Thursday, April 28, 2011


Today, we purchased an Evergreen Azalea (Hino Crimson) at Costco. I planted it in full sun, knowing that azaleas tend to do better with some shade (filtered sunlight). However, another shopper insisted that she has azaleas in full sun locations that thrive. I will be watching this plant carefully and will move it to the backyard if need be.

Hardy to USDA Zone: 5

Description: Hardy evergreen azalea. Brilliant non-fading single crimson flower, low growing compact with small deep green leaves turning bronze in winter.

Care: Water thoroughly as needed during the growing season until established. Treat for diseases or insects as needed. Fertilize 1-3 times during the growing season.

The Azalea  should grow to be 2' to 3' tall and 2' to 3' wide.

Phlox Europa and Picasso

Today, we planted some Phlox Europa and Phlox Picasso in a couple of our garden beds. Hopefully, they grow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pruning Hydrangeas

I always forget to prune my hydrangeas in a timely manner. Ed Hume gives the following tip about pruning these plants:
Varieties that bloom after June should be pruned during the winter. I recommend Mid-February as the ideal time to prune them. Cutting off flowers for drying, is also an excellent way to keep plants within bounds. Avoid severe pruning, as it often results in the development of lush stem (vegetative) growth and as a result, poor flowering. ( 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bluegold Blueberry

I have decided to be a little unconventional and plant a blueberry in our front yard. We purchased a Bluegold Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum 'Bluegold'). The following information was included with the plant:

Description: Large clusters of sky blue berries are very easy to pick. Bright orange and scarlet leaves fall leaves with distinctive yellow winter wood. Its compact habit makes a great landscaping selection. Deciduous.

Exposure: Full sun to partial sun

Average Size: 3-5' tall x 3-5' wide

Cold Hardiness: Zone 4/ -30 to -20 F

Bloom Time: Spring

Planting Care: Water regularly as needed. Water thoroughly in times of drought. Remove faded flowers and tattered foliage as they occur. Fertilize in spring just before blooming.

Update: We moved the blueberry to the backyard and planted a Josee reblooming lilac where we had originally planted the blueberry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Despite the rain, we have been planting seeds. Last fall, we gathered some seeds from our flower garden. A couple of weeks ago we scattered these seeds in one of our garden beds, along with a packet of Children's Flower Garden Mixture and Cosmos ("St. Michael's flower") seeds. Vegetable (broccoli, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini), blue lobeliawhite lobelia, dahlia ("Churchyard flower"), and dianthus ("Mary's love of God") seeds have all been started inside.

We transferred some of the vegetable seedlings outside and the zucchini and carrots are doing well. The broccoli and lettuce did not fair well, so we will wait until the weather warms up a bit to transfer more outside.

Update: The crows ate (or destroyed) all three of our zucchini plants. I will be buying some garden netting before planting anymore vegetable seedlings outside.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Raised Vegetable Garden

Last year, we attempted to grow tomatoes and and zucchini in our backyard. We were able to pick a few tomatoes before a branch, from a neighbor's tree that was being cut down, fell and crushed our plants. Unfortunately, the squirrels and slugs got to all of our zucchini before we could pick any of them. Therefore, this year, we decided to make a mini, round vegetable garden. 

Three of the children took some extra garden bricks that we had stored in our garage and built a small circle in our backyard. Once it was built, they filled the circle with garden soil and divided it into quarters with small rocks. The children plan to grow zucchini, lettuce, carrots, strawberries, and broccoli.

Hopefully, our garden will provide us with some vegetables for our table this year.

Update: After taking the photo above, I advised the children to move the strawberries to the same "pie" as the carrots. They have done so. They have also placed a plastic owl by the garden to protect it feom crows.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Arborvitae Hertz Midget

Last year, we replaced three large shrubs with three Arborvitae Hertz Midget (Thuja Occidentalis).

Hardiness: -50

Overwintering: Apply mulch.

Mature Size: 36" x 36"

Space: 36"

Habit: Rounded

Fertilize: Use all-purpose

Feature: Low maintenance

Water: Daily

Note to self: Add photo