My neighbor walked over yesterday as I was weeding my front border to ask about a few of her plants she keeps in containers. She has beautiful pots and striking blooms but they are ALL in containers. I know there's nothing wrong with leaving your plants in containers but I just have this thing about a landscape consisting of only containers and half dead plants. The reason she walked over, which she rarely does, was to ask about a hydrangea she was hiding in a corner near her front door. By her eye it seemed to be doing well... except the bloom fell off 2 days after she bought it. She did mention that she cut the dead flower off and remove it but how she did it is the reason for this post today. Just pulling off the wilted flower (in this case and many others) does not always do your sprouting wonders justice.
Pruning is essential for the survival and integrity of many many types of plants. From Oak trees to Crepe Myrtles and from Hydrangeas to Coleus pruning (or dead heading depending on the type) is very important to the life cycle of these plants. Of course they aren't all done in the same way... you would cut your finger nails the same way you cut your hair... right?
Let's talk a little about pruning your blooming beauties. Let's say you have a beautiful tri colored Coleus, like the one above. I've been seeing it pop up more in the last few years in my area. Mostly in a commercial setting where little to no maintenance is needed.... and then it gets picked up by the consumer. So now it's at your house and it's tall and thin with broad leaves near the base. It doesn't look anything like the huge bush you saw and fell in love with at the nursery or that office building down the street. What gives? And now it's blooming?? But that's not what you wanted right... well that's where pruning comes in. Coleus is a great little specimen who even love people with a light brown thumb. They do quite well in the sun but rather the shade to show off their brighter colors and they don't mind too much if they get a little dry.
If you remember a few quick tips you can have a nice full Coleus just like the one in the nursery. Pinching off the top 2 sections of the coleus before it grows a bud will produce 2 more branches. Doing this every time a new branch has 5 or more sections will keep your Coleus growing and getting quite fat. If you decide to let these go all the way to bloom you will more than likely get no new growth. There are a few herbs as well that will have this same growth pattern. Just follow the same tips as those we just went over and you'll have more than enough to go around.
This is exactly the type of pruning I did today with my neighbor's Hydrangea. I'm sure she'll come over when she has new blooms for me to see. I really do love when people ask for my help with their yards or gardens. Oh how I miss being in school and really do plan on going back in the next few years....... *sigh* I'd love to finish my degree. I'm not sure what I'd do with it now that I'm home with my 3 little ones. I guess I just want to say I have the degree. Just a little justification for myself, the lifetime student.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
So I walk up to Mr Sand Thumb and say "Pick a number from 1 to 128."
"Just do it please. I want to be fair" I pleaded.
" Tell me why"
" Blah blah blah just pick."
"Ok fine 486,723" he just smiles. And I walked away lol He's so sassy.
I then wrote 2 numbers down and that how we have our 2 YES 2 winners for today!!!
And the winner iiiiiiis.......
Kim!! at themisplacedmidwesterner
"Autumn Walk sounds like it wants to come on over to my house and live! :)
What a wonderful giveaway you are doing here.
Have fun with your giveaway. Don't forget to head on over to my blog and enter mine!"
AND since you guys went over my 100 comments goal the 2nd winner iiiiiis.....
"Man, it's hard to chose. I would say I'm sure I would most like 'water garden' I like 'bella' as the product line name. I'm expecting my 1st child & if it's a girl her name will be Bella. I just think it's such a pretty name. For a little girl or a candle! lol"
Melissa please contact me within 48 hours. I don't have an email or website for you??
Congrats to you both!!! Thank you all for playing and coming to my page. I hope to see some of you back soon. This is such a fun outlet for me. I love to play in the dirt and my hope is that this will soon help other's learn to love it as well.
I can't wait to do this again it was so much fun!!! Don't forget to check out the rest of the winners at Bloggy Giveaway Winners.
Did you win anything else?? I hope I did!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I'm a little late in posting my Bloggy Giveaway but there is still time to get in on the fun.
I'm giving away a gorgeous 26 oz Bella Gold Canyon Candle!! The Bella is elegant beauty, sleek and dignified. A different way to experience Gold Canyon’s favorite Signature Series™ fragrances and add a touch of elegance to your décor. Bella is available in many of the most popular Signature Series scents and available all season long in this timeless glass jar.
This is so easy!!! Just follow this link and pick your favorite scent that's available in the Bella line this season!! These 26 oz candles are guaranteed to burn evenly and beautifully for over 200 hours. You will simply love these candles!!
All shipping and tax are covered in this giveaway!! Unfortunately this giveaway is only for US residents. It will be shipped by UPS so no APO's either.
Entering is easy!! Leave me a comments here. I'll post the winner Saturday morning. If I get over 100 comments (no duplicates please) I'll be happy to announce 2 winners!! Tell your friends and help my comment count to help your chances!!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Lettuce, tomato, cucumber,bell pepper, and green onions... sounds like the start of a great salad right?? Throw in a few shrimp or cut up chicken breast and I'm a happy girl. Now I can't grow shrimp in my garden and a few chickens might make my harvest a little more difficult but I can produce the rest of my ingredients in a great abundance as long as I know what grows well next to each other.
A great garden does not consist of only 3 or 4 plants. Many veggies and herbs have little buggy friends that help them to stay healthy by inviting new friends and consuming their enemies. You can help your harvest greatly by simply planting certain varieties near one another and on top of one another for that matter. This is called Interplanting your crops. There are many different ways you can do this and I'll list a few below. Not only will this save space if you have a small garden but it will also save on time when you harvest and it looks great to see such a full lush garden. Choosing the right varieties for interplanting will keep your weeds to a minimum and help you to save space for next seasons crops.
There are many ways to Interplanting (or Intercropping)
- Row Intercropping - growing two or more crops at the same time with at least one crop planted in rows.
- Strip Intercropping - growing two or more crops together in strips wide enough to permit separate crop production using machines but close enough for the crops to interact.
- Relay Intercropping - planting a second crop into a standing crop at a time when the standing crop is at its reproductive stage but before harvesting.
- Mixed Intercropping - growing two or more crops together in no distinct row arrangement.
This is a beautiful way to incorporate lots of different plants together. The flowers and herbs with attract more pollinators to your veggies that they would not be able to do alone.
Here are a few examples that you could try this year....
- Corn, Beans, and Squash
- Marigolds or Basil and Tomatoes
- Broccoli and Dill
- Onions and Bush beans between Strawberries
- Radishes and Carrots
- Leeks and Sweet Potatoes
What plants do you find work well together? Have you ever tried Interplanting? I'd love to help you have a great harvest this Spring and Summer. If you have any questions please leave me a comment. Have a wonderful day. It's beautiful here!! I'll try to be outside as much as possible.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
If you google "liquid computing abacus data exchange" everything that pops up on the first page is about my Mom!!! SHE IS Abacus Marketing Resources & Abacus Data Exchange!! I consider myself pretty computer savvy but I could barely grasp what she has succeeded in doing until I read this article.
I'm very proud of her!! I hope you enjoy reading a few of the articles... and I hope you too can add this to your "Wow I learned something new today" list.
I love you Mom!!!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Have you seen some of the beautiful containers they have for planting lately? When I went ot Home Depot last week to use my 15% off coupon I was so torn by which containers I wanted. I knew WHERE I wanted to put it but I wasn't sure WHAT I waned to put in it.
I KNEW I wanted to put it near my front door.
I KNEW I wanted to use annuals (seed to seed in 1 year).
I KNEW I wanted it to be large enough to fit at least 2 different types of flowers.
I KNEW I wanted it to match my house.
Well I found a pot I love and a smaller cheaper version as well. Off to find the perfect flowers!!
My little basket convoy strolled around for a while before I finally made my choice. I chose Bright Red Verbena and Solid White Petunias. I already had container soil at home and a little peat humus so I was all set!! We went home with a few other needed items and a few prices from the lumber dept (to use for a soon to come post). Would you like to see my "creation"?? lol
As it grows through the season it will get alot larger and hang a good bit more. Deadheading will be very minimal but I hate to see wilted dried up flowers while others are so alive and vibrant. My hubby was happy to see them at the door. He of course made a joke about me using a coupon for my gardening as well.... he'll soon appreciate it all
Containers are a great way to grow your favorite flowers, herbs veggies and even some fruit trees. If you live in an apartment or have a very small backyard (like me). You "grow" to appreciate container gardens. There are literally hundreds of different sizes, shapes and colors of containers out right now. Even upside down hanging planters!!
We'll be transplanting our seeded herbs to a container soon. My oldest is starting her first herb garden and she's already snagged a container large enough that she can handle her little seedings all my herself.
Remember that these planters are getting hit by sunlight as well so they will dry up faster if you don't use the right soil. Most "container soil" has little extra enhancements like perlite. If you have peat moss it would be a great add to keep the moisture level up. I would steer away from terracotta pots used in full sunlight. They will absorb the some of the moisture in your soil. This will cause you to give a little extra attention to these plants in the summer.
Do you have a windowsill garden? What do you have in it?
Do you have any favorite containers but don't know what to put in them?? Let us know... maybe we can help.
For more Tips, check out Be Centsable for Tipster Tuesday!!
Friday, April 4, 2008
Hurry these are going fast!! This is the second type they've repenished them.
Stargazer lilies are the Deal of the Week at Holland Bulb Farms!!
Stargazer Lily with 12 bulbs per bag will bloom this mid to late summer (2008) filling your garden with a burst of color and fragrance. These hardy plants can be planted in the spring and will tolerate the winter and bloom beautifully for many years.Grows 24-36" tall. 14/16 cm bulbs. Zone 3 to 9
12 bulbs for only $7.19!!! This is a STEAL!!
They have lots of great specials everyday and some everyweek. HBF has a great Product Guarantee. You'll never have to worry when ordering from them!!
Tis the season for festivals in South Louisiana. This weekend is no different. Festival de Fleur is one of my favorites. It is being held this year once again at Blackham Coliseum. Admission is only $5 per person and children 12 & under are FREE. There is a $1 off admission in last Sunday's paper. There will prob be another on Saturday I would imagine. The proceeds go directly back to the Ira Nelson Center. This was my second home when I was in school so I will gladly pay the admission. There are lots of door prizes so don't forget to register at the door.
Visit their website to get more information on events and contests. This will be a great place to buy plants and get ideas for everything from indoor plants to butterfly gardens. Native plants will be a great pick up at this show. There are always Landscape Designers and plants for sale. The orchid contests blow my mind every year!!
Doors open at 9 am. I hope to see you there!!
Get fired up on Art at Pyromania!! They will be at the same location as Festival De Fluer again this year. You can also visit their site here. They have such cool demonstrations and hands-on activites for all ages. My kids love watching the glass blowing show. Admission is FREE for everyone. This is stictly an outdoor event. The weather will be beautiful!!
So get out of the house tomorrow with your family. Enjoy and support local artists. This is definately an event you will not want to miss!!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
15% off of pots and planters exp 4/17
What are some of your favorite natives? Need a little help getting started? Can you make almost anything grow? Tell us about it.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of composting? For some a huge smile may cross their face, for others a much less appealing thought may pop in their heads. Composting can be the easiest and cheapest way to help your flowers and veggies "be the best they can be." A friend in my playgroup brought up this topic last week and of course I had to chime in. If you are new to composting there are lots of sites that can explain all the How-to's to get started and why.
It is simply the breaking down of organic matter. There is a local facility in my area that I was able to tour when I was in college (for Horticulture). The tour was very informative. I didn't realize at the time how delicate the process was with such a huge amount of compost. The temperatures and carbon to nitrogen balances were fascinating. The facility gives all the compost away free of charge. Just show up with an empty truck bed or a few burlap sacks and off you go. There is always a small amount of trash in the load, like pieces of trash bags, tinsel from Holiday trees, straws, and bottle tops. This is a very minor problem with the amount that you are able to receive. If you aren't in the Acadiana area, look in the phone book. There should be a site in your parish or county that offers compost free or for a very small charge.
If you'd like to start your own composting adventure there are lots of options.
The Compost Guide has some great tips on starting your own compost. You can find bins, pails, and activators at Clean Air Gardening. Here is a great book on how to start your own compost.
Do you already have a compost at home? Tell us about it. We'd love to hear how you got started.