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Just yesterday I began to notice trees and evergreens throughout town that are dying from the heat and lack of rain. Smaller trees like dogwoods and japanese maples could be lost if you do not water them. Many evergreens hate to be over watered, though also can not take extended heat....you may not be able to save these. Remember last summer when an alarming number of arborvitae died from last summer's heat wave. I am focusing on making sure my hydrangeas are checked daily and watered as soon as they look unhappy. I have given up on my grass.....it will come back as soon as it rains. My pots are getting daily waterings and sometimes.....twice a day. I found the secret to successful container plantings that survive the heat and lack of water is.....plant in large pots. Small pots just dry up too quickly. Hopefully rain and cooler weather will come!
This has been one of the prettiest Springs I can remember. We not only were treated to warm weather early...we also were spared of any late frosts. This is the best that my hydrangeas have ever looked since there branches were not killed back over the winter.
It has been a wonderful year for azaleas! Our mild winters have allowed these beauties to grow to new heights! We look like Atlanta or Houston now in the Springtime! I hear we are officially in a new gardening zone. These azaleas were snapped in Clayton.
Spring is going much too fast. The Red Buds are almost over....daffodils gone...we will be done with Spring flowers by the middle of April!
Today I saw a lovely garden in Clayton and so envious of their wisteria. Covered and buzzing with bumble bees!
When I was growing up we had a wisteria vine that never bloomed. I have been told that the best bet when buying wisteria is to buy a vine that is in bloom already. Someday I want to try wisteria again....though it is like bamboo.....you have to have nerves and be ready to maintain it! The tendrils can grow 12 feet a year.
I used to have the best dwarf apple tree out at our farm that produced a bounty! My sons were younger and had so much fun picking them each Fall. Well a bull got loose in the yard and knocked it down. :( I bought another apple tree and planted it about 8 years ago. It is very large now, though does not produce apples. I finally realized that it is not a self-pollinating apple tree. Now that Spring is in full blast and knowing that my apple tree was ready to bloom....I scurried up to Stark Brothers in Louisiana, MO to pick up some mates for my tree. I have no idea what kind of apple tree I planted 8 years ago, so I bought one self-pollinating tree that will mate with any tree and then two other varieties. Granny Smith, Golden Crisp and a Candy Crisp. Now I just need bees!
Stark Brother's Nursery
Here is a lovely peach tree at our farm....I planted it a while ago....now I have been told it is just an ornamental peach tree....it is pretty!
I am forecasting a big year for hydrangeas....as long as we do not get a frost. Normally my blue hydrangeas die back a little each year and this cuts down on their big first bloom. You can wrap them in burlap over the winter, though I don't want to look at burlap bags in my front yard all winter. Check back in June and see what happens! My front yard may look like Nantucket!
This morning I had the treat of having Alan Lorence, a local bamboo expert, over to help me with my bamboo groves. We had fun tracking stray shoots that had escaped my boundaries, talk about managing bamboo and dug trenches. This was back-breaking work that I would have never done without his help. I know I will be sore tomorrow. Check out Alan's blog HERE. Read about our dig HERE.
I love Spring, though hate cutting down my ornamental grasses out at our farm. They are so healthy and large. It must have been last Spring's rain. I cut them down today in the strong wind by hand. There must be an easier way, though I am afraid of chain saws. The good news was that the high wind today carried the cuttings into the fields. Yuck...there was something large and dead in the middle of the grass stand....I stepped on it and was quite alarmed, though glad it was not alive. I did not know what it was, though hope something drags it away before I get out there again. I bet my cousin's dogs will find it and roll it in! Ahhh...country living!
Yesterday I saw several Ginko trees and was in awe of the lovely yellow carpet that they create in the Fall when they drop their leaves. Ginkos sort of drop every leaf at the same time so you are left with a bare tree surrounded by a yellow skirt. So pretty that I don't think I would rake them up right away.
Every year they are probably lovely, though I really noticed the Japanese Maples this weekend. They were almost hard to look at they are so bright. The narrow-leafed, bush-shaped one are Thread-leaf Japanese Maples. They come in green and red leafed varieties. The green-leafed ones are pictured here...and are probably my favorite. Japanese maples also have lovely spring leafs as they emerge....almost as if they are in bloom.
Below is a view of the fun listing I have in Glendale on Bismark. You feel like you are in the woods...right off Berry Rd. Plus click this LINK to see the cool tree houses.
The picture below is looking at the annex of my mother's Bernoudy in Ladue. Bernoudy loved to use Japanese Maples in his landscapes.
One of my favorite plants for the St. Louis area has become Persian Shield. The purple color is so useful in the garden. I have been successful in clipping it back in the fall and storing the pots in my garage...they come back! The same holds true with lantana.
Look at yesterday's post and you will know why I had to take a lap around the Missouri Botanical Garden. The most exciting thing that I saw was the "Lemon Coral" Sedum in the formal garden near the Henry Shaw home. It was so bouncing and day-glow bright. Don't tell anyone, though I took a little sprig to root. How about the sedum globes....aren't they fun!
After being beaten down all summer by the heat and lack of rain, the annuals are perking up for a last hurrah! I was out at our farm in Pike County Missouri yesterday and admired my Red Castor Bean plant. I love the bright red pods. Every year I harvest the seeds from these pods and use them again next year. I also gather the dried zinnia flowers and reuse their seeds.
Yesterday one of my sons had a group of friends out to our farm to do a little paintballing. While they were out in the woods and fields, I had an opportunity to clean the house, do some gardening and read some of my book (East of Eden.....I love it!) We don't have AC in our house, so it was back to basics to stay cool....sitting on the porch, fans, water and loose clothing.
The butterflies were in an abundance in my garden. There are so many reasons why I like zinnias....they attract butterflies is one of them.
Take a look at this cool design product for the garden. Lighted stepping stones designed by Roberto Paoli for design firm Serralunga. They call them the Jacko Steps in homage to Michael Jackson's Billy Jean video. I have tried to find out how to buy them, and can not find a resource. Other sites point you to the Serralunga site, though the product and the designer are not on their site. Maybe Centro can find them.
Near Lake Keuka in NY is a wonderful market where people from all over come to sell their wares. Here are some pictures from the Amish stand. Love the shoes...they are real!.....now you know what to do with your old Guccis.
You will be jealous....not only for me being on Nantucket...the weather is a breezy 70 degrees. Visited some cousins from the Wight side of the family. It became confusing. 50% of the male crowd was either named Ted or Ned Wight. Today I am featuring some of the lovely window boxes seen on the island.
Everything just seems to grow better out at the farm. I have these same plants in my garden in University City...they look good, though not this robust! The red flower is Bee Balm or Monarda. The white flower is Gooseneck Loosestrife. Both are pretty invasive...so give them room!
Summer is here and we are creeping towards to the longest day of the year. It is not too late to add some things to your garden or do some container gardening. You will surprised how quickly things start to grow. I pull some of my larger pots into the garage over the winter. The cannas, elephant ears, lantana and purple persian shield popped back!
Bowoods has become my garden center of choice over the last three planting seasons. No only is the place attractive and well-organized, though they have so many varieties and options. You just can't find the same stock at Home Depot or Lowes. They have just expanded their garden center so it is bigger and better than before! (I was not paid for this advertisement)
The pots are planted in the staging area and ready to move to my deck and other areas of the garden.
These candle holders I was given by a friend for my Birthday last month. They are from Crate and Barrell. I found the battery- operated candles from Restoration Hardware. Their candles are probably the best on the market...as far as looking realistic. They have real wax ones for the indoors. I think these outdoor ones are a good idea since regular candles blow out so quickly. 100 hours of battery life and you can turn them on and off.
My Spring garden is bursting! I have so much to do to get everything ready for summer. Over the weekend I at least hauled all of my pots out the garage and have them ready to start potting. I have several cannas that are potted that I take into the garage over the winter. I just leave them in the soil and they generally start sprouting again...bigger and better than ever. I will remove some of the old potting soil and give them a fresh potting.