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Hot New Vegetable Varieties for 2021

Chinese-cabbage lovers wishing for a little more excitement will relish the purple-leafed ‘Merlot’.

With the holidays in the rearview mirror and the New Year launched, it is time to check out the new vegetable varieties from seed vendors.  Most 2021 catalogs are up now online, and many companies still send paper editions as well.  Whether you aim to grow a simple pot of cherry tomatoes on […]

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Cheerful Red House Plants

Anthurium is one of many cheerful red house plants.

December—when the days are short and light is low—calls for maximum winter cheer. Holiday decorations are great spirit-boosters, but to add some long-term uplift, there is nothing like a splash (or two or three) of red. One of the best ways to create those cheerful splashes is to invest in a few house plants with red flowers […]

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Growing Fragrant Eucalyptus Indoors

What do American gardeners have in common with the cute and cuddly Australian koala?  Both animals and humans appreciate the aromatic leaves of the eucalyptus or gum tree (Eucalyptus spp.).  Eucalyptus trees are primarily Australian natives, so Koalas have no trouble finding their tasty leaves that comprise their entire diet. But, Americans, especially those in cold winter climates, have to look farther afield to find eucalyptus […]

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Pretty Pink House Plants for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Stripe Spiderwort is one of the easiest Pink House Plants for Breast Cancer Awareness.

The color pink represents warmth and hope, like the rosy pink clouds of a summer sunset.  It is also the color chosen to symbolize breast cancer research, awareness, and support. Some gardeners may be planting Pink Ribbon spring bulbs or Pink Invincibelle III hydrangeas to commemorate October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. […]

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Woolly Bears in the Garden: Lore and Ecology

The banded woolly bear caterpillar is only about 1.5 to 2 inches long, but it carries a lot of weight on its small form. Since colonial times, folk wisdom has claimed that even before the caterpillar is old enough to metamorphose into a tiger moth, it has the power to predict winter weather. That is a big responsibility. The gentle caterpillars are also loved by […]

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Fun Garden Jobs for Kids

It is natural for parents who love gardening to want their children to share that love.  The best way to grow a future gardener is to get him or her into the garden early and often.  Start off on the right foot by taking the baby basket with you and parking it in the shade when you go out to weed or tend the beds.  […]

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Everblooming Summer Vines for Gardens

Common (pink and purple) and blue morning glories are two everblooming summer vines.

Savvy gardeners know that flowering vines do more than just hang around. No matter how thick their stems, vines are masters at pulling their weight in the garden, brightening vertical spaces, and providing small-space gardeners with a larger […]

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Collectible, Colorful Coleus for Containers and Beds

The colorful coleus ‘Henna’ is so pretty that it is a stand-alone container plant. (Image by Jessie Keith)

If coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) did not already exist, it would be necessary for gardeners to invent it. Its virtues are numerous—beautiful, easy to grow and propagate, repellent to varmints, available in endless varieties, and lovely from early spring through the first hard frost. You can even overwinter plants […]

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Creative Four-Ingredient Edible Gardens

Creative Four-Ingredient Edible Gardens

Now that spring is well underway, it’s time to think about interesting ideas for simple, productive gardening.  Even the most efficient gardeners tend to glaze over when confronted with a long plant list, but most of us can cope with cleverly devised, four-plant gardens. 

Below are “recipes” for three different themed planting combinations containing edible and ornamental elements that can be contained […]

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Growing Serviceberry for Fruit and Beauty

The summer fruits of serviceberry are tart and sweet.

Well-loved plants tend to collect lots of descriptive common names.  Serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.) have amassed quite a few, including Juneberry, shadbush, shadblow, May cherry, servicetree, and sarvisberry.  No matter what you call them, trees and shrubs of the Amelanchier species deserve attention and appreciation from home gardeners. It is hard to beat them for hardiness, adaptability, four-season […]

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