Roses – Of Course
How to grow roses
Peaches Ripening on Tree
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What You Missed
Darwin Tulips
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Roses, Corn & Peaches
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Under the Grape Arbor
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My Garden Journal
Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Cut Flowers
Bird Feeders & Roses
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Heaven on Earth Rose
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Corn & Peach Trees
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Day Lilies
Cut Zinnias
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Potted Snapdragons
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Archive for the ‘Garden Design & Landscaping’ Category

A Gorgeous Lily Surprises Us

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Lily and Feverfew

Our garden is four years old now and I’m familiar with most of the plants in it. I don’t know the names of everything, but I “know” the plant. There was a lily that I had ordered from a catalog and planted that first summer. It came up and grew year after year but it wouldn’t bloom. The stalk was a little spindly and it never would grow very tall, but at least it kept coming up.

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Beautiful Lily

This year it not only came up but it came up in a couple of clumps with lots of little lily babies all around it. The stalks are thick and strong and then it began to set buds. I was so excited to see if this lily was going to finally bloom and to see what it would look like.

Not only did it bloom, it is the most beautiful lily I have ever seen. I am so glad that it is multiplying because I wouldn’t mind having this throughout the whole garden. A lily well worth waiting for.

On the other hand…

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Homely Lily

I think I mentioned earlier that when my Dad passed away I dug up his Lilies, a Heaven On Earth rose, all his Irises and a Honey Crisp Apple tree he had just planted. I planted these things all over the garden, not knowing what colors the Irises and the Lilies would be. There were some beautiful ones, like the deep roses colors but the bright yellows I’m not fond of. I like the “cool” colors of blue, pink, lavender and purple better. One of the Lilies though is white with maroon speckles inside. Not very pretty to my eye, but it sure is healthy and has tons of blooms. I just wish it weren’t in such a public spot, right by the sidewalk. Maybe some passserby will think it’s pretty.

The Clematis and Daylilies At The Front Gate Draw Lots Of Comments

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Clematis and Day Lilies

For Mother’s Day our sweet grandchildren usually give me a Lowe’s gift card. Perfect gift for a gardener, right?

I always buy  Clematis with those gift cards because then they can see what they gave me and watch them grow more and more beautiful year after year. That’s how I came to put Clematis by the front gate area. I’d never grown Clematis before but I kind of had a little idea that it was a delicate little vine with a few flowers here and there. Oh my, was I ever surprised when beautiful things started to happen. It only took a year before there were plenty of bloom. Yes, the vine is very delicate, which is surprising considering the amount of growth it puts on each year and the abundance of blooms it produces.

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Clematis and Day Lilies at front gate

 

We have nice people stop all the time to chat about the garden. When the Clematis are in bloom (a very long time) most comments and compliments are about them.

The peachy Day lilies beneath them set off the pinky lavender of the Clematis really well. Both SO easy to grow.

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Front gate with Clematis and Day Lilies

The Delphiniums Are Showing Off In The Garden But The Hollyhocks are Waning

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Delphiniums

The Delphiniums seem to get bigger and taller each year. Pretty amazing since all of them came from a little packet of seeds I planted in June four years ago. The first year they barely came up and were so little and spindly. The following year wasn’t much better, just a little taller. Last year though, they just decided to get up and grow and this year they are taller than ever, about 6′. The stalks are much sturdier too. I guess Delphiniums were meant to teach me patience because I sure wasn’t impressed with them at first. Glad I decided to just leave them alone to see what they would do. (Check out the picture to the right, that was the 2012 version.  See how much taller and fuller they are this year?)

Now the Hollyhocks on the other hand are not as prolific and showy as they were

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Hollyhocks

in past years. The first year was sketchy because they are biennials, which means they come up the first year and bloom the second year. When they did bloom, it was gorgeous, with big beautiful flowers and lots of lush foliage.

This year, and a little last year, they have many problems. The leaves are covered in rusty looking bumps, the flowers are small and sparse and they are only reaching about 6′ at best, many not even that tall. Since they reseed so freely every year, I don’t want to continue with this crop so soon I’m going to rip them all out and clear out the bed and replant fresh seeds. I think if I can get them to grow a couple of feet that they will bloom next year. We’ll see.

Summer Flower Garden

front gate with clematis,

Front gate with Clematis

It has been a nice, warm summer so the flowers are thriving this year.

The arbor built over the south gate a couple of years ago has finally been covered in roses this year.

All of the Clematis are finally maturing enough to really begin to put on a show. Most of them are 3 years old, some are 4 years old.

Here are some shots of the garden that include roses, clematis, hollyhocks, catmint, salvia, peonies, irises, feverfew, centranthus, lavender, daylilies, oriental lilies, snapdragons, hostas, dogwood, delphiniums, larkspur and many others. (Click on picture to enlarge)

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Astilbe blooming in the shade of the back yard garden

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New Dawn rose covering picket fence by driveway.

 

 

 

 

 

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Roses under the Aprium tree.

New Dawn roses covering the south gate arbor. Queen Elizabeth roses in the background.

New Dawn roses covering the south gate arbor. Queen Elizabeth roses in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Larkspur, Roses and Delphiniums with Feverfew in early morning sun

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Lilies planted spring of 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clematis on the picket fence by the Roses and Feverfew with Hollyhocks in the background.

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Sally Holmes roses in the back garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walkers Low Catmint in front garden

 

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hostas in front garden

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Lamium blooming in the shade of the front garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snapdragons grew from seeds thrown from plants last year.

Snapdragons grew from seeds thrown from plants last year.

 

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Grape vines covering the arbor. Many, many grapes coming this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clematis blooming on a post of the arbor over the deck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Full Moon Rising roses blooming on the picket fence by the driveway

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Full Moon Rising roses

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Full Moon Rising rose bud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blaze Climbing Rose in Full Bloom on Corner Fence

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Blaze climbing rose, 3 years old

Several years ago I had found a bare-root Blaze climbing rose on sale for about $3. I didn’t really want a red rose in my mostly pink, blue, purple and white garden, but the price was right so I decided to find a place for it. There is a 10′ section of fence on the outside of our yard along the public sidewalk that gets good morning sun so I thought I’d try it there.

It didn’t do much that first year but the second year it put on quite a show. Nothing like this year though. Since climbing roses bloom on the vertical shoots that come off the horizontal stems, I trained the rose into horizontal planes and secured them to the fence. This spring it sent up so many shoots, all loaded with buds.

When I saw all those buds I knew I would need to feed that rose well. I put a lot of compost around the base of it. Now every time it gets watered, it gets fed. Also the compost helps to hold down the weeds and keep the roots moist. A win, win, win situation. I got our compost from the city landfill, but bags of composted steer or cow manure will work well too.

Too bad this rose doesn’t bloom all summer. It will have it’s glory days now in the late spring and then will have smaller bloom times off and on through the summer.

I like that it fills up a big, blank spot and doesn’t take up much room since it’s attached to the fence so securely. Right now it is a show stopper though.

Millions Of Baby Grapes On The Grape Arbor

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Baby grapes growing on grape arbor

It looks like it’s going to be a very good year for grapes.

First of all it’s exciting that the vines have finally reached the top and are already shading the arbor area. We like to use the grape arbor like an outdoor room with it’s tables and chairs, swings and other seating areas. The deep shade the grape vines provide make the space usable all day instead of just the cool of the early morning or evening.

We had a lot of grapes last year but the vines were still young, only 3 years old. I

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Grapes developing on grape arbor.

think we may be in trouble. There are so many tiny baby grapes up there it’s mind boggling. These photos only show a couple of square feet each. (click on the photos to enlarge if you’re unable to see well. Even click again to make them even larger). The arbor is 50′ x 10′ so that is a lot of grapes headed our way.

Even with eating tons of them, giving even more away and drying many into raisins (the best raisins in the world I might add), I think we are going to have so many grapes on our hands.

If you’re interested, we are growing all seedless table grapes – Reliance, Suffolk, Candice, Himrod and Lakemont. Besides these 10 vines on the arbor, we have 3 very old vines growing on the fence on the north side of our garden which already produce tons of grapes. We have no idea what they are since they were planted about 45 years ago, but they are white seedless and delicious.

Here are some photos of last years grapes ripening.

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Grapes ripening 2012

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Grapes of 2012 season

 

 

 

 

 

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And we thought this was a lot of grapes. 2012

I failed to mention that on the two north posts we have Hardy Kiwi growing. They take a long time to begin to produce fruit, but it looks like this might be the year. There are a lot of little BB looking things up there. I’m keeping my eye on them too.

 

Garden Design – New Flower Bed

This is one of those lemons/lemonade things.

For some reason, none of our Asparagus survived this winter. I don’t know if I hadn’t planted them deep enough or if the winter was too bitterly cold, or if there was a disease or fungus or whatever. But no Asparagus.

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Dead Asparagus bed.

So…after looking at that empty bed for a few weeks, waiting and waiting, I decided to dig. At first I was digging to see if there was anything happening down below. When I found all of the Asparagus gone (DOA) I decided to really start digging.

I get excited when there is a blank space in the garden because it’s so fun to plan an new garden area and to make it happen. This new space is between a peach tree and the grape arbor. At the back is a 6′ wooden fence and large rocks in the front. A blank canvas.

I wanted something that would grow tall in the back, taller than the fence but not tall enough to shade the grape vines on the arbor. I wanted something in the mid-range in the middle and a little shorter closer to the front. Then much smaller plants in the very front.

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New flower bed just planted.

On top of all that, I wanted plants that would have a long bloom time  and be long lived. In other words, a permanent bed. I don’t like spending a lot of money on annuals that have to be re-planted each and every year.

I chose Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon, Hardy Hibiscus, Althea are other names) for the back. They will grow to about 8-9′ and bloom all Summer and Fall.

In front of the Hibiscus I decided to use Centranthus ruber (Jupiter’s Beard) since it can get to about 4′ easily and blooms from Spring through Fall. A very tough and beautiful plant and so easily grown.

In front of the Centranthus I used Garden Phlox. It too has a long bloom time and is very easy to grow. It will reach about 30″.

For the very front I planted Snapdragons. They aren’t perennials but they have re-seeded freely in my garden so I think I can could on them to re-appear each year.

On each side of this bed is a stand of Hollyhocks which re-seeded a few years ago and I just let them stay.

Now the fun of watching and waiting. It’s one thing to plan it all out and know what each plant is supposed to do, but  waiting and watching for the magic to happen is part of the joy of gardening.

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Garden Phlox

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Hardy Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon

 

 

 

 

 

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Snapdragons

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Centranthus ruber, Jupiter’s Beard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing For Spring Gardening

As I try my best to be patient waiting on the snow to melt so that I can finally get back out in the garden, I realize  that there is a lot to do before I get started..

One of the first things to do is to make a list of the things that need to be done, such as clearing away winter debri and checking the plants for damage.  Some of the plants (fruit trees and roses) need to be pruned and as buds begun to swell on the fruit trees, it will be time to spray with dormant oil to prevent pests like aphids from getting a start.

Before the perennials come up or annuals are planted, it’s a good time to work on things like pathways and sprinkler heads.

Early spring is a good time to evaluate your garden to see if you might want to make any changes or additions. Trips to plant nurseries can give you a lot of new garden ideas.

Check out lists above (Flowers tab) for some favorite annuals and perennials.  Don’t forget to check out the seeds available before they get all picked over and scarce. Planting seeds are a great way to get a lot of flowers (or vegetables) for very little money.

Unfortunately, planning for spring gardening makes me even more impatient to get out there and get started.

Dreaming of Spring and Summer

After being inundated with a couple of feet of snow (which has been on the ground now about 2 weeks), and being house bound

Delphiniums, Asian lillies, Yarrow,Hollyhocks and Centranthus,garden,flower garden,growing flowers,spring flowers

Delphiniums, Asian lillies, Yarrow,Hollyhocks and Centranthus

because of the ice storm yesterday that left a quarter inch of solid ice on driveways, sidewalks and roads (the interstate was closed, as well as all the runways at the airport) I am SO ready for spring and summer.

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Sweet smelling Phlox and Roses

It’s times like this that I’m so glad that I’ve taken lots and lots of pictures of our garden so I can, not only enjoy looking at them during the cold days of cabin fever, but to also evaluate the garden to see what’s working and what might need some tweaking.

Here are a few shots of warmer times in our garden.

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Queen Elizabeth roses reaching about 8'

 

 

 

 

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Fresh flowers from the garden

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Grape vines covering the arbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clematis on gate and Phlox

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Fruit tree and flowers,garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hollyhocks

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Purple Cone flower and Day Lilies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iris, the perfect flower,garden,gardening,flower garden,growing flowers,

Iris, the perfect flower

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Sugar Snap Peas beginning to grow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Asian Lilly

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Grapes ripening on the arbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Heaven on Earth roses

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Yarrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

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New Hostas planted in the fall of 2011 (before losing the shade of some tree limbs and neighboring trees due to a storm).

When looking at our property on Google maps, I found photos of our yard before we bought it 3 years ago. The bird’s eye view is from about 2 years ago. It’s fun to see how it use to be and how it is evolving. It is still a work in progress. Most of the plants are in (there is always room for more) but they will begin to grow and change and the garden will mature and become a more peaceful, relaxing place.

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Front yard before 2009

 

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Front corner by the stop sign before 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Front corner and sidewalk 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Front corner with picket fence and Apricot trees 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard before 2009

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Sidewalk on south side of house 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of back yard before 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of back yard May, 2012 with peach trees over fence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard August, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bird's eye view of our yard about 2010. Large tree on left was taken out 2011. The grape arbor (or pergola) had just been built and the deck wasn't built yet.

 

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Master garden plan (North is on the left and South is on the right). Green shows the flower beds to be planted.

 

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South east corner of the back yard 2009, before garden planted, arbor and deck built.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South east corner of back yard 2011 with deck, peach trees, raised vegetable beds and roses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arbor site - Grape Vines planted before arbor built. 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grape vines reaching the top of the arbor 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take lots and lots of pictures. You’ll be glad you did. I wish we had taken more, especially of our lawn being carted off. We rented a sod cutter and cut up the lawn. Then we put out a huge “Free Sod” sign and our lawn was hauled away by many neighbors. They were happy and we were left with a clean slate.

The Grapes Are Coming

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Grape vines reaching the top of the arbor

This year we hope that the grape vines will cover the top of the grape arbor so that the arbor area will be shadier and cooler. Even though the vines made it to the top last year, it will take a lot of leaves to shade our arbor, which is 50’x10′. There are 10 grape vines, one at each post, except for the Kiwi vines at the two post on one end.

Even more than the shade to look forward to though, are the many, many grapes which are growing. We got some last year, but nothing like what’s coming this year. All of the grapes are seedless, table grapes, some white and some pink or red.

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Grapes growing on grape arbor

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So many grapes coming

 

 

Besides eating plenty and sharing a lot (we have a large family), we will dry some. They make the best raisins.

Ah, so much to look forward to. I love summer.

New Potting Area – My New Favorite Place In The World

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One side of the potting area

My Dad passed away this past Christmas, so it was a very sad Christmas and winter for me. My Dad was a serious gardener, his specialties being Rhododendrons (he hybridized and named a few) and bonsai. He also grew many different flowers and fruits. He had a wonderful area that he kept his bonsai in, with all sorts of empty pots and bonsai paraphernalia.

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Other side of potting area

 

My sweet husband, knowing how much I was missing my Dad, dismantled my Dad’s

potting area and moved it to our garden, rebuilding it, just as it was. It is under a very shady Boxelder tree and beside my potting shed, which is very convenient.

I love spending time back there, mixing up my potions and potting mixes and potting up plants for the deck and front porch. Even though he had 25 or 30 bonsai at one time, many were lost last fall and winter by a terrible wind storm that tried to blow us all away and by neglect. I was too busy taking care of my Dad to worry about the bonsai. At least I have a few to remember him by.

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Boxelder tree trunk and potting area

I miss being able to call my Dad with gardening questions and spend time in his garden with him, but I sure love being in my new potting area with his bonsai around me.

Thanks Dad.

 

 

 

 

 

Circumcising the Peach Trees – The Importance Of Thinning Fruit

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Autumn Star Peaches on Tree in September

Even though it’s really hard to remove little baby fruit from fruit trees, it can be a very important step. Not only do you get much better fruit but the tree is better able to bear the fruit while it grows and ripens.

When our peach trees became laden with fruit we had to remove quiet a bit of it. Since this is just their third summer we were worried about such an abundant crop. We learned that removing the fruit is called ‘circumcising’ the tree. Well all 5 of our trees got circumcised. Apparently we weren’t thorough enough because just as the fruit on our Red Haven ripened the trunk of the tree split right down the middle all the way to the ground. I ran out with baskets and was going to pick the fruit and then take out the tree.

“Slow down”, my husband said, “let’s just think about this a minute.” So I stand there tapping my foot impatiently, knowing I’d have to do something with all those peaches right away. He headed for the garage saying we were going to pull the tree back up and strap it together.

Ha! I thought he was delusional. This was a young tree but it was already big, at least 12′. I tried to budge one side of it and I might as well have tried to lift our deck. But back he comes with pulleys and come-alongs and bungee cords and ropes and boards and a drill? Then he reaches down and smooth as can be he lifts one side up and braces it then pulls the other side up and braces it. He straps them together tightly and supports those heavy limbs. Then he gets out the drill and drills two holes through that poor tree. He used bolts and nuts and things and bolts the trunk together in two places. Poor tree had surgery with no anesthesia. I thought that by the next morning all the leaves would be wilting and the fruit would began to drop.

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Bolts in split peach tree with little hollyhock plants coming up everywhere

Except for the support straps still in the branches, you’d never know anything had happened to that tree. The fruit stayed on and ripened and was delicious. Now the tree will grow around those bolts and it’ll be impossible to tell what once happened. Isn’t that amazing?

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Early Elberta Peaches getting ripe...finally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Gardening On A Shoestring

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Foxglove grown from seed.

Gardening is a hobby that is time consuming and can get expensive. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are many ways to have a beautiful garden without spending much money. Shoestring gardening can be done easily, following these simple tips and gardening how-to’s.

Most of my garden was created by shoestring gardening. I grew some perennials and biennials from seeds. All of our Purple Cone Flowers (Echinacea) were grown from one packet of seed, which took a little longer but I sure got a lot of plants for $1.89. The Foxglove (Digitalis) growing all through our garden came from one seed packet. Both of these plants reseed themselves, as do many other beautiful flowers.

Some of the other flowers I’ve grown from seeds are Delphiniums, Zinnias, Cosmos and Hollyhocks.

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Echinacea grown from seed

 

This is just one way to have plenty of flowers without spending a lot of money.

Growing fresh vegetables from seed is super easy and cheap, cheap, cheap. Check out more ways to garden on a shoestring and have a beautiful, productive garden.

 

 

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Hollyhocks grown from seed

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Cosmos grown from seed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zinnias grown from seed

 

 

A Cottage Garden May Be Just Right For You…But Don’t Plan a Cottage Garden

If you like a lot of different kinds of plants…

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Asian Lilies, Delphiniums and Hollyhocks

If you like a lot of flowers blooming…

If you don’t want to worry about strict, formal lines and forms…

If you want your garden to feel natural, like it all happened on its own…

If you like using vintage pieces in your garden…

If you like the idea of plants seeding themselves or multiplying on their own…

If you want a garden that make you want to just hang out and relax in…

Maybe a Cottage Garden is just for you.

A cottage garden is loosely planned, and heavily planted. I think that most gardeners are a lot like me when it comes to plants. It seems that I’m a plant-aholic. I can’t seem to ever have too many. Even when I’m sure that I’ve maxed out the space available, I can always squeeze in one more specimen I’ve found.

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2011 - perennial bed beside deck

Plants that bloom, smell good and re-seed or spread will eventually find a way into my garden. The great thing about having such a variety of plants is that most of them bloom, but not at the same time. So I have something blooming somewhere all during the growing season. If you have all the same plants then the blooms are all done with at the same time.

I did lay out a plan of the yard but only loosely designated a certain area for “flower bed” or “berry patch”. I paid attention to the height of the plants, so they would all fit together nicely, and to the sun and water requirements. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the bloom time but I didn’t really do that, and most of the time I was lucky. The blooms for any season, spring through fall, are spread around the whole yard pretty evenly.

If you follow the planting guides on most seed packets or plant instructions, your garden will look good eventually. While the plants are growing and reaching their full potential, there can be a lot of empty space to fill. It can either be filled with annuals for a year or two…or three, or with mulch. I like to plant things much closer than the instructions say because I like a very full garden. If the plants get a little crowded, it’s okay. If they ever get too crowded, I divide and move some or share with friends.

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Loosestrife and roses by garden gate

I like blooms. I love having flowers in the house, so I plant plenty so that I can cut plenty to use and to share. Try some of the cottage garden favorites like hollyhocks, foxglove, phlox, daisies, roses (of course), peonies or lilies.

It doesn’t take a lot of room to have a cottage garden either. A tiny plot by the back door will do. How about a 3′ border down the side of your lawn? I’d rather have the 3′ lawn and the rest in flowers, but that’s just me.

Mix in some vegetable plants along the way. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, squash and many other beautiful vegetable plants will fit right into a cottage garden.

Formal gardens are pretty but they don’t draw me in and make me feel as happy as I feel when I’m in my (slightly messy) cottage garden.

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Agastache, Sedum, Phlox, Roses and Rhubarb

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Phlox, Echinacea or purple coneflower by birdbath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating Garden Pathways

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Garden path between grape arbor and deck

Since we live on a corner, we have a public sidewalk that goes across the front and down the south side of our property. Between the house and those sidewalks leaves a lot of area for flowerbeds, flowerbeds that couldn’t be accessed if there weren’t pathways winding through the garden. Besides for convenience, garden pathways are

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Garden Path between raised beds and deck

appealing, drawing you into the garden. If I could use any material I wanted for the pathways, I would use old, reclaimed paving bricks. I’d have tiny little plants growing between them and beautiful green moss growing on them.

In the real world though, we’ve found something that is within our budget and looks pretty good. We use wood chips spread pretty deeply (4-6″). They began to break down a bit and we’ve had to add more, here and there. The older they get, the better they look. They do a pretty good job of holding down the weeds and they are not bad to walk on.

Where do we get these chips? When we began work on the yard in 2009, we had 3 huge trees removed. The guys cutting them down ran all of the limbs, that they could, through the chipper. We had quite a few to use, which was great. The next year we noticed there were a couple of spots that needed more chips. We saw a tree trimming crew in the neighborhood and stopped and asked if we could have the chips. Sure, because they were going to have to take them to the city dump and pay to deposit them there, a win/win situation. Keep your eyes out for crews cutting down trees or trimming trees and direct them to your yard.

Another thing that would work would be to use pine straw. Until it breaks down a little, it could be a little slippery, but if you have access to lots of pine straw it would really be put to good use. Plus, pine straw smells so good. I love that about it, smells like you’re in the woods.

You could even use grass, if you don’t mind mowing it. If you already have a lawn and would like to have more bedding space to grow things, then mark the pathways and remove the rest of the sod to prepare the beds for planting. If you did this, it might be best to edge the pathway with something, to prevent the grass from growing into the beds. We’ve used large rocks because here in the Rocky Mountains, that’s what we have access to. I’ve also used old railroad ties or Monkey Grass (Loriope), and both of those work great.

There are so many possibilities, but the idea is to provide a place to stroll through the garden. If you have room for it, along the path would be a really good place for a park bench. Let your imagination run wild as you plan your garden paths.

When landscaping your yard don’t forget to include pathways that draw visitors in and make them want to discover what’s there.

Cheap Gardening – Beautiful Flowers Don’t Have To Cost A Fortune

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Cosmos grown from seed

When we bought our house 2 years ago, we removed almost all of the lawn, leaving only the parking strip in the front and a small patch of lawn on each side of the front walkway. That left a lot of empty space to fill. Even allowing for the future deck, grape arbor, raised vegetable beds, fruit trees and garden paths, there were still a lot of empty flower beds.

Since plants cost so much, especially perennials and shrubs, we had to figure out the least expensive ways to get the plants we wanted.

We planted some of our perennials from seeds, like Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea), Foxglove (Digitalis), Canterbury Bells (Campanula) and Delphiniums. It takes longer to get mature plants and blooms, but you sure get a lot of plants for your money. All of these did really well and come back each year.

Most of our flower beds are filled with roses and perennials, the majority of which were bought this time of year (Sep. & Oct.) when they had been marked down 50-75% because it’s near the end of the growing season and merchants want to get rid of them.

Some of the ones we bought looked pretty sad after a long, hot summer in a pot, but because they were perennials, it didn’t matter. I knew that if we got them in the ground and took good care of them that next Spring they would come back out and be beautiful.

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Echinacea grown from seed

So check out the garden centers and nurseries, don’t forget to check grocery stores that carry plants. Online nurseries also have some great deals because they are also trying to get rid of their stock before winter. It doesn’t matter if the plant is a little ratty looking, as long as it’s alive. This only applies to perennials, not annuals, which will die at the end of the season anyway.

A good source of free plants is from friends who have mature plants that need dividing. This is such a good source of plants because if a plant needs to be divided then you know that it grows well in your area.

Taking cuttings from plants and rooting, then potting them, is another good source of free plants.

Have an idea of the size of the space you’re trying to fill and read the plant labels to see if it’s a good fit. Perennials look good in groups of 3, 5 or 7 plants.

Use markers with the plants’ names and stick them in the ground where you plant them, because when they die down in the winter it might be hard to remember what you planted and where.

Not doing that is why I have some mystery plants in my garden that I hope to learn the name of one day.

Until your shrubs and perennials mature and reach their full size you’ll have room to plant annual seeds such as Zinnias, Cosmos, Bachelor Buttons and Marigolds. I’ve used these to fill in the spaces and they make great cutting flowers. Save the seeds from these and you’ll never have to buy seeds again.

You can have such a wonderful yard and not spend much money, just track down those bargains, don’t be afraid to plant seeds and make some good gardening friends who like to share.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6575025

Growing Lots of Veggies in Small Spaces – It’s Time To Build Your Raised Beds

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Raised vegetable bed ready for planting

Since our yard is less than 1/4 acre, and there were so many things we really wanted in the yard, we didn’t have a lot of space to grow vegetables…and we really wanted to grow vegetables. So, we tried the raised bed method and it has been a great success.

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Raised vegetable bed with tomatoes and corn

The raised beds not only grow vegetables in abundance, but they look neater in the yard and make it easier to take care of the plants.

You will be amazed at the variety of vegetables that can be grown in raised beds. Last year we even tried corn. We did the ‘3 sisters’ thing of growing green beans to climb the stalks and the squash to grow all underneath.  We’ve also grown lots and lots of sugar snap peas and English peas, Swiss chard, lettuce, beets, okra, rutabagas, cucumbers, collards, turnips, spinach, bok choy, carrots, kale, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini.

Stepping outside to pick fresh vegetables for dinner is so much more fun than running to the grocery store.

We only have three raised beds which measure 16′ by 4′ and they don’t take up a lot of our yard space. If you’re interested in learning how to build your own raised beds (yes, there is a right way and a wrong way), Click Here!

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Raised Bed Vegetable Garden and grapes growing on the fence behind it.

Since spring and summer come late here, we have to wait till mid-May to plant a lot of things, but our peas, lettuce and Swiss chard are all coming up now. Many of the cool weather veggies will finish early in the summer and can then be planted again in the late summer or early fall for a later crop.

 

It won’t be long before I can say goodby to the produce isle at the supermarket.

 

We Are Growing Bamboo in Our Garden – Are We Crazy?

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Using bamboo in the landscape

My husband and I both love bamboo, it is so tropical looking and beautiful. Last year we started talking about bamboo and the idea of trying to grow it in our climate. I didn’t think that we could because of our harsh winters. With some research though, I was happy to see that there are some kinds of bamboo that will grow here.

I don’t claim to be an expert on bamboo, but I have done some research on it and I’m just sharing with you some of the things that I’ve found out about it. Besides being beautiful, bamboo is really amazing. It is fast growing, yet easy to control if you understand how it grows (more on that later), is an unusual plant that can provide a privacy screen or a focal point in your landscape.

Since bamboo is a grass, it needs high nitrogen fertilizers, just like you lawn. It needs sunshine and a constant supply of moisture. It shouldn’t be allowed to dry out but it can’t grow in standing water either. The soil should be well drained and rich in organic matter. Mulching helps to keep the moisture in and the weeds down so there will be not competition for the roots.

Not all bamboo is alike, it comes in a variety of colors and growth patterns. It can grow 6′ tall, 15′ or 25′. Some can get 70′ feet tall in the right environment, but in the home garden, most will probably be less tall than their maximum height.

There are basically two kinds of bamboo, clumping and running. The beautiful, exotic bamboo shown here, are all running types of bamboo. The clumping bamboo won’t get big and gorgeous like these, it has a shrubby, weedy look to me.

Bamboo has a bad reputation for being very invasive and aggressive. It takes a few years to get established but when it does, it can be very fast growing (up, as well as out). As I understand it, the plant only sends up shoots for a couple of months in the spring. After that time, no more shoots will come up till the next spring. When the shoots come up outside the area you want the bamboo to grow, just let them get a few inches to a foot tall and then just kick them over. They are very tender during this time and easily removed. What’s more, another shoot won’t come up in that spot. Also, all bamboo are edible and so the shoots that are kicked over can be eaten (especially good in oriental cooking).

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Beautiful gray bamboo in bamboo forest in China

You can also keep the area mowed (or use a weed eater) to keep the shoots from growing.

A barrier can be put down around the area as well. Since bamboo roots are pretty shallow, only going to about 12″-15″, a 2′ barrier would prevent the spread of the roots and shoots. Remember, this is a plant, not a monster that can’t be controlled.

We found a great place to get our bamboo, with very reasonable prices and a wide choices of plants. We actually went there ourselves and toured the extensive bamboo gardens. I fell in love with bamboo and I can’t wait to have ours growing tall and magnificent in our garden.

The bamboo nursery we found is called Steve Ray’s Bamboo Garden and is in Alabama.

It is found online at: http://www.thebamboogardens.com/

The types of bamboo we picked out for our garden are all hardy in our zone. Click on the “Zone Map” button above to see the temperatures for your zone. We chose Phyllostachys aureosulcata – Yellow Groove Bamboo with is hardy to -10′; P. humilis – which is hardy to 0′ and p. nigra “Henon” – Giant Gray Bamboo, hardy to 0′. This one the stalks can get 4″ thick. Can’t wait to see that.

Just thought you might like to consider something new for your garden and landscape.

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Unusual joints in bamboo stalks.

 

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Bamboo, an unusual and beautiful landscape plant

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by Eliza Osborn

Where to start? – How To Plan a Garden, How To Plant a Garden – How To Be a Gardener

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Back yard in 2009, before garden planted, arbor and deck built

I’m trying to decide whether to began at the end or the beginning. Maybe I’ll just jump back and forth.

I mentioned in “About Us” that in 2009 we’d bought a very old home in the Rocky Mountains (zone 5b-6a) and had taken up most of our lawn. I didn’t mention that we also took down four huge trees and many large, old shrubs. You can imagine what a mess our yard looked. But…we had a plan.

Here is a picture of our yard when we began laying it out. The big crater is where a large stump was ground out and where the Queen Elizabeth roses now stand beside the deck. You can see 2 of the 5 little peach trees planted early that spring. The small one on the end is stunted because deer ate the top out of it when it first put on leaves.

Peach trees, Queen Elizabeth roses, hyacinth bean tower

Peach trees, Queen Elizabeth roses, hyacinth bean tower

I think the neighbors were a little worried about the nut jobs that had moved in next door. It did look pretty bad but we did put up a privacy fence to protect their eyes. Of course the picket fence in the front yard didn’t hide very much and the front yard looked this bad too.

 

 

 

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Our Garden Gate
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Japanese Anemones
Delpiniums, Lilies, Centranthus
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Echenacea
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Cosmos on Picket Fence
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Roses, Roses, Roses
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Bamboo
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Agastache, Sedum & Phlox
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Limelight Hydrangeas
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Grapes Ripening on Arbor
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Yarrow
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Echenacea &Day Lilies
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Garden Phlox
Agastache and Sedum
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