Outdoor Benches
by State-by-State Gardening

Placing a bench in the garden is not a simple matter of carrying it from the delivery truck to the patio. To really incorporate it into the overall garden landscape, there are a few basic considerations.

First, you should determine whether or not you really intend to sit on the bench. Are you showcasing it for garden tours, or do you want the bench to serve as your own private retreat? Do you see it as place to exhibit containers, or a spot to write a letter to a friend? Answering these questions will help you determine appropriate size, design and materials.   >> read article
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No Fuss…No Till
by Beth Botts

A growing number of experts say annual tilling is unnecessary—maybe even harmful. Here’s why. Garden wisdom has long held that preparing a vegetable garden means yearly tilling: digging to mix up the top 6 or 8 inches of soil and incorporate new organic matter such as compost to increase its fertility.   >> read article
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Dawn Redwood
by PJ Gartin

Closely related to bald and pond cypress (Taxodium spp.), the dawn redwood is a fast-growing beauty that not only makes a dramatic horticultural statement, but is also bound to spice up the neighborhood gardening chatter. This is definitely an “Oh, wow” tree, but be sure to keep its plant tag handy because most people don’t believe dawn redwood grows anywhere other than California.   >> read article
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The New Faces of Urban Spaces
Raise Chickens, Rabbits and Goats
by Cindy Shapton

The food movement in this country has prompted many to rethink where our food comes from. Economic times have brought people around to giving “growing their own” some serious thought; after all, many remember our parents or grandparents stepping into the backyard and gathering eggs for breakfast or a mess of green beans for dinner or fresh milk from the family cow or goat.   >> read article
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Common Ninebark
by Hubert P. Conlon

You may call it common or Eastern ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), but this native shrub has become anything but common. Ninebark has been to finishing school with several fabulous new cultivars introduced. Bright, colorful foliage – burgundy, copper, gold and variegated – have replaced the standard medium green leaves of the old-fashioned ninebark. The species has been tamed, a lot more compact and less vigorous.   >> read article
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10 Commandments for Your Best Garden Ever
(and 8 Amendments)
by Gita Smith

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 article
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Problem or Opportunity
by Mary Lou McFarland

Many gardeners tend to view landscaping problems first as a challenge, and then as an opportunity. The thought of transforming an uninviting eyesore into a functional and beautiful garden area causes a rush of excitement. Being able to also trade high maintenance for low maintenance puts many gardeners in a state of euphoria. Yes, gardeners tend to be “glass-half-full” kind of folks.   >> read article
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Watch Them Grow
Imaginations Blossom When Children Plant Gardens
by Marilyn H. Collins

True gardeners of every age find it fun to dig in the dirt, play with water, feel the texture and size of various seeds, plant them and watch them grow. Children are curious and want to know what is happening underground as well as on top.   >> read article
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