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Video Blog 995 – Creating A Water Feature Part 3
Glad you could join us for part 3 of creating a water feature as we continue work of getting closer to finishing this spring project. Today is the day to add the rubber water liner to begin shaping the interior portion of this structure. The most challenging task is shaping the rubber liner over the lower spill-over area while folding the rubber in each of the four corners while leaving enough slack to handle all the water in the main water feature area. Once the rubber liner is properly in place, we can begin adding the structural top caps and adding the upper spill-over area to the back side of the structure where the water action will begin. There’s still a lot of work that remains, so hopefully you’ll return and see what we accomplished as we work toward completing this spring project adventure. Stay tuned for Part 4 coming soon!
Video Blog 994 – Creating A Water Feature Part 2
Welcome back to creating a water feature part 2. It’s been a lot of work excavating the old Sycamore tree trunk and root system, installing all 8 posts and leveling the water feature area. Now we can finally begin building the overall structure and spill-over areas. After an overnight rainfall the sand foundation did a great job of keep the work site manageable for all the interior work yet to complete. Once the main walls are in place we can begin creating the top caps for the entire feature and begin some of the additional decorative support systems on the outside of the main structure. So bring your mental powers of support and help us complete the next stage of part 2 of this spring project.
Video Blog 993 – Creating A Water Feature Part 1
Our first major spring project is creating a water feature part 1. After removing our old waterfall last fall and filling in the low areas, we will begin design an above ground water feature that is 6’ wide by 8’ in length. It will have several spill over areas and be built using eight 4” x 4” pressure treated posts and lots of sturdy lumber. Now that we know the exact size of our project it is time to begin excavating all the soil to create the depth knowing that we face some underground obstacles, mainly a large, 25+ year old Sycamore tree stump and root system. As we pace ourselves, you’ll soon realize that this in not an overnight project, so stay tuned for part 2 and more to come before this project is finished.
Video Blog 992 – Topiary Before & After
It has been 3-4 years since we trimmed our dwarf Alberta spruce trees so we are doing this video on our Topiary before & after. Richard will be looking at the current structure and deciding how to artistically maintain the individual characteristics of each topiary tree. It’s important to sterilize and sharpen each hand tool before and after completing this task. He will also be testing and several using cordless hedge trimmers along with gloves to avoid accumulating tree sap and those dreaded hand blisters. I’m really pleased with the cordless Stihl hedge-trimmer because it’s well-balanced, light-weight, has wider blades, very quiet and overall much easier to work with, plus comes with a handy carrying case. Join us today and you will see our Topiary before and after.
Video Blog 991 – Dazzling Daffodils
Now that we’ve had our first stretch of warm weather, our dazzling daffodils are in their full-bloom glory. There are over 13,000 known daffodil varieties that are classified into a dozen different types based up the size and shape of their petals. We only have a couple of these varieties but they add a dazzling splash of color and joy all around our gardens every spring and we thought you’d enjoy seeing them in full bloom. We also encourage you to call Digger’s Hotline (call 811 here in Wisconsin) before you plant anything in your garden. Even planting bulbs could turn into an unsafe and expense mistake if you do not know exactly where all of your utility lines exist.
Video Blog 990 – Is It Really Spring?
After nearly 70 degree weather while today it’s only in the mid to high 20’s, we have to ask, Is It Really Spring? Let’s take a quick look at what’s popping up, including some escaped crocuses, lots of daffodils and tulips along with a variety of ground cover. Our three different type of garlic are sprouting including the German purple-stripped hardneck, Porcelain and Music garlic, strawberry plants, Montauk daisies, and a variety of native plants.
Now that all the snow has melted we can see our Iris patch, new Montauk daisy cuttings, little leaf linden saplings, and a peek into the Liberty Garden.
Video Blog 989 – False Spring
Considering there are only 11 days until spring officially arrives, our local meteorologists warn us not to be lulled into a False Spring as our temperature today will be in the low 60s. In the past 2 weeks 5 foot snow banks, ice covered roof and gutters have melted. While there is still a lot of snow on our property, some of our neighbors are ready to go golfing on their lawns as all of their snow has melted.
Today we will be assessing snow damaged limbs and branches, uncovering daffodils, examining today’s snow levels and walking around different parts of our gardens to see how plants, bushes and trees are doing.
We thank you for watching, caring and sharing. Stay safe, remain healthy and be happy. #KeepTheLoveGrowing. Lynn & Richard
Video Blog 988 – In Search Of The Winter Garden
With only 34-days till spring, here we are on February 14, 2021, in search of the winter garden that remains precariously hidden under various snow piles. Our Wisconsin weather since January has seen many snowfalls both light and heavy plus prolonged periods of below freezing and even sub zero readings that keep us from 2021 wishful planting. We seem to be growing a lot of icicles both clear and cloudy because of all the snow and ice that is on our screen porch roof. Come along with us as we walk around several garden areas to see how the snow is beginning to pile up around us.
Video Blog 982 – Summer Garden Memories #1
Video Blog 983 – Summer Garden Memories #2
Video Blog 984 – Summer Garden Memories #3
Video Blog 985 – Summer Garden Memories #4
Video Blog 986 – Summer Garden Memories #5
Video Blog 987 – Summer Garden Memories #6
After a most unusual year of challenges, we decided we needed to sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy and appreciate some colorful summer garden memories. Richard took hundreds of photos last year so we hope you’ll enjoy the serenity of his RIVO’s digital art printz set to delightful musical selections offered by a wide range of YouTube musical artists. Here are 6 summer garden memories that we decided to produce as a way of starting off a healthier and prosperous New Year for ALL.
Video Blog 981 – Gingko Art
Today I’m creating Gingko art. Last fall we had several branches removed from our beautifully shaped Gingko tree that has been growing in our backyard for over 30 years. We had to remove some of the Gingko branches leaning over our house and decided to cut them into a variety of shapes rather than hauled off. As you will see there is are endless possibilities that nature does provides in our eclectic experimental garden. Now it’s up to us to make the creative connection and add some interesting artistic decorations to these amazing wood slices. We hope you will enjoy one of many enjoyable activities that keep us going during the cold months of winter here in Wisconsin.
Video Blog 980 – December Mulch
Who knew we’d still be gardening in December and receiving some unexpected December mulch. Our neighbor Dean was in the process of having 4 large maple trees cut down and when Richard saw all of the action he went over and talked to the crew. Having worked with Edwardo’s tree service many times, he was more than happy to simply dump about 15-18 cubic yards of maple mulch right across the street rather than having to haul it away.
Normally we wouldn’t be requesting much or anything else at this time of year for the garden. Since 2020 is and was a strange year to begin and end with what makes accepting a truckload of mulch in December unusual? We’ll start by filling the hole left behind after dismantling the waterfall then add mulch to the SW garden areas and finish by moving much to the front of the orchard area and all along the front easterly flower berm. It took us 3 different days to get the job done and even tomorrow, December 10th, it’s expected to reach 50 degrees. Unlike other parts of the country, at this rate we’ll be lucky to see any snow before Christmas here in SW Wisconsin.
Video Blog 979 – Making Delicious Kale Chips
Making delicious kale chips is a really easy kale recipe. Now that we’ve had several hard freezes, it time to pick our sweet kale and prepare it for some tasty treats. I begin by pre-heat the oven 350-degrees. I only use the youngest stalks of Kale and cut away the spines and cut the stalks into about 2” squares and put them in a mixing bowl. Then I add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them and use my hands to toss them around trying to make sure the oil cover each piece.
I add a piece of parchment paper over the cookie sheet and spread the kale pieces out so they’re not touching or over-lapping each other. Now that they are ready, I sprinkle my favorite seasoning salt over all of the pieces (mild, medium or hot) I put them into the pre-heated 350-degree oven for just 10-minutes.
Allow them to cool and either you’re going to eat them right away or if you plan on saving some, place the pieces into a mason jar and cover. I add a moisture pack to avoid moisture build-up inside the mason jar. Yummy, once these tasty treats play with your taste buds, you’ll be growing a lot more Dinosaur Kale next year.
Video Blog 978 – November Weather Gift
Here in southern Wisconsin, we’re thrilled to have this November weather gift. As the election results began heating up, so did our outdoor temperatures. As November arrived, over a 7-day period, 6 or 7 days were in the 70s, several breaking all-time November records that have been kept since 1837, including the longest warm streak of 70 plus degree weather here in Wisconsin. Last year at this time, we had 6” of snow on the ground on Halloween. Today, we will be weeding the Iris patch off our main driveway eliminating creeping buttercup, feverfew, wood sorrel, mullein, thistles, dandelions, grass and debris all while enjoying this incredible November weather gift.
Video Blog 977 – Perennial Makeover
One area in need of a perennial makeover is off our south entrance to our garden next to a parking area. On this 70-degree November day, we’ll be digging up our exotic tulip bulbs, Iris and clumps of Liatris that have been over-grown in this area for the past 4-5 years. We’ll also remove invasive grass and weeds and begin selectively replanting Liatris along with extra garlic we didn’t eat this year. Hopefully we will finish this entire area before the sun sets and water everything in thoroughly. Come Spring, we will decide what other plants would do well in this area.
Video Blog 976 – Rounding Up Our Tender Bulbs
Now that November has arrived and have had several hard frosts it is time to begin rounding up our tender bulbs and tubers. While we’ve chronicled how well many of these plants have grown and blossomed during the growing season, our focus today is to see how well their root systems have done, especially those we planted in sunken containers. We will be digging up our Amaryllis, Canna, Calla, new Dahlias, Peruvian Daffodils, and Elephant Ears, washing, drying and preparing them for storage over winter.
Video Blog 975 – Planting Halloween Garlic
Now that we had a break in the weather, we’re planting Halloween garlic just in time for the weekend. We will not be using our inoculation method this year. In addition to growing German purple stripe hardneck and Porcelain hardneck garlic, we’re experimenting with a highly chef recommended Music hardneck garlic. We’ll be planting them in 3 separately marked rows rotating them to our south garden area. In several weeks we will be covering them with leaf mulch over the winter. We’ll also be planting Music hardneck garlic in 3 separately marked rows. Here are some prior Garlic Videos that may be of interest:
Video Blog 849 – Garlic Experiment
Video Blog 840 – Garlic Test Harvest:
Video Blog 809 – Preparing Garlic For Planting:
Video Blog 791 – Storing Garlic:
Video Blog 974 – Garden Smack Down
At the end of each year, it time for a garden smack down, were begin the serious task of cutting back and removing the first stages of garden cleanup. While we wait for Diggers Hotline, we’ve been collecting and spreading bags of leaves and grass clipping, inspecting different part of our gardens and deciding what we need to prepare, remove or at least, cut back.
We have leaves in position for covering our garlic which we will begin planting next week. We’ll look at our Monkshoods, Canna Lily and Montauk Daisies which are in full bloom and see the latter’s progress since cutting, planting and replanting Montauk Daisies along our front berm. We also have to start watching our tender bulbs, including Elephant Ears, Calla & Canna Lilies, Dahlias, Peruvian Daffodils and Amaryllis because we will need to dig them up after the first hard frost and prepare them for storage after winter. So, join us as we walk around taking care of business.
Video Blog 973 – Taking Down The Waterfall – Part 2
We continue taking down the waterfall here in part 2 by removing the support walls that in recent years were rotting and beginning to bulge. Then came the messy work or dealing with the sludge and muck making it difficult to drag out the rubber liner, section by section. After another hard day of removing our waterfall, we have to wait for diggers hotline to mark out any utility lines that may be in this area before we can make any decision. We plan on taking our time to create something that will hopefully last another 35 years.
Video Blog 972 – Taking Down The Waterfall – Part 1
Today we begin taking down the waterfall. After 35-years of faithful use, the support 4×4 post have rotted, the sides have bowed and before it bursts open, we need to begin dismantling the main section before we can rebuild. The first step is to remove the pressure and all of the water, catch the goldfish and put them in our other pond. Then comes the really messy part of removing the over-grown waterlilies, rock, plastic buckets and sludge. It’s taken us an entire afternoon but we seeing progress even though we’re really smelly and pooped.
Video Blog 971 – Last Tomato Of The Season
As we begin to remove the last tomato of the season, we are grateful that we’ve been able to garden during a very difficult year. As gardeners and farmers know, each year brings its own challenges, yet some how we remain positive and optimistic. This spring was cold and wet which meant we couldn’t plant until early June. Then came weeks of really hot 90’s and high humidity followed by an early frost in late September. Now the work begins putting our garden to bed for the season while still enjoying fall flower blossoms. Fall is also an opportunity to collect seeds, plant new spring bulbs, clean, prep and plan a garden for the next year. We encourage everyone to maintain a loving and peaceful attitude, and enjoy your garden adventures, as do we.
“Gardening Is Extremely Therapeutic. So, Instead Of Lying On A Doctor’s Couch, I Find Myself Going To The Garden With My Eyes And Heart To Find Sanity And More Importantly, Healthy Roots” – Richard Marvin Voigt
Video Blog 970 – Mid-September Garden Tour
Come join us as we take you on a mid-September garden tour and enjoy many of the fall plants that are in their glory and those still hanging on for the sake of pollinators thanks to Mother Nature. We’ll take a closer look at which vegetables remain and those that have already been removed. You’ll see how our Elberta Peach trees, 5-in-1 Apple trees are doing and an update our Montauk Daisies. Flowering plants that are blossoming are Rose of Sharon, transplanted Tree Peonies, Sunflowers, Elephant Ears, Zinnias, Helenium, Mexican Sunflowers, Canna, Colorful Dahlias, and many more garden goodies.
“I Perhaps Owe Having Become A Painter To Flowers” – Claude Monet
Video Blog 969 – Second Life For Alliums
– – – We’ve often talked about a second life for alliums after they dry. We will be spray painting alliums again this year and install them throughout our garden as garden art. It’s always fun watching alliums develop and bloom with impressive flower heads that look like nature’s own fireworks garden art display. We will also be inviting some of our neighbors get involved with this project as well spreading enthusiasm for planting more throughout our neighborhood.
“I Sit In My Garden, Gazing Upon A Beauty That Cannot Gaze Upon Itself. And I Find Sufficient Purpose For My Day” – Robert Brault
Video Blog 968 – Fruits Of Our Labor
To harvest the fruits of our labor is what gardeners long for each and every year. Today we, along with several neighbors, will continue harvesting our delicious cherry-like TomatoBerry tomatoes, harvest Zucchini, Butternut Squash, rare Geti-Okosomin Squash, Spaghetti Squash, and Zeppelin Delicata Squash. With the exception of Zucchini, n, we will remove all the plant material and take it to our city’s recycling center. While all of our tomato plants still have about a month of production left, along with all of our other vegetables, we will continue harvesting the fruits of our labor.
“I Believe That Gardens Themselves Are Very Healing. To Be Surrounded By The Exquisite Beauty Of Nature Is To Experience A Healing Of The Soul” – Unknown
Video Blog 967 – Mid August Garden Tour Part 2
– – – In part 2 of our Mid-August garden tour we’ll start with beautiful Hosta blossoms, phlox that seeds itself, dahlias and Cana update in sunken containers, Honeysuckle trellis, Daphne, Balloon Flowers, Sunflowers we didn’t plant, Mexican Sunflowers, Joe Pie weed, giant Fleece plant, native Compass plant, Virginia Culver’s Root, Prairie Coneflower, Prairie Dock, We’ll end our mid-August tour sharing our morning vegetable harvest as we look forward to some home-made salsa.
“I Appreciate The Misunderstanding I Have Had With Nature Over My Perennial Border. I Think It Is A Flower Garden; She Thinks It Is A Meadow Lacking Grass, And Tries To Correct The Error” – Sara Stein
Video Blog 966 – Mid-August Garden Tour Part 1
Join us on our mid-August garden tour as we see the transition from Spring, early Summer and the changes taking place in our garden. We’ve tasted our first tomato, picked cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, carrots, beets, eggplant, beans and peas. You’ll see an update on the rear Gete squash we’ve grown from last year’s seeds, along with a variety of squash including one of our favorites, Zeppelin Delicata winter squash that tastes like butter. We’ll stop at our reflecting pond, see the growth of our climbing spinach, take a last look at the upper waterfall before it’s dismantled and rebuilt and enjoy the variety of Hibiscus in full bloom along with many other plants of interest.
“I Have Never Had So Many Good Ideas Day After Day As When I Worked In The Garden” – John Erskine
Video Blog 965 – Curing Garlic For Winter
After 2 weeks outdoors for curing garlic for winter, we will cut off the garlic stems and the roots before counting and separating them by size. This year we only planted 120 cloves and now have 120 bulbs that average 8 cloves per bulb. Planting garlic is easy, with low to almost no maintenance and is a one-time investment that pays big dividends year after year. For the past 5 years, we’ve plant German purple stripe hardneck garlic and two years ago we’ve added Porcelain Garlic to the mix. This fall we will be adding chef favorite, Music garlic, to our mix. The health benefits alone are worth considering along with soil and companion planting make garlic a worthy plant to grow.
“I Live In The Garden; I Just Sleep In The House” – Jim Long
Video Blog 964 – Transplanting Montauk Daisies
Today we will be transplanting Montauk Daisies that we’ve been growing from spring cuttings. We’ve kept two flats of Montauk Daisy cuttings in our raised bed Liberty garden since then and now that our garlic bed has been harvested, we will begin transplanting 36 in slightly larger sunken pots. We will also be experimenting with summer cuttings to see if they can establish soil roots before the first hard freeze. Hopefully next spring, we will be starting our first full bed of beautiful Montauk Daisies that we can continue to harvest for years to come.
“I Love Being Asked To Identify Plants, And I Don’t Know Which Gives Me More Pleasure: To Know What They Are Of Not To Know What They Are” – Elizabeth Lawrence
Video Blog 963 – Tomato Hornworm
This morning while inspecting our tomato plants that are in containers on our driveway, we found a tomato hornworm veraciously eating tomato leaves. One of our tomato plants had bare stems that didn’t look like they had been eaten by deer or rabbits. Upon closer inspection we spotted a tobacco hornwork with a red horn eating tomato leaves. As an impressive insect specimen, we immediately removed it and decided to study its movements and eating habits. If you never saw a tomato hornworm before, take a good look so that if you should ever have one in your garden, you’ll be able to spot and remove it before it destroys your tomatoes and tomato plants.
“I Never Had Any Other Desire So Strong, And So Like To Covetousness, As That One Which I Have Had Always, That I Might Be Master At Last Of A Small House And A Large Garden” – Abraham Cowley
Video Blog 962 – Harvesting Garlic Again
Today we will be harvesting garlic again before it reaches 95 degree. Late last fall we inoculated and planted two kinds of garlic, German purple stripe Hardneck garlic and for the second year, Porcelain Garden. Garlic is one of the easiest low to no maintenance crop a gardener can plant yet reap the rewards the following July here in Wisconsin. The night before planting we inoculate our garlic clove by soaking them overnight in fish emulsion to boost their energy. The following morning, we drain the emulsion and give them a 15-minute 70+ proof Vodka bath to kill off any lingering mites or fungus, then immediately plant. Now that it’s July and many leave have dried brown, it’s time to harvest.
“I Am Writing In The Garden. To Write As One Should Of A Garden One Must Write Not Outside It Or Merely Somewhere Near It, But In The Garden” – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Video Blog 961 – July Garden Update Part 3
Today we’re finishing part 3 of our July garden update tour of our Wisconsin Garden. In part 3 we will take a closer look at Pink Yarrow, Compact & Giant Luna Pink Swirl Hardy Hibiscus, Clematis, Liatris, Strawberry Beds, Wood Sorrel, Wisteria Seed Pods, Native Western Sunflower, Native Compass Plant, Phlox, Giant Hardy White Hibiscus, Flame Grass, Native Cup Plant, Giant Fleece Plant, Fineline Buckthorn, Canna, Milkweed, Montauk Daisy, Native Prairie Dock, Joe Pye Weed and more. Join us for the conclusion of our July Garden Update.
“I Am Spending Delightful Afternoons In My Garden, Watching Everything Living Around Me. As I Grow Older, I Feel Everything Departing, And I Love Everything With More Passion” – Emile Zola
Video Blog 960 – July Garden Update Part 2
We’re sneaking in a July garden update part 2, after nearly a month of temperature in the 80’s and 90’s with high dew points in the 70’s. We will take you on a tour around our gardens we will view flower in bloom, including Rose Mallow, Orange Day Lily, Sea Holly, Montauk Daisy, Gingko Tree, Coreopsis, Balloon Flower, Malabar Climbing Spinach, Pond Water Lily, Marigold, Moss Roses, Arrowhead Calla Lily, Monkshood, Black Eye Susan. Ferns, Hosta, Allium, Japanese Beetles and much more. Sit back and take a tour with us while sitting in the shade.
“How Miraculous That Growing On My Own Little Plot Of Land Are Plants That Can Turn The Dead Soil Into A Hundred Flavors As Different As Horseradish And Thyme, Smells Ranging From Stinkhorn To Lavender” – John Seymour
Video Blog 959 – July Garden Update Part 1
We’re sneaking in a July garden update part 1, after nearly a month of temperature in the 80’s and 90’s with high dew points in the 70’s. We will take you on a tour around our flowers and vegetable gardens and see how our sunken container with platter-size Dahlias are doing. As we walkabout, we’ll visit our flower gardens including Mexican Sunflowers, Liatris. dried Alliums, Zinnias, Calendula, our struggling Japanese Red Maple tree, Elephant Ears, Tomatoes in containers, Rainbow Carrots, Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea, Giant Indian Plantain, Wild Senna, Montauk Daisies, Giant Fleece plant and many, many more. Join us on our garden tour update from the comfort of your home.
“He Who Cultivates A Garden And Brings To Perfection Flowers And Fruits, Cultivates And Advances At The Same Time His Own Nature” – Esra Weston
Video Blog 958 – Dealing With Powdery Mildew
Today, I’m dealing with powdery mildew on my squash plants that wasn’t there yesterday. This morning, I start by removing all leaves covered with mildew and discarded them in the trash and not in the recycling bin. The formula I’m using is 1 tablespoon of Baking Soda, a couple of drops of Dish Soap or Murphy’s Oil, to one Quart of Water. It’s a time saver and so much easier using a battery-powered sprayer, saving my hand from having to do a lot of pumping. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, pumping by hand! Then I will thoroughly spray both the top and bottom leaves of the squash plant. I will keep a close eye and respray once a week, and again after a heavy rain storm just as a preventative.
“Give Me Odorous At Sunrise A Garden Of Beautiful Flowers Where I Can Walk Undisturbed” – Walt Whitman
Video Blog 957 – Making Garlic Scape Butter
Now that we picked our Garlic Scapes, we decided it was the perfect time for making garlic scape butter. It’s a very simply recipe using 3 ingredients, your favorite butter, olive oil and fresh garlic scapes. We will mix it into a creamy consistency and spread it out on a cookie sheet, score it into small sections, then preserve it in our freezer until we’re ready for a delicious spread.
“Gardening Requires Lots Of Water – Most Of It In The Form Of Perspiration” – Lou Erickson
Video Blog 956 – July 1st Garden Tour
Dilly Dilly. Join us on our July 1st garden tour to see how things have developed since our early June garden tour. We started this hot and muggy morning by giving our tomato plants some TLC by removing suckers and repositioning their growth. Then we moved on to our strawberry patch and after an hour we had to take a break. It was while we were sitting on our back deck that we saw something we’ve never seen before in our gardens. Because of this, we knew we had to film a tour. Please join us to see what sparked our immediate filming attention.
“Growing Some Of Our Own Food Is One Of The Best Things We Can Do For The Environment” – Britta Riley
Video Blog 955 – Tomato Haircut Day
Today is our first tomato haircut day now that our tomato plants are established. We begin to thin out and remove suckers to encourage more fruit and less leaves, while increasing air circulation, lessening potential diseases, mulching and improving yield. We will also be experimenting with red tomato trays and seeing how well our German purple stripe Hardneck and porcelain garlic are doing as we take time to begin removing their garlic scape flower heads. Both our tomatoes and garlic will need another month before harvesting.
“Gardening Is The Art That Uses Flowers And Plants As Paint, And The Soil And Sky As Canvas ” – Elizabeth Murray
Video Blog 954 – 1st Day Of Summer Blossoms
On our 1st Day Of Summer Blossoms, we will start with our original Rose bush and look at other plants about to blossom or already in full blossom. We will also update our viewers on our Zinnia planting, Balloon Flowers, Dahlia Update, Martagon Lily, Red Husker, Yellow Yarrow, Giant White Hibiscus, Midnight Marvel Hibiscus, Jazzberry Jam Hibiscus, Zinnia, Foxglove, Allium, Honeysuckle Challenge, Clematis and Ninebark growing and flowering in and around our Wisconsin Garden.
Video Blog 953 – Garden GRASS-FREE Zone
Today, we’re reclaiming some garden Grass-Free zone areas so that we can eliminate invasions of grass to once again find and enjoy our flowering plants. We will see how our giant Fleece Plant, giant white Hibiscus, Richard’s Mullein, Rhododendrons and other plants are growing here in the middle of June, and begin removing over-grown areas of grass and other invasive plants, giving focus back to the plants we wanted to highlight in these sections of our eclectic experimental Wisconsin gardens. We also wanted to thank Tim for his generous surprise gift and recommended organic Espoma Iron-tone fertilizer for our struggling Rhododendrons. That was so very kind. Once these areas are reclaimed, we will move some plants and prepare some of our tender bulbs for planting as well. We will do all the sweaty work making it easier for you to sit back, watch and enjoy.
“Flowers Are The Sweetest Things God Ever Made, And Forgot To Put A Soul Into” – Henry Beecher
Video Blog 952 – Peony Blossom Update
We thought our viewers would enjoy seeing our Peony blossom update over a period of 3 weeks as they open. While many of our herbaceous Peonies are original to this property, and are probably over 40-70 years old, we will also highlight several tree peonies we’ve grown from seed, some we purchased, and several we’ve received from breeders who have yet to name them. Many of our peonies came without detailed specie labels to help us to clearly identify them, except for the yellow Itoh Peony which we planted several years ago. This is the first year it has blossom and we are extremely pleased. We will also peek at some other species that are blooming. So, if you love peonies, you’ll enjoy this video.
“Every Gardener Knows That Under The Cloak Of Winter Lies A Miracle … A Seed Waiting To Sprout, A Bulb Opening To The Light, A Bud Straining To Unfurl. And The Anticipation Natures Our Dream” – Barbara Winkler
Video Blog 951 – UPDATE Eliminating Ant Hills
This is video is not about eliminating Fire Ant or well-developed ant hills. It solely focused on newly formed ant hills that keep popping up in our lawn. Since we have pets and families with children visiting our gardens, we only use water from our garden hose.
Deeply flooding newly formed ant hills works extremely well for us. After just 15-20 minutes deep into the Queen’s chamber, we monitor that area for any ant movement on an hourly basis and rarely does it need a second flooding. But again, this is for newly forming ant hills. Established mounds will be more difficult to eliminate. But again, we caught it early before it became a bigger problem.
Many viewers have shared their home-remedies including; dish and bar soaps, boiling water, hot coffee, coffee grounds, Terro, Tobasco sauce, cooking oil, essential oils, cinnamon, jalapeno pepper, rice, grits, oatmeal, cornmeal, baking soda, Diatomaceous Earth, baby powder, borax, vinegar, club soda, dry or wet molasses, fruit jelly, white and powdered sugar, sugar based syrups , bleach, gasoline, motor oil, fire and torching, plus other potentially dangerous chemical combinations and/or products we do not recommend trying.
“Gardening Is A Mirror Of The Heart. Gardening Is A Way Of Showing That You Believe In Tomorrow. Gardening Is An Exercise In Optimism. Gardening Is Not A Rational Act” – Margaret Atwood
Video Blog 950 – Early June Garden Tour part 3
We complete our 3-part visit to our early June garden tour. We will point some updates and even a morning surprise, along with looking at and identifying many perennials, native plants, invasive weeds and flowers, new flowering blossoms, trees and vegetables that are growing in our eclectic experimental gardens here in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Join us on this early June garden walk and visit our garden virtually.
“Gardening Is A Kind Of Disease. It Infects You, You Cannot Escape It. When You Go Visiting, Your Eyes Rove About The Garden; You Interrupt The Serious Cocktail Drinking Because Of An Irresistible Impulse To Get Up And Pull A Weed” – Lewis Gannit
Video Blog 949 – Early June Garden Tour part 2
We continue our early June garden tour, part 2, entering our newly planted orchard garden so see some new additions. We will also discuss the vegetable plants we’ve added in our north garden, see the progress of our tree peonies, what’s happening in our Liberty garden, the waterfall and see the completion of vegetables and plants in and around our enclosed south garden with 50 tomato plants. Stay tuned for the conclusion, part 3 coming soon.
“Gardeners Are Seduced By The Grandeur Of Thinking We Are In Control Of Our Gardens, When Neither We Or The Bees Are In Fact In Control. Rather, It’s The Edible Plants That Seduced Us Into Planting Them For The Survival Of Their Species” – Richard Marvin Voigt
Video Blog 948 – Early June Garden Tour part 1
Many plants are blooming so it’s time to tak you on an early June garden tour, part 1. After moving 100 bags of Cedar mulch and chips, we’ll look at our newly planted and mulched sun-filled garden rooms where recently planted Dahlias in our sunken containers. We will take a closer look at all the plants and blossoms in and around this area of our gardens and end this part 1 of the tour next to our Iris patch.
“Flowers Always Make People Better, Happier, And More Helpful: They Are Sunshine, Food And Medicine To The Soul” – Luther Burbank
Video Blog 947 – It’s Planting Time
#KeepTheLoveGrowing. This year we have 57 tomato plants where most of them will be rotated to our enclosed south garden area with the help of our son Skye. The varieties include: Peach Blow Sutton, Pineapple, Pomodoro, TomatoBerry, Independence Day, Italian Roma, San Marazano, Glacier, Beefsteak, Rutgers, Wisconsin 55, Old German, Boxcar Willy, Brandywine, Roma Plum, Marglobe, We will also be planting six different platter-size Dahlia varieties from the Netherlands, including: Hawaii, Firebird, Garden Wonder, Seattle, Otto’s Thrill and Contraste. Then on to moving 100 bags of cedar chips and mulch where our snake willow tree once stood.
“Cultivate The Garden Within. Do Not Squander Time, For That’s The Stuff Life Is Made Of ” – Benjamin Franklin
Video Blog 946 – Sinking Our Containers
We’re Sinking our containers in anticipation of planting tender bulbs within the next couple of weeks. Since our Snake Willow tree is gone, we’re creating a sunny outdoor garden room that soon will be filled with summer flowers bulbs, tubers, and annuals redefining the area just off our main driveway. We will be sinking 11 large plastic containers in 3 different zones, that help further outline each space as a unique garden room. While it took us 2 days to complete what should have been an easy task, old tree roots kept getting in our way, but we prevailed.
“Come And Visit Me Sometime. My Flowers Would Like To Meet You. Come Forth Into The Light Of Things, Let Nature Be Your Teacher” – William Wordsworth
Video Blog 945 – The Merry Month Of May Garden Tour
We thought we’d take you on the merry month of May garden tour to see how things are growing. We will highlight our Liberty garden where we’ll harvest Asparagus and harden all of our seedlings, update our transplanted Tree Peonies, Garlic and Iris bed, examine our driveway containers, dying Japanese Red Maple tree, bird update, newly planted 5-in-1 Apple trees, Elberta Peach trees, McIntosh blossoms, transplanted Montauk Daisies, Free Book Library, Japanese Fern Peony, raised bed vegetable gardens, Gingko tree and many other plants that started to pop out of the ground.
“A Woodland In Full Color Is Awesome As A Forest Fire, In Magnitude At Least, But A Single Tree Is Like A Dancing Tongue Of Flame To Warm The Heart” – Hal Borland
Video Blog 944 – Rearranging The Garden part 2
We continue part 2 of rearranging the garden as we prepare the front of the south bed for mulch now that we’ve move plants to other parts of our garden. But first, we need to install more vertical bricks to hold back at least 3” of mulch. We will also be adding feeder goldfish to our waterfall and pond, show areas we need to replace and toad stools that need refinishing. We will also look at protective changes we made with our Liberty garden while harden vegetable plants, before we can get back to our original project of laying bricks and finish spreading mulch. We also wanted to give a shout-out to Lily from AgFabric.com for allowing us to test protective fabrics for our garden this year.
“Cares Melt When You Kneel In Your Garden ” – Unknown
Video Blog 943 – Rearranging The Garden part 1
At some point every gardener is faced with rearranging the garden. It’s time to rearrange our south pergola area to deal with over-crowding, unwanted weeds, bricks and plants. We decided to move all of our large container to create prominent outdoor garden rooms. We already moved several Hibiscus plants, trimmed our Honeysuckle, Clematis, replanted several young peach trees seedlings, moved an Elderberry and Blueberry plants that we’ve ignored in containers for several years.
“A Woodland In Full Color Is Awesome As A Forest Fire, In Magnitude At Least, But A Single Tree Is Like A Dancing Tongue Of Flame To Warm The Heart” – Hal Borland
Video Blog 942 – Perennial Moving Day
It’s perennial moving day for our Montauk Daisy and Tree Peony plants. While Spring is the best time to move late summer blooming plants, Fall is the ideal time for transplanting Spring blooming plants. However, sometimes gardener make the decision to move perennials not always ideal, in order to accomplish their landscaping and gardening plans. We will also be working with hundreds of Montauk Daisy cuttings putting small cuttings into 4” pots.
“Everybody Needs Beauty As Well As Bread, Places To Play In And Pray In, Where Nature May Heal And Give Strength To Body And Soul” – John Muir
Video Blog 940 – Transplanting Seedlings
We are beginning the process of transplanting seedlings. While we have seedlings at various stages of growth, it’s time several of our tomato plants need to be transplanted and put back in our indoor greenhouse until planting season begins around Memorial Day here in Wisconsin. We let you peek into our indoor greenhouse and plant room to see what’s growing. We will also share our full-spectrum lighting systems and shelving units we’ve created.
“Don’t Wear Perfume In The Garden – Unless You Want To Be Pollinated By Bees” – Anne Raver
Video Blog 939 – Busy As A Bee
The old cliché “Busy As A Bee” is evident in our gardens. Today we’re observing the very busy activities of our solitary Mason Bees. This video is a quiet meditative observation of these amazing pollinators. They hatch early in Spring as soon as flowers arrive, they visit flowering plants, collect pollen, find a tubular home, lay an egg, deposit pollen and close the chamber with some mud. Every minute of their busy working lives, they repeat this process several times each day and live solely to produce the next generation. They are fascinating to watch providing one has the desire and patience to sit quietly and observe, even if just for just 10 minutes.
“All Through The Long Winter, I Dream Of My Garden. On The First Day Of Spring, I dig My Fingers Deep Into The Soft Earth. I Can Feel Its Energy, And My Sprits Soar” – Helen Hayes
Video Blog 938 – Gratitude Garden Tour
The sun is out, the weather is slowly warming, and we wanted to take you on our gratitude garden tour. At times like this, it’s important to think about all the things in life for which you are grateful. As we walk about our April garden, it is amazing to see nature waking up and sharing new growth all around the garden. From reactivating the waterfall, to seeing new leafing on our Tree Peonies, the delicate blossoms of Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths, Virginia Bluebells and baby Gingko Trees, we delight in sharing our gratitude garden with you.
“A Society Grows Great When Old Men Plant Trees Whose Shade They Know They Shall Never Sit In” – Greek Proverb
Video Blog 937 – Planting Our Fruit Trees
After another week of cold weather, it finally warmed up enough to begin planting four fruit trees we received this week from Fast Growing Trees dot com. We’ll be planting two 5-in-1 grafted Apple trees consisting of Granny Smith, Gala, Braeburn, Honeycrisp,and Fugi Apples, as well as, two Elberta free-stone Peach Trees, We will stake them for one year and place a wire cage barrier around each tree to hopefully avoid deer and rabbit damage.
“A Garden Is A Grand Teacher. It Teaches Patience And Careful Watchfulness; It Teaches Industry And Thrift; Above All, It Teaches Entire Trust” – Gertrude Jekyll
Video Blog 936 – Stay-At-Home Bananas
Our Stay-At-Home bananas is an indication that our Wisconsin governor extended the Stay-At-Home order until Memorial Day. Since our children decided they would take over our shopping needs, we ended up with more bananas that are now ripe enough to dehydrate. So today and tomorrow we will continue to slice and prepare our bananas Once dried, add them to our pantry before our grandson Logan finds and eats them all himself. These bananas are under the official stay-at-home order until further culinary notice.
“Gardening Is Civil And Social, But It Wants The Vigor And Freedom Of The Forest And The Outlaw” – Henry David Thoreau
Video Blog 935 – Dealing With Deer
Today we are dealing with deer damage to our tulips and other tender plants. We’ve had some success with Milorganite and Liquid Fence, but after doing more research and listening to suggestions from viewers, we decided to trying a product called PlantSkydd. It’s comes highly recommended by landscapers and listed as a friendly environmentally safe product. We decided to order the powder mix so that we can use it as needed. Once mixed we head outside to begin spraying all of our tulips while keeping our fingers crossed.
“The True Object Of All Human Life Is Play. Earth Is A Task Garden; Heaven Is A Playground” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
Video Blog 934 – Grafted Fruit Trees
Our grafted fruit trees arrived this afternoon from Fast Growing Trees dot com. We ordered two grafted 5-in-1 Apple trees and two Elberta Peach trees. A friend showed us the same Apple and Peach trees he planted. We were very excited to actually see five different apple varieties growing on the same tree. Their grafted Apple trees consist of Granny Smith, Gala, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, and Fugi apples all on one tree. The company guarantees full size apples and peaches the very first year. We were also very pleased to receive them in great condition and fully rooted and ready to plant once the weather warms up this weekend.
“If You Truly Love Nature, You Will Find Beauty Everywhere” – Vincent Van Gogh
Video Blog 933 – April Garden Clean Up
It’s time for our annual April Garden Clean Up where we’ll be sharing what we’ve been doing this past week. After cleaning up the south driveway garden area we sprinkled some Milorganite on and around our exotic tulip beds to deter the deer and rabbits. We’ve uncovered some of the straw from our strawberry bed, cleaned up the original SW fenced-in garden, trimmed off old stems from our tree peony nursery and brought in several pallets of potting soil, compost, topsoil and bark mulch. We’ve prepared 4 holes for two 5-in-1 Apple trees and two Elberta Peach trees which hopefully will arrive as early as next week. Our traditional Zinnia area outside our kitchen will be replaced this year with 7 different platter-size Dahlia varieties and perhaps the Zinnias will take over where the Snake Willow tree used to be. We’ll also start cleaning up many of the flower and perennial beds as time permits.
“Gardens Are Not Made By Sitting In The Shade” – Rudyard Kipling
Video Blog 932 – Garden Upgrade
We wanted to show you our garden upgrade, including how our seedlings and succulents are doing. We’ve also added a second level inside our indoor greenhouse, additional grow lights and new shelving for our succulents, plus a special surprise we’re going to test out in the middle of our living room.
“Flowers…Are A Proud Assertion That A Ray Of Beauty Out Values All The Utilities Of The World” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Video Blog 931 – Trimming Trees & Vines
Before it rains, we’re going to start trimming trees & vines that have been neglected for years. We have several apple trees, a plum tree and some over-grown honeysuckle & clematis vines that need to be trimmed. Both honeysuckle and clematis grew over 10’ in height at each southern corner of our pergola. They were so overgrown that last year they blocked the entrance with beautiful flowers. After we finish trimming, we will have another trailer full to take to our local city recycling center to grind and turn into compost.
“Every Moment And Every Event Of Every Man’s Life On Earth Plants Something In His Soul” – Thomas Merton
Video Blog 929 – 1st Quarantined Garden Tour
It’s important for all of us to follow the CDC’s health recommendation. With that said, it doesn’t mean we can’t go outside and work in the garden. So, today is the 1st day of Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order and appropriate for our 1st quarantined garden tour to see all the work that still needs to be addressed, as well as, what is starting to grow. We hope you enjoy allowing us to share our walkabout with you from a safe distance. We send all of our viewers lots of hugs and love at this unique time in history. It’s still a great time to get outside, enjoy the warmth of the sun and fresh air. Stay safe and having fun in planning and preparing your garden for a great harvest.
“The Glory Of Gardening: Hands In The Dirt, Head In The Sun, Heart With Nature. To Nuture A Garden Is To Feed Not Just On The Body, But The Soul” – Alfred Austin
Video Blog 928 – More Garden Questions
Since we’ve received an outpouring of questions, we felt the need to address more garden questions from our viewers. In this video, we will address the difficulty of growing specific types of Peonies from Seed, Japanese Bettles, Milky Spore, Invasive Lily Of The Valley, GrassB-Gon, Reblooming Iris and Keeping A Garden Journal. Keep The Love Growing.
“A Man Sooner Or Later Discovers That He Is The Master-Gardener Of His Soul, The Director Of His Life” – James Allen
Video Blog 927 – 10 Garden Questions – True or False
Here are 10 garden questions that are true or false. See how well you answer. We’ve received so much positive feedback on our Q&A videos that, we thought we would see if your up to this challenge. We are going to ask you ten questions about plant Diversity, Soil, Lady Bugs, Bats, Nematodes, Butterflies, Organic, Earthworms, Cacti and Deer, as well as seeing how you approach resolving these common garden ideas.
“A Weed Is But An Unloved Flower” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Video Blog 926 – Garden Viewer Questions Part 3 of 3
This is part 3 of our garden viewer questions where we cover growing TomatoBerry from seeds or plants, flowers that attract good nematodes and pollinators, harvesting zucchini, growing peonies in Hawaii, Iris that do not bloom, controlling Hibiscus in Florida, and where and how to research plant ID and problems. We thank you again for watching, caring and sharing your approach to gardening. #KeepTheLoveGrowing.
“No Life Is Without Difficulties; No Garden Is Without Weeds” – C.L. Fornari
Video Blog 925 – Garden Viewer Questions Part 2 of 3
This is the 2nd part of our garden viewer questions covering storing Elephant Ears, recommendations for new gardeners, book suggestions, Zinnias and powdery mildew, growing Avocado trees from seed, Water propagation, house plant fertilization and when to plant a Valentine Tulip gift and more. Join us again for final part 3 coming soon. #KeepTheLoveGrowing.
“OK, So This Is Not Exactly The Garden Of Eden But…It’s My Little Paradise” – Unknown
Video Blog 924 – Garden Viewer Questions Part 1 of 3
This 3-part series will address some of our garden viewer questions on keeping a Liatris bed healthy, monitoring and re-planting Iris Rhizomes due to the destructive Iris Bore, discussions about Lilacs, Ground cover plants, and Autumn Joy Sedum and plants that grow in shade. Join us again for part 2, coming soon. #KeepTheLoveGrowing.
“The Watering Of A Garden Requires As Much Judgment As The Seasoning Of A Soup” – Helena Ely
Video Blog 923 – First Day In The Garden
It’s nearly 60 degrees so this is our first day in the garden with a new member of our family, ‘Pepper’ our 4-month standard poodle puppy. Despite 2’ of standing snow on the west side of our driveway, the north side has completely melted exposing our Iris bed that we never got to in fall. So, today we will clean up our Iris bed and inspect and remove for any damage caused by Iris bore.
“A Friend In The Garden Is A Treasure Whose Worth Cannot Be Measured Except By The Heart” – John Muir
Video Blog 922 – Brief Succulent Update
We thought you’d enjoy our brief succulent update to see how well nearly all of our transplanted succulents are doing. All but two are thriving. Today we are doing phase 2, transplanting the remainder of succulents into pots and containers. If you haven’t seen our prior video, we encourage you to watch Video Blog 919 – Playing With Succulents: https://youtu.be/wT9J_rVUA5g.
“A Garden Is Evidence Of Faith. It Links Us With All The Misty Figures Of The Past Who Also Planted And Were Nourished By The Fruits Of Their Planting” – Glady Taber
Video Blog 921 – What We’re Planting This Year
This video focuses on what we’re planting this year in our Wisconsin Garden. We will be added 4 more fruit trees, two 5-in-1 grafted Apple trees and two dwarf Elberta Peach trees. We will be testing Maxim Strawberries, a bush variety of Mexican Sunflowers, Rainbow Blend Carrots, and a wide variety of flowers that attract pollinators, as well as, new seed varieties. We know that we will be adding many more vegetable and adding more edibles throughout our perennial gardens. See the specific varieties we will be growing from seed this year.
“A Garden Is Not Made In A Year; Indeed It Is Never Made In The Sense Of Finality. It Grows, And With The Labor Of Love Should Go On Growing” – Frederick Eden
Video Blog 920 – Why Do You Garden?
We know why we garden, but what we want to know why do you garden. For those of you who are interested, we’ve decided to publish a book and dedicate 1-Page just to YOU! We invite you to submit your thoughts about ‘Why You Garden.” DEADLINE: April 15, 2020. Your royalty-free submission could be about your garden passion and adventures, or a historical family garden story, a garden poem, favorite recipe or garden drawing, Please, ‘Proof’ your royalty-free submission, whether hand-written, or preferred as a typed editable Word document sent to the email address posted in this video. Please Note: All submissions sent to us are only accepted as royalty-free for potential publication.
“A Green Thumb Is Nothing More Than Hard Work And The Desire To Grow Things” – Albert E. Tuttle
Video Blog 919 – Playing With Succulents
We thought we start Valentine’s Day by playing with succulents indoors while the snow was blowing outside. After visiting the Flower Source in Menomonee Falls, we couldn’t help ourselves without coming home with 100 different succulents for the upcoming MG plant sale later this spring. After allowing these little babies mature a bit, we decided to find a variety of appropriate containers and start transplanting. See what we’ve been up to since your last visit.
“A Man Should Never Plant A Garden Larger Than His Wife Can Take Care Of” – T. H. Everett
These are a thoughtful departure from our typical garden video blogs. Did You Know part 1-6 are a short series of 3-minute videos that highlight some interesting facts and statistics about life and living? If nothing else, these fun videos get us thinking about how we live life in a fast-pace world. Can you relate to any of them and if you do, do you agree or disagree?
Video Blog M06 – Did You Know part 1
Video Blog M06 – Did You Know part 2
Video Blog M06 – Did You Know part 3
Video Blog M06 – Did You Know part 4
Video Blog M06 – Did You Know part 5
Video Blog M06 – Did You Know part 6
Video Blog 918 – Gardening After Christmas
It’s 52 degrees and we’re gardening after Christmas. Today we want to dig up our multi-colored carrots that were prematurely covered with 6’ of snow that cancelled Halloween. We covered the bed with straw bales and thought we had lost them for the season. Now that not one flake of snow exists, the soil is loose enough for us to bring our carrot harvest inside. They are amazingly super sweet and crunchy. We also thought we’d take a quick December garden tour during this warm spell where temperatures are expected to reach 60 degrees a couple of days before 2019 ends.
Video Blog 917 – Transplanting Winter
With temperatures near 50 degrees here in Wisconsin at the end of December, perhaps it’s appropriate for transplanting winter. Several of our orchids need to be re-potted along with some cold weather cactus we’ve been storing on our back porch. Despite my best efforts during clean up several little cactus needles found my hand. MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Video Blog 916 – Playing With Apples
Today we’re playing with apples focusing on drying and dehydrating apples with our Excalibur food dehydrator. We’ll also be making more apple sauce. Since we use a variety of imperfect second apples for a delicious apple sauce recipe, we use the better apples for dehydrating. We also use an apple corer and peeler to make the process of cutting and slicing apples so much easier. The eating intensity of dried apples, bananas and other fruits is truly amazing. Drying your garden goodies will have you doing this on a yearly basis especially when things are in season and on sale.
Video Blog 915 – Making Apple Sauce
No that we’ve had the first snowfall we will be making apple sauce using a variety of apple mixed seconds.. After cutting the apple in sections, removing stems and blemished parts, we cook the batch for about 10 minutes until soft and run them through a Foley Mill collecting the apple sauce. We then add the warm sauce into our canning jars, seal them and process them in our steam canner. Follow the direction of your canning system. Our recipe calls for 40 Apples, 2 1/2 cups Sugar, 3 tablespoons Honey, 2 teaspoons of Salt, 1 squeezed Lemon, plus 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract. We found that depending upon the size of apples you use this makes 7 quarts of apple sauce. While the snow flies and winter approaches, we will have delicious apple sauce to taste remembering another year’s harvest.
Video Blog 914 – Halloween Winter Wonderland
Who knew that our Halloween winter wonderland would break a 100-year old record for October 31, with at least a 5-6 inch snowfall. The old record was less than a half of inch on Halloween eve. We won’t know what effect the cold snowy weather will have on our neighborhood trick or treaters until later this afternoon and evening. Since Richard asked for this snowfall, I feel that since he’s pulled off this Halloween trick, I should keep all the treats for myself. Maybe he’ll remember to be a good boy next year and be more careful for what he wishes. Happy Halloween Everyone!
Video Blog 913 – Saving Tender Bulbs
Saving tender bulbs here in Wisconsin is crucial if one wishes to plant them again next year. Tender bulbs cannot survive cold, non-tropical, climates when kept in the ground year-round. Since we are in growing zone 5-B, every year we have to dig up, wash off and let our tender bulbs and tubers harden in the sun and open air for up to a week before storing bulbs in containers and keeping them in a cool dark basement area. Once a month we may give them a slight misting just to keep them from totally drying out and dying. It’s a lot of work, but for gardeners who love a tropic splash during our short summer months, it’s worth the effort.
Video Blog 912 – Planting Fall Garlic
Today we’re planting fall garlic. We’ve been experimenting with inoculating our German purple stripe hardneck garlic cloves in seaweed solution overnight, followed by a 20 min Vodka bath just before planting for the past several years. What we found was that the inoculated garlic nearly doubled in size when compared to simply planting garlic conventionally in a side-by-side trial test. This year we are only going to soak our garlic cloves in a Vodka bath for 20 minutes. We will also be planting Porcelain garlic for the second year in a raised bed. Combined, we will only be planting around 100 cloves which will be more than enough to keep us in garlic for many months. Our experiments will continue as we will attempt to find ways to preserve garlic for longer periods of time.
Video Blog 911 – October Garden Clean Up
Today is the start of our October garden clean up. We’ve had three mild frosts along with cold rainy weather, the sun is out, the beds are fairly dry, so it’s time to pull out all of our old tomato plants and fruit debris. Last week we cleared out many blackberries, raspberry, grapes, patty pan, butternut squash, watermelon along with many flowering plants that need more than just deadheading. We also put out our yearly signs, bagged leaves and grass clippings wanted, receiving about a dozen bags already. Garden Gold! It’s a nice brisk sunny day and this will be the first of many more garden clean up days ahead, before the snow flies.
Video Blog 910 – Putting Strawberry Beds To Bed
Now that it’s nearing mid October, it’s time for putting our strawberry beds to bed. After a very wet spring and early summer, following by many hot and humid days, our strawberry beds are looking very healthy. Even though our strawberries are in raised beds, this is the third time this year we’ve had to redirect all the new runners and remove the never-ending weeds that love to share space with these productive fruit plants.
Video Blog 909 – The Dangers Of Fresh Willow Mulch
What a great title for a new western movie. Several weeks ago we had our snake willow tree cut down. We also requested several slabs be saved to use at a later date for a possible garden project. While the crew did an amazing job in protecting surrounding plants, they had the entire tree and stump ground up in an hour and a half, they asked us if we would like the trailer load of mulch from our tree. This very short video shows why we respectfully declined.
Video Blog 908 – Garlic Goodies
We’ve had to put our Garlic Goodies video blog on hold for a variety of personal reasons that finally allow us to release how our crop did this summer. This year we planted two varieties, White Porcelain Garlic and German Purple Stripe Hardneck Garlic. Our experimental crop survived the wet spring and early summer months and produced many healthy bulbs which we allowed to dry in our mini indoor greenhouse which is now ready for storage. We will be trying different methods of preserving garlic by mincing, freezing and creating garlic ice cubes for winter soup, stews and other edible goodies. But for now, they will be placed in netted bags and kept in cool dark storage.
Video Blog 907 – September Garden Tour Part 3
We finish our September garden tour part 3 under our south driveway arbor which is completely covered with Morning Glories and a leafy Cyprus Vine with bright red blossoms. We discuss the moving of our giant hardy Hibiscus plants this fall to the frontage berm where they can continue to receive full sun and no longer blocking our access to the pergola. We’ll be trimming back the Clematis and Honeysuckle bushes as well, and consider smaller varieties of Hibiscus to find their home between them in front of the pergola. We end our September garden tour near our free book library and along the front edge of our main eastern berm to also discuss what we have in mind.
Video Blog 906 – September Garden Tour Part 2
Our September garden tour part 2 continues at our Liberty garden full of huge leaf Coleus plants. We venture along the west garden areas including our Ginkgo tree, the waterfall, the bright colored Goldfish, waterlilies, floral walkway and eventually inside the original enclosed SW garden area. We’ll see the tree peony seed pods, the 800-hundred-year-old Gete squash, dinosaur kale and the last of the Zucchini and other squash ready for harvesting. We finish part 2 on our pergola checking in on how our baby Ginkgo tree propagation are doing.
Video Blog 905 – September Garden Tour Part 1
Join us on our September garden tour part 1. We start at the sight of where our snake willow used to reside and see how this area has changed. The tree peonies have moved to a semi-shaded area on our main berm but the Mexican sunflowers continue to attract the Monarch Butterflies. As we walk around, we’re discussing all the changes we have in mind and finally end up in the North garden area eating our favorite TomatoBerries.
Video Blog 904 – Garden Makeover – Part 1 of Infinity
Every gardener understands the amount of effort it takes for a garden makeover, not just part 1 of infinity, but a never-ending endeavor. Now that our snake willow tree has been removed, temporarily displacing our two original tree peonies, it’s time to get them into the soil. While we weren’t prepared to dig them out before later this fall, we had little choice, or face the possibility of losing them accidentally while our tree was being removed. Lynn did her best to finish this short video, even while not feeling her best.
Video Blog 903 – Goodbye Snake Willow
We’ve talked about this in prior videos and today it’s time to say goodbye snake willow tree. Just by chance, our neighbor was cutting down several of his trees. So, I decided to stop and talk with the project coordinator and mentioned we had a tree we’d like to have removed. Seeing that his crew and equipment were already in the neighborhood would he consider cutting down our tree after he finished work there. He came over and gave us a fair quote and several hours later, the tree stump was just a nice memory. This now works into our plan of redesigning our garden areas. Stay tuned.
Video Blog 902 – Freezing Tomatoes
Today we’re going to be freezing tomatoes fresh from our eclectic experimental Wisconsin garden. In addition to canning tomatoes, this will be the first time we will freezing both our large tomatoes, but also seeing how our smaller TomatoBerries do as well. See how simple this technique is compared to traditional steam or bath canning.
Video Blog 901 – TomatoBerry Salsa
Have you ever heard of TomatoBerries or TomatoBerry Salsa? Now that we have lots of tomatoes ripening, it is time to make home-made salsa. Since these tomatoes are very sweet (Think Chocolate Vegetable Candy) we wanted to experiment using our favorite cherry-like tomato into Salsa. We will also be using low acidic tomatoes we will have to create it from scratch and add different ingredients a little at a time until our taste buds find the perfect creation. Prepare for lots of taste-testing during this delicious 24-minute experiment. Then the hard part begins – eating it and not drooling.
Video Blog 900 – August Garden Tour p 3
We end our August Garden Tour p 3 at the entrance arches to our inner east garden berms, under our Snake Willow and along the front porch garden area. We move to the front of our Pergola, currently pulling out unwanted plants, and into our original fenced in garden area to see an 800-year old squash grown from seed. We include and update on our Ginkgo update, our west gardens and end in front of our waterfall where our August tour began.