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Russell Lupine is another hardy perennial plant that I wanted to share with you that are looking for hardy flowering plants. In the plant above (about mid way on the right side), there are 2 thick healthy flowering shoots that have come up since late September. Supposedly this plant blooms early and then again in the later summer. These plants bloomed intermittently, not all at once. So this coming summer it will be intersting to see when it will bloom. This plant is out near the garden on the edge of the iris bed, in an area not overly protected. By the way, I do not cover any of my perenial plants with mulch of any kind, just leave the old plants till spring and cut off any old leaves for a clean spring look. This plant has had snow a couple of times, and hard frost about a dozen times already. But like the litte johnny jump ups, it remains unpeturbed. Not only are there 2 buds, but the plant has numerous new leaves deep inside like the strawberry plants, partially folded, waiting for a day when they can spring forth and open to the sun. I apologize for not taking a summer flowering picture of this plant. But you can look them up in your garden catalogs for a picture. This plant likes a drier area. It will get root/crown rot if to damp. I also found it doesn't like the hottest part of the day, so some midday shade for an hour is nice. Kind of like petunia's for heat, it likes a break of too much sun. This plant also benefits/needs rhizome innoculant for it's roots to do well, the kind you use on your bean seed is fine. I am sure some of you have other hardy flowers in your garden. Well, I shared a couple of mine, to show you all is well and growth continues even if we are not out and about in the gardens as much as we would like. Have a great day in the garden of your life.
One thing about northern plants, only the fittest survive. Strawberries are one tough northern plant. These strawberry plants have been frosted several times, and seen snow cover twice. Still, in the middle of this plant you see a frosted flower, and a new blooms struggling to survive. It won't make it this year. But come one spring day in early May, the plants will wake up, and the center growth will spring forth like a fountain. The growth will occur quickly and if there is no frost, the flowers will spring forth fruit, and once again the taste of summer will shout to be heard. One thing about a garden, growth is never still. This is what we see on top, but the roots are also strengthening to provide energy carriers for the spring runners that will yield more plants. So all is not sleeping yet, the tough plants still have some work to do to survive. Have a great day in your garden.
Well, some of you are still enjoying the wonderful fresh produce of your gardens. I looked at your pictures and drooled over the green peppers on one site. Tomato's on another and not a one in my garden. The taste of summer is only a step away, so I gathered me some apples and made fresh apple pie for lunch. That is the reason for planting the trees, pruning the branches, spraying for bugs, watering the trees, and smelling the aroma of apples as I picked them, to enjoy the fruits of our labors.
Just over lunch hour, as we were watching it rain, in flew 8 red finches to check out the feeder that was waiting for them. Earlier in the week, I redid the landing bars. They were a pretty gold metal looking thing. Only some of you can imagine landing on metal at -20 degrees. I covered them with several layer of floral tape. Easy to grip and not freeze the feet of the little birds (pay attention bird feeder makers). Then just after we saw the finches, in came about 24 robins to play on the front yard and in the street puddles in front of the house. Just like that, winter color arrived, amid the rains of autumn. Have a great day, in the gardens of your lives.
One thing about northern plants, if they aren't winter hardy, they just won't survive the dessicating winds, and subzero temps. I learned a long time ago that the background plants needed to be winterhardy or I would be surrounded by a barren land. Most gardens have some microclimates that you can push more tender plants into coping, but they may last only a year or two, they just give up the ghost.
I have another book I enjoy reading in from time to time, ok, frequently. Tough Plants for Northern Gardens by Felder Rushing. ( I always wanted to write a book review, joke). One of the things I have studied on, in my own garden is: what do I need, what will grow well, where is my source, and what do I need to do to keep this plant happy. So studying things that do well in your area will help you be successful in your gardens. It is my belief that Felder wrote a book for southern gardens first, but I don't have that book, as we are a tad cool up here in the winter. His book is interesting, informative, and witty.
As the purpose, of part, of the garden is for food, not just flowers, I am enjoying the raspberry muffins today. They impart the flavor of the summer into my mind, as I look out upon the frost covered lawn and trees. For now, I must dream of what next summer will provide, what to look forward too, what do I need to do to make next years garden successful.
Have a great day in the garden of your life.
Well how you spell it probably depends on your nationality or cultural background. Around here, people just call it snow. It looks like a snow globe. Hazy white fluff falling fastly to the ground. It represents what the snow globes try to imitate. I just call it bird food weather. With snow lightly falling, the birds will become frequent guests, or for some it's just plain home all year long.
For now, things seem back to normal again. Our summers are short, and this year it was even shorter with a very late frost date, close to June. Our second round of snow. At 30 degrees it can snow for quite awhile. The weather fronts being lined up properly, well we could have snow all week. Fortunately for us, the ground is still warm, the snow closest to the ground keeps melting and watering the grass roots for the long sleeps of winter.
Peaceful is what it feels like. Ah, the relaxing of winter days. Days of warm soups, hot breads, and new books to read. I mull over this all year. What do I want to read more of this winter? Time to order in a few new books. This isn't an area I take lightly. The books I buy are books I want to keep and reread many times. There are so many good ones to choose from. I look forward to the pleasant pass-time of reading, leaving the gardens beds to do their winter composting, under the quilted covers of snow.
Yes, Mitzilou, I finally got some carrots n' parsnips dug. About three-fourths of the rows remain. I asked a neighbor if she wanted some, to come and dig. They were watching football, so I don't know if they will. Sorry folks, but this arthritic lady just doesn't have the energy to dig any more, so they may be wasted. I feel bad about that, but lots of people have no interst in fresh vegetables even when they are offered. I have another neighbor who says anything growing beyond the end of July is pig food, I have to think they have never been hungry, or aware of others in need.
I have planted parsnips many times, but they wouldn't sprout for me. I finally read where if you soak the seeds overnight in peroxide, they will sprout better. Well, to tell the truth, as I see it, every seed sprouted and the parsnips are bigger than any I have ever seen in the store. From the top of the root to the bottom, on most of them, was about 20 inches. I had no idea they grew longer than carrots. The tops are about 2.5 to 3.0 inches across, so I cut them off at about 10 inches for storage purposes. There is no doubt, with every seed I have planted, there is much to learn, every year. Like Abe Lincoln who used to walk miles to attend community functions, while reading as he walked to attend those functions, I feel that there is much to read, much to learn, and life is short, and time should not be wasted. Have a great day...that is my wish for all of you.
Good morning to everyone who visits Garden Guides today. Blustery wind and snow arrived last night and left behind a couple of inches of the dreaded snow. It's a cool 18 degrees this a.m. and the sun will shine shortly, for the sky is clear now as I write, with moonlight all around, and stars shining too. One thing about snow, it always snows at least once before Halloween here. Sometimes it's only a dusting in the air, one year it was 4 foot drifts of snow everywhere and the school cancelled classes, the children were sad, not because school was out, but there was NO trick or treating.
One thing about living in snow country. You get with the program of being independent, being prepared, winterizing, or you spend the rest of the winter fighting winter, always hating it, and always needing somebody to bail you out of whatever you landed in. Not being prepared leaves people vulnerable. So if you don't winterize your car, have a shovel, have an AAA card for emergencies, and drive carefully, your day may end up much differently than you imagined. Like Bill said, it's survival skills, and everybody needs them in the house, or out. Not taking responsibility makes for stressed relationships, and that leads to high divorace rates, and lots of other society ills. Even the garden doesn't grow if someone doesn't till the soil, plant the seeds, weed the rows and harvest the veggees. So like a good gardener, preparing the soil of your life, helps prepare you for the emergencies, the uneventful slow turns, the events that can make or break your day and stress you out. Life isn't just about pc's and texting, and relaxing, it's about preparing yourself, so you can deal with most of what comes in the garden of your life.
Oh my, my hair (leaves) are falling out. It was 18 degrees last night, and Mr. Frost covered my leaves until they just started falling out in big clumps. There is white frost all around me. Soon I shall have to sleep to renew my energies for next year. The winter birds shall come and visit though, they sit on my bare branches and chirp at me, trying to wake me up. They feed at the feeders, they warm up in the winter sun. I remember, back in 1999, when I was young, just a skinny slip of wood about an inch around, and about 5 feet tall. A lady took me home, and said please stay in my yard, I would love your shady company. She carefully tended me, watered me with care, so I stayed the winter, with branches hanging bare. Then came the spring, with food and water by, so I stayed there in the spring, and summers never asking why. I shade their home in summer, where birds raise their young, and now I sleep for winter, where Christmas lights are hung. I feel just like a man, when his hair begins to thin, next thing you know, there is nothing but a rim. God bless you all, and have a great day in the garden of your life. JJ
Out here in the midwest, we don't have as many red colors in our view as you may in some places. The colors are more quiet, in golds, brown, and greens with occasional red sumac. The little villages are surrounded by corn, bean and wheat, so when the harvest is in, we tend to be surrounded by black fields for months. So the colors that we plant, provide great pleasure in visual contrast for about 6 months of the year.
Yesterday I planted out some more bulbs for spring color. There are 175 bulbs left from unopened bags of bulbs, so there are bulbs to plant yet this week-end. Of the 500 that I ordered, they seem like a lot to plant, but for the size of the yard, not a lot of flowers. They will multiply, and fill in over the next few years.
Another .5 inches of rain, for a total of 3 inches in the past 48 hours. More than most of the summer. The harvest dust is washed off the trees, till it starts in again. The air is clean and cool at 42 degrees. The changes into autumn are nice. We enjoy all 4 seasons here. They are not divided up equally, but we enjoy following the wildlife and plantlife changes of season. The resting and renewal of growth is a comfortable feeling that quiets the soul, allowing us to rest as well. May you all find something quiet and peaceful to work at this week-end to help rest yourself for the new week ahead.
October, 50 degrees this a.m. damp and rainy too. We had the boiler/furnace on twice already in September. Up north, that is just part of our lives, fuel bills. We are hoping for some warm days yet to enjoy the outdoors.
There are apples to pick as soon as I don't have more urgent tasks to finish. Then there are the carrots to dig and clean for the fridge. I don't can them, because I like the fresh content of carrots. I clean them really well, do a bleach rinse, followed by a clean cold water rinse, let them dry a couple of hours. Then I store them in a clean/new garbage bag in the crisper drawers. I put paper 2-3 paper towels on the top of them. They soak up moisture. Every morning for a week, I change them, and put new ones in. My carrots last until the next years carrots come in. So I always have fresh crisp carrots.
The vehicles were winterized this week, preventive maintenance.
I saw the chiropractor again yesterday. He is so good to keep my back from hurting most of the time. We talked about activities, I told him I never run out of things to do, I just have to pace myself in sitting, standing, walking chores. He said he never runs out of things to do either, we were trying to figure out how people can get bored if they are doing everything they should be doing to maintain their lives. That is one of the reasons our lives look like crazy quilts, we have to keep starting and stopping what we are doing, to do things that we perceive to be more important. It keeps life interesting, keeps us vigilant, and keeps us on our toes. May all who visit garden guides find a smile to welcome you in one or another of the forums, something to peak your interest, and a smile on your face as you leave to do some new chores. :)
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