'Rose of Sharon'

'Rose of Sharon'
The often unruly 'Rose of Sharon' can benefit from pruning

September Peacock Orchids

September Peacock Orchids
Need division

Friday, October 1, 2010

Clearing the Air with Indoor Plants
Indoor plants can decorate your home, add a signature touch and purify the air as well!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Autumn Colors in the Landscape
Many plants continue to put on a show during the cooler days of fall
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back to the Greenhouse

It is back to school for me as well, this time I am nearing the finish. Classes for this semester include Nursery Production and Interiorscapes. Lots of propagation and a wealth of information about houseplants.

My work study position involves the care of the department’s interior plants, so many of them will be featured here. The first section of Interiorscapes covered the Dracaena family and those of Sansevieria. Snake plants and Lucky Bamboo are easy care interior plants, once a few rules are learned and followed.

Those of the Draceana family are often sent to other parts of the country after being started in Florida nurseries. They tolerate neither direct sun not fluoride in their water. Actually, established Draceana prefer limited water during the winter, but will reward you by surviving in conditions one might not expect.

Cordyline terminalis, a member of the Draceana family, is a tropical and exotic specimen! If you are considering a new houseplant this year, take a look at this one!

Next week we are studying the Ficus, I never knew there are so many kinds. If anyone has comments or questions, please share them here!

Upcoming Changes to this Blog
I am thinking of adding a forum here and am also looking into a giveaway to feature on this blog! Please share with your friends and stay tuned!

Photos are current blooms in my garden, the four o’clocks are still putting on a show!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brugmansia Blooms

Our Angel’s Trumpets are finally blooming, noticed first blooms a couple days ago. They are blooming later than normal, possibly because of the unusually cold winter past.

The woolly worms have invaded and are having a nice meal off the toxic leaves; we spent much of yesterday removing damaged leaves and picking off the wooly little pests, which range in color from orange to black.

Have to do more research to see what appropriate action is next. If anyone has knowledge of or can identify this little fuzzy in the photo, please let me know, it will speed things up for me!

Volunteer in the Flowerbed

The volunteer that I talked about in an earlier post turns out to be a cantaloupe; we have four growing melons on the vine now, as it continues to expand in my flowerbed. Guess it will be a tasty treat, but the dahlia does not like being used as a support.

Anyone else having a good experience with a volunteer in the garden?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Plant a Colorful and Vibrant Autumn Flower Garden
As summer blossoms fall by the wayside, create a beautiful fall garden that will last until frost arrives!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Blog Nominated for Blogger Award, Thanks!

I was surprised yesterday to find my blog nominated for The Versatile Blogger award. I was nominated by fellow garden writer Glory Lennon, whose fascinating blog, Glory’s Garden, is a daily must-read for me.

To participate I am told to post seven things about me that may not be commonly known and to provide a list of my favorite blogs for nomination. Awesome!

Seven things about me:
1. I am a student in Horticulture
2. I returned to school to learn and more accurately write about this subject
3. I am a Certified NC Pesticide Applicator, who believes there is usually an organic option
4. I am a dog-lover, particularly of my beagles
5. I am a proud and doting Grandmother
6. I sometimes feel technology has passed me by
7. My faith in God gets me through each day

Blogs I follow that are most helpful, inspiring and noteworthy include:

In the Garden with Sow-n-Sow
Work From Home
Self Reliance Exchange
Writing Tips Blog
Poverty and Homelessness Issues and Resources

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to the Garden

Finally, a few days under 90 degrees, so of course, most of that time has been spent outside. Hopefully the heat wave is broken here, at least for awhile.

Weeding and planning the design for the fall garden, which is always a ">work in progress. Marigolds are going a long way in that design, as they are easy, fragrant and will probably last until frost.

I have a Creamy Vanilla marigold that we started from seed last spring at school that is still going strong. It was my first experience with this variety, but I would recommend it after seeing this years’ growth. Great fragrance from that one also.

I have been pleased with the Alterthanera we propagated from cuttings and will include that in future designs that need prostrate growth and purple hues.

Further research on the Crinums I planted leads me to not expect blooms this year, but I may be happily surprised sometime in fall. We did have a bloom on one planted last year; (above) I think it may be called a March lily and one of the smaller varieties.

They are growing well and sending up babies, so I am pleased with their progress.

Brugmansia has not bloomed yet, but it is growing profusely and we look for the trumpet-like blooms in a few weeks.

School is less than a month away and I look forward to getting back into the routine. I take the last class for my Greenhouse Certification this fall. And I will be working in the greenhouse on campus through work-study, so I will be happily occupied and have more greenhouse stories to post here. Look for those posts on Saturday mornings.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Volunteers in the Garden

Generally I am happy to have specimens volunteer in my gardens. Particularly if they are recognizable and I know their habits.
However, this most recent specimen is so happy there it has taken over a large area of my beds and is twining around my dahlia and crowding out my lavender.
I am allowing it to remain as I think it is the delicious honeydew melon, but I am off to rescue my lavender now!
How do you feel about volunteers in the garden? Love them or do you remove them immediately?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Easy Elegance in the Garden
Many gardeners avoid exotic and elegant blooms in the flowerbed for fear of time-consuming care of the specimen. Not true of the elegant, easy to grow Peacock Orchid.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surprise Lilies not a Surprise This Year!

This year I finally had the chance to watch the amazingly rapid emergence of one of my favorite flowers, the Surprise Lily. It is so named for its seeming overnight emergence and the bountiful blooms it displays on single sturdy stalks!
Also referred to as Resurrection Lily, Magic Lily and Naked Lady, it is really not a lily at all. The botanical name is Lycoris squamigera and it is a member of the Amaryllis family.
View the emergence of this spectacular landscape specimen and consider it for your garden or woodland edge plantings!
What’s blooming in your flowerbeds now?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Pollinators and Me!

Early am in the July Garden

Much has happened since my last post here, Zone 7B is in the midst of a continuing heat wave which began in June. We had a few days of lower heat and less humidity preceding the Independence Day holiday, however, local meteorologists report the hottest June on record for us.

Those few days gave me the chance to finish planting the last few specimens for this years’ flowerbeds and get them mulched in. Many new blooms appeared toward the end of the month with new ones following in July.

Watering and deadheading is now reserved for the hours just after daybreak. These are peaceful hours to be in the garden; just me and the pollinators.

The mulch does double duty by keeping the moisture in and the weed growth down. Those drought tolerant annuals have the opportunity to show off during the heat wave.

Storms and Downed Trees

Some of the storms we experienced in the first part of June brought some much appreciated rain, unfortunately many trees were lost in our area. One of those was our Bradford Pear which provided a cooling canopy for our beagles’ play area.

Once again the beagles are house dogs (they became well-adjusted during the heavy snow and ice storms last winter). They miss their outdoor time, now limited to leashed walks and occasional excursions to the dog park.

On the bright side, this provides an opportunity to landscape the area again to provide shade for coming years. I am leaning toward fast growing shrubs for the short term and the addition of a Purple Plum in the fall.

The Bradford Pear (once heavily planted in this area for ornamental value) has become notorious for its’ inability to withstand windy conditions. If anyone is thinking of adding this type of ornamental, let me encourage you to look into the many hybrid varieties which are stronger and more stable.

And this July 2010, what’s growing in your garden?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June Garden

My June Garden

The heat is on in Zone 7 and gives me a sense of urgency about getting everything planted before the real heat wave comes. But it appears I may be too late. as we will reach 90 degrees today and 96 by Sunday. Storms, possibly severe are a possibility and with this heat, they are likely, in my humble opinion.
This will thwart my activity in the garden, but those heat loving specimens will flourish (fingers crossed).My absence will encourage the weeds to grow, but I am anxious to see how the corn gluten will work for me this year. It's been a month or so since the initial removal of the English Ivy and I am fairly happy with the few that are returning, however, I can see the potential for another invasion. 
Perennial flowers are blooming now, lots of lilies! The photo I posted earlier was a 'Cancun' Asiatic, don't know the name of the yellow specimen, can someone help me with that? Orange Railroad and Trumpet lilies are about to burst and some early varieties of daylilies are in bloom!
Summer shrubs are in bloom, Butterfly Bushes and Hydrangeas with pink or blue blossoms, depending on the soil's acidity. Almost time for the Crepe Myrtles here at the foot of the Sauratown mountain.
Speaking of lilies, I ran across some Crinums that I'd ordered last year and forgot to plant! The bulbs were still firm (thanks, Dutch Gardens)
so I soaked the roots and planted strategically. They seem to be doing great, not as big yet as last years' but you know what they say about perennials! We will watch their progress here. I'll post photos in a few weeks.
Also planted some Lavender 'Vera' in the beds that I started from seed in early spring. I hear it can reach two feet, so I am paying close attention to its development!
What are you growing this year?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fragrant Herbs for the Summer Garden
Many perennial herbs are used for their flowers in the summer garden; fragrance is an added bonus!
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

I was greeted by these beautiful blooms on my way out the door this am, what a great way to start the day!

Must be time for the lilies to put on their spectacular show!

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's almost a month now that I've been out of school, seems the time is flying!

We are working on a new nursery garden, which is still mostly red dirt. I am composting and hopefully we can double-dig the soil this year and get it amended. The lilies have grown well there so far, we were thrilled when these bloomed! Something Duane picked up in his meanderings; the striking blooms are a pleasant surprise.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Organic Gardening Pest Control

I wrote this a few months ago, it showed up in my Alerts last night, thought I would share!

Organic Gardening Pest Control

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Raised Bed Gardening

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my final project for Greenhouse Production was the planting of a raised bed on campus. Our team did a great job, and thanks to everyone else who helped out!

Hayden assembled the container, which was then located across from the greenhouse on thin strips of wood for elevation. We lined the bottom with landscape fabric and proceeded to fill with a composted soil mixture designed for raised beds. Perlite was added to encourage drainage. Our 16 square foot bed used approximately 1/2 a yard (1 scoop) of the mixture.

With the exception of three squares, each was planted with vegetables and herbs from seeds started in the greenhouse. Four squares at the back include tomatoes, cucumber and zuchinni. We expect to add a trellis to support them.(photo to left Debbie checks moisture in soil)

A few marigolds and nasturtiums were included for insect control. Three of our squares were planted from seed, 16 carrots, 3 squash and 5 black beans. While we did not follow the Square Foot Gardening guidelines to the letter, we hope for success with this method!(above photo Andrew inspects our work!)

Check back for updates on our raised bed garden!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nasturtium: An Easy to Grow Edible Flower
Add edible flowers to vegetable gardens and flower beds for a different look and taste in your dishes. Start with the carefree Nasturtium.
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Almost summer break for me!

We are coming up on the last week of the semester and I am sooooo looking forward to some time out of school. I enjoy my classes and this has been a great semester, but I just need a break! I have one great project to complete for my final in greenhouse production, planting a square foot garden. I am excited about that and am re-reading the book this weekend.

After hearing so much about this method of gardening, I wonder why anyone would continue with the traditional row garden, which seems overly complicated and time consuming compared to the square foot method.

My first project at home is the removal and ultimate death of the invasive Hedera helix which has taken over. That effort has begun, thanks to Zack, my stepson. He cleared out 3 sections of the bed and removed roots as much as possible.

Upon my instruction, and after a strange look at me, he squirted remaining roots with vinegar. This is our plan of action against the dreaded ivy, in combination with info I got from this great article.

I will keep you posted on this project and try to include some photos. If anyone has experienced this problem with the invasive vine, please share your methods of removal!

This blog presented in part courtesy of Canon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weeds in the Garden and Flowerbed

If you're like me, you'd love to live in a gardening world where weeds don't exist. Imagine, walking outside to work in the garden and seeing a well-manicured, weed-free bed, border or vegetable garden.

I can hear you laughing now! Dealing with weeds in the garden is a fact of life so we may as well learn the best techniques for dealing with them and getting the weed population to a tolerable level.

One method for managing the weed population is Intergrated Weed Management (IWM). Here is a brief overview.

I will be going more in depth in the coming weeks about this subject, so stay tuned!

This blog presented in part courtesy of Canon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marigolds: An Easy Addition to the Garden
Marigolds are no longer just yellow and orange; add different hybrids to brighten your beds!
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Plant Sale Continues at School

This has been by far my most enjoyable semester since my return to school. It is somewhat of a reward for all the preceding (and difficult, for me at least) Horticulture classes.

Plant Sale
Our plant sale continues, though our quantities have dwindled substantially.It is rewarding to assist our great customers and learn about their gardening plans.

I met one fantastic lady who began gardening last year and ended up supplying many of her neighbors with produce throughout the summer. She is a perfect example of the new home gardening generation, as is the customer who is growing tomato plants on her balcony!

Our sale plants are those we grew from seed or propagated from cuttings. Some successful starts were the 'Creamy Vanilla' and 'Durango Red' marigold, great for planting in vegetable garden borders to discourage pests and those bad nematodes.

Alternanthera is an annual we propagated from cuttings that turned out really lush and purple! We have a variety of tomatoes, peppers and other annual flowers, more description to be published here later.

My purchases included chocolate mint, lemon balm, asters and yarrow. I will include photos and notes on their growth soon! Just ten more days until school is over for the summer, I hope to publish more regularly after that.

Please leave any questions or comments and perhaps we can delve into them soon. Don't forget to let us know what you are growing this year!

This blog presented in part courtesy of Canon.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The semester is winding down, only three more weeks in this one. We are currently having our Horticulture Department Plant Sale and are pleased with the interest from students, staff and faculty.

We had a record-breaking first day and have been consistently busy since. Much of the interest is generated by the new trend in home gardening which appears to be growing still.

If you are thinking of growing some vegetables, herbs or flowers for the first time this year, go ahead and give it a try. You will be in a growing demographic.(No pun intended)!

Take advantage of the plant sales presented by Horticulture departments at local high schools and community colleges! Often these plants are grown with lots of care and prices will be below retail!

This blog presented courtesy of Canon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Those great, consistently warm days of spring are upon us and gardeners have many ways to express that pent-up gardening prowess!

Take a look here for some suggestions:

Please submit any gardening tips or questions and perhaps we can get a discussion going here. What are you growing this year?