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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Dealing With Drought
Keep Your Garden Going When the Rain Stops

Over the past months, most areas of the country have set records for heat and drought. While the experts debate the “whys” and “hows,” the rest of us are stuck with the bottom line — it’s harder to grow things. Extreme temperatures and lack of moisture stresses most garden and landscape plants that would normally be considered tried-and-true standards. In addition, the availability and expense of irrigation has become problematic ...

>> read “Dealing With Drought”    
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”    
Fragrant Gardens
Captured by the Spell of the Smell

I was walking on a Caribbean beach one evening heading toward a favorite spot for jerked chicken when I was captured by the fragrance of a large, blooming shrub. Now if I were relegated to growing only one plant for the rest of my life, it would be that plant, the night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum).

>> read “Fragrant Gardens”    
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”    
Nandina Flirt
Nandina domestica ‘Murasaki’

Good looking and oh so easy – no wonder they call this one Flirt. New leaves emerge deep red, transition through burgundy and finally age to green. At times, all three colors are present on the same plant. Normally you would need two plants to get contrasting foliage, but this one does it all.

>> read “Nandina Flirt”       #Hot Plants
The Self-Sufficient Gardener
Developing Transplants from Seed is Easy in a Greenhouse

When growing your own transplants, it is very important to control temperature, ventilation, light and moisture. Temperatures for warm-season crops should be between 65 and 80 F during the day, with nighttime temperatures of 60 to 65 F.

>> read “The Self-Sufficient Gardener”    
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”    
The Rudiments Of Roses
Don’t Shy Away From Growing Roses!

Truly there are varieties available for even the most timid or inexperienced gardeners. All roses require some attention, but numerous types are more self sufficient, thriving for years with minimal care.

>> read “The Rudiments Of Roses”    
Made in the Shade
Indicator Plants And Shade Gardening

Shade is a major design consideration in most gardens in the Southern U.S. Given the opportunity, we nestle our homes under the spreading boughs of forest giants and are forced from the outset to develop a garden that will never know the full intensity of the sun. Or, if our subdivision was a cotton field or cow pasture in a previous life, we grow our own shade – never quite believing that those small switches we plant will one day become sylvan giants and rob sunlight like a thief in the night. Shade is a good thing, though. It makes our outdoor living spaces habitable during the muggy months and permits the summer-long enjoyment of our gardens.

>> read “Made in the Shade”    
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”    
Designing with Ornamental Grasses
for Showy, Year-Round Intrigue and Ease

Whether you’re planning a new landscape or rejuvenating an established one, ornamental grasses can add surprising pizzazz. They are dynamic, versatile and carefree in ways that few other plants can match. Widely known as the stars of autumn with their showy, long-lasting plumes, they can provide almost year-round interest. These grasses not only bring structure to the landscape, but sound and movement as well ...

>> read “Designing with Ornamental Grasses”    
Japanese apricot ‘Peggy Clarke’
Prunus mume

There’s not much out in the garden that can beat the winter blues like Prunus mume ’Peggy Clarke’, also known as the Japanese flowering apricot tree. When it’s too cold for much else to bloom, this small tree bravely sends out its blossoms on bare limbs in mid to late winter, providing the kind of showy display that most plants set aside for spring. It’s an amazing sight in the dead of winter.

>> read “Japanese apricot ‘Peggy Clarke’”       #Hot Plants