Category: flower gardens

My Yard Looks Like S#*&!!! (The Cleanup)

 

I’ll admit it, I spend so much time making beautiful gardens for my clients that I often neglect my own garden. You know, the cobbler’s children have no shoes… The little bit of lawn I have left get mowed when my maintenance gardener decides to show up, I trim my iceberg roses back, so my kids can get out of my car, and I’ll put in some plants here or there when I have left overs or I want to experiment.

That’s the front.

Forget about the back.

My husband and I have been discussing putting in a deck for 2 years now, and I don’t want to invest too much in planting back there, so I put in a few tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers for fresh salads in the summer. The deck will happen. The six chickens also live in back in there own fenced off chicken yard under the giant ash tree.

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from a nursery I use often that they would like to feature my yard in a commercial they are filming. Um, sure! (I believe in the say YES! and then freak out way of doing things).

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Four Tips for Choosing the Best Gardening Tool (and a Free Bonus!)

Choose the best tool for the jobChoosing The Best Tool For The Job

I’ve collected a lot of garden tools over the years. Some I have purchased. Some my dad left to me when he passed away. Some have even been given to me as gifts. I do find myself using the same tools over and over again. There are a lot of choices available, and if you are a beginning gardener, the choices can seem overwhelming. Exactly how many types of pruners do I need?

I am going to give you 4 tips on how to choose the best and most useful tools, save you some money, plus give you a free bonus, so you know exactly what to get to make gardening easy and fun.

The Right Tool for the Job: Standing in front of the garden tools display at a nursery or big box store can be confusing and overwhelming. There are numerous varieties of shovels, rakes, and hoes. Before you buy any tools, take stock of what tools you might

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What Happened to Winter? February in the Garden

I love to wander around my yard and see the small things: the arrival of bees (or aphids), the changing of leaves, the first spring flowers. I’m not sure what happened to the El Nino and all the rain and cold weather we were supposed to get this winter in Los Angeles. A ridge of high pressure has kept the needed rain mostly to the north. It’s beautiful here, but too warm already. I was in Connecticut last week with my Client Attraction Business School peeps, and it was 24 degrees. I came home, and it’s been in the low 80s.

So I have been wandering around…Some observations: The Hardenbergia is blooming and full of bees (yay!). I have too much rosemary in my yard although I do love the blue flowers against the dark green leaves. My mini daffodils bloomed while I was away and are now past their peak, but the double Narcissus are in full bloom and the mix of their fragrance combined with my neighbor’s overloaded tangerine tree is intoxicating (someone needs to make a perfume). Plants and trees are feeling for spring: daisies, hellebores, the peach tree in my back yard are all

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Colorful Shade – Ways to Bring Color to a Shade Garden

Green is a color. In fact, when you look at just about any garden, I bet you can pick out several shades of green. As I am sure you know, gardens can practically explode with colors other than green, but for some reason there is the misconception that a shade or part shade garden means green and only green. I love designing and planting shade gardens. There is a quiet energy about them, and finding ways to add color to them through plants and other garden elements makes them all the more attractive.

Here are some easy ways to bring color to a shade garden:

Plants

Plants can bring color to a shade or part shade garden through their leaves, flowers, or bark. Japanese maple trees (Acer  palmatumvarieties) do really well in filtered light. Many varieties have red, orange, and even variegated leaves. For example, the Sango-Kaku or coral bark Japanese maple puts on a show with leaves that transition from yellow to orange to red AND has bark that is a vibrant red, which looks great especially in the winter.

Other favorite plants with colorful leaves that I regularly use in shady spaces include Heuchera and Solenostemon. Heuchera is

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From Garden to Vase- 8 Favorite Flowers for Your Cutting Garden

 

Confession time…When I was little, say 10 years old, my neighborhood friends and I would grab a pair of scissors to wander our neighborhood and steal prune flowers here and there from the beautiful gardens to give to our moms. We always told our moms that we cut the flowers the flowers from our friends’ yards, and our moms thought we were such generous and thoughtful children.

While I certainly don’t condone stealing your neighbors’ flowers, this little foray into the ‘dark side’ started a love of floral arrangements and flower gardens, and I am especially fond those that have that have that loose, gathered from the garden, inspired by Dutch master painters feel.

A reader asked me recently what are the best flowers to grow in a cutting garden. There are dozens of flowers that work well in floral arrangements – I mean you could dedicate your whole garden to roses! I thought I would help you out here and give you a list of 10 of my favorite flowers that are fairly easy to grow and look beautiful both in the garden as well as in the vase.

Choose flowers that have stiffer stems, have long lasting

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Help Me! Help My Garden! #3 Bugs and Berries

Today we tackle aphids, and planting strawberries and blueberries.

Bugs on my roses!  Q: My roses are starting to bud, and I can’t wait to see them bloom, but now the buds are covered with tiny bugs. What are they, and how to I get rid of them?

A: I am afraid your roses have aphids on them. The tender buds are these insects’ favorite treats, and if left untreated, they will suck the life out of the buds. These soft bodied insects are usually pale green or brown and will suck the sap from almost any plant. There are several non-chemical/less toxic methods to controlling them.

A good blast with a hose will easily knock them off the plants. Do this in the early morning so the leaves will have time to dry. You will need to repeat this often. Lady bugs LOVE to eat aphids. Most nursery centers sell little containers of lady bugs. Sprinkle them on the affected plants at dusk (so they don’t fly away), and let them enjoy the buffet. Be warned though, the containers hold hundreds of lady bugs, so if you have a small yard, share some with a neighbor. Insecticidal soap spray.

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Help Me, Help My Garden! Oh, Deer!

How cute are these guys? Not so cute if they are in your garden munching away on your Hydrangea…

Deer Proof Plants Q: I love seeing deer in my neighborhood, but they are a menace to my garden! Are there plants that deer won’t eat?

A: Yes, they’re cute, but deer are not particularly picky when it comes to what they like to eat. They can also jump over fences. While you won’t be able to deer proof your garden completely, there are plants that deer tend to pass over on the buffet. Here are some plants that I like, and you can also ask a local nursery professional if these plants aren’t available in your area.

Shrubs: Cape Mallow (Anisodontea), Bamboo, Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia), Bottlebrush (Callistemon), Lavender, Oleander (Nerium Oleander), Rosemary, Jade Plant

Vines: Bougainvillea, Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium Sempervirens), Jasmine, Potato vine (Solanum laxum)

Perennials/ Annuals: Yarrow (Achillea), Agave, Columbine (Aquilegia), Aster, Artemesia, Dahlias, Freesia, Hellebore, Peony, Gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta), Calla lily, Narcissus, Impatiens, Basil, Thyme

Deer can jump up to eight feet high, so erecting fencing that is at least that high around vegetable gardens, fruit gardens,  and rose gardens will also help deter these lovelies.

 

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Help Me, Help My Garden!

I have always been a huge admirer and fan of advice columnists like Dear Abby, Ask Amy, Dear Prudie. When I was still in Human Resources, I was thrilled when my boss asked my to write workplace advice column called ‘Dear Gabby’. I admit, I’m a helper, and I love giving advice when it is solicited. I know you have garden questions because I get dozens of them emailed to me every month, so I am starting a garden ‘advice’ column as part of the Eden Condensed blog. I hope you’ll learn something, get some advice, and feel more confident about your gardening skills by following along. And send me questions!! You can comment here with questions or fill out my message form.

Here are today’s garden issues:

Wilting Hydrangea  Q. I just planted a big leaf hydrangea in a shady area of my garden and it’s not doing well. It’s wilting and the leaves are starting to fall off. What did I do wrong?

A. The prefix ‘hydra’ means water, and hydrangeas need a lot of water. They have fleshy roots, and if they don’t get consistently moist soil, they will wilt very quickly, especially when they

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