Peonies, peonies, peonies

It seems like the peony season came and went very quickly this year. I’m glad I got out to take lots of photos right away because the HOT weather flushed all of our peonies out very quickly. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t make a single bouquet this year. These peonies at our new house…

Garden Journal 6/2/2018

We kicked off June with some more heat. My leafy greens are doing amazingly well. I’ve got several kinds of lettuce and kale along with arugula, turnips, beets and swiss chard growing in this market garden style bed. My agave sure are happy right now! They thrive in the heat. I planted a few coreopsis…

Longhorn Cattle

Meet our new neighbors. This is the first time they have grazed on our side of this hill. How lucky am I to have this great view! Aren’t they just beautiful!?!? They seemed very nice. Our neighbor must spend quite a bit of time with them. This one had the biggest horns.Although these were pretty big…

5 Tips on Growing Iris from Nancy

One of my fellow Master Gardeners is into irises. Nancy has over 250 varieties of tall bearded iris that are mostly from California. Her brother, who lives in California, started sending her irises for her birthday each August and then one year while visiting him, they dug over 150 varieties together. She has since been back…

Oranges and Grape Jelly

I enjoyed a four day break from work and got so much done around my house over this Memorial Day weekend. My only complaint is that I wish it was slightly cooler. Nearly 100 degree temperatures each day made it hard for a lot of heavy outdoor work. But, clearly I didn’t work too hard…

Pee Wee Gardens

There is an amazing peony garden in Council Bluffs. It’s located on Old Lincoln Hwy or N Broadway, directly across the street from Kimball Park. There is a large sign that says “Pee Wee Gardens – Flowers and More Since 94.” I googled this name and found a story about Oscar Kilnoski, the man most likely…

Garden Journal 5/25/2018

After a cold and wet spring, we’ve jumped straight into summer here in southwest Iowa. On this memorial day weekend, we are expecting temperatures of nearly 100 for four days. I was able to to take the day off yesterday for some plant shopping and did some digging in the dirt when I got home….

Mother’s Day Weekend

We received this bird feeder stand and new feeders as Christmas gifts. We set them up last weekend and since then, we’ve seen orchard orioles, baltimore orioles, catbirds, goldfinch and cardinals. The orioles LOVE oranges and grape jelly. They are very fun to watch! Goldfinch.Catbird.Cardinal.My little hummingbird friend was around again today.  This morning (Sunday)…

Sleeping Hummingbird

We have an amazing sunroom on the west end of our house that has huge picture windows facing both south and west. We’ve placed all of our bird feeders outside of these windows and it creates and unbelievable bird watching experience. We put our hummingbird feeder out last weekend after I saw my first hummer…

Hitchcock Nature Center

The mission of the Hitchcock Nature Center is to exist to develop and foster appreciation and understanding of the Loess Hills as a globally significant landform through land management, environmental education and low-impact recreation. Acquired by Pottawattamie County in 1991, Hitchcock Nature Center (HNC) currently consists of 1,268 acres located in the heart of the…

Metamorphosis

On this cold and dreary spring day, I decided to visit the Metamorphosis display at Lauritzen Gardens again. It was balmy in the upper greenhouse, so much that my lenses fogged over. The display includes artwork from by Sayaka Ganz and Aurora Robson. From the Laurtizen Gardens website: Millions of pieces of plastic find their way into…

Amaryllis Update

If you saw my last post, you know that I have several Amaryllis bulbs that I forced indoors this winter. It’s been a few weeks now so I thought I would share some updated photos. They all bloomed consecutively over the last few weeks resulting in constant blooms. How To Force Amaryllis Bulbs Indoors: Some…

A visit to Libby’s Yarn Barn

Operated by Libby George, Libby’s Yarn Barn is home to many English Angora rabbits, Huacaya alpacas and soon to be Cormo sheep. Now a knitting fanatic, she can shear, pick, wash, dye, card and spin her own fiber. She then uses the fiber to knit her own high-quality home-grown clothing. This winter, Libby has started…

Poinsettias @ Sherbondy’s Greenhouse

You just can’t beat a visit to a greenhouse in the winter. The warm air, smell of dirt and sound of running water can’t be found anywhere else besides a greenhouse in the heart of winter. Sherbondys Garden Center is a locally owned and operated garden center and landscape firm located in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Bring…

Membership @ Lauritzen Gardens

I just recently renewed my Lauritzen Gardens membership for another year. Check out the membership options here. If you visit more than three times per year it is worth the $35 for an individual membership. Member Benefits · Free admission for one year · Invitations to exclusive members-only events · A 10% discount on all regularly…

2017 Heirloom Mum Results

This was my second year growing heirloom chrysanthemums from Kings Mums. Read my step-by-step guide with photos that I posted last year. Or read the summary below. Nijin Bigo Summer Tasks After you receive your Chrysanthemum plugs you will need to remove them from their shipping packages immediately and place in a shallow bowl of water….

2017 Fall Chrysanthemum Show

Located just north of Interstate 80 and south of Omaha’s historic Old Market at 100 Bancroft Street, Lauritzen Gardens is a year-round attraction. Each year the botanical center hosts its Fall Chrysanthemum Show. “Experience a fascinating fabrication of flowers at the garden’s annual fall chrysanthemum show. Bold mums combine with vibrant colors, rich fabrics, diverse textures and other…

Autumn on the Farm

Ok let’s get caught up. I have a lot of new posts coming your way but first, let’s start with this post from a few weeks go. This was before the weather really turned, before our first frost and before all the leaves fell off our trees. It was a beautiful, but brief time here…

October Landscapes

These are some photos I took while working a on project for work tonight. It’s a beautiful time of year. What is your favorite part about fall?Which photo is your favorite?

Flower Field in September

Dahlias and celosia are the stars of the garden right now. It’s really fun to photograph across the four 100 ft. rows and find pretty layers in the shot. My favorite time to shoot is late in the day when the sun is almost gone. Happy gardening!