The Definition of Blotany

If you read my title you may have noticed an unusual looking word. The study of blotany is not something restricted to any one area. Many regions around the world have studied this craft.You may never have heard of Blotany but it bears some resemblance to other words you may be familiar with. Blotany looks very similar to the word Botany which is the study of plants and plant related subjects. You will also notice that Blotany's first three letters are the same as the word blog. So if you analyze the two meanings together you might come up with the study of plant related blogs. To be more specific: garden blogs and the world of Blotanical! Blotanical is a website dedicated to garden blogs and those who are interested in gardening. It has a directory of blogs you can surf through by region. You don't have to be a…

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A Flower in the Garage (Prunus cerasifera)

The blooms of spring are venturing forth from their winter slumber. Of course this particular bloom along with 28 of his buddies are resting in my garage currently awaiting the moment when their rooted feet touch the soil of our yard. What do you think they are? If you guessed purple leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera) you would be correct! As for why there are 29 little saplings in my garage...that may need some explaining! If you've been following my blog for a bit you know I am a bit of a propagation "nut." Which to me is a good thing! This is a bug that I share apparently with others like Melanie at Old Country Gardens (She has a very nice blog go stop by and say "hi" sometime!) This basically means I can't resist the opportunity to help make a new plant. The story of these 29 wayfaring plums…

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A Surprise Lurking Beneath the Ivy

When I was out and about in the yard with my daughter on Monday I made a small discovery. It was lurking beneath the overgrown ivy topiary in a planter we have had for several years. From time to time we have planted different things in the planter. Once we had ornamental grasses and another time we had bulbs. I think we even grew lettuce in it once! What I found yesterday hearkens back to the day when we had bulbs planted in it. If you look beneath the ivy in the picture above you can see on the right one kind of bulb plant and on the left another. What I'm not sure of is what we planted! I suspect crocuses (which are corms not bulbs) on the right and a daffodil on the left but I can't be sure. It's possible the daffodil could be a tulip.Here are…

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What Plant(s) Are You Looking Forward to Planting in 2008?

What plant or plants are you looking forward to planting this year? Do you have something new or is there something you planted last year that did really well and you want to try again?Our planting season last spring was almost entirely a bust due to our need to rehab our house. The carpets needed replaced, everything needed painted, and we put in hardwood floors. It was a former foreclosure house that we bought for a good value. We spent March, April and the beginning of May working on the house and consequently the yard only received enough attention to get a mowing. Even the mowing didn't happen for a while since we needed to get a riding lawnmower. This year I'm looking forward to planting quite a few things.One of the first things I'll get into the ground this year will be a nice Yoshino Cherry tree. To me…

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My Herb Garden Layout

Herb Garden Layout I've been debating on exactly what kind of herb garden to implement and after making up some rough sketches of various ideas on paper I decided to throw this basic design together. It has a somewhat formal look yet should be relatively easy to maintain. I was considering trying to do a knot herb garden but that just looked like more work than I wanted to do, at least at this time. My second thought was a parterre herb garden layout but again to keep it looking as it should regular pruning is a necessity. I also considered a random arrangement to allow it to look fairly natural. The design above is sort of a hybrid of all three with a formal look that won't need real high maintenance pruning. How The Herb Garden Layout is Designed: The stepping stones (1) divide the 8 foot bed into…

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Companion Planting and Raised Beds (A Growing Challenge Post)

I've been planning my raised bed garden for a while now and now I've come to another phase. Figuring out how to plant the garden. I'm planning on using a technique called companion planting. Carol at May Dreams Gardens mentioned this a couple weeks ago although she called it Three Sisters gardening. It's concept is pretty simple, plant plants that go well together. By planting these plants you can better manage pests and encourage your plants to thrive with a symbiotic relationship to each other. Some plants can repel or attract pests and some fix nutrients in the soil. It's definitely worth a try! Since I've never used this technique before I thought I'd look up how to do it and find any resources that would help.What I am going to do is think about companion planting in respect to my raised bed garden. By using their chart I will…

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My Spring Challenge (Clearing the Weeds and Planting a Slope)

Here is a picture of our new territory that I didn't quite know I had until a couple weeks ago. It is covered in a variety of weeds including notable family favorites like ragweed, goldenrod and Queen Anne's lace. Now if it were just the latter two weeds I would be OK with the area as a natural wild field area, but I declared war on the ragweed a long time ago.I have a step by step idea for this area of the yard. I want to create paths and small to medium size circles of weeds that I can manage as I go. Each of these areas will eventually become a planting spot for perennials or ground covers. This will also let me map out where I want to place beds and give me a gradual feel for the area. Rest assured I will take out any ragweed that…

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What is Your Gardening Niche?

Over the course of the years gardeners learn many things through experimenting, reading, and talking to other gardeners. There are many different ideas and concepts to use in your garden and eventually you develop a little niche. Dictionary.com defines an ecological niche as " the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals." Your gardening niche is that small area of the gardening world that you are more passionately devoted to than any other area of gardening. You may have one or two of these areas and they may change over the years. It might be something small like one particular plant you just can't do without. Or it might be a broad category that you love like vegetable gardening in all of it's many varieties. It could be flowers or water features, pergolas or wildlife gardening. It could be anything. Your niche is your…

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