The Back Ornamental Garden – The Beginning

I'm always trying to start something new, usually I bite off more than I can chew but in this case I'm taking our back ornamental garden at a casual pace. In other words I'm not pushing myself to get it done but just doing what I can when I can.  It fits a general long range goal I have at creating a quiet garden in the backyard for growing shade loving plants. Most of our landscape is full sun so I have to take a few steps before I can really get things going. This corner of the yard gets shade through the late morning then full sun for several hours followed by evening shade. Pretty much the opposite of what you want for growing hostas and hydrangeas. The first step to creating a shady sanctuary is to put in trees that will one day provide relief from that big…

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New Additions: Texas Sage and Eupatorium ‘Chocolate’

Last week I was out of town teaching and was forced to come home early due to a awful case of food poisoning (watch out for those buffets!) When Saturday rolled around my outdoor work plans were drastically changed. I had planned on getting some mulch on a few spots but just couldn't stand being in the heat and humidity for very long without feeling like I was going to have to be dragged inside. So instead I went to a local nursery to see what was new! Of course it would just be plain wrong of me not to come home with something, right? Here's what I added to the garden from the nursery: Texas sage (Salvia coccinea) This salvia is a verifiable hummingbird magnet! Unfortunately it's cold hardiness may be in question here but it should reseed in zones 6-8. It grows about 2-3' tall. I can't resist…

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Worst Weed Wednesday or Who Has the Worst Weeds?

Welcome to Worst Weed Wednesday! Today is the day that you can rant all you want about weeds, how much you despise them, how you would like to eradicate them (and do), and what kinds of things you say to them (please keep it PG or PG13!). I'll update this post as more folks rant on the worst weeds in their garden so check back and see what new weeds are coming up here at The Home Garden! (newer posts will be added to the bottom). Click on the links or the pictures to visit the Garden Bloggers and the banes of their garden's existence!Tina (In the Garden)You're just itching to see her post...I promise! Or maybe you'll just be itching after her post... Frances (Fairegarden)Weeds bloom too don't they? Stop over and see what happens when Frances tackled Bloom Day and Worst Weed Wednesday at the same time!Nan (Hayefield)Garden…

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My Worst Weeds for Worst Weed Wednesday!

So what is a weed? By nearly every gardener's definition a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place. It could be a flower that self-seeded in an unwanted location but that's not what most people really consider a problem plant, and true weeds are problem plants. So for Worst Weed Wednesday here are several plants from my gardens that I consider to be true weeds!From the least-dangerous-but-most-annoying list is Johnson Grass or (Sorghum halepense). This rhizomatic grass spreads like crazy and grows to heights over 5 feet tall. To say that it grows fast is to say that lightning might sting a little. I've pulled it from every garden but where it is the most annoying is when it seeds itself underneath another plant like my Russian sages or among my hemlocks. It's easy to pull up but you have to get all the roots in order to…

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Taming The Morning Glory

Normally I'm a fan of Ipomoea, normally. I like the ornamental sweet potato vines, the heart shaped leaf morning glories with little blue flowers, and of course I love eating sweet potatoes but this three lobed morning glory has worn out its welcome. It started off inconspicuous enough, just a couple little leaves in the spring gradually twining through the ornamental grasses. In the beginning I thought "that might be pretty to see little flowers appearing between the sharp bladed grasses." Then I lost track of the morning glory. Not that I didn't see it. I was aware of it every single day that I passed by it. It grew and I my thoughts changed a little "I'm going to have to reign in that sucker soon." But "soon" is a relative term when there is so much else to do. Then it became this monstronsity and my thoughts were…

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Propagation Update: Asiatic Lily and Viburnum

In late May I wrote a post about how to propagate Asiatic lilies from leaves. I figured it was time to show you how things are coming along. After small little bulbs began to form on the base of the leaves I planted the bulbs into small pots. As you can see in the picture below the old leaves completely died back, most likely to provide nourishment and energy to the new bulbs and roots, and formed brand new leaves. They are well on their way to becoming flowering beauties in my garden! I also took a few cuttings of a viburnum back in April. These haven't advanced as much as I had hoped but they are alive and well. I haven't fertilized or done anything other than pot them up and water them, even though a little fertilizer will do them some good. It takes time for plants to…

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Don’t Forget About Worst Weed Wednesday!

Do you say "Do you feel lucky, punk?" when you stare down weeds while wielding a bottle of herbicide? Do you cringe when you hear crabgrass? Then don't forget that this coming Wednesday July 29th is Worst Weed Wednesday where you get to rant all you want about the worst possible garden invaders to your yard! For more details check out the original post about Worst Weed Wednesday. This isn't a weekly meme but if you can't get it done this Wednesday I'll add you to the mix when you do. So tell us, what are your worst weeds?

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Poppy Seed Harvesting

When the flowers are pretty much gone it's time to harvest the result: seeds! Saving seeds is a great way to reduce your plant budget for next year, especially when the plants you save seed from are known for easy germination. Recently I collect some poppy seed from our red poppies in the self-sowing garden. Some of the seeds I'll collect and others I'll sprinkle around wherever I may want poppies to grow next year. They bloom from spring to early summer (I did have one orange one bloom this week even though it should probably be finished) then they fade away.Even when the poppies have faded away they offer some interest in their seed pods. They resemble little cups with lids. The lid is actually made from the stamens that have dried on top of the fruit to create an enclosed seed pod.Harvesting the seed is very easy. All…

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Mystery Photo Answer: Coneflower (Echinacea)

Yesterday I posted an enhanced photo of a flower from my garden and asked readers to try to identify it. I disguised it a little by removing the color and cropping and zooming the picture. I though it was a neat way to look at one of my favorite plants in the garden, the coneflower! This particular one was Echinacea pupurea or purple coneflower and is a very common one in gardens for a number of reasons: it's easy to care for, it's easy to grow, and its drought tolerance. Coneflowers grow up easily from seed and you can even to basal stem cuttings to propagate more. Right now we have coneflowers flowering in two gardens (the rain garden and the birdbath garden) and have dropped seeds in the self-sowing garden to add a few more for next year. In the fall when the seed heads have formed just sprinkle…

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Garden Mystery Closeup Photography

Can you identify the picture below? I've zoomed in and removed the color to make your guess a little more difficult but I think you can handle it! Email your guess to The Home Garden so that we can retain a little mystery and give everyone a chance to guess! If you get it right you'll get a link to your site! (comments are closed on this post)

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