I just wet my plants….watering tips and thoughts

By on Jun 18, 2018 in Wet your plants! |

Hot weather can be tough on both plants and people. Our bodies contain about 60 percent water and many plants are 85 to 90 percent water! With people hot weather raises your requirement for fluids whether you’re exercising or not. The same can be said for plants. And yes when they are putting out (flowering or fruiting) I consider that “plant exercise” for something planted in place. For you humans sitting on the deck put down that beer and caffeinated energy drink….they do not count as hydrating. I love words and specifically synonyms. So when writing, I work to paint a picture with words using a variety of descriptive alternatives…you could say I am on a “synonym roll”. I’m on such a roll when it comes to watering needs of plants. Attention is not a critical act like judgment is. It is an art and a discipline. Unless they are a celebrity, most people don’t receive a lot of attention...

You Rose to the Occasion

By on Jun 5, 2018 in Summer |

Invite some royalty to your garden party this summer. The rose has long been the queen of the summer time garden. Roses have been symbols of love, fame, beauty, war, and celebration and have quite a history. From use as confetti at celebrations to a source for perfume, they “rose” to the occasion in good times and bad. A lady with expensive taste and a love for gardening and roses, Napoleon’s wife Josephine established an extensive collection of roses at Chateau de Malmaison, an estate seven miles west of Paris in the 1800s. While Napoleon was out fighting his battles and making his conquests, Josephine was busy spending his money on the chateau and extensive gardens with a particular interest in roses. He was none too pleased with her floriferous spending habits but you can’t tell me he didn’t appreciate a stroll through the rose garden.  No one ever promised you a rose garden,...

Itoh Peonies

By on May 26, 2018 in Kick in the Plants! |

Named for Toichi Itoh, the first hybridizer to successfully cross a tree Peony with an herbaceous Peony in the 1940’s, for  huge, beautiful fragrant blooms and lush green foliage. A cross between a traditional garden Peony and a woody tree peony it takes the best attributes of both plants. These peonies are known as intersectional hybrids. They tend to resemble tree Peonies with a vigorous growth habit and large double flowers with disease-resistant lacy, dark green foliage. After the flowering cycle, gardeners will enjoy the handsome bush for the remainder of the season. We all hope to get better with age like a fine wine….this is a plant that does just that!

You say Tomato

By on May 14, 2018 in Tomatoes and veggies |

If trying a few tomatoes remember to look at the tag of the tomato plant you are buying. You will see somewhere on the tag it will tell you if the plant is indeterminate, determinate, or semi determinate. This has nothing to do with the plants determination to succeed. An indeterminate tomato will grow large and not set a terminal bud meaning that if it didn’t freeze come October it would keep growing to the size of a very large shrub! These are best planted in the ground with good plant supports to hold them up and allow sunlight and air movement around the plants. A determinate tomato however does set terminal buds so they stay at a more manageable size making them perfect for container growing. A semi-determinate tomato is obviously somewhere between the two in size, needing support but can be grown in large containers or in the ground. With any container gardening remember to...

Operating by the seat of your plants

By on May 3, 2018 in General, Spring |

Plants will always be inspiring and after years of walking around with a plant in one hand and a shovel in the other trying to find a place to plant it, I have learned 10 easy to follow rules to a better home landscape design. Walking and running through neighborhoods it is easy to see who had a plan, who had a concept, and who was operating by the seat of their plants. If you “over do” it you will have a do over on your hands. Use the look around rule. Avoid what we call monoculture. Too much of one thing can be a problem. Diversity is important in the landscape. If you plant too much of one type of plant and a problem crops up like an insect or disease, it will spread like wildfire without a proper amount of diversity in your yard. Look around your yard, your neighbors yard, is there a plant that is let’s say, over done? Approach your landscape in bite size pieces....

The snow is finally melting. We’re all down with that.

By on Apr 20, 2018 in Spring |

Honk if you’re happy the snow is finally melting! We’re all “down” with that. And my daughter sent me this picture from New York City. I told her raccoons generally sleep under cars because they have to get up “oily” in the morning.

Spring Snow

By on Apr 16, 2018 in Spring |

Weather forecast from a Forsythia?

By on Mar 31, 2018 in Spring |

Many people use the yellow blooms of the forsythia to indicate spring has finally arrived and the soil temperatures have warmed. When the forsythia blooms they use it as an indicator to apply the first lawn fertilizer application of the year along with pre-emergence crabgrass control. A more scientific and accurate approach would be to measure the soil temperature and gauge if it has reached somewhere between 55 and 60 degrees at the 2 inch depth. Regardless, the ubiquitous presence of forsythia in bloom visually opens the floodgates of lawn activity every year. But what about the forsythia’s ability to forecast remaining winter weather like Punxsutawney Phil back in February? Do you believe the old weather tale which states that Forsythia can forecast late spring snowfall? The theory, tale or belief is that once the forsythia blooms there will be 3 more snows. They could be...