Wednesday, September 13, 2017

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: Love My Fall Invasives Part 1 - Fall Blooming Clem...

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: Love My Fall Invasives Part 1 - Fall Blooming Clem...:           Fall..I love it, but when I need blooms I sing the praises of some old fashion favorites that get a bad rap. I know what yo...

Love My Fall Invasives Part 1 - Fall Blooming Clematis

          Fall..I love it, but when I need blooms I
sing the praises of some old fashion favorites that get a bad rap. I know what you all will be saying, these plants are invasive. Yes, they can be, but at this time of year plentiful white blooms add so much. So I work aggressively with my favorites and it makes my pollinators and neighbors so happy!!
          This is Fall Blooming Clematis. It blooms this time of year for several weeks. Every year  I have so many people stop and ask me about this plant.  I do not have a hard time controlling this plant but I am very aware, and the wow factor is so worth it.
           Plus the bees love it and it smells out of this world..... I have great fencing for it to aggressively climb over so

I let it spread....

Here are facts about this fall beauty from an article I published on this plant for Kentucky Gardener.

Clematis paniculata ( C. terniflora)  will quickly cover a bare fence or an unsightly shed.  It can easily grow up to 30 ft, but I have found it is easily controlled with pruning in the spring.  

Common Name: Fall Blooming Clematis or Sweet Autumn Clematis

Botanical Name: Clematis paniculata ( C.terniflora)

Color: White Star shaped flowers with dark green leaves

Blooming Period: August through September

Zone: 4-8 S/ 4-10 W

Type: Perennial (readily self seeds, lots of babies to give away or transplant to different locations)

Size: Can grow up to 30 ft in a season. Does best when it can spread out as well as up…and needs just a bit of guidance at first!

Exposure: Full to Part Sun (needs at least 6 hours of sun)

When to Plant: They need to be planted in the early spring, when they are small and manageable. Plus this will help encourage proper growth and abundant flowering.

How to Plant: Plant in amended soil, making sure the crown is at least 1 to 2 inches below the surface. Take care that the hole is deep and wide enough to fit the existing root system. Cut the existing stems back to 1 foot in height to encourage branching while growing.

Soil:  I amend the soil with compost to help with drainage and soil aeration.

Watering: Regular deep weekly watering .Because of the deep root system, this plant prefers regular thorough watering during the season. About 1 inch of water per week.  

When to Prune: Prune in February or March to encourage proper growth and more prolific flowering

When to Fertilize:  I mulch with compost during the season making sure not to put too close around the crown. Other than that an occasional feeding of miracle grow will keep this heavy feeder happy.

This beauty adorns my wooden fence, it holds court with the spikes of the blue Russian sage, purple butterfly bush and white garlic chive blossoms all adding their touches to a stunning last hooray! It can be used as a ground cover but there is no question that this beauty is best displayed growing up and out! It is like a mountain of glistening snow in September!!!  

I do make sure and cut it down, pruning is the key. If you skip this step, you will not have blooms the following year and will have many seedlings.
So please don't be afraid. When I drive down to visit my daughter in Georgia this time of year, I see this growing in the woods along I40. It adds a highlight to the fall forest.  

Stay tune for the next Fall Invasive Beauty...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Great Friends Reunion....

Last weekend we hosted our Supper Club. These three couples, we make four, are like family to us. We have been meeting for over 40 years. So many amazing trips together, weddings of all our kids, anniversaries, baptisms, funerals, and just fun get aways....we have celebrated and cried all together.

I cannot tell you how important this group of loved ones are to Randy and myself. There are friends but this group are beyond friends...I consider them family.

Most of these dear friends had not been to Kentucky for many years.. we tend to travel to unique destinations such as St John's, Eleuteria, Santa Fe, etc etc....

But as time as gone on, we all have grand babies, so many obligations it gets so hard to get together. But not a one of us are willing to let this special group go.

So last weekend we joined together in Kentucky at Colony Springs Farm.  We have so much work to do on our 150 year old house that I was hesitate to have everyone staying here. But this is about friendship, love and history and not my Fixer Upper.

It was such a great 24 hours.. I smoked a brisket for over 8 hours, plus added recipes fresh from the garden. Everyone brought great side dishes and lots of great drinks.

So we ate hardily and drank freely and loved our time together....  Although it was only 24 hours it was so amazing... I feel blessed to have friends that I have loved for so long to stroll though my gardens and see my garden heart and soul.

Most of them are heading out to great adventures.. We are more low key this year. But how great to have these great friends in my Kentucky Gardens for 24 hours... is the best thing..they left some great food. So I took the brisket to the office and they al were so happy as well as they love the Blackberry Cake.

But tonight I took the left over Artichoke dip and Olive dip and stuffed it into fresh tomatoes...Then baked it and topped with great cheese. We will eat great tonight.

A big zucchini left behind has gone into the spaghetti sauce for the spaghetti squash we are having for dinner tonight. ( Thanks Peggy)

So much love to my amazing friends... And thanks for the left overs..the Kirts's have eaten great tis week.

Just a few images of what i did with left overs...

I wish I had my friends here to eat the tasty left overs.....much love

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: More Dill Needed

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: More Dill Needed: So tonight I went out to harvest some Dill Weed. My husband loves fresh cucumbers with dill and onions. So I was trying to make a quick sid...

More Dill Needed

So tonight I went out to harvest some Dill Weed. My husband loves fresh cucumbers with dill and onions. So I was trying to make a quick side for dinner. I had some fresh cucumbers from the garden so....

However.....when I went out to the Herb Garden someone else had eaten all the dill weed.????

It is ok...I will plant more dill and I still had enough to make the following recipe. My pollinators come first..I can always eat something else

I was trying to mimic a recipe my mom use to make. Not sure it is the same recipe but very similar. 

4 Cucumbers , thinly sliced 
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1cup white vinegar 
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons or more fresh dill
Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a small bowl. Combine the vinegar, water, and sugar in a sauce pan over medium though heat. Bring to a boil and pour over the cucumber/ onion  mixture. Stir in dill weed cover and refrigerate until cold, at least one hour. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: Here come the Surprise Lilies.. AKA Naked Lilies

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: Here come the Surprise Lilies.. AKA Naked Lilies: They are here....I love this plant. I  did not know about it when I lived in Indiana... but it is so cool and beautiful this time of ye...

Here come the Surprise Lilies.. AKA Naked Lilies

They are here....I love this plant. I  did not know about it when I lived in Indiana... but it is so cool and beautiful this time of year.... Here is an article from the Kentucky Gardener I wrote about 5 years ago.  I am really fascinated by them!

 Enjoy the Article!!

We bought the house we currently live in 20 plus years ago in the early spring. When we moved in I was so thrilled to see all the spring bulbs popping up everywhere. There were patches of daffodils, snowdrops, and hyacinths in many different spots. Plus in the out buildings I found many empty boxes from Brecks, Springhill and more. All this gave me hope of what the spring and summer would behold. I was not disappointed  when the first bulbs appeared. Although the plantings were randomly planted, the plants were just waiting for me to move them to the right spot.
 However one bulb had me stumped. Late spring I had strap-like, greenish, gray leaves up to 12 inches long and 1 inch wide in groups all over the yard. As early summer arrived and the leaves died off, I was very tempted to dig them up and throw them out. Luckily, I ran out of time doing more pressing garden projects, and let them grow.  Then in the late summer, I noticed arrow like spears shooting out of the ground. Each sheath would grow about 2 feet tall, and would open into 5 to 7 funnel shaped rose tinted pink blooms.  What a surprise!  
  After doing some research, which mainly consisted of asking garden friends, neighbors, and reading blogs, I discovered that they were Lycoris squamigera.  This is a plant with many aliases including Naked Ladies, Resurrection Lilies, Magic Lilies or Surprise Lilies. I love the variety of names. You may know them by a different name. If so please pass it on!!
Here are a couple words of advice I have learned about this very unusual plant. This may be the only bulb I know that needs a warning label.
#1) If you have an obsessed mower, like my husband, you must watch for the arrival of the stems emerging from the ground or they may be mowed down. I have slowly transplanted my” Naked Ladies” to flower beds. However, I bet if you let your husband know being careful and not mowing in certain area will result in a group of “Naked Ladies” appearing, he will greatly improve his mowing game!
#2) Be careful where you talk about your Surprise Lilies! I heard a story about a 
man who was going to his choir practice at church. He began to talk about the fact that he 
had several” Naked Ladies” in his front yard. The Music Director looked at him and said something to the effect: if this is true, then why in the heck are you here? 
#3) Practice self discipline when weeding in the spring. No one has ever needed  to warn me about this, as I have a long history of leaving “unknown” fast growing “plants” way too long only to discover I have nurtured a weed. If you get frustrated with the lack of flowers and discard the bulb, you will miss the big show.
#4) “Naked Ladies” do need to be transplanted and shared or replanted every so often. I read a blog email from a person who was complaining that he had too many  
“Naked Ladies” in his front yard.  Perhaps this is why this plant was included in Steve Bender and Felder Rushing’s great book. Passalong Plants.  However, do beware, as Felder Rushing mentions Lycoris, may skip a couple years before blooming when they are messed with.  I loved his comment about the transplanting problem, “You really can’t complain about all if this. It’s just the price you pay for disturbing Naked Ladies.” (Felder Rushing Passalong Plants.

So all jokes aside, I am thrilled that one of the previous owner’s of my house, felt the urge to plant this wonderful bulb. Previous owners include a missionary/ retired author, a psychiatrist, (who is probably responsible for the cage in my attic) and an owner of a fertilizer company who was looking to build a retreat far from the big city (Louisville)  This owner had connections to the bourbon industry in Kentucky. Or perhaps they might have been planted by the owners of the original house on the property that burned. I just don’t know who is responsible for planting them.  And even if I did, would they admit to wanting hundreds of “Naked Ladies” in the yard??   


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