Roses – Of Course
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Peaches Ripening on Tree
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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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Posts Tagged ‘flower garden’

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Many Colors Of Irises In The Garden

My Dad was a gardener and had a pretty good collection of beautiful Irises. When he passed away, I dug them up and moved them to my garden. They didn’t do very much that first year (2012) since they were just getting established, but this year they have been spectacular. It has been wonderful having such a variety of color in the garden. I had no idea Irises even came in so many colors.

I also hadn’t realized how heavenly scented they are. Their perfume drifts over the garden all day, but especially in the early morning. Ah, bliss.

Here are some of the many colors abloom in the garden this year.

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Burnt orange Iris 2013

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Lavender and purple Iris 2013

 

 

 

 

 

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Peach colored Iris

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White with purple Iris

 

 

 

 

 

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Purple Iris 2013

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Rich colored Iris 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mixed color Iris

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Purple and white Irises 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This doesn’t even include the White, Yellow, Blue and Black ones. Irises are one of my favorite flowers, rating right up there with Roses, Clematis and Peonies. I just wish their beauty lasted all summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lilacs Are a’Bloomin

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Lilacs and Tulips

Oh happy day when the Lilacs are finally in bloom. I’ve always loved them and had planted 4 a couple of years ago. They haven’t done much until this year and there are quite a few blossoms to enjoy. They smell so good and seem to last a long time.

In my Dad’s yard were huge Lilacs that bore massive amounts of blooms. I would cut arms full each year to bring home. I realized that in the house a little goes a long way. They have rather heavy perfume. But when the weather is nice and warm (it’s getting there) I can open the windows to get some ventilation. Then I can have them everwhere without driving us out.

This bouquet is for a friend’s birthday, but soon this house will be smelling good!

Spring Has FINALLY Come To Our Area ……..I think

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Tulips blooming in the spring

After a very cold, snow laden winter and a very chilly, wet spring (since March 21, the official beginning of spring), we finally have some sunny and warmer weather. What a beautiful day it is and even though the yard looks pretty bad still with all the winter debris still lying about, there is beginning to be some growth and even a few flowers.

The fruit trees are in bloom and the tulips are doing their thing, which is being gorgeous.

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Tulips from the garden

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to a all that’s coming in the garden, perennials coming back up, blooms beginning to pop everywhere, little tiny fruit beginning to form on the apricot, apple, plum, peach and cherry trees. I guess most of all I look forward to just being in the garden, whether working or relaxing, just being there, instead of shut up in the house.

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Plants wintering over in the house.

Speaking of house, this week all the plants that had to winter over inside get to go back out and the house will return to normal. It is kind of nice have them around us when the winter is raging outside, but enough is enough and the house always seems so much larger after they are all returned to their outdoor places. They’ll be happier and we will too.

Don’t Forget the Stock

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Stock plants for sale at nursery

I did try Stock last year and absolutely LOVED it. It is so beautiful with its pink, lavender and white flowers,  but the most wonderful thing about it was the way it perfumed the air all around it. We had so many comments on how good our deck area smelled and it was all because of the Stock.

See last years post about Stock at: http://wp.me/p1OXDF-20u

The thing about Stock is that it likes cold weather and can’t tolerate heat. So plant very early in the spring. We enjoyed them for a long time, until the summer heat knocked them back. What a nice surprise though when the cool weather of fall came, Stock seedlings began to grow and got almost big enough to bloom again when the first frost came. I planted small plants from a nursery and also planted some seeds to see how they would do. Both did great.

That why I’m hopeful that it re-seeds, and this spring will be especially sweet.

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Stock info

 

 

 

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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Many Plants Re-seed And That Can Be A Good Thing

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The Snapdragons in these pots are volunteers from last years plants.

Since I’d never grown Snapdragons before last summer, I had no idea what a wonderful plant it is. Not only is it pretty, and the kids like to make the dragon’s mouth open, but it re-seeds freely. This year I planted lots and lots and next year I hope to have them filling in everywhere.

I did learn that there are taller varieties that grow to 3′ – 4′, and that would determine where they should go in the garden. I have some of both in my garden.

The other plants that I know re-seed, at least here in zone 6, are Hollyhocks, Cosmos, Bachelor Buttons, and sometimes Zinnias. I’m sure there are others, those are just the ones I know of.

 

Spring Has Sprung At Last – Some Spring Garden Photos

Butterfly Eyes

 

Brandy Rose rose and Sage

 

Columbine

 

Easy Does It roses

 

Clematis on arbor gate

 

Chives and Sage in bloom

 

Climbing Blaze rose on outside of back fence

 

Pink Irises

 

Centranthus in bloom

 

Snapdragons in a pot

 

Transplanted Rhubarb has come up (Lettuce, Beets, Swiss Chard, Kohlrabi, Tomatoes, Green Beans and Onions in raised beds)

 

 

Butterfly on Centranthus

 

All the Hostas made it through the winter

 

Creeping Phlox in bloom

 

Iris

 

 

Rose Bud

 

Very fragrant Graham Thomas rose

 

Early Clematis

 

Iris

 

Springtime in the garden is magical…at least this spring it is. Last spring was so cold and wet, maybe that’s why I’m appreciating this year so much.

Even though the flowers are just beginning to bloom, there are so many more that are just waking up and setting buds. The saying with perennials…”first year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap“. This is the third year for most of our perennials and I am expecting some leaping.

So much to look forward to in the garden this year.

 

 

My Dad’s Irises Are In Bloom

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Irise

My Dad was a gardener and he grew a lot of things, from roses to fruit trees. He had a beautiful collection of bonsai that he had cared for for about 25-30 years. He loved growing Rhododendrons and also had collected some beautiful Irises. Unfortunately, as he aged, and as his macular  degeneration became worse, he was unable to garden as much as he wanted to.

A couple of years ago we helped my Dad clean out his Iris bed. The weeds had taken over and the Irises needed dividing. We

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Iris

dug them all up so that we could untangle the roots of the weeds from the Iris roots. There were too many to fit back into the newly prepared bed so we took the ones that were left over. There was no way to know which ones were planted in his garden, and which ones we got. They didn’t bloom that first year after moving them, but this year they have been spectacular. Not all of them have bloomed yet, but here are pictures of the ones that are blooming now.

Sadly,  Dad passed away on Christmas day. I like to think that he is enjoying these beautiful blooms as much as we are.

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Iris

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Iris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Iris

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Iris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Clematis Are Blooming

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Early Clematis in bloom on iron gate of grape arbor

One of the earliest signs that Spring is really here, is the early Clematis bursting with blooms. I have a lot of Clematis and unfortunately I bought most of them before I understood the different blooming/pruning patterns completely.

After a season of the quick, early bloomers and then a season of the last all summer and into fall bloomers, well I thought I’d really made some poor choices of some of my Clematis. But, now when the early ones are blooming so beautifully, when most other plants are just setting buds for blooms, I’m thinking the early ones do have their advantages. After a long winter (and this one wasn’t all that bad) it’s so nice to again see some color in the garden…the earlier the better,

Spring Clean Up Of Perennial Beds Underway…At Last

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Flower bed all cleaned out and the roses have been pruned

See this mornings post for the “before” pictures of these flower beds.

Underneath all of that old, dead debris from the winter, green life is pushing its way up. It’s amazing how much growth has taken place. It won’t be long before everything is getting big and setting buds for spring and summer blooms.

I cleared the asparagus bed and was amazed to see asparagus spears already appearing. It must be this mild season we’re having. Bad timing for us since we’re about to leave on vacation, I guess I can get someone to harvest the spears for me so they will keep coming. Since this is the fourth year on the plants, maybe we can get a few weeks of cuttings when we return home.

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Flower bed by south gate all cleaned out

The peonies are coming up and the roses and many other perennials are leafing out. The apricot, peach and aprium trees are in bloom. Even though I have only a few hyacinths, they are in full bloom, as are the daffodils.

I lost a lot of tulip blooms to the deer last year and so this year I’m trying to protect them with some mesh. I noticed today that they have chomped down the tulips in the front flower bed that I hadn’t covered, but the covered ones are still looking good.

Once I’ve finished with all this not-so-fun clean up, then maybe I’ll get to sit back and enjoy watching the garden come to life.

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Creeping Phlox, Hardy Geraniums, Daylilies, Wormwood and Liatris all coming up in the front corner bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gardening Thought For The Day…

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Primroses for sale

 

 

Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than emperors.

– Mary Cantwell

 

 

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Garden Design (Green is Flower Beds)

An Orchid Break

Before the “real” gardening season gets underway, I wanted to take time to posts some pictures of some of the most amazing orchids we saw for sale in a garden center in California in February.

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Orchids for sale in CA.

I like orchids, but I’ve only seen them grown seriously once. Most people may grow one potted orchid, trying to keep it alive and blooming as long as possible. When I lived in zone 8, I visited the greenhouse of an orchid grower. He had some beautiful plants, very healthy. See http://wp.me/P1OXDF-1cd.

I have never seen the variety that was available for sale when we were in southern Ca. The colors were unbelievable and the plants were so large and healthy. And, they were much less expensive than the ones I see for sale here in zone 6.

It made me want to try to have at least one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Orchids for sale at garden center in Ca.

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Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pink Orchid

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Orchid Zygopetalum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yellow Orchid

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White Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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White orchids

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Absolutely Gorgeous Orchids for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It May Be Time To Cut Back Your Clematis

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Clematis in bloom

There are basically two types of Clematis, ones that flower in early spring and those that flower beginning in summer and bloom ALL summer long. They are pruned differently, so it’s good to know which you have (and if you don’t have any Clematis growing, you are definitely missing something wonderful), so you’ll know when and how much to prune. See (http://wp.me/P1OXDF-Ps).

The ones that bloom in early spring don’t need any pruning. If you need to prune to control the size or shape, at least wait until after it finishes blooming.

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Clematis on post by deck

The ones that bloom all summer long (and fall too) need to be pruned back to about 12″ to 18″ from the ground. This will help the plant grow more vigorously and to have way more blooms. This needs to be done while the plant is still dormant, before it buds out in the spring. The stems and leaves will be all dead and crispy, so pruning will be easy.

If you don’t get around to pruning, no problem. It won’t hurt the plant, and you won’t get as many blooms, but the plant will be okay.

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Clematis

Clematis are so great. If you’ve got something for them to climb on (they like sunshine but also like for their roots to be in the shade), whether its a post, trellis, fence or a bush or tree, plant at least one. I really like the Reiman, it’s a steady bloomer, but there are so many good ones out there. See http://wp.me/p1OXDF-fF

When you buy a Clematis, it’s best to get a potted one that is already at least 18″ long. If you get the really small ones, they can take a little while getting established. Soon, the garden centers will have plenty to choose from. Check em’ out.

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