10 - 23 - 2013
Thoughts on Gardening in October…wonderful weather brings us back to the garden.
We are having the most welcome and refreshing rains…drought busting rains! The cooler temperatures and rain is one 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.
Natural fall décor is so easy to find these days - love white pumpkins used this way.
What an easy way to make your entry more inviting – talk about curb appeal.
White pumpkins and some vine in a wooden box – so simple!
What a gorgeous fall centerpiece – in shades of white.
Would not have thought about using pistachios this way – love the look.
More white pumpkins – and a touch of blue in the hydrangea.
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 insure 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 a swarming with them.
I am using these small conservatories for all holidays…this one for fall.
Another easy idea….this would look great on any coffee or console table to see the fall mood in your home.
Time to change out your planters and containers…nothing better than kale and pansies.
Happy Gardening - Terry
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
9 - 16 - 2013
Thoughts on Gardening in September ….. Visions of Autumn coolness on the horizon!
Fall weather makes me happy – it erases all those recent July and August “hotter than Hades” days and recollection of thinking the heat is surely baking my plants. The clematis and roses are blooming again; the perennials and annuals I cut back in July are huge again but with fresh new growth and flowers that the Sun hasn’t faded. The night time temps and shorter days start contributing to a beautiful fall garden.
It’s time to think about pumpkins, mums, tulips and pansies. Pansies go in next month, lawns get over-seeded with cool season blends of fescue and rye, tulip planting follows in November.
Easy idea for porches or even in the garden.
I love white pumpkins and I love bittersweet.
What a great look for all those 3-tiered trays and platters we all have now.
‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum is spectacular in the garden during September and October. It should be on your list of wonderful “must-have” perennials.
Love the tunnel view of this garden planting.
Reporting back on my experiment with Epsom salts – you can see the difference after only 6 weeks. I will continue to use Epsom salts on this topiary and I’m positive it will continue to look better and better. I have been using it on my hydrangeas and English Roses and they are putting on lots more blossoms at this time of the year than I would expect. I’m sold on this – I’m sure a there are tons of serious gardeners out there who already knew all of this…but I had just never gotten around to using it myself…Love it!
Top Things to do in September
· Take a break from daily container watering!
· Turn back the sprinkler a few notches….less water is okay now.
· Do some garden clean-up – make your garden look like July and August were not that hot!
· Continue to support your roses and climbing vines.
· If you are a true gardener – you have already scouted out the nurseries for some new provisions….it’s a great time to replace casualties of the summer weather / and long vacations away from your garden.
· Assess your garden design and plant selections – this is a good time to jot down notes from your summer successes and failures.
· Enjoy the hummingbirds and butterflies - your garden should be a swarming with them.
· Place your tulip and spring bulb order for best selection – please don’t wait on – early bird gets the worm!
· Start planning for the fall garden chores – October is just around the corner.
Happy Gardening - Terry
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
7 - 24 - 2013
For those of us in the Oklahoma City area – no complaints from this gardener! During the middle of July this year we received 4” of rain in 3 days…truly a gift from Mother Nature and the rain heavens above. Almost immediately everyone’s brown lawn patches have turned green again, roses are flush with new leaves and flower buds, the annual flowers and perennials have doubled in size in a matter of days, and the evergreen trees and shrubs are laden with new leaves. Yes indeed, rainfall makes the difference in your garden. Just imagine a steady dose of this? Oklahoma City would look more like Portland or Seattle…hydrangeas growing along the freeways, Japanese Red Maples that get 30’ tall, geraniums with the heads of large mops…I am just dreaming for that climate – but I am grateful for every drop of rain we get – and our plants are showing their sincerest appreciation.
One of the things that I love about my new found love Pinterest is all of the information available at your fingertips. I have been reading for years about the use of Epsom Salt in the garden. The word salt and gardening just didn’t do it for me…but I kept seeing Pins on the beneficial use of this in the garden and for house plants.
Gardening with Epsom Salt..it has been a planter’s “secret” ingredient to a lovely, lush garden, and is such a simple, affordable way to have a dramatic impact. Simply dissolve 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, and substitute this solution for normal watering at least once a month –
Spraying epsom salt on plants boosts magnesium supply to plants and increases yield. Spraying 1 tablespoon of epsom salt mix with 4 litre of water twice with 10 days gap could be used for good results. Tomatoes, peppers and rose can benefit extraordinarily
Why Epsom Salt works in the Garden…Composed almost exclusively of Magnesium Sulfate, Epsom salt is intensely rich in these two minerals that are both crucial to healthy plant life. These same minerals which are so beneficial for bathing and using around the house are also a wonderful facilitator to your garden, helping it reach its fullest potential and creating a lush and vibrant outdoor space. Unlike common fertilizers, Epsom Salt does not build up in the soil over time, so it is very safe to use.
So my experiment with the mysterious Epsom Salt has begun. This is a very sickly looking topiary of privet. Up until this Spring it has always been beautiful – dark green, lush requiring constant pruning to keep it in shape. Not so anymore, it is yellow, puny and not very pretty – makes me want to get rid of it…so why not experiment with it because even Miracle Grow isn’t working for this plant – we shall see….
My next experiment is with what used to be a “prized” David Austin English Rose…obviously
not happy for the moment…it’s covered in black spot probably because of the heavy rains, but the leaves are yellow, sickly and no blooms…we shall see about this notion / concoction called Epsom Salt! Stay tuned….
Top Things to Do in August
- Water – but make it count by deep watering.
- Move pots and baskets to the shade to give them a break from the sun and heat.
- Cutback plants that have lots of brown leaves due to the heat / drought…shrubs, perennials and annuals alike with benefit from a haircut
- Remove dead plants – your beds and pots will look better. I always say dead trees, shrubs or flowers are adding nothing to the beauty of your garden design.
- Drive around and look at gardens that are performing well in these extreme conditions – what plants have then integrated – what are they doing to maintain their beautiful garden.
- Look at how your irrigation system is performing – you may want to modify coverage this fall.
- Take one more last vacation to someplace cool.
Stay tuned for the results of my first use of Epsom Salt in my garden.
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
6 - 27 - 2013
The dreaded heat has arrived…so instead of hiding in our nice air-conditioned homes we have to get out early and provide a few of our plants some supplemental water. Mother Nature has blessed us this year with tremendous – drought-ending rains – so no complaints from this persistent gardener. The heat has also been put off by several cool fronts – we have had a wonderfully long spring and early summer has actually lasted more than a couple of days. Roses have put out another fresh blush of blossoms, my “becky” daisies are in full white fabulousness and even my Nepata is still blooming its heart out. July and August are the “acid test” for your garden and will test your personal commitment in keeping your plantings looking their best.
July and August are also really good times to really evaluate your plantings and overall design, and decide if any changes or editing need to take place – and if so September is just around the corner.
Purple Cone Flower and Russian Sage – stunning plant pairing,
Heat-loving plant combination.
Bright – and not faint of heart no matter how hot it gets.
Cool colors – but these plants thrive in the hottest weather.
Check out more plant pairings on my Pinterest boards:
Top Things to do in July
- • Adequate water is now a must – but please still pay attention to the weather.
• Water your containers every morning…this can be a must to get them through the day.
• Adjustments to your automatic sprinkler system may be needed – remember to water early in the day – not at night.
• If you do need to water during the heat of the day – be careful not to get water on the plant foliage.
• I hand water newer plantings like roses and some perennials if needed.
• Evaluate your garden – do you have the right plant in the right spot?
• Are your petunias or geraniums looking bad in your containers – you can still refresh your containers with heat loving plants like Angelonia, Purslane, lantana and blue daze.
• Continue to dead head your annuals and perennials – they will reward you with fresh blossoms – especially Nepata, Penta, and roses.
• Continue to support your roses and climbing vines – they are still putting on new growth even if they aren’t blooming…this fall you will understand why you did this.
• In addition to dead heading your cone flowers – be sure to take the seed heads and cut them up and sprinkle the seeds around your existing plants – there are literally several hundred seeds in each head of a cone flower!
Best of the Season
• Crepe Myrtle, Vitex (Texas Lilac), carpet and landscape roses • Bermuda Grass – bring the heat on!
• All Ornamental Grasses – flower plumes are emerging
• Perennials – Daisies, Perovskia (Russian Sage) Purple Cone Flowers, Hosta
• Annuals – Periwinkle, salvia, purslane, penta, lantana, dusty miller, blue daze, scaveola
One of the best ornamental trees for heat – Vitex – aka Chaste Tree or Texas Lilac.
Happy Gardening - Terry
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
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 -