Friday, September 13, 2019

Fenton Friday: Cool-season Seeds

New Fall semester interns Jessica and Taylor planted two sets of seeds after I cleared out space for them in the plot. Jessica is growing two greens - 'Bloomsdale' Spinach and 'Nancy's Baby Leaf Blend' Kale. Taylor planted two kinds of carrots - 'Oxheart' and 'Purple Sun'.

It went from temps hovering around 100 for the past few days to an almost chilly high of 70 degrees today. Fall is coming.

Eagle-eyed readers will note that I skipped last Friday's Fenton blog post. I was in Salt Lake City at the annual GardenComm (formerly GWA) meeting with my fellow garden communicators. I got back a few days ago and am still feeling the effects of the altitude, time change, and long days of garden tours, talks, and networking events.

On the tours I attended I did not see very many edible gardens, so I cannot do much comparison with our Mid-Atlantic climate to Utah in that aspect. I will say that a visit to the Pioneer Park farmers market near our hotel was a highlight for me and I sampled some very tasty cherries and peaches. The dry atmosphere there means that fruit growing is a lot easier (not as severe fungal diseases), but that also means they have to run drip irrigation to almost everything.

How is your edible garden growing this week?

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 8th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

DIY: Painted Allium


 This is an easy and fun project. The color combinations are as wide as your imagination. Try metallics in winter or bright jewel tones in summer. Pop them around your garden to add color in any season. You can also use these in a modern floral arrangement in a vase. 

Usually, this project is done with dried allium flowers, but you can use other perennial flowers as well such as Astilbe or Echinacea.


  • Gather your allium flowers after they have dried on the plant
  • Choose a location to paint the allium that is well ventilated (ideally, outdoors) and spread cardboard or newspaper out
  • Determine what direction the wind is blowing and plan to spray with your back to the wind -- wear gloves, mask, and clothing that you don't mind getting paint on
  • Insert or attach a dowel rod onto the base of the allium flowers and wrap with floral tape, if the stems are not strong or need reinforcement
  • Hold the dowel/stem of the allium and spraying the bloom while rotating it to fully cover all parts of the flower
  • Lay down or hang the flowers to let them dry
  • Optional: Put a piece of cardboard just under the flower to act as a protective collar and spray the dowel/stem green
        You can also use this collar method to spray dried flowers that are still attached to the plants in a container or a garden bed. 

    These painted flowers can last for years inside or only a season outside. Add a layer of shellac spray to keep them intact longer.

    This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a few pennies from Amazon.

    This is a monthly blog series on DIY projects for the beginning home gardener. Look for the other installments in this DIY blog series by putting "DIY" in the search box here at

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