"God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done."
~ Author Unknown
Come See Paul's Garden!
Join us for the 18th annual "Private
Gardens of the Kennebunks" Garden Tour, July 14, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. SHINE
OR RAIN. All proceeds benefit the prevention programs of the Child Abuse Prevention
Council of York County, Maine. Tour eight lovely gardens throughout Kennebunk
and Kennebunkport. Advance tickets are $15.00 before July 1st; $20.00 July 1st
through day of the event. Please visit www.kidsfreetogrow.org for
more information. This year you can also purchase your
tickets online to save some time.
This year Paul will have many surprises for you to see in his garden, as well as many great ideas for you to add to your garden. And Paul will be there all day for you to talk to! Bring your friends and make it a day trip to enjoy the beautiful gardens in Kennebunk Maine.
Waterhold Cocoblend Potting Soil
Waterhold Cocoblend contains a combination of coconut fibers (coir) and Canadian
Sphagnum Peat Moss gives your outdoor container plants the advantage of water
retention against constant exposure to heat, wind and sun. We add earthworm castings
and pumice to make this a high-performance growing medium for all your gardening
applications. Does not contain copolymer crystals (polyacrylamide), commonly
found in other Waterhold potting soils. OMRI listed.
Use in hanging baskets, container planting or high-heat planting areas for wonderful
For more information, visit
the Black Goldwebsite.
Ten Wonderful Plants for a Shady Garden
1. Monkshood is a plant like a delphinium but much easier to grow. It is long-lived in your garden--and best of all, it is insect and disease free and the
stem of the plant is strong enough that it will not need to be staked in your
garden. The plant is also called Aconite, and the flower looks like a hood from
a monk's garment. It is different from the delphinium, growing 3 to 6 feet tall.
Its claim to fame is being able to thrive in a shady garden. They are slow-growing
and the plants can take several years to reach maturity but when maturity is
reached, you can just sit back and enjoy them for many years. They come in shades
of blue, pink, and white, and flower during midsummer to late fall. This wonderful
plant is also a great cut flower, and it can be planted in a mixed border, meadow
garden or even in a woodland garden. Plants are hardy from Canada to Georgia,
so there is no reason for you not to plant this flower in your garden.
2. Anemones are one of the best flowering perennials for a shade garden. The
fall-flowering varieties are not to be confused with the bulb types that bloom
in the spring. The fall-flowering varieties produce beautiful maple-like foliage
with great texture for the garden and grow almost like a groundcover. In the
late summer, the plant will begin to make tall stems of wispy flowers that hold
surprisingly large daisy-like flowers on single stems. Properly cared for, they
will flower heavily and make great numbers of flowers that sparkle in your shade
garden. The flowers come in shades of white pink, red and purple and will last
for 4 to 6 weeks in bloom. They grow 1.5 feet tall or larger, depending on the
variety you select. The flowers are great for cut flowers, and the plants look
great as a groundcover in the shade, in woodland gardens or in a mixed flower
border. Plants are hardy from central Maine to Georgia.
3. Columbine is known for its dainty flowers. The stems of the flowers are
thin but solid. They are strong and well able to hold up the many dangling flowers
that move easily with just the slightest breeze in your yard. The flowers themselves
are usually bicolor, with tubular flower petals that are surrounded with many
sepals that are of different shades. The flowers come in shades of red, pink,
maroon, purple, blue, yellow and white and they last on the plant from late spring
to early summer, over a month on the plant. The back of the flower also has spurs
on it, giving them extra character. If you do not pick off the faded flowers,
they will mature and produce seed pods--and by the fall, new seedlings will appear
all over your garden. They make great cut flowers, and do well in a mixed borders,
meadow gardens, woodland gardens; the smaller varieties look great in rock gardens.
The flowers will also attract butterflies and humming birds to your garden. Plants
are hardy from Central Maine to Georgia, and these plants will also grow in a
4. Astilbes are one of my favorite shade perennials; if
you can grow hostas, you will love these plants. The deeply-cut fern-like
foliage grows in a clump that emerges from the ground in the early spring and
lasts well into the late fall. The flowers look like beautiful feathers of tiny
flowers that cover the plants for 4 to 6 weeks in your garden. Each plant will
produce several flowers on long strong stems that give the foliage the appearance
of holding a bouquet of flower stems. The flowers come in shades of red, pink,
salmon, magenta, purple, cream and whites. I don't cut all the stems for arrangements
because when the feathery flowers dry on the plant, they make wonderful winter
color in the garden and will still be there when the new foliage develops in
the spring. Besides as cut flowers, Astilbes will do very well in borders, mass
plantings, rock gardens and woodland gardens. There are many varieties that will
grow from 2 to 4 feet tall, so there is a plant for all of your gardens. Plants
are hardy from Central Maine to Florida in a shady garden. Plants also do great
in large containers but must be sheltered during the winter in a cold climate,
such as a tool shed, garage or under your deck.
5. Lily-of-the-valley, with its strong 6-8" long stems covered with small
white bell-shaped flowers, is a must for a shady garden or planting under tall
tree. Every gardener knows this plant and it is loved by all for its ability
to spread quickly and naturalize shaded areas. The plant will produce 2 to 3
oval leaves that are dark green. In the center of the foliage will emerge an
arching flower stem that contains half a dozen or more bell-shaped flowers. This
is a plant that must be planted in groups--or better still in a mass planting--to
show its beauty, as it will make a wonderful groundcover, with its wonderful
spring flowers. New hybrids have now given us pink flowers and variegated foliage
on these new plants, so look for them this spring at your local garden center.
The flowers will last for about 3 weeks in the garden and just as long in a small
vase of water on your windowsill. Plant in rock gardens, woodland gardens, as
an edging along walkways--and they will also do very well on slopes and wet areas.
Hardy from Canada to North Carolina in a rich, well-drained soil.
6. Bleeding hearts have been one of the most popular flowers for a shade garden
for early color and unique flowers. I can remember my grandparent having these
plants at their home garden in Bangor, Maine when I first began to notice flowers.
This plant is easy to grow and once established it will last for many years,
growing large each year in the garden. The plant will grow in most soils as long
as the soil is well-drained. The foliage is attractive, fern-like, and deeply
cut; it grows in a mound as it develops in the early spring. By early June, the
flower stems poke up through the thick foliage with long strong stems of flowers
that grow in a row along them. The flowers are unique--nothing looks like them
in the plant kingdom. These flowers look like tiny miniature red hearts hanging
from the stem in a row. As they mature, the bottom of the heart will crack open
and a small white tear-like flower will develop, making this flower unmistakable
and one the gardener will never forget. There are two types: the dwarf that will
grow to 18 to 24 inches tall and wide and the standard that will grow 2 to 3
feet tall and wide. Look for the pink, white and red flower varieties. This plant
is very hardy, growing from central Maine to North Carolina.
7. Foxgloves are the perfect cottage garden plants, with tall spikes of funnel
shaped flowers on stems that resemble skyrockets when in bloom. The foliage is
a cluster or rosette of foliage that almost hugs the ground in a mound of beautiful
clean textured leaves. The flower spike will begin to rise from the foliage in
early summer. The stem is strong and able to hold fifty or more tubular flowers
that point downward. These flowers often have spotting on the inside of the flower
that is a darker shade of the flower color itself. The flowers open from the
bottom of the stem working their way upward and this helps to prolong the flowering
time on the flower stock by many days. Each flower stem will last 3 to 4 weeks
on the plant and can grow 2 to 5 feet tall, depending on the variety you choose
for the garden. The flowers come in shades of yellow, cream, pink, red, and they
will grow in full sun to partial shade. Hummingbirds will be in your garden if
you plant the foxglove plant. They are hardy from southern Maine to Georgia.
8. Houttuynia is one of my favorite spreading deciduous groundcovers because
of the foliage. The plant runs on the ground with short upright stems that are
heart-shaped. Each leaf will have several colors on it during the season, often
with shades of green, yellow, red and purple all at the same time. The flowers
are attractive and white in color but the foliage is the show-stopper. The plant
will grow up to a foot tall but spread vigorously where planted. If you have
a rich soil that tends to stay moist to wet and are having trouble growing plants
there, this is your best choice to cover the ground quickly. Use Houttuynia as
a ground cover, in a woodland garden, in a water garden or in wet areas for great
colorful foliage from May to October. If the shade is dense, the plant will not
flower as much but will spread faster. Dry soil is not recommended, as the plants
will tend to thin out unless it is shaded.
9. Lamium is a family of wonderful shade-loving perennial groundcovers. They
are fast growing and when planted en-masse at a space of two foot centers they
will fill in together in just 2 to 3 years. The foliage is wonderful and comes
in many different color combinations with shades of green, silver, gray, pink,
white and even gold. The flowers come in shades of white, pink, purple, lavender,
and gold. The foliage is in the shape of a heart about 1 to 2 inches across,
and the plant grows like a carpet of green from spring to fall. Each plant can
and will grow 10 to 15 inches tall and can spread up to two feet in diameter
in just a year or two. This plant will also grow in full sun but is more colorful
in partial to full shade. The flowers will last on the plant for 3 to 4 weeks
and are clusters of small trumpets growing in a cluster on top of the plant.
I have five varieties in my garden and each variety looks different, giving the
garden much character during the summer months. This plant is hardy, growing
from northern Maine to Georgia. Disease and insects problems are minimal.
10. Forget-me-nots really are a plant you will never forget, because of the
abundance of tiny sky-blue flowers from mid-May to mid-June. Remember that a
blue--especially a true blue--flower is rare to find in the perennial garden.
You can also find white and soft pink varieties at your local garden center or
purchase a packet of seeds and sow them in the garden during June for starter
plants that you can transplant to other gardens in the fall. This is an old-fashioned
flower--and if you have shade, it must be part of your garden because it will
get better every year. The plant will grow 6 to 8 inches tall and just as wide
and the flowers develop on top of the new growth, giving it an additional 6 to
8 inches of height. The flowers grow on 6 to 8 inch long stem and the flowers
open slowly over a month's period in the garden. This is a great plant to sow
by seed on a slope to prevent erosion; you can also plant seeds in shaded woodland
areas and in wet areas where other plants have trouble growing. The first time
I saw a mass planting of forget-me-nots, I was at a wedding in Canada and the
background for the outdoor ceremony was a hillside covered with these plants
in full bloom. It was just incredible to look at--almost distracting during the
Don't think of a shade garden as a problem garden, because it is easier to
grow plants in the shade than in the sun during years when rainfall is low and
your town has water bans. Shade garden bloom longer, and they require less care and
maintenance. Don't let the moss grow under your tall trees. Plant a garden with
summer flowers, and enjoy those hot summer days sitting in the garden in your
favorite chair enjoying the cool shade your tree are making. Do your research
and plant a shade garden this summer, you will not be sorry. Enjoy!
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1. If slugs and snails are getting you down, there is a great way to keep them
away from your plants without the use of chemicals or baits. Go to a Blue Seal
store, pick up a bag of crushed oyster shells, and sprinkle a handful or two
in a circle around your plants. The crushed oyster shells are sharp, and these
two pests will not cross the barrier you made around your plants for the rest
of the year--no matter how much it rains. At the end of the year, in October,
work the shells into the soil and the calcium in the shells will help to sweeten
the soil in your garden to help plants grow better next year; calcium helps to
neutralize the acidity in your soil. Go to www.bluesealstores.com for
more information and store locations.
2. We all know that a small shallow container filled with beer will attract
and kill many slugs...but did you know that a great trap to attract these creatures
is to use an upturned eaten grapefruit half or melon half placed on the soil surface
near your plants. Check daily and dispose of the slugs or snails that were attracted
to these fruit traps--just shake them off and reuse your traps.
3. If you're beginning to see small whitefly insects in your garden, here
is another great trap to use to catch the adults. Take a piece of yellow-painted
wood or stiff yellow plastic 10" by 10" and attach it to a garden stake;
now cover it Vaseline and place it near the plants with the whiteflies. The insects
will be drawn to the yellow-colored structure and will stick to the Vaseline
when they land on it--never to come off. This is a great way to eliminate the
adults and control the problem without the use of pesticides.
4. If you have any variegated shrubs, trees, or perennials and part of any
plant is beginning to lose its variegation to all green foliage, it's now time
to remove the all-green portions of the plant. Your plants are beginning to revert
to the original plant and if you do not remove the all green foliage, you will
lose all your variegated foliage in the years to come. Green foliage is more
aggressive and stronger than variegated, so if you like variegation, remove the
all-green foliage now!
5. Vining plants like roses, sweet peas, clematis, silver lace vines, trumpet
vines and honeysuckle should be tied up to their trellis or fence to help keep
them off the ground and help train them to where you want them to grow. This
will also spread out the foliage and help increase the airflow around the plant,
minimizing possible disease problems later. When the plants feel secure, they
also produce additional growth during the summer months and increase the flower
buds on the plant for the following year. Fertilize them once they are attached
to the structure, and--where needed--spray the plant with a good fungicide like
Serenade, Infuse from Bonide or Liquid Systemic Fungicide from Fertilome.
6. If you have a hot sunny deck and are having problems with your plants, how
about planting a container or two with different types of hens and chickens/sempervivums
this spring? These wonderful perennial plants are very drought tolerant and come
in different colors, sizes, textures and shapes. These plants will give your
deck or patio a bit of Southern or Desert look with their many shapes and textures.
Add a potted jade plant or several cacti for a real fun-themed summer enjoyment
area around your home. You can even fill a large ceramic pot with water and add
a small pump to give you a trickling sound of running water splashing.
7. If you have a fruiting plum or cherry, now is a great time to cut back
the plant if it is getting out of control or it made a lot of new growth this
spring. You can remove up to 1/2 of the new growth to help encourage more flower
bud development during the summer months and control the size of the plant at
the same time. If these two plants are pruned during the winter months, it could
encourage fungus problems where the cuts were made. This is the best time to
develop a nice shape with your plants, so get out the pruners. When you're finished
pruning, it's a good idea to fertilize the plant with Plant Thrive, with its
wonderful Mycorrhizae fungi for a stronger root system.
8. Before all the seeds are sent back to the grower, be sure to purchase seed
for your fall garden. Peas, lettuce, cauliflower, radishes, cabbage, kale, collards,
spinach and green or yellow beans, will all do well when planted in late August
for a fall crop during September and October. Store your seeds in your house--not
the garage or tool shed as I did last year--or the chipmunks will eat them. I
had nothing to plant for a fall crop.
9. If you have hollyhocks, check the underside of the foliage right now for
the possibility of a fungus problem called "rust." Look for several
small bubbles or blisters developing that in time will burst open and release a
coppery black powder called spores that will spread all over your plant and others
in the garden, killing all the foliage. Treat the plant now with Fertilome liquid
systemic fungicide or Bonide Infuse to prevent this real problem with this plant.
Don't wait--do it NOW!
10. If you have Japanese Bamboo, make sure you keep cutting the plant's new
growth off right back to the ground every week to keep the plant replacing its
foliage and burning up its stored energy. In August stop cutting back the plant
and then allow it to grow and form delicate white flower buds. When the flower
buds begin to open, spray the plants every week for 3 weeks with Kleen-up, Kill-zall
or extra strength Round-up and the product will be absorbed into the foliage
and taken down to the roots where it will do much damage to the existing root
system. Most of the time you do this you can destroy up to 75% of the plant and
the following year following the same steps your Japanese Bamboo could be completely
11. Flowering Tropical Hibiscus growing in pots on your deck or patio MUST
be fertilized every week if you want them to stay flowering all summer long.
Use Blooming and Rooting fertilizer or Miracle-Gro fertilizer at full strength
and your plants will stay nice and dark green, no yellow foliage and lots of
flowers nonstop right up to frost or bring the plant indoors for the winter and
place it in front of a large window or sliding glass door. Keep an eye on the
new growth for aphids, which can be easily controlled with rose and flower sprays
or--better still--systemic insecticides.
12. Cut flowers from your garden every week and bring them indoors to enjoy.
Cut your flowers early in the morning before it gets too hot outside and they
will adapt to the vase of water more easily and last longer in your home. Keep them
out of the direct sun when indoors, and make sure the leaves are never in the
water or you will encourage fungus problems in the water and your flowers will
not last as long indoors. If the temperatures get very hot, add Ice cubes to
the vase of water every morning to help the flowers last longer. Pick your fresh
vegetables early also and often. Remember smaller vegetables taste better and
the seeds in them are small for easier digestion--also, vegetables have
more flavor and vitamins in them when picked young.
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This Week's Question
The genus Lithops has an interesting adaption of a sort more often found in the animal kingdom than in plants. What is it?
This Week's Prize:
Liquid Plant THRIVE
Soil Conditioner & Mycorrhizal Root Stimulator--perfect for seedlings
and growing plants of all types.
The hottest gardening product for 2012! From existing plants to seedlings--THRIVE
helps plants get off on the right "root." The beginning is often the most important
part of your plants' lives. Maintaining soil quality for them to grow is imperative.
Liquid Plant THRIVE contains a concentrated dose of the microbes already found
in nature that will ensure a strong root system, require less watering and help
you do your part for the environment.
|For more information, see
the THRIVE website.
Last Week's Question:
What can thermogenic plants do that other plants (and many animals) can't?
Last Week's Winner:
Last Week's Answer:
Raise their temperature above that of the surrounding air.
Last Week's Prize:
Liquid Plant THRIVE
One winner per question - we choose winners from the list of those who answer correctly. Winners must be newsletter subscribers. We'll ship you your prize, so be sure to put your address in the form in case you win!
Are you looking for a great gift for a gardener (or yourself)? This garden
journal helps make planning and organizing easy. This journal, autographed
personally by Paul,
makes a perfect gift for gardeners. The cover holds a 5x7 or 4x6 photo and a
heavy-duty D-ring binder.
- 8 tabbed sections
- 5 garden details sections with pockets for seeds, tags...
- Weather records page
- 6 three year journal pages
- Insect & diseases page - 3 project pages
- 3 annual checklist pages
- Plant wish list page
- 2 large pocket pages
- Sheet of garden labels
- 5 garden detail sheets
- 5 graph paper pages for layouts
- 5 photo pages, each holding four 4x6 photos in landscape or portrait format
Click here to order online.
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved
- 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast meat
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
- 1 tablespoon ground dry mustard
Step by Step:
- In a large bowl, mix together the onions, carrot, red pepper, peas, chicken, cilantro and almonds. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce and dry mustard until smooth.
- Pour over salad mixture and toss until coated.
- Serve in pita pockets or on a bed of lettuce.