Monday, June 20, 2016

Fellows Riverside Gardens







Fellows Riverside Gardens is a free public garden located in Youngstown, Ohio's Mill Creek Park.  It covers 12 acres, and includes an assortment of gardens.  It is probably best known for its variety of roses. Three of its gardens are dedicated to roses:  The Formal Rose Garden, Climbing Rose Allee, and the Rose Garden Terrace.  If you wish to see these gardens in full bloom, the best time to go is in June.

  

Other gardens include the Blue Garden, the shade garden, and the perenial border walk.

If you visit the gardens in the spring, you'll absolutely love all of the spring flowers.  The grounds are planted with 40,000 spring bulbs.  You'll see crocus, tulips, narcissus, and other colorful blooms.

The gardens are open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Green Bay Botanical Gardens









Opened in 1996, the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in Greenbay, Wisconsin, contain forty-seven acres of gardens and natural areas that showcase Wisconsin's seasonal beauty.



   
Within these forty-seven acres is the Gertrude B. Nielson Children's Garden.  It covers only a half an acre, but there are so many neat things for kids to do.  Some of the fun features include a tree house, a slide, a vine maze, a re-circulating pond, and a giant sundial.



 There are seven gardens within the children's garden where kids can explore natural wonders.  These include the Einstein Garden, Peter Rabbit Garden, Sensory Garden, and Frog Bridge.  
The gardens are open Monday through Saturday from 9-4.  Admission is $7.00 per adult and $2.00 for children.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens







Stan Hywet Hall and gardens, located in Akron, Ohio, is one of my favorite places to visit.  It was originally the vast estate of the Seiberling family, founders of the Good Year Tire Company.  The estate originally covered more than 3,000 acres.  Now it covers 70 acres.
 
The gardens were designed between 1912  and 1915 by the famous American landscape architect, Warren Manning.  The gardens are divided into ten sections:  The English Garden (Gertrude Seiberling's favorite), Birch Allee Vista, The Dell, Grape Arbor, Great Meadow, Japanese Garden, Lagoon, West Terrace, the Great Garden, and the Breakfast Room Garden.  My personal favorite is the Breakfast Room Garden.  With its blue, white, and gold color scheme and lovely fountain, it compliments the Breakfast room of the manor perfectly.

  


 The gardens open April 1st and remain open through December.  Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am - 6 pm.  Admission for non-members is $8.00 per person.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens





The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are located on the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.  Plans for the gardens began in 1931, when  Alexander Elg, chairman of the Botany Department at the university decided to create gardens featuring plants native to the area.
 

The gardens were opened to the public in 1985, and they've expanded to include flora and fauna from all over the world.  The gardens feature sections of Australian plants, Mediterranean plants, African, and European plants.  There's also a Bonsai Japanese garden.  In addition, there's a tropical house, an herb garden, and a Bible patch, featuring 70 species of plants mentioned in the Bible.

If you visit, be sure to see the 2000 year old burial cave located on the grounds that were discovered in 1902.  The cave has the inscription, "Bones of Nicanor of Alexandria."



 The gardens are open daily from 7:00 AM to sunset.  Admission is 20 ILS for children, and 35 ILS for adults.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Schoenbrunn Palace Gardens









The gardens at Schoenbrunn Palace, located in Vienna, Austria, were opened to the public around 1779.  The Schoenbrunn Palace was the former summer residence of the famous Hapsburg family.

The palace gardens are essentially baroque in style.  There are several interesting structures located throughout the gardens.  One is the steel Palm House, pictured on the bottom.  Neptune Fountain, with its groups of Greek - Roman statues, is a picturesque focal point.  There's also a zoo - the first in the world.

    Two other gardens, not to miss, are the dry landscape Japanese garden, and the tea garden, both presents of goodwill from Japan to Austria.



The Palace gardens are free.  They are open year-round from 6:30 AM to dusk.  There is a charge to visit the Labrinth Garden and Palm House.  Admission is 3.30 euros.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Choosing the Right Fertilizer for Your Garden









 It's time for gardening to begin.  And that means a little bit of soil fortification through fertilization.  Do all of the different fertilizers have you a bit confused?  If so, here's a brief tutorial.  There are three main ingredients in fertilizer bags:  nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.  Nitrogen is for foilage growth, phosphorus is for flowers and roots, and potassium is for overall health.  When you look on a bag of fertilizer, you'll see a set of three numbers.  These represent the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that are in the mix.  So, a 5-10-5 mix has 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 5% potassium.



"Okay," you say.  "So what do I need?"  Well here's how you decide:



1.  Test your soil.  Those tests you get at the store will tell you your pH, but not necessarily what nutrients are missing in your soil.  So I would recommend contacting a government agency or local university to have a soil test done.  These are usually free (or there might be a small fee).  This will tell you exactly what kind of nutrients you will have to add to the soil in order to grow your desired plants.



2.  If you aren't able to test your soil, then pay attention to your plants to see what they need.  If the leaves on your plants are yellow and unhealthy, select a fertilizer with a high nitrogen count (21-3-3).  Be aware, if a plant has too much nitrogen, it won't produce flowers.  If you want to produce more flowers or fruit, choose a fertilizer with more phosphorus.  Note:  purplish leaves usually indicate a deficiency in phosphorus.



3.  If you want a general guideline, follow this:  1-2-1 is a great mix for vegetable gardens, 5-10-5 is a good all-purpose fertilizer.



4. There are also fertilizers for specifc plants.  Always follow the labels on the packaging when fertilizing your plants.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

George Washington's River Farm





George Washington's River farm and gardens are located in Alexandria,Virginia.  The property covers nearly 25 acres and overlooks the Potomac River.  The farm was owned by George Washington from 1760 until his death in 1799.  It now serves as the headquarters for the American Horticultural Society.Children can enjoy this historic site, as well.  There are a dozen small gardens made just for kids.  These include a Fairy Tale garden, Hummingbird Garden, Butterfly Garden, Scratch and Sniff Garden, Maze Garden, and Bat Cave.
The Wildlife Garden is a big favorite for kids.  They can hang out at the pond, pictured above, and spot little creatures like turtles, goldfish, and frogs.
The gardens are open Monday through Friday. Admission is free.