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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Going Above Ground
Two Solutions For Amendment-Weary Gardeners

It’s trite but true: You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone. When I lived in Illinois I took soil for granted. With 12 feet or more of black dirt, if you wanted a garden all you did was bury a seed, add some water and step back before the plant hit you in the nose.

>> read “Going Above Ground”    
Defining Outdoor Spaces
Garden Rooms Exhibit Creativity

The idea that the landscape around our homes is a static, never-changing adornment seems to be giving way as more and more people embrace the notion of garden building. Some treat the terms landscape and garden synonymously, but they are quite different. You can have a perfectly fine landscape and never step foot outside or do a bit of the work yourself. But to have a garden is a different thing. Building a garden requires a personal commitment of time and effort, and it becomes your own living work of art, reflecting your interests, tastes and personality.

>> read “Defining Outdoor Spaces”    
Watch Them Grow
Imaginations Blossom When Children Plant Gardens

True gardeners of every age find it fun to dig in the dirt, play with water, feel the texture and size of various seeds, plant them and watch them grow. Children are curious and want to know what is happening underground as well as on top.

>> read “Watch Them Grow”    
Branch Rot of Annual Vinca

Branch and stem rot can be a major disease problem for annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) once the disease organism has been introduced into the residential or commercial landscape environment. This disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Phytophthora parasitica that can persist in the soil for several years. Under conditions of overhead watering or heavy rainfall, this disease can spread rapidly in a vinca planting. The fungus is often ...

>> read “Branch Rot of Annual Vinca”    
A Garden at Your Fingertips
Herbs are easy in pots and containers

Recently, a woman came up to me after an herb-growing presentation at a garden show. “I love cooking with herbs,” she said. “I could grow my own. But we live in an apartment with a tiny balcony and no yard.”
I hear that “no room” complaint frequently. And, while it’s somewhat understandable when it comes to growing vegetables, it’s shortsighted with herbs. Herbs lend themselves well to container growing. Indeed, they aren’t called “potherbs” for nothing ...

>> read “A Garden at Your Fingertips”    
Bringing Home the Birds
Keep your feathered friends flocking to your yard

Soon, the pallet of the landscape will be transforming from subtle browns and tans and exploding into splashes of hot pink, white, yellow and purple. The sweet-smelling crabapple blossoms will shower papery petals in a gentle breeze, blanketing the landscape. The rustling chatter and singing of wildlife will fill the once still air. Soon, spring will be here!

>> read “Bringing Home the Birds”    
Designing with Ornamental Grasses
for Showy, Year-Round Intrigue and Ease

Whether you’re planning a new landscape or rejuvenating an established one, ornamental grasses can add surprising pizzazz. They are dynamic, versatile and carefree in ways that few other plants can match. Widely known as the stars of autumn with their showy, long-lasting plumes, they can provide almost year-round interest. These grasses not only bring structure to the landscape, but sound and movement as well ...

>> read “Designing with Ornamental Grasses”    
Bonfire Begonias
Enliven your spring patio and landscape.

Enliven your spring patio and landscape with Bonfire begonias. Their shocking scarlet-orange blossoms easily light up canopied beds and containers as profusions of dainty bells elegantly hang from arching blue-green limbs. Perfect for hanging baskets or mixed containers, Bonfire begonias stand only 18 inches in height, as their swooping stems gracefully cascade downward, creating a remarkable fountain of fiery orange. Heat up your containers with innovative varieties like Bonfire Choc Orange or Bonfire Choc Pink to enjoy cinnamon red and cotton candy blooms, lavishly infused with rich, chocolate mocha leaves.

>> read “Bonfire Begonias”       #Hot Plants
Rose Black Spot

Rose black spot is perhaps the most devastating disease of roses in the South. This disease is caused by a fungus (Diplocarpon rosae) that attacks the foliage of many rose varieties in home landscapes. Many dedicated rose growers battle black spot year after year. The disease can flare up virtually anytime of the year when the leaves remain wet for a period of six or more hours at a time. Frequent rainfall with cloudy days or periods of high humidity can result in disease onset.

>> read “Rose Black Spot”    
Sleep, Creep, Leap

Nature constantly amazes me with its parallels between plant and human life on this earth, and what we can learn from our green partners on this planet.

Think about how when humans are first born, those precious babies spend most of their time sleeping. They spend lots of time where it seems like growth occurs in tiny incremental changes as each day passes. Not huge changes, but still marvels of change and development.

>> read “Sleep, Creep, Leap”    
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”    
Zen Gardens
A Place For Harmony And Balance

It seems that now, more than ever, people are trying especially hard to make their busy lives less stressful and more meaningful. Gardening can help in a subtle way that few other activities can manage, and the guiding principles of Zen gardening can lead to the creation of a truly calming, harmonious, and uplifting environment. These gardens are not designed to excite the senses in the way that Western plots do but are places for the spirit to find peace and tranquility in which to grow. Zen Buddhism requires that every task is performed with love – and it is the love and care that is put into them that gives them a serene and kindly atmosphere.

>> read “Zen Gardens”    
 
 
 

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