Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gerber Daises

 "What ever a man's age, he can reduce it several years by putting a bright colored flower in his button hole " Mark Twain
Barberton Daisy

 I have always loved the Gerber Daisy. In fact I love all Daises.  Not only do they stand for innocence and purity, but  nothing can cheer you up like a bouquet of pretty bright Gerber Daises. We have two great men to thank for the daisy we have today. In 1884 Scotsman Robert Jameson found the Barberton Daisy. German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber worked hard to give us what we have today.  While working on the Gerber Daisy  one was a mutation, an inherited physical or biochemical change in genetic material.

Homestead Verbena
  I sure would like to have some like that.  Gerber Daisy, African Daisy, or Gerbera jamesonii no matter what you call it, it is a beautiful flower.  I told you that I was learning by trial and error.  Before I moved here I lived in Jonesboro, La. I bought about 8 Gerber daises everyone died.  They would sort of wilt and I would water, wrong thing to do.  They like well drained soil.  In Jonesboro we had clay soil, I mixed compost in the beds when we made them and when I planted. I had no idea why my Gerber Daises died.  I did not buy any more for a while.   Last year I told my friend Liz at Selman's Nursery I loved Gerber daisies, but I just could not raise them.  Then she told me they may not have had good drainage.  I bought 2 plants,  planted them in a bed that is 3 timbers high, drainage is good.  Watered them about every 4 to 5 days. The Daisies I bought last year did great, they came back and are blooming now.  I bought 6 pink, 6 red and 9 yellow Gerber daisies. I went to 3 nurseries bought all of those colors they had.   In the 2 pots in the middle I planted 2 purple Homestead Verbena.  I needed two more Daises so I planted 2  Verbena on the back side  instead.  There are 2 beds around these pine trees 8ft long and 4 ft wide end to end.   I have a lavender Butterfly Bush in the middle of the first bed.  A Moon Trumpet fills  the middle of bed number two. It always blooms at night ,but the bloom stayed on the plant all day today.  I have never seen one bloom later than 11:00 AM.   Hope you enjoyed this blog page about Gerber daisy.  Hope you will continue to watch my garden grow and grow one of your own.  Happy gardening to you from me.  Juanita

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Tulip Poplar Tree

    I bought this house in October and moved here in November of  2006.  I was looking out my kitchen window, one sunny April morning, and I saw something orange in one of my tall trees.  Thinking it might be a new bird I went out to investigate.  In the very top of this tree were beautiful tulip shaped, green and orange flowers, as you will see in the picture later they turn yellow.  Later in the month my son, Frank Murphy, came up from Monroe, La. to help me make flower beds.  Frank and I walked around the yard and he was telling me about all the trees in my yard.  Frank loves the woods and he knows a lot about different trees.  Wood work is his hobby.  When he was growing up he ran through the woods back home for his football training. The first tree we looked at  was a Saw Tooth Oak.  Frank took several seedlings home with him.  When we got to the back yard I told him about this tree blooming.  He told me then it was a Tulip Poplar. The Tulip tree is not really a poplar, it is in the magnolia family.  Because of it's light weight the Native Americans hollowed it out to make canoes and the Pioneers use this tree to build houses and as a raft to float other heavier trees down the river. The pioneers and the Native Americans also used the tree for medicine.  Parts of it was use to treat fever, bruises and swelling.  Furniture and plywood are still made from Tulip Poplar because it is soft and easy to handle.  If you would like to have a Tulip tree and know some who has one get a twig and plant it.  They look more like the parent than the seeds .  You can also order one from Springhill Nursery.  Squirrels love these seed.  Bees like the polen.  The Tulip tree can grow up to 120 ft and as much as 3 to 4 ft in diameter.  The tulip tree is a native to eastern U.S.A.  Because of the many uses of the Tulip trees there are not a lot of these large left.  The tulip tree is Kentucky's  State tree.  Hope you have enjoyed the story of my Tulip tree.  May, May bring you many blooming flowers.   Happy gardening from me to you.  I will keep you up to date on my 4 new flower beds. I only showed you 1.  Juanita    

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Making a New Flower Bed

    Nothing is more exciting as making a new flower bed ( sad isn't ) well after all I am nearly 75. Let's began at the beginning, after you have decided you need one. Notice I did not say you want one.  For my last birthday my daughter Debbie, her daughter, Tafta, and their husbands, Ken and Matt, gave me an arbor for my birthday. After much discussion we decided where to erect it. After that we had to buy a new running rose bush. See how one thing adds to another. We both wanted a red climbing  rose bush. Carrel wanted "Blazing Glory. " But I thought it was too orange. Now I like orange, in fact, I have one orange bed, but I do not like orange red. I wanted " Stairway to Heaven. "  This is a red red no orange rose. We settled on "Stairway to Heaven."  I wanted my friend Liz to order it. Liz and her husband Mike have a nursery in Eudora, Ar. But it was not a Weeks Rose ( Weeks is her dealer ). She pots them and I do not have to buy bare root. I ordered from Jackson and Perkins on line. When they arrived we soaked them  48 hours. Then Carrell dug a wide deep hole and added compost.  We planted the rose next to my beautiful Arbor. When I walked through the little gate I saw how much he would have to weed eat.  I was ashamed that adding the arbor would cause him so much extra work, so to have less weed eating this necessitated a new bed, in fact, 4 new beds. Before it was over I wondered why Debbie disliked me so, to give me an arbor.
    Begin! Mark your bed. Remove all grass. Dig it up and throw it away. Get it out of your garden. Burn it or it might sneak back. Grass is a gardener's nightmare. I had to try several tools before I finally got all the grass removed! I never knew I had so many places to hurt.

    Now Carrel's job begins. It is important to dig at least 12 inches with a spade. Then he breaks up the clods with a small tiller. Large tillers bring too many grass seeds to the top of the soil. That would make my job, weeding, start all over again. We then add organic humus and manure (homemade compost is best ) if you have room to make it. I don't, so I buy . Mix the compost and manure well with shovel. To keep weeds down we cover with newspaper and wet down with a water hose. Put pine straw on top and plant.

    Hope you enjoy my posts and will watch my garden grow. Happy Gardening.
    This is an update .07/24/11
    This one of the new flower beds I made before  writing this blog page.
    Vincas Or periwinkles 07/24/11
    These are the flowers I was planting the day of this blog.  This is how they look today. I hope you enjoyed this update.  Next year I will have my path if the good Lord be willing.  Day lilies will be in these new flower beds and some sort of blocks will be on the path.  Annuals are wonderful but you have to plant them every year and since I am 75 it is time to plants flowers that come back year after year.  I will have a bench in this little corner so I can rest and look at a job well done.  May your garden grow as well as mine.  Juanita 

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    In the Beginning

     I have always loved flowers.  I have in the past ten years developed a strong love for roses.  I feel one is closet to God when walking through a rose garden.  Blogging is new to me and at 74 years young I'm not sure it is wise to start new things but here goes.  I'm by no means a professional but I learn by trial and errors, and I've had a lot of those.  One person said all you need to be an expert is to travel 50 miles and have a briefcase.  I put my briefcase in the closet and traded it for a gardening bucket and fertilizer.  I plan to spread a lot of that through out the blog!  Hope you come and sit with me a while and smell the roses.  My next blog will be about building the perfect rose bed.