Gardening

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  • garden cart, or wheelbarrow? expert thoughts on which one’s the better fit (or gift)

    A Way To Garden
    margaret
    22 Nov 2014 | 12:48 pm
    CART, OR WHEELBARROW: Where do you stand in the debate? Both family members and readers keep seeking advice, but my [read more…] The post garden cart, or wheelbarrow? expert thoughts on which one’s the better fit (or gift) appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • links: robins can count; turkey talk; topiary master; wasted food

    A Way To Garden
    margaret
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:18 am
    DID YOU KNOW that robins can count, or that food (not paper or plastic) is the biggest single source of [read more…] The post links: robins can count; turkey talk; topiary master; wasted food appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • garden-soil makeover: a how-to with joe lamp’l

    A Way To Garden
    margaret
    23 Nov 2014 | 5:20 am
    QUICK, BEFORE THE FROST gets hold of the ground for good, do it: Take a soil test, to send off [read more…] The post garden-soil makeover: a how-to with joe lamp’l appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • Craftsman's Garden

    The Occasional Gardener
    22 Nov 2014 | 7:32 am
    This was my second visit to the garden at the National Craft Center in Kuala Lumpur. I had returned primarily to take another look at the garden having been really impressed with its design on my first visit. The visit reiterated my original impressions of the garden being not only well designed but uniquely suited to the purpose of the center to celebrate Malaysian handicrafts.The garden is not large, inhabiting space between buildings at the complex with a few small artisan cottage studios at its center where artisans work and sell their wares. That in itself is instructional in garden…
  • End of the Season Drama

    You Grow Girl
    Gayla Trail
    17 Nov 2014 | 11:57 am
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    You Grow Girl

  • End of the Season Drama

    Gayla Trail
    17 Nov 2014 | 11:57 am
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  • Workshop: Intro to Embroidery (Toronto)

    Gayla Trail
    13 Nov 2014 | 8:40 am
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  • An Embroidery Project for Pumpkin Lovers

    Gayla Trail
    9 Nov 2014 | 7:03 pm
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  • RECIPE: Nasturtium Leaf Pesto

    Gayla Trail
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:50 am
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  • Tomatoes Worth Growing: Snow White

    Gayla Trail
    28 Oct 2014 | 10:05 am
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    Shawna Coronado

  • Peppered Zucchini Hash Recipe – A Great Side Dish

    Shawna
    24 Nov 2014 | 4:44 am
    It is Thanksgiving week and I am about to make your life easier with a delightful side dish recipe: Peppered Zucchini Onion Hash. Definitely a culinary masterpiece and perhaps the easiest thing you will cook this holiday. Granted, it is not a pretty dish, but WOW – it tastes absolutely delicious and is very inexpensive to make. This would go well with fish (here you see it with salmon), turkey, chicken, and would even make an interesting topping for steak. Making this dish takes less than 15 minutes – super easy and super tasty! Peppered Zucchini Hash Recipe 2 medium…
  • Vegan Recipe – Baked Butternut Squash and Onion

    Shawna Coronado
    21 Nov 2014 | 4:55 am
    Butternut squash. I was terrified of it for years. I mean c’mon – the shape of it alone is weird and it has GUTS. And yet as vegetables go it is one of the easiest darned things to grow in the garden, particularly if you like to cook organic. When Massel asked me to sample their bouillon and concentrated liquid stock products, I decided to get over my fear and whip up some grown-up vegetables for a Thanksgiving side dish. Massel’s bouillon and concentrated liquid stock broth are all vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, and cholesterol-free broth products. They are easy-to-make…
  • Holiday Tree Light Show at Morton Arboretum

    Shawna Coronado
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:30 am
    Wow! I was invited to see an advance preview of the holiday tree light show at Morton Arboretum titled Illumination. It features the most amazing light show ever which is done specifically with music and LED and low wattage lights to be more environmentally friendly. Best yet, there are very little wires wrapped around the trees, so the extra kindness to the trees and plants combined with the beautiful uplighting of the bark is rather wonderful. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the show was seeing bark lit up in the dark because it is surprisingly beautiful (see right). At the preview I…
  • A Cactus Living Wall Garden

    Shawna Coronado
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:16 am
    In a few short months I will be releasing a new book titled, Grow A Living Wall ~ How to Create Vertical Gardens with a Purpose: Attract Pollinators • Grow Vegetables & Herbs • Aromatherapy and more – it is currently available for pre-order and I cannot wait to share it with you! Grow a Living Wall is packed with gorgeous photos, useful living wall garden formulas and recipes, and tips on how it is easy to grow big in super small spaces. While most of the gardens in the book are examples of beneficial gardens for outdoor balconies and patios, I thought perhaps this cactus…
  • Basil Caipirinha Cocktail Recipe

    Shawna
    14 Nov 2014 | 4:02 am
    I suppose you are wondering why I am fixing you delicious summer cocktail in the dregs of a chilly Chicagoland fall? It’s all about the memories. You see last year I went to visit my brother-in-law in Lisbon, Portugal for Thanksgiving and THEE drink I ordered every restaurant we went to was the Caipirinha made from a sugar spirit called cachaça. With fond memories of Lisbon and all the fun we had, I think we should all have this as our Thanksgiving cocktail recipe, don’t you? This is a variation of my friend Gonçalo’s caipirinha recipe which adds a bit of basil for a…
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    Cold Climate Gardening

  • How To Fight The Winter Blues: Pot Up Some Amaryllis

    Kathy Purdy
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:05 pm
    I do sometimes wonder if gardening is an addiction. If so, I had a very abrupt withdrawal this year. One day, 55F and sunny, the next day, BAM! cold enough to snow. And every day it got colder and colder. Time for some hort therapy. And–I don’t know about you–but many indoors plants just don’t […]
  • How To Plant Spring Blooming Bulbs In A Pot

    Kathy Purdy
    16 Nov 2014 | 7:24 pm
    I am always looking to cram more color into spring.So when Longfield Gardens offered me the chance to try 25 Mystic Van Eijk tulips and 50 grape hyacinths, I was happy to take them up on it. But we have a lot of voles and chipmunks around here, which love to eat tulips. We also […]
  • Five Surprising November Bloomers: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day November 2014

    Kathy Purdy
    15 Nov 2014 | 7:32 pm
    In cold climates like mine, November is a tough month in which to find flowers. I’ve done my best to extend the season, so I’m not surprised to see autumn crocus or hellebores–or even violas–blooming. But when I walked around my garden the other day, I found five flowers blooming that don’t typically bloom in […]
  • How To Turn A Bunch Of Plants Into A Garden: A Bench From Teak Closeouts

    Kathy Purdy
    6 Nov 2014 | 1:47 pm
    What turns a bunch of plants into a garden? The area pictured above was just a scrubby patch of woods when we moved in. Two trees were removed. (You can see the stump of one of them under the little table.) Then I pulled or cut numerous tree seedlings, and carefully pruned the sapling behind […]
  • Stop Traffic With These Daffodils

    Kathy Purdy
    2 Nov 2014 | 3:00 pm
    True confession: I have a secret desire to create a garden so spectacular that it will stop traffic. I know that’s not realistic. For one thing, we don’t have much traffic. If ten cars go by in an hour, we say, “Gosh, there sure is a lot of traffic on the road today.” I’d settle […]
 
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    The Occasional Gardener

  • Craftsman's Garden

    22 Nov 2014 | 7:32 am
    This was my second visit to the garden at the National Craft Center in Kuala Lumpur. I had returned primarily to take another look at the garden having been really impressed with its design on my first visit. The visit reiterated my original impressions of the garden being not only well designed but uniquely suited to the purpose of the center to celebrate Malaysian handicrafts.The garden is not large, inhabiting space between buildings at the complex with a few small artisan cottage studios at its center where artisans work and sell their wares. That in itself is instructional in garden…
  • Autumn Leaves, Sort of

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:06 am
    Now that I am living in an endless tropical summer I realize how much an ever changing temperate environment drives you forward into new cycles of activity or states of mind.  The longing for warm summer days, the thrill of fall in New York City when everyone is back from their summer sojourns, the inertia of winter and for gardeners the rush of a new growing season.I have come to the realisation however that the botanical changes that define each season from bud to flower and fruit and then bare branches is something that happens here too - just not in synchronicity. Take the…
  • The Patient Path

    15 Aug 2014 | 8:17 am
    In the last few weeks, the stone path I laid in the dark verandah has finally 'clicked'. It's taken the best part of a couple of years. It's a short path that takes you from the concrete verandah, through the border and an opening in the bamboo fence. I found most of the 'stones' in the orchard where I think many years ago some renovation had occured and these broken pieces ended up being disposed there. They are really chunks of cement and gravel but having been laying around for years in the cooler shade of the orchard, had become mossy.Having transferred and laid them, which took a…
  • Malay Apples

    20 Jun 2014 | 8:11 am
    In the last few years of living in New York City I tried consciously to eat more seasonally which was all well and good in the summer months but as the seasons progressed into the colder months the selection would inevitably thin to root vegetables and apples. I ate a lot of apples. But then I did love going down to the farmers market at Union square and filling up my backpack with them.Here now in the tropics there are no heirloom apples to be found - just the bright red or green homogenous supermarket varieties - Granny Smiths and Red Delicious from Australia and New Zealand. Their…
  • Tropical Chocolate

    29 May 2014 | 8:50 pm
    Its amazing how a few small changes can substantially change the look of a garden. A few new acquisitions for the Dark Verandah have done exactly that. Last saturday on my usual hunt at the farmers market, I found not one but two chocolate colored coleus. Week after week this one vendor would have coleus but always in brighter colors of reds and pinks, then this week he had these two - a ruffled chocolate edge one and one with chocolate splashes.Having had some experience now with the shifting personalites of Coleus I'm going to keep these two in pots and in heavier shade. I've…
 
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    Plant Whatever Brings You Joy

  • Winter Butternut Squash Soup!

    Kathryn
    17 Nov 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Most likely because neither my mother nor grandmother, as I recall, ever baked or in any way prepared a winter squash for our family, it’s taken me quite awhile to familiarize myself with the many varieties–and then to learn what I can do with them! I’m imagining if I set my mind to it I could write an entire book about winter squashes and their infinite possibilities. What is more likely, and what appears to be happening, is that each fall and winter, as the squashes come into their splendid season–just in time for the winter holidays, how convenient, and no accident,…
  • Another Garden Transforming a Community!

    Kathryn
    5 Nov 2014 | 6:19 pm
    Neighborhood Seed Saving Project One of the most life-affirming, inspiring movements in the world today is the Community Garden movement, particularly when it involves teaching children. And we see or hear of examples of this emerging trend throughout our country. But there is nothing as profound and wise and enlivening as bearing witness or becoming involved in a community garden that not only includes children, but also totally transforms a neighborhood, and that is precisely what Brightmoor Youth Garden in a formerly impoverished and crime ridden neighborhood in Detroit is doing! I learned…
  • Time for Gingersnaps!

    Kathryn
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:39 pm
    October! A favorite month and one that gets me thinking of spicy sweets with lots of cinnamon and ginger. So it was a lovely synchronicity when my dear friend Maloah mentioned her family’s old recipe for gingersnaps, which I immediately requested. What better treat to hand out out to Trick or Treaters on Halloween? As fate would have it, Maloah’s mother, Buffy Treat, included that particular cookie recipe in a cookbook she lovingly edited back in the 80’s for the Heifer Project International. “Peace begins where the hungry are fed,” says the cover of her book.
  • Love Letter to My Blog on the Occasion of Our 7th Blogiversary!

    Kathryn
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:33 pm
    Congratulations! The Story In the early 90’s I left my home in Mill Valley in Marin Co., and made my way up to the tiny town of Little River, on the coast of Mendocino Co. I simply wanted to “go to the country and get a dog.” So I did. Here I am with Moxie, my first Border Collie, whom I adored, in the woods, on our two acres, in front of our garage and guest cabin and our first little flower plot. Color us happy! And there I planted a garden, the first in a long while, and this simple act became the inception of what was to become my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy:…
  • Good Old Fashioned Applesauce!

    Kathryn
    3 Sep 2014 | 1:55 pm
    As with all the most delicious concoctions we make in the kitchen the fresher the ingredients, the better the outcome will be. That ladder and tree are in my back garden, so you can well imagine these apples are fresh–and organic! Sure there’s a moth or two in there, but for some blessed reason those moths dig into the center of the apple when they choose to inhabit, which is very handy for a cook with a good paring knife. Yep. A bug here or there may not sound appealing but upon consideration, and the knowledge that commercial apples can be sprayed up to 26 times in a season,…
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    May Dreams Gardens

  • Seed Heads: A One Act Play

    Carol
    23 Nov 2014 | 6:52 pm
    Seed Heads A One Act Play By Carol M. Cast of Characters Seeds…………………………......Several seeds on a coneflower Bird………………………………A little finch TIME: Late Fall SETTING: A garden ACT ONE SCENE 1 (We see a stand of coneflower seed heads in the garden) SEEDS Hey everyone. How's it going? Everyone hanging on okay? Geez, it is getting cold at night, isn't it? I'm sure glad we haven't
  • Are you a scattershot gardener or a bullseye gardener?

    Carol
    20 Nov 2014 | 8:35 pm
    Do you know the difference between scattershot gardeners and bullseye gardeners? The difference is focus. Scattershot gardeners like all kinds of plants and flowers.  They are likely to buy a plant they've never heard of because they saw it, liked it, and immediately felt they could not possibly have a garden without it. Scattershot gardeners grow a little of everything in their gardens.
  • What do garden fairies look like?

    Carol
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:18 pm
    It's time once again to take a peek inside "The Secret Diary of a Garden Fairy" to read about what's really going on with the garden fairies here at May Dreams Gardens. Of course, I'll put on a fairly clean pair of garden gloves when I handle the diary. I don't want to leave fingerprints as evidence of   reading their diary, do I? Oh shush, and don't worry that we'll get caught.  The garden
  • A garden is a living thing

    Carol
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:47 pm
    A garden is a living thing and we are wise to remember that. There is a constant cycle of life occurring each day. New flowers open, old flowers fade. Seeds drop to the ground and lie dormant, waiting for the right time and the right conditions to germinate. New leaves unfurl in the spring, hang around all summer, then in the fall, they cease their chlorophyll production. Their green
  • But I still have garden clean up to do...

    Carol
    16 Nov 2014 | 6:40 pm
    Streptocarpella saxorum blooms inside I rushed outside this morning and planted the last of the bulbs, more 'Chestnut Flower' hyacinths, to add to the three of that variety I planted last year.  It's the absolute prettiest hyacinth I've ever seen. Then I grabbed a bag of seeds for wildflowers which are supposed to do well in lawns.  According to the directions, you can sow them after the
 
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    Digging

  • Drive-By Gardens: South Congress Avenue in Austin

    Pam/Digging
    24 Nov 2014 | 3:31 am
    This drive-by is really a walk-by. I was on South Congress Avenue on Sunday afternoon, the center of the funky-hip Austin universe, enjoying a blue-sky, 80-degree day with my family. Fall, winter, and spring days like this are what sustain me through Austin’s broiling summers. When my face was not tipped up to the mellow sunshine, I was simply trying to take in all the action on the street, which included picture-perfect views of the state capitol, a string band playing on the street corner, throngs of people strolling along the street, unique shops with doors flung open……
  • Flowering maple keeps blooming after freeze

    Pam/Digging
    21 Nov 2014 | 4:04 am
    I’ll soon be posting pictures of my Japanese maple, as its leaves are starting to redden. But for now the flowering maples, aka abutilons, are stealing the show. A few light freezes don’t slow them down. Cool weather is their time to shine. This unnamed pink abutilon I got at Barton Springs Nursery a few years ago is one of my favorites. I had two of these but lost one in last year’s hard winter. This survivor was killed to the ground but came back quickly in the spring. Abutilon ‘Bartley Schwarz’ also survived to bloom another year. And look — it’s…
  • Summer never ends thanks to flower and hummingbird sculpture

    Pam/Digging
    19 Nov 2014 | 11:55 am
    At a recent garden blogger get-together, metal craftsman Bob Pool of Gardening at Draco (who made my ocotillo bottle tree) brought this lovely flower-and-hummingbird piece he’d made as a random giveaway for our group. And I won it! Thanks, Bob, for the generous gift! It looks right at home in my garden and will beckon the hummers in when they return from Mexico. All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.
  • Still musing on wall color

    Pam/Digging
    17 Nov 2014 | 11:02 am
    The color saga continues, with no progress but lots of reader suggestions and various inspiration since my first attempt at choosing colors for my new stucco walls. (Click and read the comments on that post if you’re into color discussion!) My first stab at a red was too McDonald’s-ish, as one reader aptly described it, even for red-loving me, although some readers gave it a thumbs-up. I’d just about decided instead on a terracotta-orange (not too soft because I still crave color!) for the curved walls when I encountered this two-page spread about a garden in France, from a…
  • Evergreen foundation garden for Foliage Follow-Up

    Pam/Digging
    15 Nov 2014 | 10:17 pm
    What won’t block the windows and grows no taller than 3 feet? What remains evergreen? What can live in shade? What won’t the deer eat? These are the foundation-planting questions that haunt generations of gardeners (or me anyway), especially those in the South, where we expect the garden to be green year-round, those who must share the garden with deer, and those dealing with shade. I’ve got a foundation combo that works for my particular circumstances, which I’m especially liking since I recently sprinkled Aztec grass along the front edge; its bright variegation keeps…
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    Blithewold Blogs

  • The Shop at Blithewold

    Kelly Sobolewski
    18 Nov 2014 | 10:57 am
    If you’ve visited Blithewold during our Christmas season before, I’m sure you’ve noticed the cheery, little shop tucked away in the Breakfast Porch. The Shop at Blithewold normally lives in the Visitor’s Center, but at Christmastime it moves to the Breakfast Porch and nearly triples in size, allowing them to carry more fun, festive, Christmas […]
  • Maple candy

    Kristin Green
    14 Nov 2014 | 6:45 am
    One day last week it seemed as if the switch that turns on the Japanese maples was flipped. We all noticed it. And I think we all tried to burn their color on our retinas (and camera sensors) in an attempt to hold us over for winter. And evidently, winter arrived this morning. We weren’t […]
  • Fox Dressmaking Company

    Margaret Whitehead
    12 Nov 2014 | 11:30 am
    The Fox Company, Bessie Van Wickle-McKee’s favorite dressmaker, was one of the oldest and most elite dressmaking establishments in the United States.  Founded by the four Fox sisters in 1885, it occupied an elegant house at 53 East 34th Street in New York City.  Under the Fox sisters, the business flourished, ultimately employing 225 people.  […]
  • Behind the Scenes with Our Christmas Orchestrator

    Kelly Sobolewski
    11 Nov 2014 | 10:24 am
    Many different pieces and people work together to achieve the splendor that is Christmas at Blithewold. The orchestrator behind the whole production is Sally Phillips, now celebrating her 15th year as Christmas season coordinator. Even before Margaret Whitehead, our Curator, requested her help in the Christmas sphere, Sally had been a volunteer, both as a […]
  • Slow Flowers with Debra Prinzing

    Kristin Green
    10 Nov 2014 | 8:25 am
    You’ve probably heard of the Slow Food movement. I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t been making a conscious shift away from processed (fast) food to local, seasonable, sustainable whole-food sources. We’re eager to reap the health benefits and do our part for the environment too. But what’s “Slow Flowers”? Debra Prinzing, author of […]
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    Flatbush Gardener

  • Shrubberies

    Flatbush Gardener
    8 Nov 2014 | 8:09 pm
    Update 2014-11-23: Completed Step #4 today, nearly injuring myself in the exertion. Did I mention that established grasses have deep and extensive roots?Also completed Step #5, replacing the Panicum.Added Step #9. I'd overlooked this shrub, and... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Megachile, Leaf-Cutter Bees

    Flatbush Gardener
    10 Aug 2014 | 8:26 am
    A leaf-cutter bee removes a segment from a leaf of Rhododendron viscosum, swamp azalea, in my urban backyard native plant garden and wildlife habitat (National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat #141,173). You can see other segments -... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Synanthedon exitiosa, Peachtree Borer/Clearwing Moth

    Flatbush Gardener
    26 Jul 2014 | 5:35 am
    CORRECTION 2014-07-27: ID'd by William H. Taft on BugGuide as a male S. exitiosa, not S. fatifera, Arrowwood Borer, as I thought. A lifer for me. I never even knew such a thing existed. Synanthedon exitiosa, Peachtree Borer/Clearwing Moth, male, on... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Event: Saturday 6/21 NYCWW Pollinator Safari of my Gardens

    Flatbush Gardener
    14 Jun 2014 | 1:50 pm
    On Saturday, June 21, in partnership with NYC Wildflower Week, in observation of Pollinator Week, I'm opening my gardens for a guided tour, what I'm calling a "Pollinator Safari." This is only the third time, and the first time in three years, I've... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Off-Topic: Vows

    Flatbush Gardener
    19 May 2014 | 6:02 am
    Two years ago, on May 19, 2012, I married my husband, John. These were my vows: John: I don’t know what I can say to you that I’ve not already said. In front of family, friends, neighbors, and community, I can say this: Today is not a beginning –... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 
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    Ledge and Gardens

  • First Snow- November 14, 2014-A Very Short Post

    Layanee DeMerchant
    14 Nov 2014 | 6:42 am
    All I can say is that it is way too early for snow. As you can see, there are still leaves on this Parrotia persica. The snow will melt fast and it is pretty but it is too soon. I was also gifted with this rabbit this morning. There were two actually and since there are no dogs here now (a very sad state of affairs) they are becoming quite a regular sight. As for the snow, it is the poor man's fertilizer. I will enjoy its short stay. The rabbits may wear out their welcome though. 
  • October Glow

    Layanee DeMerchant
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:59 am
    There are few things glowing in the garden in late October. The Japanese maples are the last of the trees to share their radiant colors and they are just in time for Halloween. This small red maple is planted along the drive under the canopy of a white pine grove. Its name has long been forgotten. The name of this yellow Acer palmatum "Omurayama' is one I happen to remember for some unknown reason. These maples sit in relative anonymity during the summer months although they both have remarkable textural interest for those who pay attention to such things. In the fall, they…
  • Frost Finale

    Layanee DeMerchant
    23 Oct 2014 | 2:26 am
    Frost signals a seasonal finale. The exuberance of the garden is gone and the gardener is left with subtleties. The small blooms and berries of fall would be overlooked in the abundance of the summer garden but late in the season, after the frost, their significance increases. Who would even notice the tiny purple flowers which develop on the mint plant if they were to appear among the peonies, roses and delphiniums?   Color has shifted from outrageous orange to warm bronze and copper. The bright foliage of the maples is now underfoot. Scuffling through this debris brings the…
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    the back quarter acre

  • Hoarders

    24 Nov 2014 | 11:31 am
    Not to get too personal, but certain members of my family have a hoarding issue. Well, one in particular. So, yesterday, when I saw an apple caught up high in the canes of climbing rose, I figured that our family hoarder had just parked a piece of fruit so that he could enjoy a snack later after completing his outside chores.  Our family hoarder likes to collect windfalls from a neighbor's apple tree, and this fruit looked just banged and bruised enough to be from that harvest.But after our hoarder denied all knowledge, I thought back to the other caches of food…
  • Daffodil inventory

    16 Oct 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that, after several years of blithely shovelling dozens and dozens of daffodil bulbs into every available garden bed, when it came to placing this fall's bulb order, I had less than a total recollection of what had been planted where. I knew that there were lots of different varieties of daffodils and that some have petered out over the years while others are going strong. Great.  A few beds sport a single variety of daffodil--"Mount Hood" skirts the back property line and pheasant's eye…
  • Lobelia: les liaisons dangereuses

    24 Sep 2014 | 10:09 am
    Maybe I didn't know this?  Or I didn't care? Or I thought that I could make it all be different?  Oh, the stories that we tell ourselves!The Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica that I tucked several years ago into the crook of the rain garden has adapted marvelously well. The parent plant is healthy and, this time of year, heavy-blooming. All it seems to need is moist soil, a cool corner, and a measure of sun and shade.  For these favors, I have been generously repaid.  Thanks, right? Well, gratitude has not yet tipped to grievance, but I can see…
  • I love living in a blue state . . .

    2 Sep 2014 | 2:04 pm
    . . . and I'm not limiting myself to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. No, I mean the blue--or almost blue--tones of late summer flowers. Sadly, I've got the blues this year from some of my favorites' failure to thrive: the larkspur has been effectively eliminated by rabbit predation and the blue flag iris sent up only a single flower.  But other cultivars have fared fair better.   Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue"Spiky clumps of annual blue salvia flourish just about anywhere they are planted.  They look great--even when menaced by storm clouds--at the front of…
  • Sweet end of summer

    25 Aug 2014 | 7:27 pm
    Cool temperatures this past week have stirred up conversations about an early fall.  The plant world, too, seems to be pushing the seasons forward.The end of summer is sweetened by the sight and scent of the appropriately named Summer Sweet Clethra alnifolia "September Beauty." Because these natives flourish in damp, acidic soils, several are sited adjacent to the rain garden and another next to a down spout. This time of year, they are over-loaded with intoxicating pure white racemes. Bees and butterflies flit, land, and sip like reeling, happy drunks. No complaints from that…
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • Last Gasp Before Winter

    Swimray
    3 Nov 2014 | 3:42 am
    Most of the garden has fallen asleep before winter arrives, but some defiant plants refuse to give up. Acidanthera, members of the glad, family look as lush and healthy as a summer day. They continue to flower, albeit with fewer blooms than in summer.The pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is in its glory at this time. It waits until just before frost to throw out its red threads against its chartreuse foliage. This year the plant really took off after a severe winter that I thought would have killed it off like its neighbor the rosemary. Now, every day brings new branches tipped with new flower…
  • Vacation In Quirky Cedar Key

    Swimray
    12 Oct 2014 | 7:26 pm
    A few days before the convention were spent on the gulf coast of Florida in the small, quaint, walkable, low-key town of Cedar Key. There are no stop lights, no chain restaurants, and no chain hotels in the town that is known as 'old Florida' (before the mouse arrived.)I will spare the 'where is this place' theme from last year's trip because I doubt anyone but local residents would know the answer. As this is a gardening blog, I will try keeping to that subject with some photos I found interesting around town.Tuesday was Burger Day at AdaBlue Cafe on the outskirts of town. The gardener's…
  • My Three Garden Tips

    Swimray
    27 Sep 2014 | 7:06 pm
    We all pick up secrets along our garden journey. I have a few that I will call tips since I picked them up from somewhere in the past, but they are no longer secrets since being published here. I wish I could take credit for thinking of them, but will take credit for passing them on.Tame Your BuddleiaEverywhere I look, I see Buddleia growing wild and free, out of control. I wanted to keep my buddleia tamed. First, I cut it down to within a foot (30 cm) of the ground for the winter. When it begins its spring growth, I will pinch every shoot after two pairs of leaves. Two shoots will develop…
  • Long Day At Longwood

    Swimray
    23 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    This gardener of over a decade has never been to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, or to the other nearby gardener ports of call. Longwood Gardens was on the list of staycation day trips assigned to any weekend with nothing else planned.The battle plan was to attack on Saturday in August. The weather was to be glorious. The route was arranged, camera batteries charged, and walking clothes readied. Then it rained Friday evening and the meteorologists changed their tune to Saturday showers. Dark overcast skies ready to burst open greeted Saturday morning so the trip was off.After plans were…
  • August 2014 Bloom Day

    Swimray
    15 Aug 2014 | 6:06 am
    Garden Bloggers' Bloom DayWhat's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month Rather than the same ol' same ol' let's present some of the newer items rearing their heads this year. I will throw in a few items that have not been here a while, too. I even put the photos on the X-Large setting for this posting. Today it's about the pictures -- not the story.The Irish Eyes are smiling. This rudbeckia "Irish Eyes" with the green centers was planted from seed twice in the past two years, but this was the first year anything survived and bloomed. They are growing but blooming sparsely. Let's see…
 
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • Last Gasp Before Winter

    Swimray
    3 Nov 2014 | 3:42 am
    Most of the garden has fallen asleep before winter arrives, but some defiant plants refuse to give up. Acidanthera, members of the glad, family look as lush and healthy as a summer day. They continue to flower, albeit with fewer blooms than in summer.The pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is in its glory at this time. It waits until just before frost to throw out its red threads against its chartreuse foliage. This year the plant really took off after a severe winter that I thought would have killed it off like its neighbor the rosemary. Now, every day brings new branches tipped with new flower…
  • Vacation In Quirky Cedar Key

    Swimray
    12 Oct 2014 | 7:26 pm
    A few days before the convention were spent on the gulf coast of Florida in the small, quaint, walkable, low-key town of Cedar Key. There are no stop lights, no chain restaurants, and no chain hotels in the town that is known as 'old Florida' (before the mouse arrived.)I will spare the 'where is this place' theme from last year's trip because I doubt anyone but local residents would know the answer. As this is a gardening blog, I will try keeping to that subject with some photos I found interesting around town.Tuesday was Burger Day at AdaBlue Cafe on the outskirts of town. The gardener's…
  • My Three Garden Tips

    Swimray
    27 Sep 2014 | 7:06 pm
    We all pick up secrets along our garden journey. I have a few that I will call tips since I picked them up from somewhere in the past, but they are no longer secrets since being published here. I wish I could take credit for thinking of them, but will take credit for passing them on.Tame Your BuddleiaEverywhere I look, I see Buddleia growing wild and free, out of control. I wanted to keep my buddleia tamed. First, I cut it down to within a foot (30 cm) of the ground for the winter. When it begins its spring growth, I will pinch every shoot after two pairs of leaves. Two shoots will develop…
  • Long Day At Longwood

    Swimray
    23 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    This gardener of over a decade has never been to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, or to the other nearby gardener ports of call. Longwood Gardens was on the list of staycation day trips assigned to any weekend with nothing else planned.The battle plan was to attack on Saturday in August. The weather was to be glorious. The route was arranged, camera batteries charged, and walking clothes readied. Then it rained Friday evening and the meteorologists changed their tune to Saturday showers. Dark overcast skies ready to burst open greeted Saturday morning so the trip was off.After plans were…
  • August 2014 Bloom Day

    Swimray
    15 Aug 2014 | 6:06 am
    Garden Bloggers' Bloom DayWhat's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month Rather than the same ol' same ol' let's present some of the newer items rearing their heads this year. I will throw in a few items that have not been here a while, too. I even put the photos on the X-Large setting for this posting. Today it's about the pictures -- not the story.The Irish Eyes are smiling. This rudbeckia "Irish Eyes" with the green centers was planted from seed twice in the past two years, but this was the first year anything survived and bloomed. They are growing but blooming sparsely. Let's see…
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    Garden Rant

  • Lake effect by Elizabeth Licata

    Elizabeth Licata
    24 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Weather—we gardeners live and die by it. It may be a universal favorite as a water cooler topic, but when the chat is over, most can pretty much forget about it and move on. Not if you’re a gardener. Even now, when the work of the season is over, I still worry about weather. Should I protect the hydrangeas with  mesh covers or bank them with bags of leaves? Will the pots in the garage make it? How will I fill the gaps left by the perennials that succumb to freeze or salt? It’s winter, but the work of the garden continues, to some extent. But sometimes there’s  weather that nobody…
  • Can a Garden Contest Teach and Inspire? by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    21 Nov 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Townhouse gardens in my co-op community. We bash Homeowners Associations regularly for their crazy, backward-looking rules against growing edibles, eliminating lawn, growing wilder-looking plants (horrors!) and more. But what if a condo or coop association used their collective power and authority to improve the yards under their jurisdiction? Could get radical! The 1,600-townhouse cooperative community I live in will be rewriting our plant-related rules and recommendations over the winter, but much more fun is designing next year’s Garden Contest – with cash prizes of up to $100…
  • Swarthmore: One of the Most Beautiful Campuses in America by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    20 Nov 2014 | 3:07 am
    I first visited and fell in love with the Scott Arboretum, covering the entire campus of Swarthmore College, back in 2008 when I visited for a talk on lawn alternatives.  I finally made a return visit last month when I attended its annual Perennial Plant Conference, where some of the top names in the plant world were speaking, including Rant’s own Allen Bush and local-to-me landscape designer Thomas Rainer. Swathmore’s campus has been named among the most beautiful in the U.S. by Forbes, Travel and Leisure, and surely others. Follow their blog for Plants of the Week and other…
  • Snow: Lessons in Perspective by Evelyn Hadden

    Evelyn Hadden
    18 Nov 2014 | 9:51 pm
    Why is it that, after a snowfall, the landscape looks so much better, even if nothing has changed underneath? Snow offers the opportunity to view your garden with new perspective and insights that can make it more enjoyable in every season. When you hear the phrase “winter interest,” you might think of conifers, fences and trellising, and other large structural components. But in reality, “winter interest” is anything that sticks up out of the snow or breaks up a stretch of undifferentiated white. Leaves with subtle coloring variations pop after all else is covered with a monochrome…
  • Possibilities vs. limitations by Elizabeth Licata

    Elizabeth Licata
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Field image courtesy of Shutterstock As I finish potting up bulbs against the winter, rejoicing in the new space for it I have now that I’m using the attic, it occurred to me that the effort to do more, to go beyond the perceived limits, is my favorite thing about gardening and it’s also why I don’t like certain types of gardening and certain gardening companies. If all I had to do was to watch over a lawn and some foundation shrubs, I’d be really depressed. The work involved would be so negative—always about cutting down, clipping back, killing bugs and weeds … mainly stopping…
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    Life In Sugar Hollow

  • Getting Back to Autumn

    Tracey
    13 Nov 2014 | 9:06 am
    A lot of cleanup happening in the garden these days. It is amazing, when I think that two years ago I was very pregnant with a big baby. (Sam was almost nine pounds when he was born - and me being 5' 1", you can imagine how I looked. I made everyone around me nervous, starting at about seven months.) And last autumn, I was whooped from work, adjusting to having a kindergartner and nursing that big baby.But this year, the mobility is back and it feels incredible! I have been raking and mulching leaves - to return to the beds for overwintering and a good feeding. I planted a fragrant winter…
  • My Article on Bulbs for RHome Magazine's Garden Column

    Tracey
    3 Nov 2014 | 8:10 am
    For the beginner gardener, spring-blooming bulbs are a satisfying, easy start. For the seasoned gardener with a failing memory (me), spring-blooming bulbs are a delight because every forgotten fall-planted bulb is a spring-time surprise. For any gardener, the sweetness of early life in the waning, winter garden and the welcomed injection of color within a previously bleak landscape – is the best kind of jumpstart to the approaching spring season. The first step is actually just remembering to plant bulbs at a time when gardening tends to be off of the radar – mid- to late-autumn. (I have…
  • Letting August Bring Us On Home

    Tracey
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:37 am
    All photos from our gardens, except the top photo and the last. {The last is from Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond - a landscaping feat in and of itself, overlooking the James River.} Sam and I also visited the Edgar Allan Poe Museum during that same day - and finally got to see its Enchanted Garden.The top photo is Willow Spring - in Sugar Hollow. We have hit that time of year when we are celebrating tomato and melon harvests, zinnias, cleomes, black-eyed susans and daisies. I have to say, this is the first time in a long time that I am sad to see summer go. A beach vacation to Chincoteague;…
  • The Pace of June

    Tracey
    26 Jun 2014 | 7:43 am
    Things to be grateful for: St. Germain + strawberry nectar + seltzer + apple mint cocktails.Trailing roses (pre-Japanese beetle infestation - grrrrrrr.)A toddler who plucks raspberries right off of the canes and shoves them directly into his mouth. Also, dimpled elbows.Fragrant dayliles that smell like lily-of-the-valley. (Word.)Black raspberries and wildflowers from our woods.Sweet ice-box pickles.
  • Getting More Verdant, Still

    Tracey
    5 Jun 2014 | 1:29 pm
    Love-in-a-mist patches.Roses and fern terrarium.Horticultural retail therapy at Milmont Greenhouses in Stuarts Draft. {Pale green nicotiana, summer-blooming alyssum, pineapple sage, lavenders, St. John's Wort!}First elderflowers in our garden {second photo up from the bottom on the right}.Handpicked bouquets in my favorite shades.Also, made honeysuckle jelly this past weekend.
 
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    Lois de Vries' Garden Views

  • HERShovel Product Review

    Lois J. de Vries
    13 Nov 2014 | 6:54 am
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  • Meet The Artist -- Dan Freed

    Lois J. de Vries
    23 Sep 2014 | 9:09 am
    From Wreckage To Wood SculptureJoin woodworker and artist Dan Freed Saturday, September 27th at the Sussex-Wantage Library, 69 Rt. 639, in Wantage, NJ for a fun and educational peek behind the scenes of how he made his award-winning Hurricane Sandy Birdhouse Sculpture. Hear where the idea came from and what it symbolizes, touch samples of the wood, and find out what woodworking tools and
  • Is Your Garden Incomplete?

    Lois J. de Vries
    11 Sep 2014 | 7:43 am
    Every dyed-in-the-wool gardener knows that no garden is ever finished. The word “complete,” however, has a more nuanced meaning, in the sense of having all of the parts (paths, focal points, ornaments, etc.) you intended. Since gardening involves a lot of continual tinkering and tweaking, your garden may be complete without ever being finished.Gardens can also be made to be incomplete. The
  • Dee Weeder Review

    Lois J. de Vries
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:05 am
    <!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]>
  • When Life Gives You a Hurricane – Make a Birdhouse!

    Lois J. de Vries
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:58 am
     “The hurricane devastated our wooded lot; we’re still in clean-up mode. I was determined to create something that would symbolize the positive energy of new life that can grow up out of death and destruction – the hope of birds nesting and laying their eggs in a house made from the wreckage of Hurricane Sandy.”                      .....Dan Freed, Wood Artist I know this may
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    Transatlantic Gardener

  • Read more from Graham Rice online and in print

    Graham Rice
    18 Nov 2014 | 7:47 am
    It’s been a long while since I summarized where you can find more of my thoughts and recommendations online – and there are quite now a few options. So here goes.Here on the Transatlantic Gardener blogFor gardeners on both sides of the Atlantic, a new post goes live every five to seven days.Transatlantic tomato taste tests 2014Reviews of books on Dahlias, Snowdrops, Salvias and SedumsSpoons for escagots - and other whacky plant namesHostas for late season leaf colorPlant Talk blog for Mr. Fothergill’sPrimarily for British readers, there’s a new post every Friday morning at 9am British…
  • Transatlantic tomato taste tests 2014

    Graham Rice
    11 Nov 2014 | 5:52 am
    A year or two back I did a pairing of posts here on the annual tomato taste tests at Morningsun Herb Farm in California and the tomato taste testing at Ball Colegrave in Oxfordshire. Now the results from this year’s tomato taste tests at these two locations are in – so what’s the news?At Morningsun Herb Farm the top three varieties this year, out of eighty six tasted, were ‘Sungold’ at number 3, ‘Italian Sweet Beefsteak’ at number 2 and ‘Sun Sugar’ (below, click to enlarge) at number 1. Rose Loveall at Morningsun reports that because of problems with water pumps, the tomato…
  • Four plant books from Timber Press: Dahlias, Snowdrops, Salvias and Sedums

    Graham Rice
    7 Nov 2014 | 6:03 am
    A new series of books for gardeners on individual plants is a big deal. In recent years we've seen fewer specialist plant books published and, as the market for books on many plants is limited, publishers will rarely sanction a new book on a subject even if an earlier one is not up to scratch. Neither will publishers produce different editions for the British and American markets. So the one book on a specific plant has to provide good information for both British and American gardeners – and this is a definite challenge when the gardening conditions and techniques are so different,…
  • Spoons for Escargot and more crazy plant names

    Graham Rice
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:33 am
    I’ve been working on a piece for Amateur Gardening, Britain’s long established weekly magazine (Yes, Britain has two weekly gardeing magazines), about plants with names suited to special occasions. You know… ‘Golden Wedding’ rose, that sort of thing. There are plants for birthdays, plants for anniversaries, plants for retirements and… and plants for bereavements. So, when your beloved terrier or retriever finally passes away, you can plant a rose called ‘In Memory of My Dog’ on its grave. Yes, really! And if yours is a cat household, there’s ‘In Memory of My Cat’! No…
  • Hostas for late season leaf color

    Graham Rice
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:14 am
    This is not the time of year when we usually think of hostas turning on the color but look at this ‘Paul’s Glory’ outside my window here in Pennsylvania. All summer the golden leaves with their narrow blue-green edges have made an impressive clump but now, as the edges turn yellow and the centers fade to white (as they tend to do in shade), ‘Paul’s Glory’ takes on a whole new look. And it’s not the only one.Years ago in my garden in Northamptonshire I grew that old favorite ‘Halcyon’ in a terracotta pot (below right, click to enlarge). And every year it turned this lovely…
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    WashingtonGardener

  • Reader Contest: Win a Copy of Windowsill Art

    WashingtonGardener
    24 Nov 2014 | 9:43 am
    For our November 2014 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away a copy of Windowsill Art: Creating One-of-a-Kind Natural Arrangements to Celebrate the Seasons by Nancy Ross Hugo (retail value: $18.95).    Local Virginia author, Nancy Ross Hugo, demonstrates how to use the windowsill as a platform for small, simple displays that celebrate the seasons and reflect the personal style of their creators. Her fresh approach uses bottles, jars, and other small vases to showcase arrangements of locally collected leaves, seedpods, flowers, fruits, and…
  • Upcoming Classes at On The Purple Couch

    WashingtonGardener
    21 Nov 2014 | 11:59 am
    I have two upcoming classes at One The Purple Couch in Kensington, MD. See the flyers above for full details (click on them to see at full size) and also visit http://www.onthepurplecouch.com/ to learn more and to register. The class on November 30 is all about Holiday Plants and include bulbs two-ways -- Paperwhites for now and Tulips forced for enjoying later. Then, the class on December 3 is all about Terrariums and we'll make some lovely Terrarium Ornaments together.Tonight, On the Purple Couch is having an open house from 5-9pm and I'll be there with a table previewing both classes as…
  • Washington Gardener Magazine ~ November 2014 issue ~ Growing Lovely Leeks, Fabulous Fringe Tree, Stopping Spider Mites, and much more...

    WashingtonGardener
    20 Nov 2014 | 1:09 pm
    Washington Gardener is the magazine for gardening enthusiasts in the Mid-Atlantic region. The November 2014 issue is being sent now as a PDF to all current subscribers.It is also now posted at:http://issuu.com/kathyjentz/docs/washingtongardenernov14/0This issue includes:~ Growing Lovely Leeks~ American Umbrella Leaf~ November Garden Tasks~ Local Garden Events Listing~ Guerilla Gardening~ Meet Stamp Photographer Cindy Dyer ~ Stopping Spider Mites~ A Deadly Leaf Fungus Can Affect Gardeners ~ Fabulous Fringe Tree~ Detecting Lead Hotspots in Urban Gardens  and much more...Note that any…
  • Video Wednesday: How to Get Spring Blooms in the Dead of Winter

    WashingtonGardener
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:55 am
    Bulb Forcing 101: How to Get Spring Blooms in the Dead of WinterBy Kathy JentzDidn't get all your bulbs planted before the ground froze? Don't discard them! Instead pot them up for indoor forcing and enjoy an early springtime in the depths of winter.If you were a good little gardener and got all your bulbs in the ground on time, there are still a few bulbs hanging around unsold at local area garden centers and on major markdown sales on the web and through mail order, snap them up now at these bargain basement prices and consider yourself a savvy customer. Next year, when you place your bulb…
  • Chilly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

    WashingtonGardener
    15 Nov 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Encore AzaleaThis Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is frigid. It feels more like the dead of winter than late autumn here in the Mid-Atlantic USA (zone 7). One bright spot is this Azalea, one of the reblooming Encore series. I was sent it as a trial plant years ago and it is finally living up to its name and giving reliable blooms all year round.Also still in bloom in my garden, despite the deep freeze, are sunflowers, salvia, snapdragons, pansies, alyssum, and Nippon daisies.What is blooming in your garden today?
 
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    A Tidewater Gardener

  • Another Visit to Federal Twist

    Les
    21 Nov 2014 | 3:53 pm
         After attending the Perennial Plant Conference back in October, I was able to enjoy some of what fall offered in the Delaware River Valley. One of the things I did was to visit James Golden's garden as part of The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program. On my first visit to Federal Twist the white glare of a blazingly hot summer afternoon made photography nearly impossible. On this trip the
  • Bloom Day - A Peck on the Cheek

    Les
    15 Nov 2014 | 10:45 am
         Winter tried to pay a little visit last night. It was the first time this season that temperatures dipped to freezing, fortunately they did not stay there long, and we had enough wind to put off our first frost for some other day. Honestly I am never ready for cold weather, and if weren't for colorful fall foliage and a big feast, the month of November would be tied with February as my least
  • Even Weeds Don't Grow in the Pet Cemetery

    Les
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:01 pm
         To my regular visitors who may have tuned in to read one of my annual Halloween stories, I apologize, I wasn't able to pull it off this year. I'm living my own drama at the moment, plus I have two articles past due, so writing for fun will have to wait. In the meanwhile, you can create your own stories from these photos I took this summer in Salida,
  • The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

    Les
    25 Oct 2014 | 1:28 pm
         Last week I was fortunate to attend the Perennial Plant Conference at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. This multi-sponsor event brings in a some of the brightest lights from the world of horticulture to speak, and it was well worth the registration fee and the drive. One of the best things about the conference is its setting. Swarthmore is a private college founded by Quakers, and an
  • Bloom Day - A Foot in the Door

    Les
    15 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
         The first signs of fall are starting to appear in the local landscape, but peak foliage does not usually happen for us until early November. I am OK with that, as fall makes me somewhat melancholy, mainly because I know what's to follow. We have had a remarkable spate of weather in the past 6 weeks with mild temperatures, and plenty of rain, even though much of that has fallen in strong
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    clay and limestone

  • An almost Wordless Wednesday: Hamamelis virginiana

    Gail
    5 Nov 2014 | 5:40 am
    Is blooming in my Middle Tennessee garden right now.It's a splendid little native tree that is too often overlooked for its flashier Asian relatives. How any one could think this tree unlovely or unworthy of a place in their garden is beyond my understanding!The crepe papery blooms look especially enchanting with a backdrop of golden Shagbark hickory and Hophornbeam leaves and the Autumn blue sky!xoxogail PS I've written about witch hazels several times and you can read their story at Wildflower Wednesday: In praise of a native tree and When a tree blooms in Autumn.Gail Eichelberger is a…
  • The leaves are stunning in the garden!

    Gail
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:43 am
    In my part of the gardening world we have a smattering of burgundies and reds, but a whole lot of gorgeous gold and, my friends,  I love it!Here's a peek at what's been happening this fall~I hope you love it, too.The sunny Susans Border has seed heads and Physocarpus opulifolius ' Little Devil' hiding in the shadow. The still green Amsonia tabernaemontana will be changing colors, soon, but, the Cotinis 'Grace' is a lovely burgundy and Cercis candensis' yellow leaves are almost hiden among the golden yellow of Carya ovataAmsonia hubrichtii has taken on its beautiful fall golden…
  • Wildflower Wednesday: The Charming Indian Physic

    Gail
    21 Oct 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Has fabulous fall color.That's what initially caught my eye, but, then I noticed it had the most delightful foliage and wiry stems with little seed pods left over from the summer flowers. I decided then and there that it had to be in my garden.It wasn't until the following May that I got to see the charming flowers. Prairie Moon Nursery says that the  flowers of Porteranthus stipulatus have a subtle beauty that is a nice break from the bigger blooms of most wildflowers. I think the little star shaped flowers are beautiful and somewhat reminiscent of apple blossoms. They look good planted…
  • Fall is the best time to bee in the garden!

    Gail
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:37 am
    Sunday was the best day so far this fall for the gardener, the bees and the little asters to play and dance together. It was a wonderful October day with sunshine and a warm breeze. The soil was still damp from the deluge the week before and the shrubs and trees were just beginning to wear their fall colors.The little asters were dancing in the breeze while Bumblebees flew from flower to flower.  I snapped hundreds of photos but, only a few were in focus. They refused to pose for me, they were caught up in their mad dash to collect pollen and nectar to supply their nests before the cold…
  • I appreciate the honeybees that visit my garden

    Gail
    3 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Isn't she beautiful! All the honeybees we see foraging for nectar and pollen are female and unless we keep hives we'll probably never see a male bee. The worker honeybees' jobs include: caring for larvae (baby bees), making wax, building honeycomb, cleaning up the hive, storing pollen, cooling the hive, making honey, guarding the hive and collecting pollen and nectar. They are busy little creatures and I feel fortunate that they stayed still long enough for me to snap a few photos! I appreciate that they pollinate flowers as they forage for pollen and nectar. I also have a fine appreciation…
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    Dirt Therapy

  • The Grotto, Portland, Oregon

    Phillip Oliver
    21 Nov 2014 | 7:27 am
    We finally made it to Portland on October 23rd, the fifth day after we left home. We encountered the first rains as we drove across the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. It rained almost every day that we were in Portland but it usually cleared up and some days were even sunny. One of the wettest days was the day we visited The Grotto, The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother.I read about The Grotto on a traveler's website and thought it would be an interesting place to visit. Some of our friends from Alabama had arrived by then and they being Catholic, I thought they might enjoy it too.
  • Idaho Botanical Gardens, Boise, Idaho

    Phillip Oliver
    19 Nov 2014 | 11:25 am
    The Idaho Botanical Garden is right next door to the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. It was once the farm and nursery for the penitentiary. When the prison closed in 1973, the grounds were unused until the botanical garden was established.The garden comprises 50 acres (15 of which are in cultivation) in the Boise foothills and is divided into garden rooms and individual areas. There is an English Garden, xeric demonstration garden, alpine garden, children's garden, rose garden, meditation area, water garden, etc. Most of the plants in the garden are donated by industry and corporate…
  • Old Idaho State Penitentiary, Boise, Idaho

    Phillip Oliver
    18 Nov 2014 | 12:06 pm
    I don't know why but I have always had a fascination with prisons and prison-life. I have never visited one and most of my familiarity with them comes from movies and television. Oz, Cool Hand Luke and I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang are just a few of my favorites. Women's prison films? Count me in on those as well! Orange Is The New Black was a recent discovery and the 1950 camp classic Caged is probably my favorite of all.Michael found a brochure in the hotel lobby for the Old Idaho State Penitentiary and suggested that we stop by. He was probably tired of visiting gardens! It turns out…
  • Red Butte Garden and Arboretum, Salt Lake CIty, Utah

    Phillip Oliver
    14 Nov 2014 | 10:53 am
    I have had several messages from people saying that they could not leave comments. I think I have fixed this - I had previously switched over to Google+ which requires you to have an account before leaving a comment. I have switched it back to the old platform so hopefully that will no longer be a problem.Now, back to our cross-country drive to Portland!After spending the first night in St. Joseph, Missouri, we trekked up through the rest of Missouri, barely skirted the southwest corner of Iowa and then drove across Nebraska (what a wide state that is!), with a brief stop for a visit to the…
  • Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska

    Phillip Oliver
    12 Nov 2014 | 4:07 pm
    We are home again from a 3-week trip to Portland, Oregon. It was a fun but exhausting trip. We drove cross-country, so 10 of those days were spent on the road. Along the way, we stopped frequently for some sight-seeing opportunities and I tried to squeeze in as many gardens as I could. The weather was nice along the way and the way back and we really dodged a bullet by missing the polar cold front that came through this week. The rain had begun in Portland a few days before we arrived but it wasn't that bad. The highlight of the trip was our legal marriage (at least in Oregon and about 30…
 
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    Natural Gardening

  • Waterfalls and wildflowers

    Lisa
    23 Nov 2014 | 10:48 am
    I'm fortunate to live in a wonderful part of the world -- our ancient mountains are rich in biodiversity of all sorts.  And we're blessed with an abundance of waterfalls, too, throughout the mountains.So I'm just thrilled to see the final copy of my gardening companion's second book, Waterfalls and Wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians: 30 Great Hikes, University of North Carolina Press before it goes to print.We've just finished proofing the final text and layout, so it's right on schedule for spring release.It looks great, but even more appealing is how Tim (aka my spouse) put it…
  • It's been a wonderful fall

    Lisa
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:21 pm
    The cold and wind is pushing out the last fall leaves, but I'm reminded of what wonderful fall color that we've had in the Southeastern U.S.The maples just went on and on and on.view from Biltmore terraceI was reminded about how beautiful it's been, as I looked back through some recent photographs.
  • Large numbers of buzzards

    Lisa
    18 Nov 2014 | 2:32 pm
    There's been a large flock of buzzards coming through at sundown for the last two days.  They swirl around in long, looping circles, as they slowly progress onwards.  Curious.  There are upwards of 20 in the group.We speculate about whether they're roosting nearby?I'm thinking that I don't know that much about vultures, aside from their keen sense of smell and carrion-eating ways, but there's clearly a lot of interesting aspects to their behavior.  I'll have to learn more about them.But, dinner needs to be cooked....
  • Watercolor workshop, Part II

    Lisa
    16 Nov 2014 | 3:06 pm
    The second day of the workshop was yesterday, separated in time because of a family illness, happily on the mend.Frankly, I didn't mind having some space between two intensive days of practicing technique learning...   Still recovering from an unaccustomed cold, I didn't really feel that well, but thoroughly enjoyed our practice exercises, not meant to be "finished" pieces, but about learning technique.We were using photographs as our "base" -- but I was still rather amazed to see quite a normal-looking run-down barn turn into this watercolor (we were learning about perspective and using…
  • Watercolor workshop Part I

    Lisa
    16 Nov 2014 | 2:52 pm
    Several weeks ago, I did the first day of a two day workshop, taught by a gifted artist (Elizabeth Ellison).  Our studies that day were mountains and grassland, with learning different techniques and color theory.  I've enjoyed tip-toeing back into art through watercolors which I hadn't really done before until recently, although I did a good bit of pen and ink (with watercolor) drawings, largely of botanical subjects when I was younger, along with doing art in other media, too, for that matter.I'd done a previous workshop with Elizabeth around nature journaling with watercolor, so…
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    Outside Clyde

  • While It Raged Outside

    Christopher C. NC
    23 Nov 2014 | 2:09 pm
    If it wasn't raining, the wind was howling. When it was raining, the wind was howling. It wasn't really possible to be outside. Sort of thought about chores will have to wait for another day. Safe from the storm, an orchid blooms. I would have preferred a color other than white. I get plenty of white at this time of year. There was just no way of
  • Is It Interesting Yet

    Christopher C. NC
    22 Nov 2014 | 5:14 pm
    The slow growth rate of the under garden which is my main source of winter interest is testing my patience. I know what the mature sizes of most plants look like. Far too many of the things I have planted are multiple years away from those sizes at the pace things are moving. There is more visible progress when I plant in multiples and in dozens. No
  • Looking For Winter Interest

    Christopher C. NC
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:54 pm
    The barren time has a firm grip high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top. The very first winter up here I knew I had to do something to mitigate that. I needed some winter interest for the barren time. Heck, I needed something, anything, that said garden for the six months of the year when all is dead and brown. What I had was a vast expanse of herbaceous and deciduous. What I
  • Slow Melt

    Christopher C. NC
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:17 pm
    It was a warmer day. It was still quite a cold day. It is the time of ice, the barren and darkness When the morning light dazzles An epoch of intermittent rest A winter of contemplations When chores are shuffled around the frigid.
  • Nice Day For A Polar Bear

    Christopher C. NC
    18 Nov 2014 | 3:57 pm
    I don't know what it did during the night, but it did this on and off all morning, with wind mind you, at 16 degrees. The day was not habitable. I did manage two trips to the mailbox for outgoing and incoming mail. I'm not sure the mail carrier ever did. There were no tracks in the snow. It was only an inch, hardly noticeable, surely not enough to stop the mail. I think
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    Growing The Home Garden

  • The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier (Book Review)

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:41 am
    Recently I purchased a copy of The Market Gardener written by the Canadian organic farmer Jean-Martin Fortier. As soon as I read the description I was immediately interested in its contents. The Market Gardener explains how to raise enough crops on just 1.5 acres of land to make a full time income and support one's family.With my love for growing the garden, farmers market experiences, and a hope to always be able to continue to do what I enjoy for a living The Market Gardener sounded like a great book.  I was not disappointed! I learned a lot from the pages of The Market Gardener.
  • Planning Your Next Garden: Evaluate the Garden

    13 Nov 2014 | 7:00 am
    The calendar hasn't said so yet officially, but winter weather is already here. As I write this post sleet is spitting through the air outside. Fortunately I have a pot of hot coffee available to offset the cold. What should a gardener be doing on these cold "winter" days when the garden isn't suitable for enjoyment? Cold winter days mean that it is time to plan the next garden. It's time to take what you learned from this year and plan how you want to do next year's garden better, bigger, and more efficient. Today I thought I would tell you about my thought processes for planning the next…
  • Enjoying the Fall Garden

    10 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    Fall is a great time of the year. It's always been my favorite season because of the fall colors, the cooler weather, and there are always events to enjoy. The vegetable garden is enjoys the cooler weather too. Gone now are the peppers and tomatoes, which both succumbed to frost, but instead we have kale, pak choi, mustard, and Brussels sprouts. All of those fall grown plantings enjoy the cooler temperatures and in fact have improved flavor due to the frosty temperatures. Growing greens in the fall in a Tennessee garden is a fairly simple thing to do.The Challenge of a Fall GardenThe greatest…
  • Decorating Through the Holidays with Live Potted Plants

    7 Nov 2014 | 6:34 am
    The holidays are an extremely busy time of the year. We go from Halloween with spooky decorations, to Thanksgiving with autumn harvest styles, then to finally to Christmas. For those who enjoy decorating (and have the storage space for all that stuff) it can be a great deal of fun, but for others who may enjoy the holidays much more than decorating for them there are options - especially if you are a gardener! This week I potted up some live plants that will be decorating our front entryway all the way through Christmas. Once Christmas is over they can be planted in the garden to add to the…
  • And the Troy-Bilt Jet Leaf Blower Winner is...

    5 Nov 2014 | 11:31 am
    First before I tell you who won the Jet Blower from Troy-Bilt I wanted to say thank you for entering! Giving stuff away is really one of the more exciting parts of blogging! The Jet is an easy to use leaf blower made by Troy-Bilt. The Jet easily blasts away grass clippings on driveways and leaves making cleaning up after yardwork a piece of cake. If you didn't win this JET but find yourself in need of a leaf blower you should be able to find it at your local home improvement centers for around $150. The winner of the Jet was selected through a random number drawing between 1 and 20. (The…
 
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    Kiss my Aster!

  • Dug up my Dahlias Today

    Kiss My Aster!
    10 Nov 2014 | 12:25 pm
    I don't know about this batch of dahlias. I don't have a good place to store them (my garage is too cold, Ryan, but thanks for the offer!) and they are so cheap to just BUY new ones every spring. PLUS I get to choose new ones instead of the same ol' Dahlias I've known since, like, forever.Hrrrmmph. They are dug and drying and... we'll see. Maybe I can find a good spot for them.Also, this happened and I'm too lazy to type it again.
  • Celluloid Heroes: Vintage Cupcake Toppers for Your Terrariums

    Kiss My Aster!
    5 Nov 2014 | 11:10 am
    Now that the weather is turning evil, I want to blog about junk you can get for next-to-nothing that can be used in your garden. I want to do this regularly, like, weekly. But let's not rush into anything. The first thing I'll drivel on about is kicking up a terrarium a notch using vintage cupcake toppers.Some of my hoardIt's that time of year where I become interested in terrariums, again. And for me, a terrarium can't just be plants. Nope, it's gotta have some sort of crap decor in there, too, to make it interesting. I do terrariums just like I do gardens, so bring on the weensy…
  • Hey Girl: WINTER IS COMING Edition

    Kiss My Aster!
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:53 pm
  • Halloween: As Good As It Gets

    Kiss My Aster!
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:29 am
    Halloween used to be my THANG and now it's starting to strike a little fear in my heart and not in a horror movie kind of way. I used to have Halloween stuff up all year, as I was very much an Every Day is Halloween , a whiff of Wicca, Hey-I-want-to-dress-like-Stevie-Nicks, too-happy-to-be-Goth sort of 20 & 30 something. Now I'm 40 and stuffing candy-free, nut-sensitive treat bags and making sure my kid's costume is warm enough and her shoes match her costume. I still live in a house full of costumes of all sizes (including a certain "one size fits all" bunny costume that…
  • The KMA Method of Bulb Planting

    Kiss My Aster!
    6 Oct 2014 | 10:20 am
    To begin with, I've always thought people that plant their bulbs in September to be goody-goodies and people I would probably not like very much (or would like me!). Perhaps these are people that do not live life by the seat of their yoga pants? I have a sound method for planting large masses of bulbs in my garden that relies on hardcore laziness/practicality that I feel the need to pass on to you. I also urgently want you to know that you DESERVE bulbs, lots of them. If I hadn't had a few hundred in my garden this incredibly fashionably-late spring, I would have gone totally off the…
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    Our Little Acre

  • Updated Lowe's Creative Ideas Project: Swing Shelf Planter

    Kylee Baumle
    22 Nov 2014 | 7:26 pm
    Swing Shelf Planter in March 2013About a year and a half ago, I did a project as a member of Lowe's Creative Ideas Garden Team in which I potted up a trio of herbs in a shelf planter that hung in a window. I designed it and making it and putting it together was a joint effort with my husband. My herbs grew well for several months in that south window, but the day came when I wanted something different.In the summer, that window can really generate some heat, and I had a few cacti that I thought would work out better. The herbs were constantly thirsty, so I transplanted the herbs to the garden…
  • Growing Amaryllis: Easy for Everyone (and a giveaway!)

    Kylee Baumle
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:58 pm
    Hippeastrum 'Gervase'For as much as I dread winter every year, there are some things about it that I look forward to. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Fluffy snowfalls. The smell of winter air. Curling up on the sofa with a blanket, a kitty, and a good book.And amaryllis.Gardening continues for me, in spite of the outside gardens going dormant during the winter months. I've got plenty of houseplants to keep me busy, both in the house and in the conservatory. Most of those simply need to be watered, but I'll pot up my collection of amaryllis all winter long and have beautiful blooms from winter…
  • Let's Drink to Apples!

    Kylee Baumle
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:24 pm
    My husband and I have taken many, many evening walks down our road over the years. As far as country roads go in these parts, this one provides some interesting scenery. There are the neighbors that have an assortment of animals, a cemetery that has many familiar names, and we cross two creeks lined with wildflowers.Many years ago, we also noticed a mature apple tree growing in the deeper ditch on the west side of the road about three-quarters of a mile south of our house. I've always been curious as to how it got there, knowing that there are random apple trees planted by Johnny Appleseed in…
  • Wordless Wednesday: You Might Be a Gardener If ...

    Kylee Baumle
    15 Oct 2014 | 4:12 pm
    ...this happens.
  • Foraging For Fungus

    Kylee Baumle
    14 Oct 2014 | 8:54 pm
    If ever there was a good year for mushroom hunting, this is it. We've had plenty of rain all summer long into fall, and I've never seen so much fungus growing here, there, and everywhere as I have this year. Fairy rings abound.I've always been overly cautious about wild mushrooms because I have a great fear of eating the wrong kind. I just don't know enough about them to say for certain what's edible and what isn't. But I *think* we've got plenty of the good kind just a few yards from our back door.First, it was the puffballs (Calvatia sp.)... A couple of weeks ago, we were cleaning up the…
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    The Gardens of Petersonville

  • Refreshing a Winter Focal Point

    Sheila
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:25 am
    October 2014 Somehow it has worked out that most of our entertaining at the SJC house takes place in the winter months. Dozens of relatives come from all over the country to visit and dare I say hundreds of friends stop by some time between Halloween and Valentines Day. Needless to say, they are certainly missing the prime time in the gardens which I would have to say is spring, followed by summer and then fall. November 2014By the time winter rolls around most of the prettiest scenes are tired and taking a rest. Roses are either spindly or cut back, most iris are sleeping and of course…
  • Getting Busy

    Sheila
    20 Nov 2014 | 10:21 am
    I have been very busy recently and happily I can say that some of that activity has been in the garden! After almost a year of a bum knee and a really sore shoulder I am feeling better and getting out and getting my hands dirty this past month. Of course the up coming holidays are the main focus and sprucing everything up for the big Thanksgiving family reunion is a priority followed by the Christmas holiday events, but there are still just a lot of fall chores that I am happy to be able to undertake this year. I've planted some bulbs, cut back some shrubs, and added some fall annuals. We…
  • Persistence Pays Off

    Sheila
    4 Nov 2014 | 7:51 am
    I do love an arch in the garden and I have lots of them. I add them all over to create height and add a vertical element as well as acting as a way to separate spaces. Most of them are wire ones that I purchase from catalogs or a nursery.  This also allows me to utilize a whole new group of plants that would otherwise be left to an occasional fence or wall - vines. This arch in the Moonlight Garden has had at least four different kinds of vines growing on it that I can think of off the top of my head. When I put it in about seven years ago I planted the very prolific and popular at the…
  • Plastic Grass or a Tree?

    Sheila
    2 Nov 2014 | 7:59 am
     The other night it was so refreshing to wake up and hear the sound of rain! Walking through the gardens after a rainfall is something I can barely remember since it has been at least seven months since we have had a drop. We didn't get much but it was enough to wash the dust off everything and you could almost hear the plants giving a sigh or relief, however so slight. But now the weather report is showing another heat wave coming this week with temperatures reaching the eighties again. So much for getting out the sweaters!  Last week I was someplace and I overheard a…
  • Fall Has Finally Arrived

    Sheila
    28 Oct 2014 | 11:29 am
    Chrysanthemums I have to admit that when I left for a trip two weeks ago during yet another heat wave here in Southern California I was wondering if I would ever find the passion for working in my gardens that I have always had, again. Talking to other gardeners confirmed I wasn't the only one. 'Evelyn' RoseA walk through the gardens at that time showed that what the heat hadn't ravaged, the insects had damaged. The heat loving natives pretty much just shut down in the summer and wait for cooler weather. The succulents, although alive, look a bit boring in the hot sun without any…
 
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    Blog the blogging nurseryman- The Golden Gecko Garden Center

  • 2000 year old seed grows "one of a kind" tree

    Trey Pitsenberger
    5 Nov 2014 | 10:55 am
    During excavations of  Herod the Great's fortified mountaintop palace at Masada in Israel, archaeologists uncovered a cache of seeds stowed away in a clay jar about 2,000 years ago. Botanical researcher Elaine Solowey received one of them for an experimental planting in 2005. "Solowey planted a seed in a pot at Kibbutz Ketura in January, immediately after receiving them. Since then, it has sprouted into a seedling, produced its first blossom in 2011, and now flourishes as a young date palm. It has been nick-named 'Methuselah', after the oldest person who ever lived, according…
  • The natives are restless

    trey pitsenberger
    24 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    In this case the natives are insects native to Africa, who have decided that California is the place they ought to be. The Bagrada Bug arrived in Southern California just 6 years ago and already had decides to move north. The experts were hoping the colder winters might kill them off, but they decided to hide in the top layers of soil during winter. Come spring they emerge to eat stuff like "cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, but they don't appear to be picky eaters. They have been known to feed on a wide variety of garden vegetables in California, including green…
  • Becoming indispensable

    trey pitsenberger
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:02 am
    One of the nicest comments to hear from customers is, "we want you to be here for us". They sometimes preface it with, "we shop here because...we want you to be here for us". While it may not keep you in business, or cause you to become profitable, it is an important first step. The goal is to find out why you are indispensible to them. Let everything else fall to the wayside. Becoming indispensable to your customers means you provide them with products, or a feeling, that causes them to go out of their way to maintain. There are cheaper places to shop. There might be more convenient places…
  • So you want to be a farmer?

    trey pitsenberger
    25 Jun 2014 | 12:51 am
    "Roy Skeen is a 32-year-old farmer with a degree in history from Yale University. When he graduated in 2004, he moved to New York to work in investment banking, but he found the work unfulfilling.After a trip to the Caribbean, he discovered his true calling: farming. 'It exposed me to culture that grows food and lives in one place,' he told CNN. 'It was pretty simple, but it was nice and I liked it.'Skeen moved to his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and now runs his own urban farm and sells produce at the local farmer's market. He says the work is hard but satisfying."I have been in the…
  • What diamonds, gold, and The Carob tree have in common.

    trey pitsenberger
    3 Jun 2014 | 1:07 am
    The carob tree is a landscape tree here in California, but in the Mediterranean region it grown as a food crop. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and in chocolate substitute. Since chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to some mammals, and carob does not, it is used to make chocolate-flavored treats for dogs. The island of Malta has a liqueur made from carob, Zeppi’s Harruba. I would love to try this someday. The carob tree was known in Antiquity and was introduced very early in Greece and is possible…
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    Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping blog

  • MANY THANKS to all supporters of our Indiegogo campaign

    ken
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:21 am
    We are half-way through our Indiegogo campaign that started Oct. 17th. *OUR NEW GOAL is $5,000 – To Outfit Two Bike Gardeners for the Road* Terra Nova is a low-tech business operating a high-tech funding campaign, and it’s a learning curve (yikes!). Clearly $50k was way too high of a goal. However, we have authentically redefined a more modest success for the last 3 weeks of the campaign. We hope you will support us.  Our new goal is to raise $5,000  to purchase two custom-made bike trailers, two good bikes, and new signage. This will comfortably outfit a 2-gardener crew as they ride…
  • BEFORE AND AFTER

    ken
    19 Nov 2014 | 1:12 pm
    TRANSFORMED LANDSCAPES 2014        
  • Tread Lightly with Terra Nova! Please contribute to our Indiegogo campaign

    ken
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:29 pm
    Collectively Catalyze the Tread Lightly Movement to Regenerate our Cycling Ecological Landscaping! Hello! my name is Ken Foster, I am a native of Santa Cruz, California, where my parents, Herb and Ellie Foster, were well-known peace and environmental activists. As a long-time organic gardener and landscape designer, and as a permaculture teacher at Cabrillo College, I believe I’m continuing the work they started here in the 1950s. Terra Nova’s Tread Lightly Service : Bicycle Powered Landscaping In 1991 I started a service I dubbed Tread Lightly. This was a bicycle-powered…
  • Tread Lightly with Terra Nova ! Party! Party!

    ken
    16 Oct 2014 | 11:32 am
  • And Now, the new ‘Tread Lightly’ video! Enjoy!

    ken
    14 Oct 2014 | 9:03 pm
     
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    oclandscape.com

  • Completed Project- Sonoma

    Michael O'Connell
    2 Nov 2014 | 7:42 pm
    This project in Sonoma was a complete make over of a front and back yard for a residence a few blocks from the Sonoma Square. The design focused on the back yard, with a new patio, seat wall and shade arbor framing paver garden paths. In the front yard a new matching bluestone walkway, concrete driveway, and privacy fence changed the look of the home from the street. O’Connell Landscape just completed a landscape project for our front and back yards.  The design, quality of workmanship, plant selection and his crew exceeded our expectations.  His attention to detail is reflected in…
  • Completed Project- Kentfield

    Michael O'Connell
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:10 pm
    We started from scratch on this Kentfield back yard, with a complete removal of the unusable existing yard. The client wanted a back yard that would be a kid friendly play space, while at the same time good for entertaining. In its place we installed a new patio area, kid friendly synthetic turf and a new seating area. These elements were tied together with integrated perimeter plantings. See below for the before picture and after photos following installation.     Related posts: Completed Project Petaluma This large corner lot in Petaluma needed a complete makeover... Completed…
  • Completed Project- Small Petaluma Back Yard

    Michael O'Connell
    15 May 2014 | 1:54 pm
    This home in Adobe Creek next to the golf course had a small back yard with lawn that was unusable. We designed a new plan to better use the space with custom vegetable boxes and secondary brick patio. A bluestone pathway and low maintenance colorful plantings fill out the landscape. Related posts: Completed Project Petaluma This large corner lot in Petaluma needed a complete makeover... Completed Project- Petaluma Front & Back Yard This project was a complete reworking of a front and... Completed Project- Petaluma We are working on finishing up this project in Petaluma,...
  • Commercial Project- 555 Northgate, San Rafael

    Michael O'Connell
    15 Apr 2014 | 1:57 pm
    This commercial office building was our second installation for the Marin Community Foundation (MCF), after our first project for their building near the Civic Center in San Rafael. This project was a more extensive removal and redevelopment of the landscape in the front and rear of the building. We focused our design on a reduced lawn area in front (the project is on reclaimed water and not subject to water restrictions). In the rear of the building we installed new screening trees and plantings. “As I’ve said, you’ve done an exceptional job on this project, Michael. Thank you for…
  • From the Drawing Board- Sonoma Concept Plan

    Michael O'Connell
    16 Mar 2014 | 11:43 am
    This project near the main square in Sonoma focuses on transitioning a back yard from a lawn and small deck to a larger more open layout with no lawn. A deck/porch with wrap around steps, central patio, garden paths and vegetable boxes highlight the design in the back yard. In the front yard a new driveway and entry walkway feature new materials and bluestone accents. Conceptual Front and Back Yard Plan Related posts: From the Drawing Board- Mill Valley Concept Plan We are in the conceptual design development phase for this... From the Drawing Board- Petaluma Layout and Paving Plan The…
 
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    Skippy's Vegetable Garden

  • bok choi recipes

    kathy
    23 Nov 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Again I have LOTS of bok choi. I just love the flavor of it and how nice it looks in the garden. Tonight I am thinking about how to prepare it. My usual recipe is to sauté minced garlic and ginger, maybe adding a dried chili pepper, in a high heat oil like peanut or sunflower. Then I add the coarsley chopped stems of bok choi and stir fry a few minutes. Next I add coarsley chopped bok choi leaves and stir 'til they wilt. Then I add some corn starch stirred with water, maybe a splash of white whine or vermouth, and a good splash of soy sauce. I stir over heat until the sauce is the right…
  • a give away!! - guess how many red chilis and win seed packet necklace

    kathy
    22 Nov 2014 | 11:31 am
    I'm excited to give something to my readers. I've gotten a lot from everyone: ideas, advice, friendship and just the pleasure of chatting about gardens. I hope I give gardeners information and encouragement, especially new gardeners. Maybe even inspiration. I think it's important that we're close to the earth and find simple ways to do things. And it's so rewarding to grow food. Anyway, I was given a beautiful "seed packet" necklace by Shari Dixon. She's an artist who incorporates flowers and herbs into her hand crafted jewelry. My pendent is a camomile seed packet and I love it! Shari gave…
  • 21 Nov 2014 | 8:29 am

    kathy
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:29 am
    ps - I have a garden gift give-away for my readers coming up soon. Check back here tomorrow! here's a hint - the gifts are from the new ad site on my sidebar and I will have 3 free gifts to give away.....
  • tis the seaon for making gifts

    kathy
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:19 am
    Last year I knitted hats for everyone on my Christmas list. And I had some garlic to share. This year, no knitted goods and no extra garlic, but I have lots of popcorn, dried red and green chilis, herb salt, canned pears and cucumber relish. I love having so many things to share! I was hoping to make ristras or wreaths from the chilis and looked into that this morning. I found a fantastic how-to video: Sichler Farms chili ristra video. But I leaned that the ristra needs to be made from fresh chilis, not dried. (So that's why the ones I've made in the past have looked funny and have fallen…
  • today's harvest

    kathy
    20 Nov 2014 | 10:48 am
    Hard to believe we've had a second night at 22*F. Its so cold there's a sheet of ice on the pond already. I was afraid everything in the garden would be frozen solid. I was pleasantly surprised. The bok choi I was waiting to harvest (for no good reason - it was very risky) looks beautiful. (I get so excited about pretty garden harvests!) I pulled a handful of tiny dark red beets. They even have a few nice leaves still. And I went ahead an picked a giant handful of parsley. Parsley was one of my overabundant plantings this year, but will be good to have for next week's Thanksgiving cooking. I…
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    Ilona's Garden Journal

  • The De-clutter Journey

    Ilona Erwin
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:35 pm
    Specifically, How Did You Do It?For those who are struggling, like I have, here are some of the practical steps of getting rid of clutter and the whole lifestyle that goes with it.Like some physical maladies, this one might have a different root for some people than it has for others. It might be the result of more than one contributing factor.What causes our messiness and proclivity to collect clutter?Perhaps we just don't know how to organize and sort, with the additional problem of not wanting to throw away something useful or which holds sentimental value.Along with that second factor: we…
  • And Now It Is Arctic, But My Home Is Cozy

    Ilona Erwin
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:16 am
    Bookcases, boxes, magazines -I can't get rid of everything!While it was a personally productive fall for me, the blogging and the garden had to take a back seat. I made good on decades of promises to de-clutter and come to grips with the pile of life's detritus and accumulation. You see, I come from a line of "collectors" on my mother's side. My dad was spare in his living and his spending, but I inherited the idea that everything is good for something... someday from my mother. Then the fact that I had ten children kind of caught up with me. The economics of those days meant saving…
  • Word To The Wise

    Ilona Erwin
    6 Oct 2014 | 6:51 am
    Do you wait around for the last minute to put your gardens to bed for the winter? That may not be the best thing to do this year. Winter seems to be fast approaching in many areas, and Ohio might get cold quickly. In 2013, the deep cold came with the Thanksgiving holiday, and in 2014 many gardeners are complaining that the temperatures are dropping earlier than usual.What sort of delays did I rue in the past?I especially regret leaving out a large pot all winter a couple years ago. It filled with water and froze. Made of resin, I was lulled into believing it would be immune to frost cracking.
  • The Growing Season Review

    Ilona Erwin
    20 Sep 2014 | 11:09 am
    July looked bestYou know how people like to summarize their year during December and especially at the turn of the year? Well, this is that time for Gardeners.Premature you say? For me, I will yet again be absent from my garden and al that remains for me to do this year is planting and preparing for the next spring. The vegetable gardening will consist mainly of cleanup, and for some reason I am anticipating an early frost and onset of cold.Every year for the past 7 or 8, I have been saying, promising, vowing to stay with my garden during the growing season. To be there when it most needs me,…
  • The Down And Dirty Weeding Tool List

    Ilona Erwin
    9 Aug 2014 | 9:45 am
    The Bare Essentials Some essentials when brand newI've done a lot of tweeting and writing about weeding this season. There are a couple of reasons for that including the unusually wonderful weather (from my perspective, anyway), and my desire to have my yard look like I actually garden, despite many trips to visit the children and grandchildren.The weather: It has been a cool summer with plenty of rain. That means everything stayed in growth mode and I was able to continue working outside. When heat and humidity skyrocket I hide in my airconditioned room ( we have 1) and write. The…
 
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    Bananas.org

  • Hi from Flora99

    Flora99
    24 Nov 2014 | 2:01 am
    Hi, im Flora99, Ive just joined your forum. Ive been growing bananas (Musa Basjoo)outdoors in the uk for years.i am now living on the beautiful west coat of scotland where we get a mild wet winter as a result of the north atlantic drift.(gulf stream)) I had to retire from a lifetime of professional gardenening in 2004 when i got a rare nureological condition called RSD Since i moved to Scotland im now in remmision. I recently finished my new garden with a hardy exotics theme this spring,and will be opening it for charity (National Gardens Scheme for Scotland last weekend July 2015) I am…
  • Dying Leaves

    STEVIE UK
    24 Nov 2014 | 1:55 am
    Is it best to leave the dying leaves on a plant or can they be cut off without harming the plant.
  • Soil Rehabitation and Remediation of Banana

    cdverdan
    24 Nov 2014 | 1:11 am
    Good Day to every one, I am now in the process of soil rehabilitation and remediation of my banana plants devastated by the past typhoon that hit my coconut farm. All the trees were damaged and I am applying the Biological and Nutrition Farming Tehnology which I am teaching other farmers wherein I am using my concoction liquid fertilizers which I drench in the soil and spray at the underside of the leaves where the mouth of the plant is located. I make a fertilization protocol for 8-12 months for banana..... here in the Quezon,Philippines....... :waving:
  • Anybody growing Muscadines?

    hydroid
    23 Nov 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Anybody growing Muscadines? I'm just getting started, looks like fun. Bo
  • Best method for germinating Musa cheesmanii

    cteq1
    23 Nov 2014 | 12:06 pm
    Just wondering what is the best germination method?
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    Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel

  • One Last Time: Free Yourself and Your Oven and Grill the Turkey

    22 Nov 2014 | 2:34 pm
    Friends: This annual posting of my favorite Thanksgiving story was inspired by my wonderful husband who passed away in May 2014 from brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme)... the reason I've been off the blogs for the last year. It all started with Thanksgiving 2006. Expecting a crowd for the big meal, I couldn't work out a way to get everything in the oven since the turkey was so large.We had to figure out how to get everything cooked on time. The microwave wouldn't do it. Ah ha! What about using the grill? Would that work? My husband placed the turkey (in the pan) on the grill to see…
  • Yes, The Deer Ate the Yucca

    8 Feb 2014 | 4:26 pm
    Deer damage. February 2014Well, not the entire yucca. Not yet—and there's no sign of spring around here.It's been a cold winter and food is scarce, so hungry deer seek out plants that aren't on the regular menu. The deer ignore the yucca from spring through fall. This is not the first winter when the yucca was ripped up, so I wasn't surprised. I should have put a cage around it, but I didn't. While the yucca is ragged, it will recover and bloom again this summer.The victim here is yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' but the deer will nibble the tips on any variety of yucca. For photos of this…
  • Baked Gifts: Chocolate Biscotti Recipe

    7 Dec 2013 | 1:11 pm
    For the holiday season, I'm repeating this post from 2012. This Chocolate Biscotti Recipe from David Lebovitz is easy to make. Bake a delicious gift!Start out with good ingredients such as Valrhona Cocoa,demerara sugar, slivered almonds and chocolate chips.As a fan of food and bigger fan of Paris, I follow the blog of expat American +David Lebovitz, pastry chef, author of cookbooks and one of my favorite iPhone apps, Paris Pastry®. I made his Chocolate Biscotti Recipe for holiday gifts. Is it possible for an amateur like me to turn out great biscotti?I took…
  • Do You Know the Way to Monet's Gardens at Giverny?

    18 Oct 2013 | 5:07 pm
    The Grande Allée in Monet's Clos Normand.Giverny, France. September 2013In Paris, the weather is anything but predictable, but you cannot wait around for a sunny day. So it was with umbrellas and raincoats that my husband and two friends left our apartments in the Marais neighborhood and descended into the Saint-Paul Métro station at seven that September morning. Destination: Giverny.Switching once at the Châtelet métro (but we prefer to switch at Concorde), we traveled to the regional train station, Gare Saint Lazare. There, we purchased roundtrip SNCF tickets on the Rouen-bound…
  • Pics from Paris: Seeing Red at Luxembourg Gardens

    17 Sep 2013 | 12:24 am
    Luxembourg Gardens, Paris.  15 Sept 2013The fashionable color combo around the Senate building at Luxembourg Gardens is red and purple. This is another favorite garden in Paris where I've never seen the same combinations repeated on my many visits over the years.Familiar flowers combined for a unique design.Castor bean, dahlias, petunias and geraniums dominate.Panoramic view of public section of the gardens.Pink (begonias and anemones) and blue plumbago towers (corners) are introduced.I like the use of purple fountain grass and purple spires of salvia.Add captionI'm inspired by the…
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    North Coast Gardening

  • Low-Maintenance Water Features: Downsizing Ponds and Fountains

    Linda
    22 Nov 2014 | 2:54 pm
    A small pond in the garden of Paul Abels. When you envision a water feature, it may evoke the gentle sound of a soothing waterfall, or perhaps your thoughts go to the splashing of a brook over rocks. Maybe a lovely pond with koi and water lilies will give you a sense of peace. What you don’t picture, though, is the hard work it can take to keep your new joy clear and your expensive koi healthy. What can cause a water feature to become so high maintenance? And are there types of water features which aren’t so high maintenance but still give you the feeling of pleasure and serenity that…
  • Monday Miscellany: Autumn Colors Year-Round, Edible Garden Designs, and Great Book Deals

    Genevieve
    16 Nov 2014 | 11:01 pm
    The best articles and ideas from around the web, curated by North Coast Gardening. Fall colors year-round. Though I’m usually a fan of cool colors like blues, silvers and purples in the garden, there’s something about the fiery tones of fall which makes me feel extra enthused about plants with cinnamon, orange, and golden foliage color. For this month’s North Coast Journal column, I talked about nine of my favorite plants with these colors, so you can incorporate these warm hues into the garden year-round. Also included is the usual monthly to-do list outlining the essential…
  • Educated Consumers Score a Big Win for Honeybees – With Thanks to Skagit Gardens

    Genevieve
    14 Nov 2014 | 5:12 pm
    Wildlife gardeners have been fighting an uphill battle against the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, the ones that are thought to be responsible for colony collapse disorder in honeybees. One of the most heartbreaking things is that recently, many home gardeners have become aware that the bee-friendly plants they have planted in their gardens specifically to help out honeybees have actually been part of the problem, because so many commercial growers use this type of long-lasting systemic pesticide. It can last in the plant for over a year and comes out in the plants’ pollen, so those…
  • How to Compost Pet Waste: Making Pet Ownership More Earth-Friendly

    Linda
    12 Nov 2014 | 9:20 am
    With the number of pets people have, the safe disposal of pet waste has become a real problem for local governments. When you put it in a plastic bag and send it to the landfill, for instance, it just sits there forever until the bag is broken. And it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out the bacterial hazard this type of waste, in these types of quantities, poses to our water table. But what if there were methods to make old cat litter and dog waste into compost? Of course, the compost wouldn’t be used on food crops or on any food-producing areas. It can, however, be used on…
  • Monday Miscellany: Drunken Fried Apple Products, Forcing Bulbs, and more

    Genevieve
    9 Nov 2014 | 11:01 pm
    The latest and greatest from around the web. . . curated by North Coast Gardening. Drunken. Apple. Fritters. Yeah. The Prudent Garden has a tutorial and recipe up on making these delicious lumps of heavenly goodness. Go, eat, be happy. Your diet can start again tomorrow. (A non-alcoholic version from Julie’s Garden Delights here). How to force bulbs. A Healthy Life for Me has a great infographic on forcing bulbs, and she shares instructions on how to do it as well. This is the time of year. . . I usually buy paperwhites and hyacinths locally, and order Amaryllis from Longfield Gardens,…
 
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    High Altitude Gardening

  • Coinkydinks

    20 Nov 2014 | 9:10 am
    Most folks take one look at my blonde hair and instantly write me off as a blithering idiot. Like yesterday, when the Home Depot guy launched into a 10 minute tutorial on slab vs. pre-hung doors."I know the difference," I said, impatiently. Hoping to shut him up."You do?" He replied, more than a wee bit shocked.It's always a surprise to people that I can handle most fixer upper projects all by my lonesome. I can wire my own light fixtures, install a door if I have to. And... I'm a ceramic tile expert. I am! Thanks to Hurricane Katrina.My best bud, BK, and I, bee-lined it to the Gulf Coast,…
  • Wreck of the Hesperus

    16 Nov 2014 | 10:38 am
    When's the last time you moved? 5... 10... 20 years ago?As we get older, we tend to stay put and I wonder... is it because we were finally able to afford a house? A place to call home?  Or... is it because moving is such a pain in the arse? :)I've searched, in vain, through the many boxes demanding my attention, and have yet to find any of the kitchen items I so desperately need. Have been limping along with one iced tea glass for 12 days.  And, I broke it yesterday so now I am highly motivated... My Mother lived in the same house her entire adult life.Mom & Dad purchased their…
  • The Summer of Discontent

    13 Nov 2014 | 6:23 pm
    They say you can never go home again. But, there's always a loophole in pretty much everything people swear to be true.You most certainly can go home again. March right up there and pound on the front door! Sure! The new home owners will probably call the cops. But, what do you care? With any luck, you'll be handcuffed in the living room - so you'll get a glimpse of the new decor and decide if you approve.The easier loophole is if you happen to own two homes.Back in the dark ages of 2002.. I made the smartest dumb move one could ever imagine. I purchased a second home 3 miles outside the Park…
  • Outrageously Orange

    4 Jul 2014 | 5:20 pm
    My 'bottle rockets' are happily celebrating the 4th of July.I've always had a mad crush on the color orange. Can't, for the life of me, figure out why it's considered the 'color of insanity.' Unless the folks who tell me that are trying to say that I am?So, whaddyathink? Do you love orange? Do you hate it?However you feel about orange, I'm sure you'll agree on one thing. Orange simply cannot be ignored.I purchased a gorgeous orange dress one time. Back when I was skinny so I could wear pretty much anything. Except, maybe, that. Whenever I wore it, people would ask me if I was feeling okay.
  • The Apocalyse? And Perrennial Veggies

    27 Jun 2014 | 11:06 am
    * Most vegetables are annuals and need to be re-planted every growing season. Scroll to the bottom of this post to view a list of veggies that come back year, after year. What a lucky shot. A wee bee cruises in for a landing, just as I'm zooming in on the flowers. Do you have an emergency preparedness plan? You know... like when the Zombie Apocalypse happens or something more boring... such as an earthquake?There are ~ at least ~ 500 of these hot pink Knautia blooms, atop 3 foot stems, waving in the breeze. They're re-seeding themselves throughout the garden. (And, that's fine by me.)I…
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    Ewa in the Garden

  • 10 Photos of Sissinghurst Castle Garden

    24 Nov 2014 | 10:41 am
    Sissinghurst Castle Garden is an iconic British garden and a must see when you visit Great Britain. Recently I was reviewing a book that was published 3rd of November, 2014 (read the review here). Whatever you see on the photos below or in reality, you can find its story in the book, how that specific part was created, what challenges were faced from the beginning and how the
  • 16 Photos of the Best Flowering Hydrangeas in Poland

    20 Nov 2014 | 10:52 am
    The best recipe for success with your beloved plants in the garden is actually the choice of plants itself. If you match the requirements with the conditions of your climate zone and specific conditions you have in your own location, your life would be much easier and your garden much healthier. I know why we garden lovers too often try to cultivate plants that have little chance to thrive,
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in Poland November 2014

    17 Nov 2014 | 8:47 am
    What a true surprise! Such Novemebr can be blessed like no other! I don't remember that warm November and that many flowers in the garden so late in the Autumn. Usually mid of this month there was a heavy snow fall. Some of the gardeners, especially those maintaining other people's gardens are very unhappy and use to say... we will all pay for this weather next year.... plants will suffer.  Are
  • What Kind of Orchid to Buy as a Gift

    14 Nov 2014 | 8:28 am
    Paphiopedilum Orchids (Lady Slippers) Orchids are quickly becoming one of the most popular indoor plants in the world. They can provide beauty and elegance to any room instantly. With over 20,000 species, you can find an Orchid that will grow well in just about any condition or match just about any design. Orchids have also become a very popular gift for all occasions. They are typically
  • Chemtrails in Algarve, Portugal

    10 Nov 2014 | 11:14 pm
    - Come out, I show you something - the Doctor said. It was calm and sunny morning in the Algarvian countryside, 7 km from The Atlantic Ocean and 24 km from Faro (Portugal). The Doctor is living and practicing in Algarve for many years already. - Look in the sky and don’t think these are the regular trails left by the planes. They started it again, because the vacation season has ended and the
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    Your Small Kitchen Garden

  • Crazy Squash Story

    Daniel Gasteiger
    19 Nov 2014 | 8:37 pm
    You could describe a neck pumpkin as a megagigantic butternut squash. This one is about 30 inches from stem to blossom end. At harvest it weighed 19 pounds. In central Pennsylvania, people favor neck pumpkins (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash) for pumpkin pie. This same squash appears (ripe) in two other photos in this post. I had some fun with squash this year. Actually, I had a series of fortunate unlikely accidents. Each one was minor and seemingly unimportant, but when I think it through, the accidents together make a story worth sharing. I present the accidents in the…
  • Bloom Day After Freeze

    Daniel Gasteiger
    15 Nov 2014 | 8:59 pm
    My pea plants have been in bloom for four weeks, but cool autumn temperatures have slowed growth. I’d bet many blossoms are all of four weeks old and still looking fresh. The few pods that remain from blooms that have dropped petals haven’t even hinted at thickening. I might have harvested them to eat as snow peas, but I couldn’t spot even half a dozen on 28 foot-rows of plants. A two-night deep freeze has finished off the pea plants. Just last night we experienced a deep freeze—down to about 24F degrees. It was cold enough to wipe out almost all the annuals I grow in my kitchen…
  • Wordless Wednesday at Autumn’s End

    Daniel Gasteiger
    5 Nov 2014 | 8:58 pm
     
  • Cruising Autumn in Pennsylvania Farm Country

    Daniel Gasteiger
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    Weeds in the foreground provide a glimpse of some crop nearing harvest that stretches back to barns, silos, and storage buildings. Behind all that, a wooded hill shows off in early autumn. About five minutes by car from my home, this scene represents the beauty of Pennsylvania farm country in autumn. Screamin’! As in, fall colors have been screamin’ for the past five weeks and I’ve enjoyed them more than I remember ever enjoying autumn. I wish you all could have joined me! Because that didn’t happen, I put together a slideshow. I hope you’ll have a look and let it inspire you to…
  • Wordless Wednesday Sunset, 2014

    Daniel Gasteiger
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:08 pm
     
 
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    Dirt Du Jour Daily Blog

  • Free Book Friday!

    cindymcnatt@gmail.com
    21 Nov 2014 | 2:25 am
    While the rest of the country shivers, and digs out of snowbanks, California has an easy week but is still in a long-term drought. To bring some green to the eyes of all gardeners, and inspiration to those who dig in dry climates, let’s visit a delightful lawn replacement by the celebrated designer, Rebecca Sweet. The mix of color, texture and form is masterful. Win Rebecca’s info-packed, new book, Refresh Your Garden Design, by telling us in the comments which part of your garden needs a makeover. We’ll announce the winner (randomly chosen, of course) in the next Friday of Dirt du…
  • Free Daffodil Friday!

    cindymcnatt@gmail.com
    14 Nov 2014 | 1:59 am
    Did you buy your daffodil bulbs yet? Win the perfect note cube for making lists of which daffs you want. Brought to you by First Daffodils, the refreshing blog and Facebook page with photos from winter-weary gardeners all over the world who snap away when they see the first daffs emerge. First Daffodils is donating two note cubes for our readers. Just leave a comment telling us why you love daffodils! We’ll select two winners at random, and announce them next Friday. Ready for my own daffodil tips? Tune in to hear me (Charlotte) on a new radio show, Saturday, November 15 at 11 a.m. EST.
  • When nature takes back

    cindymcnatt@gmail.com
    6 Nov 2014 | 6:28 am
    See what happens when nature - when left alone - takes back what once belonged (briefly) to people. Pretty and eerie at the same time. The planet always wins. whatever Vox—Ferns communities talk, then determine who is who sex-wise
  • Feed me Seymour!

    cindymcnatt@gmail.com
    22 Oct 2014 | 6:58 am
    If you’re thinking you might as well take the winter off where you live, get one thing done before you take your break. Planting a cover crop in your vegetable garden feeds the soil, loosens the structure and provides organic materials when you dig it under in spring. You’ll be ready to plant in a super-duper enriched environment. It’s as easy as sprinkling seed. Mother Earth News has the long-form how-to. whatever TwinCities.com—Public smackdown for gardener sprucing vacant lot
  • Because the birds don’t hunker down

    cindymcnatt@gmail.com
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:16 am
    Fall might look a little dull to a hummingbird. What, with the blossoms gone and nectar sources scarce. Kennedy Glass Studios has been making these beautiful nectar feeders for four years. whatever Wall Street Journal —Big problem in English garden community: Spiking snails over the fence.
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    Bay Area Tendrils

  • Paris in the Fall ...

    Bay Area Tendrils
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:37 pm
    These delectable cheeses featured in a picnic lunch last Fall, while traveling through the South of France: purchased at a market in the delightful town of Uzès, in this instance.But the fact is, I'm mired in the technical so-called 'back-end' of the blog today.While I would love to do nothing more than reflect on the magnificent sights, sounds and flavors experienced in Paris & Provence last September ... Case in point, this terrific potager in the charming wine village of Tavel,I'm engaged instead in a frustrating battle with an advertisement that I have been unable to…
  • Echium Blooms .. San Francisco Marina

    Bay Area Tendrils
    2 Apr 2014 | 12:38 pm
    Amazon.com WidgetsAll along San Francisco's Marina Green walkway the Echiums are attracting bees & hummingbirds to their lavish spikes!The bluest blue, purple and even pink specimens are on display. Simply gorgeous, wouldn't you say!
  • Magnolias .. Spring in the Bay Area

    Bay Area Tendrils
    23 Feb 2014 | 8:46 am
    Magnolia sighting while strolling a lovely side street north of the Golden Gate Bridge:                                                                                 A sure sign of Springtimein the San Francisco Bay Area! Amazon.com Widgets
  • Nature Travel ~ San Francisco to Central Coast California

    Bay Area Tendrils
    16 Oct 2013 | 10:06 am
    Amazon.com WidgetsLooking back ..  Nature Travel ..  2013The Pinnacles .. Central CaliforniaPoint Lobos ... Succulent RockscapeSan Francisco Conservatory of Flowers .. Golden Gate ParkGreen Gulch Zen Center Gardens ~ Muir BeachIt's been a very good year!
  • Hibiscus Sugar Tip .. One Sweet Shrub!

    Bay Area Tendrils
    20 Jun 2013 | 8:02 am
    I've always been dotty about variegated foliage. Combine splashed leaves with a flower that's so alluring and it's difficult to imagine one lovelier. I'm over the moon about this stand-out shrub in Alice's Garden.Hibiscus 'Sugar Tip' offers a delicate white tracery on its leaves, while the petite blooms with their colorful centers are sweet additions to flower arrangements. The double frilly flowers are subtle, about 1 and 1/2 inches wide with an eye-catching vermillion center. It's won me over completely.And I'm not known for selecting pale pink…
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    Daffodil Planter

  • Top Ten Daffodils for the Longest Blooming Season

    11 Nov 2014 | 10:36 am
    How can you choose among the thousands of daffodils? Start with this list, for the daffodils that are first to bloom, and last to close out the season, with lots of lovelies in between. I chose these top ten, must-grow daffodils because:They offer a flower show through the entire daffodil season -- early, mid-season, and late bloomers.They naturalize well (they'll keep on producing baby bulbs over the years).They're Wister Award winners, recognized by the American Daffodil Society as both beautiful and reliable. Well, 9 out of 10 are Wister Award winners. I tacked on…
  • Best Daffodils for your Region

    10 Nov 2014 | 11:14 am
    Wondering which daffodils will succeed in your garden? Will 'Barrett Browning' thrive in your county?It's more than knowing a daffodil will bloom in "USDA zone 7", when zone 7 gardens can be found in the arid Sierra Nevada foothills, or in swampy Washington, D.C.Luckily, a past president of the American Daffodil Society wrote an article on regional daffodil favorites. Click to read Mary Lou Gripshover's advice about "Daffodils: Regional Proven Performers" in the American  Horticultural Society's magazine, The American Gardener. You'll find her suggestions…
  • Welcome, Farmer Fred listeners!

    30 Nov 2013 | 10:28 am
    I was talking bulbs with Farmer Fred on his Get Growing with Farmer Fred radio show, Sunday, December 1 from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Listen to us on the podcast.I'm a garden writer, a California Master Gardener, and a daffodil nut.Here are links about topics we discussed on the December 1, 2013 show.How to plant daffodils: Choose a well-drained site that has full sun all year, or has full sun when the leaves are off the trees. Dig a trench or hole 6" deep, add phosphorus mixed with the soil at the bottom of the hole, add compost to the soil you have removed, plant the bulbs pointy end up,…
  • Daffodil Blogorama 2012

    16 Apr 2012 | 12:02 am
    Narcissus Nirvana is back with the 2012 Daffodil Blogorama (a round-up of blog posts about daffodils) and the annual meeting of the American Daffodil Society. If you're anywhere close to Towson, Maryland, rush over and revel in the flowers and fellowship at the Annual Meeting, April 20-22.For those of us who can't make the Annual Meeting, two quick glimpses of New Hampshire daffodils from my friend, Lynn Felici-Gallant. Lynn's combination of nodding Narcissus 'Thalia' and Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue' in the New Hampshire garden Lynn left last year. That transition story was on a…
  • Daffodil Daydreams at Filoli 2012

    15 Apr 2012 | 9:45 pm
    Cue the Dynasty theme music! Filoli was introduced to the world as the set for that wacky TV show, but these days there's not a diamond necklace or giant shoulder pad in sight.The Woodside, California garden is hailed as one of the most beautiful in the U.S. Filoli is an official Display Garden for the American Daffodil Society, and each spring it celebrates a long weekend of Daffodil DaydreamsA gracious transition from the formal gardens, looking West to the Santa Cruz Mountains, with daffodil accents.The daffodils in the borders and orchard were not at their peak, but daffodil containers,…
 
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    Miss Rumphius' Rules

  • Garden Travel: Architectural Swoon in Miami Beach

    Susan aka Miss. R
    12 Nov 2014 | 3:39 am
    It’s no secret that I’ve been exploring Art Deco forms as inspiration for garden designs. I’ve always been drawn to the geometry and order, even when I started my career as a jewelry designer. Many of the preeminent decorative styles of the early 20th century have this type of order – Bauhaus, DeStijl, Viennese Secessionist (Josef Hoffman’s work is another swoon), Art Moderne and Art Deco and they still draw me in. When the opportunity to visit Miami Beach after the APLD Landscape Design Conference in Orlando last week I jumped at the chance.  There was much…
  • Garden Design Details: Stone at Skylands

    Susan aka Miss. R
    22 Oct 2014 | 4:18 am
    I hadn’t visited Skylands for about ten years, and never in the fall.  I went hoping to see the last of the fall foliage and instead found stonework that was interesting in its scope and full of ideas. Formerly an estate developed in the 1920s, it is now the New Jersey Botanical Garden and its stone American Tudor mansion  is better known than the gardens as a popular site for weddings. The stonework at Skylands is incredible and impressive…even if much of it is in need of repair.  There is both formal and rustic stonework and sometimes dressed stone is juxtaposed with…
  • Garden Design Details: Fall Beyond Foliage

    Susan aka Miss. R
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:08 am
    I had some rare time in between landscape design projects and clients last week and as I’ve been meaning to take my new camera lens out for a spin, I stopped by Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown to search out some of the details of the season.  The focus of this public park is plants…not necessarily design although it has its designer-y moments.  I go here when I need a plant fix.  I send my landscape design students here to photograph and learn about plants just as I did years ago when I was learning. Grasses, asters, Japanese anemones and Monkshood were at their peak…
  • Garden Design Inspiration: Architectural Details in Chicago

    Susan aka Miss. R
    7 Oct 2014 | 4:37 am
    When I was in Chicago in August, speaking at IGC about landscape designers and their potential relationships with garden centers  I took a day before and a day after to explore the city and meet up with friends.  I’ve been to Chicago regularly over the past five years and have seen and written about its wonderful gardens and street plantings, but this time I went in search of something else.  Architecture. Chicago reinvented itself after the great fire in 1871, and many of architecture’s greatest design minds have lived or worked in the city. Three who formed the basis of the…
  • Garden Visits: Princeton

    Susan aka Miss. R
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:35 am
    I visited gardens yesterday in Princeton, New Jersey. The tour was arranged by the New Jersey Landscape and Nursery Association (NJNLA) and featured four very different gardens by designer Bill Kucas. What struck me about these outdoor spaces was that their details is what really made them interesting. In each space the features beyond plants were detailed beautifully, but when I asked about what made the spaces personal, that had been left up to the clients. In each space, with the exception of the one still being built, the choice of furniture and accessories beyond what the landscape…
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    Garden Therapy

  • Clay Acorn Ornaments

    Stephanie
    19 Nov 2014 | 8:04 pm
    These clay acorn ornaments are made simply with a modeling clay that requires no special equipment to harden (yay!) and found acorn caps. An autumn walk in the woods or even a neighborhood street is all you need to collect the caps, then follow the steps of this DIY tutorial to make your own festive holiday ornaments perfect for Thanksgiving or even hanging on the Christmas tree. I’m just nuts about acorn caps as a crafting material and have seen them used in just so many different ways (thank you Pinterest!). Why is it that acorns are such an icon of fall? Perhaps because of the sheer…
  • Hand-Stamped Fabric Napkins

    Stephanie
    16 Nov 2014 | 8:34 pm
    These hand-stamped cocktail napkins are great for a dinner party, but they are so easy and inexpensive that you could use them every day. I personally like to use cloth napkins at every meal. Even with a messy toddler. Well, especially with a messy toddler. I need a new napkin each time we sit down at the table and they get used. Hard. Which is actually a really good thing. The more you wash good quality fabric napkins the softer they get. They even seem to become more absorbent. I’m not sure what the science is behind that last one but I’m always reaching for my older napkins…
  • Fall Leaves and Burlap DIY Candles

    Stephanie
    10 Nov 2014 | 10:54 am
    These festive autumn candle holders combine some of my very favourite craft supplies to work with: mason jars, fall leaves, and burlap ribbon. This simple project will add a rustic glamour to Thanksgiving entertaining or make a great gift.   Burlap reminds me of fall. I’m not quite sure why, perhaps because it’s the colour of the garden going to bed for the winter. Or perhaps the texture that reminds me of the roughness of the leaves as they dry out. There are things I don’t like about burlap such as the odor (what is that!?) and how much it sheds. There are also…
  • November Desktop Calendar

    Stephanie
    4 Nov 2014 | 11:03 am
    It’s time to unveil the calendar for this month…. Ta da! This squirrelly design is sure to remind those of us in cooler areas that the job out in the garden this month is to clean up and stash away your goodies for the year. Click and save this copy for your phone or mobile device,  Or this one for your digital desktop,   Or here is a print that you can put in an 8×10 frame: DOWNLOAD Garden Therapy PRINTABLE Squirrelly Calendar for November 8×10 This month we will be doing a whole lot of decorating both out in the garden and bringing the garden inside. You will…
  • Olive and Fig Tapanade

    Stephanie
    3 Nov 2014 | 2:41 pm
    Do you like the combination of salty a sweet? The addictive combination is incredibly popular for a reason. There is research to show that there are certain sweet taste receptors on our tongues that are activated only when sodium is also present. Whatever the reason, sweet and salty are SO FREAKING GOOD TOGETHER! While I’m not adverse to salted caramel or chocolate pretzels, there are other ways to get the flavour kick that are a bit closer to nature. Enter Fig and Olive Tapanade. I’m a longtime fan of jam on cheese and crackers but spread a little of this drool-inducing mixture…
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    Living walls and Vertical Gardens

  • 7 Inspiring Vertical Gardens

    Gavin
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:25 am
    Vertical gardening has arrived. Combining inspirations from landscaping, architecture, interior design and even fashion, inventive vertical plant compositions are popping up all over the world. These are our most inspiring picks, showcasing the versatility and innovativeness of this urban-friendly way of greening the space around us. Warning – it might prompt you to try out vertical gardening yourself! If you’re in doubt that vertical gardens are in fashion, this creation by Dior will surely convince you. Dior used this striking vertical design to draw attention to the Spring/Summer 2014…
  • Green Walls: The Benefits and How to Build Your Own

    Gavin
    10 Sep 2013 | 10:02 am
    Lately, the idea of green walls has become very fashionable. Either part of a building or free standing, this sustainable innovation is healthy and great to look at. Also known as living walls, these vertical gardens are packed with flora that benefits everything from our lungs to our ears!

Let’s have a detailed look into the benefits of green walls and then find out how to install your very own green wall at home… Improved Air Quality It has been scientifically proven that foliage can improve air quality. Indeed, the Amazon rainforest is often referred to as ‘the lungs of the…
  • Grow a Vertical Garden Indoors

    Gavin
    26 May 2013 | 10:54 am
    Grow a Vertical Garden Indoors Growing a vertical garden indoors is the same as growing plants in containers on the fire escape or indoors. Plants need the same thing, no matter how you arrange them. It’s a fairly straightforward process involving containers, a hanging system, water and soil. Growing a vertical wall garden indoors is the perfect way to get your herb garden without taking up precious kitchen space. What is A Vertical Wall Garden? A vertical garden involves a sort of container and system that lets you place the plants vertically. Most often vertical wall gardens are attached…
  • Growing a Vertical Wall Garden of Succulents

    Gavin
    9 May 2013 | 10:48 am
    Do you have a boring patio or garden wall? Are you looking for a way to add some color and interest to the wall? If so, you should consider creating your very own colorful and living work of art to liven up that space – with succulents. A vertical garden, or a hanging garden made of living plants, is a fantastic way to turn a ho-hum space into a focal point. Succulents are an excellent choice for a vertical garden because they are hearty, they grow slowly and they come in a range of colors, sizes and textures. Blending a variety of these plants together to create a vertical garden will…
  • Vertical Garden Installations

    Gavin
    18 Apr 2013 | 8:45 pm
    Vertical Garden Installations In today’s world, with limited space in cities, architects and gardeners are turning to a new concept in order to bring some green into the concrete jungle: vertical gardens. Unlike regular gardens, which lie flat on the ground, vertical gardens are designed to climb into the sky. This makes them more difficult to design. First, you have to deal with gravity. Secondly, you have to accommodate for the sunlight each portion of the garden will receive. A plant that thrives in sunlight won’t do well on the north facing side of a building. Likewise, plants…
 
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    Herb Garden Blog

  • We’ll Get You Into Art Basel Miami

    admin
    12 Nov 2014 | 9:17 am
    Art Basel, the world’s biggest international art show is fast approaching. And so are its glitzy parties, exclusive art brunches, and ocean front sound stages. Translation: you need to be there. Which is why you need to enter our Art Basel Sweepstakes, sponsored by Headlines & Heroes and our partners at Fathom and Blood Sweat and Cheers and The Daily Sip. This super prize package includes round trip airfare to Miami, a three-night stay at one of Miami’s premiere hotels, and ticket access to exclusive Art Basel events. And that’s not all. We’re throwing in an authentic “Crânes…
  • Need Help with Gifts for Men?

    admin
    8 Jul 2014 | 7:11 am
    Selecting the ideal gift is an art. Would they need this? Do they really need this? It can take a considerable time to truly cut down the perfect present for the perfect occasion. You most likely find yourself asking a slew of questions debating every present you purchase. Sadly, time is something that not many of us have a lot of. Which is the main reason why Headlines & Heroes is the ideal tool for selecting the perfect gift and saving your time. Finally, the times of last minute scurrying to find that present you’ve been putting on the backburner for months are gone Headlines…
  • Luxury at its finest: Continuum Miami

    admin
    7 Jul 2014 | 12:45 pm
    Miami is speedily becoming one of the most desired cities in the world for real estate. With luxury condos Miami offers magnificent properties, stunning views, active social scene, and rich culture Miami offers has received both but domestic and global attention. The Miami Property market is on the rise and continues to reflect strength and expansion. Actually sixty-two percent of consumers in Miami are global consumers. From what used to be a seasonal town, Miami has transformed to an all year hot spot destination. Often referred to as a “little New York,” Miami is the second…
  • So The Kids Left Home

    admin
    27 Jun 2014 | 8:03 am
    So the kids left home. They are out of the house, living on their own, and beginning to write the tale to their own lives. You feel so proud and excited, after all your babies are all grown up now.  Unfortunately, however, you may have come down with a case of empty nest syndrome? You are most likely asking, what’s empty nest syndrome? According to Psychology Today, Empty Nest Syndrome “is a feeling of isolation or depression that happens among parents after children grow up and leave home.” Now, does that sound all to familiar? Like so many folks before you, coping with…
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    Urban Organic Gardener

  • How To Make An Awesome Aquaponics System [VIDEO]

    UOG
    14 Nov 2014 | 3:52 pm
    It’s obvious Ann Forsthoefel of “Aqua Annie” is excited by aquaponics, the growing of plants fed by nutrients from fish, which in turn provide a source of food when they reach maturity. “There are so few inputs compared to growing crops in the soil,” she said. With her gardens, she’s constantly building up the soil that is depleted at the end of each growing season. The beauty of aquaponics, she said, is that there isn’t that constant work because the fish are giving nutrients to the plants. Read her full post on Cooking Up a Story:…
  • Win a MEGA Seed Bank from SeedsNow.com

    UOG
    10 Nov 2014 | 8:15 am
    Some believe that one of the best investments to currently make is in your own personal supply of quality non-hybrid vegetable seeds called a Seed Bank. Did you know there are already Seed Banks all throughout the World prepping for the same thing. Ever heard of the Svalbard “Doomsday Seed Vault” in the Arctic? SeedsNow is giving away a MEGA SEED BANK that sells for over $120. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.
  • 7 Reasons to Join the Urban Homesteading Revolution

    UOG
    6 Nov 2014 | 11:27 am
    by Abby Quillen of CustomMade.com 1. Homegrown food is safer, more nutritious, and tastes better. When the latest salmonella or e-coli outbreak dominates the headlines, it’s comforting to know exactly where your food comes from and how it’s raised. And because vitamin content is depleted by light, temperature, and time, freshly picked produce grown near your house is more nutritious than conventional produce, which is transported an average of 1,494 miles before it reaches the grocery store. An even more delicious reason to celebrate homegrown food is the flavor. Gourmet chefs use the…
  • He Started With Some Boxes, 60 Days Later, The Neighbors Could Not Believe What He Built

    UOG
    4 Nov 2014 | 7:53 am
    This homeowner observed his boring green lawn, and he started to ask himself, “so what’s the point?” Although it looked nice, it gave him no satisfaction. It was a lot of work to keep too. So he decided to try something else. Check out what he did next. Since the city was giving away compost for free, he got some and that’s what you see in the boxes. Support systems started coming up as the seeds began sprouting. For this guy, the hardest part was developing the irrigation system. Cinder blocks and wood chips fill in the rest of the lawn. erer The arugula came first. Then spinach was…
  • Why and How I Quit My Job, To Be a Full-Time Homesteader

    UOG
    26 Oct 2014 | 6:01 pm
    Source: The More One Sows; The Greater The HarvestThis is the story of how and WHY I quit my full-time job, away from my home, to become a full-time homesteader. Can it be done? Of course it can.  And although I’m not advocating rushing off to put in your “two weeks notice” after reading this article, maybe it will give you something to think about for your future, where you want to go from here & how you can go about doing it. So WHY did I quit my job?  It certainly wasn’t an easy decision. I had spent just over a decades worth of my time engulfed into my…
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    The Garden Plot

  • Add Living Decorations to this Year’s Holiday Theme

    Garden Media Group
    10 Nov 2014 | 7:21 am
    Put a spin on traditional seasonal design with blooming decorations. Amaryllis is one of the few flowers that bloom during the coldest winter months and adds a splash of much needed color around the home.From stripes and solids to pinks and white, the multiple colors and styles of amaryllis bulbs coordinate with any holiday décor.Longfield Gardens’ select amaryllis come in a variety of colors, shapes and styles this year. From the bold ‘Red Pearl,’ whose deep crimson, velvety petals are overlaid with burgundy and maroon, to ‘Apple Blossom,’ which adds a soft touch with its snow…
  • Create a Supernatural Halloween with Spooky Plants from Costa Farms

    kmdubow
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:07 am
    Add a supernatural touch to your Halloween festivities. Decorate this season with spooky indoor plants that have creepy names, devilish shapes and weird colors. While everything else this season goes bump in the night, these ‘living decorations’ add a fun, eerie twist to traditional Halloween décor. These spooky plants all have great names and fun stories that give children, party guests and trick-or- treaters something fun to talk about. Plus they are easy to grow year round.African Mask. The dark, shield-shaped foliage of an African Mask is an eerie…
  • Celebrate a Special Mother-in-Law this October

    Garden Media Group
    8 Oct 2014 | 9:53 am
    Sunday, Oct. 26 marks Mother-in-Law Day, a special day to honor the woman who gave birth to your spouse and the grandmother of your children. This unofficial holiday offers a chance to get to know “mom” and show her the appreciation she deserves. “Whether you’ve known her for years or you’re new to the family, every mother-in-law deserves recognition and thanks,” says Katie Dubow of Garden Media Group, a public relations firm specializing in the gardening and outdoor lifestyle industry. Before choosing a gift, think about her interests and hobbies. Everyone loves a present that…
  • Protect BrazelBerries® From Old Man Winter With These Easy Steps

    Garden Media Group
    6 Oct 2014 | 6:43 am
    The new line of BrazelBerries® blueberries and raspberries shrubs that grow easily in containers or gardens are a snap to care for over the winter with some simple steps. Most varieties within the BrazelBerries® collection can take cooler temperatures and actually need a certain amount of chill to set fruit the next year. The blueberry varieties Jelly Bean™ and Blueberry Glaze™ and the thornless Raspberry Shortcake™ raspberry all are specifically bred to survive during cold months either inside in a protected spot or out in the garden or landscape. Peach Sorbet™ is a hybrid that may…
  • New Infographic from Longfield Gardens Illustrates How to Enjoy up to 60 Days of Spring Flowers

    Garden Media Group
    25 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    As fall approaches, gardeners are making plans to plant flower bulbs for brighter spring gardens, landscapes and bouquets. With a little understanding and forethought, gardeners can extend their flowering season by choosing the right bulbs that bloom one right after another, filling spring with flowers for months.“Bulb gardening is very easy by nature. Just dig up some dirt, put in some bulbs and wait,” said Marlene Thompson, creative director for Longfield Gardens.“Our new infographic further simplifies the bulb gardening process by helping gardeners understand spring’s four…
 
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    This Grandmother's Garden

  • Enter If You Must, But Only If You Dare!

    Carolyn ♥
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:18 am
    Shadows of a thousand yearsrise up again unseen,Voices whisper in my trees...“Today is Halloween!”ENTER if you must... but onlyif you dare.I've heard them say"an old witch lives there".When the moon is full,and the wind has a chill... a walk in my gardenbrings such a thrill!Tread lightly as you walkso as not to disturb,There are ghosts you can't seethough their cries may be heard.Pumpkin eyes and witches brew,MAGIC in my garden lends a mystical hue. Kiss this rose then click your heels twice... Don't mind that black spiderHe can be rather nice.Don't touch the…
  • Sometimes You Just Need a Little Break...

    Carolyn ♥
    6 Jun 2014 | 8:02 am
    LIFE IS GOODSo much is happening in my gardens! I've been so busy busy...30 days since my last post... Don't give up on me... new post is coming soon!(Besides... I've missed visiting all of you!)All content created by Carolyn Bush | Copyright © 2010 - 2014 All Rights Reserved This Grandmother's Garden | Highland, Utah, USA All content created by Carolyn Bush | Copyright © 2010 - 2014 All Rights Reserved | This Grandmother's Garden | Highland, Utah, USA
  • Painted Ladies Migration

    Carolyn ♥
    6 May 2014 | 10:12 am
             Que the music...                 The Painted Ladies are dancin' in my Utah gardens!Migrating north from their winter in Mexico...they're on the lookout for pretty flowers. And our gardens actually have a few. Sipping nectar from the blossoms gives them energy on their long flight...as they make their way across the state,  pollinating the orchards as they dance.This is the beginning of delicious apricots, peaches, pears and apples...Yum!Think of…
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    Annie's Gardening Corner

  • The Attitude of May

    24 Nov 2014 | 7:51 am
    The Attitude of MayEnjoy today’s imagery on every click. Hit the refresh button for a sudden burst of color in November that shines brightly in those early months of spring. The vibrancy of yellow and redWhen there’s less time for content and words, a Monday round of imagery seems perfect and perky as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday. For the love of Tulips and Daffodils Take a breather for the beautiful in nature and our surrounding landscapes. A favorite is where land and water meetShare a bit of what is ‘outdoors’ beautiful even if it means backtracking to…
  • Friday’s Shades of Red

    21 Nov 2014 | 7:54 am
                                   It’s simply garden imagery for this chilly November Friday.  Because red represents beauty in many languages plus increases enthusiasm, stimulates energy, encourages action and confidence, it seems like the perfect color choice for this chilly November Friday. Let's not skip the obvious - why not bring in a bit of orange for the Thanksgiving celebration. Kniphofia it is!Enjoy today’s garden imagery and…
  • Thursday’s Turkey Day Tips

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:51 am
    If you missed this week’s posts, Trees to Stew On, Frosty Wishes and The Last Bit of Autumn Fun, find some leisure indoor time. Catch up on your garden and landscape design reading this chilly Thursday morning. If it's not apparent, the tipping point of the winter freeze is closing in.  Everything in the landscape, even the ponds and lakes begin icing up. So onto the last bit of autumn fun - next Thursday's Turkey Day tips. In need of some tasty ideas for the holiday festivities?  Here are couple of Ina Garten recipes; a must try for Turkey Day. These recipes were tested out…
  • Trees to Stew on

    19 Nov 2014 | 7:46 am
    Trees to Stew OnIf you missed yesterday’s post, Frosty Wishes, it was a friendly reminder not to procrastinate in the months ahead, at least as it pertains to your landscape design and plans. And when it comes to your planting plan, here are a few specimen trees to stew on and consider for that special place in your landscape. Top on our list is the Stewartia. It’s one we recently added to our own landscape. It’s been on my wish list for years. One of the best features of the Stewartia - its stunning exfoliating bark, which offers four-season interest. Stewartia: The Stewartia is…
  • Frosty Wishes

    18 Nov 2014 | 7:29 am
    Your design projects should be breaking ground when the crocuses pop so use this frosty time to design and plan ahead. As the November frosts become a regular visitor, it’s easy to shelf your outdoor plans. Early grumblings of the winter months close in on us and outdoor thoughts become just that - somewhere out there. The procrastination button clicks into gear. It’s only natural to think it can all wait until spring yet the design process entails legwork and plenty of decisions. Wouldn't you rather plan ahead?   Great results equal perfect timing and these next few months provide…
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    Serenity in the Garden

  • Pantone's Advice for 2015: Serenity in the Garden

    Jan Johnsen
    22 Nov 2014 | 6:14 pm
     "There is a growing movement to step out and create ‘quiet zones’ to disconnect from technology and unwind, giving ourselves time to stop and be still. " - Pantone 2015 Color Forecastacer griseum - Paperbark Maple
  • Colorful Garden Ideas...

    Jan Johnsen
    22 Nov 2014 | 5:53 am
    from Design SeedsThose of us who love color (me! me!) can’t resist the urge to include all the hues on the color wheel in our gardens.  Jan Johnsen  - colorful flower garden Color does add a dramatic punch to a garden but it can result in visual cacophony (aka : a colorful mess). Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, Pa addressed this dilemma in their 600 foot long ‘Flower Garden Walk’. They decided to feature one color at a time..from Design SeedsSo along this broad brick walk is a mix of flowers, spring bulbs, shrubs and grasses that…
  • 'Touch the Earth' through a Garden

    Jan Johnsen
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:43 am
    sculpture by Ruth Moilliet - Bluebell 2The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.~ George Bernard ShawMany of us turn to gardens and landscapes as a way to create a more meaningful connection to the earth. This urge is the impetus behind this garden blog. I share my experiences in the garden world as a way to inspire others to ‘touch the earth’.garden by Jan Johnsen I believe the piece of ground outside our door can be a conduit for us to appreciate the energy that flows within plants, water, trees, sunlight, rocks, birds and assorted creatures.It is…
  • Create a Circular Peace Garden

    Jan Johnsen
    16 Nov 2014 | 7:03 am
    Circles in the landscape - design by Jan JohnsenOur natural inclination, when in a group, is to gather in a circle.The ineluctable unity of this shape gives each person equal standing, equal voice and equal support. It is a perfect shape for expressing ourselves to others.  The result? A unified purpose or intention arising from talking and listening, in turn.Yay for the circle!Like theater in the round, no one has a better seat than anyone else. It is no wonder that circular gathering spaces are popular for group activities and in various spiritual…
  • Aexander Calder and the Phi Proportion

    Jan Johnsen
    13 Nov 2014 | 5:23 am
    Alexander Calder was a famous  artist that used shapes that are 'biomorphic'.  They recall shapes found in nature such as leaves, flowers, clouds.Shadbush leaves in Autumn - Calder's inspiration?Calder's other interests included physics, astronomy and kinetics.  He was inspired by color and composition and Piet Mondrian's paintings.by Piet  Mondrian, this incorporates Phi proportionIn some of Calder's signature hanging mobiles, he arranged colorful natural shapes in a mathematical pattern found in Nature called the Fibonacci sequence which is based on the proportion known…
 
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    MySecretGarden

  • Garden's View - First Half of November, Before the Freeze

    17 Nov 2014 | 11:53 am
    The first half of November didn't look very autumnal in my garden. A large number of evergreen plants kept it enthusiastically bright and cheerful. Grapes, Hosta and Japanese maples gave the garden most of its yellow and crimson colors. Yellow and red leaf grapevines with Solomon Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum ) in between I am in love with grapes which grow in my garden not only
  • Leucosceptrum stellipilum ‘Ogon'

    1 Nov 2014 | 8:14 am
    I was asked about this plant when I posted several pictures of it earlier this season, so I decided to tell  more about it in a separate post. It's Leucosceptrum stellipilum ‘Ogon'. In this picture, it's the furthest plant on the right, next to Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), with the hardy Schefflera (Schefflera delavayi) in the foreground. I bought it from  Far Reaches
  • Lakewold Gardens' Fall and Showcase Tables Through My Eyes ans Lens

    24 Oct 2014 | 7:04 am
    I hope you can make it this year.  Lakewold Gardens 16th Annual Beautiful Tables Showcase:  October 23-26, 2014 from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Please click 'Read more...' to see 67 pictures
  • Autumn Colors In Yang's Nursery: Japanese Maples and Others

    23 Oct 2014 | 7:16 am
    This is the time of year when even driving on a highway or in a residential area provides an opportunity to marvel at the colorful foliage palette. But,  while driving we can't enjoy it to its fullest extent, right? To absorb all the beauty which the fall offers us we need to step on the ground and better yet - on the ground where the beauty is concentrated, isolated from the distractions of the
  • Green October Hydrangea Bouquets

    12 Oct 2014 | 7:58 am
    It's time to cut hydrangea bouquets.  Some of them will stay in the house, and some will decorate my garden working table through the winter. Almost all the blue flowers turned green in August. The majority of the flowers for the bouquets shown below came from the bushes of Nicco Blue which grows in a shady northern border against a wall and in a more sunny back hedge:
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    Veg Plotting

  • Against the Odds: Canalside

    VP
    21 Nov 2014 | 1:20 am
    During the summer NAH started a new volunteer role with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust who provide narrowboat trips from their headquarters in Devizes. When our niece and nephew came to stay, we took them to see what he gets up to these days.I was surprised to find a whole plant community thriving in one of the lock gates we went through. These plants are likely to get a thorough soaking many times a day when boats go through the lock as the water level rises then falls.The stones lining the top of the lock have thriving mini communities too.If you're not reading this on…
  • Wordless Wednesday: Up on the Roof

    VP
    19 Nov 2014 | 12:30 am
    Kensington Roof Gardens - May 2014If you're not reading this on vegplotting.blogspot.com, Blotanical or your own web reader such as Bloglovin' or Feedly, then the website you're using is a blogpost feed scraper. Why not go straight to the source instead? That's vegplotting.blogspot.com
  • Postcard From Devon

    VP
    17 Nov 2014 | 12:30 am
    Greetings from a wilder and more woolly Devon than most postcards show. We've just come back from a week in Exmouth, where blustery walks were the order of the day. The coastal resorts of Torbay and elsewhere might be more popular nowadays, but Exmouth is Devon's oldest seaside resort and has a nice quirkiness about it.This view is looking across the Exe estuary towards Dawlish, where last week's weather once again halted the coastal trains for a while, though not as dramatically as the storms did earlier this year. Just out of shot to the right is the coastal spit of Dawlish Warren, a…
  • GBBD: Hanging On

    VP
    15 Nov 2014 | 12:30 am
    The blooms at VP Gardens are breaking all kinds of records this month, with all of my late season perennials hanging on and flowering in profusion. My garden's had just one slight frost so far this autumn, which hasn't been enough to bring these plants to their knees.I've been meaning to tell you all about my favourite fuchsia for quite a while, but I never imagined a November Blooms Day would be the ideal time to fulfil that promise. In most Novembers, the pictured blooms would be a soggy, brown looking mess by now.I adore the elegant simplicity of Fuchsia 'Hawkshead'. Its porcelain white…
  • VP's VIPs: Our Flower Patch - The Finale

    VP
    14 Nov 2014 | 12:30 am
    Jam jar posy of the flowers Our Flower Patch schools can growOur third and final chat with Our Flower Patch's Cally Smart and Sara Wilman takes a look at their favourite flowers, plus they give us some ideas for planting tulips - the perfect job for now. The scrummy pictures are courtesy and copyright of Sara Wilman.What are your favourite cut flowers?Cally:I love tulips in myriad colours and grow lots for cutting. I never grow them in the garden borders because they can look messy, especially when they go over but growing them close together in trenches on the allotment gives me dozens…
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    Eat Your Landscape

  • Edible and Medicinal Plants Book

    Garden Inspire
    28 Oct 2014 | 9:28 am
    I am co authoring a book on finding, using, and growing, wild edible and medicinal plants.  The book will be available in a printed version and a bit later as a PDF, for Kindle, and for Nook.To find out more join this blog so you will receive notification when this book is available. This book will have common and botanical names, description, photographs, how to use medicinally, what parts are edible and medicinal, how to eat, and how to grow.  This pocket size book will have a spiral binding for portability and usability even in the outdoors. Great addition to an emergency…
  • Potted Plants

    Beuna Tomalino
    5 May 2014 | 11:54 am
    When growing plants in containers there are some things to keep in mind for the best chance of success.Choose a container 2” larger than the pot the plant is already in. If the pot will stay outside year round choose a material that can handle temperature changes. Fiberglass, resin, concrete, and heavy duty plastic will last longer than unsealed terra cotta. If the container does not have drainage drill holes in the bottom so water does not sit in the bottom of the pot. A unsealed terra cotta pot will allow water to evaporate through the sides of the pot.  This may be desirable when…
  • Guest On Joy In Your Garden

    Beuna Tomalino
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:22 pm
    I was a guest on Joy In Your Garden, April 19, 2014 with Joy Bossi! This was a remote broadcast from Red Butte Gardens. You can listen here.
  • Rosemary - Growing Indoors

    Beuna Tomalino
    14 Jan 2014 | 7:23 am
    RosemaryRosemary is sometimes hardy in my climate (zone 6) - depending on the winter weather and where it is planted.  If you grow rosemary indoors for whatever reason here are some tips you may find helpful.When watering rosemary, check the soil moisture first by sticking your finger into the soil.  The soil should be almost dry.Every third time you water pour the water over the rosemary plant.  If you water this way every time you may notice a whitish color almost like someone had dumped some flour on it.  This whitish color is from powdery mildew.  Keep your…
  • Win A Homeschool Convention Ticket

    Beuna Tomalino
    7 Jan 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Homeschool Convention, Saturday, January 25, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Weber State University, Ogden, UtahCome visit me at my booth at the Convention! – Beuna Tomalino, Garden InspireAs a homeschool mom (my children are grown) I know that gardening is a great way to teach about gardening, arithmetic, biology, cooking, and healthy eating, among other subjects. As a garden coach besides giving hands on instruction, diagnosis, and advice I teach gardening classes. Check my calendar for the upcoming events or schedule your own class or coaching session.To enter to win a ticket visit my Garden Inspire…
 
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    GrowBlog

  • Growing and Cooking Spaghetti Squash

    20 Nov 2014 | 3:58 pm
    Recently my young friend Leah was traumatized by a spaghetti squash. A few minutes after putting a prime specimen in her microwave, it exploded like a bomb, blew open the microwave door and sprayed half the kitchen with sticky strands of squash. Note: The safest way to cook a whole spaghetti squash is to use a slow cooker. Before baking, steaming or microwaving spaghetti squash, they should be cut in half.
  • A Guide to Growing Your Own Hazelnuts

    13 Nov 2014 | 11:07 am
    Winter's when we go nuts for nuts! Enjoy them roasted (on an open fire...or in the oven), munched naked straight out of the shell, or baked with herbs and pulses to create a satisfying vegetarian alternative to traditional roast meats. Nuts are highly nutritious but eat them in any quantity and your wallet will take a fair whack. The solution, as with any premium produce, is to grow them yourself.
  • Useful Winter Weeds: Chickweed, Bittercress and Henbit

    6 Nov 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Several years ago during a lecture to a group of gardeners, I described how easy it is to use a table fork to remove chickweed by twisting the plants out like spaghetti. A woman's hand went up. "You know you're destroying your food and medicine, don't you?" she said, eager for me to enumerate the renowned benefits of chickweed (Stellaria media). It was a legitimate challenge, because is quite nutritious and probably has other health benefits, too. Chickweed tea, taken before meals, may help , and thus be of value in weight management.
  • How to Harvest Chives All Year Round

    31 Oct 2014 | 12:45 am
    Chives are top of my list of easy-to-grow, versatile herbs. As well as being attractive to both humans and pollinators for their globular bright purple flowers, they're flavoursome, not too fussy about where you grow them, and are tough enough to cope with just about any weather conditions. My only complaint is that all of that lovely, oniony top growth dies back in winter.
  • Four Fantastic Early-Blooming Bulbs for Permaculture Gardens

    23 Oct 2014 | 1:06 pm
    It happens every year. As soon as the last are tucked into the ground, I start thinking about how one can never have enough spring-blooming bulbs, so why not plant a few more? As with all decisions about pretty flowers, I keep in mind the notion that plants should serve multiple purposes. Ring the bells and call the people, because very early bloomers like crocus and scilla provide pollen and nectar for bees on mild late winter days, when little else is in bloom. Easy to grow in a range of climates, early-blooming bulbs help get the first honey bee brood of spring off to a nutritious start,…
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    The Enduring Gardener

  • Happy Feet

    The Enduring Gardener
    22 Nov 2014 | 11:34 pm
    It’s not just the jolly colours of the Nordic Grip Wets that make them great winter footwear in the garden or out and about, it’s the patented IceLock non-slip technology that was originally developed by the South Korean military to ensure they stayed on their feet in icy conditions. Apparently the rubber compound sole contains micro-glass filaments that are electrostatically aligned to give grip and traction.  They also happen to be waterproof, fleece lined, and very easy to put on and take off.  They are also incredibly comfortable, so much so that when my pair arrived I wore them…
  • Australian Mistletoe

    The Enduring Gardener
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:08 pm
    On our visit to Cranbourne Botanic Garden, the curator pointed out the Australian version of our mistletoe – which is parasitic exclusively on eucalyptus.  It so effectively mimics the foliage of its host that I don’t think I would have noticed it if it hadn’t been shown to me.  With my eye in, I saw it everywhere – the giveaway is that its leaves are generally greener and more densely clustered than those of the tree.
  • The Ubiquitous Eucalyptus

    The Enduring Gardener
    18 Nov 2014 | 11:59 pm
    Snowy Mountains It’s not until you get to Australia that you realise that eucalyptus has adapted itself to just about  every type of climate variation – wet, dry, mountainous and marine – everywhere we went there seemed to a eucalyptus that was adapted to the habitat. We saw snow gums in the  Snowy Mountains, towering 100ft specimens in the rainforests and admired the marvellously mottled trunks of those fringing the Pacific Ocean. Impressive. Silvery snow gums Wet rainforest Dry rainforest View through the mottled eucalyptus trunks to the ocean
  • Gardens by the Bay Singapore

    The Enduring Gardener
    16 Nov 2014 | 10:00 pm
    One of the highlights of the visit to Singapore was our visit to the Gardens by the Bay. I read a lot about them when they first opened in 2011, but photos showed something that still looked quite raw and I wasn’t sure that they would be worth visiting. How wrong I was – firstly because Singapore is close to the equator so everything has grown at a prodigious rate and secondly because it is quite breathtaking in scale and imagination. There are three elements to these gardens – a tropical garden that covers the entire site, the giant metal ‘super trees’ that are part sculpture, part…
  • The Wonga Wonga Vine

    The Enduring Gardener
    14 Nov 2014 | 10:29 pm
    This is the Aboriginal name for the climbing vine Pandorea pandorana – and absolutely nothing to do with loan companies or money. We spotted several plants when we were walking in the Mount Buffalo National Park in Victoria where there was a quite noticeable variation in flower colour between the different plants. It is very lovely and as it is hardy to minus 5 degrees it might be worth growing in a very sheltered garden or a conservatory. It flowers early (April) so it might struggle a bit except in a very mild year or an exceptionally sheltered spot. www.roselandhouse.co.uk offers…
 
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    Urban Gardens

  • Hydroponic Vertical Gardens and Heliostats Flourish on Sustainable Skyscraper

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:01 am
    When iconic French architect Jean Nouvel and his botanist and landscape “artist” colleague and friend Patrick Blanc collaborate, you can expect a novel and cutting edge statement combining the best of their respective talents with the latest in green technologies, aka a work of … Read More...The post Hydroponic Vertical Gardens and Heliostats Flourish on Sustainable Skyscraper appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Back to Basics: Chic Multitasking Easy-to-Assemble Plant-Loving Furniture

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    4 Nov 2014 | 11:08 am
    Basics #1 Having recently downsized from a 3800 sq. foot house to a 680 sq. foot apartment, I am now the poster girl for small space living. As I optimize every square inch in my new place, double or even triple-duty designs are becoming … Read More...The post Back to Basics: Chic Multitasking Easy-to-Assemble Plant-Loving Furniture appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Climbing Up: 10 Innovative Vertical Garden Ideas

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:54 pm
    I often think of vertical gardens as the utilitarian cousin of the decorative container garden. You’d love a vegetable garden, but your studio apartment in the city didn’t come with an acre of land. Enter the vertical garden. Focusing only … Read More...The post Climbing Up: 10 Innovative Vertical Garden Ideas appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Urban Playground From Repurposed Shipping Containers at Container Park

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    6 Sep 2014 | 12:59 pm
    When was the last time you sped down a slide, wind in your hair? If it’s been awhile, do you remember the exhilaration? I am here to tell you it’s time to play. And I’m not talking about being a player.… Read More...The post Urban Playground From Repurposed Shipping Containers at Container Park appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • The Ins and Outs of Working From An Indoor-Outdoor Home Office

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    3 Sep 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Ah, the elusive dream of working from home. No more commuting, no more “business casual,” no more over-priced lunches scarfed down in ten minutes standing up. The freedom to make your own schedule, wake up when you want, work in … Read More...The post The Ins and Outs of Working From An Indoor-Outdoor Home Office appeared first on Urban Gardens.
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    Busch Gardens in Virginia Blog

  • Christmas Town Sneak Peek

    Emily Bea
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:38 am
    Dear Readers, It's the eve of Christmas Town.  Tomorrow is the big day.  Tomorrow Santa and thousands of guests will arrive to see the efforts of our hard work. Even though this isn't my first Christmas Town, I still get a little nervous. Are we prepared? Did we forget anything?  Will people enjoy it? There's a lot of nervous excitement in the air! We're scurrying around putting the finishing touches on everything in the park, so I don't have time to write a full post.  However, I was able to snap a few photos.  I hope enjoy this sneak peek of Christmas…
  • Your 12 Days of Christmas Town Offer Questions Answered

    19 Nov 2014 | 4:53 pm
    Depending on your perspective, our special 12 Days of Christmas promotion was either a merry holiday gift or a lump of coal in the stocking.  For the thousands of buyers who snatched up the $12 tickets, it was special treat.  But others who may have missed out on the offer have expressed concerns and questions. The weeklong promotion, which ended Tuesday, offered specially-priced tickets valid for one of 12 select dates of Christmas Town.  It was one of our most successful promotions ever, selling more than four times the number of tickets we had projected.  However, I…
  • Busch Gardens Cares Is Hosting a Toy Drive During Christmas Town

    Emily Bea
    19 Nov 2014 | 11:34 am
    Our newest blogger, Theresa, explains how Busch Gardens is trying to help make Christmas shine a little brighter for families in our community. Count me among the people who look forward to the moment some radio stations start their continuous Christmas music playlists and cable channels begin broadcasting holiday movies all day.  So, when the preparations for Christmas Town are underway, I can hardly wait for the transformation. I am, and always will be, a big kid at heart.  I’m certain my love of the season comes from wonderful childhood memories and the traditions that are…
  • How Tuesday: How To Dine With Santa

    Emily Bea
    18 Nov 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Dear Readers, A little while ago Busch Gardens asked you all what you wanted to know about Christmas Town.  I wanted to step in and answer one of the questions: What’s Santa’s Fireside Feast like? Santa’s Fireside Feast is like nothing else at Busch Gardens. It’s one of my favorite parts of our stay here.  You’re welcomed into the Castle O’ Sullivan theatre by two of my cousins, Jolly and Holly (they’re very popular names at the North Pole, if you hadn’t guessed!) who will show you to your seats.  You’re then invited to fill…
  • Conner and Finn Are 11 Months Old

    Emily Bea
    14 Nov 2014 | 11:46 am
    Conner and Finn area already 11 months old and growing fast. They are already weighing in over 50 pounds and getting bigger each day. Full grown they can reach up to 75 pounds! Conner and Finn have lots of energy and spend most of their days running and playing with each other and our Border collies Skye and Molly.       Finn and Conner, Winter 2013 While the park is closed and transitioning into Christmas Town, our animal care staff is still here feeding, cleaning and training our animals. During these closed park days all of our dogs get to walk to the pastures daily and get…
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    How to Grow Great Potatoes

  • Potato Growing Success Story in the UK

    Annette Welsford
    2 Nov 2014 | 10:18 pm
    Rhys Jaggar, London We were delighted to receive a wonderful email from one of our valued customers who purchased our book How to Grow Great Potatoes, an avid potato grower who lives in the UK. He has had great success this growing season and kindly shared his experiences with us. Potato Growing with Rhys Jaggar Rhys Jaggar lives in London, near Heathrow airport, and here’s his potato growing results from this summer. Kestrel Potatoesgrown in polypots “The beginning of the growing season saw lots of moisture deep in the soil due to the wet winter that had just passed. This was very…
  • The Health Benefits of Potatoes are Greater than you Might Think

    Annette Welsford
    29 Nov 2013 | 4:00 am
    The lowly Irish potato is a highly nutritious vegetable that is more than just a delicious accompaniment to a meal. In fact the health benefits of potatoes are so great, you could describe them as “underground health superstars”. One medium-sized baked or boiled potato will provide close to half the daily Vitamin C requirement needed by your body. All plants that support underground storage of nutrients in a modified plant structure (usually the thickened underground part of a stem of rhizone) contain a substantial amount of starch, which provides energy, as well as vitamins and minerals,…
  • Controversial Quest to Protect Potatoes in Ireland from Blight

    Annette Welsford
    2 Aug 2012 | 8:56 am
    Potatoes come in all shapes, colors and sizes. But what will GM potatoes look like? Once the basic diet of the Irish, potatoes are once again the centre of attention in Ireland, with a decision by the country’s environmental protection agency to approve a trial of genetically modified potato crops. According to scientists, the motivation is to improve resistance of potatoes to blight. Various strains of this fungal disease have continued to plague potato crops since it caused the nationwide Irish famine that ultimately caused the death of more than a million people in the mid-1800s. The…
  • The Real Cause of the Great Irish Famine

    Annette Welsford
    4 Jul 2012 | 5:45 am
    Commonly referred to as The Great Hunger, Ireland’s horrific famine of the 1840s ranks as one of the very worst tragedies in the history of mankind. Famine Memorial in Dublin features ultra-thin statues by Rowan Gillespie It is a well-known fact that the massive failure of Ireland’s potato crops from 1845 to 1849 was caused by a fungus (Phytophthora infestans) that generated blight. At the time, potatoes were the staple crop for the people of Ireland, and with no back-up crop, as many as 1.5-million people died of starvation. Many more fled the country in search of food. But why were the…
  • What Causes Green Potatoes

    Annette Welsford
    7 Jun 2012 | 6:51 am
    Potatoes are one of the most nourishing foods on earth. But they can also be poisonous. You must never eat potatoes leaves. Commonly referred to as “potato greens”, the leaves are poisonous, and even eating the smallest amount, can make a person extremely ill. While the tuber itself is normally totally safe to eat, if any part of it has turned green, this is an indication of toxins. This potato needs to be peeled and all the green flesh should be removed. The Poison in Potatoes The poison ingredient found in potato leaves is solanine, which is very toxic, even in very small quantities. It…
 
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    Appalachian Feet

  • How to Have Perennial Food Plants & No Disease for Your 2015 Garden

    Eliza Lord
    3 Nov 2014 | 9:57 am
    Okay, maybe not NO disease, but insignificant diseases and pests sounds good, right? Plus, perennial fruits and veggies mean less work for more harvest. Eliza loves teaching the two class topics available this week at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery. Click here to sign up for class or click here to see the full 2014-2015 class schedule. Photo Caption: Passionfruit (Passiflora incarnata) are one of the perennial food plants that can be grown in this area — and they also happen to be native! Come Tuesday to learn more than 30 types of garden foods that only need to be planted once. We…
  • How to Attend Our Upcoming Garden Open House (& a Virtual Tour)

    Eliza Lord
    9 Jun 2014 | 12:59 pm
    Our garden open house (rain or shine) is THIS coming Saturday! APPALACHIAN FEET GARDEN OPEN HOUSE DETAILS: Drop-in June 14th, 9:00am – 5:00pm Recommended donation of $2-$5 440 Summit Drive, Greenville, SC You may also want to catch Eliza’s TEDx presentation at Zen on Tuesday, June 17th at 5:30pm. Additionally, Eliza wrote the feature article (on pawpaws) in the latest Edible Upcountry magazine, available for free at area locations like the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery, The Carolina Honeybee Company, or The Community Tap. Our plans for the garden open house are not as far along…
  • How to Eat Well While Learning on March 1st

    Eliza Lord
    18 Feb 2014 | 11:07 pm
    The SC Organic Grower’s Conference just announced their locally sourced menu and it’s worth the price of the ticket just to eat lunch. Photo Caption: The SC Growers School is locally sourcing as many ingredients from their lunch menu as possible, including greens like this chard. CONFERENCE MENU: “The Culinary Institute of the Carolinas does a magnificent job preparing local food. (The chefs also will ensure that we have plenty of choices for those of you who need a vegetarian lunch.) Winter Kale Salad with Rebecca’s Ginger Dressing Sea Island Pea Hoppin’ John…
  • How to Get Our Email Newsletter

    Eliza Lord
    13 Feb 2014 | 4:55 pm
    Who else can’t wait until spring? I mean, besides our dog… Photo Caption: Ceres had a blast rolling and running in the snow. We thoroughly enjoyed this week’s token snow of the year, but we’re just as excited about next week’s projected highs in the 60s! Spring fever has bit hard and we have so many plans for an urban farm open house, plant sale, workshops, classes, and more! You may already be receiving our blog posts via email, but now you can sign up for our email newsletter, too. The newsletter will come out once a month (or less) and will contain Appalachian…
  • How to Sign Up for February’s Classes

    Eliza Lord
    5 Feb 2014 | 3:25 pm
    This month’s giveaway contest is over, congratulations to the winner, Christina Weit! Christina won four February classes. Today is gorgeous, has spring fever hit you? Eliza’s urban homesteading classes at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery start next week! Come learn about edible landscaping, backyard chickens, beekeeping basics, composting, and more… now is the time to get prepared for your best garden yet. Classes are $15.00 each or four for $50.00 (a $10.00 savings)! Click here to purchase winter classes online, call 864-255-3385 to purchase over the phone, or visit the…
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    Lead up the Garden Path

  • Wonderfully colourful November.

    Pauline
    21 Nov 2014 | 11:22 pm
    The twenty second of the month is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day. Lots of the leaves have fallen already and the trees and other plants are just the bare skeleton which will last until March when they start sprouting again. Some plants though are hanging on to their leaves and giving a wonderful finale to the year before they finally fall. The beech hedge at the side by the field is now assuming lovely colours before it eventually goes brown, these leaves will stay all winter and only drop when the new leaves come through in spring. I had to plant a hedge here because the easterly winter winds…
  • The last few Flowers. GBBD.

    Pauline
    15 Nov 2014 | 1:44 am
    It was a hard job to find some flowers to photograph for today’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, everywhere in the garden is so wet and everywhere looks a mess with plants collapsing all over the place. I went out with the camera yesterday because the forecast for today was even more torrential rain. I took my usual route through the garden, starting in the front, but I had to watch my step because everywhere is so slippery and the lawn was absolutely sodden. By the front door, Winter Jasmine is flowering with lots more flowers opening every day. Anthemis Sauce Hollandaise is still putting…
  • Slowly, slowly.

    Pauline
    11 Nov 2014 | 8:43 am
    Slowly, day by day, Acer Osakazuki is changing colour. It is taking such a long time this year, probably because it has stayed warm at night time for so long this year. It is just this last week that we have been having much cooler temperatures at night time and the experts say that it is the difference between the daytime and night time temperatures which switches off the chlorophyll and shows the other colours that have been underneath the green colour all summer. I’ve been coming out every few days to photograph Osakazuki just in case the winds blow all the leaves away. This photo…
  • A wet end to October.

    Pauline
    7 Nov 2014 | 6:26 am
    Apologies for being so late with my end of month view, it was written at the end of October but the gremlins have been at work again!  Modern technology is fine when it is working properly, but when it goes wrong….! We have had Talk Talk arguing with British Telecom for over 10 days now, hopefully soon it will be resolved. Drip, drip, drip is the sound of the garden today. It has been raining a lot overnight and the rain drops are dripping everywhere. We still have warm air coming up from Africa so the temperatures are high for the end of October, nights are practically the same as…
  • Colours of Autumn GBFD.

    Pauline
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:17 am
    Gradually the colour green is draining away from some of the leaves in the garden. Underlying colours are starting to emerge as the garden prepares to have it’s final fling of the year. Usually we can rely on fantastic colours for about a month before they all blow away in a puff of wind, but for the last couple of days it has been a lot more than just a puff!  I’ll start in the front garden where the front border is now looking very colourful with the red leaves of Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt , the gold of the silver birch Betula ermanii and the orange of the Prunus by the…
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    Garden Walk Garden Talk

  • Buffalo GOT BLASTED but We Get a Nice Day

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Buffalo is under an epic 7 feet of snow today in some places, so no traveling this week. Roofs creaked then some fell. Niagara Falls only got much less than a foot, so I can take you around our area. … Continue reading →
  • Pack to Travel – Make Your Travel Life a Breeze

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    I love to travel, but all my friends knew how tentative I was to travel to Eastern Europe in the unsettling climate of current world affairs. My love of new experiences won out as usual, so planning to travel became … Continue reading →
  • Markets in Eastern Europe

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    16 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    What I really liked about Eastern Europe was the markets, both indoor and open air. You get a real sense of community when visiting the markets, along with knowing you are getting fresh produce and meat. Not only food is … Continue reading →
  • Singing in the Grass – Why Do Birds Sing?

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    13 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Here we are more than a month from winter, but I can hear the faint songs of spring off in the distance. It won’t be long again, even though only last month the birds were on their way to wintering … Continue reading →
  • Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi, Bulgaria – The Coolest Places I Visited

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    10 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    The best places I visited were small towns in Bulgaria. It was raining cats and dogs and quite foggy, I was sick and sulky, but the trip to these towns was not to be missed. I debated staying back and … Continue reading →
 
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    Gardenerd

  • Making Carob Powder

    Christy
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:10 am
    Autumn brings with it an array of colorful fruits and vegetables from the garden…and seeds. This Thanksgiving, as we dig into our root cellars for orange carrots, purple potatoes, and red beets, as well as colorful persimmons, pomegranates, and grapes,  … Continue reading →The post Making Carob Powder appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Ask Gardenerd: When to Blanch Celery

    Christy
    12 Nov 2014 | 6:20 am
    We love this question that came in to Ask Gardenerd this week: “I planted celery about 6 weeks ago (from the chopped off part of market celery) and it is doing well. The stalks are now about 1/2 inch thick. … Continue reading →The post Ask Gardenerd: When to Blanch Celery appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Field Trip: Cal Poly Pomona’s Kellogg Ranch

    Christy
    11 Nov 2014 | 9:26 am
    It was 5:30 in the morning when I got in the car to drive the hour it would take to get to Cal Poly Pomona. By the time I arrived the sun was just creeping over the mountains, streaking light … Continue reading →The post Field Trip: Cal Poly Pomona’s Kellogg Ranch appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Giveaway: Random Acts of Gardening

    Christy
    5 Nov 2014 | 6:45 am
    It appears that the holiday season has officially begun, so in the spirit of giving, we’re digging into our treasure trove for something special to give away to you, our faithful gardenerd readership. Oh, it’s special, believe me. In fact, … Continue reading →The post Giveaway: Random Acts of Gardening appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • One More Turf Removal Rebate Garden

    Christy
    4 Nov 2014 | 10:14 am
    People in Southern California are finally catching on to the idea that lawns are a waste of water, especially during a drought like the one we’ve been in for many years now. The City of Los Angeles is providing incentives … Continue reading →The post One More Turf Removal Rebate Garden appeared first on Gardenerd.
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    Perennial Meadows

  • Gardening with Grasses

    Michael
    19 Nov 2014 | 12:30 am
    The introduction of ornamental grasses into planting plans was one of the most significant changes to occur within garden design in the past twenty years. Through their inclusion amidst an evolving planting pallet of perennials, contemporary gardens took on a naturalistic feel, far removed from the stiff block plantings of traditional herbaceous borders; grasses introduced an informal air with strong associations with wild nature. The distinctive characteristics that set grasses apart from the other plants that we grow in our gardens results in them having a powerful influence wherever they…
  • Autumnal Textures over Perennial Colour

    Michael
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:01 am
    My trial gardens in Amsterdam have teetered on the edge of chaos this year as a result of moving house. Weeds are under control and wayward growth ruthlessly chopped down, but I long for a clean sweep and the fresh growing season in 2015.   Although colour is everywhere in the garden this autumn from bright yellows, hard reds, glowing oranges and rich browns, it is the textures of the plants that really stands out and dominates.   The sense of being overwhelmed by burgeoning vegetation has been emphasised by the tangle that encroaches upon every path and impedes perambulation;…
  • Managing Soils

    Michael
    7 Sep 2014 | 12:31 am
    Healthy soil is the foundation of any perennial meadow planting I have already written about my decision to mulch newly planted perennial meadows following initial planting in order to suppress weeds. Time and again I am amazed just how much work it saves and the fact that we don’t have to walk in amongst the plants to weed means that the soil does not get trampled and compacted; in every way, that initial mulch is a good investment. Surprisingly though most contractors and designers in Europe don’t include mulches in their plans. I suspect the main reason is cost as clients are…
  • Managing Garden Soils

    Michael
    3 Sep 2014 | 12:35 am
    Soil Management for Perennial Meadow Planting Schemes Americans mulch and Europeans don’t and arguments rage between those that do and those that don’t. Like many generalisations there are more exceptions than truths, but apparently an over reliance on bark mulches in American landscaping has triggered a knee jerk reaction against them. In a recent book I have just read on perennial meadow gardening, the very first full page photograph shows how desolate a typical American municipal planting scheme appears where mulches fill the wide spaces between the perennial plants. There is…
  • Perennials Prevent Weeds

    Michael
    30 Aug 2014 | 9:50 am
    Late Summer Sensations In the Perennial Meadow Garden Although I have had to neglect my trial gardens on the edge of Amsterdam this year following a decision to move house and all that involved, it is surprising just how well they have grown and how little work it has been to keep them looking good. The key to successful perennial planting is not only choosing the right plants but planting enough of them. My borders were planted densely in the first instance as these gardens are where I trial the plants I write about and design with, but as the borders mature the planting densities become…
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    Beautiful Wildlife Garden

  • Create a Portable Composter

    Joni James
    24 Nov 2014 | 5:29 am
      Now that fall is winding down, you might want to begin thinking towards next year by taking on this project now. Do you do home composting? Have you often wished you had a portable composter? This is a inexpensive project ($20) that can be completed in less than an hour. First you need to […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • The Monarchs of Venice, California

    Kathy Vilim
    22 Nov 2014 | 5:18 am
    The morning sun rose over the canals of Venice, California, its soft yellow color reflected in the water, as I stood watching the Monarchs, already up and about.  The pocket park they were visiting was still mostly in shade, so I didn’t expect to see the orange-winged beauties until hours later, when the sun would […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • Balance in the Garden: Ichneumon Parasitic Wasp

    Loret T. Setters
    21 Nov 2014 | 11:21 am
    Sometime ago I talked about how some wasps keep a garden in balance by using other arthropods as their larval hosts, laying eggs to hatch and feed off the caterpillars of moths or butterflies or beetle larvae.  It’s Nature’s way of ensuring you don’t get too many of one species.  The food chain in action. […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • Thankful for Nature

    Ellen Honeycutt
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:45 am
    As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, my list of things to do grows. My mental list of what I am thankful for is in progress as well, and always at the top of that list are the gifts that the natural world has given us. From tiny pollinators to towering oaks, our world would […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • Saying Goodbye to All the Plants in My Front Garden

    Carole Sevilla Brown
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:43 am
    Well, it’s digging day. A day I’ve known was coming since we bought our house 14 years ago. Seems that over 100 years ago when my house was built it was considered a good idea to use clay pipes to carry away the sewage from the houses in this neighborhood. Think about it. You know […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
 
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    Vegetable Gardener - All featured posts

  • A Thanksgiving Celebration of Vegetables

    24 Nov 2014 | 10:15 am
    Posted by WesternGardener Let’s give thanks to the early farmers, plant breeders and hybridizers for the vegetable bounty we’re about to enjoy on Thanksgiving. If it weren't for them, we might not have any beautiful, nutritious vegetables to pile on our plates.
  • Persimmons

    22 Nov 2014 | 2:58 pm
    Posted by cookinwithherbs While I was in the Ozarks, I watched the persimmon trees (where there is an abundance of them in the wild) as the fruits turned orange and full fleshed, then some started to wrinkle and wither and began to fall and then the trees lost their leaves. Some of the fruits were ready to eat a month ago--and they are still ripening--gather some now!
  • Holiday Gift Ideas For Veggie Gardeners 2014

    20 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Posted by yourownvictorygarden Here are some great holiday gift ideas for the veggie gardener on your list.
  • Giving Thanks for the Patron Saint of Gardeners

    19 Nov 2014 | 8:24 am
    Posted by WesternGardener In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, let’s recognize the accomplishments of someone who dedicated his life to healing the sick and poor through the power of growing vegetables and herbs.
  • Sweet Patooties are in Season!

    14 Nov 2014 | 1:36 pm
    Posted by cookinwithherbs It's that time of year again--most gardeners harvest sweet potatoes before a frost--so right now sweet potatoes are piled high on roadside stands, at farmers' markets and in the grocery store. We are seeing them everywhere since they are a popular menu item for the Thanksgiving feast. See how to store them and check out some delightful recipes...
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    Miss Rumphius' Rules

  • Garden Travel: Architectural Swoon in Miami Beach

    Susan aka Miss. R
    12 Nov 2014 | 3:39 am
    It’s no secret that I’ve been exploring Art Deco forms as inspiration for garden designs. I’ve always been drawn to the geometry and order, even when I started my career as a jewelry designer. Many of the preeminent decorative styles of the early 20th century have this type of order – Bauhaus, DeStijl, Viennese Secessionist (Josef Hoffman’s work is another swoon), Art Moderne and Art Deco and they still draw me in. When the opportunity to visit Miami Beach after the APLD Landscape Design Conference in Orlando last week I jumped at the chance.  There was much…
  • Garden Design Details: Stone at Skylands

    Susan aka Miss. R
    22 Oct 2014 | 4:18 am
    I hadn’t visited Skylands for about ten years, and never in the fall.  I went hoping to see the last of the fall foliage and instead found stonework that was interesting in its scope and full of ideas. Formerly an estate developed in the 1920s, it is now the New Jersey Botanical Garden and its stone American Tudor mansion  is better known than the gardens as a popular site for weddings. The stonework at Skylands is incredible and impressive…even if much of it is in need of repair.  There is both formal and rustic stonework and sometimes dressed stone is juxtaposed with…
  • Garden Design Details: Fall Beyond Foliage

    Susan aka Miss. R
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:08 am
    I had some rare time in between landscape design projects and clients last week and as I’ve been meaning to take my new camera lens out for a spin, I stopped by Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown to search out some of the details of the season.  The focus of this public park is plants…not necessarily design although it has its designer-y moments.  I go here when I need a plant fix.  I send my landscape design students here to photograph and learn about plants just as I did years ago when I was learning. Grasses, asters, Japanese anemones and Monkshood were at their peak…
  • Garden Design Inspiration: Architectural Details in Chicago

    Susan aka Miss. R
    7 Oct 2014 | 4:37 am
    When I was in Chicago in August, speaking at IGC about landscape designers and their potential relationships with garden centers  I took a day before and a day after to explore the city and meet up with friends.  I’ve been to Chicago regularly over the past five years and have seen and written about its wonderful gardens and street plantings, but this time I went in search of something else.  Architecture. Chicago reinvented itself after the great fire in 1871, and many of architecture’s greatest design minds have lived or worked in the city. Three who formed the basis of the…
  • Garden Visits: Princeton

    Susan aka Miss. R
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:35 am
    I visited gardens yesterday in Princeton, New Jersey. The tour was arranged by the New Jersey Landscape and Nursery Association (NJNLA) and featured four very different gardens by designer Bill Kucas. What struck me about these outdoor spaces was that their details is what really made them interesting. In each space the features beyond plants were detailed beautifully, but when I asked about what made the spaces personal, that had been left up to the clients. In each space, with the exception of the one still being built, the choice of furniture and accessories beyond what the landscape…
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    Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

  • A Native Mini-Garden Grows Up

    Suzanne Dingwell
    22 Nov 2014 | 9:03 pm
    Every so often –  not very often of course – a gardener can be taken literally. So it is here. The only way to go was up. This looks safe, doesn’t it? In case you are wondering, yes, the legs of the step stool sank into the soil at random times and angles. The gardener […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • Wildlife Garden and Native Plant News

    Carole Sevilla Brown
    22 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Our team members at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens along with the team at our sister site Beautiful Wildlife Garden are quite prolific writers. They each have at least one personal website (many have more than one), and often write for other sites as well. In addition many other sites publish very interesting articles about […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • Does This Fly Make My Butt Look Big?

    Heather Holm
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:44 am
    There are endless opportunities to discover something new in your wildlife garden or local park. Remember to take the time to sit quietly and observe what’s going on around you. More often than not I discover something new that I didn’t know was there, even though I walk by that place several times each day. While searching […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • Harvesting Native Fruits – Barrel Cactus

    Jacqueline Soule
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:47 pm
    Here in the Southwest, there are more than enough native plants to grow and that will provide food for the table – at least partially. Another thing we have more than enough of here are neighborhoods with Home Owner Associations (HOA’s). You might think an HOA good, in that it helps maintain the value of […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
  • What do Karner blue butterflies and the fracking industry have in common?

    Jennifer Baker
    16 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Their love of Wisconsin sand. The pure, round, silica variety that runs along a wide band from the Mississippi River in the northwest through the heart of south central potato country. What’s up with the sand? Wisconsin sand supports native lupine, the only food source known to nourish the caterpillar stage of the federally endangered […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
 
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    Big Blog Of Gardening

  • Garlic: How To Plant, Grow, and Harvest

    Todd Heft
    1 Nov 2014 | 10:17 am
    Big Blog Of Gardening If there is one plant-it-and-forget-it vegetable for your garden, it’s garlic. Garlic (Allium sativum) is easy to grow, has a high success rate, requires little maintenance, and is easy to harvest. Some gardeners I know shy away from growing garlic, as it costs so little to buy in grocery stores. But I don’t subscribe to that “best return on my planting investment” philosophy – I simply grow things because I … Continue reading → Garlic: How To Plant, Grow, and Harvest
  • What’s Wrong With My Garden Pond Water?

    Guest Author
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:08 am
    Big Blog Of Gardening Even with the most careful planning and preparation, garden ponds can be susceptible to water problems. Continue reading → What’s Wrong With My Garden Pond Water?
  • The Greatest Multi-Purpose Garden Tool? A Machete.

    Todd Heft
    23 Aug 2014 | 9:05 am
    Big Blog Of Gardening Nothing is better for relieving tension after a long, difficult day than an hour with a machete. You might do spinning classes, pedal a bike 10 miles, or run a 5K, but I work out with my trusty machete. Raising the machete far overhead, feeling the pull in my shoulder, back, and arm muscles, I bring the machete down at full velocity, it’s sharp blade smashing into and laying waste … Continue reading → The Greatest Multi-Purpose Garden Tool? A Machete.
  • Brewing Compost Tea Benefits Your Garden and Lawn

    Todd Heft
    3 Aug 2014 | 5:55 pm
    Big Blog Of Gardening Compost tea is a perfect lawn and garden feed for those who want a liquid supplement for their plants and soil. Includes easy to make recipe. Continue reading → Brewing Compost Tea Benefits Your Garden and Lawn
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    Nigel Gnome grows a vegetable

  • November already! Guy Fawkes Night in fact!

    Nigel Gnome
    4 Nov 2014 | 9:19 pm
    It's been a while since we had fireworks but we do get to hear them and see the odd one flashing past. The best one ever was a few years ago when the local public display down at the river front went up in one big bang. We did wonder why the display was so brief at the time. :)http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10608007I have one more tomato now, a small shrubby one that hopefully will provide trusses of medium sized fruit. The plastic hothouse bags were off after a few days, tomato plants are wind pollinated so the flowers were not going to make babies. Growers…
  • Green for Go!

    Nigel Gnome
    13 Oct 2014 | 12:28 am
    Wonderful time of year and time of garden, the whole place is sprouting things.  A tub of mesclun lettuce sproutings, boysenberry growths, citrus trees all flowerings and sprouting forth. Plums fattening and there is already a tomato or two!Roma tomato babyFortune plum babies fattening upFrom under the plum treeNew/old cape cod chairPlanted 2 roma acid free grafted tomatoes and two different hot chilli plants. Went to the garden centre on Thursday to get first pick of the new delivery, rather than the last few stragglers on Sunday afternoon. There are a number of green houses now. Paving…
  • Asking for it!

    Nigel Gnome
    21 Sep 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Against all better judgement and advice I still insisted on buying a tomato plant, a drafted cherry. It looked great, had flowers on it and was raring to go. There was no more danger of frost or anything I said. Duly planted yesterday and looking happy. Today we have just had a small hail fall.However I had made it a light bag so the effect should not be too bad. This is made from the large plastic bags I have from my mat boards, any picture framer will have them. Four sticks and it's all good.Instant greenhouse with a mat board bagI cut a few slits in the bag to allow some airflow. I'll keep…
  • Very Spring

    Nigel Gnome
    13 Sep 2014 | 10:13 pm
    After several days of steady rain a sunny Sunday was a pleasant relief, there are buds popping on everything, the snowball tree has shown a leaf or two as has the prunus now the blossoms are coming to an end. I have seen growth on the new orange tree with even the hint of a flower budthe peas are well up and will need some framework very soonprovencal pea seedlingspicked a few beetroot and a couple of nice long white leeksbeetroot leeks lemons mint spring onion coriander broccoli stemsAdd captionSpotted a few white butterflies already, damn their eyes, I swatted two with one flap of my hankie…
  • Gently getting warmer

    Nigel Gnome
    7 Sep 2014 | 10:49 pm
    The mornings are kinder, 7-8 C lately, makes everything a little nicer, the sun is up in the morning and there is a bit of light left after work. Daylight saving starts in 3 weeks, that will really make things feel summery. The peas I sowed a couple of weeks ago are now 2" tall and will need a frame soon. Sowed a couple of short rows of spring onions and a long mixed row of white and red radishes. We had a day and night of rain, the first decent lot for about 2 weeks, everything will get a big boost from that. The plum is blossoming well now, looks like we should get a good crop this year.A…
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    Flowerona

  • Beautiful floral designs by Mary Jane Vaughan

    Rona
    23 Nov 2014 | 4:01 pm
    I hope you had a lovely weekend. I thought I’d start the week with some beautiful floral designs by florist Mary Jane Vaughan. The flowers were arranged in handmade glassware by Anthony Stern for a special shoot at the Rosewood Hotel in London.  With an autumn/winter feel, the arrangements would be perfect for a private home or private dining. Amaryllis looked stunning in the vase above. On the main dining table below, there were Grand Prix roses, sedum, carnations, berries, pears and gardenia leaves. White nerines looked lovely in these vases. And amaranthus, snowberries and…
  • Flowerona Links: With dancing florists, roses & a cactus…

    Rona
    22 Nov 2014 | 4:01 pm
    My round-up of wonderful floral links from around the world… General Floating and flying in Central Chile Fashion’s love affair with the humble cactus Interview with Karin Woodward of Haute Horticulture via Floret Top 10 reasons to buy local Lovely images of Rose Story Farm How to grow and dry your own flowers 7 Favourite flowers for Thanksgiving arrangements Botany E5 via The Women’s Room Weddings Beautiful wedding flower designs by Tinge Floral Stunning florals at this San Francisco wedding Whimsical summer Chicago wedding with wonderful blooms Colourful summer wedding…
  • Flowerona Reflects…featuring Jane Means’s book launch plus other news

    Rona
    21 Nov 2014 | 4:01 pm
    This week’s short and sweet Flowerona Reflects video features Jane Means’s book launch and general news of what I’ve been up to. P.S. Don’t forget, if you receive this blog post via email and would like to view the video, simply go to www.flowerona.com. Tweet
  • New Covent Garden Flower Market – Florist of the Year 2014

    Rona
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Today on Florist Friday, I’m thrilled to let you know that Neil Birks of NB Flowers has won the New Covent Garden Flower Market ‘Florist of the Year 2014′ Award! NB Flowers is an event and contract floristry business, founded, owned and run by Neil. Ten years ago, he had just one client, the Little Venice Cake Company, ordering 30 roses a week.  Today, Neil has four permanent staff, an army of freelancers and a thriving business providing beautiful flowers to clients in Central London for contracts and events. Every single stem is sourced from the Flower Market, where NB…
  • Amie Bone Flowers at Brides The Show – October 2014

    Rona
    18 Nov 2014 | 4:01 pm
    In this week’s Wedding Wednesday blog post, I’m delighted to feature images of Amie Bone Flowers’s stand at Brides The Show last month. Using a predominantly red and green colour palette, Amie had created a wonderful ‘Enchanted Forest’. The design included a lavish floral table runner which is pictured immediately below, plus lots of hanging blooms. If you’d like to see more of Amie’s lovely designs, simply pop over to the Amie Bone Flowers website. (Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona) Tweet
 
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    Sprinkler Juice

  • 24 Nov 2014 | 11:08 am

    24 Nov 2014 | 11:08 am
    We know how important it is to water your lawn. Yet, other parts of your yard also need the proper amount of watering. In this case, we are talking about watering your garden. Many people will... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • 18 Nov 2014 | 6:52 am

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:52 am
    When it comes to protecting plants in the winter, it’s hard to beat mulch as a natural protector. There are many types of mulch on the market. You can also make your own mulch. It’s important to... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Winter Lawn Preparation

    11 Nov 2014 | 11:50 am
    As the leaves fall to the ground, the days grow shorter and Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to get your lawn ready for winter. One of the first things you need to do is make plans to have your... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Preparing Your Plants for Fall

    4 Nov 2014 | 6:44 am
    November is here. We can enjoy the last of the orange leaves and snack a little too much. We can think ahead to the Thanksgiving holiday, think about budgeting for Black Friday sales and start... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Storing Your Mower for the Winter

    29 Oct 2014 | 11:13 am
    Every season has its own set of outdoor chores. As we move along in fall, it’s time to start thinking about winter and what needs to go into storage before the cold weather arrives. You’ll no doubt... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Your Easy Garden

  • Agapanthus – Easy to Grow Landscaping Plants and More!

    judieyeg
    19 Nov 2014 | 11:41 am
    Blue Storm agapanthus add color to any garden! Agapanthus, often referred to as “Lily of the Nile” is a versatile, easy-to-grow plant for warm winter areas.  Hardy in zones 8-11, agapanthus grow in sunny or partially sunny areas, are drought tolerant and low maintenance. As an added bonus, they’re also deer resistant and are generally not bothered by garden pests, insects or diseases! Featured here are both Snow Storm™ and Blue Storm™ agapanthus.  These fast-growing varieties are some of the most floriferous on the market, yielding huge clusters of full blossoms in late spring…
  • Gardening Tools – What You Need

    Elizabeth DeFriest
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:51 am
    I am about to do the equivalent of letting someone rummage around in my hand bag. Only this bag is my gardening tool bag, and the point of showing you what’s in it, is to prove that you don’t need much, and that it doesn’t need to be expensive or beautiful. Keep in mind that everyone goes about the business of gardening in different ways (you’ll probably wonder why I have a Japanese rice scythe). I’ll just show you what I carry around in my work bag and leave it to you to roll your eyes. But you never know what you might spot that could come in handy at your place… The photo above…
  • Gardening Tips from Our Readers

    judieyeg
    13 Nov 2014 | 12:40 pm
      We received a lot of helpful time-saving garden tips from our readers during our recent contest. Here are some of the best ones, including the winning tips. Vicki D., our 1st prize winner suggests:  Using a square foot garden plan and irrigation hoses my husband installs on each plant, we turn the water on for 10 to 15 minutes. It saves our time and water also. You can pack a lot more into a square foot than you’d imagine. Photo courtesy of Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening.org Betty S., one of our 2nd prize winners writes: I find that making sure gardening tools,…
  • Our Cities are Getting Greener!

    Anthony Tesselaar
    12 Nov 2014 | 9:13 am
    You don’t think of cities as being very green. I mean, look at this shot I took of Chicago. It’s gorgeous – the sky, the architecture, the reflections. Ok, so it doesn’t look very green from this angle, but that’s where we’re wrong. Chicago is full of plantings, in fact many cities around the world are greener than ever, and here are some photos to celebrate the fact… Down at street level it’s a totally different vibe. A talented planting designer has pulled together an extraordinary combination and it’s not only great looking but makes a profound difference to the space on…
  • Creating an Eco-Friendly House

    Guest Bloggers
    4 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Water, electricity, gas and oxygen- as you may have discovered by now, these are no longer considered unlimited resources. That is why people are now being encouraged to green their homes. It’s a simple way to help the environment. Not hooked with the trend just yet? You should greatly consider it now. Why? An eco-friendly home is said to be easier on the wallet and healthier for your body. Even if you’re not starting fresh with a new house, you can adapt your existing one to become more eco friendly. Check out the tips below. Eco-friendly Home Tips 1. Change the bulbs  In the…
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    The Mini Garden Guru - Your Miniature Garden Source

  • A”Little” Miniature Garden Help

    Janit Calvo
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:30 am
    A”Little” Miniature Garden Help I love it when a plan comes together. Okay, it was really a community of gardeners’ plan that happened through a secret group on Facebook to make it a surprise. The online garden group organized a campaign over the last few weeks to help Annie Haven of Authentic Haven Brand Manure Teas get re-established […]
  • Inspiration from Adversity : Miniature Gardening on Pinterest

    Janit Calvo
    5 Nov 2014 | 6:45 pm
    Inspiration from Adversity : Miniature Gardening on Pinterest “It’s the price of fame.” A friend reminded me when I told her of my Internet troll that is stalking me around social media calling me names and telling complete lies about me. What did I do to her? I wrote a bestselling book on miniature gardening. So, after one minute of […]
  • Happy Halloween in the Miniature Garden

    Janit Calvo
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:12 pm
    HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Your Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com!Filed under: Because it's fun, D.I.Y. Ideas, Fairy Gardening, Miniature Garden Accessories, Miniature Plants Tagged: container gardening, craft, DIY, fairy garden, garden, gardening, HAPPY HALLOWEEN, hobby, holidays, inspiration, miniature garden, Miniature Garden Center, miniature gardens
 
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    Garden Landscaping Ideas

  • Cool Desert Landscaping Ideas For Your Backyard Landscape Design

    admin
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:32 am
    If you are looking for some cool desert landscaping ideas and design for your backyard landscape, here we will bring to you a collection of specially selected design and ideas which might be suitable for your need. For those who love the beautiful and relaxation touch to their garden landscaping ideas, desert landscaping style will make your dream come true. Is it backyard or front yard, you are free to choose and decorate your outdoor space by your own ideas. Comprise of several beautiful desert landscaping ideas for front yard or backyard in our Cool Desert Landscaping Ideas For Your…
  • Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas On A Budget

    admin
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:05 am
    Many families have been found to spend most of their time in either front or backyards, while at home. Yards should then be well designed and decorated to offer a conducive and friendly spaces for kids and their parents. Although landscaping design and implementation might require a lot of funds allocation, a simple small backyard landscaping ideas can be applied to achieve the desired aesthetic value of the yards. There are a number of simple landscaping ideas for backyard that if put in use while designing backyard improvement, they can help home owners save on their budgets and at the…
  • Top 10 Unique Container Gardening Ideas

    admin
    8 May 2014 | 7:11 am
    Top 10 Unique Container Gardening Ideas Container gardening is a brilliant way when talking about front or backyard gardening aspecially if in a small space. Back to the basic container gardening can be defined as the practice of growing plants in containers instead of in the ground.Lets enjoy those brilliant and unique container gardening Ideas below: The post Top 10 Unique Container Gardening Ideas appeared first on Garden Landscaping Ideas.
  • Modern Landscape Design Ideas

    admin
    11 Feb 2014 | 6:35 am
    modern landscape design ideas pictures collection. Download modern landscape design ideas Pictures  | Designs ideas about Pre-Designed modern landscape design ideas pictures | modern landscape design ideas pictures 2014. Browse our gallery for more modern landscape design ideas pictures. modern landscape design ideas pictures Uploaded by Garden Landscaping Ideas  on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014. Here 6 awesome pictures of Modern Landscape Design Ideas. See another Cool Pictures Of Modern Landscape Design Ideas articles or browse pictures about Modern Landscape Design Ideas for more…
  • Japanese Container Gardening Ideas

    admin
    20 Jan 2014 | 7:11 am
    Do you love Japanese design but don’t have the space? Why not try growing them in containers! Japanese Container Gardening is becoming more popular as garden space gets smaller and smaller. The Japanese container gardening help make outdoor features more attractive and useful especially in limited space. The post Japanese Container Gardening Ideas appeared first on Garden Landscaping Ideas.
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    Sow and So

  • All I want for Christmas is…..a veg plot!

    Guest
    24 Nov 2014 | 1:03 am
    Some people think that to be a successful vegetable gardener you need a big garden, but this is simply not true. Even if you have just one square metre of space you can grow a worthwhile crop. Have you considered the balcony? Or the steps outside the back door? Or even the roof of your shed? I’m going to demonstrate here how easily you can set up your first-ever vegetable plot in a very small space and at very small expense. If you know someone who is an aspiring gardener, but needs convincing, here is an ideal Christmas gift for them! Containers For the purposes of this exercise I’m…
  • H is for Hilum – Word Up!

    Bridget Elahcene
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:37 pm
    Hilum \ˈhʌɪləm\ The scar left on a seed at the point where its funicle (stalk) was attached.
  • After the Rain – Wordless Wednesday

    Bridget Elahcene
    19 Nov 2014 | 12:00 am
  • Euphorbia euphoria!

    Bridget Elahcene
    17 Nov 2014 | 12:30 am
    Every week I send a gardening question to the panel of experts at BBC Radio Norfolk’s The Garden Party and then eagerly listen to the programme the following day, scribbling down the gems of information they kindly offer. Sometimes Laila sends a question or two as well. This is a transcript of the advice that The Garden Party experts gave us on this week’s gardening challenge!     My Question: Dear Thunderfairy and experts I have noticed a rather attractive mystery plant growing in the garden, about 30 centimetres high with lush, glossy dark green leaves  growing beside our…
  • G is for Glaucous – Word Up!

    Bridget Elahcene
    13 Nov 2014 | 11:30 pm
    Glaucous \ˈglôkəs\ Covered with a bluish, white or grey bloom on leaves, flowers, stems or fruit.
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    Color Your World Greenhouse

  • Getting your plants ready for winter

    Paul Guzman
    29 Oct 2014 | 6:16 am
     Here in the Southwestern part of the U.S. the summer and fall seasons are long.  As we know fall in this part of the country produces some of the best eye pleasing color for all to enjoy.  Getting your plants … Continue reading → The post Getting your plants ready for winter appeared first on Color Your World Greenhouse.
  • How to start seeds indoors

    Paul Guzman
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:18 am
    Article by: by By Diane Linsley Check out Diane’s outstanding website at: Dianeseeds.com- Diane’s Flower Seeds Heirloom flowers, rare perennials, daylilies and Starting Indoor Seeds This is a lot easier than it sounds. Even inexperienced gardeners can start seeds with … Continue reading → The post How to start seeds indoors appeared first on Color Your World Greenhouse.
  • Is fall a good to plant trees, shrubs and other plants

    Gary Guzman
    29 Sep 2014 | 3:02 pm
    Photo by danperry.com Is fall a good to plant trees, shrubs and other plants? Of course it is.  The recent rains in and around the southwest have made this an even more optimistic time to plant. The cooler nights, the windless days, the … Continue reading → The post Is fall a good to plant trees, shrubs and other plants appeared first on Color Your World Greenhouse.
  • Yuccas Agave and Bear Grass for Southwest Landscaping

    Gary Guzman
    24 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    Yuccas, Agave, and Bear Grass: Southwest Landscaping Here are a few drought tolerant plants that can be used just about anywhere the sun shines. They can be used as mass plantings, single specimen, and some in containers. First we start … Continue reading → The post Yuccas Agave and Bear Grass for Southwest Landscaping appeared first on Color Your World Greenhouse.
  • Ornamental Grasses for the Southwest

    Paul Guzman
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:16 am
    Photo by PublicDomainPictures Depending on where you live many ornamental grasses for the southwest will go dormant during the winter (Herbaceous). You can cut them down low to the ground, and they will vigorously grow back during spring. These grasses are … Continue reading → The post Ornamental Grasses for the Southwest appeared first on Color Your World Greenhouse.
 
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    Balcony in Berlin

  • …and it’s gone

    sophos
    8 Nov 2014 | 8:39 am
    Summer, that is. I spent a lot of time on the balcony this year, but forgot to post. Of course, like everything else, it’s about the journey; the blog is a way to pass the time when growth is slow and anticipation high. For now, a look back: The blue and orange colour scheme worked ok, but truth be told I missed the pink and red. In August, they had already crept back onto the balcony… It only takes a couple of trips away for the vegetation to get a bit out of control and unquenchably thirsty, but despite some neglect the chilis and tomatoes did well. Late summer sunset When the…
  • it’s on

    sophos
    25 May 2014 | 8:04 am
    First tiny tomato flower buds. Almost June. Aphid year! My homemade aphid spray contains nothing deadlier than washing up liquid with onion and garlic as deterrents, but I pick the critters off like a sniper with the stream nozzle. Chinese Lantern from flower to calyx in three steps, left to right:  white bell flower, sepals starting to close up, a calyx beginning to inflate.
  • the mummified bouquet

    sophos
    23 May 2014 | 12:02 pm
    I received a tied bouquet of tulips and lily of the valley for my birthday. I didn’t think it would last the evening, but it’s almost improving with age. (like me – do I have to spell things out?)
  • late spring

    sophos
    10 May 2014 | 2:47 pm
    Since most of the pelargoniums died in winter storage, I’m changing the colour scheme from pink and red to blue and orange this year. The blue lobelias are supposed to be a trailing variety, but the plants were rootbound and haven’t established yet. Might have been a mistake to squeeze them in with the verbenas in the balcony boxes too, we’ll see. The clematis has only presented one spring flower this year – but it’s a big one – the rest of its energy has gone into growing new vines after the winter pruning. It should flower again in July. Climber sowings –…
  • early spring

    sophos
    23 Feb 2014 | 7:04 am
    Spring is practically here. Winter wasn’t the drawn out affair of last year; the weather was mild until the end of January when severe frost set in for a week or two of snow and ice. The bulbs are unscathed – above daffodils, tulips and crocus. No amount of bubble wrap can withstand sudden night temperatures of -15 C though, so nothing in the hibernation stations survived this year. I have enough pelargoniums but I was sorry to lose my sweet pea shoots and the mini rose (pictured pre-frost).
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    Urban Gardens

  • Hydroponic Vertical Gardens and Heliostats Flourish on Sustainable Skyscraper

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:01 am
    When iconic French architect Jean Nouvel and his botanist and landscape “artist” colleague and friend Patrick Blanc collaborate, you can expect a novel and cutting edge statement combining the best of their respective talents with the latest in green technologies, aka a work of … Read More...The post Hydroponic Vertical Gardens and Heliostats Flourish on Sustainable Skyscraper appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Back to Basics: Chic Multitasking Easy-to-Assemble Plant-Loving Furniture

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    4 Nov 2014 | 11:08 am
    Basics #1 Having recently downsized from a 3800 sq. foot house to a 680 sq. foot apartment, I am now the poster girl for small space living. As I optimize every square inch in my new place, double or even triple-duty designs are becoming … Read More...The post Back to Basics: Chic Multitasking Easy-to-Assemble Plant-Loving Furniture appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Climbing Up: 10 Innovative Vertical Garden Ideas

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:54 pm
    I often think of vertical gardens as the utilitarian cousin of the decorative container garden. You’d love a vegetable garden, but your studio apartment in the city didn’t come with an acre of land. Enter the vertical garden. Focusing only … Read More...The post Climbing Up: 10 Innovative Vertical Garden Ideas appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Urban Playground From Repurposed Shipping Containers at Container Park

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    6 Sep 2014 | 12:59 pm
    When was the last time you sped down a slide, wind in your hair? If it’s been awhile, do you remember the exhilaration? I am here to tell you it’s time to play. And I’m not talking about being a player.… Read More...The post Urban Playground From Repurposed Shipping Containers at Container Park appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • The Ins and Outs of Working From An Indoor-Outdoor Home Office

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    3 Sep 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Ah, the elusive dream of working from home. No more commuting, no more “business casual,” no more over-priced lunches scarfed down in ten minutes standing up. The freedom to make your own schedule, wake up when you want, work in … Read More...The post The Ins and Outs of Working From An Indoor-Outdoor Home Office appeared first on Urban Gardens.
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    Grow Our Way

  • Gardening For Beginners: Intro to Hydroponics

    Safer® Brand
    4 Nov 2014 | 8:45 am
    The term “hydroponic gardening” may sound fancy or high-tech, but the concept is really pretty simple. While the practice of hydroponic gardening dates back to ancient times, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it started to gain prominence. What makes hydroponic gardening different from traditional growing practices? It does not involve the use of soil. Instead, plants are grown using either a nutrient-rich water culture or a soilless medium such as clay aggregate, coconut coir, perlite, sand or gravel. Some of the benefits of hydroponic gardening include higher yields, reduced water…
  • BLACK FRIDAY PINTEREST CONTEST!

    Safer® Brand
    3 Nov 2014 | 10:19 am
    Hey, Safer® Brand fans! It’s time for our next Pinterest contest! Enter for your chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card just in time for Black Friday!!! (See below for rules and details.) Running: November 3 - November 23, 2014 Prize: $75 Amazon gift card Entry Requirements: To enter the Safer® Brand Pinterest Contest, each participant must perform the following tasks: Follow Safer® Brand on Pinterest Create a board called: My Organic Thanksgiving Throw a “green” Thanksgiving dinner party on Pinterest for your chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card just in time for Black Friday!
  • What Your Office Is Missing

    Safer® Brand
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:29 am
    If you’re one of those people who are stuck working inside an office all day, adding a little green to the scene in the form of plants can do wonders for your work environment. Office plants can provide a long list of benefits including: Alleviating stress – If squeezing rubber balls or taking walks around the building aren’t helping you cope with stress at work, try adding a plant or two to your work area. According to one study, placing plants in an office reduced worker anxiety by 37 percent, while anger and hostility decreased 44 percent. Improved air quality – Although smoking…
  • How to Grow the Perfect Tomato

    Safer® Brand
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    Have you ever marveled at the plump, juicy delicious tomatoes that your friends or neighbors seem to be able to grow so effortlessly? Do you wonder why your own tomato growing efforts don’t seem to deliver the same results? Growing perfect tomatoes isn’t always easy. A little luck and a lot of tender loving care are required. It also helps if you know how to overcome the obstacles that can prevent you from achieving the tomato growing success you desire. Poor soil quality – First things first, make sure that your soil pH is ideal for tomatoes. You can easily find a pH soil testing kit…
  • Fresh Fads

    Safer® Brand
    16 Oct 2014 | 3:00 pm
    These days, the concept of gardening encompasses much more than raising a few flowers and vegetables in the yard. While traditional backyard gardening is still a favorite pastime in the United States and around the world, the art of gardening continues to change and evolve. Let’s take a closer look at some of the “fresh fads” that are currently taking over today’s gardening world. Organic Gardening The focus on protecting the environment and consuming foods that are free of man-made preservatives and pesticides has continued to intensify in recent years. As a result, the popularity of…
 
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    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

  • New Sculpture Graces Rose Garden During Dominion GardenFest

    Jonah Holland
    24 Nov 2014 | 9:20 am
    by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  Photo by Senior Horticulturist and GardenFest Coordinator Shannon Smith Local artist John Meola crafted this pyramid-shaped sculpture out of recycled bikes and bike parts in the Rose Garden. In fact, he’s just putting the final touches on it now. The airplane on top is a pedal-powered bike too. I can’t wait to see it lit at night for Dominion GardenFest of Lights!
  • Gourdgeous Gourds!

    Jonah Holland
    24 Nov 2014 | 3:30 am
    by Lynn Kirk, Public Relations Writer, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden,  reprinted with permission from the Richmond Times-Dispatch Metallic paints transform ornamental gourds into eye-catching holiday decor. The beauty and variety of gourds entice buyers to Steve Gallmeyer’s gourd and pumpkin stand in eastern Henrico. Quirky, captivating and motley colored, the hard-shelled gourd (Lagenaria) is no longer limited as Thanksgiving décor. During December, ornamental gourds add distinctive flair to traditional holiday décor. “They’re pretty if sprayed metallic silver, gold or copper…
  • See Historic Richmond Landmarks in Miniature at Dominion GardenFest of Lights

    Jonah Holland
    23 Nov 2014 | 3:48 am
    by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  The boathouse and Lakeside Lake. Shannon Smith is a woman with a vision.  As senior horticulturist and GardenFest coordinator at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, she gets to creatively envision how our 40 acre botanical garden will look with half a million LED lights, embodying a new theme. Each year, Dominion GardenFest of Lights is different. And each year, Smith, along with her GardenFest team, work more than a year in advance to dream what the next GardenFest of Lights will look like.  Then, they make…
  • Top Holiday Illumination Events in Richmond for 2014

    Jonah Holland
    22 Nov 2014 | 3:05 am
    by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden The Conservatory, photo by Sarah Hauser Richmond is known for its tacky lights. We’re also known for our classy lights too. Here’s a roundup of the top illumination events in Richmond this holiday season. If you really love the holidays, you’ll want attend them all! Mark your calendar, these are just around the corner. And if you don’t get enough lights at the  illumination events, remember Dominion GardenFest of Lights continues nightly 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., November 28, 2014 through…
  • Bikes in Trees! ….With a Little Help From our Friends

    Jonah Holland
    21 Nov 2014 | 10:05 am
    by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  Davey Trees volunteered to help with the bike installation in our ginkgo tree. The Davey Tree Expert Company, Inc.  volunteered their time to help us install bikes in our ginkgo tree in front of historic Bloemendaal House last week. The bikes are wrapped in lights and will be an exciting surprise for our Dominion GardenFest of Lights visitors. We couldn’t have done it without you Davey! Thank you. Here’s a photo from Justin Brown, GardenFest Coordinator,  who helped design this year’s Dominion…
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    The Diligent Gardener

  • Hanging Basket Challenge

    Gaz
    16 Nov 2014 | 12:18 pm
    We have been challenged by Plant Me Now to create a hanging basket design for next year. Our normal approach to creating our baskets on the patio is to cram various bedding plants in left over from doing the pots without too much thought. So actually planning the basket has been a fun and different approach.Our central plant in our basket design is Fuchsia Snowcap an upright variety that produces masses of semi-double red and white flowers all summer long.This Fuchsia has an RHS award for garden merit and its easy to see why, with fantastic vivid flowers. In Fuchsia circles its a famous…
  • Things to Grow in the November Allotment

    Gaz
    13 Nov 2014 | 1:31 am
    Although the weather is still reasonably mild, and lots of trees are still hanging on to their leaves, there are plenty of signs that winter is on its way now. The days are getting shorter and after the clock went back last weekend its dark in the evening too. Frosts will soon be a regular visitor... so it is easy to relax and imagine that there is little to grow at this time of year. Think again! There's actually lots of preparation and plants to get started in November. So what vegetables can be grown in November in the UK? GarlicOf course it is possible to start your garlic in the the…
  • 3 Chances to Win our TD368 Plastic Garden Cupboard worth £59.88 each!

    Gaz
    11 Nov 2014 | 10:50 am
    In spring 2014 Filplastic introduced a range of plastic shelving & cupboards, perfect for outdoor use. We’re giving away 3 of our most popular plastic cupboards, the TD368.  The model has 4 adjustable shelves, and a compartment to store brushes or garden tools. It is lockable with a padlock (not supplied) and made from 100% recycled material. To see more about this model, plus the full range please visit http://www.filplastic.co.uk/collections/shelving/plastic-shelving-and-cupboardsThe cupboard retails at £39.95, plus delivery and VAT making a total of £59.88 per unit. We…
  • Extending the season

    Gaz
    6 Nov 2014 | 6:43 am
    With winter fast approaching, now is the time to do a little garden prepping. From storing summer furniture in the garage, to transplanting any delicate plants from the garden to pots and moving them indoors, there are a number of factors to consider.Dealing with the cold frosty weatherHarsh weather, particularly frost, can trigger a freezing process to take place in the water in plant cells. When this happens, plants appear blackened, limp and distorted. Even hardy plants can be damaged by severe spells of cold weather. In order to prevent this damage, it’s wise to choose plants suited to…
  • Are You Replacing Garden Tools Unnecessarily?

    Gaz
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:44 am
     Do you recognise this scenario? You’ve done a heavy but satisfying day in the garden of weeding, pruning and digging. The hot bath and the drink with your name on it are calling to you. You know you really should clean your tools before putting them away, but surely that’ll wait until tomorrow? Carrying out simple maintenance directly after using your tools should make them last, but if you do need to replace, never buy ‘cheap and cheerful’. Investing in top quality hand tools that will last, is the smart option. Ditch That DirtMake sure you wash the dirt off thoroughly. Use a…
 
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    Grow Up Hydrogarden

  • 10 Eco-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Holiday

    Erika Raia
    19 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    The greatest joy each holiday season is the gift of giving and what better gift than one that helps others and does not negatively impact the environment. With a little imagination, you can reduce your carbon footprint and give a sustainable holiday gift that your family member or friend will enjoy for years to come. 10 things you can do this holiday to be eco-friendly: 1. Oh Tree!Read More
  • Vegetarian Chili

    Erika Raia
    12 Nov 2014 | 8:03 am
    Chili on a cold winter day go together like lemonade and summer! And, if you are anything like me, the spicier the chili, the better.  This vegetarian chili is full of flavor and has half the calories and fat of the traditional beef version. What’s even better is you can make it with the herbs and veggies grown in your hydrogarden. Your family will tasteRead More
  • Health Benefits of Gardening

    Erika Raia
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Gardening and connecting with nature is rewarding for everyone, at any age, and it is good for your mind and body.  Breathe in the fresh air, quiet the world around you and get moving in the garden to increase blood flow and invigorate your senses. Growing your own garden isn’t just a great source of healthy, wholesome veggies, fruits and herbs; it is nourishment forRead More
  • Hydroponics in Schools

    Erika Raia
    15 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in a nutrient-rich, water infused, growing medium instead of soil like a traditional garden. The word “Hydroponic” comes from the Greek words hydro, meaning water, and ponos, meaning labor. For thousands of years, people have used hydroponics because of the higher yields and benefits it offers over traditional gardening. A hydrogarden is a garden that is grown using hydroponic gardeningRead More
  • Growing Flowers in your Hydrogarden

    Erika Raia
    7 Oct 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Have you ever wished you could grow flowers without  having to deal with the mess of soil and weeds? Hydroponic gardening makes growing flowers, easier and faster than traditional gardening. Grow Up Hydrogarden is self-watering system that uses hydroponic technology to grow flowers, veggies, herbs and fruits in a growing medium (Growstone GS-1 and Mix This or Perlite). It uses 90% less water than a traditional gardenRead More
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    No Soil Solutions

  • Nutrient Lockout

    admin
    22 Nov 2014 | 8:43 pm
    If you notice your hydroponic plants becoming stunted or showing odd colors resembling nutrient deficiency your plants may be experiencing nutrient lockout. It’s easier to diagnose nutrient lockout with hydroponic gardens because nutrients are measured to the exact amount (or should be) to supply the plants with enough nutrients. Nutrient lock out is exactly what The post Nutrient Lockout appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
  • How to Adjust The pH Of Hydroponic Nutrient Solution

    admin
    14 Nov 2014 | 9:13 pm
    Proper pH levels are important with hydroculture gardening. Most hydroponic nutrients have a pH buffer that helps keep the pH level of your solution at its proper levels, but a spike or dip a spike or dip in your pH levels. When this happens, it’s important to adjust the pH levels back to the proper The post How to Adjust The pH Of Hydroponic Nutrient Solution appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
  • 3 Ways To Measure pH Of Nutrient Solution

    admin
    5 Nov 2014 | 5:28 pm
    When using hydroponics to grow your garden it is very important to measure the pH level  of your nutrient solution and keep it at the proper level. Without the proper pH levels your plants will not be able to take in all the nutrients it needs from the nutrient solution. When you measure the pH level The post 3 Ways To Measure pH Of Nutrient Solution appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
  • 3 Methods Of Hand Pollination

    admin
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:04 am
    Growing your hydroponic vegetable garden inside can have its many perks. One of my favorite is not have to zig zag run away from my gardening every 5 minutes from bees during flowering. In fact the first year I set up my back porch hydroponic garden I kept wondering why there were so many bees The post 3 Methods Of Hand Pollination appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
  • Growing Hydroponic Vegetables

    admin
    18 Oct 2014 | 5:44 pm
    There’s something special about growing hydroponic vegetables. Everybody has seen a typical backyard garden. It’s no surprise walking out into a backyard garden to find some wonderful vegetables, but what if you seen some of those same vegetables growing on their back porch? What if you seen some of those same vegetables being grown in The post Growing Hydroponic Vegetables appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
 
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    Your Hub of Garden Creativity | Garden Buildings Direct Blog

  • How to Make a Wormery

    Garden Buildings Direct
    24 Nov 2014 | 9:01 am
    Why? Charles Darwin studied worms for almost 40 years, and at the end of his studies came to the conclusion that life as we know it would not be possible without them! They do 2 incredible things that most of us don’t even realise – they increase soil fertility and reduce huge quantities of plant waste. How about making your own wormery to naturally process kitchen waste? You can give them all sorts of things you’d put in a compost heap – uncooked fruit and veg waste, tea leave, coffee grounds… You can then use the compost made by your worms to help grow flowers and food in the…
  • Make a Scented Trial

    Emily Chapman
    24 Nov 2014 | 3:30 am
    Why? Help to make your child more aware of their senses and what they can offer in a garden environment. Not only will they learn to recognise different smells (something every gardener enjoys) but they will develop their vocabulary at the same time. How Long Will This Take Me? 40 to 50 minutes, and it can be done in Spring or Summer when your garden is most full of flowers. What Will I Need? A garden with some smelling plants growing in it 2 sheets of paper A group of friends and an adult How Do I Do It? Send the children into the garden to collect a selection of scented plants (this can…
  • How To Make a Daisy Chain

    Emily Chapman
    24 Nov 2014 | 2:46 am
    Why? Go back to your own childhood by showing your little ones how to make a daisy chain. This will help with hand/eye coordination, patience, counting skills, and comparative language (bigger/smaller, taller/shorter). How Long will This Take Me? This can keep children pre-occupied for quite some time. Start with them to offer a helping hand and show any tips, and then let them get on with creating their own. Once they know how to make a daisy chain, this is an activity that they will repeat for many years to come! This is best in warmer months, when daisies grow in abundance. What Will I…
  • Tracking Snails

    Emily Chapman
    21 Nov 2014 | 9:02 am
    See if your garden snails have a homing instinct! Learn about different species and the way they behave, whilst encouraging children not to be squeamish about living creatures in the garden. This will increase their skills of investigation and get them used to the sort of activities they will do in science lessons. How long will this take me? As long as it takes to find some snails, and then your children will need to keep checking the garden every day to see whether the snails return. What will I need? Snails! Brightly-coloured nail polish or correction fluid How do I do it? Go out into the…
  • Garden Treasure Hunt – Garden activities for kids

    Emily Chapman
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:45 am
    Encouraging your children to enjoy the great outdoors is something that has been greatly encouraged by the government and schools recently, and a good way to do this is by finding some good garden activities for kids to do. The latest activity in our garden activities for kids series is going on a garden treasure hunt. This can either be done in your garden or in a local park. Setting them the task of locating some unusual items will help to improve language development, basic maths and social skills. How long will this take me? About an hour, or however long you want! What will I…
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    A Garden for All

  • For the Birds

    Kathy
    18 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Cedar Waxwing enjoying winterberry and juniper berries (photo by: Kathy Diemer) No matter the animal, I love to feed them. Just look at my chubby horses, plump kitties and rubenesque dogs. And there’s no exception when it comes to my avian friends, either.  Although there are mixed messages about feeding during the summer months, I never miss a day year-round. But along with seeds, our native birds also need protein and fat to thrive. By planting berry producing trees and shrubs, we can provide additional sustenance for our feathered friends through the long winter months. I consulted…
  • Fall Clean Up

    Kathy
    14 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Freshly tended fall border (photo by: Kathy Diemer) If you’re like me, the thought of dragging out the vacuum and dust rags is just that . . . a drag.  Perhaps when I was younger and home ownership was fresh and exciting, the task of cleaning, scrubbing and dusting somehow seemed rewarding; all the appliances sparkled and the carpets were no longer littered with balls of dog and cat hair.  Alas, those days are gone, and the thought of cleaning the house is nothing more than a mundane, thankless chore that I would far rather delegate to someone, anyone, willing to do it for me. …
  • Storm King

    Kathy
    11 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Overlooking the South Fields (photo by: Kathy Diemer) I was never all that interested in modern art; growing up in a rock ‘n roll and (well done) meat and potatoes environment will do that to you. Admittedly, I didn’t understand modernistic techniques either. All that stark white and sharp edges was too much for my curvy, colorful mind to comprehend. That is, until I went to Storm King Art Center, where towering chunks of metal unite peacefully amongst majestic trees and rolling pastures. The simplicity of natural meadows somehow balances these complex structures so they become…
  • Shrubs for Fabulous Foliage

    Kathy
    7 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer) Fall foliage is nature’s firework expo, signaling the end of one season and the beginning of another. As the last colorful petals of summer trickle to the ground, trees and shrubs continue the vibrant display across our landscapes, often extending the show for several more weeks. You don’t have to have a huge yard or a degree in gardening to have fiery beauties thriving on your property, as most color producers are low maintenance and tolerant of modest soil conditions. Following are a few of my favorite prismatic…
  • Beautyberry

    Kathy
    4 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Prolific berries of Early Amethyst (photo by: Kathy Diemer) Commonly known as beautyberry, the genus Callicarpa was derived from the Greek words ‘callos’ meaning beauty and ‘carpos’ meaning fruit.  And what a stunning fruit it is; a purple-violet-fuschia profusion of tiny beaded clusters that look more like decorative desert toppings than anything nature could produce.  Yet, this supernatural color flaunts itself on the native American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, Japanese Beautyberry, callicarpa japonica, Chinese Bodinier’s Beautyberry, Callicarpa…
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    Drought Gardening

  • Part 1 – Drought Tolerant Ground Cover Plants

    Austin Fernald
    8 Nov 2014 | 5:57 am
    Many people would not even consider using a ground cover in their drought tolerant garden because they are typically seen as boring and ugly. However, drought tolerant ground covers can be useful in many ways. Ground covers act as a great replacement for large areas of land that used to be grass. They make great fillers in-between other plants in your garden. They can be used to line driveways or to fill in between pavers.… Read the rest The post Part 1 – Drought Tolerant Ground Cover Plants appeared first on Drought Gardening.
  • Interview with Krizia Flores aka Concrete Geometric

    Austin Fernald
    3 Nov 2014 | 6:33 am
    I have been following Krizia for awhile now and I am thrilled that I was able to get a quick interview with her. Between her wonderful business, Concrete Geometric, and her busy photography career, Krizia is one creative drought gardener and talented artist. Started in 2013, Concrete Geometric has quickly become the most well known concrete “vessel” creators. Many may recognize her products from Etsy, Instagram, popular magazines, or in stores across the country.… Read the rest The post Interview with Krizia Flores aka Concrete Geometric appeared first on Drought Gardening.
  • Mondo Grass Growing Guide

    Austin Fernald
    27 Oct 2014 | 7:42 am
    Are you looking for easy to grow, drought tolerant, ground covers, that are also shade loving plants? You may be asking, “Does something like this even exist?” Well you’re certainly looking in the right place, because mondo grass is all of the above and more. It loves the shade. It is easy to grow. It is drought tolerant. And, it looks great once it is established.… Read the rest The post Mondo Grass Growing Guide appeared first on Drought Gardening.
  • Watering Low Water Plants (6 Things You Should Be Doing, But You’re Not)

    Austin Fernald
    18 Oct 2014 | 10:42 am
    Watering is an important part of growing a healthy garden (Duh!). Even low water plants need water sometimes. No plant can truly survive on zero water. You may ask, “How often do you need to water drought tolerant plants?” But there is a little more to it than that. If you think watering a drought tolerant garden is as simple as setting the timer for your sprinkler system to come on everyday, or just going out into your garden with a hose and aimlessly shooting water everywhere, then you are mistaken.… Read the rest The post Watering Low Water Plants (6 Things You Should Be…
  • 9 Drought Tolerant Vegetables for Any Size Garden + Growing Guide

    Austin Fernald
    11 Oct 2014 | 7:39 am
    Many people think that when they make the change from a water intensive garden to a drought tolerant one, they have to give up growing vegetables altogether. But that’s not true at all! Yes, certain vegetables need gallons of water a day to survive, but many vegetables can grow and prosper in drought conditions too. You just have to plant the right vegetables, and know some simple techniques.… Read the rest The post 9 Drought Tolerant Vegetables for Any Size Garden + Growing Guide appeared first on Drought Gardening.
 
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    Modern Homesteader

  • Homesteaders Hop #4

    Modern Homesteader
    21 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
      Come on over to the Homestead, choose your rocking chair…a glass of tea and sit a spell! This is a Blog Hop Y’all and there are plenty of posts to keep your attention…entertain you, educate you or make you smile…all day long. Stay as long as you like; and vote for your favorite! If […]
  • Homesteaders Hop #3

    Modern Homesteader
    14 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
      Come on over to the Homestead, choose your rocking chair…a glass of tea and sit a spell! This is a Blog Hop Y’all and there are plenty of posts to keep your attention…entertain you, educate you or make you smile…all day long. Stay as long as you like; and vote for your favorite! If […]
  • From the Homestead: November Update

    Modern Homesteader
    10 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Well it has been a bit since I have updated you on my homestead, things are beginning to slow down now that winter is upon us. So let’s get to it shall we? Chicken Coop: Since I recently moved an unused shed from over on the orchard that was left by the previous homeowners, I […]
  • My Personal Challenge

    Modern Homesteader
    7 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    Since July 2014, I have had a personal challenge issued to myself… Let me first give you a little back story to fill you in. History: Growing up I was a average child and I had more than my fair share of ear infections, sinus infections, colds and flus but I was a happy child until […]
  • Homesteader’s Hop #2

    Modern Homesteader
    7 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
      Come on over to the Homestead, choose your rocking chair…a glass of tea and sit a spell! This is a Blog Hop Y’all and there are plenty of posts to keep your attention…entertain you, educate you or make you smile…all day long. Stay as long as you like; and vote for your favorite! If […]
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    DIY Backyard Gardening

  • Practical Gardening Tips

    Chellet
    12 Nov 2014 | 6:05 am
    Here’s a presentation I’ve created on SlideShare on practical gardening tips. These are quite basic and easy to understand especially for beginner gardeners. I hope you’ll find it useful and helpful for your front and/or backyard garden. The post Practical Gardening Tips appeared first on DIY Backyard Gardening.
  • Backyard Gardening Project: How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder

    Chellet
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:22 am
    I’ve created a how-to guide on making a bird feeder a week ago and I hope you’ve tried it at home, too. It’s really easy and cheap. And you’ll be feeding wild birds (and even sneaky mice if you’re from the Philippines) in no time. Here’s what mine looks like: DIY bird feeder for our backyard garden visitors Not pretty, I know. But it’s functional and costs nothing. Just a few minutes and a little creativity. Try it and tell us when you’re done. Enjoy!     The post Backyard Gardening Project: How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder appeared first…
  • The October 2014 UPLB Garden Show – Part 1

    Chellet
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:49 pm
    It’s been two weeks since me and my sis went to second leg of the bi-annual LBHS / UPLB Garden Show. Went to the college town of Los Banos, Laguna on the 10th and met with my sister within the campus, at the show’s venue. However, it was too darn late to take good pictures, so we went back the following morning which was just the second day of the show. bromeliads, ferns, aglaonemas, colocasias. and a cute kid It’s kind of disappointing to find very minimal exhibits that revolve around this moth’s theme: Fruit-bearing trees.  I’m not sure if there were more…
  • UPLB Garden Show October 2014

    Chellet
    1 Oct 2014 | 10:48 am
    This is it! I’m going to the UPLB Garden Show this October! uplb garden show oct 2013 I just got word from my sister that the second installment of the bi-annual Los Banos Horticulture Society’s Flower and Garden Show (a.k.a. UPLB Garden Show) is on October 10 to 19. There’s a Php25.00 Php20.00 entrance fee, if I’m not mistaken; and the gates will be opened at around 8 am. The show’s usual venue is at the Seniors’ Social Garden. See you there!   The post UPLB Garden Show October 2014 appeared first on DIY Backyard Gardening.
  • Indoor Gardening with Cacti and Pothos

    Chellet
    21 Sep 2014 | 12:10 am
    Indoor gardening is a great excuse to buy cacti last weekend. I wanted other types of desert plants, but the seller told me they’ll have succulents next month (if their mother store will supply them). Gardening indoors is a way to augment my view since I work hours in front of a computer. Although my windowsill garden is just a glimpse away, I always thought of putting plants on top my large office table. The only dilemma I have is not having a proper camera to take proper photos of my new plants. It’s been a year since my digital camera gave up, so I have to resort to using a…
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