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Archive for September, 2015

We’ve been thinking about this for a few months now.  We have a number of large gardening planters in the middle of our Level D deck here at Horizon House.  There have been Redbud trees, Cercis canadensis, growing in them.  eastern_redbud_in_bloom 300 jwwAt the moment, they have been literally chopped down!  This happened in the early summer, and like all good cut back trees, they are sprouting valiantly, trying to re-establish themselves.  However, they are doomed to failure!

The trees have filled their rather large containers with roots, meaning there is barely space for anything else, and the trees are running out of space.  It’s time for a “re-start”.  Also, the planters are leaking from the bottom.  This creates dangerous, slippery, green streaks all over the decks.  That is NOT a good environment for folks with walking challenges.  So, the planters will be emptied, resurfaced, refilled with soil…and NEW trees!

At this point, all the gardeners are thinking about which kind of tree might replace the Redbudzuni_flower2_thumbs.  We could of course, put more Redbuds in there.  They are really a south eastern tree…but they have certainly been good here for us as well. Another thought might be Crape Myrtles, Lagerstroemia faurei.   Here’s a picture of one of those from the Clemson University website.

There are a few of these blooming around our “campus” and in the greater Seattle area.  They need a good deal of summer heat to bloom, so some years they will be gorgeous, others not so great.

styrax-obassia-gpp-01-gppAnother small tree that has been mentioned is a Fragrant Snowbell or Styrax obassia.  Here is a picture of one of those blooming.

All three of these will do well in our climate, it’s just a matter of choice.  The Gardening Committee will be thinking about these, and maybe some others that come to our attention over the winter months.  Hopefully the most lovely of them all will come to reside on our Level D gardens!

As is usual on my blog, there are links provided for you to click so you can get lots more information.  I hope you’ll use them, and be educated!  🙂

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I just HAD to share this! I LOVE it!

I saw this highlighted on a friends Facebook page and it captured my gardening imagination!

Broken Pot Fairy Garden-image credit to Rebecca Snyder.

Broken Pot Fairy Garden-image credit to Rebecca Snyder.

Perhaps you can try this wonderful technique in your garden.  Wouldn’t this be a grand way to to greet your guests as they approach your front door…or ANYWHERE in the garden for that matter?  It could also be hidden in an “off beat” garden spot to thrill the “discoverer”?  Just lovely!!!

This is an image by Rebecca Snyder, from that website, that shows an absolutely lovely example.  In this case a large, but broken, decorative pot is utilized.  Either it had a terrible accident, or someone decided to just break the pot for this purpose.  I cannot imagine a more lovely way to utilize a broken pot.

I have certainly seen many little examples of Fairy Gardens, but I never had an inclination to include them in my garden.  To me they just seemed to appear too artificial, or too small.  This idea however, really strikes my fancy!

You can see that it appears two (or more) pots are used.  The larger ivory colored one, with an aqua colored one within.  Lovely!

Here is the website where I saw it.  The website has a description about how it is made.  It would be worth a look as it shows the technique.

The plants that are used are ones that will remain SMALL throughout their lives.  Most nurseries have sections with small, even miniature plants, shrubs and trees that could be utilized.  If not, just ask for help.  You WILL get it!

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Every year I pick a few plants I think would enjoy being outside for a few months.  There are some that are too difficult to move, or just not suited for the great outdoors.  This year the three I picked, were an Aloe; a Snake Plant; and a Christmas Cactus.

If you’ve followed my blog for a few years, you know that I’m still struggling to “do well” by my indoor plants.  I have always been an outdoor gardener…not being at all successful with my indoor greenery.  But…I keep trying.

The snake plant looks GREAT! Snake Plant Boy, I’ll sure get that outside again next year.  I had just re-potted it before putting it outside, and it looked a bit frail.  NOW, it looks wonderful!  Hurray!

The Aloe I had been looking at with great frustration.  It was getting too tall.  Usually I just clip off the top growth, expecting it to branch out.  With this plant, it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to cut off the top growth unless I just chopped it.  I have a great aversion to doing that, so I picked at it, which did absolutely NOTHING, except make it look picked at!  Then, in June (or was it July?) I stuck it outside.  I don’t know what I was expecting it to do.  I figured if it didn’t do something pretty spectacular, I’d probably put it in the service room, which unless someone takes pity on it and adopts it, it means a sure trip to the Seattle Compost heap!Aloe w:babies

So, you can imagine my total surprise when I was washing it off and cleaning up the pot, for reintroduction to my Aloe babieswindowsill, I discovered it had had TWO BABIES!  Right by the stem at the ground level!!!!!  WOW!  I’m really amazed, impressed and convinced that this plant will stay at least through another summer.

In the picture to the right, it appears that the one little baby is out of the ground, and has a little root dangling there.  I checked that.  It is NOT a root.  It’s firmly attached to the mom.  That little “thing” is just a piece of dirt debris…for those of you that are worried!

Who knows what will happen next year?  Maybe we’ll have a wedding to make an honest woman out of this fruitful aloe!

The last plant I put outside was my Christmas Cactus.  That one really has me perplexed.  It’s color seemed fine when it went outside.  Now however, it’s VERY pale…almost yellow.

Outside, yellow plants and leaves basically are screaming for more nitrogen.  I have tried adding some fertilizer, and we’ll see what happens.  I am showing the yellow leaved-plant next to the one that did not go outside. Christmas Cactus The smaller one, that stayed inside, looks nice and dark green.  Maybe the larger one got sunburned???  I’ve tried looking it up, and my books and the internet don’t seem too helpful.  If any of you out there have a clue for me…make a comment!  Thanks so much.

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