Friday, May 25, 2012

Deliciously Sweet and Easy

Remember how fun it is to grill s'mores.  Bring back that memory with grilled fruit.  Take 10 inch stems of Rosemary that are nice and sturdy.  Remove all leaves but the top inch.  Then go ahead add cut slices of fruit such as peaches, apples, and whole grapes and slide them unto the rosemary stem.    Then let your guest grill their own skewers in an open fire or on a grill.  Yummmmm.............

Exuberance in a Pot

Add life and height to your containers this spring.  Since bamboo is ready available and usually free, cut 4 foot pieces preferably the top of the bamboo stocks since they are most pliable.  Then create a obelisk in the pot by taking 4 separate clusters of bamboo and arching them to together at the top and then tie them together.  Fill the container with colors and flowers for  a spring and summer extravaganza.

The Secrets to Growning Citrus in the South

Citrus plants are so easy to grow. can have fresh citrus fruits in the South.  I had a Lime tree for 8 years in a big pot that produced  tons of limes.  All I did was bring the pot in the garage for the winter.  They also make great house plants. 

Citrus require minimum care.  Just keep moist, fertilizer with a citrus fertilizer per directions, and spray with Triple Action Plus to control diseases and insects.  Now you can make that perfect Key Lime pie...Yum

Sweet Shrubs

One design element that most gardeners forget about is scent in the garden.  Why would waste space on just a plan old holly bush when you can have a wonderful foundation planting of sweet gardenias.  My favorite varieties are 'Mystery' which has the big flower and 'August Beauty' which has smaller flowers but is a tougher plant. 

But don't forget about the fragrant Star Jasmine.  This plant is semi-bush and semi-vine.  Great ground cover or trellis plant, the Star Jasmine is so easy to grow.  Full sun to semi-shade is what it prefers.

Both gardenias and jasmines require good drainage.  Don't forget to fertilize after they both bloom and prune back after they flower.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

You better take care of your Mom this Mother's Day.....Being a Mom can be a very hard job.  So basically we owe it to our Mothers to give them a unique gift full of thoughtfulness.  If your Mom loves to garden then I have the perfect gift to ensure that she will have a big smile on her face.
Orchids are all the rage but place one in a funky container with air plants tucked around it and you will have one awesome floral display that will last for months to come.  I find you get more impact when you buy a few gifts that add up to your budget.  Several small gifts looks like you put so much more thought into it  even if you did not.  May be a brilliant and colorful outdoor pillow and a fun door mat.   Why not a concrete piece of art.  If your Mom is a baker, Botanica Gardens has a concrete apple pie that looks great on a table on her porch.  Endless possibilities.

Give a Mother's Day Gift Outside of the Box, Kind of...

You need to out do yourself this year when it comes to your Mother's day gift.   Visit your local garden center and pick out different varieties of plants to give to your Mom.  Not just one but several.  Pick plants that mean something to you and your Mom.  Maybe a hydrangea because it's here favorite flower, then may be petunias because they remind you of your childhood.  Perhaps a yellow Black-Eye Susan vine since yellow is her favorite color and if it is planted at her mailbox she is reminded of you each day.  Once you pick out the plants your desire, tie a little not to each one that tells why you chose each particular plant.   There you go.....score some major brownie points...just sayin......

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Summer Color Border

A sun-loving summer border offers an astounding array of vibrant flower colors, which are not on display at any other time of year except for the next several months.  Chris' picks for the Southern heat are summer snap dragons, yellow lantana, rudbeckia, blue veronica, blue saliva or any color,Mexican zinnia, and some wave petunias.  Plant a combo of these tough plants and you will have one awesome border this year. 

Cranberry-Key Lime Punch

Spring and Summer time is the time to entertain and when you do...well you will need a cool refreshing drink for all to enjoy.  Chris has an easy recipe to make a refreshing drink that will not only quench one's thirst but put a happy smile on one's face.
Combine 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup water in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding solids: cool completely (about 1 hour).  Stir in 5 to 6 cups chilled club soda and a cup of fresh key lime juice.  Serve over ice.  Garish with lime slices.  Seat back and enjoy......