Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flocks of Phlox

It is that time of year when the phlox start to bloom in the garden. This year, they are putting on a really good show of color. Phlox or Phlox paniculata are easy to grow and they are a favorite with butterflies and bees. They come in a wide assortment of colors like white, pink, orange, blue, red, purple and mauve. Some phlox will have a contrasting eye color and variegated blooms. Phlox are easy to grow and will provide blooms in the garden from summer to fall. To keep your phlox blooming, remove spent flowers as they start to fade.

Phlox is a perennial plant that grows from 16 to 36 inches tall, spread rapidly and look great in a mass planting. Always keep taller varieties to the back of the bed and shorter varieties to the front. Phlox prefer full sunlight with some protection from winds. They prefer well-drained soil. Add plant food in the spring and some mulch made from compost or aged manure to keep your plants happy.

One problem with phlox is that they can get powdery mildew. If you have this problem, spray with a fungicide.

Propagation of phlox is by division and best done in the fall. After your phlox have completed blooming in the fall, clean them up for winter by cutting them back.

This white phlox has a contrasting eye color of pink.

If you do not have phlox in your garden, give them a try. They add lots of color to the garden and they will attract bees and butterflies to your garden. If I didn't mention, phlox can make a good cut flower to enjoy in a bouquet inside your home. They have a wonderful fragrance.

Happy Gardening!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Echinacea for the Garden

It has been a very busy year! Between a bathroom remodel, garden redesign and endless weeding of the gardens (due to lots of rain), I have been working on lots of projects. Time flies when you are having fun! I just went outside and started weeding a garden when it started to rain. Rain was not in the forecast for today. Since everything is wet, I decided to write a blog post and allow the garden to dry before starting to weed again. My post for today is on Echinacea or coneflowers, which is an old garden favorite for many of us and a plant that is looking great in my garden this year.

Coneflowers produce very pretty flowers that bloom for a long period of time in the garden. It is a plant that is hardy, drought resistant and now comes in many different colors like pink, yellow, peach, and white to name a few. Coneflowers grow to about 39 inches tall and look wonderful when planted in a mass planting. Blooming is from mid-summer into fall.

Coneflowers prefer full sun and should be sheltered from strong winds to protect their flowers. They prefer well-drained, rich soil to grow in. Propagation is by division of the plant or from seed. These plants are great for borders, cut flowers and the birds love the seed heads in the fall.

Small birds enjoy feeding on the seed heads of Echinacea.

One of the many new colors of Echinacea.

A new variety of Echinacea
If you do not have coneflowers in your garden, you may want to grow a few. I hope everyone is having a great year in the garden and ........ Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Creative Fairy Garden Ideas

If you like Fairy Gardens, here are some very creative gardens for you to see. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed all these cute little Fairy Gardens and don't forget to "Like" Garden Thyme with the Creative Gardener.

Happy Gardening!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Creating Fairy Gardens or Miniature Gardens

Creating fairy gardens or miniature gardens can be a fun project. This is a project that you can do by yourself or it can be a great way to spend time with children. If you live in an apartment or have a home that does not have space for a garden, miniature gardening may be what you are looking for. It allows you to play in the dirt, get creative and design a miniature landscape. I will admit, that miniature gardens are far easier to maintain than a full size garden. Miniature gardens can be made in containers or they can be installed directly into the ground. I have both, but I am finding that I prefer containers more. Here are a couple of new gardens that I have made.

The garden above is in a small dish that sits inside an arbor planter that I found at a garage sale for $1.00.  I painted the arbor and found a small container that would serve as the planting area. I added two miniature hostas and a Japanese Maple seedling as the tree. I added some rock for a patio with some moss for the grass. Then I added a table with two chairs. Do you see the tiny coffee cups and the geranium sitting on the table?

The second garden that I made was made from a round wood cheese container. I used a deep saucer that fit into the wood container and planted it with miniature hostas, a Japanese Maple seedling, moss and a little ground cover that produces tiny blue flowers.

I added some small pieces of rock for stepping stones, a gazebo, two chairs and a little birdhouse. Both projects were easy to do and completed in about 30 minutes.

My plan for these two gardens will be placing them in a children's garden that I am working on, but first they will be going to the State Master Gardener Conference here in Indiana for part of a display on "Fairy Gardens".

Happy Gardening!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Recycled Pallet Projects for the Garden

Old wood pallets can become something useful when you use your imagination. Recently, I created four different pieces made from old pallets that were going to be destroyed, recycled or were heading for the landfill. These projects were easy to make, required very little skill or equipment. The top picture is a garden tool and equipment holder that will hang on the wall. I can hang my tools, have shelf space and a small storage box for all my garden items. I can hang the pallet outside or inside. This piece will hang inside my greenhouse. I could have painted or stained the piece, but I left it in it's natural wood color.

This piece is a pallet that has several layers of weed barrier stapled to the back and the bottom. The pallet is stuffed with soil, planted and watered. Do not plant herbs or other plants that you will eat in a pallet. You do not always know what was shipped on that pallet and what chemicals could be in the wood.

This three level garden was created from two pallets. There is a small planting area on the top and in the middle that can hold potted plants. The bottom area is a larger planting area that can be filled with soil and planted with lots of plants.

This last photo is a compost center made from two pallets. One area holds my compost tumbler and tools and the other area is a holding area for yard waste that will need to go into the tumbler.

All these projects were easy to make and are now items that I can use in the garden for storage, planting and composting. The next time you receive a pallet, look at it, use your imagination and create something special for the garden.

Happy Gardening!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Celandine Poppy

Years ago, I visited a friend's woodland garden. She had a beautiful patch of these yellow blooming flowers that were very pretty. I never forgot those flowers. Several years ago I was given my first Celandine Poppy and over time that one little plant has provided me with plenty of new plants in my woodland garden.

Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) grows in zones 4-8 and it is a native to the United States. It grows from 18 to 24 inches tall and blooms in the spring. The color of the foliage and flowers look great with ferns and other woodland beauties. Celandine Poppy is easy to recognize by it's oak-like shaped leaf. It prefers to grow in part shade in moist soil that is humus rich. Celandine Poppy blooms and makes fuzzy little seedpods that will be filled with seed. It will self sow and over several years you will have a beautiful patch of Celandine Poppy just like my friend had in her garden.

Happy Gardening!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

One of my favorite little spring flowers is Bloodroot or (Sanquinaria canadensis). It comes up early in my woodland garden with beautiful white flowers that just shine in the sunlight. Bloodroot grows from a thick reddish-brown rhizome. If this rhizome is broken or damaged it secretes a red liquid. Now you know how the plant got it's name "Bloodroot".

Bloodroot grows when the temperatures are cool in the garden, then it goes dormant until next spring. The plant grows in moist soil that is well drained and it prefers dabbled shade. It will spread in your garden by rhizomes or by seed. I started out with one small plant and between seeding and spreading, I now have lots of it growing in my woodland garden. You can propagate this plant by seed or division. If you are learning to identify native wildflowers, this one is easy to identify because of the unusual shaped leaf.
There is a double-flowered  Bloodroot that is in the nursery trade that is spectacular. I plan to add that one to my garden in the future. If you are looking for the double flowered Bloodroot look for Sanquinaria canadensis 'Multiplex'. 
Have a great spring and "Happy Gardening"!