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...

A June Swoon

By on May 25, 2014 in June |

OK here we go…..as the month of June arrives the landscape goes Ka-Bloom! June is a month we swoon over the natural beauty of bloomers in the landscape. My Mom told me there would be “daisies” like this. It’s a combination of sunshine along with perennials in their prime while the May planted annuals take root and begin to perform on nature’s stage. The landscape Roses radiate while the Peonies pop in their prime. Allium giganteum tower above the garden’s performance, while Sweet Woodruff and blooming Ajuga provide a carpet under stunning Iris. And no, Ajuga is not a spring break hot spot in the Caribbean. June can make you swoon to the intoxicating aroma of flowers in bloom as the landscape is full of life, arguably one of the most beautiful months of the year in Michigan. If you “plant”-isize about a beautiful garden June is your month. Don’t let your commitment swoon to the...

Hit the ground running

By on Apr 27, 2014 in Spring |

Hit the Ground Running! May is an exciting month for me with the 5th Third River Bank Run and the end of frost dates (hopefully) here in West Michigan. Our last frost date is usually around May 10 so we can “hit the ground running” in the month of May planting our flowers, vegetables and herbs out in the garden. It’s a kick in the “plants” to get our outdoor living lifestyles in high gear as we anticipate the summer months ahead. When we hit the ground running remember that the soil you plant in is the “stomach” of the plant. The quality and preparation of the soil is key as the foundation of the plants you put in the ground or container. When planting vegetables and herbs a healthy soil will mean healthy plants and ultimately a healthy you! The key to healthy soils is three primary elements, Carbon, Minerals and Biology. Carbon comes from amendments you add like compost providing good...

I’m Only Humid

By on Aug 1, 2013 in Summer |

A gardener’s zest for yard work can wilt in August. We’re only “humid” and I understand. Yet in August some of the best entertaining days in the garden are for us to enjoy. From Rudbeckia to Sedums to Buddleia the landscape continues to entertain. With a little TLC and the willingness to wet our “plants” the landscape can reward our senses like an ornamental grass and its wispy dance in the warm summer breezes. I love the month of August and it’s the gateway to some of the best gardening months of the year. This is no time to throw in the “trowel” on the yard and garden. Besides, now is the time we are rewarded with the fruits of our labors harvesting the tomatoes and peppers we lovingly planted months ago. August is a great time to rejuvenate our flowering landscape annuals and give them a kick in the plants! Chopping back stretched, tired or leggy annuals and then feeding with a...

We Rose to the Occasion

By on May 31, 2013 in Summer |

We “Rose” to the occasion! 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...