May Rains Bring More Colors

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Time for a new thread!!

I did get a few things done outside today. Watered my beans, shade plants and potted plants. And planted my rose. lol. Sunday I will get my squash, cukes and strawberries planted.

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(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

We came from here:

Hope you all have a really great Saturday, whether we are working or not. I just got two tiny ligularias and two new red/chocolate sedum, too.
The mock orange is blooming, as are my angel face trailing rose, those blooms are huge.

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

Oh, good for love ligulairias. I have severeal myself too. They really are my favorite shade plants. Believe me they will grow so nicely. I had one that was so so tiny. I got from a swap i went too. It was so ttiny, i planted it four years ago. Last year it was so big. What "name" did you buy?
I started spreading my 13 bags of mulch last night. It really makes a big difference for sure. Am going to have to wait for the rest a couple of days. But it will get done for sure. Feels so nice to be outside am loving it so much.

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

Ronna, it is a dark almost chocolate red leaf one with yellow flowers, I'm at work, and they are at home .. will let you know their names tonight.

Alton, IL

Wasps. *sigh*

Guess the planting is only hold until I get someone out to clear the nest that's sitting RIGHT over my front door and my garden area.

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

oh dear, do you have wasp spray?

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Hi all, I've been very busy working indoors and out having removed all the carpeting in the upstairs master bedroom. I'm finally starting to work in my veggie garden. The weather has been great for it too. I'm going back out now, but wanted to share something of interest with you all first.

I finally ID the dried tree seed pods that I found @ Pere Marquette St. Park hiking late winter on a Spring like day. They look just like Kentucky Coffee Tree seed pods.

This is good to know: "Danger: Seed is poisonous if ingested"

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Read more:

Anyone want some seeds? I have about 6 pods that wintered over on the ground. I haven't opened them yet because they're pretty hard. I'm not sure how I'm going to break them open.

Dyan, I visited with my mom yesterday evening off Fosterburg Road. Would have called you, but it was a spur of the moment decision. We mostly walked around outside visiting with the horses, chickens, dogs, & cats. Also, checked out their flower and veggie gardens and their many different species of trees. Did I tell you that we encountered a big rat snake at the SWIC hort dept. plant sale? It was on a shelf right behind the check out counter hissing at the cashier! She was too frightened to move after we pointed it out. I only regret that I didn't think to take a pic before the men (yes about 4-5 of them together) came over as one bravely carried it away wrapped around a broom handle. LOL

I'll try to check back later. Happy gardening all. : )

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Hi all! I now live with a Sister, and she has a big place on 2 acres. Oh man, this place is a dream come true for a plant lover! I'm not trying to take over but will I ever submit gardening/landscape ideas! I have also developed a hernia and it slows me down a bit but it's usually okay, I plan to have it repaired in the coming few months.

To give you an idea of the size of the yard, this is a shot of part of the backyard. pic #1

Does anyone know what this is? I think a few seedlings are even at the bottom of it. - pics #2 and 3

Get the wasp spray that goes 20 feet! lol

Here's my boast band upon getting the hernia diagnosis! pic #4

No thanks Betty. As kids we'd get those Coffee tree seeds and rub them on the pavement and make them super hot. We'd then touch them on our friends' skin and burn them, it only gave them a startle! lol
I'm jealous, my Ligularias didn't come back from the pots they were in.

This message was edited May 2, 2015 9:35 PM

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KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

They remind me of tiger lilies.

Your sis has a bigger place than me!! lol

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks pepper. I'll get a lower pic tomorrow, it has a woody trunk.
All the houses around here have big yards, somebody with a nice riding mower could clean up.
I've mowed several times just to keep up.

Alton, IL

Oh yes, I have wasp spray. And, yes, it's the type that goes 20 feet. :) Sprays a foam that seems to stop the critters in an instant, so it's pretty good stuff.

As for the planting, it's going pretty well. Most of the newbies are safely planted, though there are a few more that I'm hoping to finish tomorrow. Then I'll take some pictures and show off my hard work.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

It was a little bit of a drive to get to the greenhouse, but she had gorgeous plants. Many many cactus and succulents too, but I'm not into them. I did get a new clematis, Ernest Markham. I dug out the Claire De Lune and set it by a rosebush so it can twine in it if it survives. I was a bit ruthless taking it out and broke roots. I got mostly annuals, petunias, lantana, penta and cabbage plants.

I would go NUTS in your greenhouse!
I spread mulch thick this year!

Thank you for the link Pepper,
Many years ago I bought three tiny variegated Solomon's seal. They all died. Except one appeared a few years ago. Talk about surprises. So, it finally has a new permanent spot.

Thanks for the header Debra :o)
My Mock Orange comes out this year. It has done poorly since I got it. (Right after it blooms....)
Ligularias will wilt at the drop of a hat. They don't like hot temps, so plant them in cool shade. They recover overnight tho.

Wasps are nasty tempered pests! I hope they all die so you don't get stung.

Hi Betty,
It's good to be busy and you sure have been :o)
Neat pods! I can see how tough they are. BIG tree!
WOW on the snake! I would have been intimidated too, LOL!

Your sister's place sounds wonderful! I can't wait for pictures.
Yes, get the hernia fixed. Sooner than later....
Oh, it is beautiful there! Lucky you!
I don't recognize the little plants.
Smiling over your boast band :o)
Laughing over your hot seed pods!

I got each of us a Hori Hori knife last year. Boy are they good for weeding. In the worst bed and where I knew it was just grass, we used the potato fork to loosen the ground. That bed was tough!

I woke at 3:30am to the sound of thunder and lightning flashes. LOVE IT!!

Yesterday I mowed since we have a week of rain chances. All the flower beds have been worked on. DH did a big part of them.

The robins and sparrows have been singing since 5:15am and it's JUST light out at 5:50am :o)

I need to hit the ground running again. I think our rain is done for a while.

Have a Blessed Sunday!

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Alot of shopping there at that greenhouse Sally! Planting all that should keep you busy!
Your an earlybird, even earlier than me and I only usually get up at 7.

Here's that little tree/plant with some spent reddish flowers looks like, know what it is, anybody?

Yeah, Ima get that hernia fixed soon hopefully.

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Noticed Nanking cherry seedlings popping up in my veggie garden that I can pot to give away. Also lots of new blackberry suckers.

My 1st rose to boom is the sunny knockout by the compost pile. I took a pic with my phone, I will post from it later. Using my tablet right now.

I try to be tolerated of wasp by capturing & releasing them away from the house very carefully; of course. I'm the same way with spiders. Flies, mosquitoes, and gnats get squished because they carry diseases.

Off to the garden to do some planting & hang with the birds & bees.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I'll take at least one cherry please and are the blackberries thornless?

Will, I don't recognize that tree. Try the ID forum or Trees area and see if VV or someone can id it.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I had posted in the id forum, a responder says maybe Dwarf Peach which is cool as heck if it is.
I'll mark that post as solved pretty soon. -

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

Yes the plant id thread is so great. I have posted there a couple times myself. Usually just takes a few minuets. Your sisters place does look sweet. Would loveto have that much room for sure. Everyone sure is busy planting. Love hearing all about it. My yard is looking so pretty this spring too. My clematis are just LOADED with buds. It is going to be most beautiful ever!! Can not wait to see it in blossom this year. I have lots of fairie stuff waiting to go in the garden soon as stuff gets going to kinda hide the house. Its going to be so cute hopefully.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

I am always up much earlier. I have another forum I go to first. Takes me a while to read and type :o) I've actually dropped another thread here because I don't have time for much more than a couple. I'll never drop this one tho!
From what I can see, is it a Flowering Almond? They bloom on bare wood before the leaves come out.

You are very brave, LOL! The wasps aren't territorial and return?

Pictures of your Clematis when it blooms, and your fairy house and set-up, please :o)
Sadly, I won't set things out till foliage hides my yard ornaments. I haven't had anything taken from my yard yet, but each year kids get bigger and more bored. I photograph all my ornaments in case...

This is the best tool I ever bought. All the reviews say what I would say.

I guess I slept thru the thunder that shook the house and the wind that came up, but I did wake up at 1:34am and hear ir rain and blow a little :o)

I am eliminating the campanula rapidiculoids this year, if it takes all year. Beautiful thug. I keep hoping they get started across the road....

I just realized I never got my beets planted and now it's too wet, LOL!

Rain all week, but I still have plenty to keep me busy inside.

Hope everyone gets the weather they need!

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Ah Pepper, you made off with all the black berry plants last year; including those that I had brought for someone else & you gave them away. Who was it that wanted them? Debra? Yes, they're thornless. I'll bring you some if you take some to whoever missed out last year. Are you going to plant then this time? If you do, you''ll have suckers to give away too. : )

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I wish we could hear thunder & rain drops.
Yesterday afternoon, clouds formed above us & moved east, then started raining. We got nothing, east of here got hail & rain. But not that much.
Chances all week.

If help shows up, will be laying plastic to plant cabbage.

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

I promise Billy i will post pictures of my clematis when in blossom. Fairy houses we will see how they turn out! Lol. Am looking forward to seeing them tho. Will be fun to set them out.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Flowering Almond eh? Very possible from what I can see of foliage in pics on google images. -

I was out at my old stomping grounds (they like me there) and I couldn't believe this one little Clematis that I thought was dead. It had one purple flower on it that was real nice. It'll be flowering soon, GL!

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Sorry Pepper. I had you in mind when I potted the cherry seedlings. I'll try to bring you 4 to 6 healthy ones. These were probably planted by the birds in their own fertilizer; if you know what I mean.

Going to try to cut some grass now while the brats are grilling.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I forgot all about the ones from last year. lol. I actually got those for a friend who needed some. Recently my mom found out she's pre-diabetic so I'm loading up on berries. Just a couple of each will do since they grow so easily. I'm not greedy. lol. I'm gonna plant the cherries, berries and blueberries together along the road unless my dad has a better spot in mind.

Alton, IL

I need to ask for some help...... My plants are doing fine. Surprisingly, good in fact. :) However, the overall look to my flower beds are not good. It's the soil. I'm almost certain that I have clay soil, and I've been doing a little research about what to do with the rock hard clumps that make up most of the ground in my flower beds. And the answer I keep coming up with is that I "should" have prepared the soil before planting anything. Well, it's a little late for that as I already have thriving plants that I don't want to disrupt. (Besides, that whole process is pretty overwhelming and I can almost guarantee that I would never had planted anything if I knew I had to do that first.)

So I'd like to know what options you guys suggest. Or should I not do anything? Here are the ideas that I've come up with:

1. Mulch. I don't like it, but I did give up last year and put down a layer. It has benefits like helping to keep roots cool this summer; I'm not doubting that. AND it would have the benefit of an immediate improvement in the overall appearance. But ........ I don't like the way mulch looks. Plus, I know that later this summer I'll be right back in the same place once the mulch bleaches out, dries out and generally spreads into my lawn where I don't want it.

2. Ground cover plants. This is the option that I like best, but it's also the one that will take the longest to achieve. Maybe even a couple of years. Plus, when I look at my ground, I find it hard to imagine that anything will want to spread and thrive. Also, assuming I stick with the plan to use ground cover plants, is there anything that I can do now to make things look nicer? Or to help make the ground more plant-friendly?

3. And that brings me to my third idea....... Adding topsoil. I've been wondering about the benefit of doing an overall clean up to get rid of the clumps, old mulch and left over debris. Then laying down a layer of topsoil. Maybe even using a hand rake to break up the surface of the ground and mix the two together.

4. Do nothing and trust nature to resolve the problem as my plants continue to grow. If this is the best option, doing nothing is pretty easy. But it means that I'll have to accept that for the foreseeable future, I'm going to be a little sad at how cruddy my garden looks. But I'm a big girl, and I can handle it.

Here are some pictures. I don't think that I'm overstating things. What would you do if faced with this?

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KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

For anything you plant from here on out, mix the clay with compost and some good topsoil or garden soil. I use garden soil and compost myself. You don't have to do the whole bed at once, just the planting holes. That's much easier to achieve. Second option is to get some zinna seeds and after breaking up the top layer a bit scatter the seeds around and you will have the bare dirt filled in. Perennials take time to fill in so it pays to use annuals to cover the holes and zinnas are the easiest ones to grow.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

By the way, if you want some I can bring you some catmint, and my grandma is giving me a ton of irises for you guys because they need thinned pretty bad. I think she mentioned daylilies too. And I can dig up a few Royal Sunset Asiatic lilies also. It's pretty thick this year.

Whatever doesn't go at the RU will be available for whoever wants it on here. Gonna double post this now. lol

Alton, IL

Zinna seeds........... got it. :) I hadn't thought about adding some annuals as a mid-step, but that's a pretty good idea.

Btw, when I plant, I've been using garden soil. So mixing that with compose will be easy enough to do.

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I'll have cherries and blackberries for grandma.

I'm going to look at last year's thread to find out who wanted the blackberries. We all get over zealous about plants. That's why we hang out here. LOL

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Pepper, the blackberries are thornless and trailing. They need a fence or trellis for support.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Hi all! I have missed so much, but after working and family health problems, I have been running every direction. But looks like everything is starting to calmed down.

dyanisme, I have heard using "Earth Right is an all natural product that feeds unhealthy soils. Thick clay or sandy soils do not allow proper drainage and make it difficult for plant roots to grow deeply. Earth Right will turn your soil healthy over time and lead to better drainage, you’ll use less water and grass roots will grow much deeper. Apply Earth Right once in the Spring and once in the Fall." I listen to Toby Tobin on the radio and they rave about this product, BUT they say not to use it over clay pipes that might be used on a septic tank or anything like that because it will break them down. I haven't tried it but should....

Wow Will what a yard to get working in. I have 3 too much to garden. I have too many flower gardens now and they are just around the house.

Our Master Gardener plant sale is coming up May 16. Then on May 30 we are holding a papercrete pot making class for adults for 20.00. I went to southern Missouri and took the class and we had so much fun. Then I held a class for the MG's then we held a class for the 4H group. There were probably 25 people at We are selling a few pots at the plant sale. All of you are invited to the sale.
this is just a short list, we usually have between 250 to 350 plants course part are duplicates, prices are amazingly low.
sweet autumn clematis
corkscrew willow tree abt 2 years old
hosta feather boas
hosta mini unknowns
ground cover sedums
columbines - purple
autumn joy stone crops
siberian iris ceasers brother
egyption walking onions
spuria iris
turtle heads
rose of sharons
dwarf lilacs
vinca minors
Sledge "fresh look"
heirloom tomatoes
pepper plants
there are annuals supplied by the FFA kids.

Alton, IL

Earth Right looks interesting. Thanks! I didn't know there was such a thing as 'soil conditioners'.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

He has a talk radio show on Saturday he has a website and I think he use to landscape ball fields and golf courses if my BAD memory serves me right. I haven't tried it but should. They also rave about mushroom stuff to put in planting holes. Missouri has beautiful deep black It will stick to your shoes if it is wet and yank your shoes off. Then course if you dig it while it is too wet you end up with cement balls.....

My raised vegetable beds every year I mix in chicken compost from my chicks and cotton bur compost so it has gotten pretty good. Flowers I am like you I just stuck them in the ground...the soil is not good. I do mulch every year. I tried not mulching one year and have paid dearly for it. Where my weeds are particularly bad I put newspaper down and then mulch.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

Flying by. I read all :o)

Up around midnight listening to the thunder and lightning! It was right over town and if no one's tree got struck I'll be surprised. Wow, what a storm! All told, over the last few days we got close to 2 and 1/2''

I was weeding yesterday, even tho the beds are wet, and they're looking pretty good. Today things should POP! I've been picking up all the tags that the frost heaved out and those that have no words on them anymore and got most of them washed up. THIS year I am tagging as things bloom....

We ran to Sears after dinner and bought a battery weed whacker, on sale. We had enough time to try it out before we heard thunder. We put all the flats in the garage and came in the hose. It started to rain, then pound. We got 1/4'' in a short time.

I made 7 layer salad, my blenderful of smoothie and got dishes going. I need to get in the shower when it quits.

Pictures tomorrow.

Have a restful evening!

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

can't wait for pictures..

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I get people asking for mushroom stuff all the time. I had a farmer in the other day wanting Earth Right also. Think I may try to order it so that at least in parts of the yard the grass might grow better.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Hi Joyce, fancy seeing you! Yeah, this yard is nice. Just today I transported 3 of my nice plants 40 miles to here, they were a Blue Spruce 'Globosa', a pot of Prickly-Pear and a pot of Cholla. I drove 40 mph in a 70 mph

It's been raining alot here too, some places have got even way more, like Manhattan, Ks. (where K-State is at). -

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

I was wrong. Not a flowering almond. When I loked again, the trunk is much too big. I'm sure it's a fruiting tree tho.
Pretty purple clematis!

I also use potting soil mixed with my compost for just planting in holes. I have pretty good sandyish loam, but sometimes you just need to use a better mix.

Howdy Happ!
I've never heard of Earth Right. I've never seen it. It sounds powerful!
My Dad lives straight down the highway from me to the south. He's in the lower end of town and he has the black gumbo. Funny how we can be so different in soils.

Is everything, (plants) at the old place? It would be good to get all your favorites at your sister's anyway, in case you lost something you really liked. It's why my neighbor and I share :o)

Maybe rain, maybe not.

I have a trellis with just room in back of it. The fences are 7' long. The silver maple has roots all over. I have Asiatic lilies behind it right now and am trying to decide what short shrub or rose I can replace them with. I want a little ''privacy'' feel, not so much as needing it screened.
It's the tree's feeder roots that will be the problem, but I can't have a rose that runs into the yard either. Suggestions?
Two pictures from behind and one front.

Have a restful day!

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Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

Ok, yard pictures. Spring is when we have the best, greenest grass.

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Beautiful May colors BP. Happy Wednesday. On the train. Yawn!

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