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In the Garden

 

 

      Our family has just added landscaping and design to our business called Summers in the Garden. Our lawn business is called Summers on the Lawn. I always liked my married name, but never dreamed it would be so perfect for our family business. So consider allowing us to help you design and plant your gardens.

      Seed Savers Exchange is an organization that saves and sells heirloom seeds and plants: herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruits, and grains. We received their catalog for the first time last year and were just thrilled with all the beautiful vegetables they offer, along with what they are doing to preserve the heirloom plants that were once so prevalent. We hope to visit their Heritage Farm this summer and thought you might be interested in the Farm for a field trip yourself. Seed Savers Exchange was founded in 1975 by Diane and Kent Whealy, after her terminally ill grandfather gave them the seeds of two garden plants that his parents brought from Bavaria when they immigrated to St. Lukes, Iowa in the 1870s. “Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations. Heritage Farm, SSE’s scenic 890-acre headquarters near Decorah, Iowa, is a living museum of historic varieties. More than 24,000 rare vegetable varieties are being maintained at Heritage Farm: 5,500 tomatoes, 5,200 beans, 2,000 peppers, 1,200 peas, 1,000 squash, 1,000 lettuces, 400 melons, 280 garlics, 700 apples, and 200 grapes are maintained and displayed.” For more information, write them at 3076 N. Winn Rd., Decorah, IA  52101 or call 319-382-5990.

      Be sure to plant a nice herb garden with your daughter this year so you have fresh herbs for all your meals this summer. And don’t forget to plant mint for your iced tea.

      I have said this before, but let me just reiterate this point again if you missed it. Do not despair if your soil is hard and rocky. Just have a load of topsoil brought to your home and build raised garden beds.

      Etching pathways with interest helps define one’s direction and enhance the beauty beyond the path. Using bark mulch, rocks, monkey grass, and ground covers, you can create a pretty edging to your path.

      The splendor of shaded nooks where both bodies and hearts are nurtured can be easily created under a sprawling old tree with two chairs, a table and chairs, or a bench, surrounded by shade-loving plants and a family member or two.

      Have a shaded flowerbox that needs some life? Consider planting it with variegated pink, green, and white caladiums, green and white hostas, and pink impatiens.

      White caladiums surrounding the base of a large tree, surrounded with rose-colored impatiens, is quite a lovely sight amongst the shade.

      Outdoor dining is at its best these next few months, so take advantage by purchasing a patio set and enjoying the joy of the outdoors. For an exotic flavor, plant large pots and urns with cannas and hibiscus in shades of peach, yellow, and rose. These tropical-looking plants especially look tropical in these colors and really add a lovely romantic flare to any meal.

      Rose-colored cleomes, lythrum, and celosia all make lovely backdrops for flower gardens. Be sure to add yellow and blue-colored plants in front for a nice contrast.

      Have you seen the pretty pink and yellow honeysuckle? I have two plants around our pond, which bloom most of the summer.

      For an exotic look, I planted elephant ear plants, cattails, and butterfly bushes around our fishpond. They make a beautiful backdrop for the pond.

      If you have a lot of shade but need some height, plant azalea and rhododendron bushes. Y