View Full Version : OT -- Any other gardeners here?

03-04-2006, 02:11 PM
I'm getting excited for this growing season! :happydance: Only 17 more days until the first day of spring!

My DH and I have a plant/shrub/tree nursery/garden center type business, we have about six acres and are hoping to buy another seven from the neighbors soon. My IL's started the business 20 years ago, and we moved down here and bought it from them almost 5 years ago. We mostly sell perennials, and my DH had been doing a lot of landscaping, but he recently got a job with a nearby city as their parks foreman where he will be supervising all the city's parks, (needed health insurance and the like, as we found out when I had to have a C-section last October!), so with him gone more, he said I would be able to quit one of my medical transcription contracts that I work at home so I can devote more time to the farm...which will also hopefully mean more time to knit. :happydance: I can't pull weeds at night you know (well, I could get a lighted miner's type hat...). Last summer I was pregnant and wasn't all that excited about getting out and doing stuff, but this spring I really have the bug for it!

I also will do my big veggie garden again, I like to can tomatoes, beans, carrots, and have peppers, onion, tatoes, corn and broccoli to freeze. We also grow a lot of herbs and flowers for cutting; people can come out and cut flowers in our gardens, a lot of gals do that for their wedding reception flowers.

So what are you growing in your garden? My favorite flowers are delphiniums. One year I ordered seed from New Zealand and those are the most spectacular flowers I have! http://www.delphinium.co.nz/

03-04-2006, 02:35 PM
I had a really nice garden in our first house, second house I didn't get around to it. My next one I hope to start up again.

03-04-2006, 02:38 PM
That sounds really great! I'm excited but right now I have nowhere to garden! Waa!

We are getting ready (God willing!) to move to a 4.6 acre property, but we won't actually be moving before mid-May I suspect.

I am actually kinda nervous, because we really want to go all out and grow a veggie garden, plant new trees and bushes, and of course lots of flowers and bird friendly plants! We live in South central TX and our property is completly covered with cedar trees-these are considered weeds to be eliminated down here, they cause major allergy attacks for a lot of us, myself included! But we've been told our soil is very good, which is rare down here-I hope they are right!

Anyway I don't have what you'd call a green thumb, sigh. More like a mottled green and brown, I'd say, lol! But I so want to learn!! I have *no* idea where to start. I got a book from the library called Tough as Nails Flowers for the South (I think thats it) and it's got some great ideas. I would love to start maybe growing some seedlings now to transplant when we move, but I am not sure how to begin! I have a lot of research to do! Right now I'm hoping to plant some lantana (practically un-killable), mountain laurel trees (from my mothers yard), and maybe some nandina bushes which I can probably dig up around this yard. The birds eat the berries on them and "plant" new ones all the time, so there's plenty popping up here and there that I'm pretty sure our land lady won't mind if we take.

We are even thinking of starting some honey bee farming, on a very small scale. Again we have no experience, but I've heard my current landlady's brother is experienced in bee keeping (he lives next door to us right now) and would be willing to answer questions and offer advice. We have a bee hive in our back yard now and she said we could move it (obviously we will hire somebody for the job, the hive is about a hundred feet up in a giant oak tree!) if we want.

It'll be great to get the kids involved, too. With three boys I should have lots of help! And our two yrold dd will be in heaven, running around outside (her all-time favorite activity, next to tormenting her 3 older bros that is, lol)

I'd love to hear what exactly you're going to plant, I can live vicariously at least, lol! And *any* free advice would be greatly appreciated. It must be fun to own a nursery, I think that would be a very rewarding business.

Jan in CA
03-04-2006, 02:38 PM
Wow! That sounds awesome, Kristen!

Let me say first of all that we have a tiny yard...our whole lot is only 60x100 ft and the house is sitting on it, too. :roflhard:

That being said..we live in southern CA so we have lots of flowers year round although more in the springy months. Right now we have these:


Orchids and Impatiens


Daffodils and Iris

Not pictured are the camellias, rock roses, rose and a few others. ;) Let me know if these are too large and I'll make them smaller. Enjoy!

03-04-2006, 02:41 PM
Jessica, what a beautiful little garden!! Pretty flowers, it looks very nice!

What kind of flowers do you have planted?

:cheering: I can't wait till I can plant something, lol. My "garden" is all in containers at the moment, and looks rather worse for the wear.

03-04-2006, 02:43 PM
ok, y'all keep posting pics and I have to respond again! LOL

Jan, :shock: :shock: :shock: Those are *GORGEOUS*!!!!

Wow. :heart: them!!

03-04-2006, 04:39 PM
I love to garden!! As far as flowers go, I mostly have annuals. We want to expand our front flower beds and put in a low stone wall, so I keep putting off buying perennials until that is done. I do have some astilbe, peonies and bulbs planted. We also have a large vegetable garden. This year, we plan on growing bush beans, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and cantaloupe. Last year wasn't a very good year for our garden- we were so busy that we didn't have enough time to devote to it, and the weeds took over!! I am OFF for the whole summer this year, and so I'm hoping to be able to spend a lot more time out there. :happydance:

03-04-2006, 04:45 PM
Jan, you should print those out and frame them! Do a "series" of flowers from your garden -- they're gorgeous, and so are the pics! :thumbsup:

We live in North Dakota, where the growing season is about a minute long. Two years ago, we got nine inches of snow on the 22nd day of May. I'm from the South, where we had LARGE gardens and started VERY early in the spring. I'm having a hard time dealing with how to garden here, but I'm hoping to have more success this year. Just ordered a bunch of organic seeds that I plan to start in the basement and then harden off and transplant outside. We shall see.

I am so jealous of those of you who live in places where you can actually grow things year-round!

03-04-2006, 05:37 PM
I've been planting for hummers and butterflies for a long time.
I do some large containers on the deck too, so they come up close.

The monarch picture wasn't taken with a zoom lens. :mrgreen:

I managed to take a picture of the sunflower before Mr. Squirrel chewed it off the stem. :evil:

03-04-2006, 06:11 PM
Jan, :shock: you already have Azaleas? Dang! Ours won't bloom until a bit closer to Easter when the Dogwoods pop. However, my Lorapetalum is covered with tiny purple buds that are starting to flower! (flowering Japanese shrub with purple leaves and flowers in the spring!) The Bradford Pears (aka Fish trees) are in full bloom and stinking like crazy. :( The Tulip trees look fantastic but won't last long.

Your photos are fantastic! I second the motion to do a frames series - you've got the talent!


03-04-2006, 07:33 PM
I'm a gardener too... I have a soap making business and grow all the herbs needed for the soap. Lots of lavender, calendula, chamomile, rosemary, & mint. A couple of rugosa roses that produce huge hips in the fall. Hyssop, jupiter's beard, and a variety of agastaches for the butterflies. A big bed of raspberries, a couple of Concorde grape vines, and 18 apple trees. And I usually grow tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, peas, and green beans in the veggie garden along with the culinary herbs like basil, sage, & oregano. I do a little canning and freeze a lot of applesauce :lol: .

There's a rock garden in the back yard with dwarf conifers, a variety of small plants, and grasses. And a long flower bed full of iris, snapdragons, feverfew (one of "those" herbs that got away from me), and columbine.

It seems like every year I have a new "project" for the garden. I actually was delighted to get an entire pallet of flagstone for Christmas this year! But with my knee injury, I just hope to keep everything alive and grow a few tomatoes. We live in the high desert, so in addition to planting and weeding every single thing has to be hand watered... It's going to be my year "off" from gardening, I'm afraid.

Edited to add: check out Lana's sunflower: notice the spiral produced by the seeds in the center of the flower? That's an example of the"golden ratio", a numerical oddity found throughout nature like the Fibonnaci numbers used by knitters when planning stripes. Sunflowers, pinecones, & pineapples, for example, all have the same pattern in the same mathematical equation.

03-04-2006, 08:22 PM
I like to garden also, however as I have problems with my carpal tunnel and all my hobbies (reading, knitting, gardening,baking, scrapbooking, internet browsing) involve using my hands I have to limit how much I use them. Pulling weeds for example, ruins me for knitting and sleeping(hands wake me up tingling etc).

As a result, my gardening is kind of hap-hazard and not very orderly. I prefer plants that either fruit or flower. I have a variety of annuals, perreniels, shrubs and trees, some fruit and veg. I made the mistake of introducing my husband to gardening in the hopes that he would help with clearing part of our back section that needs lots of TLC (he still hasn't done so). Instead he is obsessed with propagating and has littered our house with little pots of this and that. He especially likes succulents and planting seeds from fruit we eat to see what happens.

I get some grief from 1 or 2 people I know about not planting more native plants but I am more into the "so-called exotics" as they are generally more colourful. I'll attempt to attach some photos my DH has made. :waving:

03-05-2006, 07:41 AM
What beautiful pictures! Makes spring fever even worse. I love to garden. But right now all I have blooming in my yarn is crocus. I planted about 100 bulbs in November, so I should have many more blossoms any day now. Waiting, waiting...
Anyway, here are a few pics from my rock garden last year:

03-05-2006, 11:36 AM
I THINK I'm still a garderner. Had a stroke nearly 2 years ago which affected my right side. I believe the stroke was brought on by a too low level of potassium due to my working in the yard for a few weeks and sweating up a storm and not taking care to drink OJ and eat other potassium sources. The 1st thing they did at the hospital was put me on intravenous potassium.

Anyway, I've been a little leary of repeating the circumstances that occurred before my stroke. Fortunately, I'm able to use my right hand even though it continues to feel like it is awakening from sleep.

It's only my husband and me and it seems to be a waste of time to grow my own tomatoes and peppers. However, I grow lots of perennials and bulbs...daylilies, daffodils, peonies, poppies.

03-05-2006, 11:40 AM
Glomper, I have lots of Love-in-a-Mist, also. Really love it and blue flax.

03-05-2006, 12:27 PM
I have a porch container garden. In it I've grown culinary and medicinal herbs (ie yarrow, feverfew, mints), grape vines, hops, and hanging baskets of various flowers. I also grow beans, tomatoes...last year I tried a purple tomatillo (very sensitive to our drought) and a couple of years ago managed to grow miniature popcorn in a windowbox length container which I put on the porch. Nice green screens, and it offered variety of texture when next to my moonflowers.

For common plants I'm a fan of Martha Washington geraniums, species roses, and those lovely varigated "super-tunias". Heirloom gardening is something that I strive for, in spite of the super-tunias. Someday I hope to be able to try my hand at a bog garden. I love blue/yellow flag irises and woodland plants like trillium, which thanks to conservation efforts are now making a comeback in these parts.

03-05-2006, 01:36 PM
Fantastic photos, Jan and Lana!

Here are a few of mine.

03-05-2006, 01:47 PM
I am so loving everyone's pictures! We have a nice crop of dandelions come summer. :rofling:

03-05-2006, 01:55 PM
I dont garden, but I just wanted to say the pics here Ive seen are wonderful1

and I had a dream I was gardening last night.

03-05-2006, 03:45 PM
I am so loving everyone's pictures! We have a nice crop of dandelions come summer. :rofling:

I :heart: LOVE :heart: fields of dandelions. DH doesn't particularly like them interupting his little green lawn.

It's snowing here today! Especially nice to look at flowers and dream :zzz: of spring.

03-05-2006, 06:07 PM
everything is sooo pretty :inlove: !!! I try to garden but I never can get anything to grow or then it dies... :rollseyes: when my dh plants the flowers they take off... so he plants the flowers for me.. :lol:

03-05-2006, 07:28 PM
Ahh gardens.... everyone here makes me jelous.

When we moved here, we were set to the limit of only being able to grow tomatoes, and nothing else. We have pine trees in our back yard(we are taking them out this summer), and when the needles drop, they destroy the soil, because of all the acid in the needles. So we were only set to growing tomatoes. I have to say we do have a nice tree, I'm not sure what it is, on the one side of our yard, that blooms the most GORGEOUS flowers. But the sad thing is, they only stay bloomed for two weeks, and then the flowers fall off the tree and new buds form for next summer. We also have a crab apple tree(one of the WORST trees you can have...).

I do miss our old gardens. We grew everything from brussel sprouts, to watermelon and canalope(ohh and they were good too :drooling: ). We even grew potatoes! :rofling: (I remember trying to grow corn too.. never again :shock: )

Jan in CA
03-05-2006, 07:45 PM
Do you like to garden, Jenelle? A lot of young people don't want to have anything to do with it. :roflhard: If you do maybe you could try growing a few flowers in pots. They are easier to place away from a tree and where they need to be.

03-05-2006, 07:58 PM
I love to garden!! It's fun, though. I remember going outside and getting fresh veggies for supper every night... My parents actually threw a fit because every night we had bell peppers in some form :rofling:

03-06-2006, 01:40 AM
I had a nice green house where I used to live that carried "starter perennials." Very small ones for $1 so I could try a lot of different things and by the time the season was over they were huge and could be divided in the spring. I guess the person that bought the trailer after us felt overwhelmed and let the garden go to crap. I couldn't take myself to go by and see it.

03-06-2006, 09:57 AM
Ohhhhh....this gives me planting fever...we just got in our new house and one of the things that attracted me was the beautiful landscaping....very green and lots of flowering trees. My Japanese Magnolia's are just starting to open up and they are so beautiful...even my plum trees are starting to blossom! I plan to take some pics soon...all of our computer equip isn't set up yet so I can't post pics and it's killing me!!! (I put all pics on our desktop instead of our laptops b/c it has more space--I have a hd just for pics!!! lol! The room that the desktop is in doesn't have a data line run yet so once I put the pics on there I would have to move them to the laptops to post them..)

Everyone's pics are soooo beautiful! I have a very shady yard...anyone have a good suggestion for flowering plants that are good for shade or partial sun? Preferable not annuals..? I love a nice yard and the plants I know I do well with...it's just that I don't know a good variety. I plan to plant hasta as soon as I can...I love it and want it along the front walkway. I have a whole empty flowerbed on the side of the house that gets direct afternoon sun for about 2 hours each day...I'd love to put something there...

OMG...look how much I wrote and it wasn't even about knitting!!! LOL!

03-06-2006, 11:46 AM
I :heart: gardening but my current garden wouldn't show it. Our last house was fully landscaped when we moved in so I just kept adding to it each year and loved getting out in it everyday. Last year we moved into our new house and it was a blank slate. The builder "gave us" six ugly bushes (really they have some potential with the right mix) and lined them up like little soldiers. After moving we didn't really have any money to reallly landscape so I tried rearranging the bushes and buying a few perrenial to add bring in color but it is still an sad excuse for a garden. In addition these 6 sad bushes are not evergreens. So right now we have ugly sticks with nothing looking green and alive at our house. Very ugly.

This spring i plan on landscaping it but I am gonna need a lot of help! I have never done anything on this scale before. Time to start checking out landscaping books from the library!

03-06-2006, 05:01 PM
Hey, gardenmommy, know anything about Crepe Myrtles? :oops: Mine are out of control and need pruning but I don't know when to do it? Everyone seems to whack them off at different times of the year and I've never know what was right.

I know it's not a knitting question but... I can't resist asking since there's a specialist in our midst!

Thanks, Angela

03-06-2006, 10:36 PM
*gasp* Angela, you live in the South and don't have the Southern Living Garden Book? :shock: Get thee to the bookstore! :rofling: SLGB says to prune or cut to ground in spring. Which for us is now :)

I love gardening, and since we've just bought a house, I am beside myself with joy over getting to play in the dirt again. I love the smell of it! The yard and plantings are already established, however; so I have to wait to see what pops up before I go a-digging. Containers of herbs are definitely on my list, though, as are annuals to put in pots in various spots around the deck and front porch. :heart: :heart: :heart:

03-06-2006, 10:43 PM
:shock: Are you kidding me! I've had 4... count 'em FOUR copies of this book! #1 - my mother stole #2 - my FIL stole #3 - my bike riding buddy stole #4 - a kid took to school and never brought back.

I simply cannot buy yet another copy of this book. :oops: I figured I'd "rely on the kindness of strangers" and hope that someone could let me know. And I did look it up on the Internet and found 5 gazillion different opinions. Don't know them, don't trust them - know and love you guys! Trust you all the way!

I'm going to wait one more week and then prune those bad boys down! Many, many thank you's!


03-06-2006, 10:48 PM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

I can't believe you've had four of them!! I'm sorry...that shouldn't be funny...and what kind of KID steals a Southern Living Garden Book?!

I can understand your reluctance to buy a new one, but really, who's left to steal it that doesn't have it already? :rofling:

03-06-2006, 10:53 PM
I don't have much of a garden anymore, but one year I used one of those 'blankets' that had seeds embedded in them. I had no idea of what was going to come up, so it was a lot of fun to watch it develop. I had some beautiful flowers that year! Now I have a very large deck over where my 'garden' was. I'd love to plant flowers but I don't want to go through the initial work to get the area set up. I'll just stop in here and look at all your beautiful flowers. ;)

03-06-2006, 10:58 PM
I've been tempted to buy one of those blankets just for the surprise factor! At the back edge of our yard is a wooden fence; I think a blankie of wildflowers would look nice back there. Of course to plant the blankie I'd need a tiller...oh well. Maybe next year ;)

03-07-2006, 12:36 AM
Hey, gardenmommy, know anything about Crepe Myrtles? :oops: Mine are out of control and need pruning but I don't know when to do it? Everyone seems to whack them off at different times of the year and I've never know what was right.

I know it's not a knitting question but... I can't resist asking since there's a specialist in our midst!

Thanks, Angela

Hi Angela! Crape myrtles aren't hardy where I live, so I don't have any experience on them.

I did find this information from the U of Georgia Extension Service...that might be helpful!


03-07-2006, 09:19 AM
Thanks, I know UGA's web site and am not really sure I didn't think to check it before asking you. :?? Glad I'm holding off on doing that "spring stuff" because it was down right.. brisk this morning! The 30's are brisk, right?

Later, Ang

03-07-2006, 09:31 AM
The 30s are brisk to me! :shock: