Welcome to My Kansas Bog

Jim decided to build a few more raised beds in place of the original garden. After four inches of rain last week, good choice!

KSBog-01-IMG_3345

We planted corn, melons, eggplant, and soon will have cucumbers and radishes.

KSBog-02-IMG_3346

I added the broken stepping stones to avoid getting sucked down into the mud.

KSBog-03-IMG_3348

More rain is expected next week. Can we have too much of a good thing?

Spring Tour

Mostly photos for this Blog.

Decided to do more containers this year. Here are some African daisies (Osteospermum) and Easy wave petunias.

Petunias-01-IMG_3068

A container from Sullivan’s. For those who live around the KC Metro area, great place to shop on select Saturdays!

Spring-02-IMG_3069

Supertunias silverberry. We’ll see how they do in containers.

Spring-03-IMG_3072

Clematis – always a sure thing!!

Spring-04-IMG_3074

One of the new ‘almost black’ sedums. I was certain it had died last fall, but here it is thriving!

Spring-05-IMG_3077

Pink tulips year two. Color me happy!

Spring-06-IMG_3078

Alium – also another tried and true returning plant. I always mean to buy more, then think I have too much in this garden!

Spring-07-IMG_3084

Can you spot Fat Boy behind the climbing hydrangea? This is year two for the hydrangea and it’s really starting to climb. We’ll have to see whether it decides to flower…

Spring-08-IMG_3089

And this is year two for strawberries. Looks like we’ll have lots. Yum!

Spring-10-IMG_3108

The yard is starting to look like something! Stay tuned for more raised beds… coming soon!

Kansas Blues

Three years ago, long before I even imagined taking the Master Gardener classes, I planted blueberry bushes on the north side of my house. Why the north? That’s where my mother planted hers. Growing up in NJ, we had blueberry bushes that I remember as at least ten feet tall and five feet wide.

I know I wasn’t able to pick the berries without a ladder.

So now, 50 some-odd years after childhood, I plunked three expensive-yet-straggly-looking blueberry bushes in the ground and hoped for the best.

Little did I know that acidic-loving blueberries hate Kansas soil. I’ve written about my soil test before. Blues grow best when the pH is 4.5 to 5. My soil, two years after planting, tested at 7.5.

Ouch!

I side-dressed with sulfur and again, hoped for the best. But at the end of last fall, I was pretty sure those bushes were dead. A bit of research led me to growing blueberries in containers.

I pre-ordered the right types of Blues (Top Hat and Northblue dwarf bushes), devised a soil-less mix of sphagnum peat moss and cedar mulch, and bought pots. Here is the result.

KS-Blues_02_IMG_2911

Wandering through one of the big-box store nurseries about a month ago, I stopped to see what kind of Blues they were selling. Next to me, studiously reading labels, was a young man who seemed to be struggling to make a decision.

Me: “Buying some blueberries?”
Him: “Maybe.”
Me: “Have you had your soil test?”
Him: “Huh?”

Now imagine me giving forth, chapter and verse, about the proper growing conditions for blueberries versus the growing conditions in Kansas. And imagine him looking befuddled.

Him: “So I should add lime?”

Yippee for the chance to show off how much I know. I explain how lime reduces acid in the soil while sulfur increases it. By the end of my little nerdy lecture, that poor guy had moved on to raspberries. I had successfully prevented yet another disastrous planting of Blues in Kansas.

And now for the punch line.

Remember those Blues I planted in ignorance three years ago? Here they are today.

KS-Blues-IMG_2909

Blueberry pie, anyone?

Excuses, excuses…

CrabApple-IMG_2891

I haven’t posted a Blog since March 22 – the longest time between Blogs since I started! And I have excuses aplenty.

I’m interviewing the gardeners selected for the 2015 Miami County Garden Tour, writing descriptions and photographing their gardens. Takes time and leaves me with a major case of garden envy.

I’ve been planting in my own garden. Raspberries, blackberries, and sugar snap peas. Horseradish, red onions, and radishes.

I’m checking the asparagus every morning for harvest. Luscious and lovely spring asparagus, photo to follow someday soon.

It’s rained so I can’t take photos. It hasn’t rained, so I have to water. My Internet went out for several days.

Excuses…

Hopefully, I’m catching up and back on track. Meanwhile, I thought you’d like to see the results of the radical crab apple tree and/or bush pruning that we did in February. The darn thing has shape. It has blossoms for the first time ever. It’s almost beautiful.

Hope you’re enjoying spring as much as I am.

Mixed Metaphor

MixedMetaphor-IMG_2749

“I’m thinking about moving the raised bed near the house to the back.” That was me thinking out loud. Next morning, the raised bed was gone and a blank square of soil sat in its place. Elves? Gremlins?

No. It was my handy husband, Jim, who lately seems to be in your-wish-is-my-command mode.

Okay. A little fast on the uptake, but no complaints here!

So what to do with this blank spot? Originally, I envisioned lining the bed with four inch clay pots. Found pots the next day – 24 for less than $20. How could I resist? Or maybe three Medicine Wheels, using some of my rock pile? I have a LOT of rocks.

Thinking, thinking… meanwhile, my thinking out loud resulted in a bed raked and smooth, ready for anything, or in this case, everything.

Thank you, Jim!

Now what to plant…?