12 - 13 - 2012
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 -
6 - 01 - 2010
If you have read my other garden blogs – you already know that I discuss the power of Mother Nature and the fact that we have to react to the forces she brings. A big part of Oklahoma City was devastated a few weeks ago by a historical hail storm. You can imagine with every roof being destroyed the havoc she played with our plants! So many of us are spending time this June, removing and cutting back plants that were splintered, or completely destroyed or replanting in areas where plants were completely destroyed. Hopefully, we have a check mark on this one and won’t have to live through this again! Soft ball size hail and gardens are not a good mix…15 minutes of total destruction.
Top Things to do in June
- Now is the time to really start paying attention to the watering part of your job as gardener in tune with your garden. The summer heat comes on strong in June, and hand watering your newer plantings, e.g. roses, will pay off.
- Remember to shut your sprinkler off if you receive heavy rains - we can hope this happens.
- Check out varieties of perennials at the nurseries you might not see in the spring months – verbascum, agastache, and rudbeckia – find a spot for them – they are wonderful in any garden.
- Dead head your roses, petunias, verbena, geraniums, and penta – they will reward you with fresh blossoms.
- Continue to support your roses and climbing vines – they will continue to provide vigorous growth through the summer months
- Container plantings will benefit from weekly feedings of water soluable fertilizer like Miracle Grow.
Best of the Season
Shrubs - spirea, ligustrum, magnolia and Smoke Tree, hydrangea
Perennials - coreopsis, penstemmon, guara, purple cone flower, daisy, and hostas!
Smoke tree is a stand-out in June.
Oak Leaf hydrangea – blossoms the size of milk bottles! Please do not prune this plant – the bigger the better – tall is good and natural.
I love to use gold mound spirea in the garden – the color is so perfect with blues, pinks and white – one of my must-have plants.
Plant blue salvia, blue daze, veronica – anything else blue in front if gold mound spirea it’s the perfect color harmony.
“Moonbeam” is a variety of coreopsis that works in both cool and warm garden color palettes - the yellow is so subtle.
There are so many varieties of penstemmon – but any of them are a must have in your perennial mix.
Bring the heat on – Purple Cone Flower just stands strong – remember that there are thousands of seeds in each of the heads – before dead-heading don’t forget to spread all the seeds – they are free and will really spread your stand of this wonderful perennial – Echinacea!
Look at this outstanding planting of Salvias - this was truly remarkable - spotted in Chicago on the parks along Michigan Avenue. It looked like water - look how effective the blue is with the chartreuse greens mixed in.
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
3 - 01 - 2010
Whether you are a veteran gardener or a complete novice but a "wanna be", March gets the blood flowing through your veins. March is the first of the 3 most glorious months of the year as a gardener. Get busy, do some planning, scout the nurseries for plants to use in the garden, but first get the cleanup chores out of the way while you wait for the last freeze date to arrive.
Top things to do in March
- Late February and early 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.
- Don't be afraid to prune...but please avoid the hedge / lollipop effect - use hand pruners and selectively prune your shrubs to keep them at just the right size and tight.
- Prune your roses in early March - apply a systemic feed / insecticide at the base of the bushes
- 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.
- Do Not prune the tops of your tree form crepe myrtles
- I have seen so many examples of bad pruning, resulting in many beautiful shrubs being more or less ruined. It can be very difficult for shrubs to come out of the shock of the hedge effect.
...please don't do this to your Yaupon Holly!
Yaupon Holly Tree - left un-pruned - more beautiful less maintenance!
These roses are "dying" to be secured to the wall behind them - sad to see them laying on the ground.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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
Mix of white tulips with shades of violet pansies and white for the tie in
Giant Darwin Tulips - Pink and Apricot Impression with a blue mix of pansies
Beautiful orange and yellow mix of tulips with blue and white pansies - this bed would look less vibrant without the Goldmound spireas.
Warm colors of citrus
Icy blues and whites
Gorgeous combinations of yellow, blue and white pansies, with citrus mix of tulips and gold moneywort looking luscious!
As I approached this planting of blue and white hyacinth the fragrance was intoxicating!
Very rare to see forsythia that has not been pruned / mutilated...wonder if this will be left alone 5 years from now - we can hope so!
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -