Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dividing and Transplanting Daffodils | P. Allen Smith Garden Home

Dividing and Transplanting Daffodils | P. Allen Smith Garden Home

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Coneflowers / Echinacea

"Purple coneflowers have been one of the top-10 selling perennials for years," says Bobby Saul, an owner of ItSaul Plants in Atlanta. "We started breeding new selections several years ago, and the results are these shades and the beginning of a new era for this favorite flower."

The romance of these coneflowers goes beyond color. "As we developed the new hues, we also discovered fragrance the purple selections only hint at," Bobby says. It becomes most prominent in late afternoon, when flowers warmed by the sun give the air a sweet, unexpected scent.
These new coneflowers also cut like a charm. Snip a few stems as they open, and they'll last in a vase for at least 10 days. The colors combine beautifully with other garden flowers and herbs for stunning mixed-bouquet potential. Few summer blooms produce the color range these selections posess.
Coneflowers grow enthusiastically . Here are Bobby's recommendations for success.
  • Well-drained soil: This is a must for long-lived plants; many times they will fail due to excessive moisture in the soil.
  • Sunlight: Full sun (at least four hours) is best to ensure strong plants and sturdy flowers.
  • Fertilize: Don't go overboard. Feed with an all-purpose granular food (such as 14-14-14) in the spring and once again in midsummer.
  • Maintenance: Once blooms fade, deadhead them at the bases of the stems. New buds will follow. Tall flowers that aren't in full sun may need stakes for support.

 July 2007 issue of Southern Living.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pheasant's Eye Narcissus/Daffodil

did you know?
"Daffodil" and "narcissus" are different names for the same flower

This large white daffodil, which is also sometimes called the Poet's Daffodil, is a charming combination of white petals, red and yellow rim to a cup with a surprising bit of green inside. The green of the inside cup, or "eye", is what gives the Pheasant's Eye Daffodil its name.
These are beautiful to see bloom in the garden.

The scent is fabulous and the flowers are lovely either in the garden or in a vase. 2 or 3 blossoms in a room will scent the whole room.
These are beautiful to see bloom in the garden when planted  in naturalized drifts.
You do not want to plant daffodils in straight lines, and when you see a cluster of these exquisite daffodils come up in the springtime you'll be charmed both by their unique look

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Growing Impatiens in a container

For those with a limited growing area or  shade to part shade area, or other who have a patio they would like to add some color and beauty too, impatiens are an excellent container flower.  I love this flower, it really brightens up a dark area! Water daily and a little plant food once a month and it triple in size and be happy  : )

Tips for Container Gardening          
When putting planting a container garden, real soil is a no-no.
Instead, choose a soil-less mix – a lightweight combination of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite – sold as patio or container mix.
The potting mix should be fluffy and just moist for planting.
Place a piece of broken pottery or small stone over drainage hole to prevent mix from leaking out.
Fill container three quarters
with potting mix, keeping it fluffy (don’t press down too hard). Remove plants from pots, gently teasing roots apart if necessary, and place inside container.

Container garden plants are asked to produce masses of flowers in a tight space, so be sure to fertilize. The easy way is to mix slow-release fertilizer pellets into the top couple of inches of potting soil. (Follow package directions for amount.) The fertilizer beads are covered with a coating that gradually releases nutrients all season long.

Fill gaps between container garden plants with potting mix, firming down gently. Avoid packing pots right up to the rim – leave about an inch free as a reservoir for easier watering.

To finish, water. Throughout the season, check your container garden pots daily and water until water comes out through the drainage hole.

Different types of pots to use
Terra cotta: A time-honored classic material that’s porous and allows oxygen to get to roots. However terra cotta is heavy and easily chipped or broken and generally not frost-proof, so store indoors in winter. The best terra cotta comes from Italy.

Glazed ceramic: This material has the same advantages and disadvantages as terra cotta. Available in many attractive colors. Not frost-proof, needs indoor storage for winter

Plastic and molded polyethylene (fake terra cotta or stone): Light, easy to move, polyethylene looks like real thing. It doesn’t chip or break and is frost-proof. Not porous like terra cotta, so good drainage is essential. Raise pot on blocks so drain holes not obstructed. Go for quality as cheap plastic pots degrade quickly in UV rays

Wooden barrels & window boxes: Attractive, readily available; can be built to sizes and shapes that suit the location. Large-sized containers heavy to move. Deteriorates quickly unless protected from moisture, so line interior with plastic sheeting

Monday, March 7, 2011

Deer Resistant plants

Do you have Deer in your yard? I do, my neighbor like to feed them! Yes they are beautiful animals, but they love plants. As gardeners we invest a lot of money to make our yards beautiful, so I am giving you a list plants that Deer do not like, I hope this helps. Deer typically dont like any plant that is part of the onion family such as onion, garlic, Allium, chives. They also dont like thorns, so bushes such as Roses, Barberry and Holly are good choices.

My neighbors Deer sanctuary  winter 2011
These plants have been identified by various sources as not being the favorite food of deer.•Acaena

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My First Garden pics.

Looking  through a box of old photos today, I came across a few pics. I wanted to share. I  believe the year was 1976, The Bicentennial year. One of my favorite times in this country, everything and everyone were so patriotic.
   I used to love to take pics. with my little 110 camera, remember those?  : )  My first garden contained Irises of course, even then I could`nt  get enough of these beautiful fragrant flowers and of course my garden kitty Toby, I think he enjoyed the flowers also.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Gardening Tips

Cox Arboretum Dayton Ohio 2010

Survey the YardMake note of tree limbs that should be removed or cabled, especially those that overhang structures. Hire an arborist to maintain large trees.Cut down last year's perennial foliage, and toss it into the compost pile. Rake mulch from beds planted with bulbs before foliage appears, and refresh mulch in other planting areas after soil warms. Check fences, steps, and pathways for disrepair caused by freezing and thawing.

Order Tools and PlantsTune up tools so everything is ready when things start growing. Make note of what is missing, and order tools for the new growing season. Choose new plants for the garden. Order perennials, trees, and shrubs for spring planting.

Get Ready to MowSend the mower and leaf blower for servicing, or if you have the right tools, sharpen the mower blades yourself. Refill your mower with oil, install fresh spark plugs, and lubricate moving parts if necessary. Clear the lawn of winter debris, and look for areas that need reseeding before mowing.

Prune Trees and ShrubsRemove dead, damaged, and diseased branches from woody plants. Thin and trim summer-blooming shrubs such as butterfly bush, hydrangea, and most roses, except for old-fashioned once bloomers. Prune cold-damaged wood after plants resume spring growth. Prune spring-blooming shrubs and trees after flowering.

Take a Soil TestCheck soil pH with a home soil- test kit, taking several samples from different planting areas for an accurate reading. Enrich soil as necessary: Add  lime to raise the pH or elemental sulfur to lower the pH.

Prepare New BedsClear the planting area as soon as soil can be worked, removing sod or weeds and debris. Spread a 4-inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure and any amendments over soil, and cultivate it to a depth of 10 to 12 inches with a spading fork.

PlantPlant bare-root trees, shrubs, and perennials such as hostas and daylilies by early spring. Choose a cool, cloudy day if possible. Transplant container-grown plants anytime during the growing season except midsummer; be sure to water them thoroughly. Sow seeds of cool-season flowers like sweet peas, poppies, and calendula, and vegetables such as lettuce, parsley, and spinach.

FertilizeApply balanced fertilizer (6-6-6 or 8-8-8), fish emulsion, or other soil amendments recommended by soil-test results around trees and shrubs when new growth appears. Spread high-acid fertilizer and pine-needle mulch around acid-loving shrubs like azaleas and camellias. Begin fertilizing perennials when active growth resumes.

Start a Compost PileStart a compost pile, or use a compost bin, if you don't have one already. Begin by collecting plant debris and leaves raked up from the garden. Chop these up first to speed decomposition. Add equal amounts "brown" (carbon-rich) materials like dried leaves and straw and "green" (nitrogen-rich) materials like grass clippings and weeds in even layers with water and a compost bioactivator. Turn regularly. Continue adding to the pile throughout the season for rich, homemade compost next spring.

Clean Bird Feeders and Baths
Disinfect the feeders by scrubbing with weak bleach solution (1/4 cup bleach: 2 gallons warm water). Rinse and dry the feeders thoroughly before refilling them.Scrub birdbaths with bleach solution, then rinse them thoroughly and refill, changing water weekly. Clean birdbaths and feeders regularly throughout the season.