Bulbapalooza at the Idaho Botanical Garden

Next year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Muriel and Diana Kirk English Garden creation at the Idaho Botanical Garden. As most gardens do, this one has grown…and grown. When we started we didn’t have a single leaf’s worth of shade. Now, the trees have pushed out some of our perennial plants and changed the makeup of many parts of the garden. In those two decades, the original bulb plantings withered away, with only a few fancy alliums making the long haul.

Over the next few weeks we will share with you the new spring bulb project. We’ve ordered more than 6000 for one border! Stay tuned. Here’s a scratchy/scribbled composite of the main choices. More on what and why, later. 

 

Lookin’ hot, eh?

Powdery Mildew: Ick

Sooner or later, everyone comes up against this garden issue.

 

Powdery mildew. Just another garden problem. While it may not kill your plants, it certainly stresses them out, reducing the productivity and makes them really ugly. In spite of the “mildew” moniker, it’s actually a fungus, spread by airborne pathogens. And it is not the result of cold wet weather, but humidity and temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. It overwinters in plant debris, so be sure to thoroughly clean up around and areas where it was in the garden. I’ve found two effective remedies, the first being Potassium Bicarbonate, mixed 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water, sprayed thoroughly on the tops and undersides of the plants. The second, product, Safer’s 3 in 1 Garden Spray. One home remedy that is being studied, scientifically studied, is using a 20-50% solution of whole milk and water. In other words, you can try spraying a mix of half milk and half water. I’ve not tried the milk spray, but I can attest to the success of the Safer 3 in 1. Worked miracles on my peonies.

Winging It: Best Bird Book for Kids

Into the Nest : This book has been officially approved by the neighbor kids. Earlier this summer, a mama Mourning .dove made a nest on a branch just outside their dining room window. Low and behold! Not one, but two eggs were laid. Chicks arrived and the kids’ window to nature went live. The boys were quite concerned about how the babies were going to get fed and what the mama bird was getting to eat. Alas! We found the answer, “pigeon milk.” Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds gets a five star rating from the new birders and me.

Into the Nest: An Intimate Guide to the Family Lives of Familiar Birds