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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The Spring Garden Progresses Ever Onward

We're in full fledged spring garden mode here in Tennessee. What does that mean you ask? Everything is blooming or budding. While allergy sufferers dread this time of year it still remains my favorite. I love the bright green colored grass as it comes up fresh from the earth. I love the play of the colors in my yard. My absolute favorite at the moment is the combination of redbuds and Yoshino cherry blooms; both of which grow very nicely in Tennessee. The early spring bulbs are sill emerging from the soil. The newest to arrive are the tulips. My tulips were planted years ago as a boxed combination of 'Negrita' and 'Shirley'. Unfortunately they have diminished over the years due to my ever changing garden. It will be time this fall to add some new tulips into the garden. As the spring garden progresses the chores must also commence.…

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Vegetable Garden Checklist for the End of March

Everyone is thinking about the garden right now, if not they should be!  The vegetable garden is where you can really reap the rewards of your backyard.  Sometimes though you do't know what you should be doing and when or (if you're like me) forget a few things every now and then!  So here is a little garden checklist for you for things that you should be doing at the end of March.  This list is catered to a zone 6-7 garden with an approximate last frost date of mid-April so if you live in different zones you will need to adjust the list by a couple weeks. Vegetable Garden Checklist for the End of March Plant Potatoes and Onions  March is a great time to plant these in the garden.  We go through a lot of potatoes and onions through the year and can be some of the most…

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The Garden, with Frosting!

This time of year it isn't unusual to see the garden in a crystallized form.  Wet winter weather insures that enough moisture is around to turn the landscape into a frosted garden.  The unique appearance of the frosted garden gives the gardener a great opportunity to play around with some photography.  Here are a few photos from this morning at 23 degrees! Rosemary with frosting. Here are the dried flower heads of a 'Clara Curtis' mum.  I leave most of the perennial foliage along then cut it back in the early spring.  It adds some winter interest and protects the crown of sensitive/border-line plants from the cold.  The foliage creates and air pocket that insulates the ground just a little.  Sometimes a few degrees matters a lot when you are pushing a zone! (Although 'Clara Curtis' doesn't really need the extra protection here in TN.) Yews and other evergreens always…

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Sights from Around the Garden

I haven't made it out into the garden much lately other than to gather the occasional item for the kitchen but I did manage to grab the camera and head into the yard this afternoon for a few minutes. Here's a little of what I found! This is a 'Golden Globe' arborvitae.  It has a nice rounded habit with golden edged leaves hence the name! I collected a few seed pods from a Hardy Hibiscus.  The flowers are 6-8 inches in size.   My seed grown heucheras are doing well.  I need to transplant them into large pots soon. The Tennessee Coneflowers are just about done blooming.  It's time to collect some seed. These zinnias are looking great!  Of course zinnias almost always do! 

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My Garden is a Mess, and That’s OK

It's January and my garden is a mess.  That's OK because it's January!  My garden could be the perfect mixture of evergreen conifers and winter color landscape plantings specifically designed to brighten the gloomiest winter day, but it's not.  I would love that, but my garden was never put together for the winter color.  I'm gradually adding plants for that purpose but we aren't there yet.  While you can argue that gardening can be done year round I tend to let winter become my offseason. Gardening is kind of like baseball.  You start training in the spring, play hard while the weather is awesome, endure the hot summers, and close out the season with a big harvest at the end.  Then rest and recover to do it all over again.  While we are resting gardeners transition to the role of the management.  I think and plan the garden for next year…

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What to do on a Cold Winter’s Day

On a cold morning such as this you might be wondering "what can I do in the garden?"  Or you might be wondering "why does he know what I'm wondering?"  Or...maybe not, whatever the case is cold winter days are good for the garden and the gardener.  The garden needs those cold winter days to get enough stratification time for seeds to germinate, chill time for bulbs, and dormant time for trees and other plants.  They need a rest - just like the gardener does.  Winter is also the perfect time for the gardener to design his or her garden plans for the year. When I say garden plans I'm not necessarily talking about a formal garden plan.  Those are great to do but you don't have to have a formal plan to get a good start on the gardening season.  My plan of attack is much more general and…

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5 Reasons Why Gardening Is More Important Than Ever

It may not be obvious, or maybe it is, but I think in 2013 vegetable gardening will be more important than ever.  There are a myriad of reasons why I believe this and you can pretty much observe it everywhere you go, some sign that points to the importance of gardening.  Let's examine a few of signs of the growing momentum of the garden for  this edition of The Friday Fives. First of all lets look at the economy.  I bet you saw this one coming. You would have had to have been living under the proverbial rock to not know that the economy isn't doing so hot!  So many people are still unemployed, prices in the grocery store are getting more expensive, and people need ways to save money.  The garden can do that and many people are turning to community gardens and backyard gardens to grow their own…

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Mr. Tomato, Sphinx Moth, and a Garden Fresh Pizza

Please forgive the randomness of my title for today's post.  It's hard to sum up a weekend in just a few words!  Weekends are always busy times in the garden when the weather is as beautiful as it has been.  Sunday's humidity was a bit high in anticipation of the rain that's falling on the rooftop at this moment, but otherwise the weather was sunny with occasional clouds with temperatures in the 80's - great gardening weather! In the garden on Saturday we harvested a good batch of tomatoes.  They were mostly Amish paste tomatoes which were destined to become our dinner in the form of pizza!  I skipped a step on my pizza making and completely left off the sauce in favor of sliced tomatoes.  After the dough was rolled out I put a little olive oil on the dough then layered it with tomatoes to completely cover the pizza. It…

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5 Things to Do to Prepare Your Garden for Spring Planting!

This time of year the only thing us gardeners think about is the garden!  Because "the garden" is such a broad subject in itself we are really thinking of all kinds of things like timing, soil, seeds, cuttings, and list could go on!  One of the main tasks I need to accomplish is preparing my vegetable garden.  Preparing the vegetable garden for planting is a tasks that must be accomplished every year in order to have a fantastic harvest.  Spending extra time now, before you've planted, will save you time and problems later! For today's Friday Fives lets take a look at five things everyone should do to prepare their gardens for planting. 5 Things To Do to Prepare Your Garden Perhaps the most important part of preparing the garden is helping the soil.  The soil is where all the nutrients the plants need are found.  The best thing to…

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