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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Street Trees are Money Trees

Neighborhood street trees increase property value, save energy and help with storm water retention. They also create shady, walkable sidewalks ...

>> read “Street Trees are Money Trees”       #Finance   #Landscaping   #Trees
Seeds of Simplicity: The Shaker Seed Industry

During the summer months, I can see the results of those tiny seed envelopes that I excitedly purchased in March from ambitiously dog-eared catalogs. A quick inventory of the garden reveals my successes and failures — summer squash overrunning the garden path and tomato seedlings that just stopped trying between my June vacation and Independence Day ...

>> read “Seeds of Simplicity: The Shaker Seed Industry”    
Variegated Plants
Exclamation Points in the Garden

When I designed the perennial border in the garden of our first home, it was a process of trial and error. All the books I studied told me I should first create an evergreen “backbone” to provide year-round interest, and plant so that something of interest was blooming each season.

>> read “Variegated Plants”    
Whitewater Red Bud
Cercis canadensis

Cercis canadensis ‘Whitewater’ is a “hot plant” out of North Carolina and a North American native tree too! This small, deciduous tree with beautifully variegated white and green leaves was developed by Dr. Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University. It’s a good choice to incorporate into your garden where contrasting foliage color is desired. Traditional magenta-pink flowers of the redbud emerge in the early spring on bare branches ...

>> read “Whitewater Red Bud”       #Hot Plants
Going Above Ground
Two Solutions For Amendment-Weary Gardeners

It’s trite but true: You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone. When I lived in Illinois I took soil for granted. With 12 feet or more of black dirt, if you wanted a garden all you did was bury a seed, add some water and step back before the plant hit you in the nose.

>> read “Going Above Ground”    
Barking Up the Right Tree

Bark may not be the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a tree. Even those of us who are quick to celebrate the practical significance that trees play in our lives often neglect to consider the simple beauty of their bark.

>> read “Barking Up the Right Tree”    
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”    
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”    
Wildlife-Friendly Gardening
Helping Little Creatures So They Can Return the Favor

Ask any gardener what their definition is of a garden and you will get a different answer each time. For most of us, it’s a place of beauty, a place of serenity, somewhere to let out our frustrations, get some exercise or all of the above.

>> read “Wildlife-Friendly Gardening”    
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”    
Outdoor Benches

Placing a bench in the garden is not a simple matter of carrying it from the delivery truck to the patio. To really incorporate it into the overall garden landscape, there are a few basic considerations.

First, you should determine whether or not you really intend to sit on the bench. Are you showcasing it for garden tours, or do you want the bench to serve as your own private retreat? Do you see it as place to exhibit containers, or a spot to write a letter to a friend? Answering these questions will help you determine appropriate size, design and materials.

>> read “Outdoor Benches”    
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