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  • The Garden Has Arrived: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day June 2014

    Cold Climate Gardening
    Kathy Purdy
    17 Jun 2014 | 1:31 pm
    My patience has been rewarded. The days of staring at mostly-bare-dirt beds with puny divisions of shrubs and perennials are over. The beds that I created the soonest after we moved in have now filled in. Granted, there are a lot of self-sowers filling in the gaps, but give me a viola over a dandelion […]
  • Serendipity in July: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day July 2014

    Cold Climate Gardening
    Kathy Purdy
    16 Jul 2014 | 2:42 pm
    When you let plants self-sow, as I discussed in my review of Plantiful, serendipitous things can happen in your garden that surprise and delight you.The poppies in the photo above are second year poppies. I scattered the seed of their parents over my flower bed, but I did nothing for the poppies you see here […]
  • Huntsville Spring Garden Tour

    Dirt Therapy
    Phillip Oliver
    9 Jun 2014 | 2:21 pm
    This garden featured an array of hydrangea types, including "Annabelle" and Oakleaf (behind the statue) as well as mophead and lacecaps (macrophylla)On Saturday, we drove to Huntsville to attend the Spring Garden Tour, a self-guided tour of five private gardens in the historic district. It was a very hot day but all of the gardens were shaded and they were all within walking distance of each other. I did not think it was too bad hot even though Michael was sweating bullets. We ran into gardening friends Cyndia and Steve, who took us to a terrific place for lunch. They also took us to another…
  • Growing for a Farmers Market

    Growing The Home Garden
    19 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    For 3 years now (it's hard to believe it's been that long!) I've been selling plants at a local farmers market while also helping to manage the market's logistical operations and online presence (Social Media and Webpage). Over that time I've observed quite a few different merchants with a variety of products at a farmers market and what kind of vendors are successful. Many of these products are homegrown items that anyone can grow with a little bit of garden space. Keep in mind though that the best of products will not sell without a little effort!Of all the types of products I've seen the…
  • Social Media for Florists workshop – London, 1st July 2014 : Part 2 – Styling & Food

    18 Jul 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Thank you so much everyone for your lovely comments about my blog post earlier this week, where I shared details of the content in our Social Media for Florists workshop. Today, I’m delighted to feature photos of how we styled the venue and also of the wonderful food. Styling My co-host Fiona Humberstone had created a mood board with styling inspiration, which you can see below. We used this during the planning process and when we were setting everything up at the venue, the day before the workshop. Upstairs When we arrived at Brixton east, the upstairs was an empty shell. We set…
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    You Grow Girl

  • Grow Write Guild #31: Summer Fruit

    Gayla Trail
    21 Jul 2014 | 8:19 am
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  • Pickling Flavours to Grow (or Buy)

    Gayla Trail
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
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  • Pickled Radish Seed Pods 2 Ways + Giveaway

    Gayla Trail
    14 Jul 2014 | 12:40 pm
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  • Pickled Garlic Scapes

    Gayla Trail
    9 Jul 2014 | 12:07 pm
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  • Serviceberry Jam

    Gayla Trail
    7 Jul 2014 | 9:55 am
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    Shawna Coronado

  • Quinoa and Parsley Salad Recipe – Vegetarian and Delicious

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:13 am
    Here is another great salad from the Cooking Light Pick Fresh Cookbook – it is time to harvest fresh herbs and lettuces in the garden before they start to bolt. And dontcha know we are using one of my favorite herbs, parsley, to build a delicious Mediterranean salad recipe that is vegetarian and will knock your socks off with flavor yumminess. Quinoa and Parsley Salad Recipe Hands-on time: 10 min. Total time: 34 min. 1 cup water 1⁄2 cup uncooked quinoa 3⁄4 cup parsley leaves 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced celery 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced green onions 1⁄2 cup finely chopped dried apricots 3…
  • A Middle of the Garden Season Caladium Planting Solution

    14 Jul 2014 | 4:05 am
    Everyone has had the problem of a section of plants dying or lettuce’s bolting or a group of ravenous insects attacking the garden and you have had to pull the plants out. This leaves a remarkably ugly blank spot in the garden beds, but it is too late in the season to plant anything that might be a long term grower. Usually I throw in the “leftover plants” from some other area of the garden or perhaps plant some cool season vegetable seeds. Last season I discovered a creative planting solution using caladiums that turned out remarkably well. The problem: a super ugly…
  • Indigo Rose Purple Grafted Tomato

    Shawna Coronado
    7 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
    Imagine growing common vegetables at reasonable prices that have super antioxidant value and a higher level of health value? This season I am growing the deep purple Indigo Rose Grafted Tomato from Jung Seed as a test experiment in my front lawn tomato garden to see how it works (so far pretty great as you can see in the photos). To celebrate summer goodness with me and all my peeps, Jung Seed will be giving away a $75 gift card on this blog post (see rules below). About the Jung Tomatoes I’m Growing Indigo Rose purple grafted tomato is GMO free and one of the first tomatoes with a high…
  • Unfried Chicken Recipe and a LYFE Restaurant Review

    Shawna Coronado
    5 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    Recently I was invited to LYFE Kitchen to try their healthy food. My two vegetarian daughters and I took a break from gardening to visit the LYFE Kitchen in Evanston, Illinois to see if their claims to deliciousness are true. LYFE focuses on food that’s prepared quickly, but fits your special lifestyle. Flexitarian. Locavore. Gluten-free. Vegetarian. Vegan. Whatever your food LYFE style is, LYFE’s food MENU has options that fit. They grow fresh herbs on site and proudly display a full ingredient list with calorie, sodium, and nut allergy information. There is indoor or outdoor…
  • How To Avoid Wasp Stings and Still Save Pollinating Wasps

    1 Jul 2014 | 7:23 am
    Wasps are super important for the environment – they function as pollinators and also consume other insects. I love the wasp photo above as you can see the pollen on his bottom and legs. What is interesting about a wasp is that while it might be one of the smallest creatures in our garden, it is also one of the most feared. Here is the news – killing a wasp is unnecessary unless you have them stinging and swarming near you, your pets, or your children. I am severely allergic to their sting, but since I had one traumatic swarm incident when I was young, I have never been stung…
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    Cold Climate Gardening

  • Serendipity in July: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day July 2014

    Kathy Purdy
    16 Jul 2014 | 2:42 pm
    When you let plants self-sow, as I discussed in my review of Plantiful, serendipitous things can happen in your garden that surprise and delight you.The poppies in the photo above are second year poppies. I scattered the seed of their parents over my flower bed, but I did nothing for the poppies you see here […]
  • Fill The Gaps In Your Garden With Plantiful: Book Review

    Kathy Purdy
    13 Jul 2014 | 8:55 pm
    In Plantiful: Start Small, Grow Big with 150 Plants That Spread, Self-Sow, and Overwinter, Kristin Green wants to teach you what it took me years to learn: by relaxing my hold on the garden and using self-sowing plants to fill in the gaps, I could enjoy the garden more and work less. Kristin advocates using […]
  • Wild, Wicked–But Not Native: Rosa Multiflora

    Kathy Purdy
    25 Jun 2014 | 8:15 am
    There comes a time in every gardener’s life when she realizes that a plant she has admired is not all it seems to be. Whatever the initial attraction, another side of the plant is discovered, and the gardener decides the relationship must end. I met Rosa multiflora through his fragrance. At this time of the […]
  • The Garden Has Arrived: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day June 2014

    Kathy Purdy
    17 Jun 2014 | 1:31 pm
    My patience has been rewarded. The days of staring at mostly-bare-dirt beds with puny divisions of shrubs and perennials are over. The beds that I created the soonest after we moved in have now filled in. Granted, there are a lot of self-sowers filling in the gaps, but give me a viola over a dandelion […]
  • My Visit to the World of P. Allen Smith

    Kathy Purdy
    13 Jun 2014 | 5:05 pm
    What’s a cold climate gardener doing in Little Rock, Arkansas? Visiting with P. Allen Smith and a couple dozen garden bloggers, for his fourth annual Garden2Blog event. As usual when I visit a southern U.S. area, I felt like I was in an alien land. Here it was, the third week in May. Back home, […]
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    A Way To Garden

  • evaluating native plants at mt. cuba center, with george coombs

    21 Jul 2014 | 5:49 am
    WHICH BEE BALM will really resist powdery mildew—and which of the endless parade of near-lookalike Heuchera (above) is truly a [read more…] The post evaluating native plants at mt. cuba center, with george coombs appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • cheap thrills: my must-have budget garden tools

    19 Jul 2014 | 6:38 am
    I LOVE FINE GARDEN TOOLS: My edger that has lasted more than 25 years with no signs of wear; my [read more…] The post cheap thrills: my must-have budget garden tools appeared first on A Way To Garden.
  • making pickling spice with gayla trail (and a canning-jar giveaway)

    14 Jul 2014 | 12:17 pm
    I SOWED CUCUMBERS the other day, with the idea of late-season pickles, and just after that, talked to my friend [read more…] The post making pickling spice with gayla trail (and a canning-jar giveaway) appeared first on A Way To Garden.
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    Plant Whatever Brings You Joy

  • 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…
  • The Beauty of a Rose

    15 May 2014 | 5:18 pm
    This year has been without a doubt the most abundant and luxurious year for roses I’ve seen in my many years here in Northern California! I can only surmise it has something to do with the late unexpected rains, a gift from the gods for our drought-stricken state. What a bounty! “An embarrassment of riches,” one might say. My experience has been one of catching my breath upon entering the garden each morning, just overwhelmingly stunned by that much beauty all in one place, where before, not that long ago, there were bare branches stock still in hibernation. So I would close…
  • Gently Guide the Tender Vine Else It Become Wild, Tangled and Impossible

    5 May 2014 | 12:09 pm
    Dearest Readers, The following is an excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden. I have chosen this particular story for this blog post as it contains a basic teaching of my beloved teacher, Angeles Arrien, who unexpectedly passed into Spirit on April 24th. You might well be aware of this as tributes have emerged in many corners acknowledging the deep impact she had in our lives. In addition to studying extensively with her at California Institute of Integral Studies, I was also the publicist who launched her wonderful book The Tarot Handbook. While her student…
  • Getting Ready for the Garden

    11 Apr 2014 | 3:10 pm
    Ha! I know what you were thinking when you read Getting Ready for the Garden. You thought new gloves, cleaning up handtools, preparing the Earth, raking, bringing out the lawn mower and all the requisite steps we each are required to do for a successful season. But actually, I was talking about getting YOU ready for the garden. Really. Because having certain things in place, ready for the wear and tear of gardening, happens to be a very good idea. So I’m going to depart from my usual practice of rarely mentioning products, etc. and actually share with you some of the products I’ve…
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    May Dreams Gardens

  • Class is now in session for Wildflower Wednesday - Wild Petunia

    22 Jul 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis "Good morning, class." "Good morning, Miss Horters." "Now class, I hope you all remembered that today we are having a very special Show & Tell for Wildflower Wednesday, which is always on the 4th Wednesday of the month". "Yes, Miss Horters, we remembered," said the class in unison. "Miss Horters?" "Yes, Judy?"  "Miss Horters, Carol brought in a garden fairy
  • 'German Johnson' Tomato

    20 Jul 2014 | 7:10 pm
    I believe 'German Johnson' is one of the finest heirloom tomatoes you can grow in your garden. It has a pinkish skin, pinker than this picture shows, and the classic dimples one generally finds on most of the larger, beefier tomatoes. The vines are indeterminate and should continue to grow and set fruit all the way until the first frost knocks them down. The fruit of 'German Johnson' is very
  • As the Garden Grows: Cup Plant

    19 Jul 2014 | 6:15 am
    Silphium perfoliatum Cup plant, Silphium perfoliatum, bloomed one day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day so I didn't include it in my last post. This particular native flower is often called Cup Plant because water collects at the base of the leaves where they attach to the stem, making it a handy source of water for goldfinches and other birds who eat the seeds of the spent blooms. Cup Plant
  • Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2014

    14 Jul 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for July 2014. Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden in central Indiana I am happy, happy, happy with how my garden looks in mid-summer this year. As I look around at all the blooms, I think back to just two years ago when we were in the midst of one of the hottest and driest summers we've ever experienced.  In 2012, by mid July we were dry and hot and
  • The Optimist and The Pessimist

    11 Jul 2014 | 7:34 pm
    Two houseplants just got put out on the patio to spend the rest of the summer in plant rehab. We'll call one plant "Purple Leaf" and the other "Ivy".  Let's listen in as they discuss their situation.  Purple Leaf:  Oh, look! Look!  We are outside. Isn't it wonderful to see the sun like this and not through a window? Ivy:  Are you kidding me? I'm going to burn up here. It's so bright. I want
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    Backyard Gardening Blog

  • 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…
  • Dealing with Scale Insects on Pear, Apple, and Other Fruit Trees

    16 Jun 2014 | 2:03 pm
    There doesn’t seem to be a crop out there that doesn’t have a perfectly adapted insect pest (or score thereof) to attack it. Last year I my pear tree did not produce well. Overall it looked sickly, with yellowish leaves, smaller fruits, and black spots (sooty mold) on the leaves. I noticed small bumps on the twigs but they were hard and didn’t seem to be anything weird, maybe they were buds where future branches would grow? In the Spring, as it was leafing out, I examined it again, and noticed these little bumps were still there, but obviously not the source of any new…
  • Damage from a Polar Vortex Winter

    1 Jun 2014 | 7:14 am
    The coldest winter in decades, what damage did it do to the garden? Well, so far, I don’t know I lost any plants, nothing actually died, though a few I’m wondering about. I’m not sure if it was the cold or something else, but my pear tree barely flowered, my honeycrisp apple tree didn’t flower at all (sadface) and my golden delicious apple tree barely flowered. It wasn’t like two years ago, where we had an early warm up, flowers, and then a hard cold snap right during the flowering stage and mine, and 90% of Michigan’s, apple crop was destroyed. This year…
  • First Flower of Spring 2014

    31 Mar 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Today it was 61 degrees out, woohoo, finally, after such a cold cold Winter & Spring. Of course, tommorow it starts getting cold again, but today was nice, and I spied my first flower. I was out in the garden doing what you should do this time of year, which is prune trees if they need to be pruned, and clean up old spent perennials from last year, getting the garden ready for new growth. You prune trees now because they store all their energy in their roots while dormant, so by cutting off dormant limbs you’re not cutting out any of the tree’s stored energy – but then…
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    Bloomingwriter: Gardening in Nova Scotia

  • 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 »
  • Red & White for Canada Day!

    Jodi DeLong
    30 Jun 2014 | 7:52 pm
    Happy birthday to the best country in the world, Canada, my home and native land! To celebrate Canada Day, July 1st, here are a selection of flowers in our flag's colours of red and white. (The flags above are at Grand Pré National Historic Site lookoff and feature the Acadian Flag, the United Nations Flag, the Canadian Flag, the Nova Scotian Flag, and the Mi'kmaq First Nations flag.)Read more »
  • Love them & Leave Them: Tricky Plants I Enjoy Tormenting Myself With

    Jodi DeLong
    21 Jun 2014 | 9:04 pm
     We all have plants that give us challenges. The dry-soil loving perennial that pouts at cold wet clay soils. The blue poppy that wants exactly what it wants or it will die without blooming. The yellow hollyhocks that taunt us by blooming any other colour but yellow. The zone 7 plant that we try knowing full well we are a zone 5b, MAYBE 6a with winter protection...You get the picture. And I know you have had the plants. And the challenges. And the losses. I have absolutely no idea how many plants I've killed over the years, but I am quite sure it is hundreds, if not thousands. (Not…
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: Getting passionate about penstemons

    Jodi DeLong
    15 Jun 2014 | 6:04 pm
    It's been quite a while since I participated in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and since I have a new plant obsession to talk about, might as well combine the two! It's always exciting when we as gardeners discover some aspect of gardening, or some particular type of plant, that we hadn't really gotten excited about in the past. One of those for me is the genus Penstemon. Formerly, this genus was in the Scrofulariaceae family, the figwort family, which includes Verbascum (mulleins), Buddleia (butterfly bush) and Diascia. But DNA typing has reclassified penstemons as well as…
  • It all starts with one...primula

    Jodi DeLong
    10 Jun 2014 | 12:00 pm
    For years I have been very fond of certain primulas, also known as primroses, and sometimes as cowslips, although those are a particular species. There have been some I've had challenges with, and some I've been besotted with, and some that have been hardy and some...that I haven't found the right spot for just yet. The fascination started in earnest a few years ago when I saw these auricula primulas (right photo) in bloom at the NSAC rock garden. Then I was given several auriculas by my late friend Diana Steele (left photo), and shared them with Rob Baldwin, who obediently…
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  • Westwind Farm Studio: Portland Garden Bloggers Fling

    23 Jul 2014 | 3:16 am
    Both buses filled with 80 hot, tired bloggers bumped into a lavender field at the end of the first touring day of the Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland, Oregon, in mid-July. I tiredly thought, “How nice, a lovely field of lavender.” But what I didn’t realize was that a breathtaking garden awaited just down the hill, perched on an overlook with the hazy, blue undulations of mountains in the distance. After the appetizer of lavender rows and a hillside stroll through grasses and past olive trees, we paused under a tree where a server stood behind a table, pouring wine. One of…
  • Old Germantown Gardens: Portland Garden Bloggers Fling

    20 Jul 2014 | 6:44 pm
    The first private garden on the Portland Garden Bloggers Fling tour last weekend was, at 2 acres, large enough to accommodate our entire group of approximately 80 bloggers. Old Germantown Gardens, created over 23 years by Bruce Wakefield and Jerry Grossnickle, is a masterpiece of a garden built on a steeply sloping hillside. The garden drops off sharply behind the house, and a 2nd-floor deck overlooks the sunny spaces below. Here’s a slightly different view. Just look at the wonderful use of form — all those spheres, pillars, and cones — which adds structure in counterpoint…
  • Joy Creek and Cistus Nurseries: Portland Garden Bloggers Fling

    18 Jul 2014 | 10:37 pm
    After touring Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland, the two Fling buses headed out to scenic, agricultural Sauvie Island for our visits to two premier nurseries: Cistus and Joy Creek. Cistus is a plant lover’s mecca, with rare and interesting plants from all over the world, including no small number that are quite at home in Austin, like these Yucca rostrata. I am rarely tempted by plants when traveling, however, which makes me the odd woman out among plantaholic Flingers like my traveling companion Diana , browsing the plant tables on the right. Seattle-area blogger (and…
  • Visit to Digs Inside & Out garden shop in Portland

    18 Jul 2014 | 3:15 am
    When I heard that JJ De Sousa’s garden was on the itinerary for the Portland Garden Bloggers Fling, I excitedly planned a double-dose of her colorful, creative, offbeat style by arranging to visit her home-and-garden shop Digs Inside & Out. Located on trendy Alberta Street (where my husband and I, pre-Fling, enjoyed a delicious lunch at Bollywood Theater PDX and dessert at Salt & Straw), Digs beckons with an eclectic and colorful assortment of tables, chairs, containers, and strangely beautiful accessories. Take these light-bulb-head baby sconces, for example. Have you ever…
  • Lan Su Chinese Garden: Portland Garden Bloggers Fling

    17 Jul 2014 | 9:12 am
    Austin and Portland, Oregon, are soul-sister cities, sharing a love of “weirdness,” food carts/trucks, huge independent bookstores, and tattoos, as I can attest from my recent visit. Austin and Portland also share a vibrant gardening culture and even the same hardiness zone (8b), although our climates couldn’t be more different in terms of rainfall patterns and summer heat and humidity. Last weekend I spent 4 days touring gardens and jabbering with fellow bloggers during the 7th annual Garden Bloggers Fling. Around eighty bloggers from all over the U.S., Canada, the U.K.,…
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    Blithewold Blogs

  • On formality and fine tuning

    Kristin Green
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:42 am
    Mother Nature dumped almost three more inches of rain on Blithewold this week and the gardens responded by growing with an exuberance bordering on, and even crossing over the line to loose, lush informality. I have a hard time defining formality when it comes to gardens though I’m sure I know it when I see […]
  • Mid-summer shift

    Kristin Green
    11 Jul 2014 | 11:13 am
    The gardens are going through a bittersweet transition from June’s hurrah to a mid-summer huzzah, and although we sometimes experience a “July gap,” the shift seems pretty seamless this year. Delicate oxeye daisies gave way almost overnight to beefy Shastas, echinaceas, and rudbeckias. Sturdy summer phlox are taking over, as we speak, for the elegance […]
  • Past Due!

    Dan Christina
    10 Jul 2014 | 8:07 pm
    It is very hard to believe that a month has passed since my last post, Getting it done.  Even more incredulous are the vast changes the garden has seen since that time. For instance, the peas went from looking like this… To being a week past due for pulling out! I had been hoping they […]

    Margaret Whitehead
    27 Jun 2014 | 3:00 pm
    I recently visited Gettysburg and found Pardee Field where Bessie’s brother, Ario Pardee, led his men (Pennsylvania 147th) into battle on the 3rd day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 3rd, 1863.  There is a huge granite boulder in the middle of the field, with brass letters ‘Pardee Field’ on one side, and a description […]
  • Finishing touches (and new beginnings)

    Kristin Green
    27 Jun 2014 | 7:42 am
    No garden is ever “done” — perish the thought! — but during planting week/month/season we all race to beat the heat. In the last couple of weeks here at Blithewold we closed in on that finish line, just in the nick of time if yesterday’s stickiness is anything to go by… The greenhouse, which has […]
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    Ledge and Gardens

  • White Elegance - Hydrangea arborescens

    Layanee DeMerchant
    9 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
      If I could have only one species of hydrangea in my garden I would choose the smooth hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens. It is native. It will grow in acid soils or in alkaline soils. It will grow in full sun or shade, even fairly deep shade. It has a lots of flowers which grow on new wood so there is no challenge to the flower bud hardiness. It is hardy from Zone 3-9. It grows from Canada to Florida and west to Missouri. It thrives in Minnesota. The further north it grows, the more sun it will tolerate.  I have rarely seen a pest problem although the deer do like to nibble on the…
  • Dogwood Blooms

    Layanee DeMerchant
    25 Jun 2014 | 4:21 am
      It is common to accept much of what we know without question. Take the dogwood for example. Did you ever wonder how that tree got its name? There is speculation that it is derived from the Old English word 'dag' which is short for dagger. Daggers were supposedly made from the hard wood of the dogwood. When I hear the word 'dogwood' I most often picture the Florida dogwood which is  a lovely and delicate flowering tree but there are over fifty species of dogwoods and they encompass every shape and size from small shrubs to 30 foot spreading trees. There is one…
  • A Plague of Alliums

    Layanee DeMerchant
    4 Jun 2014 | 4:37 am
      I cannot say that this is an original term, 'A Plague of Alliums'. It is one I heard last year on a garden tour from a gardener who was bemoaning the fact that her alliums had reseeded in her garden. The effect was magical. Much more magical than the dire statement. I remember being envious. Globe allium bulbs are not cheap and they have never reseeded for me. Never say never. While I don't have a 'plague' this year I do have many more than I planted. They have seeded in at the feet of the parents and I am quite enjoying the 'Alice in Wonderland' effect of…
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • 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…
  • Fibonocci Coneflowers

    5 Jul 2014 | 7:02 am
    Fibanocci patterns are found in the seeds of a sunflower head, and in the head of a coneflower. My sunflowers are not yet blooming, so come on and admire the coneflowers. OK, it's time for your math class. Leonardo Pisano Fibonocci was an 11th century mathematician who brought the Arabic numbers we use today to the merchant world to replace the cumbersome Roman numerals. He also pondered (mathematically speaking) the successive reproductive growth of rabbit populations. (Only a mathematician...) He applied an old Indian Hindu numbering sequence to develop a formula calculating the count over…
  • History of Annabelle Hydrangea

    26 Jun 2014 | 10:29 am
    Almost everyone has seen or has grown the Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens). So, I wanted to present something interesting for my featured plant - something most people do not know -- like "who was Annabelle?"Obtained three years ago as a wee baby from the landscape architect friends, it was planted on the shady side of the back yard fence. I was filling in the areas along the fence. Having no plan or consideration, I take contributions of anything that grows. Normally my gardener's brain works backwards to most logical thinking: first get a plant, then find a place for it.Our story…
  • Cage Fightin' Strawberry

    31 May 2014 | 4:40 am
    I bought strawberries at the grocery store. They were, well, strawberries. I picked my second pair of strawberries from the garden this week. They were phenomenal.I scooped up the plant at our plant swap two years ago from a neighbor that was giving up on growing strawberries. "Too may critters and not enough rewards," was his answer. During the first year, the handful of berries produced went straight to bellies of squirrels, birds, and slugs, most while still an unripe white. The berries cropped up, off and on, throughout the year, although never as abundantly as in spring.This year, the…
  • Stars For A Dark Garden

    22 May 2014 | 4:18 pm
    I dropped off cardoon and cannas to a fellow gardener. He asked if I would want some colocasia in return since I provided him suggestions on storing them over winter. I was asked to point out anything else that might interest me.I spied the white flower stalks in the semi-shady area and pointed. "Those? You want some of those? What are they?" I didn't know either, except that I had to have some. They had tall daffodil foliage, growing in some shade, were 3-4 feet tall (1m), and had presence. Most likely a spring blooming bulb I thought, and asked to get some after the foliage died down…
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    A Leafy Indulgence

  • 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…
  • Fibonocci Coneflowers

    5 Jul 2014 | 7:02 am
    Fibanocci patterns are found in the seeds of a sunflower head, and in the head of a coneflower. My sunflowers are not yet blooming, so come on and admire the coneflowers. OK, it's time for your math class. Leonardo Pisano Fibonocci was an 11th century mathematician who brought the Arabic numbers we use today to the merchant world to replace the cumbersome Roman numerals. He also pondered (mathematically speaking) the successive reproductive growth of rabbit populations. (Only a mathematician...) He applied an old Indian Hindu numbering sequence to develop a formula calculating the count over…
  • History of Annabelle Hydrangea

    26 Jun 2014 | 10:29 am
    Almost everyone has seen or has grown the Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens). So, I wanted to present something interesting for my featured plant - something most people do not know -- like "who was Annabelle?"Obtained three years ago as a wee baby from the landscape architect friends, it was planted on the shady side of the back yard fence. I was filling in the areas along the fence. Having no plan or consideration, I take contributions of anything that grows. Normally my gardener's brain works backwards to most logical thinking: first get a plant, then find a place for it.Our story…
  • Cage Fightin' Strawberry

    31 May 2014 | 4:40 am
    I bought strawberries at the grocery store. They were, well, strawberries. I picked my second pair of strawberries from the garden this week. They were phenomenal.I scooped up the plant at our plant swap two years ago from a neighbor that was giving up on growing strawberries. "Too may critters and not enough rewards," was his answer. During the first year, the handful of berries produced went straight to bellies of squirrels, birds, and slugs, most while still an unripe white. The berries cropped up, off and on, throughout the year, although never as abundantly as in spring.This year, the…
  • Stars For A Dark Garden

    22 May 2014 | 4:18 pm
    I dropped off cardoon and cannas to a fellow gardener. He asked if I would want some colocasia in return since I provided him suggestions on storing them over winter. I was asked to point out anything else that might interest me.I spied the white flower stalks in the semi-shady area and pointed. "Those? You want some of those? What are they?" I didn't know either, except that I had to have some. They had tall daffodil foliage, growing in some shade, were 3-4 feet tall (1m), and had presence. Most likely a spring blooming bulb I thought, and asked to get some after the foliage died down…
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    Garden Rant

  • More Foreign Invaders: Possums on the Half Shell by Allen Bush

    Allen Bush
    23 Jul 2014 | 3:39 am
      Robyn Brown, a Nashville buddy and talented gardener, told me last week that her garden is under siege by armadillos. I was all ears. The nine-banded armadillos are rooting around her garden like little armored feral pigs. These foreign invaders arrived in Western Kentucky over twenty years ago. There was road kill to prove it. They are edging their way to Louisville. I don’t like the sound of this J. Paul Moore, also of Nashville, posted recently on Facebook: “Armadillo (I am assuming) damage in my garden is about to end my gardening career!  They are tearing up my…
  • One size fits all? by Elizabeth Licata

    Elizabeth Licata
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:07 am
    Both images courtesy of Shutterstock (Image at right is St. Paul, not St. Cloud, closest I could get) What do St. Cloud, Minnesota and Westerly, Rhode Island have in common? Westerly is a seaside community in southern Rhode Island; St Cloud lies in central Minnesota and is bisected by the Mississippi river. Summers and winters are more moderate in Westerly; winter temperatures fall to greater depths in St. Cloud. There are other important differences, including one that gardeners need to know: St. Cloud is hardiness zone 4a and Westerly is 6a. There is one similarity between the two…
  • Garden Coaching by Rainer by Susan Harris

    Susan Harris
    18 Jul 2014 | 5:09 am
    Landscape architect/blogger Thomas Rainer is one of my favorite designers, something I may have mentioned before on this blog.   Gardenblogger Margaret Roach is a Rainer fan, too.  She sought him out for an interview on her podcast, and it’s terrific.  (Transcript here.) My favorite bits are toward the end, when Thomas offers what I’d call garden-coaching.  It’s advice that I agree with and repeat frequently, to anyone who will listen, so I’m passing them along here with some of my own photos to illustrate. Creeping Jenny in a border at the National Arboretum…
  • The Growing Trend in U.S. Food Forests by Evelyn Hadden

    Evelyn Hadden
    15 Jul 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Mound-forming alpine strawberries (Fragaria vesca) tolerate a range of soil and climate conditions and produce small fruits intermittently throughout the growing season. Upstart food forests — designed landscapes incorporating perennial and woody plants that produce food — are popping up around the US, inspired no doubt by Seattle’s new Beacon Hill Food Forest as well as successful older sites including Mercy Emily Edible Park on 18 vacant lots in Philadelphia and Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park in Asheville, NC. In 2013, a public food forest was established in…
  • Monday, monday by Elizabeth Licata

    Elizabeth Licata
    14 Jul 2014 | 5:15 am
    Unknown hosta Know these? These hostas came with the house. They have unusually tall, deep purple (photo does not show this) scapes and very glossy leaves. They’re very common throughout my part of Buffalo, but I’ve no idea which cultivar they are. July fool! According to this article, people in Chautauqua County, New York were getting messages via Facebook that they must register their lawnmowers, asserting—in part—the following: Any automotive service station currently licensed for motorcycle, car & truck safety inspections can inspect your mower. The NYS inspection fee is…
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    Life In Sugar Hollow

  • 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.
  • Spring on the Inside, Snow on the Outside

    20 Mar 2014 | 9:04 am
    It smelled like hyacinths and fresh flowers in our house, while a beautiful snow fell outside. Could be worse!
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    Transatlantic Gardener

  • A field full of Black-eyed Susans

    Graham Rice
    19 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    There I was, driving along counting all the European plants growing - and often looking very attractive - along the Pennsylvania roadside when in the distance I noticed a whole field of orange. In this part of the world it could only be one thing: Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). And so it proved, a large field covered from edge to edge in R. hirta, with a scattering of fleabane (Erigeron annuus).This is in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a park ripe with alien plants as well as natives and also very rich in bird life. But acres and acres of rudbeckia? It didn’t look…
  • Book Review: Where Do Camels Belong? by Ken Thompson

    Graham Rice
    11 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    In Britain, this invaluable book is subtitled The Story and Science of Invasive Species; in North America, the more provocative subtitle is Why Invasive Species Aren't All Bad. Both are appropriate; look dispassionately at the science and it’s clear that invasive species are not all bad.So often, discussions of the whole issue of natives and non-natives (plants, animals, insects and the rest) are run through with the repetition of bold assertions, unproven by science, that it’s a relief to find a book in which the whole issue is viewed more calmly, in a broad context, considered over…
  • $20 makes for a pricy perennial

    Graham Rice
    3 Jul 2014 | 6:04 am
    I’d read about xHeucherella ‘Copper Cascade’ and it sounded wonderful. A small-leaved trailer or ground cover with rosy coppery gold leaves all the year round. It seemed ideal to cover the bare soil around the edge of one of our dark-leaved Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Mindia’ – known as Coppertina in North America and as Diable d’Or in Europe – with its amber shoot tips.So when I spotted a ‘Copper Cascade’ in a nursery on my way back from cardiac rehab a few weeks back – I immediately put it in the cart. But I should have looked more carefully. OK, it was in an 8in pot, but…
  • Book Review: Coffee For Roses by C. L. Fornari

    Graham Rice
    28 Jun 2014 | 1:00 am
    Gardeners often pay more attention to what they hear over the garden fence than to science. Of course, friends and neighbors often provide good advice but sometimes they’re way off the mark. In this “let’s get it straight” book, Cape Cod garden guru C. L. Fornari not only debunks many of the myths of gardening but details why they’re myths and then explains how we should be looking after our plants once we’ve thrown out the old wives’ tales. Let’s look at a few examples.For sweeter tomatoes, water with sugarwater? No. C. L. explains that watered-on sugar is not even taken up…
  • Spring and summer

    Graham Rice
    27 Jun 2014 | 11:03 am
    Well, it’s been a tough season so far and that’s why posts here have been rather infrequent. First a heart attack, then acute lyme disease and then complications related to the lyme – I’m sure I’ll be fine in the end but in the meantime, well, not so much. Especially as one of the symptoms of lyme is “brain fog” which seems to permit no higher intellectual activity than watching re-runs of Star Trek: Voyager.But I’ve now started looking at my not-so-little pile of books waiting for review so starting tomorrow I’ll be posting here about Coffee For Roses by C. L. Fornari…
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  • Video Wednesday: Horticulture at the Virginia Zoo

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Horticulture at the Virginia Zoo from plantPOP on Vimeo.Friend of Washington Gardener Magazine, Marie Mims Butler, did a great job on the Zoo Horticulture video. The plantings are lovely and by necessity very tough. I love Marie's quote, "If the zoo can do it, YOU can do it!" And you thought visiting the zoo was just to see the animals.
  • Washington Gardener Magazine's Tomato Taste at Market is Back by Popular Demand!

    22 Jul 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Washington Gardener Magazine's7th Annual Tomato Tasting at the Silver Spring FreshFarm MarketIt’s ‘Big Boy’ vs. ‘Mortgage Lifter,’ hybrid vs. heirloom, the tomato wars have just begun. Everyone is sure that their tomato pick is the tastiest. Join Washington Gardener Magazine at the FreshFarm Market in downtown Silver Spring, MD, on Saturday, August 23 from 10am-12noon for a Tomato Tasting. Best of all, this event is FREE!Farmers at the market will contribute their locally grown selections — from super-sweet ‘Sungold’ to not-so-pretty ‘Cherokee Purple’ — and…
  • Venting Over Leaf Blowers ~ Washington Gardener Enews ~ July 2014 issue

    18 Jul 2014 | 1:06 pm
     The Washington Gardener Enews ~ July 2014 issue is now out. It was emailed as a PDF to all Washington Gardener Magazine current subscribers. It is also posted and archived online at: Inside This Enews Issue:• Free Soil Test for DC Residents• Back Issue Sale• July-August To-Do List• Magazine Excerpt: Hosting Honey Bees in Your Garden• Latest Blog Links• Local Garden Events Listings • Venting Over Leaf Blowers• New ‘Sweet Sunset’ Pepper• Reader Contest to Win a TrapStik for WaspsSubscribe to…
  • Fenton Friday: One Gardener's Trash is Another's Flowers

    18 Jul 2014 | 9:11 am
    CalendulaThis week in my plot at the Fenton Community Garden, we had a few days of really soaking rains followed by unseasonably cool days. I'm not complaining though! Now things are looking lush and really settling in.Pictured here are two of the edible flowers I'm growing. I had thought the Calendula was gone after wintering over for me for two years and then totally dying during this last nasty winter, but it re-seeded and now is as abundant as ever. MarigoldsThe French Marigolds are not from those that re-seeded in my plot, those were all weak and spindly and in the pathways, so they…
  • Video Wednesday: Vegetable Bolting

    16 Jul 2014 | 9:46 am
    "Bolting", "Seeding", "Going to Seed". Ever wonder why your veggies suddenly sprout flowers? Kathy Jentz from Washington Gardener Magazine gives great tips in this brief video.
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    A Tidewater Gardener

  • Seventh Annual Citywide Bloom Day

    15 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
         Typing this, I realize just how long it's been since my last post - exactly one month ago for June's Bloom Day. Ironically, my job affords me more free time than I have known in my adult life, yet, I seem to have so little of it. Evenings find me satisfactorily wrung out from work, and the heat. Weekends find me adventuring, usually on my bike or in the kayak, as I feel a need to take
  • Bloom Day - Feeling Blessed

    15 Jun 2014 | 6:16 pm
         The weather gods have been smiling on us as of late. We have had abundant rainfall interspersed with beautiful crystal clear days. It has been especially nice on the weekends, and I have been torn between gardening and adventures. Adventures have usually won out, so it was good that today was Bloom Day, it got me into the garden to see what was what. You can hover over the pictures for the
  • Lessons Learned from Lupines

    14 Jun 2014 | 5:52 am
         I first fell in love with lupines on a trip to Maine, where the plants seemed to be growing without effort. I think what attracts me is their stature, and the upright drama they add to the garden. For the same reasons I am similarly attracted to other tall flowers, such as Digitalis, hollyhocks, and Verbasum. But for me there is something else about lupines that I can't quite put my finger
  • Yorktown Onion

    7 Jun 2014 | 7:04 am
         This past Sunday on the way back from kayaking, I impulsively took the Colonial Parkway home. Nearing Yorktown I quickly pulled to the side of the road when I recognized blooming fields of Yorktown onions (Allium ampeloprasum). This Eurasian native (known to the rest of the world as wild leek) made its way to England eons ago and then made its way to Yorktown during the Colonial era. It
  • Rubber Duck

    17 May 2014 | 4:33 pm
         The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk has just reopened after an 18 month top to bottom renovation and expansion. To celebrate, Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck is temporarily floating in The Hague just outside the museum entrance.
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    clay and limestone

  • 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…
  • The Phlox is Blooming

    2 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    ....and I couldn't be happier!It's blooming in most gardens in Nashville, but I was worried that there would be no phlox in my summer garden. This past spring I discovered that Phlox Bug had infected my plants. Long time readers know that I go to great lengths to insure that that horrid life sucking bug never gets another toe hold in my garden...But, it did.It's my practice to let the garden go to seed and stand all winter. (A Garden Cleanup Reminder) The seed heads and stalks of native plants provide winter interest and hiding places for  the critters who live and visit my garden. But,…
  • Wildflower Wednesday: A Mint You and the Pollinators Will Love

    24 Jun 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Clustered Mountain Mint smells delicious when you brush against it and I always make a point of doing just that when I pass it in the garden. But, what generally grabs one's attention are the showy silver bracts that highlight the dense clusters of small pink spotted flowers from summer to early fall. fly visiting for nectarThe flowers of Pycnanthemum muticum might be small, but they are mighty! The researchers at Penn State's The Pollinator Trial  found that Clustered Mountain Mint was the best plant for flowering longevity; for pollinator visitor diversity; for sheer number of insect…
  • Dear Nursery Owners and Nursery Managers, We Need To know....

    16 Jun 2014 | 4:48 am
    If the plants you sell are safe for bees. Native bees, monarch butterflies and a host of other pollinators are in peril from habitat fragmentation and loss, the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides and herbicides (by the agriculture/horticulture industry and home owners) and the introduction of non-native species are known causes of both wide-scale losses in biological diversity and pollinator declines.(More about neonicotinoids Everywhere you turn people are talking about pollinators post.)Gardeners are already working hard to help pollinators!We're planting smarter.We love beautiful…
  • Hypericum Bursting it's Bloom

    4 Jun 2014 | 5:49 am
    In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them. ~Aldo LeopoldHave a wonderful day.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 are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission. Subscribe in a reader
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    Dirt Therapy

  • More lilies

    Phillip Oliver
    8 Jul 2014 | 6:39 am
    The lilies are spectacular this year (with the exception of those annoying white flies that leave the powdery residue)."Caravan" - 7 feet tall and gorgeous color  "Scheherazade" - another 7 feet tall lily with loads of blooms Tiger LilyText and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy
  • Lily "Stargazer"

    Phillip Oliver
    4 Jul 2014 | 12:01 pm
    "Stargazer" lily - one of the best. This lily always blooms faithfully and it is mostly in shade. I used to grow it in a pot but transplanted it years ago to the ground. It now grows in our little vegetable garden.Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy
  • Our house is for sale

    Phillip Oliver
    26 Jun 2014 | 9:00 am
    Our house is for sale!We have lived in this house for 22 years. The house was built in 1924 and we were only the fourth owners. It is a wonderful sound house with lots of character and you all know what the gardens are like! We have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the house and garden and it will be difficult to give it up but it is time to move onto the next phase of our lives.Our house is located close to downtown - only a few blocks from downtown actually - and 7 blocks from the UNA campus. Despite being so close to town (just one block off of Dr. Hicks Blvd.), this is a very…
  • The Simpson/McKitrick garden - another spectacular Huntsville garden

    Phillip Oliver
    11 Jun 2014 | 5:15 pm
    Following the Huntsville Garden Tour (see the previous post), we were invited to see the garden of Tom Simpson and Dan McKitrick who lived just a few blocks away. Wow, I'm glad we saw it. This garden was completely different from the tour gardens. This garden had more sun and much more color. It was small too but jam-packed with plants. The word that came to mind as I walked through it was "electric". There was so much vibrant color from both plants and decorative objects. This was obviously a garden belonging to an obsessed gardener!The garden filled the entire property, the front, side and…
  • Huntsville Spring Garden Tour

    Phillip Oliver
    9 Jun 2014 | 2:21 pm
    This garden featured an array of hydrangea types, including "Annabelle" and Oakleaf (behind the statue) as well as mophead and lacecaps (macrophylla)On Saturday, we drove to Huntsville to attend the Spring Garden Tour, a self-guided tour of five private gardens in the historic district. It was a very hot day but all of the gardens were shaded and they were all within walking distance of each other. I did not think it was too bad hot even though Michael was sweating bullets. We ran into gardening friends Cyndia and Steve, who took us to a terrific place for lunch. They also took us to another…
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    Natural Gardening

  • Nocturnal symphony

    21 Jul 2014 | 6:34 pm
    Coming upstairs to the main floor just now, I was surrounded by the nocturnal symphony, of field crickets and other night-singers.It's loud, and in full swing now.A new neighbor, across the street, was marveling last night about her first sighting of fireflies when she came east.  Add to that the night songs, and we have everyday magic.Bumblebees and other flower visitors are coming to the Liatris and Echinacea that are in flower now, and hummingbirds are visiting the jewelweed (Impatiens) that's just starting to flower.Nice to be home in the Carolinas (in the mountains).
  • Gardens, nurseries and pollinators

    16 Jul 2014 | 5:24 pm
    As a gardener who favors native plants, pollinator-friendly plants, and generally "plants that work for a living," I always enjoy visiting gardens that support flower visitors, whether they're cottage gardens full of nectar- and pollen- rich plants from wherever, or native meadow gardens.I loved visiting Chickadee Gardens, Scott's garden, and Joy Creek Nursery, especially because of the abundance of flower visitors.  I took lots of photos in each of these places - here are just a few.bumblebee on Dahliabee on Eryngium of some kindJoy Creek nursery viewhoneybee on Agastachebumblebee…
  • Exploring the Columbia River Gorge

    15 Jul 2014 | 6:33 pm
    I loved these photos that my gardening companion took, while on one of the wonderful waterfall hikes along the Columbia Gorge and then at Trillium Lake, in the Mt. Hood National Forest.Visiting a waterfall in the Columbia River GorgeMay we all enjoy these great places for many seasons to come!Checking out the wildflowers on the dam at Trillium LakeThis one was at Trillium Lake, on the flanks on Mt. Hood.
  • Nocturnal symphony and fireflies!

    14 Jul 2014 | 6:48 pm
    At home in the Southeast after a wonderful trip to Oregon, visiting fabulous gardens during the Garden Bloggers Fling, and having a week prior to explore some of the mountains and the coast -- what's striking me this evening (as I've started looking through my MANY photos of gardens and natural areas) are the night sounds this evening -- out the open windows.It was quite warm here today, but we're off again in a couple of days, so turning on the mini-split doesn't seem necessary, especially as it's cooling down again tomorrow.The nocturnal symphony is in full swing.Field crickets, tree frogs,…
  • Traveling in Oregon

    8 Jul 2014 | 6:37 pm
    It's been a lovely circuit back along the Columbia River, visiting more waterfalls along the way, tracing some of Lewis and Clark's journey, and spending time in Astoria,  before heading south along the coast.TS botanizing at Trillium LakeUpper Horseshoe Falls
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    Outside Clyde

  • Torrential

    Christopher C. NC
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:17 pm
    Every other rain has been a gully washer. I've lost count of how many times we have gotten an inch plus of rain in less than an hour. Culvert Falls has been flowing so regularly I was forced to finally and permanently divert the flow to where it needed to go. But rain makes Lush even in the shade. My bold foliage additions in the shadier parts of the garden are doing fine in all this wet.
  • Leaving Blue

    Christopher C. NC
    22 Jul 2014 | 7:53 pm
    If I didn't have to leave for work. If it wouldn't appear too odd. I might park a chair at the top of my driveway and watch the chicory until it closed for the day. It is spreading by its own means and at its own pace. My seed flinging has been to little effect. I need chicory I can see while sittin' on the front porch. I'll fling some more seed.
  • Mostly Composites

    Christopher C. NC
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:46 pm
    Helianthus Helianthus annuus Rudbeckia Echinacea The Origanum filler Ratibida Echinacea purpurea Rudbeckia hirta More Echinacea And a hillside of Lysimachia
  • Moist

    Christopher C. NC
    19 Jul 2014 | 8:03 pm
    It rained for at least thirty hours. I had another day off and another nice long nap. It's odd how fidgety I can get when I am cooped up. I don't sit still well. Oh well. This kind of wet at this stage of growth of the tall flower meadow is when things begin to fall down. I pay more attention now to those plants that remain standing. The Ratibida columnifera is still here. It's numbers are
  • Abundance

    Christopher C. NC
    18 Jul 2014 | 7:47 pm
    It has rained all day long. I did some laundry and scraped up a layer of dirt inside the house, otherwise it was my first day off and of rest since I don't know when. It might rain all day tomorrow. Yesterday evening I ambled through the wild cultivated gardens and took tons of pictures of the current floral abundance, then was too tired to do a post. Lucky, I have all these pictures for a rainy
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    Growing The Home Garden

  • Growing for a Farmers Market

    19 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    For 3 years now (it's hard to believe it's been that long!) I've been selling plants at a local farmers market while also helping to manage the market's logistical operations and online presence (Social Media and Webpage). Over that time I've observed quite a few different merchants with a variety of products at a farmers market and what kind of vendors are successful. Many of these products are homegrown items that anyone can grow with a little bit of garden space. Keep in mind though that the best of products will not sell without a little effort!Of all the types of products I've seen the…
  • Botanical Pictures from a Zoo (Columbus)

    13 Jul 2014 | 6:37 am
    Last week our family went for a vacation. The primary goal of this vacation was to let our oldest daughter see her favorite animal (the cheetah) in person. My wife did some research into various zoos and my mom suggested the Columbus Zoo in Ohio based on a Jack Hanna segment she saw on TV. We ended up scheduling two days at the zoo and one day at a related safari style park called The Wilds. The zoo was fantastic. We only planned for 2 days at the zoo itself but probably could have spent an additional 2 days wandering around. The Columbus zoo even has water park available with rides. The…
  • Converting a Cabinet for a Garden and Garage Workspace

    3 Jul 2014 | 10:23 am
    Recently my mom had her bathroom remodeled. In the process she replaced on of her bathroom vanities and I thought that it might make a good workstation for my many DIY and Garden projects. I'm very pleased with the result which now will provide a clean solid work top, cabinet space, a pegboard area for tools, and best of all it is mobile! I purchased my materials for this cabinet renovation at Lowe's in association with the Creative Ideas program.MaterialsOutdoor Paint (can be adjusted to match any color you wish)Cabbot Premium Wood Stain and SealerScrews and WashersWood Glue1 - 8 ft. piece…
  • Summer Gardening Tips (Pests, Propagation, and Planning)

    28 Jun 2014 | 6:16 am
    Summer is in full gear. Which means there is a lot to do in the garden, there always is isn't there? The tomatoes and peppers are beginning to produce and in a couple short weeks should be ready to pick. Here are a few summer gardening tips to help you in your garden.Watch for PestsAlways be vigilant in the garden. Pests can appear at any time, some of which will decimate a crop in a few short hours if you aren't observant. Squash vine borers are out. I found one yesterday on a zucchini. The eggs are laid at the base of the plant and when they hatch the larvae burrow into the stem and eat…
  • Why I Let Cilantro Bolt and You Should Too

    21 Jun 2014 | 6:33 am
    Cilantro is one of our favorite herbs to grow. We use it in cooking various dishes and always include it in our guacamole. In the garden it tends to be very short lived in the heat of the summer. At the farmers market people ask me if I have it available to plant and I tell them that I do have it available in the spring but not in the summer because it bolts so quickly. Cilantro is heat sensitive and will flower very fast when the temperatures get warm. I like to let our cilantro bolt rather than remove it for lots of reasons.Cilantro produces small tiny clusters of white to pink flowers that…
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    Sharing Nature's Garden

  • A gardener's wish list of styles, all in one Portland garden

    23 Jul 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Last month's Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland offered something for everyone.  There were many different gardens, ranging from cottage style to tropical.The Old Germantown Gardens found its way onto my favorites list because it was one-stop shopping.  (Well, not literally shopping, though we did a lot of that on the Fling, too. ) Winding paths, perennial beds, a rock garden, ponds, a dry hillside garden, tropical plants and a collection of seating areas were scattered about the 2-acre property. A mere 23 years in the making, the gardeners brought the design and their plant…
  • Hot art and design spice up Portland De Sousa Fling garden

    15 Jul 2014 | 9:18 pm
    Full to the brim with ideas and a mile-long wish list of plants that I know I can't grow here, I'm reacclimating to Austin and my own garden after 6 glorious days in Portland, OR.My seventh Garden Bloggers Fling beckoned last weekend - with an agenda full of great friends, gardens, nurseries, and gift shops.  The whirlwind started early and ended late and wowed me all day long every day.  Because there were so many gardens in every imaginable style - I just closed my eyes today and blindly picked one to begin my posting.The JJ De Sousa garden was one of my favorites.  Hot…
  • Beautiful Austin gardens on Wildflower Center tour inspire with details and structure...

    13 May 2014 | 7:37 am
    One of my annual Mother's Day treats -- the day before Mother's Day -- is to spend the day on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's annual garden tour with my garden blogging friends.  This year's tour included exceptional gardens that were previously featured during past tours.  Since I had previously seen three of the gardens,  it was a great opportunity to see how they had evolved over time.  Our first stop was an early invite to catch the morning sun in Tait Moring's garden before the crowds arrived.  Situated on a hilltop with an amazing canyon view, this…
  • Time for garden container planting...

    5 May 2014 | 9:02 am
    New soil, mulch and plants in last week's post means it's time to move on to the other things on my garden to-do list.  At the top of the list?  Pots.Every year, I vow not to plant so many pots.  The heat makes taking care of them unbelievably time consuming.  But they add so much to our patio space. So this year, I've thrown caution to the wind and actually gone out searching for more large pots to buy.  Crazy, I know.In the meantime, this is what my patio looks like -- a war zone! More pots!  Untersetzers.  This is one of several words that I…
  • Spring garden spruce up...

    3 May 2014 | 8:04 pm
    While the weather was cold and before it was planting season, I started a project at my house to add a chopped limestone edge and an Oklahoma flagstone cap to the beds along the front walk.  It turned out great and I was very happy with the result.But then the nice weather came, and with it, clients.  Clients who wanted designs and hardscaping and landscaping and the items left unfinished on my project remained unfinished.  Until this week.An unexpected opening for the crew found them at my house with 4-1/2 yards of great soil - Thunder Garden Soil from  Geo Growers. …
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    Kiss my Aster!

  • 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…
  • Cluster Luck: A little somethin' in the Earth's darkest kitchen

    Kiss My Aster!
    20 Jun 2014 | 12:26 pm
    A David Austen 'Munstead Wood' rose with a snippet of Borage, Rue and  'Dark Towers' Penstemon in a vintage, thrifted vase covered with sea shells, glitter and whoknowswhatelseDark hole of a kitchen
  • The Mannequin: In Case You Were Wondering

    Kiss My Aster!
    18 Jun 2014 | 7:50 am
    I think it would come as a shock to many if I said that, occasionally, I put a lot of thought into my hare-brained ideas.Let me start with this video:How did you do? Uh huh. I thought so.Well, I don't need to ask you to pay attention to the lady wearing white in my garden. She asks ALLLLLLLLLL by herself.She quietly speaks SO LOUDLY that you don't even notice the giant dead patch in the Arborvitae behind her.See it now???When we moved in, there was a giant plastic trellis with a trumpet vine growing on it that was placed a little too close to the line of Arborvitae. It's not that I don't love…
  • The Best Laid Plans: Begging My Hollyhocks to Think of Baseball

    Kiss My Aster!
    16 Jun 2014 | 1:58 pm
    I had this plan for a corner of my garden and that got all blown to shittereens thanks to a freaky freezy spring and dang-blasted polar vortex. The PLAN was to have a large 'Black Lace' Elderberry in the back, peeping through some black Hollyhocks, with a thick fog of bronze fennel and an arching, silvery Echinops ritro setting all that schizz off. WELL. The freaking Sambucus got nipped by the cold in the second freaking week of freaking MAY. The top was nipped by frost so instead of growing tall, she's now growing WIDE. And while I sympathize with that specific problem, IT WAS NOT IN MY…
  • Summer Lovin' for my Front Door (summer pots)

    Kiss My Aster!
    12 Jun 2014 | 1:50 pm
     Here is what my spring-themed container set-up at my front door looked like:I was glad for those sad Forsythia twigs to GO.... More photos and excuses for my bizarre choices can be found here. I wanted to go COMPLETELY DIFFERENT for summer. But I didn't. So now I know I have to tear it up for autumn.The large pot includes such hits as Pseudeanthemum 'Black Varnish'. a variegated Abutilon, a DWARF fiber optic grass, variegated St. Augustine grass and a Cardoon. Scented geraniums and cat grass in surrounding pots. I think I want to collect a few more scented geraniums for this…
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    Our Little Acre

  • Dig This! We're Doing a Shovel Giveaway!

    Kylee Baumle
    23 Jul 2014 | 7:21 am
    A couple of weeks ago, I talked about our new shovels, sent to me by Ames Tools to try out.  I loved them both and now Ames is letting me give one away to a lucky reader! You can read my thoughts on the two shovels here, but let's take a quick look at the facts:Ames Long Wood Handle Round Point Shovel - Tempered steel blade for years of service - Suitable for digging, planting, cutting sod and small roots - Comfort step for secure foot placement - North American ash handle for strength and durability - 10-inch cushion grip for comfort and control - 15-year…
  • Wordless Wednesday: All Hail the Queen!

    Kylee Baumle
    23 Jul 2014 | 3:40 am
    Queen Anne's Lace Daucus carota var. carota Zones 3-9Full Sun to Part Shade24-36" tallBiennial Can cause dermatitis from handlingNoxious weed in some states, including Ohio 
  • A Case of Mistaken Identity: Who's to Blame?

    Kylee Baumle
    8 Jul 2014 | 6:42 pm
    It can happen to anyone. You buy a plant, thinking you're getting one thing, only to find out later it wasn't what you thought it was.  Sometimes it's the bloom color that's a dead giveaway, and sometimes it's something else. I shop in all different places for my plants - Lowe's, Meijer, local and non-local IGCs, Walmart, and mail order nurseries. I've had this happen at least once with every one of them.The latest incident happened just today. I stopped at Lowe's on my way home from babysitting for our adorable grandson, Anthony, to pick up a roll of landscape fabric.  We're…
  • Something Old, Something New, Shovels For Me, A Review For You

    Kylee Baumle
    7 Jul 2014 | 8:57 pm
    We've had this shovel for nearly 40 years.When my husband and I first were married, we started accumulating things that one needs when setting up a proper household. A key to the front door.  A large garbage can.  A shovel.  The shovel wasn't on my list of necessary things, because my husband was the gardener of the family back then.As is the case with many couples starting out, not everything you get is brand new. Family members are happy to hand down those things that they have to spare, and our first shovel came from my parents. (I think. It's hard to remember details that…
  • The Gutter Planter Redux - Succulent Style!

    Kylee Baumle
    4 Jul 2014 | 2:13 pm
    Last year, I enlisted the help of my husband and friend Julie to create a gutter planter for my monthly project as a Lowe's Creative Ideas Garden Team member.  Once it was constructed, I planted it up with an assortment of annuals and perennials and just for fun, threw in a few glass watering balls that had gotten their bottoms broken off.Angled gutter planter - Summer 2013As the summer wore on, the planter, which was located on the hot south side of our house, demanded that I pay pretty close attention to keeping it watered.  Because there's not a whole lot of room for potting…
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    The Gardens of Petersonville

  • 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…
  • Always Another Aeonium

    18 Jul 2014 | 11:53 am
    There seems to be a distinctive trend around this place that whenever nothing else works, throw in an aeonium. I'm sure I was the one that started this trend by showing my garden helper how easy it was to propagate them by simply breaking off the rosettes and sticking them in the ground. I first tried them planted as a groundcover in the front where the rabbits ate everything I tried and sure enough they left them alone. As they filled in they started to look good and so they became the go-to filler for lots of other spots that nothing else seemed to work. Although they prefer sunny spots and…
  • The Front Lawn

    14 Jul 2014 | 11:50 am
    Because of our drought I do feel a bit of anguish over the front lawn most of the year and it is looking very shabby this summer due to reduced watering, but there are some things that you just need a grassy area for, and playing barefoot baseball with your cousins is one of them. We have our older grandkids stay with us during the summer and whenever they get rambunctious in the house the standing order is "out in the front yard with that!" They spend hours hitting the ball, running bases, planning schemes, collecting treasures, searching for eatables, watching butterflies, making up games,…
  • Summer Show Offs

    6 Jul 2014 | 8:31 am
    Last February I was complaining about these narrow little planters and how bare they looked in the winter along side of the weeping cedar. I think I vowed to plant something other than the 'Black and Blue ' salvia that has been there for the past few years and only looks good during the summer months. But as I look at it now, it really does look quite lovely, and since I never did get around to replacing it, I guess it will stay for another year! I do love the combination of the bright green foliage against the dark purple flowers and it is hard to get a color combination that doesn't clash…
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    Skippy's Vegetable Garden

  • today's harvest

    21 Jul 2014 | 6:14 pm
    I harvested a big bunch of dill for making pickles. I'm going to try this recipe: Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles. Or I might try this one: Bobby Flay Dill Pickles. Then again, maybe I'll do both as the first is for making lots of pickles to can, and the second is for a few fresh pickles. Yum, they sound good! I haven't made pickles in very many years. I could use any advice. I have so many cucumbers this year, I'm sure I'll need to put up more. This is the second half of my garlic harvest. Gardeners seem surprised I harvested it so early, but it was ready. (The bottom three pairs of leaves are…
  • today's harvest

    20 Jul 2014 | 8:07 pm
  • popcorn

    20 Jul 2014 | 6:38 pm
    My popcorn is looking good. Green and thick. My neighbor commented that she had never seen corn planted so closely. I suppose I plant everything a bit close. I think in a small bed it works because there is space at the edges. This corn is about 9 inches apart in the rows (8 or 9 plants in a 6 ft wide bed) and rows are 12 inches apart. No sign of tassels or ears yet. When I do get ears, I will spray their silks with spinosad (Captain Jack's Deadbug Spray) so corn ear worms don't get in it.
  • today's harvest

    19 Jul 2014 | 7:05 pm
    Time to make pickles!!
  • my first tomatoes!!

    17 Jul 2014 | 9:07 am
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    Ilona's Garden Journal

  • What I'm Weeding Out

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

    Ilona Erwin
    7 Jun 2014 | 2:20 am
    I took a walk in the garden yesterday and shot some photos in the Instagram app. Most of my peonies are on the wane, but caught a pic or two of them along with some old roses. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ // ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Visit Ilona's Garden Journal on facebook: Click here © 2014 written for Ilona's Garden Journal by Ilona E. An excellent blog.
  • June Garden Report

    Ilona Erwin
    4 Jun 2014 | 11:44 am
    More Of  What's Happening In My GardenProof that there is hope for the Sweetgum treeI learned that I can't judge a winter's toll until June, and even then it remains to be seen what a tough summer may inflict on the garden in general and shrubs and trees in particular.Here is what I have observed about my Central Ohio garden so far. > I thought two of the Sweet Gum trees were goners when I checked them last month. I was ready to mourn them and have my husband get out his chainsaw. However, it appears that they had only been grievously delayed by the winter blasts of this past…
  • Blooming In The Garden

    Ilona Erwin
    27 May 2014 | 6:05 pm
    Finally. Cold weather disappeared and things are blooming.Therese BugnetI cut these roses down to the ground last fall due to dieback. They are sprouting up and blooming. Rugosa roses are usually very resistant to rose ailments. Except for being a bit chlorotic due to the uneven moisture levels this year, they are doing well. I expect that they will reach their 5-6 foot height by the end of summer.Blanc Double De Coubert has one bloom and numerous budsThat one flower has perfumed that part of the garden. I am going to make cuttings and try to start new plants of this lovely old rose. These…
  • Lavender, Lavender, Where Art Thou?

    Ilona Erwin
    19 May 2014 | 7:06 pm
    Summer LavenderWhen we put in our stone walk many years ago, I envisioned it rimmed with a lavender hedge. Lavandula vera has been a feature lining the walkway, scenting the air, and providing the garden with charm ever since.The story does not have a happy ever after ending. It is more of a Romeo and Juliet tragedy because of the periodic deep frozen temperatures we endure every so often. This past winter was one of those years, and I fear that I lost the entire hedge.I was prepared for the worst. Still, hope that the snow cover kept the plants insulated from the below zero temperatures…
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  • regariding banana farming

    24 Jul 2014 | 12:25 am
    hello members i am happy to introduce my self as R.s.n Raju a banana farmer to join the as a member in family. thanking you sir
  • What kind of banana plant or tree is this?

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:15 pm
    A friend gave me a banana plant that someone gave her. Neither of us know anything about them. Can someone please tell me what kind of banana this is? I have it in a container at the moment.
  • Blue Java

    23 Jul 2014 | 3:44 pm
    Hi there, I'm new to the site. I have purchased a few of the Blue Java plants from Plant Depot, Home Depot, and Lowes. I've read that most likely I have Namwah plants. The fruit tastes really good. I have harvested a few bunches so far. Has anybody purchased from They are selling Blue Java plants. Any luck they are real? Thanks, Kurt
  • Rethinking the greenhouse concept - advice & thoughts welcomed

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:27 am
    I'm zone 7 Arkansas and on my second greenhouse that i built last fall. It's wood frame, 2x4 wire and plastic, 8' wide x 28' long. This past winter was one of our coldest ever. I had various temperate plants plus bananas in there with zero heat / zero water for heat sink. I had 13 basjoo in containers that came back just fine, but i lost all my tropicals. This fall, I'm planning to section off a 8' x 16' portion of the greenhouse and install permanent, solid styrofoam walls, leaving the top as the only light source. I'll also have 2x4s on the walls at about 6' height (top of greenhouse is…
  • Finally some banana pics from SC, please help identify

    23 Jul 2014 | 8:37 am
    Hey all, I finally figured out how to post some pics of my banana plants here in Myrtle Beach, SC. This is my first banana tree (which has since pupped several times) that I planted last summer from a local nursery labeled an Ice Cream Blue Java. I know from reading several posts, that many ICs are actually Namwah. I am really curious what I have - not really disappointed either way! I have looked at several pics of the real deal ice cream and also namwahs, but can't tell. One of the pics I posted shows red on the midrib and outer edges of the pup leaves. They seem to outgrow this…
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  • 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…
  • Shipping Now: The New Garden Design Magazine

    14 May 2014 | 3:23 pm
    Design geeks among you may know that Garden Design magazine folded early last year. I had regretful yet mixed feelings about this, because the magazine’s focus on designing a garden, rather than on the minutiae of actually growing a garden, was unique and I immediately felt the lack. However, I confess that the old Garden Design magazine didn’t always live up to its potential for me, because their focus was so often on palatial estates covered in lawn and boxwood. I love to see aspirational photos of gorgeous landscapes, but my favorite part of reading about design is that I can, with a…
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    High Altitude Gardening

  • Outrageously Orange

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

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

    22 Jun 2014 | 11:43 am
    The Grande Table...One, extra long, dining table stretching the length of Park City's Main Street..It's called Savor the Summit and it is soooooo much fun!The weather was fabulous (shock o' the world) and we got to enjoy the best our local restaurants have to offer... on a perfect evening beneath a blanket of stars...
  • Provincetown

    18 Jun 2014 | 4:56 pm
    An ice storm. In June. Soooo crazy.Dark clouds hang heavy over the mountains. A deep, drenching rain nourishes the garden.Tough little Lupines.I flip on the furnace (in June?) and say a little prayer for the heirloom veggies I can't save. I can save quite a few, since I grow most of them in containers. Those I hauled indoors during this odd bout of winter weather.Our beach cottage in Cape CodWanna be a mountain gardener? First rule of thumb: optimists need not apply.Cool garden gate, discovered on my travels.No matter how warm and wonderful the weather... Mother Nature schedules one freaky…
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day ~ May, 2014

    16 May 2014 | 9:29 am
    Alyssum Basket of Gold Missed it. Again. Bloom Day, that is. Held every month on the 15th. But, I'm only off by a day so... Let's take a walk through my chilly garden.Happy Daffs & Bleeding HeartsI'm surprised. And, also impressed. The way these flowers roll with the punches.We've had a tough spring. Cold, wet, misery.For example, 3 days ago a hard freeze in the 20's. Today, the forecast is for 80 degrees. A crazy yin yang between winter and summer. Yet, they keep on flowering. Gotta love it.Meadow PhloxBuckets of Baby Hyacinth A lawn in desperate need of mowing + two pretty doves.Golden…
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    Ewa in the Garden

  • 17 Excellent Uses of Lavender

    24 Jul 2014 | 1:09 am
    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
  • 25 Photos of Organic Vegetable Garden in Moncarapacho, Algarve, Portugal

    3 Jul 2014 | 12:56 am
    Today I’d love to share with you 25 photos taken in the vegetable organic garden located in picturesque area of agricultural and horticultural Eastern Algarve in Portugal. While driving the almost empty roads, I was discovering new views, catching the scent of orange orchards caressing the senses and feeding my soul.   This is a splendid example of organic vegetable garden. The owner doctor
  • House and garden in Algarve before and after – what were you doing 15 years ago?

    28 Jun 2014 | 3:01 am
    Imagination and sensitivity enabling to feel the genius loci of the place may get you from the non interesting looking patch of land and an small old house to creating a paradise on Earth. What does it take to get you from there to today? What has the power of igniting it? Who whispers the solutions? Whoever and whatever it is, I love the result. Just have a look by yourself. The old photos
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    The Manic Gardener

  • Return of the Shaggy Parasols

    The Manic Gardener
    11 Jul 2014 | 10:02 am
    Chlorophyllum rachodes Last year, when I was at first too sick, then too discouraged, to do much in the garden, something magical happened: a second variety of edible mushrooms joined my dependable fairy ring crop, the Marasmius oreadesI wrote about four (four!) years ago in “Back Yard Mushrooms” (July 6, 2014). The Marasmius oreades come up in two places in the yard, each in a wide curve that follows the arch of a tree root, each year that curve a bit wider, a few inches displaced from where it was the year before. They’re a small mushroom, delicate in appearance, in color, in flavor,…
  • Buried in the Garden

    The Manic Gardener
    26 Jun 2014 | 11:07 am
    Well, if this year in the garden doesn’t kill me, it will probably cripple me. I’m trying to come back after multiple surgeries and other medical anomaly (I’m beginning to feel like a medical anomaly myself) and bring the garden(s) back after years of neglect, and oy, but it’s a lot of work. Especially since the whole project (multiple projects, really) seemed so overwhelming that I couldn’t face it (them) and therefore got a late start in an early spring. However, progress is being made. An important point to remember, as I gaze at the mountain of incomplete and unstarted tasks,…
  • Dandelion Pesto

    The Manic Gardener
    25 Jun 2014 | 12:12 pm
    It’s amazing what you can make from the garden, even before it gets going. Yes, I know, pesto is made from basil. (Also pine nuts, butter, parmesan, garlic, and sometimes parsley.) But years ago an Italian friend confided to me that only Americans were so hidebound as to think that it had to be made from those ingredients and nothing else. In Italy, she told me, pesto was made from all sorts of things. At the time, I looked at her askance. She and pesto might both be Italian, and I might pride myself on being openminded, but there were limits. Over time, however, I’ve gradually…
  • The blog breathes again…

    The Manic Gardener
    24 Jun 2014 | 11:43 am
    Gasps, at least. The Manic was hacked and re-hacked; down for almost two years, it’s been only recently revived. There are multiple issues, I know, including a plethora of broken links. I’ll get to them, but it’ll take a while, so I depend on your patience. Thanks!
  • Too Many Spruce–?

    The Manic Gardener
    9 Jul 2012 | 12:28 pm
    I’ll never look at my garden the same way again. Only a few pages into Sue Reed’s Energy-Wise Landscape Design: A New Approach for your Home and Garden (New Society Press, 2010) I started glancing around my  yard with a new eye. How well did our trees funnel summer breezes and block winter ones? Were deciduous trees and conifers planted in the optimal places? Well, I already knew the answer to that one: no. I’ve got five large spruce grouped on the east and south-east side of the house, and while they do a marvelous job of keeping us cool during heat waves (like the one last week),…
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    Your Small Kitchen Garden

  • Daniel and Stacy Built a Wall

    Daniel Gasteiger
    19 Jul 2014 | 11:15 pm
    It has been no secret that my dad moved out of our family home of 50+ years and I’ve spent a very long time emptying the house and getting it ready to rent. It’s a departure from the gardening content this blog’s title promises, but this is my life these days: My wife has accompanied me to Ithaca for a final, crazy push to finish work on my dad’s house. She has cleaned most of the rooms I emptied, we have removed a bunch of recyclables and even more for the trash, and we’ve done some construction & maintenance. The most obvious building project was building a…
  • Wordless Wednesday at Cornell’s Herb Garden

    Daniel Gasteiger
    24 Jun 2014 | 10:02 pm
  • Food in my Kitchen Garden!

    Daniel Gasteiger
    14 Jun 2014 | 6:43 pm
    Anywhere I point a camera at the pear tree it captures an image with many pears. I’ve never seen so many pears on the tree in a season. If they reach maturity, I’ll have a lot of preserving to do! As I rushed around a week ago Friday getting ready to drive to Ithaca, I captured images that demonstrate food is happening in the garden. I was happy seeing so much progress early in the season but I must not have been wearing my reading glasses. You see, when I capture photos, I can’t tell immediately whether they’re well-framed, in focus, or properly exposed. Even with reading glasses,…
  • Peonies at Cornell Plantations

    Daniel Gasteiger
    9 Jun 2014 | 3:42 pm
    A few planting beds at Cornell University’s Plantations hold a variety of peonies unlike any I or my dad have grown over the past 50 years. Please forgive me for stepping away from my kitchen garden. I’m still working on my dad’s house in Ithaca, and on this trip I discovered Cornell Plantations was running a plant sale. Of course, I went, and it was hard to resist buying. There were so many plants I’d love to have taken home, and all at great prices! I exercised self-control, and I also grabbed some photos. Cornell Plantations is a show and research garden. It hosts a…
  • More Mint Madness!

    Daniel Gasteiger
    29 May 2014 | 10:23 pm
    A mint plant I bought at a grocery store to flavor a Turkish meal became pot bound in the nearly two months before I was ready to work in my garden. The thick white band running around the root ball is a rhizome that would be happy growing through a planting bed or lawn – perhaps seven feet or farther in a single season! Seems I abuse mint in print quite a bit. My last blog post—Community Garden Ithaca—included complaints about people planting mint in the soil of community gardens. That post linked to an earlier one warning kitchen gardeners to protect their plots against mint. I…
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    Dirt Du Jour Daily Blog

  • The Five Million Dollar Rose
    23 Jul 2014 | 1:37 am
    A fun fact to lug out the next time someone suggests you’re spending too much on plants—the Juliet rose cost $5 million. Okay, that’s not the price of a single rose bush, but it’s the estimated expense of the 15 years David Austin spent developing the popular rose. whatever Nature—-(Video) UC Davis says sunflowers are not just heliotropic but have their own internal clocks. Charlotte
  • The crafty gardener
    7 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    So….it turns out that you can craft stepping stones to your heart’s content with a product called Garden Molds. Beyond stepping stones, the company offers molds for pot feet, edging and plaques. Plus tutorials! Think of the possibilities. Think of how many summer days you have make things. Think of the side business you can launch. whatever Daily Mail—Japanese scientist discovered with a bit of genetic modification how to make flowers live twice as long
  • Addams Family - the plant
    2 Jul 2014 | 9:19 am
    Cousin Itt wasn’t one of my favorite characters on the Addams Family TV show, but the plant named after him, Acacia cognata ‘Cousin Itt’ couldn’t be cuter. This low growing shrub was introduced by Ball in 2010. According to San Marcos Growers, it thrives in sun or shade, in a pot or in the ground and tolerates drought like an out-of-work actor. And unlike its namesake, it’s a looker. whatever Keloland TV —Most common cause of lost fingers says ER docs? Clearing clogged grass in the lawnmower without turning it off
  • You got what it takes
    30 Jun 2014 | 8:39 am
    So we’re acknowledging that Dirt du jour readers have some serious design chops. Some of our subscribers are the best in the biz in their regions. And then there are those that keep incredible gardens that are rarely seen by outsiders. Don’t you think it’s time to show your stuff? Gardenista, the sister publication of Remodelista is collecting entries for their 2014 Design Awards. All categories are open until July 7: Best garden - amateur, Best Small Garden - amateur, Best outdoor living space, Best edible garden, Best hardscape project, Best professional landscape, Best garden…
  • Living the succulent lifestyle
    25 Jun 2014 | 8:02 am
    In case it’s you - living devoted to all plants that retain water - house numbers that double as planters by Urban Mettle on Etsy.  The plants look…shall we say… a little plugged. But imagine his planters with mature clumps of Hens and Chicks. whatever Coloradoan —Community garden? Yeah, it’s an eyesore. We want it out.
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    Native Sons - Plant of the Week

  • 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,…
  • Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Fire'

    Melissa Berard
    20 Jun 2014 | 11:08 am
    Blanket flower. Forms a low mound of light green leaves, bearing upright stems of daisy-type flowers. 'Gallo Fire' is a compact selection, growing up to 12" with an 18" spread. Bicolor petals of flame red and gold, surround a rust-coloured button eye from Summer through Fall. 'Gallo Fire’ prefers full sunlight and is a good choice for perennial borders and container plantings. The long flowering season also make it a good choice for attracting bees, butterflies, and birds. Hardy to 0F. 'Gallo Fire' is available this week in one gallon containers.
  • Campanula garganica 'Dickson's Gold'

    Melissa Berard
    13 Jun 2014 | 9:21 am
    Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s Gold’ is a low growing, mat-forming Adriatic bellflower to six inches tall that spreads indefinitely by prostrate stems. Features a striking combination of bright golden foliage and star-like blue flowers in late Spring to early Summer, though the appealing toothed foliage of Dickson’s Gold forms a compact mound to provide bold contrasting color even when not in bloom. This cultivar is used well along paths, in rock gardens, spilling over walls or as a ground cover. Hardy to 10F. Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s Gold’ is available this week in one…
  • Agastache 'Orange Nectar' ™ and Agastache 'Raspberry Nectar' ™

    Melissa Berard
    6 Jun 2014 | 10:22 am
      The colorful Agastache of the Nectar™ series, otherwise known as Hummingbird Mint, produce copious amounts of nectar-filled blooms over a long season that certainly attract beneficial insects as well as hummingbirds. The dense flower spikes, orange for 'Orange Nectar'™ and raspberry red for 'Raspberry Nectar'™, rise from scented green foliage that is distasteful to deer. The compact habit, twelve to eighteen inches tall and wide, is ideal for containers or the front of a border where you can appreciate the show. Give them a place in full sun with average to dry soil, while providing…
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    Veggie Gardener: Organic Vegetable Gardening Tips

  • Gardening on a Budget

    15 Jul 2014 | 7:13 am
    Many people get into gardening because they are hoping to save some money. After all, growing your own produce not only saves you a few trips to the grocery store, it’s also a much more cost effective way to have all your favorite vegetables on hand. But, as many new gardeners may discover, creating and […]
  • Tomato Type Breakdown: Top Picks for Home Growers

    7 Jul 2014 | 11:33 am
    Tomatoes are one of the most varied plants you can put in your vegetable garden. Available in a wide range of shapes, colors, and tastes, there really is something for everyone. But how do you choose what to plant? Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most popular tomatoes gardeners tend to plant, so […]
  • How to Pick the Right Tomato for Your Garden

    23 Jun 2014 | 8:05 am
    For most of us, deciding on a tomato to grow can be a daunting task. The best way to narrow down what ones you want in your garden is to consider a few main factors. Determinate or Indeterminate Tomatoes generally have two different growing habits. Determinate tomatoes are of the bush variety, so the plants […]
  • Review: AnySharp Smart Sizzors

    Lauren M
    16 Jun 2014 | 7:11 am
    When I first received the Smart Sizzors from AnySharp, I was very excited about the product’s claimed versatility. A good pair of gardening shears can be hard to find for a decent price so, with the Sizzors retailing for only $24, I was interested to see if the product would live up to the hype. […]
  • Review: The Gardener’s Hollow Leg

    Lauren M
    27 May 2014 | 6:41 am
    It’s finally warm enough to get out in the garden, so I was really excited about the opportunity to test out the Gardener’s Hollow Leg. This seemingly simple product is actually an ingenious invention from the mind of fellow gardener, Bob Blomberg. Blomberg has a gardening style similar to mine—one where he tended to wander […]
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    Garden Therapy

  • Olive and Fig Tapanade

    22 Jul 2014 | 4:06 am
    Do you like the combination of salty a sweet? The addictive combination is incredibly popular for a reason. There is research to show that there are certain sweet taste receptors on our tongues that are activated only when sodium is also present. Whatever the reason, sweet and salty are SO FREAKING GOOD TOGETHER! While I’m not adverse to salted caramel or chocolate pretzels, there are other ways to get the flavour kick that are a bit closer to nature. Enter Fig and Olive Tapanade. I’m a longtime fan of jam on cheese and crackers but spread a little of this drool-inducing mixture…
  • 18 Soothing Ways to Use Lavender at Home

    16 Jul 2014 | 6:23 pm
    Love lavender? Me too! Step 1: Harvest Lavender I have just a few backyard lavender plants and from that I get more craft materials than I know what to do with! I leave the flowers on the plant for as long as I can (for the bees) but then it’s harvest time! Harvesting English Lavender & How To Use It Step 2: Make Stuff! Check out all of the crafts, projects, and recipes that can be done with just a few backyard lavender plants and/or lavender essential oil: Easy Homemade Bath Salts Recipe Lavender Dryer Bags Lavender Linen Water Recipe and Printable Label Dried Lavender Wreath…
  • The Homemade Dog Cookies That Makes Dogs Go Squirrley

    14 Jul 2014 | 3:48 am
    You know who deserves a treat? The garden protectors. Well, they may also be the garden destroyers at times digging holes–burying bones, trampling plants, and eating the snow peas–but they are pretty darn good at keeping critters from running amok.  So how do I thank them? First I bark, “hey you two, quit all that barking,” and then I (sheepishly) realize that they have done their jobs oh-so-well by keeping the squirrels away from the veggie garden. It’s not a perfect system. They probably eat more veggies than the critters could ever stomach. My fig tree and…
  • Pucker Up With This Tropical Citrus Lip Gloss Recipe

    11 Jul 2014 | 4:11 am
    This citrus lip gloss is anything but sour, but it will surely make you pucker up those kissable lips! This all-natural recipe is a result of my lip balm experimentation with different oils. While some balms are rich and buttery, this one turned out super shiny on my lips and I couldn’t love it more. I added bright citrus essential oils to uplift and sensual ylang ylang to bring on the romance. The result adds just the right amount of sparkle to a night out. Oh, and did I mention it’s all natural? Here is how you can make it at home: Ingredients 1 tbsp coconut oil 1 tbsp sweet…
  • Gardening with Kids: Grassy Garden Gnomes

    8 Jul 2014 | 3:26 am
    Today we are joined by Renata Fossen Brown, author of the creative book, Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden. This fun and creative book features 52 plant-related activities set into weekly lessons, beginning with learning to read maps to find your heat zone, moving through seeds, soil, composting, and then creating garden art and appreciating your natural surroundings. Today Renata shares Lab #48: how to craft up these quirky Grassy Garden Gnomes. Grassy Garden Gnomes Patience is a virtue. One that I don’t possess. And…
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    Herb Garden Blog

  • Need Help with Gifts for Men?

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

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

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

  • {Fall & Winter Season} 5 Cool-Weather Vegetables to Grow In Containers

    16 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    This post was found from BLOG If you want to have vegetables to eat this fall, then you need to start planting in summertime. This might be your first time growing a fall garden, & these vegetables are a great place to start because they can all be grown in containers! 1. Radishes- The trick with growing perfect radishes, lays in the soil. Literally. Keep the moisture level of the soil close to that of a wrung out sponge. Don’t feel limited to growing common varieties like you’d find in the store. Try varieties like Japanese Minowase or Hailstone White radishes!
  • {Fall & Winter Season} Growing Food in 1, 2, and 3-GALLON Containers

    13 Jul 2014 | 10:13 am
    Fall and winter gardens are possible, even when growing in containers. Stick with these cool-weather crops and planting suggestions for success. Get planting! First, we’re going to break it down by container size.  If you go to a local garden center you’re going to come across the same thing. 1-gallon, 2-gallon, 3-gallon, and 5-gallon containers are all great for growing food.  You’d be surprised. Here’s what you can grow in them: If you’re using a 1-GALLON CONTAINER: Beets (you can fit about 2- 3 beets in this size container) Carrots (3-4) Celery (1) Collards…
  • UOG Pic of the Day

    8 Jul 2014 | 6:56 pm
    Planters and urban gardening tools at Kennedy Greenway in central Boston, the site of the Occupy Boston encampment!
  • Why Urban Farm Grows Food in 100% Container Garden

    5 Jul 2014 | 7:04 pm
    Take a peek at an Urban Garden growing food in containers, right in downtown Fort Lauderdale! John from goes on a field trip to downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida to share with you a urban farm who grows food in 100% containers. In this episode, you will learn about Fort Lauderdale Vegetables who grow food in the city and teach about decentralized farming. You will learn some of the techniques they use to grow in a tropical environment that gets lots of rain. You will also discover why smoking is not a good idea around your garden and much, much more.
  • Honolulu’s first urban rooftop farm is on top of an auto dealership in Kakaako!

    1 Jul 2014 | 10:37 am
    “Honolulu’s first urban rooftop farm is on top of an auto dealership in Kakaako. It’s the juxtaposition of urban and rural that makes farm roofs so exciting. The reality is, we’re not all cut out for rural life, but with rooftop farming, we can bring a little bit of the agrarian into town. At a glance, rooftop farms make sense: utilize unused space to grow food. But there are challenges: irrigation, heat (10 minutes on top of AutoMart, and everyone was sweating), the weight of plants and soil and maintenance. Alan Joaquin, founder of FarmRoof, the certified-organic…
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    Ecosystem Gardening

  • What’s All the Fuss About Neonicotinoids?

    Carole Sevilla Brown
    14 Jul 2014 | 1:49 pm
    Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides that will kill the very pollinators you’re trying to attract to your wildlife garden. A systemic pesticide is absorbed into all parts of the plant: leaves, flowers, pollen, and nectar which means that any caterpillar feeding on that plant, any butterfly sipping some nectar, or any native bee collecting pollen are often killed simply by visiting plants treated with neonicontinoids. Neonicotinoids affect the central nervous system of insects resulting in paralysis and death, which is surely not your goal if you’re goal is to create a pollinator garden!
  • Growing for Pollinators 10th Annual Garden Symposium, with Carole Sevilla Brown, William Cullina, and Dr. Frank Drummond

    Carole Sevilla Brown
    5 Jun 2014 | 11:39 am
    Growing for Pollinators: 10th Annual Garden Symposium, with Carole Sevilla Brown, William Cullina, and Dr. Frank Drummond at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens On Friday June 20 I’ll be speaking at the Growing for Pollinators symposium at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens with William Cullina and Frank Drummond: Maine’s bird and insect pollinators are crucial to the life cycle of most flowering plants – in the wild, in our home gardens, and in agriculture. In Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ 10th annual symposium, you’ll discover the intricate interdependencies between flowers and…
  • Kill The Bishops Weed

    Carole Sevilla Brown
    30 May 2014 | 1:13 pm
    Bishop’s Weed swallowing up my front garden The Agony of Bishop’s Weed I’ve been doing battle for 14 years now with an invasive insidious persistent thug called Bishop’s Weed, also known as Goutweed or Snow On The Mountain (Aegopodium podagraria). Every year I swear I’m going to get the Bishop’s Weed all pulled out in early spring, and well before the time that it flowers because Bishop’s Weed, a highly invasive plant can produce a prodigious amount of seeds, and you really don’t want this plant reproducing anywhere near your wildlife garden!
  • Mount Cuba Center Native Plants of the Piedmont

    Carole Sevilla Brown
    23 May 2014 | 1:21 pm
    The Copeland Estate at Mount Cuba Center Mount Cuba Center is dedicated to the preservation of native plants of the Piedmont, and is a fantastic place to observe many different native plants in natural settings, some woodland, some meadow, and some pond-side. Mount Cuba Center is a 600 acre preserve located in the beautiful rolling hills of Hockessin, DE, not too far south of the Pennsylvania border. The rolling hills of the Delaware Piedmont I recently attended the annual Wildflower Celebration at Mount Cuba Center–a pure delight for the senses! I enjoyed many different species of…
  • What Plants Attract the Most Wildlife?

    Carole Sevilla Brown
    30 Apr 2014 | 1:50 pm
    As I travel around the country speaking at conferences about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife, the question I get asked most frequently is “What should I plant?” The easy answer is that you should add lots of locally native plants to your wildlife garden because over thousands of years wildlife has developed interdependent relationships with these plants. Native plants form the base of any food web. What is a Native Plant? But this answer isn’t as easy as it may appear at first glance. What is a native plant? Native plants are part of an ecosystem or community of other…
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    The Garden Plot

  • Gardening Spotlighted at the Largest Event for Women in Social Media in the World

    Garden Media Group
    22 Jul 2014 | 6:30 am
    As interest in outdoor living and decorating continues to grow, especially in the blogosphere, Garden Media Group once again will introduce new content, plants and garden products to thousands of key bloggers at the 10th annual BlogHer Conference in San Jose, California.Some 4,000 social media experts in food, parenting, health and wellness, entertainment, style, social change, politics, technology and business are expected to attend the conference.This year, Garden Media , the top public relations firm in the outdoor living industry, returns with its popular pop-up “Garden Shop” to…
  • Sun Parasol Mandevillas from Suntory Flowers Stun in Any Summer Setting

    Garden Media Group
    17 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Suntory Flowers’ Sun Parasol mandevillas, the tropical vines with trumpet-shaped flowers, are easy to grow and ideal for a unique look. These bold flowers add high impact color to containers, patios and landscapes. Plus, the tubular flowers are also known to attract hummingbirds to the garden. Though these natural climbers are usually found growing along trellises, there are many other ways to incorporate Sun Parasol mandevillas into outdoor living spaces. Available in original, giant and pretty sizes, these vines can grow to be 10 to 15 feet long. “Sun Parasol is a great choice for…
  • Enhance Garden Style and Control Pests With New, Decorative OrnamenTrap

    Garden Media Group
    15 Jul 2014 | 10:52 am
    Decorate the garden and catch pesky flies and yellowjackets at the same time with the new, eco-friendly OrnamenTrap™.The newest design from RESCUE!®, the leader in environmentally responsible insect control, is an attractive solution to control pests while enhancing garden layout. Disguising itself as a garden accessory, the OrnamenTrap™ does double duty as a yellowjacket or a fly trap.The reusable OrnamenTrap™ is a non-toxic and is safe to use around children and pets. These traps are also made in the USA.Bloggers at BlogHer, the largest conference for influential bloggers nationwide,…
  • Tips for Growing Berry Shrubs in Small Spaces from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery

    Garden Media Group
    11 Jul 2014 | 6:41 am
    Fresh blueberries and raspberries have never been easier to grow. With new BrazelBerries, all that is needed is a sunny spot big enough for a container. Patios, decks, front steps and urban balconies are perfect choices.These revolutionary berry shrubs are changing where fruit is grown. They’re as decorative as they are tasty, offering compact, gorgeous foliage for any small outdoor space. And, all BrazelBerries are self-pollinating, so only one bush is needed to produce fruit.Why are BrazelBerries different? “They’ve been selected to be simple to grow, beautiful in landscapes, and…
  • New Desert Escape Collection from Costa Farms

    Garden Media Group
    9 Jul 2014 | 5:26 am
    Home gardeners looking for bold, easy-care yards have a new option for landscaping—the Desert Escape collection from Costa Farms. The new Desert Escape collection includes a variety of bold, no-fuss cacti and succulents ideal for consumers who seek attractive, low-maintenance landscapes. Desert Escape cacti and succulents, once established, are extremely drought tolerant and typically don’t require pruning or other maintenance. In addition to being easy, Desert Escape cacti and succulents add a trendy, modern look to yards thanks to their fun colors and dramatic textures. The plants are…
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    Gardener's JournalGardener's Journal

  • 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…
  • What’s Better than a Pink Flamingo?

    Gardener's Supply
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:23 am
    The winning photo from our contest, sent by Rodger D. Bagby of Dallas, TX: “I saw this reading rabbit at a local gardening store and had to have it for my new garden space. I was wanting to create a whimsical garden in a new area of my property that was recently made available due to a storm.” Shop our selection of Statues and Fountains WHEN it comes to lawn ornaments, it’s hard to beat the classic pink flamingo. Sure, gnomes could be considered classic, but what’s new? Isn’t it time for another classic? We asked for photos of your favorite garden art, and we got…
  • Sweet Success: Watermelon in a Raised Bed

    Gardener's Supply
    8 Jul 2014 | 11:41 am
    From a five-star review by “Bill the gardener” of Hemet, CA. Watermelon and squash growing in the Elevated Cedar Raised Bed We purchased our raised bed planters last year and this is the second year growing food in them. Thought it was about time I did a review. Yes, we get compliments on how good they look, but the main thing for me is, our veggies grow well in them. My wife and I live in a mobile home community that (thankfully) allows veg. gardening in your yard… so long as you try to keep it tidy and attractive. The elevated grow beds are a great help in that respect.
  • Taming the Garden Hose

    Gardener's Supply
    23 Jun 2014 | 6:45 am
    A well-trained hose As a professional gardener, I use garden hoses a lot, and I’ve seen my share of kinks, leaks and hoses that can’t be recoiled neatly. To me, the job is complete when the garden is weed-free and well-watered — with the hose coiled and ready for next time. If asked, my coworkers might say I’m a bit obsessive about getting the hose rolled up after each use. Here are my tips to ensure leak-free watering and a tidy coil: When connecting hoses and attachments, make sure the washers inside the female end are fully seated. And if the washer looks worn out,…
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    Annie's Gardening Corner

  • A Butterfly’s Day

    23 Jul 2014 | 7:06 am
    On this #WordlessWednesday, it’shighlighting the simple flight of a butterfly’s day. A Typical Garden Day Starts HereSomething New to Explore - Daylilies & MoreTo the Coneflowers - A Favorite Landing SpotAlways Begin Your Garden Flight at DawnAs Stephen Coonts reminds us, “All really great flying adventures begin at dawn.” And if you missed Monday and Tuesday’s posts, make sure to check them out. When the Sun Shines and Designing for Paws. Enjoy!©All images by Ann BilowzIf you like this blog, hope you check in for your daily share's worth of inspiration, design, and…
  • Designing for Paws

    22 Jul 2014 | 7:19 am
    Designing for PawsDesigning a user-friendly landscape for high-impact outdoor activity? Always take into account a finished product you can engage in rather than just view from a certain vantage point. All things considered, your household may encompass children and four-legged pets. Here’s an archived post from a few years back, Follow the Flow , which might shed some light on finding the ‘desire lines’ simply by following the natural flow. In short, let the paws do some of your work.  Make it user-friendly if there’s high-impact activity (children and pets). What you welcome…
  • When the Sun Shines

    21 Jul 2014 | 7:48 am
    When the Sun ShinesIt’s imagery Monday – content for your eyes.  Catching those rays of sunshine can be wonderful for our sun-loving plants but there’s one quick piece of advice for plant and garden lovers abound as we head into the latter part of July. It’s a repeated message, and often during the summer months. But regardless where you live, most cities and towns impose some type of water restrictions for outdoor use. Don’t ignore them. Being a steward of this precious resource (water) is as important as being a good steward of the land. If you’ve been paying attention,…
  • Designing for Comfort

    18 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    Choosing your stone and your paving patterns for stone walls, terraces or any of the hardscape features in your landscape can be daunting if you jump the gun. How many times have you made a decision in a vacuum and then wished for a do over? Take a peek back at this post from January, Patterns, to give you some assistance on avoiding that pitfall. But when it comes to designing a hardscape feature for comfort, it can be narrowed down to one common denominator – your intent for that space, how you plan to use it as this is what eventually wins out. Take for instance, the image above.
  • Wednesday’s Garden View

    16 Jul 2014 | 7:57 am
    On #WordlessWednesday, it’s a snapshot garden view.  As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe pointed out, “There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.” And from our design point of view, “We create outdoor spaces not only to connect to nature but to each other.” P.S. Don’t forget to share your garden view. ©All images property of Bilowz Associates Inc.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…
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    Serenity in the Garden

  • Organic Weed Killers You Can Make

    Jan Johnsen
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:56 am
    Got weeds?Before you reach for the RoundUp (and killing bees and polluting soil and water in the process) - try these cheap, organic ways to get rid of them:wrotter by SneeboerDig Out the rootsYes, this method takes a bit of time and you must let them dry out in the sun... but it works!But if you’re looking for a quicker way to rid yourself of weeds, try one of these homemade herbicides:CAUTION!  A herbicide is a "substance that is toxic to plants," but they can also have a negative impact on the soil if applied in large quantities and they may cause human injuries if misused. So be…
  • Jared Leto Hugs a Tree - Garden photo of the day

    Jan Johnsen
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:34 am
    Jared Leto knows what is important..I want all celebrities to photograph themselves hugging a fact, I  want everyone to photograph themselves hugging a tree.Please send me them to me here in the comments section. Thanks!
  • Hibiscus 'Compassion' - garden photo of the day

    Jan Johnsen
    20 Jul 2014 | 7:22 pm
    Hidden Valley HibiscusH. 'Compassion' is the result of a cross between H. 'Simple Pleasures' and H. 'Enlightenment'...I love that. 
  • Nature Speaks: Color in Nature, Color in the Garden

    Jan Johnsen
    9 Jul 2014 | 1:15 pm
     a great internet radio show!I just had the nicest interview on an internet radio show with Christine Agro on Nature Speaks.We spoke about color and its effect on us and how to use it in a garden... It is a lot of fun! If you would like to hear us talk about color please click here: Nature Inspired: Color in Nature, Color in the GardenWe  talk about yellow, green and white and of course, blue .... also about Lakshmi gardens, the idea of a Venus garden...and the sparkle of a white garden. Then Christine mentioned the most intensely colored fruit in Nature is Pollia…
  • Calla lily 'Goldrush' - A Midsummer Beauty!

    Jan Johnsen
    8 Jul 2014 | 2:48 pm
    from Gardening at Mohonk The hybrid calla lily 'Goldrush' is a tender bulb that is easy to grow. It has striking yellow blooms that light up patio pots and make great, long lasting cut flowers.  The calla “blooms,” are not flowers at all. They are a fleshy leaf that is uniquely shaped.  Green foliage, spotted with white, adds beauty even when not in bloom. It is  tough and long-lasting, and wonderful in cut flower arrangements. Gold Rush's slender, upright form allows you to enjoy lots of blooms without giving up much square footage. Good for tight…
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  • Some July Plants in My Garden

    13 Jul 2014 | 6:17 am
    I have an impression that everything is blooming earlier this summer.  These are some of the July stars in my garden. A new poppy is in my garden. Thank you Peggy  for the seeds! The plants are beautiful. Most of my day lilies are peach-orange. Cathy, thank you for this one! It stands apart: In the next two pictures, there is Orlaya grandiflora, biennial.  Brian, a
  • Lobelia tupa (Tabaco del diablo). Wordless Wednesday

    9 Jul 2014 | 5:23 am
    ***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS
  • Villa Carlotta Garden in Northern Italy

    5 Jul 2014 | 8:52 am
         Among the ten gardens which we were fortunate to visit during our European trip in May, the Botanical Garden at Villa  Carlotta in Tremezzo (Lake Como District, Lombardy) was the busiest. Visitors were arriving by ferry from other towns around the lake and by tour buses from Milan. Even so, the garden was not crowded, since the villa itself  absorbed many visitors, and the size of the
  • June Was Good! Wordless Wednesday Blooms

    2 Jul 2014 | 7:47 am
    ***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS
  • Villa Cipressi Garden on Lake Como (Northern Italy)

    1 Jul 2014 | 6:41 am
    Among several luxurious, stunning gardens I was fortunate to visit this May in Europe, this garden appeared to be a Secret Garden.  The feeling of being in a secluded and mystic garden  never left me while we were walking  on its winding paths along  five shallow terraces.  The garden is considered modest in comparison with other gorgeous gardens at Lake Como in Northern Italy, but what a
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    Veg Plotting

  • Wordless Wednesday: A Garden Nursery - Western Style

    23 Jul 2014 | 3:15 am
    If you're not reading this on, Blotanical or your own web reader such as Bloglovin' or Feedly, then the website you're using is a blogpost feed scraper. Why not go straight to the source instead? That's
  • Postcard from the Pacific North West

    21 Jul 2014 | 12:30 am
    Mount Rainier seemingly floats in the air - as seen from the Bainbridge Island to Seattle ferryI've just got back from an amazing holiday in the Pacific North West aka the Washington and Oregon states in the USA.The main purpose of the holiday was to join the Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland, but a long journey across the pond deserves to be made into a road trip, which is precisely what Victoria, Charlotte and I did.We flew into Seattle, where our friend Marty Wingate had arranged an amazing pre-fling garden tour for us, including another visit to the Bloedel Reserve, plus the company…
  • Impromptu Harvest

    18 Jul 2014 | 12:30 am
    I've been hacking away at an enormous bramble up at the plot to try to get rid of it at long last.An unexpected side effect was uncovering lots of ripe gooseberries which had yet to be discovered by the birds. Therefore it was important to harvest these straight away before the pesky critters realised what was there.However, I hadn't expected to be harvesting anything and so hadn't bought any of my containers. My solution to the problem? An extra use for the gauntlets I did have with me. One gauntlet = half a kilo of berries, ready for making some delicious gooseberry fool later on.I…
  • GBBD: Off-Piste Plant Buying and Planting

    15 Jul 2014 | 12:30 am
    My plant buying is governed currently by a wants list for the terrace borders and front garden makeovers planned for this year. It's interesting to see how my tastes have changed since I started this blog and now show up in the list.The pictured Astrantia 'Star of Royals' wasn't on there, but I couldn't resist it when I went to my local garden centre to claim my half price plant offer. I'd decided Trachelospermum jasminoides was the plant of choice for my claim, but then found that was on special offer anyway.I had planned to plant the Astrantia in the shady part of the terrace to…
  • Sloane Square Showstoppers

    10 Jul 2014 | 12:30 am
    Sloane Square has a fab new planting which was turning heads when I made my way to Chelsea Flower Show last month.Plenty of people were crossing the road for a closer look and then taking photographs, just like I did.It may have had a flashier, tropical themed cousin around the corner, but unlike this Chelsea in Bloom winner...... it forms a longer lasting feature on the Square (at least until the store opens in September) and is designed to help save the bees :)I hope it'll be a permanent feature - watch this space.If you're not reading this on, Blotanical or your…
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    Cultivating Dinner

  • And the winner is...

    22 Jul 2014 | 6:16 am
    Buckbee's 50 Day...I started all my tomatoes the week of March 8 and planted them out the week of May 12.  The first red tomatoes showed up this week which was closer to 70 days from transplant, but easily the earliest tomato in my zone 5 garden.It is a medium sized tomato and has a tart, fresh tomato taste and a thicker skin.Seeds for Buckbee's New 50 Day and lots of others are available at Tomato Fest(affiliate link).
  • Bugs in my Garden

    18 Jul 2014 | 6:22 am
    I have been seeing a lot of different bugs and insects in the garden lately.  A lot of the herbs and Umbelliferae are in bloom bringing lots of flying insects.  I haven't seen too many honeybees this year, but a few have been buzzing around my oregano this week.I noticed a bee that wasn't moving at all on a daylilly and I looked closer...Look closer...Poor bee probably never saw it coming.  The spider is the exact same color as the flower.Add captionThe milkweed is covered with milkweed bugs.  I haven't seen any monarch caterpillars since I took some pictures a few weeks…
  • How to Fix a Lawn Mower Tire

    16 Jul 2014 | 8:27 am
    Mowing the LawnI like being outside enough in the summer that I really don't mind mowing the lawn.  Although we have 3/4 acre to mow, we can usually bust it out in an hour and a half or so if my husband push mows and trims while I drive the ride-on lawnmower. I know that mowing is horrible for the environment as far as emissions, so we are slowly filling our space with areas that don't need to be mowed, but in the meantime we end up mowing most weeks of the summer.This weekend was busy and I just wanted to get the mowing out of the way.  I pulled the mower out of the garage and…
  • Apple Tree Diseases

    15 Jul 2014 | 3:31 pm
    Apple Tree IssuesSo after last years bumper crop of Golden Delicious apples, many of our six apple trees are having a rough year.  After getting some online diagnosis from the helpful readers at Gardenweb and the Helpful Gardener, I am pretty sure that I am dealing with plum curculio, as evidenced by the crescent shaped bite mark,s and apple scab, a fungal disease that might be attributed to this crazy wet spring and summer. The AdviceThe advice I received included keeping the drip-line clear and mulched with only wood chips, organic fungal sprays next season at the appropriate…
  • Mid July harvest

    14 Jul 2014 | 6:26 am
    The summer garden is coming along nicely with all the rain we have been getting. I haven't had to water anything in weeks.I pick our first 8 cucumbers this weekend.  I will be getting ready to make some pickles soon.This first batch was used to make some refrigerator cucumbers and onions. They are so refreshing and taste like summer!Our first ripe tomato is on its way, but it just can't turn fast enough for me.  Hopefully this week's polar vortex doesn't slow things down too much. See more harvests at Daphne's Dandelions
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  • Summer Stars: Crowder Peas and Yard-Long Beans

    17 Jul 2014 | 11:04 am
    A huge chunk of my gardening life took place in the hot, humid climate of Alabama, where spring passes fast and summer goes on forever, with more than 250 days between frosts. The peas of choice were not garden peas (Phaseolus species), which merely served as spring aphid bait, but crowder peas (Vigna unguiculata), one of the most stalwart crops of summer in warm climates.
  • Using Organic Mulches in the Vegetable Garden

    12 Jul 2014 | 4:16 pm
    I love the word 'mulch'. Like 'humus', it brings to mind thick, dark, moist soil like that found in woodland, rich, fertile, wondrous stuff produced in what is possibly the most perfect process on Earth: an endlessly recyclable system where nothing is produced that isn't eventually reused.
  • Growing Sage for Flavor and Flowers

    3 Jul 2014 | 12:43 pm
    Like most gardeners, I'm always ready to adopt plants that have multiple uses. Garden sage (Salvia officinalis) definitely fits this description, because it's a productive culinary herb that doubles as a showy perennial by covering itself with spikes of blue blossoms. Plus, if your living spaces are in need of purification, you can bind a few sage stems together with string, dry them, and use them as smudge sticks, a Native American tradition in which the smoke from smoldering sage is used to clear negative energies.
  • Plan Ahead For Your Winter Vegetable Garden

    27 Jun 2014 | 6:26 am
    If you're reading this on a hot summer's day then the idea of casting your mind forward to winter may seem at best odd. But it's the wise kitchen gardener who makes plans now for the vegetables that will stock the larder when the cold comes home to roost.
  • Growing Flowers That Attract Butterflies

    19 Jun 2014 | 1:00 pm
    One of the things that brings pleasure to time spent outdoors in the summer garden is the company of butterflies, often referred to as "flowers that fly." Every temperate or tropical climate hosts numerous species of these colorful winged insects, regarded as gentle because they cannot bite or sting. Yet butterfly larvae are another matter altogether, because all butterflies spend their larval period as leaf-eating caterpillars.
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    The Enduring Gardener

  • Oranges & Lemons

    The Enduring Gardener
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:03 am
    The citrus trees are thriving in the hot, sunny weather. There’s loads of blossom and young fruit, so I’m making sure that they are fed and watered regularly, or the fruit will drop long before it reaches maturity. Apparently citrus need a minimum of eight hours of sunlight a day to really thrive and they are certainly getting that at the moment which is probably why they look so good. Inevitably it will all get a lot more difficult to achieve at the end of the summer when they will need that tricky combo of good light and protection, but for the moment I’m just enjoying their…
  • Create your own Seed Packets

    The Enduring Gardener
    19 Jul 2014 | 11:24 pm
    Unless you diligently dead-head your annuals you’ll likely find an abundance of seed heads replacing the flowers as summer strides forward. The long warm days are great for drying seeds heads and there’s something very satisfying about harvesting them, it’s like money in the bank for next year.  I tend to leave them to dry out for a few weeks in a tray on a high shelf. Thereafter they can be put in packets, labelled and dated.  A pack of seeds makes a wonderful and thoughtful present, I tend to make up a few packets which can be used as emergency gifts or easily sent as…
  • Tickle your Roots

    The Enduring Gardener
    18 Jul 2014 | 11:08 pm
    It’s the time of year when it’s tempting to introduce some colour into the borders while waiting for the late summer blooms to get going. We all do it – and provided you prepare the ground well, water thoroughly and mulch, the plants should settle in well.  But when you buy large plants at this time of year they often have a mass of roots on the margins of the root ball even when they aren’t pot bound. It’s a good idea to gently scuff them up so that when you plant, the roots travel out into the surrounding soil rather than continuing to travel round in circles, following the shape…
  • Capellagarden’s Garden

    The Enduring Gardener
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:58 am
    For the full time gardening students at Capellagarden, the year runs from March to September.  At the start many of them may never have gardened before, but from Day 1 groups of 4 students will be given the entire responsibility for one of the rotational plots within the teaching garden.  They choose the seeds, plan the layout, prepare the soil and do the planting.  They help one another, pooling what knowledge they do have, and what they don’t know they find out by asking the tutors, or looking things up in the library.  As their confidence grows they are encouraged to experiment…
  • A Summer Gardening School in Sweden

    The Enduring Gardener
    15 Jul 2014 | 1:48 am
    The wonderful thing about writing about gardens and gardening is that you get to go to some amazing places and meet lots of people who share your interests.  My recent visit to Sweden where I visited the island of Oland to write about the Summer Gardening School at Capellagarden  was just such a  treat.  Capellagarden is a fascinating place – it’s a creative school where international students attend year long courses in cabinet making and furniture design, ceramics, textile craft and design, and ecological gardening. They also run week long summer courses, including one on gardening,…
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    Gardening with Cheryl

  • 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
  • Ground Cover Basics for Erosion Control, Beautification, and Elegant Focal Points

    Cheryl Jones
    30 Jun 2014 | 8:00 pm
    A lot of attention is paid to beds, borders, foundations, and focal points when it comes to home and commercial gardening, but just about any landscape might benefit from well-placed ground cover plants.  A wide variety of ground cover plants are available, but a few choices deliver vivid greens, alluring colors, and hard-to-match benefits to […]
  • Swamp Milkweed Plants Bring Monarchs to Your Butterfly Garden

    Cheryl Jones
    30 Jun 2014 | 7:39 pm
    One of the truly wonderful aspects of butterfly gardening is that the most effective plants for such are perennials and natives.  Key to attracting and providing for the most butterflies possible is to provide attractive plants that actually play roles in providing for local or migrating butterfly populations.  Choosing native plants that thrive in the […]
  • New OSO Easy Lemon Zest Yellow Rose Now Available at Greenwood Nursery

    Cheryl Jones
    10 Jun 2014 | 9:23 pm
    The New OSO Easy Lemon Zest is the latest release in the OSO Easy Series. The Lemon Zest opens in mid to late spring with bright canary yellow flowers that continue their brilliance until they fall away. The small growing OSO Easy Lemon Zest rose matures in the 2 to 4 foot height range making […]
  • Crow Village in Montevallo, Alabama Hopes to Grow Its Own Community Garden

    Cheryl Jones
    10 Jun 2014 | 5:43 pm
    A quick scan of “housing authority community garden success” returns dozens of articles about devoted individuals who have grown community as well as food to sustain citizens in towns and cities nationwide.  Many of these gardens first took root over twenty years ago, some are only in their second season, and others are in the […]
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    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.
  • Using MRI Brain Scans to Co-Design Everyday Objects

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    5 Jul 2014 | 6:23 pm
    Expanding on the idea of the sharing economy where we crowdsource ideas and designs then crowdfund them into production, Dutch artist Merel Bekking brings high technology into the fold adding another dimension to this human process. Unveiled at FuoriSalone’sVentura Lombrate at Milan’s Salone de … Read More...The post Using MRI Brain Scans to Co-Design Everyday Objects appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Five Overlooked Plants In the Landscape

    Nicole Brait
    2 Jul 2014 | 3:47 pm
    Calochortus venustus, photo by Don M. Davis Some plants are familiar to almost everyone. But then there are those that, no matter how many great characteristics they have or how easy they are to grow, they never quite catch on. Here are five … Read More...The post Five Overlooked Plants In the Landscape appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • A Milan Secret Garden and Wellness Concept Lab

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    30 Jun 2014 | 1:15 am
    What was once an historic movie theater within the green Parco Trivisio of Milan’s fashionable Brera design district, debuted last year as a secret garden and wellness concept lab for Gessi, the Italian Private Wellness Company. Photo: Gessi Appropriate to the building’s origins, the Gessi … Read More...The post A Milan Secret Garden and Wellness Concept Lab appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • One Aquaponic Rooftop Farm to Go Please

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    24 Jun 2014 | 9:21 pm
    It’s hard to disagree with the fact that urban rooftops could provide a huge playground for urban farmers. Rooftop gardens do exist of course, but in a city like New York with an endless number of industrial buildings, there could … Read More...The post One Aquaponic Rooftop Farm to Go Please appeared first on Urban Gardens.
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    Busch Gardens in Virginia Blog

  • Taking the Coaster Insider Tour at Busch Gardens: A Guest Post from a Thrill Chaser

    Emily Bea
    10 Jul 2014 | 1:09 pm
    Ever wondered what the Roller Coaster Insider Tour is like? Russel, a Thrill Chasers blogger, recently took the tour and shares his experiences in this guest blog post.  Read on to find out what a Thrill Chaser thought of this ultimate tour for coaster fanatics. Busch Gardens Williamsburg has quite possibly developed the ultimate experience for any roller coaster aficionado. The Coaster Insider Tour at the Virginia park gives coaster fanatics the chance to see the park’s signature steel coasters from a unique vantage point that most people can only dream about. For an $80 add-on to…
  • Star Spangled Nights at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

    Emily Bea
    8 Jul 2014 | 2:25 pm
    My name is Lance and I am the Manager of Entertainment Consumer Events at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  Our park has always felt like a mosaic, bringing unique cultures and traditions to life in fun new ways.  That’s why I am really excited for Star Spangled Nights, our new summertime event that began July 3 and runs through August 10.  We have pulled together our favorite patriotic traditions from across the country, each rooted in this country’s multicultural past, to celebrate together like never before. Great picnics and fun barbeques with friends and family are…
  • The Story of Maria and Her American Dream

    Emily Bea
    3 Jul 2014 | 6:21 am
    This Independence Day, we’re proud to introduce you to one of our culinary team members – Maria. Born and raised in Ecuador, Maria remembers wanting to become an American even when she was a little girl. Once she grew up, Maria traveled here, studied here, found a job here and became a citizen. Nowadays, she’s happily married, working at Busch Gardens, and she has a complete appreciation for the Fourth of July in the country that she gratefully calls her home.
  • Food & Wine Festival Recipe: Spain's Gazpacho

    Emily Bea
    27 Jun 2014 | 2:06 pm
     The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival ends this Sunday, June 29. Which means there's only one weekend left to try internationally-inspired favorites like the Gazpacho con Ceviche, a chilled tomato and cucumber soup served at the Spain kiosk.  Though the festival ends this weekend, you can bring a little taste of the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival home with you with this recipe for a savory soup from sunny Spain. Bon Appétit!
  • Make the Most of Your Trip

    Emily Bea
    25 Jun 2014 | 8:41 am
    Turn “If only I’d known” to “I’m so glad we knew” with this helpful planning tip sheet. Find advice from park insiders, helpful tips for visiting with young kids and more.     Are you a planning guru or park insider? What advice would you give someone planning a trip to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA?
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    My Tool Blog

  • Dewalt DCK250P2 Combi and Impact Driver 18v 5Ah Brushless Kit

    22 Jul 2014 | 8:12 am
    Introducing the new DeWalt DCK250P2 18v XR Brushless 5.0Ah Twin Pack which includes the DCD795 Compact Hammer Drill and DCF886 Impact Driver. Ideal for use in confined spaces, the DeWalt DCD795 is an ultra lightweight and compact brushless hammer drill driver which features an LED work light for greater visibility and a 2-speed, all-metal transmission. Designed with aluminium front housing and an ergonomic handle,the DeWalt DCF886 is a compact impact driver with brushless motor technology and features 3 LEDs for perfect work piece illumination. Specifications DCD795 Brushless Compact Hammer…
  • DeWalt DCN692P2 18v XR 5.0Ah Li-ion Brushless Framing Nailer

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:56 am
    This Bare Unit DeWalt DCN692 18v XR 2 Speed Framing Nailer features BRUSHLESS motor technology to provide the power to fire 90mm ring shank nails into soft wood and 63mm into hard woods. This Nailer comes with 2 modes including a sequential operating mode which allows for precision placement and a bump operating mode that provides the user with production speed. Both of these modes optimise the nailer for firing all lengths of nails. Ideal for numerous applications, including; Stud Wall Installations, Roof Battening, Fencing, Cladding Installations, Roofing, Decking, Floor Board Installations…
  • DeWalt DCK255P2 18v XR 5.0Ah Li-ion Brushless 2 Piece Kit

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:43 am
    The new DeWalt DCK255P2 Brushless 2 Piece Kit is part of the all powerful DeWalt XR 5.0Ah Lithium-ion cordless range, offering Improved performance, extreme run time and increased efficiency. It includes the DCD995 Brushless XRP Combi Hammer Drill and DCF886 Brushless Impact Driver. Combining two of the most popular cordless models with the new 5.0Ah battery power means you have a kit guaranteed to last. The DeWalt DCD995 Brushless XRP Hammer Drill has a tough 3 speed all metal transmission for increased runtime and longer tool life and an electronic clutch with 11 position adjustable torque…
  • DeWalt DCD995P2 XR 18v 5.0Ah 3 Speed Brushless Hammer Drill

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:32 am
    This DeWalt DCD995P2 XR 3 Speed Brushless Hammer Drill Driver comes supplied with 2 x 18v 5.0Ah Li-Ion batteries, multi-voltage XR charger, multi position side handle and a TStak heavy-duty kit box. This Brushless Hammer Drill is conveniently designed with a state of charge indicator, a steel belt hook and a magnetic bit holder to ensure for strong storage solutions. The 13mm ratcheting keyless chuck with automatic spindle lock allows for faster bit changes, whilst the tough 3 speed all metal transmission provides enhanced runtime and longer tool life. This tool has a foot LED that includes a…
  • DeWalt DCD990P2 18v XRP 5.0Ah Li-ion Brushless Combi Drill

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:27 am
    The new DeWalt DCD990P2 is part of the all powerful DeWalt XR 5.0Ah Lithium-ion cordless range offering increased efficiency, improved performance and extreme run time. With an improved grip design providing greater application control and maximum comfort, the DCD990P2 is a heavy duty 3 speed combi drill offering an impressive 80Nm of torque, ideal for large drill bits and tough materials. With an all metal gearbox, it features an electronic clutch with 11 position adjustable torque control for optimised precision when screw driving, a 13mm ratcheting keyless chuck with automatic spindle lock…
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    A Charlotte Garden

  • Away we go!!!

    Daricia McKnight
    9 Jul 2014 | 12:10 pm
    Well hello readers, old and new! I wanted to drop by to say hello quickly before leaving for the airport to join the other garden bloggers "flinging" in Portland, Oregon. I've been terrible in the past about getting up pictures from these whirlwind trips, so this time I'm going to try tweeting them as I'm seeing them. Follow me on Twitter (@aCLTgarden) and see the beautiful PNW gardens as I do!I hear thunder just now which is normally welcome when it's so dry outside, but since I'm about to board a plane, not so much! Prayers and good thoughts for an event-free flight appreciated! See you on…
  • Intense Cherry

    Daricia McKnight
    4 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    April cherry blossoms in Charlotte, NCA little too saturated, huh? It's just hard to get the petal edges to show up, and I wanted to keep the photo as bright as possible, so this is the way I decided to go with it. Sometimes the feeling you get from a plant is better represented with these tweaks added than from the photo straight out of the camera. Especially my camera. ;)Happy Friday!~ Daricia
  • Beautiful Bulbs

    Daricia McKnight
    27 Mar 2014 | 4:58 pm
    During some of the coldest, most miserable days of winter this year, I had this little bulb garden to keep an eye on, and all these beautiful blooms to look forward to.Living Gardens sent it to me with instructions to water it and keep it in a cool room. I had just the place, I thought, and put it on my enclosed porch. The temperatures there are always above freezing, but sometimes not much—it took weeks longer to bloom than had been indicated.Maybe 45 degrees was a little cooler room than they had in mind, but it has helped the blooms last a long time and kept the heavy scent of the…
  • Remember This Next Fall

    Daricia McKnight
    11 Mar 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Ruby Giant Crocus.My yard is abloom. You would think it's spring already! It did feel like it today with temperatures in the 70s.This year the daffodils all bloomed at once and the King Alfreds are larger and more floriferous than ever before. Maybe it was the extra cold period we had? Or the abundant rain last spring? Whatever it was, it's time to appreciate them, and all the other blooming bulbs.I added pink daffodils to my garden a few years ago and I love them! One day I'll have as many of those as the yellow ones I hope.Pink Charm DaffodilConjoined twins!Delnashaugh DaffodilDelnashaugh…
  • Native Plants of the Southeast—We have a winner!

    Daricia McKnight
    18 Feb 2014 | 11:30 am
    Coastal plain Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium dubium) with yellow swallowtail butterfly.Taken from Native Plants of the Southeast(c) Copyright 2014 by Larry Mellichamp. Photo by Will Stuart.  Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved..By random number generator, our winner for Native Plants of the Southeast is #1—Roseann Blacher! Congratulations, Roseann! Roseann's favorite place to visit native plants is The Pocket, north of Rome, Georgia. She also mentioned the Berry College campus which I just happen to have a…
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    Pacific Outdoor Living | Landscape Design - Landscape Contractor La

  • Hardscaping vs Softscaping

    16 Jul 2014 | 4:03 pm
    If you’ve been looking into landscape design or exterior home improvement, you’ve most likely heard the terms hardscaping and softscaping. Well, that’s because every landscaping project can be broken down into these two aspects: hardscaping and softscaping. So, what is the difference and how can you use it to plan your own design? Let’s take […]
  • Design of the Month: The Kearl Residence

    4 Jun 2014 | 11:16 am
      Our featured design for the month of June is a full backyard renovation in Shadow Hills! The project includes a pool and spa, fire pit, covered patio space, outdoor kitchen and even a basketball court. We’re very excited about this one and hope you enjoy it! Scroll down to see a time-lapse video we […]
  • Pacific Outdoor Living Teams up with The Fish Tank Kings

    12 May 2014 | 5:12 pm
    Nat Geo Wild’s Fish Tank Kings returned for its 3rd season last week and Pacific Outdoor Living will be featured in an upcoming episode, titled The Fish Whisperer and featuring celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan! The Fish Tank Kings features a group of aquarium specialists as they aim to construct some of the most creative […]
  • 2014 Pasadena Showcase House of Design

    16 Apr 2014 | 4:59 pm
    Pacific Outdoor Living celebrates its 15th year at Showcase! We are very proud to have been a part of such an amazing organization for so many years, and for the chance to work with such a dedicated and talented group of individuals. Here’s to 15 more amazing years! The Pasadena Showcase House of design is […]
  • Which Landscape Design is Right for You?

    17 Jan 2014 | 1:25 pm
      When it comes to remodeling your backyard or making changes to your patio, you’re presented with an unlimited number of choices regarding the style, colors, materials and overall design. The best way to begin is to choose the landscape style you like the best and design within its guidelines. Of course, these styles don’t […]
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    Lead up the Garden Path

  • Foliage for July GBFD.

    21 Jul 2014 | 11:29 pm
    Thanks to Christina, we are now focusing on the foliage in our gardens.  Flowers are everywhere and  it is hard  to focus on the leaves, but some of them are so beautiful, it is a shame they get overlooked in summer. Alchemilla mollis always catches the eye after a shower of rain, or even a thunderstorm which we had the other night, complete with lightning. Miscanthus malepartus makes a lovely fountain shape, not flowering yet, but it will be soon. In front the purple leaf belongs to a Cotinus which has flopped in all the rain, a bit of staking needed. This is part of the crescent shaped…
  • July is the month for …..Day lilies.

    18 Jul 2014 | 3:28 am
    More and more day lilies or Hemerocallis, open their flowers during the month of July. They bring such colour to the borders while the roses are having a rest before flowering again. They are so easy to grow and don’t seem to mind my heavy soil which is good. When I find something that likes it, I try to find any cousins of theirs that might also enjoy the same conditions, hence I seem to have gathered quite a few over the years, but can’t remember many of their names unfortunately. This is a small one that is on the rockery by the alpine scree. Catherine Woodbury, I suppose I…
  • Red, White and Blue. G.B.B.D July

    15 Jul 2014 | 12:40 am
    When taking photographs for July’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, it dawned on me how many flowers there were in the garden, in the British patriotic colours of red, white and blue. Crocosmia Lucifer has just started flowering up by the pond and takes the eye as soon as you step into the garden by the back door. Backlit by the sun, some of the petals look yellow. But surrounded by green, it is bright red. All the Hemerocallis are starting to flower now, I think this one is H.Stafford, which is slightly different from the previous one, it has thinner petals. Candelabra Primula Inverewe has…
  • It can’t be 48 years!

    9 Jul 2014 | 11:08 am
    It can though. Forty eight years ago today, there we were, young and innocent, getting married! We have just had a lovely day out  visiting a garden in the Dartmoor area and then having a fantastic lunch in a nearby hostelry. The under gardener managed to find a super garden, Winsford Walled Garden, he did well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been an historic productive garden from 1890′s but abandoned during the war.It has been recently restored and records show that it was formerly an exotic flower garden. I could tell straight away that this was going to be a good one. There were a…
  • Not a flower to be seen, or not many.

    4 Jul 2014 | 9:51 am
    In an area which doesn’t feature very often on this blog, are our fruit and vegetables. Even though this is in the highest part of the garden, before we changed it, it was also one of the wettest areas apart from where we have made the bog garden. This view is from right at the top, looking back to the pergola which leads back to the garden. We soon realised that any root vegetables would just rot, therefore the under gardener had the job of making some raised beds before we could start. At the left hand side we increased the fence height and added more slats to filter the wind, we…
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    Garden Walk Garden Talk

  • Angry Red-tailed Hawk Conundrum – Day 2

    Donna Brok
    24 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    This hawk has been angry and battle worn for two days now. I posted it on Nature and Wildlife Pics and some of you may have seen the photos of the angry hawk. It was bothering me why I have … Continue reading →
  • Making a Garden that Welcomes Wildlife – Warner Gulf Gardens

    Donna Brok
    22 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    This garden has it all! It is heaven on earth to live in such a special spot, complete with everything to make peace with nature and wildlife. No pesticides were ever used on this piece of paradise. Want to take … Continue reading →
  • Making a Garden Live Like a Storybook – Canterbury Gardens

    Donna Brok
    20 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    If you need a vacation and are this homeowner, all you need to do is stay home to enjoy the beautiful gardens. Continue reading →
  • Garden in July – The Weekly Look

    Donna Brok
    19 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    I got a comment from a reader on garden walks in general. Before I got into the next posts on many of them, I had to noodle this question to find out the reason behind it. I was not sure … Continue reading →
  • How Many Containers Do You Maintain?

    Donna Brok
    17 Jul 2014 | 4:14 pm
    This garden is a larger than my garden but is still considered small space gardening. The number of containers of artful plant design in this space is so surprising. I myself could never maintain this many colorful containers and I … Continue reading →
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  • Ratatouille, RatItalian-Style

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:34 pm
    When I saw that Smitten Kitchen recreated the ratatouille recipe from Pixar’s animated film of the same name, I couldn’t resist making it. But there’s one caveat: I don’t care for peppers, which traditionally show up in this dish. So … Continue reading →The post Ratatouille, RatItalian-Style appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Homemade Fruit Fly Traps

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:11 pm
    They’re everywhere! Tiny, annoying fruit flies, that is. They’re trying to get into our tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, and plums. They’re even breeding in our compost bucket. What to do? Break out the big guns. The lowly fruit fly has a … Continue reading →The post Homemade Fruit Fly Traps appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Recipe: Homemade Tomato Sauce

    15 Jul 2014 | 11:17 pm
    Italians believe that San Marzano tomatoes are the only tomatoes for making sauce. I’m Italian, and I’ve made sauce with just about any tomato I can get my hands on, but this year we grew San Marzano tomatoes for the … Continue reading →The post Recipe: Homemade Tomato Sauce appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Harvesting Onions

    15 Jul 2014 | 8:12 am
    Onions take a long time to grow, but when it comes time for harvesting onions, it’s incredibly satisfying, and worth the wait. Here in Southern California we plant onions by seed in the fall, or by “sets” in spring.  By … Continue reading →The post Harvesting Onions appeared first on Gardenerd.
  • Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

    8 Jul 2014 | 11:03 pm
    It’s harvest time for tomatoes, whether they be determinate or indeterminate. These orbs of delight are the quintessential summer fruit and we’re picking them daily. We planted early this year (quite possibly a mistake since we now have blight…but then … Continue reading →The post Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes appeared first on Gardenerd.
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    A Verdant Life

  • Summertime at the Home Office

    14 Jul 2014 | 10:01 am
    At the heart of it, my job is about improving quality of life: whether it's "just" a garden that's pretty to look at, or a landscape that invites — or even compels — us to spend more time out in the fresh air and sunshine. And while spring and fall are particularly easy on the eyes, summer can't be beat for truly living outdoors. Ironically, though, summers tend to be my busiest time of year,
  • A Thing of Beauty

    2 Feb 2014 | 10:40 am
    The most beautiful thing in my front garden this morning? That wet thing in the upper right.
  • How to Reduce Your Water by 20%

    29 Jan 2014 | 2:48 pm
    On Friday, Governor Brown declared a drought emergency, and asked Californians "to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20 percent".  So how do you do that? It sounds intimidating — especially when you're already pretty water-conscious and already harvesting low-hanging fruit like fixing leaky faucets and using a broom rather than a hose to clean off your driveway. But it's actually not that
  • Climate Zones 101

    22 Aug 2013 | 10:52 pm
    Sandy soils, dry winters—we're not in Palo Alto any more! This week I was down at the San Diego Botanic Garden, where the differences between the Encinitas climate and the Palo Alto one I live in were on full display. For landscape designers like me who grew up reading the Sunset Western Garden Book, the concept of climate zones is second nature. But for plenty of other folks, it's about as
  • California's New(ish) Irrigation Laws

    15 Feb 2013 | 1:59 pm
    Although California has legislated landscape irrigation for a few years now, most of us haven't noticed it… until now. But suddenly, homeowners applying for construction permits are getting the unpleasant surprise that a whole package of landscape documentation, including irrigation and planting plans and a slew of math, may be required as part of the permit submittal. What the…?!? A brief
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    Beautiful Wildlife Garden

  • The Wildlife Nursery

    Donna Donabella
    22 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
      Gardening often provides the closest encounters we ever have with wild creatures.  It is a solace and a distraction in bad times, and a shared joy in good ones.  ~Ursula Buchan     When you establish a wildlife garden, you need to be aware that at some point in the spring, summer or fall you will […] 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 Good in Grapevines

    Loret T. Setters
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:02 am
    I am sometimes dismayed by the rapid growth of my Muscadine grapevines (Vitis rotundifolia).  Then I spot a bird picking through them and I relax and am glad that I procrastinated on cutting back. Heck, this southeastern native vine can be cut back at any time. This past week I watched the cardinals dancing in […] 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 Monarch Waystation in a Mall’s Landscaping

    Jesse Elwert
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:29 am
    At the Healthy Living Market, which occupies the old JC Penny’s space in the Wilton Mall of Saratoga Springs, NY, there is a new Monarch Waystation site. I had the privilege of doing a landscape renovation to the surrounding island beds and sidewalk gardens this spring. We included many native perennials, and cumulatively the site […] 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
  • Smooth Sumac

    Brenda Clements Jones
    15 Jul 2014 | 4:35 am
      Just a couple weeks ago, some of the bushes along my woodland edges were abuzz with pollinator activity. The flowers of Smooth Sumac, Rhus glabra, were the magnet.   Butterflies, including this Red-banded Hairstreak, Calycopis cecrops, were part of the crowd.   Honey Bees, gathering nectar, to help some bee keeper with his honey supply were also attracted. […] 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
  • Sweet as honeyvine

    Judy Burris
    13 Jul 2014 | 10:13 pm
    This “weed” is a host plant Honeyvine milkweed (Cynanchum laeve) is a vigorous, perennial trailing vine that is native to our eastern and central states.  Some people consider it to be a nuisance “weed”, but I call it Monarch caterpillar food. Hardy hearts I like the honeyvine’s heart-shaped leaves and the fact that I never […] 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

  • Plant an Edible Ornamental Hanging Basket

    21 Jul 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Posted by WesternGardener Why choose between an ornamental garden or an edible one? Here’s a simple planting idea for a different take on a hanging basket.
  • Veggie Garden Tidbits, Volume I

    17 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Posted by yourownvictorygarden Here’s the first volume of random, yet helpful tips and thoughts to feed your garden brain.
  • How to Make a Shrub

    15 Jul 2014 | 6:12 pm
    Posted by cookinwithherbs This is not a shrub as in a bush that grows in one's garden, rather it is a beverage made from infusing fruits, herbs or even vegetables in apple cider vinegar.
  • The 20-30 Something Garden Guide by Dee Nash Book Review

    15 Jul 2014 | 3:38 pm
    Posted by ChrisMcLaughlin Are you a 20-30 something that just happens to be new to gardening? We've got the book for you!
  • Vegetable Gardening in the Rocky Mountain Region

    14 Jul 2014 | 2:34 pm
    Posted by WesternGardener Mid-summer is a good time to evaluate your vegetable gardening efforts. If the garden isn’t living up to your expectations, you might want to turn to a new book that will help you “Plant, Grow and Eat the Best Edibles for Rocky Mountain Gardens.”
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    The Gardening Blog

  • The Mouse Whisperer

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:06 am
    This is the cutest thing! I have a family of striped field mice living under our outside deck and every day I throw them a Provita cracker. Lately, they have been waiting for me. I always whistle and make a “Provita feeding time” sound, so I decided to try hand feeding today. The smallest mouse – I call him Scout because he is the one they send out to collect the food [...]
  • May Day Blooms

    17 Jun 2014 | 2:13 pm
    I have been so amazed with the weather we had in May and early June. We had sunny & warm days and wet & windy days as well as snow-on-top of Table Mountain days!!! And this can all happen in one week!! The garden takes a real knock, though! The big confusion happens when the peach tree is dropping its autumn leaves and then, ….out of no where a PINK BUD! A [...]
  • Garden revamp for water wise gardening

    25 May 2014 | 6:35 am
    Hi all my gardening friends!!!! I have been re-vamping the garden so that 2014 is going to be a water-wise and energy efficient year! One of the reasons I fell off the radar!! All the work was done by my hubby, Hannes, and myself so any extra free time was spent fixing and building! I am going to share with you the front garden changes and the new addition of our rain [...]
  • Badboy bugs

    24 Feb 2014 | 1:10 am
    This last season I hardly had any problems with beetles, bugs, caterpillars and aphids in my garden. The ones that did come by uninvited, they didn’t leave too much damage – almost as if they were being polite. The aphids were devoured by ladybugs and the caterpillars were hand-picked and “placed” elsewhere (the chickens don’t like the furry, colourful squigglies) But these little nasties destroyed my rocket OVERNIGHT!! My sweet rocket and [...]
  • Sunflowers from sunny Cape Town

    18 Feb 2014 | 1:03 pm
    Hi all gardening friends!! My year started off very busy work wise and the summer has kept me more outdoors than in! We are experiencing a heat wave these past few days so 32 to 38 degrees is the average!! Whew!! Hot in Philly!! I have to show you my beautiful Sunflowers that were all over my garden this summer. They are now going to seed, but were spectacular this summer. Lots [...]
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    Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

  • A Native Garden Goes to Church

    Suzanne Dingwell
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:36 pm
    To get ready for church, the garden had to be dressed in its finest. Only native plants were fine enough, of course. The garden selected colorful natives, and ones with graceful forms and varied textures. Churches always want more visitors, so the garden carefully chose plants that would bring plenty of new attendants; butterflies and […] 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
  • Privacy Screening in Your Native Plant Garden

    Debbie Roberts
    20 Jul 2014 | 8:06 am
    A common request among many of my garden design clients is evergreen screening. Whether it’s to keep the neighbor’s from peering in or to keep my clients from seeing out to their neighbor’s gardens, it seems many gardens just don’t offer enough privacy. It can difficult when you’re designing a habitat garden with native plants […] 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
  • Palms Have Panache

    Jacqueline Soule
    17 Jul 2014 | 8:06 am
    Native Palm Trees for Southwest Wildlife Gardens Panache is defined as “an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a helmet.” The second definition is “dash or flamboyance in style and action.” These are the perfect definitions for palm trees! (The top of a palm looks sort of helmet-like.) Incidentally, these definitions come from my […] 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
  • Hillsides Littered with Native Plants….Bring ‘Em On.

    Jennifer Baker
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    As I was busy packing for my recent Colorado vacation, I checked the mail one last time. Since I was expecting a few payments from clients, I was happy to see a return address from a couple I recently completed a design for (a design I was mighty proud of given the budget constraints that […] 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
  • Why You Should Always Review Your Footage Right Away!

    Kevin J. Railsback
    15 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    I’ve spent the last week and half filming everything and anything in and around Yellowstone National Park. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve filmed in the park but that’s a story for another time. As much as I love filming grizzlies, wolves etc, I’m always on the lookout for the little things as […] 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

  • 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
  • Knock Thistle Out Of Your Garden For Good Without Herbicides

    Todd Heft
    4 Jul 2014 | 9:34 am
    Big Blog Of Gardening I have a lot of experience ridding Thistle from gardens, and it's not impossible if you're willing to do a little work when it first appears. Continue reading → Knock Thistle Out Of Your Garden For Good Without Herbicides
  • Four Reasons To Invest In Non-GMO Vegetable Garden Survival Seeds

    Guest Author
    3 Jul 2014 | 9:23 am
    Big Blog Of Gardening There is a lot of interest in survival seeds, as we may experience a catastrophe which would require massive replanting of our food supply. Continue reading → Four Reasons To Invest In Non-GMO Vegetable Garden Survival Seeds
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    Nigel Gnome grows a vegetable

  • 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
  • Gently moving toward winter

    Nigel Gnome
    7 May 2014 | 3:19 am
    Nice late autumn changes in the forest pansy tree and a sudden dearth of cabbage white butterflies seem to be making winter's coming real. Have committed to a Valencia orange tree in the front lawn to provide privacy as well as something useful. Started having a small fire a few nights ago and from now it will become a daily ritual. Nice.Have planted 36 odd red onion seedlings and a handfull of coriander, the beans have been flowering really well and beetroots/broccoli/leeks are growing strongly, all good before the cold really comes. The theory is that it's s'posed to be a mild warm winter,…
  • Marching to an end

    Nigel Gnome
    29 Mar 2014 | 10:40 pm
    Yes another month gone and another summer also passing. The tomato plants are gone and the big bean climbing frame too. I poked a hole through the water mains again, so this time we had the plumber put in a tap at the repair point. And to make sure I never poke another hole again I have made a small path extension to cover it over.New garden pathA very good tree person came to remove the rest of the poor Titoki tree in the front yard, still not used to the amount of extra sky we see now. There's a great pile of very good firewood to be sorted though. There is now room for serious…
  • The sound of summer

    Nigel Gnome
    21 Feb 2014 | 5:31 pm
    The cicadas have really started to sing now, it does feel like summer as the temperatures are into the 24-27C range most days. The humidity has been quite high which makes it all very close and uncomfortable. The plants however are loving it and we have a major tomato mountain we are all helping to consume. So far a chutney sauce has been made as well as a large batch of butter chicken sauce and also a lot just pulped and reduced before freezing. The long shaped roma tomatoes do make a very nice rich red sauce. Ripening tomsBusy bumble bee on the chive flowersThe black krim tomatos are lowly…
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  • Social Media for Florists workshop – London, 1st July 2014 : Part 3 – The Goody Bag & A Postcard Giveway

    23 Jul 2014 | 4:01 pm
    This is my final blog post of three about our Social Media for Florists workshop, which took place at the beginning of this month. And it’s all about the wonderful goody bags which all of the delegates received (the contents of which are pictured above)! Both my co-host Fiona Humberstone and I would like to thank our sponsors SO much for their overwhelming generosity. They include Designers Guild, LSA International, Serax, Jane Means, Illumens, Emma Ball, Rosehip UK, Cutture and Original Beans. Here are just a few of the comments from the delegates, posted on social media (of…
  • Wildabout at A Most Curious Wedding Fair – April 2014

    22 Jul 2014 | 4:01 pm
    As part of my Wedding Wednesday blog post series, today I’m featuring photos which I took of Wildabout’s designs at A Most Curious Wedding Fair, back in April. Wildabout is a London based florist and it was lovely to catch up with Leanne from the company at the fair. On her stand, there were beautiful wedding flower arrangements in different colour palettes. I loved this elegant white and green pedestal design above featuring roses, peonies, guelder rose, spray roses, lilac, astilbe and green bell. Here’s another shot below. Isn’t it stunning? And here’s a…
  • Flower of the Month – The Rose…A guest post by Katie Spicer, in collaboration with Carolyn Dunster of Simply Roses

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:01 pm
    I’m delighted to feature another Flower of the Month guest post by photographer Katie Spicer today.  For July, Katie takes a look at the beautiful rose, Queen of Flowers and the national emblem of England. Over to you Katie… Carolyn Dunster of Simply Roses has created the most beautiful arrangement of roses especially for this month’s post. “I wanted to create a large hand-tied posy that looked as if it had just been picked from an English garden or hedgerow at mid-summer, but using roses purchased at the flower market. These were David Austin’s Miranda which has…
  • Flowerona Links: With floral shoes, roses & a flower farm…

    19 Jul 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Flowerona Links returns this week with lots of wonderful floral inspiration for you to enjoy…whether you’re sitting in bed with a cuppa, chilling in the sun or relaxing on your sofa! General Summer hand tied bouquet idea by Finch & Thistle A trip to New York City’s flower district via the J.Crew blog Divine Floreal’s visit to Petersham Nurseries A beautiful flower wall for Nespresso flagship opening in Beverly Hills Grower Spotlight – Verbena: Flowers & Trimmings The Farmer & The Florist Interview – Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua Rose…
  • Social Media for Florists workshop – London, 1st July 2014 : Part 2 – Styling & Food

    18 Jul 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Thank you so much everyone for your lovely comments about my blog post earlier this week, where I shared details of the content in our Social Media for Florists workshop. Today, I’m delighted to feature photos of how we styled the venue and also of the wonderful food. Styling My co-host Fiona Humberstone had created a mood board with styling inspiration, which you can see below. We used this during the planning process and when we were setting everything up at the venue, the day before the workshop. Upstairs When we arrived at Brixton east, the upstairs was an empty shell. We set…
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    Sprinkler Juice

  • Start Planning for Fall Lawn Care

    22 Jul 2014 | 6:48 am
    It’s late July.  We still have plenty of summer left to enjoy. Most people are not ready to think about fall just yet. Yet if you are a homeowner with a lawn, now is a good time to think about... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Cleaning Up After a Storm

    30 Jun 2014 | 8:35 am
    Summer is here and while that means ballgames and trips to the beach, it can also mean thunderstorms. Depending on where you live, some of these storms can be severe and cause quite a bit of damage.... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Solving Those Lawn Problems

    25 Jun 2014 | 9:07 am
    We all want a great looking lawn. We also know that a healthy, green lawn takes some work. Luckily, we live in a time when the hard labor of heavy-duty lawn work has been eased somewhat by the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Different Types of Sprinkler Timers

    18 Jun 2014 | 11:44 am
    Sprinkler timers are a tremendous tool for making sure your lawn is getting the right amount of water. A great lawn sprinkler system takes much of the guesswork out of wondering when to water your... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Dandelion Debate

    10 Jun 2014 | 8:45 am
    For many of us, it’s been something of a foregone conclusion that dandelions are bad for our lawns. Yet some lawn experts say it’s time to rethink our thinking about those no-good dandelions. Maybe... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Your Easy Garden

  • Controlling Japanese Beetles Naturally

    18 Jul 2014 | 9:08 am
    They’re back!  Just when we thought that perhaps the harsh winter had saved us from our annual scourge of these destructive pests, they’ve arrived in their full glory, chomping our roses, grape vines and a whole range of plants! Japanese beetles use pheromones to attract their friends to this popular shrub rose! There’s no easy way to control Japanese Beetles, but there are a few ways to lessen their impact. There are plenty of chemical-based products on the market today but unfortunately there aren’t many natural controls that are totally effective, but here are a few suggestions to…
  • Mixing Roses In

    Your Easy Garden Team
    18 Jul 2014 | 6:38 am
    If you haven’t been to Wisley in the UK, go. As you’d expect, it’s an extraordinary garden, filled with gorgeous landscape moments. It’s the work of the Royal Horticultural Society which carries international punch for good reason. I visit often because I can, and because I want to. And each time I go I come away with a fresh view. A fresh take on a rose garden – at Wisley the massed plantings are bold and not just roses. A visit or so ago I saw that they had completely turned their rose garden on its head. No longer happy to grow the rose collection in the traditional format…
  • Make a Teensy Mini Garden

    Elizabeth DeFriest
    11 Jul 2014 | 1:34 pm
    If at some point in your childhood there were faeries living at the bottom of the garden, then you’ll appreciate this project – I call it a doll’s house garden. Why? Well, it’s a green space in miniature. It’s incredibly fun (and easy) to create and maintain. And it’s a nice fit if your gardening space is limited to a balcony or courtyard. Yes it’s out there on the whimsy scale, so if you’re too shy to put it on public display, it also happens to be portable and can easily be tucked out of sight when necessary. Of course you could do what I did – claim that I made it for…
  • Gardens are special places. Why?

    Phillip Townshend
    2 Jul 2014 | 1:56 pm
    What is it about gardens that makes them so special, and makes us feel so special when we’re there?   As I sat pondering my latest topic for a blog post and battling to knock down the walls of writer’s block (not an affliction I have too often as I am normally more than happy to share my opinion on most topics), I actually stumbled across this topic and it really made me think. So, what is it about gardens that makes them so special to both gardeners and non-gardeners alike? Het Loo Gardens are enjoyed by thousands of people each year I know we all have our reasons for why we like…
  • Gardening with kids

    24 Jun 2014 | 5:00 am
    Enjoying the fruits of her labor! No, it’s really not too late in the season to get your kids interested in gardening. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s a great outdoors activity!  Studies have shown over and over again that children who are involved in growing their own food are much more likely to develop healthy eating habits.  Those involved in nurturing gardens – be it flowers or vegetables – generally mature into adults who are take pride in caring about and protecting the environment. Never too young to garden Gardening is also a great learning tool and crosses a…
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    The Mini Garden Guru - Your Miniature Garden Source

  • Miniature Gardening: Get Outside and Play

    Janit Calvo
    17 Jul 2014 | 12:44 pm
    Miniature Gardening: Get Outside and Play It was when I first moved to Seattle that I found myself looking at my container garden and wanting something to do. The plants were trimmed, watered and fluffed, the pots rearranged, the veggies were fertilized, weeded and growing. There was nothing to do. I wanted to be in […]
  • Happy Fourth of July in the Miniature Garden

    Janit Calvo
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:36 pm
    Happy Fourth of July in the Miniature Garden After renovating this pretty miniature garden a couple of weeks ago, I was drawn to it again for a Fourth of July theme. I couldn’t resist the blue pot as the perfect base, and that Jacqueline Hillier Elm to hang my flags on. Happy Fourth Fellow Miniature […]
  • Happy Canada Day in the Miniature Garden

    Janit Calvo
    1 Jul 2014 | 2:35 pm
    Happy Canada Day in the Miniature Garden Taking some downtime and enjoying my national holiday from the comfort of my Seattle garden. Of course, I can’t leave well-enough alone and had to make a miniature garden for the occasion. I kept it simple this time, with only a handful of items to help deliver the […]
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    Sow and So

  • Wildflower Meadow in full Bloom

    Laila Noort
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:25 pm
    Remember we sowed a wildflower meadow in March? We sowed perennials indigenous to the region and suitable for the heavy clay soil we have here. As this wildflower meadow will take a while to grow we have also, as suggested by the eco nursery man, sown a mix of annuals like cornflower, poppy,  camomile, cow soapwort, corn marigold and a few others. Bonus As you may remember, we moved into our newly built house last November having a back garden consisting of one very large slap of brown clay. We sowed the meadow seeds at the back of the garden and sowed grass in front to create a lawn.
  • First Blueberry of the Season – Wordless Wednesday

    Laila Noort
    23 Jul 2014 | 1:48 am
  • The Polytunnel in July

    Laila Noort
    20 Jul 2014 | 10:48 pm
    It’s already mid July and summer is well and truly here. We’ve had our first heatwave making it extremely hot in the polytunnel. In these conditions, the only thing to do is water the plants very early in the morning, open all the doors and side ventilation and leave it be until dinner time for a quick in-and-out to harvest produce for supper. Tomatoes My tomatoes are coming along nicely. At the beginning of the season I had a bit of an aphid problem attacking the Amish Paste toms. I used a garlic spray and I searched for ladybirds in the garden which I placed on different plants…
  • P is for Pappus – Word Up!

    Bridget Elahcene
    17 Jul 2014 | 10:33 pm
    Pappus \ˈpa-pəs\ The fine, tufty whorl of hairs which aids seed dispersal by wind, such as dandelions and other members of the Compositae family.
  • Feeling Peachy – Wordless Wednesday

    Bridget Elahcene
    15 Jul 2014 | 10:55 pm
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    The Hortiholic

  • 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…
  • TO YOU: Clean Air..... FROM: Hardworking Houseplants

    Tony Fulmer
    6 Jan 2014 | 10:06 am
    Jade PlantHave you thanked your houseplants recently for the gifts they give you? Sure, you know they produce oxygen. Did you know they're working 24/7 to detox your home? Unfortunately, I've taken them for granted, too. I water, give them periodic showers, feed regularly during the growing season, check for livestock infestations, and think that's enough. Do I consciously think about what my tropicals do for me every day besides being beautiful, calming and oxygen-producing? Not so much!Our emphasis on energy efficiency and "tight" construction comes at a cost. Toxic compounds like benzene,…
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  • 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.
  • Start your water garden with the right plants

    Paul Guzman
    9 Jul 2014 | 1:52 pm
    How to start a water garden Have you ever wanted to start a water garden or pond?  Here are some tips and advice on doing just that. Once you find out how much space you need you can start digging. … Continue reading → The post Start your water garden with the right plants appeared first on Blog.
  • Summer Gardening: Quick hot weather garden tips

    Paul Guzman
    14 Jun 2014 | 7:57 am
    The Hot Summer sun can scorch plants. Managing a medium-sized nursery is a full-time job.  One of my duties is making sure all of our plants are watered and fertilized accordingly.  One way to know if the plant has plenty of … Continue reading → The post Summer Gardening: Quick hot weather garden tips appeared first on Blog.
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    Primrose Blog

  • Have you seen our Gazopy?

    11 Jul 2014 | 6:05 am
    What’s a gazopy? It’s what we think our Harlington gazebo-canopy should be called! Made from steel, it’s perfect for a party or simply to create an outdoor living space for your family and friends to enjoy whilst effortlessly adding style. Here’s why we think it’s marvellous: Powder coated steel frame – sturdy and long lasting Coated polyester roof canopy – durable and stylish Sleek ornate design – for a classic yet crisp finish Pegs for extra ground support – to make sure it remains firmly in place We’ve also got matching sidewalls…
  • Make your neighbours jealous!

    4 May 2014 | 1:28 am
    We’ve created our collections around what’s hot in trend this year. Whether you’re after deep mocha, sage or forest green, or a vibrant purple – we’ve got what you need to make Roger and Julie next door jealous. A selection of our collection is below and the other colours are easily found from each product. Get £5 for your photos! Have you recently purchased a product from us? We would love to see your photos and share them with other customers. If you send us pictures of your Primrose products in your home or garden we will pay you £5 for each photo that…
  • Here’s how to tackle your garden!

    2 May 2014 | 4:38 am
    Yes, we know it’s going to be bad weather this weekend, but you know as well as us that it’s time to get out there and get started in your garden! Here’s a selection of our Primrose garden hand tools which are designed by gardeners for gardeners and perfectly up to the job. We’re really quite proud of them and here’s why: Lightweight yet strong - perfect even for kids Durable and rustproof - so you can see your task through Weatherproof - just in case you forget it in the English summer Wood is FSC certified - wood is sourced responsibly We’re so…
  • Win a Cadac Gas BBQ worth £450!

    21 Apr 2014 | 3:24 am
    This Cadac gas barbecue is just one of the many we stock – there are over 125 barbecues on our site! Cat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter. She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening. She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events. See all of Cat’s posts. Filed under: Barbecues, Cat, Promotions Tagged: barbecue, barbecues, bbq, bbqs, cadac, competition, gas barbecue, primrose,, win
  • Happy Easter from Primrose!

    18 Apr 2014 | 4:34 am
    Whether you’re celebrating with family or just relaxing, we hope you’ll have a fantastic time this Easter holiday. If you’re looking for a day out this Easter and are local to the Henley-on-Thames area, we’d love to see you stop by our new concession area at Toad Hall garden centre. We’ve also got a voucher for a free tea or coffee on us. Read more about it in our blogpost. Still missing some essential items to make your garden look as beautiful as it deserves to be? Take a look at our popular categories below to get it delivered for next weekend which is looking…
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    The Growing Patch

  • At Home First Aid – Cuts.

    Growing Patch
    8 Jul 2014 | 5:29 pm
    At Home First Aid – Cuts. There are many things to know about first aid. From all of the wars that mankind has been in, we know a few things. First, stopping the blood loss as soon as possible is one of the most important things when it comes to a major wound. The second […]
  • Zinnia Care Guide.

    Growing Patch
    26 May 2014 | 4:32 pm
    Zinnia Care Guide.    The Zinnia is a great plant for starting gardeners. They are very easy to care for. Because of the full sun requirements that the Zinnia requires, makes it hard to over water. This flower also comes in a variety of colors, so you can be sure to match a pallet that […]
  • Vermont governor signs GMO food label into law

    Growing Patch
    12 May 2014 | 3:51 pm
    Vermont governor signs GMO food label into law Thursday,Vermont’s Governor signed a bill into a law requiring GMOs and food containing them to bare a label. Vermont is the first state in the country to enact such a law. And you guessed it, Monsanto is not happy. They have threatened to Sue the entire state of […]
  • Tomato Care Guide

    Growing Patch
    6 May 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Tomato Care Guide We all love tomatoes! Lush, vibrant, and full of life. Nothing says you have a good vegetable garden like big plump tomatoes. I love tomatoes, you can roast them to give them a very long shelf life, or can them. There are so many ways to use this great product. let’s learn […]
  • Marigold Care Guide

    Growing Patch
    20 Apr 2014 | 12:16 pm
    Marigold Care Guide  Marigolds can help brighten up just about any space. From their soft sunny yellows to rich vibrant reds. The annual plant can help bring in summer, and keep out pests. One of the benefits to having this flower is it repels  insects fairly well. You can outline your house, or your garden with […]
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    The Foodie Gardener™

  • Foodie Gardener Design Tip: Strawberry Planters

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

    Shirley Bovshow
    4 Jul 2014 | 3:56 pm
      How are your peppers growing this summer? Mine have had a difficult time taking off and I’m not happy about it, especially when I see recipes like this one!   Do you have some  home-grown jalapenos for this recipe?   Crab-Hatch Chile Jalapeño Poppers   This delicious, “Crab-Hatch Chile Jalapeño Poppers” recipe is from my friends at  Melissa’s World Produce and is featured in their book,  “The Great Pepper Cookbook.”   Carefully pick through crabmeat to clean it, gently feeling for any bits of shell with fingertips to avoid…
  • Grow Figs 101: Plant Fig Trees in Containers

    Shirley Bovshow
    3 Jul 2014 | 4:48 am
    The summer heat is ripening luscious, sweet figs that are hanging from trees all over the country! There are at least 200 different varieties of fig trees commonly grown from coast to coast and many of them are planted in pots.     If there’s  a fruit tree that thrives  in the cloistered environment of a container, it’s the fig tree! Fig trees, (Ficus carica) grow rampantly in the ground and spread their roots far and wide, often becoming invasive and destructive. Not only does planting a fig tree in a container help to confine its roots, it also encourages greater…
  • Grow Bananas 101 For Food and Beautiful Plants

    Shirley Bovshow
    27 Jun 2014 | 3:42 pm
      I presented on “Growing Bananas 101″ on the Home & Family show  recently and want to share some information from the segment.     Banana plants make beautiful ornamental landscape and indoor plants as well as provide one of the world’s most nutritious and delicious fruits- bananas! I feel a close connection to this fruit since my family is from Honduras, a country nicknamed the “Banana Republic!”   There are so many varieties of bananas to explore, besides the classic “Cavendish” variety most of us buy at the market.
  • HomeTalk: Garden Quiz From Foodie Gardener, Shirley Bovshow

    Shirley Bovshow
    23 Jun 2014 | 9:29 am
    I  created a quiz to test your knowledge of edible plants on HomeTalk, the web’s largest  home and garden online community. Take the quiz now and good luck. Shirley
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    Greenhouse Megastore Blog

  • The Wonders of Using Vinegar in the Garden

    Kathy Cox
    9 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    In my quest to find better and cheaper alternatives for many a household chore, I have found that vinegar is not only great for inside the home, it has many great uses outside, in, and around the garden. First of all, a few obvious positives about vinegar: it’s cheap, you can get lots of it for just a few dollars, and every grocery store in town is going to have it. On top of that, I have never liked using chemicals in and on my yard and garden, mostly because of my children and pets, but also because of the expense. Unsurprisingly, using organic products is no less expensive. So with that…
  • Gardening Terms Everyone Should Know

    Kathy Cox
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Digging in the dirt to plant some flowers. For many of us gardeners, we probably don’t think twice when we see or hear gardening terms. Recently I was at a local nursery when I had a complete stranger ask me if I knew what perlite was. I did, so I told them and they went on their way. But this got me thinking that terms I might think of as common knowledge may not be so common after all. So here’s a list of terms we should all know. Annual: A plant that lasts only one season. Biennial: A plant with a two year life span. Perennial: A plant that lives for more than two years.
  • Growing Onions

    18 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Growing onions can be very easy but they do require full sun.  You may have heard the term or have seen on a onion package the words “long day” or “short day”. What does the term long day and short day mean? When you are shopping for onion varieties to plant in your vegetable garden, you will often see them listed as either short-day onions or long-day onions. Which ones to grow depend upon where you live. Most onion varieties begin to form a bulb when the temperature and the number of daylight hours reach certain levels. Varieties listed as short-day onions bulb up…
  • Butterflies In a Blooming Garden

    Kathy Cox
    3 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    “The green grass and the happy skies court the fluttering butterflies.” – Terri Guillemets Let us not forget the flowers too! That is truly what the butterfly is seeking. When winter leaves and I see my first butterfly of the year, it excites me, because I know that spring has really arrived. Besides being graceful and beautiful flittering around your garden, they are extremely beneficial. They are great pollinators and the butterfly caterpillar loves to nibble on pesky insects, like aphids. Yes, they will eat some plants/leaves too, but in the whole scheme of things, the…
  • Vine Options Worth a View

    Kathy Cox
    27 Mar 2014 | 4:00 am
    When we bought our current home 7 years ago, it had a two-car detached garage that we wanted to use, but it had no real driveway leading up to it, and a fir tree that we had to cut down to gain access to the garage. In doing this, it exposed us to our neighbors’ backyard, and while we had a chain-link fence separating us, it felt like a huge open gap and offered no privacy whatsoever. So I started looking at ways to offer everyone a bit of privacy. We considered putting wood slats in the fence, but I really didn’t like that look, and planting another tree wasn’t really the…
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    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.
  • Using MRI Brain Scans to Co-Design Everyday Objects

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    5 Jul 2014 | 6:23 pm
    Expanding on the idea of the sharing economy where we crowdsource ideas and designs then crowdfund them into production, Dutch artist Merel Bekking brings high technology into the fold adding another dimension to this human process. Unveiled at FuoriSalone’sVentura Lombrate at Milan’s Salone de … Read More...The post Using MRI Brain Scans to Co-Design Everyday Objects appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • Five Overlooked Plants In the Landscape

    Nicole Brait
    2 Jul 2014 | 3:47 pm
    Calochortus venustus, photo by Don M. Davis Some plants are familiar to almost everyone. But then there are those that, no matter how many great characteristics they have or how easy they are to grow, they never quite catch on. Here are five … Read More...The post Five Overlooked Plants In the Landscape appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • A Milan Secret Garden and Wellness Concept Lab

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    30 Jun 2014 | 1:15 am
    What was once an historic movie theater within the green Parco Trivisio of Milan’s fashionable Brera design district, debuted last year as a secret garden and wellness concept lab for Gessi, the Italian Private Wellness Company. Photo: Gessi Appropriate to the building’s origins, the Gessi … Read More...The post A Milan Secret Garden and Wellness Concept Lab appeared first on Urban Gardens.
  • One Aquaponic Rooftop Farm to Go Please

    Robin Plaskoff Horton
    24 Jun 2014 | 9:21 pm
    It’s hard to disagree with the fact that urban rooftops could provide a huge playground for urban farmers. Rooftop gardens do exist of course, but in a city like New York with an endless number of industrial buildings, there could … Read More...The post One Aquaponic Rooftop Farm to Go Please appeared first on Urban Gardens.
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    The Best Gardening

  • Rhizobia and the Protein-Makers (John & Anni Winings)
    23 Jul 2014 | 5:40 am
    Rhizobia Bacteria: Nature’s Fertilizer Factory Perhaps the single most applied fertilizer nutrient in all of agriculture is nitrogen. Nitrogen is exceedingly […]
  • Ajipa/Ahipa (Yam Bean, Andean Jicama) (Pachyrhizus ahipa) (John & Anni Winings)
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:23 am
    There’s precious little written about the Ahipa. I’m not even sure where I first heard of it. I managed to […]
  • Tomato Cages, Trellises, or Stakes: Which is Best? (John & Anni Winings)
    17 Jul 2014 | 5:39 am
    The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all method of growing tomatoes. There are so many varieties of tomatoes and so […]
  • Growing Elderberries: How to Grow Elderberry Plants (John & Anni Winings)
    14 Jul 2014 | 5:54 am
    Elderberries grow so commonly in the wild in much of the United States and Europe, that it almost doesn’t make […]
  • Hybrid Seeds vs. GMOs (John & Anni Winings)
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:37 am
    Are hybrids and GMO’s the same? NO. This is one of the most common questions we get from concerned gardeners and […]
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    Grow Our Way

  • Summertime Seedlings

    Safer® Brand
    24 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    When it comes to achieving organic gardening success, timing is everything. While spring is often viewed as the peak growing season, many types of plants thrive in the summertime. When planning a summer garden, be aware of the average first frost date in your region to ensure your expected date of harvest does not surpass this point. The following fruits and vegetables can be planted well into the summer season, and they’ll be fully grown in time for you to enjoy a bountiful fall harvest. Tomatoes and Eggplant – Tomatoes and eggplant have more in common than you might think. Both can…
  • Benefits of Organic Living

    Safer® Brand
    15 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    There are many advantages of organic gardening. An organic garden produces tasty produce high in vitamins and minerals. Organic gardeners also reduce their family’s exposure to potentially dangerous pesticides while caring for the earth in a natural way. In addition, gardening improves your mental and physical health. Many gardeners are discovering the benefits of organic farming while learning how to care for and cultivate the land without artificial aids. Once you start organic gardening, you’ll never regret the decision. Healthy Living Organic food contains none of toxic chemicals…
  • Organic Certifications: What Do They Really Mean?

    Safer® Brand
    10 Jul 2014 | 8:52 am
    Organic labeling can confuse consumers, especially those new to the idea of shopping for environmentally conscious, pesticide-free foods. Exactly what does organic mean, anyway? An organic product uses production methods that conserve biodiversity, focus on renewable and sustainable resources, and encourage ecological balance. Organic products cannot use synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides or sewage sludge. Additionally, the product cannot involve irradiation or genetic engineering. Identifying Organic Products How do you know a product is truly organic or just paying lip-service to…
  • Child-Friendly Gardens

    Safer® Brand
    1 Jul 2014 | 12:22 pm
    A child-friendly garden is a safe environment where kids can play, relax and learn gardening skills. An organic garden provides plenty of opportunities for imaginative play while reducing exposure to the many chemicals and toxins found in non-organic gardens. Pesticide-Free Gardens Chemical pesticides and insecticides have a negative effect on everyone, but children are especially at risk. A child’s developing internal organs and immune system are more sensitive to pesticide damage. In addition small children playing on pesticide-laced lawns come into greater contact with the toxins than…
  • Organic Summer Menu Pinterest Contest!

    Safer® Brand
    1 Jul 2014 | 9:15 am
    Hey, Safer® Brand fans! It’s time for our next Pinterest contest! Enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! My Organic Summer Menu Pinterest Contest Running: July 1–July 31, 2014 Prize: $25 Amazon gift card Entry Requirements: To enter the Safer® Brand Pinterest Contest, each participant must perform the following tasks: Follow Safer® Brand on Pinterest Create a board called: My Organic Summer Menu! Show us which fruits, vegetables and plants you love to grow in the summer – AND share some of your favorite summer recipes for them! Do you make an amazing fruit pizza…
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    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

  • 3 Tips for Water Conservation

    Jonah Holland
    23 Jul 2014 | 12:09 pm
    by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  John Niemczyk, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Irrigation Technician, testing and trouble-shooting the watering system on the terrace lawn. While we might test our watering system during the day, we don’t typically water during peak daylight hours, due to loss of water through evaporation. If you look in the center of the photo you can see the Garden’s irrigation tech, John Niemczyk, just in front of the brick Robins Visitor Center, as he adjusts the Garden’s sprinkler system. Did you know that…
  • DIY Vole Cages, aka Hosta Cages

    Jonah Holland
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:57 pm
    by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Hosta in cages — protected from voles. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Flagler Garden Horticulturist George Cowart has been fighting a battle.  A battle of the voles.  The truth is, I never met a gardener who didn’t hate voles. They are known for wreaking havoc in a garden, destroying an array of plant-life, but hostas in particular.  Shortly after meeting my father-in-law for the first time, I remember the searing image of a death-trap he showed me that he used to control the vole population in his…
  • Knockout Bloom: Cardoon ‘Rouge d’Alger’

    Jonah Holland
    19 Jul 2014 | 4:23 am
    by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  Cardoon ‘Rouge d’Alger’ (Cynara cardunculus) After spotting this artichoke-like bud on the cardoon in the Children’s Garden, I was excited to see what it would look like when it opened up into a flower. Quite a beauty! …And yes, it is related to the more widely-known globe artichoke that many folks love to eat. Cardoon, like its cousin, is also edible.  
  • Knockout Bloom: Sneezeweed or Helenium flexuosum ‘Tiny Dancer’

    Jonah Holland
    15 Jul 2014 | 4:40 am
    Sneezeweed or Helenium flexuosum ‘Tiny Dancer” by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  Sneezeweed or Helenium flexuosum ‘Tiny Dancer‘ is a great example of a beautiful native that can add alot of texture and movement to your garden (the blooms tend to dance in the wind, on its leggy stems).
  • Views from The Mile High City

    Jonah Holland
    13 Jul 2014 | 3:45 am
    by Randee Humphrey, Director of Education, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden The three amigos in Denver The American Public Gardens Association’s “Everyday Magic” conference was held in Denver in late June, and I was fortunate to attend, along with Grace Chapman, the Garden’s Director of Horticulture, Kelly Riley, Children’s Education Manager, and the intrepid traveling Stickman.  It was a whirlwind week, full of inspiring lectures, invigorating sessions (I presented one on Public Gardens and Community Engagement) and special events, hosted by the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Gardens…
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    The Diligent Gardener

  • Are Garden Offices Great For You?

    23 Jul 2014 | 6:02 am
    This is quite an interesting question. Since you are here, reading these lines, it is obvious that you are thinking about the possibility of buying or building garden offices. We are faced with various different options that are available on the internet. You can now buy something that is perfect according to the wishes you may have. However, although this is the case, will garden offices be suitable for the needs you have at the moment?In order to answer this question, you need to basically take a quick look at the various options that are available for you. It is important that you think…
  • Tips for installing a pond

    16 Jul 2014 | 3:10 pm
    Water features have become quite popular with homeowners who want to have a fabulous outdoor area and can be applied to both small and larger gardens.If you’re thinking of adding a water feature to your garden, have you thought about installing it yourself? With flexible liners and prefabricated pools often preferred to concrete, it’s much easier to do than you might expect.The tips in this article should provide you with everything you need to get started on your water garden. BudgetBefore you get carried away designing an extravagant water feature, it’s a good idea to take a good hard…
  • Planting that can be done on your boat

    24 Jun 2014 | 8:33 am
    While we spend a lot of time discussing what to add to your home garden, or the types of plants you should be aiming towards growing for each season, we wanted to veer off just a bit. We feel that a common area that can be turned into a whole new space with the help of a few plants, is the cabin area on a boat.In general these cabin areas are under deck and a bit small. On top of this, there is usually very minimal natural light coming into this area, so you must choose your plants very carefully. While we personally love seeing lush green vines growing against a dark wood finish, these…
  • Keeping Your Fingers Green

    24 Jun 2014 | 1:36 am
    Many of us love to spend time outside in our gardens, often reflecting that particularly as we get older it helps keep us fit, agile and keeps the mind occupied. There are a number of positive benefits linked to gardening that many may not be aware of.With this article we hope to rekindle the love of gardening that some of or more mature readers may have previously enjoyed but brought to a sudden halt because of the onset of a number of bone and joint disorders (for example osteoporosis or arthritis), disabilities from stroke and the ageing process in general  – with the mind…
  • Review: Dickies Donegal Workboots

    23 Jun 2014 | 11:02 am
    I was sent a pair of Donegal workboots from Dickies to try out. I have to say these are incredibly comfy and robust, and perfect in providing protection to your feet.For most of the jobs we have undertaken in the garden I have just worn a pair of old trainers - probably not the most sensible of option, so I really have no excuse now for risking my feet!The Donegal Boot is ergonomically designed, and consists of a nubuck cow leather upper in quite an attractive tan colour. The boot is reinforced with steel in both the toecap and also the midsole to provide the protection.The tongue in the show…
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    Ten Minute Gardener

  • Do It Yourself Landscaping Tips And Hints

    24 Jul 2014 | 2:18 am
    Is your yard so scary looking that even birds avoid it? This article is filled with tips to get your yard is more attractive. A drip-style irrigation system is a great addition for your yard. This type of system will provide continuous water and is easy to install. This is also a more efficient way to water your plants, as the water is delivered in drips rather than through a sprinkler or hose sprays water everywhere. Quality Products Top Tip! Sketching out what you would like your final landscaping job to look like is beneficial. A sketch can give you an idea of what you’ll need and…
  • How To Grow A Garden With Minimal Space

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:03 pm
    Organic gardening is a goal many people have but simply never take on the challenge. Your plants will respond better to gradual changes in temperature or condition.Put them in the sun outside for approximately one to two hours on the very first day. Then over a weeks time, gradually increase the time they are in their new habitat.By the end of the week, your plants should then be ready for the big move! Twining Stems Super Tip… Think about starting plants in pots, and then placing the seedlings in the garden later. This raises the chances of the plants growing until adulthood. Cover the…
  • Handy Advice For Gardening The Organic Way

    23 Jul 2014 | 7:42 am
    Organic gardening can be an every day part of your life, but figuring out how to prepare it properly can be a challenge. There are many different types of organic seeds available. The following tips will offer you have what you require in order to grow your very own organic garden. Try to put an aspirin in the water for fighting plant diseases. Dissolve aspirin per 2 gallons of water for a plant disease fighting solution. You can just spray the plans with this concoction to help them fight of disease. Try spraying your plants at least once in each three week period. This will also gives your…
  • How To Have A Beautifully Landscaped Yard

    21 Jul 2014 | 1:08 am
    Landscaping is when you rearrange things in your yard to look much better. It should also be practical and create space to the homeowner. While this might seem like a lot to consider, these tips are here to help your landscaping project run smoothly. Curved beds are a lot more contemporary and visually striking than straight-edged beds. Test the pH and composition of your soil before beginning your landscaping project. This will enable you are able to have awesome plants as well as having a beautiful garden. Top Tip! When adding plants to your landscaping, consider using native plants. When…
  • Things To Know If You Wish To Grow: Garden Tips

    20 Jul 2014 | 9:13 pm
    Gardening is a relaxing hobby that will not drain your savings away in the process. Gardening is a fantastic way for loved ones to spend quality time together. Children usually take interest in particular love to learn exactly how a seed develops into a flower or vegetable. This also give kids a wonderful life lesson about appreciating outdoors and nature. This article can give you learn techniques that will make growing a garden much easier and more delightful. Your plants need to adapt and must be gradually introduced to changes of environment.Put them outdoors in the sun for no more than…
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    Made with love and garlic

  • Keeping on top of the raspberries (or alongside them at least...)

    Catherine: Made with love and garlic
    5 Jul 2014 | 2:50 am
    The number of things that I have really not been that efficient at in the garden continues to increase. It didn't occur to me, when planting my rows of raspberries in my raised sleeper beds, to string up a proper wire frame. This has resulted in having to tie new lines, made of string, across the canes I'm using as a makeshift support every week or as (the plants are shooting up at mad speeds and there are small, underripe fruits hanging in tantalizing bunches from most of the branches - I think it's possible I'll get a good crop this year even though the canes are in their first year!). Next…
  • It's all a bit of a squash in here

    Catherine: Made with love and garlic
    4 Jul 2014 | 4:09 am
    Oh, puns. They prompted Caligula to roast a comedian alive and Bierce to sneer at them as a “form of wit to which wise men stoop and fools aspire.” But my love of them, established early at the knee of my maternal grandfather, lives on. Puns and cracker jokes. I just can't get enough, and they spill over into all areas of my life, like when I made up herb-related puns for the herb centrepieces I grew for a friend's wedding. Still, dear readers, I'm sure you'll forgive me? Because the squash in the garden really are going crazy.One of the things I've already learned this year is that less…
  • What a difference some weeds make

    Catherine: Made with love and garlic
    3 Jul 2014 | 3:21 am
    Before weedingI wish that I had a massive garden. Well, a smallholding really. That's the eventual dream, to be able to potter out of our house and see our cows and sheep grazing our fields in the distance, to wander about lovely large veggie patches next to the house whilst the chickens burble away at me demanding corn. I would use a razor hoe to grab weeds when I see them and all would be in perfect harmony. Weeds creeping under the fenceBack to reality and my tiny London patio garden which has started to look really shabby around the edges. The problem? My neighbour rents his house out by…
  • How to freeze berries: making the most of a home-grown blackcurrant harvest

    Catherine: Made with love and garlic
    2 Jul 2014 | 1:39 am
    One of the biggest problems with having such a tiny city garden is that you can't fit in lots of plants. This isn't a problem in itself as most plants, especially berry bushes, will crop quite heavily over the growing season. However, if you find yourself (as I do) in the first year of your garden, with immature berry bushes that are fruiting sporadically, what are you to do? Eat the berries two or three at a time as they ripen? Or save them in the freezer until I have enough for cooking?I chose the latter. I was enormously excited to see some of the beautiful blackcurrants on my Ben Connan…
  • Garden ornaments: Tacky or fun?

    Catherine: Made with love and garlic
    1 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    The Royal Chelsea Flower show always makes headlines. But one last year really caught my eye. Gnomes, those maligned imps of the garden world, were making a comeback. They've never really been my sort of thing but I have to admit to thinking that no garden is complete without a spot of whimsy. I have friends with pinwheels, and even a friend with Aleksandr the Meerkat in their garden, but no gnomes have made it into our circle yet. My personal shameful preference has always been for the pink flamingo. As ludicrous in life as in plastic, they've always held a strange allure for me. I don't…
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    Heritage Homesteaders

  • Roscoe’s Story

    23 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Life is a roller coaster. You ride the highs and hold on for dear life in the drops, wondering sometimes what you managed to get yourself into. Homesteading is its own thrill ride, an old-fashioned wooden coaster that pitches as it banks and threatens to splinter to pieces under its own weight at times. One second you’re coasting, cresting a hill with both arms in the air, and the next you’re plummeting. All the usual hills and turns are present but the potential for more unexpected twists and drops are there too. Roscoe’s early days were like that. He came to us at 3 weeks…
  • Our first Jam of the season

    21 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Hey everyone. Maridy from Castlerock Homestead here. When your homestead is brand new and the fruit trees are just planted, it’s nice to have friends who have mature fruit trees and a bumper crop of fruit. We were invited to a friend’s house to pick their cherries. Of course we immediately thought of all the Christmas Cherry Jam we could make (with the leftovers we didn’t eat, of course) Princess Girl climbing high to get the cherries The Hubby picked a ton of cherries Baby Girl (aka Flower Girl) wanted to climb and help, too Surrounded by cherries Cherries, cherries, and…
  • Heritage Homesteaders Hop #20

    Heritage Homesteaders
    19 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    WELCOME to the 20th edition of … Come on over to the Homestead, choose your rocking chair…a glass of tea and sit a spell! This is a Blog Hop Y’all and there are plenty of posts to keep your attention…entertain you, educate you or make you smile…all day long. Stay as long as you like; and vote for your favorite! If you are a blogger you can submit up to 3 articles, visit other blogs, leave comments and enjoy your stay here on the porch…Sundays at The Homesteaders Hop! Here on the Homestead we are all about living a self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-sustaining lifestyle in as…
  • Top 3 Pole Structures for your Homestead

    18 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Do you struggle with a cluttered and unorganized outdoor living space? Wish you had more storage space to help you bring a bit of order to your lawn or backyard? If you are looking for sturdy outdoor structures that will help you better utilize the space you have in your lawn, then you may want to consider a pole structure. Pole structures come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles, and can be much more easily made to explicit specifications than other types of structures. If sturdy outdoor structures are what you need, then a pole structure may be perfect for you. Let’s look at…
  • Plums Everywhere – A Summer Fruit Harvest

    Dark Water Ranchhand
    16 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Summer has finally arrived and with it, a whole lot of heat. Fortunately, we all have ways to beat the heat – but as for me, I’m already looking toward preparing for winter. While fall is generally regarded as the season in which most of these preparations are done, summer is actually the perfect time to get certain things done and out of the way – especially since summer is when our sand plums start to ripen! They are a number of other fruits that ripen during the summer months, but most of those don’t grow here on Dark Water Ranch – or if they do, they’re all too often eaten by…
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    No Soil Solutions

  • Ebb And Flow Hydroponics

    No Soil Solutions
    19 Jul 2014 | 1:23 pm
    The ebb and flow, also called “flood and drain”, hydroponic system is more of an intermediate level system.  For beginners this hydroponic system may seem complex since there can be several different parts, but the concept is still pretty simple. Even with some extra parts to it, an ebb and flow hydroponic system is pretty easy to set up and afterwards, super easy to maintain. In the ebb and flow hydroponic systems the plant sits separate from the nutrient solution which is pumped into your grow bed, submerging the roots, the system then drains allowing oxygen to reach the root system.
  • Deep Water Culture Hydroponics

    No Soil Solutions
    6 Jul 2014 | 8:38 am
    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. The way your plants roots take off will show you how effective deep water culture works! It’s amazing watching your roots grow from a couple pieces to a giant mass. For the simplest deep water culture systems you can look at the 5 gallon bucket or tub systems. I’ve had great success growing…
  • Hydroponic Nutrients

    No Soil Solutions
    1 Jul 2014 | 7:32 pm
    As with all living things plants need nutrients to survive. Since hydroponics doesn’t involve using dirt which plants normally receive their nutrients from, hydroponic nutrients need to be added to the water on the hydroponic system. At first glance using hydroponic nutrients may seem a little complex, but when diving a little deeper into it you learn that most of the work is done for you. Companies that make hydroponic nutrients often have feeding schedules that they provide with exact measurements of what hydroponic nutrients to add and when to add them. By doing a little bit of homework…
  • 7 Different Hydroponic Grow Mediums

    No Soil Solutions
    22 Jun 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Many different types of grow medium can be used in hydroponics.  There really is no right answer to the question of what hydroponic grow medium works the best. It varies depending on what you’re growing, the system you’re using, and your personal preference. There could be many grow mediums that could fit your needs which may bring it to price and availability. Here I’ll cover some of the main hydroponic grow mediums use. Rockwool Rockwool is a long used hydroponic grow medium, especially when it comes to starting plants or doing cuttings. It has to be ph balanced before use by soaking…
  • 6 Different Types Of Hydroponic Systems

    No Soil Solutions
    13 Jun 2014 | 6:34 pm
    Different types of hydroponic systems Since there are many different options when it comes to hydroponic systems, it can be confusing figuring what the differences are. Here’s a breakdown of some different hydroponic systems: Wick System The wick system is the most simplistic type of hydroponic system requiring no electricity, pumps or aerators. It can be a completely passive system, though some people do like to use an aerator in the reservoir to add oxygen to the nutrient solution. In most system plants are placed in an absorbent grow medium like coco coir, vermiculite or perlite,…
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