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Thread: Gardening

  1. #31
    Go Bruins! Qboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter View Post
    I have a gooseberry bush divided from my grandmother's decades ago and moved twice. Does anyone else here have gooseberries? I just love to eat them - not bake with them.
    What a co-inky-dink. My Mom has a gooseberry bush in the backyard which came from my grandparents', and I think it was moved twice also. My niece is a little confused about the name - she calls them "duckberries".

    My green thumb is a disgusting shade of black, I'm afraid. I've killed every houseplant I've ever tried to grow. I used to live on the ground floor and I managed to transplant some wildflowers from the woods and put them under my window. They survived because they're self-sufficient. But now I'm in a high-rise. I tried to grow some small evergreens in pots on my balcony but they all died of course.

    This year I was thinking of maybe trying some herbs and small vegetables. Do I have to go out and buy bell pepper plants, or can I grow them from seed?
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  2. #32
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Rattus, I found this at gonegardening.com

    Are you seeking plants for a patch of dry shade in the garden? Here are some plants you might like to grow.

    The earth can become very dry at the foot of a house wall, or beneath a conifer or shallow rooting tree. This can be a problem for new gardeners trying to find plants that will thrive in these conditions. Decorative ivies are a possibility, but perhaps you would prefer a plant that produces flowers - at least during some of the months in the year?

    One I like is a hardy geranium of the cranesbill type. Geranium phaeum has a bluish mauve flower and soft leaves. Black-purple, white, or maroon flowering varieties are also available. This low-growing, perennial plant forms a fairly neat clump that will thrive under trees. A good tip is to trim off the old blooms when the long pointed seedheads begin to mature, in mid to late summer – a further crop of flowers is often the result. If the flowerbed gains some sun, but is in shade during half of the day, G. macrorrhizum will tolerate dry soil. Its aromatic foliage forms useful ground cover and there is a bonus of pink or white flowers in summer.

    Bergenia cordifolia, the common species in our gardens, known as "Elephant Ears" - due to its large leathery leaves - will take fairly deep shade and still produce its pink clusters of flowers in mid spring. The evergreen foliage provides ground cover for the whole of the year. The variety ‘Redstart’ can be grown from seed and the glossy, bronze foliage is attractive. Or, if you enjoy the surprise of several colours, try seed mix ‘Winter Hybrids’, which contains white, mauve and lilac flowering varieties.

    If you prefer to begin by buying plants, Bergenia ‘Bressingham White’ bears pure white flowers, whereas the blooms of ‘Silver Light’ can be tinged with pink.

    B. Ballawley’ is the plant to look for if you favour red flowers on red stems and leaves that become tawny red in autumn and winter.

    Rose of Sharon (Hypericum calycinum) is an evergreen, low-growing shrubby plant that thrives and produces its large, yellow blooms in sun or full shade. Although a commonly seen plant, it is still an exceptional choice for almost trouble-free ground cover – the one drawback is that it spreads quickly and has to be removed when it encroaches on neighbouring plants.

    Saxifraga ‘Tricolor’ – an unusual plant for dry shade - is grown mainly for the bright pink, margined leaves. White flowers appear in summer. But note that this saxifrage is only suitable for borders or containers that are sheltered from the worst of the frosts – perhaps the reason it is not often chosen.

    Lily of the valley is one of my favourites, due to the rich fragrance of the blooms. Sometimes stocked by nurseries under its Latin name of Convallaria majalis, this easy to accommodate plant will grow in dry areas, whether damp or sunny. Fresh green leaves arise from a creeping rhizome every spring. Little care or attention is required to produce numerous stems of exquisite bell-like blooms – although a top-dressing of leaf mould in the autumn will be beneficial. There is also a striking variety with cream-striped leaves named ‘Albostriata’ and a cultivar ‘Rosea’ which has pink flowers.

    Heuchera has always been one of the plants I rely on for shade. Heuchera ‘Pewter Moon’, with its pink flowers and grey-marbled foliage, makes a pleasant contrast when sited close to dwarf box hedging. Small bellflowers on wiry stems provide further interest all summer. Semi-shaded beds and dry soil are tolerated.

    This is a good time to plant hardy cyclamen. Winter-flowering Cyclamen coum will take a lot of shade and dryness in the summer. Well-drained soil is one of the requirements for the successful cultivation of cyclamen. Indeed extra grit may be required as additional drainage material in some gardens.
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  3. #33
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qboots View Post
    This year I was thinking of maybe trying some herbs and small vegetables. Do I have to go out and buy bell pepper plants, or can I grow them from seed?
    Sorry for the double post! You can use seed, but you need to start them indoors now! I usually just go with the plants, becauseyou can get a good selection at most garden centers, and that"s why I just go get them when it's time to plant outside. They're cheap anyway!
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qboots View Post
    This year I was thinking of maybe trying some herbs and small vegetables. Do I have to go out and buy bell pepper plants, or can I grow them from seed?
    I also have a not so green thumb and last year when I started my garden I used plants to start the vegetables and herbs. It worked well and the plants seemed pretty hardy to start with. Just make sure you follow the directions on them and they should turn out great.

    Since this thread has been started I can't wait for it to get warmer so I can actually start planting some things in my garden.

  5. #35
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Thanks, AJane, waywyrd and queenb. This is all really helpful information, and I'm particularly excited by the knowledge that heuchera is shade tolerant - I did not know that. I love heuchera and am now mentally planning that area of the yard to revolve around various varieties. It's going to be so pretty.
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  6. #36
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    I would like to get some gardening going, but have no room...

  7. #37
    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irtis View Post
    I would like to get some gardening going, but have no room...
    Sure you do! Check into square-foot gardening. A quick Google brought up 156,000 sites, so there is a lot of information available.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by irtis View Post
    I would like to get some gardening going, but have no room...
    You could do something simple like some pots with herbs or a tomato plant in them. If you have a place that gets a decent amount of sun you can keep the pots and have a little garden.

  9. #39
    Just Forting Around roseskid's Avatar
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    Thanks, veejer for this thread. I've killed thousands of houseplants, but was given a prayer plant five years ago, that has found a way to survive my kiss of death (perhaps praying for its own survival?). But I've been more successful at outside gardening, and we typically grow lettuce, radishes, several varieties of peppers and tomatoes, zucchinis (I found a zucchini cake recipe that helps use up the plethora of zucchinis, as well as giving to friends), snowpeas and Japanese beans. We've tried and failed several times at corn and carrots, but it was fun to try. But I get the most joy out of the herbs, which we grow in pots. Yardgnome is right about how fun it is to pick your own fresh herbs as needed, and basil is my true love. I make and freeze pesto in the summer, then enjoy it year-round. Yum. Irtis, our entire garden is about 4' x 6', and the herbs are in small pots on the patio, so it's amazing to see how much you can grow in small spots. My b-i-l has a condo with a very small patio, and you wouldn't believe how many veggies he grows...he's even grown blackberries on a trellis out there. Square foot gardening is brilliant.
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  10. #40
    FORT Fan julitta's Avatar
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    has anyone else tried those upside down tomato planters? i bought two of them from a green house last summer. i put two cherry tomato plants in each one. then you hang it, and the plant sticks out the bottom. we hung them from hooks right out our patio door. they worked awesome!! they were huge, with a great tomato harvest into the fall. that might work for those of you who don't have much room. there is a hole on the top of the holder that you pour your water into. it was real easy. i am great with flowers, but have been lousy with vegetables. i turned my vegetable garden into a butterfly garden. so i was real excited about these!

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