Archive | August 2012

Gardening – The ABC’s of Fall Gardening

A is for Assessing and Analyzing

  • What worked well this year? Was there a type of plant or vegetable that grew well, were there disappointments? We had a very dry year, some things survived the drought. In comparison, last year we had too much rain. Making notes of the strengths and weakness of your gardening efforts and then reviewing them in the Spring will help make your garden successful and enjoyable. Consider making a photo record too, digital pictures are easy to take and transfer to your computer, along with notes, and resources.
  • Have you had a soil test recently? Whether you are planting perennials, annuals, bulbs, or lawns, the nutrients are depleted over time. Fall is the perfect time to have the soil tested and amended so it will produce the best results for you. Soil test Kits are available for $9.00 at the Penn State Extension office.

B is for Bulbs and Birds

  • “Bulbs” is an inclusive term describing a variety of fleshy underground matter that includes true bulbs like tulips, corms such as crocus, and rhizomes for example: lily of the valley and bearded iris. Spring flowering bulbs need full sun, well drained soil, but only minimal care. These bulbs, once they start to show, serve as reminders that better and nicer days are ahead. Years of selection and breeding have provided spectacular color and disease resistant varieties.
  • There are approximately thirty-five species of birds that can be seen in your yard in the winter time. Think about a family project of attracting birds and caring for them during the harsh months of the year. With the right feed and feeders, birds will provide entertainment, action and color. Bird watching, indentifying, and journaling them are good ways to pass the dreary days of winter. So take some time in the fall to select a good feeder, provide shelter and water for them.

C is for Cleaning and Composting

  • As the growing season slows down, less time is required to maintain the home landscape. Now is a good time to clean up while the weather is still nice. Take some time to edge around your plantings, remove any weeds and take out any insect eggs, nests, and debris. Taking them out now will prevent hundreds of seeds germinating in the Spring. Trim back any damaged limbs and branches. Sanitize and oil all your garden tools to prevent disease and corrosion. While you should continue to mow your grass, remember your mower should also be prepared properly for the winter. Change the oil and filter; check the plug, and lastly, drain the fuel. Doing all of this will extend the life of the mower and improve its performance.
  • Your way of recycling naturally: start a compost pile with grass clippings and spent plants as you clean up your vegetable garden. You can also add the used potting soil from your container plantings. With the onslaught of falling leaves, they can be shredded with your mower and added to the compost pile too.
  • By Steve Ward
    Master Gardener Coordinator
    Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lackawanna County
  • “Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.”
  • Used with permission

Birding – Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Bird Feeder Small Hopper Feeder with Sloped Tray SERUBHF55

Bird Feeder Small Hopper Feeder with Sloped Tray

A great resource for those who enjoy watching birds is the website and the You Tube videos of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This is one great resource for anyone wanting to hear the songs of birds that they are interested in. The website has a bird guide, bird watching basics, and many click on videos and interactive things under the tab Living Bird. Check this site out and you will not be disappointed. Once you get into this site it is hard to back out! Check out the wide variety of bird feeders we have at Garden Accent Heaven.

Garden Decor – Cedar Wood Chip Walking Path

Garden Decor Cedar Garden Path

Garden Decor Cedar Garden Pathway entrance to Linda’s Serenity Garden

When Linda started her Linda’s Serenity Garden the backyard was all grass. She built flower beds over several years until the only grass left was in the walkway paths between the beds. We mowed these until our lawn mower broke. It just did not seem worth the money to buy a new mower with so very little to mow. We decided to replace the walkways with cedar wood chips and it was very easy to do.

First step is to kill off the grass. You can use cardboard and cover the area you want to put the chips in with it. Put heavy rocks, bricks, what ever you have on the cardboard to keep it from blowing away. After the grass has been deprived of sunlight by the cardboard for a couple of weeks it will die. We had 5 trees chopped up and had all the rough chippings from them. These included the evergreen needles and did not look very good as a walking path. I spread these over the walkways about 4 inches deep. After about 3 weeks the grass under them was dead and it was time to put in something better.

Second step is to get some good wood chips delivered, I used cedar chips.  Buy in bulk, if you have a pick up truck, like I do, you can pick them up and bring them home yourself and save a lot of money. It is very expensive to use the bags of chips from the garden center.

Third Step get your wheelbarrow, a shovel and a rake together. I like to use a flat blade shovel with a long handle for jobs like this. Just seems easier to use to me. I use a metal rack to spread the chips out once I have shoveled them where I want them.

Forth Step, you have them spread out and leveled with the rake, now just stand back and enjoy the beauty of your work!

Garden Decor Cedar Garden Path

Garden Decor Cedar Garden Path wood chips in the back of my pickup truck being unloaded.




























Garden Decor Cedar Garden Path

Garden Decor Cedar Garden Path showing the difference between the rough tree removal chips I first put down and the cedar chips. Love the smell and look of cedar chips.





























Garden Decor Cedar Garden Path

Garden Decor Cedar Garden Pathway completed in Linda’s Serenity Garden.




























Garden Decor Cedar Garden Path

Garden Decor Cedar Garden Pathway. We even put cedar chips on the dirt walkways of our vegetable garden we liked them so much!

Garden Decor – Madurodam

My ex-in laws went to this place several years ago and took photos and raved about it on one of their trips to Holland. This is a different kind of garden decor. Madurodam is a miniature, action packed outdoor garden setting that is presenting the Netherlands in miniature. This got me looking at some garden railway trains and buildings and thinking about how a moving train going through the garden would bring life to it with all its action. Also how I could put more miniature garden cottages in the garden and have the train going past them.  Enjoy this video of this amazing place! Click below to see of video of all the action taking place in this amazing miniature world:

Madurodam Miniature Dutch City











Garden Decorations – Create a Retreat

Garden Decorating - Create a Retreat

Garden Decorating – Crete a retreat for yourself in your garden

If you have a spot in your garden that is shady and cool why not turn it into a personal oasis by adding a comfortable chair and some flowers or other attractive, soothing plants. It will give you a perfect place to sit and enjoy all of nature around you. We took a back corner of our garden and made into our special “meditation corner” retreat. We had an angled corner which was given a lot of privacy by the cedar fence.  A trip to K-Mart and we came home with a Adirondack chair that is very comfortable to sit in. The corner already had nice, soothing plants growing in it. Some wrought iron plant hooks where added to the 4” x 4” fence posts. Some colorful hanging baskets where hung from them to bring some color to the corner. A few pieces of cedar board to make a border, some wood chips on the ground, a small table to go beside the chair to hold a book and a drink, and we have a perfect backyard hideaway!

Garden Decor – Whirlygig

An old American Folk art icon has been updated to take advantage of today’s finest materials, yet maintaining yesterday’s charm. These colorful whirligigs have been decorating yards and gardens for centuries. Flying Colors has developed a new assembly system that is both easy and durable, resulting in a whirligig that is both easy to assemble, weather resistant and durable. Comes with a mounting pole. Made from wooden body, fiber glass wings and automobile paint that will not fade or chip.   A 34″ garden stake mounting pole is included.  Size: 13.5″ x 2.5″ x 5″. Chose from Blue Jay, Cardinal, Hummingbird, or Owl whirligigs.

Whirligig Whirlygig