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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Sunny and Dry? No Problem!

The key to growing plants that love sunny dry conditions is not Zone hardiness but perfect drainage. Here’s how to create that perfect spot.

>> read “Sunny and Dry? No Problem!”    
Urban Myths and Legends in the Garden

Every gardener has a special secret or method that they have learned from a family member, “The Farmer’s Almanac,” other books and worst of all, the Internet. Usually there is or was a kernel of truth in many of these secret/special methods, but they have since grown into legends, much like passing a piece of gossip along. You know the kind of gossip, “Joe likes Mary,” and a month later, “Joe ran away with Mary and became an astrologer and opened up tattoo parlor in South America.” ...

>> read “Urban Myths and Legends in the Garden”    
The Hottest Plants of 2012

If you’re passionate about cars, you attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where you “See the cars today that the rest of the world will be talking about tomorrow.” To view upcoming trends in the clothing by American fashion designers, you make an appearance at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park in New York City. One of the best places to discover new plants is the New Varieties Showcase at the Farwest Show in Portland ...

>> read “The Hottest Plants of 2012”    
Hold the Salt

Most of the harm from snow really comes from how we get rid of it. Time for a little rethink. Who doesn’t love new snow? The white blanket softens the world and makes everything look new. And it’s a good thing for the garden. Snow cover insulates the soil so it is less likely to thaw and then freeze again. Enveloping snow protects plant tissue from cold snaps and adds moisture when it melts in spring.

>> read “Hold the Salt”    
Build a (Real?) Fairy Garden

Whether or not you believe in fairies, you can create a garden for these mythical creatures in a small space filled with shrub roses, foxgloves, pansies and dainty, adorable ‘fairy flowers.’ It is a perfect project for a children’s garden, too. Some people argue that fairies are real creatures from the kingdom of the elementals. Some people don’t believe it for a second ...

>> read “Build a (Real?) Fairy Garden”    
Mulches for the Vegetable Garden

Mulch inhibits weeds and conserves soil moisture. However, many gardeners don’t use mulch in their vegetable beds. Here’s the lowdown on which mulches to use and how to use them. When you mention mulch, the first thought that comes to most minds is the aesthetic look of it in the landscape. A nice, dark bark mulch makes the plants in the bed standout a bit more, but mulch is more than looks ...

>> read “Mulches for the Vegetable Garden”    
The Edible Garden: What To Do When

Use this timeline to stay on track in the vegetable garden. But be prepared to make adjustments depending on the weather. Remember the growing season is shorter away from Lake Michigan.

>> read “The Edible Garden: What To Do When”    
Mercury Rising Tickseed

Be sure to add this brand new, first of its kind, truly hardy, red flowered coreopsis to your wish list this spring. It’s an absolute dynamo that blooms all summer. The broad mound of bright green foliage becomes covered in gorgeous, velvety, wine-red blossoms. During the hottest part of summer, the petals have lightly “frosted” tips. Like the others in the Big Bang™ series, the flowers on Mercury Rising are sterile, so it blooms continuously for months and won’t reseed around the garden ...

>> read “Mercury Rising Tickseed”       #Hot Plants
‘Black Velvet’ Petunia
Petunia x hybrid ‘Black Velvet’

‘Black Velvet’ is the latest petunia to hit garden centers and is sure to be a big hit among gardening enthusiasts this spring. This unique black petunia has great potential in the landscape as it looks spectacular mixed with white, yellow and pink colors. Use other colors of petunias or accent ‘Black Velvet’ with delicate flowers like gaura, ‘Snow Princess’ lobularia or euphorbia.

>> read “‘Black Velvet’ Petunia”       #Hot Plants
Less-Stressed Veggies = More Nutrition for Us

Studies have found that if you take better care of your vegetable plants, they will take better care of you.

Being well fed and healthy helps ensure we humans are at our best. Same goes for growing choice vegetables. Stress-free vegetables are more nutritious than struggling plants ...

>> read “Less-Stressed Veggies = More Nutrition for Us”    
Chartreuse Houseplants

The hot plant for January isn’t a plant at all. It’s a color — chartreuse. Chartreuse goes with just about every other color and never fails to brighten up a dark room on a dreary winter day. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent new houseplants that shine brightly in chartreuse.

>> read “Chartreuse Houseplants”       #Hot Plants
No More Rose Divas

The rose, queen of all flowers, has a rather haughty reputation: difficult to grow, prone to diseases and pests, and dies after a few years. There are still a few divas around, but many rose varieties are not obstinate or impossible to grow. In the words of Peter Schneider, author of Right Rose, Right Place, “If you can grow a marigold, you can grow a rose.” The rose is one of the most decorative and adaptable of all flowers ...

>> read “No More Rose Divas”    
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Consider Prairie Smoke
Prairie smoke can add distinct interest

[+] Mark's Garden Ruminations


New Home for Green Beans & Peas
Adding trellises to the vegetable garden

[+] From Cheryl's Gardens


About this “Flow Hive” thing…
How you can help honeybees & pollinators

[+] Good Clean Dirt