September 13, 2019

Monarch Butterflies Are Back!

I saw the first Monarch Butterfly I have seen in my yard in years! It was on my butterfly bush. I thought they were extinct. My friend said she had seen them in her yard too. Maybe the word is getting out about those nasty chemicals like Roundup and folks are not using as many as they used to.

I planted milkweed seeds today. I have a few here already but I want lots to attract more butterflies. The monarch lays its eggs exclusively on Milkweed plants.

I'm ashamed to tell this next story but maybe it will stop someone else from doing what I did. A long time ago when Monarchs were plentiful, I had a huge field of milkweed plants in full bloom next to my house. I went out there one-day and big black and yellow caterpillars were eating my milkweed. I was so upset that they were ruining my beautiful flowers! I squashed a ton of them! Later I learned they were monarch caterpillars! I was so sad. I think God may have forgiven me now because I have Monarchs again.

September 6, 2019

Froggies and toads oh no!

Actually, I love them both. We would be totally overrun with mosquitos if it weren't the frogs and toads in my yard. For years, I've had a toad that winters over in or near my greenhouse. He (or she) eats lots of bugs that would otherwise eat my plants.

I took these pictures of a little leopard frog sunning on a rock in my little puddle. It's too small to be a pond but it gives us much pleasure in spring and summer. Soon I'll post about the patio I built beside it for sitting and enjoying the goldfish and frogs. This leopard frog eats mosquitos that would otherwise eat us!

I saw the toad yesterday when I went out to one of my sand beds to stick some Hydrangea cuttings. He was buried up to his eyes in the sand. I had to scoop him up with my trowel and move him out of my way. He could have cared less. He sat and watched as I stuck all those cuttings, then he hopped a few feet away. I bet he's back out there today! No matter, he does more good than harm. I'd be overrun with bugs if it weren't for him and his friends.

Toad in the sand

August 30, 2019

Dwarf Ornamental Grasses

Many years ago when I first started in the greenhouse business, ornamental grasses were all the rage. I don't see as many of them as I used to. That may be because they take up a lot of space and many of us have downsized our yards.

I still have a few ornamental grasses in my landscape and my favorites are the dwarf or miniature varieties. In this post, I want to feature three of those.

Little Bunny is a true miniature fountain grass. It only grows to about 30 inches tall and wide. It will send up little fluffy seed heads in late August. My picture came from Bluestone Perennials.

Moudry is another favorite of mine but it can be invasive. I grow it on the red clay bank beside the studio and it has not been invasive there. I'm sure that is because of the gummy red clay fill dirt that the builders had to add when we built the little art studio. I love Moudry's dark purple plumes in the late fall.

   Hameln is a tiny little grass that only gets about 2 feet tall and wide. It is very similar to Little Bunny but a little smaller. Perfect for a sunny spot in your small yard. It is a spectacular accent plant.

I will have Moudry and Little Bunny for sale at my 2020 spring plant sale at Mimi's Greenhouse. 

August 16, 2019

Even Gardeners Have to Clean House

I don't think I've ever blogged about a cleaning product but gardeners occasionally have to clean house too. Recently I needed a general cleaner for the sink, counters, bath, etc. I usually use a generic "bleach" cleaner from Walmart. Well, I was at the Dollar General Store and they didn't have a cleaner with bleach. At least, if they did I couldn't find it in the newly reorganized store.

The closest thing I found was a spray cleaner called Kaboom. I bought it. WOW!
This stuff is amazing! It shines my stainless steel sink with very little effort, porcelain sinks too. I even used it to clean my light-colored linoleum in the kitchen. I just sprayed a little on the floor and damp mopped. Couldn't have been easier! If you haven't already, I highly recommend you try it!

No, I'm not getting paid to write this.  😊

August 9, 2019

Hydrangea Pruning...I couldn't have said it better myself....

My Big Blue Mophead Hydrangea
My Internet friend and Gardening Guru, Mike McGroarty, sent this link in one of his emails. It is the complete guide top pruning Hydrangeas! Enjoy!

Hydrangea Pruning Made Easy

August 2, 2019

Lawn Care Advice

This is a good post from my fellow blogger and lawn care specialist, Tyler. I think it's good advice for all of us who have to maintain a lawn.
Grass Guide