Monday, July 23, 2018

It's Currant Picking Time

I planted a Black Currant bush three years ago and it is amazing how well it is doing.


The bush is about 6 feet wide and 5 feet tall and covered in dark purple berries. Picking them can be a chore. Sometimes I can pull the whole string of berries off, but other times the individual berries come off in my hand and I have to be careful not to drop them. That's annoying! Having a bucket underneath is a good idea, too.


Once I get them all picked off the bush, I pull the berries from the stems and wash them with cold water, then place them all on papers towels to dry. I get rid of any small red or green berries that might have ended up in the bowl.


Look how nice and plump they are!  This years crop is going immediately into the freezer so I can figure out what I am going to make with them.  I measure them out, two cups in each bag, so I remember how much was harvested. Almost 13 cups this season!




Monday, July 9, 2018

The Mexican Sunflower


So I picked up a 6 pack of these annuals at the Friends Plant Sale and thought I'd give them a shot. I needed something tall to put in the garden to help transition fading summer plants into blooming fall plants.

I think I am in love. Such a great bright orange color that really makes a statement, and definitely tall. This plant is 4 feet at least! Mexican Sunflower is an annual in Minnesota and loves full sun. Best of all is that Monarch butterflies LOVE it!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Can Pansies Survive the Summer?



Why yes, you CAN grow pansies to survive summer! The key is planting them in the right spot.


It's hard waiting for Spring to come, especially when winter lasts into May like this year, so you can get Pansies in the ground. Pansies are techinally cool weather plants and thrive in the Spring. I love them because they are the first colors you can get in your garden as annuals, and they can survive late frosts.


If you want to keep them all summer long, plant them in a location that gets morning sun. If you plant them where they will be exposed to afternoon sun, you'll lose them by late June. Mine stop getting sun by Noon and then are shaded by the house the rest of the day.


These are some of the pansy faces I planted this year, and they ware still going strong. I plant them in front of my coneflower garden so that by the time the coneflowers are in full bloom by late summer, the pansies start to take back stage, and then I pull them out by late August. Of course, keep them watered in the very hot days of summer and fertilized, and you'll have happy pansies all summer long.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Not What I Was Expecting

Over Mother's Day weekend I attended the Friends Plant Sale, an annual event I have attended for about 8 years. Every year the plants do well that I have purchased, but this year I received a little surprise.

I love planting a long border of dwarf Zinnias in one of my gardens each year, all the same color (my favorite color is Raspberry).  It's a dramatic look by August. So this year I bought a flat of Raspberry Zinnias and planted them like normal.

Here's what I got when they started blooming:

Hey there Yellow, wasn't expecting you!

White with some Raspberry is certainly different

Out of 40 plants I got 10 Raspberry
So, since they are all planted, not much I can do now! So guess I'll roll with it and see how this diverse color border looks in a few months.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Late Spring Makes for Late Blooms


With this crazy spring all my garden bulbs are blooming a month late, a first for my garden. While usually my daffodils are the first to come up, tulips beat them by a week.


These Glory of the Snow tiny flowers are naturalizing very nice with more coming up each year. They don't last long so enjoy them while they last!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Clematis in Bloom

This year is looking good for my 2 year old clematis.  The blooms are a gorgeous deep purple and huge, like a saucer. I need to add some height to my current trellis so it can trail up more instead of flopping over. 



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Light Conditions Figured Out

I don't know about you but there is nothing more aggravating then trying to figure out the light conditions of plants via their sales tag, and then translate that into your garden. So here's a little cheat sheet on what the light conditions mean.

Sun

  • Full Sun - direct sun from dawn to sunset
  • Sun - 6 or more hours of direct sun (some sun plants do better with afternoon shade)
  • Light Shade - 2-3 hours sun
Part Sun/Part Shade
  • Part Sun - 4-6 hours of direct sun
  • Half Shade - 4-5 hours of shade with periods of sun and periods of shade
  • Part Shade - some morning sun, but afternoon shade
Shade
  • Shade - less than 4 hours of direct sun
  • Full Shade - little to no direct sun at any time