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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Simpler Than You Think
Saving and Storing Your Own Seeds

My grandfather’s shed was a mysterious place. Tools I didn’t recognize lined the walls over shelves of coffee cans filled with rusty hardware. Most interesting to me were the dozens of blue glass jars tucked carefully toward the back of each shelf, with seeds of every color and shape imaginable tightly sealed inside. Seed saving seems to have gone the way of horse-drawn plows. Many gardeners opt for ...

>> read “Simpler Than You Think”    
Variegated Plants
Exclamation Points in the Garden

When I designed the perennial border in the garden of our first home, it was a process of trial and error. All the books I studied told me I should first create an evergreen “backbone” to provide year-round interest, and plant so that something of interest was blooming each season.

>> read “Variegated Plants”    
Branch Rot of Annual Vinca

Branch and stem rot can be a major disease problem for annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) once the disease organism has been introduced into the residential or commercial landscape environment. This disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Phytophthora parasitica that can persist in the soil for several years. Under conditions of overhead watering or heavy rainfall, this disease can spread rapidly in a vinca planting. The fungus is often ...

>> read “Branch Rot of Annual Vinca”    
Do Not Touch These Backyard Bugs

While you are in your garden, you will come across a great variety of bugs and insects. Some look so soft and furry you just want to cuddle them. Others appear downright scary and dangerous and send some running in fear. Yet, when it comes to backyard bugs, looks can be deceiving.

>> read “Do Not Touch These Backyard Bugs”    
Rescue or Theft

There is a movement among many garden enthusiasts to “rescue” the wonderful heirloom bulbs, shrubs and wildflowers of our ancestors’ time. Many areas where they grow are being bulldozed for construction of homes, businesses and highways, while other areas are getting so overgrown with trees, vines and weeds, the plants are unable to survive without the necessary sunlight. Although saving these bulbs for future generations is a noble activity, it does not give us the right to take something that does not belong to us. Let us be clear about this fact. All land belongs to someone.

>> read “Rescue or Theft”    
Common Ninebark

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 “Common Ninebark”       #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Ornamentals   #Shrubs
Savory Okra Pickles

For this recipe, you need six very clean wide-mouth pint jars, sterilized as directed by manufacturer, 6 lids and 6 bands separated into a shallow pot of boiling hot water ...

>> read “Savory Okra Pickles”       #Recipes
Topiary Gardens

Ultimately, gardening is the act of ‘controlling’ plants and shaping the landscape to our own designs. Topiary takes ‘gardening’ to a higher level. Topiary, the art of training live plants to grow into a myriad of shapes and forms by clipping foliage and branches has been practiced since Roman times. The word itself comes from the word topiarius, a description of an ornamental landscape gardener or the creator of topia ...

>> read “Topiary Gardens”       #Art   #Design   #Landscaping   #Pruning   #Shrubs   #Themed Gardens   #Trees
Classic Pepper Sauce

Wash and sterilize several saved bottles such as those for soy sauce, beer, small wine bottles, soft drinks, vinegar, Worcestershire and other appropriate bottles saved or bought for pepper sauce ...

>> read “Classic Pepper Sauce”       #Recipes
Sky flower
Thunbergia grandiflora

Sky flower (Thunbergia grandiflora) packs a late summer color punch just when our gardens desperately need one. In late July or early August, just as the crapemyrtle blossoms start to fade and zinnias begin to melt away, this vine produces glorious clusters of 3-inch-wide, periwinkle-blue flowers. As if caught in a perpetual yawn, these bell-shaped blossoms show off creamy white or buttery yellow throats.

>> read “Sky flower”    
Fragrant Gardens
Captured by the Spell of the Smell

I was walking on a Caribbean beach one evening heading toward a favorite spot for jerked chicken when I was captured by the fragrance of a large, blooming shrub. Now if I were relegated to growing only one plant for the rest of my life, it would be that plant, the night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum).

>> read “Fragrant Gardens”    
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”    
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Bluebird Fledgling’s First Bath
Baby's first visit to the birdbath!

[+] Thanks for Today


Passing Through – Monarch Butterflies
The little green thingies were chrysalis!

[+] Birds n Such