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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Let’s Stop Pruning with “Shear” Ignorance

What’s one of the most obvious and common mistakes made in landscapes anywhere in the southern U.S.? Improper pruning or excessive shearing (though it’s stretching the definition of pruning) of shrubs. Nothing jumps out of a landscape faster than a once graceful, natural-form shrub that has been sheared into a mathematician’s delight – be it round, square, pyramidal or rectangular. From a horticultural standpoint, unnecessary, form-damaging shearing of shrubs is almost as criminal as the topping of trees.

>> read “Let’s Stop Pruning with “Shear” Ignorance”    
Putting Your Equipment to Bed for the Winter

As we head into the later months of autumn and get closer to winter, our minds are filled with thoughts of a Thanksgiving feast, Christmas trees and New Year’s celebrations. Perhaps the last thing we think about is our garden or landscape, since most of us tend to put these on autopilot during the cooler months. While our gardens and landscape can survive the cold winter months without much assistance ...

>> read “Putting Your Equipment to Bed for the Winter”    
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
Creative & Captivating Plant Combos
Don't be afraid to mix it up!

If there was one prevalent wish among gardeners that I come in contact with, it is that they had a better flair for plant combinations. They are schooled in the horticultural technique, but something holds them back from creating captivating combinations.

>> read “Creative & Captivating Plant Combos”    
Zen Gardens
A Place For Harmony And Balance

It seems that now, more than ever, people are trying especially hard to make their busy lives less stressful and more meaningful. Gardening can help in a subtle way that few other activities can manage, and the guiding principles of Zen gardening can lead to the creation of a truly calming, harmonious, and uplifting environment. These gardens are not designed to excite the senses in the way that Western plots do but are places for the spirit to find peace and tranquility in which to grow. Zen Buddhism requires that every task is performed with love – and it is the love and care that is put into them that gives them a serene and kindly atmosphere.

>> read “Zen Gardens”    
The Underappreciated Biennial

Fans of perennial flowers admire both their longevity in the garden and their capabilities. Where they once planted a daylily, by division, they can have three or more clumps in a few years. Fans of annuals tout their quick results and their lengthy bloom period. Pop in your six-pack and, if it isn’t blooming already, it soon will be – and will bloom for months on end. No wonder biennials are the Rodney Dangerfields of the flower world ...

>> read “The Underappreciated Biennial”    
Lemon Balm
The Scent of Sweet Dreams and Calm Nerves

What can produce a mild sedative effect, relieve cramps and gas and produce antibacterial and antiviral properties, according to modern research? Lemon balm. No new discovery, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) was noted by the 16th century physician Paracelsus as healing patients at death’s door. The Roman scholar Pliny, another believer in the effects of lemon balm, thought ...

>> read “Lemon Balm”    
Home Grown Citrus
Grow Your Own Cold Hardy, Sweet Or Sour Fruit

Late fall and winter mean many things to us as gardeners. There are trees to be planted, catalogs to read, soil to be amended and if you are fortunate, oranges, lemons and kumquats to be eaten.

>> read “Home Grown Citrus”    
‘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
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
Garden Hotties
Herbs that can take the heat

’Tis the season of the “Twin 95s.” Ninety-five degrees and 95 percent humidity, that is. As a result, the parsley has gone to seed in most gardens. So has the dill. The nasturtium flowers have withered away. But fear not. The hotties are here to stay, bringing forth blooms and new growth despite the Deep South’s mantle of full sun.

>> read “Garden Hotties”    
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”