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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Keeping Caladiums
Getting Them Ready for Next Year

Caladiums generally begin to decline in late September or October, and then it’s time to decide what you want to do with them. If the bed where the caladiums are planted will stay relatively undisturbed and continue to drain well, you may have luck by simply leaving the caladium tubers in the ground. Keep the area mulched this winter to protect the tubers. If your ground doesn’t freeze, they will probably survive and come back up next year and provide a beautiful display.

>> read “Keeping Caladiums”    
Building Garden Art Using Ferro-cement

Garden art is important in every garden but not everyone has the budget to commission pieces in bronze or marble. And, if you have an artistic vision it is not always easy to find just the right piece. But, if you have minimal artistic skill and a bit of perseverance, you can build your own garden additions using a technique called ferro-cement construction. Ferro-cement projects can be built in any shape or size. All it consists of is a steel frame (called an armature) covered with two or more layers of cement.

>> read “Building Garden Art Using Ferro-cement”    
Orchids - Methods for Growing the Perfect Phalaenopsis

When beginners tell me they want to start growing orchids, the discussion usually gets around to the question, “ What is the best orchid to start with?” My answer is: “Phalaenopsis because it is so easy to grow and stays in flower a long time, and a greenhouse is not necessary for good results with this plant.”

>> read “Orchids - Methods for Growing the Perfect Phalaenopsis”    
Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs

If you drive through any small town across America, you will find either (or both) Mexican or a wide variety of Asian restaurants. Where burgers, pizza or fried chicken and mashed potatoes were once all that was available to choose from for supper, a huge variety of flavors have cropped up. Today, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Guatemalan and a vast array of other ethnic restaurants exist throughout the country ...

>> read “Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs”    
Problem or Opportunity

Many gardeners tend to view landscaping problems first as a challenge, and then as an opportunity. The thought of transforming an uninviting eyesore into a functional and beautiful garden area causes a rush of excitement. Being able to also trade high maintenance for low maintenance puts many gardeners in a state of euphoria. Yes, gardeners tend to be “glass-half-full” kind of folks.

>> read “Problem or Opportunity”    
Muhly grass
Muhlenbergia capillaris

One of the native ornamental grasses that has received a considerable amount of attention the past few years is muhly grass. Not likely to be noticed in the spring and summer, it puts on quite a show in the landscape during the fall.

>> read “Muhly grass”       #Hot Plants
Top Five Mistakes in the Vegetable Garden

It's hard to beat the fresh taste of homegrown vegetables on your dinner table, and the satisfaction of knowing you produced them yourself. While a successful vegetable garden is within reach of anyone, avoiding a few common pitfalls will help to ensure a bountiful harvest. The following lists are some common mistakes I often see that stump even the seasoned gardener on occasion.

>> read “Top Five Mistakes in the Vegetable Garden”    
The Ways of Water
Keeping Your Water Garden Beautiful in the Summer

A water garden is exciting in every season, but ponds and streams are most beautiful and dynamic in the summer. The water and its surroundings teem with life — thriving plants, growing (and always hungry) fish, serenading frogs, colorful birds and industrious insects. The often brutal heat in the South drives many folks indoors to air-conditioned spaces but ...

>> read “The Ways of Water”    
You Can Go Home Again
The garden of Don and Sandy Logan

When Don and Sandy Logan turned over the keys of their Birmingham home to its new owners, saying good-bye to the gardens Sandy had nurtured, they moved to New York City, never dreaming that they would return to buy it again years later. But, that’s exactly what happened

>> read “You Can Go Home Again”    
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”    
Common Ninebark

You may call it common or Eastern ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), but this native shrub has become anything but common. Ninebark has been to finishing school with several fabulous new cultivars introduced. Bright, colorful foliage – burgundy, copper, gold and variegated – have replaced the standard medium green leaves of the old-fashioned ninebark. The species has been tamed, a lot more compact and less vigorous.

>> read “Common Ninebark”       #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Ornamentals   #Shrubs
Sky flower
Thunbergia grandiflora

Sky flower (Thunbergia grandiflora) packs a late summer color punch just when our gardens desperately need one. In late July or early August, just as the crapemyrtle blossoms start to fade and zinnias begin to melt away, this vine produces glorious clusters of 3-inch-wide, periwinkle-blue flowers. As if caught in a perpetual yawn, these bell-shaped blossoms show off creamy white or buttery yellow throats.

>> read “Sky flower”    
 
 
 

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