Funky, Fun Garden Plants

Written by Valerie Garner

Funky, Fun Garden Plants I have a love for funky, fun and unique garden plants. Here's one to try. It's called Sea Holly, and it's actually inrepparttar thistle family.

Sea Holly is a perennial garden plant, which means you plant it once and it comes up year after year, somewhat depending on your climate.

This plant never did fail to bring attention and comments from people seeing my garden. It grows about 3-4 feet high, very branchy andrepparttar 116360 branches are a brilliant electric blue color. It's stunning!

The only drawback to this lovely plant, inrepparttar 116361 fall you must cut it torepparttar 116362 ground and burn or compostrepparttar 116363 plant. Do not let it go longer than that, casting it seeds or you'll soon discover it's family trait of being inrepparttar 116364 thistle family, if you know what I mean. The following spring, it'll come back again to it's beauty.

It is an easy plant to grow and does best with full sun, or as much sun as is available to you. I live in repparttar 116365 Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. so we get a lot of rain and fairly mild summers and yet it seems to be enough for this plant.

You can search for Sea Holly seeds in seed catalogs or sometimes you can find it in some nurserys. An internet search would surely find you a source for this lovely plant.

I thought I'd let you know about one ofrepparttar 116366 coolest, funky plants for outdoors I've ever run across. It's called Evening Scented Stock, it is NOTrepparttar 116367 common stock, however.

This is an annual plant, that needs to be sown early spring, directly intorepparttar 116368 soil where it is to bloom and grow. I recommend planting it nearby windows and doors, porches, etc. This plant really doesn't look like much in and of itself, it's not a pretty plant per se..but when about 5:00 PM rolls around watch it do its stuff! This plant has a VERY powerful fragrance similar to hyacynths or lilacs. Atrepparttar 116369 gentlest breeze it sends a waft of fragrance to die for. This is why it's so excellent to plant near a window, door or pathway. When you open up your screen inrepparttar 116370 evening, this will scent your entire house.

One place that I have foundrepparttar 116371 seeds for this rare plant is at Fragrant Path, PO Box 328, Fort Calhoun, NE 68023 They were about $1. a packet butrepparttar 116372 price may have gone up. Please write and ask them. Enjoy!

Here's another one to try. This one is called Autumn Crocus.

Acquiring & Caring For Bonsai

Written by Sara Chute

Acquiring & Caring For Bonsai

Most bonsai trees sold at garden centers and nurseries are of excellent quality, but there are a few points to bear in mind when buying a new plant.  Age and shape ofrepparttar tree  General health  Soil should be damp but not soggy, unless it has just been watered  Leaves should look bright and healthy, not burnt aroundrepparttar 116359 edges or spotty  If buying a deciduous tree in winter, last year's growth should be smooth and plump, with no sign of bark wrinkling  The tree should be steady in its container, which should have at least one drainage hole  A white fungus in and aroundrepparttar 116360 drainage hole is natural and harmless

General Care

Purchasing A Tree

When buying a tree from a store duringrepparttar 116361 summer, be sure to give it at least 2 weeks outside, avoiding heavy rain and high winds before displaying it indoors. If purchasing in winter, however, do not allow it to be exposed to frost forrepparttar 116362 rest ofrepparttar 116363 season, as it will probably have begun to shoot. This is most important with deciduous trees, and while varieties of junipers are very hardy it is as well not to take any chances.

Most bonsai are hardy trees and shrubs whose natural habitat is out inrepparttar 116364 open. They are not permanent houseplants; and even semi-tropical trees should be placed outside when weather permits. Duringrepparttar 116365 summerrepparttar 116366 plant must be able to carry outrepparttar 116367 process of photosynthesis, and during winter it is resting and building up its strength forrepparttar 116368 coming spring. Too long in a warm room will persuade it that spring has arrived early and it will start budding. If this happens more than once,repparttar 116369 tree will simply die of exhaustion.


Sunlight, especiallyrepparttar 116370 ultra-violet ray, affectsrepparttar 116371 growth of trees. Therefore, except in special cases such as immediately after repotting, extensive trimming, etc, bonsai should be placed in a sunny location. Bright light will also work well butrepparttar 116372 tree should not be placed more than 12" away fromrepparttar 116373 direct light source. An east, west or southern exposure works best. A northern exposure will requirerepparttar 116374 use of "grow lights" which should remain on up to 16 hours each day andrepparttar 116375 lamp should not be more than 2 inches fromrepparttar 116376 top ofrepparttar 116377 tree. Incandescent light is too hot and will not providerepparttar 116378 various spectrum of light that is required to maintain your bonsai tree. If you do not have a window or light source that provides an east, west or southern exposure, be sure to select a bonsai tree that does well in lower lighting conditions.


Unlike a houseplant, bonsai trees use a "free draining" type of soil because their roots cannot tolerate "wet feet". In addition, they are grown in significantly less soil and, therefore require more watering. Factors such as tree location, temperature, lighting conditions, quantity of soil used, andrepparttar 116379 changing seasons will determinerepparttar 116380 frequency of watering. You can get to know when your tree needs to be watered by observingrepparttar 116381 foliage, testingrepparttar 116382 soil with your index finger just belowrepparttar 116383 surface, or just byrepparttar 116384 weight ofrepparttar 116385 pot. (The drierrepparttar 116386 tree,repparttar 116387 lighter it will feel.) To takerepparttar 116388 guesswork out of watering, an inexpensive moisture meter which works very much like a thermometer comes in handy. Insert it intorepparttar 116389 soil andrepparttar 116390 movement ofrepparttar 116391 needle will tell you if it is time to water.

Rainwater is best for watering plants, but tap water that has stood for a few hours is adequate. In summer, trees should be watered inrepparttar 116392 early morning or late afternoon to avoidrepparttar 116393 midday heat. This will preventrepparttar 116394 leaves ofrepparttar 116395 finer bonsai from burning. In winter, water early to permit any excess to drain beforerepparttar 116396 night frost. Plungingrepparttar 116397 pot into a bowl to soak is ideal for recently potted trees, small collections and for trees that have dried out. Be sure to drain properly, however!


All trees grow in more humid conditions than our homes, offices and dormitories. So what can we do to provide this essential humidity ? Mistingrepparttar 116398 tree is only beneficial for a short time, so what we recommend is to placerepparttar 116399 tree on a humidity tray and add water torepparttar 116400 tray. Asrepparttar 116401 water inrepparttar 116402 tray evaporates it creates a humid environment aroundrepparttar 116403 tree 24 hours a day. Whenrepparttar 116404 water inrepparttar 116405 tray is gone, add more water. It's a good idea to separaterepparttar 116406 pot fromrepparttar 116407 water inrepparttar 116408 tray by adding some pebbles torepparttar 116409 bottom ofrepparttar 116410 tray. This will prevent any roots from sitting inrepparttar 116411 water.

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