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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Growing Success

For me, a garden is decidedly manmade, a deliberately arranged space. After all, no matter how natural or realistic a garden is designed to be, it is, by its very nature, contrived. Furthermore, a garden (along with its plantings) is meant to activate one or more of the five senses. In other words, it sets a specific mood and engages the visitor; and so it is with indoor spaces and plantings as well. So, why should designing for the attractive and effective use of office plants be so different from doing the same thing outside in the garden? With this in mind, I decided to use my own office as a testing ground for learning more about this living form of decoration. I hope the results will stimulate and inspire you to grow your own success story by adding a little stylish green to your workspace.

>> read “Growing Success”       #Containers   #Design   #Environment
Microclimates in the Landscape

One of the most common topics of conversation between gardeners is the weather. Rain, heat, cold and drought all present challenges to maintaining a good-looking garden and landscape. Together, these environmental factors are referred to as the “climate” for a particular area or region. Since these areas can be rather large, we can call these environmental factors the macroclimate for a given area. The USDA Hardiness Zone map is a resource we use to determine growing conditions over wide areas and regions.

Within the larger macroclimates are smaller areas that have different or modified conditions. These pockets may be warmer or cooler, or wetter or drier than surrounding areas. These areas are termed “microclimates” and can be influenced by buildings, trees, bodies of water or elevation changes.

>> read “Microclimates in the Landscape”       #Environment   #Hardscaping   #Weather
Hoo Gives a Hoot

Hosting and inviting owls to your garden has many advantages. Although not seen as often as diurnal birds, when owls are spotted it is a thrill for all. Their distinct vocalizations often give their locale away, as they fly silently with their fringed feathers hunting for vermin. Having pest control working not only for free, but throughout the night unseen, is an added bonus. Owls are an environmentally safe form of pest control – no harsh chemicals needed.

>> read “Hoo Gives a Hoot”       #Beneficials   #Environment   #Wildlife
The Ecological Benefits of Bats

All bats found in the Southeast are insectivores and therefore provide the ecological benefit of acting as a natural pest control. Forty-five bat species are native to the United States with 15 living in the Southeast. Nearly 40 percent of these species are threatened or endangered, and around the world, many more are declining at alarming rates.

>> read “The Ecological Benefits of Bats”       #Beneficials   #Environment   #Wildlife
Take a Load Off
The four C’s of a great hammock garden

Creating space for grace is truly the dream of every gardener, even if the gardener never verbalizes such a goal. With every vigorous day of digging, building, designing, and planting, the intrinsic goal of the gardener is to have a spot of earth that is beautiful with an element of functionality whether it be a beauty for beauty’s sake or beauty combined with utility as in an edible landscape, or both.

>> read “Take a Load Off”       #Environment   #Hardscaping
Green Gardening for All

Here in the 21st century the idea of ecological or “green” gardening is nothing new. As gardeners we have a unique connection to ecology that leads many of us to desire to garden in ways that don’t harm the environment. Most of us approach using chemicals with at least some level of apprehension and concern about both environmental and human health. Scientific research is increasingly confirming suspicions that horticultural and agricultural chemicals are contributing to a wide array of concerns such as cancer, pollinator decline, and poor water quality. Still, much confusion remains about what going green in the garden entails and how practical it is, especially as we age and become less physically able.

The good news is that the biggest challenge in going green is a mental one. Going green won’t necessarily require you to do much differently physically, but it will require you to challenge some of your assumptions about gardening. The following is a list of five things you can do this year to make your garden healthier and more ecofriendly.

>> read “Green Gardening for All”       #Environment   #Natives   #Permascaping   #Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency
Conserving Water with Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are not a new concept. However, based on the many benefits they offer, it is surprising that they are not more commonly used. I have had my rain barrels now for three years and would highly recommend them to any gardener looking to conserve water by harnessing what nature provides.

>> read “Conserving Water with Rain Barrels”       #Environment
Hold the Salt

Most of the harm from snow really comes from how we get rid of it. Time for a little rethink. Who doesn’t love new snow? The white blanket softens the world and makes everything look new. And it’s a good thing for the garden. Snow cover insulates the soil so it is less likely to thaw and then freeze again. Enveloping snow protects plant tissue from cold snaps and adds moisture when it melts in spring.

>> read “Hold the Salt”       #Environment   #Winter
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Fragrant Abelia For Spring Scent!
Fragrant Abelia perfumes the spring air

[+] Mark's Garden Ruminations


New Home for Green Beans & Peas
Adding trellises to the vegetable garden

[+] From Cheryl's Gardens


About this “Flow Hive” thing…
How you can help honeybees & pollinators

[+] Good Clean Dirt