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Featured Articles!

Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines

I think this irrational fear stems from knowing my own slovenly ways — a recognition that if I let vines get out of hand, like I often do with weeds and overgrown bushes, there is the possibility of losing the house in a giant mound of vegetation. This unfounded fear probably stems from horror stories I’ve heard about kudzu. But take it as a cautionary tale. Many vines are aggressive growers that, left uncontrolled, can become a maintenance nightmare ...

>> read “Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines”    
Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs

If you drive through any small town across America, you will find either (or both) Mexican or a wide variety of Asian restaurants. Where burgers, pizza or fried chicken and mashed potatoes were once all that was available to choose from for supper, a huge variety of flavors have cropped up. Today, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Guatemalan and a vast array of other ethnic restaurants exist throughout the country ...

>> read “Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs”    
Less Work, More Fun

Some gardening tasks are a lot of fun. I love picking out plants and creating beautiful container combinations, and I enjoy planting flats of pansies in early fall. Other tasks, like weeding, are tedious, but you have to do them. Then there’s another group of garden tasks many consider necessary, but I consider bad ideas. Crossing them off your to-do list will give you more time to focus on the enjoyable aspects of gardening. Here’s my list of the top three things you should NOT be doing in your garden...

>> read “Less Work, More Fun”    
Japanese apricot ‘Peggy Clarke’
Prunus mume

There’s not much out in the garden that can beat the winter blues like Prunus mume ’Peggy Clarke’, also known as the Japanese flowering apricot tree. When it’s too cold for much else to bloom, this small tree bravely sends out its blossoms on bare limbs in mid to late winter, providing the kind of showy display that most plants set aside for spring. It’s an amazing sight in the dead of winter.

>> read “Japanese apricot ‘Peggy Clarke’”       #Hot Plants
Creating Great Soil in Your Garden
A TV gardener gives you the right formula

A few years back, I was faced with the task of setting up a brand new garden from scratch. Normally, that sort of a challenge wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow, but this wasn’t just any garden. It would be our new set for all the vegetables and plants grown for the national television show I was hosting at the time.

The homeowners of our existing garden informed us that they would be moving soon. My heart sank upon hearing the news. My first thought was how to salvage all the garden soil I had been cultivating for the past two years ...

>> read “Creating Great Soil in Your Garden”    
Dawn Redwood

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 “Dawn Redwood”    
How to do that… Tidy Tips for Your Evergreens

When we begin to leave winter behind, the time will be ripe to take a good look at the evergreens in our landscapes and begin to prepare them for the upcoming spring spurt of growth. Most of our evergreen plants fall into three general categories – those with needle-like leaves, those with scale-like leaves and broadleaf plants ...

>> read “How to do that… Tidy Tips for Your Evergreens”       #Pruning   #Winter
Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle
Lagerstroemia hybrid

I feel like the FDA pulling the plug on a prescription drug trial before all the results are in, but I am atypically confident that Delta Jazz crapemyrtle is a unique hot plant for Arkansas. Our University of Arkansas Plant Evaluation program started evaluating this plant ...

>> read “Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle”       #Hot Plants
Keeping Caladiums
Getting Them Ready for Next Year

Caladiums generally begin to decline in late September or October, and then it’s time to decide what you want to do with them. If the bed where the caladiums are planted will stay relatively undisturbed and continue to drain well, you may have luck by simply leaving the caladium tubers in the ground. Keep the area mulched this winter to protect the tubers. If your ground doesn’t freeze, they will probably survive and come back up next year and provide a beautiful display.

>> read “Keeping Caladiums”    
Selection of Equipment for the Vegetable Garden

There is nothing I like better than discussing, testing and using garden equipment. I am fortunate enough in my position at the University to operate a trial garden in which I test and trial, not only a variety of vegetables, but equipment as well.

>> read “Selection of Equipment for the Vegetable Garden”    
Mudcrete
Tips on Building an Attractive Retaining Wall

The only sunny, level piece of ground on our lot is in the front yard, next to the driveway. Despite my well-reasoned and insightful explanation of why my new greenhouse should go there, my wife vetoed the idea. So, the only other location ...

>> read “Mudcrete”    
Heuchera for Year-Round Color

Year-round color in shade or partial shade is not easy to find. Heucheras can provide that color. Newer varieties can take more sun, making heucheras even more important in home landscape design.

The common name of Heuchera spp. is coral bells. It is a member of the Saxifragaceae family. These perennials have a natural insect and disease tolerance. Include this shade-loving perennial anywhere a splash of color is needed ...

>> read “Heuchera for Year-Round Color”