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Beautiful Flower Garden Video
Beautiful Flower Garden Video
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Helenium a tall growing perennial for cut flowers!


My favorite tall-growing perennial daisy flower that blooms during the summer and well into the fall is the Helenium family. These plants are beautiful and treasured by gardeners for the daisy-like flowers they produce all summer long in such large numbers on the plant. The Helenium family is named after Helen of Troy, for her beauty. Helen of Troy never saw these plants, as they are native to North and Central America, but she would have loved them if she had seen them.


This family of plants has flowers with many colors from rich mahogany, burnt-orange, orange-yellow, gold, yellow and red. The flower head is a ring of long and narrow petals around a raised button-like cone covered with colorful flower florets. The flower stays small--about one to two inches across--but the number of flowers each plant produces is what the plant is known for. As the flower fades, the cone will fill with small seeds that will attract small finches and chickadees to your garden. The first flowers open during June and last well into the fall season. Because this family of plants has so many members, you will find early, mid-season and late flowering types--but all bloom into the fall.


Plant seedlings in the spring with animal manure and compost, as plants will respond to the extra care you give them. Because the plant grows so large, I like to add Soil Moist water retention granules when planting. This will help retain water around the plant when the weather gets dry. The better the soil, the larger the plants will grow and the more flowers the plant will make. The garden soil should be well drained and free of clay.


During the summer, keep the plants well watered--especially if the weather gets hot and dry--or plants will grow smaller. Plants will tolerate a moist to wet soil, as long as they do not sit in standing water for long times.


In the spring, add a bit of compost as a mulch cover around the plant for a bit of extra energy and help keep the roots cool. Fertilize the plants in the spring with a fertilizer that contains mycorrhizae microbes in it, as this will help generate a strong root system and increase the number of flower buds. Be sure to work it into the soil well around the plants; do not just sprinkle it on top of the soil or the microbes will not work as well.


The foliage is dark green, oval with a point on the tip of the leaf and has small teeth around the edge of the leaf like a saw. Some varieties will have hairy leaves also. The stems are strong and some of the varieties have a unique characteristic that resembles a wing growing on the stem--very similar to the burning bush shrub.


In the spring, when the plant reaches 15 to 24 inches tall, cut back the plant by about 3 to 4 inches and the plant will double the amount of branches it will make --that means double the flowers. The helenium plants will grow 3 to 5 feet tall before they begin to develop flower buds and spread 2 to 3 feet wide, so give them room to grow in your garden. In a windy area, you may have to stake the plants if not protected from strong winds.


In some parts of the U.S., the plant is also called sneezeweed--but it will not make you sneeze. Unfortunately for the plant, it is in bloom when most allergy plants, like ragweed, are in bloom. If you have delicate skin, this plant may cause an allergic skin reaction on some people. Like many other plants in your garden, it is poisonous if eaten, so keep it out of your salad.


 Butterflies, bees and other pollinators love the flowers and are constantly in your garden, so it might be a good perennial flower to plant near a vegetable garden to help draw the bees to it.

Butterfly Weed to attract Butterflies to your garden!




Did you know that you could plant a wildflower that is perennial in your garden and has just one job in nature? That job is to feed butterflies while it gives you weeks and weeks of beautiful star like flowers. This special plant is called the butterfly weed and will thrive in gardens from Minnesota to Maine and south to Florida.


The butterfly weed thrives in sunny gardens, meadows and butterfly gardens. The flowers and leaves are an important food source for the monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars), and other butterflies will feed on the flowers of this plant, as will bees.

Butterfly weed is in the same family as milkweed but does not have the milky white sap found in milkweed. If you find the Monarch butterfly caterpillar eating the foliage on your plant, it is O.K. to pick him up and move him to your wild milkweed plant growing around your home.


Did you know that the wild milkweed that grows around our home is poisonous to most caterpillars, except the Monarch butterfly? The eggs of the Monarch butterfly are laid on the leaves of the plant and a multicolored caterpillar will emerge during the summer, feeding on the foliage. The leaves are bitter and the caterpillar absorbs the taste into his body, keeping birds and predators away. If a bird or predator should feed on this caterpillar, it will be his last meal.


Butterfly weed produces a round cluster of small ball-shaped flower buds 2 to 3 inches wide. The flower buds will open into a small star-shaped flower with five petals and a raised center. The flowers will range from orange, to red, yellow, pink and even white. Orange is the most common color found at nurseries but yellow is now getting more popular.


When pollinated, a seedpod will develop filled with flat seeds that are attached to a silky hair. When the pod is ripe it will break open and the seed will float away with the wind and start new plants in your gardens or an open field. The leaves are lance shaped, 1/2 inch wide and 2 to 3 inches long, with a medium shiny green color. Plants grow best in slightly acid soil that is well drained all year long.


Once established in your garden, it does not transplant easily because, like the milkweed, it has a taproot. Start new plants with cuttings or seed in the spring. I would suggest that you place a label where the plant is, as it is very slow to develop in the spring and you might accidently plant something else in its place.


Plant the butterfly weed in a location where winter water and ice will not accumulate. If you have a garden on the side of the hill, a soil on the sandy side or raised flowerbeds, this is a wonderful plant for you. Butterfly weed will grow very well with Joe-pie weed, turtleheads, yarrow, daylilies and all types of ornamental grasses.


Plant new seedlings with compost and animal manure in the spring or purchase established plants during August. Water regularly like any new plant and fertilize with Dynamite fertilizer every spring. Once I see the plant has grown to 4 to 6 inches tall, I it often with with a liquid fertilizer like Blooming and Rooting from Fertilome. I add 2 inches of compost around the plant to help keep it strong during the winter. The plants will grow 2 feet tall and just as wide. If you remove the faded flowers as they go by, the plant may have time to rebloom before the fall weather gets too cold.


Butterfly weed has few problems with insects or disease. Aphids can sometimes develop on the plant--the insect will be the same color as the flower on the plant. Use the hose, and spray the aphids off the plant when you water it. A couple of sprayings a week with a strong burst of water will clean the plants in just a few days.


Planting them near early-growing perennials will help catch the heat of the day and buffer the wind early in the spring. The clear and bright yellow and orange flower color is rare to find in your perennial garden and the flowers are almost waxy looking, making them stand out.



Most beautiful garden. Canada.
Most beautiful garden, in Canada.





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 Garden Trust flower garden fertiliser 5-5-5. 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 1: 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 2;  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 3: 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 4: 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!



"I find the love of gardening grows upon me more and more as I grow older"
Maria Edgeworth
Beautiful Small Japanese Garden Designs
Beautiful Small Japanese Garden Designs




Powdery mildew disease  on your shrubs and flowers !



WARNING! With the heat and humidity in the days to come, PLEASE keep a close eye on your garden for a "fungus among us," called powdery mildew. This is our worst fungus during the summer months, and it will move quickly on many plants in your yard and garden. Powdery mildew will begin as a white dust like covering on the leaves of your plants, especially if you water your garden with overhead sprinklers--and especially if you do it late in the day. As powdery mildew spreads on your plant, it will block the sunlight from your foliage and the leaves will turn brown and black quickly dying. As the foliage dies, the plant is prevented from making fruit and flowers on the plant and your garden will quickly come to an end for the year.


Perennials will survive and so will shrubs and trees, but this is the time of the year that these plants are flowering and also the time when they make the flower buds for next year; without leaves, there will be no flowers on your plants next year. Fortunately this fungus is easily controlled if you prepare and act now. Note: annual flowers and vegetables in your garden only get one chance to produce but if this fungus attacks the plant they will slowly die and so will the dream of fresh vegetables and beautiful cut flowers.


Don't panic because now is the time to prevent this from happening and if you watch you watering practices and treat these plant everything will be all right. Here are the most likely plants to have a problem. Annuals include zinnias, impatiens, balsam, lobelia, bachelor buttons, and sunflowers. Perennials include bee balm, tall phlox, hollyhocks, delphinium, peonies, and Japanese lanterns. Vegetables include cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, beans, and peas. Shrubs include Exbury azaleas, lilacs, spirea, pyracantha, hydrangea, and shrub dogwoods. Trees include flowering crabapples, dogwood, mountain ash, and one last plant, the rose bushes. Treat them with a good fungicide such as: Liquid systemic fungicide from Fertilome copper fungicide, sulfur fungicide, or Fung-Onil.


Your perennials are growing like crazy right now, and if you can deadhead the faded flowers from the plant, many of your perennials will bloom again in just a few weeks. Some will continue to bloom right through the summer months if you remove the faded flowers so the plant cannot make seeds. Pick off the faded flowers from your hosta so the energy is sent to the foliage, making the plant larger and more colorful. Pick off the stems and seed pods from your daylilies so the seeds in the pods do not produce wild seeds or you will lose your hybrids with their wonderful colors and your plants will all turn orange like the wild plants.


If you keep cutting your daisy flowers like black-eyed Susans and coreopsis, they will become bushier; if you do not, they will reseed all over your garden and take over. You can allow the seed heads to dry up and ripen on the plant and then crush the pods to release the seeds and spread them over open fields or along the side of the road for your own wildflower garden.

Your lawn will need one inch of water per week to keep it green during these hot days. Water first thing in the morning before it gets hot out, and water less often but apply more water when you water. This will encourage the roots to chase the water down into the soil and not encourage them to grow up to the water and dry out faster. Raise the level of the lawn mower blade to the highest spot to keep the grass tall, because tall grass does not dry up as fast as short grass in your lawn--and mow your lawn less often if it gets hot and dry to keep it green and healthy.


Your vegetables are beginning to ripen quickly now, so pick in the garden often and when the vegetable is young and tender. Young vegetables like peas, beans, squash, cucumbers, and lettuce will taste much sweeter and any seeds in the vegetable will be smaller, making them easier for you to digest. Remove any overgrown vegetables as soon as you see them or your plants will stop producing because they are making seeds on the plant; great for the compost pile.


Go to your local garden center this week and pick up packets of vegetable seeds for a fall crop, because the seed companies will be collecting the seed packets for the end of the year. Seeds like bush beans, peas, lettuce, Swiss chard, beet greens, spinach and radishes can be planted next month for wonderful fall vegetables. If you want fall kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, you need to start those seedlings NOW and transplant in the garden in mid-August for October vegetables. Ask your garden center when their garlic sets are going to arrive, so you can plant them in your garden in the late summer for bigger garlic bulbs next summer.


Now that the heat is here, it is the best time of the year and most effective time to KILL poison ivy and poison oak growing around your home--again the best time! Use  Kills-All or Kleen-Up, on a nice day with temperatures 80 degrees or higher; apply early in the day for the best results so it can dry slowly on the foliage of the plant. Make sure there will be no showers in the forecast for at least 3 to 4 hours after you apply the product for the best results.


When it gets hot out and temperatures are expected to get higher than 85 degrees during the day, NEVER use and pesticides or fungicides on your garden or the bright sun will burn the foliage of your plants and in some case kill them! If you have a problem and you must spray your plants, be sure to apply the product early in the morning, before 9:00 am, so the sun can dry the foliage early, before the day and the plants get hot!


Water your vegetable garden and flower garden early in the day so the water has a chance to move down into the ground before the sun has a chance to dry it up. Never water at night or you will increase the chances of disease problems in your garden and you will also attract insects to your garden. If you water during the heat of the day, more than half of the water you apply to the garden will dry up before it reaches the roots of the plant because of the hot sun.


Feed your containers and hanging baskets at least every 2 weeks, because the roots are stuck in the container and they have no way to leave the container to search for food needed to grow and stay healthy. A well-fed container at this time of the year will thrive and fill your life with wonderful color and vegetables. Also water often when the days get hot and dry because the plants are growing faster now than any other time of the year.


Keep weeding your gardens as the weeds continue to develop, because during this time of the year, many weeds are making seeds for next year's garden. Weed a little bit now or twice as much next year, it's up to you. If weeds and watering are problems, apply bark mulch or compost on these gardens after you clean them to prevent new weed problems and help hold moisture in the ground. You can also use a pre-emergent weed control product like Preem that will prevent new weeds for germinating in your garden.  Enjoy! 



Chocolate Cherry Crisp



While the fresh cherries are still in season let's make a quick dessert that will please everyone!  Cherries are good at this time of the year eaten fresh out of the tree or from the supermarket in bags.  Rather than eating one cherry at a time and spit out the stem and pits let's remove the stems and pits and make this wonderful recipe and have your family and friends savoring your special treat.  And the added chocolate chips will give you a unique flavor to this dish.




cup of granulated white sugar

4 tablespoons of cornstarch

5 cups of fresh tart red cherries, pitted, stem removed, and cut in half about 2 to 3 pounds

2 tablespoons of water


Topping ingredients:


cup of rolled oats

cup of packed brown sugar

1/3 cup of all- purpose white flower

teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup of butter

cup of small moral chocolate chips semisweet

cup of chopped pecans


1} Preheat your oven to 375 degrees


2} Lightly butter a 2 quart square baking dish 8 By 8 -inches


3} Mix your sugar, cornstarch in a large saucepan.  Stir in your cut up cherries and water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is bubbly and has thickened.  Pour the mixture into your greased baking dish.




1} Mix your oats, brown sugar, flower, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Cut your butter into small pieces and crumble it into the dry mixture and blend.  Stir in the chocolate chips and pecan's to the mixture and blend well.


2} Sprinkle over the cherry filling and even the mixture until all the cherries are covered.  Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm, with a large scoop of vanilla Ice Cream. 


3} refrigerate any leftovers or make a double recipe and freeze one of the dishes for the future enjoyment when the cherry season is over.  Enjoy!








Garden Journal

        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.


Cover holds a 5 x7 or 4x6 photo, Heavy-duty D-ring binder

1. 8 tabbed sections
2. 5 garden details sections with pockets for seeds, tags....
3. Weather records page
4. 6 three year journal pages
5. Insect & diseases page - 3 project pages
6. 3 annual checklist pages
7. Plant wish list page
8. 2 large pocket pages
9. Sheet of garden labels
10. 5 garden detail sheets
11. 5 graph paper pages for layouts
12. 5 photo pages holds - 4- 4x6 photos in landscape or portrait format

Journal, Planning, Inspirations. 

 To Order call 207-590-4887

Regular price $34.95  Special Price $31.95!  special!        Supplies are now limited!


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