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Friday, April 28, 2006

Plant of the Day: Euphorbia epithymoides

It's easy to chose today's Plant of the Day. Euphorbia epithymoides is commonly known as cushion spurge. Related to the Poinsettia it's a wonderfully easy to grow, hardy perennial here in zone 6b.

This photo was taken today in my garden. As you can see, cushion spurge adds a wonderful sunshine yellow to the early spring garden.

Combined with other perennials that have contrasting foliage, you can have a lovely area long before most plants begin to bloom. In this spot I have Euphorbia epithymoides paired with Coreopsis 'Zagreb' (thread leaf tickseed), Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' and the wonderful purple foliage of the Lysimachia ciliata Purpurea.

Once the blooms begin to fade on your Euphorbia, you have to make a choice to let it go to seed or to cut it back before it seeds. Here in my garden I have a number of plants so I always leave some to seed. The seedlings aren't aggressive, nor do they appear by the hundreds so they are always welcome volunteers.

When cutting back the foliage on your Euphorbia you should be aware that it has a milky white sap. Some people experience a mild rash or irritation from this plant so you would want to handle it with gloves. In my own case, while I get terrible rashes from Poison Ivy, the Euphorbia doesn't bother me at all.

Transplanting of any young plants are done early in the season here before they begin to bloom. I've found them pretty tolerent of being moved about the garden.

So add a few cushion spurge to your garden, and enjoy some spring sunshine!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

unfinished draft

Spring of 2005 photo of one of my gardens.

Quite a nostalgic shot for me. This past January the Wisteria totaled the telephone pole. Unfortunately when the old pole collapsed they had to cut down the Wisteria.

Wrens moved into the birdhouse the same afternoon it was placed on the old bicycle. I couldn't weed there for weeks because I didn't want to disturb the babies. Did I learn my lesson? Of course not, there's a family in there again this year. So what's a few weeds anyway.

Back in the Saddle again...

Yes, yes, I know, it's a corny title but hey, it's true.

How embarrassing to look back at my blog and find out that it's been over a year since I've posted to it. Oh how sad for me.

Well, hopefully things will be looking up here and I'll be posting a bit more often (not hard when you consider my record here).

This is the big year in the garden. Hundreds and hundreds are expected to pass through and view my idea of a heavenly garden.

Thankfully the weather has been cooperating so far. We've had a fairly mild winter and a gentle if dry spring. The plants are growing by leaps and bounds now and I can't seem to find enough time to get it all done.

Am I the only gardener who can write their name in the dust on the hall table? How about sorting laundry into various baskets labeled "clean" and "not so clean"? People tell me I need a helper in the garden but I really think a house-keeper would be more useful.

Ok, no meat and potatoes here. Right now I'm digging out Lychnis coronaria (rose campion) buy the bushel full. Somebody called and asked to come by tomorrow to "buy a whole lot of rose campion".

How much is a "whole lot"? If I pot up 10 and she tells me 20 is a whole lot...well...I've lost money. If I pot up 20 and she thinks 5 is a whole lot I'm going to end up with a lot of pots of rose campion. Gardeners are gamblers by nature though so I'm going to think big.

Would dearly love to figure out how to post a photo to this blog. Will play with that this evening.

Happy digging!