Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Garden classes

Spring is here! And with it comes a whole new slew of gardening classes at the Arboretum. Unfortunately so many I wanted to take are during the day during the week (doesn’t anyone work?!), but I managed to find 2 classes to take.

Late Spring Plants – one of the required classes for the Home Gardening certificate

The Art of Espalier – I saw a tree growing in my favorite Arb's reading garden in Espalier style and fell in love. I have some pretty bare walls alongside my house and I think it would be so fun to train a tree to grow espalier style against it! It also helps when your house is practically on your lot line on one side and your neighbor is only about 5’ away from you on the other!

My Saturdays in May are now officially filled!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Yellow Boxwood

Do you know in the comic strips when someone is about to throw up, their face turns all sickly yellow green? Well, one of my boxwoods has that same lovely hue. It must not be feeling too well?

The odd thing is that it's only on one side?

This shrub is at least 5 years old (as long as we’ve had the house) and has never had any problems. My first instinct was that it was caused by the weather (maybe that side gets a more nasty wind!). It doesn’t help that we have these cold winters, but I think all my boxwoods are of the “Green” variety – supposedly cold hearty.

Recently, I read in the Chicago Tribune about boxwoods in the Chicago area getting “blight” and that the solution was to remove the affected areas. Before I did that though, I checked on-line and some of the diseases sound like a 1950's horror movie.

How about "Attack of the Root-Feeding Nematodes!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: March 2009

It's been a while since I've posted on Garden Blogger's Bloom Day (or posted or read Garden blogs for that matter -- it appears that I am like a plant, I lay dormant over the winter).

Today and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 60's -- a miracle in the making -- so I hobbled (I jammed/broke my toe) out to clean out some of the plants and stumbled (literally) onto some blooms.

I have 2 patches of snowbells in my Kitchen Garden, that have been coming up faithfully since I moved in (planted by previous owners). In this photo you can see some bulb leaves starting to erupt as well.
Other bits of green starting to pop up --
  • tulip leaves along the fence
  • sedum
  • iris leaves (which I think stay evergreen under 4' of snow, so maybe they don't count).
And here's another, albeit, not a bloom, but something discovered in the yard. A Hawk -- and a lovely one too.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I have finally sowed my seeds

For Christmas, I received a whole bunch of seeds from my sis-in-law that she amassed from her own personal garden. I was so excited because I didn't have any of these kinds of plants, but I've never grown anything from seed either. I don't count my cosmos seeds as actual growing (I just threw them into the dirt last April and they grew to 7' tall -- it had nothing to do with my avocado green thumb).

I never got around to winter sowing them as Tina suggested (maybe next tree I'll try this new adventure), but I thought Mid-March would be a good time to get these in some dirt.

I've read a few things on how to grow plants from seed, and I'm good at reading instructions. But when it comes to gardening, I like to learn by doing. So I just dove in with this one!

So I saved some egg cartons to grow my seeds in. I used a screw that was laying around to punch holes in the bottom.
I bought some seed starting soil from the big box store, and I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like this, but when I tried to get it wet, the water barely soaked in. It was horrible. So I took the same screw and tried to stir in the water, like I was making a cake. That seemed to help.
Then I threw the seeds in and tried to cover them with a little more soil. And then more water.
My sunny window ledge was cleared of the over-wintered geraniums I keep inside all winter, and there the seeds went... And then I realized that it's only a sunny window for a potted plant 2' high. So I had to improvise and prop the plant seeds up. I also covered them with some plastic wrap.I'm sure I'm doing this all wrong, but time will tell. For watering the plants, I think I may switch to a spray bottle and that will get the soil more evenly wet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Name this Plant!

This was a large unruly bush when we moved in. I hacked it down and kept it from growing until last summer when I gave up.

But I have no idea what it is? Does anyone know? (click on photos to make them larger)