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Time to Renew Your Garden Tools

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Every year I repost this at the right time.  Now is the time! - Jan

Winter is the time to get your garden tools in shape... hand tools such as shovels, picks, trowels, loppers, etc. should be cleaned, sharpened and well oiled.

Steel wool can clean off any rust or caked-on dirt.

And pure white vinegar works to remove rust too: pour into a bucket or small plastic tub. Submerse rusty pruning shears in the solution and soak overnight, or roughly 24 hours. 

The acid of the vinegar eats away at most of the surface rust.  Wash off the next day...for more on this go to the Backyard Boss article on cleaning pruning shears. 




But the most important thing I have found is to make sure to oil the tools. It is a rust preventative and a wood saver. 

A while back, in our shop (I own a landscape design/project management firm and we have lots of tools) we would have a large container filled with sand and motor oil and put our tools in it. 

...the sand acts an abrasive to remove dirt and the oil prevents rust.…

Hip Hip Hooray for Rose Hips!

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 Allow your roses to form hips.
Did you know that, like many plants that produce fruit, the formation of rose hips is a signal to the rose to go dormant for the season?



Rose hips provide wonderful color in the garden and are a good source of vitamin C for birds in the fall and winter. They are one of the highest plant sources of Vitamin C. 'Cherry Pie' Rose makes great rose hips:



You can eat them too. Rose hips are used for jam, jelly, syrup, soup, beverages, pies, bread, and wine. They can also be eaten raw if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit.  The redder they are, the softer and sweeter.  




for more info on roses go to Chris Van Cleave - click here.

LITTLE BLUESTEM = a native grass you will love

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'Blue Paradise' Little Bluestem courtesy of Proven WinnersDeep wine purple fall color.
When the American Horticultural Society decided to create a large meadow at their headquarters, River Farm, in Virginia the first plant they seeded was Little Bluestem.( I wrote about this earlier but have added to it. )
Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm
 They applied 100 pounds of Bluestem seed. The Latin name is Schizachyrium scoparium or skiz-ah-KEER-ee-um sko-PAR-ee-um.
Why was this the first plant they seeded? Because Little Bluestem is a NATIVE, wonderful, durable, upright,clump forming grass that is eminently suitable for 'meadow making'. 'The Blues' courtesy of the Battery Database
Little Bluestem is native to almost all of the United States and parts of Canada. It is found in  45 of the 50 states, making it the most abundant of all native grasses.

It is drought and flood-tolerant, can grow in light shade and thrives in relatively poor, sharply drained soil. It is found …

Ideas for a Fall Garden - on Garden Design

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Check out 'Ideas for a Fall Garden' on gardendesign.com. I share some ideas I have used in my landscape projects. 
Please click on the article name above for some great end-of-the-gardening-year ideas for your garden.
The Garden Design website  is a virtual compendium of ideas for your landscape.











Naming Your Garden

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Imagine if there were no street names, no names of places, no identification of any kind...our world would be very difficult to navigate. A name is essential - it gives form, meaning, and creates a concept or image for us to attach our thoughts to.
A good place name instills good feelings, excitement or anticipation...it has the ability to change our perception immediately.  A flower patch can become 'Mom's Garden' and, in a wink of an eye, the rag tag assortment of flowers is a special place indeed.


"I believe in the power and mystery of naming things.... I believe in naming what's right in front of us because that is often what is most invisible. "  Eve Ensler
A name is the first step toward making the invisible, visible, toward manifesting....
If you name your idea for a screenplay, well then, there it is...you just have to write it now....or if you name your budding business it makes it much easier to create those business cards ( that was my experience).

Tried and True Perennial - 'Honorine Jobert' Anemone

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Do you want to be immortalized? Just have someone name a fabulous plant after you.



 Honorine Jobert was a very lucky lady because this flowering Japanese hybrid anemone - Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' - 
is a wonderful bloomer and extremely adaptable. 

Lovely in a woodland setting or in rock gardens. An excellent cut flower. Naturalizes by spreading rhizomes in ideal conditions. Herbaceous perennial.

Blooms from August through September, every year. Zones 4 - 8.

Low maintenance and great in perennial borders, cottage gardens, and city gardens 

Named a 'Tried and True' plant by the Missouri Botanical Garden. 


The week of 'White Dew on the Grass'

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This is the time of 'White Dew on the Grass' in JapanSept 8 - 12 Microseason 43: 白露 Hakuro (White dew)  Now is when you notice white beads of dew in early morning. They say 'on grass' but I see it on flowers and leaves too.   Dew appears between summer and fall when the temperatures drop during the night and moisture in the air solidifies. A magical time indeed.