Showing posts from June, 2014

Garlic - easy to plant, grow and harvest

The garlic planted last October was harvested over the past couple of weeks and it's now hung in the garden shed to dry.

Much of what we planted came from our own seed which is simply cloves of garlic that we harvested a year ago. We decided that any variety that lasted from one harvest to the next planting deserved to get another run.

In addition, we purchased some garlic heads from a mail order source that we have found to be reliable.

The winter was wetter than it has been for a few years and the spring was cooler so it took a week or two longer for the garlic to mature into cloves..

The first time I planted garlic was after a how-to workshop with Tulsa's garlic man, Darrell Merrill. When I tried to harvest that first planting, I went into a panic because the head looked like an onion not garlic with cloves.

Darrell was very patient with me and explained that it just needed to stay in the ground another couple of weeks.

If you haven't discovered how easy it is to plant …

Meidiland Alba Rose

We visited a garden last week and the homeowner gave us one of her roses. The parent was given to her by a friend who said it is a Meidiland Alba. I'm not a rose grower so cannot argue. I'm just thrilled to have one of these beauties added to our garden!
Those clusters of flowers are so dramatic that our fiend said having one is like have snow in summer.

The reason I'm wondering about her friend's naming of the plant is that Meidiland Rose is a ground cover rose and this plant was 8 or 10 feet tall. It was in part shade due to being at the back of a flower bed with trees behind. I wonder if it was climbing a tree.

Meidiland is hardy in zones 4 to 10 and resists disease. They do not have to be dead headed as they are self-cleaning, though removing spent flowers encourages more blooming. They have to be watered regularly and fertilized during the growing season. Must have 5 hours of full sun every day or they will die from the roots.

Bluebird Farm -Crescent OK - home of Phil and Frances Macy

When Phil and Frances Macy were friends and then sweethearts at Crescent OK high school, they never could have imagined that they would be the ones who would restore the family land and farmhouse in their retirement. 

The house was already 20-years old when Phil’s ancestors bought it over 100 years ago. The original floors of the 800 square-foot home have been restored and many original features have been preserved.
“My mother was born in this house,” said Phil. “And, she was able to celebrate her 100th birthday in it three years before her death in 1959.”
The Macys lived in many locations around the country and when they retired in 1997 they moved from St. Louis to Edmond. Restoration at the family farm and building the landscape began in 2000.
Now called Bluebird Farm, the Murry-Wilson-Macy property north of Crescent earned an OK Centennial Landmark designation and the Foucart Award for Preservation.
“When we started, there were no trees and no gardens,” said Frances. “I wanted to create…

Formosa Lily in our Garden may be a Lily in the Pink Perfection Group

Formosa Lilies, Lilium formosanum, take center stage in mid-June, towering above all the other flowers in bloom. They are wonderfully easy to grow and require no special care to return year after year. Their other common names include Taiwan Mountain Lily and Philippine Lily.

The trumpet flowers attract some pollinators, especially butterflies, but mostly we grow them for their ability to grow 7 or 8 feet tall and add drama to the perennial beds.

Our first one came from Old House Gardens several years ago and it has multiplied many times over the years. Fine Gardening says they commonly multiply by seed.

They thrive in the heat, are scented, and cold hardy to zone 6. Old House Gardens says they came from Taiwan in 1880 then were successfully re-introduced in 1918.

Another resource says Robert Fortune, the English horticultural botanist visited Taiwan in 1854 and called them Lilium japonicum. Fortune is thought to be the first westerner to ever visit Taiwan collecting plants. In his bo…

Abelias attract butterflies but deter deer and rabbits

Abelia shrubs, members of the Honeysuckle plant family, are staples of gardens in warm climates. While some are hardy in only in zones 8 and 9, plenty of them grow well in areas where there are freezing winter temperatures. Gardeners who want carefree beauty either already have or will want to have Abelias in the landscape or in containers. They require little care and live for decades.

Plus, plant breeders introduce new ones every year with better growing tolerances, different sizes at maturity, leaf shapes and flower colors. They are a great choice for part-sun locations in shrub borders, informal hedge and foundation plantings where their flowers and scent will be enjoyed.

If you are planting new shrubs, select a location with some wind protection in part-shade. Prune in late-winter but only to maintain shape, remove dead wood or rubbing branches. New shrubs should be thoroughly watered and then soaked once a week during summer, unless it rains an inch. They thrive in average, well…

Native Plants in West Virginia

Abram's Creek in Elk Garden, West Virginia must be a gorgeous place! There's a lodge, event center, campgrounds, etc.

What brought it to my attention is the photos of the plant life/botany portion of the website.

The section of the website most interesting to plant people is called "Creatures, Flowers and Botany of Abrams Creek and is worth a look.

Click over to
to see the photos of native plants that appear to be thriving.

Butterfly site illustrates187 American butterflies

The British Columbia Butterfly Atlas is online with all 187 North American Butterflies listed with family name, common name and Latin name.

The list provides photos from three butterfly atlas resources: British Columbia, Butterflies of Canada and Butterflies of America. Photos of adult and immature, chrysalis, and habitat are all included.

Click over and spend some relaxing moments enjoying and learning about our flying flowers

Bustani Plant Farm in Stillwater OK

Bustani Plant Farm in Stillwater OK is an incredible destination garden center!

Bustani is closed for the worst days of summer; reopens in the fall Fall Hours: Sep 4-27, Tue-Sat, 9-6
Here are a few photos from our visit this weekend.

Plant Identification Websites by Barbara Clark

Friends of the Garden posts a comprehensive list of plant identification sites available on the internet.

Here is the link

And, here is the list of links -
INTERNET PLANT SITES Editor's Note: This comprehensive list is compiled and updated by Friend of the Garden volunteer Barbara Clark. We don't think you'll find a more complete list of websites dedicated to plant identification and information anywhere! Thanks, Barb!

Here's Barb's bio - My interest in flowers and photography began by walking the Ozark Greenways trails. Seeing many unknown plants, both along the paths and in my yard from spreading seed, I began trying to identity each one. This became easier after I received a digital camera. Now I can look at a computer photo and compare it with one found on the Net.  From such searching, I have an ever growing list of Web sites. These can be viewed HERE. One plant was unknown for 2 years.  The  Nathanael  Greene/…

New Plants 2014

Each year plant companies send trial plants to garden writers and public gardens in order to see how they grow in conditions across the country. At the end of the 12-month trial the arboretums, and writers report back to the seed and plant companies. You can see the results from 27 trial gardens at
Oklahoma State University experiments with vegetable, flower and crop seeds. The crop results are online at and the vegetable trial results are at Dallas Arboretum trials hundreds of ornamental plants each year and their reports are at
Blooms of Bressingham and Proven Winners are two of the companies that sent small trial plants to garden writers this month.
Blooms of Bressingham sent bare root plants including double-white Dendranthema Icicle Igloo and yellow-flowering Dendramthema Sizzling Igloo. Dendranthema is the Latin name for cold-hardy mums.
All ten varieties in the Igloo seri…

Crane fly surprises

If you are one of the people (like us) who see Daddy Long Legs or Crane flies and immediately think, "They kill mosquitoes" then like us, you have been misinformed.

They actually are a type of fly in the Tipulidae insect family and there are 4,000 kinds of crane flies.

And, not only do they not eat mosquitoes, they basically eat nothing at all but a little nectar since their lives last only a few days so they can mate and lay eggs.

Although the photo makes you wonder what the heck, their offspring are their reason for being. Not a cute child at all but there you have it. The grubs or larvae are calledleatherjackets.

The larvae's main meal is dead wet leaves though sometimes they are guilty of enjoying grass roots.

Bug Squadis the main source of this post. You can subscribe, too.

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars on Asclepias Tuberosa

Growing milkweeds is a wonderful thing and although we grow a few varieties, the Monarch's (Danaus plexippus) favorite seems to be the tropical sort (Asclepias tuberosa) with the bright orange flowers.

None of the milkweed varieties are perennial here in zone 7 so it has to be started by seed. The plants are challenging to locate and if you can find it, the cost is ridiculous, well, unless you want to have Monarch families.

The one year I purchased tropical milkweed, I dug it up in the fall and replanted it the following spring. That's always an option if you want to protect your investment. I start seeds each winter after a period of cold stratification in the refrigerator or by winter sowing in containers outside.

Monarchs are one of the few butterflies that migrate twice a year. We usually get a few in the spring but a lot in the fall. During the drought years they avoid us, seeking better egg laying ground but this year's rain should put them back in our gardens.


Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar and Ruta graveolens

In the garden yesterday, two Giant Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars appeared on the Ruta graveolens.
These plants were started from seed several years ago  and have grown to over 3 feet tall.
This is the ground under one of the plants. Those little Rue plants number about 50 and we have been giving them away by the dozens in order to provide more food for Giant Swallowtails.
This is an adult - photo from the Entomomlogy Dept., Univ. of FL. Click over to their link under the photo to learn more about this gorgeous winged wonder of our gardens.

Price Garden on Muskogee Garden Tour Saturday

Muskogee Garden Tour Saturday, June 7 from 9 to 3 $5 tickets include 4 home gardens plus Papilion at Honor Heights and a plant sale
Information: Marilyn Hinshaw 918-682-3601 ­­­­­­­---------------------------------------- Harvey and Kay Price live in a 1909 three story home that they have lovingly restored. Since Price purchased the abandoned home in 1988, the landscape has been transformed from a weedy, corner lot that the neighbors brush hogged, into a series of gardens worth touring.
The dramatic view you get by driving by the home and garden on North Country Club RD is a small slice of the treasures seen on closer examination. 
The sidewalk from the street to the front door is lined on both sides with beds of boxwood shrubs, heavenly bamboo, daylilies and Whopper begonias.
The property line bed to the right is planted with perennials, trees, native plants and annuals. Look for dogwood and pawpaw trees, bearded iris, black eyed Susans, white and purple begonias, Artemisia and coleus. Als…

Green Cycler countertop compost maker

Here's an idea whose time has come: Green Cycler. It's a counter-top or under the counter compost shredder that grinds kitchen scraps into compostable pieces.

This is a great way to chop compost materials, especially if you compost in place or feed compost worms in a worm bin. What I like about using it -

It is easy to operate, turning the hand crank to chop the vegetable and fruit scraps.
The suction cups on the bottom work really well to prevent slipping.
The bin where the chopped food goes is large enough to be useful.

There are several versions to choose from. These are from the company website under the "shop" tab. Just glance at how many options there are and go to their link above and watch the video.

Sale!Default sortingSort by popularitySort by average ratingSort by newnessSort by price: low to highSort by price: high to low Green Cycler Basic Black$119.99$99.99 Green Cycler Platinum$139.99Sale!