Bee Photography

Here are a few pictures of the bees in my garden.  I hope you enjoy the beeutiful photos! Bee on a coneflower Purple Coneflower Bee on a sunflower Sunflower Bee on a cosmos flower Cosmos Bee on verbena Verbena bonariensis  Bee on 'Oranges and Lemons' Gaillardia 'Oranges and Lemons' Gaillardia Two Bees on coneflower 'Sunset' Coneflower My garden "bee" friendly, don't you think?

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3 Reasons Why Kids Should Grow Up Around a Garden

As you might imagine much of our time is spent in the garden. The kids are outdoors as much as possible (when the weather is cooperative).  I don't think just being outdoors is enough, being in the garden is where children should be and here's why: Gardening gets kids active physically. One big issue facing our country is childhood obesity and getting the kids active in the garden is one great way to get kids moving. The other day I spent an hour pulling weeds and I felt like I had just been to the gym!  Kids can pull weeds, dig holes for plants, move mulch around with child size wheelbarrows, and all kinds of other activities. Gardening exposes children to the process of growing food, good healthy food. Not the mass produced heavily sprayed crops from the grocery store. Seeing how the food is grown builds an understanding of…

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Cilantro Seeds Ready to Sow

It's that time of the year again! Time for cilantro seeds! Cilantro is one of those herbs not every enjoys but if you do always want to have some around. Unfortunately it bolts when the weather turns hot and doesn't want to come back until fall.  I let our cilantro bolt (go to seed) every year so that the seeds will sow themselves and begin the cycle of cilantro all over again. I just take the cilantro seeds and sprinkle them in areas where I want the cilantro to come up in the fall then let Mother Nature take her course! In the fall they germinate and we have fresh cilantro through the winter and spring. Herbs are so easy, don't you think? Look here for another cilantro post and my recipe for guacamole!

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Homemade Cucumber or Melon Trellises

I've been trying for several weeks now to get my garden trellises built for the vegetable garden. This weekend I finally managed to put two together, one for my cucumbers and one for my 'Tigger' melons. Building these two trellises can easily be done in just a few hours. I had to decide how high I wanted them to be and what kind of configuration I wanted. I was considering a simple 'A' frame design but instead went with this modified structure here: The legs of the trellis are 5 feet long and the top horizontal bar is 24 inches. The base of the trellis stands at 45 inches and is 33 inches wide. The dimensions are designed to fit inside two 4'x3' raised beds. Making the first side was a little tricky but once I had spaced it out and screwed it together I used it as a template…

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An Afternoon in the Vegetable Garden

It's been a good while since I had a couple hours to "maintain" the vegetable garden. Ideally I would take 20 minutes each day to weed, search the garden for problems, weed, prune, weed, and tie up tomatoes. Yes you may have noticed quite a few weeds, let's just say so did I! Today I did a little bit of all that, not enough, but I've made headway into the realm of the tidy gardens. We're beginning to see vegetables ready for harvesting.  The squash is now producing. We lost the zucchini during the three weeks without water that began the month of June. My irrigation wasn't set up to go to that bed and as the business of life took over the gardener with the garden hose wasn't as diligent. I may have to fire that gardener and get a new one, oh wait... Today I pulled the first…

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A Short Plant Propagation Update

I wish I could say I had thousands of plants sitting in the backyard from my plant propagation experiments but unfortunately I've just been too busy to do much this year. That isn't to say I'm not happy with what I've accomplished. Sometimes the uniqueness of the experience is much more valuable and satisfying than quantity produced.  What I'm especially pleased with are the rooted cuttings I potted up today. I've been keeping several cuttings in my propagation box that were probably ready to come out days if not weeks ago. My propagation container sure looks like a mess doesn't it? It's a hodge podge of various perennials and shrubs. Ideally I would divide each container by type and variety but when space is an issue - or time for that matter - shoving them all in the same spot will just have to do! Inside this former salad container…

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Propagating Blueberries through Cuttings – My First Attempt

Last week I acquired three blueberry bushes in a secret deal from my local big blue box store. OK it really wasn't a secret since they were offering them for half off to anyone. But what they don't know is that those three blueberries bushes I bought for $15.00 (Total) might become 50 one day, that is if I can get the plants to root from the cuttings I made over the weekend.  There are two big advantages to taking greenwood cuttings of blueberries. First, and most obvious, you might be able to make a few extra blueberry bushes. Second, each new cut will spur new growth and since blueberries flower and produce fruit on the previous season's growth it should encourage a higher yield. Here's how I made my blueberry bush cuttings: I took 4-6 inch greenwood stem tip cuttings from two of the same variety of blueberry bushes.…

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‘Primal Scream’ Daylily AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

The other day I mentioned I had another daylily that was about to bloom called 'Primal Scream', well that daylily is screaming now! 'Primal Scream' has large orange blooms that have faint hints of reddish coloring in the outer edges of the petals and a more true orange color the further toward the center. I planted my 'Primal Scream' daylily in the birdbath garden which unfortunately no longer has a birdbath. The soldering fell apart around the bracket that held the copper birdbath onto the post. One of these days I'll get around to repairing the old copper birdbath or maybe I'll find a new one. A Master Gardener who lives nearby recently invited our garden club to visit his garden that houses over 600 daylily varieties. I've been very curious about his garden for a while now and hope to make a stop up there while the daylilies are…

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I Have Two Huge…

Hollyhocks! These plants are simply enormous. I haven't measured them but a rough estimate of six and a half feet sounds very realistic. Unfortunately they are in a really bad location - flanking our front walkway. I should have transplanted them last year to another location more suitable but either didn't think of it or was too lazy. Although the term "lazy gardener" is rarely attributed to me! Darla even thinks I don't sleep... Hollyhocks and Dave's Daughters Anyway these hollyhocks sprouted last spring from seeds made the previous season. They grew the first year and never produced flowers. This is the second full year of growth and they are now flowering, such is the nature of the biennial. I need to remove one of these hollyhock beasts to make the walkway walkable. I want at least one of them to grow old enough to produce seed so that I…

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Something is Wrong With My Front Garden Plan

My garden is made up of a series of island garden beds. Each one is "designed" (I say that very loosely) to create the pathways that appear in between the gardens. To me a pathway is what really makes garden. A good path let's you see everything there is to see, leads you down unexpected turns, and really enhances a garden. Plants are integral for a garden and structures are important too but you don't go anywhere without a pathway. But this post isn't really about pathways, it's about one garden bed in particular that I need help with. You see, there's just something wrong with it. Maybe it's the plantings, maybe it's the size and shape, or maybe it's something else entirely. In this bed I've brought lavender plants from my in-laws garden.  They were the result of the natural layering of several lavender plants. I also have several…

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