Sunday, March 21, 2010

Garden Lesson Learned

It's not very often that I go away for a number of days without my husband. Not because we are attached at the hip or anything, but it just seems to happen that way. However, last summer I went away for a few days for a girls "camping" (which means staying in a cottage) trip, and while I was gone my husband cleaned out my gardening bench in the garage and threw out stuff he felt I didn't need. Then in fall I went away for few days for a work related conference, when I returned I found that my husband had chopped down everything in my garden with my bypass lopper. Things that were chopped to the ground including two huge climbing roses and many clematis. It's hard to yell at him, since he thinks he is helping me. So last week I was leaving for a few days, and I decided to give my husband a job to do while I was gone. Well, let's say lesson learned. When I arrived home I had a new small garden bed waiting for me in the front yard, and the rest of my plants and garden tools were safe and sound. So I now know, if I go away....give him a list of jobs to do!!
This was area before adding garden bed around it. Frost had heaved our rock wall and so that also needed to be fixed.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hosta seeds are sprouting

The hosta seeds I started a few weeks ago are starting to sprout. So far H. 'Bingo' and H. 'Dragon Lady' seem to be the most viable of the seeds. Very few of the H. 'Iron Gate Supreme' and H. 'Babbling Brook' seeds seem to be viable. I didn't have time to transfer them yet, but I am hoping to have time sometime very soon to transfer them to sterile soil.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Out enjoying warm weather

This week I had a chance to get out for a little bit and enjoy the nice weather. It was in the 60's here, yes the 60's. By Saturday we are supposed to receive some snow, so I had to soak up some fresh air while I could. I was in Wisconsin Dells for most of the week attending the WEMTA (Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association) conference. After attending my sessions there were a few hours of sunlight left, so I went to visit a few state parks and get some hiking in. Wisconsin Dells is a beautiful area with lots of bluffs, once you get out of the bussle of downtown. Also on the way to one of the state parks, we happened across a vineyard (what luck)! We visited Devil's Lake and Mirror Lake State Parks, and early spring is a great time to visit since you can have the park almost to yourself. If in the Wisconsin Dells area, I highly recommend both parks for hiking!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What a difference one week can make

Wow! What a difference one week can make. Take a look at my post from last Sunday! It's one week later and almost all of the snow is gone from my yard. There are also more and more signs on spring in the yard. It's so nice to go out in the yard and see signs of life. Such as....
In last week's pic this whole area and one below was covered with snow.

Last week's pic of this area the euphorbia was actually touching snow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Internet Brings Gardeners Around the World Together

Has cabin fever set in? It’s March and the ground is still covered with snow, and hostas won’t be poking their noses out of the ground for at least another month here in Wisconsin. Sure, you can start some hosta seeds indoors, but how about filling some of that void by talking to other gardeners around world? Spring doesn’t seem so far away when you can live vicariously through gardeners who already have plants in bloom in their gardens. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, here are a few places on the internet to start:

iVillage’s Gardenweb Forum: This is a great website for a beginner. You can join and read what everyone is posting, and if nervous about posting you can just “lurk” in the background. This forum is divided into many different categories, including a hosta forum, which is located at

Wanna talk hosta? Another forum where you can talk hostas as much or as little as you want to is the Hallson’s Garden forum, which is located at

An awesome way to connect with gardeners is through the website Twitter (http:/// Twitter is not as easy as the forums to get used to, but once you figure out how to use it, you will be rewarded with all kinds of gardening friends. If you join twitter remember to follow me (@hostageek) and check out this website to search for other gardeners to follow (

Finally, another way to connect with gardeners online is through Facebook. Many gardening companies and bloggers now have fan websites (like me, check out If you are on Facebook, remember to look up and join the American Hosta Society fan page.

So what are you waiting for? Get on out there in the cyber world and make some new gardening friends! Remember, no matter what it looks like outside right now, spring really is right around the corner.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Signs of Spring

Even though most of my yard still looks the pictures above and below.
There are a few signs of spring popping up. Especially since we hit the 40's yesterday for the first time since December.
Daylily starting to emerge.
Euphorbia near the snow.
Hellebores starting to emerge!

Friday, March 5, 2010

H. 'Gypsy Rose'

H. 'Gypsy Rose' is a sport of 'Striptease'. 'Gypsy Rose has a yellowish-white center whereas 'Striptease' is more of a white color. It also stays smaller than 'Striptease' but with more eyes. Many of the 'Striptease' in the market these days are infected with hosta virus X. So if you are looking for a plant that resembles 'Striptease' but are afraid of receiving a infected plant then 'Gypsy Rose' would be your answer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Starting Hosta Seeds

These are the seeds I collected in fall. I put them in paper envelopes so they would have proper air circulation, and kept them in the garage where it is cool and dry.
I then sprinkle the hosta seeds on to a paper towel with a little help from Ally.
I cover the seeds with another paper towel and dampen it (don't make too wet or seeds will mold).
I then put the damp paper towel with seeds in plastic bags and label them .
Then I put them on top of the refrigerator where it is warm and will encourage germination. I will check them in a week to see if there is any activity. Once they germinate I put them into soil. I use this method to germinate seeds, so I can see what seeds are viable before planting them in soil.