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Growing Winter Pears

Many of the finest pears (Pyrus communis) for growing and eating are harvested to perfection in the winter months. Their fruits become juicy, even buttery, when fully ripe. By late fall, they should start showing up at orchard stands and farmers markets for fresh eating and cooking, but homegrown fruits are even better, if you have the time and yard space.

Like most popular tree fruits, such as cherries, […]

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Homemade Caramel Apple & Pear Fig Honey Butter Recipes


Tart, spicy, fragrant fruit butters are great winter treats that can be canned and shared as holiday gifts. Apples and winter pears are in season, so there are no better fruits for making dessert-quality spreads perfect for spreading on buttery toast, dipping with salty pretzels, or dolloping onto spice cookies. If you have your own apple and pear trees, even better! [Click here to learn how to grow your own winter pears!}
These butters […]

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Japanese Flowering Cherries for Every Yard and Garden

A Historic Spring Gift

In 1912, the people of Japan donated over 3,000 flowering cherry trees to the people of the United States as a gift of enduring friendship. Planted around and near the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., the trees delighted visitors and gave birth to a festive seasonal tradition. It is no surprise that home gardeners clamored for Japanese cherry trees.

Most of us don’t have room for […]

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The Best Shrubs for Container Gardens

There are lots of reasons to grow shrubs in containers.  You may have a small garden or no garden at all.  The only sunny spot on your property may be covered with concrete, or your soil may be so poor that even poison ivy fails to thrive.  Then again, your “garden” space may be a porch, terrace or balcony.  Perhaps you have acres of space but want distinctive […]

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Late-Winter Garden Flowers for Bees

Amur Adonis is a very early bee flower with very showy flowers.

The late-winter blooms of glistening snowdrops, golden witch hazel or the earliest crocuses are all bee-pollinated. Most of the first American woodland wildflowers are also pollinated by native bees. These pretty flowers are vital early forage for bee populations everywhere, which is why they should […]

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Growing Palms Indoors and Palms for Indoor Growing

Parlor palm is one of the most popular palms for indoor growing.

Palms are trending in indoor gardening circles because they are the ultimate multi-taskers, functioning simultaneously as architectural elements, air cleaners, and silent promoters of peace and calm. With their pleasing green fronds and compatible natures, palms are among the best plants for enhancing living spaces of all sizes.

Palms Defined

Technically speaking, palms are plants in the palm […]

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How to Map and Plan a New Garden

The cusp of the New Year is not prime gardening season in much of the United States. But, it’s often an excellent time to map and design a new garden or planting border, even in areas that experience real winter. All that is required are bare ground, a relatively mild day, and a few common household items.

Start by considering the garden’s location, size, shape, and desired plants and […]

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How To Grow Star Fruit Indoors

Dwarf star fruit trees can start producing when they are only 18 inches high. (Image by Wiki Nursery)

Looking for an easy-to-grow fruit that will bring light and sparkle to your gardening life during the darkest months of the year? Tasty, tropical star fruits (Averrhoa carambola) may be the answer, even if you live in a cold-winter climate. Dwarf trees have made indoor growing possible.

Angular star fruits are succulent […]

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Garden Journaling: How To Plan Your Dream Garden

A journal is one of the best tools for achieving the garden of your
dreams. Your recorded observations of what’s happening today will give you a clearer
vision of what to do tomorrow – and many years beyond.

Starting Your Garden Journal

A note pad, smartphone, and/or computer are all you need to build your journal. Use them to record the dates and details of significant garden happenings, such as the following […]

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Repotting Pot-Bound House Plants

Pot-bound root systems can no longer access adequate water and fertilizer.

There is no shame in harboring a pot-bound plant. It can happen to anyone because pot- or root-bound specimens come in all sizes, shapes, ages, and situations. The geranium or aloe that spent a luxurious summer vacation on the back porch may be bursting out of their containers. The bargain spider plant, purchased from the garden center at […]

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