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
Chives, Sage & Roses
Corn & Peach Trees
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Day Lilies
Cut Zinnias
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Potted Snapdragons
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Posts Tagged ‘how to grow flowers’

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.

 

 

hollyhocks and peach trees

Hollyhocks grown from seed

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Cosmos grown from seed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zinnias grown from seed

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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,

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)

Get Inspired At The Local Plant Nurseries

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Primroses at Plant Nursery in California

Okay, I really wasn’t expecting to find such a huge selections of plants available in February…not even in California. I’ve never seen such a variety of plants offered and the prices were pretty good too.

I sure did get the fever. Even though I’ve almost maxed out our small quarter acre yard, in my mind I was rearranging all of our flower beds to try to accommodate some of the gorgeous plants we saw, some I’d never even thought about growing before. It’s probably a good thing we had so far to travel and our car was so overloaded (citrus, dates and yet more pots), or I might have been tempted to buy plants that might not be suitable for our climate. But it was fun dreaming.

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Gerber Daisies For Sale

I did get some really good ideas for potted plants. In these photos you’ll see what an unusual combination of plants have been used.

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Cyclamen, Heuchera and Begonias in Hanging Basket

I doubt that seeing the photos will have the same effect that walking through the nurseries and seeing the plants had on me, but maybe you’ll be tempted to get out to your local nurseries to see what’s being offered this season, maybe try something new. Just be careful to read the plants requirements carefully to make sure it will thrive in your garden.

 

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Contrasting Foliage in Potted Plants

 

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Succulents For Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gardening Thought For The Day…

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Garden with no boundaries

 

The only limit to your garden is at the boundaries of your imagination.

-Thomas D. Church

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Flowers, herbs and fruit growing along the garden path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planning Your Garden For Next Spring and Summer?

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Gate on grape arbor with pergola over deck in view.

If you like to spend at least part of the winter planning what you’re going to do in your garden next spring and summer, then having a little information can be helpful.

Have you checked out the “Tabs” at the top of the page? Under the “Flowers” tab there are list of annuals, and perennials with their growing habits and needs.

The “Birds” tab will give some information about feeding the birds to keep them coming to your yard to gobble up all those “bad bugs’ eating your garden.

The more information you have, the more successful your garden will be.

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.

Winter Cheer – Garden Pictures

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Apricot Candy Hybrid Tea rose by deck

When it’s freezing cold outside and the snow is blowing and I know there is still 4 long months until I can really “garden” again, I start looking through pictures of last years garden. It’s really fun to compare them with the pictures of our garden the year before, to see how things have progressed. The grape vines had made it to the top of the arbor the previous year, and this past summer they had began to fill in the top. This coming summer I’m hoping the arbor will be shaded, at least for part of the summer.

It’s also fun to compare the early spring pictures with the late summer pictures. The transformation is amazing.

My “above all the other” pictures I love to look at are the ones of my roses. It is so wonderful to live in a climate that roses thrive in (hot and dry on summer days with cool nights). I’ve used all different kinds of roses around the garden. The tall, shrub roses will help to divide the “garden rooms” and the climbing roses will cover the arbor at the south gate of the picket fence and also grow along the fence along the driveway. The miniature roses are being used as a sort of ground cover out on the corner, outside the picket fence, and the hybrid teas are mixed and mingled among all the flower beds throughout the garden, back yard and front.

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Graham Thomas shrub rose

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Easy Does It rose, one of last roses of the season

Share some of my Winter Cheer and dream of the spring and summer to come.

 

 

 

 

 

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Apricot Candy Hybrid Tea Rose

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Light pink rose with broad petals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following pictures are from an amazing rose garden near us. I wouldn’t mind my garden looking like it one day.

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Rose Garden

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A private rose garden near us with about 500 rose bushes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rose garden

 

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For you red rose lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flowers For Cutting – Vases of Flowers Everywhere

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Cut flowers from garden to be used in arrangements

 

Isn’t it too bad that cut flowers are so expensive?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have vases of color all over the house?

Well, actually, you can. If you have a few packets of seeds, and a little plot of ground that gets plenty of sunshine, then you can grow  your own flowers for cutting.

This winter, when you’re looking through all those catalogs (see post “Have You Ordered Your Gardening Catalogs?http://wp.me/p1OXDF-Ub)  and planning your garden, be sure to carve out a space for your cutting garden. I use my whole garden as a cutting garden, but some gardeners like to have a patch set aside just for cutting.

Clear the ground of grass and weeds. Dig and turn the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. If  your soil doesn’t drain well or isn’t fertile enough, add some composted manure (available in bags at Lowe’s: http://www.lowes.com/pd_252970-82589-WGM03204_0__?productId=3083255&Ntt=manure&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dmanure&facetInfo=) and mix in well. Level out the top of the soil and plant the seeds. You can plant in rows, with the taller plants at the back so they won’t shade the shorter plants, or you can plant in squares or groupings of each kind of flower. To plant annuals, I put the seeds down and sprinkle more soil on top. Tamp down the soil with a hoe to make sure the seeds make good contact with the soil. Keep the area moist (not wet) until the seeds germinate and have a couple of leaves.  Then water deeply every 3-4 days. As the plants mature and the roots go deeper, water deeply weekly. Soon you’ll have plenty of flowers to cut for your own use and to share with family and friends. Most annuals improve with cutting because it encourages more blooms.

Some of the flowers listed below are perennials (plants that come up year after year), and can be planted from seeds but many are planted as seedlings, which give them a head start in the garden. Some of the flowers listed below are from bulbs that will come up year after year.

Some Of My Favorite Cutting Flowers

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Cut flowers from the yard, annuals and perennials

  •  Zinnias
  • Cosmos
  • Centranthus (Jupiter’s Beard)
  • Companula (Canterbury Bells)
  • Bachelor Buttons (Corn Flower)
  • Scabiosa (Pin Cushion Flower)
  • Marigolds
  • Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
  • Salvia
  • Rudbekia (Black-eyed Susan)
  • Agastache
  • Dahlias
  • Gaillardia
  • Gypsophilia (Babies’ Breath)
  • Coreopsis
  • Sunflower
  • Cleome
  • Asters
  • Japanese Anemones
  • Snapdragon
  • Bee Balm
  • Lilies
  • Larkspur
  • Liatris
  • Phlox
  • Tulips
  • Iris
  • Daffodils
  • Peonies
  • Delphiniums
  • Foxgloves
  • Lavender
  • Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)
  • Roses (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)
  • Hydrangeas (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)

 

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Zinnias

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information and pictures of these blooming plants check out these posts:

http://www.ourgardengate.com/check-these-great-gardem-deals/annuals/

http://www.ourgardengate.com/check-these-great-gardem-deals/biennials/

http://www.ourgardengate.com/check-these-great-gardem-deals/perennials/

 

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Peonies, roses, Jupiter's Beard and irises (with black Iris)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plan Your Garden On Paper – Garden Planning Made Easy

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Raised garden beds in winter

During the winter months is a really good time to take stock of your yard to see what changes you might like to make. It doesn’t hurt to think big. If you have a plan, say for a patio to be built in a certain area, then you can begin to plant the right plants (the right height etc.) in the right place. We had to do that. We staked off where the deck would eventually go, and planted a row of peonies along that line. Behind the peonies we planted some tall shrub roses, and other things, but these plants had time to grow before the deck was built 2 years later.

If you have a bird’s eye view of your property, being able to see the house, yard, driveway, walkways, deck, patio etc., it is much easier to decide where you can have flower beds or fruit trees or raised beds for vegetables.

 

You can create the bird’s eye view with a simple drawing.

Using graph paper makes it a little easier and probably more accurate, but you don’t even have to do that. Try to get the

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Designing a Garden (Green is Planting Areas)

house, garage drive etc. somewhat in perspective. I used a poster board with graph line on it. You can determine how much each square represents, 6″, 1′, 5′ etc. It just depends on the size of our property. I do an outline in pencil but when I’m pretty sure of the measurements, colored pencils help to make it all a little clearer.

Winter is a great time to scour magazines and catalogs (and garden blogs) for ideas of what kinds of plants to use. It’s important to find out the needs of plants you like and want to use. Do they need full sun? Do they like to be dry or moist? How tall will they get and will they shade neighboring plants?  I make lists of the ones that appeal to me, learn as much about them as I can, then try to figure out where in the yard I can use them.

In the first sketch, I just block in areas for “flower bed” and don’t try to plan where every plant will go.  Later, when I’m sure of the size of the bed, then I can start planning what plants to put in and how to place them.

Tall plants such as shrubs or hollyhocks should be place at the back of a border. It’s important to pay attention to where the sun will cast a shadow in the summer (which is different from the winter) so that tall plants won’t shade plants that are sun lovers.

Medium plants should be planted in front of the taller plants with low growing plants placed in front of the medium ones.

Decide on a color scheme for your garden.

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Japanese Anemone and Limelight Hydrangea

Do you like warm, hot colors like yellow, red and orange? Then choose plants that will mix these colors throughout your garden. Maybe you like the cooler colors such as blue, pink, lavender and white. Another way to use color is to use complimentary colors, colors opposite each other on the color wheel, like yellow and purple, or blue and orange. Some like to use just one color, all blue or all red, even all white. A garden with a color scheme in mind is much more pleasing than a hodge-podge of color all jumbled up. Also, plant in groupings of color, instead of scrambled all together for a more effective look. But ultimately, it’s your garden, so you get to plant what you like, where you like.

Just one more thought on the subject…

Every plant doesn’t have to bloom. A garden with foliage in a variety of textures and shades of greens and other colors, is beautiful as is, even without flowers.

 

Finding a place for everything.

It’s good to list the things you’d really like to have in your yard. We did that when we bought our home 3 years ago. Even though our property is only 1/4 acre, our list was long. The property already had the house, a garage, a potting shed, a wide driveway and sidewalks around the property on 2 sides (it’s a corner lot). We wanted a deck, a large grape arbor, raised beds for growing vegetables, an asparagus bed, fruit trees and a berry patch. All of this plus as many flower beds as we could squeeze in.

Because we drew it all out, we were able to fit everything in. We had to move things around (on paper) to make it work, but we were able to settled on a plan. By doing that, we knew what plants we were in the market for, and we knew approximately where they would go.

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Grape vines on grape arbor with beebalm below.

We were able to have a 50′ x 10′ grape arbor (planted with 2 kiwi vines and 11 grape vines), a large deck (33′ x 16′), 4 raised beds (16′ x 4′ each) for vegetables, 20 assorted fruit trees placed throughout the yard, an asparagus bed (8′ x 5′), a berry patch with raspberries (20′ x 4′) and a berry patch with strawberries and blackberries (12′ x 6′). There are flower beds, large and small, tucked everywhere else. It wouldn’t have been possible to include all we wanted to have without a plan.

Have some fun this winter. Plan a garden.

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Pathway between deck and raised vegetable beds.

 

 

 

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Deck out back door, potted plum tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Autumn Star Peaches on Tree in September

Greenhouse Fantasy Time

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Greenhouse Dreamin'

It’s about this time every year that I long for a greenhouse. It isn’t only because our growing season is so short here in zone 6, I had wanted one even when I lived in zone 8, where I could almost garden year round.

A greenhouse can not only extend the growing season for plants, but it’s much easier to start seeds for the spring garden and manage cuttings and starts taken from mature plants. It would be so nice to be able to plant up my hanging baskets early and let them get a head start, so they would be beautiful by the time the weather is warm enough to put them out into the yard.

There’s something about the atmosphere in a greenhouse that I love, especially if there are some beautiful tropical plants and all sorts of new plants coming along. I’ve been in greenhouses during the winter that had tall tropicals in bloom, and hanging baskets full of beautiful plants, pots with tall, healthy tomato plants full of green tomatoes. I would love to be able to putter around in my own warm greenhouse during the cold winter days, looking out at the beautiful white snow. I love winter, with the snow and winter activities, but I sure do miss gardening during that time.

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Seedlings for the garden

So I look at pictures of greenhouses and dream. I walk around the yard trying to figure out where in the world we could possibly put the greenhouse of my dreams, a place that would get the right amount of winter light and enough winter protection, so that it wouldn’t cost an absolute fortune to heat it.

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My dream greenhouse...maybe a little too big?

It’s fun to dream though. I might as well dream big, right?

 

 

 

 

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Can they be real?

Garden Design Video

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Beside our future front gate

 

 

Check out this fun, quickie, garden design video…

Gathering Seeds From Your Garden For Abundant Flowers Next Year

Did you remember to collect those seeds from  your annuals for next year? For many of you there is still time to do that. Here, we have a lot of the white stuff and it is a bit chilly out. But if you can, gather those seeds and you’ll have more flowers next year than you’ll know what to do with.

If you missed it, there was an earlier post on this subject.

Check out this video, kind of interesting….

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Just Some Of Our Garden Photos

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Sunflowers in the afternoon sun

Only October but I’m feeling the cold of winter breathing down my neck. So I’m just remembering “the way it was”.

 

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Crabapple blossoms in April, just before a big snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Under the peach trees - such a peaceful place in the garden

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Medallion Rose is one of my favorite roses and it smells heavenly

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Cut flowers from the garden

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Zinnias in sunshine garden photo

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

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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

Our Garden Gate
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