All Things Gardening forum: A Universal Language Called Plants!

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2015 4:17 PM CST
Our neighbors down the street have her father visiting on visa from China again. He passes his time landscaping their backyard while they're working at UT. He loves plants and always stops by to pick up a few cuttings or starts from our yard.

Earlier this week, he noticed the back gate open and wandered in to see what we were up to. I showed him some cuttings I had rooted and was trying to find space for them before the cold weather rolls in. I speak no Chinese and he speaks a little English, but we both speak “plants.”
Most frustrating for me is trying to describe certain fruiting plants and their usage. I had some rooted fig cuttings that I offered him, but he was hesitant because he didn't recognize my attempts to describe the fruit. I showed him the fig photos on my iPad, but he was still mystified. I asked DH to look up the Chinese name for ficus carica while I flapped my arms and did my best to convey that birds , as well as humans, eat them.

Thank goodness for the Internet! The google search showed the Chinese characters for fig. Our visitor's face lit up and he was very excited to know what I was offering him. Worked so well, we looked up the loquat tree's translation. Again he recognized the loquat as familiar. He looked at DH and told him the loquat was medicinal in northern China. It is used to treat lung ailments, and that DH (who smokes) should eat plenty of them! And so he was very happy to go home with my little loquat tree and rooted fig that I grew from a cutting.

It always makes me smile when I meet someone who likes plants. We usually become instant friends.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Dec 13, 2015 6:41 PM CST
I've had the same sort of experiences, Bubbles. It is neat how plants are a universal language (with a bit of help from our electronics!) I love giving plants or cuttings to others and teaching them about ones they aren't familiar with.
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2015 7:36 PM CST
@plantmanager I think he knows far more about growing plants than I do, but he is more drawn to plants that produce food. The only flowering plants he is interested in are hibiscus and roses. He doesn't understand why I don't grow plants to eat. It would seem "fruitless" to try to explain that in my golden years, I'd rather grow flowers and go to the store for the few vegetables the two of us could consume.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Dec 13, 2015 7:43 PM CST
I just think it's wonderful that he has an interest in plants at all! I haven't found too many young kids that are interested in gardening, even when they have good examples at home.
I'm also in the "golden years" and love my flowers. Their beauty excites me daily. I do grow a few things like a salsa garden with tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro. I have to have my salsa! Smiling
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2015 8:04 PM CST
He's not much younger than me, grew up on the family farm. Smart, but not allowed to further his education because only one child was allowed to continue. He was to remain to help parents with the farm.
He can come here on visa, but not allowed to stay. Then his wife may come, but also must return. SIL's parents have the same drill, but come together. Not sure why.

BTW, I spent most summers in Roswell when I was growing up!
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Dec 13, 2015 8:14 PM CST
Bubbles said:He's not much younger than me, grew up on the family farm. Smart, but not allowed to further his education because only one child was allowed to continue. He was to remain to help parents with the farm.
He can come here on visa, but not allowed to stay. Then his wife may come, but also must return. SIL's parents have the same drill, but come together. Not sure why.

BTW, I spent most summers in Roswell when I was growing up!


That's the way it used to be. There were people in our family who stayed on the farm.
Neat on spending time in roswell. We love all of NM.
I just noticed you're in Austin. We have one daughter who lives in Round Rock, near there.

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[Last edited by plantmanager - Dec 13, 2015 8:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Dec 13, 2015 8:28 PM CST
How cool Sandi. Your neighbor's Dad and his family probably did more food plant growing due to the economy/mind set when he was growing up.

A friend whose husband came here from China as a child said his parents had a really hard time understanding that the vegetables would be available in the grocery and that they did not have to buy as much as they could afford in one visit.

How is the drainage problem? Did your neighbor see the light?
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2015 8:29 PM CST
plantmanager said:

That's the way it used to be. There were people in our family who stayed on the farm.
Neat on spending time in roswell. We love all of NM.
I just noticed you're in Austin. We have one daughter who lives in Round Rock, near there.



I also love New Mexico. The summer after my senior year, and before college, I worked for Anderson Oil wher my aunt worked. We spent every weekend going on an "adventure" around NM. We were allowed to stay on a ranch where they were "rounding up the cattle." We went to Hueco, where the phone number for the ranch was "9." That was 1965..... We were allowed to go up to Ruidoso to see the ski lift Mr. Anderson was building, and then giving to the Mescalero Indians. They drove us up to the top in a snow cat. It was quite a summer!
[Last edited by Bubbles - Dec 20, 2015 3:52 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2015 8:41 PM CST
Jean, the problem continues, but I am trying to remain calm. DH is the pacifist of the family...live and let live. He doesn't understand why I get crazy about the water/mud run-off from that wall. We truly have no grass remaining this summer/winter because of the run-off over that wall. We have a great neighborhood. I love our neighbors, just not their crazy wall. I will probably hire someone to check into it now that we are being swallowed up by Austin on the 15th of this month. Sad
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Dec 13, 2015 8:42 PM CST
That sounds like an awesome summer you had, Bubbles! I've also helped round up cattle a few years back when we had horses. I've been up to that ski lift, too.
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Dec 13, 2015 9:17 PM CST
Hope things work out in your favor and you can maintain that great relationship with your neighbors. Thumbs up
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Dec 20, 2015 8:54 AM CST
Catching up with my reading. Thanks for posting this about your friend from China. It brought a big smile to my face.
At our local swap I see my Chinese friend Lu Fang twice a year. He spends most of his time near the food table. Whistling When making his selections from the plants offered his first question is always, "Can I eat this; is it food?" Each year I try to bring one special plant for the hostess and always one special edible plant for Lu. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Dec 20, 2015 4:01 PM CST
@greene Good to see there are still swaps going on. I miss the swaps we used to have. I don't "need" any more plants, but it is fun to put names to faces. Texas is so spread out, it's difficult to find a central location. The last swap I went to was in Louisiana. Those gals are serious swappers!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Dec 20, 2015 4:43 PM CST
There are two good swaps I can attend. The one in Savannah happens the first Saturday in April and October; the one over the state line is in North Charleston, South Carolina. Usually held on a different Saturday so folks can attend both.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Dec 20, 2015 6:37 PM CST
Bubbles said: I miss the swaps we used to have. I don't "need" any more plants, but it is fun to put names to faces. Texas is so spread out, it's difficult to find a central location. The last swap I went to was in Louisiana.

Me too! I've only been to three, College Station, Jacksonville and the last one was the Woodlands. The were a lot of fun.

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Dec 20, 2015 9:40 PM CST
@Horntoad You gave me a ginger that I still have at that Houston/Woodlands swap!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Dec 21, 2015 3:56 PM CST
I have a Japanese friend who had been in the states for just over 10 years. She is constantly learning about American ways. She comes to my house and immediately says, "I need more green." I assume she meant plants in her garden? hahaha We had her over for Christmas last year. She looked at the fresh roasted beets on her plate for a long time which she graciously helped her self too. She had never had them. She was a good sport for trying them and she loved them!
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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
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Deebie
Dec 21, 2015 5:31 PM CST
Greene, I've been trying to attend the plant swap in North Charleston for a couple of years, but it seems that something always interfered with my getting to do so. The last time, my Dad had surgery the day before, and I had to look after him and Mom, and I was only a 1/2 hour away. Sighing! Can you e-mail me and tell me where you all have the swap in Savannah? I'd love to try to come, and hopefully meet you as well. Green Grin! Incidentally, I have sisters that lived in each of those cities, but they have since moved to different cities/reversed states. No free accommodations while in Savannah. But each location is only a 2 hour drive for me and have plenty of places to spend the rest of the day shopping. So driving down for the day is no problem. nodding
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Dec 21, 2015 9:36 PM CST
Look forward to meeting you at the swap.
When it gets closer to swap time I usually add it to the ATP calendar so folks can make plans.
The Savannah plant swap is held the first week of April and October. They have a Facebook page...mostly just in case there is a last minute change or someone needs directions. The swappers are not a chatty bunch on Facebook. The hostess is Jane Fishman who writes a column in our local paper so she's pretty good at reminding folks about the swap.The location is Jane's urban garden on West Boundary Street next to Chatham steel.

https://www.facebook.com/SavannahPlantSwap/
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Dec 22, 2015 9:40 PM CST
Oh great! I'm familiar with that area and should have no problems finding the site. Thanks for the info and link. Thumbs up

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