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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

More Backyard Birds
Woody Plants That Attract Birds

As we transition to winter weather, we start waiting – we wait for bluebirds to brighten our days. We wait for robins, the harbingers of spring, to return. What to do? Perhaps you should think about planting some trees or shrubs.

>> read “More Backyard Birds”    
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

Are you interested in the unusual, or even the bizarre? If so, your curiosity (and that of your neighbors) might be piqued by the uniqueness of the contorted European filbert, a plant fondly known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick ...

>> read “Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick”       #Hot Plants
Less Work, More Fun

Some gardening tasks are a lot of fun. I love picking out plants and creating beautiful container combinations, and I enjoy planting flats of pansies in early fall. Other tasks, like weeding, are tedious, but you have to do them. Then there’s another group of garden tasks many consider necessary, but I consider bad ideas. Crossing them off your to-do list will give you more time to focus on the enjoyable aspects of gardening. Here’s my list of the top three things you should NOT be doing in your garden...

>> read “Less Work, More Fun”    
The Self-Sufficient Gardener
Developing Transplants from Seed is Easy in a Greenhouse

When growing your own transplants, it is very important to control temperature, ventilation, light and moisture. Temperatures for warm-season crops should be between 65 and 80 F during the day, with nighttime temperatures of 60 to 65 F.

>> read “The Self-Sufficient Gardener”    
Wild Quinine

This underused plant has everything going for it: flowers through most of the summer; an upright, beautiful habit; and tremendous fall and winter interest. Wild quinine grows 36-40 inches tall with a spread of 18-24 inches. This architectural plant mixes well with grasses. In summer, the white, flat, mounded clusters of flowers look like summer clouds floating through the garden ...

>> read “Wild Quinine”       #Hot Plants
Backyard Birds
Keep feathered friends flocking to your garden

"Tea-kettle, tea-kettle,"sings the little Carolina wren as it crouches in the garden shed waiting for the most opportune moment to sneak from its perch to the suet hanging from the old oak tree. Nearby, a shy and diminutive Carolina chickadee scolds the gray squirrel with a "chickadee-dee-dee" for stealing the small sunflower seeds that were destined for his early morning breakfast.

>> read “Backyard Birds”    
A Spring-time Wonder
The setting for a different kind of blooming adventure.

In the spring, Forty Acre Rock near Lancaster, S.C., goes from drab to dramatic with a burst of flashy colors on a granite outcrop that's the centerpiece of a state preserve. Small wild plants called elf orpine, black-spored quillwort and pool sprite bloom to showcase a mix of red, green and white hues in shallow, water-filled pools. These rare plants put on their show from March through early May, until the pools dry up and Forty Acre Rock's colors revert to dull grays and greens of lichens and mosses.

>> read “A Spring-time Wonder”    
The New Faces of Urban Spaces
Raise Chickens, Rabbits and Goats

The food movement in this country has prompted many to rethink where our food comes from. Economic times have brought people around to giving “growing their own” some serious thought; after all, many remember our parents or grandparents stepping into the backyard and gathering eggs for breakfast or a mess of green beans for dinner or fresh milk from the family cow or goat.

>> read “The New Faces of Urban Spaces”    
Fragrant Gardens
Captured by the Spell of the Smell

I was walking on a Caribbean beach one evening heading toward a favorite spot for jerked chicken when I was captured by the fragrance of a large, blooming shrub. Now if I were relegated to growing only one plant for the rest of my life, it would be that plant, the night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum).

>> read “Fragrant Gardens”    
Sunless Success: 15 Great, Easy-to-Grow Shrubs for Shade

Adding beauty and color to the shade garden can be a daunting challenge to many gardeners. Of course, there are plenty of annuals and perennials that do well, but when it comes to shrubs, or more precisely, flowering shrubs, the choices seem to dwindle. I’m going to profile 15 shrubs that do well in shade that you may want to try in your garden ...

>> read “Sunless Success: 15 Great, Easy-to-Grow Shrubs for Shade”    
Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening

Like most gardeners in the South, you probably maintain a vegetable garden for three seasons: spring, summer and fall. But if you’re not living in Zone 9, where plants can grow all year round without much protection, you might think that keeping a winter garden is difficult at best ...

>> read “Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening”    
Overcoming Drainage Problems

Have you lost any silver-leafed lavenders or ‘Silver Brocade’ artemisia or had tulip bulbs or Ruta graveolens ‘Blue Beauty’ just die, often after only one winter? You may be wondering why. Many plants benefit from “well drained” or “evenly moist” soils.

>> read “Overcoming Drainage Problems”    
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Aquaponics finally flourishing!
Summer planting in the Aquaponics system

[+] SC Container Garden


Blooms and Beds and Garden Buddies
Springtime splendor and busy gardening.

[+] The Backyard Dirt


The Summer of Rain
Six-foot tall cosmos and a lush yard!

[+] An Editor's Garden