Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gifts for Gardeners

Another growing season has come and gone here.  Now is the time to start thinking about Holiday gifts.  What do you get the gardener that has everything?
Apply to have their yard listed as a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.   It costs approximately $20.  You get a certificate personalized with your name and habitat ID number and a free one-year subscription to National Wildlife magazine.  You can purchase an attractive, 9"x12", outdoor plaque for an additional $30.
 Interested?  Click here: Certifed Wildlife Habitat
Any monarch lovers out there?
Then I'm betting your garden will easily qualify as a monarch waystation.  You can certify your garden (or a friend's) as a Certified Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas.  This will place your waystation on a registry where you can download information and share pictures of your garden.  You will receive a personalized certificate and Waystation ID number.  It costs $16 to get certified. You can purchase an attractive, 9"x12", outdoor plaque for an additional $17.  If you want both, the cost to certify a garden AND get a weatherproof sign shipped will cost approximately $40.
Interested?  Click here:  Certified Monarch Waystation 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I was out planting my garlic this morning, and I found an interesting surprise mixed among my Lincoln peas.  Perfectly purple pea flowers.  I can't wait to see what develops.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Meyer's Lemon produced it's first three lemons.  To me they taste like a slightly sweeter, more tart lemon.  I also purchased a lime last year.  That is the pathetic twig sticking out of the container on the right.  It's never looked healthy from the day it arrived at my door.  
Due to the below freezing temperatures last week, I took that as my opportunity to bring in the last few roses.  Abraham Darby is the lighter rose on the left.  Jubilee Celebration is the darker pink flower on the right.  Both have a wonderful, strong fragrance.  Love them!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

 I was out walking in the garden yesterday, and I encountered a very pleasant surprise.  My Autumn Joy sedum was covered in honeybees.  I've never seen so many honeybees in one spot with the exception of being near a hive.   Yeah for happy bees!
My roses from Chamblee Roses arrived today.  What great roses they are!  The second I peeled the tape off the box, the fragrance jumped out at me.  Pure heaven.  They have blooms.  The packaging was impeccable.  They appear very healthy.  I would highly recommend Chamblee!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A portion of today's harvest.  Caroline raspberries.  Only a fraction of the ripe Sun Golds the are out there.  Celebrity tomatoes in the back with two large Marion tomatoes in the front.  A Salad Bush cucumber.  Yummy food and lots of hummingbird sightings.  It's a good day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

 Caroline Raspberry picking!
 Fruit Smoothie Zinnia.  The purple flowers are alright.  The orange are stunning!
 Bees like them too.
 I couldn't take looking at my Alberta Spruce anymore.  It had two years of struggles against drought and spider mites.  I dug it up, and now I will coddle it for a few months in a container.  If it doesn't show signs of improvement, I'll finally be able to let it go.
 Heirloom vining petunias.  Awesome fragrance and haven't been without heavy blooms yet!
Fragrant Cloud rose with a worm nestled up against it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I was looking out the window and could see this guy from 15 feet away.  A monarch cat.  After looking for less than a few seconds I saw three more.  Yeah for tropical milkweed.  Plus, even though I'm in zone 6b, I notice a bunch of small milkweed plants that are only about 2 inches tall.  Great fresh food for these guys.  Most of the plants have just started releasing seed and are blooming heavily.  My favorite milkweed!!! 
Right next to the milkweed was this zinnia with a friendly ladybug visitor.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

 The wrens feeding their babies.
 Tango celery fresh from the garden.  Delicious.
The first Salad Bush cukes of the season were picked a few days ago.  The three plants are really taking off.  I'll be swimming in cukes soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Mid-June Update
 Music and German Extra Hardy garlic.  I just removed the scapes earlier this week.  They are doing beautifully in the raised bed.
 Winona strawberry bed after being renovated.  Old foliage was removed.  The middle and rear plants were removed to leave room for air circulation.
 Snow Princess sweet alyssum that was started from seed.
 Jacob Kline Monarda
 Navaho blackberries are developing.
 Tiki Torch coneflower.  This is it's third year.  Not a very vigorous coneflower by any means.  Still not much bigger than when I ordered it.  Disappointing.
 Major Wheeler honeysuckle is blooming its heart out.  Hummingbirds have been visiting it!
 My "shell" garden.  Heirloom, vining petunias are along the left side.  Copra onions in front.  Scarlet Nantes carrots and Salad Bush cucumbers are to the right.  Two Tango celery plants are ready for harvest in the rear.
An interesting comparison.  Above are my Copra onions on June 2nd.
 Exactly 14 days later.  It is a great gardening year so far!
 Salad Bush cukes on their compact 3 foot vines are already ready for their first harvest.
 I bagged blossoms a few weeks ago.  I'm considering leaving on the bag to see what happens.  I will probably have to cut it away at some point since this is a Kellogg's Breakfast tomato.  They're not tiny.  :)
 A Sandul Moldovan, Kellogg's Breakfast, and two Sun Gold tomatoes in one of the 3' x 3' raised beds.  THRIVING!  Finally a great tomato far.
 Fat N' Sassy bell peppers are doing wonderfully.
 They are already producing a bunch of peppers.
 One of my favorites.  Echinacea purpurea.  Unimproved, and perfect.
 My Meyer's Lemon is taking off.  Too bad the Lime (in the green container) has been a dud since day one.  Strange.
I have my first lemons developing and more blossoms!
Happy Gardening!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

 First tomatoes of the season are forming.  Sun Golds.
 Lincoln shelling peas.  Delicious.  Unfortunately the 15+ degrees over average temps we have been having for weeks have shut down the blossoms.  Hopefully the cool temps predicted for the next week will get them going again.  The foliage is still in great shape.
 Salad Bush cucumbers are starting to blossom.
Copra onions are a bit battered from last nights heavy rain storm, but they are developing nicely.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let it pour!  Finally a break from the oppressive heat and humidity.  I love sitting and listening to the rain.
 My newest blueberry additions.  They were 1/2 off at Home Depot so I couldn't pass them up.  Here are Bluecrop and Jersey.
 My Golden Delicious had a bad case of rosy apple aphids.  Lady bugs to the rescue.  There is also another underneath a nearby leaf. I love these hungry beauties.
 My Dwarf Honeycrisp apple tree from Stark that I planted last Fall.  She's branching and leafing out nicely.
 Fat N' Sassy peppers are starting to bloom.  They are thriving in the crazy heat we've been having.
The "shell" garden.  Petunias, impatiens and nicotiana line the back edges.  Onions are the large patch in the front.  Freshly planted geraniums (a gift from my mother-in-law) are near the birdbath and front center.  One Cherokee Green and two Celebrity tomatoes are staked behind the birdbath.  Scarlet Nantes carrots and 3 Salad Bush cucumbers are to the right of the birdbath.  I may hate this heat and humidity, but the garden is thriving so far.

Friday, May 25, 2012

After a quick trip to the A. C. Moore craft store for some drawstring tulle bags, tomato bagging has commenced.  These are the 5 x 6/5" bags.  Not too big, not too small.  They have printable coupons, so I got these at 40% off.  So $3 for 18 bags.  I didn't think of it at the time, but the store also had a large size bag.  I was thinking those might be perfect to protect my grapes from the birds.  Last year the birds ate every last grape in the course of one night.  Not this year!

Monday, May 21, 2012

 Lincoln Peas in bloom.
 Earliglow strawberries are still producing well.
The death of Lady Emma Hamilton.  Clearly not as lush as last season.  Also, despite the relatively dry weather, she is covered in black spot.

 Looking behind the rose, clear evidence of Rose Rosette Disease (RRD).  Heavily infected with this virus.  :(
 An up-close view of the excessive thorniness and red hue.
 When cut, the canes are noticeably soft.  She was "shovel-pruned" and secured in a plastic bag this afternoon for disposal.
 Her gorgeous final blooms and buds were removed.
They now adorn my bathroom window so I can smell their delightfully sweet fragrance one last time.  She will be missed.