Do you love roses?
For those of you who have been following me for any length of time, you know that my love affair with roses is something that I like to share with others. For that reason, on a lovely day in May, I made a visit to the Old West town, Tombstone, Arizona.
After I finish with my photos, I stroll back into the museum where I notice row of small rose bushes.
I am excited to show you two pictures of one of my favorite perennials.
|Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)|
I hope you have enjoyed my favorite flower photos. Starting tomorrow, I will begin posting a series of my favorite DIY blog posts, so please come back for a visit!
|Pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla)|
|Beavertail Prickly Pear (Opuntia basilaris)|
|Parry’s Penstemon (Penstemon parryi)|
|Pink California Poppy|
|‘Raspberry Ice’ Bougainvillea|
|Pink Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’|
|Mexican Evening Primrose (Oenothera berlandieri)|
|Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii)|
|Pink Wood Sorrel|
Every year as Christmas approaches and most of my plants have gone to sleep for the winter, my favorite shrub is just getting started…
Does the fact that Christmas is fast approaching make you think of growing tomatoes?
Of course not. Our thoughts are focused on making sure our homes are decorated for Christmas, looking for the perfect gift for that special someone and hopefully some holiday baking.
But, I am going to tell you why you should also be thinking about growing tomatoes this time of year.
So, to get the most tomatoes, you want to plant the largest (oldest) tomato plant you can in early March.
Many nursery greenhouses are starting their tomato plants from seed right now where they will grow, protected from the elements until March arrives when you will find them on the shelves of your nursery.
You may be wondering why you should start your own tomato plants instead of buying them at nursery?
Well the problem with purchasing your tomato plants from the nursery is that they have a very limited selection of tomato varieties. And, they may not have the variety you want, or it is sold out.
**Right now, many seed companies are having Christmas sales on their seeds including Burpee and Botanical Interests.
Growing your own tomatoes from seed is very easy and rewarding.
Here is how I have done it…
I like to use Starbucks coffee sleeves or toilet paper rolls, cut in half as my seedling containers.
Grab some seed starting mix from your local nursery or big box store. Some seed mixes have fertilizer already added. If not, then I recommend adding a slow-release fertilizer to your potting mix.
Wet the soil before adding to your containers.
Fill your recycled containers with the seed mix and add your seeds.
Place your newly planted seeds in a warm area, such as the top of your refrigerator. The heat will help them to germinate.
**Use a spray bottle to keep them moist. Don’t allow the soil to dry out.
Once the seeds begin to sprout, put them in front of a sunny window.
Many of us are familiar with how over-pruning can take away much of the beauty of flowering shrubs, in addition to contributing to their early death.
But, have you ever wondered what they look on the inside?
I found this ‘ugly’ example alongside the drive-thru of Taco Bell.
My tomato plants are turning one-year old this week.
The run will benefit the Children’s Cancer Network & Phoenix Children’s Hospital (a wonderful hospital – our son, Kai, had surgery there on his hip).
Please take a minute to check out the video link
which shows childhood cancer survivors in an honest, heartfelt way that will leave you inspired.