June 22, 2018

My Favorite Daylilies

Alabama Jubilee
May and June are daylily months. Most of the spectacular ones start blooming in Mid-May. There are a few that actually re-bloom into July.

Daylilies are very easy to grow. They like full sun but will tolerate some shade. None of mine get a full day of sun. Some get full afternoon sun and the ones in my shady backyard only get morning sun and all are happy.

Unless you are lucky enough to have a friend who shares the lilies with you, you will probably buy bulbs at a nursery, a big-box store or online. You will start with one or two bulbs. Don't worry, most will bloom the year after planting and keep right on growing and multiplying for years to come. Soon you will be the one sharing bulbs with your friends.

If your soil is clay, amend it with compost or some good hummus. Water occasionally until they are established. Once they are established let God take care of them. I honestly don't ever water my 15-year-old plants. They might get water when I turn the sprinklers on to water the lawn in a drought but that's about it.

I even love what here in the south call "Ditch Lilies". I pick them and put them in vases, they keep blooming just as if they were outside...new flowers every day until all the buds on the stem are done.

Below are a few of my favorites from my yard. Some I know the variety and some names have long been lost.                                                                                                                               

Daring Deception

Unknown Yellow Ruffled
Unknown Red

Eyes of Fury
Another Unknown Red

Unknown Yellow Ruffled

June 15, 2018

Old Fashioned Gardening Tips

My mom found this is one of her old books. Fred's was one of our favorite bargain stores for years. They went out of business quite a while ago. There are some really good tips here. Molasses! Who Knew???

June 8, 2018

Oriental Poppies!

Large Red Oriental Poppy

These beauties have moved with me twice. I first planted them in the country and when I moved into town, I brought them with me. They have multiplied a little but not as much as I wish. They certainly are not invasive. I'm going to try to save the tiny little seeds this year and plant them in pots in the greenhouse. Maybe I will get more poppies for next spring.

I did buy some yellow California poppy plants to sell next year at Mimi's sales.

Sign up for my mailing list to be notified of the first sale date.
California Orange how to grow california poppies

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June 1, 2018

Are You A Rock Hound?

Fossil Rock found on Sulfur Fork Creek, TN
 I am! I cannot go to the creek without bringing home a load of rocks. My Honda Civic thinks it's a pickup truck. I've hauled trunkfuls of stones in it. When I go in Bill's truck it's crazy what I can bring home. I came by it honestly, My dad traveled in his work for years and almost every week the trunk of his car would be full of rocks when he returned home.

I've recently promised myself not to rescue any more stones. But, needless to say, last weekend I went to the creek with grandson Tad to skip rocks. That boy can skip rocks farther than anyone I've ever seen! Anyway, I didn't need any rocks, told myself no more rocks. We were in the John Deer Gator, there was room in the bed, and of course, there were several lovely "flowerbed size" stones that called my name. I only got 4 big ones though, that's a record for me.

I am always repurposing rocks. I'll move them from one place to another, decide to get rid of them in one place and they end up in the "rock pile" way back in the backyard. One never knows when a good rock will come in handy.

My Little Goldfish Puddle
I cleaned out the little fish pond last week and I could not believe how many stones were in there! Of course, I used some of the pond rocks to make a border for the cleaned up pond. The goldfish are very happy now that they have more swimming room and a deeper puddle.  I even put a rock "cave"" in there for them to hide in.

The other rocks from my little puddle never made it to the rock pile. I decided the old wooden raised herb beds near the pond were in real need of updating. Replacing the sides with wood again seemed counter-productive so of course, the pond rocks were the answer. I worked all day, sometimes in the rain (yes, I'm crazy). I reduced the beds from four 4x4 foot beds to two 8x4 foot beds. I love how they turned out and no more rotten wood to contend with!  Bill sawed the old wood pieces into 15-inch lengths. We have enough wood for the chiminea to last all summer! Now if the grass seed I planted on the side will hurry and come up, it will be finished.
New Herb Beds

May 25, 2018


"Dawn" Clematis
Some of the most beautiful plants in my yard are the Clematis vines. I have several different ones in various locations around our home. Because of the varieties I have planted, I have blooms from early March all the way into late June and sometimes a few of them will rebloom in the fall.

I have moved several of them with me more than once. My "Dawn" Clematis has been moved three times and still is the biggest showoff in my yard. It starts blooming in early March and has just finished in mid-May. The seed pods are nearly as interesting as the flowers too. They create winter interest when everything else is dormant.

Seed Pod

Clematis vines like their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade. To accomplish this I mulch them well and often underplant them with a low growing perennial. Nowhere in my yard is there full sun and mine Clematis do great in simi-shade.

Many people cut the vines back to about 2 feet tall in late fall. This can force new growth in the spring. I rarely do that because I'm normally so tired by that time of year that all I want to do is sit on the swing. My vines grow as much as I need without pruning. The one in the Dawn in the picture above is growing on a big wrought Iron contraption that I repurposed for the garden.

Bill came up with a great idea for growing Clematis on our privacy fence: He nailed wire fencing to the fence posts. He turned the fencing sideways and the gap created by the fence posts allows the vines to weave through the support.

Propagating Clematis is fairly simple. One easy way is to cover a vine with soil (vine still attached to the plant), leave it alone for about a year and it will root. After it has a nice little root system, cut it loose from the mother vine and plant it.

Clematis can be propagated via stem cutting also. Cut a section of vine, make your cutting at a leaf node and leave one leaf joint above that cut. I trim the leaves on the top of the cutting in half. Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone, stick it in moist sand and leave it in a shady place. It may take a couple of months to root. When a slight tug results in resistance, gently lift the stem to see if you have roots. I'd probably pot the new babies in gallon pots and keep them in the shade until they are well established before planting in the ground.

Below are a few other Clematis vines that are growing in my backyard.

Nellie Mosier


Rouge Cardinal
Dwarf Clematis

To learn more about plant propagation check out my book on Amazon:

May 10, 2018

My Greenhouse Sales

A Few of  My Backyard Plants
This spring has been a terrific time in my backyard. I opened my little Back Yard Nursery to the public on April 20 - after a fun private sale for my E-Mail list folks. Lot's of new people found me on Facebook and also by following the little signs I put all over town.

Here are a few of the plants still for sale. I'll be open every Friday and Saturday until the first weekend of June. Sign up for notices of special sales below the pictures. I promise not to send a bunch of useless emails - I don't have time and neither do you.

Butterfly Bushes


Fire Island Hosta

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