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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Create a Tiny Plant World Under Glass

As the saying goes, “What is old is new again.” This can definitely be said about terrariums. They were popular in Victorian times, all the rage in the ’70s, and are having an amazing resurgence. Garden centers offer classes on making terrariums and little plants being hybridized are endless.

>> read “Create a Tiny Plant World Under Glass”       #Containers   #Crafts   #Terrariums
Crazy Crawlers
Caterpillars you are likely to run across at some time

Where there are plants there are caterpillars. As an avid gardener, you are probably familiar with several species of caterpillars, particularly those that damage some of your favorite plants, such as tobacco hornworms, cabbage loopers, and tomato fruitworms. But our gardens and landscapes are host to hundreds of other caterpillar species.

>> read “Crazy Crawlers”       #Insects   #Pests
Press On
How to bring nature indoors by pressing botanicals

Pressing botanicals is just one more way for plant lovers to get their fix while feeding the artist within. Just pick a basketful of your favorite flowers, herbs, leaves, seedpods, or whatnot to place between papers in a press and forget about it until the process is finished.

>> read “Press On”       #Crafts   #Decorating   #Flowers
Botanical Names
How you can use them

Do botanical names cause you confusion, get you tongue-tied or seem unnecessary? There actually are reasons for the scientific mumble jumble. In addition to gaining an understanding of the scientific names of plants, knowing just a little “Latinese” will place you a step higher in the gardening world.

>> read “Botanical Names”    
Refresh Summer Perennials

Keeping a garden at its best requires planning and a little effort. Spring through fall, here are a few tips for refreshing your perennials.

>> read “Refresh Summer Perennials”       #Advice   #Pruning   #Summer
Gardening Questions You Never Really Thought to Ask

Often when pulling weeds or mowing the grass, my mind drifts to some of the challenges in the world. I don’t mean solving world hunger or anything, but just considering some of those gardening questions not discussed on radio shows. This happens in a “stream of consciousness” where one thought or question runs into another and another and so on.

>> read “Gardening Questions You Never Really Thought to Ask”       #Misc   #Pests   #Uncategorized   #Vines
How to Make Potpourri
Gather herbs and flowers now for potpourri all year

The original French term for potpourri meant “rotten pot,” referring to the moist method of pickling flowers and leaves. More common now is the dry method using flowers and leaves that are picked just as they reach maturity full of fragrance and color. It also incorporates seeds, spices, dried leaves and flowers, berries, dried fruit slices, barks, seedheads and cones to add a variety of textures to the mixture. The best potpourris have a subtle, natural scent that comes from the combination of all natural ingredients. Different ingredients contribute aroma, texture, color and bulk. Many herbs contribute fragrance as well as color and texture.

>> read “How to Make Potpourri”       #Fragrant   #How to   #Misc
Planting for the Future

An intimate part of the human race is connected to the existence of trees. We track our lineage with a “Family tree.” We reference our health and well-being with the “Tree of Life” and the very first man and woman on earth ate the forbidden fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge” in the Garden of Eden.

Trees are a mark of history. We look at the number of rings to determine the age of a tree. We look at the characteristics of the rings, such as how thick or thin they are, their color and other attributes to determine the types of years that have affected the growth of the trees and other living organisms. We can see drought, earthquakes, forest fires, fast or slow growth, pressure points from another tree, damage from construction and so forth reflected in the historical replication of the rings. They even clean the air and water for us without as much as a rustle. There are songs written about them, people and treasure buried near them and a cherry tree has even led the juvenile tirades of a President.

>> read “Planting for the Future”    
5 Must Have Herbs for Summer

I decided to plant some herbs along with my annuals. That was the summer I broke free from my mother’s way of gardening and went out on my own. The fragrance and flavors of the herbs were more powerful to me than the colors brought by the annuals. In the years that followed, I learned how to grow, harvest, and preserve herbs.

>> read “5 Must Have Herbs for Summer”       #Annuals   #Herbs   #Summer
Warming Up With a Fire Feature

Imagine yourself sitting around a warm fire. Can you hear the snapping and crackling of the wood? Do you feel the warmth of the fire on your hands and face? Can you hear and see your family and friends talking and laughing as they sit around the fire, toasting marshmallows? That could be your backyard, if you had a fire feature.

>> read “Warming Up With a Fire Feature”       #Decorating   #Hardscaping   #Misc
The Perfect Plants

Saving water is such an important aspect of gardening these days. But, for me, saving maintenance time is just as important. I want a beautiful garden, but I don’t have the time or energy to work hard to make it that way. So, while I do have some special babies that need lots of tender loving care, I’m always on the lookout for great filler plants that look really good — even when I ignore them.

>> read “The Perfect Plants”       #Irrigation   #Succulents   #Xeriscaping
Using the Olla to Beat the Summer Heat

Keeping the vegetable garden hydrated during the heat of the summer is a challenge in the South, where the sun beats down for weeks, the rain barrels run dry and even heat-loving crops wilt under summer’s fiery breath. Water restrictions have even become commonplace in many parts of the region, making watering the garden even more difficult.

Water-efficient systems such as drip-line irrigation can make a big difference. But Durham, N.C., gardener Scott Belan found a cheaper and simpler solution by building an olla out of a humble clay pot. This watering solution satisfied Belan’s personal philosophy in gardening: Look to the cultures and climates that make the most sense for your surroundings.

>> read “Using the Olla to Beat the Summer Heat”       #How to   #Irrigation   #Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency
 
 
 

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