November 9, 2018

Helping your container plants survive the winter

I receive lots of great information from wholesale accounts that I buy plants from. I thought this one was particularly good advice. I know I have lots of potted perennials that I winter over every year. See my container garden at the link here.

This article describes three ways to keep perennial plants alive in their pots over winter.  Keeping plants overwinter

November 2, 2018

Salmon Steak with Lemon Leaves

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time at all, you will know about my Lemon trees. Seriously, I have lemon trees that I have grown from seed. They have been happy in pots in my yard and home for years. You don't need a greenhouse either, just a sunny window or door for wintering over inside.

Below are links about how I did it, you can too. You don't have to have a greenhouse. Any sunny window will do. 

My Meyer Lemon TreeLemon trees

Today I want to give you a recipe for a yummy, as well as healthy dish, that you can create in a snap. I don't ever spend hours in the kitchen cooking but I do want us to have healthy food.

Salmon is on our list of heart healthy protein. I'm always trying to figure out new ways to cook it. This week I brought all the lemon and Orange trees into the greenhouse and that lovely citrusy smell got me to thinking about lemon leaves on our Salmon steaks. I'm fortunate enough to have a Sweet Bay Tree too. I always use fresh Bay leaves when I cook fish. Why not add lemon leaves to the mix, I thought?

Here's what I did:

Salmon and Lemon Leaves for Two:

2 small Salmon steaks (I buy a whole Salmon side, cut it into small steaks and freeze until I need them..cheaper this way)
2 fresh Bay leaves (dried leaves will work too)
2 Lemon leaves (of course this is optional but they were yummy)
Olive oil spray
Lemon Pepper
Barbecue Rib Rub

Place the Salmon on a non-stick oven safe pan (I use my ancient Pampered Chef baking sheet). Generously season with lemon pepper and Rib Rub. Top each steak with one Lemon leaf and one Bay leaf. Bake at 450°until meat thermometer reads 145°.  Remove leaves and serve hot. As you can see above I served mine with green peas cooked with fresh mint leaves and onion, roasted potatoes (I did these in my air power cooker) and garlic flavored biscuits. I just sprinkled garlic salt over canned biscuit dough - yummy!

October 26, 2018

Hydrangea are beautiful in the fall

Chantilly Lace Hydrangea

If I could only have one plant it would probably be a Hydrangea. There are so many sizes, shapes and colors to choose from. Not only are they spectacular in the spring and summer, but did you know they are lovely in the fall too?

Here are pictures of some of my Paniculata Hydrangea. These are not the big mop-heads that most folks think of when Hydrangea are mentioned.  Although mop-heads are beautiful in autumn too, if you leave the flower heads on the bush until they dry. See a few of my mopheads in bloom at this link.

The Paniculata do so much better in my yard and I actually grow them in huge tubs instead of in the ground. A couple of these are dwarf varieties. Bare in mind, that a dwarf Hydrangea can still get 5 feet tall and wide.

Little Lime (Dwarf)

Silver Dollar (Dwarf)


To see more about Hydrangeas click this link

October 19, 2018


It's time to take down the HummingBird feeders but keep the ant guard if you had one on there.

I discovered a long time ago that the chemical used to keep the ants away is not important. If you will notice how this little contraption is made, there is no way ants can get to your feeder from the bottom hook. They would have to crawl down and up into the guard, then down and over the bottom piece to the top of your feeder. I have used the same guards over and over for years and I have never seen an ant to that.
I take my feeders down after a week goes by without any Hummers in our yard. I wash all the feeders with dish soap, including the guards. I store them in a cabinet in our studio until April the following year when Hummers usually return to Middle Tennessee.

I save a bunch of money by reusing the ant guards and have the added bonus of no harmful chemicals around the birds too.

For more about Hummingbirds see:

Hummers are scouting and Hummers and Woodpeckers...Who Knew??

September 28, 2018

Giant Coleus "Wasabi"

Wasabi and Me

This is an amazing plant! you can see from the picture on the left how big it is compared to the containers of Basil and zinnias beside it.

I have several of Wasabi Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Wasabi') around my landscape, all in pots. Not only are they huge but beautiful as well. The hot lime leaves seem to glow, especially in full sun. I have them in full sun as well as a couple in part shade. They seem to grow equally well in either place.

This plant will for sure be on my list to sell next year at Mimi's Greenhouse spring sales. In fact, I already have quite a few growing in the rooting beds.

I have actually underplanted miniature Hosta in the pots with the Wasabi plants. The coleus supply shade for the hosta and it's a good way to add to my hosta collection.

Some of the smaller purple and orange Coleus are a nice contrast to Wasabi in a mixed container or planted straight in the landscape together. 

September 21, 2018

My Little Pond

Honestly, it's almost too small to be a pond. I call it my little puddle. We had a big pond when I lived in the country so when Bill and I moved into my city house, I wanted another pond. We hired a backhoe to dig the big country pond but I only wanted a little pond this time. Bill and I thought for sure we could dig one. Well, we did, but it nearly killed us both! After digging for a couple of days in pure red clay, we decided that the pond was just the right size. 😅 We put a vinyl liner in the hole. We had also made earthen shelves to hold pots of flowers or rocks. The deepest part is about 30 inches deep and 36 inches wide by 4 plus feet long.

It has been nearly 8 years and I have thoroughly enjoyed our little puddle. We have a couple of big goldfish that are happy in there, I but a bubbler for them and made a rock shelf that they can hide under. The first fish we put in when the pond was new became dinner for raccoons. We live trapped those bandits and took them far, far away to a pretty creek out in the country.

Frog sunning on a rock
One year, grandson, Tad and I put guppies in the pond. They were very happy and had lots of babies. We had hundreds of guppies! We netted the prettiest ones out before winter and put them in an aquarium. We decided not to do it again because it was too painful knowing the ones we left outside would not make it through the winter.

This year I added water hyacinths. They have been very pretty especially when they bloom. I knew they would multiply like rabbits so I have a couple of old metal washtubs for the excess ones. I'll winter them over in the greenhouse and sell some and save some for me. Water Hyacinths are good for the compost too, so when I have my tubs full, I'll compost the rest. That's a real frog on the rock. The turtles are ornamental.

I don't have a water filter but the water stays clear and the fish are growing and seem healthy. The biggest problem we have is leaves in the fall. Bill has made a frame with screen wire in it. We are hoping it will keep out the leaves. We plan to put it over the pond soon because leaves are already dropping from our huge old oak trees. More pictures below:

I found this fish pot shelf that is perfect for my puddle! 

See how the Hycienths have multiplied. Coleus are happy too.