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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Sweet Alyssum Wonderland Series
Lobularia maritima

Sweet alyssum, as the name hints, is certainly a sweet-smelling annual, but it’s often grown in such small quantities that the smell is overlooked. Butterflies are drawn to the fragrant small flowers that range in color from blue to lavender, pink, yellow and white.

>> read “Sweet Alyssum Wonderland Series”       #Hot Plants
Branch Rot of Annual Vinca

Branch and stem rot can be a major disease problem for annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) once the disease organism has been introduced into the residential or commercial landscape environment. This disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Phytophthora parasitica that can persist in the soil for several years. Under conditions of overhead watering or heavy rainfall, this disease can spread rapidly in a vinca planting. The fungus is often ...

>> read “Branch Rot of Annual Vinca”    
Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle
Lagerstroemia hybrid

I feel like the FDA pulling the plug on a prescription drug trial before all the results are in, but I am atypically confident that Delta Jazz crapemyrtle is a unique hot plant for Arkansas. Our University of Arkansas Plant Evaluation program started evaluating this plant ...

>> read “Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle”       #Hot Plants
A Spring-time Wonder
The setting for a different kind of blooming adventure.

In the spring, Forty Acre Rock near Lancaster, S.C., goes from drab to dramatic with a burst of flashy colors on a granite outcrop that's the centerpiece of a state preserve. Small wild plants called elf orpine, black-spored quillwort and pool sprite bloom to showcase a mix of red, green and white hues in shallow, water-filled pools. These rare plants put on their show from March through early May, until the pools dry up and Forty Acre Rock's colors revert to dull grays and greens of lichens and mosses.

>> read “A Spring-time Wonder”    
Fragrant Gardens
Captured by the Spell of the Smell

I was walking on a Caribbean beach one evening heading toward a favorite spot for jerked chicken when I was captured by the fragrance of a large, blooming shrub. Now if I were relegated to growing only one plant for the rest of my life, it would be that plant, the night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum).

>> read “Fragrant Gardens”    
Camouflage Gardening
Three Ways To Conquer Problem Areas In Your Landscape

Maybe you didn’t look for it when you found the house and didn’t even notice it right away. Then one day you pulled into the drive and saw nothing but the utility pole, or the air conditioner or the gas meter. How could you have missed such a spoiler? No matter if you move to the hills, the valleys or the plains, you will eventually find problem areas in your landscape.

>> read “Camouflage Gardening”    
Fall Cleanup Tips
5 Simple Steps to Minimize Plant Diseases in the Spring

One of the most daunting garden tasks is fall cleanup. Most gardeners have spent the majority of the spring and summer planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding and, of course, bragging on their gardens to their friends, neighbors and family. When fall arrives, it’s time to enjoy some R & R… or so you thought ...

>> read “Fall Cleanup Tips”    
Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Seed Catalogs

The pumpkins on the seed catalog covers were drawn so huge that Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater could have made a house for his wife from one of the pumpkin shells. The pictured giant red strawberries were so voluptuous children could hardly hold them. And the pink roses were flawless, of course, and all prize winners.

Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage seed catalogs. Before photography became a vital part of print and online catalogs, artists drew fantastic images of eggplants and green beans, dahlias and daises to entice customers into buying seeds and bulbs. Reality was sketchy. But as every good gardener today knows (as he or she thumbs through the mound of catalogs that come in the mail and online this time of year), it didn’t really matter. Seed companies were selling the dream, not unlike modern times.

>> read “Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Seed Catalogs”    
Air Layering
A Makeover for Overgrown Houseplants

Houseplants bring life to our homes and offices, but sometimes they outgrow their welcome. Those with woody stems, such as dracaenas, corn plants and scheffleras, can become too tall and lose their shape or threaten the ceiling. Instead of tossing them out and buying new plants or giving them to a friend with taller ceilings, try air layering. This easy propagation technique will not only rejuvenate your plants — it will reward you with new plants for your efforts ...

>> read “Air Layering”    
Invasives in the Trade
The threat in your own yard

Plant exploration has been an alluring and exciting facet of the horticultural world for millennia. Centuries ago, exotic plants moved along the Silk Road between Europe and Asia. During the age of sailing, individuals paid a king’s ransom for rare specimens for their glass houses and royal estates. During the Victorian era, the up-and-coming ...

>> read “Invasives in the Trade”    
Topiary Gardens

Ultimately, gardening is the act of ‘controlling’ plants and shaping the landscape to our own designs. Topiary takes ‘gardening’ to a higher level. Topiary, the art of training live plants to grow into a myriad of shapes and forms by clipping foliage and branches has been practiced since Roman times. The word itself comes from the word topiarius, a description of an ornamental landscape gardener or the creator of topia ...

>> read “Topiary Gardens”       #Art   #Design   #Landscaping   #Pruning   #Shrubs   #Themed Gardens   #Trees
Selection of Equipment for the Vegetable Garden

There is nothing I like better than discussing, testing and using garden equipment. I am fortunate enough in my position at the University to operate a trial garden in which I test and trial, not only a variety of vegetables, but equipment as well.

>> read “Selection of Equipment for the Vegetable Garden”    
 
 
 

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