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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Tillandsia: Plentiful and Diverse

Mention the genus Tillandsia to most gardeners, and you get a puzzled look. No, I’m not talking about the eight-legged spider (that the mere mention of its name invokes fear). I said, “Tillandsia,” not tarantula. These plants don’t bite! Even though Tillandsia, the largest genus of the bromeliad family of plants, has several species that resemble the ominous tarantula, rest assured that no harm will come to you by owning these unique plants ...

>> read “Tillandsia: Plentiful and Diverse”    
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”    
Creative Conifer Containers

When I was young, I didn’t have much patience for my father’s infatuation with rooting and growing conifers and various evergreens. I was more interested in faster-growing flowers and tropical foliage. Conifers and evergreens were simply too slow for me. But I took another look as my plant palette increased, and found small plants look simply darling in small pots. Then, as they grew larger, I could put them in a larger pot ...

>> read “Creative Conifer Containers”       #Containers
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”    
Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye weed is one of my favorite perennials, even if the name is somewhat unfortunate and confusing! First of all, Joe-Pye weed is not a weed at all but rather a North American native perennial.

>> read “Joe-Pye Weed”       #Hot Plants
10 Commandments for Your Best Garden Ever
(and 8 Amendments)

Gardening advice is plentiful nowadays, but some advice can be contradictory or untested. For example, one website advises planting when the moon is in a water sign, such as Pisces, Scorpio or Cancer, “because rain is more likely.” Call me crazy, but I would rather plant when the weather is dry and then use my hose to water the seed or transplants. What should a gardener do ...

>> read “10 Commandments for Your Best Garden Ever”    
Lemon Balm
The Scent of Sweet Dreams and Calm Nerves

What can produce a mild sedative effect, relieve cramps and gas and produce antibacterial and antiviral properties, according to modern research? Lemon balm. No new discovery, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) was noted by the 16th century physician Paracelsus as healing patients at death’s door. The Roman scholar Pliny, another believer in the effects of lemon balm, thought ...

>> read “Lemon Balm”    
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
Made in the Shade
Indicator Plants And Shade Gardening

Shade is a major design consideration in most gardens in the Southern U.S. Given the opportunity, we nestle our homes under the spreading boughs of forest giants and are forced from the outset to develop a garden that will never know the full intensity of the sun. Or, if our subdivision was a cotton field or cow pasture in a previous life, we grow our own shade – never quite believing that those small switches we plant will one day become sylvan giants and rob sunlight like a thief in the night. Shade is a good thing, though. It makes our outdoor living spaces habitable during the muggy months and permits the summer-long enjoyment of our gardens.

>> read “Made in the Shade”    
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”    
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

Are you interested in the unusual, or even the bizarre? If so, your curiosity (and that of your neighbors) might be piqued by the uniqueness of the contorted European filbert, a plant fondly known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick ...

>> read “Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick”       #Hot Plants
Hostas
These Shade Lovers Solve Many Yard and Garden Problems

“Why would I want a large, green, basically flowerless plant? I have plenty of lawn, trees, bushes and shrubs,” my friend sputtered when I suggested hostas as her landscaping solution. Like most new gardeners, she had dreams of profuse, lovely scented blooms everywhere. Later, realizing that gardens of Eden with bounteous blooms, need full-time gardeners, she wanted easier plantings.

>> read “Hostas”    
 
 
 

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