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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Seamless Stream
A Natural-Looking Water Feature For Your Landscape

Water features are a hot topic in gardening. Even mainstream publications are touting them. However, most of the publicity blitz focuses on ponds, fountains and water gardens in containers. If you are interested in exploring water gardening, have you considered a cascading stream?

>> read “Seamless Stream”    
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”    
Putting Your Equipment to Bed for the Winter

As we head into the later months of autumn and get closer to winter, our minds are filled with thoughts of a Thanksgiving feast, Christmas trees and New Year’s celebrations. Perhaps the last thing we think about is our garden or landscape, since most of us tend to put these on autopilot during the cooler months. While our gardens and landscape can survive the cold winter months without much assistance ...

>> read “Putting Your Equipment to Bed for the Winter”    
Making a Comeback
Self Seeding Annuals and Biennials

I will never forget the year I planted my front flowerbed near the road. To my delight, I literally had cars stopping in front of my house and strangers coming by to ask about my beautiful garden. Of course, it was not the switch grass and daylilies that everyone was so enamored with. My showstopping combination was a haphazard mix of blue larkspur and red poppies. A friend gave me the seeds and I literally threw them over the garden in mid-November, thinking they might help add a little color while the perennials were filling out.

>> read “Making a Comeback”    
The Ways of Water
Keeping Your Water Garden Beautiful in the Summer

A water garden is exciting in every season, but ponds and streams are most beautiful and dynamic in the summer. The water and its surroundings teem with life — thriving plants, growing (and always hungry) fish, serenading frogs, colorful birds and industrious insects. The often brutal heat in the South drives many folks indoors to air-conditioned spaces but ...

>> read “The Ways of Water”    
Hostas
These Shade Lovers Solve Many Yard and Garden Problems

“Why would I want a large, green, basically flowerless plant? I have plenty of lawn, trees, bushes and shrubs,” my friend sputtered when I suggested hostas as her landscaping solution. Like most new gardeners, she had dreams of profuse, lovely scented blooms everywhere. Later, realizing that gardens of Eden with bounteous blooms, need full-time gardeners, she wanted easier plantings.

>> read “Hostas”    
Critter Wars
Dealing With Common Garden Pests

There are two major battles that all gardeners face every season: weeds and pests. I have always said (and will repeat) that there will never be a complete victory in either battle. As long as we have gardens, we will have unwanted creatures that can cause damage and headaches ...

>> read “Critter Wars”    
Edible Chrysanthemum
They're yellow and they're tasty. Try the Chrysanthemum

Every family in the Gu's village where I spent my childhood had a row of edible chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum nankingense) along the north side of their house and very close to the wall. Starting in early summer we pick the tender tips, about 1 inch long, and use them in stir-fry or soup. It has a very refreshing taste. This continues until early or midfall, depending on whether we want flowers. Picking encourages more growing tips (and flowers later on) and keeps the plant short and rounded. It flowers in late fall if picking stops around early fall. In late fall, tons of tiny, 1/2 inch golden yellow flowers cover and fill the plant. [Edible chrysanthemum brings sunshine to the landscape in late fall.] Edible chrysanthemum is the most shade-tolerant and pruning-tolerant chrysanthemum that I have ever seen. It not only flowers on the outside, but also the inside of the plant canopy, probably because of its shade tolerance.

>> read “Edible Chrysanthemum”       #Hot Plants
Rescue or Theft

There is a movement among many garden enthusiasts to “rescue” the wonderful heirloom bulbs, shrubs and wildflowers of our ancestors’ time. Many areas where they grow are being bulldozed for construction of homes, businesses and highways, while other areas are getting so overgrown with trees, vines and weeds, the plants are unable to survive without the necessary sunlight. Although saving these bulbs for future generations is a noble activity, it does not give us the right to take something that does not belong to us. Let us be clear about this fact. All land belongs to someone.

>> read “Rescue or Theft”    
How Dry I Am

Last year was a tough one – for people and plants. The U.S. Drought Monitor for 2010 shows that the Southern United States was in abnormally dry conditions for most of the year. And this is an area that normally averages over 50 inches of rainfall a year. In fact, it was so dry that cows were giving evaporated milk. The extreme lack of rainfall was bad enough, but coupled with record high summer temperatures for most of the eastern U.S., it was literally a killer. Especially in my garden.

>> read “How Dry I Am”    
Wilted Rainbow Chard

There are many recipes for wilted chard in which the greens are sautéed and then simmered in stock until they are extremely tender. This is not that kind of recipe. To retain the crunch, freshness, and color, just gently warm the chard in oil you’ve infused with flavor. Serves four.

>> read “Wilted Rainbow Chard”       #Edibles   #Recipes
Mudcrete
Tips on Building an Attractive Retaining Wall

The only sunny, level piece of ground on our lot is in the front yard, next to the driveway. Despite my well-reasoned and insightful explanation of why my new greenhouse should go there, my wife vetoed the idea. So, the only other location ...

>> read “Mudcrete”    
 
 
 

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