Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daffodils for the Gulf Coast Gardener

To quote Sara Van Beck (Old House Gardens): The best daffodils for the Gulf Coast gardener are: Campernelle, Carlton, Erlicheer, N. jonquilla Early Louisiana, Sweetness, Texas Star (N. x intemedius), Thalia, and Trevithian.
Tips for planting in Zones 8 & 9:
Don't pre-chill your bulbs.
Plant October-December, spaced aprt three times the bulb's width.
Deep planting (6-8") provides a more even soil temperature.
Mulch with chopped leaves, pine straw or mini pine-bark nuggets.
Location needs full sun through mid-March and summer shade (for cooler soil).
Water from October 1-April 1. Daffodils require fall winter-spring watering; drought causes poor blooming. Sumer watering and fertilizer will rot daffodil bulbs.
No herbicides. No slow-release fertilizers.
Daffodils are not fertilizer dependent, but love potash, and prefer a neutral soil pH. Apply bone meal in the fall and right after blooming.
Don't plant next to heavy feeders such as roses and daylilies.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A few good days

Although very windy, the last couple of days have been warm enough to work in the yard. I have cleaned flower beds and planted flowers.
Today my order arrived from Sunshine Gardens in West Virginia. They offered 7 plants of Iris Cristata for $35 including shipping. I just had to have them. I planted those in two-three places to see where they will grow best. I have a patch of "native" iris that were found at my friend's place --the "Alabama Treasure Forest" so I divided those and planted some in various places to see where they will grow best, as well. I hope they will soon bloom so that I can identify them.
As I sit here, the owls are "cutting up" in the trees behind the house near the Chickasabogue. They start late in the afternoon. I suppose they are mating at this time of the year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Today I had a great visit with my blogger pal. She came over to get one of our blackberry bushes that I offered. She saw several other plants that she would like to have starters, so I happily shared all she could handle at one time. We also went to the collard patch and picked enough for her dinner tonight.
She brought me a bag full of daffodils!
Gardeners love to share!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nun's Orchid

I have the first bloom on my Nun's Orchid today. It's typically in full bloom around the first week in March. Here are some pictures of last March's blooms.


I planted marigold seeds, collected last fall, about a week and a half ago. The seedlings are now about 1 inch high. I also planted seeds from the balloon flower, but they haven't sprouted.
Ed has tomato plants about 6 inches tall and some older plants that are reaching the top of the sides of the greenhouse and full of blooms.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

About Gardeners

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.

(A quote from Vita Sackville-West)
Here is another recipe that you might enjoy:

Hawiian BBQ
2 lbs of lean Pork & Beef cubed 1 inch
1/2 c. plain flour
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 onion
1 stalk of celery
1 green pepper
1 lg. can of chunk pineapple
2 T. prepared mustard
1 c. catsup
2 T. worchestershire
salt & pepper to taste
Flour meat and brown in oil. Add the remaining flour. Slice pepper, onion, & celery and add all at once to the meat. Drain and add pineapple. Add catsup and worchestershire and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is done and sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine Dinner

Here are some pictures taken at the Valentine's dinner sponsored by the City Recreation Department:

Horace & Bonnie Allen; Mickey Day in rear.

Marilyn & Ed Jones

The Quilting Group

Nita James, Joy Middleton, Nell Barnes

??, Margaret McFall, Diane Stanley, Nita James, Robert Barnes.

Bye, bye Dogwood

Ed got out his chainsaw today and cut down a dogwood tree. Ugh! I hate losing a dogwood tree! However, this one was in a bad place and didn't look so good anyway. He has to build a fence where it stands.
Our neighbor, who has been away for a long while, returned with her dog. The dog is stupid and she doesn't try to train it. Every time we go into the area of my greenhouse which is close to their fence, the dog barks incessantly. Ed finally decided a fence would be our only peace. Besides the fact we don't care to look at her laundry on the line where she chose to put the closeline next to our greenhouse. I'm out there trying to make beautiful things happen and she's muddying things up with a yard full of holes that the stupid dog is digging and hanging laundry. Who hangs laundry anymore???
A privacy fence will go up shortly!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Treasured Forest

I would like to show you a beautiful "Treasured Forest" owned by Charles Caldwell in Semmes, Al.

I don't know the criteria for being designated such, but it's a great honor. I believe it has to do with maintaining a pristine natural foliage and fauna of the land.

In this forest you will see trailing arbutus, native iris, cypress and cinnamon name a few!

Charles & Sylvia Caldwell

Ed Jones

Cinnamon Fern

Native Rhododendron

Louisiana Water Iris

Cypress Knee

Small Cypress tree

Large Cypress tree across the lake. A bridge leads to an island in the lake.

A great catch of Bream!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Garden to Visit

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in the Charlotte, NC, area.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Irises - My first love in the garden

I've lived and traveled all over the U.S. and some in Europe and as I traveled first North of Montgomery, Al, (40 years ago) I saw Irises in bloom. I was SMITTEN! I started collecting iris rhizomes and each time we moved, I would dig them all up and and take them to the new home. That was from Birmingham to Chicago, to New Jersey (2 moves) back to Chicago, then to Charlotte, NC and from there back to Mobile. I had some beautiful blooms during those days--entered Iris shows and came home with some ribbons.

I have not had much success with Irises here in Mobile. I believe the soil is too acid. But, it doesn't stop me from trying. I have them planted all over this place. There are bearded ones, native iris, water iris and african iris and probably some others growing here.

My friend owns one of our area's "Treasured Forest" and I shared some of the water irises for his pond. They naturalized and are beautiful.

I spent today applying bonemeal to the irises and other bulb plants.
I also ordered new garden flags from . A large selection of flags and no shipping charge.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time to Rose

Things to do in February:

Time to prune, clean up your rose beds, apply organics, and start a spray program.

Organics to consider to replenish the beds are:

4-5 cups well-composted manure
2 cups cottonseed meal
3-4 cups alfalfa meal or pellets
1-2 cups Milorganite
1-2 cups fish meal
Any combination or all of them will give your garden a kick start. Be sure to water well after applying.
Apply Epsom Salt once a month during blooming season, starting April.
Renew your mulch around the roses. Oak leaves are good. Mulch them, if you can, with a mower.
Be sure to spray with a fungicide after you prune and resolve to stick to a spray program this year.


Well, the best laid plans of mice and men...
Got myself all dressed up for going to church. Got in the car, turned the key, and click??? Nothing. Yesterday I got in the car to go water the plants at the church and after putting the key in the ignition, I looked in the tray to be sure the church key was there. It wasn't. I went looking for the key all over the house and never did find it, so I canceled going. However, I forgot to go back and removed the car key from the ignition. Thus the dead battery. (I did finally find the key in a jacket.)

In my "dressed up" clothes, I went to open the green house door for ventilation and the next thing I knew, I was busy applying bone meal to the irises and lilies.~~~~~

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ed has several blackberry bushes started for anyone who would like to have one. April--you expressed that you wanted one. Come on over and get it soon! They have the biggest, tastiest fruit--make great cobblers!

He still has a collard patch that hasn't been touched yet. If anyone has a taste for some, please let me know. We'll happily share.

The past two days have been good for getting out and cleaning up some of the cold damage. I've had to cut back burned ferns. Some time was spent tidying up the work bench in the greenhouse, and I dragged the poinsettias out and placed in the flower bed in front of the greenhouse.

Friday, February 6, 2009

North Mobile Garden Society Garden Tour

May 9, 2009, North Mobile Garden Society will sponsor a Garden Tour. My yard will be on the tour. Be sure you get a ticket and enjoy the beautiful yards that will be open for you. Azalea Trail Maids will be a highlight in each yard.

I will occasionally share a recipe with you. Here is one that think you will really like:

Chicken Via Veneto
From the kitchen of Marilyn Jones
Category: Meat Servings: 4-6
1 Chicken fryer - cut up
1 slice of center cut ham- cut in small squares
1 can tomatoes
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 large onion - cut in chunks
1/2-1 teaspoon Basil
1/2 stick of butter
Flour the chicken pieces and brown lightly in the butter. Remove from the pan and brown the ham. Add the chicken back to the pan with the ham. Add the cheese soup, tomatoes and onion. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through. Stir often. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.


Here are a few of the Camellias that are blooming in my yard...

Pink Perfection

Purple Dawn

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bromeliads -- My Favorites

Billbergia nutans

Aechmea fasciata

The "Urn Plant"

I have one blooming now.
Aechmea Nuduclis 'Mary Hyde'

I enjoy growing Bromeliads--they are so easy! Of course, it's better if you have a little greenhouse with a diffused light, such as a shade cloth or opaque fiberglass roof.

Some Bromeliads may be planted directly into the ground if protected in extreme cold.
Billbergia is one that adapts well.
To grow:
Occasionally, feed with a little diluted (1/2 strength) orchid recommended fertilizer in the "cup" of the plant and a little on the soil. The soil must be one that drains well. Always keep a little water in the "cup" of the plant. Pour out the water to protect from freeze, if weather is too cold. Protect from direct sun. It's pretty much that easy.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How to Propagate Poinsettia
By eHow Home & Garden Editor

I Did This

Poinsettias are generally temporary houseplants purchased before the holidays in full bloom and discarded after New Year's Day. They can be kept and induced to bloom again the following winter, but this is a difficult process. An easier method of ensuring a blooming poinsettia for the next holiday season is propagation of the plant. You must take some special steps because of the sticky latex inside the stems.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need: Rooting hormone powder

Step1 Keep the plant alive through the winter and into spring - don't let it get too dry. The best time to begin propagation is in the Spring.

Step2 Cut a three- to six-inch section of the stem way from the end of a branch. Remove the bottom set of leaves from the cutting. If you intend to keep the parent plant, mist the area where you took the cutting with water to help prevent excessive sap from leaking out of the plant.

Step3 Dip the tip of the cutting in a jar of water to help prevent sap from leaking out of the stem.

Step4 Fill a three-inch pot with a mixture of sand and perlite. Then add a half inch layer of sand to the top of the mixture. The sand helps prevent the propagation from rotting.

Step5 Add some rooting hormone powder to the tip of the poinsettia cutting and insert it into the potting mixture. Water the propagation well at first. After the first watering, water only when the potting mix dries out. Too much water can cause stem rot.

Step6 Wait about two months for the poinsettia propagation to take root. When new growth appears, treat the poinsettia as a mature plant.