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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Diversify your Landscape
Making better choices for trees and shrubs

Don’t just plant something because all your neighbors have that plant. Think about diversity, and think outside the box. Here are some underused plants that might be better choices than the old standbys. Deciding which trees and shrubs to plant to create an aesthetic ...

>> read “Diversify your Landscape”    
Appreciate the Beneficials

About 96 percent of all bugs you see are beneficial insects. These insects provide plants with protection, help with pollination and keep the bad bug population in check. They’re not only beneficial to plants but they’re also beneficial to gardeners.

>> read “Appreciate the Beneficials”    
Out of the Ordinary: New Choices for Your Garden

Variety is the spice of life. Why not step outside your comfort zone and grow something unusual in your garden? Here are some extraordinary suggestions.We gardeners have our favorite plants and we grow them as staples in our gardens. We can’t imagine not growing them. For me, these include peonies, roses, daffodils and hostas. But we also are drawn to the unusual and the less commonly available plants ...

>> read “Out of the Ordinary: New Choices for Your Garden”    
Follow the Shade

Now that the hot summer weather is behind us, this is a good time to make a promise to yourself: no more working in the heat. Ever. Again. The saying “work smarter, not harder” applies — here is a great idea to avoid broiling in the sun next year ...

>> read “Follow the Shade”    
The Fifth Season

To everything there is a season, it is written, and no one knows this more than gardeners. We cold-climate growers have just wrapped up the biggest one of all – summer – and have enjoyed a pretty luxurious fall. Most of us don’t really look forward to the cold and gray days of winter, but at our house, we celebrate another growing season: The Amaryllis Season.

>> read “The Fifth Season”    
Lasagna Gardening

This isn’t about pasta — lasagna gardening is about building up soil in layers. The concept is based on layering compost ingredients, which also keeps weeds down. Here’s the ‘recipe' ...

>> read “Lasagna Gardening”    
Recycled Projects for the Garden

When you say “recycling,” most people think of plastic, paper and metals items. They clean and separate these items each week for trash pickup or take them to a recycling center. But what do you do with those items that you need to discard that you cannot easily recycle or may be too big for trash pickup? Why not get creative and give those items a new life in the garden? You can reuse or repurpose them. Here are four easy to make projects for your garden that can be made from those unwanted items ...

>> read “Recycled Projects for the Garden”       #Design   #Feature
The Annual Review

Just as they review their yearly financial statement, many gardeners do a plant assessment as they consider their gardens for the following year. This is no different than the trialing done at the Gardens at Ball Horticultural. The few new varieties that follow have been chosen from the broad range of annuals (plus one crossover perennial) that are available for the 2012 market.

>> read “The Annual Review”    
Narrow-Leaf Ironweed
Vernonia lettermannii

With its profusion of small purple flowers and tolerance of heat and drought, narrow-leaf ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii) is a standout in the late-season perennial border in USDA Zones 4 to 9. Native to dry, rocky flood plains in Arkansas and Oklahoma, narrow-leaf ironweed thrives in almost all soil types, except soggy, heavy soils. In fact, supplemental fertilizers and excessive watering are discouraged in the garden setting ...

>> read “Narrow-Leaf Ironweed”       #Hot Plants
Ficus benjamina as a Bonsai Plant
Ficus benjamina

Bonsai (pronounced BONE-sigh) plants are one of the fastest selling items in our Botanical Conservatory’s Gift Shop. The plants make great gifts and are small enough that they will fit into any brightly lit space. The bonsai are created by members of the local Bonsai Club who volunteer at our greenhouse. Ficus benjamina is the plant they use for most of their bonsai and recommend for first-timers. Creating a bonsai is considered an art, and the plants require more care than the average houseplant, but with minimal input you will be successful ...

>> read “Ficus benjamina as a Bonsai Plant”       #Hot Plants
Gardening for the Senses

Most gardens are designed to create a visual impact. However, adding plants and features that stimulate the other four senses — taste, smell, touch and hearing — will make the outdoor space so much more exciting to all visitors ...

>> read “Gardening for the Senses”    
Problems with Woodchucks

Except on Groundhog’s Day, when they are cute, cuddly weather prognosticators, woodchucks are burrowing and plant-eating pests. Here’s what you should know about this rodent for the other 364 days of the year.
Spring finds gardeners dreaming of their best gardens yet. But, beware! There are critters dreaming of your gardens, too, one being the woodchuck ...

>> read “Problems with Woodchucks”    
 
 
 

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