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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Sitting in the Garden

Our lives are so hectic anymore, working late, attending functions, running children to softball, hockey, dance and wherever they need to be that we have forgotten some of the simple pleasures of life that make us happy.

>> read “Sitting in the Garden”    
Gardening Up High
Resplendent green rooftops provide benefits all year

Tall, slender stems of grass swish in the warm summer breezes, while coreopsis and coneflowers bob their heads, as if waving. They and dozens of other plants grow in a diverse garden planted on top of a garage in the middle of St. Louis, Missouri. If a person doesn't look up when walking or driving by, they'll miss seeing it.

>> read “Gardening Up High”    
Ladybug or Lady Beetle?

The lady beetles of my childhood were affectionately called ladybugs, and my memory colors them red with black spots. However, that idyllic image, secured in legend and lore, is no longer the species most people encounter today. My grandchildren are most familiar with the orange Asian lady beetle, the one that has become a nuisance in most households ...

>> read “Ladybug or Lady Beetle?”    
Christmas Conifers for Containers

Save that tree from the New Year’s rubbish heap. Buy a potted or ball-and-burlap tree, bring it inside for Christmas and then plant it outside afterwards. It’s a three-fer: you feel virtuous by not disposing of a carbon sink; you get a tree for the holidays and then in your yard for years to come. A live tree perfumes the air with that iconic pine fragrance that artificial trees lack and eliminates messy needle drop and fire hazards of drying cut trees ...

>> read “Christmas Conifers for Containers”    
Scented Geranium
Pelargonium spp.

It is summer and we reach for the bug spray, citronella oil or a candle to burn to keep the mosquitos at bay while we enjoy the beautiful evening. As you may know, citronella oil is obtained from citronella-scented geranium (Pelargonium citrosum). However, did you know that there are approximately 150 varieties of scented geranium that are not only beautiful garden plants, but can be used for potpourri and as flavoring in cooking ...

>> read “Scented Geranium”       #Hot Plants
Northern Crapemyrtle
The Summer Show Can Extend Well Beyond the South

As I skimmed through some of the State-by-State Gardening Midwest magazines, it occurred to me that readers in Northern states, for example in Zones 6 and 5 and in even especially warm spots in Zone 4, can, if done properly, grow crepemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica). I have a test plot in Ft. Atkinson, Wis., and have had crapemyrtle surviving, growing and flowering the last three years. The first year the plants grew ...

>> read “Northern Crapemyrtle”    
Shining Silvers

When the summer sun blazes down, we humans turn into shriveled lobsters, scuttling to hide beneath beach umbrellas and lurking in the far reaches of the basement. Plants don’t have these options. Instead, over the millennia, they have adapted their physical characteristics (morphology) to deal with harsh conditions. Different species have adapted in different ways ...

>> read “Shining Silvers”       #Feature   #Landscaping
Grow a Patriot’s Garden

Growing a red, white and blue garden is as American as apple pie. There are so many all-American holidays; we have plenty of reasons to celebrate in the good old summertime. Flag Day is on June 14, but the best of all reasons for celebrating is the Fourth of July ...

>> read “Grow a Patriot’s Garden”    
Cornucopia - Giving Thanks for the Harvest

If you mention the word “cornucopia,” nearly everyone envisions a pointy basket with fresh fruits and vegetables spilling from its mouth. It’s a common sight this time of the year — autumn, harvest and Thanksgiving — and we see it appearing on everything from greeting cards to decorator items for the home.

>> read “Cornucopia - Giving Thanks for the Harvest”    
Tool Time
The Best Tools for the Vegetable Gardener

What tools are the ‘must haves’ for the serious gardener? Which tools might make good holiday gifts? Here are a few recommendations.

>> read “Tool Time”    
Why Do Plants Fail?

Even experts can kill plants—which is why Roy Diblik offers seven common reasons perennials die.
It’s happened to us all. We have plants (usually the prized, expensive ones) that grow for a season—or maybe a few years—and then they die ...

>> read “Why Do Plants Fail?”    
How to Build a Cold Frame

A cold frame can help you harden off spring transplants, get a head start on the growing season, and lengthen the fall season for cold-tolerant edibles such as lettuce, kale, radishes and herbs by one to three months. Here’s how to make one from a window and some lumber. You have probably heard this a hundred times: "Harden off seedling plants two weeks before transplanting by moving them to a protected area outdoors or by placing them in a cold frame." But you don't have a cold frame, and perhaps never thought you needed one ...

>> read “How to Build a Cold Frame”    
 
 
 

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