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Archive for May, 2008

Yeah! I found the disc with pictures from our garden’s first year. These were taken in mid to late summer, 2006. 

Shade garden catnip ring 2006

Corner shade garden and catnip tree ring in the first year, 2006.

 

Herb garden yr 1 2006

Herb garden in barrels, 2006.

 

Back garden area from south view

South view of our back garden area in its first year, 2006.

 

Vege garden view 1st yr

This is a view of the vegetable garden and the full-sun flower beds, 2006.

In the pictures (today’s and the ones in the last post) you’ll notice an old wooden chest and an old washboard. I have a passion for antiques and love scouting Estate sales and auctions. I keep an eye out for items that make unique planters. I found the wooden chest, washboard and an old milk pail (which sits by our small garden gate) all at the same Estate sale – score! 

I like to fill the milk pail with white Allysum, which spills over the sides and looks like a pail full of frothing milk. I don’t seem to have any pictures of it, but I will take some this summer and post them.

The wooden chest was lying on the property amid a bunch of “junk”. I noticed that several people looked at it and after lifting the lid, closed it and hurried off, not giving the chest a second glance. When I went to investigate I discovered the reason for their hasty retreat; the chest was a treasure trove of wasps. As it was an early spring morning the wasps were lethargic, so I carefully took the nest out of the chest and placed it inside another wooden box, which was in worse shape, and took my treasure home. With a little TLC, it has since made a beautiful planter for our garden. 

That’s it, all the pictures of our garden’s first and second seasons. I hope you enjoyed them! 

Happy gardening!

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As I promised Shawn yesterday, here are some pictures of our garden in its first and second years – 2006 & 2007.

 The catnip in its 1st year

The catnip in its 2nd spring, 2007.

 

 Corner shade garden 2nd yr.

 Corner shade garden in its second spring, 2007 – the Petunias are all volunteers from the previous year.

 

Blue mist bluebeard

Blue Mist Blue Beard in its first summer – 2007.

 

 

Squash bed summer 2008

Squash bed summer 2007.

 

Partial shade bed

Shade/sun bed last summer, 2007.

 

Okay, that’s all the pictures for this post. I have some great pictures that show larger parts of the back garden in its first summer but they’re on a disc and I have to locate the disc and load them from there. I’ll do that in a later post.

I will post pictures periodically as my garden grows throughout the summer and fall. We’ll also be landscaping the front of our house so I’ll have lots of posts and pictures as we go through that exciting process (it’s pretty much all just bare canvas at the moment).

Happy Gardening!

 

 

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Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about upside down tomatoes so I thought it would make a good blog topic. Until recently I’d never even heard of it but I think it’s a good concept.

 

There are two main benefits to planting upside down tomatoes.

 

1.       Because the tomato plant grows upside down there’s no stress on the stem or branches, which, when planted in the ground carry quite a burden when heavy with a full crop of tomatoes.

2.       Because there’s no stress on the stem or branches of the upside down tomato plant there’s no need for staking. The plant hangs in the air, keeping the tomatoes well off the ground.

 

Another plus is that planting upside down tomatoes saves on space. Many gardeners have very little space in which to have a garden and so have turned to container gardening. This is a great solution, especially for those gardeners who live in the city, and the more containers that can be easily hung; the more room on the ground for bigger pots.

 

Using a 5 gallon bucket seems to be the most popular way of planting upside down tomatoes. However, if the thought of an ugly bucket hanging in your garden gives you the heebie-jeebies (as it does me) you can always decorate the outside of the bucket first.

 

Directions for planting upside down tomatoes in a 5 gallon bucket

 

Materials

 

·         A clean 5 gallon bucket

·         Small tomato plant

·         Potting Soil

·         Compost

·         Newspaper

·         Drill or other instrument for making a 2” hole in the bucket

 

First, take a clean 5 gallon bucket, remove the lid and turn the bucket upside down. Drill a 2″ hole in the bottom of the bucket.

 

Next, turn the bucket upright and place a layer of newspaper on the bottom, tearing it slightly where it covers the hole. Take your tomato seedling and gently work its stem and branches through the tear in the newspaper and out of the hole.

 

While holding on to the plant, put more newspaper (coffee filters will work as well) around the hole, making sure they tuck in tightly against the stem of the tomato plant.

 

Continuing to hold on to the plant, gently pack a thick layer of soil around the root ball, being sure it is fully supported before letting go of the tomato plant. Now fill the container to within an inch of the top with a soil/compost mixture, packing slightly.

 

Once you’ve filled the container, gently carry it to where you want it to hang and hang it from the handle. Water thoroughly until water drains from the hole in the bottom.

 

You can either leave the lid off for easy watering or replace it to retain moisture. If you choose to leave the lid off you may want to plant lettuce or herbs in the top, making even better use of container space.

 

Just make certain that whatever you plant in the top allows enough water to penetrate down through the bucket so that it drains out of the hole.

 

There you have it; simple instructions on planting upside down tomato plants in a 5 gallon bucket.

 

Yesterday, I read a post on a cooking blog about planting upside down tomatoes. The blog’s author planted her upside down tomatoes in a hanging basket. She simply cut holes in the coconut matting and planted the tomato seedlings on the basket’s underneath side. She then planted herbs in the top of the basket. I have six hanging baskets of the same type in my garden and I think I’m going to give her idea a try. She has pictures of the finished baskets on her blog, Eclectic Edibles, which you can check out by clicking here.

 

Once I try planting my own upside down tomatoes I’ll write another post on the subject and let you know what method I used and how it worked out. I’ll even try to include some pictures of the results.

 

I’d love to hear from you!

 

Have you ever grown upside down tomatoes? If so, what method did you use and what were the results? Have you done it more than once? Would you do it again?

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 Well, it’s spring . . . I think!

 Monday started out with record breaking heat. Which got me outside and working in the back garden early in the morning (not really too early since I had to get my husband and son out the door, but while it was still cool anyway).

 

I enjoyed a good couple of hours engaged in spring weed pulling and garden clean up. I’m embarrassed to admit there were several things I should have done last fall but didn’t. So, I had to get those things taken care of first thing.

 

One example is the catnip. As an idea to deter our four – yes, I said four – cats from spending so much time in other parts of the garden, I planted a ring of catnip around a medium sized juniper. It does serve its purpose, but . . . have you ever grown catnip (or catmint as it’s also known)? If not trimmed faithfully, it can become quite the nuisance.

 

I put off trimming the catnip back last fall and left the stalks standing through the winter. This spring as I went out to begin my garden prep and winter cleanup, I knew I couldn’t avoid it any longer. The hard thick stalks that had once reached into the branches of the juniper were now folded over and covering the new shoots of Periwinkle vine (Vinca minor) and Shasta daisies (Chrysanthemum maximum). It had to go! 

 

After cutting out last year’s growth, I uncovered the plant’s new and highly fragrant growth – much to the joy of our cats, who now stay under the juniper, rolling and rubbing themselves silly on the stuff.

 

Now that the flower beds are cleaned up after the winter and the water system is turned on, I’m thrilled as I watch the flowers and plants emerging once again.

 

To see a garden in the spring, so full of fresh, new life after the long, bitter winter is to renew one’s faith in God and revive one’s spirit.  

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Welcome to Garden Beautiful; A blog dedicated to everything that has to do with beauty in a garden. Check out our About page to learn more about Garden Beautiful and what we have to offer.

To kick this blog off, I thought we should start with a few good gardening quotes (be sure to notice the quote in our header). Enjoy! 

An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life.  – Cora Lea Bell

Confronted with the vision of a beautiful garden, we see something beautiful about ourselves.  – Jeff Cox

All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.  –  Joseph Joubert

When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.  – Minnie Aumonier

The garden is a ground plot for the mind.  – Thomas Hill, 1577

Gardening is medicine that does not need a prescription … And with no limit on dosage.  – Author unknown

And, one of my personal favorites:

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.  – Janet Kilburn Phillips

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