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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Gardening Up High
Resplendent green rooftops provide benefits all year

Tall, slender stems of grass swish in the warm summer breezes, while coreopsis and coneflowers bob their heads, as if waving. They and dozens of other plants grow in a diverse garden planted on top of a garage in the middle of St. Louis, Missouri. If a person doesn't look up when walking or driving by, they'll miss seeing it.

>> read “Gardening Up High”    
Summer School for Teacher
The Science of Lilies and Daylilies

Throughout much of the year, Nate Bremer teaches science at Madison Middle School in Appleton. When school lets out each June, Bremer’s life kicks into high gear. That’s because Bremer owns Solaris Farms, a 20-acre perennial lover’s paradise located just north of Reedsville in northeast Wisconsin ...

>> read “Summer School for Teacher”    
Turn A Drainage Ditch Into A Dandy Display

“It was a jungle back there,” Schmidt says. And she was afraid her husband would get killed mowing a very steep slope. People pay good money to have a water feature like she had running through the backyard. She wondered, “Why can’t I do something with that?” Regulatory issues, erosion and water quality concerns will likely be challenges when converting a ditch into a garden, no matter where you live in the Midwest ...

>> read “Turn A Drainage Ditch Into A Dandy Display”    
No More Rose Divas

The rose, queen of all flowers, has a rather haughty reputation: difficult to grow, prone to diseases and pests, and dies after a few years. There are still a few divas around, but many rose varieties are not obstinate or impossible to grow. In the words of Peter Schneider, author of Right Rose, Right Place, “If you can grow a marigold, you can grow a rose.” The rose is one of the most decorative and adaptable of all flowers ...

>> read “No More Rose Divas”    
Cypress ‘Blue Ice’

An evergreen that offers a unique color and texture for the winter landscape is the ‘Blue Ice’ cypress, or Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Blue Ice’. The lacey texture of the silver-blue scaly needles is one of the main features of this small evergreen tree. Because of its unique color, ‘Blue Ice’ cypress can be used as a focal point. Other plants with rich shades of green will blend nicely with this icy blue tree ...

>> read “Cypress ‘Blue Ice’”       #Hot Plants
Three Ways to Celebrate Fall with Pumpkins

Maybe I always wanted to be Cinderella, but who knows? It could take a therapist several years and thousands of dollars to unearth the root cause of this obsession. Whatever the reason, I am hopelessly enchanted by pumpkins each fall. If you suffer from the same condition — and you know who you are — here are some ways to satisfy your pumpkin lust this season.

>> read “Three Ways to Celebrate Fall with Pumpkins”    
Edible Fig
Ficus carica

Though we wouldn’t plant a fig tree (Ficus carica) outdoors with winter coming, we certainly can buy one to grow indoors then plant outside in the spring. With global climate change and the USDA Planting Zone adjustments, some fig varieties will thrive where before they’d likely have died in temperatures below 10 F ...

>> read “Edible Fig”    
Create a Focal Point in a Day

Gardening is usually an exercise in patience. Everything takes time. But here are a few ways to get instant gratification by creating some ‘pop’ in the landscape with new focal points. We gardeners revel in a pastime that is all about the long game. We are used to waiting and the sport truly does reward us for our patience ...

>> read “Create a Focal Point in a Day”    
Thousand Cankers Disease Arrives in Pennsylvania

Plant pathologists are usually not the most imaginative bunch when naming plant diseases. For instance, the rose disease caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae, causes a black spot on the foliage. This disease was given the name “black spot.” Another example is the fungal organism that causes a leaf spot on strawberry. In this instance, it was given the colorful name “common leaf spot.”

>> read “Thousand Cankers Disease Arrives in Pennsylvania”    
Perennial Vegetables

Now that it is February, we move from seed catalog season to seed starting season. While planning our spring gardens, why not ponder a permanent addition to the garden? Consider adding perennial edibles vegetables that inexpensively produce novel and delectable foods year after year while expanding the harvest season in the garden ...

>> read “Perennial Vegetables”    
Millstones: Symbols of Harvest in Today’s Gardens

When it comes to collecting millstones, the maxim “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings true. In the late 1880s, large urban mill operators started dumping these grain and corn crushers out back as a new roller technology made them obsolete and eventually put the smaller rural mills out of business. When propped alongside an old mill, the granite wheels’ interesting patterns began to attract attention for their ornamental appeal. Others were put to use as stepping stones along a path or a stoop for the back door ...

>> read “Millstones: Symbols of Harvest in Today’s Gardens”    
Daffodil Dividends
Plant fall bulbs now for sweet spring rewards

Yes, spring is still months away, but now is the time to invest in planting spring-blooming daffodils. Just imagine the dividends — early dwarf daffodils blooming in a snow-covered rock garden, a drift of classic yellow daffodils gilding a hillside or clusters of double daffodils brightening an entry walkway. Plus, they’re affordable, low maintenance, hardy throughout most of the U.S. and pest resistant. As its botanical name Narcissus indicates ...

>> read “Daffodil Dividends”    
 
 
 

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