The cool nights have given way to warmer nights and much warmer days. Roses, hydrangeas, flowering vines, perennials are not in full bloom making our gardens shine with colorful beauty. Multiple trips to the nursery are always fun this time of the year – and there’s never been a better selection of new varieties and old favorites available.

 

Sadly – the very best annual plant for shade – the standard for shade – impatiens is now on the do not plant list. It’s frustrating to see them still being sold in nurseries. This has been the nation’s number one selling annual for years. The introduction of downy mildew – a disease that is decimating this plant also overwinters and destroys healthy plants brought in the next year. First signs of this disease are a paler green or yellow leaf – they will often curl or look speckled or mottled. On the underside of the leaf is the whitish fungus, holding zillions of spores. In just two weeks all leaves drop and stems turn slimy and collapse. This happened to about 20 flats of impatiens I planted last spring…I thought it was just too hot and they didn’t get enough water. So beware even though the nurseries are still selling impatiens – don’t plant them – you are probably throwing your money away.

 

Window Box Inspiration!

 

So easy with caladiums begonias and ivy

 

My favorite cool colors purple, lavender, silver

 

As simple as it gets – boxwood in terra cotta.

 

The chartreuse in this scheme makes the purple pop!

 

Top things to do in May

• Enjoy all of the beautiful plants continuing to come into the nurseries from growers – nurseries keep their inventories high through May.

• Complete spring plantings of perennials, summer annuals, rose bushes, shrubs and trees.

• Ideally, this is the last month to plant ball & burlap trees, so they have a chance to tolerate the summer heat…of course you can plant throughout the summer, but this will require more work on your part.

• Convert your containers from spring flowers to those that will endure the summer heat.

• Check out my pinterest board on plant pairings and window boxes…

• http://pinterest.com/terrydcarlson/garden-plant-pairings-combinations/

• http://pinterest.com/terrydcarlson/garden-window-boxes/

• Tips for your window boxes:

  •     -Repeat and harmonize color with the color of your home
  •     -Choose the right plant…size matters – don’t plant something that will grow to tall –   combine plants that require similar light, moisture and temperature
  •     -Pick the right window box

    -Consistent care is a must – they are essentially a garden in a box…so they dry out quickly

• Review the placement of your perennials and edit as necessary – are sunny perennials getting enough sun – if not move them to a sunnier spot – likewise for shade loving plants.

• Apply a dose of ironite for greener lawn.

• Check for suckers and dead limbs in your trees – out they go!

• Secure climbing roses and vines – they will grow twice as fast – don’t let them languish on the ground or flop around in the wind.

• Apply slow release fertilizer to flower beds and containers.

• Monitor your water based on the weather – don’t leave your irrigation system on auto pilot – take control for better results and water conservation.

• Enjoy the surrounding gardens and neighborhoods, as this is definitely one of the most beautiful months to see various plants and shrubs showing off their season’s best.

 

Best of the Season

• Everything is green in shades only seen this time of year

• Roses, hydrangeas

• Flowering vines – clematis, jasmine, cross vine

• Early Summer Flowering perennials – penstemmon, scabiosa, huechera, daisies…and so many more

•Japanese Maples

• Outdoor Living!

 

 

Beautiful mix of perennials, white carpet roses and Nepata blooming now.

 

Happy Gardening! XO Terry

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -


Spring is in the air….and it’s time to get your garden going!  We have had a very cold and winter with at least some moisture.  My prediction is for a gorgeous explosion of green and Spring colors in a couple of weeks! The long colder than normal winter takes plants in a severe dormancy and when it does finally warm up your plants will just be beautiful.

Now is the perfect time to install new landscape plantings – trees, shrubs and bare root roses – hardy perennials are ready to go in now as well.

This is also a wonderful time of the year to get inspired by beautiful garden designs you admire. As you assess your landscape and garden design you may want to consider that sometimes it’s actually a good idea to “kill” a plant:

Numero uno on my list – the wrong plant has been put in the wrong place.  Is the plant too big for the spot…blocking your pretty home?  Get rid of it!

Number 2 – the plant is not thriving…don’t put up with a plant in a key spot that’s just “hangin’ on for dear life.  It should be a beautiful healthy specimen – so if it’s not – then replace it.

Number 3 – not exactly what you had in mind?  Not fabulous?  Not lovely?    Doesn’t work with your exterior home design….change it to a plant that does…

Number 4 – Lacking the “wow” or perfect potential?  Sometimes plants meet all the criteria above but still don’t make your heart happy when you drive up to your house…change it!

Remember sometimes there are really good reasons to “kill” a plant – this is coming from your friendly tree-hugger!


Top things to do in March
March is the optimal time to perform most Spring Clean up and pruning tasks – do this now and you won’t prune off beautiful new growth – if you procrastinate you will.
Prune your roses in early March – apply a systemic feed / insecticide at the base of the bushes – love the Bayer 3-in- system product.
Prune and edit trees
Prune / cut back evergreens which need to be maintained – hollies and yew – but please don’t use electric shears – try to avoid pruning if at all possible – if the right plant is in the right spot it should need only minimal pruning….try to avoid the “lollipop” effect as this will require a lifetime of difficult maintenance.
Please do not prune the tops of your tree form crepe myrtles  - when I see this form of Crepe Murder I just cringe…..this tree will never look the way it was intended to look once this is  done – please don’t do this to your crepe myrtles.  If you see the guys that mow your grass come near your crepe myrtles with pruning shears or clippers send them away!  
Cut back all forms of ornamental grasses – Liriope, mondo, sweet flag, and tall ornamental grasses.
Secure climbing rose canes – they are getting ready to put out lots of fresh new growth and canes.
Feed cool season grasses like fescue and rye with fertilizer and for extra dark green grass I like to add an application of ironite.
Bring the pansies you planted last fall back to life after our long icy winter by removing the dead foliage and then a boost with water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Grow.
If you are like most gardeners, you can’t resist strolling through the nurseries looking for old favorites and new varieties alike. Always fun to see the new Proven Winner selections, I like to incorporate these into containers because it’s an easy and safe way to try them out.
In Oklahoma, our last freeze date is early mid-April – so before that only hardy plants get planted but after April 15, you should be safe to plant tender annuals and vegetables for your summer garden.
Spring plantings of perennials, annuals, rose bushes, shrubs and trees is in full force.
Take photos to remember color combinations of pansies and tulips for the upcoming fall when it’s time to plant them again.

Best of the Season 
Green fescue and rye blends of grass looking lush and dark green
Pansies & Tulips in full display 
Flowering trees like crab, redbud, whitebud
Flowering shrubs like forsythia, snowball, viburnum are just coming on
Spring Perennials – creeping phlox, dianthus, candytuft

Get ready for Easter!


 
What is easier than a grouping of white rabbits and some fresh spring branches like
Crab Apple, Cherry or even Bradford Pear?



Love the simplicity of this rustic basket with daffodils and yellow chicks.


Everything looks better under a cloche jar!


My style!


Enjoy the first month of Spring – and if you want to see more inspiring garden  and holiday designs check out my Pinterest design boards. http://pinterest.com/terrydcarlson/


Happy Gardening & Happy Easter!
xo
Terry

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

February is upon us…Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years a distant time gone by…how fast did all of that glorious time of the year go by! 

You can tell spring is in the air when the lawn maintenance guys start showing up in yards all around the neighborhood…cleaning beds, trimming trees and shrubs stalking the flower beds.

Pruning is probably the most important chore to be done between the middle of February and early March. I always tell my gardening buddies and garden clubs – mark your calendar on Valentine’s Day with the following garden tasks…if you do them you will be rewarded for months and your plants will be happy campers.

Top Things to do in February

• Prune to keep your plants tight but still natural – avoid hedges and the lollipop effect. Prune evergreens – Hollies, Yew, Yaupon, Boxwood, Laurel and deciduous shrubs like spirea. Avoid pruning hydrangeas! 

• Prune roses – shrub roses should be severely pruned – but climbing roses should be pruned just to be kept in the space you want them in. 

• Apply systemic food and herbicide to bases of roses. 

• Secure climbing rose canes – they will thrive when kept upright (I use copper plumbing tubing). 

• Apply Ironite to cool season grasses – they will be emerald green in March. 

• Prune deciduous trees – this is a great time to see the bones of the tree…get suckers and limbs interfering with other limbs out of there. 

• Cut back ornamental grasses – liriope, mondo, and the taller varieties like pampas and fountain grass. Cutting these back in March means cutting back fresh spring growth. 

• Begin cutting back perennials – finalize this in early March. 

• Begin garden cleanup in flower beds – but don’t get too aggressive too early in the month, leaves an overgrowth do provide protection from cold temperatures which will continue through February. 

• Apply a dose of food to pansies and spring flowering perennials like candy tuft, dianthus, and creeping phlox – they will really benefit after the winter months. 

• Order bare root roses from rose sources like Antique Rose Emporium http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/index.html , David Austin Roses http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/Advanced.asp and Heirloom Roses http://heirloomroses.com/ 

• Look at your garden design – next month is a great time to tweak or modify it. 

• Clean your garden tools. 

• Enjoy the hint of warmer days to come.

Best of the Season

 

• Crocus and Daffodils 

• Forsythia – un-pruned and naturalized the way it should be

Since garden chores are light this month…have some fun inside and do add some vintage Valentine’s Day décor.

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

Today’s temperature – high 70’s – amazingly beautiful weather so gardening chores are fun and dressing the house for Christmas is a bit easier.

I glanced out at my small old conservatory this morning and Cali my fearless Yorkie was soaking up some rays….near the large pots of lavender that are thriving in this weather. Even my bougainvillea is happy and blooming away.

I potted up some paperwhites last week…here’s the growth after only 7 days.

These were planted 3 weeks ago… nothing says Christmas to me like pots of Paperwhites everywhere in my home.

This amaryllis is blooming almost on cue! Can’t believe I got the timing right this year.

Found a new use for my garden cloche jars…

Love these vintage teddy bears…I began collecting these a few years ago.


Top Things to do in December

  • This is a good time to add small evergreen shrubs and trees to your pots if you want them to look good through the winter months. The nurseries have a wonderful selection of them to choose from.
  • Water your flower beds, pots and flower boxes throughout the winter months – especially before extreme cold temperatures – dry roots don’t do well in extreme cold.
  • Now is a great time to plant new trees and even most landscaping plants – the nurseries are stocked to the brim with them.
  • Now that the leaves have fallen from your trees this is a good time to assess whether or not they should be pruned this winter as you can see their limb structure more clearly.
  • Enjoy the holidays outdoors by dressing your outdoor living areas with pillows and blankets in pretty wintery plaids and flannels – summer is over!
  • Enjoy the holiday season and spirit by sharing special times with friends and family.

Now more than ever a wish for peace on earth.

Will always incorporate this treasured photo! Nora….

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

It’s nearly time to close the book on the gardening book for 2012 – it does seem like this year really flew by. All in all I think our weather was better than it has been the past few months. Only two really hot months (July and August) and fall kicked in as soon as we turned the calendar to September. Fall has been long and wonderful. Cooler than normal nights and mornings and lots of days of San Diego like weather…no complaints from me this year.

I love planning a beautiful tablescape for Thanksgiving! 

Hopefully you have over-seeded your lawn, planted your pansies and tulips – if so, well done! You will be rewarded next year and your neighbors will appreciate and value your hard work.

You can continue to make changes to your landscaping this fall through December; in fact the nurseries are bringing in new plant stock every day. The best time to plant trees is now through March for the very best results.

I will plant my paperwhite bulbs soon so they begin blooming in early December. Christmas isn’t Christmas without a windowsill of fresh and fragrant paperwhites.

This silver bowl makes a beautiful vessel for the paperwhites, as the container must hold water. Love the green and silver miniature balls at the base of the bulbs.

How simple is this? Jars with a simple ribbon on a silver tray.

How simply elegant?

You can never have too many paperwhites!

Top Things to do in November

• Last chance to finish up plantings of pansies, cabbage and kale. 

• If you haven’t ordered bulbs – it’s not to late – but hurry – don’t miss the opportunity to have a glorious spring next year. 

• Plant trees and evergreen shrubs and bushes. 

• Replace landscape plants that didn’t make it through the summer – now is a great time to do this. 

• Begin a first round of forced bulbs for Thanksgiving – plant the second round after Thanksgiving and you will have continuous bulbs in bloom in your home from Thanksgiving through mid January. Narcissus (paperwhites), Amaryllis, and hyacinths are best performers for indoor forcing. 

• Plan on what you will do to create the magic of Christmas in your home. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -