Archive for the ‘Landscape’ Category

A Gardener’s Tips for Reducing Environmental Stress on Transplants

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
This is the time of year I get interesting pleas for help from my friends. “Dee, my cucumber plants look like they are dying. What do you think I did wrong?” “Dee, there is something wrong with my pepper plant! I think I need to replant it. What do you think I should do?” “Dee, when you have a minute - can you look at my garden?” (more…)

How to Plant Annual Flowers

Friday, May 13th, 2011
I love digging in the dirt! It’s probably why I buy so many annuals every year- more digging! The one annual that I plant every year is the begonia. It always looks great from the road and provides the color I desire for that part of the landscape. We set out mid-morning to plant the begonias. I had gathered everything we needed to get started: flowers (begonias), trowels, mulch, root stimulator, water can, and gloves. I got started with all three girls helping but within minutes, two of them had disappeared. They had created a mud pile and began sculpting shapes out of the mud; I’m sure they thought it was much more fun than helping dear ole’ mom. Doesn’t she look proud in this picture! (more…)

Renovate Your Lawn by Aerating and Dethatching

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
I like to walk barefoot through the yard; lush green grass feels great on my toes. Since spring has sprung, we have not been able to work in the yard and give it the TLC it deserves. Large sections of the lawn are brown and I know that the grass is not receiving the nutrients it needs. Thankfully, we got a break in our schedule and devoted the entire day to sprucing up our fescue lawn. (more…)

10 Ideas for Gardening Volunteer Projects

Thursday, April 21st, 2011
This week, I received a call from my next door neighbor, Marilyn. She was at the grocery store and they had just unloaded a fine selection of Japanese maples (I find it amazing you can buy trees at almost any grocery store during spring). Marilyn called to get my “expert” opinion, “Can I plant this in my yard and where should I plant it?” Aren’t we all guilty of this type of impulse buy? (more…)

Improving Spring Bulb Blooms

Friday, April 8th, 2011
Last fall, my daughters and I carefully planted tulips, daffodils and hyacinth bulbs in our landscape beds. This week the bulbs announced their presence by coloring our dull yard with splendid color. A display of color that winter cannot provide. (more…)

Potato Planting Day

Friday, March 18th, 2011
My girls love French fries and ketchup! They would vote me mom of the year, if I let them eat French fries and ketchup every night for supper. The combination of the French fry and ketchup has to be one of the greatest tastes in America, although maybe not the healthiest. One purpose behind my gardening is to teach our daughters where their food comes from! Therefore, potatoes are a staple in our garden. (more…)

Potassium in the Soil

Friday, March 11th, 2011
I can’t get enough of our local garden show; thankfully I was able to spend two days taking it all in. The heart of the show are spectacular displays of full grown trees, shrubs, and flowers massed together in large architectural landscapes created by local garden and landscape businesses. There are educational booths, seminars and plenty of flowers, pots and garden items for purchase. (more…)

Phosphorus in the Soil

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
I just used my last garden onion and it’s March! I did a little dance and expressed gratitude to the onion for bringing flavor to our dinner. I have failed at winter preservation in the past. This year, I finally got it right. We have enjoyed onions all winter long without shopping the produce aisle at the grocery store. (more…)

Nitrogen in the Soil

Thursday, February 24th, 2011
The weather has been erratic lately. One day the girls are running through the yard in their flip flops and the next day they are wearing snow boots building a snowman. This weather has even triggered the tulips. They are starting to pop up out of the soil. I want to put little coats on them and tell them it’s not quiet time to display their splendor. I find it fascinating that when conditions are right, a seed or in this case a bulb, emerges from a dark wet place all on its very own. The laws of nature are amazing. Watching a plant emerge from a tiny seed into a plant is one of my favorite parts of gardening. (more…)

Cactus, Politics, and Fertilizer

Friday, February 18th, 2011
I attended the 2011 Fertilizer Marketing Business Meeting in Arizona last week. My home in the Midwest was covered in snow; the Arizona sun was a warm welcome change. I delighted in the opportunity to explore and investigate the local vegetation. I was most intrigued by the Saguaro Cactus. (more…)

An Outdoor Education

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
I am collaborating with teachers and staff at our elementary school in designing an outdoor classroom.  It has turned into a labor of love my daughter and me. She is excited about having gardens, compost piles and rain barrels at her school. I think I will recruit her to train the teachers that swear they kill every plant they touch. (more…)