WU member since Oct. 2005. I enjoy reading, crafts, crosswords, puttering in the yard, old movies and hanging out with my friends on WU.
By: palmettobug53 , 2:07 AM GMT on March 12, 2007
Just about the time the temps are nice and daylight savings time has kicked in so that you want to spend time outside in the evenings, the BLASTED NO-SEE-UMS arrive! My next door neighbor has a 1 year old and a 3 year old. She told me that nothing she tried last year did any good for the gnats or mosquitos. She has been trying to find a natural repellant and to avoid ones with pesticides. Does anyone here know of something safe for small children that works?
I get spring fever something terrible, once the temps come up and I notice things starting to bud out. I don't mind working when it's really cold or really hot but when spring starts to make it's presence known.... Oh! I want to browse the garden centers and nurseries and spend time at home, digging in the dirt. So many flowers and so little time! LOL
The azaleas are in bloom, daffy-down-dillies are popping up everywhere, the tulip trees are blooming. I've spotted hyacinths and some type of iris looking flowers during my lunchtime walks at work this past week. No wisteria yet except for the one Love left as a present the other day.
Yesterday, I went to Walmart. They still haven't gotten in their main shipment of bedding plants but I was able to get three patio tomatoes, one cherry tomato and a citronella plant. (I'm hoping they'll have more of those coming in; I'd like to have a couple more) I got the tomatoes potted up this afternoon. I've never had any luck with them in the ground here; there's something in the soil. Three years ago, I decided to try them in pots. What a difference! All I have to watch for, is something on the little tag that says "Suitable for containers". I've had enough tomatoes for me and hubby (he doesn't eat as many as I do!) and enough to share weekly with my cousin, as well as the odd handful to take to work to a couple of my coworkers.
As for flowers, I've been planting seeds and then picking up a few bedding plants, to put in pots and maybe stick a few in my planting beds. They've looked rather mangy for a number of years now. I'm just too mingy with my money to spend what I'd have to spend on bedding plants, to really have a good show. I don't have anyplace to put flats, so instead of starting seeds indoors, I've been direct sowing. It hasn't worked.
So last year I decided that I'd start leaning more on the perennials. Not all at once, mind you, but over the next two or three years. I already have some amaryllis, one glad that I found in the ditch, which has multiplied nicely. I have a really nice rosemary plant in the middle of the larger bed. The smaller bed, around the birdbath, has some Moses-in-the-cradle. Last summer, I added a few canna lilies, two lantana, two day lilies and some verbena.
I just bought a bag of mixed glad bulbs. And I did put some morning glory, moon flower and cardinal vine seeds in a very small bed right by the chain link fence. (I have had good luck with those three from seed). I have some California poppy seeds I'm going to scatter out tomorrow after work, along with some wildflower mix. I had a nice bed of poppies about 10 years ago and I thought I'd try again. If they come up, good; if not, I'm only out a couple of bucks or so. And if any of those cosmos come back up from last year, I'm yanking them. I like the flowers but the plant itself is too tall and gets scraggly looking real fast.
I also have some pots on the front stoop from last year, that still have some plants in them. I had done them with herbs, dusty miller, and some kind of flowers that I don't know what they were but they looked neat. The gerbera daisy might revive. I'm not sure if I'll leave all of that in the pots or dump it out, replant the dusty miller in the flower bed and completely redo the pots with new plants. I'll probably redo those.
Tip: Check your local dollar stores for cheap pots. That's where I've gotten most of my plastic pots for tomatoes and the mixed plantings for the front stoop.
Here's some ideas and good links:
Try planting native species. They're more likely to put on a good show and are fairly carefree, since they normally grow in your area. Native Plant Societies.
What about trying Heirloom vegetables? Everything I've read sounds so delicious! I had no idea there were so many kinds of tomatoes!
Heirloom Vegetable Gardner's Assistant
Heirloom roses are another good choice. I think Roses Unlimited is where my dad got his. Check out the link to their Garden/Greenhouse photos. Dad said they had all kinds of old farm equipment, wrought iron gates and things, with roses climbing all over them.
You can also get heirloom trees. Check out Trees of Antiquity.
Two gardening shows I enjoy watching are Gardening by the Yard with Paul James, on HGTV and The Victory Garden on PBS.
And of course, there are the seed companies..
I've been to Park Seed Co. in Greenwood, SC. It's something else to wander around their grounds, checking out the new varieties they're testing. Their end of the season sale is not to be missed!
My dad told me sometime back that Wayside Gardens was part of Park Seed. They're located in Greenwood, SC, also. They offer a little different selection in their types of plants, than Park Seed does.
What do you have planted in your yard? Are you adding anything new this year? What are your successes? And yes, we want to hear about your failures, as well. Lemon might be able to help us out with those!
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