Propagating Birch Trees from Softwood Cuttings

Spring means it's time to take some cuttings!  Today I took a few cuttings of a birch tree I'm eventually going to have to remove.  I planted it way too close to our house and it has gotten too large.  I didn't want to lose the tree so I thought I would get a few to root and maybe plant plant one in a better location. For these birch tree cuttings I wanted the green stem tip growth.  I was looking for cuttings that were between 2-4 inches in length and green.  Here are a few pieces I trimmed off initially.  they still have some of the older wood material from the birch tree. I trimmed the greenwood off of the old wood and stripped the leaves off to make cuttings with single leaves.    Then I put the cuttings in a jar of water to stay hydrated while I…

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Some Maple Tree Fall Color

There are few trees that are more colorful in the fall than maples!  The Acer genus really has cornered the market on autumn brilliance.  That's not to say that there aren't other trees just as dazzling but its hard to actually beat maples for the color show this time of year.  The colors they show range from gold to red and every shade in between.  Here's a look at a few maples I took pictures of yesterday. This mature maple off in the distance really stands out long after the hackberries and other early leaf droppers have lost their leaves. This golden orange colored maple was along the back of my mom's property.   A closer look at it's leaves reveals more than just an orange color. This red maple was planted by my dad several years ago.  It's grown quite a bit over the last several years.  Dad planted…

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Fall Color – In the Garden – from Woodlawn TN!

The peak fall color this year is on its way and Tina has a great post for us with lots of Autumn color to share!  Tina writes the blog In the Garden and lives in Woodlawn, TN which is north of Nashville and just south of Kentucky. What fall color does her garden have to offer?  How about a Korean maple - its hard to beat a maple for fall color!  Or perhaps her low-gro sumac?  Or maybe the crabapple berries?  Or even her bottle tree!  There's lots to see at Tina's blog so go visit her Fall Color Project post and see the colors in Woodlawn, TN! Read this post to join in the Fall Color Project 2012!

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Feels Like a Fall Morning

This morning's cool temperatures made it feel like my favorite season is well on its way.  Of course autumn is coming but the extra cool August temperatures we're having have me hoping for an extended fall season.  Here's a look at a few things from around the garden this morning! 'Arizona Sun' Gaillardia - Blanket Flower is a good native plant to have around.  It works well as a border plant at the front of gardens that tend to be relatively dry.  I've grown 'Oranges and Lemons' before but lost the last one to aster yellows disease.  I've removed every plant I've seen that shows the aster yellows signs so hopefully we're in the clear. 'Primal Scream' daylily - I was surprised a couple weeks ago when I saw another scape growing from this daylily!  I don't think 'Primal Scream' is normally a rebloomer, but maybe I hit the jackpot. …

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My Visit To Growild Nursery in Fairview

It's not often that I am so impressed by a nursery that I feel compelled to write about them.  So many nurseries just do things the same way, the established way.  I know it works well but when a nursery steps it up a notch it REALLY works.  Growild Nursery in Fairview, Tennessee to me is an example of one nursery that steps it up!  Was it the plants that impressed me?  Definitely, but that wasn't all.  The service by the employees was great.  And it's more than just the demeanor of the employees, they knew their stuff!  They could tell me the habits of the trees, offer up examples of similar specimens that I might enjoy, and were simply a great horticultural resource. Growild opens up to the public only a couple times a year.  The rest of the season they sell to landscape designers, contractors, and by appointments. …

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The Iris Garden

In our front yard is a triangular shaped area that for now I'm calling the Iris Garden.  In a week or so after the irises finish blooming I'll have to change the name to something else but for now the Iris Garden works!  I actually began this garden area as a winter color garden but soon realized that winter color should be interspersed everywhere and shouldn't be all by itself.  So I redesigned the garden to be what it is now.  At different times of the year this garden provides different types of interest. The Trees On each point of the triangle design is a tree. The largest of which is a Yoshino cherry that provides some powerful spring color with its white a pinkish colored blooms.  Two small redbuds anchor the other points.  They were transplants from my in-laws property.  Redbuds are tricky to transplant but with some care…

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‘Beni Shichihenge’ Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Last week I attended the Bloom N' Garden Expo in Williamson County, TN.  It's a neat event held each year that offers garden speakers, display gardens, and (of course) plant vendors!  I've been getting pickier in my plant selections over the past year or so because I want unique plants for my garden.  I'm not trying to fill it up anymore, just trying to make it interesting!  Also money is an issue.  Despite advertising here on this blog (which doesn't earn much) and my fledgling nursery venture we're still really just a single income family. I don't want to spend money on plants I can raise from seed or through cuttings.  Nor do I want to spend money on plants that I don't have a good place to plant them.  So I've been getting more picky.  Fortunately at these kinds of shows there are unique plants to find like the…

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5 Neat Native Plants!

Native plants have many advantages over exotic plants.  I thought for today's Friday Fives Post I would mention five native plants that are pretty neat to have in your garden.  First though let's define the terms native and exotic.  Exotic plants are those that are not indigenous to your region.  They've either been brought from other place by seed or in plant form.  In many cases exotic plants can be awesome plants in the landscape.  I think often people get confused between exotic plants and exotic-invasive plants.  Sometimes exotic plants do too well in an area and begin to dominate which of course is also when they become a problem.  They can choke out native forage plants that animals need to survive and may not have the necessary features to adequately nourish our wildlife. There are several advantages to planting native plants in your garden.  Native plants feed and nourish…

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8 Things I Learned Over The Weekend

Coral Honeysuckle - Lonicera sempervirens I had one of those extremely busy weekends.  The kind where you have so much to do you don't know exactly where to start.  When you finally do start you discover that to do one task you have to do another task first. Then when you finally get going you move from one job, to another, to another, and there is no end in sight!  I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.  But there are a few things I learned over this weekend that I thought I would share with you. Unseasonably warm weather may seem to be a blessing at times but it also brings a bunch of problems.  Foremost is the presence of weeds.  The chickweed has exploded into prolific proportions while other weeds are coming up at least a month early.  Ragweed which usually does begin to grow for a…

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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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