Friday, July 18, 2014

Divided Coneflowers

Echinacea "Summer Sky"
This Spring I noticed one of my Coneflowers was a ring of growth around a dead center, giving me a clue that it was time to divide. Here are the happy little plants that were divided, growing quite nicely in their new garden spot.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Spring Blooming Perennials in White

I just love Spring and the flowers that come out early. My Mother-in-Law has a wonderful shade garden where she lives filled with Bleeding Hearts, Solomon's Seal, and ferns. The white is such a contrast to the next wave of blooming plants filled with colors. If only God had made Solomon's Seal so we could actually see the flowers instead of them being hidden underneath the leaves!

Bleeding Hearts

Solomon's Seal

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blue Hill Salvia Growing in Minnesota

I am really loving the "Blue Hill" Salvia that I bought from the Friends of the Plant Sale in 2013. The color is advertised as a true blue, but I find it does have a very light purple color to it. They have grown in nicely and quickly beneath my "Pinky Winky" Hydrangea. The real test will be cutting them down after blooming, and seeing if they re-bloom in the Fall.

Friday, June 13, 2014

More Bunnies

Discovered this group of baby bunnies in my front garden bed. While I know they are most likely to eat some plants in my garden when they are older, I can't bring myself to get rid of them. Just too cute!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Purple Irises

My mom gave me some of her purple irises from Indiana years ago when we moved to Minnesota. They have been doing quite well, and I get tons of compliments when they bloom. This year some of them will need to be divided, as task for me in the Fall.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Best Plants are Free

It's always a great day for a gardner when family or friends invite you over to take some plant divisions for free. This weekend I was able to get my hands on some beautiful Brunnera and some medium sized hostas for a shady spot in my back garden underneath the deck stairs. I also picked up some "Hot Lips" Turtlehead, which I hope will do well in a boggy area of my yard near my Joe Pye Weed.

Brunnera and Hostas


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Solomon's Seal

It's easy to spot the perennial Solomon's Seal,  if you know what to look for, that being long arching stems with bell-shaped flowers hanging from the stalks.  Unfortunately,  you usually have to bend over to see the dainty flowers. I see this plant more in shady,  woodland settings in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tulips in the Garden

I tried some new Tulips this year which have some great color variations. One thing I have learned for Tulips in Minnesota is that if you want them to come up each year make sure to look for those that are Darwin Hybrids. Any others will most likely only bloom one year.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Time to Divide Some Coneflowers

While cleaning up the beds and checking on new growth, I came across two coneflower plants, which are about five years old, much in need of division. The tell-tale sign is the dead center of the plant with a circle of growth around the edges.

It's pretty simple to divide coneflowers. All you need is a garden shovel and your foot. The one pictured above was about a foot wide, so I divided it into fourths. One went back into the hole, and the other three were happily placed in other parts of the garden.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hey There Little Fellas....

Last year I was so busy that I forgot to start growing my tomato seeds in March, so had to revert to buying plants from the garden store. Let me say that I will never make that mistake again. The plants I bought did horrible in terms of yield, and the fruit was not very tasty. Yes, this could be the fault of the actual variety, but I'm not taking any chances this year (nor the wrath of my husband who felt gypped).

So, I started my seeds and went back to the best tomato variety I have planted (best flavor and yield) - Brandywine Red Heirloom. They have great flavor and are super firm, not to mention keep my counters full of tomatoes.

The small plants pictured have there first true set of leaves (highest) and are ready for transplanting to a larger container.

Check out my series on growing tomatoes from seed, too.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Dreaming of Spring

Just had to stop in at Pahl's in Apple Valley to get a quick flower fix.. All the plantings are too small to do anything with, except for some Pansies, but it's is good to start thinking of what annuals I will choose this year.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Seed Shopping

Bachmans' Seed Showcase

It's that time again. With winter slowly, and I mean slowly, drifting away, the time has come to start seeds indoors. Last year I was so busy that I never got around to starting my tomato seeds indoors. Instead I waited until planting season and bought some tomato plants from Bachmans. Unfortunately, the variety I selected didn't yield as well as others I have grown, and they weren't beefy enough. Beefsteak tomatoes are by far my favorite.

So I visited my local Bachmans and picked up some tomato seeds to get started, and went ahead an bought some spinach, lettuce, and beet seeds as well. Once this snow melts, it will be time to till the garden and get those into the ground.

With the birds chirping, Spring is finally here!