Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Flowers & Gardens of Sackets Harbor, New York

This is their village-operated public dock and boat launch area.
Sackets Harbor, New York

Sackets Harbor is a quaint little village on the eastern end of Lake Ontario about 65 miles north of Syracuse, New York.

Sackets Harbor was very significant in the War of 1812. Following the outbreak of the war, Sackets Harbor became an important military site for the American Naval and military forces for the St. Lawrence Valley and Lake Ontario.

Today the Village of Sackets Harbor has been enhanced with beautiful trees and gardens that line their streets. The stores and shops have also reflected this theme in their plantings of various perennials and annuals. The Sackets Harbor Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary have hosted a garden tour of homes the last few years benefiting their local Volunteer Fire Department.

Here is a link to the Village's website:
There are two very nice videos on this website if you would like more information on the village.

The Village won an award in the 2011 America in Bloom contest. Here is a link with information on the award winners: 2011 America in Bloom Awards

Here is a view of the village in pictures.

A view of the gazebo overlooking the harbor.
One of the houses on West Main Street.

I just love their hanging baskets on the lights.
This beautiful urn is outside the Seaway Trail Headquarters.
Fairy Garden Houses outside one of the shops (Handmaiden's Garden).

Another view of the public dock. 

Additional Information

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Sackets Harbor website:

Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance Website:

New York History Blog - The Great Rope:

Sackets Harbor participated in the 2012 International Peace Garden Foundation. Website:

Sackets Harbor is the hometown of "Funny Cide" the famous gelding owned by Sackatoga Stable. In 2003 he won the first two races in the Triple Crown- the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

The Village is also the setting for the American Girl's Caroline Abbott stories (and doll), which took place during the War of 1812.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spring Bulbs; Dividing Perennials; Recluse Spiders

It's that Time of Year Again

Time for the kids to go back to school, and time for us to think about what we hope to have happen in our gardens next spring. This is the time of year for cutting back perennials, dividing them, and planting your spring bulbs.

Tulips and Daffodil Bulbs

If you want more color in your early spring garden be sure to buy your spring flowering bulbs now and get them in the ground. It's best if they are planted about 6-8 weeks before a heavy frost so the roots can be established. The soil is best if it is loose and well-drained. They prefer dry or sandy soils. If you have heavy clay soil you can add peat moss, well-rotted compost or humus for improvement. These additives will help as well if you have sandy soils. Never deliberately water a bulb bed unless it is a newly planted one. The new bed will need water to establish the roots and start growing. Wet soil leads to fungus and disease that can rot bulbs. Tulips also prefer a site with full or afternoon sun. After blooming, cut off the dead flowers, but never cut the foliage down until it starts turning yellow. Most tulips are NOT as long-lived as we would like them to be and some people plant them as annuals. Don't be too disappointed if your tulips start dying out after a few years. Also, plant your bulbs in clusters for the best visual effect. Try to avoid planting them in a straight line.

Tulips Website:
Daffodils: Have very similar growing conditions as the tulips. American Daffodil Society Website:

Spring Flowering Bushes and Trees 

If some of your spring flowering bushes and trees do not bloom for you it could be that you are trimming them at the wrong time of year. Do not prune spring flowering bushes like forsythia, lilacs, azalea, rhododendron, and hydrangea (big leaf) until after they bloom in the spring. If you trim them in the fall or early spring you are probably cutting off their buds that have already been formed on the wood.

Dividing Perennials 

This is a good time to start dividing your perennials. Don't be afraid to split up some of them. Several of them do better when they are separated, and it will increase your number of plants. If you find that your perennials are not blooming well, or if the blooms are smaller or if the centers of the clumps are dying out, it could be because they are too crowded. It's best to divide spring and summer blooming perennials in the fall, and fall bloomers in spring. By dividing the plant when it is not flowering, all the plant's energy can go into the root and leaf growth. Allow about 4-6 weeks before the ground freezes for the plants to become established. If you divide in the spring, allow enough time for the roots to get established before hot weather settles in. Spring division is better done in the early spring when the tips of the growing plant have emerged. If you divide your plants in spring they may not bloom that year or might bloom a little later than usual. Never divide perennials on hot and sunny or windy days. Wait until a cloudy day with rain in the forecast. And be sure to water your newly planted divisions regularly if rain is not in the forecast.  Most perennials should be divided every 3-5 years. Some plants, like bleeding hearts, hostas,  and peonies may never need to be divided unless you want more plants. Plants that are growing and blooming well are ok to be left alone.
Here is some more information on how to divide your perennials. And this site also contains an excellent table (at the bottom of the page) for When and How to Divide Common Perennials:BHG Gardening- Dividing Perennials

Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse Spider

I decided to include this information on the Brown Recluse Spider because it was recently reported as biting a person in the Adirondacks (see link below). There are four known spiders to be dangerous to humans: the brown recluse, the black widow, the hobo or aggressive house spider, and the yellow sac spider. Within this select group, only the brown recluse and the black widow spider have ever been associated with significant disease and very rare reports of death. Brown recluse spiders are native to the Midwestern and Southeastern states. Documented populations of brown recluse spiders outside these areas are extremely rare. In recent years controversy has arisen over the appearance of brown recluse spiders in California and Florida. 

It is most likely found in the following areas: attics, basements, closets, ducting and registers, storage boxes, folded linens and clothing, barns, sheds, rock crevices, woodpiles and other dark areas.


As per eMedicineHealth: Brown recluse spider bites often go unnoticed initially because they are usually painless bites. Occasionally, some minor burning that feels like a bee sting is noticed at the time of the bite. Symptoms usually develop two to eight hours after a bite. Keep in mind that most bites cause little tissue destruction.
Victims may experience these symptoms:
  • severe pain at bite site after about four hours,
  • myalgias (muscle pain).
Initially the bite site is mildly red and upon close inspection may reveal fang marks. Most commonly, the bite site will become firm and heal with little scaring over the next few days or weeks. Occasionally, the local reaction will be more severe with erythema and blistering, sometimes leading to a blue discoloration, and ultimately leading to a necrotic lesion and scarring. Signs that may be present include:
  • blistering (common),
  • necrosis (death) of skin and subcutaneous fat (less common), and
  • severe destructive necrotic lesions with deep wide borders (rare).
If you have the above symptoms and suspect a spider bite you should medical attention as soon as possible. 

Erie County Person reported as having been bitten by a brown recluse spider while visiting the Adirondacks: (

Here is an article on the Brown Recluse:

Before and After Pictures of Deer Damage

Overnight the deer ate all the flowers off this petunia planter. I orginally took this picture to display another one of my husband's creative ideas. He had cut an old apple tree down that was rotted and the inside was mostly hollowed out from the problem. The next morning when I went out to look at it all the flowers were gone off it (see picture below). We've been spraying the flowers using Deer Off, but must have missed this planter.


Take lots pictures of your gardens. With today's technology it doesn't cost a lot of money to take pictures. Save them in folders on your computer or on a memory stick and you can compare them from year to year. I was looking back at some older pictures where I had planted a lot of impatiens and they looked beautiful. They added a lot of color to a rather shady area. I ended up filling in that area with perennials and daylilies because I had a problem with rabbits and deer at that time (apparently I still do, too). I might try adding some impatiens again next year in that same spot. You will also find how your gardens mature and change over the years as well. It's also nice to browse through them during the winter snow storms, too. hahaha

Friday, August 9, 2013

Planters and Window Boxes; Dividing Irises; Mosquitoes

Sometimes I have good luck with planters, and sometimes I don't. This was a good year for my window boxes. We used a mixture of potting soil with moisture pellets and composted manure with humus. This seemed to help get us through the season. In the past, usually by August, my planters and window boxes looked pitiful. This year I am very pleased with the results. Here is a link to 10 Container Garden Tips:

If you want to "Wow" your friends and neighbors (and yourself) with your containers here is an article with ideas using the Thrillers, Fillers & Spillers idea for your containers:
A Thriller is a plant that grabs someone's attention, Fillers are plants that will fill out your pot, and the Spillers are plants that trail over the sides of the container.

2013 Irises
Also it was a good year for the irises as well as the daylilies. I'm showing you a picture when the irises were in bloom and when they finished blooming (below).

Irises seem to do better in a garden that has good drainage and lots of sun. And it doesn't help that I haven't weeded that bed either.

Early August is a good time to divide your irises.

Here is a link to dividing your irises: Or if you prefer here is a video on dividing irises: I prefer to throw out the old center part of the iris and keep the the off-shoots.

The Japanese Anemone have started to bloom. They are a very delicate flower on tender stalks with beautiful buds.

Another visitor was pretty well camouflaged.

Mosquitoes. A few years ago a friend of mine shared with me a newsletter that she had been receiving through her email Paul Parent Garden Club. I subscribed to it as well and have found it to be very informative. If you are interested in receiving the weekly edition here is the website:  There is a TAB at the top of the page to click on which says "Newsletter Signup".
The current issue had this information on mosquitoes which I thought was very informative and something you might be interested in:
Because of all the rain this summer, the mosquito population become a major problem for those working outside (along with flies, gnats and no-see-ums), so let's treat our yard so we can enjoy being outside. Most of these insect pests will spend their time hiding in thick evergreens shrubs or tall grasses during the heat of the day, and come out to feed on you as the day cools down and evening arrives. They prefer dark colored clothing over light and bright colors. If you have type O blood you will be their first choice; if you're drinking an alcohol beverage or are wearing perfume or aftershave you will also become a preferred target--and if you're all sweaty from working in the garden you will be their first choice--so take a shower before going back out to enjoy your deck or patio for that evening cookout.
To control mosquitoes, be sure to treat all water features on your property like bird baths, fountains, garden ponds, self-watering containers, water barrels at the base of a house gutter and downspout. Also check pot saucers on your deck or patio that may be filled with water, watering cans filled with water, wheelbarrows left sitting up, your snow tires left up against the garage with water in them and wet or swampy areas with standing water. Use Summit Chemical Mosquito Bits or Dunks to treat these areas and kill the larvae before they mature into adult mosquitoes. These products are organic and will not hurt your pets and wildlife if they drink them. Mosquitoes need only one tablespoon of water to lay eggs in for more mosquitoes, so be sure your empty pots and containers are upside down when you store them.
If you are interested, here is the 2013 West Nile Virus Surveillance Summary as reported from the New York State Department of Health:
It was reported on the news today (August 13, 2013) that West Nile Virus was found in Central Square, NY as well.

I would like to thank my friend and gardening buddy, Chris, for encouraging and helping me to start my own blog. Here is a link to her gardening site:
The Great Wall Of Lutz

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First Blog ! ! !

Ok, thought I'd start with some thoughts for the month of August... most of the daylilies are finishing up so I'm starting to cut them back. Even if I waited a few more weeks they would probably continue to die back anyway so the fall clean-up has begun. I'm not cutting back the daylilies that I think might re-bloom like the Stella D'Oros. We were blessed with lots of rain early in the season which I'm sure helped all the these daylilies to produce so many blooms. My flowers have never had as many buds as they did this year.

Well, now we need some rain here, too. It looked like it was going to rain all day today, but it never did. Maybe tonight or tomorrow. 

My husband's newest project was cleaning out behind our shed. He had an old window that he got from our son's old garage so he painted the glass black, painted the frame, then made some shutters and hung it up on the back of our shed. He also added a window box and  some mums on the ground underneath it. It came out awesome.

Below is the front of the shed. The Black-eyed Susan's are just starting to bloom here. And the trumpet vine is profusely blooming now.

And this is the first time this year for this visitor:
The Giant Swallowtail!

Giant Swallowtail Butterflies and Caterpillars