Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time to Start Marking Your Calendars

It's that time of the year when Garden fairs and sales will start up again.  So get out your calendars and mark down these great events:
May 22nd: Paine Art Center in Oshkosh hosts their annual Festival of Spring
Memorial Day Weekend: Land of the Giants in Milton,WI hosts their hosta sale, JackKens in Cedarburg hosts their hosta sale
June 5th: Outagamie County Master Gardeners host their annual plant sale
June 4-6: Green Bay Botanical Gardens annual garden fair

If you know of other Wisconsin garden events and plants sales, email me and I will add them to the list!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Visit to Thistledown Greenhouse

Today was a very exciting day for myself. One of my favorite local greenhouses opened up on Thursday, and so today I had the opportunity to go out and visit (and shop, of course). If you live in NE Wisconsin, love plants, and have never been to Thistledown Greenhouse ---what are you waiting for? Thistledown is located outside of Bonduel just a little off the beaten path. They pride themselves on carrying new & unusual plants, especially succulents and miniatures. They also have perennials (yes, they carry some hostas), annuals, tomatoes, and just about anything else. The owners John and Lori are very knowledgeable and incredibly friendly. Plus they have lots of furry and feathered friends helping them to run the greenhouse.  I found some succulents (yes, can believe I bought something other than hostas) that will be perfect for a container I keep out on my deck in the summer.  I also found some Hens & Chicks, along with some mini furniture and animals for the miniature gardens I create.

Too see more photos from my visit click here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thursday, April 15th Meeting of Green & Gold Hosta Society

Hey Cheeseheads!
Thursday will be the annual meeting of the Green & Gold Hosta Society. Which is held at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens at 6pm. Hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hosta seed update

I started hosta seeds on March 2nd, it is now April 6th and these are what my hosta seedlings look like. They still have only one leaf, but they are already pretty hardy. It has been really warm here in Wisconsin, so I have had them out in the sun. However about halfway through the day the cover on my seed tray tends to blow away, but the hosta seedlings haven't even skipped a beat. Other seedlings would have dried up or wilted from being exposed to the warm, drier air, but not hostas! Just another reason to grow hostas from seed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Experiment with my Seed Grow Project Seeds

Late last spring I did an experiment with some tomato seeds and my own version of a greenhouse. It was a successful experiment, so I decided to try it earlier this year with tomato seeds and some of the nasturtium seeds I received from Renee's Garden as part of the Seed Grow Project.

First I have to make my "greenhouses". I take water bottles and cut the spout end of with a hacksaw or scissors (depending on thickness of plastic). I then take either a nail or a drill and put holes in the bottom of the bottle that will allow air and water in. Ta Da, you have a miniature greenhouse.
Then it's time to pick a sunny location and work the soil, plant the seeds, and water them well.
Then place the "greenhouse" over the top of the area where you planted the seeds. Water as needed, and then remove the "greenhouse" cover and harden off plants when there is no longer a danger of frost.
"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Pond Cleaning Time

Today at 11am I started spring break. Even better, here in Wisconsin we broke weather records as temperatures soared into the low 80's. No April Fool's here! It was a beautiful sunny day. A perfect day to clean out the small pond I have in the yard.

Cleaning out the pond in spring is never fun. I don't know if cows break into my yard in the winter and confuse my pond for an outhouse, but that's exactly what it smells like. Believe me, I live in Wisconsin I know the smell of cow manure. In fall when we take the fish out, we also use a small sump pump to siphon out most of the water. So the water that is in the pond is from snow over the winter. One of the many trees in my yard also seems to drop all of it's leaves right into the pond. So as I am trying to rake the leaves out of my pond I feel like I am stirring a giant pond's worth of witches brew. A song we used to sing in elementary school at Halloween goes through my head "Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew O-o-o-o-o, o-o-o-o-o". I never know what will surface when stirring up leaves. Last year it was two dead chipmunks. Plus the pond freezes solid in winter, and seems to mummify anything enveloped inside the pond. This year I didn't find any dead chipmunks, but I did find a lot of garden spiders and giant caterpillars that looked very much alive but once out of the pond for a few minutes shriveled up to dry husks.

Unfortunately my pond filter was pronounced dead this afternoon. Last year chipmunks chewed through the cord, but we rewired it and it worked fine. However this year it wouldn't even power on. My dad, who is an electrician, even stopped over to try to help to no avail. So guess we'll be adding that to our shopping list.
Here I am stirring my brew. Do you like my Wisconsin tan?
All the leaves I pulled out of pond today.
Now it's really starting to feel like summer is near!