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Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's not too Late !!

It's not too late to collect Columbine Seeds !!
Thanks to Shady's "Sow then Grow" blog I learned the simple method of collecting Columbine seeds which I never did before.
These below already dropped their seeds.
Just give it a try if you haven't already...I was always pinching them off too late.

These haven't dropped their seeds and some other types will stay closed and fully brown with seeds rattling inside.

Here are two different types of Columbine.
As you can see just from pinching them off the stem...these seeds fell right in my hand and on to the paper plate to fully dry.

It's a slow process starting indoors.
One week in the freezer...small tray full of soil and seeds.
Seeds lightly covered with soil and whole tray in plastic wrap..
Then wait 3-4 weeks to germinate under LIGHT(no plastic wrap).
These below are 2-week-old seedlings.

So my conclusion is...if you grow in a greenhouse or under lights...start seeds at least 5 weeks before your other seeds.
Or just winter's got to be easier...but I wonder just how many seeds survive till' spring .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dreary Days...but still there's Life

Many dreary days here...if not rain, then grey skies.
Plants are craving sun and so am I.
There's still life in the garden with hopes that soon the sun will shine all day !

Dwarf Yellow Lilies

Tiger Lilies

Red Fox Speedwell or Veronica spicata 'Red Fox'

Red Penstemon barbatus 'Coccineus'

Angel Mist lavender Angelonia


I DON'T care about the weather !
Just FEED ME !

There's also a happy but hungry baby rabbit in the yard.
Sorry Victoria but your one remaining Sunflower may not survive.
I had them caged but took it off....maybe should have stayed with that approach !

Not much growth with any of my in-house seedlings...need love from the SUN !

How our one little rabbit managed to finish off THIS (unknown plant)in one day...we have no idea. He or she also likes Ramapo and Coustralee tomato plants . ;(

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Top Favorite "Shade" Plants

For years even after removing many trees and shrubs there was a good deal of shade in the back yard and for quite awhile I've been coping with trying to plan a few garden areas in DENSE shade...and lost many plants in the process.

So after removing more trees and pruning some of my neighbors' trees that were taking over our yard, I came to discover some shade plants could finally live here !
Also learned one crucial element needed to have happy plants and that's COMPOST.
Lots and lots of Compost, in fall and spring !!

What is Shade ?

There's ALL types of shade !
It's never very clear when you purchase plants.
Example: "Sun /Part Shade" really means FULL SUN. Don't try and plant in any shade.
I've learn through trial and error...years of failures. :(

And don't be surprised if some plants for shade do much better in sun.
Through my own experience I came up with these definitions.

If full sun is at least 8 hours between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm then...

Light Shade = 5 to 7 hours of direct sunlight. (On our property I consider 6 plus hours Full Sun).
Partial Shade = 2 to 4 hours of direct sunlight.
Full Shade = no direct exposure to the sun (2 to 6 hours of reflected or indirect sun light).
Dense Shade = no direct sun all day ( very little if any reflected or indirect sun light, dappled).

On with my Favorites

These plants were picked because of beauty and some just because of hardiness.... and some just for their ability to thrive in true full and dense shade.
Noted are their shade conditions that are working well.

1-Hosta-light to full shade

2-Bleeding Heart-partial to full shade

3-Impatiens walleriana-light to partial shade

4-Pachysandra (Japanese Spurge)-light to full shade

5-Variegated Vinca major-light to dense shade(don't plant with flowers)

6-Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta)-full shade

7-Lily Turf (Liriope Muscari)-light to full shade

8-Jack Frost (Brunnera macrophylla)-partial shade to full shade

9-Coral Bells (Heuchera)-partial to full shade

10-Yews-light to full shade(this little one is under a 12 foot yew)

11-Barrenwort (Epimedium)-full to dense shade

12-Bugbane (Cimicifuga ramosa)-full to dense shade

13-Columbine-partial to full shade

14-Foamflower (Tiarella snowflake)-partial to full shade

15-Deadnettle (Lamium)-light to full shade

16-Wax Begonias-sun to full shade

17-Coleus-light to partial Shade

18-Ferns-partial to full shade

19-PJM Rhododendron-partial to full shade

20-Euonymous-light to full shade

21-Sedum spectabile-light to full shade

Are there additional plants or maybe better ones that I've haven't picked ?
Most definitely !

Please feel free to share your favorites.
I'd LOVE to discover some new ones !

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This and That

First some Green

Sweetspire Itea 'Virginica Little Henry' and Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’
are a little crowded.
I'm always planting things too close.
Someday I should improve my method...but not yet.

My DH won't let me cut down this wild fern. Can you see it?
It's 2 years old and over the fence.

No idea what this is growing over our fence.

Wax Privet(Ligustrum japonicum)is mighty happy...tons of flowers.
It's now giving us the privacy from our next door neighbor's window.

Canna and all other plants I started from seed are behind schedule, but hanging in there.

Also tomato plants should be more leafy. But it's still early so we have time.

Decided to expand a bed. Thank goodness for my garden helper.
As you can see hubby is wearing his sweatshirt, it's a little chilly.
Temps only went up to 62 degrees today and of course it rained again.


Now some Color !

Silver Mound Lantana and New Guinea impatiens.

Some kind of petunias. Love this color !

My new love. Geranium x 'Rozanne' violet blue PP12175 (got 6 of these plants)

More New Guinea impatiens.

Double Knock Out 'Rosa Radtko' cherry red inflorescences.
Yes,I know the blocks need to be straightened out.

Lupine or Lupinus polyphyllus 'Camelot Mix'. Just one flower but hope to see more.

Homestead Purple Verbena or Verbena canadensis 'Homestead'.
I believe it's border line for my zone.

Cuphea Mexican Heather. This is an annual in our zone.

Delphinium chinensis 'Blue Butterfly'. Did I say I love blue ? :)

Went to the garden mart today. Now that's something I ALWAYS enjoy doing !
Also got everything in the ground before dark !

Can't forget the Blue Jay now out of nest, but can't fly yet.
However Mom and Dad are keeping a close eye on him.