Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Plants for Fall Flower Gardens

By now your summer flowers are probably beginning to fade.  Are you looking to add a little color to your garden for the fall season?  Of course mums and asters (pictured above) are obvious choices.  But there are more.  Here's a few to think about.

 Cimifuga is a late blooming perennial with fern like foilage that is ideal for a shade garden.

The Japanese anemone has pretty pink or white flowers.  It prefers light shade.

Golden Rod has tiny yellow flowers.  It prefers full sun.

Sedum grows in clumps.  It's flowers are shades of red and pink.

Black eyed Susan is a pretty daisy-like flower that is ideal for full sun.

Of course you can also use ornamental grasses and shrubs for contrast with your flowers.  As you can see, just because the long, warm days of summer are over, it doesn't have to mean that your gardens have to stop looking pretty. 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Schedel Foundation and Gardens

The Schedel Foundation and Gardens is a 17 acre site located near the bend of the Portage River in Elmore, Ohio.  The foundation was established in 1963 by the Schedel family to protect and preserve their estate so that future generations could enjoy it.  The gardens were opened to the public in 1991, after the Schedels passed away.

 Visitors will see a lot of Japanese maples, pines, and lilacs, as well as statues and fountains.  Formal gardens include a Japanese garden, a Kitchen Garden, Perennial Garden, and a Rose Garden.
   The gardens are open from May through October, Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM .  On Sunday, they are open from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM.  Admission for adults is $10.00 and for children, it's $6.00.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, located in Arcadia, California,  covers 127 acres, and contains over 12,000 different plants from all over the world, including rare and endangered species.

The grounds are just beautiful.  There are several different gardens to visit, including the Grace Kallam Perennial Garden, where each bed has a different color theme, and the Garden for all Seasons, which contains wildflowers, herbs, and vegetables which are tended by volunteers in the community.

One of the main features is the Queen Anne Cottage (pictured above).  It's an ornate Victorian building which was constructed in 1885.  The setting is lovely.  You can see it overlooks a lake that is bordered by magnificent weeping willow trees.
Another beautiful feature, is the Meyberg Waterfall.  It's a nice place to relax and enjoy the tropical plants and peacocks.

You'll want to make sure you visit the Prehistoric Forest and Baldwin lake.  A lot of movies have been filmed here, including Tarzan.

The gardens are open daily, except for Christmas,  from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.  Cost of admission is $8.00 for adults, and $3.00 for children.

Quick note:  Author, Virginia Wright, is a guest on my other blog, Mama Diaries.  She's giving away some copies of her books.  The contest goes until September 19th, so if you'd like, please stop by and visit.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Vegetable Friends and Foes

My mom was an avid gardener.  She did an incredible amount of planning each year, when deciding what crops to put where.  I used to watch her design layouts and put them in her binder.  I thought she was nuts.  But as it turned out, she knew what she was doing.  She not only had to rotate crops, but she had to know which plants worked together, and which plants did not.  I learned a thing or two from watching her.  Today, I'll share a few tips about vegetables that go good together and combinations to avoid.

1.  Beans like celery and cucumber, but don't plant them near onions or beets.

2.  Beets like lettuce and onions.

3.  Cabbage, celery, dill, onions, and potatoes work well together.

4.  Carrots, lettuce, radish, onions, and tomatoes also work well together.

5.  Cucumbers like corn, peas, radishes, beans, and sunflowers, but don't plant them near herbs or potatoes.

6.  Lettuce is a friendly plant.  It grows well with onions, strawberries, carrots, radishes, and cucumbers.

7.  As stated above, onions can be planted near lettuce, but keep onions away from peas and beans.

8.  Squash can be planted with cucumbers and corn.

9.  Tomatoes, carrots, onions, and parsley are buddies, but they don't get along with cabbage and cauliflower, so keep them separated.

If you keep these tips in mind when you plant your garden next year, you will have a  happy garden that will grow well (provided it has plenty of sun, water, and no pests!).    

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, located in Hamilton, Ohio, is a unique place to visit.  I took my kids here a couple of years ago, and they had a great time exploring the huge sculptures.  The underground pyramid-shaped house, which is now a museum, is set in 265 acres of park-like grounds featuring 37 contemporary sculputures, gardens, 7 lakes, and quite a few hiking trails.  The museum contains displays of Roman, Egyptian, and Greek sculptures that are thousands of years old.  In fact, the goal of the museum is to have a collection which will demonstrate the complete history of sculpture by mankind.


The grounds are open year-round from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  The museum is oepn daily, from 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM.  Admission is $8.00 for adults, and $2.00 for children.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs


The other day I went outside to inspect my dianthus plants.  They weren't looking too good, and I suspected they might have a problem. 

My suspicions were correct.  They most definitely did have a problem - a little isopod known as a pill bug (aka sow bugs, wood lice, potato bugs).

Pill bugs are supposed to be very good for the environment, because they eat decaying vegetative waste.  But if there isn't enough of that stuff around for them, they go after living plants.  Not good!

I declared war on those little pests!  Here's what you do if you have a pill bug problem:  Get some Diatomaceous.  You can find it at Lowes or any other gardening center.  It's a powder.  Spread it around and wait for the critters to walk over it. They'll dehydrate a few days later. 

If you want a quicker result, you can use Sluggo - a slug bait.  That stuff really wipes them out.  The only trouble is, Sluggo is dangerous to honey bees.  I don't personally use it, because I have a lot of honeybees buzzing around my house. 

There you have it.  If you don't know if pill bugs are your problem, and your plant looks like it's dying, dig around the roots.  You may find pill bugs lurking there.  Oh, and one last thing.  Pill bugs like really moist soil.  If you're having a pill bug problem, overwatering may be the cause. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Brunswick Botanical Gardens

The New Brunswick Botanical Gardens are located near Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada.  They cover over 17 acres, and have more than 80.000 plants. The gardens opened in June of 1993.  Visitors can see a rose garden, shade garden, vegetable garden, rhododendron garden, and the "Flowery Brook" pictured at the left.

The gardens also have a permanent Butterflies of the World display which is enchanting.

The spring is an especially beautiful time to visit, when the 10,000 tulip bulbs and crocus are in bloom.  This occurs in mid May to mid June.

The gardens are open from May to September daily, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Admission is $14.00 for adults, and $7.00 for children.