Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stop and Smell….


The Lilacs!  I love this true pink one….it is James MacFarlane and I am pruning it to be a standard.


They are beautiful right now….even if they are tiny!  I just planted them in my new garden area.  This is Miss Kim, a dwarf variety.


And the honeysuckle is starting to bloom!  This is Goldflame, and it is beautiful growing up the steps to my deck.


And my Old Fashioned Pink Wilgea… also called Bush Honeysuckle…. it has a light fragrance and lovely blooms.


But the most delicious this morning is the Immortality Iris…. I was not expecting such a sweet fragrance from a reblooming iris.  I have heirloom irises that smell, but this new variety was very surprising.  I have it all down the pink roses side of my house, the area you can see from the road.  I hope it reblooms for me!

Okay, I have to get busy…. Happy Gardening Everyone…..Brooke

I could never make it without my lists!


Today is a get things done day.  And I have a list.  I am constantly making lists it seems. (Mountain Bluet)


It started out simple enough, grocery lists, things for the kids to do…like clean your room, trash….ect.  But now a days they are getting more complex.  (Purple Sensation Allium)


Like very specific lists of plants to move to where.


Like the names of plants to mark for the garden tour. (I love this combination of Bluet, Iris and Alliums)


Projects, paint colors, where to go, what to look for.  (Russell Lupine)


I have lists everywhere….. (Chives)


Times to fertilize, feed the roses, spray for bugs….  (Hearty Geraniums)


Even when to cut back perennials for the best flush in June!  (Immortality Iris…my favorite right now)

IMG_5344  How did things get so complicated?  Aren’t we country gardeners suppose to be carefree?  (Rugosa Roses, over 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide already this year)


My garden may look scattered….but let me tell you…. it’s more planned than you know! (Peony almost ready to bloom…I cannot wait!)


Okay, as promised….a preview of the new kitchen garden!  I have been planting away down there and my vines are starting to come up.  Cannot wait to show you more as it fills in!

Happy Gardening….Brooke


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ready or Not….A Garden Tour

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I have just been asked to open my garden for a large community tour in June.

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It is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and it is a big event in our county.

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They are expecting 80 plus visits over a 7 hour tour. 

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I will be one of four home gardens in the event this year. 

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And needless to say I am very happy and excited about being asked. 

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And a bit overwhelmed about where to begin!


I started to feel a bit better when I looked at my photos from June of last year. 

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Now I can picture what will be blooming when and where my spots are that might need a bit of color.

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I am so happy I got an early start this year on the new beds and planted so many new things!

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I was geared up for a busy season for our own events and wanted extra blooms, so this is a “good year” to be asked.

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Basically I am just adding a few knockouts and shrubs…. and then dividing some of the things that bloom in June into other areas.  Many needed divided this year anyway.

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I am so glad the daylilies will be blooming at that time!

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I have a long section of wild ones from the home site I lived at when I was born. The house is long gone, but my mom and I dug up tons of the plants and moved them.  The following spring they did dirt work and the bank was gone, but they live on in my garden now. 

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So what will I be doing to get ready for it?  Weeding, mulch and last minute seeding.  I have been adding some annual vines to the front porch areas and extra zinnias, larkspur and cosmos. 

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I am really thinking of how to rework the deck and front porch areas.  All the while trying not to go to crazy buying things I don’t need.  I have to tell you I am not an annual person and I really do not do containers.  I like my roots in the dirt and the hose within sight.  If I have to carry water to it…look out!  I have a feeling I may be borrowing a planter or two from my family and friends….lol.  Then they can take them home! 

I did find this online and wanted to share….

Tips to make tour go smoothly

Members of the Going Native Garden Tour committee came up with a flier listing ``garden etiquette'' for those who sign up for their event. These common-sense tips are worth sharing, including my favorite: ``Be generous with your praise, gentle in your criticism'':

• Bring a hat, sunscreen, water and comfortable walking shoes. It's likely that the weather will be sunny and warm.

• You will be visiting residential neighborhoods and parking will be limited. If parking looks impossible, move on to the next garden and try later in the day. Carpool if possible.

• Plan a lunch break and pit stops. Restrooms will not be available in homes.

• Bring a camera and a notepad to record plants and landscape treatments you especially like. Ask permission from the owner or docent on duty before taking any photos.

• Stay on the marked paths.

• Do not clip or injure the plants in any way.

• No smoking. No pets. No strollers. No food. No litter.

• Turn off your cell phone or at least put it on ``vibrate'' mode so everyone can enjoy the gardens.

• Take only one copy of any available handout.

• Sign the guest book.


If you have tips or thoughts on garden tour ideas…please leave me a note!

Happy Gardening….Brooke

(All photos from my own garden last June)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!


Good Morning!  I thought I would take a minute to say “Happy Earth Day!”  I have been super busy planting new borders in my garden and to celebrate Earth Day I will add more…lol….  I just love this picture, if you know who to credit, let me know…. it is from the web and it is something I want to do in my new kitchen garden area.  So Cute!!!


So let me share what I have been doing the last two weeks.  I have helped Elementary students plant over 200 Zinnias!


I am the Coordinator of an Volunteer Organization and we have been teaching kids about gardening.


I have a presentation that lasts about 20 minutes about all kinds of plants and wildlife in our area.


Then they get to plant their own seeds.


Hopefully the Zinnias will be ready to bring home for Mother’s Day.  I have been organizing events like this with my new job all year with the schools.  I work with Senior Volunteers and the Nursing Homes.  It just goes to prove you are never too old or too young to Garden!

Happy Earth Day Everyone…..Brooke

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Create a Colorful Foliage Garden


One thing I am really drawn to is burgundy or dark foliage in borders.


Don’t get me wrong, I love bright blooms, but the longer I garden the more I am interested in what the beds look like from start to finish.


Having shots of colorful foliage is a sure way to add interest and texture to your plantings all season long.


As my garden evolves, so do my choices in shrubs and groundcovers. I am thinking more about contrast and textures and how things will look from early spring to late fall.


I think a good mix and contrast is the key, so that when things bloom it is just am added bonus.


Plus I am trying to get things more noticeable from a distance and they dark leaves do the trick. I am putting a lot of faith in my tiny Japanese Maple to grow…grow…GROW and fill in this area with a pop of color!


Here are a few of the plants I enjoy for dark foliage….. Smoke Bush….a favorite.

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Husker Red Penstemon and Plum Pudding Heuchera (picture from last summer)

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Red Carpet Sedum (picture from last summer)

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Wine and Roses Wilgea (picture from last summer)

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Purple Leaf Sand Cherry, Crimson Pygmy Barberry, Diablo Ninebark, Ajuga, Grasses, and Japanese Maple are also plants I use and enjoy for their dark colors…. I am sure I’m leaving out some too. Of course there are a lot of annuals like coleus that are wonderful accents.

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Hopefully this might give you an idea or two on how to make your existing things stand out even more.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Gardening….Brooke