Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Garden and More

At Crossroads Garden Club meeting Monday night, club member, Cindy Christie used a 4th of July theme for refreshments after the meeting. I thought her red, white and blue fruit dish idea was worth sharing with everyone who might be entertaining next week on Independence Day!

Shown above is a great flag table cloth and three section dish loaded with strawberries, blueberries and covered yogurt raisins. Her entire spread was a great way to celebrate the 4th of July and the beginning of summer that started July 21st.

Now our spring garden has ended and it time to clean the garden of cool weather crops like sugar peas, kale, bok choy, lettuce, etc. and make room for those sun loving plants like okra, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, etc. The only downside to the hotter, drier season is the fact that bugs like the heat just as much, so more care is needed to avoid infestation (especially, since we have an organic garden).

However (maybe because the season just started), we haven't had too many problems with squash bugs or squash vine borers. Pictured above are "Rattlesnake" green beans. We planted these for the first time last year with much success. The yielded throughout the summer into mid fall even with the extra dry weather.

The tomatoes love the rain we've received lately and are full of fruit.

Although the carrots don't like the warmer weather, the tops are still full and very green. We've only harvested a third of the row (only digging up enough to eat and keep some extra in the frig). I love it because fresh veggies in the garden are like having a grocery out your front door.

The cucumbers and sweet potatoes seem to like being close together.

We had to replant the okra and planted another row in a different section, two weeks later. Staggering planting times allows a longer season and prevents every crop being ready to pick at one time.

Today we decided the next types of seeds we'd plant once we cleared the leeks, onions and other cooler crops out. There is still time to plant a summer garden.

Here's another picture of Cindy's delectable feast, chicken wings with blue cheese, celery and carrots, red hot pepper jelly over creme cheese and crackers. She also made cupcakes (not pictured), decorated with white creme cheese icing, sprinkles (red, white and blue) and little American flags stuck in each one.

So, if you like summer (like I do) and haven't had time to get all your summer garden planted (like I haven't) don't fret, there's still time. I also hope, if your entertaining next Thursday on the fourth, you can use some of Cindy's summer ideas to spice up your table.

Until Next Time...........

Happy Gardening 2013!

Posted by Wilma Smith

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gardenias and New Flooring

Lately, I've been lax blogging, mainly because I've had new flooring installed and it's like moving in a way. You have to pack up or move pictures, nick nacks, and things (really not needed) lying around because every piece of furniture has to be moved out of the rooms. If you have pets (like I do), you also have to keep them occupied somewhere out of the way.

Although this can be pretty stressful for the pets and homeowner, I discovered my little gardenia bush was packed full of blooms and Tia, Todd, Sunny Boy, Mr. Basil and myself were soothed by the blooms (as seen above) and the amazing aroma!

Initially, gardenias originated from China introduced in 1763 by Dr. Alexander Garden (love the name). However, as we know most all ornamental shrubs and bushes have evolved through time with propagation, research, new ideas and techniques into often hundreds, even thousands of varieties and exciting lineages.

My bush is a type of miniature which I needed in the space I planted it, as I have other perennials and annuals in this small bed.

Gardenias are evergreen shrubs that usually bloom in late spring or summer depending on the variety with glossy leaves and gorgeous white flowers that turn a leathery brown at maturity. They grow well in part shade or full sun and like good potting, peat type soil (don't use lime). Especially during spring and blooming keep the soil moist but not as much during winter. Propagate with cuttings. I don't remember "ever" fertilizing mine, but do add good soil to the bed every year.

While the new floor was installed Mr. Basil catted around all night and now just wants to catch up on his sleep!

A pic of my new floor. It's not the most expensive, but I like it and so do my pets because it's cooler and easy to maintain.

I recommend anyone to add a gardenia to their landscape, as not only is it a beautiful bush, it will add an aroma that can be enjoyed year after year with little or no maintenance.

Until Next Time.........

Happy Gardening 2013!

Posted by Wilma Smith

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pine Forrest Gardens -- More than Hosta

If you've "Sneaked a Peek" at Deberah's other blog, "Every Day Finesse" then you know Crossroads Garden Club took a field trip to "Pine Forest Gardens" located in Tyrone, GA. last Saturday after the owner, Richard Jolly was speaker at our May meeting on Memorial Day.

The hostas pictured above were one of my favorite because they grow taller and make a great plant to
place in the back of a hosta garden or other plants not as tall (for mine around a red Maple in my back yard).

Immediately, I found much more than three large shaded green houses of hostas at the gardens, but a world of love, knowledge and work for more than just the amazing collection of close to 350 varieties of hostas. 

Next to his cacti greenhouse, I took a picture of this brilliant rose on a large bush filled with the same

This is only one garden sites at Pine Forest. Planted on this plot, as you see, was chard, cabbage, broccoli, curly kale and other cool weather crops. Close by in another plot, he had lots of corn and tomatoes (both were above my knees).

Richard's business card states "Landscape Design & Installation," this picture doesn't give these yellow day lilies justice.

His cacti greenhouse is filled with golden barrels, old man, agave ( such as, century plants) and plenty other species, I can't name. Many touch the top of the building.

Here's one our group commented, "Looks like a cucumber that's blooming!"

I discovered the gardens have two drilled wells to water everything including a small pond Richard keeps filled and grows water plants, like these pictured above.

Richard is a "Master Gardener" and obviously a VERY HARD WORKER, as he does the majority of maintenance at Pine Forest Gardens (plus, he's a nice guy).

After, we left the gardens, we ate at the "Box Car" in downtown, Tyrone and guess what, most of us ordered vegetable plates with "Fried Green Tomatoes." Gotta love this hosta!

If your inclined and need some great shade plants for your landscape, please visit "Pine Forests Gardens." I can guarantee you want be disappointed for using the time or gas. You'll find more than 350 varieties of hostas.

Pine Forests Gardens
556 Ellison Road
Tyrone, Georgia   30290
Toll Free: 1-866-605-5418
(Ships In & Out of State)

*Professionally Grown Hostas
*Fine Perennials
*Unusual Woody Ornamentals

Until Next Time........

Happy Gardening 2013!

Posted by Wilma Smith