Showing posts from March, 2009

Flowering Quince for Spring Beauty

"Crimson and Gold"
This spring, I added two new Flowering Quince to the garden. Flowering Quince or Chaenomeles are very beautiful when they flower in the spring. Chaenomeles are available in red, pink or white. This is a shrub that can grow in any reasonable garden soil. They prefer full sun, but can tolerate shade. The average size they grow to is 3-5 feet tall and around 3 feet wide and if you plant several together they make an ideal hedge. Flowering Quince has a medium growth rate. If you have a deer problem, this plant is deer resistant. Flowering Quince produce fruit in the fall that will attract birds. This is one plant that can be very beautiful if allowed to grow to full size. Very little pruning is needed accept light hand pruning to enhance the shape. Chaenomeles can be propagated by cuttings, layering of shoots or by removing rooted suckers. Flowering Quince can be a beautiful addition to any spring garden landscape.
"Toyo Nishiki…

Garden Design Elements - Focal Points

One of my favorite parts of a garden are the "focal points". Focal points are garden objects that draw the eye and create a feature of attention in the garden. In an earlier blog on "Entry", I wrote on how entry shows where the garden or garden rooms begin or end. The focal points are those items that we discover as we enter the garden and journey through the garden. Focal points can be statuary, planted pots, a bench, urn, bird bath, fountain and much more. The key to focal points is not to over do it. You want people to notice your garden design, plants and your hard work - not the "stuff". Have you ever seen a garden that was full of garden statuary, gnomes, fairies, gazing balls, fountains, pink flamingos, and every type of wind driven plastic bird or bug that has ever been made? Your eye was drawn to all these objects at once that it became confusing and cluttered looking. You never saw the flowers, trees and shrubs that made up the garden. With foc…

Propagation Technique - Layering

Layering is an easy way to start new plants for the garden from old plants. There are several forms of layering and this one is very simple. Simple layering means to bend a branch to the ground and pin it down. Where the branch touches the ground, roots will slowly form. Then you can remove the new plant from the parent plant and replant it into the garden. The easy part of this form of layering is that the offspring remains attached to the parent plant as it roots and grows. The parent plant looks after the new forming plant rather than you. Plants that respond to this technique are Spirea, Rambler Rose, Forsythia, Kerria, Caryopteris, Lilac and many more.Start by removing the leaves where the branch touches the soil and cut a notch or split with a knife below a node. A node is a point on the stem at which a leaf or bud is attached. You can use rooting hormone if you wish. Pin the healthy branch to be propagated to the ground. I use a piece of a wire coat hanger that I cut and…

Indiana Flower and Patio Show

Today I went for my annual visit to the Indiana Flower and Patio Show. Every year I attend and wish that my gardens could look like these. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Life Returns to the Garden

I guess it is time to start gardening again. The days and nights are starting to warm and the garden is starting to show signs of life. It's about time!

Happy gardening and have a great garden this year! The Creative Gardener

Wisteria - Pros and Cons

The first time that I saw a Wisteria, I knew that I wanted one for my garden. A neighbor, had a Wisteria tree and when it was in full bloom it was the most beautiful tree that I had ever seen. Wisterias are vines that can live a long time and because of how sturdy they can become they can be grown as a standard or tree form. Most gardeners grow them as a vine, but beware they do need a very STRONG structure to climb on. They are hardy, vigorous growers that can grow to about 25 feet and can live a very long life. This is a plant that requires a committed gardener because you will be doing lots of pruning to keep it in bounds. Wisteria prefers full sun and moderately fertile moist soil that does not dry out excessively. They will adapt to most soils, but prefer neutral to slightly acid. Do not fertilize this plant with nitrogen unless you want to spend lots of time pruning.

Wisteria flowers are pea like and very fragrant. They come in white, pink, lilac-blue, bluish-purple or purple de…

Secrets of Growing From Seed

Starting plants from seed can be a learning experience. I have a large garden and a small garden budget that doesn't always allow me to buy all the perennials and annuals that my heart desires. I started growing from seed because it was cheaper and a way to increase my plant population in the garden. When I first started growing from seed, I was sometimes disappointed to have some of my seedlings die for reasons unknown. Several years ago, I started doing volunteer work in a greenhouse and learned some secrets for success. Now I find that growing from seed can be very rewarding. Here are a few "secrets" for starting plants from seed inside your home.
It all begins with the growing medium. Spend the money and buy sterile seed starting mix. The mix is light weight and airy for your seedling to grow in. Some seed starting mixes come with fertilizer and wetting agents in the mix. If you are using recycled pots or cell packs make sure they are clean and sanitized. First wash …

Bewitching Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel Flowers

Nothing marks the beginning of spring than the early blooming of Witch Hazel. In my zone 5 garden, the flowers are just beginning to show color. Their normal bloom time is February to March depending on the weather. If you have common Witch Hazel, the bloom time is October to November. Over the last two years, I have been planting many different varieties of shrubs to form the walls of my gardens. I look for shrubs that give interest all year round in the garden. That interest can be found in bark color, shape, texture, flowering and fall leaf color. Witch Hazel provides early and late flower color in the garden when other shrubs have not started or have ended. After a long winter, you really appreciate seeing those flowers form. Witch Hazel or Hamamelis can grow from 5 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 20 feet wide depending on the variety. It prefers moist, but well drained acid soils, but will tole…

Garden Design Elements - Entry

The entry to your garden is a visitor's first impression of what lies beyond in your garden. It is your invitation to others to come inside and visit. There are lots of ways to create entry. When you look at the picture of the arbor, you find yourself wanting to go through the arch to see what lies beyond. If you didn't notice, there isn't a garden built there yet. But your eyes were drawn to that area. That is what "entry" is about, drawing your garden visitor into the garden and then farther throughout the garden. Most entry areas begin at the front of your home. As a visitor approaches your home, the first thing you want them to find is your front door. A sidewalk draws the visitor to the entry. The entry area is planted with shrubs, tree, flowers or containers of plants. You may even have a "Welcome" mat at the door.
The entry to your garden can start the same way with a gate, door, piers, arbor, or an opening between shrubs. It could also be an open…