New Land, New Gardens, and a New Home

It's not everyday I get to write about something this life changing! You may remember that a while back I made an offer for some land. That piece of land didn't work out and I was pretty disappointed. Sometimes life has better plans and we just don't realize it at the time. Recently we found another piece of land for sale. It's not as big as the first property, but in almost all other ways it's better, more usable and still in a great location! It's 7.26 acres and only 6 minutes from town. Our area of Tennessee is a hotbed of real estate activity and this property is an amazing find. We closed on the land on Thursday and now we know where our future home will be! The Plan for the Land Our plan for right now is to maintain the land and hopefully begin building in about…

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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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A Garden Trip to Savannah Georgia

This is a paid endorsement. I have been compensated and provided with products free of charge in return for my honest opinion. All opinions are 100% my own! If you've followed Growing the Home Garden for a while know then you might remember that I've worked with Troy-Bilt as a member of the Saturday6. Through Troy-Bilt I've had the opportunity to get together and work with other garden bloggers and test out their products. Troy-Bilt also brought a group of die-hard gardeners to Miami where we worked on building an urban community garden. In Miami we built raised beds and planted tons of plants to help encourage growing local plants and healthy living. A week ago I returned from another fantastic Troy-Bilt trip as one of their 2017 Brand Ambassadors! This time Troy-Bilt looked back to previous Saturday6 groups and invited them to Savannah, Georgia where we worked on improving…

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Black Plastic Tarps in the Garden

This week I began testing a new (to me at least) gardening technique! Using black plastic tarps in the garden to kill off the weed growth underneath. The concept is simple and is something that I read about in The Market Gardener by Jean Martin Fortier (Amazon Aff. Link). I highly recommend his book, especially if running a CSA is something that interests you. (My review of The Market Gardener) What do black plastic tarps in the garden do for your garden? The black plastic attracts heat from the sun which warms the soil. The heat underneath the tarp triggers germination of weed seeds in the soil. Weed seeds germinate! (under normal circumstances we don't like this but for the tarp technique we do!) The plastic blocks light and moisture from getting to the weeds. The weeds can't survive without the light and moisture and die. After a few weeks…

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Portable Planter Box Project

Recently I put together a little project from some wood I had stored in the garage. It was an idea I had to help me with a presentation I'll be giving at a local garden show. Essentially I needed a way to demonstrate how a few plants could be planted in combination with each other. I didn't have access to a projector for the demonstration so I couldn't do a slide show. What I decided to do is to put together a portable planter box that I could stock with a few plants to bring along. It couldn't be big or it would be a problem to move around. Here's what I did to make this 24"x12.25" portable planter box! How to make a Portable Planter Box For materials: 2 6' cedar fence boards short deck screws. soil mix newspaper plants (of course!) Equipment Drill Electric Screw driver (Ryobi impact…

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First Daffodils of 2017

Every year in the garden is different. Sometimes it's warmer than normal, sometimes colder. We may have more rain than usual or we may be in a drought. All of these factors affect how the plants grow, what comes up, and when they make their first appearance. One special event I like to notate each year on this garden blog is the flowering of the first daffodils of the year. It's exciting to see flowers begin to bloom after a drab and dreary winter season. Daffodils tend to be one of the first flowers of the year to flower in my garden. In addition to daffodils we'll see Winter Blooming Jasmine and other winter to spring blooming flowers begin to make their appearance. I've also seen foliage of iris and hyacinth beginning to emerge. Watching the progression of winter to spring is one of the most exciting parts of gardening!…

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A Trip to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, TN

Recently our family made a visit to the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, TN. If you have never taken the opportunity to visit you should. The gardens are filled with a wonderful display of annuals, perennials, and themed gardens. Currently they have various playhouses on display with multiple themes like trains and foreign countries. We happened to be visiting with other homeschool families and our children were able to take part in lectures on butterflies and wildflowers and even learned about book binding. It was a hot August day but the kids all enjoyed walking through the gardens and taking part in the events Cheekwood was offering. I hope you enjoy looking at the slideshow of pictures from Cheekwood Botanical Garden! My daughter says Hi! To plan out your visit to Cheekwood visit their website for info. Save Save Save

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11 Tips to Consider When Designing a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Layout

During my quest to make my raised bed vegetable garden layout more efficient and easier to maneuver through I've learned some helpful raised bed garden tips that may help gardeners to avoid the same mistakes I made when planning and setting up my first raised bed vegetable garden layout. If you keep these ideas in mind while you are designing your raised beds you can make your gardening experience as good as it can be. Here are 11 tips for planning your best raised bed vegetable garden!   11 Tips and Ideas to Consider when Designing a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Set up the raised bed garden the right way in the beginning! Plan your raised garden bed exactly how you want it because it can be difficult to move later. Trust me, I know! Make it adaptable so that you can add more raised beds as you need them. There…

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Why You Shouldn’t Plant a Bradford Pear Tree But Some People Do Anyway

The Bradford Pear tree (Pyrus calleryana). Sure it looks nice but it's one tree that people should stay away from planting in their yard. At first glance you might wonder "why shouldn't I plant them?" They have a great shape, they grow fast, and they flower profusely in the spring. Unfortunately for the homeowners who plant the Bradford pear all is not as it seems. There are several reasons to avoid them. What is wrong with a Bradford Pear Tree? These trees are extremely over planted. This may just be my own personal opinion but when a plant is planted everywhere I like to avoid it. In our neighborhood the builder deposited 2 Bradford pear trees in each front yard. Everywhere you go you see these pear trees planted and not just by people. The birds help to deposit the seeds in various places and you end up with Bradford…

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