Tagged raised bed gardening

New Hydrangeas for 2011

Big Beautiful White Blossoms of the Annabelle Hydrangea
Big Beautiful White Blossoms of the Annabelle Hydrangea

Hydrangeas have become one of my favorite perennials for many reasons.  The large white blooms of the Annabelle remind me of my Grandmother’s large flower garden which was always bursting with color and heavenly scents.  I loved to pick a bouquet to decorate the dinner table.

The range of blue, violet, and pink hues that are available in newer hybrid varieties are breathtakingly beautiful.  If you don’t like the color, add a little aluminum sulfate to the soil for a deeper blue, or add dolomitic lime for a pink flower.

Hydrangeas are hardy and fairly easy to grow given the right conditions. There are new varieties available each year.  2011 varieties include Hydrangea Macrophylla Konigstein which is a deep red; Hydrangea Macrophylla Lemmonhoff, a pink to blue variety depending on acidic level of the soil; Hydrangea Paniculata Phantom, which will produce beautiful creamy white blossoms all through the summer and into fall; and Schizophragma Brookside Little Leaf which is a climbing variety that will bloom all summer long as well.

There are literally hundreds of different types of Hydrangeas so it’s not hard to find a type that works well for any growing conditions.

For a complete guide to growing Hydrangeas, check out the Encylopedia of Hydrangeas.

Ever Thought About Becoming a Bee Keeper?

keeping bees, bee honey, bee hive
Bees Are a Critical Part of the Garden

There’s been a great deal of coverage in the media about disappearing honey bees in the past year or so.  Experts speculate about what may be causing the mysterious disappearing act – cell phones, viruses, weather (climate change/global warming).  It may be years before we know the answers, if we ever do.

As an avid gardener, it’s concerning to think that the bee population is on the decline since our food supply is so dependent on these little buzzing pollinators.  I live in a suburban area with not enough property to become a bee keeper and I have enough respect for the honey bees and all types of bees that I would want to learn as much about bee keeping as possible before attempting to raise bees for honey.

Fortunately I work with an organic farmer who has become quite adept at raising honey bees and he’s very generous with the harvest each year.  He studied at the University of Minnesota and has been raising bees for honey and to pollinate his crops for several years now.  The sweet taste of clover honey cannot be beat by any store bought honey on the shelf.  To learn more about raising your own honey bees, start here: BeeKeeping For Beginners