Thursday, June 30, 2016

Combination Container Gardens – Spring Bulbs

Extend your container garden bloom season by planting a variety of plants and bulbs that bloom at different times. When it comes time to put together a container garden I prefer to plant once, then enjoy early, mid and late spring season flowers. This type of container garden is good for someone who is busy and has no time to garden or someone who has a small yard, terrace or balcony.

Flower Container Garden by sgolis

Grow a variety of spring bulbs but before you buy you will need to check the bloom time. If you shop online at you will read that some bulbs have bloom times in early spring, mid-spring, and late spring.

Here are a few spring bulbs that I like to plant in a combination container.  For early spring plant; Narcissus Jet Fire, Tulip Red Emperor, Crocus Large Flowering Mixture, Galanthus snowdrops.  Mid Spring; Narcissus butterfly mixture, Tulip Red Riding Hood, Muscari Delft Blue Mixture  Late Spring Narcissus Pheasant’s Eye, Tulip Foxtrot, Giant Grape Hyacinth

Put your combination container garden together in the fall because the bulbs do need to have a winter season in order to bloom in the spring.

For abundant blooms and colorful flower container gardens, I plant 15 spring bulbs per square foot. The bulbs are planted flat side down, pointed side up and are 3 inches apart. Yes, the bulbs are close together but come spring when they bloom the container gardens look fabulous.

Planting Tips:

  1. Plant spring bulbs in the fall, six weeks prior to a hard frost.
  2. I recommend mixing bone meal with the potting soil. The bone meal will provide the bulbs with phosphorous and calcium. It is great for strong roots. Plus squirrels do not like the smell of bonemeal and will stay out of your spring bulb containers.

Here are some garden containers that I found at They would look nice in front or backyard. Both containers are lightweight but resistant to weather.
 Better Homes and Garden Decorative Resin Bronze Urn

Better Homes and Gardens Westminster 20" Decorative Resin Urn, Bronze

 Better Homes and Garden Decorative Planter Light Bronze

Better Homes and Gardens Richmond 22.5" Decorative Planter, Light Bronze

Friday, June 24, 2016

Natural Summer Allergy/Sinusitis Treatment

Summer pollen-related allergies are the worst especially if you love gardening. If you suffer from seasonal allergies you can get relief by taking medication like Claritin for indoor and outdoor allergies or you can choose a natural treatment.
Now that summer is here I have been working in the garden every day. I love spending time in my garden but since I am allergic to grasses, trees, and some flowers I am getting allergy symptoms; sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and cough.  
If you suffer from summer allergies then you can get natural relief with a saline nasal rinse that will balance your pH. The nasal irrigation is a good way to remove indoor and outdoor allergens including dust, animal dander, grass or flower pollen, and household dust.  I irrigate my nose twice a day with this saline and breath easier.
Along with the nasal rinse,  I will mix a teaspoon of diatomaceous earth food grade, a natural silica supplement with 8-ounces of water or juice and drink in the morning. The DE is a great way to do whole-body detoxification and will clear out the excess mucus.
Boost your immunes system with honey lemon ginseng green tea with white tea.  Brew several cups throughout the day and sip it slowly.   The antioxidants found in this tea will help you to feel better. 

Here are a few flowers and trees that will cause you to have seasonal allergies; goldenrod, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, daisies, and chamomile. Trees; walnut, pine, elm, cedar, birch. beech, hickory. silver maple and oak.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Garden Path Ideas

When I was a kid, my parents had a garden  path along the side of the house, this path took us to the rose garden and to the patio. I liked the path because I did not have to walk on the grass and after a rain I did not have to worry about getting muddy shoes.

Our garden paths enabled me to pick roses without stepping on the ground, in addition, my parents could weed the gardens without getting grass stains on their clothes.

Growing up with garden paths meant that I would have them in my yard. Know that my garden paths have come a long way since I was a kid. My present home has many paths. Some are stone, others are pavers and we also have a pea gravel and a path that is made from mulch.

Here is a photograph of my upper garden path that is in-between the hosta garden and the irises. Then there is a cement block path that came with the house. Husband and I installed another path / patio out of flagstone. This path leads to the mid-level cement patio.
photo by Sgolis

In the lower level of my yard, there is a stepping stone with pea gravel path that takes you to the dog pen. The other path will take you to the back wildflower garden. This path is cement capstone surrounded by mulch.
a photo by Sgolis

All of the paths in the yard are interesting, they define the garden and are also a benefit.

Learn more about garden paths by reading my how to articles.

Small Yard Garden Ideas - Grow Mini Roses

My friend recently moved to a townhouse and she has a small yard with a patio that gets sun and part shade. She has a patio table and a hanging petunia planter but she really misses her rose garden. I suggested that she grow miniature roses in containers because they would look nice and are the perfect size for her small yard.

Having a small yard is no excuse for not growing roses. You can brighten your patio, terrace or deck with a variety of mini roses grown in large or medium containers. These roses start to bloom in early summer and will provide you with multiple blooms until there is a hard frost.

Miniature pink roses are grown in a clay pot

I recommend that you plant roses in part shade to full sun. Then shop for containers that will provide ample space for your roses. Miniature roses when fully grown are 18 inches in height with a spread of 24 inches. Make sure your containers provide drainage. Turn the pot over to check for water drainage.

Shopping Tips

There are two ways to buy miniature roses. You can shop online in late winter / early spring and buy a bare root rose bush. Or you can find roses at your local garden center or online nursery and buy miniature roses that are grown in a pot. Follow the planting recommendations for your growing zones.

Know that growing a few roses in a container will look eye appealing, but does not benefit the roses if they are grown too close. This plant needs good air circulation. Healthy roses do better when they are not competing with other plants for water or nutrients. So buy a container that will allow you to space the roses so they are not cramped.

Planting and Maintaining Roses

  1. Add two inches of pea gravel to your container to help with water drainage
  2. Amend garden soil with compost. The best way to do this is to mix in a wheelbarrow before you add soil to the container.
  3. Dig a hole that is 18 to 24 inches deep and space roses 18 inches apart.
  4. Backfill the container with soil. Then water the roses. Let the water drain before adding more soil. Fill the container with the remaining soil.  Firm the soil around the stem leaving the bud union level with the soil.
  5. Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet as it is important to not let the roots dry out.
  6. Add mulch around the sugar plum rose bush to aid in moisture control and to prevent weed growth.
  7. Feed miniature roses bushes with fertilizer granules formulated for their specific needs. I like Bayer systemic rose and flower care because it protects the roses from harmful insects. You can buy this product at 
  8. Transplant roses every 2 to 3 years to prevent roses from becoming root bound.
Learn more about roses by reading my other garden secrets post; Climbing Roses How to Grow