Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A couple old You tube clips I did with the HCP building campaign.

Caring for Garden Tools

How to make a wreath

Putting your Garden to Bed

Monday, March 5, 2012

Large Sunny Border

Back of the Border

Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine' x 2

Chamaecyparis 'Blue Gem' x3

An upright shrub with a rounded top. The fluffy foliage is a bright blue colour.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer x2

Anemone japonica x2

Phlomis fruticosa x2

Phlomis is a beautiful perennial with subtle yellow flowers and neat green leaves. 

Phormium 'Pink Stripe' x2

Shasta daisy x2

Perovskia atriplicifolia x2

Delpinium x2

Lupine x2

Physostegia virginiana vareigated x2

Middle of the Border A

Papaver oriental ' Allegro' x4

Hemerocallis , Daylily x4

Achillea, Pink Yarrow x4

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' x4

Rhododendron dwarf blue x4

Middle of the Border B

Rhododendron dwarf red x3

Echinacea 'Double Delight x3

Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' x3

Aster blue x3

Azalea evergreen purple x3

Podocarpus x3

Front of Border A

Veronica spicata 'Pink Spires' x4

Cistus 'Mickie' x4

Platycodon grandiforus, Ballon flower blue x4

Geum red x4

Rosmary Wilma's Gold x4

Campanula 'Jelly Bells" x4

Dianthus x4

Front of Border B

Liatris purple x3

Yarrow ptarmica x3

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'

Salvia 'Maynight' x3

Erica x3

Armeria thrift x3

Deer proof 1' strip outside fence 

Erica asst x 5

Dianthus x5

Lamium x5

Artemisia x5

Bergenia 'Winterglut' x5

Aubretia purple x5

Veronica 'Georgia Blue' x5

Sempervirvum asst x5

Campanula x5

Yarrow ptarmica x5

Dianthus x5

Sedum repestre 'Angelina' x5

Bed Layout for 30' to be repeated for 70'

Plant List

1) Pieris japonica Valley Valentine #2      $19.99 x2
2) Chaemacyparis Blue Gem #2               $29.99 x2

3)Crocosmia Lucifer #1       x2 ea             $6.50 x 18
4)Shasta Daisy #1
5)Pervoskia-Russian Sage #1
6)Phlomis #1
7) Physostegia Obediant plant #1
8) Delphinium#1
9)Yarrow #1
10)Anemone japonica #1
11)Phormium Pink Stripe #2

12)Poppy #1                   x4ea                 $6.50 x8
13)Sedum Autumn Joy #1                         
14)Dwarf Rhodo #2                                 $16.99 x4
15)Lupine  #1                                         $6.50 x4
16)Daylily #1                                          $5.00 x4

17) Dwarf Conifer Podocarpus#1 x3 ea        $9.50 x3
18)Echinacea Double delight #1                 $7.00 x3
19)Aster#1                                             $5.00 x3
20)Azalea #1                                          $9.50 x3
21)Monarda Bee Balm #1                          $6.50 x3

22)Veronica#1          x4ea                         $6.50x16
24) Cistus Mickie#1 
25) Balloon Flower#1
28) Yellow Rosemary 8"                             $8.50 x4
29)Campanula -Jelly Bells    4"                   $3.50x4 

30) Liatris#1            x3ea                         $6.50 x18
31)Yarrow the Pearl#1
35) Armeria -Thrift #1

37)Heather#1    x5ea                                  $3.00 x45
38) Dianthus                                              $6.50 x15
42)Bergenia #1
43) Aubretia
44)Veronica Georgia Blue
46)Sedum Angelina
47)Sempirvivum Hens And Chick asst
48)Heather#1                                        total plants $996.50
                                                                     hst   $119.58

                                               total     $ 1266.08

not including landscape fabric or fertilizer and ammendments

$50.00 for sea soil with bonemeal and trace elements added

sea soil  $35
fritted trace $6
bone meal $10 

run through soil mixer to fill garbage can

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Planting a New Hedge

Late autumn and winter is the best time to plant a new hedge. This is also the time to find deals on bare root, and B&B plant materials, not available in summer.

Hedge plants are chosen because they are hardy long-lived and adaptable to trimming. Fast growing trees make a quick hedge, but size and frequent pruning needs can be a problem. . Slower growing plants are better candidates for a small urban lot.

Green hedges make a great background for other plants, colorful hedges can be a focal point, and a mixed hedge has many possibilities, think through your options before investing in the plants. What about the nostalgia of a Lilac hedge or the benefits of a mixed hedgerow to birds?

Another important consideration in planning and choosing a hedge is how much space you have available to accommodate the mature width of the base of your hedge. A good guideline for average space requirements would be as follows:

A small trimmed hedge (less than 30 cm tall) needs a base width of 30-60 cm

A medium one (60-90 cm tall) needs 90 cm-1.2 m

A tall hedge (1.2-2.4 m) needs 1.5-2.7 m

Small-unclipped hedges need 90 cm-1.2 m clearance at the base

Tall-unclipped ones need 1.8-2.4 m

Take time to consider potential problems your hedge could create with things such as drain lines, windows, view corridors, shade, and power lines. Remember that hedge plants will grow outwards so plan an absolute minimum of half the expected mature width away from driveways, walkways, flowerbeds, and property lines.

Do you want a low maintenance hedge, or do you like the highly manicured look that requires frequent pruning.

Lay out and prepare the hedge line well in advance of planting, your hedge will be an important feature so careful preparation and planning is especially significant.

Check that the spacing is right for the type of hedge you have chosen, most plants will be 1’ to 2’apart.

Dig the soil over to two spade depths and to 1.5 times the width of the mature hedge. For a 60cm (2ft) wide hedge a 90cm (3ft) wide bed should be dug.

Dig in plenty of compost and well-rotted organic manure, as this is the time when you can most effectively feed your new hedge.

The addition of bone meal, or rock phosphate, worked into the soil now can ensure phosphorous for years to come. In subsequent years a top dressing of compost, or rotted manure each year will keep your hedge looking great.

If the soil is not well drained try to work grit into the soil but avoid making the new hedge line a 'sump' where water will collect from the surrounding area. If drainage is really bad lay some drainage coil or field drains to carry water away from the hedge.

Use a taut garden line to make sure that your hedge is planted in a straight line, placing the plants carefully to one side of it.

Plant as you would any tree or shrub, take care plant at the same soil level as the container, or the plants previous soil line. Plants placed too deeply or not deeply enough will establish well.

Take care during the planting operation that you do not let the plants (especially bare-root plants) dry out.

Always water newly planted hedges thoroughly, and keeps them well-watered in dry periods for up to a year. Water in well, even if it is about to rain, as this initial moisture is crucial to the plant.


Amaryllis is one of the easiest bulbs to grow and one of the most spectacular.

Select a larger bulb, that is firm to the touch, as with most bulbs, bigger is better. A few dried roots are normal, but most of the roots should be firm.

Select a pot that is at least 2" wider than the diameter of the bulb, Amaryllis like lots of room for their roots! The pot should be fairly heavy to counter the weight of the flowers. One of the lessons I've learned the hard way flowering plant tends to topple over between waterings.

Soak the plant’s roots in lukewarm water for about an hour. Avoid soaking the entire bulb. I fill a coffee cup with water and suspend the bulb on the rim of the cup.

Amaryllis need well drained soil, so start with a good quality sterile potting soil. Fill the bottom third of the pot with the soil mix. Compact lightly. Set your bulb in the pot and fan out the roots. Add more soil until the soil covers half of the bulb. Compact lightly. Water well. Place the bulb in a warm sunny location.

Be careful not to over water, in the period before the bulb has sent out new roots. Water the plant when the top 1/2-inch of soil is dry.

As a rule, the stems and flowers will appear before the leaves. The plant grows quickly and you will need to remember to rotate the pot every couple of days so that your stem grows straight and does not lean towards the light.

Expect two stems with four blossoms each about 6-7 weeks after planting.

Remove spent flowers. That way, the plant will put energy into producing next year’s flowers and not seed.

Dark green strap like leaves are the keys to next year’s flowers. Over the next 6 months, the leaves will use the energy of the sun to form beautiful blossoms. Your job is to keep the plant evenly moist and in a bright sunny location.

Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.

To force the bulb to rebloom next winter, gradually reduce watering in August. Allow the leaves to yellow and die back naturally.

In September, place the plants in a cool dark location and store for two months.

In November, repot the amaryllis in fresh soil. Place in a bright sunny window and your amaryllis will be ready to give you another season of flowers.

Cleaning your tools

This fall, when you have done your final mow, put your beds to rest, and raked your last, take a look around any tools or supplies left out.

There is something satisfying, and symbolic about putting away your tools properly for the winter. Caring for your tools can add years to their life, and it’s a joy having them ready and waiting next season.

Start with a good cleaning, if they are really dirty, soak for a few minutes, and then use a wire brush to get rid of any soil.

Dry thoroughly, and remove any rust with a piece of steal wool (be sure to wear gloves)

Sharpen the tool if has a cutting edge (this may include trowels, shovels, and hoes) Secure or hold the tool, and draw a sharpening file across the edge at a 45 degree angle.

Apply a thin coat of motor oil, or rust protector to the metal parts.

Spray moving parts with a penetrating lubricating oil

Check handles for splinters, and sand of any rough spots.Treat, refinish, or rub in paste wax to seal the wood.

Store in a dry spot preferably up off damp concrete floors.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Planting Spring Bulbs

Planting spring bulbs

If you want to fill your garden with color next spring, plant bulbs. Bulbs provide a good investment for money spent and supply years of spring color in your yard. Fall is the prime time for planting of hardy spring flowering bulbs. In our mild climate most bulbs can be planted October through December.
When buying bulbs check they are healthy and as fresh as possible, avoid any that are damaged, shriveled, and go for firm plump bulbs.

Bulbs in the landscape

Planting bulbs in a herbaceous border will help to fill in gaps and provide color and interest before perennials and shrubs begin to grow in early spring. Drifts of single species can be planted interesting combos, and splashes of color to brighten dull early spring days.
When planted en mass, spring-flowering bulbs make a valuable contribution to formal bedding displays. Try growing groups of early-flowering tulips, or daffodils in a bed, which will be occupied by annuals later in the summer. As a general rule, the larger, showy varieties are better suited to a formal position in the garden.

Bulbs in pots

If you want a great patio display, try growing bulbs in pots. Keep it simple by planting a variety on its own. When growing bulbs in a pot, pick a container that is the right size and will complement your chosen bulbs. If you are using a clay pot with a large drainage hole in the base, cover it with a piece of broken pot. Fill pots with general-purpose compost, mixed with a handful of horticultural grit to improve drainage. Water after planting.

Naturalising bulbs

Many spring-flowering bulbs are ideal for brightening up the base of trees before they come into full leaf. The soil beneath trees is moist and light, offering the perfect growing conditions for scillas, anemones, erythroniums and crocuses.

Bulbs such as dwarf daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and cyclamen, and chinondoxia can transform a dull looking lawn into a wonderful display of color. To achieve a natural look, throw bulbs up in the air and plant them exactly where they land in the grass. In order to save time, try planting a large number of small bulbs by lifting a piece of turf and planting a group of bulbs in the soil.
The aim is to make it look as though they have decided to grow there by themselves. Allow plants to die down after flowering before mowing over the lawn. Alternatively, plant bulbs in defined areas so that it's possible to mow the lawn around them.

Where to plant

Before deciding where to plant bulbs in the landscape, note that most hardy bulbs originate from the Mediterranean, thriving in a warm, sunny climate in freely draining soil. Early spring bulbs bloom before most trees or shrubs leaf out, they can successfully be planted under deciduous trees and shrubs. Most bulbs have a long dormant period, requiring little attention for much of the year. Good drainage is key, as many bulbs are prone to rot while dormant.
Planting bulbs

How to Plant

The general rule of thumb for planting spring bulbs is to plant two to three times as deep as the bulbs is tall, and two bulb widths apart Planting depth is measured from the bottom of the bulb. Plant bulbs with the nose of the bulb upward and the root plate downward. It is usually easy to distinguish the pointed top, and fatter bottom of your bulbs, however on those you are unsure plant sideways.
The best method of planting is to dig and loosen the entire bed to the proper depth. Properly preparing the soil for bulb planting is important. Good soil drainage is essential in raising bulbs. If you have a soil with a high clay content, it can be improved by adding compost, peat moss or some other source of organic material. The organic material should be worked in the top twelve inches of soil (eighteen inches is even better).
Press the bulbs into the soil in the planting area and cover with soil. Because the soil in a spaded bed is better drained and prepared, the planting will last longer. This method of planting is preferred over trying to plant bulbs one by one with a bulb planter. In our clay soils bulb planters do not work well, if at all.

Looking after bulbs

No need to water up to bloom, but it is important to fertilize and water the remaining leaves after bloom. Care after flowering is essential and a good show next year is dependent on it. Deadhead the flowers, but never remove the leaves, they should yellow out naturally. Watering after the foliage has died down can be harmful. Bulbs are prone to rot during summer dormancy. In winter we may not see them but they are actively putting down roots.


Both spring bulbs need phosphorous to encourage root development. Keep in mind that phosphorous moves very little once applied to the soil. Some bulbs are planted 6 to 8 inches deep. Mix bonemeal or superphosphate, with the soil in the lower part of the planting bed as it is being prepared.
If bulbs are going to be maintained in a planting bed more than one year, it is important to supply additional fertilizer. Spring flowering bulbs should get a shot of bulb fertilizer in the fall, and two cups of bonemeal per ten square foot area. As soon as the shoots break through the ground in the spring, repeat the fertilizer application. Fertilize again after flowering has finished.