Why Don’t Ornamental Cherry Trees Produce Fruit?

IMG 2461 1024x768 Why Don’t Ornamental Cherry Trees Produce Fruit?

There are two types of Cherry Trees, one type is bred for its beautiful blossoms (sakura) and the other for its fruit (sakuranbo). If you look closely, you will notice that the cherry trees with beautiful blossoms do have tiny cherries, they are the small and inedible remnants of the ornamental Cherry Tree’s past as the fruiting Cherry.

Unlike the fruiting variety, the Ornamental Cherry Tree is a human bred cultivar.  Historical records indicate that the Japanese nobility began a practice of sharing meals, and hosting picnics under blooming Cherry trees around the 700s AD, and as Cherry Trees because synonymous with hospitality, relaxation, and leisure, they were bred and adapted into more showy varieties for the home and garden.  Now many many generations later we have several different colors and varieties of trees bred only for their beauty, who provide gorgeous displays of blooms each spring even though they have lost their ability over the years to produce their own fruit.

The Strawberry Bush

IMG 3374 The Strawberry Bush

This hot pink and orange shocker is a North American native shrub grazed by Bluebirds, Mockingbirds, Deer, Wood Thrush, and Wild Turkey.  It is so startlingly different from what the first Europeans to New England were familiar with, that it was purposely cultivated by colonists for shipment back to their countries of origin.  The colonists nicknamed the shrub “Hearts-a-Bursting,” and naturalists claim that the Native Americans at the time used it’s roots to make a homeopathic tea that treated things like stomach and urinary problems, and a prolapsed uterus.

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“Women’s Work” Paintings

Screen shot 2010 12 23 at 10 29 34 PM1 293x300 Womens Work Paintings

Girls are made up of sugar and spice no more, and these ‘Do It Yourself’ canvas mavens are ready to take care of business with or without help! [Read more...]

For Kids: Rearing Praying Mantis Young For Your Yard

5170 200B For Kids: Rearing Praying Mantis Young For Your Yard 5170 200 For Kids: Rearing Praying Mantis Young For Your Yard

If you’ve ever been curious about Praying Mantids and want to begin importing some to your yard, or if you just want to teach your child about the life cycle of insects, this is a great find!  These Praying Mantis Pagoda‘s come with a viable egg case which can be safely kept in the house to hatch your own Mantis young.  Simply follow the directions, and wait for the young to hatch, all within view!   The juveniles need to be placed outdoors soon after hatching to prevent cannibalism (one or two days after hatching) and make great assets in the garden as pest hunters extraordinaire.

The Pagoda and egg case set together cost 20 dollars, and are available in a set only from January through March. In cold climates where temperatures do not rise above 50 degrees regularly until March or April, make sure to order your case in the month of March to give your insects the best chance of survival when you move them outdoors. Mantids in the wild don’t wake up from hibernation to hatch until warmer weather, timed perfectly for when their food supply comes out. Frosty weather may kill any young placed out too early, so take care to set your Praying Mantis’ up for success outdoors.

Check it out online!

(Another great use for this pagoda is as a temporary way-station for those summer lightening bugs, and it can collapse flat for easy storage in between!)

101 Flower Arrangements; A Review

51EDZ54BABL. SS500  101 Flower Arrangements; A Review

Chase away your winter blues permanently this year by filling your home with creative arrangements made by you!  This beautifully illustrated resource and coffee table book is a must have for the DIY decorator.

101 Flower Arrangements: Stylish Home Ideas 101 Flower Arrangements; A Review is filled with creative ideas, step-by-step instructions, and lists of online floral suppliers. This book strives to teach you the basics of floral design, and then build your confidence in creating looks that are personal to you.

Whether you are ready to take on new and exciting plants, or just want to make the most of the flower bundles from Trader Joes, this book will teach you how to arrange beyond the vase.

Pick it up and Enjoy.

Gifts for Gardeners

Gifts 2 Gifts for GardenersLooking for more ideas for yourself, or a gardenista in your life?  Check these sweet gift ideas out!

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Stealing Shotgun

I left my golf cart unattended today and returned to find this waiting for me on the shotgun side.

Swan from behind Stealing Shotgun



Just so we’re clear, this is what belongs on the passenger floorboard of my golf cart – one 60 pound Border Collie.  He comes, he works, he bums cookies, he eats goose poop, he goes home.

Leck on Golf Cart Stealing Shotgun


Again, this is not what belongs on my golf cart. This is what shows up sitting on my floorboard when a he decides to wait me out where he will be sure not to miss me – or the cracked corn he’s sure I carry on my person at all times.

Ignition Swan Stealing Shotgun

This also has me  worried.  This guy and his mate are escape artists.  Is he really just playing with the shiny keys, or trying to learn how to flip the ignition switch?

God help us all.

Iron Deficiencies In The Garden

IMG 3384 1024x768 Iron Deficiencies In The Garden

Fall is a great time to check your plants for overall health.  As the leaves start falling I want you to keep on the lookout for under-preforming plants like this azalea, with faded leaves and deep green veins. The weeks before deciduous plants begin to shut down for the season are some the the best times to preform a healthy check on your shrubs and trees.  This particular Azalea has a common problem that’s easy to spot this time of year, iron deficiency.

Iron Deficiency:

Iron deficiency occurs in high alkaline soil. The high Ph of the soil binds Iron in the soil, and prevents plants from absorbing it and creating chlorophyll, and passively prohibits photosynthesis.  Severe cases of Iron deficiency will cause leaves to go from faded green with green veins to a solidly bright yellow color, before dropping off the bush. It is a condition that can be exacerbated by over fertilization, or by very wet and swampy conditions, so knowing the area around your plant is important in diagnosing the case of the problem.

Iron deficiencies occur most commonly in acid loving plants like Camellias, Azaleas, and fruiting vines and trees, so if you prefer to grow many of these you will want to check them periodically for iron problems.


The quickest way to correct an iron deficiency is through an application of any common garden fertilizer to the drip line of the effected plants, or an application of liquid iron. Fertilizers with slow release control to them are best, and although a liquid iron application will provide immediate results, they quickly fade out with rain, and a more long term solution is necessary. The easiest long term solution for improving your garden shrubs health is by applying a leaf mold, homemade compost, or bagged manure to the garden bed, and mulching over it for the winter.

Iron deficiency can damage or kill your garden shrubs if it is not eliminated, so check your shrubs and trees over as you complete you fall garden tasks and set yourself up for better success with in the spring!

The Facts About Mushrooms In The Lawn

Mushroom The Facts About Mushrooms In The Lawn

If there’s one thing lawn purists don’t want to find in their yard it’s mushrooms!  These fungal frustrations crop up in all types of grass, and can stand out like sore thumbs in a lush green lawn.  There are two schools of thought on mushrooms and whether you should seek to control them or not, so here are the facts you need to know about mushrooms to decide how to handle them in your yard.

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2010 Gifts For Gardeners


Gifts1 2010 Gifts For Gardeners

The official gift giving season is upon us, but with birthdays, anniversaries, and the occasional need for appologies that include gift wrap, it helps to have a couple ideas on hand that will go over well with the gardener in your life.  Whether it is a gift for yourself or for a friend, here are a few great gifting suggestions for garden lovers!

  1. modern birdhouse from Oryx and Crake Design, is a break from the ordinary with it’s modern and open design! The house is constructed from weather treated bamboo, and runs about 95 dollars.  They look great hanging indoors or out, or can be attached directly to a tree for  feathered tenants.
  2. This watering can that will look great sitting next to your containers!  The 7.5 liter watering can is constructed from recycled plastics, available in green or black and is created by designer Pascal Charmolu.  The quantities sell out quickly with this model due to its popularity and are available off an on, so check back in if they are sold out this week.
  3. Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food 2010 Gifts For Gardeners is a great read that helps you get more out of your vegetable garden, and provides time tested tips from three authors and garden bloggers to help you grow your own fruits and veggies! It’ll run you about
  4. These upsidown hanging planters from Mudpuppy run about 32 dollars per pair, and are a great architectural way to expand your growing space, and create an eye catching statement all at one time. The pots come gift wrapped, and look great indoors or out!  Pop an air plant in them for a no maintenance focal piece.
  5. Everyone likes a cute front porch bell, and this one from ETSY is homey and welcoming. Each bell come gift wrapped in decorative box tied with twine, and is giveaway ready!  These puppies looks folksy dangling below your favorite hanging basket or tree and catching the breese year round. Dog bells are hand made from high fire stone clayware, and are only made in limited quantities, so act fast if you want to round one of these guys up as a stocking stuffer!
  6. Chicken keeping is sweeping the nation, but when the average chicken tractor doesn’t get you excited, this charming modern coop will do just that!  This coop is created from reclaimed cedar, and can be shipped fully assembled to any place in the US and Canada for $750 plus shipping, or for a little less than 50 bucks you can purchase the blueprints, and build your own.  This coop makes a very popular gift for the small scale chicken enthusiast, and will look great in any back yard. Check it out!

I love this ecclectic selection of gardener friendly gifts, and I’ll be posting more great ideas on Wednesday of this week to help you get a jump on you holiday shopping! 

Until then, happy gardening!