Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Garden Q&A

Lobelia erinus Magadi Blue | Lucas Greenhouses

Ageratum..........a natural mosquito repellent and quite beautiful
mlaiuppa asked...
Can you grow lobelia or ageratum? They're blue and low and would work in the front of the cool planter. 
Yes, definitely, and I saw some yesterday at the overpriced garden shop and will try to find them in 6 packs today.

You can't grow clivias? My Mom's are blooming a wonderful vibrant orange. 

All orange flowers and yellow flowers are beautiful and with meanings of their own. So, which do you prefer? Beautiful flowers | small orange and yellow flowers | wedding garden arrangements bouquet, light type of orange flowers yellow flower | pretty flowers aesthetic Clivias
I haven't seen clivias here, and looked them up online. Pricey!

And no fuchsias? They have uprights that do well in shade and filtered sun. All sorts of colors. 
Fuchsia......GRANDMA!!!!!!! <3 u

I haven't considered fuchsias, because we have such hot summers and I always think of them dying of thirst in the pots at Home Depot or Lowe's. On the other hand we have places on the front porch to hang them and a lot of shade in the yard for shrub varieties. I will think about this.

That was a ton of work you did in a 24 hour span, with breaks for food and sleep. 
It was pure heaven to work in that gorgeous dirt. Loved every minute of it. With the exception of trying to get the plants out of the 6 packs. I cut the plastic and still had to rip it off in pieces, in garden gloves which made it more of a challenge. Finally took them off and used my bare hands. You should see my nails now. Ha! I prepared with a hat and wet towel for the back of my neck. That made a difference, but then the next day it was much cooler and I really got things done quickly.

Have you given up on your Scandinavian berm of composting stuff?
Yup. The hugelkulture idea is kaput. The guys who cleared the land put all the debris, wood, pallets, garbage from the previous owners etc. all in that big pile and it will be taken to the dump this week.

Will the new fence be enough to keep the deer from tasting the new buffet or don't you have deer?
We live in town and don't have deer. However we have rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels and the fence won't help keep them out. However our bird feeder and the tender bamboo shoots are keeping the squirrels at bay.

Phase two is the veggies garden and that will need fencing of some sort. Stay tuned.

Any plans for "working" trees? The kind that produce edibles like peaches or apples or lemons?
O gosh...you are way ahead of me. When our veggie beds are in I might take a look at the remaining space and consider peaches or plums.  I am pretty much over spraying fruit trees for good, but if I can find some varieties that do well without spraying I might consider it again. At our first TN house on the mountain it came with an orchard which was so exciting, but then after a few days of rain the trees were actually pushed out of the ground by the water coming down off the mountain. That ended that orchard. 

I must say that this garden is becoming my ultimate dream come true. Having the space, and finances allows me to have it done right, and with speed. Being 70 now makes me aware of the time I have left to work and I want it to be a pleasurable process, using the experience of all my past gardens to avoid the pitfalls.


  1. Fuchsias are from Africa and tolerate heat. They don't tolerate drought. They love humidity. If they're watered and have a misting system if you're in a dry area, they'll do fine. Just not in the direct sun. In heat they do best in filtered sunlight or shade. We have a few varieties locally that can tolerate sun or at least partial sun. They have small orange blooms.

    Clivia are pricey but are also perennials and will multiply. My Mom divides hers every few years and relocates them to another part of the yard. They work real nice hugging the house in limited planter space. I think my Mom told me they don't do so well in pots. Fuchsias on the other hand do really well in pots, especially if you get frost and have to bring them in in the winter.

    My Dad stopped spraying his trees 30 years ago. I've never sprayed mine. I don't spray my roses either. But I imagine that varies with climate. In a warmer, more humid area you might have to. If I see an aphid problem I'll go to the nursery for a container of ladybugs. I use ammonia to deal with the snails if they are prolific and generally just use soapy water if I must. I try to do as little as possible to give every bee a fighting chance.

    My first tree of choice would be a lemon, Meyer if possible, simply because I use them so much in cooking. Orange would be next for fresh juice in the morning. My parents can have orange juice daily a good part of the year by just picking an orange or two every morning from their tree. Citrus does well here. For peaches and plums just make sure they're free stone and don't need a "mate" to bear fruit. If you're an apricot fiend, look for a Royal or Blenheim. awesome taste you'll never find in a store.

    Have no idea what plants or trees are good in your area, hence the questions and the delight in seeing the photos and reading about all your garden adventures. I really envy you all those hydrangeas. Plant wisteria and you're gonna kill me.

  2. We have a bug service. We asked Bug Guy what was good to spray on our succulents to deter the rabbits from munching them (they’re so succulent, ya know). He said he had some stuff in his truck, he’d spray them. It worked. Don’t know about the dawgs, tho.