Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two thoughts today...

#1    As I drive around, I really enjoy looking around at what other people do with there front entryways. Mostly in the way of pots. Pots fascinate me. You can have such fun with them. First of all, and best of all, they are not permanent, so you can experiment with different colors, textures, and plants you have never tried before. Second, they can be used practically as well. For those of you who live in apartments, you can have a pot garden, as I once did, growing anything ranging from herbs, onions, peas, tomatoes, even potatoes! What I don't understand is why so many always tend toward the same exact plants in the same exact pots. There is nothing wrong with it, nothing at all, but so much fun is missed! Try a spike instead of a fountain grass. Try a perennial grass instead of an annual, which in doing allows you to add a pretty perennial to the garden at the end of the season. Use an evergreen for a formal feel, or giant blooming geraniums or hibiscus for a fun colorful splash! Don't be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your pots! Experiment! Learn! And have fun with them!

#2      I am so thankful that I have parents with an enormous garden filled with beautiful plants that I can take starts from. They don't have to be big, fluffy, full grown plants...just one little start will do. I read about gardeners of old who were constantly exchanging plant starts with one another, forming little clubs that meet and exchange every so often. What has happened to that? and wouldn't that be fun?

Well, those were just a couple thoughts I wanted to share on this Memorial Day weekend! I hope you all are enjoying the fantastic weather out in your gardens! As for me, I have some starts to go plant!

(Mountain Blue & Comfrey, two of the many starts that I am planting!)

P.S. We have decided to keep the store open tomorrow (Memorial Day) from 10am-5pm. Come see us!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Next Seminar!

Don't miss this seminar! Lots of good info AND we are planning to make some wonderful rose-enhanced treats!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gardens in full swing!

Walking out into the garden is a completely different experience now then it was just a few weeks ago. The gallons of root stimulator I used last season and early this spring are definitely paying off. My tansy is almost double it's normal size! (no joke!) My garden space is definitely beginning to fill up! My favorite new plants are a 'Glowing Embers' Japanese Maple and a Giant Weeping Norway Spruce.

I love the formality and graceful habit of this specimen. Iseli Nursery is where we get a lot of our wonderful specimen evergreens and trees. I am always excited when we gets loads in from them! Check them out HERE

Here is the 'Glowing Embers' Japanese Maple. I like this variety because it can tolerate a bit more sun then some of the red, bold-leaved varieties. It has beautiful bright green foliage and reddish-brown bark throughout the growing season and the foliage turns a bright "glowing-orange" in the fall. A fairly large tree as well (20'x24'). Can't wait to see this one in the fall!

The vegetable garden is in full swing as well. My peas are almost ready for eating, and my chickens have really enjoyed the fresh greens (and my ornamental sweet peas...grr...) I tried out a few different varieties of greens this year. My stand by varieties are red romaine, freckles, buttercrunch and giant nobel spinach. The new picks this year were red raddichio, gala mache and corn salad (which I have yet to try). They all look pretty lined up in my raised beds. Even in a vegetable garden we are always trying to design it out to mix the best colors and textures. (Doesn't your produce taste better when you are able to go out in your own garden and see how pretty it all looks together before picking it??? I think it improves the flavor and experience!)  I have a drift of silvery-blue leeks backing a lazy row of red cabbage, and giant red mustard backing my green cabbage. You must think about planting bolder things next to feathery things (green onions next to my raddichio or red romaine next to a row of garlic.) And don't forget your herbs! I love to plant herbs out in the garden or flower beds (other than mint...a mistake I will never make again as it creeps everywhere and threathens to choke out some of my other beloved plants. All mints are banned to pots on the patio.) I definitely have an affinity for kitchen gardens.

Update on my potato growing project: I planted my first layer of potatoes in a giant peat pot (for lack of space); when the plants were up, full and green, I dumped more soil on top of them and planted my second layer! We'll see how this goes... Red Pontiac will make up the bottom layers (as they are a longer day potato) and Yukon Golds will be the top layers.  So far, so good!

I hope all of you are enjoying your gardens as much as I am mine! Try to enjoy these more mild days as much as possible before the onslaught of summer heat hits!