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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Festive Fall and Winter Containers

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
Persian shield
A stunning foliage plant from the Victorian era.

Persian shield is a stunning foliage plant that once you grow it, you’ll want it in your garden every year. Native to Burma (Myanmar), it was a popular plant during the Victorian era and is regaining popularity after the University of Georgia reintroduced it a few years ago. This plant loves heat and humidity and doesn’t start growing well until days start to get warmer.

>> read “Persian shield”       #Hot Plants
The Basics of Bulb Planting

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”    
Sky flower
Thunbergia grandiflora

Sky flower (Thunbergia grandiflora) packs a late summer color punch just when our gardens desperately need one. In late July or early August, just as the crapemyrtle blossoms start to fade and zinnias begin to melt away, this vine produces glorious clusters of 3-inch-wide, periwinkle-blue flowers. As if caught in a perpetual yawn, these bell-shaped blossoms show off creamy white or buttery yellow throats.

>> read “Sky flower”    
The American Chestnut Story
Hopefully there will be a happy ending

It’s sad, but much of today’s news contains stories about the endangerment or extinction of a plant or animal, or even an outright environmental catastrophe. Contrary to that trend, when I recently stumbled on an article about efforts to restore the endangered American chestnut tree to a place of importance in our forests, I immediately thought...

>> read “The American Chestnut Story”    
How to Make a Bentwood Fence
Add charm to gardens of any size

A bentwood fence adds charm to gardens of any size. It seems at once ancient and Old Worldly, yet vividly contemporary and in high fashion. Bentwood is best made from recycled materials – limbs pruned from trees in the yard, saplings that are out of place in the back fencerow, or even prunings left over from tree trimming after winter storms.

>> read “How to Make a Bentwood Fence”    
Green Up Winter Days with Grass
Brighten the short wintry days by growing grass indoors.

Brighten the short wintry days by growing some grass indoors. It’s an instant lift to run your hand over a pot of green, lush turf while dreaming of warmer days and grass beneath your feet.

Although you can grow most any type of typical lawn grass seed you may have sitting around in the garage, why not grow a grass that is good for you too?

>> read “Green Up Winter Days with Grass”    
Classic Pepper Sauce

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
Creative & Captivating Plant Combos
Don't be afraid to mix it up!

If there was one prevalent wish among gardeners that I come in contact with, it is that they had a better flair for plant combinations. They are schooled in the horticultural technique, but something holds them back from creating captivating combinations.

>> read “Creative & Captivating Plant Combos”    
Let’s Stop Pruning with “Shear” Ignorance

What’s one of the most obvious and common mistakes made in landscapes anywhere in the southern U.S.? Improper pruning or excessive shearing (though it’s stretching the definition of pruning) of shrubs. Nothing jumps out of a landscape faster than a once graceful, natural-form shrub that has been sheared into a mathematician’s delight – be it round, square, pyramidal or rectangular. From a horticultural standpoint, unnecessary, form-damaging shearing of shrubs is almost as criminal as the topping of trees.

>> read “Let’s Stop Pruning with “Shear” Ignorance”    
Do Not Touch These Backyard Bugs

While you are in your garden, you will come across a great variety of bugs and insects. Some look so soft and furry you just want to cuddle them. Others appear downright scary and dangerous and send some running in fear. Yet, when it comes to backyard bugs, looks can be deceiving.

>> read “Do Not Touch These Backyard Bugs”    
The Traditional Scarecrow

I was halfway through my childhood before finding the nerve to watch The Wizard of Oz without hiding at some point during the film. I suppose it was the witch (the wicked one from the west) — it would be an understatement to say that she intimidated me. The scarecrow was a much more pleasant fellow but, truth be known, he was also a bit unsettling to me ...

>> read “The Traditional Scarecrow”    
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


The Garden is Waking Up
Photos of early spring blooms

[+] Dirt Therapy


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

[+] Dig Dirt/Cult. Ground


Window Boxes
Window Boxes at Chicago Flower & Garden Show

[+] Peggy's Picks