Wall Flower Studio Garden

  (Algonquin Highlands, Ontario)
Organically Grown ~ From The Garden
[ Member listing ]

Creating Eco-friendly, Recycled Newspaper Seed Starting Pots @ Wall Flower Studio

Well, I finally broke down and purchased a pot maker.

 I'm really glad that I did!

It's "sow" easy to use, and, the pots are the perfect seed starting size every time!

 The fact that I'm using recycling newspaper, which will quickly break down, and won't harm the environment played the biggest part in my decision to try this.

. Sure, peat pots are easy to use, but I'd found that peat seems to suck up moisture really quick, which means the soil they contain, and the seedlings in them, dry out much quicker than the newspaper cups do, which means more watering.

 Not to mention the cost of them! I start hundreds of seed pots each year. This can really add up. . Plus, since I'm trying my best to be ecologically aware and I try to do what I can for the environment, I'd like to share some information about why using peat pots to start seeds isn't such a great idea. .

The effects on the dwindling wetlands and peat bogs has me concerned. I don't want to take from nature what is not renewable, if given the choice. .

After much reading, I've discovered that Peat bogs are actually a finite, non-renewable resource. Since the 1960's, there has been a threat to these valuable bogs.

The bogs that produce the peat suitable for horticulture used to be cut out slowly by hand, but now the horticultrual industry extracts it so efficiently & thoroughly with huge machines.

The process of extraction is sausage extrusion and surface milling..

Just knowing this has openend my eyes and now my choice clear.. Newspaper!

 Happy Gardening!

 
 

Morning Glory

Morning Glory - Ipomoea


Nothing beats the Morning Glory for fast greenery and really pretty flowers throughout the growing season.
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I'm growing my mixed Flower colour varieties of blue, purple, pink and white.
Sow Morning Glory seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/4" of soil. Water thoroughly.

Thin or space plants to a final distance of 6" apart. (As you can see, I'm ready to do that!)
They will tolerate a little crowding if there is ample supports for their vines to spread up and out.
To purchase, please view my Wall Flower Studio LH shop!
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Plant: Sow seeds in a sunny location 1-2 weeks before the last frost, or indoor 6-8 weeks earlier in peat pots.
Make sure you soak seeds in water overnight, the cover with soil and moisten.
Care: Plants tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, and are drought-resistant, thank goodness for plants like that!!
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*Avoid over watering.
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Happy Gardening!
Wall Flower Studio
 
 
 

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Well, this isn't the best photo I've ever taken! But there was a screen between myself and this lovely little jewel of a bird.
And, they are soooo fast that it's really difficult to take their picture!
I wanted to post about which flowers are in my garden that I've seen these little birds go ga-ga over, so here is a list that you can incorporate into your garden, if you like! I do of course have a feeder, too, and only use a sugar/water mix. (Never use food colouring. It's not required and could be harmful!)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda) 
  • Morning Glory (Ipomoea)
  • Cleome
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)  
  • Lobelia (blue)
  • pink Coral Bells (Heuchera)
  • Scarlet runner beans
  • Agastache
  • Hosta (elegans, "Frances Williams"
  • Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
  • Red-hot poker (Tritoma)
  • Cosmos
  • Linaria purpurea 
  • Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

Many of these garden flower varieties, (and more!) are available in Wall Flower Studio's Local Harvest store! (click to visit).

Thanks for viewing, and, Happy Gardening!

Karen ~ Wall Flower Studio http://wallflowerstudioseeds.blogspot.com

 

 
 

Heirloom Amaryllis - 100 plus years old! Seeds Available from Wall Flower Studio

This amaryllis was originally my great-grandmother's plant. It was passed down to my great Uncle Allan, (whom I miss dreadfully), and, now of course, to me.
It's well over 100 years old, and for the past few years I've been collecting and selling the seeds from it.

This wonderful plant, (among other treasured heirloom seeds varieties I've collected) is one of the reasons I decided to enter the seed business. I love the idea of ressurecting and promoting old varieties of heirloom seeds that have been long forgotten by the corporate growers/seed houses of today.
I have now grown many plants from the seeds, as they are extremely easy to propogate. This year, when people visit my studio/garden, I'll have some plants potted up and offered for sale. I think my Uncle Allan would be very happy to see this lovely species shared with others!
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The "Mother Ship" !!!

If you're a collector, or just want to give this Amaryllis a try, email me for a catalogue, (which is free), or, visit my Local Harvest where I have them listed for sale. Hippeastrum 'vittatum' does best in full sun to partial shade with a rich moist soil mix.

They enjoy full sunlight during the growing season and I put them outside.
This will vary with your climate. I live in Zone 3 USDA, but this will be different for someone living in SoCal!
When coming into flower, partial shade helps to bring out their brilliant colour. After the amaryllis has flowered, it should be treated throughout the rest of the year like any other house plant. I never have had to put it in a dark place to rest in order to bring it into flower. It's internal clock seems to know best!
____________________________

Full culture notes/growing instructions, along with a picture are provided with purchase. I am proud to offer these seeds!

Thanks for viewing, and Happy Gardening!
 
 

Basil - So versatile!

Basil  - Ocimum basilicum (a.k.a. Sweet Basil, Common Basil, Italian Basil) Probably the most popular herb in North America today. It's GREAT FOR COOKING!

A bit about growing Basil:
Height in inches: 24" - Spread: 12-15"
Germination: 7-10 days - Sowing depth: 1/8"
Planting Season: Sow outside in Spring 1-2 weeks after the last frost
Requirements: Likes full sun for best success. Plant in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. 
Out of the more than 150 varieties of Basil available, my personal favorites, Lemon Basil, Ocimum basilicum citrodorium, and the ever popular Italian Large Leaf Basil, aka: Genovese basil, are perfect for pesto and pasta sauces. I use it fresh and it tastes great with almost all dishes.
The Italian Large Leaf Basil has large dark green, shiny leaves that grow up to 3 inches long on a tall, upright plant. Thankfully, Basil has very few pests, and you can also use Basil as a companion plant to repel mites, and tomato worms. Tomatoes loves Basil!    

Basil loves to be pinched out the tips, which will encourage fuller plants, delaying flowers, and it going to seed. I suggest letting one plant go to seed so that you can grow them again in the garden next year, but of course Basil can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill, so the seeds can be planted anytime!

Happy Gardening!

 
 

Beefsteak Tomato - The Oh So Meaty Fruit!

Beefsteak Tomato

 (Lycopersicon esculentum) 

 
The beefsteak tomato is an old-time heirloom favourite that has been popular for many years, due to its excellent productivity and wonderful taste.

 Because these tomatoes are amongst the most expensive tomatoes on the market,

it makes a lot of sense to grow your own!

When you you do decide to grow these lucious tomatoes, make sure to support the plants when they grow to 12 inches in height, with a tomato cage or stakes. You can even make a simple tepee frame for each plant. You're going to need it for these heavy tomatoes! Beefsteak tomatoes are one of the largest varieties of cultivated tomatoes, some weighing 2 lbs or more! Imagine that!

Don't forget to save your seeds for next year, too! Another cost saver for all gardeners! Happy Gardening!

The tomato seeds from Wall Flower Studio produce lush, thick, indeterminate, regular-leaf, tomato plants that yield from oh so vigorous vines. The 4 to 5-inch, slightly ribbed, bright-red tomatoes have a spectacularly delicious, sweet flavour.

This tomato's solid, juicy flesh, is excellent  for slicing into sandwhices, and the meaty flesh make it an ideal tomato for eating fresh, using in salads, and it's even great for canning! That's what I call a multi-purpose fruit. 

Wall Flower Studio's Beefsteak tomato seeds are heirlooms, organically grown, and all are packaged for 2010. Click here ---> Wall Flower Studio's Beefsteaks seeds.
 
 

Evening Primrose - Oenothera

 Oenothera biennis, or Evening Primrose, has been cultivated in
North America since the early 16th century.
It was originally grown as an edible plant, however the bright yellow flowers
make for a beautiful ornamental display in the garden.

Now, evening primrose is widely known for its medicinal properties.
The plant is usually grown as a biennial, which forms a rosette of leaves the first year and sends up 3’ – 4’ stems of flowers the second year,
however, I’ve had them bloom in the first.
 
These wonderful plants are extremely hardy, drought tolerant,
grow in any soil, and totally thrive on neglect! That's my kind of gardening!

Evening primrose seeds can be planted outdoors in fall, but they can also be
started indoors, under lights, in pots in early Spring.
The seeds are really small, so don’t plant them very deep or let them dry out.

Keeping the soil moist but not sodden and with the help of warm lights,
or a sunny, warm location, the seedlings should develop splendidly!

Plant them in a sunny location in your garden and they will do the rest!
(I have mine in the rock garden where the soil is atrocious, but they are thriving!)
Am listing Evening primrose here as I type, so please check back soon at my Local Harvest shop for available seed packet
Thank you & Happy gardening!
 
 

Echinacea - Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea ~ Purple Cone Flower
One of the best flowers for attracting butterflies and bees to your garden.
It's also valued, at least for me, because it adds a
touch of colour to my late summer garden.
I've planted it amongst my Hostas where these showy flowers will stand out particularly well!
It's hardy to zone 3 USDA, and is a native of North America.
 
Echinacea is a perennial that grows 3-4 feet tall. It does well in full sun, however, mine is tolerating part shader fairly well.
It likes the heat and seems to be thriving in the soil I've provided which is average to well drained.

Echinacea is well regarded for it's herbal properties and uses, and I won't even go there right now since I deal only in the seeds, (and there are far more experience herbalists on Local Harvest that can explain it all better than myself),
but I'll offer a few interesting links for anyone who would
 like to explore and know more.   
Purple cone flowers produce tons of seeds in Autumn!  
After the blooms are spent and pretty much dried and crispy, I cut them off and place them in paper bags.
I wait a couple of weeks until I know for sure they are completly dry, then shake off the seeds for next year.
One thing I will do, however, is to leave a couple seed heads on the plant. Not only are they interesting to look at in the winter, but the birds like them too, so I always make sure to share with my feathered friends... Goldfinches love them!
Echinacea seed packets offered here --> Wall Flower Studio LH store
Happy Gardening!
 
 

Sweet William - Dianthus barbatus

Pictured above is my Kitty-cat, Mrs. Woman. She LOVES Sweet William and guards it well. However, I've managed to save many, many seeds and I think I can sneak them out of the house without her knowing!

Sweet William - Dianthus barbatus.

Organic, heirloom and open-pollinated. Mixed colours, as you can see in the picture. Very Fragrant! 8" - 14" tall. Is hardy in Zones 3-9, and is considered a self seeding perennial that is treated as a biennial. A wonderful addition to any garden since all pollinators love them! 

Available for sale here. Click --> Wall Flower Studio Garden' Listing.

A Bit About Dianthus:

Dianthus are an old fashioned flower dating back 2000 years ago. They include pinks, carnations and Sweet William, among others. You'll find annuals, biennials and perennials in varied heights and characteristics. Some dianthus are hardy all the way to Zone 3! These wonderful little plants are survivors with a few quirky little traits. The carnations we buy from florists are a large hybrid variety grown specially for commercial use. All dianthus are charming and add an old fashioned touch to the garden.

Culture Notes:
Sweet William should not be mulched or over watered. They need plenty of air circulation, and do not like soil or mulch touching the stems and foliage. This too is another plant that needs deadheading to really give you it's full bloom. They also need 4-5 hours of sun per day and a fertile, well drained soil. When preparing the soil for dianthus add a little lime to sweeten the soil. Dianthus can be grown in container as well. Add a little grit, such as sand, to a standard potting mix for containers. "Sow" easy to grow! 

Happy Gardening!

 
 

Seedy Saturday - 2010 - On a Sunday!

Wall Flower Studio is pleased to announce we will once again be participating at Seedy Saturday (on a Sunday for 2010!), in Toronto.

People will be able to purchase organically grown products directly from me.
WIth more than 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs and heirloom flowers, plus my
plantable paper, seed balls and organically grown lavender,
I'm really looking so forward to meeting other like minded gardeners, and flower/veggie/plant enthusiasts!
Please click the links at the bottom for more information regarding the date, time and location.
At Seedy Saturday (on a Sunday, this year), you'll find organic and heirloom veggies & flower and herb seeds, as well as witnessing the amazing demo's and talks regarding gardening & growing food, which will help educate people about the need to save our own seeds and grow our own food.
This year the feature is on native gardening. Something we should all be doing, especially with regards to our declining pollinators.
Our planet has to have diversity to offer all the kinds of life that it supporst, and we need to promote ways that will be sustainable for years to come. This, and more, is all happening at Seedy Saturday (don't forget it's actually on a Sunday!!)

I just want to offer kudo's to all the people involved in this event. The ones who make it happen! Being an organic gardener and seed seller, as well an ecologically thinking person, I'm really looking forward to being a part of this year's Seedy Saturday (on a Sunday!).
It's all happening on Sunday, February 21st, 2010 - 12:30 to 6:00 pm
All this is thanks to: ~ Toronto Community Garden Network, ~The Stop, and
Hope to see you there!
 
 

Linaria purpurea - Purple Toadflax - A lovely & Drought tolerant perennial!

Linaria purpurea .. Seed packet .. Pink to Purple Flowers .. Drought tolerant .. Blooms all season ..
Purple Toadflax - Linaria purpurea
~ hardiness zones 3 - 9 USDA ~
This plant is an underrated treasure. It should be grown in every garden.
It's totally drought tolerant, easy to grow, and the blooms look like miniature light purple snapdragons.
Lovely upright perennial that self-seeds easily, but not at all hard to remove if it ends up growing where you may not want it.
Bees and butterflies and other pollinators just LOVE them!
Bonus: Deer don't touch them!
This hardy plant blooms for months on end, (June until Frost). That alone makes it a winner for my garden!
Grows in any soil type but prefers it to be somewhat well-drained
Loves full sun, however, mine is growing splendidly in part shade.
Grows to a height of 36" with a spread of about 24".
*(Now Available at --->  Wall Flower Studio's LH listing)
Wall Flower Studio's garden is proudly pesticide and herbicide free.
 
Thanks for viewing and Happy Gardening!
 
 

Morning Glory - They really are Glorious!

Growing Morning Glories in your garden from seed is extremely easy.
 
In colder climates, they are treated as annuals and should be planted outdoors in containers, a week or 2 after the last frost date.
Before planting the seeds, they need to be soaked in tepid water overnight.
This helps speed up the germination process.
When planting Morning Glory seeds, a site that receives full sun and has well-drained, average soil is the way to go.
Adding a bit of compost to the mix is advisable as it will add nutrients to the soil.

Plant the seeds about an inch deep in the soil. I usually plant all of the seeds from my own cache, and find there is approximately a 90% germination from those.

If you find you've too many in one spot, they can be divided when they are an inch or so high.
Since Morning Glory's are vines, the time to add supports is when you plant the seeds. In the picture above, I've used bamboo stakes with some mesh around it. I've also used jute and raffia before. They all work equally well.
Depending on the variety of morning glory, the supports need to be 6 to 10 feet high.
Gently twine the young plants around the support, if the supports are put in after the plants are already shooting up..

During the growth phases as well as otherwise, keep your morning glory flowers evenly moist. They'll do the rest!!
The Morning Glory received it's name because it's bloom lasts for a single morning and dies in the afternoon. However, the plant gets filled with new flowers each day. It continues to bloom for the whole season!
Hardy to Zone 3 USDA.
These seeds, (and more), are available here on LocalHarvest. 
Just click here! -> Wall Flower Studio's listing.
~Thank you!
Happy Gardening!
 
 

Dill - Anethum graveolens - 2010 Herb of the Year!

Celebrate this year’s Herb of the Year ~ Dill!
Dill is a member of the parsley family. It's similar to Fennel, and is an annual plant that grows to a height of approx. 4 feet tall. It's a strong smelling plant with yellow flowers that develop those lovely fruiting umbels.
Dill grows well in a sunny spot with well drained organic soil. Any soil suitable for growing vegetables will be just perfect.
Dill's common use is for flavoring pickles and for it's preserving properties with fruit and vegetables. The leaves make a great garnish, chopped onto meats and veg dishes.

The variety of dill that I offer is called `Bouquet''.
The seeds are planted ¼ - ½ inch deep and thinned to about one plant every 12 inches. The seedlings can be transplanted if one is careful, so they can be started indoors in Spring before the last frost. Bouquet matures in about 60 days.

When harvesting seeds from Dill, hang the cut stems upside down in bundles with paper bags tied over the flower heads. Make sure to leave some dill flowers on to get a constant supply of the seeds!
Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 5-10. Frost Tolerance: Hardy to -20°F (-29°C)

Happy Gardening : )
 
 

Have a Green Eco-Friendly Event!

A Green Idea!
These days, thankfully, many people are opting to plan green events.
We are all seeking ways to celebrate and give gifts that are not going to be added to landfil. Making environmentally friendly decisions throughout the planning process can be easy!
  
Here is my green idea: And not only as wedding favours, but gift tags, name/place cards, business cards, or even bookmarks! Plantable Paper!
This can help ease the burden and lessen your carbon footprint on our planet.
Whether you are committed to a completely green wedding/party/shower, or wish to do what you can in safeguarding our planet, these "green" plantable paper shapes will get you on your way.
Many colours available.
Pink, Green, Petalled, Purple, Blue and Yellow.
Butterflies shown. (Approx. 5" wide )
Native, and open-pollinated, organically grown seeds, embedded in 100% recycled post consumer, handmade paper.
They can be used as business cards, gift tags, or name tags for dinner parties!
So many wonderful uses. ~ Please feel free to inquire.
Seed List
-Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
-Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja spp.)
-Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya)
-Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida columnifera)
-Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
-Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
-Red Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)
-Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)
-Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
-Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
-Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
-Shooting Star (Dodecatheon hendersonii)
-Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria lanceolata)
-Shrubby Penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus)
-Common Camas (Camassia quamash)
-Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
-Turk’s-cap Lily (Lilium michiganense)
-Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)
-Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum)
-New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
-Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum)
-Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
-Ox-eye daisy (Heliopsis helianthoides)
Thank you & Happy Gardening!
 
 

Winter Is For The Birds! :: Home Made Suet Balls

[Suet+balls+blog+1.jpg]

Feeding Feathered Friends in Winter - Fun - Easy - Economical!

Ingredients:
-1 pound lard or fat
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup sugar
- approximately half a loaf of bread crumbs
- 1-1/2 cups of mixed seeds, nuts and chopped dried fruits

Directions:
-Melt the lard and peanut butter over low heat. Mix flour, cornmeal, and sugar and stir in.
-Add enough bread crumbs to absorb all liquid.
-Add fruit, seeds, and nuts as desired.
-Pour into a 9 x 5? bread pan (lined with plastic wrap), or pour into suet cake molds.
(molds can be saved from store-bought suet.)
-Allow to cool completely.
-Keep refrigerated or in a cool place like a basement.

One batch makes about four cakes.
Have fun!

 
 
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