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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Inviting Predators

I don’t know about where you live, but in my neck of the woods fall brings swarms of Asian lady bugs, clinging desperately to my home, vehicles, trees, kids, and even pets. They creep their way into my windows, nestle deep inside every nook and cranny, and crawl in my hair when my path crosses theirs. And while this is, at times, a bit of a nuisance, I remind myself that these little guys are simply trying to find a safe winter hideout until they can venture out again to devour any aphids brave enough to attack my garden. However, ladybugs aren’t the only pest-fighting soldiers out there. Lacewings, hover flies, and parasitic wasps are just a few of the predatory insects worth enticing to your garden.

>> read “Inviting Predators”       #Beneficials   #Insects   #Pests
Color Eggs with Natural Dyes from the Garden

Hard to imagine but folks couldn’t always go to the department store and buy egg coloring kits. So, what did they use to dye their eggs? If you read the title then you guessed it: flowers, leaves and fruits of plants growing nearby or in their gardens.

>> read “Color Eggs with Natural Dyes from the Garden”       #Colorful   #Crafts   #Holiday: Easter   #How to
The Great Tall Plant Rebellion

There’s a battle raging for the heart and soul of horticulture. Admittedly, this is a little below most people’s radar, but it is real nonetheless. Virtually every new plant that breeders and nurseries bring to market is a downsized version of its former self. For their purpose, which is retailing, these smaller new plants are perfect. They neatly fit on shelves, scream for attention with their hyper-tinted foliage and flowers, and there is not one shopper entering a garden center who hasn’t got room somewhere in their garden for at least one. But there is a fly in the ointment here. A garden filled with nothing but compact caricatures of once free-roaming wild plants can only be described as a red hot mess! It’s unnatural. It’s too contrived. It feels weird. It doesn’t work.

>> read “The Great Tall Plant Rebellion”    
Mulch Primer

These are the ‘Who-What-When-Where-Whys’ of mulch. And you thought mulch was just a pile of stuff on the ground.

>> read “Mulch Primer”       #Advice   #Misc   #Soil
Get to the Point

Have you ever visited California or the American Southwest and admired the beautiful agaves, or century plants, that dot the hillsides and grace the gardens throughout the region? Their subtle colors and stunning architectural forms are welcome additions to any garden, but being from the desert where dry soil and dry air prevails means taking a few extra steps in order to grow them successfully in the damp and humid South. Proper siting, soil preparation and in colder parts of the South, winter protection, are essential to growing agaves successfully, but the rewards are worth any amount of effort.

>> read “Get to the Point”       #Ornamentals   #Plant Profile   #Xeriscaping
Movement in the Garden

Wind blowing, water flowing, grasses swaying and children playing – movement brings a garden to life.

It seems unimaginable for a garden to be still. Do you often find yourself looking at something moving from the corner of your eye, or do you look to a sound made by the moving wind? Movement engages you in the garden. Movement can be introduced with plants or personality; look around your garden to see how you can add more movement in your garden.

>> read “Movement in the Garden”       #Design   #Misc   #Ornamentals
Recipe for Roses

Roses (Rosa spp.) contribute beauty and fragrance to any garden. There are many varieties of roses to pick from, many wanting little extra care. To get your roses off to a great start, plant them in the right spot and select the best varieties.

Here is a step-by-step “recipe” for growing roses.

>> read “Recipe for Roses”    
Starting Veggies Indoors

Spring is just around the corner and even though I caution folks about planting and seeding too early in the season, truthfully… it’s safe to go ahead and start a few things indoors.

>> read “Starting Veggies Indoors”       #Propagation   #Seeds   #Vegetables
Dragonfly Fascination

Dragonflies with their ominous beauty, vivid colors and their spectacular flying maneuvers have provided hours of entertainment for many gardeners. Dragonflies are widespread across the United States and can be enticed to visit most yards. There are more than 450 species found throughout the United States and Canada. They range in color and size from the small eastern amberwing to the very large and brilliantly colored green darner. Although these insects tend to stay close to their birthplace, they are strong fliers that will explore surrounding areas. So if you garden even remotely near fresh water or a wetland, you can lure dragonflies to your yard.

>> read “Dragonfly Fascination”       #Colorful   #Insects   #Wildlife
Shop Smart

Shopping for new plants is fun, but it can also be costly. Luckily, there are a few simple guidelines that can help you buy wisely and make the most of your plant dollars.

>> read “Shop Smart”       #Misc   #Spring
Getting in Shape

A little planning ahead can maximize your enjoyment and minimize headaches when dealing with your landscape – the maintenance in particular. A simple concept, yes; but most often overlooked. This particularly applies to the layout and design of your planting beds.

What could be so hard about that? It isn’t hard actually. In reality, it is quite easy when given some forethought.

>> read “Getting in Shape”       #Design   #Hardscaping   #Landscaping
Plant Selection Key to Reducing Allergies

Do you or does someone you know suffer from seasonal allergies, hay fever or asthma triggered by pollen? Are you tired of watery itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a runny nose, sneezing and a stuffy head whenever you venture into your backyard? No, this isn’t a commercial for the newest antihistamine or decongestant miracle drug. Instead, it’s about how to have a garden that is virtually allergy-free.

>> read “Plant Selection Key to Reducing Allergies”       #Health and Safety   #Spring   #Weather

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