Until Mother Nature calms down, plant Pansies they can take the cold weather!

Rascal Flatts - Skin (Sarabeth)
Rascal Flatts - Skin (Sarabeth)

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This is Butterfly weed hardy perennial

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 Espoma organic bloom! 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.
Powerful Inspirational true story...Never give up!
Powerful Inspirational true story...Never give up!

Butterfly Bush a great flowering shrub for pollinators

This summer, when you sit on your patio or deck, would you love to have a flowering shrub to look at that will bloom all summer long and attract butterflies and hummingbirds? Impossible you say, but there is such a shrub--the butterfly bush. If you have a sunny spot in your yard that is a bit protected from the winter winds, you're ready to plant. The butterfly bush will grow from five to ten feet tall and just as wide. You can prune to direct the size of the plant in your yard or just let it grow. This beautiful flowering shrub will grow in almost every yard. It adapts to your needs in the landscaping you planned for your yard. Use the plant in a perennial border, plant several in a row for a privacy hedge or place one on the corner of your deck to bring nature closer to you, as the butterflies will feed on its nectar all summer long. Did I tell you it is also fragrant and the plant will flower from June to first frost?

The butterfly bush is an old fashioned shrub once cherished for tranquility in the garden. The new cultivars have brought it back into style today and if you like flowering shrubs, this is the plant for your garden. The butterfly bush will grow with long arching branches much like the forsythia shrub does. The branches are slender and create a mounding look to the plant. The leaves are long and slender--4 to 8 inches long, and the color varies from gray-green to dark green in color, with a soft and silvery and soft underside. The leaves, which hold onto the plant well into the fall, do not have any fall color change.

The fragrant flowers develop in June and resemble miniature lilacs. The first flower can be as long as 10 inches long and last on the plant for 3 to 4 weeks. When they fade, prune them off and two side shoots will develop with blooms 6 to 8 inches long. Prune them off again when they fade and now the same branch will make 4 flowers 4 to 6 inches long. The more you clean the plant the more it will flower. Butterfly bush flowers come from white, pink, lavender, red and purple.

Butterfly bush will come in a pot, instead of dug from the ground, as the plants do not transplant well. When you plant it, do not try to move it around your yard; plant it and leave it alone. Plants do best in a well-drained soil that you can keep moist or a rich loam type soil. Plant the Butterfly Bush with compost and organic fertilizers. Water two times a week until established; it will take 2 to 3 months for the plant to be well rooted. When it gets hot, the plant will grow fast and requires more water. Once established, in the second year the plant will tolerate heat and drought conditions. If the plant can get a little shade at the end of the day, I have noticed more butterflies on the plant.

In the spring, cut the plant in half to encourage new growth, unless you want it to grow large for privacy hedges. All plants will require spring pruning to remove dead branches and cleaning of the plant after winter. Never prune this plant in the fall. Fertilize in spring only--never in the fall--or it will not begin to harden off the growth and prepare for the winter. The butterfly bush also will not tolerate wet soils or road salt so keep plants away from the side of the road. The best place to plant it is where you spend your summer relaxing. It is also a great plant to put near the vegetable garden, as the flowers will attract honey bees all season long. Having more bees near the garden means better pollination and more vegetables to harvest. The flowers come on long stems and make a great cut flower for the kitchen table, lasting a week or two. Plant one or two this spring and find out why the plant is called the butterfly bush--you will think that the plant is moving in your yard. Enjoy.
'Rocky Balboa' - Theme Song (HD)
'Rocky Balboa' - Theme Song (HD)
Doublefile Viburnum tomentosum

The month of May is filled with beautiful flowering shrubs and trees and if you had to pick just one plant to add to your garden this year, it would be a difficult choice for most of us to make. I want to make a suggestion of a plant for you to consider if you're making such a choice. The plant that I know you will love to add to your garden is called the Doublefile Viburnum, and for just one reason, because every year it will get more beautiful! This Viburnum, when young, has no real appeal, no pizzazz, but in just a couple of years in your garden it will quickly become your favorite. This plant has it all, and in just a couple of years in your garden, you will see flowers, fruit, fall color, and growth characteristics most plants would die for. There is only one word for this plant, "WOW!"

As the Doublefile Viburnum makes its new growth in the spring, the new branches that form will grow horizontally, and they are graceful because when the wind blows in your yard they will move like waves on the water. The plant will make foliage and flowers at the same time during May. The foliage is beautiful. Each leaf will grow from 3 to 5 inches long; they are shiny and clean looking, the shine on the leaf will last from spring to fall. The shape is oval, 2 inches wide near the stem but narrows to a point on the end, and along the edge of the leaf is a row of small teeth. The leaf is covered with a unique network of sunken veins, like stitchery. In the fall these leaves will gradually change from the deep green summer color, to rich red wine colored foliage that the plant will retain for several weeks. When the color changes occur to the foliage, the sunken veins become even more pronounced and the leaf seems to almost glow.

The flowers form on 2 inch stems placing them above the new foliage, like a pedestal. The flowers that form are unique because this flower cluster has two types of flowers in the cluster: a small fruit-bearing and a large sterile type of bloom. The inside of the cluster is filled with 25 or more fertile small, 1/4 inch, white, 5 petal flowers, and not showy. But around this flower cluster are 5 or more sterile, large, 1 inch, very showy, 4 petal white flowers. The flowers combine to make a wonderful 4 to 5 inch in diameter flat flower that will cover the entire stem of the plant from the main stems to the tip of every branch. The flowers will last on the plant for 4 to six weeks depending on the temperature and frequency of heavy rains. Bees and butterflies seem to flicker from flower to flower like in a dance around the Maypole. There are so many flowers on the branches they will bend with their weight and the lower branches will touch the ground. If you're able to enjoy a full moon night outside in your garden the plant will almost glow from the light the moon sends into your garden.

The fruit, "O the fruit," that this plant makes is wonderful to look at on the plant. You know those wonderful small fertile white flowers in the center of the flower cluster you enjoyed in May to early June have now become shiny, 1/4 inch, oval, bright red fruit. Each fruit cluster is 3 inches in diameter and the 25 or more fruit in the cluster lie flat on their stems above the foliage. The rich shiny green foliage below makes the fruit stand out just as wonderfully as the flowers did on the plant earlier in the season. The fruit ripens in July to early August and then without a notice turns bright shiny black in late August telling the birds that supper has been served. All of a sudden, all the berries are gone and the plant can now prepare for the fall by making flower buds for next spring and slowly change the foliage to the rich red wine color.

Doublefile Viburnum loves a soil that is moist, rich, and fertile; if planted in a dry, sandy soil it will not perform very well for you. Condition the soil before planting with lots of compost or seasoned animal manure. I always add Soil Moist granules when planting new shrubs to insure the roots stay moist as the new roots develop in your garden. Mycorrhiza has shown me how wonderfully Mother Nature's microbes work in the soil and I will never plant anything again without using this product. 

Water the plant weekly or more often during warm weather to motivate plant growth. Fertilize in the spring with Plant-Tone or Espoma new Super Bloom Booster fertilizer each spring to encourage good growth during the summer months. Place 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch or compost around the plant to control weeds around the plant and to help hold water in the soil during the summer months. Lots of moisture around the roots will result with more, bigger, and brighter fruit during the summer months on the plant.

Doublefile Viburnum will grow in full sun to partial shade in your garden. The flowers and berries will do as well in either growing locations. Just make sure the location you choose is well drained and has no standing water, especially during the winter. Give the plant room to grow as this plant needs room display the flowers and berries during the year. This plant will grow 8 to 10 feet tall and will spread its beautiful branches 10 to 12 feet wide. You can prune the lower branches on the plant as it matures and create a small tree-like plant with multiple stems.

This Viburnum will make a great plant to grow under tall trees that had the lower branches pruned out to let daylight in under them as an understory plant. If you want to create a tall growing privacy hedge along your property line or cut back the traffic noise from your patio during the summer this is your plant, space plant 10 feet apart. You can also use it as a vocal point or specimen plant in your yard or large planting of mixed plants like Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Mountain Laurels. If you have a Japanese Garden this plant will make a great specimen flowering plant near a pond or small stream. Plant this Viburnum on the side of a hill to prevent erosion and to create a background of color all summer long with its beautiful flowers and berries. If you have bird houses or bird feeders this plant will ensure that the birds stay from season to season and because of its dense foliage and horizontal branching it also makes a great plant for the birds to build nest in.

The flower closely resembles the flower of the climbing hydrangea; many people think that this plant belongs to the hydrangea family but it does not. And best of all, no insect or disease problems with this plant and once established, it needs little to no maintenance. Look for it at your local nursery; you will not regret purchasing this wonderful shrub, the Doublefile Viburnum. You will enjoy it!!!
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime. Teach him to garden and the whole neighborhood gets tomatoes....and squash, ..and cucumbers, and...!"
Deep South Dish. com

                                                                                   Potato, Mozzarella and Garlic Pizza

If you're looking to make a GLUTEN free Pizza here it is and it's good! If you're really hungry add 3 or 4 slices of Pastrami, Genoa Salami, or 12 thin sliced Pepperoni that you cut up like match sticks. Use new potatoes or buy a bag of small potatoes about a Pound.

1 pound of new white Potatoes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves crushed and chopped finely
1 10 to 12-inch Pizza pan
1 medium size Red onion 3 to 4 inches, sliced thinly
1 cup of smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Rosemary or Sage
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan cheese to garnish after cooking

1} Pre-Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Cook your potatoes in Boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain the water and leave the potatoes to cool on your cutting board. Slice thinly about inch thick slices. Don't worry about the skin on new potatoes but if your using older potatoes peal them before cooking.

2} Heat your 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add the sliced potatoes and garlic and fry for 5 to 8 minutes, turning frequently until tender.

3} Brush the Pizza pan with the remaining oil and make sure to coat the pan well, you may need a bit more oil. Scatter the onions on the bottom of the pan then arrange the potatoes on top. If your adding meat add the meat sticks on top of the onions and then cover with potatoes on top.

4} Sprinkle over the potatoes the Mozzarella cheese evenly, then add you Rosemary or Sage. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and cut into pieces and serve. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Day to look forward to:

May 21st - Armed forces day is 2 days
May 30th - Memorial Day is 11 days
June 14th - Flag Day is 25 days
June 19th - Father's day is 30 days

Keep records will make you a better gardener!!


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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