Archive for 'Gardening Tips'

Ticks thrive in warmer winters…and they hitchhike on birds and humans. The Star tribune had an article about ticks and the diseases they carry…Kevin Giles, (January 21, 2012). The most prevalent tick in MN is the black legged tick ; they don’t have natural predators, and so far there is no real way to control them. With warmer winters they can survive from year to year and of course their numbers grow expediently. These ticks carry lyme disease and are most active from mid-May to mid-July. The MN Department of Health advises that you avoid wooded and brushy habitats, wear tick repellent when outdoors, and check skin and clothing for ticks after being outdoors. Lyme disease symptoms: fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes. About 70-80 percent of infected people develop a circular or bull’s-eye skin rash. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Be sure to see a doctor with symptoms…lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection.

Roosting Boxes

Feb. 2, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Birds, Gardening Tips

In cold weather songbirds eat constantly during daylight hours to sustain their energy. At night they expend a lot of that energy fluffing their feathers and shivering to keep warm until dawn. Often thick evergreens and other vegetation fail to provide enough protection for birds trying to get through the night. Though they crowd together for warmth, many birds become seriously dehydrated and freeze to death. Mortality is typically highest among the little birds such as chickadees and titmice. In a very bad snow storm with below freezing temperatures for more than a day or two, as much as 50% of smaller songbirds can perish. This is a real problem and only yardeners can really help. Please consider saving the birds with a few nesting boxes.

Seed Savers Exchange

Feb. 1, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah Iowa. In 1975 Diane Ott Whealy and her husband Kent, launched the Seed Savers Exchange in their home. Today, the nonprofit organization has 13,000 members and headquarters on an 890 acre Heritage Farm. They maintain, preserve and sell thousands of varieties of heirloom vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Seed Savers Exchange

Glass Bottle Tree…

Jan. 31, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

Gentle Gardens wants more trees…no more room…unless of course it could be a glass bottle tree…who knew.


Jan. 30, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

This is a bird bath planted with different succulents this summer. There are different ways to plant them, mostly I use moss vs cacti soil. They require misting and light. We had them set out on the east deck back against the house this summer. They grew quite nicely. Try them, you can use almost any container…just don’t let them get soggy.

Gentle Gardens used a long tree pole trimmer today…the hedge was out of hand. Smile. Oh well, it looks lots better. We didn’t cut the top off straight…we like to leave them looking natural, just like they grow. That means it’s really a branch by branch pruning. You can only do this if it a small distance from start to finish. A considerable lengthly hedge would be difficult to get the tops approximately the same length. I’ve seen a few of those that look like roller coaster work…they are hard to get back into shape. Always cut some, stand back, look, cut a little more. It’s easier to take more off than to use Gorilla Glue or duct tape if you’ve cut off too much. Now is the time to go after the trees…although today it is warm…wonderful weather.

Garden Planters

Jan. 30, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

Willow House and Gentle Gardens are a great way to add design and uniqueness to your home and garden. Spring is comming…even though it is actually snowing a little outside today. YEA.

Miss Piggy

Jan. 12, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

Gentle Gardens is a place of fun and uniqueness. Tom keep insisting on painting our front door red…so, when he does I’m going to show it off with Montcrest Adjustable Hurricanes by Willow House. Of course I’ll need three for balance. Smile.We have a good time at Gentle Gardens. We feed and water the birds, we pray for the white squirrels when they dash out in front of cars and we hold our breaths when the Redtail hawk visits. It’s a good place to be. Come and share Gentle Gardens and Willow House with us. You are welcome.

Garden Tours

Jan. 11, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips, News, Projects

Willow House and Gentle Gardens are getting ready for spring and summer tours. We’re putting things in order. Come see us. You are welcome!


Jan. 11, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips, Perennials

Hollyhocks…large fig leafed plants that are common in the rural gardens, swinging by the garden gates, bowing to the wind and spreading seeds for the following year. Always a welcome sight on any farm…and larger gardens.