Friday, January 9, 2009

Holly Mating and Outhouses

I had thought I had taken pictures of holly flowers, but can't find them and so I'll just describe the whole thing. Holly comes in male and female and you need both to get berries. If you don't care about berries, they'll live a happily celibate life and make great garden plants. If you want berries, there have to be male and female plants in some sort of proximity. One male makes plenty of pollen for quite a few females, so you can get older plants that have already bloomed, or buy ones that are male or female clones - some males that are commonly in the trade are Southern Gentleman, Red Escort - you get the idea. Holly pollen doesn't seem to be specific to a species, just has to be available when the female flowers are blooming. If you move to a property and want to know which plants in the yard are male and which are female, you just look at the flowers which are very different. Holly flowers are about 1/8 or an inch in diameter and white, so you have to look for them. Eventually I'll take some holly flower pictures and post them. If you need to tell what blooms when and which male to get for your female, there are charts which give blooming times. Enough on hollies. Please ask questions if I missed something or didn't explain it well enough.

These pictures are because my daughter Anna asked awhile back for pictures of the redone outhouse. The bast was rotting and it had gotten to look a mess. We tipped it over and Randy Lapp, the one who saves us every time we have a building/plumbing/electrical problem made a new base for it. I painted it and prettied it up so now it is nice to use again. I have had an outhouse to use for most of my adult life and would hate to not have one. We don't have indoor plumbing of the normal sort here, but rather a composting toilet and just running water, which as of 2 years ago now is also hot water. I still forget to turn on the hot for anything except dished or a bath, but I guess that's just as well. We have an on-demand system and if I don't turn the hot on, we're not making hot water and using electricity.
This is the inside which is white and grey. It was some sort of dirty yellow walls before with the grey, but the new paint is so nice - but the seat is still really cold this time of year.

A little touch to make it prettier here. These are dried flowers from Hydrangea 'Annabelle' on a little table that Hank's father made from scrap wood back when they were first married and didn't have much money for things like furniture. That makes the table almost 80 years old, which is amazing since it is in such good shape. Rambling again. Guess I'll go and eat breakfast.


Sylvia (England) said...

I enjoyed your pictures of your outhouse - beings back childhood memories! Best wishes Sylvia (England)

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Thanks for explaining about the holly. I really liked the variegated variety.
Oh I remember the outhouse so well. Especially on a cold day like today :)