Roses – Of Course
How to grow roses
Peaches Ripening on Tree
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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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Bird Feeders & Roses
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Heaven on Earth Rose
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Day Lilies
Cut Zinnias
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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

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.

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!

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.

 

 

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

Gardening Perks

 

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Yellow lilies in front yard

An unexpected thing I enjoy about our garden is getting to talk to so many people as they pass by, some strolling, some on bikes and many in cars. We live on a corner just off Main Street in our little town of about 40,000 and so it feels like we live in Mayberry, with so many friendly people. Anyway, one day a man walking his dog stopped to talk and was telling me how much he appreciated me putting the names by the plants so passersby could know what they were. I told him I hadn’t thought about the people passing by, I was just trying to remember the names of plants and what was planted where.

I moved out here to the West almost 3 years ago and even though I’d gardened for such a long time in the south (zones 7 & 8), there were so many plants out here (zone 5b/6a and elevation ca.5000′) that I’d never heard of and didn’t recognize. Really, there were very few of the ones I was use to growing that would grow out here. So if you think you have to know a lot to be a gardener, then I’m living proof that you don’t. I started reading a lot, I now have 154 gardening books (I just counted out of curiosity), almost all second hand. I like to be able to look up anything I need to know about. I do use the internet a lot but I get a lot of help from books.

Back to the names on the plants…I use metal wire stakes with a metal plate to write on. They work great for helping me to remember the plant name and to mark the spot where it’s planted so in the spring when I’m looking for places to put new plants I’ll know that place is reserved for something that will be coming up soon.

When I have spaces to fill I like to plant annuals that have plenty of blooms to use and share, like Cosmos and Zinnias, which can grow quite tall if they’re happy. Last year I had a profusion of blooms along the sidewalk outside the picket fence on the South side¬† of our yard (our house faces West) and large areas covered in blooms inside the fence.I try to get everyone to come and cut bouquets from the zinnias and cosmos because it encourages more blooms and it makes people happy.

One afternoon as I was sitting on a little stool weeding by the front sidewalk a little girl, about 8 years old, came riding by on her bike and stopped to talk. She gave me one of my favorite compliments when she said, “Your yard looks like a flower forest.”

How could I not like that?

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Cosmos by sidewalk on south side of house

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Lavender and daisies in front yard by grape vines.

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by Eliza Osborn

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.

New Plant For My Garden Will Be Stock

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Stock plants for sale at nursery

When we were in Arizona recently, I discovered a wonderful plant with beautiful flowers and a heavenly scent. They were growing in a pot on the front porch and they perfumed the whole area. The blooms remind me of larkspur a little. The plants were called Stock or Matthiola and it is an annual.

I intend to not only have them in pots on the deck, but growing in the flower beds all around the deck and grape arbor. I love plants that smell so good that they make the whole yard smell great too.

Depending on your climate, these plants can be grown from seeds or bought as seedlings at the local nursery. If the climate is milder, they can be sown directly into the garden, otherwise, they can be started indoors and set out as seedlings. I think I’m going to try to direct sow and also pick up some at the nursery. It’ll be fun to see which ones do the best. Since these plants prefer cooler temperatures, they should be planted early. They need full sun but can tolerate light shade.

These plants are sensitive to too much moisture, so make sure they have well drained soil. Adding plenty of compost will keep them well fed to produce lots of flowers.

Stock varieties can be 12 to 36 inches tall, so check the label to see which ones your getting so you’ll know where to use them in the garden. The taller ones will work in the middle or back of the garden while the shorter ones need to be out front.

If you pinch the seedlings back, the plants will be fuller and also produce more blooms. These make good cut flowers, so plant plenty.

Gardening Thought For The Day…

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Hollyhocks in the morning sun.

Lord, I do fear thou’st made the world too beautiful this year. My soul is all but out of me.

– Edna St.Vincent Millay

 

 

Las Vegas or China? The Gardens of LasVegas Celebrate the Chinese New Year Big Time

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Chinese figure in flowers

We accidentally scheduled our vacation at just the right time of year to be able to enjoy the celebration of the Chinese New Year (the year of the dragon). The Bellagio in Las Vegas is always a spectacular place to see and be, but with the celebration of the New Year, it has been kicked up a notch.

Dominating the display were the 4 enormous dragons, moving and blowing smoke. Chinese figures all made of flowers were amazing and beautiful.

Pagoda roofs with tipped up corners, and arched red bridges were tucked among the giant bamboo that already grows there. Piles of giant Chinese money were nestled here and there, while hundreds of beautiful red lanterns hung overhead throughout the display.

 

The many mandarin orange and kumquat trees that grow there already were decorated with bright red bows for the occasion.

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Red Dragon at Chinese New Year

It was wonderful and I’m so glad we were able to visit this amazing garden during this special time.

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Chinese Coins for Chinese New Year Celebration in Las Vegas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dragon Head at Chinese New Year Celebration in Las Vegas

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Chinese figure made of flowers at Chinese New Year celebration in Las Vegas Bellagio

 

 

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Chinese figure of flowers at Chinese New Year celebration in Las Vegas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jupiter’s Beard – One Of My Favorite Discoveries

Centranthus ruber, or Jupiter’s Beard, is one of the beautiful plants I discovered about 3 years ago, after moving west. I’d never heard of it before, but I began to see it in gardens all around.

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Centranthus - Jupiter's Beard

It is a beautiful plant and easy to grow. The plant only grows about 2 feet high but the flowers growing on tall, straight stems can reach 3 feet.

The flowers are made up of clusters of tiny, little flowers and can be very fragrant. The flowers can be white, red, pink or lavender, and last a long time. They are good as cut flowers in arrangements.

Jupiter’s Beard grows well in full sun or partial shade. It is drought tolerant. The plants spread and also self sows freely. Removing the finished blossoms will help to prevent this and to encourage more blooms. The plants can be divided and used around the garden or share the divisions with friends and neighbors.

It’s a really good plant to grow in difficult spots where other plants won’t grow. (See the Favorite Perennials List at: http://wp.me/P1OXDF-Ps

I love them and think they’re wonderful. They seem to stay in bloom forever. I’m hoping they will spread a little so I can divide them up and spread them around my garden.

Garden Design Video

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Beside our future front gate

 

 

Check out this fun, quickie, garden design video…

Where Do Bees Sleep?

sleeping bee on zinnia

Bee Sleeping In Zinnia

Since we’ve kept beehives before, I know that bees try to make it back to the hive before it gets dark. I’ve heard that some don’t make it and have to find a place to take refuge till the next day. Other bees, not honey bees, must have a place they gather to at night. Bumble bees, those big yellow and black ones, like to curl up in flowers (especially zinnias), or at least the ones who don’t make it home for the night.

When I’m cutting flowers to bring in, I like to cut them early in the morning so they’ll stay fresh longer. I’ve learned that I’d better check the flower really well when I’m cutting because many of them are serving as motels to bumble bees. I’ve never seen any other kind of bee sleeping in any of my flowers but bumble bees are a common sight, and let me say too that they are pretty late sleepers, like till 10:00 if it’s cool out.

So, watch what you’re pickin’.

Bumble Bee still asleep at 10:00 A.M.

bumble bee on zinnia

Zinnia with sleeping bumble bee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by Eliza Osborn

5 Mistakes Homeowners Usually Make When Planting Bare-root Roses and Fruit Trees

roses,rose bushes,planting rose bushes,planting bare-root rose bush,flowers,growing flowers,how to grow flowers,how to plant flowers,garden,gardening,gardener

Rose bush

 

Buying bare-root rose bushes and fruit trees is a lot less expensive than buying them already potted up. In many cases, you get a better plant when you buy bare-root.

 

This is an article that will help with planting bare-root rose bushes and fruit trees.

 

You can find it at:

http://ezinearticles.com/?5-Mistakes-Homeowners-Usually-Make-When-Planting-Bare-Root-Roses-and-Fruit-Trees&id=6546666

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by Eliza Osborn

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