Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Amaryllis - Seedheads and Seedlings

I stuck an Amaryllis seed in my begonia plant. Lo' and behold, it's growing!
The Amaryllis is still blooming, and has been for a month, now. 18 stalks all together grew this year. Puts a big smile on my face! If you haven't visited my blog before, this Amaryllis is over 100 years old. A true heirloom!
I've hand pollinated all the flowers and as you can see, there's lots of seedheads now. When planting Amaryllis seeds, it's best to treat them like a Maple key seed. A bit of the top of the seed should be sticking out of the soil. They should be kept moist, but not sopping wet. Would love to hear from anyone else who has been successful with starting Amaryllis from seed. Thanks for visiting and Happy Gardening, whether it's indoors or out!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Sunflower Seedheads

The Arikara Sunflower - Harvesting seeds
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They're almost as pretty as when they're flowering!
I just love the pattern. Only nature can do stuff like that.
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Thanks for visiting!
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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Autumn Colours - Mother Nature pulls out all the stops!

Well, I really love the place in which I live, especially this time of year.
Nature reminds me over and over why I now live, paint and garden in a zone 4 (or USDA zone 3) location, when I could have continued on in a zone 6 and kept my Japanese Maples, etc.
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The colours of the Haliburton Highlands are especially grand this year. Now is the time to view the decline of the garden, the bounty of the landscape & harvest, and start planning for next year.
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Thanks for visiting, and, Happy Autumn!
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Friday, 24 September 2010

Friday Flower - Blooming Still @ Wall*Flower*Studio

The humble Viola, growing smack dab in the middle of my mulched garden path.
What can I say about these precious little gems? Really, a tougher flower you won't find.
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This plant has recieved much abuse this year, mainly due to it's location on the path.
I've tromped on it several times, got it with the mower once or twice, my son has ridden over it with his bike, and countless times, the hose has been dragged across it, yet, it's still thriving.
Have to admire any living thing that practices such determination!
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Happy Friday!
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Monday, 20 September 2010

Alliums - Flowering Onions

'Purple Sensation'

'Karataviense'

'Caeruleum'
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Three of my favourite Alliums. These are the ones I'm currently growing in my garden. I also have a drumstick Allium, but neglected to take a photo this year. Silly me!
I'm always on the lookout for more of these beautiful bulbs and will plant a few more varieties this fall. I love the fact that they're deer resistant, which is pretty important here where I live, and to many other gardeners too, I suspect!
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Alliums are one of my favourite plants to grow for many reasons. They tolerate poor garden soil, and establish themselves very easily. Once that's done, they'll naturalize well, too!
Allium is the latin name for garlic, and they're part of the onion family.
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There are so many varieties, shapes, colours and sizes of Alliums available now. Purple Sensation grows to about 3 feet. Karataviense is a great one for the front of a border since it only grows to about 12 inches, and has a nice big flower head. Caeruleum, which is also sometimes called the blue drumstick, grows 2 to 3 feet tall and is a lovely soft blue colour.
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Alliums look great in the garden. The showy globe shape makes an excellent cut flower, and will dry well, too, however, I've never had the heart to cut them when they look so nice growing in the garden.
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I've saved the seeds from all of the ones you see here, and now is the time of year to plant them. They're easy to grow from seed, but will take a few years before they get to the point of flowering. But that's okay. I'm a patient gardener!
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These hardy bulbs will tolerate my zone 4 (Canada) or zone 3 (USDA) Garden, but they do prefer a mostly sunny location. A rule of thumb when planting bulbs is to dig them in about 3 times the depth of the bulb. Very easy, and nature does the rest!
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Like most bulbs, after flowering, the foliage needs to die back naturally. This is when the bulb takes in it's nutrients and food for next year's growth.
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Happy Gardening!

Friday, 17 September 2010

#FridayFlower @ Wall*Flower*Studio - Teddybear Sunflowers

These little fellows are Teddybear sunflowers. I just love them!
They're about 2 feet tall and are the cutest heirlooms I've ever grown from seed.
Thinking the name suits them well!
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Hope you're having a Happy Flowering friday!
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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Sunflowers - The Heirloom Arikara - Blooming still, in the Garden!

Stately Arikara Sunflowers


Big, Beautiful Flower Heads
Overlooking the garden


Grown in the veggie patch, from seed
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I can't go on enough about the stately Arikara Sunflower. They truly are an amazing plant to grow. This time of year, I'm always in awe of their grandeur, and the fact that these 7 ft. tall plants can grow from a single little seed, planted only a few months ago.
These ones you see above are all grown organically, are open-pollinated, and are always laden with bees! I love growing plants for the pollinators.
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They're an heirloom dating back millenia, rich with history, originally collected by the Arikara First Nations People in North Dakota.
Interesting to me is the size and shape of the flower heads which has quite a range, due to it's diverse genetic origins. The Arikara grows anywhere from 6 feet to 12 feet. Quite a feat! ; )
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So, when all is harvested in the garden and the blooms are spent, these stately flowers really strut their stuff.
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Thanks for visiting & Happy Gardening!
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Monday, 13 September 2010

Borage - Borago officinalis


I just love Borage. It's colour is such a lovely shade of blue. I have a thing for blue flowers, and not only are these plants beautiful, but they're useful herbs, too. Thinking it's very underrated in the garden, as it is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes since it repels hornworms.
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Borage is an annual herb where I live, but in warmer climates, it will thrive and bloom throughout the year.
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The flowers are edible. They can be used in soups & salads, as a substitute for spinach, stuffed into traditional pastas, for flavouring gherkins, and also for making teas or iced drinks. Very versatile!
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It's not a fussy plant and will grow in most soils. But like most plants, it will grow fuller and thrive more in amended soil.
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Borage doesn't seem to dry well, but I've saved the seeds for next year. I'm looking forward to growing this amazing plant again!
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Happy Gardening!
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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Garden Ornaments - Hiding amongst the plants!

A cement Turtle paired with a Deer Antler, (found in the forest).

Rusty the Rabbit.. (It's actually a "piggy" bank)

Iron compote. I move this around all the time!

Victorian style hose guard & a metal butterfly. Kind of tacky, but I think it keeps the deer away. It bobs a bit in the wind!

A metal bee on a stake, which also bobs a bit. Also a solar garden night light. There's a few of them around the garden.

Chinese style lanterns hanging on metal pole plant hangers, affixed in the half barrel planters.

The really tacky one that everyone comments on! This fellow is there because my doorbell doesn't work, so it's next to the door, but it's more of a placebo really because if my dishwasher is on, or the music, I'll not hear you knocking!!
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I was on twitter and noticed a few other garden bloggers mentioning the garden ornaments in their's and other people's gardens. It really got me thinking, so I went out and snapped a few pictures so I could jump on the bandwagon.
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Why do we decorate our gardens? I'm guessing it's because they are an extension of us and our homes. I don't have any really grand statues in my garden. No flamingos or little elves, but I do l like to place things amongst the plants. Seems to be a common thing among gardeners! I guess it personalizes the space and brings a human factor to nature.
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So, the only one missing from here is my gargoyle, and he's so small that I can't find where he is! I'll have to wait for the frost when the plants die off. Then he comes inside and sit's by my fireplace!
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Happy Gardening!
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Blue glass fishing bobbers in the planter.
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Saturday, 11 September 2010

Moss - Using Nature's Carpet in the Garden

Close-up view... Some Creeping Jenny amongst the moss.



Mosses grow abundantly here in Haliburton, Ontario.

Reindeer, Pin Cushion, Juniper moss, British Soldiers, as well as many Lichen varieties, are found everywhere in this part of the world. My home sits right on the Canadian Shield.

I've tried to take advantage of this by encouraging many of these natives in my garden, along with placing Scottish and Irish mosses in the cracks and crevices of the rock garden.
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The picture above is my front steps, which get shade for much of the day, and is an ideal placement for encouraging such a look.

It's taken a few years, however, I'm pleased with the appearance, the way it connects and softens the hardscape of the wood and rock, and the fact that it is spreading more each year.
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The bright emerald green look of moss is very attractive and fills in spaces that would otherwise be very empty looking without it.
Thinking that a green carpet is even more inviting than a red carpet!
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To read more about moss and lichens, click here.
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Thanks for visiting!
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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Saving Seeds From the Garden





Some seeds drying on coffee filters...


Some drying in a sieve or colander...
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I save as many seeds as I can each year for planting in the next Spring. Actually, I package and sell many as well, but that's not the point of this post. : )
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Harvesting seed heads and pods is easy to do. It's also best done later in the day when there is less chance of moisture. That's a sure killer to any seeds as they'll just rot.
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I tend to dry them out completely for a couple of weeks. Laying them out on a coffee filter works, or in a sieve or drainer, since the air can get all around and there's less chance of mold or rot. Some flower heads can be placed in paper bags and left to dry for a few weeks. The seeds can be separated later.
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I've sometimes used a window screen as well. Laying hosta seed pods on there to dry works very well.
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Storing seeds is pretty easy. I use envelopes for some, and purchase spice jars inexpensively from dollar stores, both of which can be easily labelled. They should then be stored in a dry place, but not in a sunny spot. A cupboard works well.
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The key really is to making sure they're properly labelled, and of course, making sure they're absolutely dry before containing them. Can't specify this enough!
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Have fun, save and share your seeds, especially those heirlooms, and save some money next year!
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Happy Gardening!
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Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Harvest Begins @ Wall*Flower*Studio

Heirloom zucchini -"Black" (if you let them grow large, they're great for stuffing!)


Beefsteak tomatoes, with basil for good measure.

Arikara Sunflowers

Heirloom tomatoes, not quite ready.

Heirloom peas from the 1600's


More tomatoes and beans


Citron Melon - Citrullus lanatus


Rattlesnake Pole beans ~ Another heirloom
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Well, this is just the beginning of the harvest for me. Lot's more to do and I'll have more pictures to follow.
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It's been a good growing season for sure! Everything you see here is organically grown and open-pollinated. Don't you just love heirloom veggies?!
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Happy Gardening!
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