(Algonquin Highlands, Ontario)
Organically Grown ~ From The Garden
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You can't beat Beets!
, also called the "Bulls Eye beet" for obvious reasons is an Italian heirloom dating back to the 1840's. The Chioggia Beet has a mild flavour and it's solid green tops have a smooth, delicious taste. This beet is particularly best harvested young and they may make a nice baby vegetable because the tops are also best young, especially when used in salad mixes. I like the fact that Chioggia matures early and requires less cooking time then most other beets. It's origins are from Chioggia, an Italian coastal town.
Days to Maturity: 55-65 days
Beet "Early Wonder
" - Also an heirloom that can be grown in containers. I really like that!
The greens are tasty and abundant, and every bit as good as chard or spinach, and of course, just as nutritious. These roots are flavourful and produce earlier which makes it a great choice for a small garden!
Days to Maturity: 48
Beets, (beta vulgaris)
, are a member of the chard family. Chard is really grown just for its leaves, and beets are more well known for their edible roots. Some people aren't aware that every bit of a beet plant is edible! These wonderful heirlooms are becoming very popular at market gardens, and are prized in salads and other dishes with many chefs!
Posted by Karen
@ 09:23 AM PDT
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)
- Butterfly Bush
- Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)
- Lobelia (blue)
- pink Coral Bells (Heuchera)
- Scarlet runner beans
- Hosta (elegans, "Frances Williams"
- Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
- Red-hot poker (Tritoma)
- 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
Posted by Karen
@ 01:24 PM PST
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.
Posted by Karen
@ 08:45 AM PST
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!)
Thank you & Happy gardening!
Posted by Karen
@ 04:49 AM PST
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.
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.
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!
Posted by Karen
@ 06:54 PM PST
A Showy North American Native!Gaillardia aristata
, commonly known as blanket flower, is a native perennial wild flower, which makes this delightful and colorful specimen perfect for sunny locations.
With it's showy flowers, it makes a nice addition to your butterfly garden as well as a great cut flower. All pollinators seem to love them, so if you're concious about attracting good insects to your garden, this is the one for you!
prefers full sun but will tolerate some partial shade.
The daisy-like flowers bloom summer to fall in shades of red and yellow.
Blanket Flower is a native wildflower of our North American plains and prairies. It's often used as a cut flower in arrangements!
Another bonus, you ask? Neither deer nor rabbit have ever touched my Gaillardia! That fact alone sold me!
Available --> here at Wall Flower Studio's Local Harvest store!
Karen - Wall Flower Studio ~ http://wallflowerstudioseeds.blogspot.com
Posted by Karen
@ 09:21 AM PST
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.
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!
Posted by Karen
@ 04:20 AM PST
Double daylily at Wall Flower Studio
Day lilies are most likely the easiest perennial you could ever grow.
They flourish in almost all soils, (sandy to clay), but giving them soil that is rich in organic matter, or compost, is always a plus for most any plant.
In my garden, I have daylilies growing in full sun, however, I've happily discovered that they will also tolerate a good amount of shade.
If they were to be a little particular about anything, it would be their preference to neutral soils. Any garden with too much of an acid or alkaline base will not do for growing daylily plants!
They are really hardy, which suits this gardener well, especially in our Canadian climate, (zone 4b here), and as far as I can tell, they are free from pests and diseases, except for slugs, which do some damage to the leaves during an overly wet Summer, which this has been.
The picture above is from my own garden. A huge double daylily. I want more of these! Truly scrumptious looking!
(I'm thinking the orange colour of the daylily is complimented nicely with the purple Astilbe in the background)
The only thing I don't like about daylilies is that each flower don't last longer, hence the name. Happily, though, there's always new varieties to purchase every year to add with your garden's collection.
~Canadian Hemerocallis society
~BBC - Gardening - Daylily
Posted by Karen
@ 04:37 AM PST
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
Hope to see you there!
Posted by Karen
@ 03:58 AM PST
Wall Flower Studio's Lavender Sachets contain100% organically grown lavender flowers. The lovely sachets are packed in a 3" x 4" organza drawstring bag. Great for your linen/woolen's closet, lingerie and sweater drawers, on bed pillows, anywhere you want the lingering fragrance of calming, relaxing lavender.
Wall Flower Studio's Cotton/muslin bags can be tossed in the bath for you, and then added to the dryer where they'll lightly scent your clothes. And, the best part is that they can be re-used many times! Lavender has been used for centuries because of its soothing, relaxing properties. It has many practical uses today that are just as effective as those described in history and folklore and is the most versatile of essential oils. Its many benefits include: For the mind...
Nurturing and calming & Soothing
Settles irritability, gentle sedating, restores mind and body to so healing can take place
For skin care.....
For the body.....
Activates the immune system
Good for first aid and as an insect repellent
Lavender's magical influences are: Health, Love, Celibacy, Peace, and a conscious mind.It is great to use when you are depressed or angry.
Lavender sachets are also GREAT to use as a Wedding Favors.or tossing the flowers instead of rice. Wall Flower Studio's Lavender is:
- 100% Chemical-Free- Very fragrant & apretty color!-
I am positive you will love this Lavender!
Happy Gardening : )
Posted by Karen
@ 06:25 PM PST
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".
Wall Flower Studio's garden is proudly pesticide and herbicide free.
Thanks for viewing and Happy Gardening!
Posted by Karen
@ 05:35 AM PST
Popular belief is that orchid growing is way too difficult and can only be done under greenhouse conditions.
The fact is that if you can grow African violets, then growing orchids will be easy for you!
Orchids compromise the largest family of flowering plants on the planet, and varieties of orchids,
i.e. Lady Slipper's aka Cypripedium's, grow right here in Canada, but I'm getting off topic!
These durable plants with long blooming cycles, (up to 20 + weeks), provide a spectacular show during the winter when most indoor plants are recharging their batteries.
A friend of mine has a collection of 50 or so plants and she has told me countless times how orchids, particularly the Phalaenopsis, known to most as the Moth orchid because of the flower shape, is one of the easiest plants to bring into bloom.
Due to the foolproof nature of the orchid, it’s key to success is in the adaptability to thrive under different circumstances and conditions.
Whether it’s a bright window sill or under fluorescent lights, the Phalaenopsis orchid, with colours ranging from yellow, pink, purple, white, spotted, and yes, even striped, along with it’s unusual foliage, will likely become a favourite addition to your home.
My advice is to purchase from a florist or garden centre where the orchids are well cared for during their wait for you to find them.
The foliage should be a solid colour of green, without spots or other marks on them.
The potting medium used is bark, peat and vermiculite. It’s best when not mushy, since this could signify rotting roots, and the roots themselves, should be firmly entrenched in the pot.
One or two orchids will demand little of your attention. Providing them with a natural east or south facing window, (never full sun, but indirect, or they will burn), or if you have the room and feel like investing more money with a fluorescent light garden stand, success will be yours with these unusual and spectacular plants.
Don’t believe it when you are told that Phalaenopsis orchids require high humidity. During winter, when the air is really dry, just placing them on a tray, atop some rocks to keep their feet dry, which should provide ample humidity.
This addition to your home should be watered on a schedule, unlike other plants that get watered by demand.
Once a week, fill the sink with tepid water, with the level at half of that of the pot, and place your orchid in for one hour. Watering from the bottom, as with violets, will ensure there will be no damage to the foliage. The exception to the timing of watering is during the five or six weeks that the orchid plant has it’s dormancy period. At that time, cut your watering schedule to once every two weeks instead.
Feeding is recommended every third of fourth week. Water soluble fertilizer works best, and I suggest something higher in nitrogen. All that is required is about one teaspoon to a quart.
Having said that, orchids need to be repotted at the most, every five years or so.
If you feel uncomfortable with doing that, the florist or garden centre that you purchased it from is usually happy to do this for you, if you ask nicely! When I was a floral designer at a shop in Toronto, we often sold orchids, and many clients brought them in for some maintenance!
Orchids are relatively pest free, but if problems do develop with mealy bugs, scale or mites, a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and dabbed on the pest will usually fix the issue.
Once people realize that orchids are not difficult to grow, then success with these unusual specimens is almost guaranteed, and will be appreciated as a beautiful addition to your home plant collection for many years to come.
Posted by Karen
@ 06:13 AM PST
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.
Posted by Karen
@ 04:52 AM PST
I love Black-Eyed Susans, (otherwise known as Rudbeckia). This is not just because of their natural beauty, but also because the deer don't eat them in my garden! I've heard that rabbits do like Rudbeckia, but fortunately, I have 2 cats, and that seems to keep those pesky rabbits away. : )
There are about 25 species in the Rudbeckia genus, all native to the plains and prairies of the Midwest. Growing native plants is especially important to provide food for our pollinators, and because native plants grow very happily in their own habitat.
Rudbeckia species are obviously referred to as Black-Eyed Susans because of their dark-brown central disk flowers which are surrounded by bright yellow daisy-like flowers.
Many species freely self-seed if not dead-headed, which will result in many small plants growing en masse throughout the garden. A beautiful look in any garden or meadow!
Black Eyed Susans will reach 2 feet; it's a perennial that blooms from late June right into Autumn and is hardy in Canada to zone 4, and in the U.S.A., it's hardy to zone 3.
Thank you, and Happy Gardening!
Posted by Karen
@ 07:25 AM PST
Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader
These lovely and delicate looking flowers will grace your garden, especially if planted "en masse". With the delicate, yet showy flowers, as well as their whispy leaves, they make a great addition to the back of any floral border and Cottage Garden.
They can get quite tall, up to four feet, in fact. Mine, shown here, are about three feet tall.
Colors range from white to purple, and they are so easy to grow.
These flowers are not very fussy and do not require much additional care.
Picking Cosmos encourages more flowering so by all means add these flowers to your vintage vases.
Cosmos appreciate a moist, well-drained soil with plenty of nutrients.
When siting your Cosmos know they're happiest in full sun, though often will do fine in partially sunny spots.
Cosmos may be started indoors from seed or directly sown after danger of frost has passed.
Harvest Cosmos flowers as they bloom and just before. They do not keep long but add a graceful touch to arrangements.
These Seed Packets, (and more) are available
Thank you & Happy Gardening!
Posted by Karen
@ 03:17 PM PST