Showing posts from November, 2014

Great day in the garden

It's that sunny warm day before a hard freeze and we are using every minute.

Watering the cold hardy plants like these gardenias. I had to remind myself that it is best to mulch after the ground is frozen not when it is still warm like it is now.

While weeding around the emerging larkspur and and pulling weeds it seemed like a good idea to plant hollyhock seeds. They are biennial so if we plant the seeds now and they emerge during warm spells, they will bloom summer 2015.

Also, I'm harvesting zinnia seeds and planting them around for next summer.

In a bed toward the back of our property where native plants thrive and multiply I worked removing hundreds of tiny plant seedlings and suckers that would choke out the rest of my shrubs, trees and flowers up there.

Jon is working on pruning the dead and low hanging branches of the Loblolly pine trees - with intermittent chain saw adjustments - and removing a row of native privet shrubs that seemed like a good idea at the time but h…

Late Nov salad in zone 7

We just arrived home from our thanksgiving trip and it was 75 degrees and sunny.

The salad greens were ready to be watered and picked so I did both.

Tonight's welcome-home salad is 4 lettuce varieties, bloody dock, parsley, basil, mache, kale, arugula, and garlic, with a simple, home made vinegar and oil dressing.
posted from Bloggeroid

Seeds to plant now

You can provide cold stratification for seeds of annual flowers by putting them in the freezer or the refrigerator but I prefer to plant them Thanksgiving week so Mother Nature does the work for me.

This is the time to plant Poppy seeds, Larkspur, wildflowers, swamp milkweed and many others. They seem to thrive with cold, moist, freeze and thaw stratification.

The photo is our bag of the poppy seeds we collected and cleaned. This afternoon we are going to fill that gallon bag with soil-less potting soil that has been mixed with additional peat moss.

Then, we are going to disturb the ground in various places on our 2 acres, sprinkle the mix on the disturbed soil and pat it down to discourage birds and squirrels. The peat, perlite and pressing the seeds in seems to really help reduce the eating.

For more see

Many many perennial seeds need cold stratification to germinate their thick, hard seedcoat.
Check out this site for more ti…

Cherokee Ethnobotany - Pat Gwin speaking in Muskogee

Pat Gwin speaking“Cherokee Ethnobiology: Cherokee Native Agricultural Practices and Plants”
November 20, 9:30 am to 11 Muskogee Garden Club
Kiwanis Senior Center 119 Spaulding AV Muskogee
Information: Susan Asquith 918.682.3688
Cherokee plants and their role in the life of native Cherokee sustainable agricultural practices is a topic that Pat Gwin has spoken on for a decade at various conferences, native plant walks and events. Nove 20 he will share that wisdom at Muskogee Garden Club’s monthly meeting.
“Ethnobotany is strictly about the native plants and Ethnobiology includes animals,” said Gwin. “My talk will be 95% about plants. Part One of the talk is gardening with heirlooms and Part Two is about ethnoforestry which is usually the more popular part of the talk.”
Gwin is the director of the Cherokee Nation Seed Bank and Native Plant Center at Cherokee Nation Natural Resources in Tahlequah where he helps coordinate the heirloom seed exchange program. He also helps plant and oversee th…

Cold Frames made of re-purposed home windows

When we had to have our house's windows replaced with new ones last year, I asked that all the old windows be left with us so they could be re-purposed into mini cold frames.

We put them up the day before these 20-degree temperatures arrived and I wanted to give them a few days/nights trial run to see how well they did. Success!

Jon drilled little holes in the frames and ran wire through the holes to make a secure tie that even these recent, awful winds have not messed with.

The little windows at the ends blew down one night but the plants didn't suffer any damage.

We've watered once just by slipping the hose in with a water flow diffuser/bubbler attached so it would flow down into the soil.

The other greens in the garden? Mixed results. The Kale has freezer burn, the Mache and Arugula are doing fine.

Begonia rhizomes make more plants You Can Grow That!

Begonias are mostly tender perennials in zone 7 with only a few exceptions. They are one example of plants that we keep from year to year, dividing in the fall, growing in the shed over the winter and putting back outside in the spring.

There are different types of begonias according to Gary Turner, including cane, shrub, thick stem semperflorens, rhizomatous, tuberous, trailing/scandent. Cane-types can be rooted in water.

Most have shallow roots and prefer shallow containers where they can trail out. We use bagged soil-less potting soil, remixed with extra perlite for ours.

A few of ours are so crowded that their rhizomes are crawling over the sides of their containers. We keep ours outside in flower beds, under trees, all summer in pots and our summers are 100 and above with pretty high humidity.

At the link above, Turner says: "The planting medium mix should be slightly acid, containing loose, well-drained ingredients such as Perlite, Vermiculite and leaf mold (oak leaf, Orch…

November things to do in the garden

November is not always a gardening month but this year it is. However, when night temperatures drop below 50-degrees F, tropical perennials, succulents and houseplants should be prepared for bringing indoors.
Start by checking the containers and soil for insects. Soak the planted pots in a tub of lukewarm water for 15 minutes to force the insects to leave. If there are burrowed insects in the pot such as snails or earthworms, repot the plant to remove them before bringing them inside.
If the plant became large and leggy over the summer, prune back the roots and the top before repotting in fresh soil.
Gradually help the plants get used to the low light in a home by putting them in shade for more and more hours a day before bringing them in. The best windowsill light is about half the light plants get outdoors.
Many plants you enjoyed this summer can have a second life if you take cuttings that you can replant next spring. We have had success with all succulents, begonias, petunias, Purple…

Wildflower Seeds - new source this year Pine Ridge Gardens

Mary Ann King, owner of Pine Ridge Gardens in northwest Arkansas has always been a reliable source for native plants grown at her nursery.

Yesterday King announced that they have collected seeds from their plants and the surrounding area and are making them available to native plant lovers. Click over to see the entire listing at

Other useful links -
Arkansas Native Plant Society
Ozark Chapter Arkansas Native Plant Society
Native Plants for Birds in NW Arkansas

Seeds we have to Spare

Our seed mostly comes from the nursery or the farm so most of our seed is only available in small quantities.  Sometimes seed may hybridize naturally so  it may not turn out exactly like its parent plant.  And since these are seeds, please keep in mind that there can be color variations.   TO ORDER:  Print page, check or circle …

Anemone - Grecian Windflower

Grecian Windflowers are popular as container grown spring bulbs or flower bed happy surprises. They are happy surprises because we tend to forget that we planted them and then in the spring their cheerful, daisy-like blooms pop up year after year.

They are positively delightful to plant near dwarf daffodil varieties such as March Sunshine and Rapture since they bloom around the same time and are about the same height - 6 to 12-inches, creating a sweet bouquet of their own.

Once they get started, Anemones can bloom for a month. If they like their new home they can spread by seed but mine never have. They do hang and in there and bloom for several years but they have never spread for me.

They are cold hardy to zone 5 and do well up to zone 8. Old House Gardens says the White Splendor was introduced in 1950 when it won an RHS award as "the strongest growing and dazzling"

Choose a spot in bright half-sun or half-shade, plant the corms on their edge in well-draining soil. I surr…