December 15, 2017

Hydrangea for Winter Color

Ruby Slipper Dwarf Hydrangea
Lady in Red Bloom

I took a walk in the backyard a week or so ago. We had already had a couple of nights below freezing. The hydrangeas were so pretty dressed in their fall yellow and red. The beautiful summer blossoms had dried on the branches. I couldn't resist taking pictures of them for you all to see.

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite shrubs ad I always have them for sale at Mimi's Greenhouse in the spring.       

Tardiva Bloom
Lady in Red 

Little Lime Dwarf

December 8, 2017

Not Your Average Christmas Cactus!

Variegated  Christmas Cactus bloom
I've written about my Christmas Cactus several times - maybe because they are so easy to grow - they will even root in water! Schlumbergera bloom when most everything else is dormant or dead!

Today I want to show you some that are not the red with dark green foliage that you usually find for sale right now in the big box stores.  I will have the ones featured here and more for sale this spring at Mimi's Greenhouse. If you put them outside all summer and bring them in right before the first frost they will bloom from Thanksgiving until Christmas!

My absolute favorite is one that not only has variegated lime green/red foliage but the blooms are variegated too! Petals are hot pink tips with a pure white throat. It is the one featured at the top of this post.

Colorful foliage

Then there is Gold Charm. It's the one with golden flowers and dark green leaves. The shocking pink stamens add a touch of pizazz. I don't even remember where on the internet I got this one but it is a stunner planted in a hanging basket. I bring it into the dining room in November and it is lovely in the morning sun.

Gloden Blooms

Happy in this sunny spot

Another beautiful one has salmon pink flowers against the traditional dark green foliage. Those flowers are quite unusual. It was another internet purchase. To find my posts about Christmas Cactus use the search field on the sidebar on the right. 

Salmon flowers on Schlumbergeras

December 1, 2017

Knock Out Rose Hips for Tea and Other Medicinal Uses


We have had frost already and all my Knock Out Roses are still blooming. I know this rose has gotten a bad reputation and they are a lot of trouble because of all the thorns, pruning required and susceptibility to Rose Rosette Disease. Even with all that, I still have a few in my yard and I have to say they are spectacular all summer.  
A Knock Out Rose Hip

   One great thing about Knockout roses is the rose hips. They have tons of really nice rose hips for you folks who use them medicinally. 
Here is a good article about how to dry rose hips and make rose hip tea.

And here is what WebMd has to say about Rose Hips:

"Rose hips are the round portion of the rose flower just below the petals. Rose hips contain the seeds of the rose plant. Dried rose hips and the seeds are used together to make medicine.Fresh rose hips contain a lot of vitamin C, so they share many uses with vitamin C including preventing and treating coldsflu, and vitamin C deficiencies. However, much of the vitamin C in rose hips is destroyed during drying and processing and also declines rapidly during storage. Because of this, many rose hip-derived "natural" vitamin C products have actually been fortified with lab-made vitamin C, but their labels may not always say so.Rose hips are also used for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a "stomach tonic" for intestinal diseases. They are also used for diarrhea, constipationgallstonesgallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention (dropsy or edema), gout, back and leg pain (sciatica), diabeteshigh cholesterolweight losshigh blood pressure, chest ailments, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst.

In foods and in manufacturing, rose hips are used for tea, jam, soup, and as a natural source of vitamin C. "

November 24, 2017

Favorite Winter Hardy Sedum

Lemon Ball Creeping Sedum

Blue Spruce Creeping Sedum
  Here in my zone 7 yard these two sedum plants are green all winter. They hug the ground and are not invasive as some sedum can be but they do spread slowly over the ground.
  They are happy if you decide to plant annuals in their midst too. I have Marigolds that re-seed in my Lemon Ball sedum every year. The orange Marigolds really look beautiful in contrast to the lime-green of
Mandevilla & Lemon Ball Sedum
that particular sedum. See how pretty the big planter of Mandevilla vines and Lemon Ball is.  The only reason it is in the greenhouse is because I'm trying to winter over the Mandevilla.
  Both Lemon Ball and Blue Spruce grow about four to five inches tall and both have flowers in summer. You can see a spent flower stem in the picture of the Blue Spruce.
  The ones in the picture are potted for sale in the nursery yard. They have been growing in 3 inch pots all summer and the Blue Spruce were planted last year. They sat outside on a table in those three inch pots all winter even with all the hard freezes we had! I was astounded!

These will be for sale this spring at Mimi's Greenhouse.