Roses – Of Course
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Peaches Ripening on Tree
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Roses, Corn & Peaches
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Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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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 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

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

Limelight Hydrangeas and Japanese Anemone – How To Grow Perennials, When to Plant & How To Use In Landscape Gardens

Shady flower bed

Dogwood, Japanese Anemonies, Limelight Hydrangeas, Lamium and Sweet Woodruff by front porch.

When we bought our house a couple of years ago there was a small varigated Dogwood Tree beside the front porch with Sweet Woodruff and Lamium growing thickly under it. Late in the summer some pretty foliage started coming up. It only grew to be about a foot high and since I didn’t know what it was I just let it grow there. Since the foliage was so pretty and was coming up in little sprigs all through the Lamium I decided to move some of it around the yard. Most of these sprigs soon looked dead and I regretted moving them.

Since the Lamium is a low grower I planted Limelight Hydrangeas in front of the Dogwood. In September the little plant I didn’t recognize began to bloom and were beautiful. Well the next year those little plants, which I finally identified as Japanese Anemonies, grew huge and practically covered up the Hydrangeas.

The ones I had moved the year before had been just playing possum and they began to grow too. Now I’ve moved sprigs all over the garden. It’s a beautiful plant and still tries to outgrow the Hydrangeas but I’ve decided it’s survival of the fittest because I don’t want to move either of them. That next year too there were pink ones where there had just been white ones the first year. By the way, there is a Hydrangea behind that mass of white blooms.

I’ve since learned that they can be considered invasive but they are such a hardy plant and so pretty and best of all bloom in the fall when

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Perennial garden in back yard

almost everything else is finished up. I hope they invade my whole garden. Maybe I’d better be careful what I wish for.

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by Eliza Osborn

Herbs I’ve Grown and Loved

 

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Growing favorite herbs in the herb garden for cooking

I started growing herbs when my Aunt Pearl, who lives in Georgia and is also a gardener, gave me a large pot planted with herbs. I’ve been growing them ever since. I like to mix them in among other perennials, although I have had beds with just herbs in them. Herbs are so easy to grow and since you need to keep pinching them back to make the plant fuller and to prevent blooming, you have plenty to use in cooking and you’ll have plenty to share, since it really is good for the plant to get pinched back. In most cases it would be hard to use that much of any herb. When I prune them back I put the clippings I’m not going to use in a basket on my kitchen counter. The smell is wonderful.

Put the ones you are planning on using in a glass with water in the fridge and they will stay fresh until  you need them. When using fresh herbs in recipes you’ll need to use a larger amount (about 2-3 times as much) because measurements are usually for dried herbs, which have much less volume. Fresh herbs make such a difference in foods. For example, potato salad is a whole different dish when prepared with fresh oregano, thyme, parsley and chives. The flavors are so fresh and wonderful.

Some can be grown from seeds and some can’t. Some can be dried and used, some frozen. If you’re interested in planting herbs, now is a good time for planting the hardy ones. Depending on where you live, Rosemary is iffy, and basil surely can’t take the cold but most others are pretty hardy. I’ll talk more about herbs later, but for now you really should consider herbs for your garden. You’ll fall in love.

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by Eliza Osborn

 

 

How To Start a Garden

hyssop, sedum, phlox and rhubarb

2011 - Agastache, Sedum, Phlox and Rhubarb

This question comes up a lot and I think the best place to start a garden is not with a shovel and dirt but with pencil and paper.

Gardening is a growing interest and a lot of people, even though they want to garden, just don’t know how to get started. Even a small bed can produce a great amount of flowers or vegetables.
Here is a link to an article I’d written that might be of some help. Check it out.

http://ezinearticles.com/?How-To-Start-a-Garden-In-5-Easy-Steps&id=6559034

before deck was built

2009 - Newly planted Agastache and sedum

 

potted plum tree and flowers by back door

2011 - Deck with potted plum tree and flowers.

 

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by Eliza Osborn

10 Reasons to Garden

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Ripe tomatoes ready for bottling.

Everybody enjoys looking at a garden or being in a garden, but not everybody actually enjoys getting in and getting their hands dirty and their backs tired. The rewards are so great though, it’s worth the effort, time and money.

Here are just 10 very good reasons to garden.

 

 

 

  1.  I want a beautiful yard and can’t afford a gardener.
  2. I need the exercise.
  3. It keeps me out of the house so I don’t have to see that it needs cleaning.
  4. I get fresh fruits and vegetables that are way too expensive in the store.
  5. I get a sense of accomplishment.
  6. I get an opportunity to talk to neighbors and passers-by that I would miss cooped up inside.
  7. I can take my frustration out on the weeds instead of my sweet husband.
  8. It creates beautiful, relaxing places to spend time with family and friends.
  9. It gives me a great reason to get out of bed in the morning.
  10. It’s in my blood and I just can’t help it!

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by Eliza Osborn

New Discovery For the Garden…Rubber Garden Hoses

This is a re-post from last September. I’m re-posting it because before we know it, it will be time to get out in the garden. Sometimes we have to replace garden hoses because of winter damage. Before you rush out to buy yet another vinyl garden hose…

Rubber garden hoses in the garden path

I just discovered something last spring that I wish I’d known before.

I realize that everybody but me may already be aware of this, but for the ones like me, who weren’t, I want to talk about rubber garden hoses. Not vinyl, rubber.  A world of difference in the two.

In our front and side yard we have a sprinkler system that pretty much takes care of everything. Well, we have one in the back yard too but it doesn’t work well with the way the yard is planted, so I water by hand with a hose and nozzle. I was so tired of fighting those stiff garden hoses, which were always getting tangled.

We use one of those attachments on the faucet that lets you attach 4 hoses at a time and then each hose goes to a different area of the yard.This Spring when one of our hoses split and needed replacing, I went to Lowe’s and was looking at all the hoses. The one that split had a lifetime guarantee so I just got my money back. As I was looking at the hoses trying to decide whether to get the same kind again or not,  I spotted a small display of rubber hoses, one black and one a clay red. Since it cost about the same as the one I was replacing and this one also had a guarantee, I decided to try one.

All I can say is “Where have you been all my life?” Watering is such a pleasure…well, it always was, because I enjoy just studying the plants and flowers, but to use a hose that doesn’t fight you is wonderful. The rubber hose is so flexible and limp and easy to manage. I’ve used it all Spring and Summer with no problems. If I have a problem I’ll let you know, but so far I really love it and wish I could afford to replace all of my garden hoses right now. Gradually I will though.

So when you have to replace one of your garden hoses you might give a rubber hose a try.

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by Eliza Osborn

Putting the Garden to Bed

walnut and crabapple

Crabapple and Black Walnut Trees in Front Yard 2009

Soon the leaves will be turning some beautiful colors, and don’t you know, those leaves WILL come down. I’ve always loved the look of the colorful leaves all over the yard but they soon turn brown and they won’t stay dry and crispy. During the winter, whether from snow or rain, they’ll get wet and slimy, and pretty much stay wet. They’ll become a slippery, sludgy mess. So it’s important to remove them from walkways and steps to prevent accidents.The leaves should also be removed from the lawn, as well as flower and vegetable beds. There are plants that need mulching for protection during the winter, but it’s better to use mulch or pine needles. Using straw can cause problems because of the possible grains of wheat etc, it could contain, which could attract mice to your garden. The mice would then began to feed on the stems of plants, such as roses.

The leaves can be shredded and added to the compost pile. We even gather up bags of leaves left at the curbs for the city to pick up, to add to our compost.

Cut down perennials that have finished blooming. Annuals and vegetables should be pulled up when they’re spent. If not diseased, tossed all of these clippings and spent plants into the compost. Some plants can be left, if they add interest to the winter garden or if they have seed heads that can feed the birds.

Autumn is a good time to divide perennials, which can then be planted in other areas of the yard or shared with friends. It’s also time to dig up tender bulbs, like Tuberous Begonias and Dahlias (wait till frost has turned the leaves black), and store in a cool, dark place.

To strengthen roots through the winter, apply bonemeal to perennial beds and around shrubs and trees.

Tidying up the garden not only makes the yard/garden look better through the winter, but spring gardening will be so much easier and more enjoyable. If you’ve planted spring bulbs, with cleaned out flower beds, you’ll have something wonderful to anticipate and look forward to.

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Tending the Berry Patch

 

berry patch in small garden

Berry patch in side small garden in early summer 2011

I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about strawberry plants since I’ve moved to zone 6. They can be about as fast growing and invasive as Kudzu, you know, the vine that ate the south. When we bought this place there was a sickly little strawberry patch about 2’x2′ and the plants were pitiful, since they were in heavy shade all day.

I designed a little berry patch with strawberries growing low and blackberries on a little trellis (which they quickly outgrew). It is about 10’x8′ and gets sun most of the day. It had a wooden border from  4’x4′ posts left over from building the grape arbor and the deck.

Well…in no time at all they had jumped that border and were headed cross country. I cut them way back, but that only slowed them down for a couple of weeks. Now I know that I have to be vigilant about chopping runners off before they can make it to the border. They do have really good berries, but not as many of them as I would think they would with such prolific plants. I wish I knew what kind they were. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

I learned recently that after strawberries quit bearing, the leaves and runners should all be cut off, being careful not to injure the new growth. Maybe that is part of my problem, I haven’t been pruning them back like that and they just got too rambunctious. They’ve been pruned back now and we’ll see if they’ve been tamed a little.

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by Eliza Osborn

 

 

Tarragon…of Course – With Video

Herb - Tarragon

French Tarragon

Have you considered growing herbs? Herbs can make a beautiful perennial bed or be mixed in among other plants.

You know there are different kinds of herbs, not all are for cooking. Some are medicinal and some just smell good and are for potpourri. Some, the all-stars, are all three, culinary, medicinal and aromatic.

Since Tarragon is my favorite herb I’ll just touch on it today, but there are so many wonderful herbs to use in your garden and almost all of them are perennial, unfortunately basil isn’t one of these.

Tarragon is a beautiful plant on its own, and I’m talking about French Tarragon here not Russian T. which  has little flavor nor aroma or Mexican T. which is a little weedy with little flavor.When you cut it to use the plant becomes bushier as you can see from the photo above. The stems that have been cut are about to send out several stems each. French T. will get 2′-3′ tall, in warmer climates than here, and has long slender leaves of a beautiful green. It may have blooms late in the fall but rarely sets seeds. So it is propagated by cuttings or divisions.

It smells wonderful, like anise or licorice.

The best thing about it though is the taste. you can put the leaves in a cruet or bottle and add hot vinegar, cork it or cap it and in a few weeks you’ll have an amazing vinegar to use on salads or with fish etc. It can also be used to flavor meats, sauces, vegetables, eggs etc.

My favorite way to use it is in making tea. Hot or iced, they are both delicious. To make the tea just pull a hand full of leaves, rinse and chop them. Put in a teapot or use a 2 cup glass measuring cup (fancy) and pour almost boiling water over them. Let them steep for 3-5 minutes. Not too long though as it can get bitter. To make iced tea I just add more leaves so when diluted with the ice it will be just right.

Now for the medicinal…tarragon tea is a mild diuretic. In other words it makes you go, so I guess that makes it perfect to drink with salty foods. Mixed with chamomile it will help induce sleep.

No wonder I love Tarragon so much. When I moved from the South to the West it was the only plant I dug up to bring with me. Even though it is my favorite, I will talk about others soon.

I just mention the herbs because, like other perennials, now is the time to plant some.

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by Eliza Osborn

The Aromatic Garden

Agastache Hyssop and Autumn Joy Sedum

Hyssop (Agastache) on left near Sedum

If  you’d ever visited my garden, then you’d know that I have some great smelling plants. I know this because whenever anyone visits my garden for the first time I’m very likely to began snatching off great smelling leaves and crushing them, so the aroma will be released. I just don’t want anyone to miss out on the beauty of an aromatic garden. Ahhh…

I do have favorites though and I hope that one day you’ll be able to smell what I’m talking about, it you haven’t already. I’m posting the pictures of these plants but you know, a picture can only tell you so much.

Hyssop (Agastache) – Flowers and leaves have a heavenly scent, plus bees, hummingbirds and butterflies absolutely LOVE the flowers. It is a perennial, hardy at least to zone 5, so it comes back year after year, bigger and better each year.

Scented Geraniums (Pelargoniums) – Top of this list is the Lemon Rose, which smells EXACTLY as it’s name implies. It’s a beautiful plant that  has small, insignificant flowers. It’s all in the leaves. It is a tender perennial and has to come in the house for the cold months but when I lived in zone 8 it was planted in the ground and barely died back during the winter. It can get quite large and may need pruning back to maintain a certain size. If you do prune it back, put the clippings in a basket somewhere in your house for potpourri… Or you can put them in water and root them for more Pelargoniums. There are a lot of scents to choose from in the Scented Geraniums. There’s coconut, lemon, apricot, rose, citronella, and many more. The coconut is really nice but the plant isn’t quite so pretty.

lemon rose scented geranium

Just pruned Lemon Rose Pelargonium

 

Tarragon– Even though this is a culinary herb, it could easily be used for it’s scent alone. It’s a beautiful plant that I’ve written about in an earlier posts, but I had to mention it here because it does smell so good. Let me just say that it taste as good as it smells. It’s a perennial that’s hardy at least to zone 5.

Tarragon growing in herb bed

Tarragon

Lavender – All parts of this plant smell heavenly. We have French Lavender (Spanish Lavender) which is grown for it’s oil content in France. I like to cut them and tie them in bundles and hang them upside down to dry. But cut fresh and used in small bouquets is the best. Ours bloomed in the spring and  began blooming  again in mid summer. It’s doing great here so I think it’s hardy at least to zone 5.

Spanish Lavender in perennial bed

French Lavender blooming again

Variegated Plectranthus – This is a plant I just discovered this year and I love it. It has the smell of fine, old antique wood, almost citrusy. It grows really fast and is beautiful trailing in hanging baskets because it all cascades down like a water fall. This is a tender plant and will be a house plant this winter. Oh, the house is going to smell so good.

scented plant plectranthus in hanging basket

Variegated Plechtranthus in hanging basket

Mint – Mint has such a refreshing smell and is extremely easy to grow. So easy in fact, that it really should only be grown in containers or in a confined area or you will be pulling mint out of every flower bed in your entire yard before you know it. There….the warning came first. Now I can talk about how wonderful it smells. My absolute favorite is the Chocolate Mint. Really. It smells just like a Peppermint Patty. Then there’s apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, orange mint etc. etc. Some of them you really have to  use your imagination to smell the “apple” or “orange” but they do still smell good. A hardy perennial, it will pop up again next spring.

Chocolate Mint under grape arbor

Chocolate Mint growing under grape arbor

 

 

Wormwood (Artemesia) – This is a silvery, lacy plant that is really beautiful. The leaves smell like a potpourri that doesn’t have a floral base. I think it is used in potpourri actually. Anyway it has a very pleasant, clean scent. A hardy perennial that sometimes gets a little too big but I just don’t have the heart to whack it back.

Mums and wormwood (artemesia) by picket fence

Wormwood (Artemesia) and Mums by picket fence

Helichrysum– Another discovery this year. It has a beautiful scent like fresh straw and some sort of fruit. It has green leaves that look frosty and it trails in hanging baskets. It will have to come in for the winter, so we’ll see how that goes. Hope I can keep it alive till next spring. I think there is an essential oil from this plant too.

helichrysum under grape arbor

Helichrysum in pot under grape arbor

When you’re planning your garden, consider some of these great plants. Your garden might as well smell good as look good. Right?

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by Eliza Osborn

Save Those Lemon Seeds

growing lemon tree

Lemon tree in pot

When you eat an orange or tangerine or even a kumquat the seeds are a nuisance. But they can become beautiful plants.

The seeds are easy to germinate by just poking them about 1/2″ into potting mix in a pot and keeping them moist. After they sprout, just water every 4-6 days. They make beautiful house plants and as the little “tree” grows you can move it into larger pots. In the warmer seasons they will be happy on the deck or patio or even in the ground if you live in Zone 8 or higher. If you’re growing them inside they’ll need to be by a sunny window or at the very least, by some bright light bulbs.

Emerging from the ground, the sprouted seed quickly presents a stand of shiny, green, fragrant leaves a surprisingly sturdy, stem with every intention of becoming the hardwood trunk of an evergreen tree. Yet these seedlings can be pruned so that they remain at whatever sizes you want. Try several seedlings started in a larger pot to make a fuller planting.

Since citruses readily cross their species lines, (which have already been manually crossed and recrossed), the fruits are varied and many.  So don’t plant a tangerine seed expecting to get tangerines. Maybe these should be called surprise plants. If all the conditions are right and the plant is happy and grows to maturity,  then it will be fun to see what kind of fruit it will produce.

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by Eliza Osborn

How Many Bees Can You See?

growing sedum with bees

Autumn Joy sedum with bees

Have you ever grown plants that bees just couldn’t get enough of? At this time of year (Autumn) the Autumn Joy sedum is blooming and it is a very noisy plant because it is absolutely covered in honey bees. Funny that I don’t see wasp or bumble bees much, just honey bees. Oh, and Ladybugs love it too. Fortunately though, the bees are so engrossed in their bounty of nectar that they pay absolutely no attention to anyone around them. Really. I think you would have to reach out and crush one of them to get their attention. So don’t let the bees keep you from growing this beautiful plant.

bees on perennial autumn joy sedum

Bees on the Sedum

Just the foliage on the sedum is really pretty so even if it didn’t bloom, I’d still have them in the garden. At this time of year there aren’t nearly as many flowers blooming and so the beautiful colors of Autumn Joy are so welcome. The bloom start out a sagey green and gradually turn a delicate pink. As the weather cools down the color deepens into, eventually, a beautiful pomegranate red. They will be one of the last flowers holding on when the snow comes.

How many bees can you count in these photos? (Click on photo to enlarge)  I’m sure there are some there that  you’ll miss because you’ll only be able to see their head or little backside. I think there were even some ladybugs somewhere.

honeybees on autumn joy sedum

Bees on the sedum Autumn Joy

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Our Beautiful Mountains

Autumn is almost here

Driving in the mountains this weekend.

The colors are beginning to change up in the mountains because it is so much cooler up there. It’s so nice to see them developing. We spent some time up there this weekend and I just wanted to share some of the beauty we saw.

beautiful leaves in autumn

Colors moving across the mountains

autumn leaves in utah mountains

A beautiful time to be in the mountains

leaves turning yellow in the mountains

On the drive to East Canyon Resort

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by Eliza Osborn

Pesky Coons

A question came up about keeping racoons from coming into the carport.

I’d always thought racoons were a Southern problem but they are pretty pesky out here in the West. They will get up in cherry trees just before the fruit gets ripe and take a bite out of every cherry and throw them on the ground trying to find a ripe one. Not very smart animals I guess.That was when racoons, cute as they are, become enemy number 1. I mean, a whole cherry tree full of cherries ruined because of impatient coons.

When we lived in Tennessee we had the problem of them coming into the garage at night. When we had this problem it was because we were feeding our cats out there. The racoons can find the food and water and will come to it. I think they spread the word because the number of racoons kept growing. We moved the feeding station to inside the house and the coons quit coming.

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by Eliza Osborn

Sparing Tomatoes

tomato plants with cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes getting ripe finally

Isn’t one of the greatest things about summer is having fresh, delicious tomatoes right our of your own garden? Well, here in the “Klondike” of the Rocky Mountains, we don’t get tomatoes till the very end of the summer and this year with our cold, wet spring we didn’t get them until September. We’d had a few cherry tomatoes get ripe but the big, slicing tomatoes took a very long time. That means, at least for us, there will probably be a freeze long before all of our tomatoes have ripened. That can be very frustrating. Fortunately there are some things you can do to keep from losing a lot of green tomatoes.

There are 3 tricks that I’ve heard of to save tomatoes, 2 of which we’ve tried and had success. The other we just recently learned of and are looking forward to trying this year.

If you have green tomatoes late into the season and you’re pretty sure they won’t have time to ripen before the cold hits them, you can bend the stalks over at the ground and it will trigger the tomatoes to go ahead and ripen.

Or if you have green tomatoes on the vine and freezing weather is imminent, you can carefully pull up the vines and hang them upside down in a protected area, like a garage. The tomatoes will ripen and won’t be wasted.

We’ve just heard of a way to save the plant for a head start in the spring. Cut the vines back and carefully lift the root ball. Place it in a container of sand and put it in a protected area that doesn’t freeze and doesn’t get too warm. Keep it moist but not wet. In the spring, when the ground has warmed up enough,just set it out in your garden. As I said, we haven’t tried this yet but will this fall. If anyone has tried this last trick we’d like to hear how it worked out for you.

If you live, like we do, where the growing season is so short you’ll do just about anything to extend your harvest.

tomtoes in raised vegetable beds

Green tomatoes

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Plants That Obey

Lemon balm and obedient plant

Obedient Plant and Lemon Balm

I’d never heard of an Obedient Plant before moving to the west, but they’re kind of fun, especially for kids. The blooms are all around a central stem which is pretty sturdy. The amazing thing is that the blooms can all be moved around the stem and will stay wherever you put them. I’ve studied them and can’t figure out how they have such range. I’m sure that eventually they would weaken and probably break off, but I’ve seen them take a lot of commands and they obey.

obedient plant and lavender

Obedient Plant blossoms all around

Obedient plant to the right
lavender and obedient plant in flower bed

Obedient Plant with blossoms to the left

Obedient Plant all on right

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Cheap Gardening – Gardening Doesn’t Have To Cost a Fortune

flowers,perennials,annuals,flower garden,gardening,gardener,flower gardener,growing perennials,growing annuals,how to save money gardening,cheap gardening,how to garden,garden planning,

Cosmos growing by picket fence from 1 packet of seeds. Cost: $1.59

 

 

 

 

Gardening is hard work and is so rewarding, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

These cosmos were grown from a $1.59 packet of seed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out how to garden cheap at:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Cheap-Gardening-and-Landscaping&id=6575025

 

 

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by Eliza Osborn

Hardiness Zone Map

I’ve posted this site before but I thought I’d post it again because it is so handy to have.

Especially now when it’s time to plant shrubs, trees, perennials etc. Just click your area on the map and it will zero in so you can see details better.

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html


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