These two photos illustrate why I place protective tomato cages in my flower garden over the winter. On this occasion there happened to be only one deer foraging for food, but it's not unusual to have a herd of them roaming around. This whitetail scrounged up some dried up marigolds, but thankfully the tomato cages kept my precious daylilies safe.
Every year, without fail, I grow Double Red Peony Poppies in my yard. I got a few peony poppy seed pods from a friend's garden about twenty years ago and have been growing them ever since. I love the grey-green foliage and the bright pop of color they provide early in the season, even though they have a somewhat brief bloom time. The flowers measure 4+ inches in diameter and the plants grow about 2-3 ft. tall. Snipping off the flowers will extend the bloom. They are super easy-to-grow annuals. When they are done blooming I simply shake the seeds out of the dried up pods where I want them to grow next year, rough up the dirt a bit, and that's it! Then I remove the dried-up plants from the ground and compost them. It can't get easier than that!
Important: You may want to deadhead most of your poppies after their bloom to keep re-seeding in check. With hundreds of seeds in each pod, they can overpopulate fast. Often the wind can blow the seeds to places in your garden you may not want them.
We've experienced some crazy Wisconsin temperature variances in the past three days (from minus 39 degrees last Thursday to plus 39 degrees on Saturday). The cold weather inspired me to explore the topic of winterscaping. Winterscaping is creating visual interest in your yard or landscaping for enjoyment during the dark and dreary months of the year.
As I watched TV in the evening, I visited numerous websites on my laptop and got lots of ideas for winterscaping. Many gardeners use perennial grasses for visual interest. Shrubs with brightly colored berries or colorful stems are used as well. Some individuals craft seasonal planters to create a bright spot of color. A great variety of lighting can be used in the landscape -- from home-made ice candle holders to large spotlights that accentuate unusual shapes (a Corkscrew Willow , for instance) at night. Different lighting colors can create a variety of moods in the landscape. My sister-in-law, Sandra, placed twinkle lights on a large trellis by her deck. While sitting in her dining room, the trellis lights are very warm and comforting in the evening.
Decorative ice spheres can be created (of any size) and back lit with colorful lights. The spheres can be made by filling a balloon with water, placing it outside, and letting it freeze. The next day the balloon covering can be removed and you have a frozen decorative sphere. This could be a fun project for your kiddos or grands.
At any rate, I'm armed with lots of ideas and I've got a list! Next winter I will be thinking about winterscaping my yard come November instead of February.
if it's about
my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!