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Welcome to my garden. We are in Zone 6. This pictorial garden diary will be added to from time to time, so for those of you who are interested, just scroll down to see the latest of what is happening in and at Home Farm Herbery in Munfordville, KY. Also as you scroll down, you will discover links to gardening articles I have written that may help you as a gardener. The weather teases us with warm days and cold nights here in our part of Kentucky and the gardens are still bleak and bare. Yet I have all ready taken one of my birthday checks last week and bought oakley logo pictures 12 new roses for the garden even though last fall I said "NO MORE"! With that in mind and the fact that most of the Cottage Garden was cemented over in 2004 so this 70 year old gal can cope with it, I spent some time trying to find the best arrangements of plants for container gardening. Right now I have planned 3 very large pots. All will be planted with bulbs. The first pot will have 1 Dahlia "Fascination", 1 Deum "Brilliant" and 1 Tradescantia "Perrine's Pink". This is a pink themed jardinair and these should flower from June through November. Pot number 2 will contain 2 Canna "Salmon Pink", 1 Sidalcea "Elsie Heugh", and 1 Dahlia "Park Princess". This is also a pink themed jardinair and these should flower from July to November. The third pot is a blue themed jardinair and will contain 2 Astibe "Myethyst", 1 Calla "Anneke" and 1 Agapanthus "Donau". These should bloom from June through August. Many of my remaining large pots will contain my beloved geraniums in many, many colors and varities. Color is arguably the most prominent factor in a garden design and often the first one considered. Good garden design involves knowing how to combine colors so that the final product has a cohesive and pleasing effect. As an artist, the color wheel comes into play as the colors are arranged by their relationships to each other, in a progression. Violet red to Red to Orange Red to Orange to Yellow Orange to Yellow and so on, in the same order as they appear in the spectrum. Most modern color wheels only contain 12 colors, while there are many more subtleties in nature However, it is a good tool to begin to train one's eye to see the relationships between colors and how they transform and play off of one another. While knowing color vocabulary isn't necessary to successfully working with color, learning some key terms can help one make sense of color combining. March 1st, 2005 After an incredibly mild winter and especially February which is usually cold here, March came in like a lion, so hopefully it will go out like a lamb. Mother Nature decided to blow big winds late February 28th afternoon and then she dropped the temperature down to about 27 which seemed colder with the wind. We awoke on March 1st to see light snow flurries, some oakley logo pics wind, the ground covered in white, and the temperature at 26 degrees. snow, but enough to make us turn the heat up here. Believe it or not we usually heat this whole big house with only the gas fireplace in the great room. Oh well, I am anxious for spring. We have roses to plant and patio pots to start. Also the lavender seeds need to be started in the greenhouse. However, We are grateful for the mild weather of February because we had a lot of moving stuff around between buildings. I have just written a good article on starting your own organic plants from seed. Read more March 5, 2005 The day is glorious and it urged me to go out and spread some mulch where it is needed. I need to keep reminding myself that we will still have cold and freezing nights yet. Some of the more courageous hyacinth are peeking out, plus lots of miniature daffodils and iris. The crocus greet us each morning also. These need little or no work. Just divide them every 3 years or so. But there are lots of annuals that I enjoy and I keep thinking about all those people in the world who keep saying they don't have a green thumb. Nonsense. They either don't want the work that goes with gardening or just think they can't grow anything. I know of 16 fool proof seeds that will give you the greatest joy and with that in mind I came in an wrote this article called Just sow and grow! March 9th, 2005 Today was a nice bright, calm day in between a succession of blustery, overcast days. A day to dream ahead as to what to do for this season's gardens here at Home Farm Herbery. Also to give some serious consideration to what a novice gardener with limited time and space could do with veggies. With that in mind, I came up with what I would do and perhaps it might work for you. I call this little article More easy growing ideas. March 18th, 2005 Friday was a magical day, being sunny, bright and warm with a slight wind. I got a lot of my work, done, including my housework, errands and work for Carl. I said the heck with all this and I went outside to work awhile, ending up in the greenhouse where I started 2 big pots of Caladium, 4 pots of hanging begonias and 6 patio pots. Perhaps the gardening Gods will be smiling on me and them and the newly planted bulbs and tubers will prosper during the next few weeks. Pictures are above of some of what I planted. March 30th, 2005 I am finally get some of the dead wood and leaves out of the gardens. I hired Kane today and he mixed the soil and manure which has gotten to heavy for me to do. He filled up all the raised beds that needed to be filled and I will be able to plant them now. This past week I was able to remove some of the rose bushes that didn't make it through the winter. Two of them were antique ones that had been doing their thing for a few years, but for some reason decided to give up. More on Roses. This time of year always reminds me of the poem we had to learn in school when I was a child. William Wadsworth says it all here. "I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils Beside the lake beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze." He sees the daffodil flower as a representation of everything sprightly and jovial. The sight of the dancing daffodil flower leaves such an imprint of cheer and glee on his mind that whenever he sits gloomy, he finds inspiration and joy from the memories of the daffodils. The smile of the daffodil flower almost becomes an inner voice which drives away his loneliness. Here are some good tips regarding daffodils. The grape hyacinths, daffodils, large hycinths and a few tulips are up all over the place. The colors of spring and easter are blooming in the gardens. The Forsytha is trying to blossom and all the Cleveland and Bradford Pears along our drive way are getting ready to burst forth and give us a fine look of a European Allee! March 31, 2005 I planted some African Violets in those new double pots I was given as a gift awhile back. The bottom pot is glazed and the insert is glazed on top to match the bottom, while the bottom on the insert is unglazed in order for the water to be absorbed into the insert as needed. While African Violets will tolerate the relatively dry air found in most homes, they prefer fairly high humidity. To help increase the moisture in the air, place your African Violet pots on a layer of pebbles in a shallow, watertight tray with water. As the water in the tray evaporates, it will raise the humidity around the plants. Add water as needed, but don't let the water come in contact with the bottom of the pots. I did some repotting of what was left of the Christmas Rosemary after I pruned it beyond recognition. Annual repotting (either in the early spring or early fall) helps to freshen your plant's soil, restoring organic matter and nutrients. Plus, it allows you to upgrade your existing pot to a larger size to allow for root expansion and growth. National Repot Your Plant Day is April 3rd or 6th depending on which line you read on the Miracle gro site. Regardless, repotting is important. I repotted the cherry tomato plants and here is one of them as you can see. I put some stakes for them to climb up and putting an inverted clay pot on top of the stakes not only gives some charm, but avoids having to tie the stakes together. I forgot to put vermiculite or perlite into my top soil the other day when I did some patio pots. Hopefully those bulbs and tubers will still survive. Believe it or not, those little white specs in your potting soil are actually a mineral called perlite. They help improve aeration and prevent soil compaction so roots have room to grow. Signs of a plant in need of repotting: if plant is "rootbound" (roots winding around inside of pot), roots are growing out of drainage holes, bottom leaves are turning yellow and dropping off, potting soil is faded and crusty. I usually do not have a lot of inside plants around, simply because indoor plants in terra cotta pots need more frequent watering than those in glazed or plastic pots. This is because the clay is porous and will draw moisture away out of the soil. A good thing to remember when repotting, choose a pot that is only 1 size larger than the existing pot. For example if your plant is in a 5" pot, repot into nothing larger than 6" pot. A pot that is too large can lead to over watering. I finally got all the roses into the ground. I hired Luke Kenny to do the digging and hauling and he did an excellent job. I also hired Savannah to remove a lot of dried stuff out of the garden beds and she did a fine job also. More on Roses. We lost 3 of our antique climbing roses and we replaced them with 4 new ones. April 3rd, 2005 I planted 2 small raised beds of snow peas and 2 of French radishes. I am having a heck of a time finding either seed for Roma Tomatoes (plum tomatoes) or even plants. April 4th, 2005 We drove out to Miller's Nursery this am looking for Roma tomato plants. They have them, but would not sell for about 3 weeks yet. I am glad to know where to find them. While there we picked up 36 assorted geraniums, 12 wave petunias, 6 spikey type plants I never can remember the name of and now all I have to do is get them into the patio containers. We also order all the window box plants and will pick up in 2 or 3 weeks. April 5th, 2005 I got the onion sets in on Tuesday and reworked a new Mediterranean herb bed and got 6 new lavender plants in. I had started them from seed and nursed them throughout the winter and they are a good size. Hopefully, Mother Nature will smile on them and take it from there. Read more for Growing and Care of Lavender. Again, as every Spring, Linda's 3 cats raise havoc with the newly planted veggie beds. They love to do their stuff in that new soft dirt and dig holes to cover it up, thus losing all the seeds that were just planted. Here is a good article for planting a vegetable garden. April 6, 2005 I got quite a few patio pots planted and arranged out in the Cottage Garden today. Working in the greenhouse always gives me great pleasure. We got the water hooked back up today at the well house and it was a lot nicer than hauling buckets of water. One of the hoses needs to be mended, but that can be done quickly. April 9, 2005 The temperatures are in the low to mid 70's during the days. We seem to be getting a couple of days of April showers and a couple of days of bright sunny days. Perfect! Today I was able to get 4.5 hrs. in the garden and that is pretty good for this old girl. Also got all the front flower boxes cleaned out and replanted with some of my favorite annuals, Zinnas, Nasturiums, Alaska Shasta Daisy. Also put in some cock combs. Plus I was able to make up some more container plants. The countryside is busting out with color. Our orchard is blooming. Here is one of our trees. The Forsythia is in all it's glory. The Dogwoods will be popping out soon. In the early evening we were able to sit out on the patio and enjoy the peace and solitude of this lovely place. We toasted it with a bottle of champagne and ate left over cold pizza. After this hour or so interlude, Carl went back to finishing up arranging the new tool shed and I went back into the Cottage Garden for another hour or so of work. April 10, 2005 Another glorious day! I was able to get all my inside chores done between 6 am and 8 am and get myself into the gardens. Today was the day to clean out two whole sections that had the creeping weeds in them. They look so much better. Afterwards I was able to get into the greenhouse and start pots of cilentro/corianda, spicy bush globe basil, cinnamon basil, lemon balm, oregano and some Rutgers tomato seeds I found among the packages of herbs. All the herbs are annuals except lemon balm and once the plants are large enough that perennial will go out into its own section of the Mediterranean herb beds. The patio pots of cucumbers were taken out of the greenhouse today and set about the Cottage Garden. I finally found some Roma tomatoes and got 2 patio pots of them set out, plus 2 hanging baskets of large cherry tomatoes.

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