Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

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I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

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I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

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Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Greenhouse blooms to make you smile :)

It’s nice to be able to see garden blooms in late November. Anybody can go to the flower market and buy seasonal blooms, but growing flowers has always been more appealing to me. I want to learn more about varieties I can grow in a cool greenhouse and enjoy over the winter. Do you have any suggestions or experience with this?

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Late Bloomers During a Welcome Dry Spell

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest USA never ceases to amaze me. Statistically, November is the rainiest month but we are currently in a very welcome dry period. Dry but rather cold at night (26* F so far in my garden.) I am amazed at the plants that are still healthy and blooming!
Camelias naturally bloom at this time of year, but it is still fun to share. Recently I moved the tiny chrysanthemum into the greenhouse. I thought Bacopa was an annual but it is still hanging on. The hardy fuchsias are the stars. I have only known the annual fuchsias in my previous gardens.

Hardy Fuchsia love the cool weather

Fuchsias are annual plants in Minnesota, so when I discovered hardy fuchsias here in Western Washington, another plant collection began. I love the delicate flowers, shape and variegated foliage on some plants. All they need is sone trimming in the spring and regular perennial formula fertilizer. I’m hooked!

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Justicea carnea blooms again

What is a Justicea carnea you ask? Have you ever seen one? Common names are Kings Crown and Cardinal Feather. This really unique outdoor plant that is native to Brazil and is tender in zone 8, so I have been wintering it in the greenhouse. It blooms in cycles throughout the year. It was a gift from some friends who grew it in Florida about ten years ago.

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Plants my hummingbirds love

We are fortunate to have two species of hummingbirds in my neighborhood: the resident Anna’s and the migrant Rufous hummingbird. Rufous arrives in early May and departs in August. They could already be gone as I have not seen one this week. When I plan my garden I always consider plants that hummingbirds can use for nectar even though I do fill feeders. I find they use both sources during summer. Here are eight of my hummingbird garden plants in bloom now.

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Crocosmia

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Discovery Garden – Skagit County WA

My errands today took me up to Mt. Vernon, WA to pick up several sheets of poly carb to replace the greenhouse roof. When I was looking at the map on Charley’s Greenhouse website I noticed that it is not far from a Master Gardeners display garden. I love places like this because the collective, creative gardening minds of Master Gardeners have been showcases, in my past garden tour experience. I was not disappointed!

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Stamen love

I just love the look of roses with fresh stamens. There are so few that can do it well.

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‘Dainty Bess’ a single hybrid tea rose, is one of my first favorites in this category. This is not a show rose. It will close up in a cool room, but look at those stamens!

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‘Jaqueline du Pre’, a shrub rose, is another rose in my garden that was planted because of beautiful stamens. It’s a keeper, don’t you agree?

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The last one for today is ‘Darlow’s Enigma’, a hybrid musk rose. This rose grows like a weed! I have planted it getting minimum sun and it still produces large sprays of roses with beautiful stamens.