Up North...

Up North...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Choosing the Right Annual For The Right Spot

written by GartenGrl

Marigolds and Pansies

Choosing the Right Annual For The Right Spot

Every year when it comes time to plant your annuals there a few things you need to consider. The location of where you are planting, is the danger of frost past, what kind of irrigation system you are dealing with, what kinds of annuals and what sort of feel you want your garden bed to have.

Before you can even make any decisions about the colors and flowers you want to use you need to consider the location of your garden. For example, if you live in Michigan you need to know that Michigan has hot and dry summers, and late spring frosts. In this case you would want to pick an annual that can handle a light frost, such as marigolds, or begonias and can also handle the very hot and dry summer weather. The annual should hold up in extreme heat, but remember that all annuals need to be Mid-Summer Flowers IIfrost hepburn springswatered regularly, not over watered or you will just have dead annuals.

Is the spot a dry shade, wet shade, dry sun, wet sun, somewhere in between?

You need to know how much sun this location gets. Is it morning sun which is cooler or is it afternoon sun which is more brutal?

Does the spot get 6 hours of sun or less…because if it gets less than 6 hours, a full sun plant will not thrive. You are better off with a partial sun/shade choice.

So the next thing you want to consider is what kind of irrigation system do you have. If you have one that is professionally installed and basically waters the whole bed, then just make sure you adjust it to water only about 3 or 4 days a week for about half an hour.

Plants do not need water every day! In fact their roots need to dry out just a little so that they are encouraged to grow and reachMorning Glories in North Garden for the water. If you water a plant too much it will surely die as if you never watered it at all.

Perhaps you do not have an irrigation system and will be watering by hand. Well that is something to consider as well. You will need to choose an annual that can go a few days without water in an emergency…like if you go away for a day or two. Find out from your local nursery what kind of watering is recommended for your particular region. They are usually very helpful and knowledgable.

Once you have considered all these factors and are at the flower store reading all the labels about Sun, Partial Sun, Shade…you are ready to think about the ways you want to combine your annuals.

It is really up to you, but consider that you may want the taller ones in the back. And to pick something that fills in around the other plants nicely and quickly, like a potatoe vine or some such thing. This will ultimately help to shade the bottom of the plants and help with water retention which will be good for the root systems.

Some people like a monochromatic garden and other people like all different colors…it is really about what you personally prefer. Once you have this part figured out you can add some cool garden things. Have fun and plan a little first to save some money later!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Leopard Moth in the Garden

My boyfriend is a gardener and landscaper like me. Although he mostly does lawn care this time of year, which is something I do not do. But yesterday he came to my house and told me he had seen the coolest moth. Well, we looked it up on the internet...he is a bit of a ludite...and we discovered it was this lovely creature.
At this site:

Teenagers in the Garden

I have had my own garden maintenance biz for about 11 years now. Things are going pretty well. As I get older it does get more challenging. So naturally as my biz expands I am looking for ways to delegate some of the labor.Well, it so happens I also have a teenage daughter. Lovely, healthy and 13. Well, this summer she has decided she would like to earn some $$MONEY$$...of course I am excited that she understands she must earn money and appreciates the value of money-having the desire to do things and buy things like most teens. So we agreed that when she got out of school this summer she could come and work for me....

Today was her first day. She wore flip flops, shorts and was completely unprepared. I was not going to say anything, though. I can't tell her her business, but I did tell her that once she is on the job she has to wear a good attitude and follow directions...LOL...!

After 10 minutes she was done-I kid you not. Her feet were wet...she had to go to the bathroom(the woods was not an option I guess)...and she was tired. So she spent the next hour in the car. I did finally cajole her into weeding along a brick path while I pruned a hedge, dead headed 20 peonies and about 30 Iris and then swept, watered and blew off the decks. Sigh...She promised to have a better attitude and wear more appropriate clothes next time...

Me thinks it is going to be a long summer...I'll keep ya posted, though.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Plants I Can do Without

I suppose as a gardener I am expected to just love all plants. Well...that is actually not the case at all. In fact sometimes I feel like a plant hater. Like for example when I am pulling out tarp fulls of weeds in the garden. It feels more like a plant holocaust at the times I am spraying with round-up. Which I try not to do too often...because, well...pulling just works faster.

So I thought I would take a minute to write about some of the plants that I don't care for. Not exactly considered weeds per se...but undesirable in my garden. So here is a list of my top ten least desirable plants.

1. Canadian Day Lillies. Orange, tall, blade like foliage. Two words for ya. TAKE OVER.
They take over and pillage your garden. Do not introduce this plant. Good for next to the highway...far and away places that you have not desire to tend to.

2. Snow on the Mountain. Don't like snow in winter...don't like it taking over my garden. You will seriously regret introducing this variegated plant if it decides to lose it's variegation and just become a green weed that chokes out every living thing in its path.

3. Horse Tail...this is a weed. It is simply NOT an ornamental. Do not introduce this plant unless you are planning to introduce every other invasive species on the planet into your flower garden. Ha....I am telling you now. Heed my advice.

4. Those giant hostas that take ovcr and multiply like baby rabbits and turn your garden into a giant green umbrella for slugs. I don't know what that particular variety is called, but I know you know which ones I am talking about. They go forth and multiply and bury everything good.

5. Oh! Which brings me to Lilly of the Valley. I am pretty sure hell is carpeted with this ground cover. It is the ultimate mono culture ground cover...it will eventually kill and drown every living thing in its path. It's not that I don't love the smell...I'm just saying...if you love Lilly of the Valley you will have only Lilly of the Valley...be careful what you wish for.

6. Hmmmm....I seem to be slowing down on the plants I hate...I'll have to get back to this later.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Cool Things I Have Found In My Garden...

Here is another toad...in a garden I take care of...not my own actually. This one has been immortalized in stone.
I looked up from my weeding the other day to spot the garden kitty running by with a baby chipmunk in his mouth. I jumped up and waved my arms in an attempt to save said chipmunk...well...he escaped...but I tell you that cat hung around the tree he ran up for a long time...another day I suppose.
A swallow tail fluttered by yesterday as I was killing some weeds with round up. I am guilty...of spraying...but it was poison ivy. Don't hate me...