Images of the Spring Garden – March 2018

Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons in the garden. Fall because I love the changing leaves, the cool crisp air, and the feeling of closure that comes with shutting down the garden. Spring is my other favorite because of the rebirth. All the spring flowers and foliage are emerging and everything is brand new again. It's a really fun time to be out in the spring garden. When I walk from garden to garden I rediscover plants I had forgotten about. I see hostas emerging, buds swelling with the promise of blooms to come, birds darting to and fro as they begin making their nests, and so much more! Weeds emerge too but that doesn't bother me so much. Weeds have their place and often provide nutrition for number of mysterious denizens of the garden.     Spring is the best of times in the garden. The garden is…

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Starting Japanese Maple Seeds

While the weather outside resembles that of the arctic I spent a few minutes starting Japanese maple seeds. I had two varieties of tree that I saved seed from this fall, 'Sango Kaku' and 'Bloodgood' (Acer palmatum). Both types of Japanese maples are fairly common and can make good root stock for other, more unique Japanese maple varieties. One of these days I'll get around to doing some tree grafting but before I do I need some root stock maples. Starting Japanese Maple Seeds There are several good ways to start Japanese maple seeds so please note that what I do here is just one possible way. I began with a presoak to determine the best viable seeds. The way the seed soaking works is that the viable seeds tend to sink while the less viable ones float. Unfortunately I had a bunch of floaters. I had over 15 seeds…

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Time Spent on the Land

I've been spending a lot of time dreaming about what is to come for our family, our new house, and the gardens. It's easy to come up with ideas but always much more challenging to implement them. I've designed a potential house plan and I know how we would site it on the property. There is still a lot of planning that needs done before we can actually start building. I'm thankful for the opportunity to dream about what we could do there and each time I visit the land I feel a sense of peace, like this is exactly where we are supposed to be. Walking Trails I visited the land a few days ago to fix the driveway a little better. After that I walked the land. Just in the open spaces. One idea I have had is to install a walking trail around the property so I…

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Fall Color 2017 from Growing The Home Garden

I'm a big fan of foliage! There is no better time of the year than autumn for those who love foliage, and naturally fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I thought I would share with you some photos I have taken over the last month of the foliage from my garden. Tennessee often has amazing fall color and this year was no exception. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the fall color from my garden! Fall Color 2017 While its surroundings are lacking in appeal blueberry bushes always have some beautiful fall foliage. They are worth planting for ornamental value in addition to the edible berries. Fothergilla is an amazing plant for fall color! This Japanese Maple is 'Germaine's Gyration'. I missed the peak color by a day! There are few trees that can rival the fall color of a maple! This self sown maple…

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How to Buy Mums (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

OK, you might be thinking to yourself that this headline "How to Buy Mums" is about a topic we don't even need to discuss. Really, how hard can it be? You go to the nursery, pick out a full bushy plant full of blooms. You walk to the check out counter buy it and go home to plant it. If that's what you think then let me add one more thing to the purchase of your mums, don't buy the plants when in bloom! The Secret of How to Buy Mums The secret to long lasting chrysanthemum blooms in the fall is to buy your plants from the nursery when they are still in tight buds. If you look around at all the other mums on sale you can identify the colors you like then purchase plants that have little to no blooming. That way when you get them home…

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Hydrangea Propagation (Natural Layering)

Hydrangeas are fantastic garden plants! The flowers are beautiful but even when not in bloom hydrangeas can be a well formed shrub in the garden. Yesterday while walking through the garden I found a hydrangea that had rooted itself on the ground. This is called layering. Layering is a method of plant propagation where you can encourage roots roots to form. You can encourage layering but many plants will do this naturally on their own with a low hanging branch. Below is a little information on hydrangea propagation through layering. Hydrangea Propagation through Layering To layer a hydrangea branch simply take a low hanging branch and make sure a node makes contact with the soil. Then pin it with a rock or other heavy object. In a few weeks you can come back to check it and see if roots have emerged. Once they have take the hydrangea branch and…

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Oak Leaf Hydrangea – Garden Favorites

Over the years I have grown many plants. I have a bit of a collectors attitude toward my garden and pick out unique plants as much as possible. Some of those plants haven't done well for me, but other plants have simply been amazing. I thought it would be a good idea to go back and look at some of those plants that have been consistently good garden plants. Today I'm starting with the oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). The oak leaf hydrangea is an amazing plant that can tolerate shade to part sun here in Tennessee. The botanical name Hydrangea quercifolia when broken down describes the oak leaf hydrangea perfectly. The first word is obviously hydrangea which is classifying the plant in that family. "Quercus" is the oak family and "folia" means "leaf". Together they make quercifolia which would mean oak leaf and reflects the shape of the leaf.…

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Planting in Teak Wood Planters!

A while back Teak Closeouts sent me several samples to try out and see if I could use in the garden. They carry a really neat line of products that general come from overstock teak wood products and sell it at better prices.  They also have other products made from teak root which can be very interesting when used for gardening applications! I turned most of the products they sent me into planters for the garden. Teak is a very sturdy and rot resistant wood which is why it has a lot of uses in the garden. Putting these together gave me another great excuse to buy plants for the garden! One can never have enough rosemary, so I planted a rosemary into this little container. Rosemary is a great plant for the kitchen and we now have it conveniently on a table just outside the patio door. A large…

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2016 April Garden Gardening Update

If you're a gardener (and if you're reading this you probably are!) spring time excites you like no other season. April is a great month to get in the garden and get some work done but always remember to take a few moments to appreciate what's growing! Here's a quick rundown of a little of what is growing in my April garden in Tennessee. The Yoshino Cherry trees were spectacular this year! We had a storm this week that blew all the petals everywhere and it appeared like someone had a wedding in our backyard. The flowers only last a little while but they were amazing while they painted our yard in color. My red buckeye tree is just beginning blooming. This native plant is a hummingbird magnet and it's coming out just in time for the little birds to enjoy. My hops vine ('Cascade') is coming back nicely. It's…

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Annual Herb Sale presented by The Herb Society of Nashville

Every year the The Herb Society of Nashville holds an herb sale open to the public. This year the herb sale will be on April 16, 2016 at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Check out the information below from their press release for more details! The Press Release: The Herb Society of Nashville will hold its Annual Herb Sale on Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Fairgrounds Nashville Sports Arena Building. The Annual Herb Sale is open to the public and admission is free (except for a $5.00 parking fee to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds) and will feature the sale of rare varieties of annual and perennial herbs, as well as all culinary herbs.  Credit and debit cards will be accepted. For more information, visit www.herbsocietynashville.org or contact Rhonda Galligan at rhonda.galligan@gmail.com or by phone 931-224-8947. Featuring: •Heirloom Vegetables •Rare Varieties of Annual and Perennial Herbs…

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