The 2012 Burpee Seed Catalog – Part I

Black Cat Petunia by Burpee Gardens

When I was a little girl, the Sears Catalog was my dream/wish book. Now I am grown and I still have “dream/wish books.” Only now these books are seed and plant catalogs. How I wish I could buy every plant I see in some of these catalogs.

I just received my first dream/wish book, the Burpee Seed Catalog. Reading this catalog, I wish I owned a larger property. I wish I had more room to plant all the fabulous plants in this 2012 catalog. Are plant options getting better and better? It seems that way.

In the 2012 catalog there are so many new seed selections; but I will write more about some of the new plants later.

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Want to Know What Flora Jesus Saw?

Mount of Olives flora_2197 by hoyasmeg

As this holiday season has been approaching, I have been dreaming that it would be nice to go to the source of the holidays. I am a dreamer.

Then I read this post and saw that there is an Ultimate guide to Christmas in Israel where you can not only see where the events occurred in the Biblical portion of the Christmas holiday but you can also see the flora of the area that Jesus saw when He lived in Israel. And, you can also buy Christmas decorations and see Christmas trees.

Of course, you will probably not have a white Christmas there as you might have in other parts of the world. But since I don’t ski, I wouldn’t mind missing the cold.

If you are Jewish, why not take the kids to Israel to light the menorah or Hanukkiah and spend 8 days admiring the beauty of the country where the Maccabees had their military victory in 165 BCE that gave the Jews in Judea independence for 100 years. Even though Hanukkah is a minor festival, there are many Hanukkah activities in Israel or you can plan your own environmental tour to see the flora and fauna of the country.  See here.

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More Good Gardening Books – Part II

In the last post, TheGardenLady wrote about Edible Landscaping, the American Horticulture Society’s pick for one of the top four best gardening books for 2011. To see the other books that the American Horticulture Society thinks are the best books for 2011 check out their website.They also list their gardening book winners for the past few years.

When looking at books, there are two authors whose books are always excellent. First there is Michael A. Dirr. Dirr is a professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia and the author of twelve books. Dirr has received the highest teaching and gardening awards from the University of Georgia, American Society of Horticultural Science, American Horticultural Society, American Nursery & Landscape Association, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Southern Nursery Association, and Garden Club of America. His most famous book seems to be “Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia,” but I recommend any of his books for any garden lover.

Another author with excellent books for gardeners is Dr. Allan Armitage (see here) who mostly writes about herbaceous perennial plants. His most recent book won the American Horticultural Award for best gardening book in 2011. This book is:

Armitage’s Vines and Climbers” by Allan M. Armitage Timber Press, Portland, Oregon

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Edible Lanscaping: Good Gardening Books – Part I

I am sure that many of the readers are busy shopping for the holidays. Getting the perfect gift is the challenge. What should you get for the gardener? If your friend still likes to read books, there are a number of good books to choose. What surprises me is that on the lists of best books for 2011, many of the top recommendations are classics – perhaps just newly republished.The book that really looks most fascinating to me was first published in 1982. Yet this edition was chosen by the American Horticulture Society as one of the top four best books for 2011.

The book is:

Edible Landscaping By Rosalind Creasy (see photo above): Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA ISBN: 978-1-57805-154-1

Continue readingEdible Lanscaping: Good Gardening Books – Part I”

The Holly – Part II

Deck The Halls! by Caro Wallis

This is the second post in a two-post series on Hollies.  You can read the first post here.

Holly requires a moist but well drained moderately fertile, humus rich and slightly acid soil. They will grow in sun or part shade but for best berry production, most compact growth and for the best leaf color in the variegated hollies, holly want a sunny spot. Most hollies are either male or female. So when buying, check to see if you need both to set fruit.  See here. You can try starting holly from seeds but germination may take 2 or 3 years.

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The Holly – Part I

Holly and snow by Tambako the Jaguar

This is the season when holly (ilex) is almost king. Who doesn’t love to see the shiny, dark leaves with the red (and black) and sometimes white, orange or yellow berried shrubs and trees? It is probably the most colorful plant in the late fall and winter season. That is the reason people love to decorate their homes with branches from these colorful plants.

But holly is especially wonderful growing  in the garden. Perhaps when you list what you wish for this holiday season, you can ask for a holly to be planted in your garden in the spring- the best time to plant or transplant your holly.

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Decorating Wreaths Made Out of Vines

Wreath Closeup by kimncris

In the last post, TheGardenLady talked about making wreaths out of vines.  In this post, TheGardenLady is going to say a little about decorating the vines for your wreaths.

To decorate the vines, you can also harvest plant material that is still in your yard. The brown dried flowers of the hydrangea are good as are seeds of plants like sumac. Or you can buy dried material or silk flowers from a craft store to fill in the vines for more color. And don’t forget the pretty ribbon.

Allen Smith shows how he decorates a grape wreath.

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Creating Wreaths from Vines

Dried Flower & Grape Vine Wreath by Tobyotter

A pretty wreath can be created from vines.

Various vines will work, but be sure that you don’t use poison ivy vine. Remember that poison ivy vine is hairy. If it is hairy, be wary and don’t use.

If you have your own property or have a friend with a property that has wild grape vines growing on it, you will have no problem making wreaths. Grape vines can be a very economical way of making wreaths for the holiday season, wreaths that will last a long time.

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The Rose Parade is Struggling Financially

Rose parade 2010 Pasadena, Calif. by Sunriserjay

In the last post TheGardenLady wrote a post about she’d love to see the Rose Parade in California.  I just read in the Nov. 28th issue of the NYTimes that because of the economy and municipal budget cuts, the Rose Parade is being threatened.

I felt sickened to read that this symbol of the hopes for the New Year, this parade that has been a tradition in California for decades, is struggling because of finances. I hope that I can one day fulfill my dream of seeing this Rose Parade. The article also said that Fiesta Parade Floats company, one of the finest float creators, is laying off people.

I for one hope that the Rose Parade continues; that they never stop having this parade. It will still be held this year. But I wish that this wonderful tradition remains viable for future generations to behold.

Because the parade, normally scheduled for New Year’s Day, is never held on a Sunday, and this year New Year’s Day is on Sunday, this year the parade it will take place on Monday, Jan. 2.  See here.

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The Rose Parade in California

Rose parade 2010 Pasadena, Calif. by Sunriserjay

A dream of this GardenLady has been to one day go to the Rose Parade in California. It sounds like the most beautiful parade in the world. I want to see in real time so many flowers floating by in one parade; how floats can even by made of flowers. This is one parade, I believe, that seeing on TV can do justice to it.

horn of plenty by donielle

A master maker of rose parade floats is Fiesta Parade Floats (see here), a company that has a “67 percent winning rate for their floats averaged over the past twenty years”. I would love to be a volunteer working on one of their floats.

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