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  • Growing William Shakespeare’s Garden

    Backyard Gardening Blog
    16 Oct 2014 | 6:13 pm
    So there was a guy, you may have heard of him, William Shakespeare, he was sort of a big deal. He was of course an English writer and his works have been popular for almost 500 years, that is some staying power. I actually like his stuff, I’ve read Shakespeare for pleasure, I’m that sort […]
  • The Halloween Hare: Do you believe?

    May Dreams Gardens
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:35 pm
    This year I feel certain the Halloween Hare is going to visit my garden and create havoc if I don't take preventative measures. What? You don't know about the Halloween Hare? You must be new here.  Put down your leaf rake, pull up a chair and I'll tell you all about him. According to ancient gardening legend, the Halloween Hare hops from garden to garden on Halloween night looking for Easter
  • RECIPE: Nasturtium Leaf Pesto

    You Grow Girl
    Gayla Trail
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:50 am
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  • garden cleanup, cheesemaking, and more, with alana chernila

    A Way To Garden
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:14 am
    COLDER WEATHER plus shorter days are the ingredients in two things right now at my house: garden cleanup, and also [read more…] The post garden cleanup, cheesemaking, and more, with alana chernila appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • Vacation In Quirky Cedar Key

    A Leafy Indulgence
    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…
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    You Grow Girl

  • 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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  • Mustard from Seed to Seed: An Epic Journey

    Gayla Trail
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:37 am
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  • RECIPE: Concord Grape Juice

    Gayla Trail
    1 Oct 2014 | 3:07 pm
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  • Chasing the Elusive White Borage

    Gayla Trail
    23 Sep 2014 | 9:34 am
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    Shawna Coronado

  • Favorite Compost Tools of the Garden Season

    Shawna Coronado
    27 Oct 2014 | 4:16 am
    Want to speed up your composting so that it breaks down a lot faster? With fall upon us weather begins to cool and composting slows down, yet it is still possible – and easy – to compost year round. Granted, composting works better with warmth and heat, but winter composting is possible if you continue to work at it. This year I tried out two different composting tools and have found both to be surprisingly successful at solving some of my compost problems. Below is a brief review of each so you can decide if you might like them. They turned out to be my favorite compost tools of…
  • Houseplants Part II – Home Air Purification

    Shawna Coronado
    23 Oct 2014 | 4:41 am
    As a part of my two part series on how to grow houseplants I bring you an indoor garden idea and product review – a houseplant stand that will not leak on your floors and a great list of air purification houseplants that might help you keep your house filled with cleaner air. With our homes filled with computers, electronics, carpet fumes, and all types of chemicals, keeping our indoor air quality clean can be a challenge. Some houseplants make great chemical absorbing tools. There was a two year study done by the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) and the National…
  • Houseplants Part I – Books and Ideas

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Houseplants terrify me. I am gradually changing my mind about houseplants and see them as a great way to bring some garden love into the house at the end of the garden season. It’s fall, it’s nippy outside, we need some green happiness and inspiration, and face it – there’s only so many martini’s we can drink. Now is the time to venture into the new, the unknown, the houseplant! Two books that have given me a fantastic education on interior gardening are written by experts on houseplants that really know how to guide your planting with smart techniques and tips:…
  • Plant a Siberian Squill Bulb (Scilla siberica)

    Shawna Coronado
    17 Oct 2014 | 9:56 am
    One of the most delightful bulbs found growing in early spring in the Midwestern garden are Siberian Squill or  Scilla siberica. They offer a peek of color when the world is still cold and are a perfect contribution to a bulb garden. Below is a page from my latest book, the Illinois Getting Started Garden Guide, that will give you a fantastic idea on how to get started growing the smart little bulb (photo credit for the Scilla above is from the amazing Kylee Baumle of Siberian Squill Botanical Name – Scilla siberica Bloom Period and Seasonal Colors – Blue,…
  • Tips For Growing White Pumpkins

    13 Oct 2014 | 4:03 am
    ‘Tis the season for pumpkins. I loved these displays of blue and white pumpkins at the Morton Arboretum. While it is too late to plant a pumpkin this season, it is not too late to start planning the garden for next season. I’ve fallen madly in love with the white pumpkins. Jung Seed has many varieties, but I think the ‘Full Moon’ variety is easy to find in seed and is an experiment in growing; it can grow to 60 pounds and 3 feet high. Smaller varieties of white pumpkin include Crystal Star and Baby Boo Miniature. All are whimsical and fun. Perfect for painting or…
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    Cold Climate Gardening

  • Smoke On A Rope: Wildflower Wednesday

    Kathy Purdy
    23 Oct 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Driving down country roads on the way to town, I noticed what looked like brown fur in many of the shrubs along the road. I finally realized that the “fur” was actually the seedheads of Virgin’s bower, Clematis virginiana, which Prairie Moon Nursery fittingly calls “prairie smoke on a rope.” Virgin’s bower is a native […]
  • Frost-Tolerant Flowers: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day October 2014

    Kathy Purdy
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:38 pm
    Life as we know it doesn’t end with the first frost. Beauty doesn’t stop, either. We have had several light frosts (28.5F/-1.9C was the coldest) but no hard freezes, which means many garden plants are still going strong. (Do you know the difference between a frost and a freeze?) Flowers in the house I was […]
  • Where’s The Best Place to Buy Colchicums?

    Kathy Purdy
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:49 pm
    Where’s the best place to buy colchicums? Two people have asked me that in the past week, and I figure if two readers are actually asking me, there must be quite a few more who are wondering the same thing, but not wondering aloud. When is the best time to buy colchicums? I find I […]
  • How to Fortify Your Roses Against the Cold

    Kathy Purdy
    5 Oct 2014 | 7:22 pm
    Jack Falker is a rose enthusiast who gardens in Minnesota. Minnesota–in case you don’t have the USDA Hardiness Map memorized–is entirely a cold climate state, consisting of Zone 3 and 4. (Okay, there is a teeny bit of Zone 5 in the most recent map, but still.) One can’t grow roses in Minnesota without knowing […]
  • Not White Snakeroot but Late Boneset: Wildflower Wednesday

    Kathy Purdy
    3 Oct 2014 | 7:56 pm
    How many of you have wait-and-see plants in your garden? You know, when you look at a plant in spring and think What the heck is that? Did I plant it, or is it a weed? I guess I’ll just wait and see. Last fall, I planted a bunch of small plants in the Deck […]
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    The Occasional Gardener

  • 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…
  • Riverine Wilderness

    5 May 2014 | 9:50 am
    A while ago, I visited Tanjung Piai, a listed Ramsar site, ie a wetland of international importance. To be honest, it was depressing. Poorly maintained, you could see from the boardwalks, garbage tangled in the mangrove roots. There was a stench that distracted from the beauty of the surrounding flora and as soon as you reached the coast edge, the horizon had a line of tankers en route to nearby Singapore and beyond. The fluctuations in tidal waves they create erode the shrinking coast, their illegal dumping of toxic sludge poison it further. It was hard to connect with this wilderness…
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    Plant Whatever Brings You Joy

  • Time for Gingersnaps!

    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!

    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!

    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,…
  • Cherish the Beauty of the Season

    30 Jul 2014 | 1:17 pm
    I must confess that all summer long I have been hovering over a particular canna lily just outside my front door hoping it would blossom before summer’s end. Last year it did not have time to come to fruition. This year I have not been disappointed and I take great delight in the spectacular persimmon colored lilies that now grace the entrance to my home. Three decades ago I was hovering over my own splendid blossom inside my own round tummy. Inside was a precious being getting ready to emerge who was my own beloved Antonia. Unfettered by any ground outside my front door, I took my round…
  • Flower Games of Children

    21 Jul 2014 | 2:31 pm
    Summer brings the abundant gift of many kinds of flowers, and, so, it was not unlikely a friend and I would begin reminiscing recently about games we played as children with various blossoms and plants in our childhood gardens. Here are the ones we most readily recalled. Daisy chains “Daisy chain” by User Ecrips on en.wikipedia Who has not spent time sitting in the grass lacing daisies together into a lovely chain, which one could then decide how to use–as a bracelet, a necklace, or, if long enough, as a crown in our hair? What a lovely memory. Wishing on dandelions It…
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    May Dreams Gardens

  • The Halloween Hare: Do you believe?

    30 Oct 2014 | 6:35 pm
    This year I feel certain the Halloween Hare is going to visit my garden and create havoc if I don't take preventative measures. What? You don't know about the Halloween Hare? You must be new here.  Put down your leaf rake, pull up a chair and I'll tell you all about him. According to ancient gardening legend, the Halloween Hare hops from garden to garden on Halloween night looking for Easter
  • Rocking the bulbs in the lawn

    26 Oct 2014 | 7:52 pm
    This is a rockery trowel People ask, "How do you plant bulbs in the lawn?" I answer, "With a rockery trowel." They nod knowingly. Of course, they should have thought of using a rockery trowel. As if they knew what a rockery trowel was. Show of hands... who knew what a rockery trowel was before reading this post? A rockery trowel is a trowel with a long skinny head which allows me to
  • Wildflower Wednesday - Flowers in the Lawn

    22 Oct 2014 | 6:57 pm
    Pretty little mystery flower in the lawn I've spent time the last three evenings on my hands and knees and sometimes on my butt planting bulbs for Glory of the Snow,  Chionodoxa gigantia (also known as Chionodoxa lucillia), in my back lawn. I bought 1,000 bulbs of Glory of the Snow, which doesn't take as long as you might think to plant. I timed my first 300 bulbs.  40 minutes.  Not bad.  
  • Every garden is a story

    19 Oct 2014 | 6:32 pm
    A garden is more than plants and flowers. A garden is the story of a gardener. Each season is a new chapter. Each plant and flower adds a sentence or two. Some gardens are made up of many stories, when they are tended by gardeners who have come and gone, each adding their chapters to a long tale. Sometimes, the story of a garden is a mystery. What was the gardener thinking? Where did she
  • Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2014

    14 Oct 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Autumn crocus, Crocus speciosus Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for October 2014. Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden in central Indiana, I am pleased to introduce a new bloom in my garden for mid-fall. Please give a hearty GBBD welcome to the Autumn Crocus, Crocus speciosus. It's nice to have crocuses blooming in the fall.  Just like in the spring, the first one bloomed and
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    Backyard Gardening Blog

  • Growing William Shakespeare’s Garden

    16 Oct 2014 | 6:13 pm
    So there was a guy, you may have heard of him, William Shakespeare, he was sort of a big deal. He was of course an English writer and his works have been popular for almost 500 years, that is some staying power. I actually like his stuff, I’ve read Shakespeare for pleasure, I’m that sort […]
  • How to kill moles

    24 Sep 2014 | 6:17 am
    I hate moles, really I do. I know there are people out there that probably do not condone killing any animal, even moles, I’m not that type of person, but if you are, I can respect that, though this blog post is not for you. Personally I like animals fine, I try to encourage animal […]
  • GMO crops are safe, healthy, and good for the environment.

    15 Sep 2014 | 7:03 am
    Controversy time, as a man a science (ahem, real science) I’ve been perpetually annoyed at all the anti-GMO pseudo BS out there, and I thought “What if there is a nice, accurate, informative, article out there letting people know the facts?” Then I figured, I might as well write the article. This post will be […]
  • Double Coneflowers

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:37 am
    I find myself lately really enjoying double coneflowers (echinacea). Often in gardening we must make choices, do we want big, complex, showy blossoms, or do we want blossoms for a long period of time. Stella de Oro daylily blooms for a long time with relatively small plain yellow blooms, but there are other daylilies with […]
  • The World’s Largest Flowers

    24 Jul 2014 | 8:36 am
    I had a chance to experience two of the worlds biggest flowers recently, only mere weeks apart. The first was the infamous corpse flower, amorphophallus titanum (which means giant misshapen phallus). There is a specimen at MSU near my house that was flowering for the first time in years, and I dragged my kids there […]
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  • Hill Country style and a downtown view in the garden of Ruthie Burrus

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:19 am
    I see a lot of gardens on public tours, which I enjoy tremendously. But being invited for a private tour of a new-to-me garden is a special treat, especially if the garden happens to belong to an avid gardener making the most of a beautiful, hilltop site overlooking downtown Austin. Such is the garden of Ruthie Burrus, a reader of Digging who recently dangled a fall garden visit in front of my nose, which I snapped up like a trout. Ruthie’s home sits at the top of a long, sloping driveway, and you approach through a rustic, Hill Country-style garden. Large limestone stepping stones lead…
  • Sylvan silver: Paul Sorey tree sculpture shines in downtown Austin

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:02 am
    One day a silver tree sprouted on a street corner in downtown Austin where nothing had grown for a year but piles of construction debris from the new Cirrus Logic building at West Avenue and W. 6th Street. I’d crawl past with one eye glued to the tree, craning my neck to see it, risking impatient horn honking from those behind me. Last week I finally managed to snap a couple of photos while hanging my head out the window at a stoplight. When I Googled it I was surprised and delighted to see that it’s by Paul Sorey, the Washington artist who created Salmon Waves, a dynamic…
  • Melody’s romantic garden of passalong plants in San Antonio

    28 Oct 2014 | 4:07 am
    Last year Shirley of Rock-Oak-Deer blogged about the garden of her neighbor Melody. I had met Melody at talks I gave in San Antonio and Brenham, so I read about her garden with particular interest. And I was thrilled when Shirley and Melody arranged for me and a small group of friends to make a fall visit. Melody and a welcome party consisting of her adult daughter and several friends greeted us as we drove up to her north San Antonio home. Ushering us inside she treated us to a spread of tasty muffins, ginger cookies, and fruit-flavored vinegars you mix with water. Happily munching we…
  • Heather’s Xericstyle garden in San Antonio

    27 Oct 2014 | 3:48 am
    Last week I roadtripped south with a few friends to see the gardens of our San Antonio blogger friends, Heather Ginsburg of Xericstyle and Shirley Fox of Rock-Oak-Deer, plus Shirley’s neighbor and gardening friend Melody. I posted about Shirley’s garden here. Today I’ll show you Heather’s garden. Heather boldly ripped out her entire front lawn when she moved into her suburban ranch house a few years ago. A Canadian transplant, she had a lot to learn about gardening in hot, dry, south-central Texas, but she’s a quick study and soon filled her garden with native…
  • Visiting a San Antonio garden with rocks, oaks, and deer

    25 Oct 2014 | 5:13 am
    Ahh, I’m back and enjoying our mellow Texas fall after a garden-visiting weekend in New York City, and guess what I’ve been doing since I got back? Yep! Visiting more gardens. Last Friday a few friends and I headed south to San Antonio to visit the gardens of two Alamo City bloggers and a gardening friend. I’ll give you our visits in reverse order, starting with Shirley Fox’s garden, known on her blog by its challenging features: Rock-Oak-Deer. Shirley organized our visit and still made time to show us her garden as well. This was my second visit; I first saw…
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    Blithewold Blogs

  • Day of the dormant

    Kristin Green
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:49 am
    This has maybe been the prettiest fall week ever and we have spent it celebrating the gardens’ downward spiral into dormancy — as well as its eventual rebirth. You know we have a schedule to keep before allowing the volunteers to take a well-deserved winter rest, so even though we still haven’t had a frost, we forked the […]
  • Not goodbye

    Kristin Green
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:57 am
    I’d prefer to think that the season is in transition rather than ending but when we start throwing some of summer’s best blooms into the bed of Blithewold’s truck, it definitely feels more like a goodbye than a see-you-later. This week, once again, the rain and a woolly nor’easter held off just long enough for […]
  • Celebrating Our Arboretum

    Kelly Sobolewski
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:29 am
    There’s something very new and exciting going on this year in Blithewold’s Visitor’s Center during Christmas at Blithewold. Gail Read, Gardens Manager, Kris Green, Interpretive Horticulturist, and Betsy Ekholm, Horticulturist, have partnered with the garden volunteers to design a display to Celebrate Our Arboretum. Essentially, they are pulling different natural features from throughout the Grounds, preserving […]
  • A rabbit’s eye view with Noel Kingsbury

    Kristin Green
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:31 am
    We are so lucky that yesterday’s rain held off just long enough to take a ground-level tour of Blithewold’s gardens with British garden designer/plantsman/author, Noel Kingsbury. He showed us, plant by plant, exactly what to look for to help predict how different plants will behave in our gardens. He reminded us that plant growth falls along […]
  • Christmas at Blithewold “You Are Invited”

    Kelly Sobolewski
    13 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Although Blithewold is closing to the public this week, it is anything but quiet around the Mansion. We are now preparing to get the Mansion dressed up for Christmas! It is a bit hard to imagine a snowy winter in the midst of this crisp fall weather, but our decorating volunteers have been prepping and […]
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    Ellis Hollow

  • Remembering Jade (1997-2014)

    22 Oct 2014 | 4:34 pm
    The intensity and smarts of her border collie heritage. The heart of her Lab side. My best friend for 17 years. What more can I say. She loved laying on fresh mulch in the sun on a cool day. Or when it was hot, hanging out under Rosie the Airstream while Elly worked on her remodel. Running through the snow. Chasing the deer back on their side of the 'invisible fence'. Always with a ball or -- more often -- a Norway spruce cone -- in her mouth begging for me to play fetch. She knew pretty well when the bag on the lawn mower would be full and would meet me at that spot to get in a throw before…
  • I’m still here …

    3 Aug 2014 | 1:48 pm
    New granddaughter, life, work etc. has kept me away from the blogosphere. (Major triage in garden management this year.) But I did manage to take a few pix this weekend.
  • Signs of spring

    16 Mar 2014 | 3:46 pm
    Lows tonight are supposed to be around zero. But despite some stormy weather this last week, there have been signs of spring. Images below are reposted from the Cornell Horticulture blog which has been sucking up a lot of my blogging energy these days. Flower bulb research intern Rose de Wit collects data at Kenneth Post Lab greenhouses. Currently in the banner rotation at the Cornell University homepage. Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) bloom in Minns Garden on Tower Road. Students in the course Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA…
  • RIP Pete Seeger

    28 Jan 2014 | 4:54 pm
    94 Reasons Pete Seeger Matters - Gawker tribute.
  • 10 favorite photos (and scans and videos) of 2013

    31 Dec 2013 | 9:51 am
    Have I really neglected this blog since Labor Day? Apologies. Life has been hectic. Plus I've been able to scratch my blogging itch some at work through the Cornell Horticulture blog. The little vacation from blogging here has made me start yearning for spring already and getting back to shooting photos and creating scans. Following Les's lead at A Tidewater Garden, I figured I'd pull together a quick collection of favorites from the past year, drawing from both blogs. In most cases, you can click on images for a larger view. New Year's cyclamen With a corm nearly the size of my fist, this…
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    Ledge and Gardens

  • 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…
  • Bloom Day - October 15, 2014

    Layanee DeMerchant
    15 Oct 2014 | 5:37 am
    The summer really is gone and there is the sweet smell of decay in the air. There has been no frost here yet which is a bit unusual although blackened foliage in the valley a mile away tells a different tale. The star of the fall garden in New England really is foliage but I do have some late blooming annuals and perennials which just hate to give up and they do add some late drama to the landscape. There are few of us who don't have the 'Pink Sheffield' chrysanthemum starting to bloom. Its apricot flowers blend well with the bronze, copper and reds of fall. The hydrangea flowers…
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    the back quarter acre

  • 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…
  • Geraniums: celebrating the commonplace

    8 Aug 2014 | 10:41 am
    Until a couple of years ago, I had always lumped geraniums into that group of trailer trash flowers--carnations, impatiens, petunias--that Big Box stores and uninspired landscapers inflict upon horticulturally sensitive souls. With such diversity of plant life available, why bother with geraniums? They are boring and clichéd. And they smell funny.But then I went to France.  Specifically, I went to Alsace, the eastern region of France that borders the river Rhine.  This is the country of geraniums, half-timbered buildings, and Riesling wine. Geraniums…
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • Vacation In Quirky Cedar Key

    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

    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

    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

    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…
  • Thomas Jefferson's Chinese Ixia

    6 Aug 2014 | 8:10 pm
    Belacamda Lily was Belamcanda chinensis until about a year ago. Then botanists started playing with the names of some plants due to newfound genetic knowledge, and presto. The name changed to Iris domestica. Could its leaves actually resemble the irs family?The seeds hopped into my goodie bag at the annual Seed Swap in February 2012. Here we go again with another free plant from the seed swap or from a neighbor. During the first year, they were sown indoors and transplanted, producing one flower stalk that summer. The next year, (last summer) the plant came back half-heartedly, but did not…
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • Vacation In Quirky Cedar Key

    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

    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

    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

    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…
  • Thomas Jefferson's Chinese Ixia

    6 Aug 2014 | 8:10 pm
    Belacamda Lily was Belamcanda chinensis until about a year ago. Then botanists started playing with the names of some plants due to newfound genetic knowledge, and presto. The name changed to Iris domestica. Could its leaves actually resemble the irs family?The seeds hopped into my goodie bag at the annual Seed Swap in February 2012. Here we go again with another free plant from the seed swap or from a neighbor. During the first year, they were sown indoors and transplanted, producing one flower stalk that summer. The next year, (last summer) the plant came back half-heartedly, but did not…
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    Bumblebee Blog

  • Announcing My Big New Plan to Make a Whole Lot of Money

    Robin Ripley
    15 Oct 2014 | 10:58 am
    Thank you for subscribing and visiting Now that I have put the pack back on, so to speak, and am blogging again after my year-long blog vacation, I decided I better check in on those clever blog gurus. You know who they are. They’re the professional bloggers who tell us amateur-hour bloggers all the things we need to do to become […] The post Announcing My Big New Plan to Make a Whole Lot of Money appeared first on Bumblebee Blog.
  • What I Did on My Vacation from Blogging

    Robin Ripley
    25 Sep 2014 | 8:08 am
    Thank you for subscribing and visiting Well, hello there! Did you notice I was gone? Did you miss me? I missed you. Truly, I didn’t set out to take nearly a full year off from blogging here at Bumblebee. Sometimes, life just gets in the way. Sometimes you have to make a choice between living life or writing about it. Not […] The post What I Did on My Vacation from Blogging appeared first on Bumblebee Blog.
  • A Pause in the Run/Walk Through Life

    Robin Ripley
    27 Oct 2013 | 2:46 pm
    Thank you for subscribing and visiting I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation. Anyway, I digress. I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. Most days I listen to books via Audible […] The post A Pause in the Run/Walk Through Life appeared first on Bumblebee Blog.
  • Panera Bread and My Garden Video Debut

    Robin Ripley
    29 Aug 2013 | 2:36 pm
    Thank you for subscribing and visiting I am in the movies! Okay, not the big screen. More like the little screen—say, the size of your computer monitor. I and my garden are the subjects of a  video and Q&A story for Panera Bread’s new website and to promote their new “Live Consciously” campaign. (Update: The story and video have moved temporarily […] The post Panera Bread and My Garden Video Debut appeared first on Bumblebee Blog.
  • Pretty and Pink Pickled Red Onions

    Robin Ripley
    20 Aug 2013 | 6:18 am
    Thank you for subscribing and visiting Solo lunches can be such delicious affairs. You can eat leftovers. (One of my all-time favorite foods.) You can eat standing at the frig. (Not recommended.) Or you can build a gourmet sandwich from fixins’ and condiments you have on-hand, such as these pretty and pink pickled red onions. The fact is, some of my […] The post Pretty and Pink Pickled Red Onions appeared first on Bumblebee Blog.
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    Garden Rant

  • Surprising Garden Design Choices from 1930 by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:57 am
    As I mentioned in this post about hedges, there’s an unusual amount of them in my New Deal town, and they’re associated with our launch in 1937.  So if we care about preserving our history, are we stuck with hedges? I’m not a fan, so I was thrilled to discover a gardening book from 1930 offering two design choices for American gardens in that era:  either formal (the style that uses hedges) or naturalistic, my style of choice.  Here’s a local blog post I wrote about the two options, slightly modified from the original on Greenbelt Live.   Hedges in Old…
  • The Monsters Among Us by Ivette Soler

    Ivette Soler
    28 Oct 2014 | 6:59 pm
    He’s holding a daisy, his maker cobbled him together from unnatural things – and nobody can predict when he’s going to lose it and create much badness! Happy Halloween. I hope to really scare you. Because there ARE monsters. There are things that are truly frightening in our world, and we gardeners are on the front lines, either fighting these forces of evil, or being victimized by them. OR, we stand by and do nothing… and to my mind that is really really scary. What monsters you ask? Where? Oh come on, YOU KNOW. This is a thin, hackneyed little metaphor I’m using…
  • Gardening politics through the centuries by Elizabeth Licata

    Elizabeth Licata
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:40 am
    Here’s one I’ve actually visited—Montecute Thanks to a couple of fascinating new releases from Frances Lincoln, Katie Campbell’s British Gardens in Time and George Plumptre’s The English Country House Garden, I’ve beginning to add some dimensions to my starry-eyed reverence for the great English gardens. The reverence is still there, but now it’s accompanied by a little bit of understanding. Mainly I’m understanding that the creators of these living masterpieces—many of them, anyway—were ruled by strong and occasionally bizarre obsessions—and that how you…
  • Confessions of a Garden Conservancy Open Day Volunteer by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:09 am
    Before I get to the confessions, a short tour of the four fabulous DC-area gardens open to the public through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Gardens Program.  (And thanks to local APLD VP Carolyn Mullet for making it happen.) The home and garden above and in the next three photos are modern in the best ways – doing smart things with solar power and stormwater.  Design by Sandra Youssef Clinton. Photo taken from the roof, where there’s veg-growing and Sedums. I was pleased to my favorite-yet-underused native groundcover – Golden Groundsel - and lots of other smart…
  • Ellen DeGeneres ISO Gardener by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    23 Oct 2014 | 4:33 am
    Anyone following Nick the Gardener on the Ellen Show knows that she helped him  land a part in a sequel to the Magic Mike movie. So now she’s looking for a new gardener – click here to apply.  Must be “hot, strong, and have that extra somethin’ somethin’.” I’m not a regular Ellen-watcher but have heard she does garden herself, or at least talks like she does. Ellen DeGeneres ISO Gardener originally appeared on Garden Rant on October 23, 2014.
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    Transatlantic Gardener

  • 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…
  • Two ways to grow chrysanthemums

    Graham Rice
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    I spotted these “mums” on the left (above, click to enlarge), growing outside the hospital where I’ve been going for my cardiac rehab. They’re replacements for petunias grown in exactly the same way and look like nothing more than a display of footstools outside a furniture store. Although they’re perfectly hardy, they’re treated as seasonal bedding plants and will be replaced when they’re over.This is one two main ways we see chrysanths here in the US, the familiar alternative is to grow similar varieties as individual specimens in pots, on the front steps perhaps. These, too,…
  • Burning bush: fall foliage for cutting

    Graham Rice
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Had a jolly time at my niece’s wedding on Saturday up in Woodstock, New York (where the festival famously wasn’t) and, as ever, spotted something of horticultural interest. The bold floral displays at the ceremony featured gladioli in autumnal orange with purple amaranthus and all backed by – burning bush, Euonymus alatus. Click the image to enlarge it and see the foliage more clearly.It’s not often that we see Euonymus alatus used as cut foliage. It makes a spectacular feature in the landscape with its brilliant fall color and is also being mentioned as a worrying invasive. But not…
  • Bee-friendly Himalayan balsam

    Graham Rice
    2 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Himalayan balsam, Impatiens glandulifera, is a common plant of British riversides, pond margins and other wet places and is always said to be too invasive for us to be allowed to grow. It looks as if it’s smothering everything else where it grows, so it’s banned. It can be a lovely plant, so not being allowed to grow it is unfortunate.On my recent short visit back to England I saw it along the River Nene in Northamptonshire (along with the American native Imaptiens capensis), by the Wey Navigation Canal and River Wey in Surrey and in other waterside places. Some stands of it looked dense…
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  • Fenton Friday: Frost Coming, No Body Panic

    31 Oct 2014 | 3:31 pm
    'Sun Gold' tomatoesAs you have likely seen in my last blog post, we have a frost/freeze warning for the region this weekend. That means will soon be draining the cistern at the Fenton Community Garden, so I went over today and filled up over a dozen kitty litter and milk gallon containers to have water on stand-by over the long winter as I hate lugging it from home.My tomatoes, especially 'Sun Gold' apparently love these cool nights as the plants have taken off like crazy and are crowding out my pathways and I picked over 30 ripe tomatoes today and had harvested another couple dozen earlier…
  • Giving Tender Plants Extra Frost/Freeze Protection

    30 Oct 2014 | 8:05 am
    “Bundle up,” your mom always advised you when you went out to play in the frigid winds. The same advice applies for your tender and newer outdoor plantings. The freezing northern winds and freezing nighttime temps can damage or kill those annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees that are more marginal in our Mid-Atlantic planting zones. If a plant is classified as hardy only to zone 8 or above, than it is wise to take a few minutes to evaluate it for frost/freeze protection needs. Here are the top methods to give your plantings a bit of warmth and relief during any freeze/frost alerts: Take…
  • Video Wednesday: Save Seeds Before Winter

    29 Oct 2014 | 1:27 pm
    Here is another "vintage" video from our productions. It is about Save Seeds Before Winter. Enjoy! (BTW, you may have to wait a few seconds for the video to load while listening to a brief sponsor commercial.)Speaking of Seed Saving, our dual Seed Exchanges are set for early 2015. In the drab, dreary heart of winter, join us for seed swapping, expert speakers, great goody bags, and much more. Save these dates: January 31, 2015 at Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, MD and February 7, 2015 at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA. Registration and full…
  • Announcing the Washington Gardener Magazine Book Club 2015 Selections

    27 Oct 2014 | 10:22 am
    With the success of another year of the Washington Gardener Magazine Book Club, we are announcing our 2015 selections and schedule so that you can get a head start on obtaining the books and reading them.For our first 2015 selection, we will be reading: Tulipomania by Mike Dash. I am reserving a meeting room at a DC Library for a weekday evening in early February. (We will move the location around to various DC library locations near public transit for each meeting pending library staff approvals, the location will be confirmed to you when you RSVP.) The library room allows food and drink and…
  • Fenton Friday: Full Plot and New Markers

    24 Oct 2014 | 3:15 pm
     Yay! We got new plot markers this week at the Fenton Community Garden, which is great as the old wooden stakes were rotting and mine no longer could stand up. I find my new marker in the middle of my neighbor's plot and quickly moved it lest he think I was staking a claim on his Swiss Chard!My plot is busting out of bounds, but I still have lots of tomatoes ripening and annual flowers blooming so I will keep stuffing cool season crops in around them as best I can. The photo above is an overview of the whole plot. Going clockwise from the top-left corner are: tomatoes on top pf potatoes,…
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    A Tidewater Gardener

  • Even Weeds Don't Grow in the Pet Cemetery

    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

    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

    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
  • Another Year Older in Salida

    12 Oct 2014 | 8:05 am
         Part of our trip this summer was spent in Salida, Colorado, a quirky town on the Arkansas river in the state's "banana belt". Once a railroad town, Salida now relies on tourism from outdoor enthusiasts, and is a mecca for cyclists, skiers, hikers, kayakers and rafters. My birthday happened to fall while we were there, and as a gift, Sherpa Girl B took me and my son whitewater rafting through
  • Among the Ancients

    27 Sep 2014 | 8:14 am
         On our trip to Colorado this summer, one of the places I really wanted to visit again was the Mt. Goliath Natural Area. We briefly stopped here on our first trip west, but I was alone in wanting to spend more time here and felt rushed, plus I did not own a decent camera then. This summer there was no rush, and Sherpa Girl K and I were able to wander leisurely among the bristlecone pines (
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    clay and limestone

  • The leaves are stunning in the garden!

    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

    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!

    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

    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…
  • Wildflower Wednesday: Some Plants Like to Challenge the Boundaries!

    23 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    At Clay and Limestone we call several of them good friends.Physostegia virginiana, aka, False dragonhead is a good friend of my garden. It's one of the rough and tumble wildflowers that makes gardening on my shallow, often dry garden soil worth the effort! It's an enthusiastic grower, but, I decided years ago that a lovely lilac river of spiky flowers that attracts bumbles, small bees, skippers and hummers was worth having to pull out a few errant plants. (go here for more on this plant)This mint can get a root hold in your moist, rich garden soil Successful colonizers like False dragonhead…
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    Dirt Therapy

  • Waiting for the fall color

    Phillip Oliver
    10 Oct 2014 | 7:24 am
    Despite us having a drought-free summer, I am afraid that we have been paying the price for it this fall. It has been extremely dry for over a month now. There has been rain around us, especially in Colbert County, but every time a mass of rain heads this way, it tends to break up when it gets to the Tennessee River. Last weekend the weather forecasters screwed up big time when they predicted a 70% percent change of rain and we ended up getting nothing! They are saying the same thing for this coming Monday but I am refusing to listen to them.Yesterday, I turned the sprinklers on in areas that…
  • The last of the photos from the Ohio trip

    Phillip Oliver
    2 Oct 2014 | 3:52 pm
    Here are a few odds and ends from our brief trip to Ohio a few weeks ago.Marion, Ohio is about 20 miles north of Marysville. It is probably best known as the birth place of Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States. This was his residence from 1891 - 1921.   A few miles away is the tomb and memorial of Harding and his wife Florence. The memorial resembles a Greek temple and is made of white marble. It was begun in 1926 and completed the following year.The old Post Office in Marion is now a Historical Museum (and also the location of the Popcorn…
  • The covered bridges of Union County, Ohio

    Phillip Oliver
    30 Sep 2014 | 10:26 am
    Here are a few photos of the covered bridges of Union County, Ohio. We had a day to ourselves and decided to tour the countryside after finding a brochure at our motel on these covered bridges in a nearby county. It took us a while to get our bearings and we quickly learned that a GPS is not very helpful for locating bridges. We stopped at a service station to ask for directions and I could not help but notice that they had a fantastic deli with great looking sandwiches and pizza. We got directions from a very helpful lady, got some sandwiches and headed toward the first bridge, which was…
  • More from Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

    Phillip Oliver
    21 Sep 2014 | 3:42 pm
    The Franklin Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio was well worth the drive from Marysville (about 30 minutes). It was an overcast day with mild temperatures - perfect for a garden visit. Although the conservatories were awesome (see my previous post), the outdoor gardens were lovely as well. I saw workers everywhere tending to stunning displays. The above photo shows a raised bed near the front entrance which contained a striking agave ("Whale's Tongue"??), ornamental grasses and coneflower.Ornamental grasses and lantana - There was a lot of coleus used throughout the gardens.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - Chihuly Exhibit

    Phillip Oliver
    19 Sep 2014 | 2:12 pm
    We visited Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio on an overcast and cool day, absolutely perfect weather for visiting a botanical garden. The conservatories were outstanding and really more spectacular than the gardens themselves. A Chihuly exhibit was taking place and the pieces were breathtaking. Some of the pieces pictured here may not be Chihuly and if that is the case, I apologize. I have more photos of the gardens that I will share in my next post. Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy
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    Natural Gardening

  • A lovely morning walk

    31 Oct 2014 | 5:29 pm
    Beaver Lake in mid-morningThere's a human-created lake (Beaver Lake) in North Asheville that's truly magical. It's a neighborhood lake, supported by the surrounding community, with the only "fee" being for boaters and dog-walkers.I admit that we've been scofflaws, bringing Woody for walks without the annual permit for dogs (but always picking up after him, when needed!)  But we'll be happy to contribute to their permit program when we're up here full-time.
  • Fall colors

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:23 pm
    I'm grateful to have two wonderful places to enjoy fall color and inspiring views.The views from the windows in our small mountain house are glorious right now - at their peak.Black gum from studio windowkitchen window viewview from the deckview from my small studioThe views from the windows in our older house are enchanting, too, created by enveloping plantings of natives, punctuated by a few special non-natives. Here's one from the front.  And a view from our bedroom of a wonderful gingko that we planted, that's gotten quite large.We have a gingko in the mountains, too, that's just…
  • A long fall season

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    This is a magical time of the year. In the Southeastern U.S., we have wonderful fall colors, spread out over many weeks.In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the Southern Appalachians, where I live, it is a time of both senescence and renewal.Yes, the leaves are turning color and dropping, but it's also a time for reinvention, as we move towards the quiet time of winter.A post about a full moon, a number of years ago, has reminded me of its magic.
  • More monarchs

    28 Oct 2014 | 6:34 pm
    A warm afternoon yesterday saw more monarchs nectaring on the big Buddleia, as they were heading south. These must be some of the last stragglers (I hope). By the weekend, temperatures look to be seasonally cold, and probably the first frost/freeze -- depending on the the lows.The first monarchs are expected in Mexico any day now.
  • Waterfall magic

    27 Oct 2014 | 7:00 pm
    My gardening companion just received layouts for his upcoming book about waterfalls and wildflowers.  Woo-hoo- I'm so excited and proud for him (it takes DISCIPLINE and hard work and a lot of time to write books;  many, many hours over days, nights, and weekends, with lots and lots of work, but it's magic to see the manuscript and photos transformed into something wonderful!) UNC Press is doing a lovely job, again.Since I'm the first editor and photo manager, I'm sharing the excitement, too!Here's a photo from last weekend's excursion -- with a created waterfall.Bass Pond…
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    Outside Clyde

  • We Wait

    Christopher C. NC
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:59 pm
    Look. Up in the sky. No, that's just cold rain, though a mini-flurry of ice pellets was thrown in as a warning. The diagnosis didn't go there, but everyone kept talking today about a foot of snow. Then they'd look at me - especially for you. So I guess the first snow is going to be a big one. I'm interested to see what happens with my baby Kousa
  • The Last Bits

    Christopher C. NC
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:28 pm
    Another 24 hours until the snow falls. The prognosticators keep adding inches of snow and subtracting degrees of warm. There is the suggestion of strong winds. This fall has lingered a bit longer than usual in the absence of killing frosts. Those killing frosts are now going to come with a wallop it appears. Most of the leaves are already down.
  • On A Cloudy Day

    Christopher C. NC
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:53 pm
    Wolfpen Mountain. It ain't over til the fat man freezes. The drive to work this morning was particularly colorful due to the low light conditions. The sun was just breaking out when I arrived back home To light up the mountain behind me. The snow is scheduled to arrive in about 48
  • The End Of Autumn

    Christopher C. NC
    28 Oct 2014 | 5:20 pm
    The barren time will arrive in only a matter of days at this point, particularly in my slice of the forest. Cold and the first killing frosts are on the way. There is even a chance of snow in the diagnosis. Cold fronts almost always come with whipping winds, the kind of winds that can tear the last of the leaves from the forest trees.
  • Viewing Fall

    Christopher C. NC
    27 Oct 2014 | 7:10 pm
    The other side of the county   The view from my parking space. From my front porch. The baby Kousa Dogwood has consistently had good color late in the season. Now it needs to bloom more. Looking to the right down the utility easement from my front porch. My side of the county as seen next door.
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    Growing The Home Garden

  • 7 Years of Garden Blogging and A Giveaway from Troy-Bilt!

    28 Oct 2014 | 12:45 pm
    This week marks seven years since I began this blog, Growing The Home Garden. It's amazing to see how many changes have taken place in the garden and in my life since that late October day. When I started this blog our backyard was vacant of trees, plants, and anything resembling a garden. It's grown and so has our family. When I began blogging our oldest daughter was 2 and the next one was due to be born that Thanksgiving. Now there are four kids running around the garden, 3 girls and 1 boy. Everyday is an adventure! My little garden blog grew from barely anyone reading it (or even knowing…
  • How Long Does It Take Roundup to Dissipate from the Soil?

    20 Oct 2014 | 11:48 am
    There are lot of home and garden products that a gardener can choose to use in the garden. Not all of them are good to use frequently and should only be used sparingly or not all all. Roundup is one of those types of chemicals. It accomplishes its goal very well but will leave residue in the soil. Here is a question I was asked this weekend about Roundup:Q. I am a renter, 2-1/4 years at present location. Landlord sprayed roundup before I moved in, so I've done container gardening from day one (and got him to quit spraying). What is your opinion/guess on how long, if any, to let the…
  • How to Save Okra Seeds

    16 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    It's time to put up the summer harvests and begin preparing for winter and next spring. One way to prepare for spring is to save seeds from plants you grew this year that you enjoyed so that you can grow it again next year. Okra is a southern garden favorite that is very easy to collect and save seeds from. There are only a couple steps to saving seeds from okra.First A Little About OkraOkra is botanically known as Hibiscus esculentus or Abelmoschus esculentus but we'll just keep it easy and call it okra. In it's most common culinary form here in the south okra is fried, but it can also be…
  • What You Shouldn't Do With Your Fall Leaves

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:09 am
    Fall is well underway and we all know that with fall comes mountains of leaves! The beautiful color changes can quickly transition into a thick carpet of smothering leaves on the ground. Many homeowners are smart and use this natural resource in the garden but others do one thing that drives this gardener crazy. What is it that you shouldn't do with fall leaves? Burn them.Why is burning leaves a bad thing? Two reasons: it releases pollutants into the air and it is extremely wasteful. Smoke and particulates get released into the air and decrease the air quality. Last year a neighbor burned his…
  • Light Up the Night with a Backyard Fire Pit and Solar Lights!

    10 Oct 2014 | 6:45 am
    In the fall there are several iconic thoughts that spring to mind of most people. Cool crisp days evoke good feelings and memories created around fall festivals, apple cider, holidays, and other fall activities. One way to share the fall experience with your family is to add a backyard fire pit. What could be better than a cool crisp evening around the campfire with friends and family while roasting marshmallows and making smores? A simple backyard fire pit is an easy project that you can put together to add another special memory making activity to your fall events! (All materials for…
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    Sharing Nature's Garden

  • Mellow and not so mellow yellow in my garden....

    27 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    If you asked me about my favorite colors in the garden, I'd say: purple, lavender, blue, orange, yellow...and trail off about then.I wouldn't even put yellow in my top 3.  And yet, as I look around my garden, it's yellow that I see everywhere.  It's a major element in many of my beds, but it's gotten there without serious thought to including it.Let's face it, there are many plants with yellow blooms that love our hot sun and dry days.  So it's always easy to find something yellow to add to a vignette.And as I count the yellow bloomers in my landscape, I smile.  Yellow…
  • Hill country garden charm in the heart of San Antonio...

    26 Oct 2014 | 8:04 am
    The last stop on our visit to San Antonio gardens was another xeric garden, filled with drought-tolerant plants, both soft and sculptural. You can come along on the first two gardens of tour with me to see Melody's and Heather's gardens here.Then we toured the garden of Shirley, who blogs at  Rock, Oak, Deer.  I 'd seen Shirley's garden through her camera lens many times, yet when we arrived, I was surprised to find that she wasn't gardening in the country, but in a suburban neighborhood.  Her style and plant choices created an oasis that made the rest of the world seem far…
  • Another beautiful San Antonio garden to share...

    24 Oct 2014 | 9:02 pm
    The second stop on our recent visit to San Antonio was Heather's garden from Xeric style.  Her style is certainly xeric, yet with many soft grasses, draping perennials and ground cover, it has a delicate feel. You can see my post about the first garden here. Purple fountain grass frames a collection of other grasses and yuccas.The sun was blazing hot that day, so taking photos was a real  challenge.  These yuccas were enveloped in a blanket of pretty purple trailing lantana, but it's hard to see that here.In this his view of the front of the house you can see that her…
  • A little garden trip down the road...

    23 Oct 2014 | 5:58 am
    Last week I went on a jaunt to visit some of our blogging friends in San Antonio. They've come to Austin periodically, so it was time to venture south to see them. Our first stop was Melody's beautiful and spacious garden. After a treat of delicious mini muffins and ginger cookies baked by her lovely daughter, we stepped into her sanctuary. The first view is a wonderful pool, surrounded by pots and plants that gave it a rustic, more natural look. To deal with foraging deer, this fence guards Melody's vegetables, herbs and some perennial favorites.Garden art like this gazing ball catches your…
  • Bloom Day showcases late summer blooms in the garden...

    15 Sep 2014 | 3:11 pm
    Even though the thermometer hit 97 today, summer is beginning to wane here in Central Texas for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Carol of May Dreams Gardens invites us to share what's blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month, so here's a stroll through my landscape.Some of the heat-loving perennials are on their second set of blooms this summer.  Plants like lantana, salvia, sage, are putting on a dog days show while the sun is still high in the sky.I recently made a return trip to the Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball to collect some of their wonderful garden art.  I came home…
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    Kiss my Aster!

  • 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…
  • Check Out My Crust (Not a foodie)

    Kiss My Aster!
    14 Sep 2014 | 9:31 am
    I'm not gonna GOOP you. I'm all about short cuts or lazing out entirely and getting a take-out most nights. But this time of year, when the tomatoes are rolling in the door VOLUNTARILY, I make a lot of pizza. Yeah, from scratch (except the sauce. And I don't make the cheese, either. Just the crust, I guess...)The secret to good home-made pizza is a pizza stone and about $3 worth of sauce and cheese. It's easy, sort of fast and makes a lot of food. This set-up I'll be talking about makes a 2 pizza-stone sized pizzas and one tiny one for Hazel. Pizza stones are at Target for about $20 and you…
  • One for the road

    Kiss My Aster!
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:09 pm
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    Our Little Acre

  • 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…
  • Wordless Wednesday: Lunar Eclipse - 8 October 2014

    Kylee Baumle
    8 Oct 2014 | 5:50 am
    Photographed from a second floor bedroom window in Northwest Ohio at 6:09, 6:17, and 6:42 AM, EDT.
  • American Meadows $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway

    Kylee Baumle
    5 Oct 2014 | 8:55 pm
    Just when we got a winner to my last $50 gift certificate giveaway, here's another! This time it's to American Meadows, a company I've done business with in the past, and I just placed another order with them. They're located in Vermont and they've been around since 1981.Here's what I ordered:Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) - 5 bulbsI've always loved these but never thought we could grow them up north here in Ohio. Not so, I recently found out! So when I saw that American Meadows had them, I decided to give them a try this fall. They're a late summer bloomer and they're RED! You know how I…
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    The Gardens of Petersonville

  • Fall Has Finally Arrived

    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…
  • A Success Story

    12 Oct 2014 | 10:45 am
    Although there are some pretty pathetic looking scenarios this fall in the garden, there are also some happy ones. This is my little lemon tree that I wrote about last spring. It was suffering from a long list of bugs and diseases and looked very sad. I think I only got one lemon from this tree since last April. But after cutting back the damaged foliage, I fertilized it with an organic fertilizer, gave it long, deep soaks all summer and hosed it down every once in a while and now it is rewarding me with tons of sweet, sweet blooms that fill the air with their lovely fragrance, on top of an…
  • Weather Woes

    7 Oct 2014 | 11:52 am
     Our weather continues to be unusually hot and humid. Days where the temperatures hit the 90's are not unusual for October for us, but they are usually accompanied by dry Santa Ana winds, not high clouds and humidity and they don't go on for weeks at a time. We are becoming addicted to air conditioning  and rarely head out to the yards because there are no enticing breezes at all to lure us to visit. I must admit I've been feeling terrible about how the fall months are slipping by, usually the best months to get things done in the gardens, without much being accomplished, until…
  • Moving Towards Fall

    12 Sep 2014 | 7:59 am
    This week and last we had the trees trimmed in SJC. We try to put it off for as long as possible, but the palm trees start to open their seed pods and drop the pollen and eventually the seeds and it is a terrible mess. It takes four whole days of about five men to do the job. The end-of-summer gardens are really a mess. I am frustrated  because it is just a disappointment to walk around and see so many ailing plants due to a long dry summer. Not only that, the temperatures have been so hot that just keeping everything alive is a chore. Most of my attention has been on a number of house…
  • My Asian Pears

    2 Sep 2014 | 9:05 am
    I love surprises in the garden and this was a pleasant one! This pear tree was here when we moved in and there were many years I could have sworn it was dead. Few leaves, even fewer blooms led me to believe it was very unhappy as were many of the other fruit trees that were planted here by the previous owners. I fed it and watered it along with the others and it continued to sulk, but not quite give up entirely. Occasionally it would produce a couple of these rather round Asian pears, usually going unnoticed until they fell to the ground before I had a chance to taste them. But this year I…
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    Am I Bugging You Yet?

  • Monarch population comeback

    vanessa cardui
    26 Oct 2014 | 8:21 am
    Back in winter 2012 I posted about a monarch butterfly deformed upon emerging from its pupa.  I went on about how maybe the winter timing of its emergence had something to do with its deformity or difficulty eclosing.This was clearly incorrect as the butterflies, and all of the caterpillars mentioned in that post as well, was infected with the OE parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha).  The caterpillars ingest the spores of the parasite as they feed, which have been deposited there by their infected mother as she laid the eggs. In an earlier post I was observing massive…
  • Cotinis mutabilis

    vanessa cardui
    5 Oct 2014 | 3:08 pm
    These big shiny green beetles are well known as fruit eaters.  When we had the fig tree in the nursery, they lived up to their common name 'Fig eater beetles' by attacking and eating the ripe figs enmasse.  Actually, that's one reason we got rid of that fig tree.  The other being, don't particularly like figs or stepping in the fallen ones while doing chores.But I've also seen these beetles spending a lot of time on flowers, like this one on the bulbine frutescens.  Since Cotinis mutabilis is attracted to sweets (fruit, fruit juice) they could be eating nectar and maybe,…
  • Days of a Porch Post Spider's Life

    vanessa cardui
    2 Oct 2014 | 10:05 pm
    My old front porch has some posts featuring 4x4 uprights and crossing decorative connecting pieces of wood that make nice spots for spiders to hang out.  It doesn't hurt that I also don't brush the webs away very often.On a recent hot morning I was hose watering some plants (yes, Officer Waterwatch, I do have a positive shut off valve on that hose!) and kind of absent-mindedly squirted some water onto the post where a labyrinth spider has been living.  The water scattered her recently hatched spiderlings out of the retreat and into the small yet disorganized web structure shining in…
  • Syrphid Snapshots

    vanessa cardui
    30 Mar 2014 | 11:26 am
    The Aloe plicatalis is blooming again and I caught this syrphid fly snacking at one of the flowers on a sunny recent day.The fly adjourned to another flower to clean itself off:First the rearThen the face.Cute as they are, syphids are still flies after all.  Not sure of the species on this one; my lack of a dorsal view makes it hard to use the distinctive bee-like coloration and pattern for help in identification.
  • Notes on Transition through Spring

    vanessa cardui
    20 Mar 2014 | 8:36 pm
    Hello again.Found this dead moth in the planter 'neath the mailbox.  It's a white lined sphinx moth, Hyles lineata.    The larval food includes elm; could this moth have grown as a caterpillar way up in the elm canopy over the mailbox and planter of its ultimate resting place?  Or did it feed on the portulaca growing in someone else's yard. Either way, it's spent adult body is now food for ants.  My last post on this species was almost exactly one year ago; I guess that means something.Dried tulips from a funeral bouquet rest atop my rust-colored metal mesh…
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    The Whispering Crane Institute

  • Rules to Write By or ignore

    Rick Anderson
    27 Oct 2014 | 8:03 am
    Duane Kelly; playwright, author, produce, etc has posted rules to write by from 4 rather well known authors, including my favorite Elmore Leonard. Some really good stuff here. The link […]
  • 100 Wise Words For Everyone

    Rick Anderson
    25 Oct 2014 | 4:03 pm
    100 Wise Words For Everyone. | news – quickmeme.Filed under: Einstein, Whispering Crane Institute Tagged: common sense, life lessons, list, wisdom
  • Bloody Ivory

    Rick Anderson
    5 Aug 2014 | 11:50 am
    The real criminals are those “people” in the Asian market who somehow think they “need” ivory , , , the article c&p below Bloody Ivory An unsustainable four elephants are […]
  • Herbs: 10 Favorites for Ohio – Our Ohio

    Rick Anderson
    6 May 2014 | 9:26 am
    Lavender Known as “the queen of herbs,” lavender was Knapke’s research plant for her master’s thesis. She recommends planting this fragrant herb on a slope to encourage good drainage. Her […]
  • Aquascape Goes Wild, Nat Geo Wild

    Rick Anderson
    25 Mar 2014 | 1:15 pm
    “We are extremely excited to be part of the Nat Geo WILD family and look forward to sharing our love for the water feature lifestyle with viewers around the world. […]
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    Skippy's Vegetable Garden

  • adjusting my chicken's lighting

    30 Oct 2014 | 9:22 am
    My chickens still aren't laying any eggs. I came across this article: Why Aren't My Chickens Laying, from McMurray Hatcheries. I will follow their advice and set my light timer to come on early in the morning, before dawn, to give the chickens 14 hours of sunlight. Near Boston, we're getting 10.5 hours of sunlight now (and decreasing fast!). Sunrise today was 7:15 MA, so I should the light to come on at 3:45 AM!! That's early! I had my light coming on at 6:15 AM and after dusk until 6:45 PM. That was only giving them 12.5 hours, and most of the extra in the evening. McMurray suggests its…
  • today's harvest

    29 Oct 2014 | 1:46 pm
  • hoops ready for covering

    29 Oct 2014 | 7:30 am
    My winter bed is ready to be covered. The weather has been beautiful so far this month. Perfect for growing a bed full of greens. Today, we are expecting more warm sunny weather, but Thursday, temperatures are going down. I'll get out the plastic and cover the bed today. Not sure if I should put the gnomes in the winter tunnel. They've worked so hard all summer - may be ready for a rest from gardening.
  • what happened to this Romanesco cauliflower?

    29 Oct 2014 | 1:28 am
    What happened to my mom's Romanesco cauliflower Veronica? It grew into a giant plant and now it has leaves between each floret. We've never grown this before.
  • carrot martini

    25 Oct 2014 | 12:51 pm
    This is a giant purple-skinned carrot that a friend of my mom grew. Perfect for a martini!
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    Ilona's Garden Journal

  • 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…
  • Winding Up July

    Ilona Erwin
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:11 pm
    I didn't say "Hot enough for you?" once this month. Not that I am given to using that phrase, anyway, but the weather in Ohio could not have been more beautiful. We had "Polar vortex" in July. Normally I write off this month in terms of garden work. Only mad dogs and Midwesterners work in the heat and humidity, but the so-called "fall temperatures" (the weatherman's terms, not mine) allowed for plenty of garden grooming this year. I called it a bonus of the "rare days of June": with blues skies white puffy clouds, summer zephyrs, jade green grass, and blissful 70's temperatures.Of…
  • What I'm Weeding Out

    Ilona Erwin
    1 Jul 2014 | 8:50 am
    Catching Up With SummerWorking Away At the FrontlineI swore to myself I wouldn't do this, but I miscalculated how much I wanted to spend time with grandkids (even though it meant numerous 9 hr. trips). I am now playing catch up with the garden weeds, long grass, and a veritable jungle out there.So in the spirit of "making lemonade", I thought I would let you know the status of the weeds around here. Maybe you have some of them, too. I'm pretty sure you do.I make piles to gather up after weeding session is done.What are the main weeds of July in my Ohio garden? It will take a list.Poison…
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  • Grand Nain..

    31 Oct 2014 | 8:55 pm
    Hi , I had a question . Does anybody know if Grand Nain grows slower then the average banana ? I have a dc and Carolina king those two seem to grow pretty fast . Thanks
  • Some advice on my plantains

    31 Oct 2014 | 7:13 am
    Hi all! I am growing some plantain of the Cuerno de Alce variety (can I call it a cultivar?) After harvesting the bunch of the main plant and cutting it off, I find myself trying to determine what to do with the pups! This particular plant produced 4 pups. Im thinking of leaving two of them on the current mat and transplanting the other two elsewhere. I numbered the plants on the photo to for easy reference. As of right now im thinking of keeping number 1 and 3 on the current mat. Would you keep different ones to keep on the mat? Would you keep only 1 or 3 or 4?! Any ideas and the rationale…
  • Happy Halloween

    31 Oct 2014 | 6:22 am
    Hope everyone has a safe happy Halloween And remember don't drink and drive. I'm old school so got to have these.
  • Monthly fertilizer promotes healthy, hearty banana tree

    31 Oct 2014 | 2:48 am
    Tom MacCubbin ORLANDO SENTINEL Question: What is needed to care for a banana tree? What fertilizer should I use and when do I pick the bananas? Answer: Many gardeners are harvesting bananas this year due to the mild winter that allowed their plantings to survive with minimal damage. Many gardeners don't think of their plantings until the hands of fruits start to appear but they should be given constant care. Keep the soil moist especially during the dry times. Maintain a 3- to 4-inch mulch layer over the root systems. Bananas like to be fed regularly. Apply a general garden fertilizer once…
  • Orinoco's going to bed.

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    I did it, got the 10 foot naner pstem under the house. Was it worth it?.............I hope so, still picking rocks out of my kneecaps lol.
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    North Coast Gardening

  • Keeping Dogs From Eating Organic Fertilizer

    29 Oct 2014 | 4:28 pm
    The adorable dog of Mike and Kenzie Mullen. Using organic fertilizers is a great way to be green and give your plants a slow-release source of nutrients. However, some of the – ahem – more “fragrant” fertilizer ingredients just seem to call out your dog’s name. If you have a dog who likes to roll around in strong aromas, or worse, has a gourmand’s taste for such things, there are a few things you can do to prevent the issue and keep your fertilizer where it belongs. Make sure you thoroughly water the area you fertilized. Water will dilute the scent. Cover…
  • Organic Fertilizer Recipes: How to MacGyver Up a Custom Blend

    5 Oct 2014 | 8:25 pm
    Developing a healthy soil is the goal of every gardener, but sometimes plants need an extra boost. Perhaps you are growing high-yield fruits and vegetables, plants with big blooms like roses, rhododendrons and camellias, or just feel that your soil isn’t performing well and your plants need a little help while you work to balance it with compost and other approaches. In any case, creating your own organic fertilizer blend from single ingredient fertilizers is a great way of saving money and keeping control over what exactly goes into your garden. I would think that in using single…
  • DIY Organic Fertilizer: Demystifying Single-Ingredient Fertilizers

    1 Oct 2014 | 12:01 am
    Single-ingredient organic fertilizers have long been a mystery to me, and since I haven’t wanted to screw things up, I’ve been using the already-blended mixes from brands like Gardner and Bloome, which have formulations that work well for the different labeled uses (acid-loving plants, flowering plants, etc). Yet using single-ingredient fertilizers, and blending them yourself, gives you a greater degree of control in tailoring your fertilizer to the plants you have and the needs of your own soil. Making your own fertilizer from bulk ingredients can also save you money over buying…
  • Association of Professional Landscape Designers 2014 Design Awards

    29 Sep 2014 | 12:01 am
    Every year, I look forward to reading about the Association of Professional Landscape Designers’ award-winning landscapes, because there is usually such a diverse array of winners. So I was honored to be asked by Susan Morrison, editor of APLD’s The Designer magazine, to write up descriptions of each of the award-winning landscapes for the fall issue of the magazine, taking information from the photos, landscaping plans, and design briefs each designer submitted. With a variety of styles, budgets, climates, and client needs, I learned something new from each landscape, and while some…
  • Garden Travel: Choosing the Best Garden Tour

    1 Sep 2014 | 10:28 am
    Two years ago, I had the experience of going on two amazing garden tours of the San Francisco Bay Area, one that I structured myself, and one that was arranged by Sterling Tours, where they bussed the whole group from garden to garden for four days and took care of everything, so all I had to do was enjoy the experience. What did I learn? Well, I was surprised to find just how much I enjoyed going on an actual, structured garden travel experience. I generally prefer to travel alone so that I can take things at my own pace, and not get stuck going to a bunch of lame touristy stuff. But the…
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    Ewa in the Garden

  • Book Review: Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.

    31 Oct 2014 | 1:45 pm
    When I was looking for good and reliable source of organic gardening information,somebody recommended Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Green Resource for Every Gardener Untill today I am very grateful and this is why I am going to review that book for you. What’s best about this book? Information is not scattered all around in short entries, which makes
  • 7 Tips and 11 Photos of Scandinavian Style Interior Design

    30 Oct 2014 | 3:16 am
    Years of admiration of Scandinavian style interior design happen when I was living in Sweden. Private homes or public spaces, didn’t matter, there was always something light and surprising. One of my favorite blogs on vintage Scandinavian style interior design is Vita Ranunkler from Sweden. Scandinavian vintage look is classic and gives warm feeling, because despite of colors they use in
  • Book Review: Sissinghurst. Vita Sackville-West and the Creation of a Garden

    26 Oct 2014 | 8:40 pm
    If enchantment by English gardens was ever part of your inspiration this book is definitely for you.  Vita Sackville-West, the British poet, together with her husband Harold, created the beauty of iconic British garden – Sissinghurst. Harold created the structure, Vita filled it with plantings. It doesn’t happen often that the garden outlives its creators, but today still Sissinghurst is one
  • 3 Orchids that Look Like an Animal

    22 Oct 2014 | 8:26 am
    Orchids produce some of the most beautiful and unique flowers in the world.  Recently, they have become one of the most common house plants you can buy and are available everywhere.  What most people don’t realize is just how many different Orchid species there are and how amazing they can be. With over 20,000 Orchid species recognized today, you can’t even imagine some of the flowers they
  • Ewa in the Garden on the list of top 50 gardening blogs at Garden Bloggers Conference, Atlanta, 2014

    19 Oct 2014 | 4:27 am
    I would like to say big thank you to all my regular and occasional viewers that come here to see and and view what life bringh to my garden path. Without you I wouldn't be on the list of top 50 gardening blogs published by Garden Bloggers Conference 2014 in Atlanta. Really appreciate! Hope to see you returning :) If you are a blogger and would like to improve your blogging, I would like to
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    Your Small Kitchen Garden

  • Wordless Wednesday Sunset, 2014

    Daniel Gasteiger
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:08 pm
  • Gloom and Bloom Day Autumn, 2014

    Daniel Gasteiger
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:25 am
    Why are there cosmos in my kitchen garden? Someone once told me that cosmos growing with sweet corn keep away corn ear worms. I still don’t know whether it works, but I’ve yet to find ear worms in my corn. This year, the corn didn’t do well, but the cosmos plants are about ten feet tall and bursting with blossoms. There had been a power outage by the time I woke up this morning. It was raining. For a few minutes during the day, the rain stopped, but when I had a chance to get out to the garden and make photos, I got wet. Lighting was horrible… my super-sophisticated camera struggles…
  • Blond Zucchini?

    Daniel Gasteiger
    8 Oct 2014 | 11:22 am
    As long as I’ve known zucchini, it has been a dark green squash like the young one in this photo. To some kitchen gardeners, the existence of blond zucchini is no surprise (though calling it “blond” is probably not normal). In my experience, whether store-bought or homegrown, zucchini is a dark-green squash. It never occurred to me there might be other shades of zuke, and I really didn’t care. Until this summer. You see, on one of five zucchini plants growing from commercially-package seeds, a squash developed that is very light, creamy green rather than zuke green. Of course,…
  • Horseradish!

    Daniel Gasteiger
    5 Oct 2014 | 1:40 am
    After 17 months in my refrigerator, the horseradish roots my brother gave me looked pretty happy. Those are some seriously healthy-looking green leaves… despite that they’ve seen almost no light for more than a year. How about a little horseradish with your steak? Once a year at Christmas, we have beef fondue with a collection of homemade steak sauces. At least two of those sauces include horseradish… horseradish from a jar. But that’s going to change. In March of 2013, my brother gave me to horseradish roots dug from his garden. I was busy and so I left the roots wrapped in plastic…
  • Autumn in Lewisburg’s Community Garden

    Daniel Gasteiger
    2 Oct 2014 | 5:11 pm
    Cabbages provide some drama at the Lewisburg Community Garden. If this is on a private allotment, some Lewisburg family is going to be sick of cabbage-based side dishes. I stopped in recently at Lewisburg’s community garden and saw some impressive sights. Most impressive of all: tomato plants that had late blight lesions over a month ago had somehow survived, put out new growth, and produced even more tomatoes! I guess cool days and an amazing lack of humidity made the blight fungus uncomfortable and kept it from reproducing. The community garden seems in peak season. It’s producing…
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    Dirt Du Jour Daily Blog

  • Feed me Seymour!
    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—Public smackdown for gardener sprucing vacant lot
  • Because the birds don’t hunker down
    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.
  • Fall color for warm climates
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:14 am
    A lot of us mistakenly believe that fall color has something to do with climate. But that is only partially true. Deciduous plants change leaf color in preparation for cold weather, but only because the days are growing shorter. Short days are what trigger the change. You got to plant it, to get it. Here are eight plants that color up nicely in warm climates: Pistashe Liquidambar Barberry Persimmon Crape Myrtle Ginkgo Japanese Birch Honey Locust whatever Local8Now —Tennessee women gets the slammer for sloppy yard
  • Christopher Columbus’s plant discoveries
    13 Oct 2014 | 5:56 am
    Yeah there were the new worlds and all that to be explored, but then there were the plants. The Columbian Exchange is named for the first mass exchange of materials from continent to continent. The old world shared horses, chickens and smallpox with the Americas. The Americas gave up the good stuff: vanilla, chocolate and strawberries. whatever LATimes: Stealing plants and lawn statues for a cause: frat parties
  • Five fun pumpkin facts
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:44 am
    1. Most pumpkins are not true pumpkins, but kinds of squash 2. In fact, pumpkin pie filling is typically squash mixes that include Butternut, Hubbard or Boston Marrow 3. Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years 4. The Jack O’ Lantern originated in Ireland in the form of turnips 5. Not all pumpkins work for pumpkin recipes. For cooking try Baby Bear, Cinderella, Fairytale and Sugar Pie whatever Central Florida Future: Your Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte? No pumpkin in the ingredient list. 
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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 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! Widgets
  • Nature Travel ~ San Francisco to Central Coast California

    Bay Area Tendrils
    16 Oct 2013 | 10:06 am 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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    Veggie Gardener: Organic Vegetable Gardening Tips

  • Seven Delicious Fall Vegetables, Besides Pumpkins (with Recipes)

    Lauren M
    8 Oct 2014 | 1:47 pm
    I love fall and the variety of vegetables that are now readily at my disposable. Unlike the light and airy offerings of summer, fall veggies tend to be savory comfort foods that help take your mind off the cold setting in outside, and the gardens that will soon be freezing over. Unfortunately, with our culture’s […]
  • Tips for Fall Garden Preparation

    2 Oct 2014 | 6:34 am
    As the summer season comes to a close, it’s time take stock of the condition of your garden. If you have decided to plant a second season harvest, there is a good chance you have already removed the debris from your summer plants. But, if you have yet to plant your fall crops or are […]
  • Zucchini Three Ways

    Lauren M
    25 Sep 2014 | 7:22 am
    Garden tomatoes get a lot of attention, and even though their plants tend to produce in abundance, the other vegetable that is taking up a considerable amount of room in my kitchen is zucchini. Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables you can grow. Because of its mild taste, chefs have been known to […]
  • Unconventional Planters

    Lauren M
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:47 am
    The great thing about gardens is that most of them can fit anywhere. This is why you may be able to repurpose junk from your garage into a unique garden—you just need to get a bit creative. Planters are also ideal for indoors when the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor growing. Though there are a […]
  • Tips for the Lazy Gardener

    Lauren M
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:18 am
    I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I play the role of the lazy gardener. When I first started gardening, I pictured myself spending evenings and weekends tending to my garden, creating pristine and perfect plots. But the longer I actually gardened, the more I realized that not only is a perfect garden nearly unattainable, but […]
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    Miss Rumphius' Rules

  • 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…
  • Riding in the Backseat around a Curve

    Susan aka Miss. R
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:55 am
    Miss R has been in the backseat all summer. Pretend you are on a roadtrip and listening to a story on the radio…the pictures will come after we reach our destination. In a twist of weather related events and wonder, my landscape design business and my commitment to being the national President of APLD has taken all of my time, leaving little extra for regular blog posts.  Although I feel a nagging sense of ‘it’s been too long’, I’m happy to have my priorities straight and to be able to see my garden and landscape design work come alive. I always feel that the…
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    Garden Therapy

  • Groovy Pumpkin Planter

    26 Oct 2014 | 4:33 am
    Kid-friendly Halloween decorating goes out to the garden! This groovy planter has all the silly features that make kids smile: crazy hair, buggy eyes, and a crooked grin. Making a pumpkin planter with a face is as simple as carving the pumpkin, filling with soil and planting it. See how to make Jack-o-Planterns here. Worried they will turn mushy and moldy before the big day? Check out how to make pumpkin planters last here.   The post Groovy Pumpkin Planter appeared first on Garden Therapy.
  • Halloween Miniature Garden

    24 Oct 2014 | 11:11 am
    What better time than Halloween is there to be creative in the garden? I decided to take a stab at my very first miniature garden design to celebrate the spookiest eve with skeletons, tombstones, and (of course) a miniature pumpkin patch! I’ve been wanting to take a stab at mini gardening ever since I read Janit Calvo’s amazing book, Gardening in Miniature. I am lucky enough to call Janit a friend, so after she wrote this fantastic tutorial on how to make a miniature garden patio for Garden Therapy, she also sent me a Halloween mini garden kit containing skeletons, pumpkins,…
  • Hooty the Owl Pumpkin

    20 Oct 2014 | 2:26 pm
    This owl pumpkin is an easy way to add a unique spin to your Halloween or fall decor. This year I was playing a bit more with different designs for Jack-o-Planterns and I’m happy with how this one turned out. The white pumpkin seemed to beg to become something elegant, a owl no less! The white owl pumpkin planter was inspired by my favorite visitors, snowy owls. I went to visit them a while back (you can see my photos here) and I now go each year hoping to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. They are simply stunning, with large, graceful wingspans and downy, white feathers.
  • Garlicky Spinach and Kale Butter

    16 Oct 2014 | 6:01 am
    Warning, this garlic bread made with spinach and kale is dangerously tasty! Gluten-haters don’t be afraid, you can easily make this gluten-free by swapping out the bread with your preferred brand. No matter what bread you choose, you can pack in the greens and makes a new favorite side for dinner, especially when entertaining!  This recipe isn’t just to get a healthy dose of greens and garlic into your system (or the bellies of little ones) but once you taste it there is no doubt that you will be clamoring for kale, chard, green onions, spinach, and herbs from the garden to…
  • Protect Your Garden from Vampires: How to Grow Garlic

    14 Oct 2014 | 11:45 am
    As we get ready for Halloween, it’s the perfect time to think about how you can naturally vampire-proof your garden. Planting garlic around the perimeter will protect your veggie beds from getting tramped in the night while they vant to suck your bloooood. In all seriousness, it’s a good reminder to plant garlic when you start thinking about Halloween, at least that’s the case in Vancouver.  If you live elsewhere, a rule of thumb is that garlic should be planted between 3 and 6 weeks before the ground freezes, to ensure there is enough time for the roots to develop. The…
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    Living walls and Vertical Gardens

  • 7 Inspiring Vertical Gardens

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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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    Urban Organic Gardener

  • Why and How I Quit My Job, To Be a Full-Time Homesteader

    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…
  • Too Poor to Be Healthy?

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:47 am
    “An obese mother-of-two who lives on benefits says she needs more of taxpayers’ money to overhaul her unhealthy lifestyle.  Christina Briggs, 26, says she hates being 160 kilos but she can’t do anything about it because she can only afford junk food. Meanwhile, exercise is out of the question because she doesn’t have the funds to join a gym.” Unemployed Christina gets £20,000 in benefits a year and lives in a council house with her two children by different fathers, Helena, 10, and Robert, two. She left school as a teenager after falling pregnant with her…
  • Why, How & What to Compost

    10 Oct 2014 | 6:02 am
    From AvantGardens “Compost is a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land. Home composting reduces the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides and encourages a higher yield in crops. Consisting of nutrient-rich brown and green material, compost creation is low-maintenance and can be done on both small and large scales.” Creating your own compost will save you money and is easy to do! With compost starters like Ringer® Compost Plus available to help organically speed up the process, you can start reaping the…
  • How to Select the Best Grow Light for Indoor Growing

    25 Sep 2014 | 7:31 am
    Not all light is the same by Michelle Moore Plants respond differently to different colors of light. Light on either end of the spectrum, blue light or red light, have the greatest impact on photosynthesis. Kind of Lights Blue light, referred to as cool light, encourages compact bushy growth. Red light, on the opposite end of the spectrum, triggers a hormone response which creates blooms. Orange and reddish light typically produce substantial heat, however, some lights are able to produce full spectrum light without the heat. Grow lights come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. As a…
  • Fresh produce on a city bus. Delivering fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables to food deserts.

    12 Sep 2014 | 6:24 am
    A bus in Chicago helps bring fresh produce to residents of “food deserts.” Sandra Endo reports.
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    The Garden Plot

  • Create a Supernatural Halloween with Spooky Plants from Costa Farms

    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…
  • Celebrate National Indoor Plant Week with Costa Farms

    Garden Media Group
    15 Sep 2014 | 1:27 pm
    To help spread the word on the benefits of indoor houseplants, Costa Farms is once again backing National Indoor Plant Week, September 15 – 19, 2014. Since beginning in NYC in 2008, Costa Farms’ "O2 for You: Houseplants with a Purpose" campaign has continued to raise awareness on the benefits of houseplants. These green beings help to purify the chemical pollutants (volatile organic compounds) emitted from products and materials found in our homes and offices. Event founder Mark Martin, from Interior Tropical Gardens, says, “We like to say that the ‘oxygen arrives when the plants…
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    Gardener's Journal » Gardener's Journal

  • Colossal Carrot Harvest

    Gardener's Supply
    22 Oct 2014 | 8:02 am
    We’re getting more great entries in our 2014 Harvest Photo Contest. This one is from Annmarie Mones in Trumbull, CT. Here in CT I used the square-foot gardening method. I had several different patches and varieties of carrots, beets, and some parsnips planted this year. Unfortunately, voles moved into my garden, and I lost all my beets and some of the carrots and parsnips. I decided to pull almost all the root vegetables to see what I could salvage. I am happy to say I have carrots to last me awhile! This pile of carrots are all keepers and waiting for me to clean them, along with a few…
  • A Great Gift that Gives Back

    Gardener's Supply
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:45 am
    Heritage Honey and Beestick Set  “Who Needs Gift Wrap?” writes “Jessie the Gardener” from Philadelphia. In her review of the Heritage Honey and Beestick Set. “I purchased this to gift to a friend who loves tea, and I thought the honey and dipper might go well with a box of her favorite tea. It turned out to be such a beautiful product, both the honey and the hardwood honey dipper, that I decided not to wrap it up. She loved the beauty and thoughtful nature of this gift. She even upcycled the jar, filled it with button flowers, and gave it back to me! LOVE!
  • Turn Cherry Tomatoes into Something Special

    Gardener's Supply
    6 Oct 2014 | 10:22 am
    Thanks to everyone who entered our Tomato Recipe Contest on Facebook. Here’s the winning recipe, from Megan Miller of Carver, MA. Megan Miller, with her autumn garden in the background THIS summer — unlike many of my fellow local gardeners — I had a wildly successful crop of tomatoes. My heirlooms colored up and my cherries were extraordinarily prolific. In fact, I’m still harvesting yellow pear and black cherry tomatoes. My wife and I had tomatoes at almost every meal and I still had enough to share with my granny and mom, who live across the street. The garden wasn’t…
  • Good Ideas Grow in the Pumpkin Patch

    Gardener's Supply
    23 Sep 2014 | 9:53 am
    Just-harvested pumpkins Our exceptionally productive plant grew 29 pumpkins. Sometimes the most successful fund-raisers are spontaneous. A recent effort here at Gardener’s Supply started with a single pumpkin plant, which grew to massive proportions, sending its vines throughout our test gardens. By the end of last week, we had harvested 29 sugar pumpkins, tended by Deborah Miuccio, our test gardener. We never expected such a large harvest, but we suspect that it was because Deborah fertilized the plant with Worm Power and used Pumpkin Pedestals to support each fruit. “What do…
  • Use LED Candles to Create Safe, Beautiful Centerpiece

    Gardener's Supply
    15 Sep 2014 | 5:54 am
    Feeling creative? Check out the Learn + Share area for several great DIY projects. Our step-by-step slideshows will inspire you to create. One of the projects is an Adirondack-themed wedding centerpiece, below, which features items gathered from the woods—pine cones and birch bark—in combination with Ivory Pillar LED Candles, twine and a large wooden bowl. Created by Lisa Gribnau, Gardener’s Supply The post Use LED Candles to Create Safe, Beautiful Centerpiece appeared first on Gardener's Journal - From America's Gardening Resource
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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 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

  • Friday’s Design Thought

    31 Oct 2014 | 8:24 am
    One might be expecting pumpkins today but it’s a Friday design thought instead. It's one that includes more visuals; less words. This design thought relates to any property but particularly when dealing with a challenging site. Stability of a site can often overpower and forgo the balance of a design. In this design example below, it's creating an artful balance; it's designing the best of 'both' worlds.  © Copyright note: the above images and designs have been developed by and are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and should not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be…
  • The Last of What Fall Brings

    29 Oct 2014 | 7:53 am
    On this #WordlessWednesday, it's a collage of late October fall images.     Plus a few choice lines from Cheryl Wheeler's song, 'When Fall Comes to New England.' It reminds me why this season is a special time here in New England. When fall comes to New EnglandAnd the wind blows off the seaSwallows fly in a perfect skyAnd the world was meant to be…'Cause when fall comes to New EnglandOh I can't turn awayFrom fading light on flying wingsAnd late good-byes a robin singsAnd then another thousand thingsWhen fall comes to New England…‘When Fall Comes To New…
  • Rethinking Space

    28 Oct 2014 | 4:28 pm
    This recently designed perennial garden once was inhabited with vegetables in a past design iteration. Outdoor spaces should always be designed to serve a certain purpose. But because life changes, somewhere down the road that particular space may no longer serve the same need. Coming to a quick conclusion of redesign makes it easier to find a new purpose for that space. Need a perfect example when it’s time to rethink an outdoor space? This recently designed perennial garden once was inhabited with vegetables in a past design iteration. Part of the client’s initial design…
  • Nipping at the Heels

    27 Oct 2014 | 7:46 am
    As we near the end of October, our colorful backdrop of New England foliage suddenly falls to the ground. But consider these 'Annie' choices for continuing color in your late-season garden. That is before the chill of November starts nipping at our garden heels. First up it's the Nippon Daisy or Montauk Daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum) that offers you the likes of summer.  This late blooming autumn flowerdepending on your zone could still be in full bloom right now. It’s the Nippon Daisy with its late blooming autumn flower. Couple this with a few more favorites. Here's…
  • Friday Flash

    24 Oct 2014 | 7:54 am
    Another Coastal Design Project in Progress by Bilowz Associates Inc. It’s a quick look at one of Bilowz Associates Inc.’s coastal design projects in progress plus a recap from this past Wednesday’s post, ‘Mastering the Plan.’ It’s just a Friday flash reminder that the latter part of fall and winter serve as the perfect time for your design and approval process with coastal, riverfront or wetland properties. Keep an eye on our Houzz profile where more images and descriptions of this coastal project should be posted soon. As Gerard Way states, “One day your life will flash before…
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    Serenity in the Garden

  • Ideas for a Fall Garden - Garden Design

    Jan Johnsen
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:14 am
    Kousa Dogwood in Fall - Jan JohnsenCheck out 'Ideas for a Fall Garden' on click on the article name above for some great end-of-the-gardening-year ideas for your garden.Their website accompanies the new magazine that I really like, Garden Design. Click on it to see more.from
  • The Garden of Oz, Los Angeles

    Jan Johnsen
    28 Oct 2014 | 5:01 am
    Garden of Oz  photo by Philip GuttSomewhere in Beachwood Canyon in the Hollywood Hills (beneath the Hollywood Sign) in Los Angeles, way up high, is a hidden private garden that you may have heard of, once in a lullaby.Garden of Oz - photo by Gerard BoschIt is a treasure trove of recycled garden art - multi-color mosaics and hand painted tiles mixed with old Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels embedded in the rockwork.Add to this vision a plethora of plants and flowers cascading over benches and walls.  The garden even contains a 'road' ( really a walk) paved with…
  • An October deer resistant Plant Tour - short video

    Jan Johnsen
    26 Oct 2014 | 1:55 pm
    Luscious Citrus Blend Lantana - photo by Laura McKillopHere is a short tour of some plants you can use for a great deer resistant  Fall Garden in temperate regions....I designed this landscape, steps, fencing, etc.- Jan Johnsen
  • 'Fall, leaves, fall' - Emily Bronte

    Jan Johnsen
    25 Oct 2014 | 6:35 am
    Leaves - photo by J. Johnsen  Fall, leaves, fallBY EMILY BRONTËFall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;Lengthen night and shorten day;Every leaf speaks bliss to meFluttering from the autumn tree.I shall smile when wreaths of snowBlossom where the rose should grow;I shall sing when night’s decayUshers in a drearier day.
  • American Burnet - One of the last native flowers to bloom

    Jan Johnsen
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:06 am
    Sanguisorba candensis - photo by Jan JohnsenDo you have a slightly wet piece of ground? American Burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis) is an under-appreciated native perennial plant that might work for you! It is a fall bloomer that is still sporting its spikes of white fuzzy flowers in mid-October. American Burnet by Stefan Bloodworth Also called Canadian Burnet, it is common in the Eastern US and it is a large, graceful plant that is native to swamps and bogs but has a high degree of drought tolerance. It begins to bloom in August and continues through…
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  • 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:
  • Emerald Autumn in My Garden

    1 Oct 2014 | 10:22 am
    Autumn is slowly creeping into my garden The shady corner doesn't feel it yet. The morning sun is pushing its way through the tangles of the Magnolia Vine. A huge leaf of the Tetrapanax is happily bathing in its light.  Summery Euphorbia in the
  • Pinkish Side Of My September Garden. Wordless Wednesday

    24 Sep 2014 | 8:34 am
    ***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS
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    Veg Plotting

  • VP's VIPs: Our Flower Patch Part Deux

    31 Oct 2014 | 1:30 am
    Previously on VP's VIPs we learned how Cally Smart and Sara Wilman met then came up with the idea of Our Flower Patch. Today, they're going to tell us more about their business and how they are inspiring a new generation of  growers...Describe how you work together. Do you have fixed roles?At first we worked together on everything, although Sara knows more about growing flowers for sale than Cally does and Cally had more hands-on gardening experience with school aged children.Over time we have taken on more specific roles. We meet together formally once a month to plan what is going to…
  • Book Review: Two From Francis Lincoln

    29 Oct 2014 | 1:30 am
    I have two books for your delectation today, both are courtesy of review copies obtained from Francis Lincoln. The Garden Anthology is Ursula Buchan's pick of the garden writing published by the RHS for more than a century.I don't envy her the task as so much has been published by the RHS in The Garden (in all its forms) and other journals. Over 80 authors are featured, which in turn means a whole host of gardening topics are covered.The pieces are bundled into 13 broad chapters which range from Seasons & the Weather through to Inside the RHS. In between there are plenty of plants,…
  • Unusual Front Gardens #18: Grapes

    27 Oct 2014 | 1:30 am
    I found these jaunty blue railings draped with edible grapes when we ventured to the bottom of the hill in Bishop's Castle last month. I wonder if I could manage something similar in our front garden.Update - thanks for all your interest in this idea in the comments, though of course there's also been plenty of speculation on how long the grapes would last in most locations.If you like the idea but not the thought of attendant scrumping, then a possible alternative if you have the space is the wonderful Vitis coignetiae, which has dramatic, large leaves and small bunches of inedible grapes. I…
  • Salad Days: An Autumnal Experiment

    24 Oct 2014 | 12:30 am
    This year I'm trying an experiment with my late sown lettuces. I usually grow them in pots and some old sinks in my cold frames. Everything is fine initially, but the height of the front of frame is too low for the pots placed there and things get a little mushy.This year I'm trying seed trays instead. These will give the leaves more headroom, but I'm not sure there's sufficient growing media to sustain them for the whole of the winter. However, that can be remedied easily if my fears prove well founded.I made a relatively late sowing in early September of 2 rows of lettuce seed per tray -…
  • Wordless Wednesday: Autumn at Westonbirt Arboretum

    22 Oct 2014 | 12:30 am
    If you're not reading this on, 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
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    Restoring The Landscape With Native Plants

  • Beneficial Insect Profile - Lacewings

    24 Oct 2014 | 8:29 am
    Brown lacewing larvaAs the last remaining leaves fall from the trees, I start to think about all the beneficial insects that are seeking shelter under the leaf litter or attached to plant stems for the winter. With leaf blowers dominating the suburban landscape, many gardeners are perhaps not aware that they are eliminating next season's predators and parasitoids when they clean-up their garden in the fall. Eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of beneficial insects are blown or raked up, bagged with the leaves and set out at the curb.In perennial gardens we don't need to be this fastidious. Leaves,…
  • Ground-Nesting Bee Profile ~ Unequal Cellophane Bee, Colletes inaequalis

    22 May 2014 | 9:16 am
    The Unequal Cellophane Bee is typically the earliest Colletes species to emerge in the spring in our area. This spring, I found several aggregations of nests on south-facing slopes at a local park.Females began excavating nests as early as the third week of April (unseasonably cool spring). Other nests not on the exposed slopes were easy to find due to the prairie burn performed the previous fall. Ant nests clustered around the clumps of little bluestem grass, Schizachyrium scoparium in this prairie were dug/sought out by northern flickers in early April. The flickers did not show any…
  • Native Bee Spotlight: Cuckoo Bees ~ Coelioxys spp.

    3 Feb 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Cuckoo Bees ~ Coelioxys spp.A female cuckoo bee, Coelioxys sp. nectars onhairy false goldenaster, Heterotheca villosa in late fallThere are many types of cuckoo bees in North America. In the Coelioxys genus, there are approximately 46 speces. The common name "cuckoo bee" is typically used for any bee species that lays its eggs in the nests of other bees. These bees are known as cleptoparasites, where the cuckoo bee larvae kill the host larvae and feed on the provisions (pollen and nectar) provided by the host bee.Coelioxys cuckoo bees are common in the summer months; in central Minnesota I…
  • Book Release: Pollinators of Native Plants

    10 Jan 2014 | 6:54 am
    Available March 2014Book Website: www.pollinatorsnativeplants.comAttract and Support Pollinators with Native Plants•  Over 65 perennial native plants of the Midwest, Great Lakes region, Northeast and southern Canada profiled•  Pollinators, beneficial insects and flower visitors featured that the native plants attract•  1600+ photos of native plants, pollinators and beneficial insects•  Attract, observe and identify pollinators on native plants•  Informational chapters on pollination, types of pollinators and beneficial insects, pollinator habitat and…
  • Predator Profile ~ Grass Carrying Wasps, Isodontia spp.

    12 Dec 2013 | 8:15 am
    Grass-Carrying Wasps ~ Isodontia spp. There are a number of ways to attract beneficial insects to your landscape. Planting a diversity of native plants is an easy, win-win solution. Not only do the plants attract many types of beneficial insects including solitary wasps, but they help support a functioning, complex ecosystem.One of the most interesting solitary wasps in my landscape is the grass carrying wasp. Several years ago I purchased a bell-shaped wire frame. I filled the openings with hollow stems from native perennials in my yard to see what types of solitary bees would use…
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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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  • 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,…
  • Growing New Fruit In Your Garden: Loganberries and Jostaberries

    16 Oct 2014 | 11:24 am
    Autumn, or fall to my North American cousins, is the season of mellow fruitfulness. The sun sits lower in the sky, mists spill out over the landscape and fruiting plants give one last burst of glory before it's shutters down for winter.
  • Preserving - How to Ferment Garden Vegetables

    9 Oct 2014 | 11:38 am
    Earlier this year, I had a front row seat at a lecture given by , author of two authoritative books on , which is salt-fermenting vegetables using the microbes nature provides on plant tissues. For an hour, Katz shared tips and massaged sea salt into a big bowl of chopped cabbage and radishes, crunching the mixture with his hands. Though I have been fermenting vegetables for several years, this hand-crunching was a new technique for me. Now I use it all the time.
  • How to Create a Natural Winter Wildlife Garden

    2 Oct 2014 | 11:15 am
    During the summer months, wildlife is ever-present in my garden – bees buzzing, birds chattering, the odd frog hopping away as I move a pile of plant pots – but come autumn and winter, most of them just sort of...disappear. Right?
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    The Enduring Gardener

  • Lavender and Achillea – a winning combination

    The Enduring Gardener
    30 Oct 2014 | 10:12 am
    From what I briefly gather from Stephanie the tour of Australia is lacking only one thing – wifi. She’s been off grid now for a number of days so you’re stuck with me until the more colourful adventures from down under upload. At this time of year when the colour seems to drain from the garden, and me it seems,  I like to look back over photos of the garden from the summer. It helps to plan for the new growing season. Here’s this years winning plant combination that will definitely be replicated around the borders. Winning Plant Combination  I love how the lightly…
  • 3 Simple Garden Hacks

    The Enduring Gardener
    28 Oct 2014 | 11:45 am
    by Daniel Carruthers Snail Shell Cane Topper An abandoned snail shell makes for an attractive cane topper. Bamboo canes sticking up out of the ground or pots can be dangerous, particularly when masked by leaves. A simple snail shell placed on top of the cane can provide valuable protection for your eyes. Wooden plant labels Instead of spending money on plastic plant labels why not take advantage of the twigs in your garden. Use a Stanley knife or a potato peeler to peel back the bark at the end of a twig to provide a clean visible surface on which to write a plant name. Fresh bark is usually…
  • How to Make a Succulent Wall Planter

    The Enduring Gardener
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:18 am
    by Daniel Carruthers In the same way that you might put a picture on the wall in your home with the good fortune of a wall in the garden you can do the same with a succulent wall planter. A frame of plants to admire that will grow as the season extends providing you with months of interest as each succulent comes into flower. There’s a few tutorials around the web on how to construct the framework although we’ll give you a brief look at how you might go about it. The size of the frame was dictated by the materials to hand. Here’s what you’ll need for the framework.
  • Melbourne Botanic Garden

    The Enduring Gardener
    19 Oct 2014 | 11:26 pm
    As a bit of a snake-phobic, my introduction to the part of the Melbourne Botanic Garden which is sited outside the city and specialises in native Australian flora was somewhat unsettling. The numerous signs about snakes had me walking down the middle of the path at all times despite the curator’s assurances that they had only two things on their mind – a. food: I was too large and b. sex: they wouldn’t fancy me. This is a garden that is beginning to mature and I found it both fascinating and informative. I particularly liked the part that showed the transformative effect of…
  • Sago Palms set the Gold Standard

    The Enduring Gardener
    18 Oct 2014 | 11:14 pm
    Apparently the seeds of the sago palm are of such  uniform size and weight that they were used by the gold merchants as a unit of weight in the early days of the trade.
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    Busch Gardens in Virginia Blog

  • Happy Halloween From Busch Gardens

    Emily Bea
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:20 pm
    From all of us at Busch Gardens, we wish you and your family a safe and spooky Halloween.  
  • What's Your Favorite Thing to Do at Christmas Town?

    31 Oct 2014 | 8:32 am
    Walking through millions of twinkling lights Sipping peppermint fudge hot cocoa Seeing the heartwarming shows Checking off that Christmas list at Mistletoe Marketplace Meeting Santa in his workshop Feasting on delicious Holiday foods
  • The Elves Are Taking Over Busch Gardens

    Emily Bea
    30 Oct 2014 | 1:23 pm
    Hello Readers, You may have seen a couple of photos of my more…exuberant coworkers last year in Busch Gardens’ #sELFie photos. Some new mischief-makers have been at it again taking down Howl-O-Scream decorations.While some might think it is too early to see elves out and about, Halloween hasn’t even occurred yet, for an elf it’s never too early to start thinking Christmas. My assistant, Jolly, tries to move a Howl-O-Scream pumpkin Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Holly and I’m the Head Elf in charge of Christmas Town Prep. Back when I started working in…
  • Holly - Head Elf of Christmas Town

    30 Oct 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Holly - Head Elf of Christmas Town I am the head elf in charge of preparing Busch Gardens Williamsburg for Santa’s extended visit during Christmas Town.  I’ve worked for jolly old St. Nick in his North Pole workshop for about two centuries now, but I’ve only been assigned to Christmas Town for a couple of years. While the warm weather has taken a little getting used to, I love seeing the joy on children’s faces as they take in all the lights or see Santa for the first time.  That’s where the real magic is, transforming a…
  • Wordless Wednesday: Fall Flowers

    Emily Bea
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:59 am
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    Lead up the Garden Path

  • Colours of Autumn GBFD.

    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…
  • Still flowering. GBBD October.

    15 Oct 2014 | 1:58 am
    I managed to have a few minutes just walking round the garden the other day, so made the most of it and took some photos for GBBD. The garden is managing quite well without attention from me, the only problem is that the grass is getting so long without it’s normal haircut from the undergardener! Still flowering is Aster frickartii Monch, now in its third month and shows no sign of stopping. I must buy more for further down the border by the field. Fuchsia magellanica Alba with an unknown pale pink little aster. All the hardy fuchsias have been flowering since July, they certainly give…
  • Leave of absence.

    3 Oct 2014 | 10:52 am
      I’m afraid I will be missing for a while as the undergardener is now in hospital, so the garden and my blog will have to take a backseat. After visiting the doctor on Monday I had to take him straight to the hospital  in Exeter and he was operated on first thing on Tuesday morning.  There will be a couple more operations to come in the future but hopefully I will have him home again  in a weeks time when he should have recovered from this op.. In the meantime I hope they sort out a different anaesthetic for him as he had an allergic reaction to the one he was given and his…
  • Changing foliage in September GBFD.

    22 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    The present sunny spell is lasting quite a long time. We had torrential rain last Friday which perked all the plants up, and now we are back to sunny days once more. September so far has been a very warm, sunny month.  I’m not complaining,  but we do need more rain to keep the garden happy. When looking round the garden for foliage to photograph this morning, nothing was jumping out at me, it is too soon for the autumn tints where we live, only one or two plants have started to change, most will be photographed for next month. The red stemmed Cornus along the driveway in the front…
  • Berry Delicious.

    18 Sep 2014 | 6:36 am
    At this time of year,  berries are are covering some of the shrubs and trees in the garden and becoming more and more obvious as they change colour. If only the birds would leave them until the cold weather of winter kills off the insects, then they would have plenty of food to see them through a cold spell. Unfortunately they are like children in a sweetie shop, hopping from one bush to another, trying them all. Lots of sloes on the blackthorn at the top of the garden,  sloe gin anyone ? I have never bought an Hypericum, but the birds are obviously dropping seeds in the garden as I’m…
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    Garden Walk Garden Talk

  • The Blue Danube – Take a Day Trip With Me

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:00 pm
    The first thing I learned is that the Danube is NOT blue. I was expecting it to be a little like the Niagara River here at home, where some days it is green, other days gray, and the occasional rarity, … Continue reading →
  • Back Home From Eastern Europe

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    28 Oct 2014 | 4:00 pm
    I returned home yesterday after being awake for 32 hours straight. Boy was I tired. To make the long flight from Bucharest, Romania, we landed in Amsterdam, Netherlands for the endless flight to Minneapolis. Can you believe our flight went … Continue reading →
  • Town Life in Prague

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    20 Oct 2014 | 12:44 pm
    What I found most charming about Prague was the city life. People were everywhere, conversing on street corners, enjoying coffee at the café, and doing their daily shopping. It is a very pedestrian friendly town, with many narrow streets leading … Continue reading →
  • Prague Castle Gardens

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    18 Oct 2014 | 10:36 pm
    The gardens at Prague Castle are terraced up a steep hill. They step down to the City of Prague, the castle sitting protectively over the city. Prague has many churches of a variety of denominations. Cathedrals are very ornate and I was … Continue reading →
  • Charles Bridge, Prague

    Garden Walk Garden Talk
    17 Oct 2014 | 1:46 am
    Although I am in Budapest, Hungary, I will show you some beautiful images of and from the famous Charles Bridge in Prague. I am working on an iPad which I am not fond of for creating posts. On my trip I … Continue reading →
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  • 2014 Fall Garden Tour

    29 Oct 2014 | 7:24 am
    The fall garden is our favorite here at Gardenerd. The cooler temperatures lend themselves to growing crops without pests, and with much less stress than summer months. If we ever get any rain, these crops will hardly need help from … Continue reading →The post 2014 Fall Garden Tour appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • A Bug’s Life in the Garden

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:28 am
    Bugs are part of gardening. It’s a fact of life–you will have bugs. There are good bugs and bad bugs, and if you create the right environment, the good bugs can keep the bad bugs at bay. Today we discovered … Continue reading →The post A Bug’s Life in the Garden appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • New Restaurant Garden in Downtown LA

    23 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Artisan House, a combination market and restaurant/bar on the corner of 6th and Main Street, serves delicious, fresh food all day long, offering organic produce, artisanal wines and small-farm dairy products. The restaurant menu sports all the eye-catching entrees, sandwiches, … Continue reading →The post New Restaurant Garden in Downtown LA appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Ask Gardenerd: Root Knot Nematodes

    15 Oct 2014 | 7:56 am
    A great question came into Ask Gardenerd this week: “Do you have any tips on getting rid of root rot nematodes? Thanks! – Max“ There are natural ways to rid or drastically reduce your soil of pesky nematodes, Max. But … Continue reading →The post Ask Gardenerd: Root Knot Nematodes appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Fall: Time to Plant Perennials

    14 Oct 2014 | 7:59 am
    Fall is the time of year to plant perennials. Why? Isn’t the season winding down? It is, but it’s the perfect time to put winter-hardy perennials in the ground because they will use winter to develop strong roots. When spring … Continue reading →The post Fall: Time to Plant Perennials appeared first on Gardenerd.
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    Veggie Gardening Tips

  • More Ideas for Cultivating Mushrooms in the Home and Garden

    Kenny Point
    9 Oct 2014 | 9:24 am
    The fall season is a perfect time to explore the fascinating world of backyard mushroom cultivation. I’ll start by sharing some of the delicious edible fungi that is currently springing up right outside in and around my garden. Then I’ll share some info on mushrooms picked up at the recent Mother Earth News Fair, and close with ideas for easily growing shrooms right inside your home. My oyster and shiitake logs are stacked up and have been fruiting for weeks even if their production does seem to be rather limited compared to recent years. Maybe that’s due to the dry weather and…
  • The Mother Earth News Fair Returns to Pennsylvania

    Kenny Point
    1 Oct 2014 | 7:26 am
    The 2014 Mother Earth News Fair that took place in Seven Springs, PA a couple weekends ago was a great event and I walked away with many new ideas and techniques to try out in the garden and to share with you here on the Veggie Gardening Tips website! Normally the downside of a fall gardening event is that you’re inspired to grow and enthused about gardening at precisely the time that nature is telling you that it’s time to shut things down for the winter. This Mother Earth News Fair was different because I walked away with so many things that I am excited about and can apply right…
  • A Weekend at the Herb and Garden Faire

    Kenny Point
    13 May 2014 | 5:02 am
    The 27th Annual Herb & Garden Faire took place over the weekend at the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The two day event included plant sales, gardening lectures, arts and crafts, music, delicious foods, and garden themed displays. What started out as a small plant has grown over the years into what may be the largest event of this type in the northeast. There’s always an impressive lineup of nurseries, herb growers, and plant lovers offering an array of rare, heirloom, and unusual, plants for sale. From vegetables to fruits, and herbs to flowers,…
  • Taking Stock of the Garden’s Winter Losses

    Kenny Point
    9 May 2014 | 3:21 pm
    This past winter was harsher than what we’ve grown accustomed to, with colder temps, more snowfall, and longer periods of sustained freezes. Even after spring arrived we have continued to receive colder than normal lows and lingering threats of potential frost. I’m still assessing the damage left behind by winter, but so far it has not been pretty with some unexpected losses in areas that have easily survived past winters. My guess is that it wasn’t the low temperatures that created the havoc, but rather the long stretches where temps fell below freezing and then remained there for…
  • Preserving the Harvest with a Food Dehydrator

    Kenny Point
    20 Mar 2014 | 4:56 am
    Despite spring’s arrival today according to the calendar, it feels like the new growing season is a ways off, and the first hints of fresh produce are just now beginning to sprout up from the earth. But there is plenty of last season’s harvest preserved and ready for use thanks to the fresh veggies that were dried, stored, or even fermented before winter cut short the last garden’s production. A variety of kitchen appliances helped me to stretch and preserve the garden’s bounty; from a juicer that is great for juicing winter greens and root crops, to the food processor…
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    Perennial Meadows

  • Autumnal Textures over Perennial Colour

    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

    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

    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

    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…
  • Maintaining Perennial Meadow Plantings

    28 Aug 2014 | 12:39 am
    My trial gardens on the edge of the city of Amsterdam have taken a back seat in my life this year following the decision to move house. After months of viewing properties, packing and unpacking boxes of possessions and endless trips to furniture showrooms it is finally time to return to gardening and assess how well, or not, things have faired. Gardening this summer has taken on more the form of a series of kamikaze raids than the leisurely pursuit that the hobby magazines would have us believe in. Visits to the gardens have involved a dash around with the watering can followed by frenzied…
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    Beautiful Wildlife Garden

  • Night of the Living Dead

    Loret T. Setters
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:43 am
    How does one control pest species such as grasshoppers and plant hoppers?  Often Mother Nature takes over control TO control.  Grasshoppers and other pests have some natural predators besides birds, and it isn’t just fauna. Think PATHOGENS… disease-causing agents!  All natural, no chemicals involved.   In recent times I ran into two examples of this phenomenon […] 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
  • Native Plant Garden of Gold

    Loret T. Setters
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:24 am
    We’ve cooled down some in Central Florida, although by Northeast or Midwest standards it still is steamy and hot.  Still, it is Florida Autumn and the garden is reflecting the standard fall colors everyone is so accustomed to. As the golden flowers unfold, the birds wait with anticipation for some of the flowers to go […] 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 Power of One

    Ellen Honeycutt
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    I believe in the power of using native plants in whatever landscape that man designs and creates. I believe in the power of using locally native plants to restore some small ecological balance back to a landscape that man has ripped apart. I believe that choosing to do so has an impact that, magnified by […] 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
  • Seed collecting for school gardens

    Stacey Evers
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:28 am
    If you’re already thinking about next year’s school garden, this is the time to pick up your seeds: they are cheaper now than at pretty much any other time of the year. When I say “pick up” seeds, I mean it literally. Go out to your fading garden and get them. Collecting seeds takes only a […] 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
  • Inviting Dragonflies to Lunch in the Garden

    Loret T. Setters
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:15 pm
    I noticed someone enjoying a bit of lunch in the garden recently.  It was an Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis) and based on the coloration, a male. Males become pruinose blue with white claspers and a green face.” More often than not when I come across an Eastern Pondhawk in the garden it is one […] 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

  • Pumpkintime

    31 Oct 2014 | 3:03 pm
    Posted by cookinwithherbs It's that time of year again--Happy Halloween! Don't toss the pumpkin that you have been using to decorate your front stoop--bring it into the kitchen and use it in some seasonal recipes--here's a tasty treat: Pumpkin Scones with Thyme!
  • Hoop House Style Raised Bed Frost Protection

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Posted by yourownvictorygarden This small “hoop house" style structure can support whatever frost covering material you need, and can be mounted to the bed in a couple of ways.
  • Prepare Fall Garden for Spring Planting

    28 Oct 2014 | 7:47 am
    Posted by WesternGardener While you’re harvesting the last of this year’s vegetable garden, it’s time to think spring. Now’s the time to prepare the soil for next season’s bountiful harvest.
  • Jerusalem Artichokes

    25 Oct 2014 | 3:22 pm
    Posted by cookinwithherbs Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus), also referred to as sunchokes, sunroots and earth apples are edible tubers native to North America, mainly the Eastern regions. They are best dug after the first frost.
  • I Have a Pair of Honey Badger Garden Gloves

    23 Oct 2014 | 6:56 pm
    Posted by ChrisMcLaughlin Garden gloves have never been this useful.
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    Miss Rumphius' Rules

  • 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…
  • Riding in the Backseat around a Curve

    Susan aka Miss. R
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:55 am
    Miss R has been in the backseat all summer. Pretend you are on a roadtrip and listening to a story on the radio…the pictures will come after we reach our destination. In a twist of weather related events and wonder, my landscape design business and my commitment to being the national President of APLD has taken all of my time, leaving little extra for regular blog posts.  Although I feel a nagging sense of ‘it’s been too long’, I’m happy to have my priorities straight and to be able to see my garden and landscape design work come alive. I always feel that the…
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    Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

  • It’s Harvest Time!

    Steven Paulsen
    25 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Every year I get excited to reap the harvest of our efforts off the land. The cool weather, turning leaves, and migrating wildlife gets my excitement level up. Working with native plants affords me the pleasure of seeing a unique perspective inside of the seasons. For instance, we (CSR, Inc) typically start to harvest several […] 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
  • Revise, Revitalize, Rejoice: Urban ReForestation Works!

    Suzanne Dingwell
    22 Oct 2014 | 8:20 pm
    What do people say when you ask them what things they associate with a park? Mary Jo Aagerstoun demanded. Answering her own question before pausing for a reply, she says, They think about picnics, soccer, and tennis. All of which are humancentric. Our parks need to be so much more, they can BE so much […] 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
  • A Recipe for an Autumn Habitat Garden

    Debbie Roberts
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Creating your own habitat garden filled with native plants is easier than you think.  Here’s a simple recipe for an autumn habitat garden filled with goodies for local wildlife that calls your garden home. 1) Start with some autumn blooming flowers, like goldenrod (Solidago) and false aster (Boltonia  asteroides) 2)  Mix in some seed heads […] 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
  • A Small Dose of Rewilding

    Jennifer Baker
    16 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    I’m working on a few woodland restoration projects this fall that could benefit from a bit of rewilding. I’ve been labeling some of my projects as such, in my head at least, because I think it sounds much more romantic than restoration, especially on the heels of rewilding campaigner George Monbiot’s eloquent TED talk and 2013 book, Feral. […] 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
  • And in This Corner…Active Arachnids

    Loret T. Setters
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:30 am
    It is Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) season at my place.  Every year at this time they set up shop…often you’ll find them hovering and protecting their egg sac for weeks.  Momma does tend to the little ones. While technically spiders are not insects as they have 8 legs (they are Arachnids), most of us […] 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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    Nigel Gnome grows a vegetable

  • 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…
  • Change is underway

    Nigel Gnome
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:25 am
    There is a nice gentle confirmation of the coming summer in the garden now. Small buds are forming on the fortune plum tree, the sulking lettuces have come to life as have all the onions and leeks. Still picking lots of tender stem broccoli and the normal broccoli is ready for picking as well.Broccoli headsThe vege beds have all had some more lime applied as well as lots of compost and a good sprinkling of sheep pellets. Stand clear!Garden overviewFortune plum flower budsWe have a dwarf nectarine tree to grace the front part of the flower/vegetable garden, hopefully it lives up to it's name…
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  • Flowerona Reflects…featuring the wonderful poppies at the Tower of London

    31 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    This week’s Flowerona Reflects video features the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation of poppies at the Tower of London, which is well worth a visit! P.S. Don’t forget, if you receive this blog post via email and would like to view the video, simply go to Tweet
  • Florist Friday: Interview with Zara Reid of Zara Reid Floral Design

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    This week on Florist Friday, I’m delighted to feature an interview with Zara Reid of Zara Reid Floral Design. Zara is also the resident florist at Chatsworth House. Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist? My great grandparents owned a plant nursery in Bradwell, Derbyshire and regularly won prizes with their award-winning chrysanthemums. I didn’t know that until I became a florist. So I guess you could say it was always in my blood! Like many teenagers, I had no idea what I wanted to do after leaving school. It was after dropping out of A Levels that my mum brought…
  • Wildabout at Brides The Show – October 2014

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    In this week’s Wedding Wednesday blog post, I’m delighted to feature florist Wildabout’s stand at Brides The Show in London. I loved the stunning flower wall which Leanne and Andy had created! Sumptuous blooms including roses, hydrangeas, spray roses and Phalaenopsis orchids were used to make this spectacular backdrop. And complementing the wall in the same colour palette of white, cream and blush were exquisite high and low table arrangements. If you’re a bride-to-be and have your heart set on a flower wall, I think you’ll agree that this one is absolutely…
  • Flower of the Month – The Orchid…A guest post by Katie Spicer, in collaboration with Helen Cranmer

    27 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    I’m delighted today to feature photographer Katie Spicer‘s beautiful images of this month’s Flower of the Month. Thank you so much to both Katie and Helen Cranmer of Helen Cranmer Floral Design for collaborating on this post. I was so excited when Helen told me she wanted to use orchids in her design for Flower of the Month. I absolutely love orchids and their very efficient way of getting things done, all the while looking incredibly beautiful. As always on these shoots, I was wowed by her creations. The flowers and foliage Helen used were Vanda Hot Fuchsia, Astilbe, Cotinus,…
  • Christmas Wreath Making workshops at Heal’s with Wildabout & a chance to win tickets

    26 Oct 2014 | 5:01 pm
    I hope you had a great weekend. If, like me, you love having a wreath on your door over the festive period, then you may like to know that in December, Heal’s are running Christmas Wreath Making workshops in London with florist Wildabout.  Here are the details: Tottenham Court Road store: Dec 8th : 6.30-8.30pm King’s Road store: Dec 10th : 6.30-8.30pm Kingston store: Dec 18th : 6.30-8.30pm You’ll be greeted with bubbles and nibbles, to get you in the Christmas spirit.  Then, you’ll set to work, creating a beautiful door wreath with the help of a talented florist from…
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    Sprinkler Juice

  • 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! ]]
  • Using a Sprinkler Timer to Save Money

    22 Oct 2014 | 7:02 am
    Everyone wants to save money on their water bill. It’s highly unlikely you’ll run into someone who says “Gee, I am just not spending enough money on water. I really want my water bill to be... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Setting the Time for Fall Watering

    14 Oct 2014 | 10:23 am
    Properly caring for your lawn in the fall means you may need to adjust your timer on your lawn sprinkler system. This is because now that the air is cooler and the days are shorter, your lawn needs a... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Avoiding Sprinkler Runoff

    7 Oct 2014 | 8:34 am
    Having a lawn sprinkler system is supposed to save you time and money while assuring your lawn it will get the proper amount of needed water. These positives can be negated if there is significant... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Fall Gardening Tips

    30 Sep 2014 | 6:39 am
    Fall can be a great time to garden. The weather is cooler and the nights are longer. There are many things you can do to get the most out of your fall gardening season: It may be fall, but start... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Your Easy Garden

  • Trees Full of Colour

    Anthony Tesselaar
    27 Oct 2014 | 7:02 am
    Have you ever experienced Spring and Autumn back-to-back? I have, often, and it leaves me giddy every time. It’s a fabulous feeling to become a time traveller, standing under a blossom tree one day and a fiery explosion of Fall colours the next. How do I do it? I climb on a plane and go to work on the other side of the world… I don’t mind the mundane aspects of travel because I’m smart enough to realise there are plenty of good things that spin off from it, and one of them is just this. I get to look at Nature in a way that was once impossible. Both seasons are magic and I get to have…
  • Favorite Garden and Nature Quotes

    23 Oct 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Here are a few more quotes that our readers have shared with us . . . Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.   A morning glory at my window . . .   Colors are smiles of nature   I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.   Do you have a favorite gardening or nature -related quote?  Please send it along and we’ll add it to our collection to share with all!  Simply Leave a Reply below with your quote. Until next time, Garden on good people!      
  • Fun Things to Do in the Garden

    Elizabeth DeFriest
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    Often when I go outside, I’m not looking for a Big Garden Job – spreading trailer loads of mulch, laying paving, getting up in a tree to take out the dead-wood. Most of the time I drift about in a happy daze doing a bit of this, and a bit of that. And if I think about what I’ve done later that day, none of it seems remotely impressive. I mean, only another gardener would appreciate that I’d taken 45 minutes to wash and rearrange the pebble mulch on my succulent pots. But that doesn’t bother me because I suspect I’m not alone in what I get up to. I think there are many of us who…
  • Using Garden Phlox to Add Color to the Garden

    17 Oct 2014 | 12:27 pm
    Garden phlox come in a variety of colors and are ideal for adding color in most gardens.  They range from white and pale shades of pink and purple to bright reds, pinks and purples.  Volcano phlox are among the most mildew-tolerant and are more compact than some of the older varieties of phlox.  As a result, they don’t need to be staked and can be used in a variety of settings.  Daylilies are another garden workhorse, adding color for long periods of time, with minimal care and maintenance. Stella-type daylilies are rebloomers and are a option for non-stop color.   Using…
  • 3 Basic Steps for Creating Garden Rooms

    14 Oct 2014 | 11:37 am
    Are you tired of simply thinking of your garden as an open space or something to view from a distance?  Do you want your guests to feel as comfortable in your garden as they do in your home? Would you like to create an outdoor small space for a few moments of solitude and privacy? If so, read on . . .   This welcoming backyard area is filled with little garden rooms scattered throughout. You can create a quiet place in which to read or watch the birds simply by good placement of furniture. Garden rooms do not need to be expensive.  Sure, you can create an amazing area with stone…
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    The Mini Garden Guru - Your Miniature Garden Source

  • Happy Halloween in the Miniature Garden

    Janit Calvo
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:12 pm
    HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Your Miniature Garden Center,!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
  • Halloween DIY: How to Make Miniature Zombies

    Janit Calvo
    24 Oct 2014 | 7:25 am
    Halloween DIY: How to Make Miniature Zombies I normally don’t care for gore and blood. Dress up like a zombie for Halloween? No thanks, I’d rather be anything else. I used to like the old fashioned horror movies that left much to my own imagination and that was, and still is, puh-lenty for me. Do […]
  • Miniature Halloween Gardening with Plow & Hearth

    Janit Calvo
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:41 pm
    Miniature Halloween Gardening with Plow & Hearth Have a “little” fun in the miniature garden by mixing and matching Plow & Hearth’s fairy items and houses with their holiday accessories. In this blog today, we’ve used their houses in a couple of different gardens so you can get a better idea of what they look like. I’ve […]
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    Sow and So

  • E is for Entomophily – Word Up!

    Bridget Elahcene
    31 Oct 2014 | 2:33 am
    Entomophily \ˌɛntəˈmɒfɪli\ Insect pollination of flowers. Such flowers are usually brightly coloured, sometimes with large petals and often sweetly scented.
  • Misty Morning in the Ardennes – Wordless Wednesday

    Laila Noort
    28 Oct 2014 | 10:21 pm
  • Aquaponics, you too can have this

    Rogier Noort
    27 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    On a large scale, Aquaponics may provide enough food to significantly add to the daily use of a regular family. You can grow fruit and vegetables, and fish. The self-containing and -sustaining system is perfect when you want to add protein to your diet, and still be as self-sufficient as possible. Ancient Tech Aquaponics is not new, it turns out the Aztecs used it too, also, in South-East Asia the idea had sprung up a long time ago. In Thailand for instance, the idea of having fish in the rice paddies to provide nutrients and eliminate pests worked quite well. It’s just now, with the…
  • D is for Dew Point – Word up!

    Bridget Elahcene
    23 Oct 2014 | 10:54 pm
    Dew Point \ˈdjuː pɔɪnt \ The air temperature at which water can no longer be held in gaseous form and will condense onto a surface.
  • Colourful Chillis – Wordless Wednesday

    Laila Noort
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:27 pm
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    The Hortiholic

  • The Garden Clock is Ticking....

    Tony Fulmer
    18 Oct 2014 | 11:50 am
    "The days dwindle down to a precious few" is so true for the October garden. As temperatures drop and you face the reality of rain becoming snow, the urgency to complete fall garden tasks becomes almost manic.You've probably already made the decision whether to cut your perennials now or let them stand as snowy winter sentinels. You've ripped the tired annuals out by their fuzzy little roots. What else could there possibly be to do? Want a few reminders?1) Don't let fall pass without planting bulbs. The soil temps are finally cool enough to put all the spring flowering beauties in. Who said,…
  • Conifers are the Cure

    Tony Fulmer
    30 Sep 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Does our Zone 5 plant palette ever seem limiting to you? Do you yearn for just one specimen plant that no one else in northern Illinois has? Do you ever look at your garden and think, "If I could just get a plant with year 'round interest for that spot I'd be so much happier with my garden?" I know I'm always thinking what would be hot in this or that spot. Do we need a support group for those of us looking for plants off the beaten path?If it existed I would suggest "Conifers are the Cure". For those that haven't been smitten or bitten yet, but want more landscape interest the world of…
  • "High" on 'Drangeas

    Tony Fulmer
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:21 pm
    Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer'If plant popularity is directly proportional to the number of new varieties debuting annually, Hydrangeas are HOT, HOT, HOT. Exciting new varieties are popping up like mushrooms after a summer rain.Why all the Hydrangea excitement?Something-for-everyone range of flower forms including mophead (softball), panicle (cone-shaped) and lacecap (flat-topped donut with a lacy, open center). Flowers not only last a long time, but many develop interesting seed heads for winter interest.Sun or partial shade tolerance. If you're putting them in sun in hot summer…
  • Garden Training for Excess Raining

    Tony Fulmer
    17 Jul 2014 | 10:42 am
    I thought I had a handle on just how wet the summer has been. My rain gauge (that measures 100ths of an inch, I'm proud to say) recorded 9.30" for June. I just spoke with a fellow horticulturist who was telling me that she was pruning and found gangs of slugs hiding in yew branches four feet off the ground. We've revealed a new definition of saturation point: So wet that even slugs seek higher ground!Short of dragging water-soaked containers under overhangs or setting up umbrellas over drought-tolerant perennials, there's only so much a person can do to stem the flood waters. Here are a…
  • Japanese (Maple) Spoken Here

    Tony Fulmer
    8 May 2014 | 5:33 am
    'Koto-No-Ito'. 'Osakazuki'. 'Asahi zuru'. 'Beni maiko'. 'Shishigashira'. 'Oridono nishiki'. 'Seiryu'. 'Inaba shidare'. These Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) names are, of course, beautiful in their own right. The beauty of the trees exceeds even the elegance of their names.Feel the thickness of a Japanese maple leaf, especially a cutleaf (dissectum) type, and it doesn't take much imagination to understand how they might sunburn or get wind-tattered if planted in the wrong place. For that reason I'm especially happy when someone says they want a Japanese maple and have an east-facing exposure.
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  • 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 Blog.
  • 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: 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 Blog.
  • Is fall a good to plant trees, shrubs and other plants

    Gary Guzman
    29 Sep 2014 | 3:02 pm
    Photo by 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 Blog.
  • 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 Blog.
  • 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 Blog.
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    Chicken Waterer

  • Egg Shell Planters

    26 Oct 2014 | 7:58 am
    Here's a clever idea for using egg shells in your garden. Ours normally go into the compost bin anyway, so this is a way to get an additional use from them before they enrich the soil.A smart idea. I wish I had thought of it, but it comes from the folks at For more gardening ideas, check out their post 20 Insanely Clever Garden Ideas. BriteTap chicken waterer. Clean water made simple! Visit us at
  • Chicken Halloween Cartoon

    26 Oct 2014 | 7:32 am
    Happy Halloween from your friends at, makers of the BriteTap chicken waterer. BriteTap chicken waterer. Clean water made simple! Visit us at
  • Salmonella Linked To Hatchery Chicks

    27 Sep 2014 | 8:02 am
    The Center for Disease Control is reporting 344 cases of Salmonella so far this year that can be traced to handling live chicks.  The illnesses are reported in 42 states with the highest concentration of reported cases in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia.The cases have been traced back to chicks purchased from Mt. Healthy Hatchery of Ohio. The same hatchery has experienced similar problems in 2012 and 2013.  Symptoms of Salmonella infection include the following:Most persons infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal…
  • Crowing Rooster Smartphone Alerts

    7 Sep 2014 | 12:20 pm
    iPhone and Android phones let customize the sounds that are associated with various alerts such as calendar appointments, new email and text messages, etc.We've created an audio file of a rooster crowing that you can place on your smartphone. Instead of a default alarm tone you can have our rooster let you know that you have an upcoming appointment or a new text message.You can find the files and instructions on how to download at our web site:Chicken SmartPhone Alerts BriteTap chicken waterer. Clean water made simple! Visit us at
  • A Chicken's Labor Day

    31 Aug 2014 | 7:50 am
    BriteTap chicken waterer. Clean water made simple! Visit us at
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    The Foodie Gardener™

  • Easy Hydroponic Planter: Grow Lettuce in Repurposed Coffee Container!

    Shirley Bovshow
    16 Oct 2014 | 2:08 am
    If you consider yourself more of a “foodie” and less of a “gardener” because you  don’t like the idea of getting your nails dirty, read on! You can grow lettuce, greens, and herbs year-round in a hydroponic planter made from a repurposed coffee container.   Before you start questioning how difficult it must be to make a hydroponic planter, stop! I want to share with you instructions for creating a specific, low-tech hydroponic planter that uses no electrical pumps or air stones to circulate the water. I’m referring to the Kratky Method of…
  • Recycled Wood Tree Box As Raised Vegetable Planter

    Shirley Bovshow
    12 Aug 2014 | 10:18 am
    Here’s a clever idea using recycled wood landscape tree boxes as raised vegetable planters. I was on a garden tour in Mar Vista California  when I stumbled across designer, Mary Lee Kuhlman’s practical idea.   Keep an eye open for landscaping projects in your neighborhood where tree boxes are found in abundance.   Some landscape companies will give them to you for free or at a nominal price if you ask. Chances are, the landscape company  has to haul the boxes back to the garden center for a small credit or to their office, where they are piling up.   Great For…
  • Grow Hot Peppers: Spiciness Rated by Scoville Heat Chart

    Shirley Bovshow
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:05 pm
    I’m growing peppers at the Home & Family show vegetable garden now that warm temperatures during the day and cooler nights are trending in Los Angeles. Peppers, both sweet and hot ones  can put up a fuss and drop fruit, or not set fruit at all, if the climate is not right. They are temperamental like that. If peppers weren’t so delicious, I wouldn’t put up with their fussiness!       I introduced co-hosts, Mark Steines and Cristine Ferrare  to the Scoville Pepper Heat Chart that rates  spiciness or “hotness” in peppers. As heads of the…
  • Video: How To Grow Vegetables on Your Patio

    Shirley Bovshow
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:06 pm
    Watch my garden segment from Home & Family show on how to grow food in any small space. You can grow lots of food in your patio, balcony or porch!   Visit to learn how to grow food with style!
  • Foodie Gardener Design Tip: Strawberry Planters

    Shirley Bovshow
    6 Jul 2014 | 10:41 am
    Do you crave clean, modern design as much as you crave sweet, mouth-watering strawberries in the summer?     Plant your June-bearing strawberries in a  creamy white container that’s at least 18″inches in diameter. Place the strawberries around the perimeter of your white container and plant flowers or some basil in the middle! Beautiful, edible design.   Want more ideas? See my “vertical strawberry post!”  
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    Epic Gardening

  • Deep Water Culture: What Is It And How To Get Started

    22 Oct 2014 | 7:39 pm
    The post Deep Water Culture: What Is It And How To Get Started is by Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog. If you're new to growing plants hydroponically, words like "Deep Water Culture" can sound like they're straight out of a science-fiction movie.  Compared to soil gardening, hydroponics looks more complex - but it's really not!The different ways of hydroponic gardening (nutrient film technique, deep water culture, ebb and flow) might sound confusing, but once you […] The post Deep Water Culture:…
  • Easy DIY Aquaponics Review

    10 Oct 2014 | 1:46 am
    The post Easy DIY Aquaponics Review is by Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog. Review Of: Easy DIY Aquaponics Author: Kevin Editorial Quality Effectiveness Price Ease of Instructions I Liked 24/7 customer support is awesome Loved the 3D renderings of the systemMaterials list costs less than Aquaponics 4 You systemYou can download everythingMaintenance log included! I Didn't Like Some of the freebies I didn't care about Would like to […] The post Easy DIY Aquaponics Review is by Kevin and appeared first…
  • A Quick List of Perennial Vegetables To Add To Your Garden

    9 Oct 2014 | 5:22 pm
    The post A Quick List of Perennial Vegetables To Add To Your Garden is by Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog. This post is a continuation of our '8 Vegetables You Can Grow Over and Over Again' series we did earlier this year on the blog.  Check it out! Jump To A Plant 1. Asparagus 2. Sunchokes 3. Groundnut 6. Horseradish7. Raddichio8. Bunching Onions9. Sorrel ​Most of us gardeners, whether beginners or veterans favor annual veggies […] The post A Quick List of Perennial Vegetables To Add To Your…
  • Aquaponics 4 You Review: Is It Legit?

    9 Oct 2014 | 12:14 am
    The post Aquaponics 4 You Review: Is It Legit? is by Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog. Review Of: Aquaponics 4 You Author: Kevin Editorial Quality Effectiveness Price Ease of Instructions I Liked Video instructions make the entire build easy Simple and straightforwardGood info on what fish to use and what plants work bestExtremely low-cost for a guide of this depth I Didn't Like No tracking log included Videos watched online or […] The post Aquaponics 4 You Review: Is It Legit? is by Kevin and…
  • 9 Awesome First Harvest Pictures To Inspire You For Fall

    8 Oct 2014 | 2:03 am
    The post 9 Awesome First Harvest Pictures To Inspire You For Fall is by Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog. As we’re getting into fall (even here in San Diego), it’s about time to start thinking about fall gardens.  I was looking up some gardening inspiration to get back in the gardening mindset as I haven’t grown anything for a month or two and came across some amazing photos from first-time gardeners that blew my […] The post 9 Awesome First Harvest Pictures To Inspire You For Fall…
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    Grow Our Way

  • 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…
  • Gardening For Beginners: The Garden Game Plan

    Safer® Brand
    14 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    If you’ve made the decision to start your very first organic vegetable garden, congratulations are in order! Organic gardening has much to offer. You’ll have lots of delicious and nutritious fresh produce on hand for your family that you can share with your friends and neighbors. By growing your own vegetables instead of buying them at the store, you can lower your monthly food bills. Gardening is also great exercise, and you’ll have the satisfaction of watching something grow from the ground up. As with any new venture, proper planning is the key to producing a thriving, bountiful…
  • Watering: How Much Is Too Much?

    Safer® Brand
    11 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    Whether you’re a soil gardener or a hydroponic gardener, a key challenge you’re likely to face is keeping your plants properly hydrated. You need to ensure your plants are receiving the appropriate amount of water without overwatering — and you need to be watering at just the right time. Use the following watering tips to help maximize your organic gardening efforts throughout the growing season. Watering an Organic Soil Garden Use your finger – When it comes to determining if it’s time to water your organic garden, your own finger can be an extremely valuable asset. Place your…
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    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

  • Making Beauty Sustainable: Landscape Design That’s Pleasing & Functional

    Kate Pyle
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:52 am
    By Kate Pyle, PR & Marketing Intern, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden From left to right: Sheila Brady, Thomas Rainer, Travis Beck, and Adrian Higgins Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Making Beauty Sustainable Gillette Forum on Landscape Design at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. This was a new experience for me — I don’t have a background in gardening or landscape design, but I was excited and curious all the same. The day started with presentations from Adrian Higgins, garden writer, author, columnist and editor at The Washington Post, and Thomas Rainer,…
  • Happy Halloween!

    Jonah Holland
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:12 am
  • Where Did Lewis Ginter’s Money Go?

    Janet Woody
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:37 am
    Sketch of Lewis Ginter published in the Oct. 3, 1897 Richmond Times obituary By Janet Woody, Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Lewis Ginter died in 1897, at age 73, from complications of diabetes. The local newspapers of the day, The Times and The Dispatch, were filled with detailed obituaries covering his entire career and stories of his many acts of kindness and benevolence. His entire will was printed in the Richmond Dispatch of October 7, 1897. There was tremendous interest in his money. David Ryan, author of Lewis Ginter’s Richmond, states that at the start of the Civil War,…
  • Autumn Foliage From a New Perspective

    Jonah Holland
    29 Oct 2014 | 6:39 am
    by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Peak fall foliage at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden over Lake Sydnor. On the far left you can see the new floating dock. Fall foliage has never looked so fine! The views from the newly opened floating dock on Lake Sydnor offer a new perspective, and a closer look at autumn’s best colors. The view of Streb Conifer Garden from the floating dock. A second floating dock will open in the Lucy Payne Minor Garden later this year. The view of the CWD Kids Tree House and Children’s Garden from the new floating…
  • Stunning Grasses Add Whimsy to the Conservatory

    Jonah Holland
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:03 am
    by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Conservatory with Pink Muhlygrass (Muhlenbergia capillaris). Recently, we’ve talked quite a bit about why ornamental and native grasses are good for nature and the environment. We shared our plans with you for our plantings in front of the Conservatory at the Ornamental Grass Garden.  And even vetted the best grasses to plant in our area, so you can use them in your own yard. ….In case you missed it: Pink Muhlygrass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’, and Prairie Dropseed…
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    The Diligent Gardener

  • Are You Replacing Garden Tools Unnecessarily?

    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…
  • How to Create an Exotic Garden Pond

    10 Oct 2014 | 7:53 am
    Garden ponds add a great point of interest to your garden and they can also help to improve the environment by creating a safe and diverse habitat for many different species. From frogs and newts to harmless leeches and freshwater mussels, a variety of different fish to the Great Pond Snail, a pond can be a great home and resting place for a whole host of wildlife. Garden ponds also provide fresh drinking water for birds and mammals, and it also gives them a safe area to cool off in the hot summer season. So keeping your pond thriving all year round is very important and beneficial to the…
  • The Best Ways to Decorate your Garden

    6 Oct 2014 | 3:27 am
    Even the most attentive gardeners can still occasionally be guilty of letting their little piece of land become a bit ordinary and dull. Yes, you may keep the lawn nice and tidy, but it might be that you’re at a bit of a loss as to what you can do to decorate your garden, and turn into something paradisiacal that you are proud to show off, or content to simply sit in and relax.Whatever your horticultural prowess, you’ll be pleased to know there are things you can adorn your garden with, both natural and man-made, that can bring your personal plot to life. Here is a selection of these…
  • Winter Storage: Caring for your Garden Tools

    6 Oct 2014 | 3:19 am
    Those glorious (well mostly, glorious) summer months are coming to a close for another year and unfortunately that means goodbye sunshine and BBQs and hello autumn. It’s getting pretty chilly around here and all too quickly for my liking, and all of this cold weather has got me thinking about starting to plan for those long winter months.As you can no doubt tell, we adore our garden and everything that goes in it, from our beloved Koi to our countless tropical of plants, but don’t be fooled, it’s not just your plants that require round the calendar maintenance. Before those rainy months…
  • Organising Your Garden in Time for Winter

    6 Oct 2014 | 3:17 am
    Sadly, after a long and at times boiling hot summer, the winter months are coming and that means that the nights are drawing in, the days are becoming shorter, and that we’re more susceptible to rain. All in all, this means that the time we spend out in the garden is becoming incredibly limited. The bad (even worse news) is that once the autumn is over, we’re really struggling for time, and that’s why you have to ensure that you get your garden ready for the winter months now. Here’s how you can do just that:   Tidy the Borders: Autumn is the best time of year to dig up and…
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    Grow Up Hydrogarden

  • 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
  • Growing Indoors

    Erika Raia
    30 Sep 2014 | 2:30 am
    Many of us live in an area where gardening outdoors during Fall or Winter is not possible and are faced with either packing the garden up for the winter or moving it indoors. Indoor gardening is growing in popularity especially amongst individuals that have come to rely on the fresh, wholesome veggies and herbs that they grow from home. Grow Up Hydrogarden is designed forRead More
  • 5 Ways that Hydroponic Gardening Benefits the Environment

    Erika Raia
    24 Sep 2014 | 1:09 pm
    Soil free gardening benefits the environment in many different ways and is growing in popularity, not just in commercial farming, but in home gardening. Grow Up Hydrogarden makes growing your own vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, year-round, easy. The crops taste better, have higher nutritional value, do not require a green thumb and help reduce your carbon footprint. 5 ways that Hydroponic Gardening promotes sustainableRead More
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    No Soil Solutions

  • 3 Methods Of Hand Pollination

    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

    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.
  • How To Mix A Three Part Nutrient Solution

    11 Oct 2014 | 6:04 pm
      For my hydroponic systems I use a three part nutrient solution from General Hydroponics Flora series. The three parts are sold together in a park and also sold individually. Since your plants need more of some nutrients than others, you won’t need to buy all three parts together every time after your initial purchase. The post How To Mix A Three Part Nutrient Solution appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
  • Aquaponics

    29 Sep 2014 | 10:02 pm
    The first hydroponic plant I grew was a tomato plants in a 5 gallon bucket. I had used an old paint bucket, a left over air pump and an old air stone I had used in my aquarium. Like many starting out hydroculture gardening, after my first plant success I wanted to grow more. I The post Aquaponics appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
  • Aeroponics

    19 Sep 2014 | 11:50 am
    Aeroponics is considered more of an advanced hydroponic method of gardening. Some do not consider aeroponics to be a true hydroponics method as the plant roots are not submerged in water. Instead with aeroponics, plants are often placed in small holes or slits to stabilize the plant while the roots are suspended in the air. The post Aeroponics appeared first on No Soil Solutions.
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    Your Hub of Garden Creativity | Garden Buildings Direct Blog

  • How To Prepare Your Plants To Survive Winter

    Garden Buildings Direct
    31 Oct 2014 | 10:01 am
    Winter is a bit of a nightmare for gardeners; the weather gets colder, there is frost on the ground and there is less sunlight and warmth, causing gardens and plants to become damp and struggle for life. In this article we’ll show you how you can prepare three of the most common types of plants to survive the winter: Dahlias, Cannas and Geraniums. Bring the Plants Indoors When it comes to Cannas and Dahlias, dry the roots out completely during the autumn months leading up to winter. Aim to keep them that way for the entirety of their dormant time. Move the plants inside, it’s…
  • Autumn Gardening Tips From The Experts

    Garden Buildings Direct
    25 Sep 2014 | 5:14 am
    Whether you are clinging on to the hope of an Indian summer or ploughing straight into Autumn, the turn of the season is upon us and it’s time to start getting the BBQ covers back on and preparing the garden for the winter months ahead. We’ve all had a good hot summer; the spouse had a glass of Pimms and fell off the rickety plastic chair, Grandad was found in the garden shed after getting lost looking for his slippers, the kids have kicked a football repeatedly into the same flower bed slowly flattening it and now your Smart Phone’s 32 gigabyte memory is crammed full of garden selfies…
  • How to Build A Shed: The Novice’s Guide

    Shaun Wheatcroft
    11 Sep 2014 | 1:17 am
    Does buying a flat pack ready-to-assemble garden shed seem like a daunting task to you? Well we’ve just made it simple with our new easy-to-follow how to build a shed video with Debbie Shore. At Garden Buildings Direct we’ve always known that our garden buildings are much easier to put up than some other modular sheds might seem. So let Debbie give you the low down on everything you need to know for building your garden shed by watching the video above. For more advice on how to build a shed, see our mini-guide. Don’t forget to like Garden Buildings Direct on Facebook for…
  • WIN a Playhouse!

    Jordan Piano
    5 Sep 2014 | 1:54 am
    To celebrate the kids going back to school, we thought we’d give out some amazing prizes to try and cheer us up as we say farewell to summer for another year. Over the summer we’ve given away a top-of-the-range Grillstream barbecue worth over £340, a super fun 10 foot Trampoline and some other great prizes. This time, we’re giving away an awesome outdoor wooden playhouse! Please note: picket fence is not included as part of the prize. The Mad Dash Lollipop Junior is a great addition to any garden, giving your child a place of their own to play, make mess and express…
  • 7 Tasty Vegetables To Plant In August Ready For Eating This Winter

    Shaun Wheatcroft
    15 Aug 2014 | 4:23 am
    Growing vegetables is something many people don’t consider because they are unaware of exactly when to plant certain vegetables during the year to get the best results. The variety of new meal ideas and healthy supermarket alternatives offered to your family from growing vegetables in the garden is fantastic. With autumn already creeping up on us, this month is the perfect time to start growing if you want to bring home-grown food to your kitchen table this winter. And of course once you’ve grown this amazing veg, make sure you take action to stop it going to waste. According to…
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    A Garden for All

  • Embraceable Pines

    31 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    The smoky blue needles of White pine (photo by: Kathy Diemer) I grow a lot of evergreens; from shrubs right up to the big spruces, and let’s face it-some of those needles are downright nasty.  When I have to prune my blue spruce or low growing junipers, it’s ouch, ouch, ouch-even with gloves. So, when I find a pine that doesn’t prickle, why I just have to get a little closer to inspect and fondle it.  And one tree that welcomes caressing is our native white pine, Pinus strobus, a fast grower with stroke-able frosty grey-green needles that stand erect from the tips of…
  • Planting Bulbs

    28 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Casa Blanca Lily in Garden Bed (photo credit: Kathy Diemer) As fall settles into summer’s time slot, we’re given an opportunity to put down our pruners and gloves and reflect back on the wonders of this year’s garden.  And as bygone sugarplum plants dance in our heads, we may want to consider some ideas to liven up the landscape even more next spring, which is where a variety of bulbs come into play. Bulbs are the gifts we give ourselves to enjoy later; we wrap them up in the earth each autumn and look forward to them opening in the spring. Although placement and planting…
  • Bonny Verbena

    24 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Verbena with Hummingbird Moth (photo: Kathy Diemer) I’m not much of an annual lover.  Don’t get me wrong, I always make up a few containers and window boxes every year (even though I find the daily watering and fertilizing quite tedious).  Annuals are also great for filling in those open spots that mysteriously appear (after what I suspect were major vole fests).  And I have the utmost respect for those dedicated folks that plant dahlias and cannas annually, carefully digging them up and storing them through the winter.  But that’s just not me.  I want a…
  • Wethersfield Garden

    21 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Picture yourself sitting here! (photo by: Kathy Diemer) I’ve visited some wonderful gardens this year; a few with magnificent ocean or river views, others with incredible landscapes flush with foliage and flowers.  And just when I thought the season was winding down, I found one more on my “must see” list, whose last open day (other than special events) was September 28.  As karma would have it, I happened to look up Wethersfield Garden that very morning, and was able to squeeze in by the skin of my teeth!  Lady Luck continued to have my back, providing crystal clear…
  • Iron Maiden

    17 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Ironweed & company (photo credit: Kathy Diemer) Our native ironweed, Vernonia noveboracensis, is an extraordinary beauty with massive deep violet blooms atop stems that can reach over 5 feet tall; standing as proudly in your garden as she does in the local meadow.  Like Lady Liberty, vernonia carries her purple torches high to illuminate late summer gardens filled with golden rudbeckia and mauve eupatorium.  A member of the aster family, this gypsy roams the east coast from Massachusetts to Florida, spreading happiness to the local bees and butterflies along the way.  Because she can…
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    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.
  • The Down and Dirty Guide to Soil (For the Average Gardener)

    Austin Fernald
    5 Oct 2014 | 1:34 pm
    Contents of This Article: What is Soil Types of Soil The Soil Horizon Soil pH Soil Nutrients Ideal Soil Traits by Garden Type Improving Soil Introduction Plants need soil to grow healthy and big. Soil for plants is like fruits and vegetables for kids (Sorry for the bad analogy). Plants absorb the nutrients they need through the soil, and it allows them to spread their roots for support.… Read the rest The post The Down and Dirty Guide to Soil (For the Average Gardener) appeared first on Drought Gardening.
  • Garden Tool Review: Flexrake Hula-Ho

    Austin Fernald
    28 Sep 2014 | 8:16 am
    For reference: this tool is featured on my resources page. What the heck is a Hula-Ho? If you have never heard of a Hula-Ho, then right now you might be wondering, what the heck is a Hula-Ho? For those of you who do know what a Hula-Ho is, then I hope this review does it justice! It was only about a year ago that my neighbor, Lynn, first told me about the Hula-Ho.… Read the rest The post Garden Tool Review: Flexrake Hula-Ho appeared first on Drought Gardening.
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    Modern Homesteader

  • Homesteader’s Hop #1

    Modern Homesteader
    31 Oct 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 you are a blogger you can submit up to 3 articles, visit other blogs, leave comments and enjoy your stay here on the porch…Fridays at The Homesteaders Hop! Here on the Homestead we are all about living a self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-sustaining lifestyle in as natural, organic &…
  • Venison & Wild Hog Sausage Chili

    Modern Homesteader
    27 Oct 2014 | 2:26 pm
    Who doesn’t love Fall? the leaves changing colors, football back on tv and of course… CHILI!! Here is a new video of how to make my special Venison & Wild Hog Chili Hope you enjoy!
  • Garlic As An Antibiotic

    Modern Homesteader
    17 May 2013 | 11:00 am
    This is a guest post by Joe Alton, M.D., and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of DECEMBER 13, 2011  In a collapse situation, it stands to reason that we may find ourselves without pharmaceutical medications. Pharmaceutical manufacture is a complex process involving a lot of chemicals (just see Dr. Bones articles on how to make Penicillin or the formula for Insulin if you don’t believe me).  Therefore, certain medical issues, which had relied upon these drugs, will require some form of natural treatment. Garlic is an amazing natural medicine. It…
  • Keeping Focus For The Focus Challenged

    Modern Homesteader
    17 May 2013 | 8:00 am
    This is a guest post by our friends over at DayOne Gear: Situational Awareness means slightly different things based upon who you ask, but the general concepts are the same. Situational Awareness is an understanding of your environment and any potential threats to your safety or the safety of others in your group. Even more simply put, it’s making sure you know what is going on around you at all times. Threat Levels The threat levels below are courtesy of Jeff Cooper. Mr. Copper is known as the father of modern handgun technique. Mr. Cooper developed 4 levels…
  • Meanwhile, Back In Chickville…

    Modern Homesteader
    17 May 2013 | 6:00 am
    This is a guest post by Farmgirl of May 14, 2013 Ginger was getting increasingly bored in her new digs (the bathroom) and was not impressed with the  television anymore and was flying around so we thought it might be time to reintroduce her to the chickies outside.  I had attempted to do so a few days prior and stood out there worried and watching.  The chicks were not mean to her but they were curious, and when chicks are curious they peck.  They pecked at the tender new skin and scab on her neck.  In a minute she was blocked into a corner.  Back in…
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