Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

But the main requirement here is: have fun.


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#1 2007-03-12 02:11:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

The Botanimaniac's Gardens

You are strolling along a narrow street a little outside the Neighborhood; low grass and small flowers are growing between the cobblestones. On one side of the street, a hedge grows, high and untidy, consisting of many different shrubs. You walk slowly, admiring the songs of the birds that hop around in the tangled branches, the sweet scent and bright colours of the occasional blooming bush and the taste of the berries that are to be found here and there.

Suddenly, you notice a small gate of weathered wood in a narrow gap between two shrubs. Curiously, you step closer to have a look. Peering over the top of the gate, pushing aside some branches that hang down like a curtain, you can see huge, majestic trees on one side, brilliant flowers on the other.
Tentatively, you try to open the gate. The hinges creak loudly and strangely melodiously, but the gate is not locked.
You hesitate for a few more seconds, looking around, then step through the gate. A park lies before you, with huge trees and colourful flowerbeds. Several paths lead away from here, winding through the park and vanishing behind trees or shrubs in the distance.

Pick a path now, go exploring! Who can say  what you’ll find? There are gardens upon gardens here, with all plants that can be expected to grow in temperate climates – and many others are to be found in the greenhouses that are dotted here and there among the gardens.
Leave the gate now, let the path lead you to places beyond this park. Perhaps it will lead you around a little hill covered in nettles and ground elder, right into a patch so overgrown with marigolds and sunflowers that only a few tomato plants and heads of lettuce suggest that it was once meant to be a vegetable garden, then through a poppy field. Next, you might find yourself walking among huge cherry trees, past a couple of strange objects, then along a rye field full of flowers. Turning around a clump of bamboo, you  discover a pond full of water lilies, where, with a little luck, you might meet a group of IndianRu  nnerducks. The path meanders up through a rock garden, then down a steep slope full of large rhododendrons and hellebores in several colours.
Walking through a patch of forest, the ground covered in wild garlic, you arrive at last at what at first appears to be a green mound, but then turns out to be a tiny cottage so thickly covered in ivy that walls and roof are completely invisible. Stepping through the low door, you enter a single room with walls almost completely covered with bookshelves – books upon books on plants. A cluttered desk stands under a window, with so many potted plants on the sill that it’s hard to see through. As you look around, wondering who could live in such a place, the door opens again; a short person with untidy hair and patched clothes enters, who does at once start to tell you how marvellously her tomatoes are growing, then stops, remembering her manners, and welcomes you to the Botanimaniac’s Gardens – the place for all who want to ramble or ask questions about anything with roots and leaves.

[ March 12, 2007: Message edited by: Sahi ]


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#2 2007-03-12 02:19:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

*walks in with a pineapple*

Good Maen to you dear lady! Welcome to the neighbourhood. I thought you might like one of my homegrown pineapples. I live in the greenhouse a little further down the neighborhood.

Yalahii!


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#3 2007-03-12 10:25:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Yay!
*hugs Sahi*


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#4 2007-03-12 10:27:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

As I said: You're welcome! ;)

yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#5 2007-03-12 10:30:00

Em
Mantis
From: Didjabringabeeralong, XXX
Registered: 2004-12-28
Posts: 43864

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Welcome to the neighborhood!

*hands her a plate of brownies as a welcoming gift*

[whispers]Don't tell, but I nicked 'em from Infinity's just down the road[/whispers]


Yo, ho, yo ho. A pirate's life for me!

 

#6 2007-03-12 10:48:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

*munches cookies*

*leaves a few tomatoes at Infinity's instead*

...and to start the rambling, I saw the first tomato seedlings today (a week after sowing - growing quickly this year!)

(edited because it seems I can't spell "tomato")

[ March 12, 2007: Message edited by: Magpie ]


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#7 2007-03-22 12:25:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

I have more seeds. Sweetcorn and runner beans. I'm now at 102 bags of seeds. (Plus several that are already so old that I'll simply throw the seeds in a corner of the garden and see what still grows).
Not my fault, though - my mother ordered them. I'd have given up sweetcorn, as it takes up a lot of space, and didn't grow for 2 years in a row. But she wanted it. We had to order them because in stores, it's impossible to get sweetcorn that's NOT a hybrid - and from hybrids, I can't grow my own seeds, so I'd have to buy seeds every year.
And my father insists on runner beans. They're a typical Styrian dish, and that's where he's from. Beef-and-bean salad with pumpkinseed oil, and perhaps cornsalad - *drools*

[ March 22, 2007: Message edited by: Magpie ]


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#8 2007-03-22 12:34:00

Em
Mantis
From: Didjabringabeeralong, XXX
Registered: 2004-12-28
Posts: 43864

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

I have sunflower seeds. I will plant them this weekend along my fence.


Yo, ho, yo ho. A pirate's life for me!

 

#9 2007-03-22 12:46:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

I don't need to plant them any more. They self-sow - all over my vegetable garden.
I love standing at the kitchen window watching birds eating the seeds.

Wait... I wanted to have some along the front fence, too. They look so good in front of the new facade.

Nooo - I'll have to buy more seeds!


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#10 2007-03-22 12:48:00

sisterdew
Pilgrim
From: Vienna, Austria
Registered: 2007-01-08
Posts: 5919

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

my spathiphyllum has got four blooms!

(i know that they ain't "real"blooms,just leaves in flower-disguise,but they look very pretty and four at a time is my personal record)


daisy-headed, one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater!

 

#11 2007-03-22 12:53:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

hehe, see, I didn't know that - proves I've sill got loads to learn!
I don't particularly like spathiphyllums. Don't know why. Perhaps I simply don't like the arum family.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#12 2007-03-22 12:59:00

sisterdew
Pilgrim
From: Vienna, Austria
Registered: 2007-01-08
Posts: 5919

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

they are my friends(so are:my ficus,the banana,ivy,papyrus,clementines,palms,spider plants....)- they don't need very much light,and my flat has no sunlight at all(well a bit...like one hour in the afternoon)

and they tend to grow big,makes them even more likeable to me:)


daisy-headed, one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater!

 

#13 2007-03-22 13:06:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

don't get me started...
although I wanted to update my plant list anyway.
*giggles madly*
*starts looking for list*


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#14 2007-03-22 13:13:00

sisterdew
Pilgrim
From: Vienna, Austria
Registered: 2007-01-08
Posts: 5919

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

oh,get started,please

although i'm an amateur i can't get enough of plants(and books about plants)

inspire me! i didn't buy new plants for ages!


daisy-headed, one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater!

 

#15 2007-03-22 13:13:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Did I mention that I could use some advice on plants for my future garden? I need stuff that can be put in in summer (since that's when I'll first have time for it) and that doesn't need all that much care.

Now don't panic, since as I said I won't need them for another few months. :)

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#16 2007-03-22 13:18:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

I'd have to know more about the conditions (sun/shade, dry/moist, that kind of stuff) to make any real suggestions, but for little care, I'd say strong-growing perennials - they'll "choke" most weeds, you don't have to care about planting/sowing anything new every season, only cut them back in autumn.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#17 2007-03-22 13:32:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Sounds good. Conditions are moist (if you start digging, the hole will fill itself if you go deeper than a meter), and shaded (although the garden is south-east, there are appartment buildings behind it and a (high) fence around it. The soil beds are beside the fence. *goes off to hunt for a picture*

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#18 2007-03-22 13:33:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

It's only a small one, but here you can see a bit what it's like.

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#19 2007-03-22 13:36:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

I'll keep it in mind. I'm looking for perennials for shady places myself, I could give you the list when I've workedd my way through the Encyclopedia of Perennials. Still not past the A's, though.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#20 2007-03-22 13:37:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

That's okay, I'm in no hurry as I said. I could even leave it the way it is right now and do nothing until the right planting time comes round. :)

yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#21 2007-03-22 14:20:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Looks like I didn't look at the plant list since before I got my plant name dictionary. So it took some work to get it in order.
So, this are the houseplants I own, most of which are crammed into my room:

Abutilon Cultivar - Flowering Maple, Indian  Mallow (needs to be repotted and cut back, it looks pretty starved. Probably will propagate it by cuttings while I'm at it)
Aechmea fasciata - Vase Plant (I don't really like this one - not green enough! ;) So I'll see if I can get rid of it)
Aloe vera - Common Aloe (one in my room, one in one brother's room, one in the bathroom)
Beaucarnea recurvata - Elephant's Foot
Bryophyllum daigremontianum - Devil's Backbone (what a name! *giggles*)
Bryophyllum manginii (not in my room, because it looks starved and ugly - needs to be repotted! Then it may move back in)
Chlorophytum comosum - Spider Plant (3 different varieties. I recently threw one or two away, another one will follow as soon as the plantlets I put into a jar of water this Monday have enough roots to be potted - it's beginning to show it's age.)
Cissus rhombifolia - Grape Ivy
Dracaena marginata - Dragon Tree (4 plants, 3 of them in my room (though at least one will have to "move out") two varieties)
Euphorbia pulcherrima "Sonora White Glitter" - Christmas Star, Poinsettia (marvellous variety! Apart from being very pretty (red speckled with white), I've had it since Christmas, and it still looks good)
Ficus benjamina - Weeping Fig (one in a brother's room, the other "quarantined" until it's repotted, cleaned and inspected for aphids and scales)
Hedera helix - Ivy (two varieties, though I wish I had more - I just LOVE ivy!)
Hippeastrum Cultivars - Amaryllis (2 varieties, one red, one red-and-white)
Hoya carnosa - Waxplant
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant (so cute!)
Pancratium maritimum - Sea-Daffodil (grown from a bulb I brought home from Sardinia years ago, where they grow at the beach; I forgot the bulb on the top of my bookshelf for about 2 years, but it still grew. Hasn't flowered for years now, though.)
Philodendron scandens - Heart-leaf Philodendron
Ruellia sp.   
Sansevieria sp.   
Sansevieria trifasciata "Hahnii" - Mother-in-law's Tongue (2; one in my room, the other in a brother's
Schefflera arboricola - Parasol Plant (in the living room; I don't really like it, but can't bear plants being thrown away)
Schlumbergera sp. - Christmas cactus
Solenostemon scutellarioides - Coleus
Syngonium podophllum - Arrowhead
Yucca elephantipes - Elephant Yucca (a big one - which I rescued from a rubbish heap when I was about 12 - in the living room, a small one in my room)
a cactus,
and a plant we call the "campsite flower" because we know it from the campsite in Sardinia where we've been so often, but I don't even know what family it could belong to!

39 plants, 31 in my room. If I ever needed proof I'm insane....


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#22 2007-03-22 14:37:00

Jendaiya
Pilgrim
From: Canada
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 21847
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Lovely place. :)

We still have several feet of snow on the ground, so I have to wait before I can dig my containers out.


Beauty will save the world.

~Prince Myshkin,

The Idiot, by Dostoevsky

 

#23 2007-03-23 16:37:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Sahi - I looked it up last night (as the book was in the shelf right next to my bed), best planting times for perennials are autumn (september - november) and spring (march - may).

I wanted to plant strawberries some time soon (as my plants are already much to old, and really need to be replaced), but the planting time would be August/September. Not good. I'll still see if I can get any, though.
I could plant rhubarb now, though. If I dig up the patch beside the kerria, I should have room for at least one more plant, probably two - my rhubarb is tiny compared to the one my grandfather had (though I'm not sure how big it really was - might seem bigger in my memory because I was little!)


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#24 2007-03-24 12:51:00

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32890
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

Been shopping today, didn't get any rhubarb plants, but I got strawberries (20 plants, 2 differet varieties. I'd have liked to get more, but couldn't transport more on my bike), sunflower seeds (Em, I don't know if I should thank you for reminding me or curse you for making me buy yet more seeds *g*), onion sets (red) and a pale blue Sweet Violet. There were many other plants I wanted, but had no more money, and couldn't have transported them anyway.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#25 2007-03-25 12:58:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Botanimaniac's Gardens

*wonders if growing red onions would be hard*

Ivo loves them!

yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

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