Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Visit to the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show

I made my annual trip to the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show this past week. I really enjoyed the show and I found the gardens to be exceptional in design, color and ideas this year. Here are a few pictures of the show that I think you will enjoy.

This fountain was made of pieces of stained glass.

I love this table which was made with a tree stump and a piece of glass. The stump is upside down with the root system supporting the glass.

This was a really beautiful train garden!

A recycled pallet chair.

Lamps turned into a fountain.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures from the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show.

Happy Gardening!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Flowering Bridge

Recently, I had the opportunity to go down to Lake Lure, North Carolina for a few days of vacation. We had hoped to leave Indianapolis and go south for slightly warmer weather. Instead we arrived on one of the coldest days on record. Even as cold as it was, we still enjoyed ourselves and the beauty of the area with it's mountains.
While we were there, we took a walk across the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. The gardens were down for the year, but as a gardener it was easy to identify what plants were planted there. The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is a really cleaver idea. The bridge was built in 1925, but after years of service it was closed in 2011. A group was formed called the "Friends of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge" and they created a garden on top of the old bridge for the public to enjoy. The garden was made by building raised beds along the length of the 155 foot bridge and planting with shrubs, trees, annuals and perennials.
All of the gardens on the bridge are maintained by volunteers. They have done a wonderful job in reusing a historical bridge, creating something beautiful and making a wonderful garden to visit and enjoy. If you ever go to North Carolina, stop in and smell the flowers on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge.
Happy Gardening!
If you would like to learn more about the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge go to

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It's a Sweet Shrub - Carolina allspice

About seven years ago, I planted two Carolina allspice shrubs in my garden. I had seen this shrub in another garden and really liked the unusual looking flowers that appeared in summer. Carolina allspice or Calycanthus floridus is a deciduous shrub that grows about 6 to 9 feet tall and  wide. It grows in zones 4 to 9 and it produces beautiful purple-red flowers that smell very fragrant and spicy. The blooms appear from April to July. The shrub has dark green leaves that are slightly rough to the touch.
Calycanthus or Carolina allspice is a Southeastern United States native shrub that prefers a sunny location in the garden but can tolerate part shade. It is a low maintenance plant that can survive in clay soil, has no serious insect or disease issues and the deer will leave it alone. It makes a great specimen plant around patio or entrance doors, due to the wonderful fragrant smell of the flowers that smell like a combination of pineapple, strawberry or banana. This shrub also goes by several different common names such as sweet bubby, sweet Betsy, spicebush, strawberry-bush and sweetshrub. What do I think about this shrub? It's a sweet shrub for the garden!

Happy Gardening!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Growing Bearded Iris in the Garden

One of my favorite spring blooming plants is the Bearded Iris. It is easy to grow and produces lots of beautiful flowers to enjoy. The iris has a thick fleshy root called a "rhizome". When you purchase an iris, it will be planted in a container and growing or you can purchase it in a plastic bag where you have just the rhizome. The rhizome will be clipped of roots, leaves and has been cleaned. If you purchase it in a bag, feel the rhizome to make sure that it is not soft or dried out. Once you have your iris rhizome, plant it in well drained soil and in a sunny spot in your garden. If you prepare your garden bed for planting iris, make sure that the soil has been turned to a depth of 10 inches and prepare the bed several weeks ahead of planting. When you plant your rhizome, plant it close to the soil surface and if you are planting multiple rhizomes allow at least a foot in between each one. Bone meal and a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen works great for iris.
When your iris blooms, you will have flowers that are 6 to 8 inches in size and that are wonderful for cutting and enjoying inside the home. The flowers come in many colors from orange, purple, yellow, blue, black, white, red and all kinds of mixed colors. They bloom in late spring to early summer in zones 3-9 with the average height of 12 to 14 inches.
In about 2 to 3 years you may need to divide your rhizomes which should be done about 1 to 2 months after blooming. When you divide your iris, remove dead areas and replant the fresh hard rhizomes. Always look for insect damage to the rhizome and treat if necessary. 
If you grow beardless iris, Siberian or Japanese iris, they will have slightly different cultural needs than the bearded iris. What the difference? Check back on future post and you can find out more on growing iris in the garden.
Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fothergilla for the Garden

This Dwarf Fothergilla or Fothergilla gardenia stays small in size for the garden.
Here is a shrub that I added to my garden several years ago. It was small when I planted it, but over the years it has grown and this past year bloomed. Dwarf Fothergilla or Fothergilla gardenia is a small round shrub that is slow growing to about 3 to 4 feet tall with a slightly wider spread than height. It is easy to care for and the only pruning you will need to do will be to remove damaged or dead limbs. It blooms in April with these very fragrant, unusual looking flowers. After it blooms the leaves stay green until they turn to beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red.

Fothergilla can grow in sun or partial shade. It grows in zones 5-9 and is deer resistant. It is a North America native and is related to the Witch Hazel family. It does require weekly watering if in dry conditions. It is a deciduous shrub that was named after John Fothergill, an English physician. There are lots of different varieties of Fothergilla in the nursery trade that range in many different sizes for the garden. It is a plant worth taking a look at for the seasonal interest that it can give your garden.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

25 Christmas Gifts for the Gardener

It's that time of the season when you are trying to complete your Christmas shopping.You have ran around to the stores and scanned the Internet looking for that "just right" gift for that special person. If you are still looking and scratching your head, here are 25 suggestions for Christmas gift giving if that special person is a gardener.
  1. Garden gloves
  2. Garden tools like shovels and rakes
  3. Gardening apron
  4. Bypass pruners
  5. Subscription to a gardening magazine
  6. Bird feeders
  7. Gift certificate to a local nursery or online nursery
  8. Worm composter
  9. Pond kit for the garden with liner and pump
  10. Garden design program for the computer
  11. Bird bath
  12. Bird bath heater for cold climate areas
  13. Gardening Christmas tree ornament
  14. Live succulent wreath
  15. Fairy Garden kit with container, soil, plants and accessories
  16. Files and sharpeners for sharpening garden tools
  17. Basket of assorted plant fertilizers or compost teas
  18. Live planter of assorted plants
  19. Amaryllis or other spring bulbs to grow during the winter
  20. Assorted bird seeds and suet
  21. Gardening books on pruning, design or insect and disease control
  22. Small table top fountain or garden fountain
  23. Garden statuary
  24. Garden trug, basket or wheel barrel
  25. Tool belt or cart to transport garden tools while working in the garden.
I hope this list of 25 suggestions, helps to complete that shopping list before Christmas!
Happy Gardening and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting Creative with Containers

If you like creative container gardens, today I have put together some very interesting examples. Hope you enjoy the photos!


Happy Gardening!