Showing posts from December, 2014

Holiday Wreaths Add a Welcoming Touch

This is the time of year when homes, stores and entire city blocks are decorated with snowflakes, stars, bells, garlands, poinsettia plants, evergreen trees, wreaths, and blooming Christmas cactus.
Holiday wreaths, garlands and decorative boughs can be made of ordinary materials such as felt cutouts, ribbon and tree branches or precious items such as the diamond and ruby studded Christmas wreath that sold for over $4 million last Christmas.

The circular shape of the Christmas wreath has the same significance as wedding bands, with the circle representing eternity or the unending circle of life. Evergreen tree branches, most often used to make wreaths symbolize growth and everlasting life.
Jerry Clouse, owner of Twin Pines evergreen farm in Muskogee said, “We grow the French Scotch Pine and the Belgian Scotch Pine trees. They are called Legend Trees because the central stem signifies God and the second stalk is Jesus. Then the branches coming up are the five branches of heaven.”
Clouse wh…

Columbine - Aquilegia - Perennial Seeds Winter Planting - You Can Grow That!

December is a great time to finish planting the seeds, perennials and bulbs that will make spring glorious in our gardens! 
You know that it's time to plant biennials, poppies, larkspur and other early spring flowers for the first bee and butterfly nectar in the neighborhood. But don't forget about the other shade garden favorites such as Columbine, also known as Granny's Bonnet.
Columbine has a reputation for thriving in shade. In the early spring they enjoy the direct sun that falls on them under trees but they will not thrive in full-sun, hot, dry conditions. Plant them where you normally water or where you have added plenty of organic material such as leaves and mulch.
A local gardening friend send me a baggie of seeds from her Columbine plants and it's time to get them going so the plants will be ready to plant  in early spring.
Cold hardy in zones 4 to 8, perennial Aquilegias have a reputation for being easy to start from seed. 
Seeds are planted on top of moist plant…

Late December garden

It was sunny and 64 today so the veggies garden yielded up it's salads for this week.

It all afternoon but the beds are now weeded, watered, and seeded with a few beets and more greens.

The greens seeds came from Seeds of Italy last spring so they should still be viable.

If it's this beautiful again tomorrow, I'll do a few of the tasks that I went out to do today before I was beguiled by the vegetables.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sowing hollyhock seeds - biennials

Since hollyhock are biennial sow the seeds in the winter . . . now . . . in order to have flowers next summer.

This time I'm planting some in milk cartons with sterile soil.

After watering, the containers will go outside for a couple of months.

When they are thoroughly chilled...maybe late Feb. ..we will bring them into the shed to grow a few sets of leaves.

After that, they get individuals pots until time to plant out.

Last year at the Daffodil Day plant sale we sold every single one that we grew! Hopefully, the seed starting will be successful enough to offer them again next March at Daffodil Day.

posted from Bloggeroid

Rock Gardening - great winter project

Steve Marak’s opening comment in his talk about rock gardens was, “Rock gardening is not a pot full of rocks, even though that would live no matter what.” 
Marak recently spoke about rock gardening at the Flower, Garden and Nature Society of NW Arkansas, a club he helped found. 

Alpine gardening, which is a garden filled with plants that grow in Alpine mountain regions, includes a) crevice or deep excavation, and b)rock face or dry-stacked gardens.
A rock garden is usually filled with small and low-to-the-ground plants that bloom all at once with flowers that are large relative to the size of the plant clump.
In order to grow rock garden plants in our high-rainfall area we must try to replicate their native environment by bringing in a large quantity of mixed-sized rocks. The most efficient way to create a rock garden is with a load of scree piled on a slope.
Marak said, “Scree’s mixture of rock sizes provides sharp drainage to oxygenate the water, shelter rock garden plants’ deep…

2014 Master List of Plant Resources - Friends of the Garden - Barbara Clark

Barbara Clark has updated her thoroughly researched list of Internet sites of interest to plant lovers.

Here's the link -

Click and scroll through the list and bookmark it for one of these upcoming cold days. What a gift Barbara Clark and Friends of the Garden gives us each year.