If you have had difficulty starting seeds indoors to get a head start on your garden or just to start varieties you can't find already started, this hands-on workshop will help. I will share the secrets I have learned through the years to start vegetables and flowers indoors and you'll go home with confidence, organic seaweed fertilizer and an organic anti-fungal agent and 18-20 seed pots planted,
I will do another workshop to start the tender veggies in March. Seeds offered will include varieties of tomato, sunflowers, peppers, squash and melons. Your choice up to 18 pots of plants to take home.
A client asked for centerpiece decoration for a dinner party in early December. She had a long table and a beautiful red velvet table cloth. We used long branches of white birch interlaced with magnolia leaves, teasels sprayed white, red roses, pine cones, pussy willows, baby's breath and few delicate branches also sprayed white. Some items were purchased at a floral wholesaler but the birch, pine cones, and teasels were foraged.
Dahlias and zinnias comprise these fabulous wedding bouquets I put together for a September wedding. I added small sprigs of boxwood and some graceful stems of asparagus.
Although slightly cooler than average, the almost perfect growing season we had here in Northeast Ohio produced a wonderful fence full of morning glories. These were the last blooms before our frost last week.
Last fall my crew and I planted a river of grape hyacinths and tulips for a customer. It was about a total of 8,000 bulbs. We roto-tilled the area first to loosen the soil to a depth of about 6 inches, then used a bulb planting auger where we wanted extra depth. We treated the bed with cayenne pepper before covering the bulbs, then after covering the bulbs, we gave it a dressing of milorganite to keep the deer away. The clients took a winter vacation in March and neglected to retreat with milorganite, and unfortunately, the deer ate quite a few of the tulips while they were away. The Muscari however bloomed well even though they obviously had been munched also. We retreated with milorganite just before the Muscari opened.
Papyrus plants are an overlooked gem for containers or urns, but they are great for providing height in the center of a container. There are different varieties of papyrus sold at the better garden centers. This one grows a full two feet tall, but some are not as tall, so be sure to read the plant labels when you shop. Papyrus can be taken indoors during the winter and then potted outdoors again in late spring. In this very large urn, I used two papyrus plants, three large leaf coleus, three lime sweet potato vine and several white impatiens. Sweet potato vine tends to grow so well it can dwarf or hide everything else in the container. The solution to keeping a balanced design where all of the elements are visible is to occasionally prune the vines back.
This plant has delicate cream-colored flowers that bloom in July. This cultivar grows no more than four feet tall and spreads about three feet wide. There is another variety of Meadowseet that grows a little taller than this and flowers with deep pink plumes. The pink variety is invasive, but this plant keeps to itself. One of the features of this plant that I enjoy is that the flowers dry into delicate golden sprays that are very attractive in flower arrangements.
I love a variety of different mint species in my garden for making teas, yet many can become quite a nuisance as they can be very invasive crowding out everything nearby. A great solution that does not require the frequent watering of a large pot is to make a "bottomless" container from a plastic garbage can or a plastic tote. After removing the bottom of the tote or cutting the garbage can in half, I sink the container into the soil to a depth of about 6-8 inches which is deep enough to prevent the shallow roots systems of mints from traveling. The top of the container only needs to be about 3 inches above the soil line. This Mountain Mint thrives in this large bottomless pot and requires watering only during episodes of the very dry weather.
Cutting the bottom out of a plastic tote can be done easily with a jigsaw. Just drill a hole large enough to insert your jigsaw blade to start the cutting. Plastic garbage cans can be cut with a jigsaw or a pair of metal snips.
Barbara Eaton, M.Ed. is a Master Gardener, a garden designer and an artist. She works as a professional gardener caring for the gardens of several regular clients. She is a published author, retired educator and a fool for flowers.