Posts in "Plants"

Fall Containers: One Plant Wonders!

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It's the first week of October and today registered a HOT 98-degrees in Los Angeles.

Perfect weather for desiging fall container gardens!

Oh, I'm not complaining about the perennial sunshine, I only wish "sweater weather" would set in soon.

No matter how warm it is in my town, my focus is on presenting garden and design information for the national audience that watches the "Home & Family" show.

 

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My latest gardening segment is on "Fall Containers: One Plant Wonders!"

I thought it would be practical to showcase plants that boast beautiful foliage, texture, or berries and look great as "one plant wonders" in fall containers.

The last thing I want to do is care for a mixed fall planter, stuffed with a bunch of flowers that need deadheading.

What do you think?

 

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Shopping for garden containers at Green Thumb Nurseries in Canoga Park, CA.

 

My approach to fall containers this year is simple and practical.

Pair a fall foliage plant with a colorful, contrasting jewel-toned container for maximum impact!

 

Take a look at a few of my favorite fall plants for containers featuring some First Editions® plants that I presented on the show.

I want to thank Bailey Nurseries for providing the plants and Green Thumb Nurseries for the colorful containers.

 

Daub's Frosted Juniper Tree

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This Daub's Frosted Juniper is grafted as a small tree with bluish-green, lacy mature foliage and frosted golden-yellow new growth.

I like how the glossy white container and white Galaxy snowberry plant bring light to the evergreen tree.

Junipers are cold hardy and one of the most adaptable plants in the world!

You'll find them surviving under snow as well as braving the heat of the desert.

Find a sunny spot in your garden and enjoy the year-round beauty of this spreading, but low growing variety.

 

Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree (Corylus avellana)

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The stark, gray, twisted branches of the Corylus avellana or "Harry Lauder Walking Stick" tree, transform the naked branches into a "living sculpture" in the fall and winter.

 I selected a textured, cobalt blue container with raised swirls to play up the contorted shape of the branches.

As the tree ages, the branches become thick and gnarled and bend into corkscrew configurations that are breathtaking and a hallmark of the plant.

When placed in a tall container, it elevates the tree to "art status."

 

Harry Lauder Walking Stick is a member of the hazelnut family and is dormant through the winter.

 

Loropetelum, First Editions® 'Crimson Fire' Fringe Flower

Besides small trees, I selected some plants that are commonly used in the landscape but interesting enough to be featured as a specimen plant.

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The dark ruby leaves of the Loropetelum, or 'Crimson Fire' Fringe Flower, persist throughout the year.

In the spring, the Crimson Fire boasts an eye-opening, neon pink flower.

When  I combined this plant with a glossy, ochre ceramic container, I was impressed with the vivid colors.

Although the loropetelum is hardy to nearly 0-degrees Farenheit when planted in the ground, as a container plant it can tolerate cold temparatures near 20-degrees.

Take it indoors to a sunny room and enjoy closeup when temperatures dip less than 20 degrees.

 

First Editions® 'Red Fame' Hypericum

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Don't I look like I'm enjoying the fall with my sweater?

I was boiling but I kept smiling!

 

 The fire engine red berries of the 'Red Fame' Hypericum tower over the dark green leaves, looking beautiful with autumn colors.

The purple container has a raised, knubby texture that mimics the round berries and reminds me of a cozy, cable knit sweater.

I wish!

 

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Hypericum is related to St. John's Wart and this variety grows round and compact at 2.5 feet tall  by 2.5 feet wide.

Give the Hypericum full sun and don't eat the berries!

They can be toxic to people and turn black in the winter.

 

First Editions® 'Tiger Eyes" Staghorn Sumac

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The warm, orange ceramic planter sets off the golden and scarlet tones of the 'Tiger's Eyes sumac.

 

Take a look at the rosy pink stems with chartreuse green and yellow fall leaves.

If this combination doesn't scream "Autumn," I don't know what does!

Tiger's Eyes is an award winning plant and can be planted later in spring,  in the garden as shrub or small tree.

Find a space with a lot of open space as the sumac tends to grow enthusiastically and cover some ground!

 

Questions From Home & Family Show!

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Q:  Other than color, what type of containers are best for cold weather?

Containers that won't crack from freezing and thawing.
Wood, metal, fiberglass, stone and high-fired ceramic like these

 

Q: What is the difference between a plant with a brand name such as, "First Editions" and plants without special names?

Branded plants such as First Editions® have been bred to be an improved version over their common plant counterpart.

Better disease resistance, more color choices, better size selection, more or extended bloom times.

If you like a plant but not it's behavior, look for branded plants to see if they have improved version.

 

Q:- Any special care for fall container plants?

 

Water once per week if no rain

No need to fertilize

Use an "anti-dessicant" such as Wilt-Pruf to keep leaves from drying on cold, windy days

 

Leave me your questions about your landscape or garden below!

 

Creative Technique For Becoming A Productive Gardener

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I invited my friend Susan Sherayko, author of "Rainbows Over Ruins" to share her creative problem-solving wisdom on EdenMakers as part of her book "blog tour!"

As the Line Producer on the "Home & Family" show, Susan has the huge task of supervising the financial bottom line of a daily, Emmy-nominated, national talk show.

When I met Susan a few years ago, I had no idea what overwhelming obstalcles she had triumphed over to land her dream job and maintain the positive disposition that is her signature style.

There was a compelling story behind her dimpled smile and confidence.

 

Susan gave me a copy of her book which offered me a glimpse into her life, and more importantly, the "thinking strategy"  and tools that form the cornerstone of her success and resilence!

 

Enjoy Susan's guest blog post, and leave a comment below to enter a drawing for a free copy of her book,  Rainbows Over Ruins!

 

 

Guest Blogger, Susan Sherayko

Looking at the beautiful spaces that Shirley highlights here on EdenMakers Blog, I lament the state of my own gardens.

 

We live at the edge of the high desert in California where water is becoming ever more precious.  

Our well is no longer producing water so we have to truck it in every two weeks or so.  

I’ve made efforts to use drought tolerant plants, but even they need some regular watering.  

 

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At the moment, the Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum) is blooming at its best ever.  

The rock rose (Cistus), prostate rosemary and purple cacti are holding their own, as well as the plants that “volunteered” to live in our garden spaces.  

After 9 years in this environment, I welcome all comers.

If they can grow in our yard, they have earned the right to stay here. 

 

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I’m not trying to make excuses for the sorry state of the gardens.  

Instead, it occurs to me that the creative thought process I share with others might work well here too.

What if someone applied these techniques to improve their gardens?  

 

 

Visualize What You Want Your Garden To Look Like

The most important questions to answer first is “what do you want your garden to look like?

What is its primary purpose?  

How will your yard be used?

Do you have favorite plants that will thrive in your specific climate?

 

 

Visualizing what you want is fun.

Since I like to journal early in the morning, it is the perfect time to imagine the things I want.

If I were answering these questions, I would see the gardens of my childhood.

 

My parents lived on the east coast and had gardens filled with roses, iris, azaleas, rhododendrons, daffodils, ivy, a pear tree that survived a hurricane, snowball plants, a lawn, and did I say roses?

They planted roses everywhere, in small gardens around the bird bath and climbing the fences that surrounded the house on all sides.  

 

 

Compare Your Real Garden To Your Dream Garden

Now, take an inventory.

How do your existing gardens compare?

Do you see a contrast?

 

The difference between what you have and what you want to have is called a gap.  

When you think it’s huge, it’s likely to stop you from making any attempt to work on your gardens, if you let it.  

It feels easier to make a long list of all the reasons (excuses) you have for doing without your dream garden.  

However, that isn’t the way to succeed at anything, let alone gardening.  

 

The better approach is to catch yourself when you start any negative self-talk and take a different approach.

Ask yourself “Why am I able to improve my garden?” and then make a different list – a list of pro-active positive suggestions that might help.  

 

Make A List of Positive Suggestions

You don’t need to know all the answers right now, however, if you keep asking that question, ideas are bound to come to you.

Then, you can choose one action out of all the potential ideas to start creating a better space.

They don’t have to be massive projects.  

 

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In the beginning, it may be all you can do to visit Shirley's blog to get ideas.

Maybe you’ll write a comment and ask for suggestions.

That’s how the creative thought process works.  

 

Keep asking positive questions that point you in the desired direction and you’ll be surprised how many resources show up in response. 

Funny, that sounds like a suggestion I can take myself.  

 

Do You Have A Garden Suggestion For Me?

Since the low water situation is having such an effect on my gardens, perhaps you would be willing to share what you do in your gardens when you have a water shortage.  

What plants do you recommend to bring color to my high desert, water-thirsty garden?

We experience extreme temperatures: very hot dry summers and cold winter nights.

 

I would love to see the suggestions you have for me.  

Thank you in advance for the help.

 
To Your Success in the gardens, 
Susan

 

ENTER YOUR COMMENT BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF "RAINBOWS OVER RUINS" BOOK DURING OUR DRAWING!

Rainbows-Over-Ruins-Book-Cover written by Susan Sherayko

Susan Sherayko is the author of Rainbows Over Ruins, a guide to those who seek to unleash their creative power.

She is the Executive in Charge of Production and Emmy nominated Line Producer for “Home and Family” on Hallmark Channel.

Susan is passionate about guiding others to discover how to change their thoughts and attract more successful results.

To find out more about Susan and her book, Rainbows Over Ruins, visit: www.RainbowsOverRuins.com

 

Potted Plant Care for Summer: Water, Prune, Fertilize

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Summer is the season when many "once beautiful" potted plants start to look like they are about to die.

It doesn't have to be this way if you invest a few minutes each week to care for your plants.

 

Watering, pruning, and fertilizing are key gardening activities during the hot summer months.

If you are diligent, your container plants will look as glorious as the ones hanging on Main Street at Disneyland!

(I'm exagerating, of course).

 

Realistically, with proper care, you can expect your container plants to pump out flowers, grow in size, and perform as promised on the plant tags, all summer long!

If you are new to container gardening, these are some essential gardening skills that will help you care for your plants during the summer.

 

"Potted Plant Care For Summer By Shirley Bovshow"  video as presented on the "Home & Family" show on Hallmark channel.

 

HOW TO REHYDRATE A PARCHED PLANT

DRY PARCHED VINE PLANT EDENMAKERS.com

 

Take a close look at your parched plant.

Does it still have some green leaves and pliable, green stems?

Congratulations!

Your plant is still alive and needs your immediate intervention!

 

On the other hand, you have a very ugly looking plant that you may feel tempted to toss out.

Not so fast, you can revive it!

 

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When the soil in your container garden becomes parched or overly dry, you can't rehydrate it just by watering it in normal fashion.

Parched soil can become a dry, solid mass that repels water, refusing to allow water to penetrate through to roots of plants!

 

A tell-tale sign of parched soil is when the potting soil pulls away from the inside walls of the container.

Watering soil in this condition is futile since the water simply pours down the sides of the container and out of the drain hole.

 

Here's what to do:

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1. Fill a bucket or trough, (that is larger than your container), with lukewarm water.

2. Place your container inside the trough so that water can enter through drain hole and rehydrate plant from the bottom.

 

You may have to leave your container in the water for a few hours or overnight until all the soil feels wet.

Once the soil is rehydrated, remove the plant from the basin and allow soil to dry to the touch at 1-inch deep.

Begin watering your plant in a more regular fashion so that it doesn't become parched again.

 

Add more potting soil, compost, and fertilizer to your container as most of the nutrients may have leached out of the pot.

Make sure to keep a 1-inch gap between the top of the soil and top of the rim of planter.

Now that you've revived your plant, don't let it happen again!

 

HOW TO DEADHEAD OR PRUNE AN ANNUAL PLANT

 

Summer heat is  responsible for rampant growth and flowering of healthy plants, which is a good thing.

The flip side is that these flowers don't live forever and look unsightly after blooming.

Once an annual flower blooms, it begins to decline, eventually withers, sets seed, and dies!

This is why annuals don't last very long, but you CAN extend your its life by "deadheading!"

 

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Deadheading is simply pruning or cutting off the dead flowers and stems back to a node, or where leaves of the plant emerge.

If you remove the dead flower without removing the stem, chances are the seed is still on the plant.

Remove it all so that your plant can regenerate and give you another round of blooms!

I've been able to coax several flushes of flowers on my annuals through deadheading.

Give it a try!

 

HARDPRUNING ANNUALS

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Sometimes a plant looks VERY spent and is a mix of dead and living stems.

Going through a plant looking for the live stems may take too much time and 20/20 vision.

I don't have either.

In situations like this, I do a "hardpruning" of my annual plant, cutting back all stems to just a few inches long.

 

annual-plant-hard-pruned-to-few-inches-to-regenerate edenmakers.com

 

You can do the same provided you are not at the end of your summer and you have a mild fall and long growing season.

 

 

 FERTILIZE YOUR POTTED PLANTS!

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Put your potted plants on a feeding schedule during the summer growing season and you'll be impressed with its performance!

Potted plants are at your mercy for nutrients as they can only access what you provide them.

Regular watering is vital, but it also causes nutrients to leach from the soil.

Fertilize your plants!

 

Fertilizers come in a variety of blends with different ratios of vital nutrients for plants.

There are organic blends and non-organic.

I prefer organic and like the Gardner & Bloome line.

 

Look for the three numbers on the fertilizer package in the photo above.

It reads, "3-7-4."

The numbers indicate the percentage of essential nutrients that the fertilizer provides.

Beginning with the first number, the numbers represent the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, in the formula, in that order.

You can see that there is more "phosphorus" (#7) in this formula, followed by potassium (#4) and nitrogen (#3).

 

Phosphorus and potassium are essential in bud and bloom production in a plant and so the fertilizer blend is aptly named, "Bud & Bloom" fertilizer.

You don't need to be a master gardener to select fertilizer for your specific need, there are many pre-mixed formulas.

The package comes with instructions for applying the right amount of fertilizer by container size, so you can't go wrong.

 

What you should be aware of is that fertilizers, even organic ones, have the potential to "burn" your plant if you get any on your leaves or flowers.

Apply fertilizer to the soil, scratch it in, and then water immediately.

Depending on the formula, the fertilizer can last anywhere from 10 days to 2 months. 

 

You'll be thrilled at how beautiful you can maintain your potted plants during the summer if you practice careful watering, deadheading and fertilizing!

 

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Garden expert and designer Shirley Bovshow on Home & Family show, Hallmark channel

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO READ A FERTILIZER LABEL!

Interested in understanding plant fertilization better?

Watch my video below.

Enjoy my fun video about fertilizing your plants.

You will learn so much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infographic: Landscaping and Your Return on Investment

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Investing in your landscaping is not a waste of money, especially if you are selling your home.

Take a look at this infographic about your return on investment for different types of landscaping improvements!

 

The Return on Investment of Landscaping - An infographic from Alberta Arborists
Created by AlbertaArborists.com

 

Usually budgets for home improvement projects favor the inside of the house.

If you are going to sell your house soon, consider the benefits of spending a few dolllars on creating a nice curb appeal.

 

Shirley's Tips For Adding Curb Appeal To Your House For Sale

1. What types of plants do you suggest planting if you plan to sell your home (which plants add the most curb appeal)? 

It depends on what kind of home you are selling, price point and condition of your front yard.

Are you selling "As is" with a bargain basement price?

If so, you don't have much to do except clean up any obvious mess. 

If you are looking for top dollar, pay attention to the details of a nice front yard that will garner your home more attention:

 

  • Put your lawn in order or add a new patch of lawn with sod for instant green- remember, lawns are plants too.
  • Cover up eyesores like exposed foundations, utility boxes and add privacy from your neighbor with evergreen shrubs that are garden-zone friendly where you live.
  • Add lots of color with annual color bowls set out on your porch or entry.
  • Seasonal annual plants add instant color to garden beds as well.

 

As a "finishing detail," ALWAYS add an inch or two of mulch after planting.

It makes your garden bed look a lot neater, accentuates the color of your flowers, and most of all- covers your dirt!

No one wants to see your dirt!

 

2. Can planting trees in your yard increase your home’s value?

Mature trees are the most valuable in a landscape followed by well placed, newly planted trees that contribute shade, ornamental value- (blooms) and fruit or nuts.

In general, a well designed landscape with beautiful trees will increase the value of your home.

 

 

 

 

 

Firescaping: Prepare Your Yard For Brush Fire Season!

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Prepare your yard for brush fire season!

In dry, drought-stricken California, fire season is year-round.

 

Yearly brush clearance notifications are sometimes met with the same dismissive attitude as many have towards a jury duty summons.

A false confidence that no one will notice a lack of response or complience drives some homeowners to inactivity.

 

We shouldn't take brush clearance orders lightly!

If we don't prepare our yards for brush fire season, we will bear the consequences that an unexpected fire can cause.

Not only are we putting our home and life at risk, we are endangering the safety of our community.

 

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Check out this map, dated as of the day that I write this blog post showing all the reported brush fires active today-  from Global Incident Map Displaying Forest Fires.

 

Extreme Fire Risk Areas

 

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If you live in a hillside area you may be at specific risk for brush fires because of the density of plants and other geological factors.

 

Homes  located near hillsides or urban wild land corridors are more vulnerable to brush fires because of dense plant life that can burn and spread fires quickly.
 

"Fire Triangle"

  • In summer, hot temperatures cause plants to dry, making them an ideal "kindling" or fuel for a fire to spread. 
  • "Fuel" is one of three necessary ingredients to create a fire, the other two are oxygen and heat.
  • These three elements form the "Fire Triangle" which is a simple way to understand the factors that make a fire.

If one of the three necessary ingredients are missing from the Fire Triangle, a fire is impossible to sustain.

 

There is very little we can do to control heat and oxygen factors, this is nature's domain.

"Fuel" is the only factor that we can control to a limited degree by maintaining a "firescape" or fire-resistant landscape.

The fuel comes from our plants and other materials in our yards, afterall.

 

At a very minimum, by complying with brush clearance ordinances, we may be able to slow-down or thwart flames headed towards our homes.

 

 
 

How a Brush Fire Spreads on Hillsides

 

 

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When dry brush catches fire, not only does it burn, it creates it's own environment that is conducive to spreading fire. 

 

  • A burning plant "pre-heats" the other plants that are near it, causing them to become dry and hot.
  • The burning plant also creates energy, in the form of it's own wind, which spreads embers onto nearby plants.
  • These plants catch fire, and in turn continue to "pre-heat" other plants around them as the fire continues to grow and spread.

 

When plants are closely spaced to each other, it's easy for the fire to spread by using each plant as a "fire ladder' to make its way up a tree canopy and move towards your home.

 
 

Create a Defensible Space in Your Landscape

Defensible space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it protects your home from catching fire.

Native plants and trees, (the ones that grow naturally in your area and that you didn't plant) are usually the focus of brush clearance, but may include others you planted.

 

 

defensible-space-diagram from pcfd.org shows spacing of plants and trees and other materials in high fire risk areas

 

Maintain a minimum of  30-feet of  "defensible space" or buffer zone between any  building on your property and the hillside or dense planting area that can bring fire to your house.

This is the amount of defensible space required in my neighborhood.

Yours may be different.

 

Buffer zone spacing is based on your specific fire risk area, the grade of hillside slope and other physical factors.

Check your local fire station for specific requirements.

Some areas require a 100-foot defensible space.

 

Firescaping "Do's"

 

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Prune tree limbs so that they are 10 feet away from your roof or walls.

 

 

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Trim the bottom branches of trees on your hillside and near your home 6-feet from the ground so that lower plants don't touch them and create "fire ladder."

 

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Space tree crowns at least 10 feet apart so that they don't touch.

 

Remove dead wood and liter from your landscape plants.

Plant *"fire-resistant" plants near your house to delay the spread of fire to the house.

Remove pine needles and leaves from roof and rain gutters

Remove wood shake roof which is highly flammable and install composition shingle, tile or other less combustible roofing material.

Keep firewood at least 50 feet away from structures.

         *Fire resistant plants are typically drought tolerant, slow growing, low maintenance, and store water in leaves and stems.
          No plant is fireproof.
          Check your local fire department for a list of plants for your area.
 
 

Firescaping "Don'ts"

  1. Don't allow plants and trees near your house to dry during severe heat waves, keep them hydrated!
  2. Don't plant pine trees, Cypress, junipers or Eucalyptus trees or other resinous plants within 30 feet of your structure- they are highly flammable!
  3. Don't use rubber mulch in garden beds near house because it is flammable.
  4. Don't allow wood bark or mulch to become dry during hot days- keep moist.

 

WATCH VIDEO SEGMENT FROM HOME & FAMILY SHOW: "FIRE RESISTENT LANDSCAPES WITH SHIRLEY BOVSHOW"

 

For more information about firescaping or preparing your yard for brush fire season, contact your local fire department.

Keep your landscape in complience to mitigate fire damage.

 

mark-steines-cristina-ferrare-shirley-bovshow-discuss-fire-safe-landscaping

Shirley explains firescaping do's and don'ts to Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare on Home & Family show.

 

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Shirley Bovshow prunes pepper tree during firescaping segment on Home & Family show on the Hallmark channel.

 

Do you have any questions about preparing your yard for brush fire season?

 

Shirley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Poisonous Plants: Protect Kids and Pets

Lily of the Valley shrub, Pieris japonica in bloom. Can be a poisonous plants keep small kids and pets away from seeds, flowers,

The first step in protecting your kids and pets from common poisonous plants is to know the plants in your yard and know your child and pets behaviour. 

Do you know what kind of lawn you have?

How about your trees, hedges, shrubs, vines and flowers?

Can you name them?

 

Curious Kids and Hungry Pets Stay Away From Poisonous Plants!

 

Is your child prone to exploring the world by putting everything and anything in his or her mouth?

"Things" meaning plants, bark, seeds, flowers- the place where plant poisons reside.

 

Does your dog or cat forage and nibble on plants and grass?

Does your dog like to fetch sticks?

 

If your answer to the above questions is "YES," and you don't know what plants are in your yard, please educate yourself!

 

The only way a plant can poison humans or animals is if one actually touches, smokes, or eats it.

Plants will not chase and attack you but they can stop you dead in your tracks if you try to eat them!

This is natures way of protecting plants from predators and securing the safety of their seeds for future generations.

 

 

You may have watched my presentation on "Poisonous Plants with Shirley Bovshow" on the Home & Family show on the Hallmark Channel recently.

This is it!

 

Check out these common poisonous plants that have landed people and pets in hospitals fighting for their lives.

There's a good chance you have one of these plants in your yard or have seen them in someone else's.

 

NERIUM OLEANDER

 

Nerium-Oleander-Poisonous-Plant-EdenMakers-Blog

 

There's a lot to like about this dangerous beauty.

Oleander is an attractive and fragrant evergreen shrub, popular in warm climates.

As a hedge, it's an excellent choice, growing rapidly as a vertical screen and it doesn't need good soil or much water to flower prolifically.

Some people call it the "freeway plant" because it's a popular freeway shrub.

 

On the other hand, Oleander is one of the most potentially poisonous plants on earth.

Neither human nor animal is safe from a toxic encounter with Oleander.

Touching or brushing up against the Oleander leaf may cause major skin and eye inflammation.

 

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Photo by Jeremy Lee for Crown Media 2014

 

Eating one leaf is enough to cause death in a small child or small animal within hours!

Oleander sap contains "Oleandrin," a cardiac glycocide that regulates heart rythym.

  • Never use shredded Oleander leaves, stems and branches as a mulch or firewood.
  • The Oleandrin is released into the air causing respitory distress.
  • Wear gloves when handling the Oleander plant and never let Fido fetch a stick from this plant!

Do you have Oleander in your yard?

Lot's of people do.

Proceed with caution.

 

LILY OF THE VALLEY (PIERIS JAPONICA)

 

Lily of the Valley shrub, Pieris japonica in bloom. Can be a poisonous plants keep small kids and pets away from seeds, flowers,

 

For hundreds of years, "Lily of the Valley," (Pieris japonica) has been written into literature as the "poisonous plant" used in countless murders!

Yes, this gorgeous plant has a shady reputation and for good reason.

LIly of the Valley shrub has over 30 different chemicals that act as "cardiac glycocides" that will take your heart for a deadly ride!

 

Are you a fan of the hit show, (now available on Netflixs), "Breaking Bad?"

The Lily of the Valley makes an important appearance on the show, but I don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't watched!

 

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There's another plant with the common name, "Lily of the Valley, " (Convallaria majalis)  that has toxic parts whose flowers look very similar to Pieris japonica.

Both have leaves, flowers, stems and seeds that are poisonous if ingested.

Potential side effects include:

  • heart arrythmia
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • mental confusion
  • coma
  • death from heart failure

Needless to say, "Please don't eat the Lily of the Valley" and keep foraging pets away from it!

 

On the other hand, if you don't have kids or pets who eat plants, the Pieris japonica is an extraordinary flowering shrub for the shade garden.

Urn-shaped, pendulous white flower clusters ornament this spring blooming plant.

Slight fragrance too.

 

Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)

 

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Surprised that Wisteria is on the list of "poisonous plants?"

I am!

NO wonder they named the show "Wisteria Lane" after this dangerous plant!
 

I love the cascading clusters of purple flowers that make a romantic show during spring time.

From the seeds to the stems, to the flowers, Wisteria has the toxic glycocide, "Wisterin," that's present in its seeds, pods, and bark.

Sometimes mistaken for bean or pea pods, curious children and hungry pets are especially vulnerable to Wisteria seeds.

 

Side effects include:

  • Digestive upset
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • trouble breathing
  • fatal (when large amounts are consumed)

 

Exploding Wisteria Seeds!

 

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Photo by Jeremy Lee for Crown Media 2014

Safegaurding your children and pets away from the Wisteria plant is important, but you must to be aware of "exploding wisteria seeds" that can sabotage your plan!

Even if you block access to the Wisteriavine, Wisteria seeds "explode" from their pods in the summer and scatter all over the yard!

Wisteria seeds can be found up to 50 feet away from the vine, making them "accessible" again.

 

Nature has encoded plants with a "will to survive" and exploding seeds is one of the ways to ensure that seeds have a chance to sprout on fertile soil.

 

If you don't have hungry kids and pets, enjoy your Wisteria vine, there's nothing like it!

 

 

CALLA LILY (Zantedeschia aethiopica) 

 

Calla-lily-plants-and-flowers-in-red-pink-white-can-be-poisonous-garden-expert-shirley-bovshow

 

Calla lilies aren't "true lilies" but part of the Arum family and a plant to "watch" when kids and pets are around.

Showy tall flowers emerge from slender stems in spring, just in time for Easter.

 

All parts of the Calla lily are poisonous if ingested, exuding oxalic acid and other potent chemicals.

The roots are most toxic.

Once oxalic acid enters the bloodstream, it binds to it and can't be released from the blood resulting in toxicity to the kidneys, nerves, brain, heart, eyes and skin.

If you compare the toxicity of Calla lilies to other plants in the "Lillium" genus, or "true lilies," it seems less dangers.

Read on!

 

 

Plants in the Lilium Family are Lethal, Especially to Cats!

 

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Daylily- Hemerocallis

 

"Lilies" are one type of plant that you want to remember the scientific name of.

If you see "Lilium" on a plant tag and you have a cat, keep these plants out of your house!

Liliums are "true lilies" and lilies are not your cats best friend.

 

Plants in the Lilium family are lethal to cats and it takes only a small dose of it's toxins to gravely injure or kill your cat.

Lilies include plants commonly known as:

  • Asiatic lilies
  • Easter lilies
  • Tiger lilies
  • Daylilies

There are others, but this is a good list to start with.

 

The poison in lilies are found throughout the plant including the stems, flower, seeds and pollen!

 

What makes lilies especially scary for cat owners is that pollen from lilies fall onto tables, get on your clothes, and can end up on your cats fur or nose!

If your cat grooms himself and ingests small amounts of lily pollen, time is of the essence to get to your cat to the veterinarian.

Irreversable damage to vital organs can begin within a few short hours!

Lilies are the #1 plant related poisoning leading to feline death according to medical sources.

 

Lilies are also poisonous to humans and dogs but not to the extreme degree of cats.

In any case, don't give lilies to friends with cats, don't bring them into your yard or house if you have a cat.

I've said my peace.

 

Read about "Toxic Pond Plants" on my other blog, Garden Center TV, written by pond expert Lisa Burns.

 

Learn more about poisonous plants:

Cornell University

ASPCA

 

garden-expert-shirley-bovshow-talks-poisonous-plants-on-home-and-family-show-hallmark-channel

Do you have any stories about your experience with poisonous plants?
I want to hear about it.

Shirley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staghorn Fern Mount Displays From Repurposed Materials

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I have  some creative ideas for displaying mounted Staghorn ferns using repurposed materials and no nails!

This tutorial was presented on the Home & Family show on the Hallmark channel where I appear as the garden lifestyle and design expert.

Fans of home and garden TV will love this unique talk show!

 

Enjoy this rainforest wonder plant indoors and learn how to care for it.
 

ABOUT STAGHORN FERNS (Platycerium bifurcatum)

Staghorn ferns grow into a huge plant under ideal conditions which are warm, temperate and humid conditions.

  • The Staghorn fern is an exotic epiphyte plant that grows directly on trees and stone and draws nutrients from falling leaves that are caught by the ferns "antlers."
  • Native to Australia and tropical, South East Asia, the Staghorn fern has two distinct leaf forms with its own function.
  • The smaller leaves cover the roots and help take up water and nutrients and are sterile, (they don't bear spores).
  • The larger fronds resemble a stag's horn and bear spores on its underside which help propagate the plant.
  • The large fronds can grow up to 3 feet long, depending on variety.

 

SHIRLEY'S STAGHORN FERN MOUNTED PLANTS

Browse some of my designs and if you are interested in replicating them, read the instructions below on "Preparing Your Staghorn Fern for Mounting."

 

Staghorn Fern Mounted to Acacia Wood Cutting Board

ACACIA-CUTTING-BOARD-AS-STAGHORN-FERN-PLAQUE-SHIRLEY-BOVSHOW

Staghorn fern mounted to an acacia wood cutting board with burlap 

 

After preparing the Staghorn fern for mounting, I wrapped it in burlap and hung it from the cutting board handle.

This is a unique and affordable way to display your Staghorn fern.

 

HomeGoods offered this acacia wood cutting board for approximately 10 dollars.

In a few years, the Staghorn fern will outgrow the cutting board and become very heavy.

At that point, the basal fronds will attach themselves to the board and not rely on the burlap for support!

 

Staghorn Fern Mounted to A Driftwood Photo Frame

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Small Staghorn fern mounted to a driftwood photo frame.

 

My head started spinning with ideas when I came across this rustic driftwood photo frame from HomeGoods.

The opening for the photo measures 5" x 4"-inches, perfect for my small Staghorn fern plant.

The back of the frame is open so it will be easy to water it by taking the frame down and dipping the back of the plant into a bucket of water!

As the plant grows it will basically "swallow" the frame, enveloping it completly.

I suggest that as it outgrows the space, move it and replace it with another small Staghorn fern.

 

Staghorn Fern Mounted to a Black Metal Fruit Bowl

TAGHORN-FERN-MOUNTED-BLACK-METAL-BOWL-SHIRLEY-BOVSHOW

Staghorn fern mounted to a black metal fruit bowl.

A black metal fruit bowl from HomeGoods, (again!) is repurposed as a planter!

I was  looking for a contemporary style product to reinterpret as a planter- what do you  think?

Mounting the fern to the open grid was easy to do with metal wire and will be easy to take down for a good soak of water!

If I allow the plant to grow in the metal planter indefinitely, two things may happen:

  • The metal may rust after a few years
  • The plant will swallow the metal basket

I can't think that far in advance, so I'm not sure what I'll do!

 

Staghorn Fern Planted in Large Driftwood Stump

DRIFTWOOD-PLANTER-STAGHORN-FERN-as-sculpture-SHIRLEY-BOVSHOW

Staghorn fern planted in crevice of large driftwood stump.

 

There's a special story behind the stump of driftwood that I used as a "living sculpture planter" for the Staghorn fern.

A homeless man who I befriended entrusted the beautiful driftwood stump to me to be it's "guardian" as he had no place to keep it.

This man found the stump when he was out and about with his daughters when he still had a home and they were very young.

The memory of him being with his girls is connected to this momento so it's a precious possession for him.

He is estranged from his daughters now, making this unassuming stump even more important.

The Staghorn fern is planted in a large crevice along the top.

 

Now that I've served up some inspiration of repurposed Staghorn fern mounts, are you ready to make some of your own?

 

PREPARING STAGHORN FERN FOR MOUNTING

Supplies-for-staghorn-plant-mounting-displays-edenmakers

Materials

  • Small Staghorn fern
  • old pantyhose
  • sphagnum moss
  • fishing wire (25-50lb capacity) 
Directions:
 
Wrap-staghorn-fern-rootball-with-wet-moss-edenmakers

Remove any soil surrounding the roots of a small Staghorn fern and cover with wet sphagnum moss.

 

Wrap staghorn fern-roots-moss-and-pantyhose-edenmakers

 Place inside a piece of pantyhose. Secure with wire.

moss-wrapped-rootball-staghorn-fern-edenmakers

Cover the exposed pantyhose with decorative sheet moss or coconut fiber, WRAP with wire.

You are now ready to attach the prepared Staghorn fern to your selected mounting material!

 

WATERING AND MAINTAINING INDOOR STAGHORN FERN

  • Staghorn ferns thrive  outdoors in humid climates (50-90 degrees) or indoors in high humidity rooms such as a bathroom or greenhouse.
  • Indoors, watering should be light but often, approximately every other day in the summer and twice a week during the winter as moss dries up.
  • Apply water to  the root area which is blanketed in sphagnum moss when it feels dry.
  • During spring through summer, fertilize your Staghorn with a balanced, (1:1:1 ratio) half diluted plant food added to the water once per month.
  • Mist-spray your Staghorn regularly to maintain high humidity. 

 

LOCATION NEEDS FOR INDOOR STAGHORN FERN

Bright light but not direct sunlight or it will scorch your plant.

 

OUTDOOR LOCATION FOR STAGHORN FERN

If you live in a tropical and humid area, you can grow Staghorn ferns outdoors!

Ideal temperatures are between 50 and 90 degrees.

Older, established plants may fare well in slightly colder and warmer temperatures, but this is the comfort zone.

Place your Staghorn in light to partial shade and bring indoors to humid room when temperatures dip below 55 degrees.

 
 

STAGHORN FERN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Why should Staghorn ferns be hung?

In nature, Staghorns are epiphytes and grow attached to tree trunks and stone and make ideal vertical plants.

The beauty of the shape of the Staghorn fronds are more visible when the plant is hung on its side.

 

How do you water an indoor Staghorn fern? How often?

Indoor Staghorns are dependent on you for their humidity needs and should be watered when the moss area is dry to the touch and misted regularly.

During the summer, this can be as often as every day or every couple of days, depending on how hot and dry you keep your house.

In wintertimes, you may only need to water once per week.

 

Apply water directly to the moss root area. 

You may need to take down your wall mount and dip the roots in a bucket of water, so plan for this when creating your display mount.

Don't drench the roots with water, water lightly as Staghorn roots and basal fronds may rot.

The rule of thumb is frequent, light watering over drenching your plant each time you water it.

 

How big do Staghorn ferns get?

Outdoors, under ideal temperatures and high humidity, Staghorns and their pups, (plantlets) can span 6 feet wide or more!

Staghorns can become very heavy, reaching hundreds of pounds.

 

What other plants can you combine with Staghorns for a pretty display?

Combine your small indoor Staghorn fern display with other epiphyte plants such as bromeliads, orchids and tsillandsias for a pretty combination.

Be aware that with time, the secondary plants will be overtaken by the larger Staghorn fern.

Succulents also combine well with Staghorns as their roots can also be wrapped in moss and watered as needed.

 

How long do  Staghorn ferns live?

Well maintained Staghorns can be passed down from generation to generation as "legacy plants" and live hundreds of years through their progeny.

 

Should the small fronds be removed as they turn brown and old?

Don't remove the small, infertile fronds that attach themselves to surfaces when they turn brown.

Your Staghorn will grow many layers of these round fronds which help capture nutrients from air and water for your plant.

The natural breakdown of these fronds provide hummus for the plant.

 

How do you propagate a Staghorn fern?

Staghorn ferns have spores that can be used for propagation but it's an involved process that takes patience and experience.

An easier way to cultivate more plants is by dividing small plantlets that emerge at the base of the plant.

 

Do you have any questions about mounting Staghorn ferns?

Please leave a comment below!