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Summer Flowering Potentilla
Welcome to the Paul Parent Garden Club 2014 Newsletter

Morning Glory 


The morning glory is the best-known summer flowering annual vine in the garden today. This twining vine is an old-fashioned plant that produces trumpet-shaped blooms in shades of violet, purple, blue, pink, red and white with a contrasting-colored throat. The blue is the most popular color, grown on light poles, trellises or arbors in the front of many homes today. The flowers usually come in clusters throughout the plant and when one flower fades, another bud is ready to open and replace it on the plant. The morning glory is also a wonderful plant to attract butterflies and hummingbirds into your garden. The flowers will grow 3 to 4 inches wide and resemble a trumpet with a different colored throat.

Morning glories originated in Mexico and Central America and seeds were brought to European gardens by early explorers where they prospered in English gardens. These flowers do best in full sun but will tolerate a bit of shade during the heat of the day. Plant in a well drained soil that is rich in organic matter such as compost, peat moss or animal manure. Soil moisture is important; dry soils produce fewer flowers on the plant. During July and August water weekly, to encourage flower buds to develop and to keep the plant in bloom. For bigger plants and more flowers,fertilize weekly with Dr. Earth Liquid flower fertilize.

Plant morning glories at the base of a trellis, arbor or post with supports such as string to help the vines climb and provide support to grow on. Prepare growing structures before you plant the seeds or plant seedlings in the garden. Morning glories will also do very well in window boxes or planter on a railing and you can allow them to cascade down to the ground creating a waterfall of color. I have also seen them planted in hanging baskets, where they develop twining branches that grow in all direction from a hanging bracket or plant hook. When planted in containers morning glories need more water and fertilizer, as they may dry up quickly during hot weather. Use Soil Moist Granules in all containers to help keep the moisture in the containers and plants strong.

Plants seeds in pots on your windowsill indoors for a head start on the season. or buy plants at your favorite greenhouse. I have better luck starting seeds if I soak them in water overnight before planting them, as the seed coat is very hard and the soaking speeds up the germination. Because the morning glory is a vine, I recommend that you plant several seedlings around the post or at the base of the trellis or arbor. The plant does not bush out much, so it will take several plants to make the structure it is growing on look good. Do not plant in the garden until the nights are frost-free, as the plant will not tolerate cold weather. If the garden soil is cold, the plant will just stand still and not grow for you, so wait until it warms up.

Morning Glories do not flower early in the garden as most other plants do, so be prepared to wait until July to see flowers--but those beautiful flowers will last well into the fall or first frost. If you like flowering vines in your garden look into other plant varieties such as Black-Eyed Susan vine, orange trumpet flowers with a black center. Also nice is the balloon vine with greenish white flowers and fern-like foliage. The hyacinth bean vine has pinkish-purple flowers and maroon-purple seedpods. Even the scarlet runner bean vine is different--it has scarlet flowers and edible beans later on. Try something new in your garden this year.



Roses Are Red (My Love) - Bobby Vinton
Roses Are Red (My Love) - Bobby Vinton




Summer Flowering Day Lilies 


As the summer weather begins to warm up and the soil begins to dry out, is your perennial garden beginning to wither away and lose all of its early color? If you live in a town that always has a water ban, if your soil is on the sandy side and watering is a problem, then I have a great perennial plant for you...the daylily. Daylilies love the sun and because of thick fibrous roots that can store water for long periods, are the perfect drought resistant plant for you. Daylilies are so easy to grow that they are today one of the most popular plants to grow for summer color.

Daylilies are not true lilies and the flowering stem has no leaves. The flower stem is round, strong, smooth and tall, often raising the trumpet-like flowers well above the grass-like foliage. All the foliage is at the base of the plant and grows in the shape of a fan. This foliage is grass-like, growing 12 to 18 inches tall and less than an inch wide. It is deep green in color; the center of the leaf blade is pleated to create the perfect gutter-like system to catch and move rainfall directly to the base of the plant.

As the plant matures the fans of foliage will thicken and produce a thick clump of soft foliage that weeps over on its tip and sways back and forth with the slightest breeze. Each fan of foliage is capable of producing multiple stems of trumpet-shaped flowers from June to September, depending of the variety you select. Most varieties will bloom for a 4 to 6 week season, but there are new hybrids that will rebloom on and off for most of the summer. Each of these flower stems can produce 6 to 10 flower buds, with only one flower blooming at a time; as one flower fades a new bud will open, keeping the stem in bloom for many days. The flower stems develop at different times on the plant, creating an almost continuously flowering plant for many weeks. This truly amazing flower is shaped like a trumpet 3 to 6 inches in diameter.

The best growing daylilies live in a soil that is well conditioned with peat moss, animal manure, or compost before planting. This will keep the plant's roots growing evenly in a soil that is moist most of the time and allowing the plant to produce more flower buds during the summer season. I always add Soil Moist granules and use a fertilizer that contains Mycorrhizae when planting. Look for Bio-Tone made by Espoma or Dr. Earth Flower Fertilizer with Pro-Biotic. When the weather gets hot and dry be sure to water once a week for a very productive plant. The plant does love the sun but if the garden can get a bit of late day or midday shade for a couple of hours, the plants will flower longer during the season.

There is one garden task that all daylilies need, and that is to remove any seed pods that develop on the end of the flower stalks. When that stem is finished flowering, please remove it to the base of the fan of foliage. The seeds that are produced in these pods will not produce seeds that are the same color flower as the plant is. Also, if you allow the seeds to mature in the pod and the pod ripens and explodes scattering the seed in your garden, the new seedlings that develop will not be the same color and they could choke out the hybrids you were growing there.

If you have the wild orange daylilies growing near your garden, the bees can carry the pollen from the wild plant onto the hybrid growing in your garden. If this happens, the wild pollen is stronger than the hybrid and orange plants will develop, quickly choking out your hybrids. Most of the daylilies will drop the faded flowers without making a seed pod, so pick off the faded flowers or let them fall from the flower stem, but be sure to remove any seed pods that do develop.

If you want new plants, divide them in the early spring or in the fall of the year when they finish flowering. To make a new plant, divide the clump of foliage into single fans of foliage; each fan will make a new plant identical to the clump it originally came from.

Space fans of foliage 12 to 18 inches apart; cut back the foliage by one third from the top and plant in a conditioned soil that you will keep moist for several weeks until you can see that the plant is well established. Cover the soil with 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch or compost to keep weeds out and the coil cool and to better hold water around the roots of the plant.

I think that most of us have seen the wild-growing orange daylilies growing on the side of the road. A lot of us have seen the dwarf yellow flowering hybrid daylily called 'Stella de Oro' planted in every parking lot where a big box store is located. This year look for the new varieties of hybrid daylilies at your local garden center; they com in every color but blue and true white. You will also find some double-flowering varieties, many two-tone varieties and even some that are fragrant. If you're worried about not finding what you're looking for in color, do not get worried, as there are over 40,000 cultivars to choose from and more new plants each year.

When you look for daylilies here are the four things you will need to know:
Number one, there are three types of daylilies: the old fashioned daylilies, the hybrid daylilies called "tetraploid," with thicker, larger flowers in brighter colors that are stronger growing than the old fashioned daylilies. And the reblooming /recurrent types that bloom more than just the normal 4 to 6 weeks; they will flower all summer long.
Number two, daylilies bloom at different times of the year from June to September, so try to select early, midseason or late blooming varieties for continuous color in your garden.
Number three, always ask for plants that are hardy for your planting zone when you order on line or the internet, as some varieties are better suited for heat and some for a colder climate.
Number four, ask about the height of the plant and flowering stems. Example--dwarf plants will grow under a foot tall; low will grow 1 to 2 feet tall, medium 2 to 3 feet tall and tall over 3 feet tall.

Plant daylilies in perennial flower beds, along a walkway as a border plant, near spring-flowering bulb that will go dormant as their leaves turn brown in June, and they are wonderful when used in plantings on steep banks to replace grass that could be hard to mow. You will love daylilies because they have very few problems with insects or disease and because they grow so strong any damage on the plant is quickly replaced with new foliage in just a few weeks. Daylilies, especially the wild orange varieties, will do well when planted on the side of the road to control erosion problems and will tolerate road salt.

One last thing to know about daylilies is that they are loved by butterflies and hummingbirds, so place a hummingbird feeder in the garden and sit back to enjoy the show as these unique creatures dance in your flower garden this summer. Enjoy!




Shasta Daisy

Have you ever picked a daisy from your garden and said: She loves me, she loves me not, and she loves me? According to folklore it all began in ancient Wales when maidens wanted to test the fidelity of their love and they, like you, gently pulled off one individual white flower petal at a time until all that remained was the yellow center of the flower. Let's hope that most of the time it came out positive for you.

Daisies suggest innocence and simplicity; in Latin the word for daisy means "beautiful ," and the Old English name for daisy was "Day's eye," referring to the way that the flowers open and close with the sun. The daisy flowers open at sunrise and close at sunset on some varieties and our ancestors noticed that, as they had no watches to tell the time of day. The Ox-Eye daisy, an early relative of the Shasta daisy, came to America with the colonists, to be planted in their gardens and seeded in their fields as one of our first imported wildflowers.

The Greeks tell this story of the daisy's origin: One morning the wood nymphs decided to dance on the edge of the forest, where the orchards began. The god of the orchards, spying them at their games, drew close to watch. One nymph in particular stung him with her beauty, and he fell instantly in love and rushed at her. But she and her sisters vanished, taking refuge in the form of the daisy, growing on the edge of the forest.

Daisies must have a well-drained soil to thrive and spread in your garden. If your soil is heavy or wet they will grow but struggle during the year, usually not returning after the first winter. Well-drained soil during the winter months is very important, as standing water will cause root rot. If your soil is heavy and you want to grow daisies you will have to condition the soil with the coarse, sharp, mason type of sand, peat moss, and compost to improve drainage. Planting in raised flower beds will also help to improve drainage in wet soils--or plant on the side of a hill or sloping garden. Wet soil is the number one reason that Shasta and other types of daisies do not survive in your garden.

The Shasta daisy loves to be planted in a full sun garden but it will tolerate some late day shade. In a partial shade garden, the plant will grow taller, have fewer flowers, those flowers will grow smaller, and flower for a shorter period with fewer repeating flower buds during the summer...but they are still worth all the effort to grow them. The plant will tolerate a sandy soil and will tolerate some dry growing conditions but if you can condition the soil before planting with lots of organic matter like compost and animal manures, they will thrive in your garden.

The flower of the Shasta daisy is a flat-growing flower on top of a strong stem. This is actually a flower in a flower, as the bright yellow center is comprised of hundreds of tiny yellow flowers with a ring of delicate white 1 inch elongated flower petals circulating it. The flower resembles the shape of the sun and it will brighten up any garden in your yard. As the sun begins to set, the white daisy flowers will resemble stars in the sky--and just think what a field of wild daisies would look like when planted as wild flowers during a full moon evening. The daisy flower is loved by honey bees and butterflies, as they can just sit on the flower and feed from them.

The foliage is deep green, growing 2 to 3 inches long and only 3/4 of an inch wide, with an edge that resembles a saw with tiny indentations, like teeth. The leaves grow up the flower stem but are spaced one to two inches apart, keeping the plant open and airy looking. The plant grows from individual stems and seldom branches out; each stem makes only one flower. The flowers will last on the plant for about 4 weeks if you can keep it well watered during the heat of summer.

The flowers are wonderful for cutting and will last for many days in a tall vase of water on your kitchen table. As the flowers begin to fade on the plant remove the flower back to the top set of leaves and the plant will make new buds on that set of leaves, keeping it in bloom right up until frost in most gardens. Dead-heading is very important if you want continuous flowers all summer long so always bring a pair of scissors with you when you visit the garden to cut flowers for the house and for cleaning the plant.

The plant can be propagated by dividing it into sections in the early spring or fall season. You can also allow some of the flowers to fade on the plant and dry up to turn brown. Once this happens, break up the flower head with your fingers and sprinkle the seeds in the flower head in your garden. These seeds will germinate and grow very easily making new plant that will flower the following summer in the garden.

Fertilize in the spring and again in the fall with a good organic slow release fertilizer like Flower-Tone or Dr. Earth Flower food with Pro-Biotic. When the buds form on the plant fertilize with a liquid plant food like Dr. Earth Liquid flower fertilizer to increase the size of the bloom

If you have a tall-growing variety of Shasta daisy that requires staking when in bloom, you can cut back the plant in mid-May, when the plant reaches 12 inches tall, to 6 to 8 inches to help keep the plant shorter. This pinching or cutting back of the plant will also encourage new shoots to form at the base of the plant, resulting in more flowers during the summer, keeping the plant height under 3 feet tall and less likely to topple over.

Adding bark mulch or compost as a mulch around the plant will prevent weeds from developing in the flower bed and help keep the soil moist around the plant during the heat of summer. Insects and disease problems are less likely if you give the plants room to grow in the garden and don't let them get overcrowded with other plants around them; air circulation around the plant is key.

Grow Shasta daisies as a cut flower; they are wonderful in mass plantings, mixed borders, a must for the cottage garden look, and they will look incredible if you line a walkway with them for color. Visit your local garden center and look at the wonderful selection of Shasta daisy hybrids.

Shasta daisies will grow from 2 to 4 feet tall, have flowers 2 to 5 inches across, and some semi-double and double flowering types are also available--something to fit every garden need. Plants will grow 2 to 4 feet wide, depending on the hybrid you choose. Always ask questions before purchasing so you can space the plants properly for good air circulation and plant them in the right spot in the garden so they will not shade other plants in the garden. Enjoy!


When Spanish, Italian and English explorers left their countries looking for the New World, they hoped to find new lands filled with animals, fish and plants that would help to feed and better their fellow countrymen. When they reached North America, they found a plant that was beautiful and stood out among all the plants that they found.

This plant, the sunflower, was named for its beautiful flowers that resembled the sun, had flowers that always faced south towards the sun and stood so tall over other flowers that it could be located in the distant sky like the sun. Old world gardeners, dazzled by the sunflower's beauty and size, searched and traded for the seed with other gardeners from around the world for the bragging rights to the tallest and largest flower in the gardens of the world.

Even if you are not a gardener, you know of the sunflower and so do most kindergarten children. The sunflower is that huge, gold outer-petaled flower with the yellow or brown center that in time will contain large seeds to feed the birds. The flower head is a circle of petal-like florets that surround the dense center in the shape of a plate. The plate is covered with tiny flowers that when pollinated will fall, revealing rows of seed arranged in a circular fashion. The plant grows so fast we can measure it almost daily and watch it grow larger every day--in just a few weeks it will grow taller than we are, almost like the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.

The sunflower is grown mostly for the oil rich seed found in the center of the large flower and not for the birds , even though most of us think of it as a source of food for our winter feeder. Actually, the sunflower is grown for the oil in the seed for cooking, bread making and baked goods, eaten as a raw or toasted seed and lastly as a source for food for our birds. The oils in the seed make it possible for our birds to survive a long, cold and wet winter season. The main use of the sunflower is for its seeds, that are pressed for the oil they contain for cooking, use in margarine and to help lower cholesterol in our diet.

Plant sunflowers in a full sun garden that has a better than average soil that is well drained. The better you prepare the soil, the larger the plants and flower will be. If your growing season is short, you can begin the plants inside the house in 4-inch pots for a head start on the season but start no sooner than 3 weeks before planting. If you start too early, the pot that you use to start them in could almost stunt them, as they grow so quickly that they will get root bound.

I always prefer that you plant seeds directly in the garden, as they do grow quickly. Condition the soil with animal manure and compost before planting, and add additional soil conditioners once the plants have grown to 12 inches tall for the extra boost.

Today sunflowers come in many heights, from 18 inches to 10 feet tall. Sunflowers come in various colors such as yellow, orange, red and bi-colors. You can also choose varieties that make a single flower, or the new branching varieties that will make multiple stems with multiple flowers that are great for cutting. If you are growing the sunflowers for the birds, look for the black oil types, as the seed is richer with oil than the traditional striped seed type. You can also save some of the seeds from your bag of bird food and plant them in your garden.

Several years ago I planted a section of my garden with a mixture of sunflower seeds and it turned out beautifully, with multiple colors and heights. I purchased 6 different types of sunflower seeds that would grow 4 to 8 feet tall and mixed them together before planting in the garden. I also fertilized every week with Dr. Earth liquid flower food--and the results were stunning.

Try growing a sunflower garden or plant random giant sunflowers in the flower or vegetable garden and watch them grow. If you have young children or grandchildren, have them each plant their own cluster of 3 or 4 tall-growing plants in the garden and create a contest for the tallest plant and largest flower head. When I was growing up, my dad did this--and we ended up with plants over 15 feet tall in the garden! Enjoy.





Recipe's from Ken & Betsy Kukorowski family



Momma Donna's** Grits and Cheese


Cook 1 cup grits in  4 cups boiling water until thick.

Add 1 stick margarine

Add 3 eggs well beaten

Add 1 teaspoon salt, lb. grated sharp cheddar cheese*; 3-6 drops hot sauce

Pour into a greased casserole; sprinkle top with paprika.

Bake 1-1.5 hours @ 350 degrees F

Serves 8 regular people or just Ken

*while sharp cheddar cheese makes great Grits and Cheese, Betsy uses many different kinds of cheese to switch around this dish and now our favorites are pepper jack cheese or habanero cheese grits.

**Momma Donna = Donna Walters, Betsy's mom, is an excellent cook, and among all the wonderful tasty dishes she has served us over the years, Cheese and Grits remains my most treasured favorite




Harvard Beets


While Grits and cheese do not need a complimentary dish, we especially enjoy it served with Harvard Beets

1 lb can of diced beets

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

teaspoon salt

cup vinegar

2 tablespoons butter

Drain beets, keep 1/3 cup of beet juice.

In a saucepan, combine sugar, corn starch and salt. 

Stir in 1/3 cup beet juice, vinegar and butter.

Cook and stir until mixture thickens.

Add beets and heat thoroughly.

Serves 4.


"Flowers are like human beings. They thrive on a little kindness"

Fred Streeter


              Garden Journal - A garden is a friend you can visit any time. Gardens require planning and cultivation, yielding beauty and joy. This garden journal helps make planning and organizing easy. This book makes a great gift for gardeners, family, friends, birthdays, Christmas, new home or as a self purchase.

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  Written by Paul Parent                         Produced by Christine Parent

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