A Homemade Anti-Fungal Spray

IMG 2632 1024x768 A Homemade Anti Fungal Spray

I have an amazing espalier rosebush in my backyard this year that is setting records with the sheer amount of blooms on it.  Unfortunately it’s also suddenly covered in black spot fungus, and needs some major help right now.

Black spot is caused by a fungal infestation that occurs in wet locations, or humid places.  It can be triggered by late evening watering, or misting sprinklers, and it spreads rapidly on roses if it’s not caught right away and pruned out.  For bushes with major black spot problems a store-bought anti-fungal spray, or an application of horticultural oil can work adequately, but for the DIYers like myself, a home remedy will fix the problem and save you the gas and pocket money.

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A Heuchera And Caladium Container

IMG 2627 A Heuchera And Caladium Container

Container gardens don’t always have to feature endless rotations of flowers, a bright collage of leafy foliage works just as well!

For this container in partial sun and shade I chose to use a few Caladium, Heuchera, and Lobelia plants, to add light and texture to an open patio corner.  Heuchera is gaining in popularity as a container plant, particularly when it is layered into a garden with several different colors.  For this container I used ‘Black Beauty,’ and ‘Caramel’ Heuchera to contrast each other.   The Caladium colors I used where ‘Pink Beauty’ and ‘White Christmas,’ and over the course of the season they should grow to be very large, and regal, making tall centerpieces in this container.

The light blue flower spilling over the edge of the pot is Lobelia erinus, which is a solid selection for any warm weather container when you need flowers, and a ground cover in one plant.

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A Formal Rose Container Design

IMG 2625 607x1024 A Formal Rose Container Design

Formal container designs look organized and crisp in any setting, but my favorite place to use these is around doorway entrances. This week I chose to flank the front door to a busy office building with two matching formal rose designs that look like this, using a blue and hot pink palette.

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Adding “Architectural” Interest To The Garden With Concrete Moulding

IMG 2584 1024x768 Adding “Architectural” Interest To The Garden With Concrete Moulding

All gardens need focal pieces, and a friend named Enyo shared a few of her favorite pieces with me this week.

Enyo is lucky enough to travel the world with her husband due to his work with a popular architectural firm.  They’ve spent a few years off and on in a several different countries, and regions of the United States, and picked up some beautiful pieces of outdoor pottery, and concrete moulding along the way.  Her favorite garden accents are these re-claimed concrete moulding pieces from job sites that the firm was renovating. [Read more...]

Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s

IMG 2515 1024x1024 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s

Spring’s on-again, off-again weather fluctuations can cause problems when you are looking for a reliable set of plants that can take the chilly nights and sunny days. The three “P’s” in this cool weather spring themed container are Pansies, Prim Roses and Purple Spider Osteospermum.

The Purple Spider Osteospermum, and Pansies are annuals, and the Prim Roses are perennials and self spreaders. All of these work well in a partially sunny, or fully sunny area, and the Osteospermum will help stretch the flowering of the design until the summer.  Once the Pansies drop their flowers and die back, replace them with a summer annual, or your favorite flowering perennial.

For a loose free feel, choose uneven numbers of each variety of plant, and fill the pot to the brim with a variety of colors

IMG 25151 150x150 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s IMG 25152 150x150 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s IMG 25153 150x150 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s

Purple Spider Osteospermum, Prim Rose, and Pansy

Canadian Goose Eggs, And the Protocol for Population Control

IMG 2480 1024x768 Canadian Goose Eggs, And the Protocol for Population Control

The Federal Migratory Bird Act protecting Canada Geese has been adapted in recent years though to allow for careful population control in residential and agricultural areas. The new protective orders allow for careful and documented control of nests and eggs, giving land owners one more option in responsible wildlife oversight.

While Canadian Geese are still protected by the “Migratory Bird Act,” in recent years their population has grown by 300% in some areas of the United States , and caused issues in communities, and airport parks where the bird population poses a threat to human health and safety.  In 2006 a new protocol to handle goose populations under the oversight of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service came about in the form of the “Resident Canada Goose Nest and Depredation Order.” This order is completely separate from the Airport Depredation Order and Airport Control Orders, which is designed to keep our airports and flights safe from the threat of goose related damage.  The Resident Canada Goose Nest and Depredation Order is designed for landowners, businesses, and local municipalities that have issues with Canadian Geese, and who commit to responsible control methods which can now include egg addling, puncturing, and shaking.

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The Perfect Shrub For DIY Bouquets & Arrangements

Bouquet The Perfect Shrub For DIY Bouquets & Arrangements

If you are like me, the winter months can become frustrating with the lack of floral fodder from the garden close at hand to create indoor arrangements. Craft stores, florists, and even your local grocery store have plenty of floral supplies to help you fill the house with blooms, but for the true DIYer who enjoys building their own centerpieces, the right floral accent to make your designs stand out is as close as your local garden center. Why not save some money in the long term, and plant the perfect “ting” alternative in your very own yard?

There is a great plant on the market that has become a favorite in the florist industry for winter weddings and crafts. It is easy to grow, and available a many garden centers now across the country. This fabulous find is Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.

Decorator Designs For Every Season:

  • Spring: Mix curly stems into a tall vase of Daffodils, and hang Easter eggs and neatly strung spring cut-outs from the boughs.
  • Summer: Prune smaller branches off the shrub, pick the leaves off, and use the twigs in place of ‘ting’
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Re-using Hardboiled Easter Egg Shells For Wild Birds

Easter Eggs Re using Hardboiled Easter Egg Shells For Wild Birds

Photo Courtesy of: jakeprzespo

Hardboiled eggs are making their seasonal comeback as snacks, decorations, and salad fixins at the same time that their crushed shells can benefit the local songbird population the most.

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Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early Spring

Rhubarb Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early Spring3712121307 4907200bec m 150x150 Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early SpringAsparagus 150x150 Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early SpringStrawberry 150x150 Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early Spring

A little cold weather won’t bother these toughies!  To get  jump start on your fruit and vegetable garden move young or indoor grown seedlings of Rhubarb, Blackberry, Asparagus, and Strawberry plants outside in March.   These plants can thrive outdoors in the fickle temperatures of early Spring, and be ready for harvest quickly.

Quick Tips:

  • Rhubarb grown in colder climates will be harvest ready in April or May, or in the Fall if planted later.  When grown in the southern areas of the USA or in the Southern Hemisphere it can be grown year round for pies and jellies.
  • Blackberries, and Strawberries will be harvest ready in the June through October window with regular picking.  As with most berries, picking off a few fruits or flower buds before maturation will reduce the competition between the ovaries, and provide you with fewer, but much larger fruit.
  • Asparagus doesn’t take up much room during the planting and harvesting stage, but from mid to late summer when it needs to be allowed to fill out and produce berries, it can be a total garden hog!  Make sure to plant this delicious beast somewhere where its loose fern shape won’t offend your garden scheme, or impede pathways.  Garden centers advise that a three year old plant is the most reliable producer, so don’t  plan on instant gratification with this favorite gourmet veggie.  For long term success, it’s best to leave the plant alone for a few years to allow it to really take to root in your veggie patch.
Photo’s Courtesy of:  cygnus921, Rob Ireton, ^riza^

How To: Rid Your Houseplants of Whitefly

whitelfy and larva 300x199 How To: Rid Your Houseplants of Whitefly
Photo Courtesy of : Eran Finkle -
Whitefly can become a nuisance year-round for your favorite indoor plants, and over-wintering outdoor plants inside through the cold weather can sometimes compound the problem by bringing new insects into the house. Pesticides in granular form can take care of this problem for you, but for those of us with pets, children, or the desire to use something less toxic, there are solutions that will help you gain control of your problem. Ideally you will want to eliminate all the life stages of Whitefly that may be living on or around your favorite houseplant and do it quickly.  Adult Whitefly are not only deadly to plants due to their feeding methods, but they are also carriers of plant diseases from one plant to another. [Read more...]