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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Gardening for the Birds

It is a sad fact — habitat for birds and other wildlife is becoming more fragmented and wildlife populations are suffering due to the harm we as humans cause by moving our home and business developments farther and farther out from city centers. Ultimately, we are throwing the balance of nature out of whack. If we turn this alarming trend around and work toward becoming more ecologically responsible land stewards, would our personal actions help to restore the balance of nature? I want to be optimistic and say yes.

>> read “Gardening for the Birds”    
Now You Don’t
Creative ways to hide air conditioners and equipment

Over the past 30 years I have been snapping images of the ways gardeners hide the necessary evils – pool equipment, meters, propane tanks, air conditioners, and electric boxes. Solutions fall into three basic groups – plants, enclosures, and walls/screens. I hope some of these ideas will work for you.

>> read “Now You Don’t”       #Design   #Hardscaping
A Wonderland of Color
Add some color to that bland winter landscape

Adding color to your garden in winter can be a challenge. For many gardeners, barren beds are something we learn to live with until spring. After all, our winters can be harsh with temperatures frequently dipping below freezing. Most flowering plants do not survive in these conditions. However, there are some that flourish, and even thrive, in cooler temperatures. Brightening a winter garden doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to pick the right plants for your conditions.

>> read “A Wonderland of Color”       #Colorful   #Flowers   #Winter
Have Shovel, Will Travel

When Ralph Coffey decided to move his garden from Lake Norman to Asheville, N.C., he knew the 100-mile journey was a risk. He spent years cultivating his collection of unusual plants and he couldn’t imagine leaving them behind.

>> read “Have Shovel, Will Travel”       #Garden Profile   #Trees
The Tall and Skinny
Gardening with columnar and fastigiate evergreens

It is no secret that plants come in many shapes, sizes, and growth habits. For those of us who are fortunate enough to know the joys of gardening, we get to take advantage of this great variety when creating our own personal Eden. Two nearly identical groups of plants that are both fun to work with and practical, are columnar and fastigiate evergreens.

>> read “The Tall and Skinny”       #Landscaping   #Trees

Interest in native plants, such as Coreopsis, continues to surge as gardeners realize their benefits. Breeders respond with a dizzying array of new cultivars, but which one is right for you? A research report issued in December 2015 by Mt. Cuba Center can help you decide. They trialed 67 different varieties of perennial coreopsis over a three-year period, and after speaking with George Coombs, research horticulturist at Mt. Cuba Center, it’s clear that only the toughest survived.

>> read “Tickseed”       #Flowers   #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Yellow
Perfect Scents
Don’t throw out those clippings! Make a great potpourri!

Every week I make my rounds, pinching things back and trimming as needed. Needless to say, I end up with a lot of material. By the end of the day, visitors have snatched up most, but what’s left gets stuffed in a bag, and I bring it home to make potpourri.

>> read “Perfect Scents”       #Crafts   #Fragrant   #Pruning
Great Containers
How to create your best containers ever.

For every puzzling garden area, a great container or two (or three) might provide the ideal solution. Containers enhance patios, decks, porches and other places with no soil. Do not limit yourself to those areas — containers work well throughout the yard and garden.

>> read “Great Containers”       #Containers   #Decorating
The Garden Backbone
How hardscape contributed to a good garden design

The Melby home is a two-story house with a screened-in back porch and detached carport. A large swimming pool occupies a strip of land beyond the carport with a lattice fence and landscaped flowerbeds surrounding the pool. It was always a popular spot for outdoor gatherings when their children were teens, but a part-time job in a garden-themed gift shop piqued Terri’s interest and Jeff’s creativity, which started them on a journey that changed their backyard into an exciting landscape.

>> read “The Garden Backbone”       #Design   #Garden Profile   #Hardscaping   #Waterscaping
Parsley Hawthorne
Crataegus marshallii

Parsley hawthorns are handsome, hardy large shrubs or small trees with attractive bark and lacy parsley-like foliage that turns orange and gold in autumn. The thorn-tipped branches are covered with white flowers (sporting red anthers) that attract pollinators in spring. The red fall fruits are eaten by mammals and birds. Parsley hawthorn is also the larval plant of the gray hairstreak butterfly.

>> read “Parsley Hawthorne”       #Hot Plants   #Natives
Fatsia japonica

Learn about Fatsia in this plant profile video.

>> read “Fatsia”       #Plant Profile   #Shade   #Video
Shakespeare’s Flowers

William Shakespeare not only knew his human nature, he also knew his plants. Visual imagery played a prominent role in much of Shakespeare’s work and no more so than his descriptions of plants that would have been instantly recognized by original theatergoers to the Globe Theater in London. Many of our common and beloved garden flowers have been mentioned by Shakespeare in works ranging from comedies to tragedies with so many being listed by name that whole gardens devoted to Shakespeare’s flowers have been built worldwide.

>> read “Shakespeare’s Flowers”       #Flowers   #History   #Themed Gardens

New from our Bloggers:

Tulip Growing Tips
Grow gorgeous tulips.

[+] Garden Joy

Grow Asparagus This Spring
Asparagus is fun and easy to grow.

[+] Bee Happy Garden