Saturday, August 28, 2010


Well, it's getting close to that time of year when the patio furniture gets brought in. As you look at your outdoor furniture, you might deem it time to upgrade, or replace some of it. If you're serious about doing this, try going to They are in the process of offering furniture for sale. You might just find exactly what you need!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I just came inside from a circumnavigation of our gardens. That is where I find the wild Blackberries and Raspberries. All of the raspberries are gone by, but the blackberries are "in" or "coming in"! What a joy to be able to just go and pick the natural harvest of the woodlands around our home!
Blackberries are pretty vicious. Their thorns GRAB your skin, clothing and hats with unrequited joy it seems! But, they are worth the scratches and shrieks. There are tons of them that are still not ready, so assuming I can beat the local black bear, I should be able to have blackberries, fresh with our cereal or yogurt for awhile!
There are a few tricks to telling raspberries from blackberries. The blackberries have MUCH more viscous thorns. They just LOOK scary! Then of course, the fruit is very different. The raspberries are smaller. They are also red (the wild ones, anyway) and quite soft, so be careful when you pick them. The blackberries on the other hand just DARE you to go after them. But, as I said before, it's worth the trip! They will leave the stem readily when they are black and ready to be picked. Also, I have found that they are usually found on stems with a bit of "die-back". Brambles (raspberries and blackberries) fruit on year old branches which will die off after fruiting, so it makes sense that the branches are already beginning to fade. Anyway, that little clue will help you find the branches with fruit.
I put a link in the second sentence of this post. If you go there, you'll find all you need to know about growing raspberries and blackberries. Living where I do, I don't need to follow those directions, as I have more wild berries than I need. They are free, and don't take up any garden space. What more could I want???

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Sure! Why not?
Many plant nurseries are tired of caring for those plants. They have struggled to keep them healthy through a long, hot, dry summer! Now it's time to make room for the chrysanthemums and other autumn flowers. What should they do with the old plants? Put them on sale!
Aim for the perennials that can spend the autumn and winter establishing themselves, and come up all beautiful in YOUR garden in the spring!
If you see perennials in some big box stores, check them carefully before buying. AND be sure they are plants that will flourish in your zone. Then give them a try. The prices are usually good at those stores anyway. I usually don't encourage buying plants there, but at half price or even less, why not give them a try? If they make it, you're ahead of the game. If they don't, well, I guess that's the way it goes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I read this article in the New York Times this morning. We used to vacation on Nantucket, right across the water a piece, from Martha's Vineyard. They are beautiful places, and this surely fit's right into our "GREEN" outlook!
Try to go to this website and read the article. I think you'll like it!

Friday, August 06, 2010


I forgot to mention that some holes will need to be made in the bottoms of those buckets that I talked about yesterday. I think I'll go back and fix that right on the page! If there aren't holes, I'm sure the buckets would flood at the first rain!!!! Also, when shifting from one bucket to the next, it would probably be good to toss the stuff, bucket to bucket, to get it good and mixed.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Well, this was different! I read about this technique on-line somewhere. I can't even remember where! (Sorry...)
Anyway, what you do is get 5 buckets. Line them up... numbered 1 through 5, in your minds eye anyway. Punch a few holes in the bottom of each bucket to allow water to drain.
When you have something to compost, throw it into bucket #1. Throw a little of #5 in there if there is any, just to cover anything that might attract critters. If #5 is empty, try a bit of #4.
The next time you have compost go to the bins. Toss #4 into #5; toss #3 into #4; toss #2 into #3; toss #1 into #2. Then there is an empty bucket ready to start the process over. Be sure when you do this to toss the compost, bucket to bucket, in order to mix it well. If some of the buckets are almost empty, wait for the next "dumping" to pass them on to the next bucket.
The idea is that by time "stuff" gets to bucket #5, it should be compost. Hmmm...
It sounds a bit simplistic. I'm not going to have 5 buckets standing in my yard. But, if you have a hidden space and abhor turning your compost, perhaps this is a way to do it.
Let me know what you think. Whether you try it or NOT! :-)

Sunday, August 01, 2010



Make some notes on what you need to add to next years garden while
you can see what's blooming!

Dig potatoes after the tops have died down.

Prune off those strawberry runners to keep your strawberry bed orderly.

Buy fall mums.

Water any newly planted shrubs and trees.

Stop pruning shrubs.

Don't fertilize anymore until the leaves begin to change color. If you fertilize late in the summer, it causes a flush of growth which will probably be "nipped" by frost. So, hold off a bit.

Water evergreens thoroughly during dry weather.

Sow forget-me-not seed. They make an attractive carpet planting
for tulip beds

This is also a good time to sow poppy seeds! August sown seed gives richer-colored flowers, so give that a try.

Cut off foliage of bleeding heart, which has probably become unsightly.

Apply fertilizer around peonies and scratch it into the soil. If you want to transplant or divide them, this would be the time.

Treat for Powdery Mildew. Try this recipe: 1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda, 1 gallon of water and 2-3 tablespoons of horticultural oil. Spray it on all the susceptible plants every other week or so.

Plant colchicum's and fall crocuses.

Order your bulbs if you haven't already!

Cuttings from English Ivy now will produce good house plants for

Are you remembering the lawn mower should be set at 2 1/2 to 3 inches to help the grass stay hydrated? Cutting the grass lower will be very stressful!

Reseed any bare spots in the lawn with some mixed grass seed varieties. Be sure to pick a mixture that is best for your conditions.

If you have an amaryllis outside, now would be the time to think about
bringing it inside.

Still time to sow lettuces and greens, carrots, beets and turnips (don't worry about how big they get...they ALL taste wonderful while still immature!) Then of course, there are radishes. Be sure to keep all of these well watered, also, a bit of mulch will keep the tender roots cool. As far as avoiding early frosts, a row cover will help there!

Get some netting over the blueberries! Remember the birds and small animals are great at crawling UNDER and THROUGH the netting. Try staking it so they can't reach the berries from the outside. If they get in, you'll live to regret it. Talk about a mess!!!

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!

Your plants in hanging baskets and containers have been roaring through the nutrients in their soil. It's time to give them a trim and a good feeding to help them continue to flourish.

It's a good time to plant perennials, shrubs and trees. This will allow them to establish some good roots before the ground freezes.