Name that Seed (There’s a Prize This Time!)

This week's name that seed might be a challenge.  The seeds are in the exact state that I found them in however they do not look exactly like they would if they were freshly formed on a tree.  Here is your one clue: the tree prefers shade.  All answers should be posted by the morning of Monday December 22, 2008 when I'll reveal the seed. Click here to find the answer! The Prize: The first Name that Seed participant to correctly identify the seed will receive one pair of boots donated by Muck and Stuff.  These Muck Boots look like they would be real handy for gardening chores in wet rainy weather like we have now! In the event of a tie (two responses simultaneously posted) we'll do the high-tech method for determining winners...flip a coin!  Name that Seed is open to anyone reading this post so I'd like to…

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A December Day in the Garden

We had a short reprieve from the cold winter temperatures we've been having.  It reached nearly 70 degrees  and we actually saw the sun for the first time in days. It felt good to be outside this afternoon tending to some minor garden chores. My first task was to pot up some more Purple leaf plums (Prunus cerasifera) that had rooted.  I put all six  cuttings into a medium sized pot and left them in the garage near the window and the garage greenhouse.  Last year I made nearly 20 cuttings from some leftover branches after a pruning of another plum tree.  It was an experiment then, I didn't need nearly that many! I also went outside and did a walk around.  I examined the garden beds around the house and took note of the current state of each area.  Cool season weeds were encroaching in most of the beds. …

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Yew Propagation (Taxus x media ‘Densiformis’)

Just recently I checked some cuttings of Densiformis Yew (Taxus x media; also Taxus cuspidata) and found roots! Densiformis Yew is also known as a spreading yew and is a common evergreen shrub in landscape plantings. It makes an attractive foundation planting with its dark green needles. If you have animals fond of chewing on plants avoid planting yews since they are very poisonous. How to Propagate Yew Several weeks ago I took five greenwood cuttings from the yews in the front sidewalk bed. I bought the yews in our first year here from the discount rack for $2 a piece. They had some browning branches at the time but a little trimming was all that was needed to correct that. Since then they've grown fairly rapidly providing me with plenty of good branches for propagating. I took greenwood cuttings about 5-6 inches long and treated them with rooting hormone…

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A $50 Greenhouse!

Today I was stumbling through Stumble Upon and happened to come across a great tutorial on building a $50 greenhouse!  What is especially cool is that the author of the blog (The Door Garden) who wrote the tutorial is also a Tennessean (Cookeville).  The greenhouse he built is a hoop house made from PVC and has about 165 square feet of space.  This looks like a very economical project that home gardeners could definitely benefit from building.  Go say "Hi!" to David and his $50 Greenhouse.

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Purty Weeds Revisited

Even in winter gardeners in Tennessee need to keep up with the weeds.  Cool season weeds like chickweed and henbit can easily take over while you aren't watching your garden beds.  I actually like the look of henbit in the lawn but not in the garden beds.  If you have a warm winter day get out there and do a little weed management.  It can go a long way toward making your spring preparations much easier.  If you aren't vigilant you may end up with some Purty Weeds!

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A Farewell to a Feline Friend

It was springtime in 1999. The day was warm and the windows were open in my college apartment.  I was in my upstairs bedroom reading a book and had left the backdoor open to create a cross flow of air through the apartment.  Motion in my bedroom door caught my eye and the little tortoiseshell colored cat was walking into the room.  We met eye to eye and she said "meow" then as casually as cats can be she turned around and walked out of the house and onto the back porch.  There she waited for me to come visit with her.  This kitty had been visiting near my home for a couple weeks prior to this visit but it was the first time she entered my apartment. She had become the defender of the back porch.  No other kitty was allowed to venture there.  At night she meowed wanting…

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Plant Propagation: Leyland Cypress Cuttings

Plant propagation can continue at almost every time of the year, the winter is no exception. This is especially true if you have a little space in your house to put your cuttings or can manage to manipulate them into interesting centerpieces! Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a common evergreen planting due to its fast growth and economic pricing. It's a hybrid of the Montery Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and the Alaskan Cypress (Cupressus nootkatensis). It is mostly planted as a privacy screen but could be used as a evergreen focal point. Some people choose to limb up the branches to make the trunk more visible. They aren't as highly recommended as Arborvitae due to occaissional ailments.  Frequently they are planted too close together into poorly drained soil which can cause cankers and eventual dieback of branches.  Other than that they are very attractive and relatively disease free landscape plants!…

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Have Heucheras?

If you like Heucheras or Coral Bells as much as I do then take a look at this video from Fine Gardening Magazine. In it Alan Armitage talks about the heucheras in the trial gardens at the University of Georgia. Heuchera 'Silver Scrolls' and Heuchera 'Rave On' stand out as two perennials I will have to add to my garden next year! The Hunt for the Best Heucheras Related Posts: Foliage in the Shade Garden In the Fall Garden

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Garden Bloggers Bloom Day 2008 Review

Since I have very little to show for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day in December I'll display a review of each Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post over 2008 that I've done. Inside this post you will see one or two pictures from each post that in my view are the best of the blooms. Unfortunately I missed a few months like February, July, and November but all the others are accounted for with plenty of photos! The highlight of the Bloom Day Pictures for me was the Monarch Butterfly I photographed in October. Click on the Month to go to the original post for more pictures of my garden! Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens for more Bloom day posts.JanuaryNandina BerriesMarchBradford Pear BudsHenbit!AprilTulipsRedbuds and DogwoodsMay'Caradonna' Salvia'May Night' Salvia with an Achillea backdropJuneAsiatic LiliesAugustSedum/StonecropVerbena x hybridaSeptember 'Oranges and Lemons' Gaillardia'Longwood Blue' Caryopteris October 2008Monarch Butterfly on AsclepiasPink Cosmos

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