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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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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Zen Gardens
A Place For Harmony And Balance
by Claudia C. Swanson

It seems that now, more than ever, people are trying especially hard to make their busy lives less stressful and more meaningful. Gardening can help in a subtle way that few other activities can manage, and the guiding principles of Zen gardening can lead to the creation of a truly calming, harmonious, and uplifting environment. These gardens are not designed to excite the senses in the way that Western plots do but are places for the spirit to find peace and tranquility in which to grow. Zen Buddhism requires that every task is performed with love – and it is the love and care that is put into them that gives them a serene and kindly atmosphere.   >> read article
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Shade Container Recipe
by Stephanie Hudak

Indoor plants play a large part in this crisp container situated in the heavily dappled shade of an entryway. Alocasia amazonica takes center stage in the arrangement with its strong lines and bold colors, which almost seem to be pointing to the light green, ruffled leaves of the bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus). Echoing the long, narrow leaf structure of the fern is Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’.   >> read article
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Is it OK to prune roots?
by Bonnie Lee Appleton

When you prune a plant, whether you’re pruning stems or branches aboveground, or roots below ground, you’re wounding the plant. A wounded plant will attempt to seal off or compartmentalize the wounded area to prevent decay. This process forces the plant to use stored reserves (starches, etc.), and thus has a depleting effect. Pruning can also stimulate new growth, but for this new growth to occur, additional stored reserves must be used. Therefore, even though top and root pruning can be, for certain objectives and at certain times of the year, beneficial to a plant, the plant does pay a price...   >> read article
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‘Appalachian Red’ Redbud
by C. Dwayne Jones

The eastern redbud has long been a staple for southern gardeners and when the delicate flowers fill the forest edges, warmer weather is just a whisper away. While the eastern redbud’s popularity remains strong, there have been a host of newcomers hitting the streets in the last few years. One of my personal favorites is Cercis canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’ or the Appalachian red redbud.   >> read article
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White Fringe Tree
a.k.a. Grancy Graybeard or Old Man’s Beard
by Peter Gallagher

White fringe tree also answers to the names grancy graybeard and old man’s beard. It is a member of the Oleaceae (olive) family, along with forsythia, ash (Fraxinus), olive (Olea) and lilac (Syringa).   >> read article
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