Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Morning Glory (Ipomoea)

Hot Pink Ipomoea


Purple/Blue Ipomoea


Morning Glory (Ipomoea) at Wall Flower Studio



Growing Morning Glories in your garden from seed is extremely easy.

Here in Canada, and other colder climates, they are treated as annuals and should be planted outdoors in containers, a week or 2 after the last frost date.

Before planting the seeds, they need to be soaked in tepid water overnight.
This helps speed up the germination process.
When planting Morning Glory seeds, a site that receives full sun and has well-drained, average soil is the way to go.
Adding a bit of compost to the mix is advisable as it will add nutrients to the soil.

Plant the seeds about an inch deep in the soil. I usually plant all of the seeds from my own cache, and find there is approximately a 90% germination from those.

If you find you've too many in one spot, they can be divided when they are an inch or so high.
Since Morning Glory's are vines, the time to add supports is when you plant the seeds. In the picture above, I've used bamboo stakes with some mesh around it. I've also used jute and raffia before. They all work equally well.
Depending on the variety of morning glory, the supports need to be 6 to 10 feet high.
Gently twine the young plants around the support, if the supports are put in after the plants are already shooting up..

During the growth phases as well as otherwise, keep your morning glory flowers evenly moist. They'll do the rest!!
The Morning Glory received it's name because it's bloom lasts for a single morning and dies in the afternoon. However, the plant gets filled with new flowers each day. It continues to bloom for the whole season!
Happy Gardening!
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Sunday, 16 August 2009

Hemerocallis ~ The Day lily


Double daylily at Wall Flower Studio

Day lilies are most likely the easiest perennial you could ever grow.

They flourish in almost all soils, (sandy to clay), but giving them soil that is rich in organic matter, or compost, is always a plus for most any plant.

In my garden, I have daylilies growing in full sun, however, I've happily discovered that they will also tolerate a good amount of shade.

If they were to be a little particular about anything, it would be their preference to neutral soils. Any garden with too much of an acid or alkaline base will not do for growing daylily plants!

They are really hardy, which suits this gardener well, especially in our Canadian climate, (zone 4b here), and as far as I can tell, they are free from pests and diseases, except for slugs, which do some damage to the leaves during an overly wet Summer, which this has been.

The picture above is from my own garden. A huge double daylily. I want more of these! Truly scrumptious looking!

(I'm thinking the orange colour of the daylily is complimented nicely with the purple Astilbe in the background)

The only thing I don't like about daylilies is that each flower don't last longer, hence the name. Happily, though, there's always new varieties to purchase every year to add with your garden's collection.

Happy Gardening!
Hemerocallis links
~Canadian Hemerocallis society
~BBC - Gardening - Daylily
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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Oenothera ~ Evening Primrose


North America since the early 16th century.
It was originally grown as an edible plant, however the bright yellow flowers
make for a beautiful ornamental display in the garden.

Now, evening primrose is widely known for its medicinal properties.
The plant is usually grown as a biennial, which forms a rosette of leaves the first year
and sends up 3’ – 4’ stems of flowers the second year,
however, I’ve had them bloom in the first.
These wonderful plants are extremely hardy, drought tolerant,
grow in any soil, and totally thrive on neglect! That's my kind of gardening!

Evening primrose seeds can be planted outdoors in fall, but they can also be
started indoors, under lights, in pots in early Spring.
The seeds are really small, so don’t plant them very deep or let them dry out.

Keeping the soil moist but not sodden and with the help of warm lights,
or a sunny, warm location, the seedlings should develop splendidly!

Plant them in a sunny location in your garden and they will do the rest!
(I have mine in the rock garden where the soil is atrocious, but they are thriving!)

Happy Gardening
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Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Native Plants in the Garden - A good idea!


Gardening with Native Plants

One of the most positive gardening trends is the commitment of gardeners towards organic practices in their garden. There is an increased awareness and interest to view the natural landscapes of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands for inspiration in their gardens.

There are many ecological and environmental reasons to use native plants in the garden. It makes for an increase in biodiversity, provides habitat for creatures such as butterflies, birds and other pollinators, and can become a refuge for the many native plants that are increasingly becoming rare in their natural habitats.
Using native plants helps to conserve water and eliminates the need for pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals that we are realizing are unhealthy practices on our planet.

The benefits of native plant gardening include less work and a beautiful garden.

Native plants evolved here and adapted to the environment in which they grow. That means the weather patterns and the other flora and fauna that have evolved with them are equally comfortable together.

These variations of adaptability to the regional environment are what make native plants so effortless to raise.

Some links of interest

www.nanps.org/index.shtml

http://www.cnf.ca/

http://www.cwf-fcf.org/

www.ontariowildflower.com/links.htm

www.acorn-online.com/hedge/h-socs.htm

http://www.wildflowermag.com/

http://www.butterflygardeners.com/ -USA

http://www.evergreen.ca/nativeplants/learn-more/nanps-guidelines.php

http://www.allnativeflora.com/

Friday, 7 August 2009

Save Your Seeds : ) Here's a few reasons why...


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Here are my reasons:


(And really, Saving Seeds is no trouble at all!)





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1.)


Saving seed appeals to my motto of "waste not want not".


I hate to see anything good go unused, and the economical reasons alone, especially in today's financial climate, makes a ton of sense.


Seed savers knows that by gathering up seeds and storing them carefully away for next year's garden is preservation for next year's crop, and less money to fork out.
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2.)

Personal selection.

I like the thought of developing my own vigorous strains over several seasons of selective seed saving. Saving seeds from the plants with the qualities you most prize, you will soonhave varieties that are ideally adapted to your garden and growing conditions.
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3)

Maintain bio-diversity.

Fewer and fewer old varieties of food crops are available, so seed saving keeps the vegetable world's food choices diversified.

Today many of the world's food plants are disappearing, including vegetables, grains and fruit varieties. Approx. 70 % of the world's major food plants have already been lost. This is because modern agriculture practices require high yield, uniform plants, so the genetic base of the world's food plants has been greatly reduced. This has left the world dependent on a few, closely related varieties of each crop.
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4)

Historical value.

Many plant varieties we save or trade are living links to the past.

Seed saving is a way to link with our ancestors. As gardener's this is a responsibility and opportunity to pass these wonderful heirlooms to future generations.
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5)

Sustainability.

We don't need big corporate seed companies taking care of us and choosing the foods and flowers that we can grow. Many of these companies sell varieties that are tasteless, but travel well. That's not a good enough reason for me. Self reliance is very satisfying. It is our right to save seeds and make sure that there is enough variety on the planet which makes for bio-diversity. It's the cycle of life.

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Some Seed Saving Sites to Survey!


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The Seed Site
Lots of pictures of seeds and info on harvesting and drying. This site is from a British gardener with lots of personal experience collecting seeds.

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Doug Green's Gardening Tips
Great info about starting your perennial seeds. How to store, plant and grow your seeds.

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Seed Germnation Database
A comprehensive database of seed germination information.

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Seeds Of Diversity ~ (My personal favourite and I'm a member). Canada's Heritage Seed Program - A non-profit group of gardeners who save seeds from rare and unusual garden plants for the purpose of preserving varieties


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Both beginning and experienced gardeners can easily learn how to save all of their own heirloom seeds

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Monday, 3 August 2009

Rudbeckia - Black Eyed Susan


I love Black-Eyed Susans, and not just because of their natural beauty, but also because the deer do not like them! And although I've heard that rabbits do, fortunately, I have 2 cats, and the rabbits don't like them!

I believe this variety is called "Cappuccino", but if I'm wrong, feel free to let me know. : )

There are about 25 species in the Rudbeckia genus, all native to the plains and prairies of the Midwest.

Rudbeckia species are obviously referred to as Black-Eyed Susans because of their dark-brown central disk flowers, which are surrounded by bright yellow daisy-like flowers.
Many species freely self-seed if not dead-headed, which will result in many small plants growing en masse throughout the garden. I like that look!

Black Eyed Susans will reach 2 feet; it's a perennial that blooms from late June right into Autumn and is hardy in Canada to zone 4, (and perhaps even pushed to 3).
In the US it's hardy to zone 3.