Encased in Ice (Tennessee Snow Storm of 2010)

They were right! There, let it be said that the weather predictors and prognosticators said we were going to have snow and we did. Unfortunately the manner of snow and the amount of snow differed from what the forecast originally said (which was 2-3 inches at one point). Currently we have between 4-6 inches of snow with a nice smooth layer of ice on top just to make things interesting! The ice isn’t good for getting around town and we’ve been stuck at home (nothing new since we are boring people and don’t do much anyway) watching the snow fall. What the ice is good for though is pretty cool (sorry for the pun). Sledding was the main attraction of the day with our slope in the backyard becoming a valuable asset. Several neighbors joined us outside on the hill at various times to ride down my version of the…

Continue Reading

My State of the Garden Address – Part 2

Yesterday I showed you part one of the state of the garden which contained mostly the front yard and side yard, today we go into the backyard to visit the gardens. The Vegetable Garden Let’s start by looking at the department of agriculture. The vegetable garden isn’t being very productive right now even though it could be. Hoop houses constructed over the beds would have been an asset this year if I had ever gotten around to building them. As it stands the only plants still alive in the garden are the cilantro, the strawberries, and of course - the weeds. There’s a weed for every season isn’t there? A major cleanup is needed but I’ll do that right before I begin planting, possibly in conjunction with my new raised beds I’m planning on building. It won’t be long until it’s time for sugar snap peas and spinach. The Birdbath…

Continue Reading

Putting Siding on the Greenhouse Shed

It’s been a little while since my last greenhouse shed update but things are coming along. It’s been difficult to deal with the cold temperatures and find suitable days to work but that’s the challenge of working on an outdoor project in the winter. Lately we’ve been focusing on applying siding to the solid areas of the building. I picked out a siding that is a cement board siding which is constructed with a wood grain look imprinted. Originally I was going to use wood siding but this type of siding will last up to 50 years and is very resistant to termites and weather. (Really who would want to eat cement?) It’s primed and ready to be painted whenever the weather is suitable! On the left side of the greenhouse are our patio doors that we retrofitted into the sides of the building. Cutting the siding to fit the…

Continue Reading

My State of the Garden Address

Our president gave us his State of the Union address for 2010 this week and informed us of his plans and his thoughts so I thought why not do the same for my garden? It’s been a while since I’ve addressed the garden as a whole entity as usually I just discuss its parts or its plants. Let me start off by saying it’s not necessarily a pretty picture. It is winter after all! As I walked around the gardens today I had an opportunity to view what has been accomplished and what has yet to be done. The front garden hasn’t undergone many changes over the last year but it is due for some redeveloping. The Russian sage on the left of the sidewalk has grown large and it is time for it to be tamed or moved. It’s wispy and bare now but its white stems make an…

Continue Reading

Enjoy a Cup of Coffee?

I certainly enjoy my coffee every morning (in fact you don’t want me not to!) but that’s not even close to what is inside these two cups. Can you guess to what purpose I’m reusing these two former fast food containers for? It’s not a hard guess and I suspect you already know exactly what I’m doing with them. Rather than throw them a way why not use them for… Starting Seeds! Of course!    Last week I put some seed starting mix inside these two vessels and sprinkled some dianthus seeds I’ve saved. They are supposed to be ‘Firewitch’ but as I found them through a seed exchange the true identity may be something else entirely or some cross-pollinated dianthus. Whatever the case I’ll really enjoy seeing these late spring bloomers come alive! What was the most effective and most unusual seed starting container you have used?

Continue Reading

While at the Book Store…

...I noticed something odd on the shelves and it was a little disconcerting to see. I went to the big chain bookstore in Franklin to see what kind of garden books they were carrying with the intent on purchasing one with some leftover money I received for my birthday last July. I know it's been a long time since July but while there are things that I would like to have I just couldn't find anything really worth spending it on! I perused the shelves with my two year old daughter while my oldest was spending the day with her grandmother. You know how two year olds are - constantly exploring, searching, playing, and handling everything their little hands can get a hold of.  She picked up books and I put them back, I told her no, I went back to looking, she went back to picking up books. This…

Continue Reading

Rooting Viburnums from Hardwood Cuttings

Around Thanksgiving I took 6 small 4 node cuttings from a single viburnum at my in-law’s house. I don’t know what variety the viburnum but that doesn’t bother me, I can find out when the leaves begin to grow and the flowers start to bloom (which admittedly might be awhile). For now though I’ll just be happy to add six more plants to the garden. Of the six viburnums I rooted five had nice roots starting to emerge from between the bottom two nodes. As you can see in the top picture the cuttings had four nodes that I stuck in sand with two nodes under the sand. The top two nodes and maybe the third node should develop branches and leaves.   I used rooting hormone when I took the cuttings and only used sand for the medium. I kept the cuttings in a warm and humid environment (our…

Continue Reading

You Don’t Need Much Space to Propagate Plants

You don’t need much space to propagate plants. In fact you can propagate a bunch of plants in some very small spaces like in the containers in the picture. Together I have 5 different kinds of plants ready for rooting including red twig dogwood, rhododendron, azalea, Purple Leaf Plum Propagation, Japanese maple, and Yoshino cherry. To me it’s amazing that you can do so much with so little. All together there are 35 cuttings placed into these two small containers. I like to use containers that look nice in the house whenever I do cuttings but I have to admit more often I find myself using recycled/reused materials. Even in a small reused (washed of course) yogurt cup you can fit 5-8 cuttings. In the above picture I’ve mixed the cuttings in no particular way but it’s a good idea to try and keep cuttings separated from each other by…

Continue Reading

Great Home Gardens: An Italian Garden

A few weeks ago an email came in my box asking me a question about propagating irises. I answered the question then received a picture of the questioning gardener’s garden. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. Climbing roses mixed with many varieties of perennials create a living painting in Ennio’s backyard. And did I mention that it’s in Venice, Italy? Isn’t that the amazing thing about the world we live in today – we can visit any garden anywhere a camera has been without even leaving the room! But I have to say that being in the garden would be much better than just gawking at the pictures but today I’ll do the next best thing to being there, I’ll show you Ennio’s photos of his Italian garden and we can gawk together. He’s been gardening for 13 years and the photos you are about to…

Continue Reading
Close Menu