All posts tagged: louise hogan

Beekeeping 101

Un”bee”knownst to some people, and much to their surprise, queen bees are a hot commodity for those of us who want to start a honeybee colony and become a backyard beekeeper. That’s what a friend of mine did! Living on the west coast in San Francisco, Torbie, a college professor, makes use of every square foot of land she owns, which includes beehives. That peaked my interest, so I asked her a few questions….

Overwintering Spikes

No…for you fashionistas out there, I don’t mean your stilettos! Although, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put those away for the winter, too! The Spikes that I’m talking about are the only non-flowering plants that I make sure to overwinter every year. By overwintering plants you’ll not only save money….

Container “Refresher” Course

“Taken its toll” is a phrase that pops up in my mind around this time of year, and summer has done just that to some of my flower filled containers! They’re looking a little frazzled, due to either the summer heat or the soaking rains during the season. They could barely take a breath and drain quick enough before the next storm! With some, the soil was so soggy I had to drag the containers under the eaves of the house to help them dry out a bit. But, through it all, those hard working annuals have now…just about exhausted themselves! So, in order for them to remain that “focal point” I talked about in my last article, My View From Here, now is the time to give those flowers a little sprucing up…

My View from Here

Amid these longest days and shortest nights since the summer solstice began, we are definitely in the thick of things, and that means the heat of the summer. These hot and humid days and nights have me wishing for the slightest breeze. A breeze that will bring a waft of those fragrant, lush flowers we toiled over earlier in the season. Now, looking out into the brightest sun or the deepest shade, it’s my time to sit back and enjoy the view around my home…

Impatient for SunPatiens!

For many years, I had a favorite shade plant that I loved to grow on my back deck, where the morning sun kissed it briefly. They were called Impatiens, a prolific flowering plant, and they were impatient to bloom! A few years ago, I was informed by my garden center that they would not be selling them, due to the fact that Impatiens were overcome by a plant disease called downy mildew. I was sad to see them go. Then, a new hybrid of Impatiens arrived on the scene that were unaffected by the mildew. They were called SunPatiens, and they took my breath away! I’ve grown SunPatiens ever since and I’m still thrilled with them. In fact, I’m waiting impatiently to grow them again this year…

A Must Do This Spring: Plant Tomatoes!

Some of us have anxiously planned ahead by preparing for this glorious time of year. Now it is time to go into the garden! ​There are many varieties of tomato plants that I have grown in containers. Read on to learn about the different types that have worked for me, seedlings that will grow in your space, where you can buy them, and how to plant them…

Prep ‘n’ Check for Spring!

Looking back on those mid-winter days, I thought about how winter in my area had been kind to us. But even so, the view out my window was colorless and dull, except for a few patches of green grass holding out, taunting winter to be it’s final demise until Spring. Well, taunt no more, it did happen! We had the worst cold streak, which definitely got me hunkered down with hot tea in hand. I figured if there was ever a good time to prepare a checklist for Spring, it was now…..

The Easter Lily!

As the saying goes…”To gild a lily is to attempt, foolishly, to improve on perfection.” Easter Day is a time for sunrise and church services, and families gathering to rejoice and celebrate a cherished tradition of life and hope on that glorious day of resurrection. The one floral symbol decorating homes and churches in abundance on that spectacular day is the Easter Lily! The pure white, trumpet-shaped flowers of the Easter Lily symbolize purity, and the fragrance is heavenly! bit.ly/1VnGB9z When buying the Easter Lily for your home, or giving as a gift, look for an average sized plant (not too tall or short) with healthy, green foliage from top to bottom. To extend the bloom time, make sure the buds are in various bloom, from unopened buds, to half-opened, to full bloom. Easter Lilies prefer bright, indirect light, and cooler temperatures away from drafts, heat, and drying air. Water when the soil feels dry, but don’t over water or let it set in water. Also, remove flowers as they lose their luster. When all the …

There’s a Little Bit of Irish in All of Us!

As luck would have it, with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I found a Shamrock plant, (Oxalis, the lucky clover). The lucky part about it? I found it at my local grocery store, and it’s easy to care for!     As a house plant, it loves bright, indirect light, cooler temperatures, and kept evenly moist and well drained.    This Shamrock plant has delicate, white flowers that set above a generous mound of dark olive green, 3-leaf clovers (leaves)! In the evening, the flowers close and the leaves droop down, but in the daylight hours, it perks right up again!    It will have a dormant period in winter, so don’t worry when it looks a little under the weather. Set it aside for 2 to 3 months until it’s ready to grow again. Link to bulbs (not grown plant): bit.ly/1QKeMVC   Not all clovers are alike, and this Shamrock plant is different from the clover I find on my lawn. I, along with my grandson, search for the elusive 4-leaf clover all the time, and although he has found a few, I have yet to be lucky enough to find one…..or is it patient …