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Your USDA Hardiness Zone
Few things strike terror in the heart of a gardener more than a forecast for a late spring freeze. And let’s face it, with this year’s rollercoaster ride of temperatures it is hard to know what’s around the corner. But I think you’d agree that if this year’s wacky weather patterns continue, chances are good that a late spring frost could be in your garden’s future. To avoid being caught off guard, here are some tips to help you prepare ...>> read “Oh No! It’s Going to Freeze Tonight!”
Is it a bit cheeky to think I can create bouquets like White House Chief of Floral Design Laura Dowling after hearing her speak once? Foolish, perhaps. Fun, certainly.>> read “Floral Arranging American Style”
No doubt about it. This year’s wacky weather is uprooting many gardening routines. Uncovering a fig tree in early April in East Falls (Philadelphia), I was astonished to see plump green figs bigger than golf balls. In years past, the unveilings revealed no hint of fruits and just a glimpse of green on a few buds. In a Center City Philadelphia courtyard garden, red azaleas were appropriately in full bloom. Nearby though, the usual June-flowering roses were pushing buds ready to pop ...>> read “Wacky Weather Time Warp”
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”
Did you know that many of the weeds we pull from our gardens year in and year out are native plants that offer the same benefits as our much-loved butterfly weeds (Asclepias spp.) and coneflowers (Echinacea spp.)? I didn’t, until I resolved to learn more about the rampant volunteers in my garden community. What’s more, we think of Northeast natives as being mainly perennial forbs, shrubs and trees, but there are quite a few very common native annuals underfoot ...>> read “A Few Native Plants That We Call Weeds” #Natives
Just because it’s a native doesn’t mean it will be happy wherever you plant it. There are a lot of terrific reasons to grow native plants, but the most-cited reasons are not necessarily the best. There is little doubt that natives are hot. From two-minute TV segments to print media and even garden club lectures, you can’t avoid the message: “Grow native plants because they are easier, need less water and care and are better for the environment.” But is it true ...>> read “Site-Sensitive Natives”
Potting soils are not all the same. It pays (literally) to pay attention to the contents.>> read “What’s in the Bag?”
Staring out the window at a snow-covered garden, it’s easy for most gardeners to envision green grass and flowers erupting from the ground. Looking forward to spring, the experience is enhanced by a trip to one of the best and largest arboretums in the Midwest ...>> read “Ideas for the Taking at the Arboretum”
They are pollinators and they are honey makers. Ever think about keeping bees? Here’s a primer on where to start.
My first experiences with honeybees as a child were mixed. Running barefoot through a dandelion-covered yard as a young boy resulted in a sting as I stepped on a foraging honeybee ...
Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’
Gardeners hungry for great plants in small spaces will quickly welcome the ‘Ruby Falls’ weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’) into their landscapes.
‘Ruby Falls’, bred at North Carolina State University from other purple-leafed redbuds ‘Covey’ and ‘Forest Pansy’, has the strong pink flowers of its parents – and their deep purple to shiny burgundy leaves that fade to green.
Re-purpose a bedraggled bed to become a rainwater harvesting area with two linked rain barrels. Just be sure to pick the right site (out of sight, preferably) and properly link them together.
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”