Sunday, September 11, 2011
You still have time to run outdoors and harvest a few seeds, divide a plant, or dig up some seedlings.
What great weather to return to our gardens. A little rain and cool temps have called me to dig in the dirt again. Today, I dug up some of Charlotte Waters' favorite Chinese Rice Paper plant, which I will bring to the plant and seed swap. Be careful where you plant this, it spreads like mad. My neighbors have seen a little growing in their yard. Recently, Peter Ray gave me a Neomarica. Common names for this rare beauty are Traveling Iris, Walking Iris, or Apostle plant. As you can see in the photo, it has lots of pups, so I separated some from the mother plant which I will bring to the plant and seed swap. Since this is my first time to propagated Neomarica, I read all the comments on Dave's Garden, noting that some people root …
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Exploding fruit helps seed next year's garden
Three Christmases ago, we staged a ballistics display in the garden. A combination of factors led to the event. I had a new video camera. My husband Richard had a new suppressed AR15 rifle and Santa had just brought Richard’s friend - I’ll call him Ralphie - a Daisy Red Rider BB gun. A certain amount of celebrating had been done. In short, there was a need on everyone’s part to play with their prezzies. The details are sketchy, as they say, but I think Richard was the one who remembered the melon. Left growing untended outside the garden fence, a deer had come along and stomped it and drank from the split melon hull. It was lying in the grass, sagging and broken but still pleasantly plump and begging for trouble. The guys thought it …
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Garden Bones is going to have a Plant & Seed Swap..Y'all come!
When strolling through my back yard with a guest, I catch myself saying, "Oh, that's Peggy Allen's sedum or that's Bonnie & Henry Ramsey's ruscus from Hill Street." The provenance of the plants mean so much to me because of someone's generosity in sharing it with others. Do any of you ever explain the history of your plants? As my next door neighbor on Plum Nelly, Peggy Allen taught me how to root Autumn Sedum and gave me my first start. May is the month to cut the sedum and put it in a clear vase of water to root. By the end of the summer you can plant it outdoors in pots or your flower beds. Peggy also shared some of her strong hydrangeas with Linda Jerkins and me. I can remember Peggy telling us to dig up just one and spilt it in four …
Sunday, August 21, 2011
What can we do to sustain our gardens?
Normally in this column I give suggestions and hopefully worthy tips on gardening, but I don't have the solution for our parched earth problem. Therefore, PLEASE comment with any suggestions that have been successful for you. My irrigation system consists of 3 garden hoses. With a home built in 1942, which has old galvanized pipes, I find the water pressure is awful and will barely support two hoses at the same time. I don't think it would support an irrigation system at all. Rain barrels have entered my mind, but without rain what good will that do? A friend has an underground cistern but it is empty, so why go to that expense? The neighbors have irrigation on a separate water meter so they do not have to pay for the sewage cost…
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Zinnias flourish everywhere--even in her gravel driveway.
As a child growing up in Atlanta, Kathy Prescott spent her summers on Lake Rabun,where her parents grew zinnias and dahlias. She was introduced to gardening at an early age. "I can remember sprinkling Sweet William seeds as a little girl" Prescott fondly recalled. After she was graduated from UGA with a MFA degree in Drawing and Painting, Prescott lived in London, New York, and Miami Beach, where she worked as an artist and food stylist. When she returned to Athens in 2000, she had space once again to grow zinnias. Now, she has at least one, and sometimes two, zinnia patches every summer. The artist in her loves zinnias because "zinnias almost vibrate because they're so saturated with color," Prescott explained. Prescott has …
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Lanier Gardens/Talmage Terrace Seniors Are Gardening with Gusto
There is a German adage that goes like this: "The oldest tree often bears the sweetest fruits." Let me tell you, the seniors at Lanier Gardens/Talmage Terrace are holding true to this proverb, and producing veggies and flowers that you would eye with envy. F.K. Howard has been gardening for many a year and refers to himself as a country boy from Peach County, GA. Being an octogenarian hasn't stopped him, and neither has a walker. Gardening is still part his lifestyle, and that of his wife, Margaret, at Lanier Gardens. "F.K. can no longer do the stooping or bending over, so I pull the weeds for him," said Margaret Howard. Their plot is 12 x 12 and his concentration is on tomatoes. "I grow Better Boy, Early Girl, Park's Whopper, and Big …
Sunday, July 31, 2011
What's going on with those wimpy vegetables?
Our gardening column this week is by veteran gardener Pat McAlexander, a member of the Piedmont Gardeners. Every spring I resolve to be more successful with my garden. The flowers and shrubs usually look pretty good. The vegetables are the challenge. My grandmother and mother both had wonderful vegetable gardens. I grew up eating fresh vegetables in the summer, and the rest of the year, home-canned tomatoes, tomato juice, apple sauce, dill pickles, green beans. In Athens, in the 1970’s and 80’s, I grew pretty decent vegetables and even did a little canning. But in the past few years, for some reason vegetables just haven’t done very well. My tomatoes, for example—how I long for the big, red, vine-ripened tomatoes of my past! I lime the …
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Time to take a drive before the student hordes return.
As a child I can remember riding around with Mother as we looked at beautiful gardens. That was back in the 1950s and I am still riding around expressing the same ooh's and aah's. This week I took my camera with me. Please join me as we view the abundance of beauty from East Athens to Five Points to Normal Town to Cobbham and spots in between.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Our Garden Bones guest columnist explains his truck.
Sunflowers have fascinated me since I was a small child. Large sunbursts with brown centers towered over me on strong stalks in my grandmother’s Hancock Avenue garden in Athens in the 1940s. I would sometimes climb up a stepladder to view and count the seeds as they matured on blossoms as big as my face. I kept those memories tucked away in my mind for decades while I raised my own family and pursued a typical traffic-challenged, time-stressed urban career in a sprawling metropolis about 60 miles west of Athens. As I approached retirement, I moved to a small cottage with some acreage near Athens and Watkinsville and embraced those memories. I was thrilled to again become part of the unique quality of life Athens offers, and I finally had …
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Can we grow tropicals in Athens?
While on vacation this summer, be it the beach or mountains, take time to look at the flowers. I recently returned from a most delightful beach vacation with long-time friends from North Carolina. Please let me insert right here for all the young mothers who read Patch. My past family vacations, with children in tow, were NOT stress-free and idyllic like Tim and Sally's Beach Adventure. But trust me, peaceful adult vacations will come again. When I arrived at Clare and John Turner's beach house on Ocean Isle Beach, Clare had a vase of freshly cut gardenias on my bedside table. Nothing says "welcome" more than homegrown flowers in your bedroom. Clare has been a gardener for many years. Her lush gardens at the beach started me pining …