Multi-deer-mentional and Bambi-dextrous (not tonight deer)

By on Jul 25, 2018 in Deer resistant plants |

It’s the animals with healthy diets that create problems for me. The ones that eat vegetation. As people we are told to have a healthy diet we should eat more plants. For some animals that’s all they eat, and our yards are one big delicious buffet. It’s the healthy vegetarians that drive me crazy…Deer, Rabbits, Woodchucks. Even the possums are a problem with their healthy diet choices as they munch on my grapes and terrorize my neighbor’s protein rich chickens. I live on the lakeshore and the animals with junk food trashy diets don’t cause me much trouble. The seagulls love French fries though their food of choice is Doritos. The raccoon’s entrée of choice is the garbage can and the skunks stick to lawn insects like grubs. Lately it seems the deer are numerous, emboldened and less picky about where and when they dine. It seems where ever you live now more than ever. Their only natural...

Garden Party Hangover

By on Jul 20, 2018 in Kick in the Plants! |

Check out this picture I took of the “Corpse Flower” or Titan Arum after done blooming. It gave me a chuckle as the bloom drew huge crowds to get a peek (and a whiff) but can only hold it’s bloom for 24 to 36 hours before it collapses. That’s exactly what this one did…..after the crowds left and the party ended it looked to me like it had a hangover with its tongue hanging out!

I’m feeling Bosky

By on Jul 10, 2018 in Summer |

I like feeling bosky. No not that unshaven feeling where you have the scruffy beard of a sailor at sea. That feeling when you are aware of the changing seasons because of deciduous shrubs and trees. bosky adjective \ˈbäs-kē\ having abundant trees or shrubs Landscape shrubs and trees are wonderful at marking the seasons of our lives. You might not realize it but deep down you like feeling bosky too. Plants help people celebrate the changing of the seasons. In the midwest and the north we have very distinct and identifiable changes to all four seasons every year. For some they face it, for others they embrace it. Deciduous plants embrace the change of seasons moving from dormancy, to spring and summer blooming, to fall color and back to dormancy again. Fortunately dormancy is a reversible condition. Deciduous shrubs and trees both face it and embrace it and we are the beneficiaries of...

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....