Saturday, May 19, 2018

'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beautiful leaf color and I could see it growing in my yard. It continues to grow and get bigger in the garden and one day I hope to see it flower. I had it growing in a previous garden and when we moved, I dug it up and moved it which slowed it down in growth. It will eventually grow to 10 to 12 feet in width and height. It has been happy in its new home and has grown to about 6 feet and that leaf color just glows in the garden.

This tree makes a wonderful focal point in a garden or it can be planted in a mixed border. It is deciduous and blooms in the spring with small white flowers. This is a zone 3-8 tree that prefers moist, acidic, well drained soil and filtered light. It has a beautiful branching habit that looks great in the garden and it is also deer resistant, which in my mountain home, that is a plus!

Happy Gardening!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Gardening Storage Shelf from a Pallet

Here is a project that I made several years ago for my storage shed. I took an old pallet and created a storage shelf that I hung on the inside of my shed. The storage shelf has shelves to store pots and chemicals, hooks to hang tools and hats on and a small storage drawer for smaller items.

The nice thing about this project was that I didn't need to do much construction to build it. I removed several boards from one side of the pallet and those pieces were recycled into shelves and drawers.
Easy to make and great storage!

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fairy Houses from Recycled Terracotta Flower Pots

Here is an easy project to make for your garden. I had been looking for fairy houses for my miniature garden. Most were the wrong size, expensive, would not hold up long or not what I was looking for. After doing some research on the Internet on flower pot fairy houses, I did not find much available in ideas.

The small room attached to the side of the house was a broken flower pot turned upside down with another small pot glued on top. I  drilled a hole into both pots and added a long bolt and nut to secure the pieces together. Use a masonry drill bit for drilling into the pots.
These fairy houses were made by recycling old terracotta flower pots. I used broken flower pot rims for the porch roof of the houses. The doors were purchased online from a hobby store for a great price, saving painting time. I used small plastic plants for the vines on the houses along with rocks, sticks, moss and other found objects.

I found old orchid pots were nice to use because of the slots on the side of the pots that become instant windows for the fairy house. Roofing materials for two of the houses was used coco liner for hanging baskets and moss for the other house. Make sure you use heavy duty outdoor construction glue to keep all pieces together and lots of imagination!

Hope you enjoy these creations. They were easy to do!
Happy Gardening!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Drip Irrigation for the Garden

Rain Bird Expansion Kit
The last two years were hard on my garden. We did not get much rain and I spent lots of time pulling garden hoses around the garden. This past winter was mild in my Zone 7 garden and a great time to install drip irrigation. It was a very easy project to do and like most things, after I installed it we started getting regular rain. It was still a good decision and I know I will still get plenty of use out of the system.

I installed a Rain Bird system. It runs from the house and down the hill winding around in two rose gardens and a perennial bed. The total system ran me about $175.00 to install and I still have extra lines and parts to install into other planting areas in the future. I purchased my system online with 250 feet of 1/2 inch tubing and two expansion kits. The expansion kits included 250 feet of 1/4 tubing, faucet adapters, tees, assorted sizes in emitters, tubing stakes, bug guards and a installation tool.

The containers comes with lots of parts for installation and repair and all organized in a nice bucket.

Rain Bird 1/4 tubing stakes with bug guards.

The main line is attached to my faucet. I could add a timer in the future.

After I ran the 1/2 inch line around in the garden, I then started adding 1/4 lines from the main line. I have not covered my lines with mulch for this year, but I will next year. I just want to be able to monitor the system for any possible leaks.

You can see in the photo the main line and the 1/4 inch line running to each rose bush.

The blue piece is an emitter that regulates the amount of water each plant will receive.

At the end of the 1/4 line is a stake that keeps the bug guard up off the ground. The bug guard is on the very tip where the water will drip out.

I really like the system and it waters a very large part of my garden. The nice part about it is that I do not waste water on parts of the ground where I do not have plants growing. The water goes where it is needed and I can save money that way.

Happy Gardening,


Friday, May 12, 2017

The New Greenhouse

One of my new projects for the garden was the construction of a greenhouse. Due to living on a mountain, my gardens has very limited level areas. I decided that I wanted a much smaller greenhouse than the 11 x 15 foot heated greenhouse that I once had. I needed a greenhouse for potting, starting seeds and propagation. The new greenhouse is only 6 x 8 and not heated but it will work for me.

I built the greenhouse on the ground and graveled the floor. It sits next to my storage shed and doesn't get lots of sun which is what I wanted. I can control my temperatures much better. I still want to add a potting table and additional shelving.

The greenhouse is a Palram greenhouse. It was easy to build and the instructions were easy to follow. I built it by myself over a three day period. It took around a total of 8 hours for one person to build.
It has an aluminum frame with advanced 4 mm twin polycarbonate roof that reduces solar UV by 99.9%. It came with a 5 year warranty, rain gutters and a magnetic locking door. The side walls are clear and allow for 90% light transmission. The roof does come with a vent that can be opened and closed.

When it arrive by UPS it came in two boxes. One box contained all the frame pieces, screws, nuts and bolts and the other box contained all of the polycarbonate wall and roofing materials.

I am very happy with my new greenhouse. The price was good and it serves my current needs in a greenhouse. If you decide to purchase a greenhouse, always do your homework and purchase a bigger greenhouse than what you need. This is my third greenhouse that I have purchased over 25 years. Always consider the price of electrical work, heating and cooling expenses, construction and greenhouse equipment when purchasing.

Happy Gardening!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Spring in the Garden - 2017

This year is starting out to be a great year. After last years drought, we are finally getting rain and the garden is growing very well. I couldn't be more pleased. I thought I would bring you up to date on how the garden has changed in one year and the progress I have been making. In the upper picture you can see that I have added a walkway down to a new area which is the new rose garden. I had to remove lots of mountain laurel to open this area up. Off to the right and behind the shed is a small secret garden.
You can see the new shed that was added last year and a tree rose that is now in bloom.

The pathways were all graveled  including the new path that leads from the back of the house, up the hill and to the front of the house.

I currently have two rose gardens and both had drip irrigation added during the winter. The roses are starting to show lots of blooms.

This is the new perennial cutting garden and this year it is growing very well.

I have added lots of daylilies to the hill above the new retaining wall. I should have lots of color from daylilies this year with the addition of many new plants.

I added the new split rail fence to the garden that divides the perennial bed from the new rose garden. I have climbing roses planted on the fence.

This photo shows the lower new rose garden all planted with the butterfly bench for seating.

I added a cold frame and a small greenhouse for plant propagation. I still need to gravel the greenhouse floor and add shelving. Hopefully this weeks project.

This is a new area that I opened up and part of it is a woodland shade garden and Japanese garden.

I moved many of my mini hostas to containers due to deer and the dry conditions. They seem to be growing better in the container than the ground.

This is the new train garden. I have the plantings done but I still need to add the track. The round plastic area is the layout for the track during the planting process. The black tunnel will be covered with cement and will look like a small mountain tunnel for the train.

The fish pond is up and running with new plantings of elephant ears. The koi had been busy destroying the planting as fast as I add them. Still working on that problem.

It is hard to tell from this picture, but my garden sits down below the house on a hill and it looks out to a beautiful mountain view of Rumbling Bald Mountain.

Looks like 2017 is going to be a good year in my garden if the rain continues. If not, I have drip irrigation to fall back on. I have had a busy winter in the garden and I am happy the garden is starting to grow and produce. I hope you have a great summer in your garden!

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lychnis flos-cuculi 'Petite Jenny'

Last year I received a new plant for the garden called  'Petite Jenny'. Lychnis flos-cuculi 'Petite Jenny' is an early bloomer with masses of pink flowers. This past year we were in drought and the plant did not bloom and I was hoping it would just survive the lack of rain. Now that we are into spring the rain has been good and 'Petite Jenny' really put on a show of blooms and continues to bloom. 

'Petite Jenny' is a double-flowered dwarf of  'Jenny' which is an introduction from Blooms of Bressingham. The flowers are sterile and are a lavender-pink color on tall stems. It started blooming in my mountain garden in April and has been beautiful. The flowers grow on stems that are from 14 to 18 inches tall. 'Petite Jenny' prefers sun to part shade and in my garden she is in full sun. She  grows in zones 5-7. 'Petite Jenny' should bloom into fall and I look forward to having her bloom that long in my garden.

The last two years have been drought and finally we are getting lots of rain and the garden is really coming into bloom. I spent the winter installing drip irrigation for the garden and now we get rain. Not complaining! The year is not over yet!

Happy Gardening!

'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...