Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Winter 2013 in the Demonstration Gardens

By Carol Kagan, Master Gardener

Wind gusts to 30 mph
Stopping by the office today, the last day of the year, I wandered among the Master Gardener Demonstration gardens checking out the winter scene there. I had my camera with me so I snapped pictures. It was cold and windy and, without gloves so I could work the camera, my hands were numb.
So here’s the 365th day of 2013 scoop.

In the Pollinator Garden the water fountain has been winterized and covered and garden clean-up deferred until spring thaw. Leaf litter is the winter home of hummingbird moths. Mason and leaf-cutter bees use hollow twigs to nest.

Dried Hydrangea flowers still standing
Clumps of dried grasses or hollow canes of hydrangea and brambles are nesting sites if allowed to stand through the winter.

Also found in the pollinator garden were garlic chive (L) and sedum (R) seed heads. Not only pollinator friendly but winter interest, too.

The Xeriscape Garden was prepped for winter but several plants stood out showing examples of winter interest.
It looks like neatness counts in the Perennial Garden as all the beds were quite tidy and mulched.
Still showing a bit of autumn color and interesting shape is the amsonia.
For the Herb Garden’s first winter, plants were pruned back and mulched for winter using shredded mulch, leaves and corn husks.
The culinary bed rosemary was swaddled in burlap to help it overwinter while in the biblical bed the rosemary is mulched and tucked in under the wooden trellis.
Rosemary with burlap (L) & sheltered with mulch and trellis (R)
Thyme is still green and doing well along the front edge and the Fragrance bed still has the gray hues of lavender showing.
Thyme is still green

Fragrance bed with gray lavenders
Perhaps the Native Garden has the most variety of winter interest with so many different kinds of plants - ivory colored dried goldenrod plumes, blue viburnum berries, red holly berries and the many shades of browns on the pin oak holding tight to its dried leaves.

There are also lots of dried grasses and seed heads, providing not only winter interest but maybe home and buffet for overwintering birds and insects.

 Pink Hairwan Muhly Grass - fine dry wisps sway in the wind
Yarrow (Top left), Goldenrod (Right) and I don't know (Bottom left)

A bit of company on the walk - All photos by Carol Kagan
Check out these links for information on winter interest plants and more.
Winter Interest and Information
Overwintering Rosemary
Herb Garden: Final Touches

For more information on the Master Gardener demonstration gardens, search in the upper left corner: Herb Garden, Pollinator Garden, Xeriscaping, Perennial Garden, Native Garden, Victory Garden

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fulton Farm Gets Organic Certification

by Carol Kagan, Franklin County Master Gardener

Good news!  From the Public Opinion newspaper

Wilson College's Fulton Farm has received federal organic certification, which could lead to expanded research opportunities with the USDA.
"Wilson College has received U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification for produce and herbs grown on the college farm, a major step for the college and its sustainability program.

Wilson sought the certification, which recognizes natural growing practices already in use on the farm, to allow the college to pursue partnerships with the USDA, state agricultural and environmental agencies and other organizations, including research and funding opportunities."

Congratulations to Christine Mayer and everyone at Wilson who helped with this certification process.

See more about this in the Public Opinion article and on the Fulton Farm for Sustainable Living on Facebook.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter - Interesting and Useful Information

The weather is changing and winter is bearing down on us.
Check out these previous BLOGS for interesting and useful information. Most have additional links with even more information.

Winter Weather and Deicers

Salt Tolerant Gardens

Overwintering Rosemary

Poinsettia Season

Poor Poinsettias

Landscaping for Fours Seasons of Interest

Plants for Winter Interest- Many plants in Iris Masters' yard showoff in the winter landscape (Crape myrtle, magnolia, oregon grape, birch trees, nandina, cypress, Japanese Andromeda).

Japanese Andromeda

The following blogs are part of a continuing series highlighting plants with winter interest. These are plants chosen by our Master Gardeners to provide color or interesting shapes during the winter season.

Winter Interest Pt. 1- Partridge Berry

Winter Interest Pt. 2- Snowdrops

Winter Interest Pt. 3-Stinking Hellebore

Winter Interest Pt. 4-Rattlesnake Plant

Winter Interest Pt. 5-Lavender

Winter Interest Pt. 6-Witch Hazel

Winter Interest Pt. 7-Paperbark Maple

Winter Interest Pt. 8-Teaberry

Winter Interest Pt. 9-Harry Lauder Walking Stick

Winter Interest Pt. 10-Coral Embers Willow
Coral Embers Willow in the Winter Landscape

Winter Interest Pt. 11-Corkscrew Willow

Winter Interest Pt. 12-River Birch


Ascot Rainbow’ Spurge - A Year-round Delight

Whimsical Winter Wonderland