Thursday, May 19, 2011


I meant to do this blog more often but I haven't had the heart to write anything lately. The weather continues to be rainy nearly every day. Here it is past the frost free date and my garden is untilled and unplanted. It has also been 20 degrees below normal with twice the adv. rain. My veggie garden is a mud hole and there seems to be no end of rain in sight. Well, we get a partly cloudy day every once in awhile but not anything strong enough to dry out the ground. Last year I was eating stuff from the garden already.  This year I am wondering if I could plant rice. lol.

It is a good time to transplant things as they are don't wilt or lack water for their new roots. I moved some hosta, daffodils, and toad lily.They are all doing very well. I will take a pic of them when the sun shines.

Photo from Michigan Bulb site
Photographer unknown

toad lily link for those who don't know what they are or would like to get their own. This is where I got mine.  They spread very well and are very pretty in the fall. I bought 6 plants three years ago and now have over twenty. They do well in full to partial shade. You can't see it here but they also have lovely spotted green foliage.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Favorite Gardening Magazines

Here are some of my favorite garden magazines:

Fine Gardening is my favorite. It has a good plant reviews. It also sometimes has very interesting gardening plans such as build a patio in a weekend, build a cold frame or build a unique water feature from old issues I own. I love the captivating combination section where they pair plants for impact

Garden Gate is a great mag too. I like their tips and before and after gardens. I love this months section on pruning.

The Herb Companion has lots of tips on growing herbs and incredible recipes.

Organic Gardening is pretty cool. I am not really an organic gardener but it has tips that are great for everyone.

Hobby Farms is a very good magazine. I only get it occasionally if it has something relavent. I loved their issue on raising lavender. They also have good recipes.

Great garden planner

I discovered this site a week or so ago and thought I should share it.Garden Planner This planner is very nice. You can enter last years garden and it will flash red when you try to plant this years crops in the wrong rotation. It allows you to leave perennials in place from year to year. It allows you the chance to enter specific varieties of a plant and to add your own. It also has square foot gardening option. It is free for 30 days and allows you to make 5 plans for free. You can print the plans when you are done. I have not bought the paid version but I am really considering it. It also has a very quick tutorial that made it easy to use.  It was a link from a magazine I have been reading lately.The Herb Companion I have decided to put my herbs in their own mini garden this year. I am going to try them in a sq. ft. garden. It should be an interesting undertaking. If it works I may change some of my garden from rows to sq ft gardening. Row gardening does seem to waste a lot of space in the garden. If you do any sq ft gardening, I'd be interested in hearing how it works for you.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Patio Garden Plan

This is a photo of my patio garden. I will replace the sundial with something else later in the season.
It is basically a filler until I find a statue or small fountain that I like. As you can see the tulips are fading but the anemones and allium are just coming into bloom. I added the glass butterflies and flower oil lanterns for color in early spring. 
Above is a quick sketch of the gardens basic layout.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wow.. I am really on a roll tonight.

This is my gardening buddy Seana. (Pronounced like Shawn with an a.) I am a firm believer of enjoying the beauty of the outdoors with a companion or two. She often times helps me take frequent breaks while gardening in order to play with her. Today she was enjoying batting at the tulips as they were blowing in the wind. She likes to follow me everywhere I go. Sometimes I think she thinks she is a dog.

These are some tulips that are currently growing in my raised bed that will be going into the bed I am showing the progress on. I call it my "bird bed" because I have a bird bath and a sunflower seed feeder in it. I made it so I can one day look outside my art room window and watch the birds in the morning over a cup of tea or hot chocolate. It seems to be such a simple wish yet I have been planning this for well over a year. I am hoping that I will be able to spend more time on this project which is very dear to my heart.

My father has not been feeling well for awhile and I am happy that he is doing much better. He has been keeping me company as I garden. It gets him out into the sunshine and cheers us both up a lot.

I put in a flower bed by my porch last year that is just gorgeous.  It has been blooming all month and is getting ready to bloom some more. I spent a lot of time thinking about having year round interest when I planned it and so far I think I did a good job of it. It has tulips, poppy anemones, and allum for spring interest. For summer it has guara and coneflowers with russian sage, and lavender continuing late into the fall.

Best of all it takes almost no watering. I keep it mulched and the plants are mostly drought tolerant. I added three glass oil lamps shaped like flowers in blue red and yellow. I also added an orange glass butterfly and blue glass butterfly to it to add some excitement before first the spring bloom. I will have to share some photos and a layout of the design.

The new design

As you can see here, it now has a lot more form and interest. I use popsicle sticks to remind me where my bulbs are planted till they come up. I also use them to label seedings. Just write on them with a sharpie or other waterproof marker. They are only good for the current season as the marker does wear off overwinter. I still have a ton of work to do to it. For one thing I have to remove a volunteer crabapple tree growing smack dab in the middle of the bed.  In case you haven't been out much in the yard due to the crazy weather. Be warned, the ticks are absolutely all over the place this year. I can't walk 50 ft in my yard without getting one.