5 Things I Need to Do In The Front Garden

This summer has been a tricky one in which to garden in here in Tennessee.  June was the driest month I can remember and hotter than any June on record. July was strange too - extra moisture and cooler temperatures made up some of the lost ground caused by the spring drought. Having strange weather has mixed the gardening season up. Weeds have been worse than ever with Johnson Grass, crabgrass, and ragweed being three of the worst weeds in my garden currently.  Those three get named often in my worst weed category!  In addition to all these challenges life is busy too with kids going back to school and all sorts of distractions to take the gardener away from the garden.  So today I'm going to share with you one area of my yard that needs work - the front yard!  Today for the Friday Fives you'll get to…

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These Blue Berries Aren’t Blueberries!

The blue berries I'm about to show aren't from any blueberry bush but are from the Arrowwood viburnum!  This viburnum is one of my favorites (but really, I think all viburnums are my favorites).  Viburnum dentatum has white flowers that appear in spring and are a great source of nectar for bees and butterflies.  The glossy green leaves persist until fall when they change color but before that we get these beautiful blue berries. The birds love the these berries!  It's rare that the berries last more than a week or two as they quickly get gobbled up by the hungry mockingbirds.  This viburnum is a native and provides a valuable food source for wildlife. I've written about viburnums several times before so I won't go into great detail about them but I will mention that they are fairly easy to propagate either from seed, cuttings or division.  Viburnum dentatum…

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Growing and Blooming Around the Garden

It's time to show you a few pictures of the plants around my garden!  The gardens themselves are in need of weeding, mulch, and assorted other chores I haven't had time to get to yet but that doesn't stop the plants from looking impressive.  Our weather lately has been wetter than normal for August and July.  That's a blessing since June brought us record heat and no rain to speak of.  For many of these plants it's like getting a second spring. I even noticed a new flower scape appearing on my Primal Scream daylily.  I don't have new flowers to show you yet but I think I will soon.  Apparently I have a reblooming one?  I didn't realize it did that! Let's take a quick look around! We'll start with the coleus I grew from seed.  You can really get some impressive looking plants in a short time when…

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Starting The Fall Garden From Seed

It's time to start thinking fall garden if you haven't already!  It may seem too hot, too dry or too much like August where you are but over the next few weeks we need to get our seeds started and growing. When to Start Seeds for a Fall Vegetable Garden? The tricky thinking about starting a vegetable garden in the fall is getting the plants started from seed.  Anyone can buy transplants and get them growing at the right time but it takes a little extra effort to get them started from seed.  That being said I believe that this is something anyone can do too!  You need to know two dates:  your first frost date and the time to maturity.  When you get your seed packet look up the time to maturity or time to harvest on the packet.  Then add a few weeks to the time to allow…

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5 Tips to Organize a Vegetable Garden Layout

Last Friday I mentioned 5 Vegetable Garden Design Tips for the Friday Fives post.  Today we'll look at some more vegetable garden design tips that relate to organization of a garden's layout!  I'll have to own up and admit it that the organization part of gardening is a skill where I am somewhat deficient though I am striving to do better.  We all know how valuable time is and by creating a garden that is organized efficiently we can maximize the effect our time in the garden has.  Here are 5 Tips to Organize a Vegetable Garden Layout! Organize your garden for convenience!  This is very important.  If you have to travel over an acre of your property to reach your vegetable garden to grab a couple tomatoes, a few squash, and maybe an eggplant for dinner how often do you think you are going to do that?  Tomato harvest!…

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Yet Another Arbor!

You can never have enough arbors can you?  Arbors are the perfect portals for gardens.  They define the entrance, create a vertical element of interest, and just look pretty neat!  Today I put together a very simple gateway arbor as an entrance to the shade garden I've built for Lowe's Creative Ideas.  My last arbor used gutters to create planters but this arbor's purpose is to define the entrance to the shade garden.  It will also serve as a way to string a coated wire line around the perimeter of the garden to prevent deer from eating my hostas! The arbor is very simply constructed and from start to finish could easily be done in a single day of work.  In fact you probably could build several of these in that same day. I dug the post holes yesterday.  They weren't too hard to dig back in the shady and…

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