August 28, 2015

A Trick to Enhance a Cut Flower Arrangement with Hosta Blooms and Leaves

I have many Hosta plants in my yard and I enjoy the fragrant blooms as much as I enjoy the beautiful leaves. Most are fragrant and all will last quite a while in a vase of water.

Blue Mouse Ears Hosta
I have blooms from June through August as the different varieties send up their tall spikes of flowers. Even the miniature Blue Mouse Ears have lovely flowers. The ones in the vase above are Fried Green Tomatoes Hosta blooms mixed with Surprise Lily flowers, red Zinnia and Purple Queen cuttings.

I use a large Hosta leaf (the one below is Sum and Substance) and fold it around the inside of the vase, add water and then your cut flowers. The leaf makes a clear vase - even a cheap one from a bargain store - look special.

Below is the giant Sum & Substance leaf  before I put it in the vase and next to it is vase before the flowers were added. Look how huge that Hosta leaf is!

Hosta leaf vase liner
Sum & Substance leaf

August 21, 2015

Hogweed Plant - A Very Scary Plant!

It can make you blind! 

I saw this on the Internet News today and although it has not been seen in Tennessee, It's been spotted in North Carolina and that's not too far away. The plants looks like giant Queen Anne's Lace but it is VERY bad to touch!

Read what CNN had to day about it here: CNN Hogweed Plant and here is another good article too
Giant Hogweed

Here is a picture I found on Google

and here is what the rash can look like:

I don't know about you, but I'm hoping I never see one of them!

August 14, 2015

Amazing Fruit Tree!

This link came to me via an email I subscribe to. Can you imagine a tree that has 40 different kinds of fruit! Follow this link and watch the video. I never much wanted to get into grafting because it seemed too tedious for my hyper personality but this makes me want to rethink that.

August 7, 2015

An Excellent Homemade Insecticide

I found this recipe on the Back Yard Growers Forum that I belong to. I am learning more and more about how harmful chemical sprays and yes, even fertilizers are to our health and the health of our gardens and plants. Here is the post:

Jamie Powers said:

Homemade Insecticidal Soap

Bugs normally aren’t a big problem in your garden as natural predators will keep the bad guys in check. Sometimes though, Mother Nature needs a hand if bug populations get out of balance. That is where you can help. A soap based insecticide is very safe for the environment and your family. It works by drowning the offending pest. Here is an easy recipe to make your own.
  • Materials Needed: A tightly lidded jar that holds 2 cups of liquid (for example a mason or mayonnaise jar) and a spray bottle.
  • Ingredients: 1 cup of vegetable oil; 1 tablespoon of Ivory liquid soap, or another pure liquid soap. Note: Adding a teaspoon of garlic or pepper to this recipe can make it more effective as a pest deterrent if desired.
  • Making the Insecticidal Soap: Add the oil and the liquid soap to the jar, and shake the jar vigorously to mix the soap and oil well. Add 2 teaspoons of the mixture to every cup of water in the spray bottle when ready to use.
  • How to use Insecticidal Soap: Shake the spray bottle often while applying to keep the water and oil mixture blended. Spray the plant all over; both the top and bottom of the leaves. Try to avoid spraying in the direct sun to avoid scorching the leaves. Insecticidal soap works by drowning the offending pest, so the trick is to get the spray on the bug. The residual acts to deter future bugs.
You may need to reapply 2-3 times with 2-3 days between applications. Then wait a week or so. Watch for the presence on new bugs.