Thursday, April 30, 2009

Great Weekend Ahead!

It looks like we will have a perfect spring weekend ahead. In my own yard, it’s time to get the last of the prep work done. That includes some final raking, putting down some grass seed in the dead spots and filling containers with fresh potting soil.

Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Make your day a good one.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Arbor Day

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best is now”. Chinese proverb
I love that proverb. It reminds me that we are not planting trees for ourselves (at least for those of us approaching middle age) but rather for the next generation who will enjoy them.

I’m often asked what is my favorite tree. The truth is that I really don’t have one. It all depends on the time of year. Right now, I love the beautiful magnolias that are in bloom. Yes, you can grow magnolias in Minnesota. The large snow white (did I just use the word snow) are so showy and a wonderful welcome to spring. There are also some varieties that have pink blooms.

Here are some links to some of my favorite magnolias:

Leonard Messel


Royal Star

Happy Arbor Day! Make your day a good one.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

As we celebrate all things earth, I’m glad to be reminded to recycle, reuse and repurpose, conserve and not waste. I love this Jason Davis on KSTP TV story about the young lady from New Ulm, MN who found a new use for glass. It’s pretty sweet.
Watch the story here.

Make your day a great one.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What Can You Do Right Now in Your Yard

As we hit mid-April, we are all getting the itch to get out in our yard and gardens to get things done, often doing things earlier then we should. Our very pleasant days are only making us want to get out there even more.

Here is a partial list of things that we can be doing right now and the list of don’t even think about it.

Note – on the second list, the dates in parenthesis are when you should be doing it.

Do it now
Prune back spirea, potentilla, barberry and hydrangea.
Plant cool weather vegetables – lettuce, radish, peas, etc.
Add fresh mulch around trees, shrubs and perennials.
Plant cool weather loving pansies.
Raking your lawn.
Having your lawn mower blade sharpened.
Making sure the lawn mower starts and has the oil changed.
Filling all planters, pots and window boxes with fresh potting soil.
Cleaning and starting up water fountains and water gardens.

Don’t even think about it.
Seeding your lawn (late April – May)
Lawn Fertilizing (wait about 10 more days)
Applying crabgrass preventer (when the lilacs are starting to show color)
Planting warm weather vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc. (May 15 –June 15)
Pruning any trees, evergreens and shrubs other then the shrubs listed above.
Trees (most in the winter) Evergreens (most in June) Spring blooming shrubs like azaleas, rhododendrons and lilacs (right after they are done blooming)
Removing leaves, hay or straw mulch. (wait about one more week)

Make your day a good one.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Desert Botanical Garden

Last weekend I had the good fortune to spend time in Phoenix visiting friends. One of the highlights of the weekend was a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden. In addition to seeing all the incredible cactus and succulents the garden had an incredible exhibit of Dale Chihuly glass. I have been fascinated with the art of glass blowing for several years since visiting some glass blowing studios in Seattle. I have also admired the Chihuly glass ceiling at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. This amazing outdoor exhibit combing the blown glass, cactus and succulents excided all my expectations. Here are a few pictures. If you happen to be in Phoenix, take the time to visit this exhibit. It runs until May 31.

For more information on the Desert Botanical Garden log on to:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Grow Your Own Vegetables and Herbs

April 3, 2009

The hottest gardening trend this year is growing your own vegetables and herbs. This is a trend that I can truly hang my hat on and embrace. Growing up on a farm, near LeSueur our nearly one acre garden provided a plethora of fresh vegetables from early spring to late fall. Now I have my approximate 5’x12’ raised garden bed in Minneapolis that provides some produce during the summer months. For those of you that have been following this blog for a few years, you’ll know that I installed this raised bed a couple of years ago. For those of you reading this for the first time, I will provide the details of how to install a raised vegetable bed in a future blog posting.

Growing your own is fun, easy and inexpensive. If you have kids, they will love it too. Just remember to grow things that they will eat.

A few things that you must keep in mind to grow your own vegetables:
The area must have full sun – meaning eight or more hours of direct sunlight. No exceptions.

You must have good soil, rich in organic matter (compost, manure, etc.). Sandy soils and heavy clay soils will not be good for growing vegetables.
Have a water source nearby. Vegetables need consistent and even watering. Having a hose accessible will make this much easier.

Here are some links to more on growing your own vegetables and herbs.

Tomato Basics

Sprout Savings in Your Backyard

5 No Fail Veggies

How to Grow Your Own Vegetables

Make your day and weekend a good one.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April 1st!

It’s All Fool’s Day, snowing outside and not feeling very spring like, but none-the-less, it’s time to kick of another season of blog writing. I will once again be showing and telling you what is going on in my own yard and garden. This year, I will be doing more blogs on “the rest of the story”. This will be more information and links to more information on the segments done on KSTP TV. Most often there is far more information then what I can cover in the time given. I will also be grabbing the occasional viewer question that has been emailed in and answering it here too.