Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dividing Hosta that are starting to revert to green

Today I divided my Emerald Tiara hosta that was starting to revert back to plain green. Here are the steps for dividing a hosta.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mini Container Gardens

Yesterday I blogged about mini hosta gardens. Today I want to show you how you can move the mini gardens to containers. I made the container using a recycled styrofoam fish box (see May blog where I show you how to do this). Then I added miniature plants (or hosta), which many times are found in the alpine garden section of nurseries. A nursery close to my area that specializes in fairy gardens and miniature gardening is Thistledown in Bonduel, WI. Then you can get creative and add all kinds of miniature accessories.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mini hosta bed

Did you know that hostas come in all sizes they range from dwarf to extra large? Have you ever seen the cute little mini hostas and wondered how you can showcase them in your garden? Well one of the ways you can showcase them is to create a miniature garden. To create my mini hosta garden I added a garden bed on to an already existing bed using landscaping stones. I then moved all of my mouse ear and mouse ear sports into that bed. I decorated using miniature items I found in the dollhouse section of Hobby Lobby and ones I bought online through Janit at Two Green Thumbs. I also found small stones in the floral department of Michaels craft store.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How to Grow a Hosta like this

When I visited Foxfire Gardens in Marshfield a few weeks ago, my friend, Gina, was amazed at the size of this hosta Montana 'Aureomarginata'. Even my husband told me I definitely had to buy one of those when we visited earlier in June. Gina and I are were trying to guess at how long that hosta had been in the garden. We both guessed that it had to have been there at least 20 years. So when we went up to the nursery and had a chance to talk to the owners we were surprised by the answer. It had been planted less than 5 years ago. The owner saw how surprised we were, and explained to us how that particular hosta had grown so big in so little time. The number one thing is that is needs to come from good stock. Then after that all this one needs is some sunshine (yes, you heard right) and an inch of water a day. Hostas are not sun intolerant, they are heat intolerant, and some hostas can take heat more than others. This is one that happens to love the sunshine in Wisconsin.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Photo-cataloging hostas

I decided today that my new summer project would be to photo catalog all of the hosta in my gardens. I have been meaning to do this for a while, as I like to see how they change year after year. So today I went out and started taking pictures of all of my hostas. It actually went faster than I thought and I've made it through the F's in the hosta alphabet. I was inspired by another hosta lover from the gardenweb forum. He has a wonderful website of all of his hosta. I recently found out that he is dying of cancer, and am deeply saddened by the news, since he was such an inspiration to many hosta lovers on the web. I encourage you to check out his website, and see if you too are encouraged by his beautiful work.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Visit to Solaris Farms

Today my friend and I visited Solaris Farms in Reedsville, WI. It is a farm/nursery that specializes in daylily, lilium, and peonies. The owners are very nice, and they have a very large selection of daylily, including many of their own hybrids. Right now is the optimal time to visit, since most of the daylilies are in bloom. The owner told me that next year they are going to highly increase the amount of lilies they are going to have, including many Orienpets. The two picture are of the selling area, which is probably 1/10th of the daylily they have.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bloom Day Post

It's bloom day. Here are a few thing blooming in my garden right now. This is all that blogger will allow me to post, but I have a ton more daylily and lilies blooming right now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lilies are in bloom

Can you smell that? No, it's not what you think. I didn't eat Fiber One bars this morning. It's the sweet smell of lilies in the air. This is one of my favorite times of the year. All of the different lilies are starting to bloom in my yard. I have daylilies, asiatic lilies, oriental lilies, O.T. Lilies, Trumpet lilies....etc. (I know I started to sound like a bad version of Forest Gump only with lilies.) I love all of the bright colors, and the sweet smell is a bonus. I prefer lilies that have a fragrance to them, and have noticed lately that they smell the strongest at night for some reason. Out of all of the lilies that I have only the daylilies, asiatic, and tiger lilies do not have a scent. Although there are some daylilies that have a fragrance. If you are looking for a lily that will not only look great but have a fragrance choose a lily type from this list:
L.A. Lily
O.T. Lily
I bet you are wondering how a hosta fanatic with so much shade can grow lilies? Even though most lilies will say that they require full sun, I have not found this to be the case. I have found if they can receive 2-4 hours of sun a day they grow wonderfully. I even mix miniature lilies in with my hosta last year, and the result is wonderful.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tribute to my Grandma, Arlyle Guenther

Until I was in 6th grade I lived less than a mile from my grandma and grandpa. Needless to say I spent a lot of time there, and they took my brother and I everywhere they went. We made many trips to Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, West Bend, or anywhere else they wanted to go. One of the places they took us frequently was the Mitchell Park Conservatory (or the Domes as they are often called). There they would teach me about plants from all different biomes. My grandma and grandpa were both avid gardeners. They had a huge garden, and it was there that I would sneak into the garden and eat beans and peas right from the plants. My grandma was also a wonderful cook. One of my favorite meals at their house happened in late summer/early fall when she would make gallons and gallons of vegetable soup with all of their produce. My grandma loved roses and cactus, and she grew them in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As a girl she was never allowed to go any further than 8th grade, and it always bothered her, since she really wanted to be a teacher. Even though she was never formally trained, she was a great teacher to me. She taught me many things, one being the love of gardening. Even as I write this with heavy heart and tears in my eyes, my garden is growing and flourishing. She will live on through me and my garden. I love you Grandma, and I hope you are sitting in a beautiful rose garden right now with grandpa and everyone else you loved dearly.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

And the winner is....

The winner of my hosta contest is: Debbie @debbydoop on Twitter. My husband picked the winner, and he thought her hostacized version of the YMCA was hilarious! Here is her version: "A group of deer in various attire to the tune of "YMCA" by the Village People:

"Let's go and graze at the Hosta Buffet,

Let's go and graze at the Hosta Buffet,

You can eat what you want,

You can have a good meal,

You can do whatever you feel...

Let's go and graze at the Hosta Buffet..."
I thought all entries were great! Now I have some new songs to sing to my hostas:)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th of know what that means

The 4th of July has come and gone, and do you know what that means? It means it's time to cut your asters in half. By cutting your asters in half you will not have floppy plants in fall. Instead the plants will stand upright without staking. Last year I tried an experiment on my helenium, since sometimes they get to tall for their own good. I cut part of the plant in half and left the other half. Both parts of the plant bloomed, so if you feel your heleniums get to tall now would be the time to cut them also.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Foxfire Botanical Gardens Marshfield, WI

Today I visited Foxfire Gardens for the 3rd time in a months time. If you haven't been there, you love hosta, and live in Wisconsin...what are you waiting for?? Get in the car and head to Marshfield! It is an American Hosta Society garden, and there is also a gift/hosta shop on the premises. The owners, Linda and Stephen Schulte, are very friendly and knowledgeable. They can answer any hosta question you throw at them. The gardens are done in a beautiful, peaceful Japanese style with many water features. If you want to stay overnight anywhere in the area I highly recommend staying in Medford, WI and eating at the Highview Inn, where the owner will treat you like his best friend (not to mention the food is delicious). You can visit Foxfire's website for more information.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Another new bed goes in

One missing fingernail and a fractured finger later a new garden bed has gone in. Since we were putting this one right on the lot line, we first talked to the neighbors about it. Then we lined out the edge of the new bed in rocks. When we found the size that worked well for mowing around and for the plants inside, we then killed the grass around the rocks (strong vinegar will work or grass killer). Then in went the dirt. Sometimes I will line the bed with newspaper or cardboard over the grass, but this time I did not since I was going to be using left-over landscaping fabric I was given to go over the top of the bed. Landscaping fabric went over the top of the dirt. I then took all of the plants and arranged them by color and size around the bed. I had a tree peony and some daylilies to put in with the hosta, so I made sure they were in locations that receives more sunlight. Once I had the plants arranged where I wanted I used a scissors to cut holes in landscaping fabric. Then I dug holes and planted all of the plants. Once I had the plants in I laid down the mulch. I have found it easier to lay down mulch afterwards, but some people prefer to do it before planting.