Monday, December 20, 2010

Are Poinsettias Poisonous?

I feel sorry for the Poinsettia. It has gotten such a bad rap for the past several years. So many people believe that the leaves of the beautiful holiday plant are poisonous. It all started back in the early part of the 20th Century when the young child of a U.S. Army Officer was alleged to have died from consuming a poinsettia leaf. The story was later retracted. But, as these things have a habit of doing, the toxic potential of this plant took a life of its own. The truth really is that other than occasional cases of vomiting, ingestion of the poinsettia plant has been found to produce no ill effect. The American Medical Association agrees with this fact. So, no worries about your children or your pets. Just enjoy this wonderful plant that has come to represent the Holiday Season!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Forcing Paper White Bulbs is so Easy!!

If you want beautiful paper whites blooming for the holidays then you better get going! Here is a great idea for you! All you have to do is go to your local garden center and buy some fresh bulbs and plant on a gravel base in a bowl of water. The bulbs should just be sitting on the gravel and only the bottom of the bulb should be touching the water. I like to plant my bulbs in potting soil mixed with a heavy dose of sand. Then cover the soil with green sheet moss. Place in a sunny and warm area indoors and in just a few weeks you will have beautiful flowers! It is almost too late for the Christmas Holidays, so if you don't have the time then you can usually find them already growing at your local florist!

Monday, October 18, 2010


If you know me, then you know I am all about keeping things simple. This is no exception in my garden. I hate planting bulbs..........Really.....................I just despise it. So if by chance I am going to plant some bulbs this season, then I want a bulb that will perform like a champ in spring, making my sweat and hard work pay off.

So, I have a great spring blooming bulb that will make your neighbors soooooooooooo jealous. I love that!!!!!! If you like daffodils then buy the 'Jetfire'. It has yellow petals and an orange throat. What is great about it, is that it blooms like crazy. Mine lasted 5 weeks last year. Each bulb produced over 8 stems of flowers. That's right...........One bulb............Just say in.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


So you have decide to plant some fall bulbs. Good for you!!!!!!!!! I just ordered mine and I can't wait to have my crew plant them. I have to be honest, I hate to plant bulbs. No immediate gratification. But in late winter and early spring, I am glad they are there.

If you want many seasons of bloom, it's a good idea to work in a bit of rock phosphate at planting time. But it's not necessary to fertilize spring-blooming bulbs to be honest. Sure I want to sell you some product, but assuming you've bought quality bulbs, next year's bud is already inside and your first season of bloom is assured.

When the leaves appear in spring, sprinkle some compost or well-rotted cow manure around the base of the plant, or water once with a high-phosphorus soluble fertilizer, diluted to half strength.

So easy...............I like it that way....

Have a great day...........

Monday, October 4, 2010


So many of us spend alot of time outdoors, especially this time of year. Whether you have a patio or a deck, you can decorate and accessorize to give that designer look. First, you want to mix and match your furniture. Add a nice teak sofa with plush cushions and then for contrast, add contemporary chairs for added excitement. Don't be afraid to take a risk. Don't be shy!!!! Let go and experiment.

If you need a dining area then forget about the typical matching set. Get an old door and use it as a table with a iron base. Then instead of chairs use benches. Accessorize with old, over-sized candle operas. Don't forget to add other elements such as antique statues, and an iron console table.

Containers with an assortment of lush plants will soften your area. Then go bold and use urns planted with the Americana Agave. Agave love heat and can tolerate being planted in small containers. They look like a living sculpture. Then add fun plants such as a sedum planted turtle and even a bonsai tree.

Sit back and enjoy the world around you!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010


It time to get off that couch and get those yard chores done. This is the time to apply pre-emergent to prevent those evil weeds from germinating. If you get lazy and wait to out..........Your lawn will look like a country lawn this winter. If by chance your weeds have germinated then just apply a post-emergent.

Don't forget to apply a pre-emergent to your flower beds as well. You will thank me later........

Have a great weekend.........


Monday, September 27, 2010


With the cooler temperatures it is time to go ahead and plant your pansies, ornamental cabbages and kale, snapdragons, curled leaf parsley, Swiss chard, and fall mums. Remember to add some fresh new organic mix and fertilize with a slow release fertilizer. Plant your flowerbeds nice and full to get that instant look.

Don't forget...Botanica Gardens at 1601 Rebsamen Park Road in Little Rock is having their huge Fall Extravaganza....big savings!!!!!!! Check it out at

Friday, September 24, 2010


Don't be tempted to divide your mums in the fall. They respond best to being split in the spring, just as they're starting to grow. Dig up the plant. Discard the center of the clump and replant the vigorous outer roots. Don't repeatedly remove sections from the edge of the clump to give away, or you'll be left with just the old, woody center, which will grow and flower, but weakly.

Have a great weekend..........


Monday, September 20, 2010

To Plant or Not to Plant.....

If you are like me your are a very impatient person. Right about now you want to plant your pansies and add some fall color. But I would wait if I was you. Right now our temperatures are still in the 90's. This is hot for pansies. If you plant them now, they probably will survive, but they will stretch and grow leggy. When pansies grow leggy, they usually never rebound. So be patient and wait until around mid-October. Save your money and you will be grateful next month........

Friday, September 17, 2010


The birds will soon begin their winter migrations. Give them a helping hand by providing them with some food for their long journey. No one likes to travel on an empty stomach, and you may even persuade a few of them to stick around for the winter, if they know they have a reliable food source!

Make me dinner and I will show up as well.....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One last effort at weeding will help to improve the appearance of your garden throughout the winter.

Continue to watch for insect, slug, and snail, or disease damage throughtout the garden, and take the necessary steps to control the problem.

Don't rebark your flower beds just yet. Wait until Febrauary as I do. At this time all oak trees should have dropped their remaining leaves. Fresh bark will help with your weed problems and will improve the appearance of your landscape by 500 percent. Don't be cheap and rebark every year.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Great weather today................

Mark your perennials with permanent tags, or create a map showing their locatins so you'll know where and what they are when they die back at the end of the season. This will help you to avoid digging up something your intended to keep when you plant bulbs and plants this fall and next spring.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall Chores-Start Now...LAWN CARE.

With Fall just around the corner here are a few lawn chores that will need to be done.

1. September is one of the best months of the entire year for seeding or sodding new lawns.

2. If the lawn needs thatching, it can be done during the early fall.

3. Over seed old lawns with fresh seed to help fill in the bare spots and crowd out weeds and mosses.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Segment One: "Too Late to Prune Roses?"

Now that autumn is just around the corner, you may be thinking that it is too late to prune back your roses........well if you think not? Then think again. This is the perfect time of year to lightly (about 12 inches) prune back your roses to get them ready for another flush and therefore flowers for the fall season. You don't want to prune to far back because if you do, then it will take your plants too long to flush out before the first frost sets in.

This is also the perfect time to fertilize your roses for the last time with a high in phosphorus fertilizer. This will help promote more new growth and new growth means more flowers. You have to love that!!!!!!!!!

Segment Two: "Black Spot Control"

Black spot is a nasty fungus that attacks roses, causing circular black spots with fringed margins to form on the foliage. Infected leaves eventually turn yellow and drop, leaving the plants severely damaged and nearly nude. Because the spores are spread by splashing water, the fungus is worse in periods of rain and high humidity.

Here is a perfect homemade fungus-prevention spray


1 gallon water (not chlorinated)
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon detergent (dish washing liquid is great)

Spray often. The mixture does not last long and its effects are entirely preventive. This is not a cure, so if you wait until you have problems, you will have damaged leaves.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

If your leaves on your cannas are rolled and stuck together then your plants are infested with canna leaf rollers. There are two different types, but the symptoms and treatments are the same.

The adult insects lay eggs on new leaves. In the caterpillar stage they "stitch" the edges of young canna leaves together with a silken thread so they won't unfurl. This is the perfect hiding place as the caterpillar eats the leaf it's rolled in.

If you can open the leaf then remove the worm. Or if lots of leaves are already badly chewed up, snip them off and step on them. Make sure you throw them in the trash just in case there are any eggs still remaining.

A insecticide systemic also works against these worms. You just sprinkle it on the ground and water it in. The plant absorbs the poison and when the worm bites into the leaf, it will take in poison with each bite and eventually dies.

Second Segment: "Root Bound Plants"

If you have to replant root bound plants, there are a few facts that will increase the survival rate of your plant.

1. First water the plant well.

2. Hit the side of the plastic container with your fist or a rubber mallet. Do this on all sides.

3. Then gently tug and pull the plant out of the pot.

4. If you plant is real root bound, you do not ever want to cut the roots. You will want to loosen the roots my taking your figures and gently loosen the roots as not to break them.

5. Plant with organic matter. I mix half existing soil with half new soil.

6. Water in Root Stimulator.

7. Keep the plant moist and in a few weeks, fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer.

That's it.

Happy Gardening,


Sunday, August 15, 2010


First Segment: "Desert Meets Water"

If you want to create that perfect arrangement for a party or simply for your pleasure then here is a unique idea. Purchase several different varieties of Echiveras. These are succulents. Then cut off the root balls. Just add a little hot glue to the bottom of each plant and place it on the bottom of a glass vase. Now feel the vase with a few inches with water . Place a few sea shells around each plant and scatter a few on the table around the vase. What a beautiful display!!!!!!

Second Segment: "Watermelon Sundae"

This is a very cool dessert. It is so refreshing and yet so simple to make. Go ahead and fill a glass dessert bowl with an assortment of berries such as raspberries, black berries, blue berries, and strawberries. Then on top of that take a ice cream scoop of fresh watermelon and place it on the pile of berries. Just add a dab of whip cream and a mint leaf or two. Ready to serve.

Have a wonderful week.........


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Todays THV morning show 7-20-2010


Segment 1: "Sizzling Plants for the Summer"

Are some of your plants looking rather drab? This is the perfect time to spruce up your flower beds and containers with fresh plants that will give you texture and color until frost. I like to use hanging baskets of summer hardy plants such as purslane, million bell petunias, and lantana. Don't forget to add color with blooming zinnas. They love the heat. The more sun the better they will do. Tropicals such as the Croton are great as well. This is the time I also plant my ornamental peppers. Ornamental peppers will look great now and especially in the Fall season when you mix in mums with them.

Segment 2: "A Cool Salas for a Hot Summer"

With the heat, we tend to eat cool or cold foods. Here is a very easy recipe that will tantalize your taste buds. The iceberg lettuce wedges with blue cheese vinaigrette is so refreshing. Here is what you need to do:

Salad can be easy to make especially when there is not dicing or shredding. Just quarter a head of iceberg lettuce, and top with a tasty blue cheese vinaigrette.

3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 1 ounce)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce, quartered into wedges

1. Whisk together vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Pour oil in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly until emulsified. Whisk in half the blue cheese. Season with salt.
2. Arrange lettuce wedges on a platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and season with pepper.



Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Spring Tips from Chris Olsen

Spring means that the garden centers are packed with people, and car trunks are packed with plants. Everybody has dirt on their knees, dirt under their nails, and are excited about gardening.
Installing new plants and having them grow successfully is not difficult, nor is it as complicated as some would have you think. Is it as easy as just digging a hole and setting the plant in? Yes, it certainly can be.

Another sure sign of spring is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. The time change means longer daylight in the evenings - a great time to get out and work in your garden. Now is the time to put out annuals and new perennials. If you have purchased new shrubs or trees to put into your landscape plant them after the new leaves have emerged.

This is also a great time to put in a new herb garden. If you plan to use herbs for cooking, place the garden next to your kitchen so picking and adding them to your cooking is an easy process. Finally, don't forget to plant your summer flowering bulbs such as Canna, Caladium, Elephant Ear, Dahlia, Ginger Lily and Tuberose.
The best approach is to organize your tasks and create a game plan. Here are some tips to help you get started on your Spring Gardening Task List. Soon you will be on your way to a beautiful yard that will be the envy of all your neighbors.

Inventory your tools: Replace any that need to be replaced: Was there a certain tool that you wanted all of last year but never got around to buying? Buy it now.

Clean and sharpen your tools: Purchase any needed tool accessories such as string for your weed eater. Are your gloves worn? Do you have an adequate supply of weed killer, spray bottles, ant killer, etc.? Stock up now.

Remove dead leaves and other debris from your lawn and gardening beds.

Prune shrubs and trees: Check with your local garden center for advice on what and when to prune specific plants.

Fertilize your lawn: When and how often will depend on your area and the type of grass. Check with your local nursery for advice.

Apply pre-emergent herbicides to lawn, shrubs, and perennial beds.

Remove old mulch and apply new mulch: Your new mulch definitely needs to be in place before the hot weather sets in, however, it may be applied at any time.

Care for your perennials by dividing and replanting if they are overcrowded. Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials as needed.

Assess your yard and garden beds: Determine what plants you would like to add this year. Are there areas that need quick color? If so, you should consider planting some annuals. Do you have some underdeveloped areas that could use some perennials or shrubs or maybe even a tree? Decide what and where you want to add plants and then make plans to start planting once the threat of frost has passed.

When assessing your yard, don’t forget to consider the addition of containers, hanging baskets, and other yard accessories (such as a bird bath or bird feeders).

It is not too late to begin your plants from seeds: If the weather is still too cold in your area, you can start the seeds indoors and then plant outdoors when the weather is warmer.

Mowing and Edging: Check your mower and replace blades and spark plugs if needed and fill with fresh oil and gas. The first time you mow you should lower your blade one notch lower than usual. This will help get rid of any debris that settled on your lawn during the winter. Edging your lawn will make it look nicely manicured.

Monthly Tips: Choose from the following spring months for more exact tips of what to do during that month.