawaii Chapter Garden thread - it's the time of year to think about seedlings for sure!!!
*I'm also well aware that some things grow in Hawaii that are highly unique, like Hybiscus for one.
I have a whole mess of seeds in clear plastic cups with a hole in the bottom standing in 2" deep trays that I keep an inch or so of water in, at every south facing window I've got...
At this point I'm hatching out cucumber, watermellon, cantaloupe, zuchini, summer squash, some big chili peppers to stuff with cheese and lay on the grill, spices, spinach, lettuce, a few varieties of HOT (Read that as: DAMNED HOT! ) peppers, at least six tomato plants (Weeks North Carolina Giants), and some mosquito-repellent plants on top of everything else.
It turns out that "CATNIP" (Nepeta Cataria) is ten times more effective for driving mosquitos away as Citronella - and supposedly it's a flowering bush, so I hope they look nice. I've got about thirty of those started, and they're going to be placed upwind and down from my house, so that if the wind shifts I'm still covered. I just hope they don't turn out to smell like skunk cabbage or some such. That would be a real embarrassment.
Marigolds do the same thing. They drive away mosquitos, and also look good. But marigold don't make cats act stoned - and I wanted to see that too
(?) I'm not sure that Hawaii even has mosquitos at all... I never noticed them when I was there.
But anyway, if cats are attracted to my garden areas the rodent population is doomed!!!
One other thing, here:
People: It's seedlin' Startin' time, and I have a whole bunch more pepper seeds than I could ever hope to find space to plant. If you will PM me here at FTE, I'll PM back my address and you can send a self addressed stamped envelope with a note on what seeds you want and I will joyfully ship you as many as you can use! I have TRUCKLOADS of Tabasco, Long Red Cayenne, and Thai Hot seeds. There's also a fair amount of Carribean Red Hots (a version of Habernero on steroids), Habernero, and Hungarian Hot Wax seed.
Off of the "HOT STUFF" end of things, I have a sizeable amount of "WEEKS" (of North Carolina) corn hybrid seed. A variety of white sweet corn, and also another hybrid they named "Peaches and Cream" that is supposed to be very special. It is described as having both white and colored kernels, so that it has a blended flavor. I also overdid it on Peas - I've got a mess of seed for sugar peas too.
All you need is two stamps, two envelopes, and time to write. This is one of my favorite hobbies - turning my yard into my own personal produce department! I will charge not one thin dime! Just ask, and I will save you whole bunches of money while all of these extra seeds last. The reason I'm doing this is because I'd hate to see them go to waste.
Oddly enough - one of my recent web-searches was for a flowering plant I noticed first in the Phillipine Islands, where it is called: "Sampaguita"
It originally was found in the Himalayas, and was introduced to India, the Orient, Indochina, and at some point found it's way to Hawaii where it is called "PIKAKE". (for online search purposes: "HAWAIIAN PIKAKE")
It is an extraordinarily fragrant variety of Jasmine (Jasminum Sambac) with a powerful and refreshing scent, which is the original source of the flavor and bouquet of Jasmine Tea. Also called Arabian Jasmine, when refined - the essential oil of the plant is an important component of many perfumes.
It is destinguished from other forms of Jasmine, in that it has a very small and simple five petalled blossom, unlike other forms. But this is the one with the best scent.
Another name of it (the specific variety) is Jasminum "Maid of Orlean" which indicates a French influence honoring Joan of Arc, who is the immortal "Maid of Orleans" in history and literature. Curiously - "Sampa Guita" literally translated from Tagalog to English means: "I Promise You". In the Phillipines, necklaces are made from the strung blossoms. In the late eighties I was told by a resident of Olongapo (PI) that it is also laughingly called "The Poor Mans House Freshener".
BUT IT DOES NOT GROW FROM SEEDS! It can only be grown from cuttings taken from a live plant.... THAT makes it a bit of a problem to get your hands on, unless you live in a place where it naturally occurs.
I've identified at least three online sources at this point. Once I have at least one in my possession, I intend to make a small Sampaguita Factory out of it - with the end result being a hedge of it my neighbors will never understand the origin of - but will be enchanted with because of the scent it issues.
It stands to reason that when we say "Originated in the Himalayas" we are talking about very cold climate. High in the mountains, snow much of the year. I have read that when small, the plants are very adaptable, and that they can survive temperatures below 30 F. At the same time I read: "DIRECT SUNLIGHT" which of course points to being from high in the mountainous Himalaya region - the air was thin, and sunlight thus much stronger...
But if you have never smelled it before, it would be very hard for me to explain just why I want it. Dried tea doesn't express it...
Only the original growing fresh and healthy does.
* As of about five minutes ago - I have ordered an example of it in a one gallon container from www.hottropicals.com and it should arrive in two weeks or so. The total including shipping (on the mainland) was about $22.oo You don't have to do that - find where it grows and set a cutting in water until it sends out roots....
"PLANT FOOD" may be helpful - the right amount of "Miracle Grow" and it won't know it is detached from the parent plant.
"What is beautiful is for a reason
It would be wrong not to treasure it
And if such a treasure is alive and free -
SO MUCH THE BETTER!"
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