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...

Falling in Love

By on Oct 5, 2016 in Fall |

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. 2) Bulbs! Plant Tulips, Daffodils, Alliums, Hyacinths, Crocus and more now for spring color. 3) Mum’s the word. Chrysanthemums provide vibrant color and come back year after year....

Money grows on trees!

By on Oct 16, 2014 in Fall |

Oh my “raking” back as some would say when faced with the prospect of clearing leaves from their yard. “Maple” I can help you. Did you know money grows on trees? It’s not a “figleaf” of my imagination. Money does grow on trees and it happens in a couple ways during the fall season. The first is when the less dominant pigments in the foliage are unmasked by the loss of chlorophyll. As Billy Madison would say “Chlorophyll more like Boreophyll” but not really. The fascinating “accessory” pigments to the fragile energy producing dominant pigment chlorophyll wait their turn to take the stage. They account for only 1/3 of the amount that chlorophyll is present in a typical leaf, but they pack a punch. The accessory pigments Carotenoids (yellow to orange), Anthocyanin (red, pink, purple) and Xanthophyll/Tannins (tan to rust to...

By on Sep 27, 2013 in Fall |

I Beg Your Garden? I love the month of October. Anticipation seems to hang in the air as the environment changes from day to day. Colorful sights and crisp cool air as we celebrate the culmination of the fall season and anticipate the next. From frost on the pumpkins to the aroma of apple cider to the brilliant display of fall colors what’s not to love about October? Let’s get to work. I beg your “garden”? Well I don’t view it as work but some efforts in your yard during October can reap a harvest of rewards. Aside from the exercise and fresh air you’ll get, October is a great month to improve your outdoor living space. Frost tolerant Pansies can add an instant splash of color to spaces in your outdoor living area. They tolerate October frosts with colorful blooms. Plant breeders have developed both solid color and “faced” pansies with the classic pansy look in a dazzling array of...

Such a Pansy

By on Sep 17, 2013 in Fall |

I try to get people to believe me how tough pansies are. That’s right, pansies are tough. Every fall as I preach to plant pansies for BOTH fall and spring color I get the comment “I thought pansies were annuals?” Well they are considered annuals but they overwinter well and provide the bonus of both fall and spring color. I like to plant spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, fill in the hole and then plant pansies over the top. The pansies are colorful during the fall season well into November and then the bulbs grow through the blooming pansies in spring. A “Pansy” describing someone who is weak was derived I believe from the general use of the word pansy for any flower. The plant was given a bum deal for it’s name because it’s one tough reliable dude in the landscape. So if anyone ever says to you, “you’re such a pansy” say...