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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Mamou
Erythrina herbacea

Erythrina herbacea is best known in Louisiana as mamou, but it also answers to coral bean, Cherokee bean and cardinal spear. A member of the Fabaceae (bean) family, mamou has compound (trifoliate) leaves, thorny stems and showy red flowers on tall spikes in late spring to early summer, followed by long slender pods opening to reveal bright crimson-red seeds.

>> read “Mamou”       #Hot Plants
A Show of Force
Forcing fabulous spring flowering bulbs is easy

Bulbs have always intrigued me. Their much-appreciated splash of color during a generally bleak time of year brightens our lives and reminds us that warmer days are ahead. Forcing bulbs is just another way of enjoying the jewels of the late winter and spring garden, but you get to schedule the show. Let’s explore the mystery of bulbs and discuss the techniques involved in forcing them into flower ...

>> read “A Show of Force”    
Making Garden Memories

This winter, I’ve been thinking about how plants add meaning to our lives. I’m not thinking about our food plants, our medicinal plants or even plants that house us and clothe our bodies. Obviously, plants preserve and sustain our lives, and a study of even one economic plant is a fascinating pursuit. Rather, I am considering the plants that add sentimental value to life.

>> read “Making Garden Memories”    
Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening

Like most gardeners in the South, you probably maintain a vegetable garden for three seasons: spring, summer and fall. But if you’re not living in Zone 9, where plants can grow all year round without much protection, you might think that keeping a winter garden is difficult at best ...

>> read “Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening”    
Rose Black Spot

Rose black spot is perhaps the most devastating disease of roses in the South. This disease is caused by a fungus (Diplocarpon rosae) that attacks the foliage of many rose varieties in home landscapes. Many dedicated rose growers battle black spot year after year. The disease can flare up virtually anytime of the year when the leaves remain wet for a period of six or more hours at a time. Frequent rainfall with cloudy days or periods of high humidity can result in disease onset.

>> read “Rose Black Spot”    
Find Out Your Garden I.Q. Quiz
Are you gardening savvy or gardening challenged?

Are you a garden expert, a weekend gardener or just a novice? Challenge your gardening knowledge by taking this short quiz — you may be surprised to see where you rank. Answers are posted at the end. Good luck!

>> read “Find Out Your Garden I.Q. Quiz”    
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”    
The Potting Shed: A Place to Begin

A place for everything and everything in its place: A playhouse, a winter sanctuary, a herbarium, an atrium and a structural winter solstice are all descriptions I have given to my “potting shed.” I have been a gardener since childhood, but it wasn’t until after my husband and I built our home I realized the need for a potting shed. I was spending a great amount of time walking to his shop to gather my gardening “things” before I could start on my project for the day.

>> read “The Potting Shed: A Place to Begin”    
Create a Hummingbird Habitat in Your Own Backyard

You can create a hummingbird habitat in your garden, providing nectar and shelter for these beautiful, tiny birds.

>> read “Create a Hummingbird Habitat in Your Own Backyard”    
Turf Rescue 911

When it comes to the months of the year, I have to admit that August is not among my favorites. While I am very much an outdoor person and enjoy working in my garden and managing my small farm, I do not enjoy the blistering heat and humidity that August almost always provides. Many years ago, my father was transferred to the South, and I have somehow endured the summer heat of August ever since. Thank goodness for air-conditioning! While I can step inside to cool off ...

>> read “Turf Rescue 911”    
‘Green Giant’  Arborvitae
Thuja standishii x plicata

Do you need a fast-growing evergreen screen that is resistant to deer and bagworms? Or perhaps you are looking for a great focal point evergreen as a specimen or in a grouping? If so, look no further than ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’).

>> read “‘Green Giant’  Arborvitae”       #Hot Plants
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”