For most of the country, May is tomato-planting time. There’s really no reason to rush to plant your tomatoes in spring. It is important to wait until the soil warms and dries and to take the time to build up fertility for this fast-growing veggie. Here are some tips to help you grow the best tomatoes this year: Continue reading Planting Tomatoes
You’ve decided to add color to your garden. And you’d like to do it now. But where to begin?
A good first step in choosing a garden’s color palette is to establish mood and emotion. Do you envision it as a serene and peaceful haven, where you and your family can be rejuvenated and unwind? Or does a lively and energizing space for entertaining and outdoor activities have more appeal? Do your tastes lean to the traditional, or are you more attracted to modern, trendy environments? Whatever you see as your ideal garden space, give initial attention to how you want yourself and others to feel when they are in it. You can create a desired emotional response just with color! Hot hues – reds, oranges and yellows – are dramatic, stimulating and energizing, and lift the spirits on cloudy days. Cool tones – blues, aquas, greens and purples, as well as most pastels – are soothing and relaxing. Continue reading Get Beautiful Garden Color Fast!
Hanging baskets make a wonderful gift for Mom on Mother’s Day, or any occasion really! Container gardening is easier than you think, and hanging baskets make a lovely addition to any porch or patio. Whether you plant your own from the start, or simply purchase a ready-to-go basket, there are some simple guidelines you can follow to keep your hanging baskets blooming all spring and summer long. Continue reading Caring For Hanging Baskets
“If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums.” (Chinese philosopher)
More than just a late-season garden booster, Chrysanthemums are used throughout the world in medicine, pest controls, edibles and teas. They are plants that have continually proved their worth, in both utility and beauty, since ancient times. Continue reading A Bit of Chrysanthemum History
The original idea of mixing vegetables and flowers was based not in prettiness, but in pest control.
The following are commonly used for this purpose and the petals of the Nasturtiums and Calendula also make a colorful & tasty addition to salads! Continue reading Flowers with Vegetables
The mere presence of a lone Peace Lily tucked in the corner of the living room is nice. But, with a bit more thought and effort regarding placement, arrangement and interaction with houseplants, benefits similar to those received from being outdoors in nature can be achieved. Of course, this is all based on having more plants than one….lone…Peace Lily. If a home is to truly be a plant boosted sanctuary, plants should be placed throughout the home. No worries – there are houseplants suited or adaptable to every level of light and a bit of research or experimentation will likely show there is really no need to be limited to one sunny windowsill. Continue reading Houseplants as an Indoor Nature Connection
Upright (thriller, vertical) plants add vertical interest and a sense of height to planting arrangements, making them more lively and dynamic.
Mounding (filler, anchor) plants are used to create stability in planting arrangements. They bring a sense of balance to even the boldest combinations.
Trailing (spiller, spreading) plants are the final “accessory” in planting arrangements. They fill in gaps, soften edges and tie all the elements together for a truly finished look.
Hot, bold hues and diversified shades of foliage are all the rage. From Tangerine Tango, the new Pantone color of the year, to rich jewel tones galore, make this seasons’ garden space your own tropical paradise. Dramatic foliage plants such as Black Lace™ Elderberry or ‘Black Magic’ Colocasia help create that relaxed island feel. Plant them in lively colored glazed pottery. To complete your setting, add a colorful accent such as ‘Jewel Mix’ Nasturtiums or a basket of Caliente® Orange Ivy Geraniums. Continue reading Make room for ‘BIG’ color in your garden this year!
For all those who garden, it is common knowledge that gardening is truly therapeutic. However, there may be some folks out there that are unaware of the many impacts that a simple plant can have on one’s state of mind. There have been many studies linking the health benefits of plants in the work place and at home. What happens to the people that are not able to work or need assistance due to physical, emotional or mental disabilities? How can they experience the many benefits that plants have to offer? The answer may be in Horticultural Therapy. Continue reading Nature’s Support System
Perennials come back year after year and give an excellent return on a gardener’s investment of time, energy and money. Perennials can provide a beautifully shifting display of texture and color throughout the seasons, without the removing and replacing of plants that would be needed to bring a fresh look to annual plantings. Most can be divided, after 3-5 growing seasons, providing additional plants to expand the landscape or share with other gardeners. Compared to Annuals, time and money demands for feeding and watering are also much less and the tasks of transporting, planting, removing and disposing of them every season are unnecessary.
Benefits of Mulching
Long before modern day use as a purely decorative element, mulch had an established history of benefitting plants, soil and gardeners. This is still its highest calling. A good layer of beneficial mulch can reduce stress on plants by regulating soil temperatures and reducing moisture loss and competition from weeds. In the veggie garden it also helps keep leafy veggies from getting splashed with dirt each
time it rains. Beneficial mulches do their final good deed when they break-down and enrich the soil as they age. All of these benefits mean the gardener gets healthy soil and plants with less time spent on watering, weeding, fertilizing…and washing grit out of salad greens! Not applying chemical fertilizers and reducing watering also means fewer chemicals in the environment and more green in the wallet.
Miniature gardens…. a refreshing take on container gardening, an enchanting way to introduce children to the world of plants, and for those of you who must succumb to the changing of the seasons, a miniature garden is the perfect way to continue your love of gardening through the dismal days of winter. These little landscapes are simple and fun, can make a superb hostess gift or centerpiece for special occasions, and can even be therapeutic. Continue reading A Garden to Have and to Hold – Creating Miniature and Fairy Gardens
Landscape Calculator for mulch, stones, plants, etc. created by professional landscape contractors.
Pest I.D. for Vegetables. Clear Insect photos, descriptions, damage details and management suggestions.
Plants best suited for Pollinators in your region. Zip code search tool courtesy of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. Leads to full guidebooks for specific regions. Pollinators list on page 16 of each guidebook.
Native Plant Guidance search features for finding plants native to an area, nurseries selling them and organizations offering information about or assistance with natives.
Toxic and non-toxic plants for pets. Courtesy of ASPCA. Plant photos and descriptions with exposure/ingestion symptoms listed. Searchable by toxic, non-toxic and specific pet; cat, dog, horse.
USDA Hardiness Zone Map Clickable to general regions of country.
Canadian Hardiness Info Provides current hardiness information for all of Canada. Also compares to USDA zone mapping and collects fresh data to update zone information accurately.
Tree Information “Trees Are Good” provides detailed information on selection, planting and care of trees.
Pruning of trees and shrubs can help them stay within a certain size limit to fit the confines and aesthetics of a garden space. More importantly, pruning encourages fuller plants – thus more foliage for photosynthesis, more blooms to attract pollinators, more fruits for you and any creatures you share them with. Continue reading Pruning Landscape Trees & Shrubs
Hosta and ferns are standards for the perennial shade garden. They have similar growing condition requirements and the contrast of fine-textured fronds and broad Hosta leaves does bring dimension and quiet contrast. All well and good for a supremely serene retreat, but what if you’d like to energize your shadowy shade realm a bit? Continue reading Lighten Up! Brightening and enlivening the shade garden