Gardening For the Birds and the Bees with Flowering Trees

Gardeners garden for many reasons.  Perhaps the most common reason is to get back to that part of us that belongs with nature.  We want to see the world around us come through our garden and provide for its positive growth.  How we do that can vary in thousands of ways but almost every method provides some sort of food source for nature and its creatures.  Recently I planted a few plants that will one day provide nutrition and shelter for some of nature's creatures. (The materials and plants in this post were provided as a part of Lowe's Creative Ideas!) When providing for nature's growth natives are a great place to start.  When you think of spring flowering native trees and my state (Tennessee) one of the first trees you should think of is the dogwood.  Dogwoods show their blooms (which are really bracts) every spring to the delight…

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Bees in the ‘Yoshino’ Cherry Trees

What is my favorite tree?  That's a hard question to answer, since there are so many trees that I enjoy.  Some trees provide fruit, other trees, shade, and others flowers which makes them hard to pick a single favorite.  I have to categorize.  In the spring for the flowering trees I would have to say my favorites are the cherry trees.  I love seeing the massive canopies of blooms each year.  Our garden is home to several 'Yoshino' cherry trees which never fail to impress me! This 'Yoshino' was the second one I planted in our yard and has grown fast and strong.  It's been planted for about 4 years.  The bees enjoy it immensely.  I was out working in the yard yesterday and every time I passed by the cherry tree I heard hundreds of individual buzzes that made it sound as if the tree had an engine.  I…

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Growing Dogwoods (Cornus kousa) from Seed

A week ago we found ourselves at the doctors office for one of my children.  Nothing major (this time), just a regular check up and physical so she could run cross country (Very cool that a 7 year old wants to run cross country!).  After her appointment we left the doctor's office and found a dogwood tree, Cornus kousa, that was loaded with fruit.  To make a long story short (actually the rest of the story is below - otherwise there wouldn't be a post) we gathered a small bunch of berries(drupes) that had already fallen to the ground and brought them home to try and grow. Cornus kousa Cornus kousa is a dogwood that is native to Asia.  It's becoming more and more popular here in the U.S. due to its resistance to diseases like anthracnose which is brutal to our native dogwoods.  In fact a number of cultivars…

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5 Favorite Trees That I Grow In My Garden (The Friday Fives)

What is a garden without the trees?  Bare and boring!  Without a good tree you lose the shade they provide, the elegant grace that trees offer as a focal point, the fruit the tree may bear, the benefit to the wildlife around us - I think you agree, you just have to have a tree!  But what trees would you pick?  And which one's would I always want planted in yard? Here are my picks for this week's Friday Five! Japanese maple leaf When I was a kid living at my grandfather's house there was a row of trees on one side of the driveway.  The trees had been there as long as I had known and had knotty roots along the surface of the soil, thick branches that hung low, and were the perfect trees for climbing.  I can't tell you how many times I climbed this one tree…

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Happy Easter!

I won't be posting a Seed Sowing Saturday post this weekend since it's Easter weekend. I've included a dogwood picture and if you would like to read more about dogwoods I wrote post for the Tennessee Gardener online that you may enjoy.  Also for an update on the plants in my garden shed feel free to take a look at the video below. I hope you have a Happy Easter! This video was made with my Sony HDRCX130 HD Video Camera.

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A Place of Serenity

At my parent's house there is a small garden location where the contemplative gardener can go to relax. Nestled between the cherry trees the garden bench that my dad and I built for my mom several years ago. What I thought made this scene so special was the fallen cherry blossom petals from the nearby Kwanzan cherry tree. Statue of a girl picking flowers surrounded by cherry blossom petals.

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April is for Awesome Blooms!

Spring is hitting us full force right now in mid April. Flowers are blooming everywhere! The mailbox garden is covered in spring time flowers and in just about every other garden is a spot of color to talk about. This post is plant and garden photo heavy so be prepared! April Blooms in the Mailbox Garden We'll start the garden tour with the mailbox garden! It's changed a lot over the years but still has some of the same plants like: 'May Night' salvia Creeping Phlox with Pansies 'Homestead Purple' Verbena'Homestead Purple' Verbena is a staple in my garden and is propagated every year to spread around as a filler. Creeping Phlox, Dianthus, 'May Night' salvia, Verbena in a wider photo shot. The Front Gardens More Creeping Phlox Golden Ragwort The Corner Shade Garden 'Constellation' DogwoodIt's a sterile hybrid of the Japanese dogwoods (Cornus kousa) and our native Cornus florida.…

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A Yoshino Cherry Tree in Full Bloom!

I know that you know that I like Yoshino Cherry trees. I thought I would highlight the Yoshino cherry tree that is flowering in our front yard so that you can enjoy its blooms too! Here's why the Yoshino makes a great garden tree: they grow relatively fast, they look great when in bloom and when covered in leaves, and I've noticed very few pest problems (the deer rubbed it once). Here are a few more good reasons to plant a Yoshino cherry in your garden: Are you ready to plant one yet?

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Prunus persica ‘Bonfire’ – Ornamental Dwarf Peach

I've mentioned before that I'm a huge fan for the genus Prunus so you won't be flabbergasted when I tell you that I like this little ornamental dwarf peach called 'Bonfire' (Prunus persica). I bought it last year for my wife who wanted a peach tree. Unfortunately at the time I didn't realize that it was merely ornamental and not necessarily a fruiting peach tree. It had fruit on it when I purchased it but they never amounted to anything. Despite the my failure in finding a fruit tree with edible fruit I really like this little prunus. It's a dwarf and doesn't get much larger than 8 feet tall (the height differs according to what you read). The emerging purple foliage blends beautifully with the pink colored flowers. 'Bonfire' is just one of several members of the Prunus genus that really like. I may have four Yoshino cherry trees…

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Even More Spring Color!

Today I begrudgingly bring you some very beautiful flowers. The only reason I'm hesitant is because of the tree that these perfect little white blooms flower from each spring. Can you guess it? If not I'll give you a couple clues - it's over planted. Still can't guess? It's smells awful in the spring, I'm talking rotting-fish awful. Still can't guess? It breaks apart easily in storms due to its poor branching structure or for another clue think - great-big-Q-tips...I bet you have a clue. It's the Bradford pear tree! The builder in our neighborhood saw to it that each and every house has two Bradford pears in the front yard. Why not two Yoshino cherry trees? Or for a native Bradford pear substitute they could have planted two serviceberry trees? If we had the serviceberries we'd also get the benefit of the edible fruit each year (as long as…

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