Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gardening Today: Cutting back Brush

Yard and Garden Secrets/Iris garden clean up
Gardening today took me to the side yard where there was a lot of underbrush as well as low hanging trees limps that needed to be trimmed. 

For this project I needed my rose trimming gloves.  I found a pair of Terra Professional rose gloves at Amazon.com that I really like because these rose gloves protect my hands and my lower arms from cuts and scratches.  When I have my hands in brush you never know what you will find and the wild roses will really hurt if you don’t protect yourself.

Then to tackle the tough weeds and tall grass that was growing under the shrubs I used my Black & Decker 14inch curved shaft electric string trimmer.  This trimmer does a good job at taking down the overgrown brush.  When it comes to manicuring the yard I don’t mind doing the trimming as long as I do not have to use a gas operated trimmer.

Garden Boots
Whenever I take on big projects I always wear safety glasses because my trimmer might hit a rock and push it back into my face and that would not be good. I also wear a thick weave jean or khaki pant that is tucked into my garden boots.  

It is best to dress for this garden clean up job because of the snakes, rodents and other garden pests.  It’s a good idea to spray your clothing with deep woods off to prevent chigger and tick bites.

I went out early to clean up the yard and it was completed by noon.  Now all that needs to be done is my husband to follow up with trimming back the low hanging branches by the chain link fence as they are growing in to thick and blocking the sunlight. 

I am glad the brush is cut back because while working I found mole holes.  I had some scoot mole repellent in the garage so I used the garlic and Castor oil concentrated treatment and sprayed the surrounding area by attaching my hose to the formula. The moles will move on now that I used a safe for the environment repellent.

Other garden cleanup posts by Author:


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pavestone Adds Definition to Flower Garden

Today I am working on my side flower garden and decided to make it more interesting so I added 12-inch pavestone and also a pea gravel boarder. 

My husband had some stones leftover from a retaining wall that he did and I thought that the stone would add definition to my lily garden.  (See photo above).  The curving stone wraps around the lilies until it meets with the pea gravel path.

I thought about doing two layers of stone but thought that the one layer was fine.  I like the way the stone breaks up the garden. This is an easy way to add definition and also make the flower garden more eye appealing

For this garden project I used a 12 inch pavestone retaining wall cement block that we bought at Home Depot for $1.78.  This cement block also looks good as a tree ring and outdoor fireplace ring.

See in this photo how I added a ring of pavestone cement retaining wall blocks around a host garden.  I think that you will agree that it is a great way to accent your garden.
Pavestone cement wall block around hosta garden
View other photographs of pavestone cement retaining wall block projects here:


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Michigan Bulb: Honest Business and Product Review

Michigan Bulb company has been in business for 60 years and as a kid I recall seeing their shade and sun garden collection in the circular in the Sunday paper and my Dad always said it was a good price for so many plants.  Then they came out with a mail order catalog and  a profitable online business.  

I think we all know of Michiganbulb.com because of their great sales and deals; buy $40.00 in plants and get $20.00 off.  

As a gardener who can resist a sale like that?  I could not resist the great savings on plants and when I checked out the online catalog I liked that I was not overpaying for the plants.  I thought what the heck I am going to buy from Michigan Bulb and hope that they deliver quality plants to my door.

Michigan Bulbs motto is: “For more than 60 years, we've been providing the best plants at the best prices.”

Hands down they do have the best prices I will agree with that, but their plants are small and you will have to take care of them during their first year so that they will survive and occasionally there is a mix up in your order and you will get other clients plants.

The order that I placed was a total mix up as I received plants I did not order and the shipping box was damaged when received which meant the coneflowers that I had ordered were not in the best condition.
Coneflowers received from Michigan Bulb

Damaged shipping box

18-inch Dick Clark rose / did not order


The good thing is that they have excellent customer service and if you are not happy with your purchase for whatever reason they will replace your order with an in-house certificate of give you a refund that is paid to your form of payment or send out replacement plants. Whatever you want.  

If you would like to read about my purchase from Michigan Bulb then go here:

Michigan Bulb Has Great Customer Service BUT Plants are Hit or Miss - News - Bubblews

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Suburban Raccoon Visits Yard and Garden

For the last couple of days I  have noticed that my mulch in my garden has been pulled away from the plants and in some cases it is all pulled away from the plants and is in a large grouping like a mountain of mulch.  At first I thought neighborhood kids were playing a joke on me, but I was wrong because tonight at dusk I learned that a suburban raccoon was visiting my garden.
Raccoon's playing in the grass

My husband thought the little raccoon was cute because he seemed to be playing peek a boo behind the fountain grass in the ornamental grass garden.  But the thing about raccoons is they are very social animals and if there is one there will soon be more.   That is exactly what happened next, the kits came out of the hallowed out tree and came to play in our patio fountain and our garden fish pond; washing their paws and putting leaves in the water.  Such  cute  behavior but not good for the pond filter.
Suburban Raccoon drinking from garden fish pond

Raccoons are adorable but I do not want them to think my yard and garden is their hangout. That is when I knew that I had to set up raccoon boundaries so that they knew that playing in my garden was not acceptable behavior.

Learn more here How to Know Pest Control for Suburban Raccoons

Attribution: http://mrg.bz/3J68fM and http://mrg.bz/b5lhpe

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Planted an Herb Garden Today

Here in USDA growing zone 6 the threat of spring frost  has past and now it is safe to garden. So I took advantage of the warm and sunny day and planted an herb garden.



Last week when  I did my garden checklist I had noted that the harsh winter and killed many of my herbs and that I needed to  replace many.  I was fortunate to have a friend with a nursery in town as she provided me with a discount.  Lucky me I was able to buy 11 herbs in three inch pots for $3.00 each.


I found some new herbs for my garden and this year I will be growing
Mojito mint, I grow many varieties of mint and think it is a delicious plant for aromatics and for culinary uses.  In fact last year I made an  invigorating soap from the peppermint leaves.  So I am excited to be growing the new Motito mint.  My husband said I will enjoy the beverage that is made from the leaves,  hummmm that does sound interesting and refreshing on a hot summer day.



Another new herb this year is Kew Red Lavender for growing in full sun.  This aromatic herb looks exciting as it is covered with vibrant pink flowers with gray green spikes.  I like that the lavender it it is drought tolerant because my summers do get dreadfully hot. I am thinking that this lavender  herb that would make a nice bath soap and also a wonderful potpourri.

I am so happy that winter is finally over and that gardening season has begun.

I Planted an Herb Garden Today, What did you do?