Sunday, June 27, 2010


We've been watching a good sized Northern Brownsnake for the past week. He's right outside the kitchen door, usually sunning himself in the gravel or on a cluster of Hens and Chicks. My visiting grandchildren have named him "Slither". He's pretty speedy. My grandson has tried to catch him but has been totally unsuccessful! Maybe that's a good thing?
We've had a good visit with the children. On our outdoor forays we've seen deer, turkeys, woodchucks, a beaver, "Slither", and the most exciting sight of all-a MOOSE! He was less than 5 miles from home and warranted stopping the car and looking for a good five minutes or so!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Yesterday, I helped a few friends divide some hosta. They had never done it before, so it was a lesson in "roughness". For those of you that have never divided hosta, it can be a challenge! The clumps of hosta had been there in the ground for over 15 years so they were pretty "intergrown".
The first action was to take the garden fork and get it into the ground a few inches from the edge of the plant. Sinking it into the ground and lifting was the next step. You really need to do this all around the plant until there's something to lift!
Finally, that fork needs to get under the rootball and lift...using a LOT of muscle! It should come up without too much trouble.
Then you need to separate all those intertwined roots so you can have a million little plants. That's the toughest part. What I do is put the clump into a big bucket and fill the bucket with water allowing it to soak about a half and hour or so. That should soften up the roots, although it won't make it much easier! Next comes shooting water from the hose, as hard as you can on those roots trying to separate them
This STILL will not do the trick, so it's time to get ROUGH. A shovel, hatchet or AXE should work. Don't worry. They'll be fine. They can take a ton of abuse.
Once you've got some plants separated out, you can actually plant them to about the same depth they were before they were mercilessly dug up!
Take the muddy water in the bucket and use that to water them. It works!
They will look a bit bedraggled for a few days or so, but in a few weeks, you'll be happy to see all your new delightful hosta in the garden!
If you'd like the whole story on hosta here is a wonderful website for you to visit!

Friday, June 04, 2010



Plant your window boxes

Prune spring flowering shrubs when they have finished blooming

Thin seedlings

Use balanced, organic fertilizers around flowers

Be sure to fertilize your annuals with liquid fertilizer. They'll thank you for it by blooming continuously!

Stake tall perennials and tomatoes

Use a pine needle mulch for blueberries

Be sure your lawn mower is set to cut the grass HIGH

After the iris are done blooming they can be divided

Gladiolus corms can be planted

Dead-head (prune off) spent flowers from plants and shrubs

Remove rhubarb seed stalks as they form.

Cutting back perennials such as dianthus, veronica and other similar shrubby varieties, will possibly produce a second blooming. How great would that be? They'll also look better!

You can make softwood cuttings of shrubs this month through July.

You may still plant container grown shrubs

Plant broccoli seed for fall harvest.

If you have a water garden, there's still time to plant water

House plants can soon be moved outside to a shady, protected spot.

These same houseplants can be lightly fed with half strength

Mulch perennials and roses to keep down weeds and conserve moisture.

Look for Jap. beetles either early or late in the day and shake them into a bucket of soapy water. The reason you don't do it mid-day is because they'll out run you!

Any annuals can be safely set out now.

If you have an amaryllis, now would be the time to move it outside.

Pinch the leading stems of your chrysanthemum's to encourage them to
be bushier and have more blossoms. Continue doing this every 6 inches
or so, as they grow.

If you have apple trees, hang red sticky-ball traps to control apple maggot flies. Small trees can get by with 2 balls. Larger trees should probably have 4-6 balls.

Stop cutting asparagus when the new spears get pinkie-finger thin. Let them grow into ferns instead. It will feed the roots.

Side-Dress Veggies to give them a little boost

Have you got Hosta's? Are there slugs chewing them? Try this solution, if you haven't already.
Combine 9 parts water to 1 part common household ammonia and spray it on the hosta just before dark. When the slugs hit this, they will dissolve!

Are you remembering to turn the compost every once in a while? You should also wet it down if the hose is close by. Doing this will help it decompose quicker although it will eventually happen anyway!

Mow down any daffodil drifts as they die down.

Order your bulbs so they arrive in time to plant in the autumn.


My next Gardening Seminar will be held at Rising Spirit Yoga in Wells River. It will be at 10:30 AM on Saturday, the 12th of June.
We will talk about the new gardener, confronted with an established garden. That provides quite different challenges than the gardener who has to deal with a new house surrounded by no gardens at all. It will also lend itself nicely to the more experienced gardeners. They deal with that every day!
If you're close to Wells River, VT I hope you might be able to join us!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I love it. It rained ALL day. A nice soft rain fell and I could just hear the garden sucking it up and expressing thanks for a wonderful blessing today!