In the September/October issue of Ohio Gardener, the Tidbits page contained some information about The Tomato Man, a former resident of Newark, Ohio. Alexander Livingston has been credited with working with the wild tomato and developing open-pollinated varieties that led to the domesticated tomatoes we enjoy growing in our gardens today.
An astute reader called to our attention the improper use of the term "hybrid" when describing the tomatoes that Livingston developed. Types of seeds can be confusing enough without adding to that confusion, so for this oversight, we apologize. We'd like to use this opportunity to clarify things by explaining some of the seed terminology that we hear mentioned so often these days ... >> read article
The buzzwords for environmentally minded designs, products and materials have shifted and changed over the years. There was "eco-friendly," "green," "environmental" and now "sustainable." But all these terms generally point to the same concept — namely that there are design, material and product choices that can affect the environment in positive or negative ways. In the broadest sense, sustainability boils down to everyday choices. The questions you ask yourself are "Can this daily choice be sustained every day by everyone in the world? Will this daily choice make a positive or negative impact on the environment?" For instance, do you use disposable plates and plastic utensils or reusable plates and silverware? Do you buy bottled water or fill a reusable bottle with filtered water? Do you use cloth rags and dish cloths instead of paper towels when appropriate? Do you use baking soda, vinegar and borax as household cleaners instead of harsher store-bought cleaners? Do you turn off TVs, computers and lights when not in use? >> read article
Espalier sounds like a fancy French word, but it translates to fruit, function and beauty in the garden.
Usually associated with small-space gardening, espalier (ess-PAHL-yeah) forces growth of apples, pears, grapes and other trees or shrubs onto a flat plane, usually against a wall or fence.
The word is French, but with Italian origins. A loose translation: something to rest shoulders against. Think of it more as a wall of fruit. Espalier has been around for centuries. Espalier fig trees have been found in Egyptian tombs, according to Stark Bro’s, a Louisiana, Mo., nursery that specializes in fruits.
Espalier has been a common image in art for hundreds of years, persisting even today as a favorite subject for artists ... >> read article
Echeverias are a group of beautiful roseate succulents from Mexico and South America. They resemble the common perennial hens and chicks (Sempervivum spp.) but are not frost hardy and not nearly as prolific, chick-wise. In their favor, echeverias are generally larger, showier and do not die after blooming, an unfortunate habit of the hens. Echeverias come in many colors from frosty blue to burgundy. Their succulent leaves can be smooth, round, pointed, hairy, striped or curled, with many different combinations available. Mindful neglect is the key to keeping echeverias as a winter houseplant. Give them a sunny spot and water sparingly. Want more plants? Just break off a leaf and place it on top of the soil. In a few weeks you’ll have a plantlet with new roots ready to pot up ... >> read article