Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Gardener’s Prayer

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Thank you for my garden, Lord, and for each tiny seed
that sprouts and blooms so beautifully to fill my soul's true need.
Thank you for the pleasure, Lord, I find here on bended knee
for my garden's glory surely is a blessing sent from Thee.

I see Your love reflected in the color of every bloom;
a rainbow of Your splendor in every tint and hue.
Each tiny, dew-drop coated bud a promise of Your love,
nurtured by warm, summer sun You send from up above.

I thank You for the gentle rain that that feeds the dry, parched earth
and freshens air and leaf and tree and gives each one new birth .
I thank You for the gentle breeze that bends each petaled head
and gently carries butterflies throughout my flower bed.

I ask You for Your Blessing, Lord, upon my little plot of land,
may it grow and flourish guided by Your hand.
Thank you for the pleasure, Lord, I find here on bended knee,
and in each flower that blossoms as a blessing sent from Thee.

-Unknown Author

~Brooke~

Pink Saturday!

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I have an all pink post for you today!

Which is not too hard to do in my garden, I just gravitate to pink blooms.

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Especially in roses which after weeks of looking rather ill,

they are finally blooming nicely for me.

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I really enjoy when the roses get this spotted look in the fall.

It doesn’t do this any other time.  I think it is pretty this way.

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Morning dew is so pretty on the Pink Double Knockouts.

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The cleome are some of the best blooms to photograph.

I started all of these from seed.

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And of course so garden is complete without Purple Coneflowers,

I have them EVERYWHERE.

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But right now my favorite pink has the be the guaras….

they have bloomed all summer long in the butterfly garden.

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I will leave you with the very last of the hollyhocks. 

They have been beautiful this year, and I already have babies

coming up for next years garden.

Have a wonderful weekend with your friends and families….Brooke

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fantastic Friday Blooms

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Just a few shots of the front walk and porch this morning….off to teach at the elementary.  Have a great weekend everyone!

~Brooke

 

Linked in to Fertilizer Friday

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August - Picture This Entry

August Contest

I enjoy participating in the Picture This Photo Contest every month at Gardening Gone Wild.  This months category is On The Road Again.  What a great theme!

“This is what I am looking for: that choice image you discovered when you were out there on unfamiliar ground with an open mind and open eyes, when you were far away from home or close to where you live. But you still sought out a garden, other than your own, to reveal the soul of the place you were in. Every culture on earth has a way of expressing its essence through a sacred spot, or garden. Maybe your farthest travels have been a few hour’s drive away, or maybe they have been long plane-flights away, no matter. Let me see the beauty you found when you were way out there, tuned into the universal language of the garden.  Let me see your treasures from the road.”

For my entry I chose a photo from the Disney Epcot Flower Show.  We were lucky enough to be there on opening day and everything was so fresh and beautiful.  This would have to be my dream garden shed and landscape around it. 

Please take a minute to visit the site and see all the lovely photos each month.

Happy Gardening….Brooke

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Indiana Summer Tour… Part 1

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There will be no more no trespassing signs for us,

I am taking you on a tour of my neck of the woods….

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Jump on….lets go….

I’ll even give you the old lady seat with the padded back!

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We’re gonna head down the road that leads to our house….

there is lots to look at.

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As you can tell, we love pretty much in the middle of nowhere!

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Lots of fields and crops….

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And open spaces…. just like we like it to be….

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Look…. the butterflies are on some wild purple thistle….

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And some false sunflowers are blooming…. so pretty!

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Even the weeds are pretty to me!

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These are all along the road this week,

just like they were planted there.

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Lets go visit my favorite neighbors….

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They asked us to stay and eat…. but we have to get going…..

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Next time I will bring them a treat from the garden….

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Lets go around the lake… and see the leaves already falling….

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They have already began to turn….

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And the tall grasses are making beautiful swishing noises….

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all along the edges of the water….

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Here we are again in our backyard….

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So glad you could take a ride in the country with me!

Come back anytime!!!

Happy Gardening….Brooke

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tis The Season…. To Plan!

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Tis the Season…. to plan your garden that is….  Old Santa will be here soon enough, but we have lots of work to do before then.  I loved this image I found, I will be extra good the rest of the year is Ole Santa will shop for me at a Garden Center…
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Remember when we were little and the best thing Mom ever got in the mail was the Christmas Catalog.   I would spend hours picking out no less than 100 things I wanted and just had to have.  Well, maybe I have never out grown that… but it has changed a bit….  Now my favorite thing in the mail is garden catalogs…. and now is the time to order them! 

It use to be if you got one catalog from a company, they sent them to you for years…. but now things have changed and you need to request them every season.  I didn’t get the spring ones like I thought I would, but man am I set for fall!  I can spend all winter drooling over the pages of beautiful photographs of must have plants.  No bathroom is complete without 15-20 garden catalogs is it? 
I do have my favorites, so I thought I would share them with you….

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I swear my life changed the first time I got a High Country Gardens catalog.  I knew I had found heaven.  They give us a beautiful shot of a garden scene every few pages and I love every one more than the last.  This inspired me so much when I planned my butterfly garden.  You must get a copy for yourself! 

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Another favorite…. with soooo many to choose from.  Great to ID plants with too!  I keep mine for a long time to remember the names of things I have.

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Oakes Daylily, where do I begin….. they are just dream worthy in every way.  Beautiful pictures, and be ready to be tempted…. you are forewarned. 

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Brent and Beckys Bulbs… they are just about the nicest people around.  I have had the pleasure of talking to them and following them on there sites for a bit.  Quality thru and thru…. Check them out.

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Schreiners Irises are so beautiful.  They have all types, and of course my favorite rebloomers…. They offer collections and are known for quality plants.  A must get!

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Another fantastic one to get is Klehm’s Song Sparrow…. I love the name too!

Need More?  Here is a great list from Dave’s Garden…. they also offer reviews of companies by members.  It is a good place to visit before you order anything…. just incase.
But the companies I have listed are tried and true and have been around for a long time.  I know it is good to be green and save the trees… but I love a good catalog to keep on hand. 
Thanks to those who still offer them for me to enjoy!  I hope I didn’t leave something out, if you have one to add, leave it in the comments….  thanks!
Happy Gardening….Brooke

Monday, August 16, 2010

Flower Seeds that need to be planted in the Fall

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This is just good information to share… I was looking it up on the web and wanted to keep it for reference.  I have been taking out annuals and seeding this week in areas of my garden.  I missed out on sewing spring annual seeds last fall and want to enjoy them this coming spring!
Enjoy~~Brooke
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Most gardeners do not worry about flower garden seeds until the late winter or early spring. In fact there are quite a few types of flower seeds that can be started in the fall when you may not have any gardening to do. Spring annuals, cool loving annuals, some perennials and biennials can all be started in the fall. These plants are a great way to fill out your garden when it starts to go to sleep in the fall. Sweet pea, sweet alyssum, candytuft and calendula are all cool loving annuals that can fill in holes in your garden as they grow quickly.
Garden flower seeds that are sown in the fall also tend to have a higher rate of germination then those sown in the late winter or spring.

Some popular plants that can be started in the fall are the California poppy, California bluebell, blue woodruff, Mexican tulip poppy, calkia, snapdragon, bells of Ireland, scarlet sage, and love in the mist and more. Self-sowing annuals are very hardy plants and tend to be good plants to start in the fall as they can handle frosts.

Biennials, which are plants that have a life cycle of two years, in which the first year the leaves grow and then the second year the flowers bloom are perfect for early sowing in the fall or late summer. Biennials that can be started in the fall include the evening primrose, Sweet William, hollyhock, Canterbury bells, foxglove, and black-eyed susan. There are a few perennials that can also be started early such as some sunflowers, salvia species, columbine, and the purple coneflower.

When you are starting flower garden seeds then you may have to treat those seeds in order for them to germinate. However certain seeds will have specific procedures that may be different from other seeds. Most perennial flowers seeds need a cold season also called cold stratification, which mimics winter. You can leave your seeds outside in the autumn or use a cold frame. Many times seeds are also treated with scarification, which roughens the seed coat so the seed can absorb more water.
Flower garden seeds can be soaked in warm water until they begin to burst, but they should be planted very soon. The timing for this can be quite difficult if it is your first time. Some seeds, mainly for shrubs and woody trees, need an acid treatment to germinate. You don't need anything fancy, vinegar will work. Fire treatment has also been used but this is generally for forests and not flower gardens. With the proper pre-treatment you will not have a problem with any of your seeds.

Unlike the seeds of annuals, lots of perennial seeds require a period of moist cold (cold stratification) before they will germinate.  They get this naturally in the wild, lying on the ground, being half buried by fallen leaves, the digging of animals, and frost and snow. Without this period of cold and wet, certain seeds, usually perennials, won't germinate at all. Instead, they continue to wait inside their shells, asleep.
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Flower Seeds for Late Summer Planting
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Spring has always been said to be the season for planting flower seeds. In actual fact however, the fall is also a great time for such activities. As it is colder during the fall, planting works are easier as compared to during the hot weather in the late spring and summer. Besides, the fall also makes for an excellent time for the various types of flower seed to build their roots before spring comes along. As they get ample time to adjust to the climate, some types of perennial flower seeds work out nicely when planted in the fall. Most types of perennial do not instantly grow in the fall when planted, however during these time they establish roots, until the weather is fit for above ground growth.

Contrary to the common understanding, some annual flower seeds can also be planted in the fall. These hardy annuals, capable of enduring cold weathers, are usually planted as seeds in the fall and start to grow when spring comes. As planting the seeds in the fall gives an early start for the flower seeds to grow, the plants will grow faster compared to those planted in spring, as they already have root systems intact. Gardeners are usually keen on having their flowering plants to flower as soon as possible, and are willing to pay more to get this result. They can also still achieve this result by using cheap seeds to plant with during the fall, as an alternative to buying seedlings to transplant.

The natural cycle of flower seeds starts in the fall, making it rather not that unusual to be planting flower seeds in the fall. The flowers lifespan reaches its end during fall, and the flowers get ready to drop off their seeds in autumn. The seeds will then search for receptive grounds and be prepared for spring rains next. Knowing this, gardeners can take advantage by planting the seeds right when the ground is receptive for new seeds, which can be before or after frost. However this depends on the local weather too. For areas that are particularly cold, it is best to start planting when it started to frost, but for areas that do not freeze, hardy wildflower seeds can be planted as pleased in the month of fall or winter.

The annual, perennial or wildflower seeds will need some special care when planted in the winter. The dry, cold ground of the fall will need to be watered in order to make it more hospitable to the new flower seeds. Using some potting soil or other organic matter will also help to give the seeds a fertile nesting ground. The seeds will need to have plenty of organic matter and water before the ground has frozen. The watering should be done on a regular basis until the soil freezes. In areas where the ground freezes, the seeds will need some protection to keep the new roots from being frozen and thawed repeatedly throughout the winter. Mulch applied to the soil can keep the temperature more constant for the new flower seeds.
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Annuals For Early Spring
Some annual flowers sprout earlier and with a higher germination rate if their seeds are sown in the fall instead of in springtime. Examples of annuals that you can sow in fall include:

  • Annual poppies

  • Love-in-a-mist (Nigella spp.)

  • Annual clary sage (Salvia viridis syn. Salvia horminium), also known as painted sage

  • Scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea), also known as Texas sage and hummingbird sage, and its cultivar ‘Lady in Red’

  • Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

  • Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis)

  • California poppy

  • Snapdragon

  • Larkspur (Consolida spp.)

  • Clarkia (Clarkia spp.)

  • Mexican tulip poppy (Hunnemania fumariifolia)

  • Blue woodruff (Asperula orientalis)

  • Queen Anne’s thimbles (Gilia capitata)

  • California bluebell (Phacelia campanularia), also known as desert bluebell

  • Tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis), generally hardy in USDA zone 7 and hotter
Biennials
Biennials, plants that form leaves their first year and bloom their second year, are ideal candidates for late summer or early fall sowing. Biennials that can be sown in fall include:

Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
Honesty (Lunaria annua), also known as silver dollar plant
Evening primrose (Oenothera spp.)
Canterbury bells (Campanula medium)
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)
Hollyhock (Alcea spp.)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Certain Perennials
When sowing seed of perennial flowers, a good guideline is to look at how they propagate themselves in nature. Many perennials generally drop their seeds in late summer or early autumn, including:

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Blanket flower (Gaillardia spp.)
Columbine
Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum x superbum)
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium syn. Chrysanthemum parthenium)
Some monkshood species (Aconitum spp.), also known as wolfsbane
Some perennial sunflowers
Many milkweed species (Asclepias spp.)
Perennial rudbeckias (including Rudbeckia subtomentosa and Rudbeckia triloba)
Some perennial salvia species

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Don’t be concerned if you don’t see seedlings this fall. Some perennials form seedlings before winter, but others have seeds that need a period of cold before germinating and will wait till spring before they sprout. If you do see seedlings this fall, mulching them over the winter is a way to help ensure their survival. Wait until the ground freezes before you mulch them.
Photos from the web, unknown source.