Gardening chores are on hold – especially with the gift of rain we have been receiving. More important tasks are at hand – dressing your home for the holidays! We love to use fresh flowers, forced bulbs and rosemary to help fill our home with the fragrance of the holidays. Our favorite candle of the season the Slatkin candle in the balsam scent only adds to the unique aroma that the holidays bring.
Top Things to do in December
• Definitely time to get your tulips and other spring flowering bulbs in so they have time to put on healthy root growth for Spring – next month is too late.
• 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!
Began the forced blooming of these paperwhite bulbs only 3 weeks ago – our window not only looks festive and fresh…our home is filled with the intoxicating fragrance that only the narcissus bulb can provide.
I always incorporate rosemary into my seasonal styling. It is also highly fragrant especially when brought indoors. These paperwhites were started one week later so that I can have the gorgeous white blossoms through January.
We like “dressing” our home in greens to really bring the holiday feel into our home….as simple as draping some slash pine and pine cones around a chandelier.
Look to nature and your garden for natural tree ornaments…love the organic and natural contrast with all of the mercury glass and pearls.
Always looking for a way to incorporate treasured ornaments…here we have added them to the light fixture over our kitchen table.
Silver accents in front of antique French mirror! Peace on Earth…
Will always incorporate this treasured photo! Nora….
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
11 - 07 - 2011
November begins the tranquil time of the year as a gardener. Tulips and spring bulbs should be arriving any day and once they arrive time it will be time to get them in. I like to have pansies in by the end of October and if you love a lush fall and spring lawn, then the task of over seeding with blends of fescue and rye should definitely be done by now for best results.
You can continue to upgrade your landscaping this fall through November; in fact the nurseries are bringing in new plant stock every day. You will have to wait another month before fresh trees come in. The best time to plant trees is now through March for the very best results.
To be honest – I’m ready to get out of the garden – I want to just sit outside and soak up the incredible weather we have been having and enjoy my outdoor fireplace and the smell of oak and pinon throughout our neighborhood.
Although my Karen Adams calendar has two cute acorns on it this month….I’m fast forwarding to Thanksgiving weekend – and my tradition of taking the 3 days after Thanksgiving to decorate my home for the holidays. There’s one thing I do the very first of November to really maximize my Christmas décor as soon as my tree goes up and that’s to plant paperwhites the first of November.
Some people detest the fragrance of paperwhites – but my husband, daughter and I love the smell – and we want it everywhere in our house during December and January. My daughter has loved this tradition and often helped me when she was young….it is so easy and the reward is huge.
My favorite dish or container to use for paperwhites are these cute blue and white exports from China. No hole in the bottom –as paperwhites will drink quarts of water before they are finished.
I like to buy my paperwhites aka Narcissus from the same company that I get my tulips from…but sometimes I’m just not that organized – but fear not - just go to your local big box store or nursery and they all have Narcissus and Amaryllis bulbs now. When I get them home I empty them all out into a large pot to make the planting go faster.
I like and recommend using small river rock at the base of your pot about ¾ filled – then add a nice potting mix….place your bulbs at the top of the container like this….pack them in tight.
Next water slowly and let the bulb sit in water….this will begin the cycle of root growth. We are having really warm weather this week – so I’m going to let them sit a few days on my potting bench – once it cools down I will bring them indoors and let them sit on a sunny shelf over my kitchen sink.
Top Things to do in November
- Finish up plantings of pansies, cabbage and kale.
- If you haven’t ordered bulbs – it’s not too late – but hurry – don’t miss the opportunity to have a glorious spring next year.
- Finalize the task of preparing your lawn for an over seeding of fescue and rye blend – this must now be done asap – last month was better.
- 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.
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
We are having the most welcome and refreshing rains…drought busting rains – thank goodness! The cooler temperatures and rain are some of the reasons why there is no better time than right now to update your garden landscape. Your garden has no chance to be fabulous next spring unless you implement some key elements this fall. Best of all, all of the nurseries are restocking their inventories with wonderful fresh plants from California and Oregon, and the greenhouses are stocked with fresh and fragrant pansies and the offers from bulb companies abound.
You know by now, my good gardeners, that timing is everything with gardening – and this month is the critical month to nail timing! Beautiful lawns of lush rye and fescue, planters filled with colorful pansies, tulips and daffodils in all their glory and trees filled with spring flowers – plan for all of this now – and get planting if you haven’t already done so.
Top Things to do in October
- Enjoy the best weather of the year.
- Fire up your outdoor fireplace, pit or chimenea – throw on some fresh pinon for good measure.
- If you want green grass during the fall, early winter and early spring – and have a Bermuda grass lawn, scalp and over seed with a blend of rye and fescue this month for best results.
- Before you remove your summer annuals – walk through your gardens and assess the winners and losers – make a mental note, take a picture, or jot this down in your garden journal.
- Last call for bulb orders and plant as they arrive. Remember the “early, middle, late” mantra when ordering. And think sweeping drifts, not tulips planted in onesies and threesies.
- Pay special attention to areas to cleanup around peonies, roses and other flowers that are prone to fungal diseases; don’t leave any debris in place.
- Don’t completely deadhead faded perennials, biennials and annuals if you want to collect seed (non-hybrids only) or wish to let them self-sow for next year’s show. Nicotiana, poppies, larkspur, and many others fall into this leave-alone group; some plants must be left in place or seeds shaken around during cleanup to ensure the next generation. Plants with showy or bird-friendly seed heads, like coneflowers, also get a stay of execution.
- Sow seeds of poppies, larkspur and cosmos – this will add a cutting garden dimension to your garden next year.
- Continue to enjoy the hummingbirds and butterflies - your garden should be swarming with them.
I wish this photo was taken around here in Central Oklahoma…
this is northern Oregon.
A beautiful autumn day – somewhere else…
Aspens in Park City last fall…so stunning!
The Gingko will be fabulous this year… I have now planted 6 of these!
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
9 - 12 - 2011
Literally as we turned the calendar this month, Mother Nature and a cool front from Canada swept in over our plains and blessed us with the glorious weather we deserve after our record-setting, hotter than heck summer! What a difference 20 degrees make – it’s nearly chilly out in the mornings…but no one is complaining. Even the trees we thought had nearly died in the heat are putting on new fresh leaves…that’s due to the cooler night temps but mainly the cooler soil. We nearly baked everything alive this year…wow what a summer. Gardener’s are coming out of their air conditioned hiatus and gearing up for fall gardening – the very best time of the year to do nearly everything! Get these important chores done over the next two months and you will be rewarded with a beautiful Spring garden and a garden better prepared to survive our tough summer months.
Top Things to do in September
- Plan your spring garden now – it’s time to think planting pansies next month – tulips in November. How many pansies will you need – what color do you want to plant…better to go into the nursery with a plan vs. just picking up the first few flats you see. Color matters – look at the color of your home, and how you can best complement it. Check out my previous blog on the color wheel to refresh your memory on what colors work best with each other.
- Place your spring bulb orders now for best selection…more and more people are planting bulbs so the very best varieties go quickly. Remember – it is impossible to plant too many bulbs…do try and stage your bulbs so you have some blooming early to late in the spring….this will really make your Spring Garden last longer and you will be much happier with your investment and time in the bulbs.
- I have been ordering from www.colorblends.com for two years now and love that they do the pre-blending of colors and blooming period…I used to do this myself…never again! When I was in Holland earlier this year the Color blends buyer was there at the same time…someday we will see some of the new varieties they are growing – they are taller and bigger than ever!
- Still love www.vanengelen.com for specific varieties and to mix with my blends.
- Good time to begin replacing the dead shrubs / perennials in your garden…maintaining your garden design means replacing or editing your plantings when they fade away.
- I am over seeding my lawn this month – but you can safely do this through the end of October if we have warm weather. I’m doing it now because I lost too much fescue this summer due to issues with irrigation system, the extreme heat….and construction….
How I spent two weeks in August….escaped the heat and went to Africa! I am still in stimulus overload having visited Africa. What a continent – I felt completely ignorant nearly the second we landed…it is so much more than I expected. It is a spectacular place to live or visit. We ended our tour spending a few days in the gorgeous city of Cape Town, South Africa; maybe the most beautiful city I have ever seen. I had known that the most southern tip of Africa had its own floral kingdom – but seeing was believing.
This is one of my all time favorite plants – it grew nearly wild in Capetown – Kniphofia Red Hot Poker. I have never seen such massive tall clumps of these...I won’t even tell you how small the ones I grow are.
Bird of Paradise – This is the Mandela variety – this is a variety with the blue color! Only seen in Capetown?
The proteas grow like weeds…they are literally everywhere – and huge!
A typical hillside in Capetown.
Cape Town – I will see you again!
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
8 - 04 - 2011
Thoughts on Gardening in August….fall will come – it will rain again! Keep telling yourself that…of course this is a weird weather pattern…they say the worst since the eighties. Everyone tells me they don’t remember it ever seeming so horrible! As bad as the weather is, good planting and the right plants have made a difference this summer and beautiful gardens can still be seen throughout Oklahoma City.
This is one of my favorite varieties of Crepe Myrtle – “Pink Velour”, it thrives in the hot summer heat, and in the spring the leaves are a dark burgundy instead of green.
I love to incorporate raised planters into my landscape design. Plants thrive in them, because planters typically have perfect drainage and great soil. This particular planter is filled with English boxwood and white Knock out Roses and “Walker’s Low” Nepata. A colorful mix of my favorite purslane, verbena, and blue scaveola cascade over the wall.
Love to mix in Angelonia into my garden designs…it's about as close as I can get to lavender!
I’m shocked out how fresh these flowers look – I took this photo yesterday. Love the pink profusion
Zinnias peeking through the blue salvia and Angelonia.
More of my favorite summer mix – with the dark cherry colored penta.
Mixed in some little white Mexican daisies in this mix…
Hard to believe we have had nearly 30 days of 100 degree temps when you look at these flowers.
Love how this hardscaping frosted in flowers softens this huge driveway.
And believe it or not my faithful “Abraham Darby” English rose surprising me with a gift – a reward for my hand watering.
Top things to do in August
- Water – of course!
- Move pots and baskets to the shade to give them a break from the sun and heat.
- Cutback things that have lots of brown leaves…like spirea or perennials…remove dead plants – your beds and pots will look better.
- Drive around and look at gardens that are performing well in these extreme conditions.
- Look at how your irrigation system is performing – you may want to modify coverage this fall.
- Take one more last vacation to someplace cool.
Off to Africa….
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -