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I answered Garden Questions on Quora

Today I spent a little time answering some gardening questions on the Quora site. I don’t usually do this, simply because I tend to forget about the site and the fact that I belong to it!

Just too many irons in the fire usually. But I do find it fun to answer queries like this, and would do more on the Facebook page for Ilona’s Garden, if only people would ask.

As an example I am embedding one of the more cut and dried answers I’ve given here:
Read Ilona EE‘s answer to What do I need to know before I plant a tree? on Quora

One thing I do notice is how broad the questions often are. I guess many of don’t realize how specialized gardening topics can be. Besides our climate zones, plants range from those who happy almost anywhere ( we often call them “weeds”) and those which are so highly particular that they grow only under the most careful and specific conditions.

Do you have favorite garden forums?

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Spring 2016

While it’s true that I haven’t kept up with the newsletter schedule, I have been busy adding new pages. Along with the general gardening population my emphasis shifted to growing food in the past couple years. The new pages are related to tomato growing, which is the number one garden produce on my own person list.

You can get many delicious and high quality fruits and veggies from your local grocery store, but tomatoes is not one of them. I have yet to taste a tomato from a store that can compare with my homegrown fruits.

So for Central Ohio gardeners I listed my own favorite varieties in this post, along with Tomato growing info and hints for everyone in “The Complete Guide To How To Plant A Tomato“and “Grow Food Guide: How To Care For Tomato Plants“.

I hope all my readers find a tip or two, some inspiration to start (or as in my case, start back) growing their own homegrown tomatoes and produce.

Less Flowers

Because I lack manpower and energy to ready cultivated spaces, I have been growing less flowers than I used to in the past. Now, almost all my flowers are grown in containers which provide big impact and are easier to maintain.

If you are interested in the types of container plantings from the past, here are some pages that highlight my own and those of a public garden in my area:

5 Tips and 5 Ideas For Flowering Containers

Color Where You Want It

Summer Flower Containers


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What’s Up With Ilona’s Garden?

I was busy with traveling and helping out various members of my family all summer. The result is that my garden looks like crap (excuse the language, but it really looks worse than neglected and weedy). I swear if it was up to my husband we would be redneck, trailer trash. I mean the stereotype, not actual people who live in trailer parks, which often look quite nice and neat, or rednecks, which aren’t as silly as they are cracked up to be for comedians to mine for their routines 🙂

Let’s just say he would fit the stereotype if I let him. Or else shave everything down to the grass and 5 scraggled trees we started out with. Maybe. Because he doesn’t like to mow very much.

Anyway, besides the neglected garden, I also had neglected sites. I have no one to blame for that!

I did manage to write a post for Ilona’s Garden Journal, Reviewing 2014 Growing Season, already. Yes, it is the end of the season for me, I will be off again, unable to care for the garden.

I have lots of plans for garden writing during that time, however, so despite a single post of Ohio Fall Showcase being the sole fruit of the late summer there will be posts and pages on Ilona’s Garden. I blame the fact that I miscalculated how little time one has for writing when running after an active two year old! Especially when I no longer can run.

Sorry for all the shame and blame, it is indicative of the differential between my well intentioned plans and the realities of my choices. I shouldn’t call these reasons “blame”, they are simply explanations. Old verbal habits that I probably should remedy from my conversation!

But I intend to write LOTS in early October. Then piece out the publishing of it, so there is less of the feat and famine which tends to characterize my blogging schedule (hoped for scheduling, instead of the writing when the muse hits me, or I can carve time away from an avalanche of demands!)

So, that is the update. Thankfully I wrote a newsletter for this month and can resume the monthly schedule here on out. Read this month’s chat, here. Or better yet sign up… I should put a link to that somewhere on here….

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Long, Cold Winter Ahead?

My blogger friends have noticed ants working extra hard this summer, the early onset of wintery weather has already been arriving in parts of the USA (South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado).

I personally am expecting a more severe than usual winter, although I hope it doesn’t hang on as long as the 13/14 winter did.
In my area, the Ohio valley, the Farmer’s Almanac predicts

Winter will be much colder than normal, with the coldest periods in mid-December, from late December through early January, and in mid- and late January

It looks like we need to get ready for it, possibly getting winter preparation chores done earlier than usual and making sure there is plenty of firewood and generators are in order.

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That Magic Moment

Fairegarden outdid herself today.


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It is easy to see on a day like this how early humans would believe in the sun as a deity. Imagine a fear that the darkness of night, even when the stars and moon are visible to provide illumination, might last forever. How welcome the first light of morning would seem then. It is my favorite time of day, as the color switch is flipped to the on position.

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I like to go outside at dawn, when it is light enough to not trip and fall on the steep slope and slippery paths but the great golden orb has not yet risen high enough to wash over the garden.

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Sometimes I have the camera along to enjoy and record the magic show, as the flower colors begin to brighten.

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There are spider webs everywhere, many stretching across the pathways right at the level of my head, the better to…

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The Facebook Page for Ilona’s Garden

I’ve had some very positive feedback from my Facebook page ( Join in if you haven’t yet @ Ilona’s Garden )

I started posting more of my photos, sharing from the homepage and generally trying to participate more. I had two relatives who said that my garden posts “made their day”, and that is incredibly encouraging to hear that. I think they access my site from Facebook.

I have about 206 likes at this time which is an improvement, but not nearly equal to what many other garden sites have. Of course I recently started a newsletter and I hope that gives people the extra benefits of my writing. So, besides tat many rainstorms things are looking brighter for Ilona’s Garden.

Changing Your URL

They say you shouldn’t change your url, especially for an established blog. Well, I did that. In the hopes of creating a better reader experience I signed up for the Google Pagespeed beta. It is a free service while they experiment with it, and then it is unsure how much it will cost. I had been using the free Cloudflare, which I liked, but it kept getting hit with attacks from the spammers and I had outages because of that and sometimes the site was very slow.

The Pagespeed service needs the “www.” in from of the url address and I didn’t have it set up that way. It was a real hassle changing it. Finally the host technicians got it to point to the database, but there were still residual problems. Of course, now I have less cred with Google with a different url which redirects, etc. I hope changing was worth it.

There did seem to be a small benefit from changing, and I hope in the long run that this will prove true.

I have been busy correcting all the linking urls on my site, and related sites (like here). That is a lot of work!

On the whole I think it is advice well taken to think twice before changing an established url. It can be a long climb back.

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Growing Pains

Flowers I bought and only half are planted
Flowers I bought and only half are planted

I keep forgetting about this blog… in fact I have too many blogs going and a number are suffering the same fate as this one. I need to thin them out by deleting one or two, or more. Or combining them.

I have been dragging my feet on Zazzle, too, but it isn’t just sluggishness on my part. I do write quite a bit and the fact that I took another long vacation out west (not complaining!!!) meant that online work just had to take a back seat.

Here is a list of my blogs that I have worked in lately:
Ilona’s Garden ~ wrote new pages and updated.

Ilona’s Garden Journal ~ wrote new posts


Those were the posts written since I got back and I posted to google+1, twitter, a few facebook pages, and updated some Squidoo and Hubpages articles. So I have been working.

I use an obscure blog like this one on blogspot to backlink my Squidoo lenses and write miscellaneous things about Squid stuff. I haven’t been posting there for a little while. It would help if there were some sort of focus or plan. But there isn’t she said cheerily.