Posts

Showing posts from April, 2014

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Image
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 …

Winter Woes

Image
It was a tough winter for my garden and every day that something leafs out and shows signs of life, I consider myself lucky. My Weeping Cherry that was beautiful last year and full of bees, has only a few flowers this year.



I have walked the gardens and observed lots of winter cold damage. I never bury the canes of my climbing roses and this year I will need to cut them to the ground and start over. My Spireas have some new growth, but they will need to have a major pruning this year to clean out the dead. I have several Blue Atlas Cedars that are brown from the cold. It was a long cold winter and I can tell that I will have lots of gardening jobs ahead of me.

What do you do when you have winter cold damage to your plants? The best thing you can do is remember that there was not much that you could have done to protect your plants from such extreme temperatures. The cold temperatures were more than many plants could take. Give your trees and shrubs time to grow, then you can se…

Recycling Pallets for the Garden

Image
We have all seen pictures of old wood pallets being used in gardens. I have seen pallets turned into planters, benches, tool holders and composters, just to name a few. I will say that they are great to use, a wonderful way to recycle and save money. Building with pallets is very easy and it does not take a lot of skill. Just use your imagination and you can create many different items that can be used in and about the garden.

The compost bin in the picture (above) was made from two pallets that held house siding on them. We had some work done on our house last fall and all of the cement board was delivered and stacked on the pallets. Each pallet was 8 feet long. I used one pallet for the back and I cut the slats of the second pallet into 3 pieces with 2 pieces being the sides and the larger piece as a removal front. I used deck screws to attach the sides to the back pallet. The front piece is hinged and allows me to open and close the composter. All I needed in tools was a saw to cu…

Virginia Bluebells

Image
I was working in the garden when I spotted my Virginia Bluebells were breaking ground. Virginia Bluebells are one of my favorite perennial plants in the garden for spring bloom and after this winter, they are a welcome sight in the woodland garden. 


Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) grow in zones 3-9 and are native to the United States. They grow about 12-20 inches tall and will spread by self-sowing. The flowers start out in a pink color then slowly change to a beautiful blue. I have mine planted in the woodland garden where they are mixed in with ferns, Celandine Poppy, Hosta and daffodils.

They prefer a humus-rich soil that is well drained and is neutral to slightly acidic. Virginia Bluebells are "ephemerals" and will go dormant after spring blooming. When the bluebells are done blooming, the foliage will slowly turn yellow, drop and fan out on the ground. You do not need to clean up the leaves because the leaves will disappear quickly after they die back.

If yo…