Spring Bulb Magic – Flowers Neatly Packaged Into One Bulb

Spring Bulb Magic – Flowers Neatly Packaged Into One Bulb
I like flowers in general, and bulb flowers in particular. Why bulbs? The logistics of the plant’s growth astound and delight me every time I think about it, with everything the plant requires packed compactly into a bulb. How does that papery thing that looks like garlic send up a shoot, leaves, and blossoms? There must be something magical going on there, and in this weary world, magic can get you through when nothing else can. To my mind, spring bulb plants offer a little bit more magic than summer bulbs. Read on and I’ll tell you why. Spring Bulb Magic I remember how surprised I was to learn that spring bulbs get planted in fall, not spring. Of course, they do, giving the bulb an entire winter to settle in, put down roots, and send up that slender stem in early spring, sometimes even in late winter. Yet, … Read More

End Of Vegetable Gardening Season And Time For Fall Cleanup

End Of Vegetable Gardening Season And Time For Fall Cleanup
Without a doubt, I love autumn in Northern Ohio. The milder temperatures are perfect for working outside all day, so fall garden chores can be done when I’m feeling like it as opposed to when the weather is suitable. It’s also the end of the vegetable gardening season in my zone 5 garden. There’s still plenty of veggies to harvest, which makes meal planning easier. The Autumn Garden Calls One thing I wish I could change is the exact end of vegetable gardening season. It’s never the same. Some years, we receive a killing frost as early as mid-September, other years it comes in late October or even November. As we enter the autumn season, carefully watching the weather forecast becomes one of those unexpected fall garden chores I find myself doing. Whenever the call to action comes, I’m always armed and ready to protect my autumn garden. … Read More

Growing Vegetables For Show: Old-Fashioned County Fair Competitions

Growing Vegetables For Show: Old-Fashioned County Fair Competitions
I blame my neighbor for getting me hooked. No, not on drugs or alcohol, but on our county fair’s annual horticultural competition. For years I entered my homegrown vegetables for the chance to win ribbon-shaped stickers, miniscule amounts of prize money and, of course, bragging rights. While it was all in good fun and I loved the friendly rivalry, these county fair competitions changed the way I thought about gardening, and the lessons learned in the garden have been priceless. Exhibiting Vegetables from the Garden Growing vegetables for showing in a count fair contest has been happening for many years. Farmers, especially, enjoy showing off their giant, milk-fed pumpkins and the like. This type of competition goes way back and is fun to do. But there are some things I’ve had to learn along the way before getting my prized veggies ready for showing. Vegetable harvest time is important As... Read More

Colorful Garden Plants – Enjoying Fall Color In The Garden

Colorful Garden Plants – Enjoying Fall Color In The Garden
By Teo Spengler | September 26, 2020 Autumn may signal the end of summer, but that doesn’t mean the garden has to start wearing winter weeds yet. Nature makes it easy to celebrate this invigorating season with exciting new colors and textures in the garden. If you live in New England, for instance, you know the spectacular fall show put on by sugar maples. Growing Plants for Fall Color Autumn-blooming classics like chrysanthemum, aster and goldenrod are turning gardens everywhere into shades of yellow, orange and red. But that’s only a small fraction of the range of the possibilities when it comes to fabulous fall color in the garden. If you are just getting started, here’s our list of favorite colorful garden plants for explosive fall fireworks. Sumac – Sumac (Rhus spp.) rivals maples when it comes to riveting plants for fall color. These small … Read More

Affinity For Fall – Everything Is Possible During The Fall Season

Affinity For Fall – Everything Is Possible During The Fall Season
When you love someone, something reminds you of them every day – a snatch of a song, someone’s smile, an article you know they would have loved. The same is true of a season. I love autumn best of all seasons and every few days, something in the mood of the day reminds me that autumn is on its way. Autumn Memories Autumn is my favorite season. Spring is tender and summer lush, but it is fall that gets my vote for the most wonderful season. I don’t really know why. I love the freshening wind, the earthy colors, the crackle of leaves when you walk through the forest. I love the early twilight, the mushroom harvest, school starting back up, campfires snapping and birds heading south. Browns and greens, burnt orange, deep purple and scarlet. The colors of fall are the colors of turning leaves and turned soil. And... Read More

Autumn Garden Plants And Planning

Autumn Garden Plants And Planning
Autumn in the garden is a special time for me. It is a time to reflect on the year and think about what has worked well and what things I would change for the next year. It is also a time where I get tired of all the upkeep and tend to slow down a bit just to sit and enjoy the garden. Perennials in Autumn When I design my flower gardens, I always include perennials that bloom in the fall and as well as annuals and foliage plants that will provide interest during a time when most gardens slow down. Various fall-blooming plants, such as asters and fall-flowering anemones, add a special touch late in the season and are beneficial to pollinators. I’m a huge fan of Echinacea. Although they’re normally done blooming by autumn, I never deadhead them because goldfinches love the seeds. They will … Read More

Overcoming SAD – Fighting Seasonal Blues With The Onset Of Autumn

Overcoming SAD – Fighting Seasonal Blues With The Onset Of Autumn
I have a love-hate relationship with autumn. Here in the high desert, autumn is often the most beautiful time of year, and it can be hot until the end of October. On the other hand, snow flurries on Halloween aren’t unusual. So, I appreciate the warm days of autumn. Summer is winding down and kids are back in school (well, maybe). Harvest has been completed for the year and farmers are busy planting next year’s crops. Hopefully, the roots get a good head start before cold sets in. My Seasonal Affective Disorder Begins in Fall I hear people talking about how fall is their favorite time of year, but it’s incredibly bittersweet for me because it means winter is on its way. I dread winter because I have what is probably the world’s worst case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or at least it seems that way to me because... Read More

Changing Of The Leaves And Other Fall Stuff

Changing Of The Leaves And Other Fall Stuff
Autumn reminds me of love. It was the season I met my husband and it was the time of year we married. The smell of a bonfire, the cheering of football games and the brisk chill of fall air takes me back to our first year together – when love was new and wonderful. Love is like autumn in the garden too. Why Love is Like Autumn Love is an odd thing – kinda like finding a stray seed at the bottom of the seed box. You plant it never knowing whether it’s your prized heirloom pepper variety or a weedy F2 generation hybrid. It sprouts and grows slowly and surely, like love sometimes does. Yet, it takes months before you see the first blossom. Then you must patiently wait for the fruit to develop. As it grows, you begin to see the true form of the pepper. Is … Read More

Houseplant Sitting – Sometimes Growing Plants Inside Is Temporary

Houseplant Sitting – Sometimes Growing Plants Inside Is Temporary
I love houseplants and I have several, but they’re really nothing to write home about, with one exception: my African violets are beautiful. Growing plants inside just comes natural for some people – like my son, who has beautifully huge plants. Caring for Houseplants – My Own Caring for houseplants isn’t too difficult. My African violets grow like crazy, and they bloom several times every year. They outgrow the pots rapidly, so I separate and replant them. Soon, I’ll be overrun with African violets. I also have a few Christmas cactus that I love. I started with one that bloomed reliably when I lived in Portland, where it was in a north-facing window. Now that I’m in Eastern Oregon, I have several, but I don’t have a north-facing window, and other than a few piddly blooms, they refuse to do much of anything except get bigger. They’re pretty even without... Read More