Poinsettias — How a Christmas Tradition was Born
by Carol Chernega

It has long been a custom in Mexico to place flowers around church mangers on Christmas Eve. Folklore tells the tale of a poor young child who could not afford flowers. An angel appeared to him and told him to pick some weeds by the side of the road, and place them on the manger. When he did, the weeds turned into beautiful red flowers that the Mexicans called Flor de la Noche Buena, or the Flower of the Holy Night.   >> read article
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Shakespeare’s Flowers
by Garry V. McDonald

William Shakespeare not only knew his human nature, he also knew his plants. Visual imagery played a prominent role in much of Shakespeare’s work and no more so than his descriptions of plants that would have been instantly recognized by original theatergoers to the Globe Theater in London. Many of our common and beloved garden flowers have been mentioned by Shakespeare in works ranging from comedies to tragedies with so many being listed by name that whole gardens devoted to Shakespeare’s flowers have been built worldwide.   >> read article
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Seeds of Simplicity: The Shaker Seed Industry
by Angela Goodson

During the summer months, I can see the results of those tiny seed envelopes that I excitedly purchased in March from ambitiously dog-eared catalogs. A quick inventory of the garden reveals my successes and failures — summer squash overrunning the garden path and tomato seedlings that just stopped trying between my June vacation and Independence Day ...   >> read article
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Honoring Our Elders: Preserving Ancient Trees
by Charlotte Kidd

Trees that are 100, 200 or even 300 years old require special management techniques. Here are some examples of trees that are getting the proper care and some tips on how you can cultivate and coddle your own veteran trees.   >> read article
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How To Design a Historic Landscape
by Bob Brzuszek

Romanticized in film and novels, the traditional plantation garden is often envisioned as a spacious ornamental landscape with sweeping lawn vistas and long allees of oak trees leading to an elegant manor. While this landscape may have been true in some cases, landscape historians report that this image is “gone with the wind,” as many plantations were really working farms and offered little time for maintaining vast ornamental gardens.   >> read article
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The American Chestnut Story
Hopefully there will be a happy ending
by Fred Wilhelm

It’s sad, but much of today’s news contains stories about the endangerment or extinction of a plant or animal, or even an outright environmental catastrophe. Contrary to that trend, when I recently stumbled on an article about efforts to restore the endangered American chestnut tree to a place of importance in our forests, I immediately thought...   >> read article
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