Layering Rosemary

One of the easiest ways to make a new plant is layering. Layering is where you allow the plant to create new roots on a branch while still connected to the mother plant. The advantage to layering is the connection to the mother plant. It continues to feed the offshoot branch allowing it to form the new roots to sustain itself. Many plants do this naturally and you don't have to do anything special to create the offshoot. Rosemary does this really well.If you want to help it along make a small cut into the branch being careful not to sever the branch then put a toothpick in the wound to keep it open. Finally use landscape pins to pin down the branch to the ground. With rosemary you could get away with only doing the last step. In a few months you will have new plants to pot up…

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Morning Mists

As the summer fades and cooler temperatures arrive the play of the sunlight in the mist and the trees can bring a very picturesque scene. This photo was taken one early October morning from our back deck.

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Rootbeer anyone?

I picked up this sassafras leaf in our backyard. I was struck by its interesting coloration, red on the outside edges and orange around the main veins of the leaf. We have sassafras trees everywhere around in our yard so their leaves are easily found. They have a very strong lemon scent that can be smelled when you crush the leaves. I've done that more than a few times with my lawnmower!Apparently the roots of the sassafras tree used to be distilled to make root beer. I'd rather just go buy a 12 pack of good old A&W than worry with digging up those roots!

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Some more plants!

Today I stopped by one of our big box home improvement stores and visited the declining stock in their gardening area. I've mentioned before about the good deals you can find there and so today I found a couple deals! While they are desperately cleaning out their summer and autumn wears to make room for Christmas trees, I picked up a couple of perennials to add to our gardens. The first is one I think everyone should try somewhere in their landscape: Russian Sage. This variety is called Longin Russian Sage. It is supposed to be a more upright variety than other kinds of Perovskia atriplicifolia. Russian sage has silvery colored stems and feathery foliage highlighted by lavender colored blossoms that create a showy display in the summer. Planted in mass, Russian sage is very impressive and as a perennial it is very easy to grow. I put two others…

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White Nose

Almost sounds like a Christmas song but White Nose is the name of a squirrel that frequents our yard and our back deck. He's a pretty big little guy with a furry white nose, hence his name. He feels quite comfortable partaking of our bird buffet. I really don't mind the squirrels visiting the bird feeders. The only bad thing about them is that they empty the feeders out fairly quickly, which is probably why most people don't like the squirrels in their yards.We have two furry visitors that come by regularly, White Nose and a little gray squirrel that we haven't named yet. There is a positive side effect to squirrels eating at your feeders; they knock quite a bit of seed to the ground which is good for juncos and other ground feeding birds.The top picture is White Nose himself! The bottom one is the little gray squirrel.If…

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Blank Slate

It will be fun to think of what next year's growing season will bring. The yard here is pretty much a blank slate still. I've done a few things, like making a garden bed or two, making a bird bath garden, and added trees but there is a lot left to do to fit my vision of what this yard could be. Everyday I can think of a new thing to add to the landscape. Today I started thinking about a small herb garden bordered with stone in the front yard near our walkway. I'll add that one to my to do list. Over in the right column of my blog I have the "Ever-Growing List." It's my to do list that just keeps growing, kind of like kudzu. As I knock off jobs I'll talk about them and post pictures of the process.I'm looking forward to starting on the…

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What were they thinking?

I had to drive our cat Amber to the vet today to get some tests done on her. She has kidney renal failure and we have to periodically see how her blood is. She's been doing really good but has lost her appetite recently. While I was up in town I thought I'd drive around a few minutes to see what new developments had popped up. Shopping centers and housing developments are popping up all over the place in our area. I noticed in between one residential area and a shopping center there was a plant creating a great screen. In fact this plant could probably grow 20 feet high or more creating a very good sound barrier as well as the visual screen it was intended to be. Only one problem...it's Bamboo! Bamboo can send runners out all over and can quickly tack over an area. Putting it as…

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From my window…

From my window I can see my homemade compost bin, unfinished as it is, with our poor ole jack-o-lantern resting its big orange head on the grass clippings from my last mowing. That relic of a Halloween come and gone will come around again next year in some way. Either as broken down black gold or in the seeds that he left behind. His progeny will most likely grace us next season with lots of little orange gourds ready to be carved and given personalities of their own! Soon I'll add some leaves to the top of the bin and won't be able to see our old friend Jack, but he'll be there. In fact he might even be in my tomatoes next year, who knows?

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Landscape Plan: Memorial Garden

With the growing season coming to a close its time to start planning for next year's landscape. Every now and then I like to design landscapes for people. Here is a sample of a small garden design that I made for a couple friends of ours. Its actually a memorial garden and is suitable for almost any corner of a yard. Its small so its also perfect for small yards. It uses one of my favorite trees, the Yoshino Cherry! The spruces in the picture could be replaced with a yew that has a conical shape.

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