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What could be more elegant than a beautiful flower arrangement in your home for you and your guests to admire? Become your own florist, and add artistic touches to your interior by making table centerpieces, entranceway wreaths and freshly cut arrangements to adorn a guest bedroom. Creating your own cutting garden is an excellent way to have access to the freshest flowers possible ...>> read “Grow Your Own Cutting Garden”
The pumpkins on the seed catalog covers were drawn so huge that Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater could have made a house for his wife from one of the pumpkin shells. The pictured giant red strawberries were so voluptuous children could hardly hold them. And the pink roses were flawless, of course, and all prize winners.
Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage seed catalogs. Before photography became a vital part of print and online catalogs, artists drew fantastic images of eggplants and green beans, dahlias and daises to entice customers into buying seeds and bulbs. Reality was sketchy. But as every good gardener today knows (as he or she thumbs through the mound of catalogs that come in the mail and online this time of year), it didn’t really matter. Seed companies were selling the dream, not unlike modern times.
A great return for a little investment
Bright, colorful hanging baskets are like exclamation points in your garden story. They can draw your attention to other areas in the landscape; connect the garden to the house; or add a bright spot to an otherwise dark area of the porch or patio. As yards get smaller and gardening time is lost to busy schedules, a hanging basket may be the fastest and easiest way to bring color into your landscape. Successful three-season baskets are possible by paying attention to the core components: correct soil mix, adequate fertilizer, proper watering and good plant choices.>> read “Creating Successful Hanging Baskets”
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
Gardeners are an optimistic lot, always planning for the future and dreaming about what is yet to come. Nowhere is this optimism more apparent than when we plant bulbs. In our mind’s eye, we see glorious displays of tulips and drifts of golden daffodils splashed across our gardens like so much spilled paint.>> read “The Basics of Bulb Planting”
Wash and sterilize several saved bottles such as those for soy sauce, beer, small wine bottles, soft drinks, vinegar, Worcestershire and other appropriate bottles saved or bought for pepper sauce ...>> read “Classic Pepper Sauce” #Recipes
Bark may not be the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a tree. Even those of us who are quick to celebrate the practical significance that trees play in our lives often neglect to consider the simple beauty of their bark.>> read “Barking Up the Right Tree”
Exclamation Points in the Garden
When I designed the perennial border in the garden of our first home, it was a process of trial and error. All the books I studied told me I should first create an evergreen “backbone” to provide year-round interest, and plant so that something of interest was blooming each season.>> read “Variegated Plants”
Many gardeners tend to view landscaping problems first as a challenge, and then as an opportunity. The thought of transforming an uninviting eyesore into a functional and beautiful garden area causes a rush of excitement. Being able to also trade high maintenance for low maintenance puts many gardeners in a state of euphoria. Yes, gardeners tend to be “glass-half-full” kind of folks.>> read “Problem or Opportunity”
When I was young, I didn’t have much patience for my father’s infatuation with rooting and growing conifers and various evergreens. I was more interested in faster-growing flowers and tropical foliage. Conifers and evergreens were simply too slow for me. But I took another look as my plant palette increased, and found small plants look simply darling in small pots. Then, as they grew larger, I could put them in a larger pot ...>> read “Creative Conifer Containers” #Containers
Growing Cattleya Orchids
To many people, the beautiful Cattleya is what they think of when the word “orchid” is mentioned — and with good reason. The flowers of the cattleya orchid are large, showy and colorful. Because of their popularity for use in corsages, cattleyas are commonly known as “the corsage orchid.” Named for the English horticulturist William Cattley (1788-1835), Cattleya is among the easiest of the orchid ...>> read “Cattleya Culture”
As we enter mid-July with August right around the corner, there are some pretty rough-looking summer squash patches that I have visited around the state in my role as a vegetable specialist. From backyard gardens to commercial growers, everyone that has grown summer squash knows the challenges that the late season can dish out ...>> read “First Aid for Summer Squash” #Advice #Disease #Pests