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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”    
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”    
Invasives in the Trade
The threat in your own yard

Plant exploration has been an alluring and exciting facet of the horticultural world for millennia. Centuries ago, exotic plants moved along the Silk Road between Europe and Asia. During the age of sailing, individuals paid a king’s ransom for rare specimens for their glass houses and royal estates. During the Victorian era, the up-and-coming ...

>> read “Invasives in the Trade”    
First Aid for Summer Squash

As we enter mid-July with August right around the corner, there are some pretty rough-looking summer squash patches that I have visited around the state in my role as a vegetable specialist. From backyard gardens to commercial growers, everyone that has grown summer squash knows the challenges that the late season can dish out ...

>> read “First Aid for Summer Squash”       #Advice   #Disease   #Pests
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”    
Alien Invaders
Battling Invasive Species

Have you checked your backyard lately? You may be harboring dangerous aliens. No, these are not creatures from outer space. The aliens I’m referring to are plants – exotic plants. Also referred to as foreign, non-indigenous, introduced or nonnative, these invasive exotics are noxious weeds according to the following definition: A noxious weed is a plant alien to a geographical area whose presence threatens natural and agricultural ecosystems. Like their science fiction counterparts, these weeds are a major threat.

>> read “Alien Invaders”    
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”    
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”    
Christmastime from Nature

Decorating from nature doesn’t require lists of instructions or rules; in fact, some of the simplest materials and compositions yield beautiful results. Children often make simple ornaments in school from natural objects such as walnut shells or dried seedpods. Years ago as a third-grade room mother, I helped children construct Christmas arrangements for their mothers using cut greenery, stalks of seeds ...

>> read “Christmastime from Nature”    
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”    
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”    
Mamou
Erythrina herbacea

Erythrina herbacea is best known in Louisiana as mamou, but it also answers to coral bean, Cherokee bean and cardinal spear. A member of the Fabaceae (bean) family, mamou has compound (trifoliate) leaves, thorny stems and showy red flowers on tall spikes in late spring to early summer, followed by long slender pods opening to reveal bright crimson-red seeds.

>> read “Mamou”       #Hot Plants
 
 
 

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