Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Guide To Northeastern Gardening: Two Year Anniversary-The Story Behind the Blog

It has been two years since I started writing this blog and it has brought more enjoyment to my life than I could have possibly imagined.  My love of gardening goes back as far as when I was five years old, growing marigolds in pretty planters on our old brick barbecue in the backyard, and possessing a love to dig in the soil with my toy shovel.  I guess that is where it all started.  I have always had a passion for anything green and realized by 1996 that I should make this passion more than just a hobby.  With the encouragement of family and friends I went back to school, furthered my education and started up a landscape design business.  Now I can share my lifelong passion and enjoy working with others and their gardens...who could ask for more!  After seeing the movie "Julia and Julie"  in 2009 I set out on the Internet on a quest for garden blogs and was surprised to find a whole new world out there.  I wondered if I wrote about gardening if anyone would come to read it so I started "A Guide To Northeastern Gardening" February of 2010.  Since then I have met a wealth of garden blogging friends who are such a joy to know and share ideas with.  I can say that blogging has truly enriched my life.  To celebrate two years of blogging here are some of my favorite gardening photos that I would like to share.  I hope you enjoy them!
Swallowtail Butterfly on Butterfly Bush
Spring Splender

Cottage Garden

Lillium Stargazer
Backyard Raised Garden

Rose Garden
Front Border Garden
Evergreen & Perennial Garden
Daylilly Stella D Oro
Perennial Garden
Knock Out Rose

Dragonfly on Buddleia
Lampost Garden

Tropical Flower from Aruba Garden-Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee'
 (Dwarf Allamanda )

Hosta Garden

Garden Love

I hope you continue to stop by and visit and share your love of gardening with me.  It has truly been a pleasure and I love hearing your comments and reading about your ongoing gardening adventures.   One could say that garden blogging is "chicken soup for the soul!"

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author:Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day February 2012

Juniperus 'Lime Glow', Dwarf Mugo Pine and Golden Hinoki Cypress
It has been an exceptionally mild winter here in the northeast in my Long Island garden except for a couple of dusting's of snow that vanished as quickly as they came.    Foliage perennials have wintered beautifully not changing to their usual dormant look and the hyacinths, tulips and roses are starting to push out growth. Some trees such as my Weeping Pussy Willow that were sporting catkins at this time last year  are behaving differently this year showing no signs of spring. Last year at this time we were finally seeing some ground under a blanket of snow and this year...well hardly any snow at all. It is amazing how two years in a row can be so different. The view of winter colors is indeed magnificent this year with hues of gold and bronze and red throughout the garden. It almost looks like fall and needless to say the plants are a little confused! It has been a most unusual winter. Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens it is time to take another walk in the garden to see what is blooming and to see if there are any signs of spring. 
Heuchera 'Citronelle'

Heuchera 'Citronelle' still looking good even in February.  This is one of my new favorite additions to the garden this year.
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' and Golden Sedge

Love the deep purple color of the Ajuga against the Golden Sedge in winter.
Lamb's Ear pushing out some new growth

The Lamb's Ear is showing some early signs of spring with some new growth emerging.

Coral Bark Maple

The red bark of the Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku') is beautiful against the February sky.
Golden Oriental Spruce, Juniper Lime Glow and Golden Hinoki Cypress Nana

Here the Juniperus 'Lime Glow' display their winter bronze-colored foliage against the golden hue of the Oriental Spruce and Hinoki Cypress.
Hyacinths Way Out of Ground
More signs of spring!  Much earlier than this time last year the hyacinths are already emerging from the ground...
Tulips on the Way

and the tulips are making a showing.

Fiery Red Branches of the Coral Bark Close Up

Wow...can't get enough of that red!
Salvia 'May Night'
The Saliva are not only pushing up spring growth but also producing some flower spikes!  This is a first.   Below is a Knock Out Rose already showing new red growth. 
Knock Out Rose New Growth
It has been a year since I first joined up with Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and I have enjoyed walking out in to my gardens on the 15th of every month to see what is blooming.  It is also a great way to keep a diary of what's going on in the garden from year to year and to keep on gardening all year round.  Be sure to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for more gardens around the world and as always...

Happy Gardening!

Author:Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Container Gardening-Indoors

If you love container gardening outdoors why not have some of these beautiful displays for your indoor enjoyment.  Indoor container gardening is easy and can be fun especially during the winter months.  There are a variety of indoor tropical houseplants that can be used in combination to create a knockout display.

First of all a large planter with good drainage is recommended.  I usually use a 16 or 20 inch decorative planter with openings in the bottom and use a light potting soil mixture containing a good amount of peat.  Then the fun part is I visit  the local nursery and select a grouping of plants that have the same requirements for light, water, and general care.  If you are not sure which plants to use, it is common practice for nurseries to group plants together with similar requirements, taking away some of the guess work.


In this first planter I have selected five different plants for a 20-inch container.  The central focal point plant is a Spathiphyllum, commonly known as a Peace Lily.  Peace Lily thrives in low or filtered light conditions in a moderately moist loose soil which is excellent for an indoor planter.

Croton 'Banana'

Surrounding the Spathiphyllum is Croton 'Banana' which does require more light but it does very well in the constant filtered light that this planter receives.  I have the Croton more in the front section of the planter that sits across the room from a window so it receives filtered lighting.   Figure about three of these plants. 

Alocasia Polly and Arrowhead

Along the side and more towards the back of the planter (less lighting) I have added three Alocasia Polly, also known as Elephant Ear (left on photo). Elephant Ear has become one of my favorite houseplants with its shiny dark green arrow-shaped leaves with light colored veins running through them. Alocasia prefers bright indirect light and moist soil. I also used a grouping of three Nephtytis White Butterfly, commonly known as Arrowhead Plant along the back as well.   This is a great plant for indoors that prefers bright diffused lighting like the others.

Aspargus fern (center)

The last plant for a little bit of cascading interest along the front is Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri', commonly known as Asparagus fern.  It is the delicate light-green wispy plant in the center.  Asparagus fern prefers diffused lighting and moist soil.  It gracefully cascades over the rim of the planter creating a softer look.
The second indoor container planter that I have is in even lower lighting conditions and contains Peace Lily, Parlor Palm, Arrowhead Plant and Philodendron which are all shade loving plants.  The central plant is Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily), surrounded by three Nephtytis White Butterfly (Arrowhead Plant) on the right and three Chamaedora elegans or Parlor Palm on the left and toward the back.  Cascading down the front of the planter is Heartleaf Philodendron.  This planter does great in its limited diffused lighting and moist loamy soil.  I placed sphagnum moss around the top of the planter for both anesthetics and moisture retention.

Whether you are an avid gardener or just appreciate a little green around the house try out one of these indoor container gardens.  They will provide lots of enjoyment throughout the entire year.  The fun part about them is that you can combine your favorite tropicals to create a fascinating display.  To keep the planter looking full I simply change some of the plants out and add some new, which warrants a trip to the nursery...something I have no problem doing in the middle of the colder months! 

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author:Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved