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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Overcoming Drainage Problems

Have you lost any silver-leafed lavenders or ‘Silver Brocade’ artemisia or had tulip bulbs or Ruta graveolens ‘Blue Beauty’ just die, often after only one winter? You may be wondering why. Many plants benefit from “well drained” or “evenly moist” soils.

>> read “Overcoming Drainage Problems”    
Gear Up for Cold Weather Gardening

It’s hard to keep an avid gardener cooped up inside all winter. The gardener starts to go stir crazy and, in turn, drives all those around her – those who are perfectly content to remain cozied up on the couch, mind you – just as crazy. But on the coldest winter days it can be just as difficult for the gardener to put on enough layers to keep out the chill without morphing into an awkward creature that ambles through the garden like the unfortunate love child of Sasquatch and a penguin.

>> read “Gear Up for Cold Weather Gardening”    
Classic Pepper Sauce

Wash and sterilize several saved bottles such as those for soy sauce, beer, small wine bottles, soft drinks, vinegar, Worcestershire and other appropriate bottles saved or bought for pepper sauce ...

>> read “Classic Pepper Sauce”       #Recipes
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”    
Backyard Birds
Keep feathered friends flocking to your garden

"Tea-kettle, tea-kettle,"sings the little Carolina wren as it crouches in the garden shed waiting for the most opportune moment to sneak from its perch to the suet hanging from the old oak tree. Nearby, a shy and diminutive Carolina chickadee scolds the gray squirrel with a "chickadee-dee-dee" for stealing the small sunflower seeds that were destined for his early morning breakfast.

>> read “Backyard Birds”    
How To Design a Historic Landscape

Romanticized in film and novels, the traditional plantation garden is often envisioned as a spacious ornamental landscape with sweeping lawn vistas and long allees of oak trees leading to an elegant manor. While this landscape may have been true in some cases, landscape historians report that this image is “gone with the wind,” as many plantations were really working farms and offered little time for maintaining vast ornamental gardens.

>> read “How To Design a Historic Landscape”    
Japanese Stewartia
Stewartia pseudocamellia

Are you looking for a pest-free, small- to medium-sized landscape tree with multi-season beauty? Would you like to have a variety that does not show up on every list of The 25 Most Common Trees? Does the idea of showy summer flowers on a tree appeal to you? If so, you may want to consider planting a Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) ...

>> read “Japanese Stewartia”       #Hot Plants   #Trees
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
Bringing Home the Birds
Keep your feathered friends flocking to your yard

Soon, the pallet of the landscape will be transforming from subtle browns and tans and exploding into splashes of hot pink, white, yellow and purple. The sweet-smelling crabapple blossoms will shower papery petals in a gentle breeze, blanketing the landscape. The rustling chatter and singing of wildlife will fill the once still air. Soon, spring will be here!

>> read “Bringing Home the Birds”    
Alien Invaders
Battling Invasive Species

Have you checked your backyard lately? You may be harboring dangerous aliens. No, these are not creatures from outer space. The aliens I’m referring to are plants – exotic plants. Also referred to as foreign, non-indigenous, introduced or nonnative, these invasive exotics are noxious weeds according to the following definition: A noxious weed is a plant alien to a geographical area whose presence threatens natural and agricultural ecosystems. Like their science fiction counterparts, these weeds are a major threat.

>> read “Alien Invaders”    
Sunless Success: 15 Great, Easy-to-Grow Shrubs for Shade

Adding beauty and color to the shade garden can be a daunting challenge to many gardeners. Of course, there are plenty of annuals and perennials that do well, but when it comes to shrubs, or more precisely, flowering shrubs, the choices seem to dwindle. I’m going to profile 15 shrubs that do well in shade that you may want to try in your garden ...

>> read “Sunless Success: 15 Great, Easy-to-Grow Shrubs for Shade”    
Cover Crops in the Vegetable Garden

If you have harvested everything from your vegetable garden and decided not to plant cool-season crops, then now is the time to start a cover crop, which just means planting something to cover up the dirt. Big-time farmers plant cover crops such as clover and rye, and backyard gardeners can reap the same benefits for their dormant gardens during the winter months with a cover crop.

>> read “Cover Crops in the Vegetable Garden”    
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Aquaponics finally flourishing!
Summer planting in the Aquaponics system

[+] SC Container Garden


Blooms and Beds and Garden Buddies
Springtime splendor and busy gardening.

[+] The Backyard Dirt


The Summer of Rain
Six-foot tall cosmos and a lush yard!

[+] An Editor's Garden