Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cranberry Hibiscus

We have officially started working in the carport jungle getting it cleaned up and organized.

The basil, tomato and pepper seedlings are thriving and we are so excited about getting our vegetable and herb gardens going.  For color in the garden, I have planted rainbow coleus, red salvia and marigold seeds this week.

Today we cut down a pesky cranberry hibiscus that came up out of nowhere in a pile of leaves on the carport . . . in the way!  The plan is to do a mass planting of them in the front yard since they thrive in the full sun and other than keeping them pruned to avoid a leggy plant, they are really maintenance free.  I cut the plant up into a ton of pieces and got the propagation process going.  I've never tried propagating them before, but after doing some research online, they seem to be a very hardy plant which propagates easily.  I also gathered many seed pods that I plan on getting started in the next couple of days.

Since we are gardening on a tight budget, the more plants we can use from existing plants, the better.

Want to know more about the Cranberry Hibiscus?
  Here are some links:

A previous post about these gorgeous plants from this blog.

A plant guide and discussion about this plant from Dave's Garden.

All about the Cranberry Hibiscus plant from the University of Florida.

Are you getting your hands
 dirty in the garden yet?

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Elegant Garden

The elegance of this garden immediately caught my attention when I was browsing through Fine Gardening's garden photo section for some garden inspiration.  

Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Nuffer via Fine Gardening

Since our property is so large and we really don't want to be a slave to the garden as I have been in the past, the general thinking has been to design raised beds around large paths.  Barbara's garden in upstate New York is exactly what has been going through my mind.  Click on the Fine Gardening link to read the entire article featuring her garden and more photos.

An excerpt from the article . . .

"This garden is a raised bed. The shape is a 20-foot-diameter circle with a gravel path at ground level leading to a fountain in the center of the circle, and continuing to a bench. The outer perimeter of the garden is a 2-foot-tall stone wall. The interior wall is pressure treated 1 x 6s cut into 3-foot lengths and sunk into the ground 12 inches. Since portions of this wall are curved, we used metal strapping nailed to the back of the pieces of wood to hold it in place. They are slanted slightly back towards the bed. The shape is really pretty in winter as the sun sets behind it. A natural stream is down the hill behind the garden so you hear running water as a backdrop.

We lined the bed with black plastic with some drainage holes punched in it. My soil mixture included 6 cubic foot bags of coarse texture vermiculite. We mixed this with potting soil that contained lots of peat. This was suitable because I was planning to use acid-loving plants. We also mixed in two parts of topsoil. The proportions were one part vermiculite to one part potting soil to two parts topsoil. The bed was well moistened and mulched with finely ground cedar bark."

Awesome inspiration!

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