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Most Effective Rainfast Canadian Thistle Weed Killer We Have Found So Far Is: LawnWeed Brew – A 16oz. Concentrate That Makes 3 Gallons

Another Technique is mentioned in WGVB #1064



We post some of our garden videos with hyperlinks on this website before they are actually publicly released on YouTube. Once released they will be available for you, along with our subscribers and visitors to watch, learn and enjoy. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding.

From Our Garden To Yours – ENJOY!


Video Blog 1074 – The Incredible Digital Quilt

Created by Master Digitographer – Richard Marvin Voigt – RIVO


Video Blog 1073 – Growing Peaches In Wisconsin

Yes, we are growing peaches in Wisconsin. Two of our Elberta free-stone peach trees are ready for picking. It’s funny because all 5 baby peach trees sprouted from dormant seeds from our two original Elberta peach trees long gone. Three years ago we transplanted these baby trees to our orchard area and this year they are bountiful. Another Elberta peach tree we purchased from fast-growing-trees have peach that are still green and probably won’t be ready for at least another 2-3 weeks. In the meantime, we thought you’d like to see the harvest we gathered yesterday before the major heatwave of 115 degrees hit the Midwest today.


Video Blog 1072 – What’s Blooming In August – 53 Plants

Here is our follow up to last month by highlighting “What’s Blooming in August – 53 Plants.” Here’s our A-Z List of 53  plants that are blooming in August: Asiatic Lily, Bachelor Buttons, Balloon Flowers, Bind Weed, Black-eyed Susan, Bugbane, Calendula, California Poppy, Canna, Compass Plant, Flower, Coral Bell, Cosmos, Cup Plant, Dahlia, Daisy, Forget-me-not, Fragrant Gladiola, Helenium, Hibiscus Cranberry Crush, Hardy Giant White, Jazzberry Jam, Luna Pink Swirl, Luna Rose, Midnight Marvel, Honeysuckle, Hoary Skull Cap, Hydrangea Strawberry Bush, Hydrangea Tree, Joe Pye Weed, Lantana, Liatris, Spotted Orange Blackberry, Marigold, Mexican Sunflower, Mammoth Mums, Moss Roses, Native Coneflower, Northern Wild Senna, Prairie Dock, Rose Mallow, Rose of Sharon, Royal Catchfly, Smartweed, Snap Dragons, Spirea Bush, Sunflowers, Sweet Pea, Trumpet Vine, Water Lily, Weigela, Yarrow and Zinnias


Video Blog 1071 – What’s Blooming In July 

We are often asked, What’s blooming in July in your Wisconsin Garden. Here is a list of blooming plants you’ll see in today’s July garden video blog. Allium, Asian Lilies, Bachelor Button, Blackeyed Susan, Bleeding Heart, Bugbane, Butterfly Weed, Calendula, Clematus, Coleus, Coneflowers, Coral Bells, Dahlia, Daisy, Dill, Foxglove, Giant Fleece Plant, Guara Whirling Butterfly Weed, Hosta, Lantana, Liatris, Little Leaf Linden, Marigolds, Mullein, Peruvian Daffodils, Rose Mallow, Roses Red Cascade, Scabiosa, Sedum Ground Cover, Snapdragons, Sunflower, Sweet Pea, Sweet William, Tiger Lily, Water Lilies, Wisteria/ Yarrow. I’m sure we even missed a few but will check again in August.


Video Blog 1070 – June Weed Patch

Our June Weed Patch area has been a reoccurring problem for many years and needed to be reclaimed. We brought in another 150 bags, 2 pallets, of bagged mulch last week. Before we could begin we had to weed whack our way through invasive quack grass which covered everything. Once we could find the plants we wanted to keep, we decided that this area was so problematic, we added 2-layers of weed barrier and topped the entire area with 3-4” of mulch. Hopefully, we now have an easier task in keeping these areas under control for several years. As you will see in this video it really made a difference and make it well worth the work, time and expense.


Video Blog 1068 – Planting Follow Up

Now that all the circular holes in the weed barrier have been cauterized, it time for our planting follow up. This year we’ve planted a wide variety of tomatoes, peppers, squash, carrots, beets, lettuce, kale, beans, peas and jumbo strawberry plants. Amongst the vegetables, we also added marigolds and sweet alyssum to attract pollinators. Once all the vegetable planting is complete, it’s time to begin planting all of our tender bulbs.


Video Blog 1067 – New Garden Experiment

Last fall we rototilled and clean up all of our raised beds. We decided to try a new garden experiment by covering several beds with weed barrier material. Today, we will begin burning holes into the material to seal the edges. If we had used a knife or scissors, the material would begin to fray and deteriorate quickly. Now 80 holes are ready for planting. Now that all the holes are in place, we will begin planting our Favorite vegetables.


Video Blog 1066 – 150 Bags Of Mulch

150 Bags of mulch on the wall, 150 bags of mulch, if one of the bags happens to fall…. You know the rest. Yes, today we had 150 bags of mulch delivered. It only weighed 5,100 pounds and we had perfect weather to spread it and reclaim the Canada thistle invasion in the north sections of our gardens. Thanks to Lessandro, he was able to deliver two giant skids of mulch to exactly where it was needed. Instead of adding more rubber sheeting to burn out the Canada thistle roots, we opted for a more natural wood mulch solution. This is what we accomplished yesterday.


Video Blog 1065 – In The Garden Again

Now that the weather is warming, we’re in the garden again taking care of things around the garden. We’re starting with planting Park Seed Whopper Strawberries in a new raised bed area. We’re putting the top of the old water feature to good use as another raised planting bed. Supposedly, these strawberries are big and fit in the palm of your hand. We will see it that’s the result we receive. We are also preparing for the delivery of 4 pallets, 150 bags, each two cubic yards of brown mulch in a couple of days. Since creeping Canada Thistles invaded our garden areas 5 years ago, we’ve tried burning this invasive specie by covering areas with cardboard, black plastic & rubber. It looks pretty bad, but after this weekend, we expect to be pleased mulching over these areas. We also replaced a little walkway with stepping stones leading to our pergola. Now it’s time to bring out many of our tomato seedlings and other veggies we started from seed, hardening before planting in a couple of weeks. Preparing for a lot of mulch tomorrow.


Video Blog 1064 – Assessing Our Spring Garden

Now that May has arrived we need to begin assessing our spring garden to see how all of our plants weathered winter. After dramatically trimming back our Forsythia bushes, they are looking full and healthy along with hundreds of daffodil blossoms put on a magnificent spring exhibit for all of our neighbors. The tulips are popping and even a few dandelions are going to be allowed to attract pollinators but removed before they go to seed. Virginia Bluebells, Tree Peonies and Giant Bleeding Hearts will be in full bloom within a week or two. Many trees are budding and bushes turning green after surviving the sun, wind, rain and snow. Five of our large goldfish survived in the upper section of the waterfall along with a cute resident Bullfrog and most recently, George and Martha Mallard ducks took up residence in our small backyard pond. All in all, the garden is looking very healthy and we are pleased to assess and examine all the wonderful plants, trees and bushes that grace our gardens.


Video Blog 1063 – Seeds Of Spring

We’re back and here’s a big hug from us to all our faithful fans and viewers. We’ll be showing our seeds of spring that have been growing inside our home for the past 3 weeks. We’ve started many tomato seeds, some squash, and parsley seedlings in little organic bags that need to be divided and transplanted into organic Cow Pots. As you will see, it’s important to label all of your plants with a grease pencil. It’s also very helpful to keep a garden journal, keeping track of what you’ve planted, what works and what doesn’t. It’s also a great way to remember important information from year-by-year. Stay tuned for more unique Wisconsin Garden adventures this year.


Video Blog 1062 – Richard’s Digital Quilt Series Vol. 2

Video Blog 1061 – Richard’s AI Art Project Vol. 1

 We are doing fine and hope all is well in your part of the world as well. While there is No snow in our area of Wisconsin, we have been very busy. Now that I’ve finished publishing 3 of my own memoirs, I’ve been writing Richard’s life story. In the meantime, we thought you’d enjoy seeing his latest AI Art project video. With thousands of works he’s already created, here’s a sneak peek. Hope you like it.


Video Blog 1060 – Winterizing Tender Bulbs, Tubers & Rhizomes

It’s taken us 4 days to dig up, wash, trim and begin winterizing the majority of our tender bulbs, tuber and rhizomes. They have been drying in the sun for several days, so it’s time to decide how we’ll store all of tender bulbs. There are many options for winter storage. You can use cardboard boxes, open plastic crates, paper bags, mesh bags, containers filled peat moss, shredded newspaper, sand, or vermiculite. Once placed in a container, we cover our tender bulbs with a piece of burlap and store them in a cool dark place in our basement. At least once a month, I inspect each container to make sure all bulbs, tubers & rhizomes remain healthy and remove any that are questionable. Here’s how we do all of this.


Video Blog 1059 – Saving Tender Bulbs, Tubers & Rhizomes

After several hard frosts the time has arrived for saving tender bulbs, tubers and rhizomes. While we have annual and perennial plant material that need to be removed from our gardens, we must begin focusing on saving those tender plants if we want to save them for next year. Now that the end of October is here, we will be digging up all of our Dahlias, Canna Lilies, Peruvian Daffodils, Elephant Ears and Fragrant Gladiolus. Our next video will show you how we wash, dry, winterize and store all of these tender bulbs, tubers and rhizomes.


Video Blog 1058 – The First Hard Frost

This week we will take a walk around our gardens to see the effects of the first hard frost as the temperatures dipped below 32 degrees. While many annuals, tender bulbs and perennial plants are still blooming, some didn’t weather leaf wilting as much as other plants. We will also return a week later to see the same areas after a series of hard frosts. We’ll take a closer look at our Dahlias, Zinnias, Nasturtiums, Canna Lilies, Mexican Sunflowers, Giant Fleece Plant, Phlox, Mammoth Mums and Montauk Daisies.


Video Blog 1056 – Winterizing Our Iris Bed

On this beautiful fall October day, we decided it was time to begin winterizing our Iris bed. Iris love being planted in full-sun and do really well when not planted deeply. We plant our so that the top half of the Iris rhizome us above ground level and initially anchored with a small rock until it takes root. It’s also important to maintain an Iris bed that is free of debris and clutter. When a patch becomes over-crowded, some Iris need to be removed and planted elsewhere or shared with family, friends and neighbors as long as your Iris variety isn’t protected by a patent. Please do your research.

Video Blog 1055 – September Garden Tour part 2

Join us again on our September Garden Tour part 2, as we visit many more beautiful blossoms, bushes and trees gracing our gardens. Despite nearing the end of September it’s amazing that so many plants are still blossoming along with fruit and vegetables. So, sit back an enjoy an extended 2nd filming of our September garden tour.


Video Blog 1054 – September Garden Tour part 1

Join us on our September Garden Tour part 1, while we still have many beautiful blossoms gracing our gardens. We hope you enjoyed our last aerial video of our gardens and now enjoy them from ground level.  It’s always interesting to view many plants and trees during different seasons to see how they have progressed and grown. We’ve been blessed with a prolific harvest of vegetables and fruits this year, especially our apple and peach and pear crop, large tomatoes, TomatoBerries, carrots, Dinosaur Kale, Delacata Squash, Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini, and much more. Enjoy watching this September walkabout as we explore our Wisconsin Garden.


Video Blog 1053 – Aerial View Of Our Garden

Today we’re doing something we’ve never done before. We’re taking all of our viewers and ourselves on an aerial view of our garden. WOW what an amazing perspective! We’d like to thank our son Keye for his time and drone expertise. Viewers often wondered how many acres of gardens we have and are surprised when we tell them it’s a ½ acre garden. But as you’ll see in this video, garden areas completely surround our home and property. Now, with the 2 large Maple trees gone this past winter, we can see all the garden areas more clearly. Everything looks so much smaller from this perspective than when you’re looking at your garden from ground-level.


Video Blog 1052 – Finding Peace In Our Garden

Many viewers have expressed how our garden videos brought them a sense of peace inspiration and happiness that helped distract them from the problems and sadness of a given day. We know that there are many factors that can change one’s outlook day-by-day and even minute-by-minute. So, for all of our viewers who need a positive pick-me-upper, we decided to create this gentle 15-minute video to help clear the mind, relax the body and renew the spirit with the feeling of quiet peace and harmony. We encourage you to find a comfortable position, turn off all other distractions, breathe deeply, relax and allow your body, mind and spirit to peacefully drift into a more loving space.


Video Blog 1051 – Apples, Peaches & Pears

Today was an interesting day for harvesting apples, peaches & pears. We will be picking apples from the end of our main driveway where we planted 2 Macintosh apple trees. This is their 4 or 5th year and the first year that they are loaded with hundreds if apples in each tree. Then we’ll move into the orchard area where 3 years ago we planted two 5-in-1 grated apple trees with Grany Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala & Braeburn apples. Then we have a mystery apple tree perhaps you can ID. We also planted an Elberta free-stone peach tree where our baby Peach tree has produced a couple a dozen large sweet & tasty peaches. Lastly, we harvest a few Bartlett Pears & Red Anjou Pears that are ready to eat. All in all, it was a great harvest


Video Blog 1050 – Trees In Our Garden part 2

Today we’ll explore the variety of trees in our garden, part 2. This video will explore: Littleleaf Linden, Contorted White Pine, Cimmaron Green Ash, Spruce, Unknown Apple, Bartlett Pear, European Plum, Red Anjou Pear, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Emerald Green Arborvitae, Ginkgo biloba, Dwarf Honey Crisp Apple, Norway Maple, Korean Maple, Yoshino Flowering Cherry, Japanese Red Maple, Arborvitae Weeping Threadleaf. Perhaps you’ll want to add some of these to your yard. Hope you enjoyed part 2 of trees in our garden.


Video Blog 1049 – Trees In Our Garden part 1

Today we’ll explore the variety of trees in our garden, part 1. This video will explore: Paper Bark Maple, October Glory Maple, Purple Leaf Smoke, Bosnian Pine, European Tricolor Beech, Profusion Crabapple, Limelight Hydrangea Tree Form, Whitespire Birch Clump, Marilee Crabapple, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Flowering Cherry Tree, Coral Burst Dwarf Crabapple, Weeping Flowering Cherry, Eastern Redbud, Macintosh Apple Dwarf, Spruce trees, Elberta Peach, Grafted 5-in-1 Apple Trees. Perhaps you’ll want to add some of these to your yard. Stay tuned for part 2 of trees in our garden coming up next.


Video Blog 1048 – Amazing Hardy Hibiscus

Here we are nearing the middle of August admiring all of our amazing hardy Hibiscus we thought you’d enjoy seeing. This is the very first time we decided to do a video mainly focusing on the Mallow family plants in our gardens. We will take a closer look at Hibiscus moscheutos, Hibiscus Jazzberry Jam, Hibiscus Midnight Marvel, Luna Pink Swirl, Hibiscus Cranberry Crush, Luna Red Rose and several varieties of the Rose of Sharon. We will also see the newly open water lily varieties we’ve added this year to our backyard water feature that are doing much better and blossoming. We think you will agree these are some amazing platter-size blossoms.


Video Blog 1047 – Quick Butterfly Update

This morning we had to create a quick butterfly update to follow-up on our last butterfly surprise video. After 5 of 7 caterpillar larva created their silky pupas, 2 of 5 remaining Painted Lady Butterflies completed their amazing metamorphosis and are now moving about while hardening their wings. No matter how many times we’ve witness this process, this is our first time observing this transformation with Painted Lady Butterflies. As the others complete their transformation, we will be releasing them into our lush flower gardens. Thank you Phyllis for sending us this wonderful butterfly kit. Join us and see how well they are doing.


Video Blog 1046 – Butterfly Surprise

One of our faithful viewers, Phyllis from Memphis, sent us a surprise gift of a Painted Lady Butterfly kit that included 7 baby caterpillars. We immediately went to Farm & Fleet to purchase an Uncle Milton Wild Life Habitat, a netted Butterfly house. After reading the instruction (several times and several attempts) it took both of us to finally figured out how to properly put all the pieces together. We should have invited a 6th grader over yesterday who could have put it together much faster. Then, we transferred the caterpillars and their sugary food source from the tubular container (as instructed) that came with the Butterfly house. The following day we saw the tubular container was far too small and restrictive, so we modified the interior of the Butterfly house with some twigs and plant material and allowed the caterpillars to move about more freely. Now we enjoy watching their activity in hopes that we can observer each one’s transforming chrysalis soon in our new Butterfly habitat.


Video Blog 1045 – Summer Blossoms

Now that spring and early summer blossom have ended, it’s the beginning of August and we wanted to share more of our summer blossoms with our viewers. Starting with our first new Water Lily blossom we will visit our Dahlias, Cannas, Giant Hardy Hibiscus, Mexican Sunflowers, Wisteria, Weigela, Coneflowers, Hydrangea, Honeysuckle, leafy Caladiums and native plants such as Compass Plant, Cup Plant & Prairie Dock blossoms as just a few that currently enhance the colorful contrasts found in our gardens. Plus, our first delicious tasting of our favorite TomatoBerry Tomatoes.


Video Blog 1044 – Giant Fleece Plant Trimming

Now that our Giant Fleece Plants have reached their maximum summer growth, it’s time to trim them back and allow them to have a second bloom. Normally we cut them back halfway but this year invasive bindweed has really invaded many of our plants including our giant fleece. We normally don’t cut them back to ground level but it was a way to inspect this area more closely to see what we can do to curb this invasive specie. Then it’s off to the recycling center to drop off our 5th trailer load of weeds and cuttings.


Video Blog 1043 –It’s Garlic Time

It’s garlic time and after several busy weeks we can finally harvest our garlic. This year we have 3 different varieties of Hardneck garlic; Music garlic, Porcelain garlic & German Purple Stripe garlic. We decided to leave several garlic scapes develop flower seed pods as well. We will dig up the majority then cure and let our garlic harvest begin drying outdoors before trimming off the Hardneck stems and hairy roots. Then they will be placed in a netted bag, stored and used as needed.

In one area where we planted additional garlic cloves we found amongst that latest invasion of Canada Thistles. Despite clearing this area several weeks ago, the Canada thistles are back with a vengeance. At the recommendation of several viewers, for the 1st time in our gardening experience, once cleared, we will use a fabric weed barrier in specific areas in an attempt to weed control these invasive Canada thistles.


Video Blog 1042 – Controlling Canada Thistles 

Controlling Canada Thistles is becoming a full-time job. Today, we will share our 3td year progress and experimental techniques in our attempt to control this invasive species. For many gardeners and landscapers the battle has begun in earnest. While we commonly say ‘Canadian Thistle’ it’s actually ‘Canada Thistle’ that arrived in the 1700’s in contaminated seed brought into Canada by French traders.  

Despite centuries of unwanted growth, they arrived and quickly spread in our garden about 5-years ago. This invasive species began showing up in nearly every area of our Wisconsin Garden thanks to all the seeds that drifted onto our yard. As we travel around the state of Wisconsin, you will see huge patches that have literally taken over. In just one year, they can devour a 15 square foot area with ease and quickly spread their rhizomes deeply and widely at a pace that would frighten any horror fan. We herein claim the Movie Rights!


Video Blog 1041 – Mid-July Garden Tour Part 2

Welcome back to our mid-July garden tour part 2, continuing where we left off in part 1. While many flowering plants and bushes have spent blossoms, many more are either in full bloom or getting ready to delight our eyes with more amazing blossoms. We start inside our Honeysuckle arch and work our way along the front, south and west side gardens pointing out a variety of plants, bushes and trees that add color and texture. You’ll see how well our Montauk Daisy propagation technique is already growing. We’ll end at our water feature as the afternoon comes to a close while doing our best to remember each weed that we missed along the way. We’d love to bring you along as long as you realize that no gardener ever has the perfect garden, least of all the two or us in our Wisconsin Garden.


Video Blog 1040 – Mid-July Garden Tour p1

Welcome to our mid-July garden tour part 1. After weeks of heat, humidity and lots of sweat running down our face, we thought we needed to check on areas of our garden we have not had time to address, especially all the weeds that popped up after several days of rain. Today we will start on the SE corner of our gardens and walk along the eastern berm to identify and discuss the plants enjoying the summer sun. Now that our two massive Maple trees were taken down last winter, many plants are thriving in full sun while a few are getting crispy. You’ll see how large the giant fleece plants, giant hardy Hibiscus, five newly planted trees along with many perennial and native plants are doing in these sections of our garden. Join us as we walk around our Wisconsin Garden.


Video Blog 1039 – Visiting Our Veggie Garden

For several weeks we’ve been weeding while visiting our veggie garden. Every year we try new varieties of vegetables, especially tomato plants including both heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, various squash, Dinosaurs kale and our yearly crop of garlic. After reclaiming our strawberry beds, we were able to see the progress in propagating Daphne, Mock Orange and Montauk Daisies. Now that all our veggies are doing fine, it’s time to drive another trailer load of weeds and too much of unwanted plant material to our recycling center instead of composting it on our property.


Video Blog 1038 – Tending The Iris Bed

Now that all the purple bearded Iris have blossomed, it’s time for tending the Iris bed before it goes to seed. This is a yearly task for gardeners. We need to remove and deadhead all the dead blossoms to that the remaining energy can feed the rhizome and not expend energy creating seed heads. We also need to remove weeds and unwanted plants that have invaded this area. In addition to removing weeds and debris we began pulling out Creeping Buttercup and Wood Sorrel. However, I found myself sinking into the ground while pulling out sections of Feverfew. With one leg out and one leg in, the 3’ feet deep hole was becoming a challenge as I found myself trying to crawl my way back out of this sink hole. We think huge Maple tree we had removed had root that decade and the only thing holding the Iris in place were their interlocking rhizomes roots. It took over 5 cubic yards of soil to fill the hole, or as much of it as we could see. Now we will have to be extra careful working in this area. But at least we were able to attend the task of removing the old iris flower stems. It was quite the experience.


Video Blog 1037 – Gingko Tree Love Affair

As many of our viewers know we have a Gingko tree love affair. We planted our first Gingko Biloba (Maidenhair fern tree) in the summer of 1989 when our daughter Lace was a junior in High School. Since then we’ve enjoyed watching it grow. About 3-years ago we began propagating Gingko tree cuttings with success. Today, we will once again be propagating more Gingko cuttings using root hormone and planting the stems directly in soil. Then we will explore several 3-year old Gingko trees we planted last fall from both from propagation cutting and one Gingko tree grown from seed. You will see the 4th day Gingko update so you can see how the ones we just planted are doing. We will also include an update on our spring Montauk Daisies propagated from cuttings over a month ago along with other plants and treated conditions.


Video Blog 1036 – Repotting House Plants

This week much of the country will be facing temperatures in the 90’s which makes this the perfect time to begin repotting House Plants. I have three types of plants that desperately need to be repotted: orchids, Aloe Vera and Belgium Hybrid Orange Bush Lilies that have all out-grown their containers. The Belgium Hybrid Orange Bush Lily root ball was amazing and something I have never seen. It hadn’t been repotted for all the years we had it growing in the office south window. I literally had to cut it out of its container. Separating the plant and roots was rather challenging and something you have to see to believe. Once divided we used a variety of appropriate planting mediums, then watered and set in a shaded area of our back porch to recover.


Video Blog 1035 –Eliminating Elderberry Plants

Because of its aggressive nature, we will be Eliminating Elderberry Plants. While elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that boost one’s immune system and other benefits, as most gardeners understand, sometimes plants need to either be moved to a more suitable location or simply removed.  As you will see, we needed to dig out the massive root system because this plant would become overgrown blocking our blueberry and honeyberry plants. We also needed more open space to add more honeyberry plants for required pollination in order to receive fruit. In just a matter of one month it has grown an arms length and we still have several months of growth if not removed. We also have a very special guest appearance from Weird “Al’ Yankovic we think you’ll enjoy.


Video Blog 1034 – Tree Peony Update

Here’s our tree peony update requested from many viewers. You will see tree peonies we grew from seed. Over a period of 7-8 years after our original seed planting in a raised bed, yearly tree peony plants continue to appear. Since then, we’ve transplanted them to various areas our gardens which we now enjoy observing and smelling. In addition to our herbaceous peony plants, we will also look at the start of our yellow Itoh peony outside our kitchen garden area which will begin blossoming in a couple of weeks. For all of you that have asked, here’s a quick video showing you their current progress. Enjoy!


Video Blog 1033 – Mid May Garden Tour p3

As we end our mid May garden tour part 3, we begin our garden tour with our anniversary wind chime and move along our front porch garden area then around the south and west side of our property exploring what’s emerging or in full bloom. You’ll see Giant Bleeding Hearts, Topiary Alberta Spruce, Woodland Poppy, Japanese Fern Leaf Peony, Giant White Hardy Hibiscus, Kiwi Vine, Clematis, Pasque Flower, Iris, Honeysuckle, Fig Tree, Korean Maple, Hosta Hybrids, Asian Lilies, Mason Bees, Montauk Daisies and our Back yard Water Fall Feature.


Video Blog 1032 – Mid May Garden Tour p2

In part 2 of our mid May garden tour, we will enter the inner side of the east berm and discuss the plants that have emerged or are blossoming. We will start with two native plants, Western Sunflowers and Compass Plant and move inward to see the Tulips, Tree Peonies, Virginia Bluebells, Roses, Bosnian Pine, Honeysuckle, Tri-Color European Beech Tree, Reblooming Weigela, Dahlias, Canna, Peruvian Daffodils, Giant Fleece Plant, Helenium, Astilbe, Itoh Peony, Japanese Red Maple and much more. So join us as do continue our walkabout.


Video Blog 1031 – Mid May Garden Tour p1

Part 1 of our Mid May garden tour will take a look at what’s developing and blooming. We’ll look at our newly planted Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Juniper Bush, our 5-in-1 Apple Trees, Elberta Peach Trees, Eastern Redbud, Dwarf Coral Burst Crabapple, Marilee Crabapple, Limelight Hydrangea, Paperbark Maple, Giant Fleece Plant, Flowering Quince, Giant White Hardy Hibiscus, Japanese Fern Leaf Peonies, Daffodils, Burning Bushes and Forsythia growing on the east side of our front yard berm. We seem to have gone from winter right into summer with temperatures in the high 80’s all week making working in the garden challenging.


Video Blog 1029 – Trimming & Propagating Montauk Daisies

Today we will begin trimming and propagating Montauk Daisies. Gardeners start your engines. The sun is finally shinning, it’s in the 50s and it’s starting to feel like Spring. Montauk Daisies are in the Chrysanthemum family and is one of the last fall blossoming plants that grace our gardens. Propagating them is very easy. Each spring we simply dead head the old growth down to where new leaves are forming. We cut the stem at an angle and simply plant them in a 4” pot filled with potting soil. In late summer, early fall, we plant the pots in a raised bed where they remain until spring. The following year they create a new plant cluster to grace another area of the garden. This garden video blog shows you how we propagate these amazing plants.


Video Blog 1028 – Dividing & Transplanting Iris

Now that all the new trees have been planted, it’s time to divide and transplant iris we dug up in order to plant our new bushes. Generally Iris patches need to be dug up divided inspected and replanted ever 3-5 years to keep them happy. If Iris fail to bloom they may have been planted too deeply, have diseases or not enough sunlight. 

While early spring isn’t the ideal time to transplant bearded iris, they are tough and will survive even though they haven’t blossomed. When dividing, it’s important to inspect and remove diseased parts of Iris Rhizomes including soft, mushy or rotting sections, leaf blight or dying brown leaves. Once inspection is completed a quick bleach bath can assist in removing any lingering fungus or insects and begin transplanting. To help hold Iris in place, we often place a stone on top of the Rhizome until the roots are established. When transplanting, remember Iris prefer to grow in areas that are generally clean and debris-free.


Video Blog 1027 – Busy Solitary Bees

If you’ve been outside in March, you probably notice a lot of busy solitary bees at work. In late March and early April the Mason bees are out gathering pollen for their tubular nest. We will share the process and housing we’ve used for several years. While their life cycle lasts only 4-6 weeks, they do an incredible job at pollinating many fruit trees and bushes. The female gathers pollen laying and fertilizing each egg packs it with mud and continues this cycle throughout her life. The eggs she fertilizes will become female while all the other unfertilized eggs will become male. In early summer, the leafcutter bees appear they approach pollination much the same, except they pack each egg with 26 tiny circular cutting from plant leaves. If you want to learn more about solitary bees we recommend as a great free resource.


Video Blog 1026 – Planting New Bushes

While this appeared to be a fairly small job compared to planting the 5 large trees, the hot weather took a lot out of us as we completed this early spring phase of planting new bushes. We will start with a quick tour of the 5 trees we just planted, the Paperbark Maple, Limelight Hydrangea, Marilee Crabapple, Coral Burst Crabapple & Eastern Redbud, we’ll begin digging holes for our new Kallay Compact Juniper and three Dwarf Alberta Spruce bushes. Before we begin we’ll have to dig up and move a section of our bearded iris along with some Hosta and Tree Peonies we planted from seed several years ago.


Video Blog 1025 – Planting Trees p2

Now that several hole locations are dug, it’s time to begin planting our Eastern Redbud, Dwarf Coral Burst Crabapple, Marilee Crabapple, Tree Form Limelight Hydrangea and Paperbark Maple trees. While Richard and I were able to roll the Dwarf Coral Burst Crabapple and Marilee Crabapple, the root ball of the Eastern Redbud would need more muscle power. Thanks to our grandson Logan and his friend Luke, all four of us were able to more the 300+ pound root ball into position. While I drove the boys to pick up lunch, Richard stayed behind and planted the Tree Form Limelight Hydrangea, After lunch Richard and I finished planting the Eastern Redbud while Logan and Luke starting digging up and replanting 2 Giant Hardy White Hibiscus, then digging up a large Giant Fleece Plant making room for our new Paper Bark Maple. After a hard day’s work we watered all the newly panted trees and took a well-deserved shower. Tomorrow it is suppose to rain all day. Talk about perfect timing. Great!


Video Blog 1024 – Planting Trees p1 

Early this morning our trees were delivered. Despite the chilly windy weather, we thought we’d begin digging forever homes for each tree. The trees we’ve selected are an Eastern Redbud, Dwarf Coral Burst Crabapple, Marilee Crabapple, Tree form Limelight Hydrangea, Paperbark Maple, Dwarf Alberta Spruce and a Kallay Compact Juniper.  We’ll also be moving several Hardy Giant White Hibiscus and planting over 24 Peony varieties is newly open space now that our two giant Maple trees were removed. We’ll also be adding 27 Miscanthus Giganteus grasses in various areas around our gardens. Plus we have 100 bags of Planting Mix to move. We will do our best to pace ourselves over the next couple of weeks


Video Blog 1023 – Transplanting Seedlings

Today, we are transplanting seedlings we started March 20th into biodegradable Cow Pots. We have been using a variety of seed starter systems including covered Bio-Dome; Open Trays and Self-Watering Seed Starting Kit & Replacement Water Mat. We’ve started Organic Butterbaby Squash & Spaghetti Orangeti F1 Squash and Heirloom Broccoli – Waltham 29 along with Mr. Stripey Tomato, Zinnia Cut & Grow mixed colors, Mexican Sunflowers, Pelleted Pansy, Ice Plant, Yarrow & Cockscomb. With April snow and cold, we hope to start planting many of our tender bulbs as well. Tomorrow several new trees arrive allowing us to finally get started outdoors.


Video Blog 1022 – Springing Muscles Moving Mulch

Today we’re springing muscles moving mulch now that our two large Maple trees left us two mountains of mulch. The weather is perfect for working outside. We’re also going to work smart and start with half a wheelbarrow of mulch at a time and pace ourselves. Before we begin, we have to do some lawn cleanup from twigs and branches left behind. It was also time to call and thank our grandson Logan and his friend Jared for their additional muscle power making this task a great deal easier. After two days and hundreds of trips we accomplished a great deal but still have another hill of mulch to move around the garden.


Video Blog 1021 – Lighthouse Art Adventure

You probably want to know what we’ve been up to over winter. I recently finished my third memoir and am now working on Richards. He too has been very busy restoring and digitally framing thousands of our family history photographs. He also completed restoring many Milwaukee Braves images and is just about to complete restoring 199 Lighthouse images from around the United States and Canada. Both of these projects took him 20 years to complete.  We thought you’d enjoy a brief peek into his Lighthouse Art adventure.


Video Blog 1020 – Brief Winter Update

Every gardener is faced with making an unwanted decision. Ours revolved around two large 50+ foot tall Maple trees in on our front berm. We originally raised and moved both samplings shortly after we move into this property many years ago. Our biggest concern was that the larger of the two trees was now within 12” of our underground gas line. Both trees were heavily leaning toward the street and would pose a serious problem in years to come. Despite our arborists attempt to lighten the load on the street side it never made a difference in the angle. After last summer’s wind shear and dozens of large fallen trees we had to make that fateful decision to have them cut down. I know, sad!

Last week our wonderful arborist came with a crew and within 4 hours had them removed and chipped. Now we have two large mulch piles that as spring arrives and the weather begins to warm up, we will begin spreading this hardwood mulch. Today however, our goal is to simply remove a section of the mulch that is partly covering the root ball of one of our McIntosh Apple trees along the entrance of our main driveway. After less than 15 minutes we completed the task and went back inside to finish several other winter-time projects.


Video Blog 1019 – Winterizing Your Tender Bulbs

We’ve been blessed with some warm November weather, but now it’s time to begin winterizing our tender bulbs for winter storage. By digging them up we have a chance to save these bulbs for planting again next year. Today, we will be digging up our Peruvian Daffodils, a variety of Dahlias, Elephant Ears and Cannas. They’ll sun harden, then be washed and sun dried for 24 hours and then packed inside cardboard boxes and plastic trays with Peat Moss and kept in our cool, dark basement over winter. Once a month we will inspect their progress and give each bulb a light water spray so they don’t fully dry up and die. Any questionable tubers will be removed.


Video Blog 1018 – Innoculate Then Plant Fall Garlic

Mid to late October is a great time to plant garlic here in Wisconsin. Today, we’re going to inoculate then plant our fall garlic. We’ll be planting Music, Porcelain and German Purple Stripe Hardneck Garlic. The first two are our size and flavor favorites.

Today’s experiment will be in reverse. Because of the amount of cloves, we’ll make a double batch and inoculate all the cloves in a warm water bath consisting of 1-tablespoon of seaweed extract powder and 1-tablespoon of Baking Soda, allowing them to soak in all the nutrients overnight. The following day we will drain off this fertilizing mixture and replace it with Vodka so that all the garlic cloves receive a 20-minute sterilization bath, then planted in a prepared bed. Each clove will be planted 3-4” deep and 2-4” apart depending upon clove size.

Once planted, we will water them well and after the first hard frost cover them with 4’ of straw or leaf mulch for the winter. You’ll find garlic one of the easiest plants to grow.

Here are more videos on our garlic experiments:

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 1017 – Early October Garden Tour

It’s time for our early October garden tour. As the trees begin to change colors several plants are still in their glory, especially our Montauk Daisies, Mammoth Mums, Monkshood, New England Asters, Elephant Ears, Giant Zinnias, Dahlias, Honeysuckle, Tree Peony, Chrysanthemum, Canna Lily, Gingko Tree Seedlings, Dwarf Tomatoes, Pumpkin On A Stick, Phlox, Rhubarb Crown Rot, 5-in-1 Grafted Apple Trees, Blackberries, Raspberries, and our Portable Greenhouse.

Thank you all for your well-wishes and prayers for Richard’s speedy recovery from two bouts with summer heat stroke leading to severe dehydration. We’d like to give a special shout-out to Barb and Dave Riggs visiting all the way from New Port Beach California, along with all the other amazing viewers who stopped to tour our eclectic experimental Wisconsin Gardens.


Video Blog 1015 – Early September Garden Tour

After an extremely hot and humid summer that has taken its toll on Richard, we can finally take you on an early September garden tour to see our eclectic garden and what’s growing. We’ll start on the southern side of our gardens and move to the northern sections and along the way see lots of flowers, fruits and vegetables. We visit our invasive Morning Glories, delightful Giant Hardy Hibiscus, TomatoBerry, Fig Tree, Korean Maple, Water Feature, Elephant Ears, Montauk Daisy, Dwarf Tomato, Dahlia, Phlox and others along the way.


Video Blog 1014 – The Incredible RIVO Digital Quilt: Episode 001

Many viewers may not know that the incredible RIVO Digital Quilt was created by my husband Richard Voigt aka RIVO. His digital quilt series currently consists of over 600 canvas compositions that span the length of 6 football fields and growing. He began experimenting with photographs he has taken from flowering plants we grow in our gardens. Each original 38” x 38” kaleidoscopic abstraction canvas compositions is dated and signed and will be available for adoption in the very near future. We hope you enjoy Episode 001 in this series and if your enjoyed his video composition, stay tuned for more details as his new website will be coming soon!


Video Blog 1013 – ZUCCHINI CANDY

Now that Zucchini is in season, it’s time for us to make some amazing Zucchini Candy. If you would like a ‘Printable Copy’ of this yummy Zucchini Candy Recipe, simply send an email to:

If you, or your children, taste-tested one piece of this delightful treat before knowing or reading the title of this video, you probably couldn’t guess what it was, but you would probably ask if you could try another piece. Then you’d want the entire jar. This video will take you through all the entire process from start to a final coating that will amaze and please your taste buds, as well as, your family and friends. Once you try it, it may become an annual treat.


Video Blog 1012 – Unglamorous Garden Tasks

Every gardener knows to maintain a beautiful and healthy garden, there are many unglamorous garden tasks that need to be addresses on a regular basis or it easily gets out of control. Today we will be deadheading many flowers, our giant fleece plants, trimming and shaping our flowering apple tree, smoke tree and our mystery tree which was over shadowing our fig tree. After just 3-hours working in muggy weather, we completely filled another trailer load which will be heading for our city’s recycling center handing our load along with a lot of storm damage from all around our Brookfield area.


Video Blog 1011 – Storing Our Garlic 

It has been two wild weather weeks with 24 confirmed tornadoes, with winds from 93 – 160 MPH. While we’ve been blessed with no damage, some of our neighbors didn’t escape the storms wrath. Everywhere large trees are down, downing power lines and transformers all while enduring temperatures in the 90’s plus very high humidity. We’re happy to report only a mess to clean up in and around our neighborhood.

Now that temperatures and high humidity have dropped back to our normal 70’s, it’s time to prepare storing our garlic harvest. This year’s crop consisted of three verities: music, porcelain and German purple stripe Hardneck.

We will be cutting off the stems, inspecting and net bagging each variety while setting the largest bulbs and cloves as seed stock for this coming October.


Video Blog 1010 – August Garden Tour part 2

If you enjoyed part 1, join us for our August Garden Tour part 2. After being neglected for a couple of weeks, we’ll begin harvesting lots of veggie goodies and show you many perennials that are currently in bloom. Starting with those delicious TomatoBerry tomatoes, climbing beans and spaghetti squash in our south garden, we’ll begin harvesting goodies in our north gardens for more tomatoes, a couple different varieties of cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. Then we’ll look at dozens of our perennial plants and flowers in bloom, including Moon Lily, Giant Indian Plantain, Forsythia, Hydrangea, Wild Senna, Black berries, Zinnias, Butterfly Weed, Echinacea and other Hibiscus varieties.


Video Blog 1009 – August Garden Tour part 1

Today we’ll take you on our August Garden Tour, part 1 as we start with the dazzling display of our giant hardy hibiscus plants that just began to open this summer season. We’ve been patiently waiting to see our giant White, Eye Candy, Midnight Marvel and Jazzberry Jam hardy hibiscus along with compact Luna varieties, some now in full bloom while others will begin opening later this week. We’ll also highlight many other perennials, as well as, our vegetable plant updates in our south enclosed garden area. So, join us for part 1 of this year’s August garden tour and join our growing global garden family.


Video Blog 1008 – Harvesting Our Garlic

It’s nearing the end of July and it is definitely time for harvesting our Garlic. It has been so hot and humid we knew we had to harvest early in the morning and already it’s in the high 80s and humid already. This year we’ve planted three kinds: German Purple Stripe Hardneck Garlic, Porcelain Garlic, and Music Garlic. In years past we’ve experimented with inoculating our garlic before planting in late fall. Last fall we decided not to inoculate to see any difference. Now that we’ve completed our harvest for this year, we know we will most likely go back to inoculating our garlic before planting late fall, before the first snow fall of the winter season.

More Garlic-Related Videos:

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 1007 – In The Raspberry Patch

It’s nearly the middle of July and today we’re in the Raspberry patch. After about 30-minutes we have over 3 baking pans full of sweet red raspberries ready to be turned into some tasty treats. We will show several ways we preserve raspberries into a sweet sauce, freezer jam and as a topping for other delicious goodies, that naturally we will have to test along the way. So, join us on today’s fragrant and wonderful raspberry journey.


Video Blog 1006 – Early July Garden Tour

Today, we’ll focus on an early July garden tour and see what’s changing in and around our gardens. We will cover a wide variety of perennial plants, trees, fruits and vegetables. We’ll begin on the southern side of our garden near the gazebo and move along the front inner berm and into the orchard area. Then we will take a quick look at how our vegetable plants are doing in their raised beds. Just as the rain drops start we will move to the western side of our backyard and end this July garden tour.


Video Blog 1005 – Canadian Thistles

After a day of pulling out and filling a 4’ x8’ x5’ trailer full of Canadian Thistles, we are attempting to eliminate this invasive specie before it totally gets out of control. We’ve been dealing with Canadian Thistles for at least the past 4-5 years, but this year we were busy building our new water feature and it took over the NE corner of our garden. Instead of using and spraying chemicals, we are going to experiment with cooking the plant and root system. Thank goodness the weather was in the high 70’s and not the 90’s predicted for the coming week.


Video Blog 1004 – Descaping The Garden

You’ve heard of Manscaping, Landscaping and Escaping today we will be descaping the garden. Actually we are removing the scapes from our garlic varieties. We’ve planted music, porcelain and German purple stripe garlic last fall here in our south garden area and it’s time to remove the scapes. In addition, we’ll show you want we’ve planted in our south and north vegetable gardens including squash, peppers, kale, beets, peas, carrots, cucumbers and a wide variety of hybrid and heirloom tomatoes, but also some dwarf compact tomatoes thanks to a book called ‘Epic Tomatoes’ by Craig LeHoullier – You’ll also see how we keep a garden journal and watch our mother Turkey roosting on at least 7 eggs on the NW corner of our garden.


Video Blog 1003 – Gingko Tree Update

Several viewers have requested we do a Gingko update on our cuttings. Here’s a quick update on how well our propagation of several cuttings are doing, some newly planted and several from two years ago. As you may already know, propagation by cuttings is a great way to be sure of the sex of the tree. Simply take a 6” cutting between May – July. Select portions of your tree that consist of young or half-ripe wood. We prefer to dip our cutting in powered root hormone the stick the cutting in planting soil medium and keep it moist, not soggy, and they should root. 

The Ginkgo biloba is the oldest know tree specie that still exists on planet Earth. It’s the sole survivor of an ancient group of trees that date back to before dinosaurs roamed the Earth – creatures that lived between 245 and 66 million years ago. Ancient Ginkgo fossil leaves date and are almost identical to maidenhair tree leaves that exist today.

The Ginkgo leaf has been used therapeutically for improving circulation to the brain, enhancing memory and cognitive function. It’s known for improving circulation to the brain by reducing headaches and fatigue while promoting macular health by improving blood flow to the eyes. So, the next time you pass one of these majestic trees in your neighborhood, or better yet planting one of your own, give it a hug for good luck, great health and longevity.


Video Blog 1002 – June Garden Tour part 2

Welcome back to our June Garden Tour part 2. In this garden video we will visit some of our perennial  and native plants including Western Sunflowers, Compass Plant, Cup Plant, Mullein, Forsythia, Giant Fleece Plant, Fine Line© Buckthorn, White Hardy Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Purple Leaf Smoke Tree, Peony, Montauk Daisy, Bindweed, Quince, Ostrich Ferns, Chameleon Plant, Tansy Ragwort, Solomon Seal, Woodland Poppy, Hosta Plantain Lily, Sweet William, McIntosh Apple Trees, Common Daisy, Zinnia, Orange Butterfly Weed, Peruvian Daffodils, Helenium, Queen Of The Prairie, Dahlias, Compact Tomato Plants, Ninebark, Balloon Flowers, and much more.


Video Blog 1001 – June Garden Tour part 1 of 2

Now that our major spring projects are completed, it’s time to share our June Garden Tour, part 1 of 2, and see what is currently blooming. We’ll cover the West and South West portion of our gardens, the newly constructed Water Feature, Brian Zarr’s glass work of art,  various planted containers, Elephant Ears, Montauk Daisies, Asiatic Lilies, variegated Coleus, Giant Bleeding Hearts, the gazebo work space and large metal Hanging Baskets, the newly planted Korean Maple Tree, Oriental Poppies, Clematis, Wisteria, Liatris, Garlic, Dill and more. And a special shout out to our son Keye – Happy Birthday.  Stay tuned for part 2 of our June Garden Tour.



Video Blog 1000 – Our 1,000th Garden Video

A Week In The Garden

We proudly present our 1,000th Wisconsin garden video blog titled: ‘A Week In The Garden.’ We decided to focus on a different area of our garden each day of the week. From Monday through Sunday, each day offered us a closer look at something very special that captured our full attention. As we end our week-long adventure, we want to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has shared their precious time watching our garden evolve over the years. It has been our delight to share our eclectic, experimental gardens with so many kind, considerate and supportive viewers and subscribers.

According to YouTube stats, our garden video blogs have been seen in 132 countries over these past years, and we are deeply honored to everyone who came here in person from California, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and of course from around many areas here in Wisconsin just to meet us and visit our gardens. It is only through your loving support that we are inspired to continue sharing our passion for gardening with you. Your comments are deeply appreciated, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our videos as much as we’ve enjoyed hearing from you. Thank You To Everyone!


Video Blog 999 – Iris & Peony Update

The middle of May and early June is the perfect time for our Iris & Peony update. From the vintage purple bearded iris that smells like grape Kool-Aid to the delicate Siberian and yellow iris, the herbaceous peony, tree peonies, the amazing yellow Itoh peony and all the other fragrant peonies, we wanted to share these incredible floral bouquets. With the weather cooperating, we will continue to enjoy many more blossoms yet to unfold.  If for any reason you’ve never grown peonies, they are definitely a flowering perennial you should consider adding to your garden. Once you grow them, you’ll be hooked for life on the dazzling variety that is available.


Video Blog 998 – Deck & Picnic Table Prep

For the past couple of days, we’ve been working on our deck & picnic table prep as we get closer to our 1,000th Wisconsin Garden Video Blog. We’ve power-washed our picnic table deck and the deck in front of our newly built water feature, along with stripping off all the old red paint from our picnic table. Today we are giving our deck areas their 3rd coat of stain matching the water feature and paint the picnic table a bright red as per Lynn’s special request. After a couple of days of rain, the sun is out and the wood is dry and absorbing nicely. While we still have a way to go, after over a month of a lot of hard work, our goal is to finish this entire area in honor of our 1,000th garden video coming soon.


Video Blog 997 – Finishing The Water Feature Part 4

It’s been over 3-weeks, but we glad to be finally finishing the water feature spring project for our backyard. After several rain delays and frosty cold weather, we finally had a string of warm sunny days to finish all the post holes, side wall construction, rubberizing, trim work, staining, some planting, copper plumbing and solar lighting. Now the fun really begins as we see and hear the peaceful and relaxing water overflowing once again knowing that this will be enjoyed for many decades.  All the hard work paid off quite well and we truly thank all of our viewers for their kind support as we gave our bodies a real workout even without a gym membership.


Video Blog 996 – May Garden Tour

We’ll take you on a quick May garden tour as we wait for the rain and cold weather to cease so that we can start staining our water feature. We thought you’d enjoy seeing what’s blooming in May before they disappear for another year. The Japanese Fern-Leaf Peony is in it’s full glory as is Camassia, Anemone, Primrose, Yarrow, Iris, Poppy, Giant Bleeding Heart, Flowering Quince, Daphne and many others starting to grow such as our Giant Hibiscus, Clematis, Honeysuckle, Liatris and Allium just to name a few. Join us and see what’s growing in our Wisconsin Garden.


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 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:


“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.

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