Category Archives: Gardens (not mine)

Public gardens, nurseries, professional sites

Betty Jo, about Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day. My mom made my life easy even though hers was very hard. We had plenty of food, new school clothes every year, money for lunch and field trips.

That was in the sexist sixties, when she did the same job as the man beside her and got paid less because boss man said, “because you’re a woman. And he’s got 3 kids to feed.” “I’ve got 3 kids to feed”, said Mom. Well then, little lady, you better get yourself a husband, the boss man said.

That discriminating boss will forever affect her retirement and social security income. I did not know we were poor until I took a sociology class in college. It was later that I learned Mom really had to count pennies to buy bread and milk.

As a youngster she suffered though some of the great depression and dust bowl, hard times indeed. But it was just normal times for folks in rural Arkansas She hauled water for washing and bathing. There was no plumbing, not much electricity and the phone service was no picnic even though it was  a party line.

When she got to School of the Ozarks, she became an athlete. Her Betty Grable legs turned her into a superstar on the basket ball court. She should be in the Hall of Fame.

So, Happy Mothers Day, Mom. You rescued me from trees and broken down cars. We both lived though puberty, (that’s another war story.) You built my confidence, gave me courage, strength and tossed me back into college again.

You got all three of us kids off to college and married before you to any time for yourself. I’m still looking for that application for sainthood or miracle worker because it’s yours if you want it.

Betty Jo Ward. single–handedly raised and potty trained three kids. Eventually she taught them to fly the nest, get a degree, a marriage certificate and live happily ever after. Then she did the same thing for herself. (The college and degree part, anyway.)

So, Happy Mothers Day, Mom. You are the best. No, really. You are. Here is a picture of mom and her two sisters, They are all good moms, Mine is the GREAT MOM, Betty, (R) as you can tell. The other two are darned fine Aunts Janet McCreary(L) and Shirley Wilkie (Middle).

Don’t mess with the Johnson Ninja Sistas. They look innocent enough, don’t they?

  • I feel like it was destiny.
  • What with their great MOM, Arvilla Johnson being my grandmother.
  • AND Then, my great MOM, Betty Jo.
  • Plus+, being surrounded by great women family members like Aunt Janet and Aunt Shirley.
  • I just naturally turned out at the peak of perfection. And, that is why I don’t have any kids.
  • Also my mom put a curse on me.

Save

Save

Wishbone Flower (Torenia hybrid)

Plant something new.

Wishbone Flower

IMG_2150

Torenia or Wishbone Flower, Catalina® Pink

Wishbone Flower as container plant

I grew the Midnight Blue variety. It looks so fragile, but it can really take the heat. This is a self-cleaning plant, which means no deadheading.

In the shady bed on the patio, it had room to spread out and filled in the space with continuous blooms and bright green leaves. I grew another color the next year.

The Catalina® Pink is a nonstop bloomer that gets afternoon shade on the front porch. It does best when consistently moist and well-drained. Hummers love it.

It’s growing with more sun, shaded only in the late afternoon. Growing bushy and full, Torenia is about 12″ tall and fills the 12″ self-watering container. Generously mulch this plant to help with consistent moisture.

Adaptable annuals

I like the wide range of ways I can use Torenias. In a hanging basket, Summer Wave® Large Blue Wishbone Flower seems to be a hummingbird favorite.

IMG_2206 (1)

Wishbone Flower fills the hanging basket with Summer Wave® Large Blue blooms.

IMG_2192

Wishbone flowers are more upright where there is more sun and less water.

Wishbone flowers have had no disease or insect problems in my gardens. They can take heat and more sun than I thought. Morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal.

Wishbone Flower (Torenia hybrid)

This plant is so much more versatile than I imagined. It was planted in shade, and in part shade – part sun. The low growing annual spreads out along the sidewalk, as a beautiful ground cover and splash of color that could compliment an endless variety of gardenscapes.

I like shopping at Independent Garden Centers. Money spent locally tends to stay local. The folks that work at the non-chain garden centers and nurseries know what they are talking about. Big box stores also have wishbone flowers.

This was a trial plant from Proven Winners. The Proven Winners website has a handy garden center locator. Just type in your zip code and it will find the closest local garden centers.

IMG_2194

Pollinators and hummers love this plant.

Get Local will help you find the information you need. I especially like their plant recipes. For example, I’m looking for red, white and blue plant combos. Just click on “patriotic” for lots of beautiful plant combinations.

Blooming summer til frost

I learned what a valuable landscape plant this is when I visited the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

Wishbone Flower (Torenia hybrid)

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

A leader of environmentally sound community development, the Arboretum is an educational, recreational and cultural resource for the Kansas City region. It offers homeowners, landscapers and arborists an opportunity to view and evaluate a wide variety of hybrid trees and shrubs, native to this area.
8909 W. 179 St.
Overland Park, KS 66013
913-685-3604

Wishbone Flower Catalina® Grape-O-Licious

Wishbone Flower Catalina® Grape-O-Licious

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Powerful Perennials by Nedra Secrist

Powerful Perennials: Enduring Flower Gardens That Thrive in Any Climate

By Nedra Secrist

Powerful Perennials: Enduring Flower Gardens that Thrive in Any Climate by Nedra Secrist

Powerful Perennials allows you to focus on your gardening goals, whether that’s fragrance, attracting butterflies, or creating a color-splashed river of the earliest blooms. This book takes into account short growing seasons, elevation and snow pack.

Powerful Perennials: Enduring Flower Gardens that Thrive in Any Climate by Nedra Secrist, has all the information you need to master cold climate gardening. Learning how to invest in the right perennial for the right location will save you time, money and backbreaking work. You will not be one of the suckers impulse buying on the first warm spring day.

More than just dealing with cold climates, Powerful Perennials is a plant-life saving reference for gardeners dealing with dry climates, poor soil quality and ill-mannered wildlife. Plant propagation and division is one of the best money-saving reasons to buy perennials.

Each chapter will help you select the best plants for your garden. For example, start with a handful of Bearded Iris and you will eventually end up with a river of colorful iris. Divide them every few years for healthier, more frequent blooms. Learn how to hybridise and create your own iris variety.

Selecting a variety may be the most difficult decisionwhengrowing Iris.

Selecting a variety may be the most difficult decision when growing Iris. Photo: PBH

Each plant recommendation includes simple and clear information about how well it tolerates droughts, cold seasons, wildlife, and native soils. Choosing the perfect plant doesn’t guarantee success. Powerful Perennials guides you through proper planting, care, and a bit of history.

While this book is written with the most challenging environments in mind, it is not limited to the Rocky Mountain states. Remember the Rocky Mountains stretch through Wyoming’s Zones 3 and 4, Idaho and Colorado’s Zones 4 and 5 and Utah’s wildly varying Zones 4 through 8. When choosing perennials in the Rockies, snow pack, elevation and freeze-thaw fluctuations must be considered.

Living in the South or Midwest, perennials much less complicated. Still, this book is very helpful in making the long-term investment in perennial additions to your home landscape wherever you live. Chapters on choosing the right tools, metal garden art accents, and container gardening are helpful and inspiring.

P1110688

DooDads Iris, photographed in Dave Niswonger’s home garden. Photo: PBH

About the Author: Nedra Secrist teaches gardening seminars and uses hands-on training courses to help gardeners succeed. Nedra and her husband own Secrist Gardens , a perennial nursery with locations in Brigham City, Utah, and St. Charles, Idaho.

You may also like:
Bees Make the Best Pets by Jack Mingo – review

Wildflower Wednesday 6/25/14

Little lilac asters, I think.

IMG_4625

 

IMG_4631Though they look dainty, these small flowers survive in the shallow and poor soil of the glades in the Ozarks regions of Missouri and Arkansas where I took these photos.

Often they are hugging the rocky hillsides and ledges along the highway.

I like them, they are tough, appreciate dry conditions and show up in the fall after much of the color is gone from the trees. At a time when fewer and fewer blooms are around for pollinators, bees are always hovering.

IMG_4720I collected some seed and tossed it out in a gravely spot near the drive. Who knows if it will grow. It is the little weedy thing I wouldn’t notice until it blooms this fall.

Gail at clay and limestone, Wildflower Gardening In Middle Tennessee hosts Wildflower Wednesday.

To share your wildflowers, join in a Celebration of all Wildflowers on the Fourth Wednesday of Each Month.

I always learn a lot from Gail’s posts and she is kind enough to allow my humble submissions to join the party.

IMG_4631

 

4’x8′ Community Garden in Owasso, Oklahoma

TomatoOrganicStupice02

Organic Tomato “Heirloom Stupice” photo: Renee’s Garden

“I’m looking for some bush type cucumbers and green beans. My community garden is small and last year my cucumbers took over. This year I want to start with multiple color potatoes and Bush green beans.  

Question: best place to buy? Where to look? Best tomato plants? My tomatoes last year were way to big.  Looking for the old fashion bush type plants that produce without getting six feet tall.”

The 4×8 raised bed can produce a lot more food than you imagine. Because the cost of shipping and handling can be more costly than the seed you ordered, I’m sticking mainly with one seed company.

First, here are my suggestions for the crops you said you want to grow.

  • Potatoes – Try these small patch potatoes from Renee’s Garden. If you are ordering onion starts or seed potatoes, do it very soon for best choice. Renee’s Garden
  • Bush green beans – Seeds you can find locally at big box store or garden center. Plant a few seed every 2 or 3 weeks for a continuous supply of fresh green beans. Don’t plant them all at once unless you are planning to can or freeze green beans.

    IMG_4441

    Mascotte dwarf plants, 6″ long, thin green beans. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Mascotte – dwarf, 16-18″ tall plants. Continuous yield of crisp, medium green skinny, stringless 6″ long beans. 50 days. New. AAS Winner. Harris Seed or Jung Seed

Blue Lake – long time home gardeners have probably grown this old favorite. 6 -6 1/2” pods mature early and all at once. 58 days. Heirloom. Renee’s Garden, Harris Seed, Jung Seed

  • Tomatoes – Plants you might find locally at big box store or garden center. Space plants 2 feet apart

Celebrity – Compact plants produce heavy yields of medium sized tomatoes on disease-resistant plants. 75 Days. AAS Winner.

Jet Star – An indeterminate, 4′ – 5′ tall plants produce big yields of low acid, bright red 8 – 9 ounce fruits. 72 days. Heirloom.

  • Cucumber – Consider adding a trellis for long straight cucumbers that take up little ground space. Or grow bush cucumbers.

    cuc-slicer1

    Cucumbers photo: Renee’s Garden.

“Bush Slicer” – disease resistant, dwarf bushes, produce 6 to 8″ long fruits. Keep picked for continued production of tender, crisp, sweet fruit. Cut cucumbers – do not twist fruits from plants. Renee’s Garden

 

More suggestions for a small space gardens.

You will have room for more vegetables by choosing the plants ment for small space or container gardens.

  • Squash – bush type varieties of summer squash are easier to see, watching for size.

    zucchini-astia2

    Container grown zucchini is easy to pick. Check every other day to keep squash size in control. photo: Renee’s Garden.

“Astia” zucchini – French bush variety perfect for small space gardens. Non-rambling, early bearing and productive. Renee’s Garden

  • Turnips – Plant in both spring and fall.

“Mikado” turnips, Japanese baby globe-shaped roots with white flesh and mild flavor. Nutritious tops make fine cooked greens.  Renee’s Garden

Before you plant these seed, there is plenty of time to plant lettuce, spinach radishes, green onions in the space where tomatoes and peppers will be planted after the ground is warmed enough, 50° F.

Also, you can plant peas, bush snow peas or spring peas.

P1140993

Companion plant Italian basil near tomato plants. photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Add Herbs. Buy a few starter herb plants to tuck into empty spaces. 2 or 3 parsley, 1 basil, 1 dill.

When your tomatoes are in full production, use the tomatoes and parsley to make Tabouli. Add dill to vinegar and marinate cucumbers. Sprinkle torn basil leaves over tomato slices or stir into tomato sauce.

 

The Owasso Community Garden consists of 34 – 4 x 8 raised bed gardens, 15 of which are American Disabilities Act beds, located south of the Community Center in Owasso, Oklahoma. Facebook

I am starting container grown tomatoes from seed.

My small space tomato choices:

Stupice – richly flavored fruits on 5′ vines. Great tasting 2” fruits and perfect for container growing or small space gardens. From the Czech Republic, pronounced ”Stu petes”. (Stupice may win the neighborhood first tomato contest.)

tomato-superbush3

Super Bush. photo: Renee’s Garden

  Super Bush – Continuous producer of 5 ounce   fruits on 3 foot tall plants. Good choice for containers and small gardens. Hybrid, disease resistant. 

Both tomato varieties are from Renee’s Garden

← This is the photo that convinced me to grow Super Bush.

 

BUILD A BED

Use concrete blocks to build a raised bed. Quick, easy, lasts forever. Grow a theme garden. This one is a spaghetti sauce garden.

A 4′ x 4′ raised bed is big enough to grow enough produce to make fresh spaghetti sauce and freeze or can a few jars for winter.

Build a spaghetti sauce theme garden in a 4′ x 4′ concrete block raised bed.

 

It doesn’t matter where the bouquet comes from

the neighbors hydrangea. My May day gift from the LBND,

The neighbor’s hydrangea. It was my May Day gift from the LBND.

So many neighbors unknowingly donate flowers to teachers. Walking to school creates all manner of good character and thoughtfulness. For example during the peak of bloom season, Mrs Adams recieved bouquests from me all the time.

It didn’t improve my grades, although I had high hopes. Mrs Adams was well prepared to receive fistfulls of roses. And she had a variety of coffee mugs in her desk drawer. Each mug could hold a number of roses at various heights.

Lilacs came and went to quickly, I barely got a sniff. But now, the roses are about to explode into bloom. For a little while, they will be lovely. Then the Japanese Beetles will move in.

I have a trap to try this year. A trap laced with beetle pheremones. You will get the report as so as I know if it is worth it.

BE PREPARED

When cutting Hydrangeas. Follow a few simple guides.

Spontaneous gift: When you are presented with a bouquet, from the LBND (the Little Boy Next Door) Recut the stem under running water and trim at a 45 degee angle. Remove all greenery that would be under water,

Cutting your own bouguet.

Take sharp scissors or pruners out to the garden when you plan to cut Hydrangeas. Also bring a bucket of cool water to plunge your flowers in as soon as they have been cut. Cut stems at a 45 degree angle.

Remove any greenery that will be underwater. Change to water every few days. Your Hydrangeas will last up to 2 weeks.

And remember Never waste a day of May.

 

 

Wordless Wednesday August 29, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Wordless Wednesday

 

Missouri Coneflower

A roadside wildflower in Missouri

A summer roadside wildflower in Missouri

Missouri Coneflower, Rudbeckia missouriensis
Aster family (Asteraceae)

coneflower

This yellow coneflower is a Missouri native.

Missouri coneflower is a Missouri native perennial. You can find these yellow flowers in limestone glades in the Ozarks. I noticed them along roadsides in late June and early July.

Rudbeckia missouriensis can spread to form wild colonies of yellow flowers growing between 2 and 3 feet tall. Daisy-like flowers have  yellow rays and black center cones.

Narrow green leaves and the multiple stems are hairy. Long summer to early fall bloom period.

You may have seen yellow coneflowers outside of Missouri. Their growing region stretches into AR, IL, LA, MO, OK, TX.

Yellow Coneflower

the leaves and multi branched stems are hairy.

I saw these yellow conflowers on the road to Laura Ingles Wilder’s home and museum.

Salad Bowl

Second season container plants

Patio planters are filled with salad greens and pansies. Expand your ideas about container gardens and planters. Grow leafy salad greens in full sun in spring and partial shade or shaded location in summer.

A living salad bowl at Southmoreland Urban Inn photo by PBH

I love the idea. Everything in this planter is edible. The mix of pansies and lettuce are a great idea. These flowers belong to the Inn Keepers at Southmoreland on the Plaza – an Urban Inn in Kansas City MO. 

frillly loose leaf lettuce can fill a container with color and texture.

It gave me the idea to add the beautiful textures and shapes of lettuce into my planter and hanging baskets. I know you’ve seen lush baskets of ornamental sweet potatoes.

Sometimes by the end of summer, most containers have a few blank spaces. Toss a little red lettuce or beautifully textured arugula in the container.

Grow late season crops tucked in anywhere. Put a few seeds in an empty garden row or an unused container. Fall is a good time for second season or cool season crops.

Once an ashtray, this patio furniture is now a mini container garden.

The bonus is you get a home grown salad. Some lettuces and radishes can take a light frost. The soil is already warmed by the summer sun and crops will germinate quickly. Keep soil moist to encourage germination. Share your combination planters with us. Leave a comment below.

Rethinking Coleas

Alabama Sunset' is a popular and durable sun-tolerant coleus.

This coleus is on my friends back deck. She knows – because I just had to tell her — that coleus should be pinched back. I admit this trailing plant is very pretty and continuously blooming. Most long time gardeners would have rushed to this plant and made 2 dozen cuttings imediately.

Pinch Plants for Better Growth

It just occurred to me when I saw this plant, that we don’t have to follow the rules or even an experienced gardeners advice.

Relax. Be happy. It is OK to NOT follow the rules all the time. You don’t Have To pinch plants. If you don’t, this is what will happen.↑ (see above photo) That’s OK too.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...