• Most Topular Stories

  • japanese maples and other choice acer, with adam wheeler of broken arrow

    A Way To Garden
    8 Sep 2014 | 7:16 am
    I HAVE A FOLIAGE THING, probably more so than for flowers, so no surprise that a genus of trees I’m [read more…] The post japanese maples and other choice acer, with adam wheeler of broken arrow appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • reliable rudbeckia: ‘henry eilers’ and ‘prairie glow’ join ‘herbstsonne’ in the garden

    A Way To Garden
    13 Sep 2014 | 5:57 am
    ONCE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES shared the joy of July-through-September Rudbeckia season with me. Now, sadly, those butterflies are mostly a memory [read more…] The post reliable rudbeckia: ‘henry eilers’ and ‘prairie glow’ join ‘herbstsonne’ in the garden appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • Trying Duranta ‘Sapphire Showers’ for end-of-summer color

    14 Sep 2014 | 7:56 am
    My late-summer garden was feeling kind of puny to me last week — before we got the November-worthy cold front yesterday that dropped Austin’s high temperature to 65 incredible-freaking degrees and brought 1-1/4 inches of rain to my garden!! Sorry, I digress. Before that blessed weather event happened I was feeling the late-summer doldrums, as I always do before our weather breaks in October, and so I was easily snared by this beautiful, tropical-style perennial that was waving at me at The Natural Gardener and promising to deliver flowery beauty to my summer-weary garden.
  • Experiments in Dyeing with Plants

    You Grow Girl
    Gayla Trail
    12 Sep 2014 | 11:59 am
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  • Recycle Your Refrigerator and Earn Money

    Shawna Coronado
    Shawna Coronado
    12 Sep 2014 | 4:15 am
    Annually, over 9 million refrigerators and freezers are thrown in landfills around the world. 9 M-I-L-L-I-O-N. That, my friends, is an astonishing pile up of mostly pre-1995 refrigerators that use chemicals which are toxic and ozone depleting. In the United States nearly every household, over 115,226,802, has a refrigerator and these units should be disposed of cautiously in order to protect the environment. It is important to our communities that you recycle your refrigerator or freezer. Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) is one of the major energy providers in Illinois and is working to do…
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    You Grow Girl

  • Experiments in Dyeing with Plants

    Gayla Trail
    12 Sep 2014 | 11:59 am
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  • What’cha Growin? Podcast Episode #10 David Leeman

    Gayla Trail
    10 Sep 2014 | 7:09 pm
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  • Freaky Flowers

    Gayla Trail
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:25 am
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  • You Win Some, You Lose Some

    Gayla Trail
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:39 pm
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  • Introducing You Grow Girl Makes

    Gayla Trail
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:15 am
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    Shawna Coronado

  • Recycle Your Refrigerator and Earn Money

    Shawna Coronado
    12 Sep 2014 | 4:15 am
    Annually, over 9 million refrigerators and freezers are thrown in landfills around the world. 9 M-I-L-L-I-O-N. That, my friends, is an astonishing pile up of mostly pre-1995 refrigerators that use chemicals which are toxic and ozone depleting. In the United States nearly every household, over 115,226,802, has a refrigerator and these units should be disposed of cautiously in order to protect the environment. It is important to our communities that you recycle your refrigerator or freezer. Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) is one of the major energy providers in Illinois and is working to do…
  • National Geographic TV Pond Guys Built My Rainwater Cistern

    Shawna Coronado
    9 Sep 2014 | 3:24 am
    Several years ago I worked with a local team to have a rain water cistern called a RainXchange System installed in my front lawn by Aquascape, Inc. (above) – the result has been absolutely fabulous! I have had many years of enjoyment with a beautiful fountain that runs summer and winter. In my original story about the installation I discussed the importance of water conservation and how the Aquascape pond guys are doing great things to help the world better understand water conservation. Premiere of Pond Stars Tonight National Geographic WILD’s Pond Stars is making it’s debut…
  • White Creeping Thyme Plant or Thymus Serpyllum Albus

    8 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    While writing one of the books this season, I met a really cool garden blogger, Laurrie Sostman. She has some great photos of the herb, white creeping thyme, or thymus serpyllum ‘albus’ plants on her site.  You can see photos that she took which shows the darling little scented white flowers growing in her garden (top and below). I’d like to introduce you to her amazing website and plant inventory. While Laurrie is not an active blogger this season, she has a complete plant inventory of every plant that has ever been in her garden. WOW! So astounding to see a whole garden…
  • Cilantro Cucumber Garden Sipper Cocktail Recipe – A Light Bloody Mary

    1 Sep 2014 | 4:39 am
    Septembers cocktail is flavorful and filled with the garden harvest. It takes the traditional Bloody Mary and lightens it up a bit, making it perfect for hot Indian Summer days. It has Cilantro Vodka and a bit of Cucumber Vodka to kick in that veggie flavor. Make the Cilantro Cucumber Garden Sipper Cocktail Recipe when you are looking for something a smidge lemonier than the traditional Bloody Mary**. Watch the super quick video below if you want to see how it is all assembled. Cilantro Cucumber Garden Sipper Light Bloody Mary Cocktail Recipe – Muddled Cilantro and Cucumber – 1/2…
  • Egrets on the Illinois Prairie – Wordless Wednesday

    27 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Egret photo taken up the street from my house during an August sunset at the prairie in Fermilab Natural Areas. The post Egrets on the Illinois Prairie – Wordless Wednesday appeared first on Shawna Coronado.
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    Cold Climate Gardening

  • How Does A Colchicum Know When To Bloom?

    Kathy Purdy
    12 Sep 2014 | 12:57 pm
    I‘ve grown colchicums for more than two dozen years. I’ve tried more than two dozen kinds, and I still grow most of them. I’ve read everything about colchicums I could get my hands on. But there’s still one thing about them I don’t know and would like to: what combination of factors induces them to […]
  • White Turtlehead: Wildflower Wednesday

    Kathy Purdy
    31 Aug 2014 | 6:12 pm
    White turtlehead (Chelone glabra) is one of those wildflowers that is easy to overlook. For one thing, when it blooms, much showier plants such as Joe Pye Weed, goldenrod, and flat-topped white aster are also blooming, and they tend to steal the spotlight. Also, by the time it blooms, the plants may not look so […]
  • Why Your Next Garden Hose Should Be Flexzilla

    Kathy Purdy
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:29 pm
    The last time you went shopping for a garden hose, were you bewildered by all the choices? Did you wonder if the claims about durability and not kinking were really true? At the Garden2Blog event hosted by P. Allen Smith, I was introduced to a garden hose that truly is different–Flexzilla. Flexzilla was part of […]
  • Pink and Orange: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day August 2014

    Kathy Purdy
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:50 pm
    Greetings, cold climate gardeners! It’s feeling autumnal around here, and starting to look it, too. The mid-August garden is a garden in transition. The early summer plants are looking shabby and the fall garden is just getting going. The beds that used to look so lush now have gaps in them because the Johnny-jump-ups have […]
  • Double Oriental Lilies: Do You Love Them Or Hate Them?

    Kathy Purdy
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:59 am
    Last year Longfield Gardens sent some double Oriental lilies for me to try. This year they are coming up gangbusters.Double means that instead of a flower having a pistil and stamens, additional petals grow in their place. Some flowers, like peonies, have been double for so long that no one gives it a second thought. […]
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    Plant Whatever Brings You Joy

  • 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…
  • Another Part of Life

    6 Jun 2014 | 4:14 pm
    Anyone who has read Plant Whatever Brings You Joy knows I’ve not shied away from addressing the full spectrum of life in the garden, which includes the passing away and letting go that comes bound into our life contract. Flowers, beloved puppies and cats, trees, and, ultimately, our own dear bodies. Having entrusted myself with much of the writing of the final chapters of my Grandmother’s life, who lived to be 100 years old, I learned a lot! One of those lessons was the sacred duty of how to handle her final resting place, once she had departed. Fortunately, and amazingly, in her…
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    May Dreams Gardens

  • Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2014

    14 Sep 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Bees on nameless aster Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for September 2014. Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden in central Indiana, I don't need to look back at past bloom day posts to know this is one of the best growing seasons we've had in some time. I know it, the flowers know it, the lawn knows it and the bees and butterflies know it.  We've been blessed with rain throughout
  • Garden fairies keep this blog going

    13 Sep 2014 | 7:28 am
    Garden fairies here. We are garden fairies and we have decided to post on this blog because we think Carol is not posting enough these days. She claims to be "busy" whatever that means. We are garden fairies and we don't understand this busy business as an excuse. We are busy all the time.  There is no rest for us, between the responsibilities, big responsibilities, we have to make flowers
  • Dear Friend and Gardener: Late Veg Garden Update

    8 Sep 2014 | 7:47 pm
    Aster 'Alma Potschke', which has nothing to do with the veg garden Dear Dee and Mary Ann, I have been quite lax in providing updates for the Dear Friend and Gardening virtual garden club. Let me catch you up on the vegetable garden. I spent the better part of yesterday morning cleaning up weeds in the garden.  I pulled out nutsedge and foxtail and grubbed out prostrate spurge and purslane.
  • Glass Gem Corn

    4 Sep 2014 | 7:10 pm
    ... And every evening after she had finished her chores,  if she had been good all day, meaning no whining or fussing, no being mean or unkind to others, no temper tantrums. If she ate all her vegetables without complaining, did enough steps to keep her FitBit happy, and didn't forget to change out of her regular clothes into her gardening clothes before heading out to the garden...
  • Where does Motivation go?

    1 Sep 2014 | 9:30 pm
    Did you ever wonder where the motivation to garden goes in the summertime? We all start out the gardening season full of ideas and energy and Motivation. On the first warm day of spring, we grab our little friend Motivation, roll up our sleeves and dig in once again.  We hold hands with Motivation and walk around the garden,  together marveling how the soil is so soft and crumbly and smells
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    Backyard Gardening Blog

  • 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 long, it will be informative, it may be a little bit funny at times, if you read it I hope you come away with a better understanding of what genetic engineering is, and why its good. I’m uniquely positioned, perhaps, to write this article. I studied plant genetics…
  • 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 amazingly large and complex blooms, that bloom for a fraction of the time. Irises make big showy blooms, some of my favorite, with multiple colors, but for maybe a week each Spring. Coneflowers, to me, were always in the plain camp. They bloom for such a long period of time,…
  • 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 (they were troopers, waiting in line nearly 2 hours to see a stinky flower). It really is a rare chance, there aren’t a lot of them out there, and they can bloom as infrequently as every 10 years. Corpse flower, for scale I’m 6’5. The corpse flower is pretty cool, and…
  • Taking Your Garden With You When You Move

    18 Jul 2014 | 6:12 pm
    In about a year I am moving to Tennessee as I’ve mentioned on this blog previously, and it is starting to feel closer and closer. I’m sure this last year will go quickly, and I’m starting to make plans for how to move my garden. One of the benefits of moving, in addition to the much better climate, is the land. I have 20 acres in Tennessee, here in Michigan I have maybe ¼ acre, and only a fraction of that able to be garden. I have been planning my gardens down there since we’ve bought the land, and I know I have, literally, acres of planting to do, that is something that requires…
  • The Health Risks of Gardening

    20 Jun 2014 | 9:22 am
    Say what? You hear all the time about the health benefits of gardening, usually amounting to moderate activity for otherwise sedentary adults, but what about the health risks? Believe me, they exist. Sporotrichosis Heavily Thorned Rose Recently I encountered one. I was dealing with old roses, the polar vortex killed every last one I had down to the ground so I was pruning out all the old dead canes and then dragging them to my brush pile. I was wearing gloves, gloves with leather palms, but ventilated fabric backs. A rose thorn came in through the back of the glove and stabbed me in the…
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    Bloomingwriter: Gardening in Nova Scotia

  • A Midsummer Miscellany of Colour

    Jodi DeLong
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:55 am
     It's now beyond 'Half Past August' and I thought you might need some encouragement because this is the time of year that I hear "there's no colour in my garden" from some folks. Sure there is--and you can add more! I keep adding as I see things I want to change or acquire plants that I have been looking for.You may remember I talked about plants that I purchase and treat as annuals, including this 'Cherry Brandy' rudbeckia. THIS is why I buy this plant every year if need be--look at that colour. Nothing else quite like it.Amazingly, all the buddleia I had…
  • It's easy loving!

    Jodi DeLong
    12 Aug 2014 | 8:04 am
     Perhaps no colour in the floral world is more polarizing than the colour green. Many people dislike green flowers, saying they don't show up well enough--others adore them. Put me firmly in the 'adore' camp. Let's kick off the festival with one of my favourite coneflowers, 'Green Jewel'--which is fragrant as well as gorgeously green.Read more »
  • The joys of daylilies

    Jodi DeLong
    1 Aug 2014 | 7:32 am
     This is the time of year where I regularly have people saying to me, "You have something on your nose." It is almost always either true lily pollen, or daylily pollen, because once those beauties start to flower, I can't help but check for fragrance. (Beautiful Edgings) So, you know the difference between daylilies and true lilies, right? (I'll save lilies for another post). Daylilies have foliage that looks like wide, large grass, and flowers grow up on stems arising from the foliage. Each flower lasts for only a day, and the proper name for these plants is Hemerocallis,…
  • Singing the Blues...of the Garden

    Jodi DeLong
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:54 pm
     While flowers in any colour are quite lovely and sometimes fantastic, the blue flowers are definitely my absolute favourites. True blue flowers are quite rare, and as anyone who has ever browsed a seed catalogue, a plant website, or a nursery can attest, those who describe flower colours often play fast and loose with what they define as being blue. This flower, blue pimpernel (Anagallis 'Skylover') is for real blue. Often, the so-called 'blue' flowers are more purple than they are blue, which is fine because purple is a great colour, but when you have your heart set on…
  • Colour Echoes in the Garden

    Jodi DeLong
    15 Jul 2014 | 11:25 am
    One of the great joys of gardening, of course, is the chance to play with colour. It's like painting with plants: you get to create wonderful colour combinations that please your eye, and that can be changed up yearly, or by moving a couple of container plantings around. We all have particular colours that please us, or that we use a lot of in a garden planting. Myself, I am fond of pretty much all colours in the garden,  but I have made a dedicated effort this year to creating drifts of colours. I'm doing this for several reasons. Read more »
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    Zanthan Gardens

  • Week 34: 8/20 – 8/26

    M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas
    26 Aug 2014 | 10:57 am
    2007-08-27. The desert trumpet vines clambers over the Spanish bayonet yucca as weeds smother the buffalograss in the meadow. The lawn is green! And the monkey grass came back and is blooming.
  • Rhodophiala bifida Bulbs

    M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:24 pm
    2014-08-22. Rhodophiala bifida bulbs. On the left, the offset has formed a new, small bulb. On the right, the offset growth (looking like a large root) is just beginning to grow up toward the surface.
  • Week 33: 8/13 – 8/19

    M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:46 am
    The colors of August. Austin, TX. August 20, 2006. This is not a photo of my garden because there is nothing to photograph this week in my garden. It is in my neighborhood though.
  • Week 15: 4/9 – 4/15

    M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas
    13 Apr 2014 | 7:24 pm
    2014-04-13. Almost no larkspur this year. The meadow is given over to cilantro. Some yellow iris surprised me.
  • Week 40: 10/1-10/07

    M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas
    4 Oct 2013 | 5:10 am
    2013-10-03. The rain garden with the pigeonberrry in full flower.
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  • Bold leaves and light-catching grasses for Foliage Follow-Up

    15 Sep 2014 | 11:35 pm
    I’m giving Moby, my ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave (A. ovatifolia), pride of place in today’s Foliage Follow-Up post. At nearly 7 feet across, he’s the star of the back garden in all seasons, but especially in late summer when the fall-blooming perennials haven’t really revved up yet. An assortment of smaller agaves, mangaves, and manfreda swim alongside him. Out front in the island bed, Texas dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor) is looking especially good now that I’ve cut back the spent heartleaf skullcap that blooms earlier in the year. Several fans of new…
  • Water lily collection is hidden gem in West Texas town of San Angelo

    15 Sep 2014 | 12:47 pm
    Perched on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, about 200 miles northwest of Austin, the small city of San Angelo is, surprisingly, home to a locally treasured and internationally known water lily garden, the International Waterlily Collection. Then again, maybe it’s not all that surprising, given that San Angelo, which straddles the beautiful Concho River, is known as “the oasis of West Texas.” Still, San Angelo, like much of Texas, is in the grip of a throat-squeezing drought, and residents are having to adapt to watering restrictions and the potential for serious…
  • Trying Duranta ‘Sapphire Showers’ for end-of-summer color

    14 Sep 2014 | 7:56 am
    My late-summer garden was feeling kind of puny to me last week — before we got the November-worthy cold front yesterday that dropped Austin’s high temperature to 65 incredible-freaking degrees and brought 1-1/4 inches of rain to my garden!! Sorry, I digress. Before that blessed weather event happened I was feeling the late-summer doldrums, as I always do before our weather breaks in October, and so I was easily snared by this beautiful, tropical-style perennial that was waving at me at The Natural Gardener and promising to deliver flowery beauty to my summer-weary garden.
  • First oxblood lily heralding fall

    10 Sep 2014 | 5:13 am
    After our first September rain I start my annual oxblood lily (Rhodophiala bifida) watch, eagerly scanning the garden floor for green shoots nosing up or, more likely, the improbably sudden appearance of red trumpets. These September-blooming bulbs, dormant spring through summer, pop up that quickly after a late-summer shower. Could there be a happier sight for a summer-weary gardener than these cheery trumpets heralding that fall is on the way? My garden received two half-inch showers last week, and the first bulb is already up. So far it’s playing a solo, but I know it’ll be…
  • I’m in HGTV Magazine October 2014 issue

    8 Sep 2014 | 10:14 am
    While waiting in line at the grocery store checkout this morning, I flipped through the latest issue of HGTV Magazine and was absurdly pleased to see my own name on page 27, in their monthly feature, “How Bad Is It…” You’re right, it really doesn’t take much to make me happy. Especially when grocery shopping, one of my least favorite household chores. (Laundry is my favorite.) HGTV writer Jessica Dodell-Feder recently interviewed me to ask, “How bad is it to never rake?” My cheerful advice is that a mulching mower will put your rake out of business…
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    Blithewold Blogs

  • What to do with asparagus foliage

    Kristin Green
    12 Sep 2014 | 9:44 am
    I haven’t spent a lot of time in the vegetable garden this summer — Dan has been right on top of the planting, the weeds, and the harvests — but this week I found myself in there a couple of times. Gail, Betsy, the volunteers, and I had the pleasure of helping with a huge […]
  • Constructive criticism

    Kristin Green
    5 Sep 2014 | 9:15 am
    Our to-do list in September is blissfully short. The gardens are as lush as can be and just need to be coaxed along until frost or until we’re ready to start moving plants around (musical perennials) and preparing for winter. It has been so dry lately that the weeds have slowed down slightly, so we’re […]
  • A Dog’s Life at Blithewold

    Margaret Whitehead
    3 Sep 2014 | 1:18 pm
    This amusing article was written by our dear friend and colleague, Mary Philbrick, eleven years ago.  It is as charming today as it was then! Blithewold’s Great Lawn is a perfect place for dogs to chase balls, romp with each other, or just run with the sheer joy of having such a grand place on […]
  • In transition

    Kristin Green
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:55 am
    Change is in the air. Gail is always the first to point out how the light has shifted — it is well into its golden slide to the south now. So pretty. And although this week we have been hit with the most summer-like weather of the summer so far — intensely hot and sultry […]
  • So glad about summer bulbs

    Kristin Green
    22 Aug 2014 | 10:25 am
    If this had been a “normal” summer (is there any such thing?) by now we would probably be feeling beat by the heat. The gardens might have started to look sun scorched, faded, and dusty — IF we hadn’t planned ahead to prevent that from happening. We always plan — and then plant — for […]
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    Ledge and Gardens

  • Bloom Day-September 15, 2014

    Layanee DeMerchant
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:06 am
    Bloom Day has arrived clear and cool. The end of summer has been quite dry and the gardens are showing a bit of wear and tear. Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' is blooming at seven feet tall. It will grow taller but I pinched it in late June to keep it from falling over. The bees do love it. While I was sleeping the colchicums appeared in the garden. They are a sweet surprise. Lilac is usually a spring color but it is a welcome addition to the late summer garden. Aster 'Alma Potschke' is wearing her bright magenta sweater. She needs it as it is a bit chilly this morning. Unlike…
  • Summer Shots

    Layanee DeMerchant
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:32 am
    Summer is busy. The gardens have gone from lush to munched. The deer have taken liberties and the gardener has been lax with the spray program. Still, there is beauty to be found in the shortening summer days. Shadows are lengthening and the late flowering shrubs and perennials are starting to bloom. Above, the Caryopteris is attracting bees. I think this one is Caryopteris x cladonensis 'Bluebeard'. The honeysuckle has both berries and blooms right now. This one sits by the fishpond along with a Heuchera 'Caramel' which is languishing in the hot sun. The butterflies don't…
  • High Summer

    Layanee DeMerchant
    26 Jul 2014 | 3:10 am
      It is high summer in the garden here on the hillside right now. It is a small hill and the only 'Lucifer' in sight is the crocosmia which is blooming  flame red. Hydrangea leaves wilt in the sun even with ample moisture at their feet and the whine of cicadas slices through the still silence of summer. The spicy scent of tomato greens hangs in the heavy morning air as I flick the little suckers off the plants to keep the plants a bit tidier and inside their cages. My fingers turn green along with my thumb. The plants are laden with unripe tomatoes. It will be a few weeks…
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    the back quarter acre

  • 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…
  • Re-location, re-location, re-location!

    28 Jul 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Summer construction is underway across campus: parking lots are being torn up, buildings knocked down, and new foundations dug.  Yes, here we're partying like it's early 2008! In the midst of all of this activity, a few weeks ago I noticed a mournful clump of Variegated Solomon's Seal wedged between an asphalt roadbed and a chain-link fence. I asked folks working in the area if I could help myself to these orphans. "No problem" was the response.   On site: Variegated Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum falcatum "Variegatum")    Last week,…
  • Boundary issues

    19 May 2014 | 3:00 pm
    I have boundary issues. Not as in a lack of any boundaries--quite the opposite. I like boundaries. I like clearly marked property. I like name tags, monogrammed stationary, and signet rings. I like knowing what belongs to me and what doesn't. Don't even think about asking me to share my dessert.  It's not going to happen.Garden boundaries not only mark off your bit of turf from your neighbor's, but they also organize all that green stuff into visually comprehensible blocks of lawn, bed, and hedge. A line of privet separates one portion of the front yard from our neighbor's…
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • 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…
  • Leisurely Blue

    28 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Balloon bud in the lower leftA friend offered a share of a balloon flower plant from her front garden. The balloon flower did not excite me much, but I needed filler material for the recently-created, clay-packed side yard garden along new platform steps to the back yard and deck.Five years have passed, and the plant is finally beginning to spread a little. This year it sent up a short, second stalk. And, the flowers are more numerous, forming small clusters. The rude rudbeckia and brute baptisia have invaded the side yard garden, and are elbowing out the balloon flower and a few others that…
  • Daylilies And Shakespeare

    18 Jul 2014 | 5:44 am
    Annuals in the shadeIt's been about three years since I visited the Cutler Botanical Garden back in my hometown, Binghamton NY. My first visit saw a vegetable garden and a generous balance of perennials, annuals, and a few specimen trees. The second time, however, was different. Flood waters of the Chenango River had just receded, and any plants not washed away were encrusted with mud. It has recovered since then.Most botanical gardens, I believe, have a specialty or focus that distinguishes them from others and gives them a unique personality. I found something on my recent visit to Cutler…
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • 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…
  • Leisurely Blue

    28 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Balloon bud in the lower leftA friend offered a share of a balloon flower plant from her front garden. The balloon flower did not excite me much, but I needed filler material for the recently-created, clay-packed side yard garden along new platform steps to the back yard and deck.Five years have passed, and the plant is finally beginning to spread a little. This year it sent up a short, second stalk. And, the flowers are more numerous, forming small clusters. The rude rudbeckia and brute baptisia have invaded the side yard garden, and are elbowing out the balloon flower and a few others that…
  • Daylilies And Shakespeare

    18 Jul 2014 | 5:44 am
    Annuals in the shadeIt's been about three years since I visited the Cutler Botanical Garden back in my hometown, Binghamton NY. My first visit saw a vegetable garden and a generous balance of perennials, annuals, and a few specimen trees. The second time, however, was different. Flood waters of the Chenango River had just receded, and any plants not washed away were encrusted with mud. It has recovered since then.Most botanical gardens, I believe, have a specialty or focus that distinguishes them from others and gives them a unique personality. I found something on my recent visit to Cutler…
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    Garden Rant

  • A hard act to follow by Elizabeth Licata

    Elizabeth Licata
    15 Sep 2014 | 5:38 am
    Bulb views from the pages of The Layered Garden But at least he agrees with me on one of my most cherished gardening principles. I was privileged to be on the same bill with David Culp at Rochester’s Gathering of Gardeners on Saturday, and I can assure you that I was as entranced as the rest of the audience when Culp unfolded the story of Brandywine Cottage, his 2-acre show garden near Philadelphia. I took plenty of notes on the plants and strategies he recommended. If you have a chance to hear him, within any kind of reasonable traveling distance, by all means take it. Culp is an…
  • Late-Summer Scenes from DC by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    13 Sep 2014 | 7:16 am
    At the National Arboretum in late August: Joe-Pye Weed and Crapemyrtle blooming in the Gotelli Dwarf Conifer Collection. Behind a wildflower meadow, the Capitol Columns.  They once held up the U.S. Capitol. Around the Friendship House, plant and design ideas for residential gardens. In the National Gallery’s Scultpure Garden in Late August: Black-eyed Susans and Crapemyrtle blooming, with the fountains in the background.  The pool is used for ice-skating in the winter. Alexander Calder’s Cheval Rouge (Red Horse), behind a bed of Hollyhock and Japanese Anemone in bloom. Tony…
  • Partying with the Friends House Gardeners by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    12 Sep 2014 | 4:50 am
    GardenRant has a core of engaged readers who comment on our posts (and we thank you!) but the other 2,000 or so daily readers are unknown to us. So it was a nice surprise to be contacted out of the blue by Rant reader Lucille Ridlon, inviting me to a garden party to be thrown by the Friends House Retirement Community. I was able to go, and took this shot of Lucille on the left, with Master Gardeners Julie Fortin and Joe Schechter. The 2-acre space contains plots communally cared for with produce donated to all, plus individual plots marked with each gardener’s name. (Lucille’s…
  • Driving Alaska with My Three Miss Daisies by Allen Bush

    Allen Bush
    10 Sep 2014 | 2:37 am
      Bears loomed large last month in Alaska, but there was more danger lurking for a scrapulation.* Close quarters and too much family togetherness always make for a menacing vacation threat. Rose, my daughter Molly, granddaughter Story and I spent ten days driving around south central Alaska. I’m happy to report that there were, from beginning to end, no dust-ups; no car doors slamming and no, “I’m outta here!” We had a great time. What’s up with that? A few compromises were called for. Ruth Glacier, Denali National Park. I was bounced as the principal driver on the first day. I…
  • The good and the bad from the Brits by Elizabeth Licata

    Elizabeth Licata
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:45 am
    One of my favorite poisonous natives (photo by Martha Baskin) Many of us have a love/hate affair with gardening advice and essays that come from across the Atlantic.  There is always love, of course, for this mothership of great estate gardens, internationally known garden events, and giants of gardening design and literature like  Gertrude Jekyll, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Pearson, and so many others. The hate, sad to say, is mostly from jealousy; though gardening is not as popular as it was across the pond, it still seems much more in the mainstream, with more and better periodicals and even…
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    Life In Sugar Hollow

  • Letting August Bring Us On Home

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

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

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

    30 May 2014 | 12:30 pm
      Things have been BUSY in the garden and the hollow - work, play, party hosting, country road evening twirling. But it has been at a pace I am really cherishing. Plants have been moved around, some new ones have been added - including several varieties of spiderwort, boxwood, columbine and anemone. Maple and tulip poplar saplings are becoming small trees (coveted shade!). I am attempting the propagation of an old-fashioned mock orange (photo with cloches), while my elderberry propagation has been successful! The iris patch under the walnut took shape and smote down the dead zone…
  • Article in Richmond Magazine's RHome - Heirloom Zinnias!

    21 Mar 2014 | 1:51 pm
    My brain is slowly returning and I am getting back to freelance garden writing. I am lucky, in that favorite editors reach out to me, and make it fun.A piece I wrote a while back is in the March/April issue of Richmond Magazine's RHome. It is on heirloom zinnias. Read it here.
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    Lois de Vries' Garden Views

  • Is Your Garden Incomplete?

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

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

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

    Lois J. de Vries
    29 Mar 2014 | 5:01 am
    The Duke Farms eagles, that is. By 7:17 this morning when the screenshot was taken, one chick had hatched and another was pipping. The third chick is not due until Sunday but, since the first two were late in arriving, it's likely the third one will be, as well. You can watch live at:   The eagles' tree was downed by Hurricane
  • Orchids in Bloom

    Lois J. de Vries
    6 Mar 2014 | 1:13 pm
    Miltoniopsis Whether you like your orchid shows big or small, ‘tis the season. Stony Hill Farms’ 26th Annual Orchid Open House starts today and continues through Sunday, March 9th. It includes free lectures, and wine and cheese tasting stations hosted by vendors from Sussex County. Stony Hill’s orchid house is located along Route 24/513 West in Chester, NJ. Go slow along the driveway; it’s
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    Transatlantic Gardener

  • Hedgerow harvest

    Graham Rice
    15 Sep 2014 | 1:08 am
    Back in England for unexpected short visit (family funeral), I took a stroll this morning along the River Nene not far from our house in Northamptonshire. It’s striking how few wild flowers there are in flower along roadsides and footpaths here compared with Pennsylvania but the hedgerow harvest is in full swing.Rose hips and hawthorn berries are dripping from the hedgerows, pyracanthas and cotoneaster lean over garden fences so we must step aside as we walk by.There were so many hawthorn berries weighing down the branches that I was able to pick some clusters to add to my daily fruit…
  • Sundews on the shore

    Graham Rice
    7 Sep 2014 | 5:20 am
    We’ve been here at the house on the lake for thirteen and a half years, and it took my five year old grandson to find an insectivorous plant that we didn’t know we had.Monty is mad about insects – and so, by association, insectivorous plants. He has pitcher plants growing in their kitchen in the London suburbs. So when he was exploring along the banks of our lake with his dad Carl (below, click to enlarge), he knew a sundew when he saw it because he has some in a pot at home. And he knows what they do to insects. He’s not at all squeamish and watched with interest while I hit the bass…
  • Everlasting pea: an undervalued garden climber

    Graham Rice
    23 Aug 2014 | 3:46 am
    Sometimes, people ignore plants simply because they're common. We see them all the time, even growing by the side of the road, and they sink into our subconscious and simply fail to emerge.What is sometimes called the perennial sweet pea, or everlasting pea, is a case in point. Lathyrus latifolius is easy to grow, we see patches thriving along sunny roadsides in Britain and in North America, and in gardens it may annoy us as it can be uncomfortably vigorous. But it’s very colourful, very productive, clings to fences or shrubs with its tendrils and is a splendid long lasting cut flower.
  • Book Review: A brilliant new month-by-month bird book

    Graham Rice
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:33 am
    Birds and plants seem to go together naturally. Birders usually seem to be interested in plants, while gardeners enjoy birds. In the US, there’s even a very popular magazine, Birds & Blooms, that combines the two enthusiasms. But not all bird books appeal to gardeners – they may be too focused or too esoteric – but this one is different.Tweet Of The Day began as a BBC radio series, a one hundred second daily focus on an individual British bird starting each time with its song (the closest North American equivalent is the two minute BirdNote). The popularity of the series has led to…
  • Purple loosestrife - is it really that bad?

    Graham Rice
    11 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    It’s purple loosestrife season here in Pennsylvania. Swamps and other wet habitats are vivid in its purple coloring (above, click to enlarge), in some places it looks as if it’s smothered everything. This colourful European native is generally viewed as a destructive menace and many millions of dollars are spent every year in a futile attempt to eradicate it.In Britain, by the way, where purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) originated, it’s far less common and is a popular plant for bog gardens with over a dozen named varieties, two of which have been awarded the prestigious Award of…
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  • Garden Blogger's Bloom Day: A Cool End to Summer

    15 Sep 2014 | 3:34 pm
    Common BonesetEupatorium perfoliatum SnapdragonThis Garden Blogger's Bloom Day finds me pulling on a sweater and scanning the garden for all those in-transition period blooms. I still have many summer annuals putting on a show (petunia, lantana, etc.) and several shrubs looking very nice (hydrangea, beautyberry, etc.). A few spring-blooming shrubs are putting on a second show for early autumn like the PJM rhododendrons and groundcovr roses, which is nice to see. Pictured here are a just couple of bloomers that are near my back door so they catch my eye whenever I come and go.What is blooming…
  • Fenton Friday: Harvest Time

    12 Sep 2014 | 9:19 am
    I had to make room this week for several cool season seedlings I bought at a local garden center. I'm trying out cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and kohlrabi. To fit them in my Fenton Community Garden plot, I had to yank out several rows of things that were long past needing to come out. They included:BasilCarrotsTurnipsI left the tomatoes in for now as they are still producing so much. My next thing to pull will be the potatoes and sweet potatoes. First though, I need to make pesto and figure out how to find space to store all these root vegetables!How is your edible garden growing…
  • Native Spotlight: New York Ironweed

    10 Sep 2014 | 6:28 pm
     Guest Blog by Rachel Shaw  The tallest non-woody plant in my yard right now is New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis).These plants are a little outsized for my small yard, but I love their late summer color, and the bees love them too.At one point I had almost decided they were unsuitable in my little landscape. But instead of taking them out, I adopted a strategy of whacking them back several times during the growing season. This seems to keep them in check, that is, closer to six feet rather than eight feet, without any effect on profuse blooming.Still, by this time of…
  • Video Wednesday: Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA

    10 Sep 2014 | 8:39 am
    Here is a video I made of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA in September 2011. Yes, it was a bit chilly on top of the mountain that year. I hope many of you can join us at the 2014 festival this weekend!
  • Join Us at the Heritage Harvest Fest at Monticello next weekend!

    6 Sep 2014 | 11:32 am
    I'm ecstastic that Washington Gardener Magazine will once again be the part of the 8th annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello this year. It is a celebration of gardening, sustainable agriculture, and local food, held on the breathtaking West Lawn of Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. Taste heirloom fruits and vegetables and learn about organic gardening and seed-saving at this fun, family-friendly festival talking place Friday-Saturday, September 12-13, 2014. We'll have a table in the Vendor Marketplace Tent all day Saturday where you can sign up for…
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    A Tidewater Gardener

  • Bloom Day - River Flowers

    15 Sep 2014 | 5:52 pm
         With few exceptions, my September blooms look a lot like my August blooms, so feeling pressed for time, and wanting to do something different, this month's Bloom Day will feature some of the plants I saw yesterday while kayaking along the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. This part of the river is about halfway between Williamsburg and Richmond, and is far enough from the coast
  • The Road to Mt. Evans

    24 Aug 2014 | 5:38 pm
         I'm an early riser, and if I sleep much past 6 a.m., even on my day off, someone better check on me. On our first full day in Colorado, I was up early, as usual, even given the different time zone. While having coffee with Sherpa Girl K, I remarked that I did not see how we were going to work everything into our limited vacation schedule, especially time to get up into the mountains. With
  • At the Denver Botanic Garden Without Glasses

    18 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
         With all the wonderful glare coming from the Chihulies, it was somewhat difficult to focus on just the plants and gardens at the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG), but I forced myself. This trip was my third to DBG, and I've been impressed from the first visit. For a botanic garden, it is not large, basically just a couple of enclosed city blocks. However, because of the way space is utilized and
  • Bloom Day - Not Bad for August

    15 Aug 2014 | 3:54 pm
         I don't know about the rest of you, but we are having a spectacular August. So far, the temperatures have not gotten above the 80's, and we have had sufficient rainfall to keep the garden looking good. Of course the moisture has been just as welcomed by the weeds and grass, as it has by the garden. My neighbors can thank me for the rain. Every time we leave for vacation, I water like a mad
  • Chihuly at the Denver Botanic Gardens

    9 Aug 2014 | 5:30 pm
         For our vacation this summer we drove out to Colorado to spend some time with our friends the Sherpa Girls. In planning the trip I knew I would be visiting the Denver Botanic Gardens again whether anyone else would join me or not, but when Sherpa Girl K told me that they were hosting a Dale Chihuly exhibit the deal was sealed. I've seen bits and pieces of Chihuly's glass in museums, at
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    clay and limestone

  • A Choice Later Blooming Susan

    10 Sep 2014 | 8:09 am
    I am a here and now person and Rudbeckia fulgida var fulgida is my blooming here and now favorite! I wish that you could see it's charms in person,  it's not just another orange coneflower!If you've chanced upon it in a local native nursery and passed it by as just another Susan, let me disabuse you of that notion! Trust me when I say that this Susan is choice, with smaller flowers on tall straight stems, shiny green foliage and a longer bloom than Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'.Plant this Susan with meadow and prairie plants like the ex-asters, Amsonia hubrichtii, and native grasses for a lovely…
  • Wildflower Wednesday: It's Not All About The Susans, But, It's A lot About Them!

    26 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    It's been a while since I've written about the Susans/Rudbeckia fulgida! They're a mainstay in the garden, but, easily over looked until mid July when Mother Nature turns on the switch and overnight the garden is a field of golden yellow. They're pushy and would take over if I let them and truth be told some years I haven't had the heart to rip out all the Susans that I should/could have! When visitors stop by and comment on the abundance of Susans in the sunny and shady garden areas, I secretly feel like the adoring mother of that unruly, but, delightful child, who's been running amok at a…
  • Pollinator of the Day: Bumble on Joe!

    18 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    I love the Joes, but then what's not to love with those big beautiful mauve/lavender-pink flower heads that bloom all summer and attract almost every kind of pollinator that visits the garden.If you want the full story on the Joes that live at Clay and Limestone go here...Perhaps, you'll find yourself thinking as I do, "So many Joe-Pyes and not nearly enough garden space."xoxogailI am on the mend.Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds…
  • Wordless Wednesday

    6 Aug 2014 | 10:43 am
    Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) on Coreopsis 'Garnet'I've been taking a small break while my sprained wrist and thumb heal! I'll be back soon.Miss you all.xoxogailGail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images in this and all posts are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission. Subscribe in a reader
  • Wildflower Wednesday: In Praise of a Rather Tall Wildflower!

    22 Jul 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Silphium perfoliatum is one tall wildflower! Some would say that this beauty is a beast of a plant and I might have agreed several years ago when it stood 9 feet tall and 3 foot wide in my little sunny Susan's Bed! I've since learned to cut it back at the same time I clip the ex-asters. I suggest you do the same, because banning this beauty from your garden because it's tall and colonizing would be a shame.You just can't beat the composite flowers when it comes to wildlife value, but, there's something especially wonderful about Cup Plant. Once the flowers open the pollinators descend upon…
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    Dirt Therapy

  • House and garden for sale

    Phillip Oliver
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    FABULOUS describes not only this beautiful 4 BR Cape Cod, but the lovely lot & EXTENSIVE GARDENS surrounding it! --  On Local Garden Tour(2006 & 2013)Originally THE BRADSHAW HOUSE, the current owners of 20 years have Remodeled, Restored, & added the Fabulous Gardens! Original Kitchen, Butlers Pantry, back porch were transformed into large kitchen, new Stainless Appliances (2013),lovely breakfast room! Large Living Room features built-ins, Fireplace, French Doors to Screen Porch. Large Formal Dining Room (built-ins), 2 lovely entrances to include Large foyer & nice…
  • Gate and garden

    Phillip Oliver
    9 Sep 2014 | 3:07 pm
    Playing around with PhotoshopText and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy
  • August blooms and foliage

    Phillip Oliver
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:53 am
    There isn't a lot going on in the garden which is typical for August. We have had some relief from the humidity with some really nice days. Next week, however, promised to be a scorcher.The Sweet Autumn Clematis is beginning to bloom. It always blooms in August. Despite the fact that this vine is in almost complete shade, it does well.   It was a dud year for hydrangea blooms (because of the cold winter) but the foliage is looking great as a result of the recent rainfall. Rudbeckia and Sweet Potato Vine on the lamppost. Early morning sunrise Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt…
  • Hummingbird frenzy

    Phillip Oliver
    13 Aug 2014 | 9:20 am
     I know, this doesn't look like much of a frenzy but we have more hummingbirds this year than I can ever recall. This feeder is on the patio and I only see one hummingbird on it. However, on the north side of the house, outside our kitchen window, is where the action is. We have counted at least 8 hummers at one time and in past seasons only one or two. I added a second feeder to alleviate the traffic and it just seems to be growing. They are so much fun to watch.Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy
  • Read any good gardening books lately?

    Phillip Oliver
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:55 am
    I usually read gardening books in the winter time. They tend to recharge my enthusiasm during the "down time" from the gardening season and get me excited for the coming spring. This year has been an exception and I have been reading quite a few books lately. For one thing, gardening books seem to be coming back on the scene after a long dull period. Back in the 1990s, the publishing market was over-saturated with books on the subject and it has taken some time to reignite that interest. Since I am a librarian, I keep up with the trade publications (like "Publisher's Weekly" and "Library…
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    Natural Gardening

  • Common milkweed

    15 Sep 2014 | 5:54 pm
    I'm by no means an expert on milkweed chemistry or anything close to it, but I am interested in supporting monarchs, especially now that the migration seems threatened.I've been heartened by the improvement in the central flyway reports by Journey North compared to last year.  We'll see.I've been a fan of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) for years, as it seems to be the favorite larval host here in the Piedmont for the late spring/early summer migration north.  But it's not for every garden.  It's assertive, spreading from underground runners.We've had to edit it heavily in…
  • Overgrown, challenging landscapes and other condundrums

    10 Sep 2014 | 6:23 pm
    I've struggled dealing with our overgrown acre and a half landscape, around our 1929 stone house, absent my gardening companion's efforts.So I was really amazed, visiting a wonderful historic house and landscape today, with a gardener who'd never owned a house or garden before 5 years ago (she and her husband lived in high-rises before).  She took on not only a historic house, but a HUGE landscape.She's done an remarkable job as a single gardener (her husband still works abroad).  And she's been faced with more than her share of the challenges of old trees, micro-bursts, contractors…
  • A beautiful morning glory

    3 Sep 2014 | 10:46 am
    We've been growing morning glories for awhile, training them to creep up telephone poles, guy wires, and trellises.They add a wonderful diversion to otherwise uninteresting landscape items, although when the vines reach the transformers, or important boxes, that's the end of that season!a vivid morning gloryOf course, morning glories self-sow everywhere and need to be carefully edited as they're emerging in the late spring and early summer.(robust) beans, peppers, and tomatoes with morning glories behindThe one on the telephone pole near the street, past the front vegetable beds, is a…
  • Late summer heat

    2 Sep 2014 | 6:20 pm
    I can't really complain.  It's been a quite decent summer.But the current spell of ~ 94° highs in the humidity of the Piedmont of SC is a bit trying. In a normal summer, we would have been subjected to weeks and weeks of this, so really I'm not complaining.Oddly, the temperature spread for the highs from the mountains of western NC to the Piedmont has widened to 10° for the next few days, several degrees beyond the "normal" 6 or so.We never turned on the AC (a mini-split upstairs) in the mountains this summer, and were OK even on the hottest days (hmm, 80°F on the main floor was a bit…
  • Pocket meadow and views

    30 Aug 2014 | 7:28 pm
    view through the front door I'm grateful today for the wonderful view out the doors in our small mountain house.pocket meadow- late August 2014We've certainly created the view out the front door, and the back -- well, the forest overstory was there, but it was my gardening companion's hard work that freed the understory from invasives, and created a semblance of a natural forest.view from back deck
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    Outside Clyde

  • A Blue Astery Bloom Day

    Christopher C. NC
    15 Sep 2014 | 7:51 pm
    It's September. That means one thing for certain; blue asters. September is always my Blue Aster Bloom Day. When you go to Bloom Day Headquarters you can check Carol's archives for September's Bloom Day for many years back. All my posts will be about blue asters. Great swaths of the wild cultivated gardens have turned blue because the blue aster is a
  • What Is Enough

    Christopher C. NC
    14 Sep 2014 | 2:00 pm
    How much color do I need in the Tall Flower Meadow? Should every visible late season plant have a bloom? Can I have such a profusion that the green is all but eliminated? There is certainly a lot of color right now. Can there be more? I don't have an answer for any of that. I did however have three full
  • There Was A Garden Stroll Today

    Christopher C. NC
    13 Sep 2014 | 7:04 pm
    One of the good things about walking a garden tour is the chance to rubberneck at everything that isn't on the tour. There is always something extra that will catch your eye. In West Asheville that is particularly true. There are way more gardens and gardeners out there than will fit easily on a garden stroll.
  • Editing Effects

    Christopher C. NC
    12 Sep 2014 | 5:06 pm
    Keep your eye on the wall of green just below the Great Lawn if you can. It has something to say about carving a wild cultivated garden out of the wilderness. A great many of the plants that make up the floral chaos that is the current state of the garden can easily be seen while driving the scenic byway in the pastures, fence rows and forest edges. Native or naturalized,
  • The Reality Of The Situation

    Christopher C. NC
    10 Sep 2014 | 5:57 pm
    A foggy morning meadow can't obscure the truth. I have some input on what players will be involved, but not the sole input. The reality of the situation is I am not in control. Unless I decide to break out the weed whacker, I have even lost control of the paths. There is currently heavy floppage. I just
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    Growing The Home Garden

  • A Few Observations of the Fall Garden

    8 Sep 2014 | 6:22 am
    Fall, as I've said before, is probably my favorite time of year. I enjoy the processes involved with closing down the garden, the cooler weather, and the changes in the leaves. It's also a great time to garden with its own set of unique challenges. For planting trees, shrubs, and bulbs there is no better time than autumn. For growing the best tasting greens with high flavor content, again, there is no better time than autumn. It's a fun time of year with falling leaves raked into piles (who doesn't like jumping into one of those?), fall festivals, carving pumpkins, and delicious apple cider.
  • 3 Chores to Do in Fall for Spring!

    3 Sep 2014 | 7:08 am
    It's that time of year again, time to think about spring! Yes, I said that right. Spring! Fall is almost here but if you want to maximize the potential of your garden next year fall is the best time to get some work done. The autumn leaves will be changing soon and now is the best time to get some garden preparation accomplished in the cooler weather. What preparations can you do in fall for a good spring garden?(All supplies pictured in this post were provided by Lowe's through Lowe's Creative Ideas!)Mulch in the FallMulching your garden beds is one of the best things you can do for your…
  • How to Easily Remove Fall Web Worms from Your Trees Without Chemicals

    30 Aug 2014 | 7:04 am
    Fall web worms appear this time of year but it doesn't have to be a problem. You don't need chemical sprays to remove them, just one simple thing!Check out the video to learn how to remove fall web worms without using any chemical pesticides!Don't forget to follow Growing The Home Garden on Facebook and Google+!Subscribe to read more from The Home Garden Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without permission. No feed scraping is permitted. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2007-2011
  • A Few Gardening Tips Before Fall Arrives

    14 Aug 2014 | 6:51 am
    You can feel it in the air can't you? The coolness of an approaching autumn. The each passing day is getting noticeably shorter. We're beginning that transitional period from the hot summer growing season to the fall growing season and that can mean a lot of changes in the garden. The vegetable garden may still be going full speed ahead at the moment but it is time to prepare for the arrival of the fall gardening season. Here are some gardening tips for you to use to prepare for fall gardening:Continue harvesting everything you can from your vegetable garden through the fall. Put away canned…
  • Building a Paving Stone Pathway

    4 Aug 2014 | 6:44 am
    Several years ago I built a patio using paving stones. I intended to complete the patio by adding a sidewalk that would bring the paved surface area all the way around to the garage and driveway. This weekend I finally made major progress on this neglected project. Making a paving stone patio, sidewalk, or pathway is not an easy task. It's not that building a patio is complicated but rather that the stone can be heavy and the work is repetitious with a good deal of digging, bending, and lifting. Excavating a space for the project can be difficult too depending on the soil type but this…
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    Sharing Nature's Garden

  • 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…
  • Cistus nursery delights gardeners at Portland Fling...

    15 Sep 2014 | 6:56 am
    Our third stop on the first day of the Portland Garden Bloggers Fling was Cistus Nursery.  Coming from the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which was serene and peaceful, Cistus provided a bold contrast -- it was chock full of plants - a sensory explosion for plant lovers.There were many familiar plants at the nursery, like these Yucca rostrata, which grow happily at home in Austin, Texas. I did say chock full, didn't I? But some of the Cistus family were uninterested in visiting bloggers."Yeah, I see you, but it's hot and it feels good here on these cold bricks, so I hope  you…
  • Seed-sowing season starts soon!

    12 Sep 2014 | 10:18 am
    On my fabulous trip to Paris to visit my cousin this summer, I didn't get to Giverny, Monet's inspirational garden.  While in Paris I enjoyed the impressionist exhibit at the D'Orsay museum, which included many Monets, Manets, Pissaros, and Sisleys, among others.  The amazing ability of these painters to bring the canvas to life leaves me awestruck. I feel as though I already know Monet's  garden. (Don't tell, but I actually have 5 Monet/impressionist coffee table books - my most recent chronicling the D'Orsay exhibit.)So, when one of my bff's went to Paris a few weeks ago, she…
  • Beautiful Westwind Farms vista -- the backdrop of a colorful prairie-style garden...

    9 Sep 2014 | 1:11 pm
    The scent emerging from rows and rows of lavender and other wildflowers wafted around us as we descended down a hillside path into the Westwind Farm Studio.Incorporating a stunning vista, beautiful meadows, sculptures and a refreshing pool, this Garden, nestled in the hills outside of Portland, provided a refreshing stop during the Garden Bloggers Fling tour. The view beyond the majestic pines war beautiful. Rows and rows of lavender and other wildflowers marked our walk to the house and garden. The meadow frames this picture-perfect view. Swaths of flowers greet you as…
  • Oh deer...the latest garden challenge...

    31 Aug 2014 | 11:40 am
    As if late spring frosts, scorching heat, four summer vacation absences and dought weren't enough.  This morning I can add another garden challenge to my list:  deer.Oh, I know you're thinking - "she's always had deer, this is nothing new."  And you'd be right.  BUT, the plants that were on the buffet last night are plants that have been in the ground since May or June.  And the deer have been through - drinking from the fountain and leaving footprints often.But last night they decided to expand their palate.    This was a lovely hibiscus.  Now…
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    Kiss my Aster!

  • 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
  • Working Towards the Wedding

    Kiss My Aster!
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:36 am
    For the first time in weeks, it's quiet around here. The kid is in school and it's too hot to dig, build, mulch, power wash, prune, burn or chop anything down. As my Dad says, "we're polishing a turd over here", but I think it's a lovely and worthy turd.My sister is getting married in THIS TURD!So here I am at my desk, dealing with months' old speaking contracts and changing all my Visa card numbers on all my subscriptions and Amazon because I lost my card someplace in the yard and I don't even have time to look for it.So, about 3 days a week I've been hurling myself at wedding prep,…
  • When the @#$% Hits the Fan: Gardening, Condensed

    Kiss My Aster!
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:15 am
    We have only lived in this house for a little over 2 years. As ambitious as I am about the landscaping, I understand that living someplace for 2 years with a 3 year old, mathematically, is like living here for less than 1 year.I just can't get things done the way I used to, I could crank it out before baby. When we moved in here, I made a 5 year plan and I've been sticking to it. It's a large and wily property. I don't seek to remove all it's wildness, but it was a little neglected for a few years and I seek to reclaim a little order.Well, the 5 year plan has just gone down the…
  • Weeding JACKPOT: Another One Hour Patio!

    Kiss My Aster!
    2 Jul 2014 | 11:54 am
    The Chicago weather has been perfect for weed growth and ice cream. It rains every day. It's so steamy outside that our windows are covered with condensation in the morning. It's New Orleans without the rum and beignets and gumbo and charm.So, I promised myself that once we got a cool day, I'd go out and do some really aggressive weeding. And so I did... but I didn't expect to hit the jackpot.I made a copper teepee here last year but it kept falling over.  This is an area I kept better control of last year, if only because we had less rain. I've been meaning to get out there for…
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    Our Little Acre

  • Daylily Proliferations

    Kylee Baumle
    13 Sep 2014 | 6:17 pm
    Hemerocallis 'Sarah Christine'I have never really thought of myself as being a daylily fan (no pun intended!), but I've been rethinking this in the last few years.  Every time I see a beautiful one, I want it. In spite of the foliage of some of them getting rather ratty looking late in the season, I still want it. I've made a compromise with those by cutting the foliage back to about 8-10 inches and pulling off the brown and yellowed leaves.As a result of my non-love of daylilies, I have no less than 44 different ones (possibly a couple more that I missed when I just went out to count)…
  • A Self-Seeded Surprise

    Kylee Baumle
    10 Sep 2014 | 8:55 pm
    Since the majority of the garden where we have the most space to grow edibles has become mostly shady, we needed to find somewhere else to grow things like corn and squash. Our neighbor to the south has a large yard with no trees at all and a few years ago, he graciously allowed us to dig up a rectangular area at the back of his property for us to garden.Last year, we grew corn over most of it, including beautiful 'Glass Gem', a flint/popcorn variety that took the internet by storm the year before. Though we saved plenty of seed from last year for growing it this year, we didn't plant any.We…
  • Yes, Virginia. There IS a Hardy Agapanthus!

    Kylee Baumle
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:42 pm
    Tropical Agapanthus on a balcony in Quito, EcuadorEvery time I visit a warmer climate than mine, I'm enamored with the Agapanthus. Most recently, I saw plenty of it in Ecuador.  These plants are staples in places like California and Florida, but here in Zone 5, they aren't commonly seen to be growing, because they aren't hardy. Wait.  That's not true. Back in 2008, I visited the Toledo Botanical Garden and they were having a late season sale on some plants. One of them was a hardy Agapanthus. Hardy?  To Zone 5? I questioned the manager, and he showed me in the book where the…
  • Projects X 2: The Berry Barn & The Weeping Circle

    Kylee Baumle
    8 Sep 2014 | 8:50 pm
    It seems as if life around here is operating on a delay much of the time. Too busy? We're getting older? Maybe a little of both, but it feels good to have two of our planned projects completed now. One, The Berry Barn, should have been done last fall and The Weeping Circle was something I've wanted to do for a couple of years now. Neither really took all that long, but you know how that goes.Thornless blackberries beginning to ripen earlier this season.We've got six thornless blackberry plants, or at least that's what we started out with a few years ago - three each of 'Chester' and 'Triple…
  • Monarchs Led Me To This Talented Artist

    Kylee Baumle
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:50 pm
    I have a heart for one the most iconic symbols of this country - the monarch butterfly.  I've always been fascinated by them and entranced by their beautiful markings and how they metamorphose while being encased in a green jewel chrysalis. When I became a gardener, I learned of the importance they play in their role as a pollinator.Monarchs nectar on many plants, such as this coneflower (Echinacea purpurea),but they only lay eggs on milkweed plants.Besides their beauty and utilitarian function though, is the miracle of their migration. How a creature that is two months old or less knows…
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    The Gardens of Petersonville

  • 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…
  • Wrapping Up Summer

    30 Aug 2014 | 12:01 pm
     If you read my blog for inspiring pictures, you had better stop now and wait for another post! After a busy summer with grandkids and a few weeks on vacation I've returned ready to take inventory and start thinking about what needs to be done in the SJC garden this fall. The list is long as usual. You can see by this picture that the cheap obelisks I had picked up at a big box store years ago have been falling apart for some time now and my garden helper has patiently been trying to save them for the clematis to cling to as best he can. I have already ordered metal ones and they should…
  • Gardening is Hard

    23 Jul 2014 | 10:26 am
    The other day I ran into an acquaintance who asked me if I was still gardening. I was rather caught off guard by her question. I have never thought that I would someday not garden. I'm not saying that it is like eating or breathing, I'm sure that I would still exist if I did not garden, but if given the choice to do it or not, I would always choose to do it, at least in some form or another. My friend had said that she had quit gardening because it was just too hard and time consuming and she had moved to a condo where she didn't have to worry about the yard. Before that she had a beautiful…
  • Summer Fennel Flowers

    20 Jul 2014 | 1:32 pm
    This morning I found lots of things wrong in the gardens to take pictures of that will make good subjects for future posts, but today I'm just going to focus on one thing that is doing really well. My bronze fennel is lovely! I don't like the taste of fennel and don't ever harvest it. I don't really know why I planted it years ago back here when I put a vegetable garden in before I gave up and turned this area back over to the rabbits that rule the domain. Obviously the varmints feel the same way I do about fennel and so it lives on untouched, year after year. It is now about six feet tall…
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    The Blogging Nurseryman, Trey Pitsenberger

  • Becoming indispensable

    Trey Pitsenberger
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:02 am
    One of the nicest comments to hear from customers is, “we want you to be here for us”. They sometimes preface it with, “we shop here because…we want you to be here for us”. While it may not keep you in … Continue reading →
  • So you want to be a farmer?

    Trey Pitsenberger
    25 Jun 2014 | 8:51 am
    “Roy Skeen is a 32-year-old farmer with a degree in history from Yale University. When he graduated in 2004, he moved to New York to work in investment banking, but he found the work unfulfilling. After a trip to the Caribbean, … Continue reading →
  • What diamonds, gold, and The Carob tree have in common.

    Trey Pitsenberger
    3 Jun 2014 | 9:07 am
    The carob tree is a landscape tree here in California, but in the Mediterranean region it grown as a food crop. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, … Continue reading →
  • Welwitschia, the last of it’s kind

    Trey Pitsenberger
    2 Jun 2014 | 8:24 am
    Found in Namibian desert of Africa, Welwitschia is considered a “living fossil”. It has been around for over 200 million years and while all of the other plants from that time have slowly vanished, it has managed to survive in the empty … Continue reading →
  • A plant that is able to mimic multiple species

    Trey Pitsenberger
    25 Apr 2014 | 8:14 am
    According to Science Magazine, “the woody vine Boquila trifoliolata… transforms its leaves to copy a variety of host trees. Native to Chile and Argentina, B. trifoliolata is the first plant shown to imitate several hosts. It is a rare quality—known … Continue reading →
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    Skippy's Vegetable Garden

  • today's harvest

    11 Sep 2014 | 6:28 pm
  • fall seedlings

    11 Sep 2014 | 6:09 pm
    Weather permitting, these little seedlings will all grow to full size and before cold weather and low light prevents their growth. I'm hoping to also have extra to cover and harvest during the winter. The seedlings include all sorts of varieties of: lettuce, arugula, escarole, broccoli, bok choi, mustards, and Asian greens.
  • garden aerial

    11 Sep 2014 | 5:49 pm
    I'm hoping this is an "in-between time" and that once again this year the garden will be full. I have lots of fall seedlings planted. Weather permitting. It looks like the last "ladder" photo I posted, but I've planted lots of little fall seedlings since then.
  • pear harvest

    7 Sep 2014 | 6:54 pm
    A great year for pears. I picked about 150 today. Bartletts and Kieffers. They filled my trug and I had to struggle to get the bucket into and out of the car. I've read recently that its best to chill freshly picked pears at 30*F for 4 days or so. Then they can ripen at room temperature. Last year I didn't know this and didn't get the best ripening I am hoping chilling will help. I have lots of pear recipes marked in my canning book.
  • pullets join hens

    7 Sep 2014 | 6:34 pm
    I have big news about my little pullets. They have joined the big hens in the coop! Yeah pullets! Every day at about 4 or 5 pm, I've been letting the new pullets out of their dog crate to roam free. They forage in the woods and generally stay under cover. I used to let the big hens out regularly too, some times all day, but, after seeding the lawn, we found they were eating so much grass seed that I kept them in their coop. Well, now the seed has sprouted and today at 5 pm I let all four hens out to forage. At night fall, all go back to their roosts. In the past, the pullets have always gone…
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  • Could this be SH-3640?

    15 Sep 2014 | 5:38 pm
    This banana is about 8-10ft tall with several hands. it had a pretty stout flower before all the fruit emerged. thanks in advance for all your help!
  • Water Suckers ?

    15 Sep 2014 | 8:16 am
  • Paul Allen - United Fruit Co. collection

    15 Sep 2014 | 7:05 am
    A catalogue of wild and cultivated bananas - A tribute to the work of Paul Allen
  • Not sure if its a Grand Nain

    15 Sep 2014 | 4:51 am
    Hey guys, I've seen so many pics of Musa Grand Nain and I was like yeah i got one for sure than i was like hmm.. but that pic doesn't look like mine at all. so now Please help me identify my plant. I bought it on e-Bay with this pic saying it's a Musa Grand Nain: And thats how it looks some weeks ago: I'd say it's about 1/2 year old.. In germany I don't expect much growth and i did't add fertilizer because I need to test it at some pups
  • Bananas blooming at age or size?

    15 Sep 2014 | 1:05 am
    Hey guys, in my Opinion and acording to what i read a Banana is blooming at an average size... No matter how old the banana is. Or am i terrible mistaken on this?
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    North Coast Gardening

  • 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…
  • Tired of Spraying? You Might Just Need a Dose of CTFD

    26 Jun 2014 | 2:43 pm
    New gardeners, like new parents, tend to be a bit overprotective of their charges. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking a fancy new shrub from the garden store, or our firstborn little darling – too much hovering can lead to, well, not-so-great results. There’s a new parenting trend floating around the internet called “Calm the F*** Down“, which is exactly as it sounds. The idea being that a playful spirit and another martini might just lead to better kids then a stressed-out ‘tude and a stack of the latest parenting books. As a new mom, I can’t…
  • Fabulous Fountain Grasses: “Temperennial” New Varieties

    19 Jun 2014 | 1:10 pm
    While many in the perennial world seem to think that annuals have gone out of style, the “wow” factor they provide is undeniable. Tropical plants and annual flowers are perfect for temporarily filling in the spaces between slow-growing shrubs and trees, which is one of the many reasons books like Stephanie Cohen and Jennifer Benner’s The Nonstop Garden recommend that annuals and tropicals make up about 20% of your garden beds. New varieties of fountain grass have become the latest trend for those looking for a fast, bodacious blast of seasonal color. You might think of…
  • Don’t Bug Me! How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in the Garden

    8 Jun 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Ahhh, the joys of summer. . . Sunshine, apple crumble, fresh berries, and – bzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz – oh yeah, mosquitoes. While theoretically I am glad that mosquitoes exist as they form a valuable food source for birds and bats, I would tend to feel from the number of itchy welts on my skin that perhaps my garden has just a few more than are strictly necessary. Just last week I was bit no fewer than 19 times in a period of about five minutes, which I believe is a personal record. While normally I don’t form vendettas against insects for doing their thing, I think anyone would…
  • Designing a Meditative or Yoga Garden

    25 May 2014 | 6:11 pm
    Guest post from Jan Johnsen, author of the new book Heaven is a Garden and my co-contributor over at Garden Design magazine Yoga and gardens are a natural fit! Both are very personal endeavors – Yoga practice elevates our sense of wellbeing and makes us more aware of the present moment while gardens encourage us to appreciate the ‘now’ as we inhale the aroma of flowers or the green atmosphere after a quiet rain. When you put the two together and create an outdoor space where you can practice Yoga in a meditative garden, it is joyful, indeed! Gardens are a simple way to celebrate our…
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    Ewa in the Garden

  • Urginea maritime Life-Death-Life dance

    8 Sep 2014 | 2:50 am
    The flowering bulbs you can see in the pictures, were dug out and forgotten in the garden. Kept dry in shade for few months. Nobody bothered them. They didn’t ask for anything. But let’s admire Life  stronger than Death. Look at those impressive flowers growing  randomly in different directions, trying to reach the light. They don’t care what we think about them. Just bloom profoundly. When
  • 8 photos of impossible cactus gardening outdoor in temperate climate, Szczecin, Poland

    21 Aug 2014 | 9:46 pm
    In fact I want to share with you the concept of impossible is nothing. We are surrounded with  mystery, wildness and immanence. You may not believe me. 'Cactus gardening outdoor in Poland' - I know. Still remember that recently I was also saying pretty often 'I don’t believe you' – and although that was rather teasing trials, time has shown I shouldn’t have – but who knows in advance? This
  • 17 Excellent Uses of Lavender

    2 Aug 2014 | 11:30 pm
    We are in love with lavender scent and taste. Sweet, floral, with slight citrus undertone. I have decided first to make and then to share with you today the list of lavender uses – try them. Some might be really surprising, like the absolutely delicious apricot lavender confiture. Usually I make more of them and have unique gifts for friends. Gift especially appreciated in winter time.   Don’t
  • 17 Photos of Provençal Garden designed by Ewa Szulc

    8 Jul 2014 | 4:21 am
    Let me present you today the garden I have made in 2012, this is how it looks today. The owners wanted Provençal style for the garden, which complements beautifully the interior. Client is still happy :) Enjoy! If you don’t want to miss my next posts subscribe to Ewa in the Garden by Email and don’t forget to click the confirmation link you
  • Celebrate Nature’s Larder at The Wildlife Garden RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, 8-13 July 2014

    3 Jul 2014 | 5:43 am
    ‘The Jordan Wildlife Garden’ has been created by award winning garden designer, Selina Botham. With a colourful variety of features from edible wild flowers, trees and hedges to oats, fruit and nuts – all of which can be foraged from the countryside – the garden provides a natural 'larder' to share as a shelter for birds, bees and butterflies. Its unveiling celebrates the belief that great
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    Your Small Kitchen Garden

  • Vines? No, Bines! Who knew?

    Daniel Gasteiger
    13 Sep 2014 | 9:44 pm
    I saw these trellised plants from the road beyond the barn repeatedly before I finally stopped and talked with the farmer at the Rhizome Republic. These are hops bines in upstate New York in early June. Apparently, a hops plant can grow six inches or more in a single day. Hops taught me that climbing beans don’t grow on vines. While working on my dad’s house in Ithaca, I repeatedly drove past The Rhizome Republic, a farm that specializes in growing hops. Fascinated by the layout, I stopped one day when I saw a woman in the yard. She was friendly, and encouraged me to return when her son…
  • Wordless Wednesday Milkweed Pollinator

    Daniel Gasteiger
    10 Sep 2014 | 6:25 pm
  • Grandpa Gasteiger and Throwback Thursday

    Daniel Gasteiger
    4 Sep 2014 | 9:45 pm
    In 1953, my grandfather was outstanding in his field when someone took this photograph. The scrubby tree in front of the corn on the right side of the photo, I think, is a quince tree that looked pretty much the same 20 years later. I have a handful of “honest” memories of my grandfather. By honest, I mean they’re memories that have been there since they formed—no supporting photographs, no corroborating stories from other family members. One memory is of Grandpa retrieving a package of Limburger cheese from the pantry, opening it, and eating some with great enthusiasm. I got to sniff…
  • Visit in Brenda Haas’s Garden

    Daniel Gasteiger
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:23 pm
    It’s hard to decide where a tour of Brenda Haas’s ranch should begin! In a gorgeous border beside her house, a volunteer pumpkin plant capriciously cavorts among the ornamentals. One of the surest ways to my heart: grow food in your show garden. Remember Cultivate ’14? I wrote about it here: Horticulture Conference for Industry Geeks. I saw and learned so many cool things at that conference, but the trip gave me an opportunity to do something even more awesome: I spent the day after Cultivate ’14 visiting with Brenda Haas in northern Ohio. Who is Brenda Haas? To me, first and…
  • Grow Marjoram! Seriously, Grow It

    Daniel Gasteiger
    6 Aug 2014 | 1:51 pm
    After stopping to photograph a nicely-planted boulevard, I got an invite to the back yard where a small farm was well on its way to harvest. The bushy clump in front of the gas grill (front-left) is the out-of-control marjoram from which I received a rooted stem. On a trip to Ithaca last spring, I happened through a neighborhood in which people tended their boulevards as gardens rather than as barren rectangles of useless grass. I parked and walked so I could take pictures and was capturing a particularly engaging scene when its gardener walked out from behind the house. We became friends and…
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    Dirt Du Jour Daily Blog

  • Get the whole darn set Friday!
    5 Sep 2014 | 7:43 am
    This foursome from the Royal Horticultural Society has been adapted for the U.S. Use it for yourself, although a pretty bow makes it a great gift for garden friends. Nicely illustrated, the set includes “Growing Vegetables & Herbs”, “Container Gardening”, “Pruning & Training” and “Garden Problem Solver”. The pruning book alone is probably my fave. IMHO, any plant is gorge when it’s pruned properly. To win the set just tell us in comments about the wackiest prune job you ever saw. A winner will be chosen at random, eyes closed, super-pinky promise (even if Billy…
  • Yikes! Monarchs are disappearing
    2 Sep 2014 | 9:17 am
    There is something about bar charts that tell the story like no long explanation can….at a glance you can see to what degree Monarchs have disappeared from their overwintering sites in Mexico. Monarch Watch is worried. It’s not only pesticide use, but milkweed, or lack thereof. 80% of milkweed habitats have given way to corn crops in the Midwest. Can backyard gardeners make up the difference? whatever Buzzfeed—Overhead at the Chelsea Flower Show 2014
  • Playing favorites
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:04 am
    The American Horticultural Society has honored horticultural heroes since 1953 and is looking for your nominations for Great American Gardeners 2015 in 15 categories from landscape design to teaching. Who is your Garden Hero? Someone who teaches kids to garden? Someone who does horticultural therapy? The owners and staff at your favorite nursery or garden business? Nominate the people, companies or organizations who exemplify the art, science, environmental and communications aspects of gardening and who make an impact in their efforts, here. whatever —Under 35s rated…
  • Four ways to help plants survive drought
    21 Aug 2014 | 9:49 am
    No doubt that as the drought drags on in the West, plants are suffering, especially if you’re seriously saving water. But don’t splash it around the landscape willy-nilly, use it on the plants that really need it. Here are four ways to save your landscape during drought: Established plants more than four years old can live on less water. A slow drip once a month is all trees and established shrubs need to survive. Mulch like you really mean it. Mulch prevents moisture from evaporating from the soil and keeps root environments cool. Two to three inches works best. Stop watering your lawn.
  • Behold the Stumpery
    20 Aug 2014 | 10:02 am
    Where a Victorian garden aesthetic called Stumpery meets wood-log permaculture called Hugelkultur. The plants benefit from the nutrients released from decaying logs and the gardener benefits from the design aspects. Plus, those tree cuttings are put to use. Here’s another example of Hugelkultur illustrated. whatever New York Times —Sad but true: firefly populations are dwindling
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    Native Sons - Plant of the Week

  • Muhlenbergia capillaris

    Melissa Berard
    5 Sep 2014 | 2:07 pm
    Muhlenbergia capillaris or hairy awn muhly is a clumping, deciduous grass to four feet tall by two feet wide with masses of violet-pink, airy flowers that often obscure the blue-green foliage in a purple haze from summer to early fall. Useful as a border specimen, or massed in large groups, this species is especially suitable for coastal gardens in sandy soils. Plants will tolerate partial shade and dry conditions, though flower production is much stronger in full sun and plants often look best with moderate summer water. Hardy to 10F. Muhlenbergia capillaris is available this week in one…
  • Agapanthus 'Gold Strike' (Patented)

    Melissa Berard
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:02 am
    Agapanthus ‘Gold Strike’ is a colorfully variegated compact evergreen with clusters of green and gold foliage, one to two feet tall and wide, topped with twenty four inch tall dark stems holding deep blue buds that open to blue and pale blue striped blooms. This plant is a very striking plant in or out of bloom and would be great in a mass planting, a border, as a groundcover, or a specimen container plant. As with other Agapanthus this plant is fairly care free and relatively drought tolerant. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate occasionally to regularly for best performance.
  • Trichostema lanatum

    Melissa Berard
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:18 am
    Trichostema lanatum or woolly blue curls is a branching evergreen shrub up to four feet tall and six feet wide, with narrow, 2” long leaves that emit a wonderfully pungent aroma when bruised. Foliage is shiny, dark green on top, white and woolly beneath with leaf edges rolled under. Blue flowers appear in clusters along a stalk and show arching stamens from April to June, longer if spent flowers are removed. Stalks and parts of flowers are covered with blue, pink or white wool giving an appearance of tight curls. Requires full sun, excellent drainage, and little or no irrigation once…
  • Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin'

    Melissa Berard
    3 Jul 2014 | 2:13 pm
    Calluna vulgaris ‘Kerstin' is a multi-stemmed, dwarf evergreen shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition with stems clothed in tiny overlapping grey green leaves and short spikes of mauve flowers in the late summer and autumn. A slow grower, Kerstin Heather will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 12 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is…
  • The Salvia Heatwave™ Series

    Melissa Berard
    27 Jun 2014 | 1:22 pm
    The showy, sun loving and drought tolerant Salvia Heatwave™ series is perfect for water-wise gardens! A cross of microphylla and greggii varieties, this carefree, shrubby perennial blooms all summer, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies with vibrant colors and aromatic foliage. The compact habit, eighteen to twenty four inches tall and wide, is ideal for containers or in a border where you can appreciate the show. Give them a place in full sun with average to dry soil, while providing adequate winter drainage. ‘Blast’ produces abundant salmon pink flowers with soft white throats,…
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    Garden Therapy

  • Preparing Fall Bulb Planters for Spring

    15 Sep 2014 | 5:34 am
    To some people, tulips and other bulbs may be the last thing on your mind but if you take a little time now to plant up some large containers for next spring, I bet you will be pleased as punch that you did! Planting fall bulbs in containers is no different than planting them in the ground, other than you can really pack in a bunch for a colourful display that can be moved around the garden next spring to fill in bloom voids. Follow these instructions for planting full bulbs and then let your creativity take over! Think about creating colour patterns; staggering flowering times with early,…
  • Painted Pumpkins: Fun Fall Crafts for Kids

    10 Sep 2014 | 4:01 am
    Painting pumpkins is an easy project that will last a lot longer than a carved pumpkin, especially in climates that are still toasty warm in the fall. Sketch some silly faces or favourite things and get crafty! This DIY shows you how to prep, paint, and seal painted pumpkins so they will weather the, well, weather.   Materials Pumpkins or squash Damp cloth Clean, dry cloth Pencil (optional) Black permanent marker Acrylic craft paint Paint brushes Acrylic sealer Directions Choose pumpkins and squash that are firm, unmarked, and have no soft spots. You want the freshest winter squash for…
  • Free Canning Labels: Berries Design

    7 Sep 2014 | 5:07 am
    I’m taking a break from the super busy canning season to post some brand new free canning labels! You may already be using some of the previous designs which you can find here and here. As you well know by now, I’m a big fan of making the presentation of the jar match the vibrant flavours inside and this new design is sure to meet the challenge! Inspired by berry season (which is now mostly packed tightly away in my pantry and freezer), these designs are a pretty way to label up all the jams, jellies, conserves, and compotes. Let’s not forget that special little flower…
  • Falling for the September Desktop Calendar

    4 Sep 2014 | 4:49 am
    Embracing Autumn The new calendar is here to go with a new season. How did the summer pass by so quickly? I feel like I didn’t miss a moment of it as I spent most of my days working on many projects around the garden, munching on fresh fruit atop a picnic blanket in the park, or cooling off in a pool. But it still whizzed by far too fast.   I have fond memories of this summer as I spent it with my son, and celebrated his first birthday right in the middle. Playing games, exploring, enjoying the fresh air, and visiting with so many friends, what a delightful summer. While…
  • Roasted Heirloom Tomato Pizza Sauce

    2 Sep 2014 | 3:00 pm
    I have a secret that allows me to make pizza sauce for the whole year, in just a few hours (and most of that time is spent drinking wine!). It’s roasting!  Roasting the garlic and tomatoes fresh from the garden, sweetens up the couldn’t-be-more-fresh flavour and means there is no need to slave over your sauce to reduce it and build flavour. This year I started with some meaty beefsteaks that were a gift from my neighbour, but every year I just use the best tomatoes from the garden. The flavour will be different year after year, but it’s always delicious. I cut of the top…
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    Urban Organic Gardener

  • 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.
  • The film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. #FedUp — NOW PLAYING.

    9 Sep 2014 | 11:38 am
    This is the movie the food industry doesn’t want you to see. FED UP blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever. See the film and then join the filmmakers in taking THE FED UP CHALLENGE. Join us in our cause and go…
  • How to Build a Sustainable Grow Tower [VID] – for under $10

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:56 am
    “Grow 40 plants in 4 Sq. Ft. Find out how to make an organic, sustainable, cheap, easy, and efficient grow tower. I built this for $6 and will grow 40 plants in 4 square feet. With the power of vermicomposting, this is a self fertilizing, and semi-self watering system. Great for patio gardeners or People tight on space.” MIgardener
  • 5 Ways To Grow Organic Food In Small Spaces For Preppers, Survivalists And Every Day Folks

    26 Aug 2014 | 8:38 am
    Just came across this post over at I think everyone should read.  You can read the full article here.  With the constant onslaught of GMOs, pesticides, and chemicals making their way into the food supply, growing food in your home garden has become less of a hobby and more of a necessity. Many people have now begun to grow a large portion of the fruits and vegetables they consume at home, and an increasing number do so without the luxury of vast amounts of land. Food can be grown in just about anything, and all it takes is a little knowledge and effort. Even if you only have an…
  • Grow Food, Not Lawns [Photo Gallery]

    15 Aug 2014 | 9:09 am
    This is a collection of images we’ve found floating around the Urban Organic Gardener facebook page. Hopefully this will give you some motivation to transform your yards into something like this. d   wqwq Grow your own food! Everywhere! Urban Gardening Masterpiece! Photo Credit: crustyroll35
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    The Garden Plot

  • 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…
  • Trumpet Daffodil Commands the 2014 Spotlight

    Garden Media Group
    12 Sep 2014 | 5:51 am
    Searching for a fresh, bold burst of spring color? Look no further than Trumpet daffodils. Crowned 2014 flower bulb of the year, the Trumpet steps into the spotlight this fall. Trumpet daffodils are beloved for their classic shape and style: huge, bright canary flowers with a prominent, extra-long cup. Plus, this daffodil is a dependable "repeater," returning year after year with more blooms.The Trumpet daffodil has proven to be a classic display of color that offers beautiful blooms each year.Like all spring-blooming flower bulbs, the time to plant the Trumpet daffodil is in fall. To create…
  • Easy Tips for Dorm Room Plants

    Garden Media Group
    4 Sep 2014 | 12:10 pm
    Every room benefits from a breath of fresh air, especially a new dorm.A houseplant is the perfect green accessory as students finish their back-to-school shopping. Plants are guaranteed to spark a smile and friendly conversation while scrubbing the air clean. Plants are amazing. They provide oxygen and remove toxins, as well as reduce stress, fatigue and headaches -- making the college experience a little easier.No green thumb? Try these easy-to-grow O2 for You houseplants: snake plant, ZZ plant, ponytail palm, peace lily and Chinese evergreen. These low-maintenance plants survive with little…
  • Tips to Boost Late-Season Gardens

    Garden Media Group
    2 Sep 2014 | 10:46 am
    As summer comes to close, gardeners across the country are delighting in every blossom before the change in seasons.Fortunately, homeowners can plant now to ensure another burst of color in the garden before the trees turn color and the mums come out.Even though we’re in late summer, you can invigorate your yard. The key to late-season planting is to cover all your bases, from color to structure, restoring your wonderland of color.The best ways to integrate late-summer and fall color into gardens:Late-Blooming Perennials Add Color As fall approaches, plant late-blooming perennials now…
  • Make the Most of Labor Day with Gardening Tips from Garden Media

    Garden Media Group
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Labor Day marks the end of summer and time to prepare the yard and garden for Old Man Winter. “Spending time outside in your garden this Labor Day weekend while the weather is nice is the perfect time to get a jumpstart on spring,” says Suzi McCoy, president of Garden Media Group, a public relations and marketing firm specializing in the garden industry. Put gardens on the fast track to success this fall with these Labor Day gardening projects from Garden Media Group: Plan Which Flower Bulbs to Plant This Fall One of the most relaxing Labor Day activities is walking around the garden and…
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    Gardener's Journal » Gardener's Journal

  • 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
  • Share Your Best Tomato Recipes

    Gardener's Supply
    2 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    Do you have an awesome recipe for backyard-ripe tomatoes? Share your original recipe or technique and you could win a set of Tomato Ladders or Tomato Cages. Enter the contest on Facebook: The post Share Your Best Tomato Recipes appeared first on Gardener's Journal - From America's Gardening Resource
  • Flowers Flopping? Bring Out the Linking Stakes

    Gardener's Supply
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    Curved Linking Stakes supporting tall zinnias It’s the time of year for Flower Supports, such as Curved Linking Stakes, which are perfect for fixing those unexpected flops in the garden. From a 4-star review from Nancy in St. Louis, MO: These linking stakes are great. I got the tallest ones available for use specifically with my tall zinnias that serve as a landscape border. I happened to use them in a straight line. However, I could see hooking these to each other in a variety of configurations to contain all sorts of vegetation: tall, wispy foliage of asparagus plants, shorter…
  • Front-Yard Vegetable Garden is Beautiful and Bountiful

    Gardener's Supply
    23 Jul 2014 | 11:01 am
    We used Raised Bed Corners to create a set of stacked beds in front of our administrative offices in Burlington, VT. Bull’s Blood beet seeds germinate among crops that will soon be harvested. As the gardening season goes on, it’s a challenge to keep a front-yard vegetable garden looking good. Early crops are harvested, lettuce bolts in the heat … what’s next? You have to think ahead. Here at Gardener’s Supply, we have a set of raised beds at the front door, where I just harvested a fat handful of tender green bush beans. While I was at it, I underplanted the…
  • It Must be the Worm Power

    Gardener's Supply
    23 Jul 2014 | 7:12 am
    Basil harvest, after fertilizing with Worm Power. Grown from a single seedling, this pie-pumpkin vine has engulfed a trellis and spread through the surrounding beds. In two of our test garden beds, I’m using All-Purpose Organic Fertilizer with worm castings (Worm Power Fertilizer). The plants have exploded with growth. I’ve never seen a pumpkin plant so healthy, robust and full of fruit and flowers. At right, you can see it on our new Squash and Cucumber Trellis (look for it in our spring lineup). Cody, our product designer, is almost hidden by the gigantic vine. I’m calling…
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    Annie's Gardening Corner

  • Falling for the Landscape

    15 Sep 2014 | 7:35 am
    What draws you into a beautiful home? A well-thought out design inside and out.  Making your landscape stylish and welcoming is a selling feature for your home. What draws you into a beautiful home, especially when you haven’t seen its interior, its inner structure and bones? It's a Monday morning, fall wake-up call for anyone putting a home on the market. There's a lot of planning involved in successfully selling a home. What's first on your agenda? The landscape should reflect the wonderful features waiting to be discovered inside the home. Your potential buyer might envision certain…
  • Stepping Out

    12 Sep 2014 | 9:50 am
    Bilowz Associates Inc. Landscape Design - 'Stepping out'It's a known fact that a walk outdoors or spending time in a garden aids in our breathing. Another plus - creativity often flows better in places where it's easy to unwind. But these days, finding that OFF button means we must literally 'unplug'. One of the best ways to leave behind the tedium - create a green space where it's easy and available for 'stepping out'. Not ready for a landscape challenge? Lace up your sneaks. Make a date with nature to enjoy on any given day.  What sets the tone for creativity is experiencing nature…
  • September Moments

    11 Sep 2014 | 6:08 am
    A quiet way to reflect and remember… September momentsOn this September 11th, a post from last year’s anniversary called Reflectionsif you need more words.  A moment in nature to reflect and remember. © All Images by Ann BilowzIf you like this blog, hope you check in for your daily share's worth of inspiration, design, and garden tips; always original, not cookie cutter and copied. Just like our design work, we strive for unique! We invite you to contact Bilowz Associates, Inc., or to browse our portfolios for inspiration. Like our Facebook follow on Twitter or subscribe…
  • Favorite Late Summer Bouquet

    10 Sep 2014 | 6:12 am
    Late Summer BouquetWhat’s blooming in your garden that makes a last-minute summer bouquet? Here’s one for a Ball canning jar – it’s a combination of a few of my favorite things:  Sunflowers, Asters, Lavender and Russian Sage. You could add in something additional but if you’re looking for that last-minute bouquet to brighten someone’s day, what better choices can you find than bright Sunflowers with splashes of purple to anchor the vase?Asters, Lavender, Sunflowers, Russian SageSunflowers are so easy to grow. You can dry and save your seeds each year. Often times, you’ll…
  • The Cycle of Morning

    9 Sep 2014 | 5:12 am
       The Cycle of Morning - An #InTheMoment Image © Image by Ann Bilowz If you like this blog, hope you check in for your daily share's worth of inspiration, design, and garden tips; always original, not cookie cutter and copied. Just like our design work, we strive for unique! We invite you to contact Bilowz Associates, Inc., or to browse our portfolios for inspiration. Like our Facebook follow on Twitter or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. Either way, we hope you follow the postings somewhere in cyberspace and share it with your gardening…
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    Serenity in the Garden

  • 'Sukkah' - An Ephemeral Hut with a View to the Stars

    Jan Johnsen
    13 Sep 2014 | 6:23 am
    sukkahs on buildingsWhen I was a kid I lived for a few years in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Every autumn I would see little sheds attached to the residential buildings, sometimes as much as several stories above the sidewalk.Adorned with leaves or branches, these were festive huts that my Jewish neighbors would eat their meals in for a week....I went home to our small apartment and announced that I wanted to build a luck.brooklyn sukkahThe Jewish 'sukkah' is Biblical in origin. It is an ephemeral, elemental shelter, erected for one week each fall, in which it is customary…
  • Free, Clean Water for Plants in Hot, Dry Regions

    Jan Johnsen
    12 Sep 2014 | 5:59 am
    In ancient times people collected dew water from lamb fleece. Over night the dew would collect on the fleece and this would be wringed into a container.Lanolin, a waxy ester, came out of the fleece and mixed with the dew water. It protects skin with a thin coating so when people washed their face with that dew water they had what people called "a dewy complexion".Tal Ya Water CollectorsThe same idea can be used for plants...Collect dew water over night and give it to plants. Lets do this in California where they need water badly for the crops that feed the US.The Tal Ya tray is an aluminum…
  • 'Sulphur Heart' Persian Ivy - A RHS Medal Award Winner

    Jan Johnsen
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:53 am
    Hedera colchica 'Sulphur Heart' is an evergreen ivy that has received The Royal Horticultural Society prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).  This is a hard-to-find plant that deserves wider use as ground cover, in city gardens and on walls.  Zones 6a - 9It is a large leaved, variegated ivy with bright gold and lime green variegations (some solid gold centers can cover 60% of the leaf surface) which brightens up a dark shady wall.'Sulphur Heart' Persian Ivy clings to walls  with its aerial roots - splash walls with water to help new plants start clinging…
  • Front Door Lanterns - Choose The Right Size

    Jan Johnsen
    10 Sep 2014 | 4:58 am
    Hinkley Lighting - Harbor LightsOutdoor light illuminates and silently leads us on.I just had a discussion with a lovely friend about the lanterns by her front door. She is replacing them and that is why I am sharing this post  I wrote a few years ago. People invariably choose lanterns that are too small for an outdoor site. This informative piece is from a great lighting company - HINKLEY LIGHTING (click here).... can help change that.ALL PHOTOS HERE ARE FROM THE HINKLEY WEBSITE.The height of an outdoor lantern should be based on the height of the…
  • First Man-Made Leaf! The Future has Changed.

    Jan Johnsen
    9 Sep 2014 | 7:29 am
    Silk  Leaf by Julian Melchiorri  The future has arrived.  And it arose from Julian Melchiorri's Silk Leaf project, which came out of a Royal College of Art's Innovation Design Engineering course.He collaborated with Tufts University silk lab to suspend  chloroplasts in a matrix made out of silk protein. And we are 'off to the races'!Julian Melchiorri Silk Leaf Project What has transpired (my bad hort. pun) is astonishing...Like real leaves, the Silk Leaf can  produce oxygen if it is given light and a small amount of water.chloroplasts suspended in…
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  • Pacific NW (zone 8a) Flower Basket In September

    14 Sep 2014 | 7:37 am
     This is what I picked up on Saturday morning in my garden:  one flower from each blooming variety.  Some of these plants are finishing blooming and have only several flowers left, but some are still going strong.  Among nice bloomers are fuchsias, dahlia, salvia 'Black and Blue', hydrangeas,  zonal and regal geraniums, campanula, pansies, euphorbia 'Diamond Delight', Japanese anemone,
  • Garden Guests. Wordless Wednesday

    10 Sep 2014 | 2:59 pm
    ***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS
  • Charming and Exciting Garden of Rudell and Jay

    3 Sep 2014 | 4:49 am
    The garden I want to show you became one of my all time favorites. I visited it twice during our city garden tour in 2006 and 2014. I liked it when I saw it the first time, and I fell in love with it when I saw it last June. What amazes me the most is how two people could create such a lush, exquisite, intimate space on a not so big lot in a residential area. Further in the post,
  • August Garden and Garden Creatures

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:27 am
    Well, let's start with some creatures. Gardeners are sharing people, and so are their dogs. I know what you think, and some measures have been taken. Now, straight to the garden. Perennial phlox, roses and fuchsia are the brightest flowers in my garden right now. Fuchsia 'Double Otto': But, red and bright pink colors are not
  • Potager. Wordless Wednesday

    20 Aug 2014 | 8:55 am
    ***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS
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    Veg Plotting

  • GBBD: Salvia 'Hadspen'

    15 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    Salvia involucrata 'Hadspen' is a new plant at VP Gardens. Karen gave it to me last year after we'd admired it on a trip to Bodnant when I went to stay with her. I rather like this early morning shot as you can see the autumnal orb spiders are starting to capture it for their webby schemes.I've planted it in the top terrace bed, where it nods to my Salvia 'Amistad' across the way. Both are tall specimens (S. 'Amistad' is as tall as me this year) so they need plenty of space. S. 'Hadspen' has decided to splay out a little and its flowers make me giggle. They're such a girly pink - not…
  • Got a Great Gardening Idea? The Future Fund Wants to Hear From YOU!

    12 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    It's not often I get to tick a garden off my 'Must See' list AND hear a great story, but my visit to Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons yesterday turned out to be a red letter day.Imagine the scene...... it's an ordinary day at your magazine's office, then the postman brings you a sober looking solicitor's letter. What could it be? If you're like me, you'd immediately assume the worst.But stop and consider the complete opposite instead. You rip the letter open and learn someone has not only read your magazine for years, they've loved it so much they've left the magazine a sum of money in their…
  • Plant Profile: Pyracantha

    10 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    It's a versatile shrub - on our estate we have stand alone specimens, hedges with one or more varieties,plus mixed hedges with Euonymus, hawthorn, Viburnum and Mahonia proving the most popular companionsUntil recently I haven't felt the need to grow Pyracantha (aka firethorn) at VP Gardens. It's in abundance on our estate where it forms plenty of the hedge planting, just like it did for us at our previous house. It has plenty of plus points; it's an evergreen shrub, relatively quick to grow and has short, sharp thorns which makes it an effective security barrier.It also has double season of…
  • Tree Following With Lucy: September

    7 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    This month my ash tree forms the backdrop to the plant activity happening below it. As in other years, the plants growing against the garden fence have stretched themselves upwards to meet the lower branches of the tree. These are the ones NAH is so sure he wants to get rid of.The thin, diagonal 'branches' you can see in the foreground are from my Rosa 'Rambling Rector'. This rose certainly lives up to its name and makes regular bids for freedom beyond my garden. I often have to untangle it from the ash tree at this time of the year.The main plant you can see is Clematis 'Kermesina', a more…
  • Slugs: A Surprise Garden Friend

    5 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    I found this very distinctive slug noodling around one of my garden pots recently. It's a leopard slug and my niece and nephew could see immediately how it got its name.Unlike most slugs, these are a surprise garden friend. They eat fungi, rotting plants and other slugs, so they help keep the garden tidy and free from their pesky cousins. That's a huge thumbs up from me.They're thought to be widespread in the UK, but actual records are scarce. Therefore OPAL (the Open Air Laboratory) is looking to find out more about its distribution via its Species Quest initiative.You can help by sending in…
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  • Curing and Storing Potatoes

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:11 pm
    Potatoes are one of my favorite crops, and each year I grow a selection of different varieties. I do well enough growing great potatoes, but potato storage stumped me for years. The house is too warm and the refrigerator is too cold, plus you're fighting Mother Nature. The natural dormancy period for most potatoes is only two to three months, so storing potatoes through winter involves a bit of botanical trickery.
  • Cordon Fruit Trees: How to Get the Best Harvest From a Small Garden

    22 Aug 2014 | 9:15 am
    The most frequently cited reason for not growing fruit trees is 'I don't have the space'. Well, my green-fingered friends, this excuse no longer passes! Modern dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstocks have helped to limit the final size of fruit trees, and when these rootstocks are combined with training the trees as cordons the outcome is an impeccably behaved orchard that packs flavoursome variety into a remarkably tight space.
  • How to Grow Stevia for Sweeter Teas

    15 Aug 2014 | 1:32 pm
  • How to Grow and Harvest Lavender

    8 Aug 2014 | 4:36 am
    Lavender is one of the best-loved herbs in the garden, and for good reason. Not only is it attractive and scented, this versatile plant thrives in some of the toughest of garden conditions.
  • How to Grow Your Own Delicious Cherries

    24 Jul 2014 | 10:44 am
    Of all tree fruits it is the cherry that stands head and shoulders above the rest for sheer juicy indulgence and lip-staining goodness. These tempting teasers fill the mouth with their moreish aroma, an almost addictive experience that's led to many a sugar rush!
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    The Enduring Gardener

  • Begonia grandis – a no-fuss late summer beauty

    The Enduring Gardener
    12 Sep 2014 | 11:14 pm
    While many of the plants in the garden are looking a bit dusty and past their best and are needing a good tidy, or at least a deadheading, the Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana is flourishing and flowering prolifically in dry semi-shade. It is happy enough to be self-seeding, so I’m either leaving the young plants to establish where they are, or moving them to a vacant spot. I now have three plants species that thrive in my garden’s dry shade and require very little care. Earlier in the year it is Geranium palmatum and now it is Begonia Grandis and Japanese anemones. It makes me wonder why I…
  • Heavenly Blue

    The Enduring Gardener
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:41 am
    There can’t be a more aptly named flower than Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ – the morning glory. I’ve written about how much I love it previously on the blog – I find the pure blue of the fragile flowers heart-stoppingly beautiful. Most years the plants seem to have a death wish, but this year, for once, they are thriving. Admittedly it’s the smallest plant that is currently flowering it socks off, while the 10ft tall plant has just had the occasional flower so far, but there are hundreds of buds, so I am willing it to come into full flower before the autumnal winds arrive and tear…
  • Gardening on a Grand Scale at Bowood

    The Enduring Gardener
    4 Sep 2014 | 12:23 am
    It’s been a while since I last visited Bowood House and they have been very busy doing interesting things in the garden over intervening years. Under the guidance of garden designer Rosie Abel Smith, head gardener David Glass and his team have been softening some of the edges around the house. The glorious Italianate Terrace remains as wonderful as ever, but now the façade of the house has been embellished with shrubs and climbers, while around the corner the softening process continues on the Lower Terrace which now has a 70ft long and 8ft deep herbaceous border where lawn previously ran…
  • Blight is Back

    The Enduring Gardener
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:15 am
    Regular readers of this blog will know that never a year goes by that I don’t say ‘I’m never going to plant outdoor tomatoes again’ – but somehow I can’t resist finding a space for the leftover plants – and each year, just as they are looking at their magnificent best, along comes the blight. On Friday they were fine, then after the bank holiday deluge they started to show the first signs with a few blackened leaves and stems. Rather than leave them to rot, I harvested the lot. There’s a limit to how many green tomatoes I want to eat and in the hope that I can ripen some,…
  • A Walk on the Wildside

    The Enduring Gardener
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:49 am
    Keith Whiley is a remarkable man. I first saw his work at The Garden House in Buckland Monachorum where he began his experiments with reshaping the land to recreate the natural plant habitats that he has observed around the world.  His methods have not been without controversy, partly because they are so labour intensive and partly because his approach is so uncompromising.  So when he had the opportunity to buy and develop his own piece of land ten years ago it was the perfect opportunity for him to stretch his ideas and theories to the limit – without the need to please anyone…
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    Gardening with Cheryl

  • New Bush Cinquefoil – Happy Face Yellow Flowering Potentilla

    Cheryl Jones
    24 Aug 2014 | 6:45 pm
    Plant the Happy Face Potentilla fruticosa for the bright yellow flowers. Adore this bush cinquefoil because it’s so easy to grow and very low maintenance. Happy Face Potentilla is a small compact growing shrub that is deer resistant and also a North America native. Growing only 2 to 3 feet tall, the large yellow flowers during spring to late summer on theHappy Face bush cinquefoil will pop against the darker green […]
  • Yuki Cherry Blossom Deutzia is new small growing flowering shrub

    Cheryl Jones
    17 Aug 2014 | 8:54 am
    The Yuki Cherry Blossom Deutzia is the first Nikko type Deutzia with pink flowers. This small growing flowering shrub can also be used as a deciduous ground cover. Plant your Yuki Cherry Blossom Deutzia where it can easily be appreciated. In fall you will certainly want to witness the colorful foliage as it changes from dark green to amazing purple burgundy shades. […]
  • Fragrant Flowering Shrub | Calycanthus Aphrodite Sweetshrub

    Cheryl Jones
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:57 am
    Calycanthus Aphrodite Sweetshrub will quickly become your favorite flowering shrubs. From mid summer to fall, the Calycanthus Aphrodite will adorn your garden with large red magnolia like flowers. Living up to its name of sweetshrub, this deer resistant shrub will fill the air with sweet apple scented fragrance. The Calycanthus Aphrodite Sweetshrub blooms on old wood, so be sure to prune only for shaping (if needed) after flowering. The […]
  • Vinca Minor Best Value in Ground Cover Plants

    Cheryl Jones
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:17 am
    Vinca Minor ground cover is one of the more versatile and best value in ground cover plants. This fast growing ground cover grows in either sun or shade. The dark green evergreen leaves provide a lovely backdrop for the periwinkle blue blooms in spring. The hardy strong growing Vinca Minor is a good choice groundcover for hillsides, in shaded areas, poor soil, and other […]
  • The OSO Easy Double Red Shrub Roses Now Available

    Cheryl Jones
    30 Jun 2014 | 8:22 pm
    OSO Easy Double Red Shrub Roses grows in full sun planted in moist, well drained soil. Thesmaller growing shrub rose matures in the 36 to 48 inch height and width range. Space approximately 3 feet apart for a magnificent continual blooming low hedge. Oso Easy® Double Red Rosa ‘Meipeporia’ PPAF
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    Urban Gardens

  • Urban Playground From Repurposed Shipping Containers at Container Park

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

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

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:24 pm
    Sometimes you see a product, structure, or piece of technology that makes you realize you are living in the future you imagined as a child. The Tetra Shed is one of those things. Hailing from the UK, this modular garden outbuilding… Read More...The post A Plug and Play Modern Outbuilding appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Clever Storage Ideas That Include a Kitchen Garden

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    11 Aug 2014 | 2:31 pm
    I am still unpacking my mental treasure trove of the beautiful designs I spied while on the Modenus BlogTour to Italy for Milan Design Week. While the hub of Design Week is Salone del Mobile (or Milan Furniture Fair for … Read More...The post Clever Storage Ideas That Include a Kitchen Garden appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • The Power of Moss: Biophotovoltaic

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    18 Jul 2014 | 11:52 am
    A modern designed table that incorporates the bright green life of moss is as urban-garden-chic as you can get. But wait there’s more. The moss on this table has a job to do—and that job is to generate power. That’s … Read More...The post The Power of Moss: Biophotovoltaic appeared first on Urban Gardens.
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    Busch Gardens in Virginia Blog

  • Deals For a Spook-tacular Fall

    Emily Bea
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:01 am
    The sun has set on summer and a curse has descended on Busch Gardens in the form of a song. The park has been transformed into Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream.  Guests brave enough to venture into this cursed park will navigate through Wendigo Woods, one of five Terror-tories or experience  a darkly entertaining show like Monster Stomp on Ripper Row. The curse spreads Sept. 12 and continues weekends through Oct. 26. During the day families can enjoy the same natural fun offered year-round but with a fall harvest twist.  However, when the clock strikes 6 p.m., park guests must get…
  • Scare, Share & Win Your Way to #HowlOScream

    Koy Grant
    10 Sep 2014 | 2:07 pm
    We want to see your haunting #HowlOSelfie. We’re kicking off the Howl-O-Scream season by giving away four Howl-O-Scream prize packs that are to die for.  How to Enter:  There a two ways to enter the Scare, Share & Win Contest. #1:  During your visit to Busch Gardens, look for the Scare, Share & Win logo in various locations throughout the park. Snap a #HowloSelfie at any of the following locations: Wendigo Woods Torture Hill Ripper Row Ireland Village Vampire Point Then post your #HowlOSelfie to Twitter and/or Instagram with #HowlOSelfie and #Sweeps, follow and…
  • Vampire Point™: A Terror-tory™ Terror-Story

    Emily Bea
    9 Sep 2014 | 12:06 pm
      Our favorite day of the week, Terror-story Tuesday, is here and today we share a tale that is very… grim indeed: Once upon a time, there was a village of unspeakable evil. For years, inhuman creatures wreaked havoc on defenseless victims. Until one day, when the creatures mysteriously disappeared. Ever since then, the village has lain buried and forgotten. Accounts of the dark deeds perpetrated by the town’s blood-thirsty residents have faded into mere myths told around campfires to give listeners a thrill while still feeling secure in their own safety. After all,…
  • International Vulture Awareness Day

    Emily Bea
    6 Sep 2014 | 10:12 am
    Since today is International Vulture Awareness Day, we thought what better time to introduce you to Busch Gardens’ resident scavenger: our Black Vulture, Attila. If you have seen The Secret Life of Predators show, you know that Attila provides some comic relief during the show as she flies over our stage wall and surprises the audience. She hops comically around stage “helping” the trainer clean up the mess they made. Not only is she entertaining, but she delivers a very important message. Vultures play a vital role in our environment by cleaning up carrion. This eliminates…
  • Thank You, Pass Members

    Emily Bea
    6 Sep 2014 | 4:55 am
      When I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to lead our Virginia parks over four years ago, one of the very first things that impressed me was our pass member loyalty and engagement.  If you think about other great brands, that mutual dependence between the brand and the customer, if you will, is a very important part of a healthy brand.  It is something we focus on every day to show our guests how much we appreciate their business. We work hard on the details. Even the small things matter, as we never take anyone’s business for granted.  I’m very…
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    A Charlotte Garden

  • Happy Bloom Day!

    Daricia McKnight
    15 Sep 2014 | 5:13 pm
    Yellow Wood Sage (Salvia koyame)If you look into my garden from next door or across the street, you will see a lot of green but maybe nothing blooming. It's been an unusual year, starting with a very slow spring—cool and wet. Everything grew very tall and then flopped until I tied it up or cut it back. Then it got hot and dry and everything bloomed out early, or else the deer pruned all the flowers off.Even so, there is more than might appear, and if you take a stroll through, these are some of the blooms still hanging on.Yellow wood sage is blooming and spreading and I couldn't be more…
  • Windowsill Art

    Daricia McKnight
    15 Sep 2014 | 10:35 am
    At any given moment the windowsill over my kitchen sink will have a wildflower, an acorn, a piece of something or other rooting, maybe a sprig that smells nice—one or all of these. I like to keep natural things close by to enjoy them, but also to observe them for a while, maybe notice how they change over time, or sometimes just appreciate their daintiness up close. Whatever the reason, I know there are others of you who do this too (or your children do), and your windowsills and tabletops look a lot like mine.Windowsill Art—Creating one-of-a-kind natural arrangements to celebrate the…
  • Summer Wrap-Up: Portland, Day 2, Part 1

    Daricia McKnight
    9 Sep 2014 | 9:38 am
    Taking a peek into Lan Su Chinese GardenAfter a day to acclimate and attend the pre-Fling cocktail party, the Garden Blogger's Fling officially started on my second day in Portland with a breakfast reception at Timber Press. Timber Press is my favorite source for gardening/natural history books, and I've enjoyed doing occasional reviews and giveaways for them. It was exciting to finally meet the staff and see where they work.Breakfast at Timber Press — books and bagels, what could be better? Oh, how about coffee and mimosas!Breakfast was thoughtfully planned and delicious…just like their…
  • Summer Wrap-Up: Portland, Day 1

    Daricia McKnight
    5 Sep 2014 | 6:04 pm
    Even if I’m not all that keen on saying goodbye to Summer, after Labor Day is past, it seems like time to wrap up any loose ends and get geared up for the Fall back-to-school/holiday rush that lasts from now until about January 1.A couple of those loose ends include the pictures I took over the summer and the posts I never wrote! I showed you pictures from Joy Creek Nursery near Portland recently, but that was only one tiny bit of the Garden Bloggers Fling I attended in July. I thought you might like to see more about that? Well, I hope so.Flying to Portland in the evening made for an…
  • Hungry Writing Spiders

    Daricia McKnight
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:09 pm
    Writing spiders (Argiope aurantia) seem to be active in everyone's gardens right now. Are you finding them in yours? I've seen several posts identifying or otherwise mentioning them on Facebook.There was a time when I would have killed spiders like these if they got in the house, but now I just catch and relocate them.It's amazing, isn't it, how observing and becoming familiar with the wild creatures around you makes you more compassionate toward them. It's one of the great benefits of having a garden.*
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    Lead up the Garden Path

  • Still flowering for GBBD September.

    15 Sep 2014 | 12:21 am
    September is halfway through already, it is darker in the evenings and there is definitely an air of autumn about the garden. Misty mornings which then turn into beautiful sunny days are the norm at the moment and will be for a while longer if the weather forecasters are to be believed. Some flowers are having a last mad fling before the onset of cooler weather, some are flowering again , but smaller, where they were cut back earlier. Some though are just starting to flower,  as now is their time to be the centre of attention. One of my favourite grasses at this time of year, forming a…
  • Lunch and a garden in Somerset.

    8 Sep 2014 | 5:49 am
    We met up with a friend the other week who was making her way home from Dorset to Wales, at Margery Fish’s garden at East Lambrook Manor in Somerset. There is also a good pub opposite, The Rose and Crown, which is ideal for lunch. I think the pub must do very well from all the visitors to the garden, especially in February as the garden is famous for it’s snowdrops. One year we went and got the last available table, so its best to book ahead. There were lots of lovely Japanese Anemones near  the silver garden, I wish mine were as good as this. Mine are struggling in more shade,…
  • Back to School.

    3 Sep 2014 | 2:49 am
    The Rotary Club in Exeter have promised a school in the city that they will redesign and plant their little garden, with wildlife in mind. The undergardener is a member of the Rotary Club in Exeter and I was roped in to give them some ideas on design and to tell them which plants would be suitable. When I first saw it, my heart sank somewhat as there had been a garden on the site but it was completely over run with weeds and seedling trees. The left hand side is the sunny side and has the sun all day long. At the top end is an arbour which has more light now that some of the trees have been…
  • August EOM View.

    31 Aug 2014 | 4:42 am
    Looking back over last month’s EOM view, there has been a subtle change in the way the garden looks, it is a much softer light which makes everything appear more mellow with hints of yellow to be seen everywhere, summer is slipping away. I have taken my usual wander round the garden but there don’t seem to be any highlights this month. I will have to go searching for some for you, I just hope I can find some! The Bee and butterfly border is still flowering, but only just. At the back of the border, wild Evening Primrose is allowed to seed around. The seeds are left on because I…
  • Is Summer slipping away? GBFD August.

    22 Aug 2014 | 8:01 am
    Even though we don’t want to think about it, the evidence is there for all to see. The fresh green colours of spring and summer are gradually being overtaken by a few colours of autumn. This is a white peony which I really must plant soon, it has been in a pot for far too long. Roses are still putting out new growth, but with other leaves taking on a red tinge, it makes them look autumnal. The leaves on Viburnum plicatum Lanarth are starting to colour up. Viburnum plicatum Maresii are not far behind, these will end up all purple in a few weeks. This fern looks autumnal but is the…
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    The Sage Butterfly

  • The Scattering of Seeds

    The Sage Butterfly
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:47 am
    Throughout the growing season, there is a scattering of seeds from all sorts of plants in the garden. There is a cycle of life that supports a spreading and sharing of more life. Life begets life. Once the echinacea flower has completed its summer display of colorful and exquisite blooms, it forms seeds that, when ready, gently float on a breeze to land in a moist and fertile spot for next year's growth. Although the original plant remains in its spot for many more seasons of beauty, it continues to send out the physical embodiment of small, but powerful, sparks for new life each season. This…
  • Composting Part III: How to Make Perfect Compost

    The Sage Butterfly
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:16 am
    Photo - University of Wisconsin at LaCrosseDecomposition will happen no matter what you do with kitchen scraps or garden waste, but in this post we want to talk about how to make it happen more quickly. This is sometimes referred to as Active Composting or Aerobic Composting. By performing a few tasks when composting, you can ensure that you will have perfect compost in a few months. Perfect compost is organic matter that has fully decomposed and is ready to use as a natural fertilizer in the garden. It is easy to make and so beneficial for your plants.Location, LocationOne of the most…
  • Tracking the Journey North

    The Sage Butterfly
    9 Apr 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Since we had a harsh winter, I was wondering if there would be a delay in the arrival of the Ruby-throated hummingbird. The delay only seems to be about a week according to reported sightings of these creatures on their migration journey northward.The Ruby-throated hummingbird migrates north in the spring to breed. They fly from Central America up to the U.S. In winter, they feed from southern Mexico to northern Panama. Their journey north may begin as early as January, feeding off of insects found in northern Mexico. They fatten up, nearly doubling in weight, for the long journey, sometimes…
  • My Garden Notebook - April 2014

    The Sage Butterfly
    1 Apr 2014 | 4:46 am
    King of the Striped CrocusWinter seems to have made a strong refusal to leave and allow spring to take over. We have had snow this month, very cold temperatures, and some periods of rain and wintry mix precipitation. However, all of that does not seem to hinder the emergence of spring for many of the plants in the garden. Spring manages to squeeze in a few days here and there of warm temperatures that whisper a soft tune to all the plants that spring is coming despite winter's resistance.statsGardening Zone: 7aMarch High Temperature: 73 degrees FMarch Low Temperature: 10 degrees…
  • The Magic and Wonder of Leaves

    The Sage Butterfly
    27 Mar 2014 | 6:02 am
    Leaves sprinkle across the landscape, unmistakable and established. They are a token of most landscapes, providing the backdrop for a pleasant view or gorgeous vista. Beautiful alone, in pairs, or in groups, they hold the dazzling charm of nature's breath.Draped over a fence or resting on the snow, they often go unnoticed because they are seen by many each day.They hold water...and ice.They gather frost...and find respite.They catch the sun...and drift across water.Some Facts About Leaves1. Leaves use photosynthesis to convert energy from sunlight to feed the tree or plant.2. The green in…
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    Garden Walk Garden Talk

  • Going Dark

    Donna Brok
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:00 pm
    I will be gone from blogging for a month and hope my readers will continue to follow my posts when I return. There are over 760 posts on GWGT and it only takes finding something to spark your interest that … Continue reading →
  • Open Gardens a Treat for the Public

    Donna Brok
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:00 pm
    What does that mean to you? Here in Western New York it pretty much means a summer-long string of gardens open to the public, where gardeners invite in the public on designated days to view their private gardens. Many times … Continue reading →
  • Garden Bloggers Fling – Toronto – What Will Be Blooming? Let’s See.

    Donna Brok
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:00 pm
    I wish I knew the answer to that question. Living here in Niagara Falls, NY, it is 80 miles driving and about 1 hour and 26 minutes to Toronto. They are North and a slight bit West of us around … Continue reading →
  • Bees on Blooms – Garden Thoughts at the End of August

    Donna Brok
    24 Aug 2014 | 4:00 pm
    You might think these images belong on my other blog, Nature and Wildlife Pics, but I assure you, there are many bees there. There is a few important points I want to make in this post on gardening, which I … Continue reading →
  • What Makes Garden Walk Buffalo Gardens So Successful?

    Donna Brok
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Pull up a comfy seat, relax and as a designer, I will tell you. It is not the design per say, but rather the love that goes into each garden creation. It is trial and error and decades of experience. … Continue reading →
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  • Recipe: I-Love-Veggies! Bake

    3 Sep 2014 | 7:14 am
    It’s new recipe time! This one uses foods from the summer harvest (mostly) and makes enough for leftovers. Mixing flavors of sweet potatoes, butternut squash and green beans also makes this dish colorful, and the delicious, savory sauce made from…cauliflower … Continue reading →The post Recipe: I-Love-Veggies! Bake appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Ask Gardenerd: Low-Light Crops for Fall

    2 Sep 2014 | 11:36 am
    An eager gardenerd wrote into Ask Gardenerd last week asking, “What crops can I grow in low-light conditions (5 hours of sunlight)?” Since not everyone has access to full sun, we’re guessing this question has come up at least a … Continue reading →The post Ask Gardenerd: Low-Light Crops for Fall appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Field Trip: Little Farm in Encino, CA

    26 Aug 2014 | 7:15 am
    We’re about to take you on a journey to a magical place; a place where tropical and rare fruits grow in abundance, where grapevines climb arbors, where goats, chickens, rabbits and birds live in comfort, all in the middle of … Continue reading →The post Field Trip: Little Farm in Encino, CA appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Harvesting Sage

    20 Aug 2014 | 11:30 pm
    I have a confession to make. I’ve never really been able to keep culinary sage alive, even though it’s a perennial. Therefore I’ve had very little experience with harvesting sage, aside from picking individual leaves, because it usually dies in … Continue reading →The post Harvesting Sage appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Recipe: Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:05 am
    This week, we continue our efforts to provide interesting meal ideas with the abundance of zucchini coming in from the garden. Are you sick of it yet? Hopefully not, because this zucchini quinoa lasagna (technically lasagne, because we’re using more … Continue reading →The post Recipe: Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna appeared first on Gardenerd.
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    Perennial Meadows

  • 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…
  • Grasses – the current state of play

    30 May 2014 | 1:55 am
    The introduction of ornamental grasses into planting plans was one of the most significant changes to occur within garden design in the past twenty years. Through their inclusion amidst an evolving planting pallet of perennials, contemporary gardens took on a naturalistic feel, far removed from the stiff block plantings of traditional herbaceous borders; grasses introduced an informal air with strong associations with wild nature. The distinctive characteristics that set grasses apart from the other plants that we grow in our gardens results in them having a powerful influence wherever they…
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    Beautiful Wildlife Garden

  • When the Gall Moves, it Probably isn’t a Gall

    Loret T. Setters
    12 Sep 2014 | 8:14 am
    I was walking past the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) tree, one of two saplings I have planted on the southwest side of the pond. Bald-cypress are known for getting species-specific insects known as Cypress Twig Gall Midge (Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa). The smaller of my two trees has a few sprinkled throughout. Galls are housing created from […] 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
  • Gardening for Wildlife at the Flower Farm

    Jesse Elwert
    11 Sep 2014 | 9:11 am
    On September 28th last year (2012), my husband and I closed on our first home, a 1.5 acre property that backs out to a nature preserve and is surrounded by woods on all four sides. I wrote about our gardening efforts last year in an article I called “Wildlife Gardening in Rivendell,” because the property […] 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
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit

    Brenda Clements Jones
    9 Sep 2014 | 4:39 am
    Anticipation Anticipation makes my world go ’round. I find something, perhaps a plant, just beginning to emerge in the spring. I return to the infant plant often. Watching and waiting. Looking forward to its grand finale. This is the story of anticipation from beginning to disappointing end, of a Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum. The photograph above, taken in mid […] 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
  • Little Lacewing Life Cycle

    Judy Burris
    7 Sep 2014 | 10:48 pm
    Lacewings are delicate insects that are considered to be beneficial to your garden.  I’ve observed them in my beautiful wildlife garden during the day and at night.  To the casual observer they appear to be clumsy fliers, but that may serve as a survival technique.  From what I’ve read, they have sensory organs at the […] 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
  • Cream of the Gardening Crop: Skimmers

    Loret T. Setters
    5 Sep 2014 | 8:10 am
    I’ve a new dragonfly at my place.  I was excited when I saw the overall purple hue of this beauty.  I knew it was one I had never seen before and at first I struggled to identify it. Anyone can make up a  checklist of Dragonflies and Damselflies (order: Odonata) based on their location.  I […] 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

  • Roundup of the Top Tomatoes for 2014

    15 Sep 2014 | 1:16 pm
    Posted by WesternGardener A late start, continued unseasonably cool weather and drenching rains early in the season meant tomatoes had a difficult time this year. The vegetable garden eventually came around and there were plenty of tomatoes to enjoy. Here are my top picks for 2014.
  • Simple Way to Preserve Fresh Zucchini

    9 Sep 2014 | 2:52 pm
    Posted by WesternGardener Sure, you’re tired of eating zucchini now, but this winter you may find yourself longing for the taste of some vegetables from your garden. Here’s the easiest way I’ve found for preserving some of your bountiful squash harvest.
  • Summer Salad, Nicoise-Style

    7 Sep 2014 | 9:08 pm
    Posted by cookinwithherbs Summertime and the living is easy--supper time involves as little cooking as possible--and preparing something simple with garden produce. Here is a recipe for an easy salad, Nicoise-style, using whatever you have on hand.
  • Garden Bounty: Late Summer Garden Happenings

    30 Aug 2014 | 7:20 pm
    Posted by cookinwithherbs What's going on in your garden? As the harvest season is peaking and some of our summer vegetable and herb plants are winding down, it is time for preserving, tidying up and getting ready to plant a few fall crops.
  • Catalog Review: Pepper Joe's

    30 Aug 2014 | 11:50 am
    Posted by yourownvictorygarden Pepper Joe's offers a great variety of pepper seeds, including the Guinness Book of World Records' hottest pepper variety, the Carolina Reaper.
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    Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

  • Get Closer to Nature and Wildlife With Your Smartphone

    Kevin J. Railsback
    15 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    How many times have you been out in your garden or in some other natural area and saw something that made you wish you had your video camera with you? I know I’ve made it a habit that if I go out to Indian Creek Nature Center near my home, I always take my camera […] 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 Many Faces of Primrosewillow

    Loret T. Setters
    13 Sep 2014 | 6:35 pm
    Family Onagraceae                     Genus Ludwigia I’ve grown quite fond of Primrosewillow (Ludwigia spp.).  They provide bright yellow spots in moist to wet landscapes primarily in the Southeastern United States.*  {click on the subordinate taxa tab in the database to find the native most appropriate for your […] 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 Bestiary: Part Thirty-three ~ Songbirds: Baltimore Oriole

    Carol Duke
    11 Sep 2014 | 5:10 am
    Another one of my favorite birds is the brilliant orange and black Baltimore Oriole Icterus glacial. I have large volumes of admiration for this member of the blackbird family and love hearing the male’s crisp flute-like songs. The songs are a sequence of two varying notes repeated up to seven times and they carry across […] 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 Look Back on the Summer that Wasn’t…and the Bugs that Were

    Miriam Goldberger
    10 Sep 2014 | 5:18 am
    Living in Canada, I am often harassed about the weather.  And while I’m not fond of small talking about the weather, I am going to bring it up, if only for a moment.  This summer lacked none of the typical harassment I am used to.  It wasn’t exactly warm, but you know what?  It rained […] 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
  • Waking to the Moment

    Benjamin Vogt
    9 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    It had been a long day; to tell you the truth I don’t remember why, but I’ve been juggling far more things this year than ever before in my life. Sunsets and sunrises seem to be about an hour apart in my world, and I know that if I’m to get to the place where […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautiful photos and let us know what you think by leaving a comment at this post
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    Big Blog Of Gardening

  • The Greatest Multi-Purpose Garden Tool? A Machete.

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

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

    Guest Author
    15 Jul 2014 | 8:02 am
    Big Blog Of Gardening How to choose the right aquatic flora to not only enhance the look of your garden pond, but its bio-functionality too! Continue reading → Garden Pond Plants: Which are Best?
  • My Favorite Garden Herbs and How To Grow Them

    Dr. Leonard Perry
    7 Jul 2014 | 10:34 am
    Big Blog Of Gardening The best and most useful herbs to grow in your garden, from Dr. Leonard Perry, University of Vermont. Continue reading → My Favorite Garden Herbs and How To Grow Them
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    Nigel Gnome grows a vegetable

  • 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…
  • July, it's all upward and onward from here

    Nigel Gnome
    3 Jul 2014 | 10:49 pm
    The shortest day has been and gone, I always feel happier knowing that the days will start to grow longer and soon things will be popping and bursting all over the place! :)The tender stem broccoli plants have been producing very well, once the main head is removed the side shoots need almost daily harvesting.Main head still smallishThe side shoots after an earlier decapitation.Each and every garlic clove has sprouted and are growing well, I'll wait till September/October before adding a good layer of sheep pellets to give them a strong growth burst for…
  • Jumping into June!

    Nigel Gnome
    7 Jun 2014 | 11:17 pm
    That went fast, one minute May, next minute June. Still surprisingly mild, so far only one frost. Tenderstem broccoli are forming small middles, the plants look nice and sturdy.I had prepared a bed for the garlic last weekend with compost and granular Thrive fertilizer. I laid a pattern of sticks to space the cloves just nicely, 45 nice fat ones (bought from Mitre 10) in all. Trellis bits marking out the planting gaps, cloves happily in bed :)There are beautiful lemons on the tree, and it also has flowersLemon flower after rain
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  • On the Roof with Q…a secret rooftop restaurant in the heart of London

    15 Sep 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Here in the UK, the weather’s been so lovely and warm recently, with above average temperatures for this time of year. If you’re in London over the next few weeks and would like to make the most of the sunshine, I highly recommend visiting On the Roof with Q, an alfresco restaurant which serves late breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Located on the roof of Selfridges in Oxford Street, it really is a little oasis of calm in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of city life. And florist McQueens has styled the venue beautifully with lush herbaceous borders and dense…
  • Book Review of Sarah Raven’s Cutting Garden Journal

    14 Sep 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Today, I’m thrilled to feature Sarah Raven’s new book called Sarah Raven’s Cutting Garden Journal. I recently received a review copy and have really enjoyed reading it. Month by month, Sarah shares which plants you should be growing, how you should be caring for them and how you should be using them in your cut flower displays. There’s also advice on how to plan a cutting garden, fact sheets on individual flowers and foliage, flower arranging projects, how to take cuttings, plus lots more. Here are a few of the beautiful arrangements featured in the book… Also…
  • Flowerona Links: With floral head wreaths, windmills & a flower coat…

    13 Sep 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Thank you so much everyone for all your lovely comments about my video yesterday (and for ‘liking’ it)! I really appreciate it. Now on to one of your favourite blog posts of the week…Flowerona Links. General Stunning Instagram images from BRRCH Interview with McKenzie Powell Floral Design via Floret Flowers, foliage, plants & sundries at New Covent Garden Flower Market Amazing giant floral cake created by Simon Lycett Interview with Vic Brotherson of Scarlet & Violet Gorgeous floral head wreaths by Bows & Arrows Windmills & Windflowers…a beautiful…
  • Flowerona Reflects…featuring my holiday, Laura Fantacci of WIT, J Crew & New Covent Garden Flower Market

    12 Sep 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Where has the time gone? I can’t quite believe that it’s over a month ago that I published my first video on YouTube! Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and encouragement. Today, I’m featuring my second video and it’s just over three minutes long. You may remember that I used to have a blog post series called Flowerona Reflects? Well, I thought I’d reinstate it, but this time in a video format. I hope you enjoy watching the video…and of course, I’d love to hear your comments and feedback! Don’t forget, if you’re receiving…
  • Flowerona Tips: Tweeting on behalf of a company? Here’s how to personalise it…

    12 Sep 2014 | 10:13 am
    Behind every Twitter account, there’s a real person, just like you and me! And this Flowerona Tips blog post was prompted by a conversation I had with a company earlier in the week. Three people were responsible for their Twitter account. As personal service and building relationships with their clients was very important to them, I recommended that they let their followers know who was actually behind the account by adding the names of each person to the Twitter Bio. In Settings/Profile/Bio, simply enter the names of who’s tweeting on behalf of your company, by including the…
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    Sprinkler Juice

  • A Watering Refresher Course

    9 Sep 2014 | 6:57 am
    A new season (fall in this case) means new lawn tasks that need to be completed in order to maintain a green and healthy lawn. In the fall that means things like raking and mulching leaves. It also... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Hiding Your Sprinkler System

    4 Sep 2014 | 7:23 am
    We all know about the big advantages of having a lawn sprinkler system in your yard. It’s a great way to make sure your lawn and garden get the proper amount of water at the best times. And it’s so... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Don't Dig Up the Sprinkler System

    25 Aug 2014 | 12:13 pm
    If you are planning on doing some landscaping, either this fall or next spring, there is plenty to think about. Here’s one good tip: Avoid digging up the lawn sprinkler system. This might sound... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Fall is Planting Time

    18 Aug 2014 | 1:04 pm
    Summer is the time to enjoy fun in the sun. Fall is the time for planting. Why fall? Many of you might think spring is the best time to plant. That’s not entirely untrue. There are plenty of things... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • A Sprinkler Audit

    12 Aug 2014 | 8:41 am
    August is here and lawns will be feeling the summer heat for at least one more month. Now is as good a time as any to perform your own irrigation audit on your lawn sprinkler system. One good place... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Your Easy Garden

  • 5 Ways to Add Late Season Color to Your Gardens

    2 Sep 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Late season color is easy to obtain if you select the right plants. Do you have garden envy at this time of year?  Are your neighbor’s gardens abounding in color while yours has turned a bit blah?  If so, don’t despair!  Here are 5 easy ways to add late season color to your garden! A container filled with Tropicanna, marigolds and other mixed annuals adds color to this otherwise dull fall garden. 1) Use containers to add spot color.  Simple containers filled with bright colored, long-blooming annuals like marigolds, impatiens, petunias, geraniums, angelonia, osteospermum, snapdragons…
  • Great Plants Up Close

    Elizabeth DeFriest
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:41 am
    Maybe we’re getting too caught up with landscaping and we’ve forgotten to look at the plants? Which wouldn’t be surprising given there’s so much on TV, in magazines and online: all offering fantastic ideas ready for us to put into place in our own gardens. Of course this is fantastic – anything that helps people enjoy their gardens more is fantastic – but maybe we’re thinking so much about the paving, fencing, the water features, fire pits and furniture that we’ve forgotten about the living component. So I’d like to do my bit to remind us all of how connected plants make us…
  • Hens at Home

    Elizabeth DeFriest
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    When people discover that I keep chickens, they are seriously surprised. The reaction I get is almost as if I’d announced I could ride a broomstick. (I can’t.) Of course the real reason is partly that it’s a resurrection of home arts; a rediscovering simple food production technology. But it could also be because I keep hens in a tiny inner urban garden and get enough eggs to make the family regularly complain, “Not omelets again?” If you’re interested, here’s how I do it. It’s incredibly simple and it’s a super fabulous fit in any garden because chook poo is a brilliant…
  • Choosing the Right Plant for the Right Conditions, including Drought!

    Phillip Townshend
    11 Aug 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Drought tolerant gardens don’t have to be boring! Photo is from Lambley Nursery and Gardens in Victoria, Australia; photo via As I travelled through much of the USA this summer (in fact I have logged about 3,000 miles with my colleague Justin visiting growers, retailers and gardens), one of the key topics that has been in the news is the drought conditions which much of California and Texas are experiencing. I have blogged previously on gardening in drought conditions and speak from experience in coming from a country like Australia where cyclical droughts are the norm. I…
  • Favorite Gardening Quotes

    Your Easy Garden Team
    3 Aug 2014 | 10:45 am
    A few of our readers have submitted some of their favorite gardening quotes and sayings, so we thought it would be nice to share them. Enjoy and if you have a favorite quote, please send it along!              
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    The Mini Garden Guru - Your Miniature Garden Source

  • A Little Miniature Gardening in the Big State of Texas

    Janit Calvo
    5 Sep 2014 | 6:09 pm
    A Little Miniature Gardening in the Big State of Texas I was invited to do an interview for Your Livable Garden, the nation’s longest running landscape architecture radio show based in Houston, Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes miniature gardening – pardon the oxymoron. It remains in our top fives States for our […]
  • Miniature Gardening News From Around the World

    Janit Calvo
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:45 pm
    Miniature Gardening News From Around the World Geez, I take a week-off from blogging and miniature gardening goes on a world tour. Lol! Just in case you missed what’s been happening in the ever-growing world of The Little Hobby That Could, it’s making some serious headway throughout the world. Here is your update! But First, Clarification for […]
  • Tried, Trusted and True: Miniature Garden Accessories, Part 1

    Janit Calvo
    14 Aug 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Trusted, Tried and True: Miniature Garden Accessories, Part 1 I’m a tree-hugger. With just about everything I do, see, hear or read, I try to think about the environment and impact our decisions make upon the earth. Yea, sometimes that makes me the rain on the parade but if “it” is permanent landfill after it […]
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    Lunar Home and Garden

  • Rosemary and Migraines

    CJ Wright
    15 Sep 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Rosemary, an herb of the Sun, is a culinary herb used regularly by people all over the world. Culpepper says, “It helps a weak memory, and quickens the senses.” Plant rosemary in the waning Moon phase during a fertile sign. I’ve … Continue reading →
  • Autumn and Libra in the Lunar Home and Garden

    CJ Wright
    14 Sep 2014 | 9:19 am
    The Autumnal Equinox arrives on September 22 this year at exactly the moment the Sun enters Libra ~  10:30pm (EDT). We not only have a change of signs, but a change of seasons, as well. If you love Autumn as … Continue reading →
  • Transplant Perennials after the Harvest Moon

    CJ Wright
    11 Sep 2014 | 11:10 am
    Harvest Moon is the Full Moon nearest the Autumn Equinox which is around September 21st each year. Here in the U.S., the Harvest Moon marks the season to begin transplanting our perennials and planting new bulbs. You may have already … Continue reading →
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    Organic Gardening Tips - Smiling Gardener

  • Planting Trees In The Fall (Plus Some Other Fun Stuff)

    5 Sep 2014 | 9:58 pm
    Question: As I ask at the end of the video below, for you creators out there - which really means anyone who has ideas they're putting into action (or wanting to put into action), like a business, non-profit organization, website, book, silent musical, etc - what kinds of things are you creating (or thinking of creating) these days? I'm just curious to learn a little more about you. Let me know down in the comments below! Video Summary I have 4 things for you today! Planting trees in the fall is one of my favorite things to do, so today I'm giving you 9 videos from my online gardening course…
  • Some New Questions For You - I'd Really Love To Hear Your Thoughts

    1 Aug 2014 | 9:58 pm
    I don’t usually create many videos and articles once summer rolls around. That's because you guys seem to stop tuning in as much this time of year and I often get into other projects of mine as well. Of course I don’t stop gardening, but that doesn’t take much work once you have a garden that’s functioning pretty well, especially when you're focusing on perennial plants...
  • How NOT To Control Pests In An Organic Garden

    18 May 2014 | 9:58 pm
    About 1 out of 2.5 people in North America will get cancer at some point in their lives. I notice an interesting parallel between how we treat cancer and how we treat pests in our gardens. The main ways our medical system tries to get rid of cancer are to cut it out (surgery), burn it out (radiation) and poison it out (chemotherapy). I’m not here to discuss the merit of these practices, but I think most of my readers would agree that there are at least some additional strategies that would be nice to consider if we’re interested in taking more of a holistic approach. Certainly the…
  • 6 Steps For Boosting Garden Health To Grow Healthier Organic Food

    16 May 2014 | 9:58 pm
    I talk a lot about how to improve garden health because it’s obviously a vital step for growing nutrient-dense organic food. That’s why the first 6 months of The Academy - my members-only online organic gardening course - are largely about how to optimize the health of your soil and plants. (The course discount is ending on Tuesday night, so be sure to join before then if it’s something you’re interested in). The reason the following steps are so important is because we’re trying to grow plants that probably wouldn’t be growing in our gardens on their own, plants that often need…
  • A Garden Tip We All Need To Remember This Year

    14 May 2014 | 9:58 pm
    Sometimes gardening seems so easy, and yet sometimes so hard. And sometimes LIFE seems so easy, and yet sometimes so hard. Today I’d like to weed through both of ‘em. Before I get into it today, I’ll mention that the introductory fee on my online organic gardening course - the Smiling Gardener Academy - is going up on Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern Time. If you sign up before then, you’ll end up saving a lot of money, so if you’ve been thinking about it, be sure to check it out. It’s definitely worthwhile if you’re looking for a comprehensive video-based course on growing an…
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    Sow and So

  • Honeyed Hazels Recipe

    Laila Noort
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:22 am
    Who doesn’t want to grow nuts! So last year I bought two Webb’s Prize Cobnut plants. Cobnuts are a cultivated variety of  hazelnut. The trees (or shrubs to be precise) have grown a lot this year and one of them showed the beginnings of a few nuts early this season. Cobnuts are a bit larger and more oval shaped than their wild hazelnut cousins. Wild Hazels After seeing nuts forming on my own plants I suddenly saw a wild ones growing not far from my home. Funnily enough I have walked past it many times on my morning walks with the dogs, never realising what kind of plant it was. So…
  • X is for Xylem – Word Up!

    Bridget Elahcene
    11 Sep 2014 | 10:23 pm
    Xylem \zʌɪləm\ The vascular tissue in plants which conducts water and dissolved nutrients upwards from the root and also helps to form the woody element in the stem.
  • Butterflies on Sedum – Wordless Wednesday

    Laila Noort
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
  • Curtains for the conker?

    Bridget Elahcene
    8 Sep 2014 | 2:06 am
    Did  the leaves on the conker trees in your neck of the woods start turning brown at the height of summer? Same here. I was quite concerned, as I am particularly fond of the horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) with its glorious candle-like blossom and its fruit the conker (or buckeye as they are known in the USA), much admired and insatiably collected and played with by children and adults alike. Conker Trees Everywhere I went, I started looking out for conker trees to check on the condition of the leaves …and found every single one I saw, without exception, was affected –…
  • W is for Wattle – Word Up!

    Bridget Elahcene
    4 Sep 2014 | 10:18 pm
    Wattle \wɒt(ə)l\ Panels made from interwoven pliable twigs that were originally used by farmers to control their livestock. However, in a return to and appreciation of rural crafts they are now often used as decorative fence panels and screens in informal and cottage gardens. Being tough they provide ideal support for climbing and twining plants.
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    The Hortiholic

  • "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.
  • Winter, Bunnies & Ice - Not So Nice

    Tony Fulmer
    15 Apr 2014 | 5:53 pm
    I wish I had never ended the last post with, "Here's hoping the spring thaw brings you a garden unfazed by winter weather." Talk about a jinx- geez! If your garden escaped without burned evergreens, a moldy lawn, broken branches, shrubs girdled by rabbits, roses that appear dead... Well, run and get a lottery ticket, 'cause you're one of the lucky ones.Let's not dwell on how our plants got in this fix. We know how it happened. Let's get to solutions. There are some symptoms that we can be proactive about. Other damage is going to require patience and a wait-and-see-what-happens…
  • What to Know about Plants and Snow

    Tony Fulmer
    20 Jan 2014 | 10:08 am
    Recent snowfall and record-shattering temperatures are impossible to ignore. Can you imagine being a plant out in those conditions 24/7 with your roots in wet, frozen ground, snow knee high, and the rest of your "body" exposed to brutal winds? It certainly goes beyond my definition of chilling.What's a plant to do? There is good news. Snow is an incredible insulator. So, things like perennials and shrubs that are buried under snow are really safer than tender stems that are above the snowline exposed to the full force of below-zero temperatures and wind. Further, plants recognize real air…
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  • 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.
  • The Mexican Bird of Paradise Plant

    Paul Guzman
    12 Jul 2014 | 12:19 pm
      Photo by wallygrom  The Mexican Bird of Paradise Plant (Caesalpinia Mexicana).  Has a yellow flower and is considered a large shrub.  Its actually pretty easy to make it grow as a small tree.  So it would be perfect for a … Continue reading → The post The Mexican Bird of Paradise Plant appeared first on Blog.
  • The Yellow Bird of Paradise Plant

    Paul Guzman
    12 Jul 2014 | 12:11 pm
      The Yellow Bird of Paradise (caespalpinia gilliesii) is very drought tolerant, hardy plant for the southwest.  It has large yellow flowers and striking long red stamens.  Its great for rock, or xeriscaping gardens.  It will grow to about 5 maybe … Continue reading → The post The Yellow Bird of Paradise Plant appeared first on Blog.
  • Red Bird of Paradise for Bright Orange blooms

    Paul Guzman
    12 Jul 2014 | 9:02 am
    Red Bird of Paradise The Red bird of paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) also called the Mexican red bird of paradise is a beautiful bright orange flowering plant that thrives in hot warm climates.  It’s fern like small sized foliage resembles a Mesquite … Continue reading → The post Red Bird of Paradise for Bright Orange blooms appeared first on Blog.
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    Chicken Waterer

  • 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
  • Make the Perfect Perch For Your Chickens

    31 Aug 2014 | 6:23 am
    Sitting PrettyPerches provide a secure place for your chickens to rest at night and they have the added benefit of keeping chickens off the floor where they can be soiled by droppings.Mabel, my feet are killing me!Most books on coop design tell poultry owners to provide at least 10 inches of perch space for each bird in the flock. However, books generally don't specify the diameter or the shape of the perch. This isn't too surprising because there hasn't been any research done on the subject until very recently.  In 2011, a group of poultry researchers in Germany conducted a series of…
  • Rhode Island Red Chicken History & Breed Profile

    24 Aug 2014 | 8:37 am
    "Practical, Prolific, Profitable" that's how the Rhode Island Red (RIR) was described in the 1890's by Isaac Champlin Wilbour, an important early promoter of the breed. Wilbour's description of the breed is as true today as it was back then; RIR's are wonderful dual purpose chickens that lays 200-300 large brown eggs per year.History of the Rhode Island RedThe chicken that we are familiar with today resulted from a series of breeding experiments begun by William Tripp in 1854. Tripp was a sea captain and made routine visits to the coastal town of New Bedford, Rhode Island. Captain…
  • California Girls

    24 Aug 2014 | 8:36 am
    BriteTap chicken waterer. Clean water made simple! Visit us at
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    Urban Gardens

  • Urban Playground From Repurposed Shipping Containers at Container Park

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

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

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:24 pm
    Sometimes you see a product, structure, or piece of technology that makes you realize you are living in the future you imagined as a child. The Tetra Shed is one of those things. Hailing from the UK, this modular garden outbuilding… Read More...The post A Plug and Play Modern Outbuilding appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Clever Storage Ideas That Include a Kitchen Garden

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    11 Aug 2014 | 2:31 pm
    I am still unpacking my mental treasure trove of the beautiful designs I spied while on the Modenus BlogTour to Italy for Milan Design Week. While the hub of Design Week is Salone del Mobile (or Milan Furniture Fair for … Read More...The post Clever Storage Ideas That Include a Kitchen Garden appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • The Power of Moss: Biophotovoltaic

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    18 Jul 2014 | 11:52 am
    A modern designed table that incorporates the bright green life of moss is as urban-garden-chic as you can get. But wait there’s more. The moss on this table has a job to do—and that job is to generate power. That’s … Read More...The post The Power of Moss: Biophotovoltaic appeared first on Urban Gardens.
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    Grow Our Way

  • A Guide to Canning/Jarring

    Safer® Brand
    9 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    One of the great things about growing an organic garden is that you can enjoy what it produces long after the summer or fall harvest. By canning your surplus, you’ll have enough delicious and healthy organic fruits and vegetables on hand to get you through those cold winter months, which will also help you significantly lower your annual food costs. Use the following guide to help you make the most of your canning and preserving efforts. Use the Proper Equipment – There’s no shortage of canning supplies on the market these days, but you can get the job done with basic, inexpensive…
  • Eat Your Veggies: Tips for Growing Fabulous Organic Tomatoes

    Safer® Brand
    4 Sep 2014 | 1:21 pm
    As America’s most popular garden vegetable, the tomato is sure to be the star of your organic garden. Whether you prefer the small cherry or grape tomatoes for garnishing salads, larger slicing tomatoes that are great for sandwiches, or paste tomatoes that are the best choice for canning or cooking, your options are virtually unlimited. No matter what type of organic tomatoes you choose to grow, the following tips can help you achieve the beautiful, bountiful harvest you desire. “Prepping” the Tomato Seeds – The organic tomato growing process actually begins indoors. If you’re a…
  • My Organic Fall Garden Pinterest Contest!

    Safer® Brand
    2 Sep 2014 | 8:43 am
    Hey, Safer® Brand fans! It’s time for our next Pinterest contest! Enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a Safer® Brand Beginning Gardener Gift Pack! My Organic Fall Garden Pinterest Contest Running: September 2 – September 30, 2014 Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and one (1) Safer® Brand Beginning Gardener Gift Pack ($35.99 retail value) Entry Requirements: To enter the Safer® Brand Pinterest Contest, each participant must perform the following tasks: Follow Safer® Brand on Pinterest Create a board called: My Fall Organic Garden Make sure your board…
  • The GMO Bio

    Safer® Brand
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    How much do you really know about the foods you and your family consume on a daily basis? Many foods now contain ingredients that come from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are plants or vegetables that have been genetically engineered to achieve a specific result, such as larger-sized produce. This process is sometimes referred to as “gene splicing.” In gene splicing, genes from one plant may be inserted into the cells of an unrelated species in order to increase nutrients, develop a resistance against certain types of insects, or in most cases, increase herbicide tolerance.
  • Pesky Pests

    Safer® Brand
    21 Aug 2014 | 8:47 am
    Whether they have two wings or six legs, insects can be a menace to your organic gardening efforts. While some bugs are beneficial — killing harmful insects, pollinating flowers and cleaning up debris — many insect species are nothing but trouble. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the more common harmful insects you may come across in your garden: Aphids – Aphids are tiny and blend in so well with the surrounding foliage that they are extremely difficult to see. However, these soft-bodied, pear-shaped pests can cause damage by latching onto plant leaves in clusters or by sucking…
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    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

  • Artist Talk: Woody Woodroof on Botanical Cyanotypes Show ‘Invasives’

    Jonah Holland
    14 Sep 2014 | 4:25 am
    by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Organic farmer, community organizer, and artist Woody Woodroof  creates large scale botanical cyanotypes on fabric using the power of the sun. His work combines farming, the environment, and art, and asks viewers to slow down and notice the intricacy and beauty of the everyday plants and weeds around them.  The botanical cyanotypes show ‘Invasives’ continues through September 21, 2014 in Ginter Gallery II.  But you really won’t want to miss Woodroof’s artist talk on September 20, at…
  • Stories from Yesteryear: History of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Janet Woody
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:38 am
    by Janet Woody, Garden Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Continuing from last week, here is the conclusion of Grace Arent’s biography of her Uncle Lewis Ginter published in the Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography. She wrote this in 1919. The story picks up after the Panic of 1873, when Lewis Ginter’s banking enterprise failed and he became a traveling salesman selling tobacco to repay the debts incurred by his banking failure. Miss Grace’s words continue: “English naval officer”, one of Allen & Ginter’s cigarette cards from the 1880s  His…
  • Gardening: Moss Metamorphosis

    Jonah Holland
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:14 am
    by Lynn Kirk, Public Relations Writer,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, reprinted with permission from the Richmond Times-Dispatch As sunlight changes throughout the day, so do the colors of the mosses at Eden Woods. photo by Norie Burnet Keep it or kill it? While many homeowners and gardeners consider moss a nuisance, others have learned to appreciate its beauty and benefits. Over a 35-year span, Bon Air resident Norie Burnet grew to love moss and now cultivates it with passion. “I never, ever thought about a moss garden, but it kept creeping in while I was trying to garden,” she said.
  • Love in a Puff: Volunteering in the Children’s Garden

    Jonah Holland
    8 Sep 2014 | 3:16 am
    By Nicki, Youth Programs Developer, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden   Volunteers examining a puff of seeds on the “love-in-a-puff” plant. As you can see in the picture, matures seeds have a perfect white heart atop a black spherical seed.   Volunteers in the Children’s Garden collect Cardiospermum halicacabum (also known as love-in-a-puff, balloon vine, or heartseed) and package for the Fall Plant Sale (coming up Sept. 19-20). The plant is an annual vine with small green puff balls that can be popped to collect the seeds. Cardiospermum halicacabum (also known as Love in…
  • 3 Top Ornamental Grasses: Tips to Improve Your Lawn

    Beth Monroe
    6 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    By Beth Monroe, Public Relations and Marketing Director, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden BEFORE: colorful flags mark the planting scheme for the new Grass Garden in front of the Conservatory A transformation took place at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden this past Wednesday. We replaced more than 9,000 square feet of traditional turf with 2,000 ornamental grasses. The location of the new Grass Garden in front of the highly visible Conservatory makes a statement. “We want to show how ornamental grass can be used in the landscape, including a formal one,” explains Horticulture Director Grace…
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    The Diligent Gardener

  • Garden Storage Options for Your Tools and Bikes this Winter

    11 Sep 2014 | 8:42 am
    Those cold winter months are just around the corner and that means that if you’ve not already started, then it is time to start making preparations for your garden. It may be hard to believe, but a garden is not all about your luscious lawn and well-tended shrubs and beautiful flower beds. From your BBQ to your bike to that abundance of garden tools you’ve collected over the years, there are just so many items that require protection from the harsh weather conditions. With those chilly, autumnal days are fast approaching and so there really is no better time to consider your winter…
  • Why Garden Furniture completes a Garden

    7 Sep 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Your garden is something very personal to you; you look after it, you decide how it looks and more significantly you decide what goes in it. With that final point I’m not just referring to the trees, flowers or herbs you may plant, or the appliances and tools; yes these are an important part of it but what really completes your garden above all is the furniture you choose.It could be said that a garden without furniture is like a guitar without any strings – you have the basic elements but there’s a crucial part missing that you need to get before you can fully enjoy it. What’s more…
  • Sliding Doors: A Perfect Fit for your Garden

    7 Sep 2014 | 1:12 pm
    Are you are considering home improvement of some variety? Perhaps aimed at making the most of the sometimes sadly overlooked garden you have? There is a straightforward and very effective means in which to do this - installing a set of sliding doorson the rear of your house or perhaps even on your greenhouse or on your shed.You may think that sliding doors are reserved only for beach houses and might not suit your property and garden, however this is certainly not the case and by getting some fitted you will be opening yourself up to the many, many benefits that come with this choice. So what…
  • Why Choose a Polytunnel to Grow Your Garden?

    3 Sep 2014 | 2:35 pm
    More and more people are taking steps to grow their own fruit and vegetables in their very own garden. Apart from the extra work to nurture and tend to your own produce, it is actually incredibly satisfying and helps to build a sustainable lifestyle.Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or don’t know where to start, picking your plot and the best environment to grow your own plants is often a tricky decision. Many people opt for greenhouses but polytunnels are an increasingly popular alternative - here’s why. 1. Loads of LightThe polythene that creates the tunnel is actually specially…
  • Don't Overlook the First and Last Thing People See in Your Garden!

    25 Jul 2014 | 5:17 am
    First impressions are hard to undo when it comes to people walking up to your front door. If you have buy that is in disrepair or looks shoddy, it is saying more about you than the humble fence. Thankfully, it’s not hard to make your fencing say good things about you than bad things, as long as you pay attention to it before the guests arrive.How to Make a Beautiful ImpressionYour choice of fencing can set the tone of the house. It can be as decorative or utilitarian as your heart desires. Wrought iron fencing brings some old world charm to your house facade while picket fencing is an…
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    Ten Minute Gardener

  • Try These Tips To Make Gardening Easier

    15 Sep 2014 | 5:12 am
    Organic gardening is wonderfully therapeutic and anyone can do in order to relax. But, if you’re just getting started, they may feel overwhelmed. How then should a novice approach the learning experience of growing plants? Read this article, of course! Use climbers for covering fences and fences. Many climbers are so robust that they can cover the wall or fence in as little as one growing season. You can direct them over certain branches or boards, and they will even grow right through trees and shrubs. Some varieties will climb and attach using their tendrils or branches, and others…
  • Organic Gardening Tips That Will Help You Get A Better Garden!

    14 Sep 2014 | 5:44 am
    Organic produce tends be both healthier and nutrients. You could save money by growing your own fruits and vegetables instead of getting them from the supermarket. Read this article and learn how to grow your very own organic garden. Try using aspirin water to get rid of plant diseases. Dissolve aspirin (1.5 pills per 2 gallons of water for a bucket and administer to your plants. You can easily spray the plans with this concoction to help them in warding off diseases. The spray ought to be applied approximately every three weeks or so. The ambient temperate of a room with live plants should…
  • What Should I Do When I Landscape My Home?

    13 Sep 2014 | 11:35 pm
    Everyone desires a landscape that causes the neighbors to be jealous, but very few understand enough about proper landscaping. Landscaping is not that difficult when you acquire the proper information. The article will help give you some great ideas to consider for creating a beautifully landscaped yard. Use granite in your outdoor kitchen equipment. While more costly, granite is good because you place very hot things on it and does not require much maintenance. A drip-style irrigation system that is drip style should be the choice for a homeowner. This type of system will provide continuous…
  • Great Tips For Keeping Your Plants Healthy

    11 Sep 2014 | 10:35 pm
    Organic gardening can either be a major headache, but also headaches as well. The following suggestions will show you on how to be a very successful organic garden successfully. Transfer your favorite plants inside so they survive the winter frosts.You may be able to save the ones you spent the most money on or expensive plants. Dig the plant up without damaging the roots and place it a pot. Bulbs will give you wonderful flowers that you can enjoy in early spring and summer flowers. Different types of bulbs bloom at different times, so choosing appropriately, you can have blooms from early…
  • How To Grow An Organic Garden That You Can Be Proud Of

    10 Sep 2014 | 10:52 pm
    Organic gardening requires a green thumb and great patience. This hobby where the goal is to grow food that is free of pesticides.Easier said than done, correct? Read the tips to discover how to begin growing like a pro. Your children will enjoy the experience of working with your organic garden. A garden can be a great learning experience for your children, and will give you an opportunity to bond with them while you produce healthy food. Plant strawberries for your children in the organic garden. Children will be much more willing to help you if they can pluck their own fruit from the…
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    Grow Up Hydrogarden

  • Caring for your Pump

    Erika Raia
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:44 pm
    PERFORMANCE To maximize the performance of your Deluxe Pump, we encourage you to follow these 5 simple tips: 1. A clogged or dirty intake screen will greatly reduce performance. If the pump is used on a dirty surface, raise it slightly to reduce the amount of debris contacting the intake. 2. If slower flow is desired, adjust the flow control lever on the side ofRead More
  • Are all organic labels created equal?

    Erika Raia
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:47 am
    If you are like me, you buy and grow organic vegetables and fruits because you don’t mind paying a little more for the benefit of eating food that has been grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides or GMO’s. Let’s face it: they taste better, they are better for your health and they are better for the environment. Over the last several years though, there hasRead More
  • In the Garden with Neil: sprouting from seeds, vine plants and more!

    Erika Raia
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:08 am
    A few weeks ago, we received an email from Neil in South Carolina who purchased a Grow Up Hydrogarden Deluxe Unit and it was filled with so many helpful gardening tips that we printed it as a Blog here. He is an experienced gardener and his simple tips make gardening fun for people of all ages. Here is the second installment of what we like toRead More
  • Assembling your Hydrogarden

    Erika Raia
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:45 am
    There is nothing more rewarding than connecting with nature and growing your own vegetables and fruits. In just 10 simple steps, you will learn how to assemble your hydrogarden and plant your starter plants: 10 Simple Steps to Assembling and Planting  1. Place reservoir in a sunny location on level ground or flooring near a power source. The Grow Up Hydrogarden is perfect for aRead More
  • In the Garden with Neil: Tips on Perlite, Timers and More!

    Erika Raia
    8 Aug 2014 | 12:08 pm
    Last week, we received an email from Neil in South Carolina who recently purchased a Grow Up Hydrogarden Deluxe Unit from us. We have quickly embraced Neil’s enthusiasm for gardening and insight into hydroponics. He is an experienced soil gardener and has some great ideas on how to make our system easier to assemble and/or maintain. We think his ideas could be very helpful toRead More
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    No Soil Solutions

  • Nutrient Film Technique- NFT Hydroponics

    7 Sep 2014 | 9:42 pm
    Nutrient film technique, or NFT for short, is very simple hydroponic method and has a pretty basic design, making it popular for hydroponic gardening at home or on a commercial scale. While NFT hydroponics could be set up to just grow one plant, usually multiple plants are grow in one system. NFT hydroponics is a great method for growing smaller, leafy, quick growing plants. Lettuce is the most grown plants in this type of hydroponic system but is also used to grow herb and other leafy greens. Lettuce growing using NFT hydroponics. Though NFT hydroponics can be set up in many different ways,…
  • Drip Hydroponics

    24 Aug 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Many say that drip hydroponics is the most used systems in the world. I don’t know if that’s true or who/how they came up with their results, but drip hydroponics is a pretty popular method of hydroponic growing. This is probably because drip hydroponics can work well for many different types of hydroponic gardeners. Since drip hydroponics can be so versatile it’s used from beginners on up to commercial growers. The process is simple and allows you the ability to control exactly how much nutrients your plants are getting with the flexibility of growing just one or many plants. With drip…
  • Wick Hydroponics

    14 Aug 2014 | 10:41 pm
    The wick hydroponics are the most simplistic hydroponic systems there are. It can is a completely passive system and there are no pumps or electricity needed. Some do choose to aerate the nutrient solution but it’s not necessary. Since you don’t have to use any moving parts there is no need to worry about any system failures or parts breaking. As long as your keep your reservoir full of nutrient solution your plants ready to grow. The picture below shows the workings of a simple wick hydroponic system. I’ve taken a 2 liter bottle and cut it in half, turning the top upside down. I placed…
  • Ebb And Flow Hydroponics

    12 Aug 2014 | 8:44 pm
    The ebb and flow, also called “flood and drain”, hydroponic system is more of an intermediate level system that gives you excellent results. For beginners ebb and flow hydroponics may seem complex due to several different parts but the concept is still pretty simple. Even with some extra parts to it, an ebb and flow system is pretty use to set up and afterwards super easy to maintain. The plant sits separate from the nutrient solution which is pumped into your grow bed submerging the roots, the system drains allowing oxygen to reach the root system, then the process is repeated again.
  • Deep Water Culture Hydroponics

    12 Aug 2014 | 5:12 pm
    Deep water culture is a very popular hydroponic method for at home gardeners. Not only is it effective, but it’s an extremely easy concept to assemble and maintain. For those that are new to hydroponics, using deep water culture is a great place to start. Don’t let the ease of use fool you. Deep water culture hydroponics will make those water based plants like tomatoes, watermelon, and cucumbers turn out to be exactly what you’re gardening hydroponically for. For the simplest deep water culture systems you can look at the bucket or tub systems. I’ve had great success growing…
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    Your Hub of Garden Creativity | Garden Buildings Direct Blog

  • 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…
  • How to Select Proper Wood Storage Sheds

    Garden Buildings Direct
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:11 pm
    Choosing the right type of storage space for your logs is a relatively straightforward process, provided that you are aware of the most important things to be on the lookout for when making your selection. There are many companies and stores out there that sell wood storage sheds, so you need to know how to navigate the sea of special deals and offer available for you. This guide is meant to help you in that regard. The first thing you need to decide upon is the type of material you want for wood storage sheds. Timber and metal are the most common selection, because both are very durable, and…
  • 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…
  • Garden Buildings Direct: A Social Company

    Garden Buildings Direct
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:10 am
      You can find Garden Buildings Direct on various social media websites In recent years social media has revolutionised the way that people connect, talk and interact with each other and their favourite brands. Here at Garden Buildings Direct we’ve made ourselves available to you in several ways across various social media sites. Whether you’re a Liker, a Pinner, or you enjoy the occasional Retweet, you’ll find Garden Buildings Direct on your preferred site.  Facebook Our Garden Buildings Direct Facebook page is all about fun and inspiration. We post customer pictures, videos and…
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