Becky Kirts is a Master Gardener residing in Shelby County, Kentucky. She loves to share recipes, garden information and travel fun on her blog. Gardening is in her genes. Becky grew up in a family of eight where a love of nature and gardening was understood and respected. In addition to growing plants, she has spent years cultivating her passion through research, writing, and teaching. She did this while raising two children and working full time.

Becky lives in a beautiful 100 year old home on land once owned by Squire Boone. She is lovingly trying to nurture the land to make it a home for birds, wildlife, plants, pets and family. Becky’s property has over 60 varieties of trees, a vineyard, berry patch, a potager garden, and much, much more.

Becky hopes that you will enjoy her personal approach to life in her garden and beyond.
 

 

Peonies..A Mother’s Day Gift
by Becky Kirts - posted 05/12/17

My Peonies...A Mother's Day Gift

 
I will confess, I bought our house because of the Peonies...well that probably is one of the many reasons.  It was the end of May when we first looked at the house over 20 plus years ago and all of the hundreds of peonies were in bloom. I was blown away.

My Mother and Grandmother Goldie both adored Peonies. In fact, we use to take bags of Peony petals up to spread on my grandmother's grave after she died.

Each year, I say I am going to try and ID the different varieties, I believe many of them are Old-Fashion varieties.  Over the years I have spread them out so they go completly down one fence row. I still have several I need to move because they are in too much shade, but have never purchased a new Peony plant as mine have lasted for generations.

They always bring me such emotional joy, some how it seems fitting that they are blooming on Mothers Day this year.  I am going to find some special Mothers to pick bouquets for, because these fragrant beauties are fragile and just don't last long enough.  I do bring lots in and air dry the petals in a flat box.  They are beautiful layered in a glass bowl.

For now, I will enjoy them and see my Mom's and Grandma Goldie's' sweet smiles in every single one.


P.S. Here are a few tips..my Mother and Goldie taught me...

Only move and divide in October

Make sure that each tuber has at least one eye on it and is firm before replanting.

Do not bury them too deep...or they will not bloom. Like Iris, they should be like ducks on a pond.

Do not mulch over them..it will eventually put them too far under.

Always stay one step ahead of the weather....spring storms make short work of the blooms. It is a good idea to stake them if possible. (For me, not possible just too many, so mother nature just has her way with them)



 









Lastly, do not worry about the ants. Ants and Peonies are best buddies....just brush them off when you cut them to bring in and enjoy.

Happy Mother's Day!

 

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Lilly of the Valleys Make My Gardens Sing
by Becky Kirts - posted 04/16/17

I love Lilly of the Valley.(Convallaria majalis)  I know it is poisonous, it is invasive and has a shady  history. All of this does not keep me from wanting it . When we moved here over 20 plus years ago, I was thrilled to find Lilly of the Valley. It was scattered in some random shady spots. So when my son-in -law and daughter offered about 6 years ago to group the plants all together under the Big Siberian Elm, I was all on board. 
This was a win/win. For the tree it keeps the crazy lawn mower guy, my husband from getting too close and for me it has grown to be an amazingly fragrant gift this time of year. 
I fondly remember my mom singing to be about the "White Coral Bells, along upon a slender stalk,  Lilly of the Valleys deck my garden walk. Oh don't you wish that you could hear them ring, that will only happen with the fairies sing." 
So now every spring..I hear the fairies sing... 

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Blooming in my Garden…...
by Becky Kirts - posted 03/19/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Breathtakingly Beautiful Bridal Wreath Spirea. (Spiraea prunifolia).  

 It is blooming in my garden now.....It often bloom before the leaves have opened up on my trees

 

 

I really cannot verify what the variety of my particular shrub because it was here when I brought the property 20 some years ago. I love it for so many reasons. When this shrub is in full bloom it resembles a fountain of amazing small clusters of white flowers. The blooms extend all the way down the arching canes. 

 

The name comes from the fact that the canes thru the ages have been shaped into a wreath and worn by brides as a headdress for their wedding day. Very Special!!

 

I transplanted a great deal of this shrub to the back fence row about 10 years ago. Now it puts on such an impressive show. My variety grows to over 6 ft tall and is very full. It seems to prefer full sun but does fine in partial shade. My Bridal Wreath Spirea loves it out in the field along the fence row and it  provides such a beautiful screen. Transplanting some of this shrub allowed my Kerria japonica with its yellow puff blooms, to fill in the gaps. Together they are so impressive…

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