Posts in "Plants"

Pruning Hydrangeas: Ask Shirley Garden Questions

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One of the most popular questions I get is "When do you prune hydrangeas?"

Who said you HAVE to prune hydrangeas?

 

 

This question was posted on the Home & Family show Facebook page, and I answered it on the show recently.

 

Lene Brown of Pennsylvania wrote:

"I had a problem with my hydrangeas this past summer: no flowers! Could it be because I cut the whole plant back to the ground in the fall?

I have three bushes that never did that before. The bushes got big, beautiful green leaves, but only a few flowers."

 

My reply:

You probably cut off all your hydrangeas flower buds for next season!

It's important to understand that hydrangeas do not require cutting back unless you have dead, badly formed or crossing stems.

You can also cut off the dead blooms after flowering with no consequence to next season's bloom.

This is simply "dead heading" and is a practice to keep your plants looking tidy and clean.

 

If you are tempted to prune your hydrangea (to keep it small, or whatever reason), you need to know what hydrangea species (or type) you have, and if it blooms on "old wood" or "new wood."

 

LACE CAP AND MOP HEAD HYDRANGEAS (MACROPHYLLA)

 

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"Endless Summer" hydrangeas by Bailey Nurseries

 

Lace cap and mop head type hydrangeas bloom on "old wood," or stems from last summer.

The buds for the following season are produced usually around the end of summer, between August and October,on the SAME stems that produced that summer's bloom!

So, if you prune your lace cap or mop head hydrangeas in the fall, kiss your next season flowers goodbye!

 

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The "Twist N Shout" variety is also the first re-blooming lace cap hydrangea so you can enjoy a long season of blooms!

 

The exception to this rule applies to specially developed hydrangeas such as the "Endless Summer" series (seen in the two photos above), which puts out blooms on both old and new season stems.

 

 

PANICULATA AND ARBORESCENS HYDRANGEAS

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"Limelight" hardy hydrangea by Proven Winners
 

'Annabelle' hydrangeas (arborescens) and 'Limelights' (paniculata) are hydrangeas that bloom on "new wood" or wood that emerges the same season as the blooms.

Annabelle and Limelight hydrangeas are both white hydrangeas that can take a severe pruning and still bloom the following season.

 

A word of caution: Don't prune these hydrangeas when it's close to blooming time (June-July), or you WILL cut off the blooms for the summer display!

 

I invite you to subscribe to EdenMakers to be notified of new blog posts as well as garden giveaways that I'll be hosting in coming weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FERNS 101: Basic Care, Facts and Varieties

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If you have a fern in your garden, you are the steward of a pre-Jurassic period plant!

Fossil records indicate that ferns evolved as the first vascular terrestrial plants over 300 million years ago.

Ferns have outlived dinosaurs, the great civilizations of man, and flourish in the wild in great numbers with no threat of extinction.

 

 

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I'm so impressed with these plants that the more I learn about ferns, the more I love them.

There are thousands of fern species today and a number of them are suitable as house plants.

Unfortunately, many people have issues keeping these robust plants alive.

 

 

I'm here to guide you.

 

My latest gardening segment on the Home & Family show was on "Ferns 101," where I covered basic fern care and showcased a few new varieties.

Below is an informal transcript of questions and answers from my garden segment and lots and lots of photos for you to enjoy.

 

 

HOW ARE FERNS DIFFERENT FROM MOST PLANTS?

Ordinary plants will flower and bear seed from which a new plant is born.

A seed is basically a "fertilized plant embryo in a dormant state."

A seed is the product of male/female plant reproduction, with all the "hanky panky" already completed.

Just add water and watch it grow!

 

Not so for ferns.

Ferns do not grow from seeds; they "evolve" from the action of spores.

The fern's lifecycle involves two generations of plants that give rise to the fern plant as we know it.

 

 

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Have you ever seen little black or brown dots on the backside of a fern frond and thought it was a pest or disease?

Far from it.

These little dots are called "sori" and they contain hundreds of spores.

 

A simple way to describe spores is that they are a couple of steps behind on the reproductive work of the seed and have to play "catch up."

A fern drops a spore in the ground, giving rise to an independent tiny plant called a gametophyte.

 

The gametophyte is charged with the job of actually creating the very male and female parts within itself needed to procreate and produce yet another life: the sporophyte!

 

Stay with me.

 

If the male part within the gametophyte's cells fertilizes the female part, it gives birth to a plant organism called a sporophyte.

We're finally there!

 

The sporophyte then grows into the lovely fern plants that we are familiar with. 

Wow, that takes me back to high school biology!

If you want to read more about the lifecycle of the fern with all the scientific terms and processes I left out on purpose, here's a link.

 

Another cool fact about ferns that distinguishes it from other plants is the function of the fronds.

The fronds, or leaves, are responsible for both photosynthesis AND reproduction.

 

 

WHAT FERNS DID YOU BRING TODAY?

I brought some common ferns that many people at home may be familiar with.

Notice the different frond styles, textures and colors.

There are infinite differences in ferns. Some ferns creep and grow like vines, others grow small or large tufts, while others grow trunks and are tree-like!

Let's take a look.

 

COMMON FERNS

 

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Australian tree fern is a slow growing fern that can reach 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

As a house plant, it would take many years for it to grow this large.

 

 

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Another handsome tree fern is the New Zealand tree fern, seen here to the right of the Wardian chest.

The dark, large forrest green leaves create a beautiful shadow on walls.

 

 

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Sword fern has erect fronds that look nice in the rectangular profile of this window box.

 

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The Pallaea "button fern" has delicate, round, button-shaped leaves that should be enjoyed up close.

The terrarium planter helps seal in moisture so that it doesn't dry out.

 

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Button fern in foreground and hanging Boston fern in background.

 

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I placed the leather leaf fern and lace fern close to each other by design.

Grouping ferns helps them to maintain a higher moisture level.

Notice that I also placed the pots on top of a bed of gravel.

The gravel holds water that contributes humidity to the ferns.

 

 

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A young lace fern (Woodwardia f.) stays moist and happy in the Victorian-style Wardian chest.

 

 

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The Blechnum fern bears fertile leaves, with spores, and sterile leaves without spores.

These are called "dimorphic" fronds.

 

 

WHAT NEW FERN VARIETIES DID YOU BRING?

Fern collectors are always looking for new cultivars with interesting details.

 

Here are some from Plant Delights, a specialty plant mail order company.

Many of these new introductions come from Japan, China, India and Hawaii.

 

fern display with new cultivars from plant delights including ferns from asia

 

I planted the ferns in an assortment of different containers that had an aged look.

The closest one to the left is a broken finial from my garden.

 

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This graceful fern is called “Mama Mia” (Woodwardia o.) and is slow growing to 4 to 6 feet.

As it continues to grow, the glossy fronds are topped with small plants that you can propagate! 

 

 

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This bi-colored gem is actually not a fern.

'Beni Kujaku' is a Selaginella that is sometimes called peacock fern because of its lacy, cut leaves.

Beni Kujaku has a rosette form with a cup-like shape and is a deep green and maroon color.

This plant will stay small and look great in a container!

 

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'Mt. Haleakala' (Adiantium) is a rosy maidenhair fern that will grow into an attractive 1-foot tall x 1-foot wide clump with fronds that emerge rosy red.

The spores on 'Mt. Haleakala' grow along the edge of the leaves, creating a curled effect.

As you may guess, this Adiantium is from Hawaii.

 

 

 

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'Hokaido Gem' (Asplenium) is a clumping birds nest fern with long, tongue-like strappy leaves.

 

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'Taiwanese Tongue' fern (Pyrrosia polydactyla) will grow to 1-foot tall x 1-foot wide and boast a textural clump of velvety five-fingered dark green leaves.

 

HOW DO YOU CARE FOR INDOOR POTTED FERNS?
 

Lighting and watering habits are two of the most important care practices that impact indoor ferns.

While ferns are shade plants outdoors, often growing under the canopy of taller trees, ferns do need bright light indoors!

During the summer, a south-facing window may let in harsh sunlight that will scorch your fern leaves.

It's best to set the plants away from the window, but to keep them in a room that has natural light.

Pay attention to:

–Proper location – bright but indirect light, 60-75 degrees
–Use well-draining potting soil for ferns
–Water to keep soil moist but not saturated and mist leaves periodically
–Add room humidifier or group plants to slow evaporation.
–Fertilize with slow release granules in spring.

 

 

HOW MUCH WATER DO FERNS NEED?

The main challenge with keeping ferns moist is that indoor air tends to be very dry and ferns prefer a humid ambiance.

Between keeping the soil moist and periodic misting, you will eventually learn how much water is best for your fern.

Too much water feels like dripping wet hair, when it actually should feel moist, like hair that is air drying!

 

Look for signs of too much water, like yellow leaves, wilting leaves, soil that has a bad smell and cut back.

Water and proper soil texture go hand in hand.

Soil should drain well so that water doesn't saturate it.

 

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Shirley explains how to water ferns on Home & Family while Cristina Ferrare, Mark Steines listen.

 

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I found this adorable little mister at the dollar store.

 

 

 

 

Watch my garden segment video about ferns on the Home & Family Show.

Thank you for visting EdenMakers blog.

I invite you to subscribe to my blog so you can receive notices of new blog posts, videos and TV appearances.

 

Frankincense and Myrrh: Do You Know These Plants?

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December is a popular month for frankincense and myrrh.

Snowflakes start to fall and, suddenly, the legendary gifts from the wise men to baby Jesus as written in Matthew 2:11 are on everyone's lips!

It's ironic because many people don't even know what frankincense and myrrh are!

Do you?

 

I had the pleasure of presenting "Frankincense and Myrrh: Plants as Valuable as Gold" on the Hallmark Channel's Home & Family Show recently.

 

Below is a transcript of the questions and answers as presented on the show.

 

(Please excuse the incomplete article).

I would appreciate it if you would subscribe to my blog so that you can be notified when the article is posted!
This should be in the next day or two.

 

Thanks for visiting EdenMakers!

Shirley

 

 

Poinsettia Varieties: Beyond the Common Red

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Now that we are in the month of December, many of us are adding Poinsettias to our indoor plant inventory.

The ultimate Christmas plant, Poinsettias span over 100 varieties beyond the "common red plant."

What is your Poinsettia style?

 

Are you a traditionalist and prefer the ubiquitous red Poinsettia commonly found at the market, or do you seek out designer varieties?

I selected some Poinsettia varieties that caught my eye while at Armstrong Garden Center and featured them on the "Home & Family" show on Hallmark Channel.

 

Before we begin the showcase, let's start with the proper pronunciation of the name "Pointsettia," and a little background information.

 

Repeat after me:

"Point-set-tia."

Not, "Point-set-ah."

Got it?

Not a big deal, but why not say it correctly?

 

HISTORY OF POINSETTIA

Joel Roberts Poinsett, a physician, botanist, and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, spotted a wild Poinsettia growing in a deciduous, tropical Mexican forest in the 1820's.

(Of course, the plant wasn't called "Poinsettia" yet, as it was named after him years later).

The plant was a Euphorbia pulcherima and part of the spurge family.

 

Although the plant looked nothing like what we buy today (it was tall and weedy), Poinsett took cuttings and brought them back to his South Carolina home.

He gave cuttings away to friends and started distributing plants informally.

 

One hundred years later, Paul Ecke Jr. started the Poinsettia industry in California.

Ecke was able to cultivate a seed that grew a full, well-branched plant instead of the wild, leggy, original plant from Mexico.

Ecke was so successful that his family at the Paul Ecke Ranch in San Diego had a virtual monopoly on Poinsettia sales in the USA for almost 75 years.

 

Unfortunately for the Ecke family, a horticultural researcher figured out the "secret" to growing full branched Poinsettias and competitors flourished in the 1990's.

The Paul Ecke Ranch developed the most patented, named varieties of Poinsettias in the world!

 

POINSETTIA VARIETIES

In order to appreciate different Poinsettia varieties, take a good look at some of the major features.

 

1. Bract color, shape and texture.

"Bracts" are the colored leaves that give Poinsettias their signature look.

Bracts are not flowers. Rather, they are more like brilliantly colored "modified leaves." 

The function of bracts are to attract the attention of pollinators to the Poinsettia's very small and easily overlooked flowers, called cyathia, found in the center of the bract.

The following Poinsettias all have distinct bract shape, texture and color.

The stems and flower buds are also uniquely colored.

 

"Visions of Grandeur"

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 "Visions of Grandeur" has a soft-textured bract, similar to a large rose petal.

Soft shades of pink, yellow and creme contrast with the dark, emerald green leaves.

This is a truly oppulent and luxurious Poinsettia.

One of my favorites, I can see Visions of Grandeur decorating a country or French style home.

Very romantic and pairs beautifully with winter white and some pearls!

 

 

"Winter Rose Red"

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The "Winter Rose Red" Poinsettia looks exactly like its name!

The bracts on Winter Rose Red are very curvy and turgid, creating the look of a rose or geranium.

 

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The vivid red petals form a rosette, creating a very unique Poinsettia.

 

"Carousel Red"

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"Carousel Red" Poinsettia has scalloped and wavy bract edges.

 

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Close up of Carousel Red Poinsettia and its small, yellow flowers.

 

 

"Ice Punch"

 

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"Ice Punch" Poinsettia has a cool red bract with white highlights.

 

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Close up of Ice Punch Poinsettia.

 

"Monet"

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"Monet" is a vision of loveliness in soft peach tones.

 

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Leaves or bracts of Monet are strong and shapely.

 

DISPLAYING POINSETTIAS

Instead of just placing your Poinsettia with its cellophane wrapper on the table or floor, combine it with a few complimentary house plants.

Create a vignette and use lightweight containers.

 

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GardenStone makes gorgeous, high end planters in stone, metal, and lightweight fiberglass.

I selected the lightweight fiberglass container in a deep bronze color.

It's so much easier to move around a lightweight pot during the holidays!

 

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Here's a smaller bronze GardenStone planter.

Beautiful quality materials.

Fooled my eyes!

 

POINSETTIA CARE

1. Place in bright room but not in direct sunlight.

2. Maintain temperatures at daytime-: 65-75 degrees, nightime- 50-65 degrees.

3. Touch soil and if it feels on the dry side, water the Poinsetta. Make sure to remove or slit the decorative sleeve.

4. Place far from doors and heater drafts.

 

SELECTING POINSETTIA PLANTS

Look for these plant traits in a healthy Poinsettia:

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–Look for the flower cluster (cycathia) and select plants with as many unopened buds as possible for longer bract display.
–Strong, sturdy stems.
–Dark green foliage (no yellow leaves)

 

 

 

BONUS VIDEO!

Please watch the following video I produced and appeared in promoting a beautiful, new pink Poinsettia variety called "Princettia!"

 

 

What are your favorite Poinsettias?

Can I answer your questions?

 

SHIRLEY'S GARDEN WORLD REPORT SHOW!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

If you've never watched my online show, "Garden World Report," I invite you to watch my Christmas special.

Subscribe to Garden World Report on Blip TV for upcoming shows.

 

 

Shirley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 designing 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. They 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. 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 a shrub or small tree.

Find a spot 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 

 

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.

Some of these improved perks include: better disease resistance, more color choices, better size selection, more or extended bloom times.

If you like a plant but not its 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

21 comments

Plants | by — September 3, 2014

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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 obstacles 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. 

 

High-desert-garden-low-water-plants-boulders-dry-river-bed-edenmakers

 

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

 

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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!

gardner-and-bloome-organics-bud-and-bloom-fertilizer-3-7-4-edenmakers

 

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!