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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Mission Impossible

In an ideal world, all planting beds would have well-drained, rich soils and the perfect amount of sun and water. I was in heaven when I moved from red Georgia clay to rich, humusy Iowa soil, but even that has problems to contend with.

>> read “Mission Impossible”       #Flowers   #Shade
Color Eggs with Natural Dyes from the Garden

Hard to imagine but folks couldn’t always go to the department store and buy egg coloring kits. So, what did they use to dye their eggs? If you read the title then you guessed it: flowers, leaves and fruits of plants growing nearby or in their gardens.

>> read “Color Eggs with Natural Dyes from the Garden”       #Colorful   #Crafts   #Holiday: Easter   #How to
The Great Tall Plant Rebellion

There’s a battle raging for the heart and soul of horticulture. Admittedly, this is a little below most people’s radar, but it is real nonetheless. Virtually every new plant that breeders and nurseries bring to market is a downsized version of its former self. For their purpose, which is retailing, these smaller new plants are perfect. They neatly fit on shelves, scream for attention with their hyper-tinted foliage and flowers, and there is not one shopper entering a garden center who hasn’t got room somewhere in their garden for at least one. But there is a fly in the ointment here. A garden filled with nothing but compact caricatures of once free-roaming wild plants can only be described as a red hot mess! It’s unnatural. It’s too contrived. It feels weird. It doesn’t work.

>> read “The Great Tall Plant Rebellion”    
Mulch Primer

These are the ‘Who-What-When-Where-Whys’ of mulch. And you thought mulch was just a pile of stuff on the ground.

>> read “Mulch Primer”       #Advice   #Misc   #Soil
Native Baptisia is Only the Beginning

Native to central and eastern North America, Baptisia australis is an easy grower for those in USDA Zones 3 to 9. It’s not particularly picky about soils, nor moisture, being drought tolerant once established. It even thrives in clay. It grows in full sun to part shade and it’s not bothered by any notable pests or diseases. No doubt these things are what earned it the title of Perennial Plant of the Year in 2010.

>> read “Native Baptisia is Only the Beginning”       #Blue   #Natives   #Plant Profile
Movement in the Garden

Wind blowing, water flowing, grasses swaying and children playing – movement brings a garden to life.

It seems unimaginable for a garden to be still. Do you often find yourself looking at something moving from the corner of your eye, or do you look to a sound made by the moving wind? Movement engages you in the garden. Movement can be introduced with plants or personality; look around your garden to see how you can add more movement in your garden.

>> read “Movement in the Garden”       #Design   #Misc   #Ornamentals
Recipe for Roses

Roses (Rosa spp.) contribute beauty and fragrance to any garden. There are many varieties of roses to pick from, many wanting little extra care. To get your roses off to a great start, plant them in the right spot and select the best varieties.

Here is a step-by-step “recipe” for growing roses.

>> read “Recipe for Roses”    
Starting Veggies Indoors

Spring is just around the corner and even though I caution folks about planting and seeding too early in the season, truthfully… it’s safe to go ahead and start a few things indoors.

>> read “Starting Veggies Indoors”       #Propagation   #Seeds   #Vegetables
Dragonfly Fascination

Dragonflies with their ominous beauty, vivid colors and their spectacular flying maneuvers have provided hours of entertainment for many gardeners. Dragonflies are widespread across the United States and can be enticed to visit most yards. There are more than 450 species found throughout the United States and Canada. They range in color and size from the small eastern amberwing to the very large and brilliantly colored green darner. Although these insects tend to stay close to their birthplace, they are strong fliers that will explore surrounding areas. So if you garden even remotely near fresh water or a wetland, you can lure dragonflies to your yard.

>> read “Dragonfly Fascination”       #Colorful   #Insects   #Wildlife
Those “Other” Magnolias

There are three reasons people don’t plant magnolias anymore: 1) Everybody assumes “magnolia” means only the saucer magnolias (Magnolia x soulangeana) they remember from their youth, which, 2) ate all of Grandma’s front yard, and 3) had its flowers blasted every third year by a frost. Now, listen to me carefully: These reasons are dumb.

>> read “Those “Other” Magnolias”       #Fragrant   #Flowers   #Trees
Winter Wakeups
Three shrubs to beat the doldrums

Right now we are in the thick of it. Cold, dark and dreary days of winter are surrounding us with a blanket of plain white, brown, and gray. Depressing to a gardener that longs for shimmers of green and color, any color will do.

Typically we go to the catalogs, books, and internet to find treasures for the coming spring, but there are gems to be found in the winter garden if you plan for it. There are many shrubs, deciduous and evergreen, that fill corners of gardens throughout the year bringing yearlong interest. Here are three shrubs that keep working even when the world goes blah.

>> read “Winter Wakeups”       #Colorful   #Ornamentals   #Winter
Plant Selection Key to Reducing Allergies

Do you or does someone you know suffer from seasonal allergies, hay fever or asthma triggered by pollen? Are you tired of watery itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a runny nose, sneezing and a stuffy head whenever you venture into your backyard? No, this isn’t a commercial for the newest antihistamine or decongestant miracle drug. Instead, it’s about how to have a garden that is virtually allergy-free.

>> read “Plant Selection Key to Reducing Allergies”       #Health and Safety   #Spring   #Weather

New from our Bloggers:

Seed Viability
Will your seeds germinate and grow plants?

[+] The Everlasting Gardener

Why We Prune
The reasons why you should prune regularly.

[+] Pruning with Your Personal Gardener