Monday, June 29, 2009

It's a contest! Win a hosta from my garden!

Do you love hosta? Or would you love to love a hosta? Well here is your chance to win a hosta for your yard. I love hosta and I LOVE music, so the person who is the most creative and changes a song title or words to a song to be an ode to hosta will win a hosta from my yard. I will pick the one I feel is most creative on July 10th. The winner will get to choose one of these hostas from my garden: Stiletto (pictured), Lemon-lime, Wide Brim, Undulata, or Regal Rhubarb (depending on how many I divide by then, there may be more to choose from). Simply reply to this thread with your hosta improved song title or words to a song. Remember to include your twitter name if you use Twitter. I will email the winner on July 10th, and they can choose the hosta they would like me to send them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

So long to the garden that started my hosta addiction

Many years ago I was in Crivitz, WI for the weekend (or up-north, as we refer to it). My parents have a weekend place there. My mom and I were bored while the men were out fishing, so we decided to drive around and do a little shopping. In one of the stores a lady told us about a hosta nursery that was located just outside of town. We decided to check out Woodland Gardens, and it was there and then that my hosta addiction started. Here was this beautiful house in the middle of the wood surrounded by the most amazing hosta you have ever seen. I had a "green" hosta and a "green and white" hosta at the time. I had never seen hosta in so many sizes and colors. I was overwhelmed, but Cathy, the owner, was so nice and shared her knowledge of hosta with me. Over the years I have come back to visit often, and, of course, I have purchased quite a few hosta from her garden. This spring I received an email from Cathy letting me know that she was officially retiring, and would open up her gardens for the last time this weekend. So I had to go visit her and see the gardens for the last time. The first time I visited I her garden I bought three hosta, 'Abiqua Trumpet', 'Grand Master', and 'Niagara Falls' which brought my total in my yard to seven. This time I walked away with seven hosta, which now bring my total to over 350 different varieties. For more pictures of the garden, join me on Facebook (Cheesehead Gardening).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gas Plant

Here is kind of an unusual plant that I grow in my garden. Dictamnus or the more common name for it is Gas Plant. It's not a plant you normally see at a nursery (at least here in Wisconsin). I received mine from a lady who grew them from seed. Once they are established, the do not like to be moved at all. The flowers on mine are pinkish white, but I have also seen a variety that is all white (Dictamnus album). I have heard rumor that the flowers give off a small amount of gas, which when light with a flame will cause a tiny explosion. I have not tried it myself. I haven't told my husband about it, since he would probably burn my plant down trying. It blooms in late spring to early summer and then develops seed pods. It does give off an odor, and some people choose to use it in the border in hopes of keeping rodents away. I think it's flowers are very similar to Gaura, which is not a hardy perennial here in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Masterwort is a plant that I do not see often enough in gardens. Maybe if it had some kind of fun name it would get more recognition? I have a couple different varieties, and I love them all. I especially like the variegated variety. I have luck growing them in sun through shade, so they have been very versatile for me. That's why I don't understand why it does get used more. It blooms in spring/early summer but even the faded flowers look nice (kinda like strawflowers) all summer long. The foliage is pretty nice too. Maybe it's one of those plants that grows well here in the midwest but not in other climates? Do you grow masterwort? If not, have you tried it and not had success? If you have, what are your thoughts on it?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Rock" gardening

Went out today to expand the back garden bed. I hate that when I try to plant something I always hit rock. Husband doesn't want me to make it any bigger, so I waited until I knew he wasn't going to be home. I knew there would be some rock, but I totally did not expect this. This only some of the rocks I dug up from the small area of the garden.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Recycled Ladder Planter

Have an old rickety ladder? Recycle it into a plant stand, and add some much needed height to your garden.  My father-in-law works at a landfill, found me this ladder.  I then used some old plastic pots I had laying around taking up space in my garage to create a plant stand.  First I drilled holes in the bottom of the pots, and then I drilled holes in the steps of the ladder to match the holes I drilled in the pot.  I then nuts and bolts to secure the pots to the ladder to keep them from falling off.  Then just filled the pots with soil and plants, and you have a beautiful garden structure.  I also planted clematis at the base to slowly wind up the ladder.