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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Lemon Balm
The Scent of Sweet Dreams and Calm Nerves

What can produce a mild sedative effect, relieve cramps and gas and produce antibacterial and antiviral properties, according to modern research? Lemon balm. No new discovery, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) was noted by the 16th century physician Paracelsus as healing patients at death’s door. The Roman scholar Pliny, another believer in the effects of lemon balm, thought ...

>> read “Lemon Balm”    
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”    
Christmastime from Nature

Decorating from nature doesn’t require lists of instructions or rules; in fact, some of the simplest materials and compositions yield beautiful results. Children often make simple ornaments in school from natural objects such as walnut shells or dried seedpods. Years ago as a third-grade room mother, I helped children construct Christmas arrangements for their mothers using cut greenery, stalks of seeds ...

>> read “Christmastime from Nature”    
Recipes for Winter Vegetables

Common belief seems to be that winter vegetables are those that grow in the cool days of late fall into winter or that begin their growth spurt in the still cold days of winter and come to harvest in early spring. Many of the vegetables in the cabbage family often show up on lists of winter vegetables, as do lettuce, spinach, kale and a number of leafy greens ...

>> read “Recipes for Winter Vegetables”    
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”    
Cardoon
A plant that really shines in the winter. Try one today!

The cardoon is a fabulous plant that can provide plenty of interest in your garden. Cardoons form a rosette of deeply lobed, nearly 3-foot long silvery leaves. Mature specimens can reach upwards of 5 feet tall, so it is easy to see how this plant can make an impact. While the cardoon is truly an evergreen perennial for us in the piedmont of South Carolina, it really shines during the winter. We typically use cardoon at Riverbanks as a winter-interest plant, often using it as an annual to give some size and texture to winter bedding schemes.

>> read “Cardoon”       #Hot Plants
From Jungle to Jingle
How the Poinsettia Became a Christmas Icon

As the Christmas season draws ever nearer, homes around the world take on the decorative trappings of the season. The symbolism associated with Christmas is deep, rich and ever-changing. Icons of the season – for example the Christmas tree – have been adapted from more primitive cultures. Probably neither a Druid chieftain nor Martin Luther would recognize the modern Christmas tree ...

>> read “From Jungle to Jingle”    
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”    
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”    
Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines

I think this irrational fear stems from knowing my own slovenly ways — a recognition that if I let vines get out of hand, like I often do with weeds and overgrown bushes, there is the possibility of losing the house in a giant mound of vegetation. This unfounded fear probably stems from horror stories I’ve heard about kudzu. But take it as a cautionary tale. Many vines are aggressive growers that, left uncontrolled, can become a maintenance nightmare ...

>> read “Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines”    
Air Layering
A Makeover for Overgrown Houseplants

Houseplants bring life to our homes and offices, but sometimes they outgrow their welcome. Those with woody stems, such as dracaenas, corn plants and scheffleras, can become too tall and lose their shape or threaten the ceiling. Instead of tossing them out and buying new plants or giving them to a friend with taller ceilings, try air layering. This easy propagation technique will not only rejuvenate your plants — it will reward you with new plants for your efforts ...

>> read “Air Layering”    
Japanese Stewartia
Stewartia pseudocamellia

Are you looking for a pest-free, small- to medium-sized landscape tree with multi-season beauty? Would you like to have a variety that does not show up on every list of The 25 Most Common Trees? Does the idea of showy summer flowers on a tree appeal to you? If so, you may want to consider planting a Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) ...

>> read “Japanese Stewartia”       #Hot Plants   #Trees
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Time To Go
Time to Let My Trees Go

[+] Basil Becky


Buds and Blooms.
Try these in your garden.

[+] The Passionate Gardener


Spring Slowy Awakens
A few early signs of spring are now here

[+] The Bluegrass Garden