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Making Garden Video

 I have a long way to go admittedly, and I don't consider myself star material, but I am making videos on Youtube. I'd like you to subscribe to my lowly channel, give me improvement suggestions, like me.... and share my garden and experiences through the videos.

I keep it real. You see the dandelions, the ground ivy, the undone tasks.... all kinds of mistakes, but you also see the beauty of a rural landscape, and the individual beauties of the changing season. I will make more how-to videos, as well, if all goes according to plan.

My latest two (the second one was a spontaneous response to the spring snow we had today!).
Except for the portrait aspect I like the second one better.


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Visit Ilona's Garden Journal on facebook: Click here
© 2013 written for Ilona's Garden Journal by Ilona E. An excellent blog.

We Went South ...and now I'm wondering


South, as in the state of Georgia, and so you won't hear me complaining about the interminable reappearance of cold in Ohio. Staying with my son who has a nice property right within Atlanta, he is like many young professionals, who just doesn't feel the desire for lots of yardwork.

Yet, he likes the idea of a nice looking yard. So he talked with me about bulbs. I had him help a lot with our yard when he grew up, but he seemed to miss the notation on when we plant bulbs- or thought the rules changed when crossing the Mason-Dixon.

Rule # 1 for spring blooming bulbs: they are planted in the fall because they need a cold period to bloom.
We see them now in their glory in Spring, but we had to take a bit of forethought to buy those unprepossessing bulbs and put them in the ground last October or so.  Taking notes on which flowers you like, what the bulb varieties and names are, where the best places to put them are all things we can do in the springtime, but the actual planting has to take place in the autumn.
Mailbox space

What Else Is Different?

However, there are some things that change when gardening in the South from my practices in the North, and I was wondering what bulbs do best in Atlanta's gardens.  I will be doing some research, but if any readers from these warmer climes have suggestions I'd love to have them.

Bulbs are ideal for "no gardening" people who own houses. The only caveat is to allow their foliage to age and wither, so they need to be in spaces that don't require mowing to keep the neighbors happy. For my son, that means the area around the mailbox, the space between the walk and the house and the wooded verge beside the creek. I could visualize Glory of the Snow, Daffodils, Scillas, and some specie Tulips.

During summer a simple stand of annuals, or daylilies with geraniums would provide an attractive flowering cover for this bed that already has some ornamental grass ( I just cut it down for the new season), liriope, hostas, and small shrubs. A few hours work in spring and occasional maintenance that even a mulched area requires is all that is needed.

The Back Yard


Can't you picture some cheery spring bulbs when looking into this photo?

But then, I'm the one that loves plants and gardening and becomes excited at the idea of what a property with trees and a small stream could look like with some wildflowers, irises (oooo- Iris ensata!)....

Well, you know.

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Visit Ilona's Garden Journal on facebook: Click here
© 2013 written for Ilona's Garden Journal by Ilona E. An excellent blog.

Seeds For Trial Garden

A few of the seeds that were sent to me
This year I received seeds to trial in my gardens from American Meadows. They arrived this last week, and the weather is finally warming up so that I can get ready to plant them. Exciting, is it not?

I have a large amount that were sent in the nicest cloth bags, 1/4 lb. worth of an annual Wildflower mix, and equal amount of a Honeybee mix! Those are really generous amounts.  I plan to place some in my prairie style patch in the front yard, some in the vegetable patch ( a row of honeybee friendly plants should help with pollination) and go looking for other sunny spots for this windfall of glorious seed.

I was especially glad to see the little packets of forget-me-nots. This has always been a favorite of mine and I lost them due to the fact that I mulched heavily in that area of my garden. Reseeding can't take place when smothered by mulch. In fact, that is the main reason we mulch, to prevent seed sprouting- although it is the weedy type that is unwanted.

Just goes to show that when we prevent one type of seed, we sometimes unknowingly deny ourselves some of the pretty plants that we wanted to reappear.

American Meadows Wildflower Seeds

Some of the things that I like about what I received is the fact that that this company is GMO free.
"All the seed we handle at American Meadows is GMO free."
Seed Order
A timely order well sent
They have regional mixes, and mixes for specific uses, like fragrance or the Honeybee mix I received. The seeds arrived on one of the few nice days we've had and were well packaged in a bubblewrap type of envelope.

I am going to be able to prepare some ground this week, and will plant at least some of the seeds into the ground. I plan to stagger the planting since we are able to have frost into May. That way I can also determine the best results from planting times. In looking at the types of seeds in the mix, I expect that if planted too early, some would be lost to cold conditions.

Meadow gardens

I have been wanting to create more of this type of garden, although I do find that I must keep after my wild looking little prairie patch. Canadian thistle likes to settle in there, and the goldenrod is pretty pushy, although it belongs in such a place.

I mix in exotic species (don't hate me), including some ornamental grasses, plants like the Shasta daisies that do a little too well elsewhere. My rationale is that an ecosystem like a prairie is almost impossible to truly replicate. So, I am happy with an area that is supportive of bees, wildlife, and has little or no need of extra water, or chemical and mechanical maintenance.

I expect to have plenty of topic and photo fodder to report on throughout this growing season.

Are you changing how you grow and landscape your yards? In what way?


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 Visit Ilona's Garden Journal on facebook: Click here
© 2013 written for Ilona's Garden Journal by Ilona E. An excellent blog.

The Amateur Speaks About Garden Enthusiasm

Garden Enthusiasm is what I christened my garden newsletter, the newsletter that all the blog experts said I should have to share what is going on in my gardens and on my sites with you. For years I wasn't convinced you could possibly care... you just want the bare facts about flowers, and pruning, and stuff. Right?

But then along came social media, then I went to a garden blogger conference where I was told to put myself up front and center. The girl said I was likable... and I believed her. My daughter had told me the same thing. If I'm not, don't choose this moment to disabuse me of my illusions. So, anyway, I limped along or maybe just flew by the seat of my pants ( I'm not sure what picture to paint with this) and created a few newsletters since last summer.

Garden Enthusiasm For March

There were some hiccups. Like leaving the placeholder words in an area I overlooked. I thought I had taken care of such snafus. But no,  I sent out the latest one for March and my husband enters the room and says something about "Garden Enthushmmm". That is not a typo, it is an approximation of garbling the word. I couldn't figure it out (I'm slow that way). Then, to make it clear, he alerted me to the mis-spelling in my header. I misspelled the name of my newsletter in the graphic header. Any of you who are like me and make numerous typos, but then freaks out and obsesses over them, might know what mental anguish I had. What an amateur!

Anyway it turns out it was easy to fix for the future, but I'm not sure I can fix the past.

Well, I'm learning this online writing gig and make lots of little faux pas along the way. It is not worrying me because that is the way we learn... and you people are a lot more forgiving.

So all this confession will point out a mistake that might have otherwise been overlooked, but I thought I'd share a laugh on myself and you might sign up to see if I can recover and get better in the future...cause that is what I hope to do.

Won't You sign up for the newsletter?





oh yes, give me feedback on the newsletter. More of anything? less of anything what's great what is not so much?
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Visit Ilona's Garden Journal on facebook: Click here
© 2013 written for Ilona's Garden Journal by Ilona E. An excellent blog.

Garden Chores For March, No Digging Yet

Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' buds on ice


No real attempts at garden chores yet, but not everyone is like Ohio, still in the throes of winter. There were some blue skies, yesterday, however!

I will likely remember this winter for a long time to come.

On Ilona's Garden some new pages were posted (1) a chores reminder for this month, along with (2) a new page on daffodils. 

I love daffodils, they are so easy for me to grow and propagate. And nothing bothers them! ( Unlike the tulips, which deer nip off, or crocus which suffer attrition to the fattening rodent population).

Today I plan to make the rounds in the garden, checking on things: to see if bulbs are pushing up through the ground, still snow smacked, or how the viburnums bud look. Such activities rejuvenate my mind, and it feels quite mothballed after being cocooned inside all winter long (this was not the best season for my health, and I hope time spent outdoors this spring will restore me).

As always, spring and hope go hand in hand.

Normally I would be viewing this, but not in 2014

When spring is crowded, it was my experience that we had a veritable burst of bloom as everything seemed to be spring-loaded to flower. Maybe we will have such a celebratory entrance of spring this year, once it finally decides to arrive.

At least something will drag me away from pinning. Being cooped up all winter has done wonders for my inspiration lists.

What's it like in your garden right now?

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Visit Ilona's Garden Journal on facebook: Click here
© 2013 written for Ilona's Garden Journal by Ilona E. An excellent blog.

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