Tag Archives: gardening

Thoughtful Thursday – Summer is Here!

We seem to have shot straight from winter to summer in New York City, going from nights in the thirties to days in the eighties overnight.

But I’m not complaining because I am so not a winter girl. I live for the spring and summer months because I love being outdoors. Whether it’s working in the garden or taking long walks along the beach, there is something about being closer to nature that energizes me.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago during one of those walks. It’s of a huge kite that was flying in Belmar, New Jersey during a weekend kite festival.

That’s another thing I love about being down the shore. There is always something going on and its usually within walking distance! What could be better?

How about you? What is your favorite season and why do you like it?

Boats entering Shark River Inlet
This is a photo of boats entering the Shark River Inlet located between Avon-by-the-Sea and Belmar

Also, if you’d like some thoughts on how to deal with a day job and a writing career, take a moment to visit with me at the Savvy Authors blog!

Fall into Autumn Color

mumWoke up to a brrr in the air. There’s no doubt that fall is here, but that doesn’t mean the end of color in your garden.

Best bet – Hardy mums! Treat them right and they’ll survive the winter and come back for more fall foilage next year. Plus, there is such a wide range of colors to brighten a possibly dreary autumn day.

If you’re going to cut the mums as a gift, just be careful to whom you present them. In some cultures, Latins and Italians, the mum is known as the “Flower of the dead” and is typically not presented to someone as a bouquet.

Next best bet – flowering kale. Fill your borders and other low-lying areas with colorful kale in deep purples with bright white centers or totally white ornamental kale.

Another good bet is one of my favorite flowers – pansies/violas. They’ll survive a mild frost and violas are perennials, so look for them to return next year. Also, pansies are excellect reseeders, so don’t be surprised to see them coming up in the early spring as soon as it starts to get warmer.

Last but not least, colorful asters will provide awesome fall blooms and better yet, they’re perennials so they’ll be back next year for more color.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tip! What are your favorite fall flowers?

Tuesday Tip – Spring Bulbs

Narcissus Photo Copyright Vincent de Groot under GNU License from WikipediaThere’s nothing that says spring might finally be here than the eruption of spring color from crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. The nice thing about them as well is that once you get them planted, they’ll come back every year and provide that burst of doldrum-busting color.

Also, planting spring bulbs doesn’t interfere with you later placing annuals in the same spots for summer-long color. Why’s that? Because bulbs are usually planted deeper – between 6 to 10 inches deep while annuals are planted much higher at 3 to 4 inches deep.

So how do you prepare for that spring color? Except for tulips and hyacinths, spring bulbs should be planted in the fall – September and October depending on where you are located. As a general rule, plant them well before any freeze. This will help them build strength and get established.

Dig a hole about 8 inches deep and about a foot around. Prepare the soil with nice compost and some bone meal. Work it into the ground so that about a foot deep of soil is nice and loose so the bulbs can take root. Also, make sure the area has good drainage. Bulbs generally do not like to sit in wet soil. Cover the bulbs with soil and some mulch to help retain moisture and provide some shelter against the cold. I generally plant in groups of 3 to 5 as odd numbers of objects are generally more pleasing to the eye.

For unexpected bursts of color, mix in bulbs beneath ground covers like ivy or pachysandra.

Come the spring you’ll be rewarded with beautiful color and scents. Hyacinths are amazing for a blast of fragrance in your garden!

Once the bulbs start to die back, you can plant your annuals for the rest of the summer!