Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mother Robin and Her Family

May 25, 2009
Moving your houseplants outside for the summer has always been a tradition with many gardeners. This mother Robin decided to take advantage of building her nest in a potted Weeping Fig tree (Ficus Benjamina) on the porch. She built the nest about 4 feet up from the ground in the tree giving us a birds eye view of her new family of four.


May 25, 2009
May 25, 2009


May 30, 2009




May 30, 2009


Check back for future photos of mom and the kids.
Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Monday, May 25, 2009

It Just Gets Better and Better!

Each year my garden just gets better and better. This year it has really started to show what years of work and dedication can do. I like to think of my garden like a child - you love it, nurture it and watch it grow and bloom into something very special. My garden is the result of recycling brick, rock, plants and any other items I can get my hands on. Many of the plants are end of the year deals, starts from friends and family, plants started from seed or plants that were being discarded by people that needed a little TLC. The gardens, which I call "Sycamore Gardens", are one to eight years old and 1 1/2 acres in size. The gardens do have some unique problems like spring floods that cover half of the gardens in water for a week and lots of wildlife that damage plants. This time of the year the gardens become full of mosquitoes due to standing flood water in the woods next to our property making gardening - not much fun!


Japanese garden with Bamboo just starting to leaf out.

Rondell Garden with new arbors that have climbing Iceberg Roses planted on them. This garden will be a white garden as the plant grow, mature and flower. This garden is planted with four "My Monet" Weigela, eight Limelight Hydrangea, four climbing Iceberg Roses and four "Little Henry" Sweetspire and four apple trees.




Hydrangea Garden with over 20 different Hydrangeas and assorted Hostas.
I feel bad that I have not been able to keep up with my garden writing as much as I would like. I garden for other people and I am very busy taking care of many different gardens right now. What time I have left is spent trying to keep up with my own garden which is full of weeds due to lots of rain this spring. Garden writing had become my activity on days when it rains. I hope everyone is having a great growing season.
Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener










The Many Colors of Weigela


One shrub that has become the backbone to my garden is Weigela. I planted my first one eight years ago as a 1 gallon size and it has grown into a beautiful shrub in the garden. Not only does it have wonderful flowers in the spring but interesting leaf color during rest of the year. As the years have passed, I have added more the twenty Weigela shrubs of different leaf color and bloom color into the gardens. This year they were just spectacular. Weigela is an Asiatic plant sometimes listed and formerly known as Diervilla. It grows in any reasonable garden soil in sun to part shade. Weigela grows six to seven feet tall and needs space for it's arching stems. The flowers appear in May and June. Flowers range from light pink to a dark ruby color with leaves being green, variegated green and white, dark chocolate color and lemony yellow. I use the leaves of the shrubs to add color to my mixed perennial beds. The growth rate for this shrub is medium to slow depending on the variety. There have been many new introduction of this plant that are much smaller than the older varieties of Weigela. I just added four "My Monet" Weigelas to the garden last year that will grow only 12 to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Weigela can be propagated by cuttings in autumn. This is also a shrub that is attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds and it is hardy to zone 4. Give this shrub a try in your garden this year.







Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Colorful Gerber Daisies



If you want a plant that looks great in the garden, in a container or a basket, try a Gerber Daisy. Gerber Daisies or Gerbera jamesonii are native to South Africa. Their flowers come in pink, white, yellow, orange and red and are 2 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter on a stem that is about 12 to 18 inches. Gerber Daisies can grow to 12 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 18 inches tall. This plant can be propagated from seed. They need well drained loam or sandy soil and full sun. Gerbera prefer to have moist soil but if they receive to much water they can get crown rot and die. They grow in zones 9-10 and are treated as annuals in other zones. They are repeat bloomers and adding fertilizer during the growing season will keep the flowers coming on. They bloom from mid spring to fall and after the growing seasons ends in your zone they can be moved indoors. Indoors they prefer temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees when flowering. Place your plants in a brightly lit spot with some direct sun. Mist the plant daily, keeping the soil moist at all times.
Outdoor Decorating Tip: Add several different colored potted Gerber Daisies to a basket or deep blue ceramic pot for the center of your outdoor dining table where you can enjoy the flowers.


Happy Gardening!


The Creative Gardener

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pink Flamingos?

Several mornings ago, I awoke to my husband asking me if I had added plastic pink Flamingos to my garden. Being only half awake, my answer was "What pink Flamingos?" Getting out of bed, I went to the window to see what my husband was talking about. From my second floor bedroom window, I can see the entire garden. To my surprise, I had pink Flamingos throughout the garden. Putting on my bathrobe, I went out with the camera to take a photo of my new garden decorations. I wasn't sure who was playing the trick on me until I looked at the photo I had taken. A sunbeam came directly down on one of the pink Flamingos. Now I was really curious where the pink Flamingos really came from. After walking the garden, I found that I had a total of five plastic Flamingos hidden in the garden. As the day went on, I found that my oldest son had been out the night before putting the Flamingos in my garden as a joke. I now have added the Flamingos in an outlet at the river's edge. We call it "Flamingo Cove" for all the boaters on the river to enjoy.


Happy Gardening!


The Creative Gardener

'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...