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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Building Garden Art Using Ferro-cement

Garden art is important in every garden but not everyone has the budget to commission pieces in bronze or marble. And, if you have an artistic vision it is not always easy to find just the right piece. But, if you have minimal artistic skill and a bit of perseverance, you can build your own garden additions using a technique called ferro-cement construction. Ferro-cement projects can be built in any shape or size. All it consists of is a steel frame (called an armature) covered with two or more layers of cement.

>> read “Building Garden Art Using Ferro-cement”    
Less Work, More Fun

Some gardening tasks are a lot of fun. I love picking out plants and creating beautiful container combinations, and I enjoy planting flats of pansies in early fall. Other tasks, like weeding, are tedious, but you have to do them. Then there’s another group of garden tasks many consider necessary, but I consider bad ideas. Crossing them off your to-do list will give you more time to focus on the enjoyable aspects of gardening. Here’s my list of the top three things you should NOT be doing in your garden...

>> read “Less Work, More Fun”    
Pink Velvet Banana

The cinnamon scent, exotic leaves and exceptional fruit color of Musa velutina (pink velvet banana or hairy banana) will add a tropical flair to any garden and are hard to resist once you have seen them. With adequate winter mulch, its cold hardiness makes it possible to be grown outside tropical zones.

>> read “Pink Velvet Banana”    
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”    
Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle
Lagerstroemia hybrid

I feel like the FDA pulling the plug on a prescription drug trial before all the results are in, but I am atypically confident that Delta Jazz crapemyrtle is a unique hot plant for Arkansas. Our University of Arkansas Plant Evaluation program started evaluating this plant ...

>> read “Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle”       #Hot Plants
Making a Comeback
Self Seeding Annuals and Biennials

I will never forget the year I planted my front flowerbed near the road. To my delight, I literally had cars stopping in front of my house and strangers coming by to ask about my beautiful garden. Of course, it was not the switch grass and daylilies that everyone was so enamored with. My showstopping combination was a haphazard mix of blue larkspur and red poppies. A friend gave me the seeds and I literally threw them over the garden in mid-November, thinking they might help add a little color while the perennials were filling out.

>> read “Making a Comeback”    
The Traditional Scarecrow

I was halfway through my childhood before finding the nerve to watch The Wizard of Oz without hiding at some point during the film. I suppose it was the witch (the wicked one from the west) — it would be an understatement to say that she intimidated me. The scarecrow was a much more pleasant fellow but, truth be known, he was also a bit unsettling to me ...

>> read “The Traditional Scarecrow”    
Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’

When it comes to mums, I have a love/hate relationship. I’m not a fan of the potted varieties you buy in the fall that are perfect, round meatballs of a plant. That being said, I absolutely love the old-fashioned garden mums that have been passed along for generations.

>> read “Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’”       #Hot Plants
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”    
Festive Fall and Winter Containers

Just because it’s fall and the temperatures drop, it doesn’t mean that gardening has to stop and you throw in the towel. Our plant palette changes with the seasons, and that means selecting the proper plants for this time of year, yet still fulfilling our desire for color and texture ...

>> read “Festive Fall and Winter Containers”       #Containers   #Design   #Fall   #Ornamentals
Ornamental Envy
Plan for Fall Interest with Ornamental Grasses

Fall is the season when many of us envy our neighbor’s gardens. You know what I’m talking about. One morning, you step out the front door and stroll through your front yard, which is just about done showing off for the year. While you are picking up the morning paper, you see something through the corner of our eye: your neighbor’s garden is still outperforming the rest. Something is swaying in the breeze with its beautiful blooms, just daring you to ask the neighbor, “Where did you learn that trick? What design school did you attend?”

>> read “Ornamental Envy”    
Gear Up for Cold Weather Gardening

It’s hard to keep an avid gardener cooped up inside all winter. The gardener starts to go stir crazy and, in turn, drives all those around her – those who are perfectly content to remain cozied up on the couch, mind you – just as crazy. But on the coldest winter days it can be just as difficult for the gardener to put on enough layers to keep out the chill without morphing into an awkward creature that ambles through the garden like the unfortunate love child of Sasquatch and a penguin.

>> read “Gear Up for Cold Weather Gardening”    
 
 
 

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