Can You Afford Not To Garden?

In times like these can you afford not to garden? The other day I was thinking about the actual value of a garden. What do you get out of it? Not just the sense of satisfaction of eating the greatest tomato ever grown. That's pretty valuable in itself. Not just the pleasure of being able to boast to friends and neighbors about how well your garden has grown, and more importantly how much better it did than theirs. What I'm talking about is money. The bottom line. It's no secret that the world is in a state of depression, an economic one, and maybe the other kind of depression too. With the media always telling us about the new unemployment rates and how dismal our future is, it's easy to get a little down. One easy thing you can do is to start considering your garden as an asset. Something…

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Surprise, Surprise, Hyacinths on the Rise!

The other day I was out and about (as happens often) when I was surprised by the sight of a couple hyacinths coming up. It's not that I'm surprised that the hyacinths are emerging but rather that I didn't realize they where there to begin with! This would be one of those time where plant labels would have come in handy like the folks over at Gardening Gone Wild are talking about this month. Even a road map (planting map) would have helped, or a little list of where stuff is and what is in each garden bed. A list, now why didn't I think of that earlier? You might be wondering how I lost my hyacinths. I was too at first but then I remembered Valentine's Day 2008. I've never been one to purchase dead flowers to give away. Sure I've done it before but there seems to be…

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Russian Ghost of Summer’s Past

I was outside on Tuesday afternoon walking around the yard while a thirty minute window in the clouds opened to allow the sun to shine down. It was a short respite from the rainy weather but this time of year any respite is a good respite. While walking about I was struck by how white the stalks of the Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) were. They were ghosts of their former selves but not unattractive. Wispy multi-branched stems rest in front of the hollies in the front porch garden and along the front sidewalk garden patiently waiting for the growing season to begin. I have never considered them as plants for winter interest but perhaps I should.  The pale ghostly white shade of the branches would be very unique planted next to the bright red of a red twig dogwood. They will need a pruning before they start growing but for…

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Heuchera ‘Dale’s Strain’ or is it?

Over the last year I've been enthralled with heucheras. I see a new one and I have to add it to the garden! If you are looking for a versatile foliage perennial then definitely take a look at the heucheras (Coral Bells). There are many varieties so far I have at least 5 different kinds in my gardens. The last one I purchased was at the end of the fall season and was labeled 'Dale's Strain'. I bought two, one of which I divided into two, but unfortunately I'm not entirely sure that the label was the correct variety. I have no doubt that it is a Heuchera villosa of some kind but 'Dale's Strain' seems to have more green in the foliage.  This heuchera seems to have a more peachy purple tone to its leaves than 'Dale's Strain' would.  I didn't buy the plant because it was labeled 'Dale's…

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On the Garden Fence…

I've mentioned that with my newly redesigned garden layout that I would like to put a fence around it. Partly to keep the rabbits and groundhogs out but also to add an air of formality around the garden. I have two ideas in mind that I'd like to gather some opinions about. In the drawing below I have a standard picket fence on the left side and a capped picket fence on the right.  The pickets on the right would be framed in by the rail cap and wood on the bottom.  The posts on the corners will hold hanging baskets or some other fun item like hummingbird feeders and will be capped with a solar light post cap. These little gadgets are pretty neat. They fit on to a standard post and absorb energy through the day and release it at night as light.  I just thought it would…

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A Few Seed Picks Over the Weekend

Over this weekend our travels found us at one of the local big box stores looking for shelving hardware for our downstairs closet (another project but not one that will make it to the garden blog).  While there I went through the seed kiosks looking for the plants that made my master list for seed purchases.  Now you're probably wondering what I picked.  Here's the list for my first seed purchase of the season: Vegetables Super Sugar Snap Pea Pic-N-Pic Hybrid Summer squash Burpee's Fordhook Zucchini Yellow Pear Tomatoes Sierra Gold Cantaloupe Flowers Papaya Cream Nasturtium - Self Sowing Garden. Giant White Moonflower - Front Porch Garden/Arbor near self-sowing garden (not built yet). Kaleidoscope Mix Larkspur - Self Sowing Garden. Salvia Blue Bedder, Mealy Cup Sage (Salvia farinacea) - Anywhere I can! You can never enough salvia! Celosia - Near the mailbox garden and maybe in the self sowing garden.…

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5 Steps for Making Seed Choices

This time of the year it seems like there are a million and one choices for seeds.  The catalogs have been rolling in at record paces enticing us with beautiful pictures of what we could have in our gardens but how do you figure out what you need to buy especially if your trying to save money?  The first step is to figure out what you have.  After you've done that you need to familiarize yourself with where you can find seeds and then you get to the fun part, selecting the seeds.  I have a 5 step process that works well for me that might help you too. Steps for Selecting Seeds Peruse catalogs as they come arrive. Mark anything and everything I see that I might like. Write a master list of all the seeds I want. Eliminate anything similar to what I already have or can get…

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Of Birds, Gardens, and Nature

My recent fascination with the snowy owl visiting our town isn't something new, I've always been interested in birds and wildlife. Gardening and nature to me are so closely woven together in the tapestry of life that you don't get one without the other, and if you do you're doing something wrong. Nature in all it's glory ultimately controls what the gardener is able to do and the gardener can only hope to influence the garden. I believe that gardeners are simply stewards of nature, we create a buffer between the human world and the wild world. Humans are a part of the world no doubt, our mark is evident in almost every area of our planet, but it's our duty to serve as guardians and wardens. When we work together with nature great things can be achieved.We can invite the wild world into our gardens by encouraging birds, pollinators,…

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A Spectacular Snowy Owl Photo

I got a few more pictures this morning of the Snowy Owl here in Spring Hill, TN from Pete.  The first one can only be described as spectacular with a sunrise in the background.  He also managed to get a  few close-ups!     Related Snowy Owl Posts: A Snowy Owl Story Snowy Owl Visits Spring Hill, TN

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