Raised Bed Gardening

  Raised bed gardening is a great gardening option for many reasons. Anything from vegetables, to flowers and trees can be grown in raised beds. Advantages Better Drainage – The raised bed allows compost and other organic matter to easily be added to improve the soil structure, drainage and nutrient retention.  Foot traffic is eliminated so there is less compaction of the soil. Bigger Crops – Better root growth promotes greater yields of vegetables and stronger, more lush ornamentals. Longer …

Kid’s Plants – A Great Tradition by Effie Boven

Giving a free tray of flowers to children has been a tradition at Wenke Greenhouses for many years.  My grandmother, Nancy Wenke’s mother, Effie Boven, started this tradition years ago.  Many people have told me how they remember coming in and getting their free flowers and how much they remember it now that they are selecting flowers for their own homes as adults.  On Mother’s Day, it seems fitting to remember and celebrate this fond memory of Effie Boven. Do you …

Keeping Deer Out of Your Flowers

Deer are beautiful when they are in the woods, far away from your flowers.  But when they start eating all the blooms off your impatiens – something has got to change.  Don’t give up.  We have a few ideas. Many gardeners have problems with Deer and other four legged vegetarian wildlife. There aren’t any plants that are truly Deer proof. Fortunately there are varieties that are less favorable or what we refer to as resistant. There also are products on …

Beautiful and Good for You Too!

Did you know that plants are really beneficial in addition to being beautiful? There are so many ways that plants make the world a better place.  Most of us reading this know how good plants make us feel.  This article will just give you a few more reasons to enjoy your flowers even more.  We’ve known for years that plants are beneficial in producing oxygen. Research has now found that plants also produce many other health benefits. Studies show that …

Keeping a Garden Journal

Sue Sarters shares her insight about keeping a garden journal. “Everyone who gardens should really try to keep a garden journal.  I’ll be the first to admit that I do not always keep an official journal, but I do take a lot of pictures, which can serve as a journal of sorts.  And I do try to record important information like, when our first and last frost occurred for the season, how certain plants did their first year in my …

Linda Whitlock Fall Advice

We were fortunate enough to have Linda Whitlock join us the other day to lead a Quick Class.  She is a wealth of knowledge about plants and how to best take care of them in this area.  Linda works with the MSU Extension Service in Consumer Horticulture.  I took a lot of notes about everything from the lack of water and how it will effect the trees to why fall is a great time for planting and her suggestions.  It’s …

Overwintering Plants

To overwinter or not to overwinter, THAT is the question. While plant enthusiasts are blessed with many things here in southwest Michigan, we can never take for granted that the plants we have so carefully chosen are sometimes just not suited to remain outdoors for our winter season. Three big factors to consider before you bring in those pots: Light: Can you accommodate the light requirements for each particular plant? Space: Do you have the room to bring your plants …

Basil – The King of Herbs

Basil is one of the most popular herbs. It’s easy to grow and tastes great in many different recipes.  Several different varieties of fresh basil available now – just in time to get you through the winter! Sweet Basil – the staple of Italian cuisine that tangos with tomatoes and perks up pesto – is the most common type of this regal herb, highly prized for thousands of years for its aroma and flavor.  In fact, the word basil is …

SunPatiens -Easiest Flower for Sunny Spots

Sunpatiens are potentially the perfect plant. They’re amazing in the landscape, versatile and easy to grow.  If you plant them around your mailbox, be prepared for your neighbors to be asking you to help them with their landscaping too. SunPatiens have only been available a couple of years but they have quickly become one of the most popular plants with landscapers.  They’re one of my favorites too!  Recently, the Gazette did an article about the problem with downy mildew on …

Hummingbird Gardens

I was reminded again recently about how many people enjoy having hummingbirds in their garden. A friend was talking about how she wanted a specific plant to put by the feeder just so that she could attract these beautiful birds and enjoy watching them.  Attracting hummingbirds is relatively easy to do with certain plants and a few garden basics.      Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored blooms and are especially fond of tubular shapes which allow them to stick their beaks inside.  Red is a …