National Garden Week: A Look at Some of our Favorite Gardens by RGC Members

National Garden Week: A Look at Some of our Favorite Gardens by RGC Members

We are closing out our National Garden Week posts with a look at favorite gardens members have visited, pictures from Lisa’s recent visit to Gibbs Garden, and pics from a few members’ gardens–the feature image for this post is from Mary Ann Booth Cabot’s backyard. We hope you are as inspired by these gardens as we are. Thanks for celebrating National Garden Week with us.

Debbie V suggests we add visiting these gardens on our bucket lists:

Image from https://www.lewisginter.org/aloverofroses/rose-garden-2/

 

 

 

Gretchen C’s 3 favorite gardens to visit in the United States are:

Image from longwoodgardens.org

1. Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, PA. These gardens are located just 30 minutes from where I lived the first 30 years of my life, so I have been there innumerable times. The gardens are known for their fountains, architecture, and green houses. In 1798 an arboretum was planted at this location. In 1906, Pierre S. DuPont really developed the garden with structures and more plantings. It was opened to the public in 1921. There are over 1,077 acres with 4.5 acres of greenhouses and a 5 acre fountain area. In addition, there are buildings enclosing a theater and world class organ as well as an outdoor theater where one can see a play or musical in the summer.

The Philadelphia area’s climate is a zone that encourages many types of horticulture and for this reason there is much to see in the extensive outdoor gardens. The Christmas Decorations in the large conservatories are magnificent.

I first visited as a child but remember most vividly taking my own children there in strollers. At that time there was no admission charge and a friend and I would go frequently with our young children. A favorite spot was an outdoor water feature that flowed down a large stone stairway. After moving north to New Jersey and then Connecticut, I would visit my parents in December, take them to see the Christmas Decorations, and have dinner in the restaurant.

2. Portland, Oregon Japanese Garden. There are many Japanese Gardens in the world. This one is situated on 12 acres on a wooded hillside west of the city. It is a tranquil spot with 8 separate different styles of Japanese Gardens. Water runs through the gardens as falls and pools, adding to the enchantment. In addition to the tea house there are other small Japanese style buildings. There is a Koi Pond and many moss coated structures. The numerous Japanese Maples are not to be missed. If you have visited Portland, you know that horticulture in that area is more abundant than many other places. This is due to ample moisture and moderate temperatures.

3. Of the gardens I have visited, our Atlanta Botanical Garden is my other favorite. No need to tell you as I know you all must love it too!

 

Lisa E shared these beautiful pictures from her recent visit to Gibbs Gardens, a world-class garden in Ball Ground, GA, a few miles north of Roswell.

         

 

Linda Lee P shared these gorgeous pictures from Miramar Beach.

   

 

Carolyn H shared images of her remarkable daylilies.

       

                   

           

 

Mary Ann Booth Cabot shared glorious pictures from her garden.

     

 

National Garden Week: Go Green with a 100% Solar Powered Fountain by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

National Garden Week: Go Green with a 100% Solar Powered Fountain by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

I love fountains. Their sound is soothing, happy music to me, they attract wildlife, and they give birds a place to drink and bathe. This spring I decided to convert a wet area in my landscape to a fountain. The wet area was a bog I created with reeds and yellow iris in my grandfather’s 55 gallon cast iron scalding pot. I was planning to go with a fountain with an electric pump until I came across the cute little ZETIY 100% solar bird bath fountain that doesn’t require a battery or electricity. You can’t get any greener than that! In addition, it only cost $16.70. It sounded like a win-win for me and for the birds.

When the fountain came in, I decided to test it before clearing out the boggy mess in the scalding pot that would become a fountain. The fountain was very easy to put together — I just had to put the pump into a clamp on the underside of the fountain and test out the 4 nozzles that came with the fountain. It took me a little while to figure out how the pump fit in the clamp, so I took a picture of the bottom of the fountain in case you decide to get your own fountain.

 

 

Once the pump was clamped down, it was on to testing the fountain. I used a large metal bowl and tested each nozzle. The nozzles were very easy to change and had a nice array of spray-patterns. I got a nice little sprinkle from the nozzle I ended up choosing. I also fell in love with the sound of the fountain–I could tell it was going to be well worth the time it would take to clean out the scalding pot. Here’s my video of the test.

 

Next I moved on to cleaning out the swamp. I forgot to take a picture of it before I started, but here’s what it looked like when I was close to the end. I transplanted the iris and the reeds in a shady area of my yard that has poor drainage. So far, they are still living and growing.

Once I cleared out all of the plants and as much of the dirt as I could, I filled the fountain with water. As you can see, there was a ton of vermiculite in the water. Why oh why did I use ancient potting soil when I created the bog? After a feeble attempt to float out some of the vermiculite, I had a brainstorm–I could use wire mesh to scoop out the pesky stuff. That worked quite well. I scooped out all of the vermiculite I could see, let the water settle for a while, then I scooped out more. Scoop, settle, repeat. Scoop, settle, repeat. After a while, the vermiculite was gone.

Since the fountain is 100% solar, there is no moving water at night. I needed to figure out a way to prevent mosquitoes without harming the wildlife. I needed an environmentally friendly biological solution. Lucky for me, I faced this same problem with the bog, so I just added some Mosquito Bits I had on hand. I have to add a few more bits every two weeks, but Mosquito Bits are a great solution.

A day or so after I finished the scooping, the water was clear as a bell. Now I’m seeing a lot more wildlife activity in my yard–I’ve seen nuthatches, house finches, brown thrashers, robins, blue jays, cardinals, a hawk, other birds whose species I don’t know, chipmunks, squirrels, and, as you can see in the featured image at the top of this post, a little frog sitting on the right side of the rim that thinks it has found a new home.

This is a great little project–I highly recommend it to you. It’s a win-win for wildlife and for the intrepid gardener.

National Garden Week: Feeding…& Watering…the Birds by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

National Garden Week: Feeding…& Watering…the Birds by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

A song in the children’s movie, Mary Poppins, features a woman selling birdseed crooning, “Come feed the little birds; show them you care.” It turns out, she’s right. Feeding the birds during the winter is a popular pastime which increases the survival rate of our feathery friends. But what about during the summer? There are mixed opinions about that, but more about that later. Whether or not you feed the birds in the summer, everyone agrees that birds need water year round. Wild birds need fresh water to drink and to bathe. Many bird aficionados incorporate birdbaths or ponds in their gardens to meet the birds’ needs.  Birds flock to these water features, especially those with moving water. As a bonus, in the summer these water features may attract new baby birds hanging out with their parents.

So water features are a go year round. What about feeding the birds? The Humane Society article Feeding Your Backyard Birds says the only birds we should feed in the summer are hummingbirds and goldfinches. Hummingbirds need nectar in the summer due to their high metabolism. Goldfinches nest later than other birds, so they need nyjer seed in the summer until the thistles go to seed.

Unlike the Humane Society, the National Wildlife Federation offers considerations for feeding wild birds in the summer. The article Summer Bird Feeding: the Case For and Against points out that you might want to feed the birds in the summer so you’ll be visited by birds that don’t live in your area in the winter. It’s up to you to decide whether to take down your bird feeders in the summer.

Lucky for us, Georgia’s winter appeals to a lovely assortment of seed-eating, fruit-eating, and insect-eating birds who look for sustenance in shrubs and trees as well as on the ground. So it’s important to provide different types of food and to use an assortment of feeders if you want to maximize your bird-watching experience.

When it comes to bird feeding supplies, a visit to a specialty bird store can provide valuable information, guarantee fresh seed, and showcase quality accessories. Purchase table-like feeders for ground-feeding birds such as sparrows and towhees. Hopper and tube feeders are best for shrub and treetop species such as finches and cardinals. Suet feeders—for cool to cold weather only—will attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees. Be sure to buy sturdy, good-quality feeders that are easy to clean. Cats running loose in the neighborhood are the bane of a bird feeder’s existence. Make sure to place feeders out of predators’ reach.

Different types of food will attract a diverse mix of birds. Black oil sunflower appeals to the greatest number of birds. Feeding nyjer/thistle seed is a tasty treat for finches, but be sure it’s fresh; the birds will not eat stale seed. Waxwings, bluebirds, mockingbirds and other fruit/berry eaters enjoy raisins and currants soaked in water overnight and placed on a table feeder. Fill one feeder with peanuts and nuts to attract nuthatches, titmice, and woodpeckers. When purchasing blends, avoid those with milo, wheat, and oats which do not appeal to most birds. Store the seed in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

Bird feeding and watching can be inspirational and educational. For further reading, the Doug Tallamy, University of Delaware professor’s book Bringing Nature Home and its accompanying website are highly regarded tools to enlighten you about biodiversity, the importance of native gardening, and to move toward biodiversity.

The featured image for this post was taken by Stephanie L’s husband Phil. JoAnn J…woodpecker, Debbie J…brown thrasher, Sherron L…hawk, and Linda B…fledgling nuthatch that they have been watching since the mother built a nest in a birdhouse in their yard… provided the other pictures. As you can see, RGC members love to Feed the Birds…and water them.

   

 

National Garden Week: What are RGC Members Doing During the Stay-at-Home?

National Garden Week: What are RGC Members Doing During the Stay-at-Home?

Here are RGC member responses to How have you spent your time during the virus?

From Dotty E

While honoring guidelines, I have spent my time doing projects around my home that I had put off for a long time–still lots to do. But I was able to do some organizing, exterior siding replacement and painting, and some interior painting. 

Lots of reflection on what I truly value as we have had to isolate and even refrain from gathering at our places of worship. I have decided that I will more mindfully give thanks daily for all my blessings large and small and to help others along the way. 

I have not done a lot of additional planting in the garden, but I have been formulating some plans for the type outcome I desire and will resume some planting in the fall. But lots of weeding was done during this time. 

We adopted an abused dog and have had to work really hard to help him overcome his fears and challenges. He has come a long way but still a long way to go. It has been heartbreaking to realize how scared he has been before us, and we are determined to make a difference. 

From Dorothy J

The time I had during lockdown I spent working in my garden. I was able to clean and manicure my flower beds to get ready for planting. I also did some craft projects like painting some big flower pots that I had sitting in my garage for years. Now they look great in the garden (note: one of these pots was yesterday’s blog post image). Also did a lot of spring cleaning, reading and created cookbooks of my recipes to give to my daughters. Take care and stay well, Dorothy J

From Gretchen C

Thought more and rushed less! Contacted distant friends and local friends who might need a call. Read and read and read…now on Book 17…most borrowed on-line from the library. Made Prayer Quilts. Felt Gratitude: for a period of change to relax, for the good fortune to not be affected adversely by Covid, for an amazing church which has been in touch every day during this time!

From Lisa E

I channeled Marie Kondo for the first few weeks of lockdown. It’s hard to let things go, isn’t it? I read somewhere that she recommends having approximately 34 books in your house. I could never live with that. I love my books. I worked in the garden a lot and planted a bigger veggie garden than I have in many years. I hope I can keep up with it. I’ve spend some time in Ohio with family—feeling the gratitude like never before. Early in April, I accepted a part-time job at Scottsdale Farms Nursery. It’s a pretty physical job, and that’s been good for me. I look forward to working there throughout the changing seasons. I miss you all and look forward to a time when we can garden, learn, and socialize.

From Florence Anne B

This time apart allowed me the unique opportunity to compile the largest ever to do list—mostly outside, and chip away at it daily with only the weather to interrupt. I thrived on it. Tackled stuff that had been pending for years. It is by no means finished because gardening never is, but it has been rewarding to totally immerse in nature on a daily basis.  And very therapeutic!  Especially now.

From Linda Lee P

I went to Miramar Brach for almost two weeks which has helped me immensely to survive some of this time plus reconnect with my happy place–the beach. 

Beautiful flowers, fresh air, sunshine and the surf washing upon the sand. God was ever present and I could breathe freely. (note: the image for this blog post is from Linda Lee’s trip).

 From Suzy C

 I’ve had a blast with my gardening endeavors during the stay-at-home period. I cleaned out some existing beds, battling ivy, honey suckle, poison ivy, and vinca major. They aren’t eradicated, but they are under control now. In a newly-cleared area under my ancient oak, I planted some shade-loving divisions my friend Lisa gifted me.

I’ve divided some hydrangeas and bulbs. I distributed the divisions around my grounds :). Some are in newly-cleaned beds, others are spending a season in containers. I spent about 20 hours on blog entries for Garden Week in Georgia, and another 40 hours or so immersed in the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show. I’m sure I’ll spend several hours on blog entries for National Garden Week.

I bought a cute little battery-free solar fountain and am cleaning out my grandfather’s cast iron scalding pot to convert into a home for the solar fountain (note: one of this week’s blog posts is about this). I’m about to transform an old wrought-iron chair into a planter. My hammock stand has a new hammock and a new location perfect for hanging out and reading.

 On my upcoming list:…I’ve signed up for the free online 2020 Fiber Symposium https://www.fiberartssymp.com/schedule from June 19th to the 27th. If you check out the schedule, I’m especially interested in the Antique Stone Lady Bust session and the Sculpt an Owl session to learn how to make accoutrements for my gardens. Hope you can join me at the symposium.

I plan to turn an old table and an old baker’s stand into a potting station. Also, I’ve realized the old wooden swing set/fort in my back yard is NOT an old wooden swing set/fort — it’s a folly! I see lots of opportunity exploring that idea. And let’s not forget mowing the grass. Maybe I’ll convert the front yard into a meadow.

National Garden Week: Add Color in June by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

National Garden Week: Add Color in June by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

If a quick survey of your yard in June reveals a mostly green palette, it’s time to add some color. June is the perfect time to make attractive and family-friendly additions to the greenspace and outdoor living areas of your home.

The addition of blooming plants can really be eye catching. Pick an area of the yard that needs brightening and add a spot of color. Borders, pots, hanging baskets, and trellises are popular. When you go to the nursery or garden department, look for vital, green specimens that are in bloom and ready to set out in the garden. Choose plants that meet your sun/shade needs and select different sizes, varieties, and textures. For baskets and pots, make sure to buy some trailing plants to make your arrangement more flowing and artistic.

Remember, it’s all about the soil; before planting, be sure to recharge the soil in the pot or bed with compost. Water the new specimen while it’s still in its pot.Then plant at the recommended depth and space according to instructions on the tag. Once your bed or pot is planted, water thoroughly.  To maintain the beautiful color throughout the season, water regularly, deadhead if needed, and fertilize monthly.

Think outside of the pot when it comes to color. Paint is cheap and easy to apply. Spray paint is now specially formulated to adhere to plastic and other materials. Tasteful colors abound, and some paints simulate beautiful textures. Think about painting pots and grouping them in harmonious vignettes. Vary the pot sizes and shapes to make things more interesting and stick with odd numbered arrangements.

Accessories can add color without taxing the budget. Big box nurseries and stores with garden centers have a great deal of space devoted to yard art. Some well-chosen pieces can add interest and color to the landscape—just don’t overdo it.  If you don’t feel comfortable making selections, take a friend whose garden you admire.

The featured image for this post is one of Dorothy J’s stay-at-home projects. She painted a red pot that didn’t work in her color palette and turned it into a brilliant spot of color in her yard.

For help with all aspects of planting annuals, download brochure B954: Flowering Annuals for Georgia Gardens at extension.uga.edu/publications.

National Garden Week: Inspired by Chelsea…Ideas & Comments from the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

National Garden Week: Inspired by Chelsea…Ideas & Comments from the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

For the first time ever, the Chelsea Flower Show was virtual instead of in-person. I took advantage of that and spent hours being inspired & educated. There were fantastic walking tours of famous horticulturalists’ (think Adam Frost, Kazuyuki Ishihara, James Alexander Sinclair, Tom Massey, Andy Sturgeon) home gardens. I perused floral design demonstrations, how-to videos on growing specific plants, cooking demonstrations using home-grown veg and herbs, and suggestions for gardening with kids.

I loved the daily Ask a Gardening Advisor sessions which were primed by write-in-questions on given topics. Panels of experts on each given topic answered the questions. These sessions ranged from establishing a wildflower garden/lawn to everything related to houseplants; from how to get rid of pests to how to care for ponds.

My friend Mary & I loved Tips for Summer Design with gold-medal-winning garden designer Sarah Eberle–the session is inspirational and informative.

Now that Chelsea is over, I have notes on *and have started* propagating succulents; I’ve moved the baker’s rack from my patio to my carport to create a potting station. I’ve given my bulbs haircuts so that they can absorb necessary nutrients without looking like a total mess in my gardens. I’ve converted my grandfather’s cast iron scalding pot into a pond with a solar fountain–you’ll hear more about this in another post. I’m researching turning my front yard into a wildflower yard. I have found where east is in relation to my yard, and this fall I’ll be turning my iris so their rhizomes all face east. I’m sitting in my yard, looking & dreaming. And every morning, I’m walking the grounds with a cup of coffee.

Want to see what you missed? You’ll find all 53 sessions on the Royal Horticultural Society’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalHorticulturalSo . I hope you’ll be amazed and inspired. When you get to the YouTube channel, you’ll see that the image for this post is the opening screen for the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020. As such it is copyrighted by the Royal Horticultural Society. Let me know if you, too, are inspired by Chelsea. Cheers!

National Garden Week: Why Isn’t My Annual Blooming? by RGC blogger Lisa Ethridge

National Garden Week: Why Isn’t My Annual Blooming? by RGC blogger Lisa Ethridge

In the spring, Roswell gardeners flocked to nurseries and big box stores to purchase colorful annual plants for containers and beds. If the honeymoon is over and your annual plants are dormant and stressed, they can be revitalized. With the right care and maintenance, annuals will brighten the landscape from spring through fall.

Annual plants need water to thrive and bloom. Drought conditions prevail in Georgia during the summer months. Most annuals require at least 1-1½” of water per week. Containers require daily or twice-daily watering during the summer and into October, Georgia’s driest month. Smaller pots require more hydration because they dry out quickly.

“Deadhead” or prune to encourage new blooms and growth. An annual completes its entire life cycle in a single growing season. It grows from seed and works to produce more seeds with every bloom. Gardeners must remove dead blooms to discourage the plant from putting all its effort into seed production. Not all annuals require “deadheading.” Some, such as petunias, benefit from heavy pruning. Cutting them back in July will encourage profuse blooming.

Lack of nutrients causes poor performance in annuals. For the best results, annuals must be fertilized. General purpose fertilizers such as 10-10-10 must be reapplied every 6 weeks throughout the growing season. Use slow-release fertilizers to reduce the number of applications. Water soluble fertilizers are particularly good for container plants because the nutrients are leached from pots due to frequent watering.

Monitor your annuals throughout the summer and make notes. At season’s end, do some reading and formulate a plan for increased success next year. Get a soil test and amend the soil in planting beds according to the results. For more vibrant containers, consider using special nutrient-rich potting soil mixes which are widely available. Plant selection is key; know your property’s mix of sun and shade to make an informed decision.

If you want to know more about how to select and grow annuals successfully, go to extension.uga.edu/publications and read Flowering Annuals for Georgia Gardens, Bulletin B954.

Garden Week in Georgia: Explore Gardens Around the World by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

Garden Week in Georgia: Explore Gardens Around the World by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

We are topping off Garden Week in Georgia with virtual garden tours here and around the world. Join us as we appreciate this amazing planet and the work of gardeners everywhere.

  • Get lost in beauty at the Gardens Illustrated website, starting at the Inspiring Gardens tab. You can spend hours looking at and reading about rural, urban, and international gardens. More hours are needed to read about the gardeners and to explore garden design.
    • Read about the RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show May 19 – 23.
      • You can sign up for Gardens Illustrated’s RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show emails and receive a free digital copy Pots of Style Special Edition—I signed up because I’m going to take part in the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show.
      • I downloaded Pots of Style, took a peek, and couldn’t stop skimming it to finish this post. The people at Gardens Illustrated aren’t exaggerating when they say it is gorgeous.
    • Check out Gardens Illustrated’s Ten virtual garden tours to take from home. One of the tours is Monet’s Garden at Giverny, another is Kew Gardens. The United States Botanic Garden is on the list, with several starting points for Google Street View tours.
  • Jump off the Garden’s Illustrated site to explore the Gardens of the Globe—this clickable map is an advertisement site, but the gardens on it are unbelievable. Since I had to write this post, I couldn’t spend too much time there, but I checked out the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Anima Garden in Morocco, and the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. I’m headed back there after I post this.
  • Take a trip down memory lane with the American Hydrangea Society’s YouTube channel videos of previous Annual Garden Tours.
  • Tour the Atlanta Botanical Garden starting on the Life Blooms On page—scroll down a bit for the virtual tour.
  • Tour the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.
  • Get lost in the beauty of the Gibbs Garden Photo Gallery.

If these tours leave you wanting more, you can always google virtual garden tours. Get lost in the splendor of these gardens as we stay at home together.

Thank you for spending Garden Week in Georgia with us. I’ll think about you when I’m at the Virtual Chelsea Garden Show. Cheers.

Garden Week in Georgia: Inspired by Earth Day? Now’s the Time to Start a Compost Bin by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

Garden Week in Georgia: Inspired by Earth Day? Now’s the Time to Start a Compost Bin by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

Many of us’ve thought about composting waste, but never made the time for it. While we’re staying at home, it’s the perfect time to start a compost bin  and develop the habit of composting. This DIY project can improve air quality, enrich the soil, and alleviate landfill woes. Kitchen and backyard composting is not only FREE and incredibly beneficial, it requires little effort—a definite win, win, win for gardeners.

According to the UGA Extension, “Composting is the natural process of decomposition and recycling of organic material into a soil amendment known as compost.” Compost is a magical soil enhancer. It helps retain moisture, eliminates the need to use commercial fertilizer, and encourages vigorous plant growth. A good garden can be made great by improving the soil with home-made humus.

Statistics show that compostable waste, which creates greenhouse gases as it decomposes, makes up almost 25% of the world’s garbage. The simple act of composting reduces the amount of garbage in landfills and improves air quality by breaking down waste quickly and safely. Let’s look at what goes into the compost bin and how to make an outdoors or indoors compost bin so the magic can happen.

Composting starts with layers of brown matter and green matter

  • Brown matter provides the carbon needed for composting
  • Brown matter includes dry leaves, wood chips, straw, sawdust, smushed egg shells, coffee filters, corn stalks, shredded brown corrugated cardboard, and shredded newspaper
  • According to Planet Natural Research Center’s Composting Paper: How to use cardboard and newspaper in your compost pile, you should only use plain newsprint and plain brown corrugated cardboard—no glossy pages, no colored ink, no bleached white paper
  • Green matter provides the nitrogen needed for composting and most of the nutrients that enhance the soil
  • Green matter includes food scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, tea leaves, manure, and recently pulled weeds
  • Never put cooked food, dairy products, meat, fish bones, or fat in your compost bin—these substances produce odors that can lure pests
  • Aim for a ratio of about 4 parts browns (carbon) : 1 part greens (nitrogen) for outdoors composting and 3 brown : 1 green indoors
    • If your compost is smelly (yuck!), add more browns
    • If your compost doesn’t get warm, add more greens
  • Read more at Gardening Know How: Understanding The Browns And Greens Mix For Compost
  • Be sure and mix in some water to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria/fungi—these helpful agents break everything down and eventually create rich, organic, nutrient-filled humus

Starting an indoors compost bin
There’s a wealth of great online resources for starting an indoors compost bin. Here are some excellent videos and articles to get you going in about 5 minutes.

  • Better Homes and Gardens’ article How to Make Your Own Indoor Composting Bin and 55 second video are chock full of information. If you want a small, sink-side or under-the-sink compost solution, start here—it’s concise, helpful and inspiring!
  • P. Allen Smith’s YouTube video DYI Trash Can Compost Bin is twice as long, covers a larger solution, and is also concise, helpful and inspiring—go figure
  • Bob Villa’s All You Need to Know about Indoor Composting is a great article with a wealth of information about multiple types of indoor composting

 Starting an outdoors compost bin
Although there are myriad compost-related bins, tools, and equipment available on the Internet, there is no need to purchase anything. I got started when a friend who owns a truck brought me 4 wooden pallets and told me to go buy 8 bungee cords; that’s simple construction, and it worked perfectly.

  • Place the bin conveniently near the house on a level, dry, shady spot with access to a hose
  • Don’t place the bin on tree roots
  • Air and water are critical to the composting process
  • Keep the pile moist and turn it with a pitch fork as you add ingredients; this maximizes the rate of decomposition

The thermophilic compost process takes place slowly, and the finished product can take months depending on maintenance and conditions. You will be rewarded for your patience. For detailed information on composting, download publications C816 and B1189 from extension.uga.edu.

Let’s get it started.

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

Garden Week in Georgia: Arbor Day–Don’t Miss Your Chance to Celebrate Trees by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

Garden Week in Georgia: Arbor Day–Don’t Miss Your Chance to Celebrate Trees by RGC Blogger Lisa Ethridge

There are so many ways that trees positively affect us, our communities, and our world. Check out the details on the Arbor Day Foundation website:  https://www.arborday.org/trees/treefacts/

  • Trees help clean our air
  • Trees contribute to our health
  • Trees provide us with oxygen
  • Trees provide much-needed cooling
  • Trees help reduce the effects of climate change
  • Trees help us save energy
  • Trees benefit wildlife
  • Trees help reduce crime
  • Trees are a good investment of our public dollars
  • Trees increase our property values

 

Arbor Day Is Not Just Any Day

WHAT IS ARBOR DAY?

Arbor Day, much like Earth Day, is a holiday that celebrates nature.

Its purpose is to encourage people to plant trees, and many communities traditionally take the opportunity to organize tree-planting and litter-collecting events on or around the holiday. A popular Arbor Day tradition is to plant a tree in honor or memory of a loved one.

THE HISTORY OF ARBOR DAY

Arbor Day sprouted from the mind of a zealous tree lover named Julius Sterling Morton, who had a passion for planting all kinds of trees.

The first Arbor Day occurred on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska City, Nebraska. It’s estimated that nearly one million trees were planted on this day.

By 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska. The date was changed to April 22 to honor Morton’s birthday. On that day, thousands of Nebraska City citizens turned out for one big party, including 1,000 school-children who formed a parade.

Within 20 years of its creation, the holiday was celebrated in every American state except Delaware, which eventually joined in.

Particularly pleasing to Morton was the fact that schools across the country began celebrating Arbor Day by dedicating the trees they planted to special people.

Fun Fact: Arbor Day was almost called Sylvan Day, which means “wooded.” Several members of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture favored it, but Morton argued that sylvan refers only to forest trees and that the name Arbor Day was most inclusive, covering forest trees and fruit trees.

 “Other holidays repose upon the past;
Arbor Day proposes for the future.”

                –J. Sterling Morton.

Read More about Julius Sterling Morton and Arbor Day on the Old Farmer’s Almanac website: https://www.almanac.com/content/arbor-day-history-facts-date

Roswell Garden Club encourages you to consider joining the Arbor Day Foundation. Membership starts at $10, and new members choose one of these free gifts: 10 free trees for you, 10 trees planted in a threatened rainforest, or 10 trees planted in our nation’s forests. Check it out here: https://shop.arborday.org/content.aspx?page=memberships

Since October and November are the months to plant a tree in Georgia, be sure and choose FALL PLANTING. There are tutorials available on the internet about how to plant a tree, and extension.uga.edu provides great information and resources specifically for Georgia.