Oh Beehive!

My son Rick was on his best “bee-hive-iour” when he noticed bee activity in the overlapping wood panels at the Kentwood Flowerland store.

Removal of the wood panels revealed an amazing hive of bees!
Removal of the wood panels revealed an amazing hive of bees!

We got some “free-bees” out of the deal with a treasure trove of honey! Bee experts carefully removed and preserved the hive plus isolated the Queen so the whole hive could be transferred to a new location where it could thrive. The whole process was really interesting. Check out the pics of these bees living in the land of “Pollenesia!”

"Un-bee-leafable"
“Un-bee-leafable”
The Queen Bee!
The Queen Bee!
Making a beehive for a new location!
Making a beehive for a new location!

Peas on Earth

“Peas” on Earth
I have a holiday and Christmas wish for Michigan this year. An El Nino’ winter because my opinion is we deserve it after the last two winters we’ve all endured. I remember past El Nino’ November months in West Michigan. Wearing short sleeve shirts as we put the garden to bed for winter and stringing lots of Christmas lights outdoors to celebrate the holidays ahead. We would unload Christmas trees, in by November standards, warm temperatures. These were the years that due to a lack of ice and snow people would be inclined to string a lot of Christmas lights on the home and in the landscape. The final leaves of fall are raked in November and tilled into the garden. Anticipation of the upcoming holidays builds as we begin to decorate indoors and out. I am not a meteorologist, but when scientists predict an El Nino’ winter due to warm Pacific Ocean water temperatures it gets my attention.

After two very cold winters could the winter of 2015/2016 be an El Nino winter in the Midwest?
After two very cold winters could the winter of 2015/2016 be an El Nino winter in the Midwest?

Warmer November temperatures allow us to “hoe hoe hoe” extending the gardening season in West Michigan and get the ladders and extension cords out to string some “electric ivy”. I call it “peas” on earth and good “till’ towards men and women to enjoy the great outdoors in November.
November is a great month to take cuttings from the natural landscape to add to fresh greens for Porch Pots. These entry door containers are an inviting welcome to holiday visitors. Pruned Rose Hips from the rose bushes, lengths of Russian Sage, Red Twig Dogwood branches or Birch Branches as examples are great compliments to fresh evergreen boughs in containers for entryways. Now that the flowers are frozen but the soil is still workable, arrange the branches in these containers and they will look great through the holidays into February.

Porch Pots provide a great natural welcome to guests arriving at your home
Porch Pots provide a great natural welcome to guests arriving at your home

Forcing bulbs for indoor color is another way to brighten the home. Paperwhite narcissus and Amaryllis are easy to grow bulbs to flower indoors otherwise known as “forcing”. You can also still purchase Tulips and Daffodils or Hyacinths to plant outdoors or “force” indoors into bloom.

Bulbs for forcing indoors are wonderful little orbs of potential
Bulbs for forcing indoors are wonderful little orbs of potential

 

 

 

Finally don’t forget that indoor foliage plants are our friends as we spend more time indoors in the winter months. They can improve indoor air quality and keep us connected to nature as the winter months arrive. Try to give your foliage plants a brightly lit window and rotate them from time to time. Remember not to kill them with kindness as the shorter days and less light of winter causes them to require far less water than the summer months.

Foliage plants like these Sanseveria (pictured) are a welcome and healthy addition to any home!
Foliage plants like these Sanseveria (pictured) are a welcome and healthy addition to any home!

Take me to your “weeder”

Yikes! Dodder is a parasitic annual weed that infests crops and ornamental plants? Alien in appearance this crazy “plant” or weed is a distant relative of Morning Glories. Very limitedin it’s capability for photosynthesis this weed obtains nearly all its energy from the host plant. Seedlings in the soil need to quickly find a host plant and latch on or they die. Take me to your “weeder”!

Dodder
Dodder

Once a host is found they latch on creating a dense mat of intertwining colorful stems literally choking the life out of the host plant. Hand removal or removal of the host plant, identification and clean up are the keys to prevent recurrence.

Sign up now for Garden Seminars

Spring is coming! Winter weather has become “cucumber”-some so let’s get growing! I have a great series of educational (or as I call them “Hedge” or “Veg”-ucational) seminars lined up for a weekend in late April. My friends who are experts in Lawn Care, Vegetable gardening, Herbs, Container planting, Birding and Perennials are coming to town to help me give you a kick in the plants! Class sizes are limited so order your tickets now. Please click on this link to sign up for the classes you’re interested in. See you there! http://myflowerland.com/upcoming-events/

Crocus in bloom
Spring is coming!