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Plantidote of the Day 2012-12-18

twig's picture

chenille plant Acalypha hispida

Chenille plant, strawberry firetails, red hot cattails

A fast-growing, evergreen tropical, great outdoors for Zones 10 and up. In other areas, it can be grown indoors, if you have heat (no colder than 60 degrees). Chenille plant seems to be best as a hanging plant, but one garden guide suggests regular pruning, because the plant can grow to 10 feet or more, which sounds awesome! Chenille plant blooms throughout the year, but most heavily in June.


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insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

I got a warm fuzzy feeling today upon seeing Plantidotes is back.


That chenille flower is just incredible. I have to find one for my glass hothouse.

  Gotta grow that thing!

Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

In gardening news from across the pond:


(paragraphs and quotes disappeared- sorry)
Funny how one news story can lead me to find out other stuff. I was intrigued by this story this morning in the Telegraph UK:
Amateur gardeners inspired by TV being turfed off overgrown allotments – Telegraph
With an estimated countrywide waiting list of 200,000 for plots, a record number of allotment holders this year have been asked to vacate their land, for leaving their soil unworked.
The term allotment was unclear to me so I Googled “England garden allotment” -
This took me to Wikipedia:
These were created in 1809 following a letter from Rev Stephen Demainbray to King George III in which he asked the king to spare, in perpetuity, 6 acres from the Inclosure Acts for the benefit of the poor of the parish.[24][25] Following these Inclosure Acts and the Commons Act 1876 the land available for personal cultivation by the poor was greatly diminished.
So far so good but what were these Inclosure Acts? Wikipedia gave a general definition:
The Inclosure or Enclosure Acts were a series of United Kingdom Acts of Parliament which enclosed open fields and common land in the country. They removed previously existing rights of local people to carry out activities in these areas, such as cultivation, cutting hay,grazing animals or using other resources such as small timber, fish, and turf.
Wanting to know more of the socio-economic impact of these land grabs I searched, coming upon this summary of a book by Libertarian Economist Friedrich Hayek which sought to dismisses the Socialist critique of the Capitalism and the industrial revolution :
They hang the man, and flog the woman,
That steals the goose from off the common;
But let the greater villain loose,
That steals the common from the goose.
Anonymous, in The Tickler Magazine, February 1, 1821.
An understanding of the Enclosure Acts is necessary to place aspects of the Industrial Revolution in proper context. The Industrial Revolution is often accused of driving poor laborers en masse out of the countryside and into urban factories where they competed for a pittance in wages and lived in execrable circumstances.
But the opportunity that a factory job represented could only have drawn workers if it offered a better situation than what they were leaving. If laborers were driven to the cities, then some other factor(s) must have been at work.
One factor was the Enclosure Acts. These were a series of Parliamentary Acts, the majority of which were passed between 1750 and 1860; through the Acts, open fields and ‘wastes’ were closed to use by the peasantry. Open fields were large agricultural areas to which a village population had certain rights of access and which they tended to divide into narrow strips for cultivation. The wastes were unproductive areas – for example, fens, marches, rocky land, or moors – to which the peasantry had traditional and collective rights of access in order to pasture animals, fish, harvest meadow grass, collect firewood or otherwise benefit. Rural laborers who lived on the margin depended on open fields and the wastes to fend off starvation.
Enclosure refers to the consolidation of land, usually for the stated purpose of making it more productive. The British Enclosure Acts removed the prior rights of local people to rural land they had often used for generations. As compensation, the displaced people were commonly offered alternative land of smaller scope and inferior quality,sometimes with no access to water or wood. The land seized by the Acts were then consolidated into individual and privately-owned farms, with larger and politically connected farmers receiving the best land. Often small land-owners could not afford the legal and other associated costs of enclosure and, so, were forced out.
In his pivotal essay “English Enclosures and Soviet Collectivization: Two Instances of an Anti-Peasant Mode of Development”, historian Joseph R. Stromberg observed,
“[T]he political dominance of large landowners determined the course of enclosure….[i]t was their power in Parliament and as local Justices of the Peace that enabled them to redistribute the land in their own favor. A typical round of enclosure began when several, or even a single, prominent landholder initiated it….by petition to Parliament….[T]he commissioners were invariably of the same class and outlook as the major landholders who had petitioned in the first place, it was not surprising that the great landholders awarded themselves the best land and the most of it, thereby making England a classic land of great, well-kept estates with a small marginal peasantry and a large class of rural wage labourers.”
When access was systematically denied, ultimately the peasantry was left with three basic alternatives: to work in a serf-like manner as tenant farmers for large landowners; to *emegrate to the new world; or, ultimately, to pour into already crowded cities where they pushed down each others’ wages by competing for a limited number of jobs.
But the eviction of the peasants began much earlier:
In Liberty Against the Law, Christopher Hill tells the story of the redistribution of land and wealth from rural labourers to the landed classes between the 16th and 18th centuries, and the rack-renting, eviction and persecution of the poor. For landless labourers, he says, the termination of rights to common land “meant the difference between a viable life and starvation”. Many died in the famines of the 1590s, 1620s and 1640s. Many more – 80,000 in the early 17th century, according to the historian Peter Clark – became vagabonds whose wandering put them on the wrong side of the law. They were branded, flogged back to their parishes, press-ganged by the navy and the merchant marine, or forced into industries whose conditions and wage rates were “little better than slavery”.
The children of vagabonds and paupers were transported to Virginia, effectively as slaves. Many of them died in transit. There were enclosure riots (attempts to resist the landlords’ seizure of the commons) all over the country. Almost all of them failed, and many of the rioters were transported or executed. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Marion Shoard records in her book This Land is Our Land, a further 7m acres of England – 20% of the total land area – were enclosed by landowners.
*In the 1880′s three generations of my family left England for America they were probably not the peasants described above as they were skilled laborers; but I think this history is important to us living in another time of redistribution, when the rich are by all accounts once again impoverishing “the peasants” world wide.