Elderberry Bush – Transplanting and Propagating

Over the years the side garden area of our yard has gradually grown into a small forest area. My kids call the area "the thicket." They play in the pathways I've cut through. Over time the sassafras trees have grown tall changing the hillside from just a grassy field to a small forest. Among the plants naturally growing in "the thicket" is a stand of elderberry bushes (Sambucus canadensis). I love the look of elderberries in the fall when they are loaded with berries and in the springtime when they bloom. Elderberries are easy plants to grow if put in the right place. Growing Elderberry Elderberry bushes like to grow in a full sun to part shade location. In our yard the elderberries function as an understory plant and are doing quite well on the edges of taller trees in forest areas. They like soil that gets moist but is…

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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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A Garden in 30 Minutes

Today was beautiful. The sun was out and the temperature was in the low to mid 60's. That's what I call perfect garden weather! I didn't have much time to garden but needed to do a little something and was able to spend about 30 minutes on a small project. Back in the fall I used my black tarp technique to cover an existing bed and the results were great! The black tarp technique helps to kill off vegetation underneath it. It triggers seed germination, growth, then kills the plants off leaving a nearly weed free environment. I learned this technique after reading The Market Gardener (Amazon Aff Link) and it really works. It took me less than 30 minutes today to move the tarp to a new location in the garden, rake the dead weeds out, level the soil, and sow new seeds! It's really very simple. I didn't…

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2018 Nashville Lawn and Garden Show

Nashville Lawn and Garden Show Welcomes Brie Arthur as Featured Speaker Author of The Foodscape Revolution Will Speak on March 3 & 4 Nashville, TN – The 2018 Nashville Lawn and Garden Show welcomes nationally recognized author, PBS correspondent and gardening expert Brie Arthur as its featured speaker. This year’s Show is March 1-4 at The Fairgrounds Nashville. Arthur will present “Perennial Combinations in the Foodscape Revolution” on Saturday, March 3, at 1:00 p.m. and “Foodscape Revolution Simplified” on Sunday, March 4, at 12:30 p.m. Originally from southeastern Michigan, Brie Arthur studied Landscape Design and Horticulture at Purdue University.  She was a professional plant propagator at Plant Delights Nursery and Camellia Forest Nursery before transitioning her focus to Green Industry communications through writing, public speaking, film production and consulting. As a correspondent on the PBS television show Growing A Greener World, Arthur shares practical advice from her one-acre suburban foodscape encouraging…

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Starting Japanese Maple Seeds

While the weather outside resembles that of the arctic I spent a few minutes starting Japanese maple seeds. I had two varieties of tree that I saved seed from this fall, 'Sango Kaku' and 'Bloodgood' (Acer palmatum). Both types of Japanese maples are fairly common and can make good root stock for other, more unique Japanese maple varieties. One of these days I'll get around to doing some tree grafting but before I do I need some root stock maples. Starting Japanese Maple Seeds There are several good ways to start Japanese maple seeds so please note that what I do here is just one possible way. I began with a presoak to determine the best viable seeds. The way the seed soaking works is that the viable seeds tend to sink while the less viable ones float. Unfortunately I had a bunch of floaters. I had over 15 seeds…

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2018 Garden Projects List

I haven't made a list of gardening projects in a while. I think it's time to start getting organized and planning out my 2018 for some great things! Years ago I decided rather than post about resolutions that I would focus on projects I wanted to accomplish like building a shed, building raised beds, or other similar garden projects. My 2018 project list this time doesn't stick strictly to the garden. I have a some major goals that I'm looking forward to tackling! On to the 2018 Garden Projects List!  2018 Garden Projects List Transplant about 8 blueberry bushes to our new property. They are small blueberry bushes so it won't be that difficult. The challenge will be protecting them from deer and other animals while we aren't on the land. I will probably have to install some sort of fencing/screen structure. Right now I'm considering 4x4 fence posts with…

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Exploring Outdoors in Winter

When winter comes I really feel it and maybe you do too. I feel the feeling of melancholy that accompanies being stuck indoors for long stretches of time. There is a name for that feeling, Seasonal Affected Disorder. I'm certainly not a doctor but I can recognize when "SAD" is hitting me and the best cure for me is to get outside on a bright and sunny day. Yesterday I dragged the kids outdoors and headed out to explore nature. They were cooped up playing video games with little physical activity. They needed the outdoor time too! We drove over to the new property and hiked into areas we've never explored before. We looked for signs of nature, followed deer trails, and ran around a bit. As this week has been the coldest we've had all year the kids were very hesitant, but once there they enjoyed it! Getting Outdoors…

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Plants to Propagate in Winter

Winter is officially here! If you're reading this post you are probably thinking what I can do in the garden in winter? Well if you're a fan of plant propagation you should try some winter plant propagation! What plants you can propagate and at what time of the year largely depends on the type of wood you select for the cuttings. At this time of year we are looking at hardwood cuttings which can be taken from a number of different types of plants. Below is a list of a few plants to propagate in winter. Plants to Propagate in Winter Arborvitae Caryopteris Crape Myrtle Dogwood (Cornus) Forsythia Fruit Trees (Peaches, Plums, and many others) Grape Vines Roses Russian Sage (Perennial/sub-shrub) Viburnum Willow Yew This list is not extensive! In general try hardwood cuttings from deciduous plants in the winter. My thought is if you are intending to prune something,…

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