WEEKEND FINDS

What a week. Well, weeks. I have been at an uncomfortable level of "busy" lately and I can't wait to be back to normal busy, which is my happy place.

But caring for my seedlings is a wonderful break. Two times a day I check on them, making sure they are properly watered, rearranging them under lights or on the heat mat, petting them and generally checking on their well being. 

I sowed tomatoes last weekend and they came up so fast they were already stretching by the time I got them under lights.

There's a bit of a Clark Griswold situation going on with the power cords in the lower left corner. Four-light fluorescent on top, new LED light in the middle, old two-light fluorescent second from bottom and the heat mat on the lowest rack. 
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That peculiar blue glow is coming from the new LED light I got this week. I don't fully understand how to compare the fluorescent grow lights I'm familiar with to LED light, so this much smaller light, that apparently is meant to hang much higher is odd to me. I bought one of the less expensive lights I could find because I'm not quite sure how it will work. You can be sure I'll let you know.

Think zinnias and marigolds are has-beens? No way.

My friend Linda from Each Little World gave a compelling review of this book that had me running to buy it. Speaking of which, I'm excited to be seeing Linda this weekend at a gardening symposium she told me about in Madison.

I've been looking for some dining chairs to use when we have large gatherings that can be easily stored but are still sturdy. The requirements were that they either fold or stack, were comfortable and weren't hideously ugly. And budget was a factor. 

After a lot of back and forth between a bunch of different styles, all of which I perceived as being a bit trendy, I decided I might as well go for trendy, but trendy that I like. I found this black bistro chair at Williams Sonoma and loved how it looked staged at a table, even if it has a bit of an outdoor vibe to it.  So then I went on a hunt to find it at a more realistic price. Here's what I came up with.

Williams-Sonoma Parisian Bistro chair $125
AspenBrands dining side chair from Wayfair $118.99

Table in a Bag French Café Bistro Chair, Amazon $75
As far as I can tell, they are all the same chair and certainly the last two are. The descriptions and reviews for the last two say they are stackable and I love the idea that they will work equally good outside when we entertain in summer. I may get some cushions for them but I'll wait to see how they sit first. 

That's it from here. Saturday will be a day for inspiration at the gardening symposium I'm going to and I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to get some time in the garden on Sunday. I have a lot of work I need to do as well but I'll go positively nuts if I don't get in there to do some cleaning, even if it's with a rake from the edges. What's on your agenda this weekend?

A SIGN OF SPRING

There are signs of life in the garden. Somehow the leaves that I removed in fall reappeared and all of the perennials that I left standing in November are waiting to be chopped down, but underneath the mess, things are happening.

The earliest daffodils in my garden, which live in a little microclimate along the house, have been up for awhile, but even in other areas, tiny green bits of daffodils are popping up.


Perhaps the most wonderful sight in the garden was this one, where some very wet winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) popped up their heads after a rainy and generally miserable weekend. When the sun comes out (which it must, eventually), the daisylike flowers will open up.

These cute little ephemerals, which are native to Europe, spread easily once established, which is how I got the few I have: those who have them are generally happy to share. Deer don't eat them, which is a requirement at this time of year when the deer are very hungry. Every resource I consult says they bloom in late winter before crocuses do. It's late March, and I do not consider this to be late winter, but who am I to argue with flowers?

This is not a particularly spectacular plant and were it not for the fact that ANY flower is reason to celebrate at this time of year, it wouldn't be much noticed. Still, that's reason enough for me to grow it and wish it well as it wanders my garden.


3 PLANTS I'LL GROW THIS YEAR

I keep lists of plants I'm on the hunt for in various places—on sheets of paper in my purse, in an app on my phone, at the back of my garden notebook. This way I remember to grab them if I find them at a local nursery.

Each year there are a handful of plants that I get really hung up on for whatever reason. Here are three that I'm hoping to add to my garden this year.

Some affiliate links may be used. Thanks for your support. 

BOUTELOUA GRACILIS 'BLONDE AMBITION'
Monrovia photo

The first is a grass. I'm fussy about grasses. I've been through the ringer with less-than-well-behaved grasses in the past, so I choose them carefully. The one that I'm currently lusting after, a blue grama grass with a great name—Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'—caught my eye several years ago. It is a nice size plant—super tall grasses make me jittery—and has the most charming seed heads that sit perpendicular to the stems. The whole thing makes for an interesting plant. Of course those cute seed heads can turn into a nightmare but everything I've read says this is easy to control from a reseeding standpoint. I've struggled to find it in the past, but it seems to be popping up in many more places so I hope it will find a home in my garden this year.

Zone 4-9
Size: 30 to 36 inches tall and wide
Available online at: High Country Gardens, Plant Delights Nursery, MonroviaSanta Rosa Gardens, among others 

GEUM TRIFLORUM
Paul Drobot photos

The next is a plant that has popped up quite a bit on this blog lately: Geum triflorum. This is another one that's been on my radar for some time, as almost every garden I've toured seems to have them. And Proven Winners horticulturist Stacey Hirvela told me she can't imagine having a garden without it. Bonus points for the fact that it's native in much of the northern U.S., is a pleasant but not aggressive reseeder that will gradually work its way around and a gold star for it looking great for much of the year.

Zone 3-8
Size: 6 to 18 inches
Available online: Prairie Nursery, High Country Gardens, and as seeds

ACHILLEA
'Richard Nelson', Bluestone Perennials photo
'Terra Cotta', Bluestone Perennials photo

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but the next plant on my must-have list is Achillea millefolium. You know ... yarrow. The plant that everyone has had in their garden forever. I feel like I have to defend my reasoning for not growing this plant before. I'm certain it has everything to do with the goldenrod yellow color I most typically associate with this plant. That harsh shade of yellow has never been a favorite of mine (even though I sometimes don't mind it in early autumn). That combined with the sort of loose habit of Achillea always made me think "weed" when I saw it.

But guess what? Achillea is so much more than that. Cultivars range from an easy-on-the-eyes lemon yellow to shocking pink, dark red, peach or orange. Some are more compact than others, which also appeals to me and all are said to be very attractive to pollinators.

A few varieties that are worth a look:

Zone 3-9
Size 12-36 inches

These were the three plants I had to have last year and wouldn't you know it, every one of them made it into my garden last summer. I still love them all. 



SPRING: A TIME TO TAKE STOCK OF GARDEN PROJECTS TO COME

Happy spring!

In preparation for the first day of spring, we spent some time over the weekend walking through our still partially snow covered yard taking an assessment of what needs doing this year.

The creek that runs under this little bridge and it's twin a bit farther east  ranges from a trickle to a gully washer  at various times during the year.
At the top of the list is replacing the bridges Mr. Much More Patient built over the creek the year we bought the house 15 years ago. He used cedar for the boards but they seem to have fared no better than the pressure treated structural timbers over the year. The whole enchilada is rotting. I don't think we can complain as they've lasted a decade and a half and it will be a good excuse to make them a little wider. Not only does my two-wheel wheelbarrow barely fit on it (and it has careened off the side on more than one occasion), but there is a very small chance we may have a garden tour at the house next year and I'd like the bridges to be a touch wider for guests just in case.

The boards on top just lift up and you can see that there's rot in the structural bits too.

I also took the time to make a few notes about areas of the garden that I'd like to do some rearranging in, particularly in the sunny part of the garden north of the house. This has been the default garden for things I'm dividing or don't know where to plant, but I'm feeling the need to do a little fixing up in that area.

While walking to that garden we looked up and noticed the the chimney has mortar falling out all over the place again. We love that chimney but it has serious issues. We've had two people out over the  years to fix it. The first one was OK but sloppy. The second one, I think, actually lied about even going up there to do anything. So now we find ourselves having to find a mason and I'd like to get that done sooner rather than later because they always trash the garden.

If you look closely, you can see that the beds are bulging pretty badly. When we built it we sunk eight 4x4 cedar posts in the ground so we thought it would maintain its shape, but that's not been the case. In retrospect we should have added strapping to keep the beds from bulging. You can see the metal brackets on the front corner that are temporary measures to hold it together this year.
The bridges aren't the only thing rotting in our yard. The main raised bed garden is completely falling apart. We knew this would happen. We built it using cedar posts and untreated pine. In its eighth year, the pine boards are bowing terribly and rotting everywhere. The ones on the north end have crumbled. What we didn't expect was that the cedar 4x4 posts have also rotted. Is cedar not like cedar used to be? It seems like it's failing quickly.

The north side of the garden is in the worst shape. Not only are the boards rotten, but the posts they are screwed in to are as well. 

The solution is a patch job. We've bought some corner brackets to hold it together and we'll have to replace the boards on the north end with something. Even scrap wood would be OK. Mr. Much More Patient has some plan to get the screws to bite into the rotten posts.

The reason we're not doing a proper fix is that I'm very excited to report that the plan is for a complete redo of the veggie area next year. The dream of a potager is one I've been trying to shake for a few years but it just won't go away. So my plan is a new set of raised beds, room on the edges for growing fruit, a large fence around the entire thing and a small seating area to soak up the sun in the center. On the rough sketch I have there is also a faint dotted line on the back of the fenced-in area that says "Future greenhouse." I should be so lucky, but it doesn't hurt to have a plan just in case.

This is also the time of year when I make notes for future plantings. I stuck a few sticks here and there around the garden to represent possible locations for trees, which helps me visualize the location from various spots inside, as well as judge the amount of sunlight an area gets throughout the day, something I'm generally terrible at (optimism make me see sun that's sometimes not there).

These are difficult days for a gardener. There is a lot of pent-up desire to garden but no ability to do so. This kind of planning helps. In fact, maybe gardening is like proms and parties in that sometimes the anticipation is even better than the main event. 

WEEKEND FINDS

The week again got away from me, but that's no reason not share some good stuff from the web. Here's some of my favorite finds.

Gardener admission: I don't care for asparagus. I'll eat it if it's roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper but I do so begrudgingly. But I know plenty of people love it and I think it's a beautiful plant. If you're itching to grow some, here's how.

I need work on the decorating part, but it tasted amazing.

A couple weeks ago Mr. Much More Patient celebrated his birthday and his only request was a weekend of his favorite meals and a chocolate cake. I made Ina Garten's Beatty's cake but used this chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe. Best. Cake. Ever. (As confirmed by several friends and family who also got some because we don't need an entire cake for two of us.)

Speaking of Ina, you can buy her New York Pied a Terre. It doesn't exactly thrill me.

After all that cake I should probably do this.

I do love a space with just a hint black and these are really good.

I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show a few years and thought it was one of the better garden shows I've been to, but still a little disappointing in that so many of the show gardens put plants together that never would grow together. Looks like that's changed.

By the time you read this the weekend will be in full swing. The garden is (again) covered in snow so there will be no outdoor gardening activities for me this weekend. There will be some more seed starting (which one must do if they are going to grow as many different things as I am) though. And of course there's that little project going on in the basement that I haven't brought up for awhile to deal with.

What will you be doing this weekend?

FINDING A FOCAL POINT

Big things happen in my garden when I'm not able to garden. It is absolutely a case of my gardening eyes being much larger than my gardening stomach, but what else is a gardener to do during the long days of winter than think about the garden?

The west side of the house is the first part you see when you drive in.

This spot along the west side of the house has been problematic over the years. First I grew a very questionably hardy Japanese maple there (it died; I was sad). Then I planted a rather ordinary witch hazel there as the focal point. Unfortunately I was at the mercy of local nurseries, which seem to stock the most plain-Jane cultivars they can find, and ended up with a not-so-special plant. The best that area has looked was in the early days of the planting there. The witch hazel was small but lush, in front of it were black Heucheras and on the edge was a swatch of Hakonechloa 'All Gold'. 

The second year after planting this area was looking pretty good (minus the creeping Charlie problem in the lawn).

But the Hakonechloa happily took off and the Heuchera, which is not long lived in my garden to begin with, suffered. It's still there, it's just much shorter than the Hakonechloa, so you can't even see it. I divided all that Hakonechloa three years ago to make the new garden by the garage and I'll be able to divide it again for the new circle garden this year. Despite being considered a shade plant, it thrives in that spot with just a big of fading late in the summer. It's an all-star in my garden, seemingly accommodating a variety of light conditions.

But several years later it's less of a success.
Clearly this spot is in need of a bit of a redo. The good news is that because of the large spruce we cut down on the south side of the driveway there will be more light on this side of the house. Also, it's really more of a west southwest exposure, so there is light there by late morning. You can get a feel for the layout of the garden—this space is labeled as the "West side garden"—in the slightly outdated "artist's rendering" of the garden that I did a few years ago, below.



The most important part of that planting, and frankly, perhaps one of the most important parts of the entire garden as it is visible as you drive in, is the focal point plant in front of the chimney. In my opinion, it needs to be highly structured and a little simple so as to not compete with the busy pattern of the stone. I've been wary of dark foliage because I want it to stand out against the dark of the chimney.

A month or ago I took Margaret Roach's 365-day garden webinar. It was very good and full of valuable information but the only thing I can tell you about it right now is that Margaret has an Asian pear espalier on the side of her house and I'm in love. I would love to link you to a picture of it but I can't find one that links back to Margaret's page, so you'll have to trust me that it's fabulous. I've been obsessed with the idea of doing an espalier tree in front of the chimney ever since and that led to a ferocious amount of calling around to local nurseries. 

The good news is that I found one not far away and they claim to be reserving it for me (I always wonder if nurseries are really saving plants though as they never take a deposit and it all seems very casual). Supporting it will requiring putting bolts and wires in the stone or mortar. Obviously a full southern exposure would be best, so fruiting may be slightly compromised but that's OK. I'm frankly more worried about aesthetics than production and would have been equally happy with a non-fruiting espalier if one were able to be located. 

I will leave the Hakonechloa after dividing in hopes that it can handle the increased amount of sun, but the Heuchera will be replaced. With what, I don't know. But it feels good to go in to gardening season with a plan. 


THIS YEAR'S MASTER SEED LIST

Since I started growing plants from seeds in earnest a few years ago the amount of plants I produce has increased almost exponentially. That is only problematic from a space standpoint. I plant or have homes waiting for all of the plants so none go to waste and I think my garden is better because of this exercise.

Tiny basil seedlings pop up giving hope for delicious herbs to come.  A few days past this stage I'll thin out two seedlings so just one is left in each soil block or cell.

Last year, as I spent every day after work tending to plants, watering, moving trays, transferring things from the growing area in the house to the temporary greenhouse I set up to grow on and harden off plants I swore I wouldn't grow so much from seed. You can guess how that turned out.

This year I'm growing more different plants than ever from seed, and an increasingly large number of flowers. I'm trying to limit the amount of each thing I grow (I don't really need 15 parsley plants) and made a conscious effort to add flowers that can easily be direct sown.

Here's what I'm growing from seed this year (links take you to the specific seeds I ordered):

Baby nasturtiums

VEGETABLES
  • Peppers *
  • Tomatoes (multiple varieties from several sources)
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Cucumbers (multiple varieties, multiple sources)
  • Lettuce (multiple varieties, multiple sources)
  • Peas
  • Arugula
  • Carrots (maybe)
HERBS
FLOWERS/ORNAMENTAL
* Some seeds from Renee's Garden Seeds were given to me free as part of a garden writers trial program.

When you're starting that many things from seed (and trust me, seeing the list in print makes me realize I've really gone overboard this year), you need a plan. And that's where my geek flag starts flying. I'm not a big spreadsheet person, but it's the only way I've figured to efficiently manage this seed-starting operation. I keep it pretty simple, using a combination of information from the back of seed packets, Annuals and Tender Plants for North American Gardens by Wayne Winterrowd (out of print but I found a used copy on Amazon) and online resources including Margaret Roach's seed starting calculator

Plants grown in soil blocks are ready to pot on or transplant when the roots are coming out the sides.

When I get a seed starting date (X number of weeks before the last frost), I count back from what I think will be our last frost. That part is a bit of a guessing game, but because in general things have been warmer than usual here (well they were until we got a foot of snow this week), I used the 50% frost free date, meaning based on past data, there is a 50-50 chance the risk of frost has passed for the year. This year that date is May 14.


Once I figure out dates, I include notes on germination requirements, how to plant the seeds, germination time and anything else that's necessary to know for the seed starting portion of growing. That way I don't have to look up each thing when I'm planting. Here's a copy of my spreadsheet that you can download. Keep in mind this isn't anything fancy and all of the timing is based on my frost free date of May 14. You'll have to adjust it for your date. 

I use large rolling shelving to start seeds on, making it easy to adjust the height of lights. In the off season the rack serves as storage in the basement.

Here's a list of equipment I use for seed starting. Keep in mind though, that these things are nice to have but not necessary. Seeds WANT to grow, so if you give them some warmth and light they should do their thing. You will, however, have a lot more success if you can optimize their growing conditions, which is where this stuff comes in handy. The links below are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase I get a small commission. You pay the same either way. Thanks for your support!




For more information on how I start seeds, check out these articles:

What are you growing from seed this year?

THE SHRUB QUEEN

Stacey Hirvela didn't get into gardening the way many people do; it wasn't something she was surrounded by. But her grandmother grew lily of the valley by the garage, and young Stacey was allowed to pick as many of the flowers as she wanted. It wasn't until she was older that she discovered gardening for herself and realized how head over heels in love with it she was.

She was a senior linguistics major at the University of Michigan when she realized that the idea of gardening for living was more attractive than what she'd been studying, she said. The next stop was the New York Botanical Garden's school of professional horticulture, an eduction she credits with giving her a well-rounded horticulture education, rather than a more narrowly focused one that she may have gotten at a university graduate program.

Stacey Hirvela

"I got a plant-focused education that has done a lot of good for me," Stacey said. "I have to say, it's pretty hard to stump me on a plant ID."

That education led to jobs many gardening fanatics would classify as dream jobs. Stacey was the head horticulturist at Tavern on the Green in Manhattan, senior assistant garden editor at Martha Stewart Living magazine and now she's the horticulture marketing specialist for Spring Meadow Nursery (the folks behind Proven Winners Colorchoice Shrubs).

I first ran into Stacey when she was with Martha Stewart Living magazine, when she was a speaking at one of the first Proven Winners Outdoor Living Extravaganzas. I remember being completely entertained by this woman who was easy going, fun, maybe a little rebellious and not at all the straight-laced mini Martha I had been expecting. Our paths have crossed here and there over the years and I thought she'd be an interesting person to feature here.

Spring Meadow Nursery is located on the other side of Lake Michigan from me so I have a bit of an idea what kind of conditions they grow in there. Stacey, who has worked there for almost six years, said working inside the plant industry is treating her well. If you reach out on social media to Proven Winners Colorchoice Shrubs with a plant question, most of the time you'll be talking to Stacey.

Stacey's home garden has gradually developed to be particularly nature friendly but a true design is in the works after she and her husband finish an exterior renovation of their home. Stacey Hirvela photo

"This industry is so full of great people and I love my job because I get to work with home gardeners every day and help them one on one," she said. "And I get to see plants go from the trial gardens to the naming process to becoming a huge hit."

Working and living in Michigan has also offered Stacey the opportunity to have her own yard to garden in. Stacey and her husband are renovating their house and have been waiting until after they finish the exterior to really dig into a true garden design, but that doesn't mean there's no gardening happening in their yard.

Bugs are good. Stacey Hirvela photo

"I'm an equal opportunity plant geek, but the more that I work in my yard and select plant, the more I just fall completely in love with native plants," she said. "I've come to see my garden as more of a stage for nature. I sort of like to create a setting where nature and birds are the performers."

Michigan's lakeshore communities are typically full of sandy soil and Stacey said her yard is very sunny, so plants have to withstand an extreme environment to survive there (although the excellent drainage and insulation from the lake allows plants that may push the 6a zone to survive when they might not otherwise, she said).

Despite holding off on a "design" for the garden, one has formed nonetheless, she said.

"There was a big old veggie patch in the back that was all weedy and neglected and when we moved we basically just dug everything into that bed as a holding area," Stacey said. "Now that's basically a border. It's kind of hilarious because it's fairly haphazard, but it works."

See Stacey's list of her personal must-have plants at the bottom

Stacey Hirvela photo

Stacey and I share a certain garden-related pet peeve as well: Garden myths, particularly those perpetuated by Pinterest (I actually have a Pinterest board dedicated to gardening tips you shouldn't follow.)

"For me it stems from the fact that I cannot stand to see things that set people up for failure in the garden," she said. "People already have so much fear about being in the garden and when it doesn't work they blame themselves. There is this weird thing in gardening where if people fail once they take it so personally as if at the end of their life there is going to be a personal recounting of every plant they've killed. There's no such thing as a black thumb, just people who don't know how to garden yet."

Take one of the most popular garden myths, for example. Epsom salts are supposed to do everything from make plants grow perfectly to kill weeds (I still struggle with how both of those can be true) to magically making tree stumps disappear.

"First of all, it's salt, so people should know that salt and soil are not good friends," Stacey said. "But people love this idea that there's this thing sitting on their shelf that's going to provide horticultural miracles. And the recommendations for Epsom salts are ridiculous when you look at what it contains. Magnesium and sulphur are essential nutrients but they are rarely lacking in soil, so when you use it you're just polluting and using an unnecessary chemical. I just dislike that it pulls people farther from understanding plants."

Other common myths that draw Stacey's ire are putting a whole egg in the bottom of a pot before planting ("It's just going to rot and you might be in for a really nasty surprise when you empty your pot in fall") and putting a diaper in the bottom of a hanging basket ("It holds water, it doesn't give back water. It just serves as a water reservoir that is going to cause a disposal issue. It's unnecessary and takes up room in the container so it's really just making way more work for zero benefit.")

Even though there being no scientific reason for some of these myths to work, why do people swear they have success with some of them?

"The people who seek these things out tend to be people who take good care of their plants anyway," Stacey said. "If it works, it's them, not the Epsom salts."

And while these myths are annoying because they just don't work, the bigger issue, says Stacey, is that they continue to make plants seem like complicated things to be kept at arms length.

"There's not a lot of awareness of the benefits of gardening," she said. "People will walk by a yard with a beautiful garden and think 'I could never do that,' but that's because they haven't tried. Cooking used to be seen as a huge chore for people and now people are really into it. It became this huge thing and I think that could potentially happen for gardening. If more people gardened it would be great."

STACEY HIRVELA'S MUST-HAVE PLANTS FOR HER OWN GARDEN

  • Native edibles including weeping persimmon, currants, pawpaws and Amelanchier aka Serviceberry: "It does everything: it's edible, it flowers it has fall color. You'd be crazy not to plant it!"
  • Geum triflorum aka Prairie Smoke: "I just love it and will allow it to seed around and make itself at home."
  • Hydrangeas: "When I came to this job I wasn't a super hydrangea nut, but when you find yourself exposed to a plant a lot, you appreciate things you might have missed before." Favorites include Hydrangea arborescens: "There are lace cap varietals I would not want to be without. I have never seen as many different pollinators on a plant as I've seen on 'White Dome.' It represents the best of hydrangeas don't associate with a plant that's really landscape worthy."


Other gardening experts I've written about:

PRESTO CHANGO POT TRANSFORMATION

When I set about doing this project, I planned on doing a long, involved tutorial on the blog. As it turns out, it was just about the easiest project I've ever done so no tutorial is needed.

Remember these pots I found on a super sale in fall at the Restoration Hardware outlet?



I knew when I bought them that the color wouldn't work at my house. I think it would be lovely in a lot of places, but they just look like big bananas in my yard. I searched the Internet unsuccessfully for a DIY solution for staining pots so I ended up just kind of winging it.

I sanded them lightly with 220-grit sandpaper and then I stained them with Minwax Classic Gray stain (affiliate link) (the half-pint container was enough for two pots). I tried out several combinations of Weathered Gray, Classic Gray and those with other colors mixed in and ended up liking plain old Classic Gray the best.

I used a saturated staining pad to quickly cover the pots, let them sit for a minute or two and then buffed them with a rag to remove any excess stain. I liked the color after one coat, but once it dried it was too light so I did another coat. But that coat didn't go on very evenly, so I ended up doing three coats.

After three coats of Minwax Classic Gray stain.
After they dried thoroughly, I ran the hose over them to see if the stain would wash out and it didn't. So that's all I'm going to do to them. I can't be sure how this will hold up but if some of the stain fades I'm OK with a mottled effect as well. In the end, they ended up a little darker than I had hoped, but I think it will be fine and it's much better than the original color.

'Windermere' starts as cream but fades to white and is said to have great fragrance.

The plan for these pots are a pair of 'Windermere' roses at the corner where the patio meets the driveway apron. I'll underplant them with annuals, especially for the first few years while they are getting established. I've had great luck with the 'Prairie Snowdrift' rose that I've been growing in a pot and overwintering in the unheated garage, so I'll treat these the same.

Until I get a chance to see how my stain job holds up I guess I can't really vouch for this method, but if it works it'll be about the easiest project I've done.


FRIDAY FINDS

Gosh, this week just whooshed by and so many things I had planned for the blog just didn't happen. Next week should be better.

Just a few quick Friday Finds to kick off the weekend.


If you're reading this on Friday, you still have a few hours left to enter to win one of two beautiful dahlia collections, including the one above. Go here to enter.

There are some plants that I detest, but lately I've been re-evaluating those opinions and trying to figure out what my problem with them is. Yarrow is one of those plants. But now I can't even remember why. It might just be on my plant list this year.

Did you grow any amaryllis this year?

Just how early is spring?

There's no doubt about it ... the weather is wacky. Yesterday my yard looked like this:



On Sunday it's supposed to hit 50 degrees and 60 degrees on Monday. The poor plants must be confused.

Have a great weekend everyone! Let me know what you're up to this weekend and come back next week for all the stuff I was supposed to get to this week!