Archive for the ‘My Gardens’ Category

Daffodils and Tulips


2014
04.19

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Daffodils

this is infront of the porch. You can see these when you walking  on the next street over..

This is in front of the porch. You can see these when you walking on the next street over.  Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Not all daffodils are jonquils but all jonquils are daffodils.

Daffodil, narcissus or Jonquil?

  • “daffodil” refers to the large-flowered varieties,

  • “narcissus” to small-flowered and early blooming types bearing clusters of blossoms,

  • “Jonquil” denotes N. jonquils, often with fragrant, yellow flowers

What is the difference between daffodils and narcissus? They are the same. Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for all daffodils. Daffodil is the common name for the genus Narcissus.

Old House Gardens has heirloom bulbs and will consume hours of your time reading and learning about these rare beauties.

One of my favorite bulb buying sites because daffodils and tulips just need to be planted in mass Color Blends.

Tulips

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Sunrise shines on these big Darwin tulips, especially beautiful in the early morning sun. photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

 In the catalog, blue tulips are advertised but the tulip that arrives on you front porch will be lavender.

There is no such thing as a blue tulip. Some look blue and are described as blue, but they are lilac or violet.

You won’t find truly black tulips either. Some tulips are very dark, like eggplants. They can look black in certain light, but black tulips do not exist.

Tulipa is a genus of bulbous flowering plants in the family Liliaceae.

Plant tulips anytime October through December – any time before the ground freezes. Feed tulips in the early spring, before they bloom.

 Stroll GardenIMG_6814: Grape hyacinth, some wild tulips, late daffodils.

 

Yellow tulips and daffodils, front porch.

Morning tulips2

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Spring flowering bulb collection named Aladdin’s Carpet, The wild tulips blend of six of these beauties with three muscari and a dwarf daffodil. From Colorblends

GBBD April 15, 2014


2014
04.16

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day
April 2014

Lots of blooms here in Southeast, MO USA
The wind and rain have taken their toll on the daffodils and tulips. Still, I have gazillions. And as delicate as they look, they have taken this cold wet weather and still stand proud.

The show stopper is the Doubletake Scarlet Storm Quince. Just came out last year. I bought two. The survived the winter. The head gardener came through and cut the other one, off at the ground.

Doubletake Scarlet Storm Quince

Doubletake Scarlet Storm Quince

Still, I love this flower. It is such a clear red and lasts longer than most spring blooms.

Bigger than most and so bright. I think this is Carlton

Bigger than most and so bright. I think this is Carlton

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These sweet flowers kind of wide the waves of wind. For some reason, they just make me happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a little smaller, but also taller.There are usually two blooms on each stem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poets daffodil.

Poets daffodil. N. poeticus recurvus, PHEASANT’S EYE

The wind blew the peach blossoms of the tree pretty quick and I was not fast enough with the camera. So, I am sorry that I couldn’t share all those pink peach blossoms.

Magmolia.I always wanted to live somewhere that I could have magnolias and pine trees. So, now I do!

Magmolia.I always wanted to live somewhere that I could have magnolias and pine trees. So, now I do!

Yesterday. I ran out to take this photo. I am glad I did. There are probably half the blooms this morning.

this is infront of the porch. You can see these when you walking  on the next street over..

this is in front of the porch. You can see these when you walking on the next street over. The while ones are “Thalia.” They have two blooms per stem also. And they are fragrant.

The tulips are scarce this year. Was it the severe cold or is it just too early?

And finally, one more time for the quince. The crowd goes wild!  It is a small shrub and could fit into most any sunny garden.

Quince.

Quince.

 

Early tomatoes


2014
04.10

Garden Now

Stupice  (Solanum lycopersicum)

Still surviving. No growing, But still alive. photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Still surviving. No growing, But still alive. photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

There are dozens of  little seedlings thriving under the grow lights. Pepper, eggplant, and tomato plants are just a few inches tall here at the Hobson Estate.

Outside, the weather is swinging from cold to cool. It should be at least a month before I plant tomatoes outdoors in containers or in the garden.  I’ve done something that I would never recommend that you do.

Because I started tomatoes from seed, there are more future tomato plants under the grow-lights than the garden can hold.

I planted two tomato plants outside. No kidding. One on April 6 and one  on April 8.  I planted them deep. Deep being relative when it is a plant only 5 inches tall.

I put a quart canning jar over the tomato plant. Perhaps this will work as a mini greenhouse. It will protect the tomato starter plant from colder night-time temps.

It looks like I have planted canning jars in the garden. If only I could talk those tomatoes into canning themselves, I think I could  get a book deal or, at least, a pretty good spot on the TV shopping channel.

Stupice tomatoes are  a small, early producer of red two-inch fruits. Dwarf indeterminate; in the garden it may grow to as much as 5′, in containers the plant will be shorter. Staking is optional.

From the former Czechoslovakia, these compact plants have potato leaf foliage. They are loaded with clusters of 2” fruits. Expect tomatoes 60 days from transplant. Or, in my case, I hope, less than 60 days after the soil as warmed.

 University of Missouri Extension recommends A family interested in having only fresh fruit should plant three to five plants per person. If enough fruit is wanted for processing, then five to 10 plants per person should be planted.

To get best results with only a few plants and minimal trouble, purchase plants from a local greenhouse or nursery at the proper planting time.

Photo from Renee's Garden

Photo from Renee’s Garden

When is the soil warm enough?

Soil is at least 60 degrees in the daytime and at least 50 degrees at night. Tomato plants will not grow until the weather gets warm.

If this little tomato lives, it will be a delightful surprise. Gardeners are always full of surprises.

This little Stupice tomato plant is in a large container, in full sun, Zone 6, SE Missouri.

I bought these seed from Renee’s Garden. They were planted under the grow light March 13, 2013. It was transplanted into the garden container April 6, and another Stupice  tomato plant was planted April 8, 2014.

If we have a freeze, the plants will curl up and die. That is OK, I have plenty more Stupice tomato plants inside thriving under the grow lights. I will plant them when I am supposed to, more than one month later an Mid to late May.

p.s.

five days later , the Stupice tomato plants are thriving and have outgrown their quart jar solariums. So it looks like we will have a week of windy days above 60°. So, I’ll forge ahead with planting the container tomatoes.

Take advantage of the decent weather whenever you can. Garden at every opportunity, because you never know when the next beautiful day is coming. This summer may turn into a scorcher, getting so hot the tomato plants won’t set fruit.

Or, for example, put off mowing one more day, tomorrow and the rest of the week it will be downpours. You will need to cut and bale the grass at your next opportunity.

Wish me luck. I am planting tomatoes a month earlier than I ever have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4′x8′ Community Garden in Owasso, Oklahoma


2014
02.14
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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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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.

 

Becky’s Flowers


2014
02.10

Sunflowers! Becky, they remind me of you. Sunflowers make me happy.

Here’s to sunny days!  True, the sunflowers aren’t even planted yet. But they will be.

sunflower-musicbox_5001-1

Musicbox 2 1/2′

 

I’ll be taking pictures of all of them when they bloom. I grow them for the birds (goldfinches) but the squirrels get their share.

Some are pollen free, so they are not messy and make wonderful bouquets. They are top-heavy sunflowers, so they seem to like heavy glass pitchers or old crocks as flower vase.

 

valentine

Valentine 4-5′

You’ve seen a lot of different sunflowers in my garden. I can never have too many sunflowers.

Anyway, Becky, these sunflowers make people happy and I think that is one of the reasons they remind me of you.

 

snackseed

Snack seed 6-8′

The birds and the squirrels get all the Snack Seed sunflowers. Sometimes, if I can get out there before that trashy little squirrel tears them up, I’ll cut a few seed heads to dry. In the winter, the birds flock to these seed treats.

When I was on my knees weeding, last summer, I heard voices. But we couldn’t see each other.” Jean, look! That‘s  a red sunflower!   (She was pointing at the Chocolate Cherry .)

 

Sun Samba

Sun Samba

 

These mixed sunflowers are just like planting surprises. You never know exactly will come up, but you know you are going to like them no matter what.

 

Chocolate Cherry 6-8

Chocolate Cherry 6-8

 

sunzilla

Sunzilla 10-16

 

The neighbors, a couple of houses down, thanked me for growing those long tall Sunzillas. “We sit on the porch every afternoon and it looks those sunflowers are smiling at us.”

 

Oh, and the red sunflowers? Well, when I stood up, I think I scared the crap out of my visitors. One made a little yelp.  And they grabbed each other.   “We didn’t know anyone was here!” she screamed at me. “WE ARE SORRY!”

“Well, you are always welcome in my gardens,” I said.

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*Becky Funke is in a hospital that does not allow flowers in the rooms. So, not to be deterred, I’ll send them on Pinterest. You can stop by her CaringBridge site to leave well wishes and get updates. Her family keeps the site up to date.

 All of the sunflower seeds are from Renee’s Garden  The sunflowers have beautiful photos and planting/care guides online at Renee’s GardenOn Facebook.

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Bees Make the Best Pets by Jack Mingo -review


2013
12.22

Bees Make the Best Pets by Jack Mingo – All the Buzz about Being Resilient, Collaborative, Industrious, Generous, and Sweet – Straight from the Hive.

Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by “Conari Press”

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A honey bee flies up to 15 mph and its wings beat 200 times per second. photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

The memory jogger “A pint’s a pound the world around” may help you out in culinary school, but a pint of honey weighs 1 pound, 6 ounces. The book oozes with bee facts and trivia like this.

If you are looking for protection from marauding elephants in your garden, curious about the color and quality of the highly touted local honey, or are curious about the role of bees in the Civil War, buy this book.

Winter is a good time for reading bee guides, brushing up on beekeeping knowledge and skills.

Winter is a good time for reading bee guides, brushing up on beekeeping knowledge and skills.

Bees Make the Best Pets, is an entertaining read. Perfect for a winter read, while gardeners wait to get into the spring garden. Your cabin fever and desire to get back in the garden is, by the way, no greater than that of the honey bees.

The author started out simply as wanting one simple observation hive. But keeping bees is likely to became a bigger project than you might anticipate. Bees demand more time, space and money than you might think.

If you are thinking about raising bees, ever wondered if it would make your great garden even better, or are looking increase your own revenue stream, read this book first.

Looking at bee keeping as a natural step toward sustainable living, Bees Make the Best Pets can teach you a lot about raising bees. It is a sweet introduction to raising bees.

Raising bees may prove to be a boost for garden productivity. Or, consider bee keeping as a fun hobby. Bees do make good pets and this book is a gentle introduction to the world of back yard bee keeping.

I’ve always flirted with the idea of raising bees. This paperback book is light introduction to the art of keeping bees. It will load you up on bee humor and trivia, guaranteeing your success at happy hours and tea parties.

Thankfully, this book is not a tedious accounting of the business of beekeeping. There are plenty of good manuals and how-to handbooks for that. Jack Mingo’s book is a fun and sweet introduction to raising bees.

Future honey beekeepers, gardeners, readers looking for a light and humorous winter read, will like this book.

Jack Mingo published over 20 books, including Random Kinds of Factness (Conari, 2005. He is an author specializing in offbeat trivia books. Mingo keeps six hives, and half a million bees, in his California Bay Area back yard.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Bee and Honey triviaIMG_4050

  • It takes around 25,000 trips between the hive and the flowers to produce a pound of honey.
  • A pound of honey contains the essence of about 2 million flowers.
  • The color of honey ranges from white through golden to dark brown. Usually the darker the color the stronger the flavor.
  • Most harmful bacteria cannot live in honey, making honey one of the safest foods.
  • Bees been producing honey from flowering plants for 10-20 million years.

Pink Hollyhock


2013
12.05

I collected a lot of pink hollyhock seed this year.

Hollyhocks do best in full sun with plenty of water. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

I’m giving away: 30 pink Hollyhock seed. Check it out – Listia

When to plant. Some seed can be planted the first week before the last frost date.  Then, in two weeks plant a few more seed and, in two more weeks plant more seed. This succession planting will keep you in beautiful blooms throughout the season.

Planting. Get the hollyhock seed off to a good start in well worked soil. After that, you will have little to do except just enjoy their flowers. Start by adding a little organic matter or compost into the planting area.

Plant hollyhock seed just 1/4″ deep. These plants like sunny, moist but well-drained soil.

Be sure to thin to prevent mildew. You can transplant the thinnings, just be gentle and keep them moist.

You get seeds from every bloom. photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

You get seeds from every bloom. photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

These are a single hollyhock, or the old-fashioned flowers. Many newer varieties are double-flowered and some are shorter to handle the wind better. Those newer, short ones will probably fall into my cart, while I shop online.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds has a nice selection of hollyhocks, including the shorter varieties.

Renee’s Garden Seeds and Burpee have hollyhock seed.

The USDA.GOV site has plant profiles:
Plants Profile for Alcea rosea (hollyhock)

I’m giving away: 30 pink Hollyhock seed. Check it out – Listia

This post is similar to Becky’s Flowers

The golden lawn


2013
11.07
A lawn of gold.

A lawn of gold.

 

 

When I woke up to this view this morning, I was delighted. My front yard is golden and bright on this  grey drizzly day. The yellow leaves seemed even brighter this rainy day.

All the leaves were on the tree last week when we left home. The lush green lawn was  loving the cooler weather. We came home last night in the darkness of the time change. So, my first view of the front yard was this rainy morning.

I love leaves and when the weather gets drier, they will be moved to a huge pile of chopped leaves by the vegetable garden.   The raised beds in front of the house will eventually get a layer of  the chopped leaf mulch in a few weeks.

But first, there are a couple hundred Darwin tulips to be planted in front of the porch. These raised beds get the benefit of the morning sun and the blessing of afternoon shade. There are hundreds of daffodils already in these beds.

The daffodils thrive here and, because there are so many varieties, we will have weeks of early blooms. Some are fragrant and some have multiple flowers.

stone furniture

Stone furniture, center left, is already for a spring tea party.

So, in the next few weeks, there is still plenty to do. Planting tulips and raking leaves are the perfect way to close down the gardening season.

Oh, yes, in the vegetable garden, there is still more garlic to plant. Every bed will get leaves dug into the soil and a layer of chopped leaves to cover the whole bed. The spring soil will be ready for planting a few weeks earlier than usual thanks to the investment in time this fall.

In a couple of days, I’ll wake to a brilliant sunny day. There will be a pot os slow simmering stew or chili either on the stove or in the crock pot. We will spend the day(s) raking leaves and getting ready for winter. When we are weary from a good days work outdoors, it will be time to come inside. We will step inside to a warm, fragrant kitchen and a simmering pot of vegetable soup.

 

 

 

Next Spring will include theses daffodils.

Daffodils are already planted. They are great naturalizers and ready multiply.

Daffodils are already planted. They are great naturalizers and ready multiply.

 

 

 

Colorful Darwin tulips are big and sturdy.

Colorful Darwin tulips are big and sturdy. This is the 2013 display.  A few of these tulips may come back for a second year. We still need to plant the 200 bulbs for 2014.

Becky’s Flowers


2013
11.04

Delivered Monday, November 4, 2013

Daylilies, Hemerocallis

lily in rain

Just after a rain, these blooms weathered summer storms and stand tall. Photo Patsy Bell Hobson

I have hundreds maybe thousands of the bright orange flowers. There was a good stand of them on the property when we moved into this Cape Girardeau house. Too bad these flowers don’t get frequent traveler points. Many of them are well traveled. They have taken many trips in my wheelbarrow.

Daylilies (Hemorcalis) are a low maintenance, easy care flowers, needing little attention.

Daylilies (Hemer0callis) are a low maintenance, easy care flowers, needing little attention. Photo PBH

Because I have so many, they tend to get planted en masse. The daylilies are planted along a bank that is too steep to mow. I’ve never seen the triple blooms like these I’m sending you.

Daylilies planted on a hillside that is too steep to mow.

Daylilies planted on a hillside that is too steep to mow.

You often find daylilies naturalized in ditches of abandoned homes and farmland. Most often, we see the orange single blooms. There are lots of these “ditch” flowers in Kansas.

They may be named daylilies because they only last a day. Each plant has several blooms. I’m sending you bunches that will last for days, maybe weeks.

Becky, I’m sending you lots of bright orange daylilies.  No fragrance, but great big bold orange flowers. I’m sending this bouquet of old fashioned flowers in a large, Fiesta ware peacock (Aqua) disk pitcher. Enjoy!

 

Becky’s Flowers


2013
10.25

Delivered Fri October 25, 2013

St John’s Wort  (hypericum perforatum)

 

St John’s Wort  (hypericum perforatum) is a herb, sometimes it is considered a wild flower right up until the minute it is considered an invasive weed. The common name, St John’s Wort was given because it is usually in bloom during the summer solstice (dedicated to St. John).

St. John’s wort, a plant that grows in the wild, has been used for centuries for health purposes. I grow this herb because the flowers are beautiful. I do not use it as a medicine.

This plant cast it’s spell the minute I first saw it. Waving it’s petals in the warm, gentle breezes of late spring, I knew we were meant for each other.

St John's Wort

When I brought it home from the nursery, in a two gallon pot, it was covered with blooms. That was the last time it bloomed for the next 5 or six years. Since then, I’ve moved it many times, trying to find it a happy home where it can bloom and thrive.

For some reason, it began to bloom again last year. And it has those big carefree gold blooms. It is lovely, butterflies and hummers like it too. Becky, this is the flower I’m sending to you today. St John’s Wort*.

Imagine St. John’s Wort, golden as sunshine, with shrubby medium green leaves. If I could deliver this flower myself, it would come mounded in an old antique china tea pot.

I love this bright bloom. It just makes me happy to be around it. I hope you like it too. It’s easy to dig up and divide, so just say the word and I’ll send you a division.

St. John’s Wort is a shrub-like perennial herb and it can be invasive. So, be careful what you ask for.

St John's Wort flower

Some folks use this herb medicinally. St. John’s wort may help some types of depression and, it can also limit or increase the effectiveness of many prescription medicines. I don’t use this herb as a drug because of the potential for interaction with prescription medication.

It’s just beautiful and cheery in the herb garden. I hope I always have it blooming somewhere. 

Enjoy!

*Becky Funke is in a hospital that does not allow flowers in the rooms. So, not to be deterred, I’ll send them on Pinterest. You can stop by her CaringBridge site to leave well wishes and get updates. The girls, her 3 beautiful daughters, keep the site up to date.

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