Saturday, September 1, 2007

First of September 2007

When the goldenrod is yellow,
And leaves are turning brown -
Reluctantly the summer goes
In a cloud of thistledown.
When squirrels are harvesting
And birds in flight appear -
By these autumn signs we know
September days are here.

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

It's time to pick Ontario apples on Pieter's Appleyard in Salem, Ontario

Blue Jay flew in from the garden next door

First leaves are dropping from our Ash tree in front of our house.

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new birdfeeder..neue Futterstelle

New bird feeder in our garden.
I love pottery and all of my pieces were handthrown and one of a kind.
We found this very interesting bird feeder in a small pottery shop in Greenwood, Ontario.
I loved the design, very different and very unique.
But we had no idea how many birds this new bird feeder attracted to our garden.
We love to watch the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Finches, Woodpeckers and many more feasting on sunflower seeds.
To keep the squirrels away, I added some bloodmeal to bottom of the feeder.

The picture below shows a female finch at the feeder.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hibiscus moscheutos 'Southern Belle Mix' and Woodland Sunflower

Hibiscus moscheutos 'Southern Belle Mix' and Woodland Sunflower
Helianthus divaricatus

A popular mix of red, rose, pink and white dinner plate-sized, (to 5-9'')
flowers which are among the largest flowers on a hardy perennial.
Shorter 3' plants.
You can find this Hibiscus plant at garden centers.
But Southern Belle is easy to start from seed, too.
Sow seed indoors 6- 8 weeks before the last frost for blooms the same year.
In fall, after the first frost cover with organic mulch.
When spring arrives, remove the mulch and cut stems back about 4 - 5 inches.
Be patient, it takes a while before the new growth emerges.
And it doesn't have any seroius disease problems, either.

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Hosta plantaginea Aphrodite

Hosta plantaginea Aphrodite

Tolerant of morning sun in northern climates.
The Fragrant Double Blooms Outshine the Foliage!
At last, a scented, bloomworthy Hosta!
The double-flowered Hosta is a plant whose time has come!
The perfect complement to the insignificantly-flowering Hosta varieties in the shade garden, it transforms midsummer into a sweetly-scented, colorful scene with huge (by Hosta standards!) 3 1/2-inch white blooms atop glossy green foliage!
Aphrodite reaches 15 to 18 inches tall and about 2 feet wide, and is happiest in full shade, although some morning sun is acceptable in the northern portion of its hardiness range.
An invaluable specimen for the patio, border, or even container, it is also content in a mixed Hosta planting or among the Ferns and Epimediums of the deep shade garden.
Easy to grow and hardy in zones 3-8.

Hosta plantaginea Aphrodite

Hellgrüne Blätter mit leichtem Glanz, 50 cm 60 cm, weiss gefüllte Blüten im August und September, 80 cm hohe Blütenstengel und wunderbarer Duft.
Sie ist leider nur sehr selten echt im Angebot, da sie nur langsam zu vermehren ist ??? (

Das ist bei uns nicht der Fall, diese Hosta wächste sehr schnell und wird sehr gross.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

For Hosta Lovers ....How to control slugs and snails..

Many gardeners, especially hosta lovers, hate to find slugs and snails feeding on their plants.
Hostas grow in a rich, woodsy soil, but these moisture-loving pests enjoy the same conditions and chew holes in the leaves, which can leave a hosta plant looking tattered.
They also feed on the foliage of other flowering plants, including delphiniums and dahlias.
Snails and slugs are most active at night and on cloudy or foggy days, and their damage can be particularly noticeable during seasons in which there's more rain than normal.
On sunny days they hide in spots out of the heat and light.

Deroceras reticulatus , a.k.a. slimy slug

You'll get the best control of these pests with a combination of the methods listed here.
Choose good resistant hosta cultivars — those hostas described on nursery tags as "slug resistant," "slug proof" or as having "good substance" - thick, dense leaves with a good waxy coating.

As luck would have it, these tend to be the most desirable and attractive cultivars.

The blue leafed hostas tend to be resistant. Try H. sieboldiana 'Elegans', 'Krossa Regal', 'Love Pat', 'Blue Moon', 'Blue Angel', 'Blue Umbrellas' and 'Halcyon'.

In the gold varieties, try 'Gold Edger' and 'Sum and Substance'; in the green ones, look for 'Invincible' and Hosta tardiflora, and in the variegated hostas, try 'Reversed' and 'Shade Fanfare' or 'Grand Master'.

Set out traps where the pests hide during the day. Boards, stones or orange peels can be used. Then check the traps regularly and remove pests hiding there.
Many hosta gardeners swear by putting beer into a saucer set in the ground near their plants to attract and drown slugs.
Another control is diatomaceous earth, a natural product that has tiny sharp edges that injure the pests on contact, causing them to dry out and die. This must bereapplied after every rainfall.
Commercial baits are available. The older types had to be used with extreme caution as they contained metaldehyde, which ia dangerous to birds, pets and even small children.
Fortunately, there are now safer controls with iron phosphate, (under trade names such as Sluggo and Escar-Got and Safer's Slug Bait) that will not harm birds, pets or wildlife and are safe for the environment.

Put the bait in place (following package instructions as to the amount to use) early in the season when the foliage is just starting to emerge. Set it in moist dark areas where the pests like to hide.
Avoid watering your garden in the late afternoon or evening, so your plants and the ground have a chance to dry out before dark. Switching from watering by sprinkler to drip irrigation or soaker hoses can reduce humidity and moist surfaces, making your garden less attractive to these pests.

A homemade control that many hosta lovers swear by is to fill a spray bottle with one part ammonia to nine parts water, and spray the plants and the soil around them (where eggs have been laid). Do this early in spring just before the hostas begin to leaf out.

One more homemade solution:

Dissolve 1 Tablespoon sugar in 2 litres of lukewarm water. Then add 1 teaspoon of yeast. Prepare this an hour or two before nightfall. Pour into containers and place them out in the garden. Disposable plastic cups placed into holes and dug betweenthe garden rows work well when filled with this mixture. To enable the slug to crawlinto the container, the lip of the container should be flush with the soil surface. This way the slugs have easy access into the container but will find it hard to get out. Check the containers each morning to see if slugs have to be dumped out and then place out a fresh mixture in the evening.

Another suggestion:

The garden centres are selling copper strips to place around plants. It 'electrocutes' the pests as they try to climb over the copper to get to your plants. Just place the copper around each plant, making sure there is no 'bridge' (leaf, soil, etc.) for slugs to cross.
I tried it around my dahlias and it really works!"

If you have any other suggestions, please let me know..

Susanna von

suggest the following "slug safe" Hosta plants. Thanks Susanna

Flemish Sky


Big Chance

Elisabeth Campbell

Warwick Essende