Saturday, December 15, 2018

Winter Flowers, Plants and Mom

Winter seems like a long season
 to me because I miss flowers and
 gardening so much. 
I am grateful for the break from garden 
chores but would be happy with only one
 month of winter! 

Our little greenhouse has helped me through this winter so far, but I still want flowers 
to enjoy daily so I have added more 
blooming plants in the house,
 especially in my mother's room.
  I think it's so important to help the elderly stimulate their senses and give them something to watch and grow.  Mom is so excited with each new bloom. 

I've been taking  care of my mother full-time  for over a year now in our home.  She is from Florida and is a real plant lover and enjoyed gardening when she was more mobile.   She now has a south facing window with lots of sunshine so she wanted to start a small collection of her favorite plants.  Mom's little "garden window" is full of easy to care for houseplants  and some seasonal plants as well.  I've added amaryllis and paperwhites to her collection for the holidays.  

She has several pothos plants, a snake plant, a ponytail palm, philodendron and a 
peace plant on the lower shelf.  
The top shelf is for blooming plants and she especially loves red amaryllis.  This variety is Red Lion.  

 I seasonally rotate other plants in her

room like amaryllis, orchids, tulips, daffodils,
Christmas cactus and ferns.   

Red Lion Amaryllis

I found at pink cyclamen and a delicate maidenhair fern at the nursery this week and placed them on her bedside table. 

 Studies have shown that women who surround themselves with plants and lots of greenery live longer.  As an added bonus plants help purify the air quality indoors too, making our enviornment healthier.

Summer bouquet from our garden

 We are bringing the outside in for Mom so she can enjoy her "little garden".  We also have bird feeders right outside her window.  She enjoys all the bird's visits especially the cardinals and a pesky squirrel. 

I follow Dee Nash at Red Dirt Ramblings and she has some great information about growing amaryllis and paperwhites on her blog this week.    She also lives in Oklahoma and is my go-to person for
 gardening questions. 
She is a great source of inspiration!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Winter Greenhouse

It's been months since I've posted but thought I would do an update post on my little greenhouse and how it's doing this first winter.    

I'm so excited to see everything growing and blooming in December.   I put as many pots as I could fit inside and we hooked up a small portable heater and so far it has maintained the temperature around 40 degrees even on the coldest nights.

I mostly have herbs, geraniums and coleus stored inside and  everything is doing really well.   After a few months of tending in my little space, I now know how I will re-organize the shelves next year to leave more
 room for my larger pots.  

I plan on starting seedlings in late January, 
especially milweed for the Monarchs. 
This past fall we had the most incredible 
migration of Monarchs I've ever seen.
If you plant milkweed they will come!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April Freeze!

We had sunshine and 77 degrees a few days ago.   Mom and I had visited the garden center last week and couldn't resist  purchasing a few plants knowing that our last freeze date had not arrived.  Blame it on Spring Fever I guess!  I spent Saturday afternoon putting them in the greenhouse instead of the usual garage location. 

I did purchase two wire shelves that are 72 inches tall and 36 inches wide.  They hold 15 flats each and will provide plenty of room to start seedlings,  hold my patio pots and store gardening supplies.

My hubbie did place a small heater in the greenhouse and we've have been monitoring the temperature periodically.  Sunday night it did get down to 32 degrees outside and the greenhouse maintained 46 degrees.   

This is a learning experience for us and so far we are very happy with our little greenhouse.  Last week with the sun shining the temperature soared to 100 degrees inside and we now leave the doors open on sunny days.  I planted some herbs and and tomatoes this week and they will remain in the greenhouse safe from squirrels, birds and rabbits.  I will add a screen curtain in the doorway to keep them out.

The weather reports say we will get down to the 20's tonight.  I do hope they are wrong by a few degrees!   It's in the 60's outside now and we have really strong winds.   I did go out and water plants and will be covering up my hydrangeas in hopes they will not be damaged.  Crossing my fingers!

Spring in Oklahoma is full of weather challenges and I'm already grateful to have a little greenhouse to 
protect my plants and garden goodies.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Greenhouse 101

I have longed for a greenhouse for many years but just couldn't find a kit that I really liked that would fit into the border space I had without having to move 
sprinklers and shrubs. 
We also wanted something affordable
 and attractive that wouldn't overpower
 our garden.    

My hubbie is not a carpenter by trade so he wanted a kit that didn't require special tools.  Anyway, after searching the internet we finally found and agreed on a gazebo style that fits the space.  Though it's not that large, it has lots of vertical space that will allow for six foot tall shelving.   My goal is that it be big enough to hold my patio pots in the winter and allow me to start seedlings in the spring.    

We still have little details to finish.  I'm planning on painting the wood base the same color as the frame and finishing with landscaping the space around it.   I can't wait to purchase wire shelving and start seedlings this week.   

I'll keep posting our progress each week.
Happy Spring! 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Is it Spring Yet?

This time of year I find myself wanting to get out in the garden after months of cold weather has forced me to stay indoors.  I've been packing away holiday decorations and doing some reorganizing but I don't enjoy those activities as much as gardening.   I even helped my Mom with a small indoor garden to make her feel more at home.

    So what else is a girl to do but go online and start planning for the coming season!  I love watching the Garden Answer on You Tube and searching the Proven Winner's website.  There are so many new plant introductions coming to nurseries this year.  It's fun to find some of the best selections for my zone 7 garden and figure out where I can use them.   I love planning out my garden with tried and true varieties that can take our temperature extremes here in Oklahoma.

I'm planting more and more in pots so I can enjoy them on the patio.  I find myself looking for hummingbird favorites for my patio pots so I can enjoy them closeup. 
I know they love salvias, especially 'Black and Blue' and 'Lady in Red'.  

Black and Blue Salvia

These salvias are my favorites too because 'Lady in Red' reseeds easily and 'Black and Blue' is a perennial and is deep blue.   They take the heat and humidity that we get here in July and August when so many plants seem to struggle.

Lady-in-Red Salvia 

They love red pentas too and I have found them to be an almost fool-proof plant.

I want to include a few more hydrangeas this year but I'm only going to purchase varieties that bloom on new wood.
Our late frosts are so common and last year the only hydrangeas that bloomed well were my 'Little Lime' variety.  They can take a lot of sun and I love their small compact size.

I'm getting impatient for Spring and keep bringing home flowers from the grocery store to brighten our home.
I'm so thankful that my favorites can be easily found for a reasonable price.

Two blue hydrangeas easily fill a vase.

I'm counting the days until Spring and my husband has purchased a small gazebo style greenhouse for me and I'm so excited to have a place to start seeds and
 overwinter plants next winter.  

I hope to take pictures of the progress from start to finish. He purchased a kit and will be assembling it himself so it will take awhile and I'm sure I'll have to get in
 the middle of it.

Wish us luck!