Showing posts from April, 2016

Garden Art from Three Doors North in Hutchinson KS

We discovered a metal artist studio in Hutchinson KS, called Three Doors North. We asked the owner to make a sign for us for our garden, "Garden of Cosmic Speculation" that we had heard about through a novel.

The actual Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a 30 acre creation in Scotland. Our garden is named that out of pure whimsy.

Jon painted the plain metal sign.

 One of the first pieces we purchased is the metal heart she called "Love Like a Rock". We bought it in a garden gift shop in KS.

You can check out Three Doors North at their Facebook page

The owner is Heike Kirk-Ettwein. Here is her Facebook page

The work is wonderfully creative and Heike is a delight to meet and talk with about her art and her methods.
One of her other pieces, this metal butterfly is no longer being made so we love it twice as much.

Lilies Galore from Longfield Gardens

It is time to buy and plant lily bulbs. There are hundreds, if not thousands of lily bulbs to choose from and every year new hybrid colors and sizes are introduced. 
Lilies love part shade so they are ideal for adding beauty along fences, around perennials, shrubs, etc. As cut flowers, their trumpet shaped blooms are hard to beat.
One source for garden quality lilies is family-owned 
Longfield Gardens, (, 855-534-2733).Their website has beautiful displays of the lilies they offer, garden advice, articles, videos, etc.
Black Beauty is one we have grown in part-sun in our garden for many years. They are tough plants that return reliably and produce a huge abundance of flowers. The outside of the petal is raspberry and the center is apple green. Fragrant flowers in July. Purple Prince is a trumpet-flowered Oriental lily that grows 4 or 5 feet tall. The stems are sturdy so they are great to cut. The flowers are purple to dark pink. Fragrant. Lollypop is another person…

Clematis Advice from Russell Studebaker

Horticulturist and garden writer Russell Studebaker wrote some tips for success with Clematis and with is permission, I'm passing along his expert tips.

Russell attended a talk by a Clematis nurseryman and fell in love ... hard. Most of us get excited about a certain plant and go crazy for it. 

Studebaker said in his email, "This is going to be my Clematis year.  I was so inspired by Dan Long's program to the club in Springdale I ordered more from him, too.  I have planted several and already have a late winter planted one in flower.  It's C. texensis 'Graveyete Beauty'."

Here are a few cultural suggestions:

 Plant the plants 1 to 1 & 1/2 times deeper than they were growing in the original pot. This ensures that some of the stem's latent buds will be able to grow should some disaster happens to the top stems.

 Plant in an organic,rich, well-drained soil, with compost or peat moss in a well drained .

Dig your holes 1 foot deep and a foot wide. Be careful…

Flowering Almond Shrubs are Prunus triloba and Prunus glandulosa

In the spring, Flowering Almond shrubs burst with double flowers on 3 or four foot tall branches. The flowers are usually pink but there are white ones available, too. The flowers look like carnations but they are the size of a dime. 
Prunus triloba is a member of the plum family of trees and shrubs that includes cherries and the trees that produce almonds. 
Since Flowering Almonds are so hardy and reliable, they thrive where more vulnerable plants could be damaged by poor soil or harsh weather. They thrive in zones 3 through 7.
At their maximum size, Flowering Almond shrubs can grow 20-feet tall and 12-feet wide. They can be used as part of a flowering hedge row or pruned into small trees. Be sure to prune and shape them right after they flower.
When looking for them online and in stores you will find both Prunus glandulosa and Prunus triloba.
Both are native to Asia. Prunus glandulosa is the dwarf form that stops growing at 6-feet tall and wide. Its flowers can be either white or pink.

Which Veggies You Should Plant and Why

Most of know of Mel Bartholomew from his Square Foot Gardening fame.

His latest book is "High-Value Veggies" in which he lists and describes the results of extensive testing on what veggies we should plant and why.

Mathematically inclined Bartholomew studied the return on investment for dozens of typical garden plants and calculated their worthiness for our gardens based upon #1 productivity, #2 cost per pound if you had to buy them, #3 other usefulness.

Here are some of the lists he and his staff came up with.

The bottom 10 (make the least sense financially to grow): Potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, Swiss chard, asparagus, okra, beans, celery and green cabbage.

The ten that have the most financial reward for your garden space: Herbs, parsnips, cherry tomatoes, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, turnip, leek, winter squash, spinach and hybrid tomato.

At our house we love parsnips and, based on his list, I'm planting seeds. But we don't need very many turnips to have…