You got moonflowers in my morning glory


Wed. Feb. 19, 2014

Ruh Roh!  A woman asked a Master Gardener how she could have 2 different types of flowers in one container.  This “chat” took a while as other MG’s chimed in about possibilities.  The woman had bought a single planting (or so she thought) of Moonflowers from a big box retailer.

What she wound up with was a plant that appeared to have 2 different types of flowers on one plant.  Mixed in were Morning Glories.

Then, a University of Minnesota Extension prof came up with, what we think,  … [Continue reading]

Prepare to Prune


Tue. Feb. 18, 2014

Finally it would seem our frigid temperatures have broke…  PLEASE Mother Nature!  Now that it’s not SO cold that we can’t get outside but cold enough to prune our trees and shrubs without damage, it’s time to Prepare to Prune!

Keep in mind, DON’T prune spring flowering shrubs until AFTER they’ve flowered or if you’re just removing dead wood.

Forsythia
Forsythia

This is also a good time to really look over your plants for any pests.

To prepare your tools you’ll need steel wool, a sharpening stone or file and  … [Continue reading]

Rainbow of veggies


Mon. Feb. 17, 2014

Different colored veggies have different nutrional values!  I find that quite fascinating…  I hope I’m not alone in my fascination as I’d like to share it with you.   Nature has provided us with much of what we need.

 

Pepper - Thunderbolt 2
“What Color is Your Food?” [NDSU]  This article is as loaded with information as our veggies are packed with nutrition.  Here’s a quick overview of what the colors offer:
  • RED – lycopene and anthocyanins – may reduce risk of cancer and heart disease
  • ORANGE/YELLOW – carotenoids – good for your
 … [Continue reading]

Valentine’s Day


Fri. Feb. 14, 2014

Romantic love wasn’t even mentioned on St. Valentine’s Day until the poem “Parlement of Foules” by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382, however, the celebration of St. Valentine started in 500AD!

Flowers and chocolate became the “norm” of Valentine gift-giving in the 2nd half of the 20th century.  It all started here in the U.S.  thanks to some clever entrepreneurs!

Roses aren’t the only flowers!  There are carnations, aka Dianthus, which stands for love.  Daisies and Peruvian Lilies.  Sunflowers and Calla Lilies.  BTW, Calla lilies were used to express sophistication and  … [Continue reading]

The message of Roses


Thu. Feb. 13, 2014

Most men choose to give their Sweetheart roses  for Valentine’s Day.  (We’re not complaining, especially if there’s chocolate and a lovely card attached).   Red is certainly the most popular, but what do the other colors mean?  There’s a message in those colors you might want to know!

Easy Elegance Rose 'Kashmir'
Easy Elegance Rose ‘Kashmir’

The above rose is from Bailey Nursery in Woodbury.  They developed these gorgeous hardy roses.

  • Red, the most popular, means love
  • Coral represents desire
  • Lavender means enchantment.  This is a good choice for a newer relationship or
 … [Continue reading]

Thunderbolt and Lightning


Wed. Feb. 12, 2014

Behold the pepper… ‘THUNDERBOLT’

Pepper - Thunderbolt
Pepper – Thunderbolt

Burpee sent me another tease via email with a new Long tapered marconi pepper that grows to 13 inches !    How great for grilling!  According to Burpee it’s a prolific producer and resistant to tobacco mosaic and spotted wilt viruses.  It’s a sweet pepper.

Pepper - Thunderbolt 2

Beauty, eh?!?

The name got me thinking about Lightning.  So then I had to look up plants with that name!  Not much is, at least that’s noteworthy.  I did find an Astilbe called ‘Pink Lightning’ from Ball Seed … [Continue reading]

Hoppin’ excited to garden


Tue. Feb. 11, 2014

Well that’s one way of getting them into the garden!

Men ages 18 to 34 are growing hops in record numbers!  The explosion of craft beers and homemade brews has led to the desire to grow your own…  hops, that is.

Hops - Cascade
Hops – Cascade

The University of Minnesota has been working since 2010 to identify the best cultivars to grow and the best trellis system to grow the hops on.  Hops was a hardy crop in the midwest, after all, Milwaukee didn’t become “the beer capital of the world”  … [Continue reading]

Trees benefits beyond beauty


Mon. Feb. 10, 2014

oh let me count the ways!

Kentucky Coffee tree
Kentucky Coffee tree

Trees clean the air by absorbing noxious gases and pollutants. One of the key gases they absorb is carbon dioxide, which, according to American Forests, is a main contributor to climate change. The trees then release oxygen. One mature tree absorbs carbon dioxide at the rate of 48 pounds per year.

Trees also save homeowners money.  Correctly placed shade trees, windbreaks, and foundation plantings can reduce heating and cooling costs by an estimated 25-30%, that according to information from  … [Continue reading]

Nutritive herbs for pets


Fri. Feb. 7, 2014

WARNING:  Before you give your pet any herb – KNOW what you’re giving them and ask your veterinarian if you have ANY questions.  If your pet is not healthy – then make sure your vet says it’s okay.

My recent Organic Gardening magazine offers an article on herbal pet care.  I know that I never really liked putting Frontline on my Golden Retriever to protect her from ticks.  It just didn’t seem right to put something on her that I had to wear gloves to do.

Ready for action!
Ready for action!
 … [Continue reading]

A change of climate for gardening too


Thu. Feb. 6, 2014

Climate Change!  Global Warming!  Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

In case you’re too young to remember where the “Will Robinson” reference comes from it’s the catchphrase of an old tv show called ‘Lost in Space’ that aired from 1965 to 1968.  (I was very young!)

I’m not making fun of climate change, I’m just having fun with the extremes, not only of our weather, but of newspaper headlines.   The fact is, our climate’s changing.  It always will…  the question is how much faster is it now because of human actions. … [Continue reading]