async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js" My Enchanting Cottage Garden: November 2013

About Me

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Gardening is my middle name. I have been an avid gardener for 50 years.  My goal is to help anyone who wants to start a Cottage Garden, be able to do so without the expense and frustration of beginning gardeners. I hope to encourage readers to share their thoughts and experience and help make this blog a knowledgeable and fun read.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Glorious Morning Glories

 Morning Glories are the first plants a novice gardener will grow, because they are the easiest and most successful of annual climbers to grow.  Everyone should find a spot in their garden for a brilliant blue or white (my favorite) morning glory. But to be sure with any easy, pretty plant there is always a disclaimer. Read on below all about the history and growing guide for morning glories. Thank you Weekend Gardener for this article.
Morning glories are a pretty annual climbing plant.  Many species were originally from China, which introduced them into Japan in the 9th century.  The Japanese were the first to cultivate morning glories as ornamental flowers and have produced many cultivars.  There are also species of morning glories native to North and Central America, where they were used by the Aztecs as a hallucinogenic and to galvanize rubber when combined with the rubber trees in the jungle.  Note that the seeds of the morning glory are poisonous.  They can induce a feeling similar to LSD but can also kill the person ingesting them.  Caution should be exercised when planting morning glories where pets or children have access to them for this reason.
 
Morning glories are aggressive climbers and can grow to fifteen feet in a season.  They are ideal to grow over a trellis or arbor.  They readily self-seed and can become invasive.  They are barred from several states due to this tendency.







 
Morning glories bloom from early spring to fall.  The blooms come in blue, red, violet, white, and pink and are trumpet shaped.  Morning glories attract hummingbirds and butterflies.




 
In order to make the seeds germinate, you have to file them just enough to break the seed coat, then soak them for twenty-four hours before planting.  Plant them in a flower bed that is in full sun.  Till the earth to a depth of twelve inches and add three inches of compost, mixing it well into the soil.  Seeds should be planted 1/4 inch deep and spaced six inches apart.  Water the seeds in and keep the area moist but not soggy until the plants emerge from the soil.  Seeds should be planted when the ground has warmed to 64 degrees F.  Any colder and they will not germinate.

 
If planting transplants, space six inches apart.  They also need to be planted in a bed that has been tilled to a depth of twelve inches and had three inches of compost mixed into the soil.  Plant after all danger of frost has passed.  Dig a hole that is slightly bigger than the root ball.  Gently tap the bottom of the pot and slide the plant out of it.  Plant the morning glory in the hole, filling in with dirt until it is at the same level as the ground.  Water in well.


 

Morning glories will bloom under an under cast sky but the blooms quickly shrivel during the heat of the day.  New flowers bloom each day.
Morning glories need to be watered one inch a week.  They need to be fertilized with a water soluble fertilizer monthly when blooming.
Since morning glories are annuals, it is wise to collect the seeds from some of the flowers to save to plant next spring.  Store these seeds in a glass jar in a cool, dark place until it is time to plant them.

 
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Secret Gardens


Secret gardens are small gardens with a quiet place for contemplation. They can include shade, water features, benches, trellis, a variety of colors and textures, and perhaps an element of surprise.

A Secret garden should not be an open area, as the name implies the garden should be somewhat hidden, it can even have an entrance door, as in "The Secret Garden".

 

 
this has all the elements of a secret garden, wall enclosure for intimacy, interesting architecture, soft flowers, pots, seating
 secret gardens are often found in a previously neglected side yard. The  site already has a one sided enclosure, and an entrance gate. This is a lush secret garden I wouldn't mind spending an afternoon in.
 

entrance to a secret garden is very important. It can be grand, or simple. An arbor covered by wisteria or roses, or perhaps a wooden gate and a simple door hint at mysteries and wonders found inside.

fences add support to climbing roses
















Seating is important to a secret garden whether a swing or comfy chair one must have a place to stop and rest or read a book.






















Water features add a nice element to secret gardens. The trickling water suggests a sense of serenity





 
 

fences creates an enclosed, secret space while still allowing light and air to circulate. Lush foliage against a white fall is a classic touch.












an entrance gate suggest an element of surprise behind the doors.





































 
 
 


 



 
 

 


 
 

 
 


 
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Friday, November 22, 2013

7 Easy DIY Bird Baths

 
Easy DIY Bird Baths. Fall is the time of the year when birds become very active in the garden. I love birds in my yard, and I have feeders and bird baths in my cottage garden active all year round to attract my feathered friends. These DIY projects are so cute and simple, and they are great garden decor as well!

When it comes down to it, a bird bath is just a shallow container that holds water sat onto a base. There are so may creative ways to build a bird bat, all you have to d is check Pinterest or goggle it, but hopefully you will find inspiration here from these artful easy birdbath projects.
 
 
This a lovely idea, a beautiful bowl just glued to a stick, simple yet beautiful and useful . http://www.mysocalledcraftylife.com

















I loved this idea, and I have lamps in my attic, I see a DIY project in my future.
You can't get much simpler than this. Check your local Craigslist and pick up an old sink for $5 Mount on a tree post add some shells or nice rocks to the basin and you are finished. http://thegardeningcook.com/creative-bird-baths/


















This one is definitely for the front yard















In cold areas, a heated bird bath will bring all the neighborhood birds right to your birdie hot tub. (Check Amazon)


 
This project is simple and uses just a candle plate from Ikea and 3 dowels or old broom handles. You can also do this project with copper pipe instead of the dowels would be it will age a nice cool verdigris with age!
 
http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/expensive-bird-bath-flip-em-the-bird-make-one-for-20/












Before you build your bird bath, keep these tips in mind:
Clean your bird bath every few days, even in the winter.
In cold areas, a heated bird bath will bring all the neighborhood birds right to your birdie hot tub
Place your bird bath where predators such as cats and dogs can’t hide in waiting.


 

 
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Winter Bird Care

 
  
Winter Bird Care   Water is one of the most important things birders can add to their backyard to attract birds. All bird species need water, and adding one or more water features to your yard will quickly attract feathered friends.








 













Why Birds Need Water

Birds need water for two reasons: drinking and preening. Water helps keep a bird’s body cool both from the inside and outside. Water baths can also remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from a bird’s plumage. Offering water in your backyard will attract more birds than just food sources, since birds that would not normally visit feeders can be tempted by water features.


 

Most Popular Types of Water

Any water is an improvement on a dry backyard, but standing water is the least effective for attracting birds. While they will eventually find it, standing water is not dynamic enough for many migrating birds or casual visitors to notice.









Moving water will attract more birds because the motion catches their eye and they can hear any dripping, sprinkles or splashes. Adding a jiggler accessory to a standing birdbath adds motion easily. A hose dripping into a dish or pond can have a similar effect and will attract more birds.

Active splashes can be heard from quite a distance and will attract a wide range of bird species. Flowing water, such as waterfalls, also stays cleaner and is less likely to harbor parasites or bacteria that could harm birds.




 
Ways to Offer Birds Water
There are several ways to offer birds water in your backyard. The most popular options include:
                                                                                                                                    click on Book 
  • Bird baths
  • Misters
  • Ponds
  • Waterfalls
  • Streams

Bird Baths

Bird baths are the fastest, easiest way to add water to your backyard bird habitat. Garden centers, bird supply stores, pet stores and nature centers sell bird baths, and many online retailers offer different sizes and styles. Birdbaths come in three basic designs:

  • Pedestal: These classic bird baths stand three to four feet above the ground and include a post-style base on an elevated dish. Pedestal bird baths may be plastic, metal or concrete and come in many decorative designs and colors. Some models also include small fountains or bubblers.

 Dish: A simple saucer or shallow bowl can be used for a dish bird bath. Dishes can be used at different heights by being placed on the ground, a fence, patio table, stump or steps. Hanging dishes and models that attach to deck railings are available.
  • Heated: A heated bird bath is essential in colder climates. It takes a great deal of energy to melt snow to drink, and birds willingly visit available water sources all year round. Heater accessories can be added to existing bird baths. Fully heated models are available as well.

For birds to feel comfortable using a bird bath, it should not be more than two or three inches deep. Adding an overturned saucer or level rocks to the center of the bath can add a shallower section or island for birds to use. The bird bath should also have rough surfaces to provide traction when wet.



 

Misters

Misters are a favorite way for hummingbirds to find water and they will often hover in a mister repeatedly on a hot day. Misters also provide moving water to attract other birds, and if they are properly positioned they will drip into a bird bath for even more motion.

Misters may be attached to fountains or elaborate bird baths or they can come as separate water features that attach to a garden hose. For the best effect, position the mister in a partially shaded area that has several perches available.


 Ponds

Backyard ponds of any size can attract songbirds and waterfowl. The pond should have areas that are shallow enough for small birds to bathe and the water level should reach perches for easy drinking access.

Ponds can often be combined with waterfalls or streams to add moving water to attract even more birds. Adding lilies, fish and other natural elements will help create both food sources and shelter that will make the water especially attractive to ducks, geese and other water birds.




 

Waterfalls

Waterfalls can cascade into a pond or be independent arrangements. The movement and noise of the water will interest many birds, and structuring the waterfall to help birds access the water flow can create a dynamic bathing and drinking station.

The waterfall should include shallow basins that collect water. Some birds will stand under small water streams, but heavy falls are less desirable. Natural materials such as slate and native rock will be the most attractive to birds. Add bird-friendly landscaping around the waterfall to create a habitat with food plants and shelter.


 





Streams

An artificial or natural stream adds flowing water to a backyard landscape that will be especially attractive to birds. Adding rocks will create perches and keep the water depth suitable for birds to drink and bathe. If the stream is large enough to include a small bridge, nest boxes can be added beneath the bridge to attract swallows and other birds that thrive on the insects near water.















Cleaning Water Features for Birds

Water features will attract the most birds when the water is clean and fresh. Standing water features such as bird baths and dishes should be cleaned daily, while moving and flowing water will naturally stay fresher and can be cleaned less frequently.

Birders should never add harsh chemicals to water features to control algae growth or purify water. Even in small concentrations, such chemicals can be dangerous to birds. Pesticide, fertilizer and herbicide use should also be limited near bird water features.

Attracting birds with water is easy, and there are many simple ways to add fresh water to your backyard to entice birds for a drink or a bath.



Wooden Birdhouse With Patriotic Bunting

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Indestructible Liriope

Indestructible Liriope



Liriope is also called big blue lilyturf,  the other common species of Liriope is called creeping lilyturf .Lirope is the first plant I dug from a neighbors yard and transplanted  to my garden.

 Once this plant starts growing it does not stop. It can be used  to edge  borders of your flower bed, edge your front yard  walkway, and any other spot you need a hardy indestructible plant.

It is hardy in zones five to ten.


Liriope is a hardy evergreen ground cover.  Liriope generally grows from ten to eighteen inches tall and is twelve to eighteen inches wide.  It grows in clumps with dark green vegetation.  Some varieties are variegated.  Liriope blooms in July and August with spikes of purple, lavender, or white flowers. The flowers are small but there are a lot of them, making the plant very showy when blooming.


Liriope will grow in anything from full shade to deep shade.  For the most flowers, however, plant in full sun.  It is a very hardy ground cover and spreads rapidly.  Liriope is useful on slopes or banks, under trees, and as edging for flower beds.

Liriope is difficult to plant with seeds.  This is because the seed must be cleaned from the pulpy mass of the berry it is contained in, then subjected to warm scarification for eight weeks at about 77 degrees.  Then the seeds may be planted and will grow.  You can sow the seeds in the berries in the winter, however, they will be slow to germinate in the spring.
Liriope is easy to plant by dividing the root mass of existing plants or through transplants purchased from nurseries. Since this is so much easier than using seed, it is the usual manner of establishing Liriope in the garden.

To plant Liriope, first till up the flower bed to a depth of six inches and add three inches of compost.  Then dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the Liriope.  Carefully remove the plant from the pot and put it in the hole.  Firm soil around the roots and plant.  Carefully water the plant in.  Plants should be spaced one foot apart when planted.  They will quickly spread and fill in the spaces between them.

Liriope should be watered one inch of water a week to promote deep roots.  Do not let Liriope dry out, but do not keep the soil too wet or the roots will rot.  The soil should be moist but not squishy.

Liriope must be pruned in late winter before the spring growth begins.  The easiest way to do this is with a mower set at the highest setting.  Just mow the plants, being careful not to damage the crowns while doing so.  Be sure to remove the mowed leaves and compost them.  Leaving them on the plants can spread diseases.

Liriope is fairly tough but is vulnerable to root rot, anacthrose, and snails and slugs.  For snails and slugs, spread iron phosphate bait around the plants.  It is sold under the names Sluggo and Escar-go.  It is not as poisonous to other animals as the old copper based bait.  Liriope is considered rabbit and deer resistant.