May 20, 2016

Plant of the Month Hardy Banana Tree

Good news for those of us who live in less than tropical growing zones! We can grow a banana tree without having to uproot it every fall and drag it into the basement or garage. There is a banana tree that is hardy to zone 5. It has pretty flowers and fruit but don't try to eat the fruit - it's all seeds!
Here is what one dealer had to say about BasJoo Banana trees "this Hardy Banana you’ll get a defining tropical look. And, yes with proper mulching, it can withstand temperatures below zero. This extremely vigorous banana grows many feet in a season and in time forms large clumps that can reach up to 13' in height. Also known as the Japanese Fiber Banana, it makes a fine container specimen. If grown inside, it will tolerate varying conditions of temperature and light with ease. Although it does produce bananas, they are inedible. Simple to grow, give it plenty of water, fertilizer and sunlight."

 Here are pictures of the tree, the flower and the fruit and yes, I have them for sale at my Greenhouse! Check my website for days and hours to come shop. 
Mature Trees

Bloom

Another Bloom


Fruit

April 29, 2016

Helping the Birds Feed Their Babies

Re-hydrated Meal Worms 
If you have read my blog for any length of time you know that I feed meal worms to the birds all year (see these posts: Meal Worms in the Basement and Blue Bird Treat DIY Project ). I often resort to freeze dried worms when my supply of live worms is not enough. Now that the birds are feeding babies, I noticed that the freeze dried meal worms are hard for them to carry back to the nest. They tend to break when the birds try to gather several in one trip. I wondered if I could re-hydrate the worms and make them soft so the birds could carry more at a time. I filled a mason jar full of dry worms, poured boiling water in the jar to cover the worms. Put in in the refrigerator until most of the water was absorbed. I drained out the left over water and sure enough - wiggly worms! (picture above)

I kept them in fridge to be sure they didn't go bad. The birds were able to carry several at a time with out breaking and dropping the worms.  

April 15, 2016

It's Time for Hummingbirds!

Humming birds return to my upper Middle Tennessee back yard on April 15 every year! Actually we saw out first one on April 14 last year. We can count on them every year.

Put your feeders out now! I always put mine out about a week before their expected return just in case a few "early birds" pardon the pun, come scouting out the yard.

See this post for more info on feeding hummers and feeders.

April 8, 2016

Plant of the Month Dwarf Iris


Iris cristata: Crested Iris  is a native wild flower. It is not invasive (at least it isn't in my shady backyard) and easily pulled out and moved around. It grows about 6 inches tall and spreads over time to make a nice ground cover. Flowers can be pale blue, purple or white. All mine are blue. I have a patch of white ones but the flower is a little different and it blooms later - I think it is a different cultivar all together

I have moved it with me every time I have bought a new house. It is very happy near the path and under the trees in the back garden. Most of my wildflower collection is located in this spot under the big oak trees. I sometimes have these Iris plants for sale in my Mimi's Greenhouse weekend sales.