Thursday, December 6, 2007

Show-offs and Mulches

Skeeter is a gardener like me. She knows a showoff when she sees one and likes pine mulch too! Here is a crepe myrtle growing in Skeeter's yard in Georgia and isn't it beautiful? Do you see why I call them the showoffs of the garden and of the small trees? This one is saying, "Look at me!" What a beautiful picture of the this huge bloom.

Skeeter and the Saint also spread 100 bales of pine mulch one year. Yup, 100 bales! The below picture shows some of her large yard with the mulch and it looks great.

What kinds of mulches do some of you readers use and what is your favorite? I am obviously partial to pine needles as are many of you, but are there any really unique ones you all use which are extraordinary? Dawn, do you use pine mulch in your gardens in Maine? Since Maine is known as the 'Pine Tree State' I would think you would have alot of pine mulch but I don't recall seeing alot. Do any other regional folks have a special mulch native to their area that works great? Seaweed for the ocean areas? How about cocoa mulches or some byproducts of industry?

As for me, Geri and I are heading off to rake (what else) pine needles! Hopefully the haul today will finish off my gardens. Mr. Fix-it said he will let me use his truck sometime to gather pine needles, little does he know just how much I use my heated leather seated Buick to haul pine needles and other gardening 'necessities' like rocks and trees! Don't tell him! He bought the Buick as a birthday/retirement present for me and when he did he said, "I bet you won't haul much gardening 'stuff' with this car. Huh?!" Yeah, right.

For all of you northerners, I have sometimes heard our crepes referred to as "The Lilac of the South". We can grow lilacs here in northern Tennessee, but they are never as magnificent as the northern ones-give and take between the north and the south. lol

in the garden....


  1. Hi Guys, Such a delightful flower, it still amazes me that it is from a tree.
    I use different weed prevention methods, I have white rock lined in frount of my planted wall, rock in a raised bed that grows cedar, juniper and holly. I use chipped wood in my rose bed over landscape paper, I used to cut evergreen branches for winter protection of my rose bud union from freezing. I still think this is a good idea. Apparently the last year I did it I planted a rose with black spot, Since our ground stays frozen during our raining spring..blackspot spores spread from dripping rain onto debris. It hit everyone of my roses AND took all summer season to make them pathetic looking, had to prune them down to the bud union. Unfortunatly it expended the graph on all my hybrid teas, they all returned red the following season. Sooo, now I cut the bottoms off plastic flowerpots, push them in the soil circling the new rose and bring the chips up to that. I am drastic on my perennial garden, I do something a passionate green thumb gardeners would not do. My soil gets very packed in that bed, I have spindle like wildflowers in there so removing everything and tilling won't do. I wait until everything is sprouting including weeds, I pull them. Then I put powered fertilizer directly on the ground, on top of that about 2 inches of top soil mixed with humus. Is that bad? I works and I only have to weed one more time a before the season ends. I thought it might burn alot of flowers but they trived including the wildflowers. Then I use newspaper on the vegies, it tills easy.
    Tina, I will have to send you a pic of Malaughlin Gardens. It was Mr. Malaughlins house in the middle of town, he spent his whole life on liliacs and opened it to the public when they bloomed. His only request was a small donation box nailed to a post. After I moved here the box was vandalized and Mr Malaughlin made the evening news.I think Mom might remember that, see asked me about it. Since then he has past on and most of the town created a non-profit foundation on that spot. I had a chance to see it from behind the property (we had a heat call). It is breath taking, I never knew there were so many different color purples.

  2. How many spelling errors or grammer mistakes am I going to make? Need to do this early or late after the teen crashes and the chatty 9 year old is less needy. Mr Malaughlin passed on....bear with me. Phone rings to much!!!!

  3. LOL, Dawn. That is what happens in Maine in cold weather when you have your own heating business, esp in ski and outlet store country when you do the hotels and many other business, not to mention the common homeowner or renter. RING, RING, RING

  4. Hey Dawn. Don't worry we all make mistakes on here and it really is no big deal. I know the feeling-get going too fast or you are tired. Been there.

    I never heard of Mr. Malaughlin. I do know about the iris breeder who gardened in Harpswell. I want to go see his irises in the spring and heard even though he died, his gardens are still open to the public. One of the magazines did an article on him. Send me some pictures of the lilacs but I would want to go see it too.

  5. Yes Dr McEwen (not spelt right, I don't think) died a couple of years ago. He was over 100 when he passed on. Great man. I took Mary to vist him about 4 years ago. She was in her bathrobe as we just were out riding and decied to go down past his place and on impluse stopped. He was like a little kid. So happy to see Mary. They had been good friends for years and years but due to health issuses had not seen each other for a few years. It was a great day. He has been featured in many magazines and newspapers. He was known WORLD wide, not just in America. His daughter still lives near where his house is. Not sure if anyone is living in his house or not. He sure was a very sweet person, I really liked him.

  6. Yes Dr. McEwen. I will make a point of staying longer and going to see his gardens. I found out they are still open to the public sometimes when last I was up there.