Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours!

Merry Christmas!
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas from our home to yours. May your days be filled with happiness and joy and may you be surrounded by the love of family and friends today and always. 

I want to thank you for being part of the A Guide to Northeastern Gardening family and for your visits and comments throughout the year. I wish you all the best for a New Year filled with with good health, love, peace and happiness.

  ~As Always...Happy Gardening ~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Exciting News!-Book Launching: Dream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener

Book Launching-Dream, Garden, Grow!
I am very excited to announce the release of my newest book Dream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener. Wanting to share my experiences with readers on a more personal level, I dug down into my deepest thoughts and started to write a story about life, following dreams, growing up as a gardener and growing along with the garden. Dream, Garden, Grow will take you on a journey down life's many paths, making you smile and laugh, while teaching some gardening information along the way.

Chapter 5: Confessions of a Gardening Addict
Read and learn about the many medicinal uses of plants, garden folklore, gardening through the seasons and moon gardening. Discover changing trends in gardening and learn the folklore behind sunflowers and dragonflies, as their meaning and cultural history are explored. Learn about gardening tips tried and true and laugh your way through what constitutes a gardening addict, garden jargon and the mystery behind the infamous garden gnome. Dream, Garden Grow will be sure to both educate and amuse.

Chapter 8: There's No Place Like Gnome

While writing Dream, Garden, Grow, I realized that I really had been destined to be a gardener all my life and I admit that I am happiest and most at peace when surrounded by all things green. The proof was there in generations before and in the paths I had followed. Composing this book has been very special to me and I hope that my stories will bring back fond memories for my readers, perhaps bring a smile to your face and teach something new. Come along on my journey!

About the Book:
Lee Miller is proud to share her latest publication, Dream, Garden, Grow, a collection of musings as she shares her memories of childhood and how she grew to become a lifetime gardener. Packed with stories about life, gardening, medicinal uses of plants, garden folklore, seasonal interest, sustainable and indoor gardening, you’ll laugh and learn as you explore what makes a gardening addict and the meaning behind mysterious gnomes and garden fairies. While exploring, also learn about moon gardens, witty garden jargon and tried and true gardening tips. Whether you are a gardener or not, have a “green thumb” or “brown”, Lee’s stories will not only entertain and amuse but will teach you inspiring gardening pointers along the way. 

About the Author:
Lee Miller is a landscape/garden designer, consultant and garden blog author from the south shore of Long Island, who has been involved in the horticultural industry for over twenty years. Her award-winning gardening blog features over 250 articles on general gardening, landscape design principles, gardening tips, planting, pruning, garden maintenance, feature plants and more. In addition, Lee Miller has donated her time as a contributing writer for the American Heart Association Gardening Blog, as well as Gardening Know How, and has been involved as a presenter at local gardening clubs. Lee is the author of two books, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening and Landscape Design Combinations, each sharing her experiences and know-how as a seasoned gardener. With trowel in hand since the age of five, her passion for gardening continues to grow.

Dream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener is available on Amazon (Click Here) in either paperback or kindle format. I hope you enjoy it!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,©Copyright 2018. All rights reserved

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up December 2018: Winter Landscape Interest

December 2018 Garden
Welcome to my December Long Island garden! Only six days away from the official start of winter in the northern hemisphere, the garden has quietly gone to sleep. Colorful evergreens and structure are the main focus during this time of year. Come along with me to see the ever-changing landscape. Better bundle up...it's cold outside!
With daytime temperatures in the mid to upper 30's over the past week and a few snow flurries, winter seems to be arriving sooner than later here in the northeast. Now that all the leaves have fallen, evergreens are holding down the fort with their color and interest. Some semi-evergreen perennials, such as Heuchera (Coral Bells) are still displaying their caramel and purple coloring. The evergreens seen here include Western and Emerald Green Arborvitae (backdrop), Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (left), Gold Mop Cypress (left under Cedar), and Gold Spot Euonymus (middle).
Northern Border
I always enjoy pine cones, but they become more prevalent at this time of year, as you can see on this Weeping White Pine by the back pool area.
Decorative Pine Cones 
Garden Gal is still holding her basket of Black Mondo Grass. She got an honorable mention in my newest book, Dream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener, which I am pleased to announce just released a week and a half ago!
Garden Gal
I love the color on this Dwarf Cryptomeria (making its first appearance) in the wintertime. It turns from a lime green to this bright golden-yellow.
Dwarf Cryptomeria Autumn/Winter
In the driveway garden is Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce. As you probably know, it was planted as a memorial tree for my mom back in 2008 and has great sentimental value. It is also one of my favorite evergreens on the property for its seasonal interest.

Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce
Here are the interesting seed cones close up, which appear purple in early spring as they are forming.
Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce Seed Cones
The Northern Cardinals are so beautiful and appear exceptionally vibrant during this time of year.

Cardinal Visitor
The leaves have fallen off everything except this particular Weeping Japanese Maple in the front yard. It just doesn't want to give up fall. 
Weeping Japanese Maple Autumn/Winter
I enjoy focusing on its structure when I can see it. The changing seasons do have their benefit in showing the garden in a different perspective.
Weeping Japanese Maple Autumn/Winter Structure
There is something alluring about dried hydrangea flowers. I even like to enjoy them in a vase during winter, as it's a way of bringing a little of the outdoors inside.
Mophead Hydrangea Dried Flowers
As we move along, here is the front walkway and planting leading to the front door. The Golden Variegated Sweet Flag on the right under the Weeping Birch is one of the most reliable perennials on the property. It has been there for about twenty years, stays evergreen and needs no maintenance. It's a win-win plant when put in the proper location. This is eastern exposure with morning light and shade under the tree later on in the day.
Front Walkway
In front of the Sweet Flag is Juniperus 'Blue Star' and to the far left on the island bed is Hinoki Cypress 'Fernspray', which reaches about fifteen feet.
Newest Garden Addition
Here's the newest statuary addition to the garden with Dwarf Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima' plumes behind her.
Holiday Bear!
As the holiday season has arrived, I wish all my readers the best for wonderful times spent with family and friends, with good health, peace and happiness in the new year.
December 2018 Garden
I hope you enjoyed your stroll through my December garden. Please feel free to stay a while and catch up on some of my other posts. Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled RoseImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party on the 17th with Everyday Living.

Check out my newest book Dream, Garden, Grow! - a story about a dream, a garden and growing as a lifetime gardener (more info to follow).

  ~As Always...Happy Gardening ~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

This Month in the Garden: Growing Air Plants

Growing and Maintaining Air Plants 
Air plants, known as Tillandsia, have become a preferred plant for those leading a busy lifestyle, while looking for a low maintenance houseplant to enjoy. Tillandsia is the largest genus in the bromeliad family, consisting of approximately 650 species of flowering evergreen plants, native to the forests, mountains and deserts of Central and South America, southern United States and the West Indies. Tillandsia are ephiphytes, meaning that they grow without soil. In their native environment, air plants find footing on tree branches, where their roots act as an anchor to give the plant support. The leaves of Tillandsia are covered with specialized scales known as trichomes, which are responsible for absorbing moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere, decaying bark and insect matter. All healthy Tillandsias have the potential to bloom with flowers that are as interesting as the plants themselves. 
Air Plant  Terrarium Garden
LOCATION: Tillandsia prefer temperatures somewhere between 60-90 degrees with high humidity and bright, filtered sunlight, as in an east or west-facing window, or beneath a skylight. When growing air plants indoors, many homeowners take advantage of the moisture in a bathroom setting to locate their humidity loving plants. If growing Tillandsia outdoors, a screened porch or lanai can provide the filtered sunlight they prefer. These plants are often grown in a terrarium-like setting, as in a glass vase or ball, which is specifically designed with openings for air circulation. For a decorative look, Tillandsia are also grown attached to a piece of driftwood, in a rock bed or inside a sea shell. You can enjoy creating an arrangement for your plants and the design possibilities are endless!
Tillandsia Bloom
WATERING: Proper watering is very important with these plants. While they are very low maintenance, it is important to provide moisture to prevent drying out. The most successful practice has been to completely submerge your plant in a dish of water for several hours every 7-10 days. During this time, the plant will only absorb the amount of water that it needs. When removing the plant from its soaking, gently shake off excess water from the center of the plant to prevent rotting. Daily misting provides moisture as well, but not enough for survival, and excess water lying on the foliage can rot out the plant. When watering, use rain water, bottled or distilled water. Hard water from the tap contains elements that can eventually clog the trichomes on air plant leaves. When you first get your plant, develop a watering schedule by monitoring the plant's color and appearance before and after watering and be observant of changes. Leaves on a drought-stressed plant may curl under, fade in color or turn brown, while browning on the bottom of a plant indicates over-watering. Rinse plants verses soaking when flowering to protect their delicate blooms.
Tillandsia Foliage 
FERTILIZING: To fertilize your Tillandsia, use a water-soluble fertilizer that is meant for ephiphytes, bromeliads or air plants and fertilize once or twice monthly. These fertilizers contain nitrogen in a form that air plant leaves can absorb. Before submerging your air plant, add the fertilizer to the water first following the dosage amount on the packaging. Generally, air plants with smooth, glossy leaves are "mesic" types that originate from shaded rain and cloud forests, where water is abundant. They have less pronounced trichomes to protect them from drying and require more frequent watering and fertilization. Leaves appearing "fuzzy" with feathery white, silvery or dusty coatings indicate "xeric" types that come from sunny, dry climates. Their more pronounced trichomes collect maximum water and hold it for use during dry periods; therefore, less watering and fertilization are required. Through basic observation, you will get to know your plants. Next time you are seeking something different, with no soil involved, try some air plants. By following these simple guidelines, Tillandsia can be an interesting, low maintenance and fun plant addition for your indoor or outdoor space.

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved