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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

50 Ways to Leave Your Water

Learn this new tune and change the way you water your garden. With apologies to musician Paul Simon, there must be 50 ways to leave your water. Just slip out the back, door; make a new plan, man; you don’t need to drag hose, Boz, just listen to me ...

>> read “50 Ways to Leave Your Water”    
Chartreuse Houseplants

The hot plant for January isn’t a plant at all. It’s a color — chartreuse. Chartreuse goes with just about every other color and never fails to brighten up a dark room on a dreary winter day. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent new houseplants that shine brightly in chartreuse.

>> read “Chartreuse Houseplants”       #Hot Plants
The Edible Garden: What To Do When

Use this timeline to stay on track in the vegetable garden. But be prepared to make adjustments depending on the weather. Remember the growing season is shorter away from Lake Michigan.

>> read “The Edible Garden: What To Do When”    
Majestic Pampas Grass

Pampas is actually a perennial grass, native to South America. It grows in large clumps 8 to 10 feet tall with silvery white, rose, purple or pinkish silken plumes that look like feathers sitting atop long stalks. There are dwarf varieties that grow to a height of 4 to 5 feet tall, which seems to be preferred by those gardeners with a smaller space ...

>> read “Majestic Pampas Grass”    
Seeking Professional Help

Need help with your garden? Here’s a primer to aid in sifting through the available options. If you feel the “bones” of your garden suffer from osteoporosis, you may be thinking of hiring a landscape architect. State licensed, with degrees in their field, these folks have studied surveying, site design and construction, landscape ecology, urban and regional planning and more ...

>> read “Seeking Professional Help”    
Less-Stressed Veggies = More Nutrition for Us

Studies have found that if you take better care of your vegetable plants, they will take better care of you.

Being well fed and healthy helps ensure we humans are at our best. Same goes for growing choice vegetables. Stress-free vegetables are more nutritious than struggling plants ...

>> read “Less-Stressed Veggies = More Nutrition for Us”    
Forcing Bulbs
For Those Who Just Can’t Wait

I am counting the days until spring. I watch the weather forecast like I am watching the lottery numbers being read, hoping the meteorologist is going to give me some good news. Once the holidays are over, gardeners start dreaming about the beauty that lies beneath the surface of the soil, knowing there are bulbs under there just waiting for the right minute to bust out.

>> read “Forcing Bulbs”    
Ficus benjamina as a Bonsai Plant
Ficus benjamina

Bonsai (pronounced BONE-sigh) plants are one of the fastest selling items in our Botanical Conservatory’s Gift Shop. The plants make great gifts and are small enough that they will fit into any brightly lit space. The bonsai are created by members of the local Bonsai Club who volunteer at our greenhouse. Ficus benjamina is the plant they use for most of their bonsai and recommend for first-timers. Creating a bonsai is considered an art, and the plants require more care than the average houseplant, but with minimal input you will be successful ...

>> read “Ficus benjamina as a Bonsai Plant”       #Hot Plants
Millstones: Symbols of Harvest in Today’s Gardens

When it comes to collecting millstones, the maxim “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings true. In the late 1880s, large urban mill operators started dumping these grain and corn crushers out back as a new roller technology made them obsolete and eventually put the smaller rural mills out of business. When propped alongside an old mill, the granite wheels’ interesting patterns began to attract attention for their ornamental appeal. Others were put to use as stepping stones along a path or a stoop for the back door ...

>> read “Millstones: Symbols of Harvest in Today’s Gardens”    
Lantana
Lantana camara

There are some gardeners, myself included, who regard the smell of lantana foliage as stinky. There are others who describe it as fragrant. Regardless, all can agree that they are flowering powerhouses. Lantanas are covered with 2- to 3-inch clustered blossoms all summer ...

>> read “Lantana”       #Hot Plants
Mixing It Up with Cool Cosmos: Notes from My Garden Journal

Amid the autumn plantings, gardeners record plant ideas onto new journal pages this time of year. Cosmos found a way into my writings some time ago, and never left ...

>> read “Mixing It Up with Cool Cosmos: Notes from My Garden Journal”    
Send Your Houseplants to Summer Camp

Most indoor plants are simply émigrés from warmer climes. When the weather gets close to conditions similar to their native habitats, they can benefit from summering outdoors while significantly enhancing your garden display. But you can’t simply haul them out and shock their little petioles by moving them from their customary accommodations to the chilly, windy, sunny vicissitudes of outdoor living ...

>> read “Send Your Houseplants to Summer Camp”    
 
 
 

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