October how I love thee…let me count the ways

By on Sep 26, 2017 in General |

How often do I hear people say “I just love the fall season.” There is so much to love about October in the garden. From pumpkins and gourds to fall foliage color and crisp refreshing air we fall in love with time outdoors. Aside from being a beautiful time of the year, it is also the perfect time of the year to rejuvenate or establish your landscape. Let me count the ways oh October how I love you. In the words of Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…..10 to be exact why October is a kick in the plants out in the garden. 1) Plants put in the ground in October focus on establishment; the soil is warm for roots while the air temperature cools reducing stress. Don’t pack away the garden hose. Dependent on weather conditions a supplemental deep watering for landscape plants and trees may be needed to avoid having plants enter the...

The Phantasmagoric Peony

By on Jun 4, 2017 in General |

Photographed these phantasmagorical peonies today thinking wow….. they “have a fantastic appearance, as something in a dream created by the imagination.” 

May Day

By on May 9, 2017 in General, Spring |

It is ironic that May Day is an emergency word used internationally as a distress signal in radio communications that we have seen used in the movies. It is ironic, because the arrival of the first day of May is a celebration of flowers and spring. May Day was celebrated on May 1 by some early European settlers to North America with May baskets. These are baskets that were filled with flowers or treats and left at someone’s doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver; if caught, a kiss is exchanged. Good idea to wear your track shoes that day. Today the arrival of May usually means the last frost days are passing and tender flowering plants can be enjoyed in our gardens and landscapes. Mother’s day is a weekend to give and receive flowers to celebrate both Mom and the promise of a new gardening season. Later...

Air out your “Green”-ance

By on Dec 24, 2015 in General |

Once the holidays are over I’m sure if I had to do it all over again I would over do it. So I’m grateful for a month like January where I can get grounded and renewed for the seasons ahead. Before you know it spring will be here. Winter is a good time to reflect and dream with new ideas for the warmer seasons to come, to think of changes in your personal landscape and environment. Being surrounded by healthy plants both indoors and out is known to improve our daily lives. To thumb through articles and look at pictures of landscapes, flowers and plants is a winter tradition. Maybe consider adding some foliage plants to our indoor rooms. Sprouting new ideas for our surroundings is therapeutic. I read the other day that new ideas are just like babies….messy, confused but full of possibilities! January is a month for what I call “wet cement” ideas….some dreaming for possibilities are...

Water means Life

By on Sep 1, 2015 in General |

Accessible clean water is vital for both us and our plants. We often take it for granted where we live. In other parts of the world however that is not the case. Finding usable water becomes a matter of life or death and is a daily struggle. Like all living things, plants can get by without food for much longer than they can without water. In fact, 80 to 95 percent of a plant is made up of water, which it uses to replace water lost to evaporation and to assist with photosynthesis. Water affects a plants growth, its resistance to insects and disease and its overall vigor. Proper watering is essential if you want your plants to thrive. Because the plant transpires around 97 percent of the water it absorbs, its main task is to maintain the internal water flow or pressure so that the plant may remain stable and sufficiently supplied. Water is life and here in West Michigan we are fresh...

Plant One On Me

By on Jan 30, 2015 in General |

A libation and some fresh flowers might make her swoon, at least the flowers will love it as proven in research. The Flowerbulb Research Program at Cornell University found some Gin or other 40% distilled spirit in 1 part booze to 7 parts water while growing Paperwhite Narcissus helped keep them from being “floppy” while being “floriforus”. Paperwhite Narcissus are an easy to grow indoor winter flower that might brighten your spirits. Now there’s a colorful potation to warm a winter evening. In March it will be kiss me I’m “Iris” but in February almost any kind of flower is “scent”-uous. Valentine’s Day in mid February as winter drags on is the perfect time to plant one on her with the scents of flowers and foliage we all miss since the close of summer and autumn. A gift of flowers is sure make life more colorful at least for a day or evening or two. My friend J Schwanke author of ‘Fun...