"Roses are a favorite in so many gardens. But let's face it, those gorgeous flowers are sometimes accompanied by various rose diseases and pests. Is there an alternative to regular pesticide applications to keep these beauties producing the blossoms we so covet? Definitley, but it takes starting with the right rose and just a little attention throughout the season." via www.rose.org
One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.
I get asked often about how to start a new planting bed - for flowers, veggies, whatever. We had a planting bed on the side of the house that got all day sun, and had very little growing there, so we decided to use it to grow tomatoes and peppers. I documented the steps in pictures as we went through it.
Move over bunnies, my next enemy is the squirrel. These tree rats cause a lot of havoc in our yards, eating bird seed, digging up lawns, shorting out transformers, snipping off buds on trees and shrubs, and when populations are large they can also eat the bark on trees like rabbits do.
I look out my front window seething, watching well-fed bunnies happily hopping all around my yard. Don't let them fool you - even though they are fluffy and cute, they are pure evil under all that silky soft fur and innocent demeanor. Just ask Elmer Fudd and his friends – who have hunted and tracked their silly prey for over 70 years. Bugs Bunny is less interested in escape than in driving his pursuer insane and can be heard to say (with casual unconcern), “What’s Up, Doc?”. Well, bunnies, I will hunt you down, trap you all, and get rid of you – for the next 70 years if I have to! You have eaten your last tulip just as it opens up – sawing off the flower stem with a diagonal bite and leaving the flower petals to dry up on the lawn in the spring sun. To use your own catchphrase, "Of course you realize this means war!" This is not fun and games. You seriously have to go.
It’s Spring! You want to get out there and do some of those landscaping projects you didn’t get to last year. A new flower bed would be nice, or you want to plant a tree, maybe create a retaining wall. You have been thinking about what you want it to look like all winter. Maybe you have already purchased materials for your project. I’m sure you have also drawn a rough sketch of what you want to do. It should be easy, right? You have a free weekend, let’s go!
I did not know this, and after I read the article below, I'm not sure that I ever wanted to know this. I know from living in a farming community that seed companies are making seeds such as corn resistant to RoundUp so that it is easy to spray for weeds as farmers are tending their crops. But I didn't know that they are now genetically altering the seeds, and also doing the same with seeds that we buy as residential back yard garden growers.
Check out this Saturday morning Gardening Radio show: http://www.wlip.com/Plant-Chatter/4551147
I've found that landscapers first pay a lot of attention to solving functional needs, creating the hardscapes and paths, and picking plants to cover or focus on an area. These are important things that need to be planned, but it seems that color ends up being the last consideration. When someone asks me for help to design their yard, one of the first things I ask them are what colors do they like and dislike. When you sit down in your backyard to relax, what do you want to look at? If you hate yellow and you have a yard filled with Stella D'Oro daylillies, it would be a bit upsetting. That is why I make sure that color is part of the plan from the beginning.
As the days get warmer I am compelled to get outside and start looking at my flower beds. We moved to this house in late November, so I have no idea what spring flowers may pop up, and what perennials will emerge soon. I did a walk around the last few days to see if I can see some bulbs popping up, and I did notice a few, but there were some obvious empty places still. Friends that live in the Waukesha area have told me that their spring flowers are already up and blooming!
Every once in awhile I would hear or read something about world seed banks, but they always seemed shrouded in mystery and hidden away. Articles never really said much about where they are and how they worked. Could I make a withdrawal if I wanted to plant something exotic? Could I send them seeds of my favorite marigold? Can I trade my snapdragon seeds for some heirloom sunflower seeds?
I know, the headline grabbed you, right? It grabbed me too, and I had to read on. I get a daily email from TipNut.com and this was in with today's tips. I thought they must be kidding, but they aren't. Take a look at it!
This time of the year we gardeners can't garden. This is one of the many reasons I hate winter. With time on your hands your mind starts to wander - you worry about your plants freezing, you are wondering if bunnies are eating the tender bark of your shrubs and hoping that the birds are using your plants for food and shelter. What else can you do? Many of us take this time to make plans for the changes they want to make to their landscapes in the spring. One of my favorite things to do is to go through seed catalogs. Another favorite thing I do is to hit my stack of gardening magazines that I never seem to have time for during the growing season.
We've been discussing cinnamon lately at our house, probably because we use it more during the holidays. That got me wondering - cinnamon comes from a plant of some kind, but what plant? I had to find out.
We were trying to get our poinsettia from last year to turn red again, but weren't getting any results, so I decided to look it up. I had heard that you have to put it in total darkness, but I thought it would be all day and all night for a few weeks. I was wrong! I also found out that you need to take care of it all year long to get these results. I got the instructions below from an article on-line: