Friday, September 25, 2009

Add History to Your Garden

Have you ever wanted something unusual for your garden or something that would really get people's attention? How about adding a historical tree to your garden. Think how you would impress your garden visitors with a Red Bud tree from George Washington's River Farms or an Elvis Presley Southern Magnolia from Graceland. How many people can say that their Sycamore tree has been to the moon. How about having a seedling tree from the "Angel Live Oak" that is believed to be over 1,400 years old growing in your garden. Imagine a Japanese Cherry tree in full bloom in your garden that is an offspring from the cherry trees in Washington D.C. What could be more fun than spending time with your children or grandchildren planting a Johnny Appleseed apple tree in your garden. What a great way to connect our past, present and future by planting a historical tree.

American Forests Historic Tree Program provides tree seedling offspring from trees connected to famous people, places or historical events. The trees are grown from seeds, cuttings or buds from the original historical trees.

For more information on adding a historical tree to your garden, check out the Educational Gardening Links on Garden Thyme with the Creative Gardener for "American Forests Historic Tree Program".

Happy Gardening and make some history in your garden!

The Creative Gardener

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thank You!

I would like to say "Thank you" to the readers of my blog "Garden Thyme with the Creative Gardener". I am honored to have been voted into Blotanical's final five in the categories for "Best Landscaping Blog" and "Best Indiana Blog". I appreciate your support and again thank you very much!

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

Monday, September 21, 2009

From Something Old To Something New

This past winter my gazebo roof was damaged during a storm. I didn't want to replace it or send what was left of the gazebo to the landfill. I had just planted a flower bed around the gazebo and to replace it with a new gazebo would mean removing part of the garden. Since replacement parts were no longer available, I need to come up with a new plan for the remains of the gazebo. After removing what was left of the roof, I purchased treated 16 foot boards and created a special decorative cut on the ends of the boards. I then added slots to the boards to fit over the frame of the gazebo. Once the boards were placed on top they formed a new roof. Now I have a pergola. I planted wisteria vines on the corners of the pergola and by next summer I should have a nice new green roof with fragrant wisteria flowers.
Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - September 2009

" Autumn Joy" Sedum

This month I decided to join the fun of Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. The garden is starting to look "tired" and very dry due to lack of rain. Fall is here and by looking at my garden and the amount of leaves on the ground, it looks more like late October than September. Enjoy the garden pictures and check out Garden Blogger's Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens at


Rose of Sharon



And more Mums!

Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Latex Free Bamboo Gardening Gloves

The last couple of days I have not been gardening. My doctor said that I could not play in the dirt due to an allergy to my gardening gloves. I have an allergy to latex and my gardening gloves make my hands look terrible. The purpose of gloves are to protect my hands from splinters, thorns, dirt and all the other things that we gardener come in contact with in the garden. I have a vast collection of gloves, most of which make me itch, swell and make my hands look like dry prunes.

Latex is a natural rubber that comes from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. Many gardening gloves are coated with latex rubber. Since I garden professionally, my hands come in contact with this product regularly.

I just found a new type of gardening glove called "The ROC" by HandMaster. The glove provides UV protection, are antibacterial, anti-fungal, wicks moisture away from my hands and are breathable. They allow me to pick and weed out even the smallest of weeds. They are coated with Nitrile, which is a replacement for latex rubber, which does not cause allergic reactions. Nitrile gloves are being used by many nurses and doctors in the medical field who are allergic to latex. The gloves are also 100 % Bamboo which is a fast growing, sustainable resource that is environmentally friendly. The medication and the gloves are working and my hands are looking better than they have for a long time.

If you have allergies to latex, you might want to give Nitrile gloves a try in the garden.
Did you know - That if you are allergic to latex that studies are now showing a link to allergies of potatoes, kiwi, bananas, avocados, chestnuts, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

Do have have allergy problems in the garden? Share your story in the comment section.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hostas in Your Garden Design

Hostas have become my favorite perennial for the garden. They add long lasting flowers in shades of white to deep purple, many which are fragrant, from early spring to late fall. What I really like about hostas are the leaf color that they provide in the garden during the growing season. Hostas have been hybridized into many colors and leaf patterns offering the gardener a large selection of plants that can perform in the deep shade to sun. By mixing different colors of hostas together you can have a spectacular garden.
Hostas are easy to grow and they take about 5 to 6 years to reach maturity. Each year as they grow their color, patterns and flowering just continue to improve with age. When purchasing hostas for your garden always consider the size the plant will grow to when placing it in the garden. Plants range from dwarf to giant in size. Plants can be purchased in local nurseries or mail order. Hostas prefer enriched, moist soil that is well drained and and slightly lower than neutral pH. Hostas benefit from organic matter like compost, aged manure or leaf mold in the planting hole. Hostas are heavy feeders and respond well to fertilizing with 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 in the spring. Do not fertilize after August. Hostas prefer moist conditions and ideally 1 inch of water a week would be great but they are survivors and have been known to tolerate dry conditions. Many hosta growers like to mulch their hostas. Mulch does protect the plant during the winter, holds moisture in the soil, keeps weeds down and makes the hostas really look beautiful. Mulch can have it's problems like increasing slugs and disease to your hostas. Many hosta growers remove the dead leaves after the first frost and others allow the leaves to remain till spring cleanup. Hostas are propagated by division of the plant.

If you have not grown hostas or have lots of the old plain green hostas, add some of the newer cultivars of hosta to your garden. I think you will be happy with the results. Here are a few hosta design suggestions:
  • Mix the leaf colors in the garden. Leaf colors come in varied shades of green, blues, yellows, white and many mixed colors.
  • Allow the hosta to reach it's mature size and do not divide very often.
  • Select plants that have different bloom times for a long season of flowers.
  • Add some hostas with fragrance.
  • Add shorter hostas to the front of beds and the taller hostas to the back of the bed.
  • Hostas make great plants for containers. Try starting a trough garden of dwarf hostas.
  • Blue hostas will loose their blue color if they receive to much sun or rain. The blue color comes from a wax like coating on their leaves that can be removed by the elements leaving your hosta "green". Don't worry, the color will be back the next year.

Happy Gardening and don't forget to vote for all your favorite blogs for the Blotanical Awards!

The Creative Gardener

Have a topic that you would like to read about? Let me know in the comment section.

'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...