Thursday, February 25, 2010

Growing Hostas From Seed - Update

One week - October 2009



In a earlier blog, I wrote about starting hosta plants from seed. Here is a update of the progress of the plants.


Two weeks




One month - November 2009




February 2010





February 2010






February 2010

I enjoyed growing the plants this winter. It helped make those cold winter days go faster and now I have several hundred new plants to grow in my garden this summer. Remember that hosta plants grown from seed will not look like their parents. That just makes growing hostas from seed fun and more interesting.

Happy Gardening!


The Creative Gardener

Don't forget to pick!



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mothers Nature's Garden Designers


I enjoy designing and planting my garden. Like most gardeners, I have this vision of what it will look like as it grows and matures over many years. I have learned that I may have a plan but so does Mother Nature! Mother Nature has this way of making the best made garden plans change.
Some years weather can be bad. Hail takes out the hosta beds and I have nice shredded leaves or leaves with holes in them for rest of the growing season. There are years it is dry and the plants show the lack of rain. Other years we have a lot of rain and the plants look great, including all the weeds. Bad weather can also bring out all the different disease problems in the garden.

There are years that the insects chew up plants leaving ragged leaves. I have found that having a pond helps keep most of my insects problems under control. The fish eat the mosquitoes and the toads that breed in the pond every year, keeps the slugs and other insects under control in the garden.

My favorites are the animals that live in my garden. The moles uproot my new plantings leaving them to die on top of the ground or they make nice tunnels underground that ruins my newly planted grass. Those cute little squirrels that roam in my garden may be cute, but sometimes they are pest. Every year I plant bulbs to find them dug up, with bites taken out of each of them. When I plant a new tree or shrub they always have to nibble on the bottom of the trunk or branches. I think that the squirrels sit in the trees just waiting for me to leave after I have just planted my new prized plant. Several years ago, I had a mother fox with three pups. I learned not to water my plants with fish emulsion. Every pot that had been watered with fish emulsion in my garden was dumped over. Mom and the pups shredded all my potted plants in search of a meal of fish that they never found. I never have trouble with mice or shrews due to a family of owls and the neighbor's pet cats. I am not even going to touch on the subject of pets in the garden! That is another story.

As a gardener, you figure that there is always next year for the garden. As much as I seem like I am complaining about the animals that live in my garden, I can't imagine my garden without them. The animals in my garden add the sights and sounds that make the garden a peaceful haven. They help make my garden what it is. I like to think that the moles aerate my soil making it better to grow in. My garden is on a property that is over 100 years old. The moles leave many treasurers of broken pottery, china and other lost valuables on top of the ground as they tunnel giving me a glimpse of the history of my property. I am always reminded of just how good squirrels are in gardening. Think of all the new trees that they plant across this great country, including the trees that you find growing in your houseplants that were outside during the summer.

Garden designing is fun and I enjoy watching my garden change from year to year. I may design the garden, but with the help of Mother Nature's garden designers it will be a pretty special garden!





Happy Gardening!


The Creative Gardener

Don't forget to pick!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Heavenly Scent of Hyacinths





Have you ever walked into a room that contained a pot of blooming hyacinths? What a heavenly smell! It is a smell you never forget and it always reminds you of spring. For many of us who live in cold climates, forcing hyacinths bulbs is a way to pass the winter and remind us that better weather and spring are just around the corner. Forcing hyacinths bulbs is easy. Take several bulbs and pot them up in a flower pot containing moist potting mix with fertilizer. Chill the bulbs at a temperature of 35 to 45 degrees for 13 to 15 weeks in your refrigerator. Check the bulbs during this period for moisture and the start of growth. Once the bulbs are showing growth, move them to a bright window in your home. Home temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees is perfect. Now just wait for the bulbs to continue to grow and produce those flowers that will fill your house with that sweet perfume.






Happy Gardening!




The Creative Gardener



Don't forget to pick!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Old Man Winter Brings Signs of Spring

Old Man Winter blew into Indiana again bringing lots of snow. It snowed all day yesterday, but today when the sun came out it was beautiful. It was time to take a walk in the garden to view the artistry of Mother Nature.































The best part of my garden walk was finding that my Witch Hazel shrubs were starting to show signs of blooming. Spring is on the way!



Happy Gardening!



The Creative Gardener



Don't forget to pick!



Monday, February 1, 2010

A Visit to Irwin Gardens

This is a beautiful garden to visit. It is called Irwin Gardens and it is located in Columbus, Indiana. It once was a private home that now is a Bed and Breakfast called The Inn at Irwin Gardens. The home was completed in 1864 with the gardens added in 1910. The gardens were designed from a garden in Pompeii, Italy. The entire property takes up one city block in Columbus.












































If you ever have a chance to visit Columbus, Irwin Gardens would be a wonderful place to see.



Happy Gardening!



The Creative Gardener
Don't forget to pick!








'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...