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Featured Articles!

Landscape Solutions
Great garden ideas for steep slopes

There always seems to be a catch to that perfect piece of property. The views of the rolling countryside may be breathtaking, the sparkling clear creek at the back of the property might be picturesque — but, unfortunately, part of the property is so steep that it requires rappelling gear just to mow the lawn. What does a gardener do when there is an area that is “un-doable?”

>> read “Landscape Solutions”    
Barking Up the Right Tree

Bark may not be the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a tree. Even those of us who are quick to celebrate the practical significance that trees play in our lives often neglect to consider the simple beauty of their bark.

>> read “Barking Up the Right Tree”    
Nandina Flirt
Nandina domestica ‘Murasaki’

Good looking and oh so easy – no wonder they call this one Flirt. New leaves emerge deep red, transition through burgundy and finally age to green. At times, all three colors are present on the same plant. Normally you would need two plants to get contrasting foliage, but this one does it all.

>> read “Nandina Flirt”       #Hot Plants
Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are common pests of potted plants. The adults are tiny, mosquito-like flies. They don’t bite, but can be nuisances flying about the house. Folks who keep potted plants near their computer or TV often notice them flying near the monitor.

>> read “Fungus Gnats”    
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”    
How To Design a Historic Landscape

Romanticized in film and novels, the traditional plantation garden is often envisioned as a spacious ornamental landscape with sweeping lawn vistas and long allees of oak trees leading to an elegant manor. While this landscape may have been true in some cases, landscape historians report that this image is “gone with the wind,” as many plantations were really working farms and offered little time for maintaining vast ornamental gardens.

>> read “How To Design a Historic Landscape”    
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”    
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”    
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”    
Trees for Winter Interest
It’s all about the bark and berries.

Bark is beautiful. Berries are also beautiful. So says Dr. Leonard O. Miller, who suggests selecting and planting items for winter interest. Dr. Miller is the developer of Lendonwood Gardens in Grove, Okla., and donated the property to a nonprofit corporation in January 1997. Lendonwood Gardens is at its peak in the spring and summer.

>> read “Trees for Winter Interest”    
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”    
A Walk in the Wild

Andrea Rubinstein moved to Louisiana from the San Francisco Bay area in 2004. Her new Lafayette home came with several mature camellias and azaleas scattered throughout the yard, a yaupon holly hedge hiding the front porch and a white rail fence along the sidewalk. “There wasn’t much more to the landscaping when I moved into the house,” says Andrea ...

>> read “A Walk in the Wild”    
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Buds and Blooms.
Try these in your garden.

[+] The Passionate Gardener


Spring Slowy Awakens
A few early signs of spring are now here

[+] The Bluegrass Garden