Archive for March, 2011

Garden Magazines


Missouri Gardener 2011 March/April

I have a story in this months March/April 2011 edition of Missouri Gardener. That makes me proud and happy.

I think what makes me love this magazine even more, is the fact that this is the second edition, the second month that this magazine has published. When magazines and news papers a disappearing daily, State By State is rolling out monthly magazines about gardening to an ever increasing number of  states.

Today I was in Springfield, where Barbara St Clair lives.

Barbara's Dahlia

I bought a copy of the magazine to take to her and say thank you for allowing me to share her garden with the public. Barnes and Noble bookstore in Springfield has copies of the Missouri Gardener.

She too is a Master Gardener and has donated many (hundreds of) hours to the new Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center in Springfield, Missouri’s Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park and the Xeriscape Garden.

She told me that because the article mentioned her and the Master Gardeners, The Botanical Center had decided to start carrying Missouri Gardener magazine. I was happy to hear that news. I hope theword gets out about Missouri Gardener.

If you have never been to the xeriscape garden sponsored by Springfield Master Gardeners or the Botanical Center.

Make time to see them this gardening season. Become a member or donate online.

I think the Botanical Gardens are a destination site, worthy of a day trip or weekend get away. When you go, tell me what you think.

You can subscribe to your state by state gardening magazine on line.

Bloom Day March 2011


Bloom Day March 2011 was grey and cloudy. And then, there was a windy day that was just exhausting said the daffodils. But this is their time to shine so I can’t simply ignore bloom day.

Almost every year I get asked what the difference between daffodils and jonquils?

Is narcissus the same as daffodil?

Narcissus: (Narcissus sp.) All daffodils, jonquils, and paperwhites are Narcissus genus. The genus Narcissus is a member of the Amaryllis family. Many folks use the word Narcissus when they are talking about paperwhites.

Daffodils: is the common name for all Narcissus bulbs. All daffodils are narcissus. When I hear the word “daffodil,” those large, trumpet-shaped flowers Narcissus pseudonarcissus come to mind.

Jonquils: are a specific type of daffodil known as Narcissus jonquilla. They are most easily identified by their dark green, tube-shaped leaves as compared to other types of daffodils which have flat leaves.

So, all jonquils are daffodils but not all daffodils are johnquils.

There are about a gazillion folks particpating in Bloom Day. You can’t see them all every month unless you are unemployed, retired, or a speed reader.

To visit other Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day participants, visit our host Carol at May Dreams Garden.

I always wanted to live somewhere where I could grow pine trees and magnolias. Really, I have lived most of my life in that area of the country, or very close to it. Of course, the little ones I planted will surely out live me. This little magnolia tree is loaded with bright white blooms and barely 3 feet tall.

What is soil temperature?


Wait until the soil warms to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (70°)  to plant peppers and tomatoes.

Plant tomatoes  when soil temperatures are above 60°. Temperatures below 50° are like a polar bear plunge to your lovely tomato plant.

soil thermometers

Warm season crops, like tomatoes and eggplant, need warm soil temperatures. If you plant tomatoes before the ground warms sufficiently they will not grow. The tomatoes will just stand in the soil and wait for warmer days.

Push a soil thermometer 4 inches into the soil where you plan to plant tomatoes.

Test the soil for 3 or 4 days. The soil temperature is the soil average. Measure the temperature in the mornings or before 10:00 a.m.

When the soil temperature is 40°, plant cool season crops kale.

50° – plant leeks and onions

60° – plant broccoli and cabbage

70° – tomatoes and basil

Measure the soil temp. and put the thermometer away.

You can plant the whole garden based on soil temperatures. Be sure to store the thermometer in a safe place. I only remind you because I “lost” my little thermometer last week, when I left it in the garden.

Supertunia® Giant Pink Petunia


Look for this plant




Supertunia® Giant Pink Petunia Petunia hybrid

If you haven’t grown petunias in awhile, look again. These Proven Winners bloom coninuously with no need for deadheading. Hummingbirds stopped by daily. Butterflies and birds love these flowers.


Giant Pink Petunias are heat and drought tolerant. To survive in my garden, flowers need to be care free and low maintenance. My opinion of petunias has changed. I love these bright pink annuals.



Not to be deterred, this little wren moved in and raised a family right beside the Supertunia®

Supertunia® Giant Pink Petunia

It was my pleasure to trial these plants for Proven Winners last summer.

Proven Winners are easy to find in our area. You could imagine my shock when I read the back of the plant label this spring: “BUY THIS! Even Patsy Bell Hobson did not kill it.” I don’t know if this is a regional marketing stategy or a National Campaign. Let me know if you see this tag in your store.

The Supertunias® were regularly watered, but not fertilized.

Gardeners solution to dry hands


Working in garden soil sucks the moisture out of my hands. Frequent hand washing only dries my hands even more. I tried Udder Ointment to soothe the dryness. I like Dr. Hess Udder Ointment in the 4 ounce tube. I keep a tube in my garden tool box.

Owner Polly Tribe also sent a sample of the Udder Stick, a Lip Balm with SPF 15. I was happy indeed to discover the flavored lip balm in Original Vanilla, Mango, Pomegranate and Vanilla Mint. I think it lasts longer than the usual over the counter brand of lip balm I used to buy. The Udder Stick is my new everyday spf 15 lip balm.

The Great Grand Daughter, Polly Tribe now owns Dr Hess Products. Read the story of udder ointment on their website. Originally developed in 1893 for treating chapped teats and udders of dairy cattle, farmers were soon remarking as to the healing effect it had on their own hands.

I use Udder Ointment on my hands and feet at night before bed. Magic happens overnight.

Go to the website to learn where you get your hands on Dr Hess Products.

Dr. Hess Products, LLC, 23 N Scenic Hills Circle, North Salt Lake, UT 84054, Fax – 801.295.7313

Dairy farmers discovered this ointment helped their dry hands.

Ground-hugging Minus Thyme


Minus Thyme Thymus praecox articus ‘Minor’

Minus Thyme Thymus praecox articus 'Minor'

Minus Thyme is a perennial, hardy in zones 5-9. The evergreen, ground-hugging thyme is covered with pink flowers in late spring. One of the lowest growing thymes, it never exceeds 1”. Minus can take light foot traffic making it a good choice along pathyways and between stepping stones.

I bought a plug pack of 12, two years ago from Richters Herbs. The plants did so well, I ordered another plug pack last spring. Then, I divided the tiny thyme that I had planted between stepping stones. It is growing enthusiastically between stepping stones and is easily divided.

The spaces need weeding until the thyme fills in. This very slow process will take a couple more years to fill all the spaces between the stepping stones. I could speed the process by dividing the thyme clumps more often.

Minus Thyme with Cobra for size comparicon

Superbells® Coralberry Punch Calibrachoa


Look for this plant

I’ll be looking for calibrchoa to plant in containers. I grew Superbells® Coralberry Punch but Proven Winners has a color to fit every landscape design.

Coralberry Punch Calibrcoa

Coralberry Punch Calibrachoa is a Proven Winners calibrachoa hybrid.

Calibrachoas are a new type of plant that looks like a dwarf  Petunia. The advantage is that calibrachoas are self cleaning, meaning no deadheading.

Calibracoa and coleus

These little flowers bloomed all summer, the containers are in full sun with late afternoon shade and had irregular water. It’s a good container or hanging basket choice.  Superbells® Coralberry Punch is a drought tolerant plant that showed no sign of disease or insect damage.

Proven Winners are easy to find in our area. It was my honor to trial Superbells® Coralberry Punch annual for Proven Winners last summer.








Proven Winners

Goldilocks Rocks™ Bidens & Alligator Tears™ Coleus


Look for these plants


Goldilocks Rocks™ Bidens Bidens ferulifolia

ColorBlaze®Alligator Tears™ Coleus Solenostemon scutellarioides

Bidens and coleus

Goldilocks Rocks™ Bidens Bidens ferulifolia

ColorBlaze®Alligator Tears™ Coleus Solenostemon scutellarioides

I watered the container but did not fertilize it. The bidens is self cleaning, takes full sun or part sun and looks good in this combination. Alligator tears doesn’t need constant pinching and looked full, not leggy in the pot.

It was my honor to trial these plants for Proven Winners last summer.  Proven Winners are easy to find in our area. You could imagine my shock when I read the back of the plant label this spring: “BUY THIS! Even Patsy Bell Hobson did not kill it.” I don’t know if this is a regional marketing stategy or a National Campaign. Let me know if you see this tag in your store.

I planted three pots of Alligator tears in the planter under the mail box last summer. The hose rarely made it out that far. I did not add fertilizer.

ColorBlaze® Alligator Tears™ Coleus Solenostemon scutellarioides

Both plants, bidens and the coleus, performed all summer.

Proven Winners


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