Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Daffodils brightening our border

Last year I worked on refining the long flower borders along the main path into the garden.  I was very happy with the results throughout the season with the exception of April when it looked bare and lacking life.  See my past posts  here and here.

 I made a mental note to add more spring bulbs in the fall (which I did).  

The first variety just bloomed for Easter: Tete-a-Tete which is a cute miniature yellow blooming variety brightening at least one side of the path. 

Narcissus "Tete-a-Tete"

On the other path border I added early and late season blooming tulips which the rabbits had for breakfast.

Look at the difference between last April and this April. 
April 16, 2013

April 21, 2014

More to come as more varieties of bulbs will bloom soon.

Other blooms that started since last week are:
 Lungwort or Pulmonaria (zone 3-8)

Depending on the location in the garden, some clumps have more pink and some more purple. These early spring blooming flowers resemble ‘Virginia blue- bell's. 
Cut-leaved toothwort (native ephemere bloomer)  or Cardamine concatenata  (z. 3-8)
This is an Ohio spring ephemeral which blooms in early spring before the leaves emerge on deciduous trees and goes dormant by late spring to early summer.  I relocated it from our woods so that we don't miss its delicate bloom and placed it near a late growing perennial  by the house; it apparently likes the new home because it multiplied since last year.
This plant is still sold by nurseries as Dentaria lancinata. Although the leaves are toothed, the common name probably is in reference to the tooth-like projections on the fleshy rootstock. The toothworts are sometimes called pepperroots in reference to the spicy, radish-like flavor of the rhizomes which can be cut up and added to salads.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Blogger Bloom Day- April 2014

It is finally April! In the last month we had snow, freezing, melting of the snow, two days of summer and ...read more to find out.

We had a rough winter here in Ohio, hardiness zone 5b. As I was looking at pictures from last year I felt that we had recovered somewhat from the late start of spring.  
The Hellebores, the Spring beauties (Scilla siberica) the winter aconites bloomed since beginning of April. 

Scilla siberica and Eranthis hyemalis or Winter aconite 
Just as of two days ago some of the pulmonaria, primulas and early tulips bloomed.  
Pulmonaria or Lungwort - common garden variety

Primula vulgaris or Primrose

Tulip Kaufmanniana "Hearts Delight"

But today we have a small set-back. Snow again! Not unusual for Ohio.  In 2012 we had an early start of the spring and the snow storm of April 11 piled a foot on top of the late tulips varieties. It didn't last long, and everything survived just fine.  I am not worried about this one either.
April 11, 2012  Tulip Darwin " Ivory Floradale" covered with snow

Here are the Daffodils on Sunday

and here are the daffodils today

Pushed the Fig tree pot back in the garage today since we are expecting lows of 20F tonight.  I will not look outside today! I will pretend this snow is not happening.  I will look in the sunroom where new blooms are happening:

Meyer Lemon Tree blooming second time in the last two months. Only one lemon growing from the February blooms.

Bougainvillea in full bloom in the sunroom
Bougainvillea are not  your typical houseplants—in their natural form, they are sprawling climbers and shrubs with formidable thorns. They are suited to a somewhat arid, subtropical to tropical climate. Nevertheless, these plants possess something I prize for indoor : color.  After I saw 15 ft high and wide plants in Mexico and Jamaica, I was happy I was growing this since I started gardening; the blooms on this plants remind me of warm vacation destinations. More about the sunroom plants here

And to finish on the high note ..high color note, I share with you a picture of the violas recently purchased to decorate the outside porch:

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at  May Dream Gardens.  Visit her blog to see what is in bloom this month in gardens from many climates and countries.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April Seeds time at Gardeners with kids

Spring is finally here and with its arrival an overwhelming amount To Do in the garden.

Indoor Seed Time

More seeds had been started in the house. If you want to start your own tomatoes and peppers..this is the time. We have about 6 weeks until the warm crops can be placed in the garden safely so you have time.  

TOMATOES: Our tomatoes seedlings appeared after a week of seeding and are almost growing the second leaf. I planted three varieties: Romanian Oxheart, Fourth of July and Amish (my own naming -saved the seed from a delicious tomato that I bought from an Amish family at the Farmers Market last summer)

PEPPERS: This week I started from seed indoor three varieties of peppers: Hot Tequila Sunrise, JF Mild Banana Peppers and JF Sweet Banana Peppers. The JF stands for Johnston Farm which is a local farm where we pick large quantities of red bell peepers and other vegetable that we can't grow in our small garden or in large enough quantities.  No signs of seedlings emerging yet.

BASIL: Alexis' basil looks gorgeous. You may remember that she started that back in March- click here. I have three varieties that I want to start directly in the garden after Easter when temperature forecast no longer show 30s, just 40s and up.

CHAMOMILE: Alexis' German Chamomile seeds grew extremely well indoor that I had to separate the already thinned out seedling in a couple of individual pots. Because we are running out of room in the house I decided to place the already shocked transplants on a west facing window sill in the garage. So far so good! The plants are starting to grow again. Alexis will have lots of chamomile flowers for her favorite winter tea!

FLOWERS: On the flowers side we have some successes. My kids had been asking me what happened with the Sensitive plant that I started and grew couple years ago.  I made the mistake to place it in a pot with coleus and coleus was more aggressive and won. The kids liked this plant because as you touch its leaves, the leaves respond by moving and closing to protect themselves. After a couple of minutes, the leaves return to their open position.  Cool plant. Here is a series of shots we took that show what I explained.

So as I organized my seeds drawer this year I found the empty envelope of the Sensitive Plant that I started in 2012. It was very old seed (packed in 2007) by Monticello Gardens (Jefferson's estate) and someone  here in Hudson gave me this envelope as I toured their garden.  I looked closer in this emptied envelope and noticed one seed left.  I placed it in soil and guess what? Seven years after it was collected it was still viable. Now we have our "play" plant and everyone visits the pot daily and touches the new leaves to see how they move.  In another old "empty" envelope I found one seed of Columbine..I placed it next to the Sensitive Plant and guess what?  It grew as well.  I am on a roll!
Lets see if and how long we can keep them alive.

Also indoor, couple weeks ago  I seeded  Lincoln Hybrid Menocopsis Poppy, Stachys officials "Alba" and Persicaria orientalis "Shirogane Nishiki" or Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate. All needed a period of 3-4 weeks of cool weather (35-45F) before bringing to room temperature so I placed the pots outside in March protected in recycled clear plastic boxes.  Once I brought them indoor I moistened the soil and the last one shows some nice seedlings coming-up.

Outdoor Seed Time
Last Sunday we had a gorgeous and productive day in the garden.  I prepared a couple of raised beds for seeds that like to be planted when it is still cold outside.  I had two bags of mushroom compost available and incorporated it in the garden beds as I turned the soil.
I planted a couple of rows of radishes "French Breakfast", spinach and two kinds of lettuce: "Oak Leaf Lettuce" and "French Mesclun" blend.  To my disappointment some squirrels jumped the fence and wrecked all my rows to show me who is in charge outside. I can't decide what to do next.  Will the seeds emerge anyway or should I start all over and cover the beds with netting? It is raining now so I will wait for a good day to assess the damage again.
On Sunday I also seeded a couple varieties of flowers that need cooler temperatures to emerge. 
In the rose bed I scattered some annual Larkspur.  This is totally experimental and we will see if it produces any results. In the same bed I scattered some Nigella damascena or Love-in-a-mist which is a gorgeous part sun annual I received from blogger and avid gardener Nancy Ondra.
In the Sun room Sun Bed I scattered some Iberis or Candytuft.
In the Front North Bed I scattered Asclepias speciosa or Showy milkweed and Amsonia hubrichtii or Arkansas bluestar - both from Nancy Ondra at Hayfield gardens. 
More flowers and veggies to start after Easter! Until then, happy gardening!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Stan Hywet -Corbin Conservatory 2014 season opening visit

For information on this private conservatory click here

I am going to share my post with Macro Monday and Ruby Tuesday where you can see wonderful photographs from around the world.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday's Favorite Flower Combination #14

Spring appears to be here in Ohio. Last week the last of the snow melted away and I had two half days in the garden with mild temperatures. In between those mild days..well you don't want to know. I've done lots of raking and leaves picking, dry grasses and perennials cutting.  The Epimedium and Hellebore foliage was cut and removed to give room to the blooms that should follow soon after. The spring bulbs were uncovered and the daffodils appear to be growing one inch a day. The tulips were covered with netting to protect from the rabbits and deer for a little bit longer until they find other sources of food.

Yesterday I focused on getting the vegetable garden ready for the cold weather crops. More on that tomorrow. I should have done this two weeks ago when we had one nice day, but instead I cleaned the beds around the patio.  It makes me feel less overwhelmed of all the garden work that spring brings along  if I clean around the patio first. This is the area of the garden that I see from inside the house the most.

The combination I picked for today I've put together three years ago and repeated every year since.  The lovely cobalt blue annual lobelia with the perennial golden creeping Jenny. I do it in one or two containers around the vegetable garden to cheer-up that area.
     Golden creeping Jenny or Lysmachia nummularia "Aurea" and Lobelia - Lobelia erinus (annual)

Isn't this lovely?