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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Hostas
These Shade Lovers Solve Many Yard and Garden Problems

“Why would I want a large, green, basically flowerless plant? I have plenty of lawn, trees, bushes and shrubs,” my friend sputtered when I suggested hostas as her landscaping solution. Like most new gardeners, she had dreams of profuse, lovely scented blooms everywhere. Later, realizing that gardens of Eden with bounteous blooms, need full-time gardeners, she wanted easier plantings.

>> read “Hostas”    
Cover Crops in the Vegetable Garden

If you have harvested everything from your vegetable garden and decided not to plant cool-season crops, then now is the time to start a cover crop, which just means planting something to cover up the dirt. Big-time farmers plant cover crops such as clover and rye, and backyard gardeners can reap the same benefits for their dormant gardens during the winter months with a cover crop.

>> read “Cover Crops in the Vegetable Garden”    
Heuchera for Year-Round Color

Year-round color in shade or partial shade is not easy to find. Heucheras can provide that color. Newer varieties can take more sun, making heucheras even more important in home landscape design.

The common name of Heuchera spp. is coral bells. It is a member of the Saxifragaceae family. These perennials have a natural insect and disease tolerance. Include this shade-loving perennial anywhere a splash of color is needed ...

>> read “Heuchera for Year-Round Color”    
Orchids - Methods for Growing the Perfect Phalaenopsis

When beginners tell me they want to start growing orchids, the discussion usually gets around to the question, “ What is the best orchid to start with?” My answer is: “Phalaenopsis because it is so easy to grow and stays in flower a long time, and a greenhouse is not necessary for good results with this plant.”

>> read “Orchids - Methods for Growing the Perfect Phalaenopsis”    
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”    
Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye weed is one of my favorite perennials, even if the name is somewhat unfortunate and confusing! First of all, Joe-Pye weed is not a weed at all but rather a North American native perennial.

>> read “Joe-Pye Weed”       #Hot Plants
First Aid for Summer Squash

As we enter mid-July with August right around the corner, there are some pretty rough-looking summer squash patches that I have visited around the state in my role as a vegetable specialist. From backyard gardens to commercial growers, everyone that has grown summer squash knows the challenges that the late season can dish out ...

>> read “First Aid for Summer Squash”       #Advice   #Disease   #Pests
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
Creating the Woodland Garden
Selecting plants is tough. Let us help you find the one.

When making decisions about any specific landscape situation, we must consider issues like design, style, plant preferences, sun or shade tolerance, topography, soil type, and moisture conditions. In some cases, the situation may suggest a number of possible alternatives. But occasionally, the site lends itself to an ideal single solution. Such is the case with a tree-covered area that either sits on the property line or surrounds the home. By implementing a natural design that accentuates the existing landscape, this forest-like setting can be transformed into a woodland garden.

>> read “Creating the Woodland Garden”    
Creative Conifer Containers

When I was young, I didn’t have much patience for my father’s infatuation with rooting and growing conifers and various evergreens. I was more interested in faster-growing flowers and tropical foliage. Conifers and evergreens were simply too slow for me. But I took another look as my plant palette increased, and found small plants look simply darling in small pots. Then, as they grew larger, I could put them in a larger pot ...

>> read “Creative Conifer Containers”       #Containers
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”    
Overcoming Drainage Problems

Have you lost any silver-leafed lavenders or ‘Silver Brocade’ artemisia or had tulip bulbs or Ruta graveolens ‘Blue Beauty’ just die, often after only one winter? You may be wondering why. Many plants benefit from “well drained” or “evenly moist” soils.

>> read “Overcoming Drainage Problems”    
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


February is National Bird Feeding Month
Burr....our feathered friends need our help.

[+] 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