Garden.True.North is about gardening in Zone 3,
sharing thoughts, ideas and tips for all northern gardeners.
sharing thoughts, ideas and tips for all northern gardeners.
My Dahlia Timeline
Here’s my timeline and results.
Now waiting to see if these different methods yield flowers at different times. That, after all was the whole point of this experiment.
My Dahlia Collection
This PDF file outlines the Dahlias that I grow along with growing notes.
A wonderful resource for growing Dahlias: Discovering Dahlias by Erin Benzakein
May 1 - Woodland Gardens Program
On May 1, Noon to 2:oo pm online.
Registration & Fees for this course through WITC - see below.
Discover plants suitable to the forest edge or under a shady tree in your yard. Sue Reinardy, a UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, will guide you through various topics, including how to add bulbs, ferns, perennials, grasses, sedges, trees and shrubs for three seasons of color. If you have light to medium shade, this program will give you ideas on how to incorporate these plants in your garden.
Class # is 24553 Registration for this online course is through WITC. Register online at courses.witc.edu; Search for and choose your course; add it to your cart. Should you need assistance with registration, call the number provided on the WITC web page for the campus closest to you and leave a message. Your call will be returned. This class is online using the free BlueJeans software. Sign up, receive your log-in information, and attend from the comfort of your space. You will need reliable internet service, a camera and microphone on your device. To learn how easy it is to use our BlueJeans software to take classes from your home or work computer, view the free video tutorial at http://learningcommons.witc.edu/bluejeans
Note: On May 29, Noon to 2:00 pm will be another gardening program online through WITC. You can register for both at the same time.
Class # 24464 Create a Potager Garden -
Potager is a French term for a kitchen garden. These gardens can include not only vegetables but herbs, fruit, berries and cutting flowers. The program will cover where to site your potager, plants to include and how to maintain it through the growing season. These gardens can be an attractive addition to your yard and provide your family with food and flowers throughout the growing season.
April 23 "Going Native" Program
Going Native –
On April 23 – 10:30 am to Noon, the Sherman & Ruth Weiss Community Library-Hayward in partnership with the UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program is providing an online gardening program via Zoom, as part of National Library Week, "Find your Library at your place".
This program will cover what, when and where to cultivate native plants that provide food for butterflies, song birds, hummingbirds and beneficial insects. Also learn about phenology: the study of the development of plants and animals as affected by our climate and weather. By using your observations you can know the best time for planting, the blooming cycles of plants, and the emergence of insect pests. All will help you become a more natural gardener. The presenter will be Sue Reinardy- UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.
Register in advance for this meeting: https://uwextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcvcO-hrTouG9YSWNKCXExwjkDrGV5XA-q4 in order to receive handout materials, the Zoom link and password.
Rosemary is Sage
This year I managed to bring my Rosemary plant in before it succumbed to the elements and it is now thriving. When I’m feeling the need for the fresh smell of plants, Rosemary is there and just brushing my hand across the leaves produces that wonderful fragrance.
This summer the entire nursery pot was put into the container with other herbs. When it came time to bring it inside, I just popped the pot out and brought it in. Rosemary doesn’t like its roots disturbed. By keeping it in the same pot on the move from outside to inside, those roots remained happy. I also cut back the tops by one-third before bringing it inside. Now it is adding new growth.
Last Chance to Order Spring Bulbs
Scene from the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands.
There is still time to order, receive and plant bulbs for next spring. I doubt that how your garden looks next April or May is on your mind as the leaves begin to change color and start dropping. However, if you take a few moments now there will be a reward next year.
Time to Bring in the Houseplants
It is time to bring in your houseplants from their summer vacation outdoors. This includes any tender plants that you plan to overwinter inside. Many of our houseplants and tender perennials are from the tropics and get stressed when nighttime temperatures dip lower than 50°. I used to scramble the night of the first killing frost to bring these plants inside. It was stressful both for me and my plants.
I now start moving houseplants and tender perennials to shadier spots in the garden around the beginning to mid-September. This gives them time to acclimate to the lower light conditions in our homes.
Baptisia and a Bunny
I had visions of a sea of blue after my daffodil’s foliage melted away. Earlier in the growing season I lost a row of Swiss Chard. I put bird netting around that raised bed and the chard is recovering. But my Baptisia looks like a lost cause. A small rabbit has been sighted near the garden. Maybe this bunny thought Baptisia is tasty since it is a member of the pea family. So much for “tolerates rabbits” advertised with this plant.
Left to right: Baptisia australis, what remains of my plant after the bunny, and new cultivar 'Solar Flare'.
My garden fence was built to deter deer from ravishing my vegetables. The fencing is not made to turn away a small bunny and there are gaps under the gates. After being on this property for 15 seasons, this is the first rabbit. The wolves, coyotes, fox, and eagles may be credited for the lack of rabbits; that is until now.
Baptisia australis, common name False Indigo, is a native plant to the eastern U.S. In addition to being advertised as tolerant of rabbits the plant is unappealing to deer, drought resistant, and tolerate of poor soils. I thought it perfect for my garden since it likes full sun to part shade (my garden receives about 6 hours per day) and would provide some color between the spring ephemerals and the summer bulbs that grow alongside my raised beds. At 3-4 feet tall, it would stand out, just what I wanted.
Baptisia australis was named Perennial of the Year in 2010 by the Perennial Plant Association. It seems appropriate because this plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9, has multi-season interest, is tough, and is low maintenance. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder: “Over time, plants develop slowly expanding clumps with deep and extensive root systems, and should not be disturbed once established. Plants take on more of a shrubby appearance and tend to open up after bloom. Trimming or shearing foliage after bloom helps maintain rounded plant appearance and obviates a possible need for staking, but eliminates the developing seed pods which are so attractive.”
In addition to this native, there are now new cultivars that come in yellow, pink, violet-blue, and creamy vanilla. Baptisia attracts butterflies with its flowering for 3-4 weeks in June. Both its blooms and dried seed pods can be used in floral arrangements. The common name of False Indigo refers to the use of this plant by early Americans as a substitute, albeit an inferior one, for true indigo in making blue dyes. I originally thought that the Latin "australis" was odd for a native North American plant and found out that it means "southern". It can also refer to Australia.
I’m putting up netting around the Baptisia and hoping for the best. Maybe next year I’ll get some blooms? Or maybe it's time for another trip to the garden center?
Aquilegia (Columbine) Volunteers
The Columbine bed at Longwood Gardens.
Columbines have 60-70 species that are perennial but short-lived. They are excellent self-seeders but deadhead if you want your purchased hybrid plant to last longer. Of course, then you give up the self-seeding character of the plant.
Now I wonder if I want to find some hybrids and see how my volunteers would fare with a few more colors.
Daisies and a Friend