Friday, August 27, 2010

Plants for Late-Summer Color

This is 'Green Envy' Zinnia
Zinnia Elegans


Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)

Russian Sage

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)



Bee Balm

Composing Your Garden with Color

This segment was on Studio 5, a local TV show shown in Utah. Some great tips were given with flower suggestions and color themes to give a boost of color to your landscape. Darin Engh is the owner of a plant nursery in Sandy, Utah called Engh Gardens. He is the one demonstrating the TV segment.

Five Reasons to Garden

1. It's important to learn to store your food to be more self-reliant.
2. Fruits and vegetables taste much better.
3. You can grow different varieties and pick them fresher.
4. You can grow without using pesticides.
5. You can teach the joy of gardening by involving your children and friends.

Aren't these vegetables a "feast" for your eyes, and they taste so delicious!

I think if you were going to plant one vegetable in your garden, it should be tomatoes. The flavor doesn't even compare to the tasteless tomatoes in the grocery store. The tomatoes in the basket are Roma (Viva Italia), Early Girl, & Golden Girl (which is my personal favorite, but is difficult to find now).

A few years ago, my husband and I opted to install raised garden beds for our vegetable garden and herbs. One of the best advantages to this system is that you can fill your beds with rich organic soil right from the beginning instead on spending years ammending the soil you currently have. Our soil in Utah is generally low in organic matter and needs a lot of ammending. Also the soil warms earlier and freezes later during the growing season. With raised garden beds you can connect them with your irrigation system to water them separately from your lawn. One other plug for gardening with raised beds is that it is easier on your back, especially when you are pulling those few weeds and harvesting.

These onions are Walla Walla onions that I grew in my garden.

Limelight Hydrangea

Your neighbors will be "green" with envy if you have these beautiful "Limelight Hydrangeas" in your garden! When I first eyed these flowering shrubs a few years ago in the nursery, I instantly fell in love! They bloom fully in my area from about the beginning of August through October. For an added bonus, the flower heads turn a beautiful pink in the Fall! The only downside to this plant is that it is suseptable to iron chlorosis because of the alkaline soils we have in Utah. To combat this problem, it helps to treat the surrounding soil with a chelated iron and soil acidifier. Also placing organic compost around the base of the plant helps with this problem.

Absolutely one of my favorite flowers!