Posts Tagged ‘Landscape’

Learning Garden 9: Rain Barrels

Monday, June 18th, 2012
The day after installing rain barrels at the school, it rained! It was a thrill to turn the faucet and see the water flow out. A rain barrel is nothing more than a container that collects rainwater from rooftops. This low-cost conservation technique saves water and decreases storm water runoff. (more…)

What the Plant Hardiness Zone Map Can Tell You

Friday, February 10th, 2012
My daughter wanted to plant a banana tree in our backyard. She’s brilliant; think of the money I would save! (Her eagerness to plant everything she likes to eat makes me giggle!) I would love to send my three monkeys out to the backyard to pick their own bananas. Those of you living in zones 8-11, I envy you. You CAN plant and grow a banana tree in your backyard. I live in zone 6; we cannot plant tropics, like the banana tree, it’s too cold. (more…)

Caring for your trees requires water, fertilizer, and pruning

Thursday, July 14th, 2011
While searching for the perfect tree to plant in our front yard, I asked the garden center owner, “When is the right time to plant a tree?” He responded, with years of experience and wisdom, “Ten years ago.”  He is exactly right! I love a home landscape with large, established deciduous trees. I might even be classified as a tree hugger; I bet I could even convince my three girls that it is fun to hug trees.  Trees have such a presence, adding value and beauty to the home. However, this is delayed gratification; as you know, it takes years for trees to mature to full size. (more…)

Sustainable agriculture is key to feeding a growing (and hungry) population

Monday, July 11th, 2011
Whew, nothing like 12 hours in a minivan to bring out the best in a family. We drove from Wichita to San Antonio for our much-needed summer vacation. The girls have been dreaming of petting dolphins and meeting a killer whale named Shamu. Sea World was our vacation destination and the most economical way of getting there was driving. I like driving, although less than 12 hours is more desirable. (more…)

Plant, grow and learn! Getting your hands dirty to teach kids about soil nutrients

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
Planning a youth garden camp takes time, creativity and a lot of help! I have led this particular youth camp for several years now and strive to make each one hands-on, educational and fun. This year we had 70 campers whose ages ranged from 5-15. Fortunately, I had 18 extension master gardeners, whose ages I will not mention, volunteer to help.   The campers were all part of a 4-H program at the Air Force Base. They arrived at the extension office in color coordinated shirts and were eager to get their hands dirty… well most of them. (more…)

Garden Inspiration: A Poem

Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Wow, that was fast! Spring came and went, and we are in the midst of summer. School is out and so is our routine! We run from one event to another; home long enough to pull a few weeds and water. When I get a breath, I assess how the garden is growing . . . (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…)

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…)

Spring Dreams

Friday, January 7th, 2011
Yeah, they have arrived!! Seed catalogs have replaced Christmas cards in my mail box. I watch for their arrival each winter. They have me thinking spring! Spring is my favorite season and even though it’s nearly three months away, I like to think that it’s just around the corner. (more…)

Many Hands Make Light Work!

Monday, May 3rd, 2010
(Feedreaders: Click through to watch the video) In front of our school, there is a large sign with an overgrown, weedy landscape bed. Everyone talked of this eyesore, but no one took action to get the mess under control (including me). UNTIL, a local Boy Scout needed an Eagle Scout project. We jumped at the opportunity to have youthful manpower redesign and improve the bed. Approximately ten boys and two leaders worked an entire day and made a dramatic improvement. (more…)