Thursday, May 16, 2013

Caring for Day Lilies

Day Lilies are undemanding members of the lily family whose genus name , Hemerocallis, is Greek for "beauty for a day."  The only attention these hardy perennials need in winter is a blanket of mulch.  After the first hard frost, cover the ground with a loose, 3 to 5 inch layer of evergreen boughs, bark chips, straw, or leaves. 

Division is needed only in established clumps that have become too large, or those whose flowers have become sparse or small.  This may be several years away.  Either with a pitch fork or shovel dig each clump up and divide the clump with a sharp object such as a large knife.  You can also separate the clump with two pitch forks.  Divide into individual plants and replant. 

Make sure you fertilize with a high phosphorus fertilizer for best flower product.  Usually Day Lilies are pest and disease free.

Shady Fencing

If you have a tall privacy fence in a shady spot and want to cover the fence with vines then I have some wonderful varieties that like it dark.  Assuming your fence is a solid material like wood or stone, climbers to choose are those that have tiny suction-cup like disks or small aerial rootlets along their stems. 

My favorite shade vines in this group are Boston ivy, Virginia creeper, English ivy, climbing hydrangea and the Carolina Jasmine vine.  The reliably deciduous, Boston ivy might be the best bet if your fence is wood, which will of course be more prone to rot if it has a moisture-retentive covering on it all year round.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Simple and Thoughtful Mother's Day Gifts

Life is busy but you still need to give appreciation to the one person in your life that has always sacrificed for you and that is your Mom.   Show your love and admiration with these simple and easy gifts that will make her feel so special and score you major brownie points.

If your mom is a gardener and outdoorsy type of person then create your own dish garden by taking a inexpensive clay saucer and planting it with an array of seasonal color that is design with her favorite colors in mind.  I will show you several other "knick knacks" that will sure to impress her and make this special day even more memorable.

Why not make her the perfect gift.  Here are some fun ideas that the whole family can help make.

Seashell Heart Art:

For a Mother who loves the beach, give her a seashell heart!  Take any size canvas and paint with a color of your choice.  A variety of seashells may be purchased at any craft store.  Using a pencil or by hand, create a heart shape on the painted canvas.  Fill in the heart shape with seashells.  Glue down seashells with hot glue.  This seashell heart will bring a Mother joy!
-Acrylic Paint/ Brush
-Hot glue


Birdcage Arrangement:

Create a beautiful arrangement for your mother using a birdcage!  Take a birdcage (finding one at an antique mall is always fun or a craft store) and place already potted plants or flowers through the top opening of the birdcage.  Fill bottom of birdcage with sheet moss.  Add a card and your mother will be singing with delight!

Chalkboard Serving Platter: Muffins for Mom

Using a platter or plate, paint the rim with chalkboard paint, or you may choose to paint the entire plate.  Tape off edges prior to painting if needed.  You may use chalkboard spray paint or paint from a can.  Allow paint to dry and write Mom a lovely message or give her a variety of muffins and label the varieties with chalk!
-Platter/ Plate
-Chalkboard paint (spray paint or can)/ Paintbrush if needed
-Variety of muffins


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Do It Yourself Mother's Day Projects!!!

Before it is too late, create and make that perfect Mother's Day gift that your mom so well deserves.  I have a few easy ideas that anyone can create.  These gifts are sure to make you mom forgive all those past mistakes you have made.  You heard it here first!

Azalea Bonsai:

Create an Azalea Bonsai using an azalea from a nursery.  Remove azalea from original container, break roots, and place on a flat surface.  Begin pruning the lower branches.  Look at the azalea and determine which middle branches need to be removed to create the “bonsai” look.  Once this process is complete, plant azalea in a bonsai pot.  Cover with sheet moss.  Any Mother would be thrilled with this unique gift!
-Azalea from a nursery (1 gallon)
-Bonsai pot

Moss-Covered Monogram:
Whether you choose your mother’s first or last initial, a moss-covered monogram can be displayed in the home or on the front door!  Take a wooden letter found at a craft store or create one out of heavy poster board.  Wrap letter with sheet moss using a hot glue gun.  Display on an easel inside the home or attach a ribbon at the top of the letter using a hot glue gun to hang anywhere in the home or on the front door!
-Wooden letter or poster board letter
-Sheet moss
-Hot glue gun
-Easel or ribbon

Herb Garden:

For the mother who loves to cook, an herb garden is the perfect gift!  Gather Italian herbs for the “Mamma Mia,” or “Happy Hour” herbs such as mint, basil, and rosemary to prepare a refreshing cocktail.  Place herbs in a picnic basket or a fun container.  Fill with moss.  The container container may later be used as an “ice bucket” for a family gathering or cocktail party! 
-Variety of herbs
-Fun container:  picnic basket or fun container

Rose Patrol

With the great weather brings great roses.  Right now your roses should be looking their best.  To keep them that way there are a few things you need to do.

1.  Fertilize.  Roses are very heavy feeders so start fertilizing with an all-purpose Rose food.  Better yet, pick one that also has a insecticide systemic combined with the fertilizer.  This will not only feed those beauties but keep them pest-free as well.  Read the directions carefully and apply per manufacturer's recommendations.  No exceptions please...

2.  Spray.  Spray your roses every 4 to 6 weeks with Triple Action Plus.  This will further help your roses stay insect and disease free.  

3.  Prune.  Prune off those spent flower heads.  Also, prune any dead limbs to help prevent disease.  When your roses are done with their initial first bloom, then trim them back a few inches and this will help promote more new growth.  With new growth comes flowers.  That easy!!