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Featured Articles!

Less Work, More Fun

Some gardening tasks are a lot of fun. I love picking out plants and creating beautiful container combinations, and I enjoy planting flats of pansies in early fall. Other tasks, like weeding, are tedious, but you have to do them. Then there’s another group of garden tasks many consider necessary, but I consider bad ideas. Crossing them off your to-do list will give you more time to focus on the enjoyable aspects of gardening. Here’s my list of the top three things you should NOT be doing in your garden...

>> read “Less Work, More Fun”    
Foxgloves in the Southern Garden

The transition from the riot of color during spring’s awakening of the garden to the lazy days of summer is one of my favorite periods. Though the calendar tells us it is still spring, the flowers and the warmer temperatures inform us another spring will soon pass into the record books. It is during this transitional period that many old-fashioned favorite garden plants bloom. Irises, peonies, hollyhock and especially foxgloves make their presence known during this period.

>> read “Foxgloves in the Southern Garden”    
Simpler Than You Think
Saving and Storing Your Own Seeds

My grandfather’s shed was a mysterious place. Tools I didn’t recognize lined the walls over shelves of coffee cans filled with rusty hardware. Most interesting to me were the dozens of blue glass jars tucked carefully toward the back of each shelf, with seeds of every color and shape imaginable tightly sealed inside. Seed saving seems to have gone the way of horse-drawn plows. Many gardeners opt for ...

>> read “Simpler Than You Think”    
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
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”    
Landscape Solutions
Great garden ideas for steep slopes

There always seems to be a catch to that perfect piece of property. The views of the rolling countryside may be breathtaking, the sparkling clear creek at the back of the property might be picturesque — but, unfortunately, part of the property is so steep that it requires rappelling gear just to mow the lawn. What does a gardener do when there is an area that is “un-doable?”

>> read “Landscape Solutions”    
Rescue or Theft

There is a movement among many garden enthusiasts to “rescue” the wonderful heirloom bulbs, shrubs and wildflowers of our ancestors’ time. Many areas where they grow are being bulldozed for construction of homes, businesses and highways, while other areas are getting so overgrown with trees, vines and weeds, the plants are unable to survive without the necessary sunlight. Although saving these bulbs for future generations is a noble activity, it does not give us the right to take something that does not belong to us. Let us be clear about this fact. All land belongs to someone.

>> read “Rescue or Theft”    
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
Creative & Captivating Plant Combos
Don't be afraid to mix it up!

If there was one prevalent wish among gardeners that I come in contact with, it is that they had a better flair for plant combinations. They are schooled in the horticultural technique, but something holds them back from creating captivating combinations.

>> read “Creative & Captivating Plant Combos”    
Mad for Moss
Stop forcing turf and try this primitive plant

When it comes to moss in the garden, I’m smitten, I’m in love and I can’t help it. Ever since this group of primitive plants started making its way into my shade garden, I’ve grown more attached and have expanded its use and presentations in many ways. For purposes of simplicity, I’m lumping mosses and liverworts together and referring to them as moss. Moss has the ability to fit into many garden styles. Japanese, woodland, shade, native, rock, water and tropical gardens all play host to moss in various ways. In Japan, moss has been an integral part of gardens for over 1,000 years.

>> read “Mad for Moss”    
Tillandsia: Plentiful and Diverse

Mention the genus Tillandsia to most gardeners, and you get a puzzled look. No, I’m not talking about the eight-legged spider (that the mere mention of its name invokes fear). I said, “Tillandsia,” not tarantula. These plants don’t bite! Even though Tillandsia, the largest genus of the bromeliad family of plants, has several species that resemble the ominous tarantula, rest assured that no harm will come to you by owning these unique plants ...

>> read “Tillandsia: Plentiful and Diverse”    
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”