Livi Lou is a garden writer and private breeder. She is currently breeding strawberries, developing a garden product, trialing plants and researching the history of heirloom fruit varieties. She writes about unique perennials and fruit plants, so that you can grow an ornamental fruit garden.


Liv Fruitful Mini-Series
by Livi Lou - posted 07/24/16

As gardeners, we all know the numerous benefits and joys that come from gardening.  The delicious and nutritious harvest. The relaxing time spent among nature. The sense of accomplishment.  The list is infinite!

I believe a garden, especially a fruit garden, can lead to a fruitful life.  Many people believe a fruit garden is difficult to grow, but--as I show in the Liv Fruitful mini-series--with these easy to grow and unique varieties, you can be confident in starting your fruit garden.

Check out our video about the Natural Albino Pinberry variety.  You'll see the plant, the berries being harvested and a close-up of each berry. (Plus, you'll get to see a little more of Livi Lou Garden).

And make sure to Subscribe to our Channel so you won't miss out on the Ohio Apple Variety Series this Fall! Thank you and enjoy!


~ Thanks for reading!


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From Blossom to Peach: how a peach forms
by Livi Lou - posted 07/08/16

July is when the first peaches of the season are being harvested.  In 2015, I planted the white flesh peach variety Stark Saturn Donut in a fabric pot and overwintered it in the garage.  This March I eagerly watched as the buds swelled and the flowers emerged.  The tree was still too young to bear fruit successfully, but I found it interesting to watch the peaches begin to form. 

I found myself asking: how will I know if the flower has properly been pollinated and what is the first sign of a peach forming?  

The below photo timeline shows the following stages:  (1) Bud Swell,  (2) Pink Tips,  (3) Blossom,  (4) Bloom, (5) Petal Drop, (6) Shuck Shedding, and (7) Peach Growth.

 (1) Bud Swell   (2) Pink Tip   (3) Blossom


(2) Pink Tip: Close-Up

(3) Blossom: Beginning to Open


(4) Bloom: First Flower Opens (It loved being in the sun!)


(4) Bloom: Full Bloom


(5) Petal Drop


(5) Petal Drop


(6) As the Peach Grows, the Shuck is Shed. The Shuck is the pink colored anthers. It can take a week to see this stage.


(7) Peach Growth: It's now Shuck free!


(7) Peach Growth: first signs of color changing...

...but then the tree dropped all of its peaches.  The tree was too young to bear fruit, but it was still fascinating. I'm looking forward to next year. I've also added some heirloom peach trees from the 1800s to Livi Lou Garden, so keep an eye out for those in next few years. 

Below is a photo of an immature peach cut in half.  It looks like an avacado.



    ~Thanks for reading!

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Forever Pink Phlox
by Livi Lou - posted 06/23/16

There are many species of phlox and the most commonly seen species is Moss Phlox (phlox subulata), which is a prolific, spreading groundcover that is cold hardy to zone 2.  This ruggedness makes it a popular choice along driveways and roads. As the below photo shows, when in bloom, they transform the spring landscape into one of colorful clouds that seem to hover over the ground.

What if these colorful clouds could last all summer? I searched for a phlox with the longest bloom and came across a new variety called Forever Pink.  It was developed by Dr. Jim Ault of Chicago Bontanic Garden through crossing Phlox glaberrima ssp. triflora and the Phlox 'Bill Baker'.  There are so many species of phlox that there seems to be a potential for endless creative possibilities.  Here is an interesting link about different phlox species. 

Forever Pink is supposed to bloom profusely in June and then sparsely throughout the summer until frost.

I purchased Forever Pink in Summer 2015 from an online nursery called Santa Rosa Gardens.  Below is photo of Forever Pink in Summer 2015, but the rabbits enjoyed nibbling it.


This Spring (2016) it came back stronger than last summer, which is to be expected for perennials, and flower buds started to develop in May 2016.


It is currently blooming for the first time. The light magenta flowers pop against the blue spruce in the background.  It is described as being fragrant, but, again, it does not meet my definition of fragrant if you have to stick your nose on it to enjoy it.  




I look forward to observing it throughout the Summer.  If it blooms until frost, it could definitely make the Liv Select perennial list!


   ~ Thanks for reading!


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