SUBSCRIBE & GET YOUR FREE 10% OFF DISCOUNT CARD
Subscribe Now
Give a Gift
Preview the magazine before you buy.
Read a FREE issue online!
Alabama Gardener Cover

Subscribe Today!
1-888-265-3600

 

  Sign up for our free gardening E-newsletter 
Give us your email address* and we'll provide monthly gardening tips and how-to's, great landscape ideas and plants to try — Delivered right to your inbox!
Your Email:
* Your email address will not be sold or shared with any third parties.

 

Calendar of Events
See our calendar for local events.

 

 

Get Involved
Participate in online discussions with an SBS user account.

Register Now  or  Log in

Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Southern Jewels
Plant camellias to add pop to the cold season

As the weather gets cold and dreary, we tend to put away the gardening boots in favor of an easy chair and a good book (or plant catalog). But wait, there’s still something beautiful going on in the garden. Or there should be: camellias.

>> read “Southern Jewels”       #Flowers   #Pink   #Shrubs
What Are Nurse Logs?

Being a gardener in shade, I have long been fascinated by logs. I have admired them in nature since childhood. There is something about the sight of one that draws me to it for a closer look; wanting to know about its past life as well as investigate how it keeps on giving even as it takes on a new life. However, it has been only in the last 5 years or so that I have begun to bring “nurse logs” into my garden.

>> read “What Are Nurse Logs?”       #Beneficials   #Environment   #Shade
Simple Winter Sheet Pan Dinners

I love winter cooking. There is nothing that makes you feel cozier than the aromas of garlic, rosemary, potatoes, and whatever else you love to eat. But I’m also all for making cooking as simple as possible. I discovered the beauty of sheet pan dinners a few years ago and have been using them as my go-to for busy days and even for entertaining ever since.

>> read “Simple Winter Sheet Pan Dinners”       #Edibles   #Recipes   #Vegetables
A Painted ‘Forest’
Try this cool idea this winter for long-lasting color

When we moved into our new condo, there was a dead mountain ash tree in the backyard. I’d just come back from a visit to Chicago and I’d seen how the parks department there had painted dead trees, turning them into art. Inspired, I painted my own dead tree, and used it to hang wind chimes, lamps, and houseplants summering outdoors. The bright purple was a great accent color in the garden.

>> read “A Painted ‘Forest’”       #Art   #Colorful   #Design   #How to
Various Vinegars
Make your own herbal vinegars to add zip to your recipes

Here it is winter and I am yearning for the taste of my favorite fresh herbs. I prepared for this moment by making a variety of herbal vinegars in the early fall. It is a great easy way to add a gourmet zip to so many recipes – from salads to meats. Additionally, herbal vinegars can be used for cosmetic uses, medical purposes, plus household uses. Who would have thought you could have herbal vinegars on hand to beat the heat, as well as to battle illnesses and insects.

>> read “Various Vinegars”       #Edibles   #Herbs   #How to
Every Gardener’s Challenge
Bringing color to trouble spots in the landscape

Every yard has them – those troublesome spots that just don’t want to cooperate with your grand vision for the yard of your dreams. While there’s no miracle cure, there are steps the backyard gardener can take to bring life and interest to barren areas.

>> read “Every Gardener’s Challenge”       #Colorful   #Shade   #Slopes
Following Directions
Understanding the labels on your pesticides and herbicid

In a world of litigation and lawsuits it is no surprise that any pesticide being sold for profit must contain legal labeling. While it seems like a simple and common sense thing to do, many people never read the labels, or if they do, they don’t really understand them. Consumers flock to the stores on Saturdays purchasing an arsenal of weed killers, insecticides, and fungicides, many times not fully understanding what they have bought or how to correctly apply it.

>> read “Following Directions”       #Advice   #Health and Safety   #Pests
5 Houseplant Enemies and What to Do
How did you miss those insects? How did they get in?

You may notice yellowing or dropping leaves, or a sticky substance on the leaves or floor before you ever see a pest. Those are some of the symptoms that may clue you in that your plants have a problem.

>> read “5 Houseplant Enemies and What to Do”       #Containers   #Insects   #Pests
No Judgement
It’s not what you plant, but how you grow it

There isn’t a single gardener on this green Earth who doesn’t harbor plant prejudices. Some of us moan that Zinnia are too common, while others judge Agapanthus as old-fashioned and boring. Surely, I’m not the only one who’s tired of seeing yellow swaths of Chinese hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis) interspersed with croton (Codiaeum variegatum). This pair, along with their faithful sidekick, Vinca, has been so overplanted at commercial sites that home gardeners now refer to them as “shopping-center” plants.

Although we’d rather eat compost than inflict our gardening opinions on others, the truth is that most of us are garden snobs. If we stop pointing fingers, we’d be more successful with our own garden designs. It’s time to remove our horticultural blinkers and accept that it’s not what you plant but how you grow it.

>> read “No Judgement”    
Super-Sized Sculptures

Throughout the years, I have explored and taken pictures of lots and lots of gardens. I am always amazed and intrigued by the personal touches gardeners add, and lately my eyes have been drawn to selectively placed, oversized sculptures.

These super-sized sculptures seem to have a calming effect and perhaps this is why I am so drawn to them in my perpetually chaotic life. These larger-than-life sculptures strategically situated in the garden, without distraction from nearby plants, structures or any other elements, have captured my interest and a good bit of my spare time ...

>> read “Super-Sized Sculptures”    
Focal-Point Plants

Have you ever wondered why some gardens suck you in, transporting you to another dimension, your curiosity pulling you around every corner, while others have about as much interest as your sock drawer, leaving no lasting impression? What element is missing?

A focal point is that element that is used to draw your eye into the garden. Your gaze will stop at this element. Then your eye will travel to adjacent plants and details that you may not have noticed otherwise. Having a series of focal points, each just visible from a distance, will help guide you through the garden, from one garden room to the next.

What makes a plant a focal point? It could be form, color or texture, something that catches your eye that is unique from anything else surrounding it. It is large enough to stand on its own, but you must be mindful of scale. If it’s too small for the “garden room,” it will not be noticed. And if it’s too large, it will completely overpower the garden and be out of balance. You will want to select a plant that has year-round interest unless it’s used in a garden area that is only visited during a particular season, such as summer ...

>> read “Focal-Point Plants”    
Cactus Collecting
This is the year to get hooked by cacti

Cacti (singular cactus) catch the eye of many hobbyists. They are easy and rewarding to grow, fun to display, and readily available. People are often hesitant to grow them because they fear the reputation of these desert denizens. Here are a few tips that will hopefully de-mystify the collecting of cacti.

>> read “Cactus Collecting”       #Plant Profile   #Xeriscaping
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Variegated Leaves
Plants with variegated leaves in the garden

[+] Dirt Therapy


Plant Them and They Will Come
Attract birds with three must-have plants.

[+] Dig Dirt/Cult. Ground


Chanticleer Garden - Ruin and Gravel Gardens
One of the most amazing gardens in the US.

[+] Peggy's Picks