6 - 18 - 2013
Gardens all around are looking more amazing than ever with all of the record-breaking rain fall. My personal garden has been spared (so far) the wrath of Mother Nature and her evil hail storms this year, so I’m just counting my gardening blessings. Your garden should be lush and transitioning from late spring annuals and perennials to early summer. You may be completely satisfied with the season and how your landscape is looking – if not, it’s still not too late to make design adjustments and add additional plantings. While I certainly don’t need to add to my garden, I feel an irresistible urge on the weekends to just drop in a couple of nurseries to see if there are small things I can add. I have been adding sedums and succulents all over my garden as they add so much interest and yet are nearly maintenance free. I’m also a sucker for any blue clematis. You may want to add some heat-loving plants to your containers or window boxes so they can thrive through July and August when it is so very hot in Oklahoma.
This past weekend my home as well as a home we completely renovated was on an annual neighborhood garden tour. It was extremely gratifying to have a great turn-out after all of the devastating storms we’ve been having in Oklahoma City – thank you for dropping by. I am always invigorated to share gardening knowledge and tips with everyone who is interested.
I got lots of questions about the use of my blue and white jars outside – yes they do just great!
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 – this is certainly the case this year.
- 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.
Garden Tips from my Pinterest Board – lots of good garden knowledge found on my board.
Here are a few timely tips for June…
One way to guard against the vagaries of mistakenly cutting off buds or losing them to a cold snap is to grow some of the newer reblooming hybrids. These have become staples at home centers since their first introduction, in 2004. Some to consider are 'Endless Summer,' a blue mophead, and 'Twist and Shout,' a pink to blue lacecap (go to Endless Summer Collection for stores). 'Let's Dance Moonlight' is a new reblooming pink mophead (go to Monrovia for stores). These hybrids bloom throughout the summer on both the current and past year's growth, so they will produce blooms on the new growth even if the old growth is nipped in the bud by cold temperatures.
Slugs destroy hostas and a lot of other plants….here are some solutions I found from a master gardener on Pinterest – maybe some of them will work for you:
1. Slugs avoid crawling over anything dry, dusty or scratchy, such as lime, diatomaceous earth, cinders, coarse sawdust, gravel or sand. These make great barriers to keep out slugs.
2. Epson Salts sprinkled on the soil will help deter slugs and also help prevent Magnesium deficiency in your plants.
3. Vinegar, a good ingredient for slug sprays and removing slug slime.
4. Spread salt around your plants. Salt dries them out so they won’t go near it.
5. Collect human, dog, or cat hair and put around your plants, not only will the slugs not go on it, but it will also keep a lot of the little critters away also.
6. When you find a slime trail, destroy the track so other slugs do not follow. They will follow each others trail. There are certain plants that slugs hate like the strong smell of mint, chives, garlic, geraniums, foxgloves and fennel. Plant them around the edge of your garden to keep them out. These plants also discourage Japanese beetles.
7. Put stone paths along your flower beds.
8. Put Copper of foil barriers around plants that the slugs are eating. When the slugs cross them they are given a small shock. This also works for snails.
9. If you are find slugs in your potted plants, put petroleum jelly around the base and tops of your plant containers and watch them slip and slide.
10. Fill a shallow bowl with beer and wait overnight. The slugs love it. Dispose of the slugged brew by adding it to your comport.
11. Another slug formula: 1 part ammonia to 3 parts of water. One squirt on the slugs is all you need.
12. After eating your 1/2 grapefruit for breakfast, put it into your garden to make slug trap. Turn upside down after putting a small hole or two on the side for slugs to enter. They adore grapefruit and the slugs will gather there to eat the grapefruit and leave your plants alone. Collect the grapefruit and put into the compost bin.
The world's most perfect fertilizer and pesticide is Epsom salt - every other week in a 1 gallon watering can filled with water add 1 TBSP of miracle grow and 3 TBSP of Epsom salt. You will have a great garden all season.
Do take the time to enjoy the fruits of your hard work!
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
5 - 30 - 2013
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…
• 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
• Outdoor Living!
Beautiful mix of perennials, white carpet roses and Nepata blooming now.
Happy Gardening! XO Terry
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
3 - 21 - 2013
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
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!
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!
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
1 - 29 - 2013
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 -
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 -