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Sweet alyssum, as the name hints, is certainly a sweet-smelling annual, but it’s often grown in such small quantities that the smell is overlooked. Butterflies are drawn to the fragrant small flowers that range in color from blue to lavender, pink, yellow and white.
Nature constantly amazes me with its parallels between plant and human life on this earth, and what we can learn from our green partners on this planet.
Think about how when humans are first born, those precious babies spend most of their time sleeping. They spend lots of time where it seems like growth occurs in tiny incremental changes as each day passes. Not huge changes, but still marvels of change and development.
Cercis canadensis ‘Whitewater’ is a “hot plant” out of North Carolina and a North American native tree too! This small, deciduous tree with beautifully variegated white and green leaves was developed by Dr. Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University. It’s a good choice to incorporate into your garden where contrasting foliage color is desired. Traditional magenta-pink flowers of the redbud emerge in the early spring on bare branches ...>> read “Whitewater Red Bud” #Hot Plants
Raise Chickens, Rabbits and Goats
The food movement in this country has prompted many to rethink where our food comes from. Economic times have brought people around to giving “growing their own” some serious thought; after all, many remember our parents or grandparents stepping into the backyard and gathering eggs for breakfast or a mess of green beans for dinner or fresh milk from the family cow or goat.>> read “The New Faces of Urban Spaces”
Woody Plants That Attract Birds
As we transition to winter weather, we start waiting – we wait for bluebirds to brighten our days. We wait for robins, the harbingers of spring, to return. What to do? Perhaps you should think about planting some trees or shrubs.>> read “More Backyard Birds”
Battling Invasive Species
Have you checked your backyard lately? You may be harboring dangerous aliens. No, these are not creatures from outer space. The aliens I’m referring to are plants – exotic plants. Also referred to as foreign, non-indigenous, introduced or nonnative, these invasive exotics are noxious weeds according to the following definition: A noxious weed is a plant alien to a geographical area whose presence threatens natural and agricultural ecosystems. Like their science fiction counterparts, these weeds are a major threat.>> read “Alien Invaders”
Romanticized in film and novels, the traditional plantation garden is often envisioned as a spacious ornamental landscape with sweeping lawn vistas and long allees of oak trees leading to an elegant manor. While this landscape may have been true in some cases, landscape historians report that this image is “gone with the wind,” as many plantations were really working farms and offered little time for maintaining vast ornamental gardens.>> read “How To Design a Historic Landscape”
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”
Three Ways To Conquer Problem Areas In Your Landscape
Maybe you didn’t look for it when you found the house and didn’t even notice it right away. Then one day you pulled into the drive and saw nothing but the utility pole, or the air conditioner or the gas meter. How could you have missed such a spoiler? No matter if you move to the hills, the valleys or the plains, you will eventually find problem areas in your landscape.>> read “Camouflage Gardening”
Keeping Your Water Garden Beautiful in the Summer
A water garden is exciting in every season, but ponds and streams are most beautiful and dynamic in the summer. The water and its surroundings teem with life — thriving plants, growing (and always hungry) fish, serenading frogs, colorful birds and industrious insects. The often brutal heat in the South drives many folks indoors to air-conditioned spaces but ...>> read “The Ways of Water”
Grape-size red fruits catch the eye starting in late August on this uncommon but commendable fruit tree known as Chinese che. At first it is slow to grow, a few inches at best. Just be patient – as with many plants three years seems to be the charm ...>> read “Chinese Che Tree” #Hot Plants
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”