About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bouquets for Monday August 31st, 2009

I have lots of different flowers to work with right now so I'm able to make more different color combinations. Herre are 5 different ones though there were probably 10 different color combinations today.
I used only dark red and dark purple in this first one. This might not be what you'd want if you were depressed but one of my daytime customers said, "Wow! I like that" when I handed it to her. The dark purple flowers are lisianthus, the small red ones are 'Serenade' china asters and the large red ones are zinnias. A single dark red snapdragon spike adds an another variety to the shapes.

This birght bouquet of orange and white might be exactly what you'd want if you were feeling depressed. The large orange flowers are zinnias and the small orange ones are butterfly weed. The whites are lisianthus and a large white dahlia, and the greenery is artemesia.

This yellow and white that is also very cheery. A yellow snapdragon is surrounded by yellow lilies, white lisianthus, goldenrod (not yet open), and yellow zinnias.

I always like using complementary colors. Here purple lisianthus are paired with salmon zinnias and agastache.

Fall is definitely coming in this last bouquet of yellow and rusty oranges. The small daisies are helenium, combined with sunflowers, zinnias and dahlias. The cattail spikes are an ornamental millet called 'Purple Majesty'.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bouquets for Friday August 21st

Someone at the Open House mentioned that she has especially enjoyed the one and two color bouquets I've been doing this year, so this one made of all different shades of purple is for you, , Karen. The delphinium is a rebloom on one of the new plants this year, along with lavender statice, blue 'Cinderella' lisianthus and purple aster 'Serenade'

Here is another bicolor combining reds with white. the white lisianthus actually have a very faint rose rim on the petals but you probably can't see it in the picture. The big dahlias are 'Naomi', the china aster is red 'Serenade', and the snapdragon is red 'Opus'

More Tomatoes!

Some of the larger beefsteaks are starting to ripen now. that's a quarter on the cutting board to give you an idea of scale.

Left to right there is 'Evergreen', 'Gold Brooks' and 'Pineapple'. They weigh 6, 9 and 16 ounces respectively. I really like all of them but without tasting them side by side I might have a hard time telling you how they differ. 'Gold Brooks' seems to have relatively few seeds and is kind of dry for a beefsteak, almost like a big paste tomato. The sweet-acid balance seems about right to me. 'Evergreen ', like most green tomatoes, is a little more fruity-spicy as is 'Pineapple'.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Garden Open House

All my customers already know this but if you're not one of my customers and would like to see where I grow all the flowers I write about on this blog, here is your chance. I will be hosting an Open House at my garden at Dawn Farm on Saturday August 15th from 1-4pm. The public is welcome - check the Dawn Farm link above for directions.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Last year I grew a few tomato plants and felt like there were never enough tomatoes so I went overboard with them this year. I volunteered to head the seed starting team for Project Grow's heirloom plant sale and started several other varieties on my own at home. The first tomatoes are coming in now so I took a picture:

I don't have a very educated or experienced palate for tomatoes but for what it is worth, my comments follow.

From left to right - top row

Lemon Drop - these tiny yellow tomatoes are almost translucent and are super sweet. It is early and productive but cracks easily. Great for eating right in the garden.

Chadwick Cherry - seems like a standard cherry tomato to me. Fairly large, red - nothing more to say for now.

Gajo de Melon - this cherry has a fruity, melon-y taste I like but it also has a really thick skin I don't care for. On the other hand, the thick skin may help it resist cracking.

Nell's Green - a Project Grow introduction that didn't sell very well at the plant sale. That's a shame because I really like it! It has a bright, fruity taste similar to other green tomatoes like 'Aunt Ruby's German Green' but is earlier and seems easier to grow.

Second Row, left to right

Green Gage - I'm not crazy about this tomato. The texture seems mealy or mushy to me.

Cherokee Chocolate - is certainly striking looking and tasted...well...like a tomato is supposed to taste. This is not faint praise because I find some of the more popular heirlooms, like 'Kellogg's Breakfast' kind of bland.

Black Zebra - this is one of the prettiest tomatoes I've seen. It has the same dark orange-brown coloring as Cherokee Chocolate but with dark green stripes. The flavor of black tomatoes is usually described as "complex" or "smoky" or "winey". I would say this had more of a black tomato (different) taste than Cherokee Chocolate, but I didn't taste them side by side.

All for now but more varieties coming!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pole Beans

I don't grow many vegetables but have been trying to do a few more. One of the things I'm growing this year are pole beans. Pole beans are climbers that don't start producing until a week or 10 days after the bush beans but are supposed to continue bearing until frost if you keep them picked. Most people grow them on teepees made of bamboo poles but you can also grow them on a trellis. I didn't trust myself to build a credible teepee so I got a 16 foot cattle panel and bent it into an arch. The base of the arch is about 4-5 feet wide and you can walk right under it. I planted a row of pole beans on either side of the panel and they have done really well. You can see the beans hanging through the trellis - pretty cool!

I'm completely sold on this way of growing beans. The trellis should last for years and the beans are easy to pick. I'd like to say I thought of this myself but I read about it in the Vertical Gardening forum on GardenWeb. I bought the cattle panel afor $20 at the Tractor Supply in Saline. Transportation can be tricky. A friend of mine has a big stake truck so he picked it up for me but one of the posters on GardenWeb said he just bent the panel into shape and stood it upright in a regular pickup truck. The tension in the panel held it firmly against the sides of the truck and he drove it straight home. I'd probably still want to tie it down but it ought to work.

I am growing two different varieties - 'Blue Lake' and 'Kentucky Wonder'. 'Blue Lake' appears to be a bit more vigorous - it is the one growing on the right side of the trellis - or it may just be that the right side faces east. They are similar in taste but I prefer the 'Blue Lake' a bit. the 'Kentucky Wonder' beans seem a bit more prone to curling, too, so I'll be sticking with 'Blue Lake' from now on.

So far I have harvested about 8 pounds of beans. I'm not as diligent at keeping records as I'd like to be but I'm going to try to keep track of how much I harvest and over how long.

Bouquets for Friday August 7th 2009

I have lots of lisianthus available now and making pretty bouquets is easy. The first bouquet is red and white. The oriental lily is 'Dizzy' - quite a bit more striking than 'Stargazer'. The lisiathus are white with a rose rim and the dark red dahlia is 'Naomi'. A single white delphinium is th eonly other flower.
Everyone who has gotten these blue (or purple), white and silver bouquets has really liked them so I will keep making them while the flowers hold out.

All yellow and white in the next bouquet. This is another orental lily with no pink or red in it called 'Time Out'. The double yellow flowers are Rudbeckia laciniata, sometimes sold as 'Golden Glow'. Yellow statice and white lisianthus fill in the rest.

I am almost out of Bells of Ireland and was only able to make one green and white bouquet like this. The lisianthus here are 'Magic Green' - basically a white with a green eye, and the dahlia is 'Center Court'. There are also sprigs of Sweet Annie (Artemesia annua) for foliage.

Last is a bouquet with no lisianthus containing a mix of Rudbeckia laciniata, snapdragons, yellow statice, zinnias and Rudbeckia hirta